How to Theme Your Copywriting for Storytelling

If you enjoy putting some love into your brand, you're going to find yourself deep-diving into this concept. 

If you enjoy putting some love into your brand, you’re going to find yourself deep-diving into this concept. Is your storytelling or copywriting narrative in knots from collecting catchy phrases and buzzwords? Do the stories you share have a common theme? Or are you writing with a hodge-podge of pressed words you’ve forced into service? Today you’re going to learn how to theme your copywriting for storytelling.

You have probably heard that storytelling as part of your marketing strategy is a good idea, because it helps create relatability with your audience. Storytelling connects us all.

Introduction to Themed Copywriting and Storytelling

For the better part of 2021, I studied storytelling. There was an ocean of noise rippling through the internet, but all the collective wisdom, even from well-known copywriters, was missing one element necessary for brand storytelling. Many encourage hand-picking phrases and words instead of going through the process of developing a theme.  

Your brand actually has a theme—you may have just not defined it yet, and you might not be using theming as an asset to your brand. Your underlying brand thing might be growth, art, love, fear, discovery, challenges, power, standards, misconceptions, happiness, balance, emotions, etc. This is a thought process worthy of your time, and your writing will improve because of it.  

Theming your brand with copywriting and storytelling helps you further define your brand style and message. Think of it this way—I love a ton of different colors. Red, aquamarine, periwinkle, a faded yellow, burnt orange, charcoal, just as examples. I admit I am a collector of color swatches. But that doesn’t mean I’d use them all in my brand.

The same is true for your branded copy and the stories you choose to share. Whatever the underlying theme of your brand and message is, I’m going to help you put context to it so you can start weaving the underlying theme of your brand into the narrative of your writing.  

Art & Science of Storytelling

Let me share some insight in how to keep your audience engaged with the art and science of storytelling. Telling stories in your emails lets you be relatable, share insight, teach lessons, provide instruction, or share a worldview.  This requires a bit of copywriting finessing, so light your lantern, and settle in to learn something new today.

If you’ve studied copywriting at all, you’ve probably been told to “find your voice”. You may have even collected phrases you like from others you admire to use on your website and in your emails, perhaps even seeking out phrases that sound like something you’d say. Write like you speak, you know?  

While this is good-intended advice, and I still recommend doing those exercises, there’s something missing from a lot of ‘brand story’ tutorials out there. I’d love to fill you in on something I worked on in 2021 and studied with intense focus. 

The Challenge with Collecting Snazzy Bits from Written Copy

First, a question: What happens when you start collecting phrases from bits and pieces that you’ve read or been inspired by? A hodge-podge collection of words forms, and there’s nothing that ties it all together. It becomes a bunch of catchy phrases and fun “-isms” that you use to try to make your copy snazzy.  

But, there’s nothing that cinches everything together. It lacks the primary requirement of storytelling: a theme. And as you probably know, storytelling helps us understand others and ourselves. We learn from stories, and they provide guidance to living and operating in a complex world filled with so many unknowns.  

Not having a copywriting theme can become a challenge when you’re trying to share stories in your email sequences, particularly ones that teach lessons or provide inspirational insight. Instead of a steady stream of consistency in tone, meaning, or foundation, you may end up with a collection of randomness. Cheeky phrases that while popular, lack deeper meaning and insight. And you start to wonder whether that snazzy copy is just flair or if there is something better you can do to tie your email sequences and brand storytelling together. 

The Answer to Hodge-Podge Copywriting and Storytelling

The answer to this challenge is to theme your copywriting.  

What is your brand’s overall theme? For some, it may be “growth”. Or “self-improvement”. For others, it may be “coaching” or “design”. There are an infinite number of themes that brands and websites can take on, and usually it relates to the overall mission of the brand. So how does someone theme their copywriting? Great question. The answer is to relate life experiences, activities, or even careers to the themed copy. 

Think of the emails you send from your brand like pages from a story book. Each and every email continues the story. A similar message throughout. With each email or landing page, you’re weaving the theme of your brand throughout the narrative. You’re allowing the story to continue, and of course, the reader wants to know more and keeps turning the metaphorical pages.  This is an art. Somewhat of a science.

But how do you get started with selecting a theme? 

An Example of Themed Copywriting for Storytelling

Let’s take general “growth” as an example for a theme. You could tell stories about growth, for sure. Client stories, testimonials, how you got to where you are today from where you started. But what kind of words should you use to tell these stories? Think about all the things that grow. How do we measure growth? This is where you start to brainstorm.

Gardening involves growth. Plants, nature, trees, forests, children, puppies, collections, etc.  Take gardening for one example. Look at all the words typically used in “gardening”. (Hint – you’re going to want to use a thesaurus.) Blossom, bloom, bud, flourish, unfold, branch out, thrive, cultivate, mature, breed, age, stretch, spring up, propagate, arise, amplify, sprout, swell, burst forth, etc. These are all words that can help you create a narrative or a story that all encompass a growth or a “gardening” theme. Maybe your logo even involves a sprout or a flower! 

This is just one example, but you get the idea. It’s never too late to start over with a clean slate**, or even weave in your theme into your existing emails and web copy to tie it all together with a secure knot. Look for the next email with an ebook/workbook available. In the meantime, start thinking about what your overall brand theme is, and what activity, topic, or object relates to that theme.  

If you want to wait for the examples and exercises, I don’t blame you! Theming and writing stories requires some thought and effort, but it’s well worth it. Be sure to whitelist my emails in your inbox so you get the blog announcements about storytelling posts, and don’t miss out. We’ll have some fun and get those creative juices flowing.  

pst! – I do not accept money for my editorial content or posts. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by third parties. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. This helps keep the blog running!

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