Authenticity in business writing. What is it and how do you achieve it?

In business, authenticity is key to building trust with your customers. Customers can smell BS from a mile away, right? They see through empty marketing speak and phony promises and call it out. As a customer, you know when a business isn’t genuine, and it doesn’t instil trust or inspire you to do business with them, does it?

A Stackla consumer content report revealed that 86% of respondents said authenticity was important when deciding which brand to support. While authenticity ranked high across the generations, Millennials valued authenticity the most at 90%, followed by Gen X at 85% and Baby Boomers at 80%.

That’s why it’s so important for you to be authentic in your business communications. But what does it mean to be authentic, and how can you embed it in your brand? 

First. Be True to Yourself

The first step to being more authentic in your business writing is to be true to yourself.

In the words of Oscar Wilde:

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” 

After all, you’re the point of difference to your competitors, right? No one else can do you.

The tone of your writing communicates your brand’s personality. How do you want customers to feel about your brand? More importantly, how do you feel about your brand and the message you want to send to your customers?

Not being true to yourself can mean you miss out on attracting your ideal customer. If you write with a particular tone because you think you need to sound professional to impress your audience, you could be turning away the customer your service or product is designed for.

This means being honest about who you are, what you do, and what you offer. 

Be genuine in your communication and your interactions

Think about how you talk to your ideal customer. Are you relaxed and casual, perhaps throwing in a swear word here or there? Or are you more old-school, where you were told never to swear in front of customers? 

What works for your brand? What works for one organisation won’t work for another. For example, a finance institution targeting Gen Xers generally won’t use the same tone as a casual clothing brand that targets Gen Z. This is all part of finding and deciding on your business tone of voice

Whatever your style, get comfortable with it, own it, and communicate your brand message in that tone—whether that’s old school or new age. An authentic tone of voice will shine through and attract your ideal customer. 

But being authentic isn’t just about your tone of voice. Authenticity means being genuine in your daily interactions and getting to know your customers and their needs. 

Don’t always go in with the hard sell. If you’re a member of an online forum and someone asks a question in your area of expertise, offer advice and support free of charge. Be prepared to forgo short-term profit to build lifetime customer trust. Karley Beadman consistently does this on Findheronlinedirectory.com.

Educate and inform instead of push. Don’t try to beat someone over the head with your product or service. If you educate correctly, the customer will understand how your product or service can help them.

Respond to queries in a timely and personal manner. 

Be transparent about your business processes and prices. Honesty and transparency go a long way toward building trust with your customers. 

By being genuine in your interactions and authentic in your communication, you’ll show your customers they’re more than just another sale; they’re valued members of your community.

Then they’ll make a buying decision.

Be consistent with your message

Once you’ve decided your tone of voice, your message must be consistent. This means staying true to your brand voice and values across all communications. Whether you’re sending an email newsletter or posting on socials, ensure the message you’re sending is consistent with the image you want to project. By being consistent in your message, you’ll build trust and credibility with your customers. 

Customers want to know that they can trust the businesses they’re dealing with. The best way to build that trust is by being truthful, transparent, and consistent in everything you do.

Need help delivering authentic business content?

Get in touch. I’d love to help you out.

How Can a Content Writer Help Your Business Find Its Tone of Voice? 

Think about the businesses or brands you interact with regularly. What’s their communication style? Are they friendly and personable, or serious and to the point? How do you feel when you interact with their content? Do they communicate in a way you expect them to? 

The tone of voice a business uses plays a significant role in how customers and potential customers view them. That’s why you need to find your business’s unique tone of voice and use it in all your communications—from website copy to blog posts to social media captions and even internal communication. 

So, what is tone of voice in business communication? 

Tone of voice refers to the overall feeling your business content conveys. It should be consistent across all platforms and align with your brand identity. A well-defined tone of voice will help you build trust and credibility with your target audience and differentiate you from your competitors.

How can a content writer help you find your tone of voice? 

As a business owner, you already have enough on your plate, juggling all the balls and keeping your business afloat. When there aren’t enough hours in the day, and you feel you don’t have enough hands to keep all the balls in the air, how can you ensure your business communication and tone of voice are on point? 

That’s where a content writer can help you. A content writer will work with you to find your tone of voice by helping you to:

  • understand your target audience
  • define your positioning statement
  • clarify your product/service features and benefits
  • generate a customer avatar
  • establish brand, tone and writing guides.

From there, they can craft copy that accurately reflects your unique personality and ensure your business communication is consistent. 

Your business’s tone of voice is an essential part of its brand identity—and it’s something that should be carefully crafted and maintained over time.

If you’re unsure where to start or how to keep things consistent, it’s worth looking into working with a content writer to help ensure your content accurately reflects your brand.

Need help nailing your tone of voice? 

Get in touch to schedule a free discovery chat. In this 20-minute call, we’ll discuss what you need and see how I can help you.

If you decide you’d like to work with me, I’ll send you a document for you to complete before we have our briefing call. We’ll talk through the document in our call to ensure I understand your business. Then I’ll get to work. I’ll check in with you throughout the process to ensure I’m on the right track and you’re happy.

It’s a bit of a time investment upfront that could save you hours in the long run and help build your brand credibility.

Drop me an email at info@jacquisumner.com if you’d like to learn more.

I’m Doing What? The Bumpy Ride to Becoming a Freelance Writer

As a newbie on the freelance writing scene, I was a bit overwhelmed when trying to figure out what to write in my first blog. Unlike those who come before me, I have no words of wisdom to impart. I can’t offer ’10 best tips to make your content pop’ or ‘5 tried and true strategies to write killer prose’. Well, I probably could, but nowhere near as well as the myriad of professionals with years more experience already have.

So I thought I would write just a little about my journey to becoming my own boss and touch on some of the inspiration and support networks that help keep me sane.

First, the emotions. I don’t know if anyone agrees, but the manic fluctuations of feelings such a career change incites are like being stuck on a malfunctioning sideshow ride! Has anyone else experienced the merry-go-round of elation and terror?

Elation as I feel like a boss because I finally took the leap to do something I love, even when it meant leaving a steady, secure income to go out on a limb–well before I was ready (yep, you read that right…crazy, huh?).

Then terror as reality hits.

I’m doing what?!

What if I’m no good?

What if I fail?

What if people see me for what I am…a fraud? (of course, the sane me knows that’s not true but try explaining that to the curled in a foetal position, questioning my sanity, me. There’s no getting through to that maniac).

Then as the calm returns, I look to the sources I drew inspiration from to give me a gentle reminder of why I am doing this.

I did my research. My Business Plan was feasible. It’s time to Just.Do.It.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

This saying is commonly misattributed to Mark Twain. However, it’s believed writer H. Jackson Brown Jr is the correct author (ref: Quoteinvestigator)

I’ve always loved this quote. I used to have it stuck on my wardrobe to remind me every morning not to be afraid to take chances.

Inspiration that helped me start my freelance journey

Aside from having a trusty inspirational quote to motivate me, I also drew immense inspiration from two champions for female entrepreneurs whose books changed the direction of my life. 

Image: Goodreads

Winging It by Business Chicks Global CEO, Emma Issacs. Emma’s book taught me to stop thinking about it and just do it.

Image: Goodreads

Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. Marie’s book taught me to believe in what I have to offer and reinforced Emma’s message of just getting on with it. Don’t wait for the right minute because there is never a right minute.

Freelance support networks I can’t live without

I also subscribe to professional networks to bounce ideas off and keep myself accountable. 

I laugh when I look back to when I started on my own and what I thought I knew about running a business. Especially a copywriting business. Thankfully I stumbled across the brilliant Clever Copywriting School early in my market research. Headed by one of the most generous, supportive and kind (not to mention funny) people, Kate Toon, this community of like-minded copy beasts is an endless source of support, inspiration and it’s a safe place to laugh, cry or scream about the joys and despair of being your own boss. Besides this wonderful community, Kate also heads up The Digital Masterchefs and The Recipe for SEO Success. In her own words, Kate is: “…an award-winning misfit entrepreneur who works with small businesses and big brands to transform their online presence: through powerful SEO, captivating content and all the right digital marketing moves.”

Another inspirational powerhouse is Karley Beadman. Founder of the Findher online business directory, Karley is a Certified Practising Marketer with a Master of Marketing. Karley established FindHer Online Business as an online networking community for women-led businesses in Australia and the FindHer online business directory to drive website traffic. She is selfless with her time and constantly provides tips and tricks while encouraging women to support each other in business. She is a true gem.

I’m a member of the fabulous networking group, Business Chicks #businesschicks. The support from this bunch of talented, caring, generous women is great. And the access to online masterclasses, professional resources, and events is well worth the small annual investment to become a premium member.

I can’t recommend accessing a support network strongly enough. Make sure you have a strong network you can call on for support. Whatever form that takes. One of the best remedies to those inevitable bouts of self-doubt is to connect with people in similar positions. Knowing you’re not alone makes all the difference in the world.

Oh, and my fantastic network of personal supporters – my family and friends who provide an abundance of support, encouragement and love. I honestly would not be here without them. I’m eternally grateful for their love and support.


How about you? What was your journey to self-employment like? Are you still heading toward that path? Where did you draw your inspiration from? 

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your experience.  

Disclaimer: I have not received payment from any of the above sources. These are purely my saviours on my freelance journey!