Finding your voice.
It sounds so simple. So sexy. Almost… fun.
… Until you sit down to actually write something or record a video.
Then, all the words come out wrong. They sound clunky. Too salesy. Awkward. Just nothing like the cool authentic person you are IRL.
It’s pretty much the worst, isn’t it?
Especially if you like to write, or talk about what you do.
Figuring out what kind of language you should use, who you’re actually talking to, what kind of turns of phrase should you use, etc. can be crazy confusing, and really muddle you up in your own head when you’re trying to write for your business.
I get it. If you’re not clear on the voice that you’re using online, it’s all too easy to come across as being super corporate, pushy salesy, or worse — blend into the background completely, where ideal clients won’t be able to find you, and you won’t stand out as the amazing expert you are.
This whole idea of “voice” can be super frustrating, and bring up insecurity and imposter syndrome for just about everyone. You know — all that lovely shadowy side of life as an entrepreneur.
I’ve had that experience too. It can make things feel really awkward and unnatural any time you’re trying to create content online — whether it’s blog posts and emails, or video, or a podcast.
So, today I want to share some very, very specific tips that have helped me with mastering my brand voice.
And hopefully, they’ll help you too! Because when you get this right, all your copy and content starts to land for your ideal clients, and it feels more fun to create.
And when I say “land”, I mean really land.
This is something I noticed changed dramatically for me when I got clear on my voice.
Suddenly I started getting emails from people after I put out a blog post, or shared something on social media, telling me that what I’d shared had really landed for them, or they felt like I really “got it”. (Such a great feeling!)
That’s because having a clear voice creates a connection with your ideal clients, customers, and readers in a non-sleazy way, which can, in turn, lead to more discovery sessions, and more sales.
So: Are you ready to hear these tips? Let’s get right into it!
(This is also the advice I always give my clients – so I’ve seen this work over and over again. I’m confident it’ll work for you too.)
Voice-Finding Tip #1: Be clear on your brand values.
For the record, your brand values and personal values are not exactly the same. They can be very similar! But usually the values you’d like your business to embody will be broader than your personal values.
Now, if you just heard me say brand values and you’re like: “Woman, what the hell are you talking about? How am I going to figure out what my brand values are?”
Allow me to explain!
In order to find your brand values, I recommend you ask yourself:
“How do I want my audience, or my ideal clients, to feel when they first come across my brand?”
Scribble your answers down in your journal, or have a brainstorming session with your business bestie — whatever works for you. But think it over!
Maybe you want your customers to feel inspired.
Maybe you want them to feel relieved.
Maybe you want them to feel like they’re coming home.
Maybe you want them to feel a sense of connection.
Maybe you want them to laugh and have fun.
Congratulations, you’re identifying your brand values. Use them as your compass. From now on keep your brand values in the front of your mind anytime you’re creating content for your business. They are beautifully helpful when it comes to finding your voice online.
Voice-Finding Tip #2: Pick a muse outside of your industry you connect with.
I underlined that “outside your industry” bit because it’s bloody important!
Pick someone who’s style, ideas, and values you really love. For example, if you’re a financial coach, maybe your muse is a famous chef. Maybe you select someone in the health industry if you’re a designer. Maybe your must is someone in one of the tv shows that you love to watch. Maybe it’s someone with a hobby that you really enjoy.
Think about it right now. Who is someone who immediately springs to mind for you that you really enjoy and connect with their energy?
Next time you’re sitting down to create content for your business? Think about this person as your muse. Ask yourself, ‘What kind of language/terms/phrases would they use?’, ‘What energy would they bring to this topic?’, and ‘How would they present this idea?’, and use your answers to inspire your content creation.
It will help you get your ideas unstuck, and feel more confident in your process.
Voice-Finding Tip #3: Always think about communicating 1-1.
I learned this one the hard way.
Think about the way you’d talk with a friend one-on-one, or with a client privately in a one-on-one session (I’ll bet you’re lovely!). Bring that tone and energy into any content that you’re creating for your business.
It doesn’t matter if 100 people are going to read what you’re writing and watch you on live video — focus on directing your message to ONE person who is your ideal client.
Voice-Finding Tip #4: Focus all of your communication towards your ideal client.
To expand on the point above: If I’m not your ideal client, don’t worry about impressing me.
Don’t worry about impressing your friends, your family.
Do not worry about impressing your teachers in this industry, or your peers, or your competition.
Anytime you’re creating content, only think about, and “talk to” your ideal clients. I try to block everything else out when I’m writing/recording blog posts, or videos, or podcasts. I encourage you to do the same!
Voice-Finding Tip #5: You do not need to be corporate or academic to come across as a professional who knows what they’re talking about.
This tip is especially important for you if you’ve spent any time in corporate settings.
Embodying your brand values and connecting with your ideal client are far more important than being corporate or being academic.
You don’t need to be corporate or academic in any way to be trusted and taken seriously – and I say that as someone who has worked extensively in the corporate world, has had a number of corporate and government clients over the years, and has a PhD in Communications.
Corporate is not the same thing as professional. Academic is not the same thing as credible.
When it comes to finding your voice online, the idea that you should use super corporate or academic speak to come across as a credible professional is nothing but a limiting belief that we were all trained to believe in our corporate life, or in our academic life.
What is much, much more important and what will help you win the game when it comes to winning clients, is focusing on your ideal clients, and talking with them in the way they connect with, about the topics that impact them day to day.
Voice-Finding Tip #6: Practice makes progress.
None of this matters if you don’t start writing or filming or recording. 😉
To find your voice online you’ve got to get out there, you’ve got to write and speak, and you’ve got to share content.
It doesn’t have to be huge. For example, write some blog posts. Host a Facebook Live series. If you want to start even smaller, write some comments on your favourite blogs (or this one!). Share posts on social media. Write a sequence of emails that welcomes new newsletter subscribers.
Whatever you do next, practice makes progress, and that’s all that counts.
I hope this post inspires you to find your unique voice online and get out there using it! X