Interview With Bethany Joy: Brand Voice Crafter & Wordsmith Extraordinaire
Today we chat to Bethany Joy, a brilliant freelance copywriter and brand voice developer, based in Oxford. We are teaming up with Bethany to bring you a special workshop called ‘How To Find Your Brand Voice‘ in October, which is set to be an invaluable session for start ups, or those looking to re brand or re focus.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
Well basically I play with words for a living – and I love it! I’m a freelance copywriter and brand voice developer, which means that I split my time between creating brilliant copy for businesses (from websites and articles to ad copy and video scripts) and teaching them how to write well for themselves. In the last few months alone I’ve written about human rights, maritime security, life coaching, biochemistry, start-up pitching, science festivals, piano teaching, underwear and the environment! It’s an incredibly varied, fascinating and rewarding job.
How did you get into your industry?
I started my working life with an amazing charity based in Oxford, where I was part of the Communications team. I worked my way up to Manager and then moved on to another non-profit as Comms Director, and did various bits of strategic consulting along the way. But although there were lots of great things about those jobs, I realised that the more senior my roles became the less I actually got to do the part of the job I loved the most – writing. I ended up having to spend most of my time on budgets and meetings and people management. So I decided to do the unexpected and step off the ladder, and I just start working for myself as a creative content writer. And things have really grown from there.
Can you explain what branding is and why it’s important in building a successful business?
Ultimately ‘brand’ is just a fancy marketing term for the outworking of your organisational personality – it’s everything that shows who you are as a business. Your logo, your website, the look and feel of the physical space you occupy, the type of content you put out, the words you use, the images and colours you select, your choice of social media channels, the spokespeople you use and the places you choose to be visible (and the ones you avoid). These decisions all say something about you, so it’s vital to put some thought into them and what they’re communicating about your business, as together they help people form a picture of your company and that’s what they use when they decide to buy in or not.
Probably the biggest mistake is just not realising the full extent of what branding is.
What are the biggest mistakes small businesses make with branding and do you have any tips to avoid these pitfalls?
Probably the biggest mistake is just not realising the full extent of what branding is. Most people think a brand is just your logo, but as I shared above it’s so much more than that. So while it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, like it might be for a larger company, developing a great brand does still take time and energy, as you really need to make sure you put thought into every aspect of it. Ultimately you can’t avoid having a brand – your only choice is whether it’s good or not! And it’s unlikely to be anything standout unless you’ve put the time in.
Tell me about your brand voice workshop and why indie business owners should sign up?
Well the way to know if you should sign up for my workshop is to answer this question – do you use words to talk about your business? If the answer is yes (and I’ll be very intrigued to chat with you if it isn’t!) then I guarantee your company will benefit from coming along. We’ll be looking at the power of language and how it can make or break your business. And I’ll be offering some very practical insights to help you write in a way that allows people to get a real sense of who you are and what your business has to offer, so that they’re more likely to buy into your brand.
Lastly, which are your favourite indies in Oxfordshire?
Food-wise my two favourites are probably Silvie and The Perch – especially in the summer, as both have great outdoor spaces. I also love going to the Ultimate Picture Palace, as it has such a fun and relaxed vibe and they show great movies. And I’m always having to restrain myself from going nuts and buying everything in the fab Aspire Style!
We are very excited to work with Bethany on her ‘How To Find Your Brand Voice‘ Workshop on 25th October at Turl Street Kitchen. The content is awesome and will give each attendee the tools and inspiration to define their own brand voice to reach a wider customer base.
If you have any questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love, Rosie xxx