How to write captions that represent your brand
Updated: May 29
Do you know who your brand is? Like an actual person or character. No? Well, let's go Inside the Actor's Studio, my friends, to discover your inner Tom Hanks and decipher your brand persona.
Once you determine your brand persona, it will be easier to talk like him/her/them, so that your captions will be on-brand and resonate with the folks reading them.
According to Wikipedia, a brand persona is "a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Marketers may use personas together with market segmentation, where the qualitative personas are constructed to be representative of specific segments. The term persona is used widely in online and technology applications as well as in advertising, where other terms such as pen portraits may also be used."
So, what does that actually mean?
(1) Become a character actor, and envision your brand as a person - an actor, political figure, sports star, your witty cousin Bobby, a lion, whoever or whatever - but someone with a clear personality and look. Someone you feel like you "know" inside and out. Name him, her, them. If it's odd, no worries. For me, it's easier for me to put myself in my client's brand mindset by naming the persona.
(2) Use your creativity and imagination, but also use data. Analyze your actual sales records, Google analytics, social media data, and more to identify your customers. Sure, you're playing Dr. Frankenstein and creating a living thing out of your business, but it's not just an exercise in make-believe. You have to use both qualitative and quantitative data for the most success.
Just a friendly reminder... this is supposed to be F-U-N.
I once based a brand persona from Reese Witherspoon and spiraled out of control on YouTube watching Legally Blonde clips, and it was a blast. #bendandsnap
Anyway, here are some tips to help you zero in on your brand persona, so you can finally write captions with a clear voice on social media and in all your marketing!
[ For the purpose of this blog, the brand persona is a female. ]
Think about who your brand is talking to.
You're not just making a persona just for the heck of it. Unless your business is you (a.k.a. coach, VA, etc.), it's important to shift the focus from How would I talk to people to How does my business talk to people based on my ideal client's needs and wants?
For example: Don't say, "Oh, I think Amy Schumer is hilarious, so I'm going to make my persona like her" and you are a personal injury lawyer. Exaggerated example, but you get the picture.
Remember, you're trying to embody your brand's persona, so you can better communicate and build connections with your customers. You need to think about WHO you're talking to, before you start evoking your inner Marlon Brando.
REMINDER: It's important to be authentic as well. There's a fine line between creating a persona that you audience will gravitate towards and fabricating a persona that doesn't reflect your true values and mission. This typically happens when you try to replicate what other people are doing.
For example: Don't say, "This boutique in Chicago I follow has 15K followers and their captions are all one sentence long and quotes about fashion. They have 15K followers, so I think I should do that or a variation from that" and your store is based downtown in a predominantly rural community, and you currently have 100 followers.
Now, I'm not saying the above won't work for you, BUT you shouldn't do it just because the boutique in Chicago is doing it. Use valuable insights and get to know YOUR customer. Look at your data. Who are your real customers and then do the exercise without comparing yourself or your business with what else is out there.
Think of it this way... if you're visualizing your brand as an actor, describe the people in her fan club. What are they like? Where are they from?
Roleplay and write your insights down!
Now that you know who your brand's biggest fans are, select a person that embodies these traits and ask yourself some key questions.
OK, so your brand is TBD... what does she look? Get REAL specific.
How does she dress?
How does she wear her hair?
Where does she shop?
Questions like these!
What does she do for fun?
Where does she go on a Friday night?
What is her job?
How does she speak?
Describe her personality. Go ahead and list everything, and filter it down to personality traits you want to shift over to your brand.
She just received some great news. How would she react? What would she say?
She just received some bad news. How would she react? What would she say?
She's out with friends. How does she speak to her friends? How does she speak to strangers?
These are just some questions for you to think about.
The goal here is to know your brand almost as much as you know yourself. Remember, you're thinking about your brand, not how YOU would look, talk, and react.
Collect all the information above and add it to your brand guide (if you have one). If not, make one ASAP.
Cement how your persona will speak in captions.
Take a look at all your insights and select a tone of voice for your social media captions.
Is your brand more like Reese? Excited, jovial, and friendly? Is she more like Chrissy Teigen or Chelsey Handler? Witty, sassy and direct? Or, more like Michelle Obama? Sophisticated, prestigious, calm?
Now, write your captions as your brand persona.
Remember, the goal of this persona exercise is to learn how to speak to your customers/clients, so they want to be your best friend or trust you as they would their mentors.
The goal is to establish REAL CONNECTIONS.
If you leave this exercise by the wayside, you will lack consistency in your tone of voice. Be INTENTIONAL.
What's the next step?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Cheers to winning an Academy Award!
If you need more guidance and support, check out my Brand Book Blueprint program. I go 1000% deeper and share videos, a step-by-step guide, and worksheets to help you uncover your brand persona and more.
If you're one of the below, make sure you check it out:
✨ You have a bunch of jumbled ideas about what your brand is or what your brand could be.
✨ You are a DIY-er. You need guidance, support, and structure, but you want to do it yourself (and you enjoy it).
✨ Your budget is tight right now, and you need a cost-effective option.
✨ You're tired of spending hours on "research" and it doesn't get anywhere, because you don't know what to do next.
Content-packed modules, a private Facebook support group, a video meeting with a strategist, and a 75-page guide with worksheets... all at your fingertips!