In any form of marketing, there is something the gurus refer to as a “brand” voice. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a brand voice is the tone, sentence structure, and word choice used to convey a brand’s unique personality. It speaks to the audience and the ideal consumer compellingly because it “gets” their needs, wants, and (even) sense of humor.
When done correctly, brand voice is genius disguised in catchphrases, quirky one-liners, and perfectly pitched prose.
Today, (I find) there is a lot of confusion around brand voice because of the enormous presence personal brands have in our society, specifically on social media. Some examples of personal brands include food bloggers, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, and people like me who are running a business under their own name! For these pros, it is seemingly difficult to come up with a voice that represents them well, connects with their audience, and is still seemingly authentic. However, the good news is it doesn’t have to be!
If you are building your personal brand, keep on reading. I have a few tips for how you can find your written voice without sacrificing authenticity or quality!
Think about what your audience wants to hear…but not TOO much.
It certainly makes sense to research your audience, what they like to read, and what type of content they relate to before creating a brand voice. Understanding the length of their attention span, their favorite mediums for digesting information, and their preferred authors can undoubtedly give you an insight on how to create a brand voice that resonates with those you want to reach.
However, there is danger in researching TOO much…because sometimes research causes you to become a slave to comparison and comparison is the quickest way to kill your unique brand voice.
So, while you are researching, be sure to make a note of people who are doing well speaking to their demographics, but don’t try to copy them. Instead, try the next tip!
Write your content exactly as you are thinking it!
Whether you are writing a blog post, or crafting a social media caption, the key to creating a written voice is to write your content exactly as it sounds in your head. If a one-liner came to your mind first when you looked at the picture you want to share, go with it! If you think in bullet points, write it down just like that! Or, if you are someone who likes to really take time to explain things, go right ahead!
Why? Because trying too hard will cause your voice to become confusing and uninviting to your readers.
Read your work out loud.
Before you hit the publish or post button, read anything, you write out loud. I’ll admit, this is my LEAST favorite part of writing (because sometimes it can be awkward), but it is also one of the most necessary.
As you read your content out loud, you will find the parts that don’t flow, feel too wordy, or simply don’t make sense. You’ll also find the portions of your writing that don’t exactly jive with your brand or who you are!
Do it over, and over, and over again!
As you develop your brand voice, it is SO IMPORTANT to use it regularly. Write blog posts daily (even if you never publish them) and post every day on social media. The more you use your voice for your brand, the more you will refine it to be precisely what you want it to be. AKA, you will naturally find ways to weave in the sense of humor you crave or the underlying tones of personality you feel define who you are.
With these simple tips, you are well on your way to defining your brand voice! However, if you are still stuck and find yourself needing a little help, don’t hesitate to reach out! I would love to come alongside you in a strategy session to help you find your (written) voice!