Written by Ibtissam Mustaq, founder of Andalusia Speech Therapy
When we meet people, we get a sense of their personality or communication style right away. Do they have a huge smile on their face generally? Do they shake your hand, do they hug you, do they even seem to be paying attention to you?
In owning a business, you have to decide what kind of personality, or brand, your business is going to have. If you don’t consider this intentionally, your business will have your personality automatically in person. But this might not translate to your written communication (emails, website copywriting, blogs) or to your staff when you grow and hire more people.
I first started Andalusia Speech Therapy writing all my own emails and my own copy for my website. I didn’t have enough time with all the responsibilities I carried as a new entrepreneur to really consider how I was wording everything and whether it was consistent. But as I grew my business and had time to re-design my website, I had more time to consider what words and what tone I set on my website. When I expanded to hire administrative staff, I reviewed some of their early emails and realized that their writing style was very different from mine. And when you are writing to clients that you haven’t met, you have to be very considerate of how they interpret emails because one word can change the tone of an email for one person and have no impact on the other.
So what did we do? We created a handbook. We reviewed dozens and dozens of emails and created standard responses that we thought reflected our ‘brand’ of communication: welcoming, accepting, respectful, clear, considerate, professional, and fun. For our website, we also wanted to convey that our therapy was ‘evidence-informed’ so we tried to incorporate that into the copywriting as well. For non-standard responses to emails, we have keywords we like to use in our greetings and signatures that we communicate with all our staff to be consistent in our communication. This in turn helps establish the values of the company by ensuring it’s in our everyday communication.
Our words can influence our thoughts. If we start an email with ‘hey, it was good to see you last week’ vs ‘hey, move your car’, it has a different impact.
Think about the communication brand you want for your company. Think about your values and translate them to words then use those words. Then you’ll see more of you and your vision in the every day aspects of your business, like your website and emails.
Happy writing everyone!
Ibtissam Mustaq is founder of Andalusia Speech Therapy. Visit andalusiaspeech.com for more information on their speech language pathology services in Toronto and online.