Your brand is more than visual cues. It is the sum of the finer details.
A critical aspect of your brand identity is your voice; it’s your brand’s personality. It’s how you speak to your audience, your words, and your tone. It’s the collegiate sweatshirt or Jeep wave that says both “this is what I’m about” and “I am part of this with you.”
If you need help creating or strengthening your voice, start here:
Understand your audience
Understanding who your target audience is and what they want is essential. But ditch that generic persona. Ask yourself, “When Ken, Bre, or Evan came to me for help, what did they say and ask?” Think about the real problem (not just the one they presented) and the desire behind the goal. What needs and frustrations do the Kens, Bres, and Evans of the world experience?
Define your brand identity
Before developing your voice, you must clearly understand your brand’s identity. This means revisiting your values, mission, and value proposition. Don’t glaze over these! I find that so many of my clients got into business because they hated some standard industry practice or knew (passionately!) that they could serve better. If you do nothing else in this exercise, you must revisit the “why” that pushed you into business and speak it loud and proud in your communications.
When your brand personality speaks the language of your ideal audience and reflects your values and mission, you are well on your way to developing a strong brand. However, you’ll want to establish your tone, personality, and archetypes as you fine-tune this.
Tone. Your tone is not just what you say but the delivery. Grammarly wrote a great article about this: 7 Brand Tone of Voice Examples to Help You Pinpoint Your Brand Persona
Personality. There are many ways to give life to your personality. Is your brand aspirational? Or bold? Are you youthful and carefree like Virgin or Pepsi? You could go for ruggedness, like Jeep, or sophistication, like Versace. Most brands find their sweet spot in a mix. Here is an excellent article about the dimensions of brand personality: The 5 Key Dimensions of Brand Personality - ImagiBrand
Archetypes. Archetypes are universal symbols and behavior patterns shared across cultures and time periods. They can create a consistent and relatable personality for your brand.
For example, The Creator archetype represents imagination, innovation, and a desire to make something new. Brands that embody this archetype use artistic imagery, a sense of creativity, and a promise of originality. Examples include Apple, Lego, and Etsy. More here on brand archetypes from Crowdspring.
Develop brand guidelines
Creating a set of brand guidelines can help you define and communicate your brand voice. These guidelines should include details about the tone and language used in your marketing materials and communications and any specific brand messaging you want to emphasize. It should also contain word choices and phrases you want to avoid.
Share this document with your team! It’s essential to train your team, VAs, contractors, etc., on your brand voice and messaging so that everyone produces consistent communication.
Courage is number 1 on the list, but I’m putting it last so you will remember it. The courage to be who you really are—to serve in the way only you can. Without this, everything else is a false prop. When you look at how you speak and how your audience responds, it may look unlike anything else in the market. It’s tempting to back down, censor yourself, or blend your edges. Resist! Resist with all your might.
There are 8 billion people in the world, and you only need a fraction of that. Speak up clearly so the people looking for your particular offering and way of doing things can find you!
So how do you know when you hit the mark? You’ll know you hit yours when people start saying, “omg it’s like you are in my head,” or “the way you wrote that makes me feel like you are speaking directly to me!” That, friend, is when things get really fun.
Expertly craft and deliver a brand position and message that will knock your socks off.
Expertly craft a knock-your-socks-off brand position and message alongside you, so you a) learn invaluable skills and b) bust the obstacles blocking your growth so you can get the business and life you truly desire.