When I first started my business, finding my brand voice was the hardest part of branding for me. I wasn’t used to blogging and I never used social media. I was only used to writing term papers for class or emails for business, so my writing tone was formal/professional. Here are 5 ways to develop your brand voice. These tips are how I was able to develop my brand voice.
5 ways to develop your brand voice
01 Use what you have
If you don’t know how you want to sound, don’t let that hold you back from starting. The hardest part of anything in life is just getting started. I think of everything as a work in process. You can always learn on the go.
The only thing you have to do is start. My advice to anyone who’s on YouTube, podcasting, blogging, creating content for social media, or anything that requires your voice or writing, is to be yourself. What does that mean? Talk like you talk and write as you talk. It’s that easy.
Why should you be yourself? As an entrepreneur, especially if you’re a service based entrepreneur, you’re going to speak to your audience or clients on Skype, Zoom, a phone call, or whatever you use to communicate with a client, so you want them to feel like they already know you. If you’re different in person, then people might get the wrong idea.
We’re not actors. We want to be authorities on our topic. A real, authentic person who knows about their industry. Now, there are some things you can fake and that’s confidence and a positive attitude. No one is comfortable putting themselves out there, so you have to fake it until you make it.
02 Just start
Earlier I touched on getting started and how it’s the hardest part of anything. Don’t be a wallflower. Yes, it’s fun sitting in the back and observing everything around you, BUT imagine how fun it is to be part of it.
Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have my own business, blog, newsletter, or be active on social media. I loved reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos, and now I make them. Before I started using social media, I hated it. I only liked to use it to stalk my family, friends, and my favorite celebrities. So for me to use it daily is jaw-dropping.
Do you know how afraid I was to launch my website? To post my first Instagram post? To hit publish on my blog post? Every time I had to post something, I felt like throwing up. But guess what? Now it’s nothing to me. You have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Why am I telling you about my fears? Because every time I wrote a blog, email, or social media post, I had to use my voice. As I kept going, my voice evolved and I became more confident. I’m not going to say that I’m 100% happy with my voice, but I have come a long way from my beginning.
That’s why the start is the biggest thing you will have to overcome.
PSSST, let me tell you a secret if you’re starting from scratch, you’re not going to have a big audience. I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s true. I have more views on my posts now than I did when I first started. You might think it’s bad news, BUT the time to experiment is when you don’t have an audience.
If you’re someone who’s followed me since that first blog post, email newsletter, and/or social media posts, THANK YOU and I APOLOGIZE! I know that my beginning work was horrible, but thank you for supporting me so far on my journey. *bow of gratitude*
03 Research your target audience
Hold up, it’s not over yet! Even though I said to use your voice, you also have to think about some of your word choices. Your brand is not just about you, but the people who are watching/reading your content. You want to use some of the words that resonate with your audience. Basically, the words that they use when talking about your industry, not the actual industry jargon.
If you’re using industry jargon that you’re audience doesn’t know, then they won’t even know that you’re trying to help them. For example, my audience might search for ‘how to create a website that brings in the money” instead of “Use HTML and CSS to build structure and provide semantic information for your website”. Even I would click on the title “how to create a website that brings in the money”.
To use the words your audience would use, you have to research. Go to where your audience hangs out and see what they are talking about. Read their complaints and questions and start jotting down their word choices. For example, I didn’t know what the IG TV cover was called, so I typed IG TV thumbnail (I’m used to YouTube thumbnails) in google and found a lot of articles on what I was looking for.
Someone out there knew that people like me would only know about thumbnails and created the content I needed. I still don’t know what the IG TV thumbnails are officially called, but it doesn’t matter because if I’m the majority, then they’ll be known as thumbnails for a while. The point is to still use your brand voice, but change up some of your word choices so that it fits with your brand and target audience.
04 Be Consistent
Consistency is the secret to everything. Molding your voice is no exception. Keep creating videos, blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, and so on and it’ll become natural. Every post will get better, only if it becomes a habit.
If you’re creating videos or blog posts, do it once a week. If you’re creating social media, I would do it at least 3 times a week. That way, every day you’re creating content using your voice. As they say, practice makes perfect.
05 Add your personality
Last, and most importantly, add your personality. Yes, you want to use your audience’s words, but you have to add your own flair to it. Are you always cracking dad jokes, go ahead and keep doing it. Are you sarcastic? Do you make your own sound effects? I do sometimes! I’m always saying ‘Booyah’ or ‘pew pew’ (when I’m sending hearts to my family). Your personality will make you stand apart from everyone else online.
I don’t have time for this…
If you don’t have time to read this post, I’ve got you covered. Here are the 5 ways to develop your brand voice.
01 Write as you talk
02 Create content
03 Add your audiences keywords
04 Be consistent
05 Add your personality
Do you have any tips on developing your voice? Have you ever met or talked to someone who had a different personality than the one they portray online? Let me know in the comments below.