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!

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Doing Its Job?

Newsflash: May isn’t just the perfect time to spring clean your house, it’s also the ideal time to spring clean your job search material – and your resume and LinkedIn profile are the perfect places to start.

Over the past few weeks, I have received several requests to help clients update their LinkedIn Profile along with their resume. More and more job seekers are becoming aware that their potential of acquiring their dream job rests not only on how completely B.A. their resume is but also the effectiveness of their online identity as well.  

As I dove into the world of LinkedIn and my clients’ profiles I learned two things.

  1. People generally think about their LinkedIn ONLY when they start looking for a new job.
  2. Creating an active LinkedIn profile is a task that is tedious, but extremely worthwhile!

So, today I ask you…Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and doing its job?

Whether it is or it isn’t, here are a few tips you can use to make the most of your professional social media presence!

UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN REGULARLY

The first mistake I see people make with LinkedIn is that they treat it as a “set it and forget it” tool. Instead of continually updating it with their most recent accomplishments and accolades they check in on it once a year, add a few new skills and call it quits.

Here’s my advice.  Make it a priority to log into LinkedIn AT LEAST once per month (truthfully you should be doing it more frequently) and update your current position to reflect your most recent accomplishments, connect with any new professionals you have met, and give someone else a recommendation! Doing these few simple tasks will keep your presence active and increase your potential for formative relationships through the site!

REACH OUT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

Out of all the sections on LinkedIn, in my experience, recommendations is the one that is utilized the least.  Perhaps it’s because it can feel uncomfortable to reach for endorsements. I do believe, however, that if you can get over your fear of reaching out to your co-workers, former employers, and professional connections the recommendations section can be the most powerful component of your LinkedIn profile!  

Think about it this way…would you rather hire someone who has three reviews about how amazing they are or someone who doesn’t have even one? It makes a difference!

This week, try reaching out to just ONE person for a recommendation. If you don’t know how to do it, check out this article.

CONNECT, COMMENT, SHARE

LinkedIn is a SOCIAL site, which means it works a lot like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (if you are using them as a marketing tool).  The more you engage, the more effective it will be!

Here’s how you can engage. Connect with new people regularly. Comment on posts on your homepage. Share news articles about your company. Share posts from your peers. OR share your own articles! When you connect, comment, and share, you never know who is going to notice your activity (hint: it might be your next boss!).

ASK FOR HELP!

If you are reading this and still feel overwhelmed about where to start with LinkedIn, my best recommendation is to reach out for help. Find a friend who knows about it and request their advice OR (better yet) send me a message!  I would love to help you make the most of your online presence so you can land the job of your dreams!

How To Find a Knock-Your-Socks-Off Copywriter

I’m going to start by saying this is most definitely a shameless plug for my business because I want to be the knock-your-socks-off copywriter you hire. It is also, however, packed full of information on how to make the most of your money when hiring someone to write the words you need to make your business thrive.

So, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and give me a few seconds of your time. If your website could use an injection of personality, your blog could handle a face lift, or you require some killer marketing materials you’re going to want to read this.

#1 Look for someone who is well practiced in their craft.

There are websites upon websites that work to convince everyone that they “have what it takes” to be a six-figure earning copywriter. These websites claim to give them all of the training they need in 6 easy steps. As enticing and exciting as this sounds, unfortunately (most of the time) it’s not true.

I’m not here to say that there are only a handful of people in the world qualified to write copy for you. I’m simply saying, like every other craft, creating quality copy takes A LOT of hard work, time and practice. You don’t just magically become a copywriter overnight.

When you look to hire a copywriter, don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience or ask for samples of previous work. A great copywriter should be able to show you a portfolio and tell you about the type of work they have completed in the past.

#2 Know the difference between someone who will churn and burn your copy and someone who will get to the bottom of what you actually need by getting to know you.

I can tell you firsthand that great copywriters can create content rather quickly. That content, however, is much more effective and satisfying if it is created from a place of understanding and knowledge instead of just on a whim.

The copywriter you choose to work with should have a process in place to get to know you and what you are looking for. You should expect to receive questions from them and exchange in a little back-and-forth conversation before they can get started on your pieces. Asking questions helps a good copywriter get to know your audience and therefore determine the type of voice to use and the best information to incorporate.

The bottom line, if someone (or a platform) promises to turn around your copy in 24 hours for you without asking ANY questions…you will likely not receive the quality content you are looking for.

#3 Find someone who appreciates YOUR talent!

Just like other creatives, great copywriters are talented individuals who have taken the time to master their craft.  That being said, they should appreciate the value of your skills and talents as well! They should show an appreciation for your business and the services you offer. A relationship with a great copywriter should feel pleasant and beneficial for BOTH parties.

The bottom line: If you happen to be looking for a knock-your-socks-off copywriter, I’d love to get to know you and what you’re looking for! Let’s Talk today!