Creating Your Voice
Branding is a key element of your business. Having the same colors, fonts, and copy across all channels you use for marketing helps people recognize what you're doing and increase brand awareness. It also allows you to let your personality shine and allow people to get to know you and identify with your brand.
So how do you create your unique voice? By voice – we don't just mean written or spoken word. Remember, the content you generate should be where you're most comfortable. Maybe it's a regular YouTube series or a Podcast. Maybe you write a blog on a regular basis. Maybe you go live on LinkedIn or Facebook. Choosing the platform for your content that feels most comfortable for you will allow your voice to be more authentic.
Here are some tips to figure out how to create the voice for your brand or business.
Decide who or what is the face of your brand
Is the business owner the face of the brand? Do you use the business as the face? Or do you have a spokesperson, like an industry influencer or other personality that is the public image?
Knowing who is going to be the person the public associates with your brand will help you with creating the voice for your brand.
Who is your ideal customer?
Knowing who you talking to also defines your audience. For example, digital marketing has a lot of technical terms and acronyms that people outside the industry might not understand. Since my target market is small business owners and entrepreneurs, it's important that I use language that is easily understood by marketing beginners. On the flip side, if I was targeting VPs of Marketing at large organizations, I might want to use more technical terms to show my experience and level of knowledge.
This is also important in defining where you develop your content. Knowing where your ideal customer spends time online can help you with prioritizing your content.
Casual vs Professional
I would argue that voice should always be professional. But for the purposes of this comparison, it's about a more relaxed style vs a more technical style.
Letting your personal style shine is definitely important. And the level of professionalism varies from industry to industry. Being authentic and being you is always a good thing. But you want to make sure that the entire company is following the voice. So creating several different canned responses for commonly asked questions for people on your team can help with getting everyone else on board with the same style.
Stay within the guidelines of your profession or industry
There are several regulated industries out there. If you're in finance, healthcare, fitness, nutrition or legal, then there are specific requirements for what you can and cannot say online. There could be also requirements for how you have to track outgoing communications. This is especially true of the financial world.
You definitely want to let your personality shine, but make sure you don't get yourself into trouble!
Develop a language guide
Many people use different words for different things. So it's important that your business is consistent with the language it uses. For example, in the guitar building industry, different people use “fingerboard” and “fretboard” to describe the same thing.
Create a word document with all the terms that are important to your business and what you want to use consistently to describe that particular item. As with everything we write about, consistency is key. So by using the same terms for things that are utilized in different areas of your marketing, you'll limit confusion from your potential and current customers/clients.
When you're just starting out – test! Many email servers allow for A/B testing of subject lines to see what people open. Some websites allow you to create different versions of web pages to test out copy. Divi*, which is the builder we use, allows for that. Post the same blog post on Facebook with two different types of copy. You'll learn quickly what your audience resonates with more.
While you want to be yourself, the idea is to drive sales and traffic. Making sure your audience enjoys what you're writing, recording etc is super important.
Creating your voice is just one part of branding. But it's a really important part because a strong voice that customers relate to will increase engagement and build a loyal following.
Take the time to think about how you want to come across and bring your team together to build a strong strategy that creates consistency.
*The First Click is an affiliate of Divi. Should you choose to purchase from this link we may get a small commision.