How to Create a Style Guide for Your Business
By DALE JACKSON
Establishing a powerful style guide for your business is extremely important if you want to have a professional presence. The style guide is a document containing rules related to your company’s style, tone, voice and many others. If you want to create content and publish it, then the style guide will offer you the guidelines on how to maintain the right voice for your brand.
Why does your business need a style guide?
For starters, a style guide gives you the rules set to maintain style consistency. It also makes it easier for customers to become familiar with your style. Plus, if you outsource any work, the style guide can be very good for freelancers to match your business style.
What is included in a style guide?
- The style guide needs to deliver company-wide access, the entire team needs to see and understand the entire guide.
- It’s important to set the right grammar rules. These rules are important because you can talk about any specifics and see how they are handled.
- Establish buyer personas and focus on customer segmentation. This will offer various rules on how to approach people based on their specific group.
- Think about the channel distribution guidelines too. Depending on the platform you need a certain tone, voice and even content length.
- Identify the right voice and tone for your brand as a whole.
- Create your own brand guidelines.
- Punctuation is very important from a style perspective. This can fluctuate depending on the situation, so establishing clear rules will help a lot.
How can you create a style guide for your brand?
- Start with outlining the business mission and values.
- Talk about your audience, how you will engage them and establish the idea of customer segmentation and creating buyer personas.
- Find the right voice for your business and identify the way you want your audience you see you.
- Understand the business tone and how you want to express yourself.
- When you talk about differentiators, you want to share the things that make your business different and the best in the business.
- Create a general copy style. It’s great because it makes things easier to manage all the punctuation, grammar and word use case scenarios.
- You also need a section about competitors. This way you will get a clear understanding of how they approach things and how you can achieve great results yourself.
- Lastly, the style guide needs to have content collateral guidelines. You will create a variety of content pieces like press releases, memos, white papers, website content, blogs and scripts, so you want to have specifics for every content piece as needed.
Creating the best style guide is not simple. It will require a lot of time and commitment to deliver the best value and results. You always need to make sure that you stick to the right guidelines and focus on sharing outstanding content. It will take a bit of a trial and error to make it work, but remember this can help maintain content consistency in the long run.
The style guide will help your business retain a very professional image, and it’s one of the most important things you can focus on. Stick to the guidelines listed above and don’t hesitate to adapt based on your industry, then you will create a powerful, fully customized style guide!