Every business needs a voice. I’m not talking about an actual voice, of course, but rather the personality and emotion that others associate with your brand. What’s your voice? Is it communicating your desired message, and is that message translating into sales?
What is a Voice?
Let’s think of celebrities with distinctive voices: Who pops up? For me, it’s Howard Stern or Donald Trump. Both are undoubtedly highly controversial personalities, but whether you love them or hate them, each has a consistent voice. You can always count on them to push the envelope.
Anyone who follows me on social media knows my voice. I’m enthusiastic (some might say hyper), energetic and, hopefully, motivational. I talk a lot about changing your game, setting goals and achieving your wildest dreams. I wear shirts and jeans with bold patterns; you’ll never see me on social media wearing suits or sweatpants. I’m often outside, since I live in a beautiful place with mountains in the background. I also have a sidekick, my adorable Goldendoodle, Lazer, who is in at least 50% of my videos. My followers know what to expect from me, and that’s how I’ve driven engagement with them.
Develop Your Voice
The easiest way to find your voice is by following your passions and sharing them through social media posts, email marketing and any other forms of advertising. For example, if you’re a world traveler, incorporate your adventures into your marketing via stories. If you’re an expert home cook, share recipes and restaurant suggestions. If you’re an exercise enthusiast, post videos of you on a recently discovered hiking trail or getting ready to run a 5K. Then, take it a step further by determining your style; what do you want your voice to sound like? Do you prefer strong and passionate, or maybe quirky, authentic, vivacious or funny? Go with whatever feels the most natural to you and stick to it.
Bring it Into Media
Think of five to ten posts or print ads using your chosen voice. The key is to be consistent with your voice without overdoing it. If you’re going for authentic, that’s fine, but you don’t want to be so serious that you come across as boring. The same thing for being quirky; it works as long as you don’t get so quirky that you lose your audience or your core message by focusing only on voice. It’s a good idea to check with friends, family and co-workers before posting or printing anything. Ask if they like your message and whether it sounds true to your voice, or whether there’s something about it that’s confusing or distracting them.
Always keep in mind that ultimately, people buy people, their stories and their passions—they typically don’t buy information or statistics. Shy away from being too salesy. In fact, only about 20% of your marketing efforts should be trying to sell something (i.e., special offers, new products or services, etc.); the remainder of your blogs, posts and content should be something that simply entertains or educates the viewer.
When you’re following your passions, work isn’t really work. The same is true for creating your marketing voice; when it reflects what you truly love, you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.
Top 3 Tips for Developing Your Marketing Voice
- Make note. Keep track of which posts, blogs and advertising efforts get the most engagement. If something garners a lackluster response, don’t repeat it. If it’s a hit, boost it and do more of the same.
- Be consistent. Post on social media one to two times (max) daily, but make sure posts communicate something the viewer will enjoy or appreciate.
- Bring in the voice. Carry your voice across the board. Whether it’s an email, video or post, the viewer should be able to instantly recognize your tone, message and personality. Some ideas for consistency include the types of clothes you wear, your location, how you introduce yourself, the font you use and your logo and whether you choose to use hashtags.