"Dude, you need to take a chill and spec out what I’m about to lay down." "Hey, take a quick minute to read this post." "At your earliest convenience, please peruse the following article.”
All three of these statements say the same thing. They just say it in a different "voice”.
Voice speaks the personality of your brand. It’s the manner in which you speak to your audience. As in the examples above, voice is a crucial part of your brand in that it will resonate with a certain crowd depending on the words you use and how you use them. Going from extremely casual as in the first example to uptight, corporate-speak in the third, you can clearly get a feel for each personality.
Here’s an easy method for laying out a guideline to keep your brand’s voice consistent throughout all communications.
Establish three descriptive words that embody your brand’s personality.
Then add a clarifier after them.
For instance, in our brand we have the following three descriptors for our voice:
So as not to confuse the person who is creating your content (if it’s not you) we add clarifiers. Here’s the formula:
“(descriptor), but not (clarifier)”.
For us it’s:
Assertive, but not Mean.
Blunt, but not Rude.
Casual, but not Simplistic.
Even if you’re a solopreneur and it’s your personality that’s being amplified, this exercise helps to remind you of that voice when you’re speaking through various platforms. Some people have a tendency to change how they speak depending on what platform they’re using and who they are talking to.
You want to always speak the same way regardless of the who or where. This helps to keep a consistency in your brand’s voice that your audience has grown to expect. In fact, if you change the way you speak it will seem disingenuous and it will disrupt the trust they have in your brand. This will repel them and that’s not good for you or them.
Branding is about attracting.
You’re going to want to think about voice in two different ways. There is the physical voice that the audience hears when they listen to a podcast or when watching a video. Then there is the “voice” your audience hears in their head as they read your articles and posts. The voice they hear will be determined by the words you use, the tone in which you use them as well as the the manner in which you structure your sentences. Be very intentional in both situations to maintain the established voice.
Again, consistency being extremely important here.
Amplifying your voice is much easier when it’s just you running the show but what do you do when you have a team responsible for your brand’s voice? How do you keep things consistent across Twitter, a blog, YouTube, a podcast… you get the idea. That’s where having a written strategy comes into play in the form of your brand’s “messaging”. This is the personality of your brand.
Guidelines like the three-word descriptors help, along with a list of key words to use, and not use. This gets more in depth within the strategy in amplifying your brand, which the branding company you partner with can help you with.
Until you set the resources aside to hire some branding help, this will help get you going on your own in the meantime. Just remember, a singular voice, consistent across all social channels, will attract your audience.
And attraction is the name of the game.