How do you find and develop your authentic brand voice?
It’s a question I get asked a lot. It’s something that you can recognize in yourself and others when you are speaking authentically… and you know when you or they are not. Finding and developing your authentic brand voice is a KEY component to establishing yourself as an authority in your niche, AND to standing out among the sea of coaches out there. Your brand voice is an extension of your overall brand and should be as recognizable as your logo.
Here are a few tips to help you find and develop your authentic brand voice and to reflect that in all your communication – emails, website copy, videos, social media posts, programs, speaking, etc. For the sake of these tips, I’ll focus on email.
Infuse Your Personality
Let YOUR personality shine through. Write the way you talk, with all of your quirks, cute little sayings, sassiness (if that applies), geekiness, etc. If you say – “Dude!” or “Sweetie” or “No Way!” or “Coolio”, or “Wowsa” – use those words in your email copy.
Write To A Friend
Write your email as if you are sending it to a friend. When you write to a friend you are more casual, more yourself, more FUN, more honest AND you are only talking to ONE person – no more greetings like – “Hey Everyone!”
Stories are incredibly powerful – they draw the reader in, they make you relatable, and they make a point in a way that engages your reader. So tell stores about yourself, your experiences, your cat, dog, kids. But only do so in a way that underscores the point you are trying to make. You should never tell a story without a point. The stories can be short vignettes, or they can be longer, more involved case studies. In either case, they’re key to building your authentic brand voice.
Here’s a brief vignette i shared in a recent email…
“I recently asked my Dad if he liked Brussels Sprouts. He said “No!”. Then I asked him if he had every tried them. He said “No.”
I think sometimes the thought of marketing our coaching business online is a bit like my Dad and Brussels Sprouts. We’ve never tried it, but we’ve already decided we don’t like it.”
The details of a story are what paint the picture in the mind of our readers and what help to make the story and the point unforgettable. Gay Hendricks is a master of this. I’ll never forget him telling the story of meeting his future wife Kathlyn and then having the first date together. He said, “We met at the local coffee shop, shared an egg salad sandwich, and the rest is history.” And when speaking of couples who avoid conflict by going on spending sprees, he said “Rather than talk to each other, they’d rather go to Home Depot and buy a large appliance.” He could have just said, “We met for coffee and the rest is history” or “they go on a spending spree” – but by painting the picture with specific details, it engages the reader, and makes the story – and the point – unforgettable.
When In Doubt…
Use shorter words.
Write shorter sentences.
Avoid cliches – Rather than “once in a blue moon” try something like “about as often as the Cubs win the World Series.”
Read Your Copy Out Loud
If you read your copy out loud and it doesn’t sound like you and the way you normally would talk, go back and re-work until it does.
What have you found helpful in finding and/or developing your authentic brand voice? Which of the tips I mentioned feel like the one that will make the biggest difference for you?
Here’s to developing YOUR brand voice!