Speak Up To Find Your (Written) Voice!

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!

C’mon!

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!

How To Write the Best Thank You Note After an Interview

I have a confession to make.  I am the WORST…and I mean the WORST at sending out thank you notes.  Here’s the thing.  I always write them, but I can NEVER get them in the mail. I have no clue why.  There have been multiple occasions on which I have had thank you notes sitting on my desk for so long that I have literally had to throw them away because sending them after such a long period of time would just be awkward (yes, I’m talking about my daughter’s birthday parties).  However, there is one occasion for which I never forget to send a thank you, and that is a job interview.

When you send a thank you note after an interview, you do it so that you can be remembered and make a good impression.  Yes, the motive is selfish, but have no shame— you gotta do what you gotta do to get the job.

So, here’s how to write the best thank you note after an interview and make the best impression.

Interview thank you

HANDWRITTEN VS. EMAIL

There is a lot of disagreement and differing opinions on whether you should send your post-interview thank you note via snail mail or email.  Some people think that snail mail shows more effort and leaves a better impression. Others think that email is the preferred method of communication by potential employers.

Here’s what I think. 

Do what feels most natural to you.  If you are someone who carries thank you notes with you and will put it right in the mail, then go for it.  However, I personally always send thank you notes via email because it is more efficient and an email is more likely to reach the person I intend it for.

If you choose to go the email route for your thank you note, there’s a little bit of an art to when you should send it.  Sending it right after you leave their office will leave no impression because they are still thinking about you. But, if you wait until the next morning to send it you will have given them just long enough to forget about you before you show up in their inbox.  This will help you to stay at the front of the interviewer’s mind, which is a good thing

After interview thank you

WHAT TO WRITE

Now, let’s get down to business.  Writing a thank you note can be hard.  You can be generic or detailed, short or long-winded, personal or professional—so many choices so little time.  This is what I recommend.

OPEN WITH GRATITUDE

At the beginning of the thank you note, you want to say “thank you!”  Be sure to thank the interviewer (by name) for the opportunity to interview with them and discuss your future with the company.  After all, it is a thank you note.

MENTION THE ENVIRONMENT

During the interview, hopefully, you had a chance to see the office or some of the space that you could be working in.  Now is a great time to mention how you loved the space or “felt at home” in the environment.  If you didn’t get a tour, that’s okay! Let the interviewer know how you “enjoyed the conversation and getting to know them”.

DON’T FORGET THE TEAM

If you had a chance to meet your potential co-workers during the interview, great! Now is a perfect time to mention them and how you feel you “fit in with the team”.  Perhaps, highlight very briefly how you feel your talents could compliment theirs and how you are “excited to be part of such a motivated team”.

HIGHLIGHT A STANDOUT MOMENT

Pick something special from the interview to highlight.  Perhaps you and the interviewer talked about a unique skill that you have or a big project that you could potentially be working on.  The thank you note is a great time to strategically remind them of how your talents could benefit their business.

CLOSE WITH THE FUTURE

It’s not goodbye but see you later.  Close your thank you note with the assumption that you WILL be meeting your interviewer again. Don’t use the word “hope”…be bold and confident.  You could say that you are “looking forward to answering any questions they may have and seeing them again soon.”

Whatever you write in your post-interview thank you note, make it purposeful.  Give the interviewer a reason to remember you and put your name at the top of the list.  Just like your resume, your thank you note should stand out among the crowd.

Best of luck!