How do you find your brand voice? Am I being a copycat of other people’s styles I admire?
Who here has ever asked those questions?
I can fess up to saying that I personally have. In fact, I can remember one particular instance when this question was screaming inside my head. So, before we go any further, let me share this quick story.
I’ll start by letting you know that Marie Forleo is one of the women I most admire. I love watching her videos on Marie TV and tune into any podcast interview where she’s the guest. All of that to say, Marie’s voice is in my head… a lot.
When I was first starting my Youtube channel I created a series of videos tackling the most common questions I was hearing from this community. One of the videos was titled “ How to Create a Business & a Life that You Love”. Sounded pretty compelling to me so I created and shared it. It wasn’t long before someone called me out for copying Marie. “Create a Business & a Life that You Love” is her signature saying.
Ugh. Are you SERIOUS??I had borrowed it without even realizing it!
Imitation might be the highest form of flattery but it wasn’t what I’d wanted to do in this case. I was trying to find my own damn voice, not copy someone else. *shakes head*.
Now here’s the thing, I had to figure out how to do this for myself. And yeah, I’m still working on it but I have figured out a few tricks that have been really helpful.
Tip 1: Think of your brand as a person
Every brand has a personality and that personality influences how your brand communicates. So try thinking of your brand has a person. If you knew her what would she be like? What words would you use to describe her? Is she curious? Does she have a certain Southern charm or New York confidence?
Then, think about what kind of relationship you want your brand to have with your customers and followers. Do you want them to see your brand as a friend? The kind who makes them laugh? Fills them with inspiration? Always tells them the hard truth? Or do you want your customers to see your brand more as a mentor or teacher?
The answers to these questions will help you figure out the best tone to use when writing for your brand. If you want to be a friend your tone will be more conversational. Likewise, if you want to establish yourself as the expert change your tone would be more formal.
As you’re going through this process, I want you to go ahead and write down all the words that come to mind. Once you have them all on paper, go back through and pick out the 5 words that best describe your brand’s personality. These are going to be the pillar words that guide your brand voice. I’ve also can found that it can be helpful to create a this, not that list. For instance, my brand voice is fun but not immature. Make sense?
Tip 2: Read your writing out loud
This is a simple but effective trick. After you’ve written copy for your brand, read it out loud. How does it sound? Natural or forced?
When you’re writing for your brand you want it to be in line with how you would talk to your followers and customers If you met them at a party.
If you want a great example to reference, pop on over to Melyssa Griffin’s blog. I love her writing style. When you read her writing you actually feel like she’s having a conversation with you. Just take a look at this example will ya?
Now take a look at your writing. Would you really use all of those big fancy words? Put away the Thesaurus and get human.
Tip 3: Coin signature words or sayings
Girlboss wasn’t a word we used until Sophia Amorusa made it so. “Badass” wasn’t being thrown around until Jen Scicero came along. And, “Whatever” will always remind us of Cher from Clueless.
Each of these is an example of a signature word. They become ubiquitous with a brand and embody that brand’s personality. The Girlboss brand voice is strong, feminist, and unabashed. When you hear the word, these are the things that come to mind.
As you’re writing for your brand, think about what words or sayings you can really own. These can be a powerful way to bring your brand voice to life.
Over to you…
Alrighty, those are my 3 top tips to help you find yoyur brand voice. What tips do you have to share?