More About Krista Goncalves 

Krista Goncalves is a former holistic nutritionist turned copywriter & brand strategist for health practitioners & wellness entrepreneurs. She lives in Kelowna BC with her husband and two young kids. When she’s not writing or being a complete word-nerd, she’s outdoors hiking, paddle boarding, or doing bootcamp in the park or on a beach!

While Krista enjoyed her combined 10 years as a fitness trainer, bootcamp company owner, & women’s health expert, she’s now incredibly passionate about helping other health pros to “juice up” their online businesses with her web content, copywriting, and business coaching resources.

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Episode 007 Show Notes

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Read the transcript:


Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast, where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income streams. We’ll talk all things online business to help you start, grow and scale your own digital empire.

What to expect in this episode

Today, we’re chatting with holistic brand strategist and copywriter, Krista Goncalves. She is here today to tell us more about:

  • What a brand voice is.
  • Why all business owners should have clarity around their brand voice.
  • When we should start developing our brand voice.
  • Some of the common mistakes people make when trying to figure it out.

She has so many wonderful tips to share with copywriting, branding, setting up your website, and all these wonderful things. I can’t wait to dive in and share Krista’s advice with you.

Let’s dive into the interview with Krista Goncalves.

Erica: Today on the podcast, we have Krista Goncalves, which I’m so excited about. She’s here to talk to us about finding your brand voice, which is something we get basically zero training on in the world of nutrition. I think this is going to be highly valuable for everybody listening. I’m so grateful that she’s here to share her wisdom with us. Thank you, Krista.

Krista: Oh, thank you, Erica! I’m so excited to be one of your first podcast guests and so excited for you to be entering the podcast journey yourself for your business. I’m thrilled.

Krista’s Background as a Nutritionist

Erica: Yeah. I like to start out these episodes by getting some background information about my guest. Everyone listening feels like they know who you are, your journey, your career, and what you have to offer in this interview today. Can you give us a higher level overview of your career journey? How did you get into the field of nutrition in general? How did you start your career and how did it evolve to where it is today?

Krista: Yeah, you bet. There would probably be a shorter list to say what I haven’t done, but I’ll start and give you a little overview of how it all went for me. It’s been 15 years in the making career through the health and wellness industry, actually.

It goes back to having started a Bachelor of Science that was in Marine Biology (of all things). I really honestly did think I was going to swim with dolphins for a living. That was my major, it was Marine Biology. My minor is actually in Nutrition Dietetics and Kinesiology. I did have that strong background there.

Although I didn’t really go into any of those fields for quite some time, it was when I started my own personal fitness training and outdoor boot camp company that really launched into the world of health and wellness.

It was from my experience as a fitness and outdoor boot camp trainer that everyone wants to know what the trainer eats and what the trainer does for their own nutritional practices. That really got me fired up and really felt those passions.

It was right at that time married and very quickly got pregnant with my first, which was 11 years ago now, that I decided to actually shift fully from fitness into nutrition. It was a good time because it was getting pretty hard at nine months pregnant to go bouncing around outdoors on the beaches and fields with my clients. It was a real natural move into the field of nutrition. After I’d had my child and gave myself a little time for recovery, I was ready to go and start up a nutritional practice.

Having done that for a few years—I really enjoyed it, working one on one, developed a few group programs and really enjoyed giving workshops to groups of women—I started specializing a little bit more and more, and then became quite involved in a focused area of women’s health, nutrition, and hormones. It was all day, all night hormones.

It was from that point that a smoothie bar made its way into my business somehow. I know it made sense at the time. During that experience (which just felt like one big old business experience), it was at that time that I thought I really want to get back at home with my kids. That’s where I was able to be with my kids when they were very young, so it worked out perfectly to be at home but continue running a business.

How was I going to marry that with having nutrition practice offline clinically and running the smoothie bar, but then still be at home with my kids? The solution was online business. I made that transition, thought how hard could it be? Offline to online, it’s pretty much the same, right?

I made every mistake in the book there, taught myself all the basics, and learned along the way because as we know (and I’m sure a lot of your listeners will probably be nodding their head in agreement), when we’re going through our nutrition, dietetics work, or other health practitioner course work, you’re not learning hardly a darn thing about business and certainly not the ins and outs of online business.

Krista’s Transition to Online Business

Erica: What year was that around when you were transitioning online?

Krista: Online would have been going back six years now.

Erica: That’s awesome.

Krista: 2013. It was reasonably young at the time, but I felt like a fish out of water (going back to my Marine Biology days) definitely fish out of water.

Erica: Did you take any courses or anything to help you?

Krista: I did a lot of online learning. I signed up for every freebee imaginable.

Erica: I resonate with that.

Krista: Absolutely. And while that is helpful on some levels, it is certainly not helpful on others because you get into absolute information overload. I didn’t realize at the time that there were better ways of learning and the way I discovered that was starting to reach out to other people who I would regard as mentors and just asking for the help that I needed.

It did take me a few years. Perhaps it was my pride saying that, “I can do this all myself! Darn it! I’m self-sufficient! I am Wonder Woman, I can do it.” You don’t have to do it at all. I’ll just say that and you really should seek help, collaborate, connect, and outsource.

But moving back to my business journey from fitness into nutrition, from offline to online, it was upon realizing that a smoothie bar was not my jam, I really did want to be back at home, and really make a go of the online business.

The first thing I did was to start a blog. I’m going to be honest. Six years ago I didn’t know what a blog was, either. Again, learning day-to-day, minute-to-minute. It was really quite random and the name of that blog was Making Lemonade. That was my first step and journey into the online world. It was completely and utterly random, but I did learn.

From there, my practice got back into full swing, and one of the very last clients that I saw in a real life offline setting, just happened to be another nutrition student. She was about to graduate, and we had been talking all about hormones and was helping to guide her through her hormonal struggles at the time.

The Transition to Nutrition Business

Krista: As we ended the session, she said, “Could I just (classic) pick your brain about business for a minute?” I’m like, “Okay, sure. Let’s talk about business. That’s fine.”

As she started asking me her questions about how does one go about learning how to be a business person, a business owner, and not just a nutritionist, it struck me right at that moment, everyone’s having the same problem that I did, not only learning the business principles all together, but that you are wearing multiple hats at the same time.

I became so reinvigorated not only with nutrition, but nutrition business. All of the experiences, all of those mistakes that I had made, and I was eager to share them with her. It was just a lightbulb moment.

That was when I knew I needed to help other women, young women entrepreneurs and to help them understand first and foremost that not only are you a nutrition and health professional, you also have to put on the separate business hat…. and let me help you, because that’s going to be scary and overwhelming.

It really was from there that the transition or graduation into the online space happened with the Making Lemonade blogs—I really started to get my feet wet there—and then this chance consulting session that I had with this young woman. I thanked her over and over again, because she didn’t realize at that moment how she truly changed my life and the course of my business.

So, here we are. Now, I identify as a holistic brand strategist and copywriter for health practitioners and wellness entrepreneurs. While it seems full circle and completely different from how I started, my roots, in the health and wellness industry, it makes complete sense to me today.

Erica: I totally resonate with that personally as well. I did a lot of DIY stuff as well starting out. Granted, yes, it probably took both of us longer that it needed to get to where we wanted to be, but you do learn a lot and you gain a lot of wisdom from your mistakes. You are very well trained through your own experiences to help other people not make those same mistakes.

I totally resonate with that and how you explained the excitement about helping other people at business, I felt that too. I think I’m more excited about this than even talking about nutrition stuff. I think it’s really cool.

I mean, it’s a weird path. A lot of people get into nutrition because they want to talk about nutrition. There’s not so many people who have an experience of running a nutrition business and then helping others with the business aspect…. because a lot of them are just running their nutrition business. They start it because they love it. I think this is a really unique niche and really valuable for people. Thank you for coming on today.

Krista: You are most welcome.

What Does a Holistic Brand Strategist and Copywriter Do?

Erica: As a holistic brand strategist and copywriter, what kind of services do you offer people? Who is your ideal client and what do you do to help them?

Krista: Again, everything is evolving and transitioning. I am certainly not to differ with that. Same as my clients. Recently, I’ve actually shifted away from doing more service-based. Again, I was working one-on-one with clients. Now, I’ve realized exactly the same as I did with my nutrition practice. I really wanted to reach more people. I wanted to move to that one-to-many model.

That’s exactly what I’m doing with the current business and transition from Making Lemonade (as I said) into Krista Goncalves Co. It was just a branding move that I decided to make recently (all about branding), but I want to now not only help people in a one-to-one sense, either do the copywriting for them or do the brand strategy and just show them how to implement. I want to show them how to do it themselves.

I want to empower them to talk about money savings because whether you’re hiring myself as the brand strategist, myself as the copywriter, or someone else, that’s a premium service that ends up taking a lot of time and energy, and therefore a lot of hours get put into that, which I do love.

I get so involved in my client’s business as such that it feels like it’s my own. Now, I take it on as my own baby, but I want people to feel that passionately about their business, their platform, and their brand. I want to teach them the exact steps that it takes to do that themselves and be a better writer because I say everyone can write.

A lot of people would differ with me on that, but everyone can write. It’s just implementing those right tools and making it a habit to be a better content and copywriter, whatever your business needs are at that time. Whether it’s just writing a blog post, or whether it’s going right ahead and getting your website content nailed down, or you’re going to dive into the world of sales page.

Whatever that might be, I want to teach you the tools and get them right in your own pocket to be able to do that yourself. That’s what I’m moving towards.

Erica: We couldn’t have planned this better. I just interviewed Ana Reisdorf, all about becoming a freelance writer. We were talking about ways to get better at writing.

The main gist was just to keep practicing, but I would love to have resources and people, too, if they really want more guided help. This sounds perfect. What a great segue between episodes. Talking about writing and then talking about getting better at writing.

Krista: And you know how much I love Ana’s resources as well. That’s where we actually met, isn’t it? RDs Who Write. It’s that Facebook Community and that’s where we first made our connection. The time is right. Coincidences aren’t coincidence, I don’t think.

Erica: Totally. In terms of how you help people, either one-on-one or through your programs, one thing that you talk a lot about is helping people find their brand voice. That’s what I wanted to focus on in today’s interview. What is a brand voice, first off?

What Is a Brand Voice?

Krista: When you say the word brand or branding, first of all, probably Starbucks, Apple, Volvo, big ticket brands, Nike, that have big noticeable, memorable symbols, logos, icons, colors, taglines, those things. We automatically think of branding as being those visual cues, those takeaways.

What I’d like to bring it back down to basics, when we talk about branding or a brand as it pertains to health practitioners, health business owners, nutrition professionals, wellness entrepreneurs, we’re usually doing it ourselves. It’s usually just us, solopreneurs. It’s about the personal brand.

That’s where the idea, the concept, or the very foundation of brand voice is so much more critical. I think it’s the heart, it’s the beating center of your personal brand.

I’m sure you’ve heard this one, Erica, it is you are your brand whether you like it or not. The more you can embrace that concept, the further you’re going to go and the faster you’re going to get to where you want to go with your nutrition business.

Brand voice then refers to the personality, but more so the emotion. It’s that emotion infused into  a brand’s communication—the words, the language. Basically everything that’s written and spoken within your business, about your business, about your brand, and it has to be really consistent.

The example I like to give is, say you got a bit of a potty mouth. You’re dropping F bombs and you’re being a total jokester all over your social post, for example. If somebody were to then redirect and drop in on your website (for example) and it’s all serious, very formal language, and you use a lot of scientific jargon, the two don’t really match. I’m not finding the connection there, I’m not finding consistency. That’s where your brand voice needs to permeate all of your written and spoken materials.

Erica: That’s really interesting. I feel like it’s something that people don’t maybe consciously think of necessarily when they’re working on their content. But I love that you’re pointing it out because it does make a difference.

Krista: Absolutely. Its main purpose is to connect, magnetize, but in today’s world, where everything is digital, digital, digital, even if you have an offline, real world, brick and mortar practice, you know that your digital presence is ever more important and it’s not going to slow down, it’s not going to be less so important in the future.

You need to make sure that that brand voice that starts to shine through and you start to get used to and nailed down, really starts to evolve and permeates everything. It starts to really cut through that noise because there is so much noise out there. It’s got to make that lasting impression with your audience.

Remember that I said, that’s what it is, that’s what branding is essentially. It’s a feeling. It’s a feeling you walk away with. Have you ever heard that quote from the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, where he says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Erica: That’s really good.

Krista: Right? Imagine that you’re at a branding party. Each person represents a different brand. Remember, as nutrition professionals (who are also business owners, who are probably doing it solo), each of you represent your own brand.

You all walk into the party, you’re all mingling, chatting, getting to know each other, and then you excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. What is that little group of brands going to say about you when you’ve left the room? Because they are going to talk, I’m going to tell you. That’s what they do.

How Do You Find Your Brand Voice?

Erica: Do you think this is something where you just instinctively know what your brand voice is? Or is it something that you plan or you ask people what their perceptions of you are? How do you get started?

Krista: That’s a fantastic question and I think that’s what most people stumble on the most. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t have that cool, unique, ‘out there’ brand voice going on yet.”

Let it settle. If you’re a brand-new entrepreneur, if you are just getting into it, don’t worry about it. You got so many other fish to fry, you’ve got so many other things on your plate, it will come to you. Maybe not as natural as you think, but there will be an evolution.

Take for example, when I first started off with Making Lemonade. The reason why I chose that name is because I was having all of my own health struggles at that time. I thought, “Huh, I need to do something with these damn lemons. Squeeze the heck out of them, make some lemonade.” I went, “Ding!” Making Lemonade, that’s my blog name. It then became a business name.

But under that budding brand and just figuring out what that all meant, what were the color’s going to look like? What was the logo going to look like? How do I want my persona? Do I need to be this sweet, cutesy using fresh, juicy and using that kind of language, a very uppity, almost mother earth nurturing tone? That’s not me, but I felt like that is what fits with the brand at the time.

There was a very distinct evolution for me personally. I felt, “Oh my gosh. I wasted so much time. Why didn’t I just go with what I knew, who I was, what felt natural, honest, and authentic to me?” because I doubted.

I was listening to other branding gurus at the time and what the industry experts were talking about branding at that time, but I knew in my gut, in my heart, it didn’t feel right. That was an evolution for me. I realized that that whole period of time, which was probably 1½–2 years just figuring it out, was exactly what needed to happen.

To answer your question more directly is don’t force it. When you force it, you are going to force being inauthentic and people can spot that a mile away. That you’re trying to be put on or worse.

And I did this. Guilty as charged. I was copycatting. I was looking at other big influencers in the industry and inadvertently was picking up their little branding-isms, the little lines and words. I felt them coming out of my mouth. It was a real ick factor for me. So, if it was an ick factor for me, it’s an ick factor for my audience.

Erica: That is such good wisdom. Wow.

Krista: That comes with making every mistake in the book for the last 10 years, let me tell you.

The Importance of Authenticity

Erica: I totally agree that authenticity is paramount for everything.

Krista: Not just a buzzword.

Erica: Yeah. It’s easier to be authentic than it is to try to fit into a box that you think you need to be in. When you’re just being yourself, you get to show up with ease. You’ll naturally attract the right people to you.

Especially if you were trying to put on a really buttoned up front and then you attracted all those types of people who aren’t looking for that type of audience. You’re right, it can get exhausting to show up in a way that’s not really you. I love that that’s your really good solid recommendation for people who are getting started, thinking about their brand voice.

How Developing a Brand Voice Can Help Your Business

Erica: Besides your own journey and evolution, do you have any cool stories about maybe how someone worked on their brand voice and it helped grow their business or just honed their vision, maybe?

Krista: Yeah. One comes to mind because their brand has always stuck out with me. I actually ended up working with these gals.

That’s Jenni and Mirna from Naughty Nutrition. Just an absolutely adorable brand. I fell in love with it instantly. I found myself wanting to lurk their website and lurk all over, follow them everywhere.

It just checked all my boxes because I’m a nutrition professional myself, but I’m also a health seeker. I’m interested and passionate just for my own self, my own family. Everything that they were putting out just got me. I said, “You are speaking to me.”

We ended up connecting on a professional level as it turned out. I was so excited to work with them. What they wanted to do, because they were actually quite a new platform, having been solopreneurs, having their own nutrition practices, holistic nutritionists coming together, teaming up, and wanting to unify on this platform, Naughty Nutrition.

What they needed to do, because they were two separate people coming in and two very different personalities, I will add, it was the perfect challenge for me because what they challenge me with is helping them to write copy and pull out their brand voice. They had two very different girls from totally different cities, had come together, and they needed to appear as one, unified brand.

It was amazing to watch them grow and work together, but just to pull that voice out. What we did was give their brand human characteristics and that just hit it home. They want it to be fun, a little bit flirty out there, and totally no BS. Their tagline is something like, “90% nutrition, 10% chocolate, 0% BS.”

Erica: I love that.

Krista: Right? That actually spawned the whole persona that they put out. And then the voice. We really worked on everything. Throughout their web copy, to the blog post that they were putting out, to any interviews, podcasts, guest posts that they were doing, sponsored posts as they started to work with other brands, support other brands and their growth, and then their social posts. Everything was super consistent and clear. It was just amazing to watch their platform just explode from that point.

That’s always been one of the biggest success stories because it wasn’t just one person. What a challenge it was to take two very different personalities and bring them together working as one. Even though you can visually see lots of different pictures, videos of the two of them working together, you still felt that it was one consistent brand personality and voice.

Thinking About Your Brand as a Person

Erica: I love that tip about thinking of your brand as a person. I haven’t heard that one before. I can’t say that I’ve done a ton of reading or work on branding, so I am excited to ask you these questions because I feel like I’m learning a lot.

That seems like it makes so much sense because then it’s easier. It goes from being such a nebulous concept to a lot more concrete and easier to move forward. Do you typically recommend literally writing down adjectives and stuff when describing your brand as a person?

Krista: That’s exactly it. When I start into a brand strategy session with any given client, we go through a lot of really hard questions. I find that it’s almost like a therapy session with the person because they haven’t asked themselves these things before. They just thought, “Okay, I’m going to be Cathy’s Optimal Wellness Zone.” It’s all very generalized.

Letting Yourself Shine Within Your Brand

Krista: When you think of that business, whatever you have called it, whether you’ve used a business name, a company name, or your own name like I shifted into doing from Making Lemonade to Krista Goncalves Co., I still ended up thinking, in the evolution of Making Lemonade, I was still the person.

Very much like you’ve done with Unconventional RD, Erica. Everyone knows the person behind that business. You’ve done an excellent job in doing that. It was just so smart to make sure that people know that it’s not just some great, big conglomeration, this whole team of people.

I think that was the mistake, especially health practitioners were making a number of years ago, is wanting to appear as something so much bigger than they are, when there is not a thing wrong with being the face, the person, the woman behind that brand. In fact, if you think about it, people do business with people. Period. That’s just it.

Erica: 100% agree. I do feel like part of it might be the schooling that we get. We’re in very professional environments like in a hospital, we’re wearing a lab coat, and there is expectation to maybe act a certain way when working and representing someone else’s brand.

It’s different and freeing when you are starting your own thing and you realize, I can just be me or I can be whatever I want to be. I don’t have to follow someone else’s rules or expectations. I think that’s a mindset shift that new entrepreneurs go through.

Identifying Your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar)

Erica: I haven’t necessarily (as I said) done a lot of branding-specific work, but I have done quite a bit of work about trying to figure out your target market and your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar or Client Avatar). It feels like there’s a lot of parallels here. Is that something that also ties in when you’re thinking about your branding, like who are you talking to and who are you trying to attract?

Krista: Absolutely. You hit the nail right on the head there. If you consider that brand voice, it’s meant to be heard, but it’s meant to be remembered by your audience, the people that you are trying to gather in and magnetize towards you to your business, to your services, to your programs, or to your products, whatever that platform looks like for you. You want them to feel. It’s all about that feeling, that emotional invoking that in them. You want them to feel a certain way after they’ve had an interaction with you or your brand. You got to make sure it sounds nice to them.

But like you said, to know that, and whether they are telling you directly, which is probably not the case like, “Hey, I really like the way you said there.” You’re not going to get that kind of feedback. People aren’t going to offer that up to you unless you’re doing some kind of poll, a page quiz or something.

In order to know what they like, you have to do that research. You have to dig into your demographics in order for you to create that music to their ears, what they’re going to resonate with. The language, the tone, the type of messaging that you’re using, that all comes into developing that brand voice that is going to work. This (of course) comes from diving into what your ideal client or who your ideal client (or ICA as you call them) is. That’s your ideal client avatar.

Say you could take one person, just one, and you could clone them, that you want to work with over and over and over because you get them, they get you. That’s an ideal client.

Lending to that ideal client avatar, the avatar is the personification. Obsessively knowing everything about that one cloned person. That means you’re going to dig deep.

Again, it doesn’t happen overnight. It does take some research and you do find out these things over time.

That is, are they male? Are they female? How old are they? What communities do they run? Where do they work? Are they married? Do they have kids? Do they have pets? What do they do during their pastimes? What lights them up? What’s their health goals? What kind of nutritional habits do they have? What do their fitness habits look like? Do they not have any?

And then you start getting into the little things. Where do they hang out offline? Where do they hang out online? Are your people on Facebook? Nope, they’re not on Facebook. So why are you hanging out on Facebook when that’s not where your people are?

It really starts to come down to those little details. You can imagine that if you don’t know precisely, with as much great detail as you can possibly gather, how on earth are you going to know how to speak to them? That’s where brand voice and your ICA are just married.

Marrying Your ICA with What Lights YOU Up

Erica: It’s like a nice overlap of what naturally comes out of you and who receives that, in alignment.

I do think that is a little bit of a trial and error (just from my own personal experience). Paying attention to any work you do with different types of clients or even when you do different types of work with the same clients….

What feels good? What feels easy? What lights you up? What are you excited to get out of bed and do?

Unfortunately, for a lot of us, maybe at some point in our lives we’ve taken a job or a gig that we didn’t really innately love, and we lose sight of the fact that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can wake up and love every single thing you’re doing, most things, because you’re the boss. If it’s not something you love, why are you doing it? You can totally make the choice to pivot.

Some of it, you’ve just got to try stuff and figure it out, and then you get a little more clarity with your ICA.

Does Creating An Ideal Customer Avatar Limit You?

Erica: I do think that one common question (at least that I have gotten) is people freak out a little bit to get that detailed. They’re like, “Oh, well, I don’t want to only help one person. I want to help a lot of people.”

Can you help give some clarity for our listeners about how getting so specific to one person helps you build your branding? Some people think, “Oh, it’s going to box me in or it restricts me in some way.”

Krista: You bet. Again, I am the classic example of that. When I first started the Making Lemonade blog, I wanted to help every woman in the universe who might, maybe, sort of, kind of, be having a health problem. I spoke in the most random, broad, general terms imaginable. One day I’m talking about the evils of decaffeinated tea and on the other one I’m talking about poop.

It was honestly whatever I thought, as long as it was a health topic, as long as I could tie it back to specifically women’s health and nutrition, I was good. I was just flopping. I felt like I was talking to absolutely no one because I was. Me thinking I needed to be as broad as possible to hit all of those little pockets of women who might be interested in decaf tea and it just might be interested in talking about poop.

When you are speaking to everyone, you are speaking to no one. I know that gets sad and I personified that a hundred times over. It was once I really dialed in on the thing that I knew most about and what I was realizing so many other women were struggling with. Talk about pain point, it was hormones and really more specifically, it was adrenals and thyroid. So then, I talked all the live-long day about those things and boom! My business exploded.

It felt like it was overnight and I could barely keep up with it because I kept getting booked for talks and, “Could you write this article for me?” and, “Could you do this project for us?” “Could you write a program all about that one thing?”

I realized that is what my target demographic was. Which then started to get narrower and narrower – women, 35-45, who were married, with kids, who were too busy to take the steps necessary to implement all of these little lifestyle changes, and are getting stressed out beyond belief so that their adrenals were becoming, I don’t want to say the words burn out…. There’s a lot of controversy there, but dysfunctional adrenals, unhappy adrenals, and unhappy thyroid. And so it went.

Me being a prime example, once I started narrowing it, and not only on my ICA, which was no longer a woman of every age, of every kind, of every possible health problem. My business absolutely exploded and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Erica: It feels like when you understand not only the demographics of the person you’re trying to speak and attract, when you really understand… (like when you were telling that story, you even naturally just did this)

When you were telling the story of your client: Like, they’re burnt out, they’re going, going, going, they’re moms, they have kids. That’s when the people see themselves. When you’re talking about those stories and they feel a connection with your brand. So, you’re able to get specific.

An 18-year-old who’s starting college isn’t going to resonate with the same message as, like, a 45-year-old woman with an 18-year-old kid. Yeah, that’s a really good point.

Embracing Vulnerability in Business

Krista: That was exactly it. I essentially had been my ideal client and I could speak to my ideal client with such genuine compassion and understanding.

I was also afraid. I will say this. It definitely ties back into brand voice. I still felt the sense that I needed to stifle my brand voice and not really speak my truth in the way I really wanted to because I was the health professional, I was the nutrition counselor. I shouldn’t share that I was exactly right there, because why didn’t I know all of the things that I needed to do? Because I’m human. We have our own problems.

That’s what actually fired my love and my passion for wanting to help women who had been in my shoes. I still felt the need to pull back on my story and not fully share, not fully allow my brand voice to bloom. But once I did and I got over those fears and not only started writing more, producing more videos, and doing more talks, therefore allowing my brand voice to just be free and out there, it was yet another step in the evolution of my nutrition business.

Again, blew it wide open because people are like, “Oh my gosh, she’s willing to share her own story and her own struggles.” I realized that just being that much more vulnerable, just out there with it, allows that connection to deepen.

Erica: I feel like when you start getting people commenting or even private messaging you, saying things like, “Oh, thank you for sharing this,” or, “Oh, you’re so real.” Those types of comments, that’s how you know you’re on to something, because that doesn’t happen every day. When you start to get that feedback, it’s like, “Yes!”

The Very First Step to Finding Your Brand Voice

Erica: Let’s say someone’s listening right now, and they’re like, “Oh, man. This is so cool. It’s something I’ve never thought about before, but I think I need to start doing some work on my brand voice or my ideal client avatar.” Where should people start as the very first thing?

Krista: The very first thing, if I could’ve had someone say these words to me, I truly think it would have been “Aha!” and it is – just write like you talk.

Developing your personal brand and therefore that heart center of your personal brand, being the brand voice, you’re going to shave off a whole lot of agony if you just consider that authentic slice of your very own personality.

Take all the things that you are and then infuse a nice, big, generous portion of that into your brand, and what kind of persona and voice you want to dedicate to that.

Of course, we talk about doing that research and digging deep into who your IC is, your ideal client. There does have to be that – Who are they? What do they do? How do they like to be spoken to? What language do they resonate with?

And then how do you want to shape your brand persona, personality, and voice, and where is that beautiful marriage in between? The first thing for me to just carve my way in through the middle of that and find that point of marriage, that connection, the bridge, was to just finally write like I talk.

Again, the example, when I was writing blogs and started guest blogging and writing a lot more for other people, when I began just loosening the reigns and thinking I don’t have to use these words, juicy, fresh, and sweet.

A way that I would talk in real life, I wanted people reading my blog or even my guest blog, or listening to a podcast like this, and then they have an interaction with me elsewhere, some other digital touch point out there, another piece of content, a social post, or they meet me in real life, and they go, “Yup. That’s exactly how I remember you.”

I want them to think they’ve come across the real deal, not this faked out persona online and then I’m this little meek and quiet. Because when I’m online, I’m out there. I’m a pretty gregarious person. I’m pretty outspoken. You’re going to hear some F bombs.

If I just flip the switch and I’m actually a different person in real life, there’s a complete disconnection there. That’s lack of consistency and it’s not believable. You’re going to confuse your audience because at the end of the day, people do business with people.

If you are not taking the necessary steps including being consistent with that evolving ground voice, even if it is evolving, you aren’t going to be building that. No trust factor. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have a business.

Erica: So true.

Krista: I don’t mean to put a period at the end of that one, but if you don’t have trust, you don’t have a business.

Erica: Yeah, especially when you ARE your business. 1000%.

Common Copywriting Mistakes Wellness Professionals Make

Erica: I know you’ve probably worked with lots of people on these exact things. Is there any number one common or recurring mistake that you see a lot of people making in their copy, that you advise people to maybe look out for?

Krista: Yeah, you bet. When I’m hired (for example) to do a digital audit, I go right to their website. A lot of people will put together a website whether themselves or with help.

I do urge you to get help with them because websites are difficult. There’s a lot of moving parts from the design to the development of it and then the copy can be a really big deal. It’s not just a matter of barfing your life story onto your home page and just listing your services. There is a bit more finesse that’s involved in it.

#1 – Does Your Website Sound Like You?

Krista: The first thing that I’m looking for is does it sound like them? Does it sound like a person is actually using that website as their front door, the welcome mat to their host?

The way that I’m identifying that is because I’ve had conversations with them before, I’ve been emailing back and forth, I probably asked some specific questions to really get an idea of what that person’s true voice is, how they are in conversation, how they are in real life, and how close is that to what I’m seeing on the copy on the website.

#2 – Is Your Voice Consistent?

The second thing that I see is that consistency and it’s usually a lack of consistency.

I find people flip-flop a lot between what they think should be found on their homepage, their about page—we could have a whole podcast about the about page, I’m sure you know that—and then the services page, whatever other pages you’ve chosen to use, perhaps it’s a blogging section, I do find that there is a lack of consistency just within brand voice, especially with language and messaging.

It’ll be one type of message on the home page, a completely different one is being really permeated through the services page, and then definitely through the blogs. I swear, I do see a lot of inconsistencies.

So, those two things. Does it actually sound like them? Like a real person? Or we go on for that, “We’re a great big, huge company.” The word “we” is used a lot.

#3 – Are You Speaking to Your Audience?

The third thing I find specifically on the web copy that has to do with brand voice comes back to using the “abouts” rather than the “to’s” in terms of your audience and speaking to them.

You’re speaking about yourself, about your services, about your credentials, rather than speaking to your audience’s struggles, their pain points, what do they need. Ultimately, what they want to find on your website is, what’s in it for me? What are you going to do for me?

Erica: Totally.

Krista: That’s what really needs to shine through in your web copy and your brand voice definitely is lending to addressing that.

How Working With a Brand Strategist Can Help

Erica: I feel like this is definitely a place we’re working with a professional can skyrocket your progress on this. Because as we said, finding your brand voice or your brand identity and who you want to help is typically a windy road.

You might have written your About Page a year ago, and then you revamp your Home Page and forgot to revamp your About Page.

Sometimes it takes a set of fresh eyes to really come in and be like, “Okay, I see where it’s going, but this could be tweaked, that could be tweaked.”

Sometimes you’re so in it that you can’t even see what needs to be changed or it just maybe falls down on your to do list. I can see the value. I know, even my own website, if I went on it right now, I’m sure I could use a lot of tweaking. I get it. That’s so helpful.

When Is The Right Time to Work with a Brand Strategist?

Erica: When is the ideal time in someone’s business journey to focus on this stuff? Do you work with someone who just got out of school? Or is this more appropriate once you at least know who you want to help? When is the ideal time to work with a brand strategist?

Krista: When people are just fresh out, I mean they may have just graduated or finished up their course within weeks, months and there is a lot going on, there’s a lot of balls in the air, there’s a lot to wrap your head around.

The first step is accepting that you’re wearing different hats. If you are in denial of that and you’re only in that mind frame, that mindset of, “I’m a nutritionist. What on earth do I need to know about business, marketing, or what have you?” all those moving parts or balls in the air is a lot to handle.

Brand voice is something that is going to be, as we said, you’ve got to test it, test it, test it. Try it on. It’s like when you go to the store and you try on 50 different pairs of jeans and only one is going to fit quite right. The one that you buy and take home, still might not be right when you get there because then your mirror’s different at home.

That is the exact same thing with brand voice. It’s going to take a couple of different tries. Like I said, for myself, it was a couple of year’s journey before it really just felt like it was in sync with what my audience was resonating with. Even my audience shifted. In this little transition, from Making Lemonade to Krista Goncalves, there’s been a little shift there as well.

When you’re just starting out, this is not what you should be focusing on because a lot of different changes are going to happen and brand voice is something that just needs to come a little bit more naturally.

I find in the beginning, you’re always trying to force so many round pegs in square holes. That’s just a phase you have to go through. We all have to do it to some extent. Whatever extent is going to be different for everyone, of course, but trying to force brand voice shouldn’t be one of them right out of the gate.

Erica: Thank you for saying that because I do feel like sometimes we have unrealistic expectations for ourselves when we are starting out and you don’t realize how difficult it might be.

Yeah, I do agree with that. It just evolves naturally over time. I think even you, being on this podcast today, for a new dietitian to listen to this conversation and even have this in their sphere of awareness, is great, because then when they do get a little more clarity, they’ll know what the next step should be for them.

Recommended Resources for Learning About Branding and Copywriting

Erica: Do you have any recommended resources for learning more about branding and copywriting?

Krista: I do have a very extensive blog actually, myself. That’s on blog and that is 100% focused these days all about building your personal brand, how to take the necessary steps, what not to do in the beginning or what not to focus on right out of the gate, what not to worry about, and of course copywriting.

Again, I’ll just reiterate that I really want to shift from people thinking, “I can’t do it. I can’t write or I hate writing,” that’s actually what’s usually what I hear more is, they dislike writing, “Too slow, not interesting, can’t come up with ideas.” I really want to push that envelope a little and say that everyone has the ability to write, and no one can write your words better than you can.

I really encourage you to have fresh eyes. Get some fresh eyes on your writing for sure, but it’s getting into that habit. Where I go for my own inspiration and the resources that I get fired up about, I’m always tending towards how to pull out more stories. That’s a huge trend right now in both branding, copywriting, and marking as a whole. I’m sure you’ve heard that as well.

Something I actually just came across and really right in the middle of it. I’d love to recommend that I have no affiliation whatsoever with it, it’s just something that I’m reading is called StoryBrand by Donald Miller. It’s a book that I’m reading online right now.

Erica: I have downloaded that and I have not read it yet, but it’s on my Kindle.

Krista: It’s excellent.

Erica: Yeah. For anyone listening, I don’t know if you guys have this in your city, but if you sign up for a library card, you can download a lot of these really awesome business books for free on your Kindle. Definitely look into that. If it’s a budgeting thing, almost every popular business book is for free on your Kindle through your library. I’ve been doing that a lot.

Krista: I actually got mine through Audible, the Audible app and I had gained points on it, so I’ve got that one plus a number of other related reading topics for free. Free is always the best.

Erica: I will definitely link to your blog on the show notes for this episode. The link will be right there if you just head to my website and check out the show notes for this episode.

The 5-Day Brand Yourself Challenge

Erica: You also have a free 5-day Brand Yourself Challenge. Can you tell us more about that and where can people go to sign up?

Krista: You bet. I launched this back a few months ago. We did this live roll out of it and it was so much fun.

We just had this whole community of people coming together to challenge their personal brands in five days, where I did a daily video challenge, we all work through this workbook, sheet-by-sheet, and asked those really hard questions that I said I work on all of these really thick and underneath the layers kind of stuff with my one-on-one branding clients. I gave those out to all of the BYC-ers (the Brand Yourself Challenge participants).

It was so great, it was so much fun that I just kept it going. Now, it’s a self-paced, self-guided five day challenge that’s still running and it’s still free, but I will tell you that I am working on a little paid version of the whole thing where it’s going to be this five day challenge and then just bring you as many resources as I can possibly muster. If you want to grab that, that one is right on my home page, I’ll see the big old button for how to get it for free.

Erica: Amazing. I’m going to sign up for that because I think I need to do some work on my branding as well. Thank you for creating that for all of us.

How to Keep in Touch with Krista Goncalves

Erica: Besides your website, is there anywhere else people should go to keep in touch with you?

Krista: You can connect with me anywhere on social at Krista Goncalves Co. That’s Facebook, but I really do love hanging out on Instagram these days. I’m really figuring out these Stories things. They’re just so much fun. It really allows me to tap into my creative side. I’m really enjoying the video. Loving the Instagram app more and more these days.

Erica: Same here. It was one of my intentions for 2020. I think I’ve posted five out of the first seven days of the month on my stories. It is fun. It’s a little addicting. Totally different from Facebook, but still really cool.

Thanks again for being here. I learned a lot. I know our listeners are going to learn a lot and I hope that lots of people come sign-up for your challenge and connect with you on social media because you have so much value to offer for everyone here. Thank you so much.

Krista: Thank you, Erica. I appreciate it and I have loved talking today and connecting with your community.

Erica: That was such a fun episode. To get the links to anything that we mentioned today, head to the show notes page at the

And just a friendly reminder, if you’re not already hanging out with me and our fabulous community of over 7000, head over to the Unconventional RD Community on Facebook and connect with us there.

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Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.