Your brand’s voice connects you to your audience. And your brand’s voice is your voice. But how do you figure out and decide what that sounds like? What does your brand voice embody? And how do you share that with others?
Take the Kardashian sisters for example. Kim and Kylie are arguably the most popular and profitable of the family at the moment.
They both just have the it factor that’s on trend right now. Granted, the family seems to have collectively created that factor. But let’s not get too meta about it.
The point is some things and some people seem to naturally have mass appeal. They also seem to know how to work it effortlessly. Operative word here is “seems.”
Each of the Kardashian sisters has strong followings of their own. They all have niche audiences and markets who favor and respond to them.
A niche audience is a valuable treasure for several reasons, not the least of which is having one takes off a good chunk of pressure.
If your business or art is for a specific audience you don’t have to search too far to find the right way to communicate with them. Chances are you probably already know exactly how to do it, because you’re part of that niche yourself.
But knowing how to talk to people and cultivating effective, lasting, and memorable communication are two different things.
Remember, fortune favors the bold.
When you’re promoting your passion – your art or business – you needn’t be shy in the slightest. You’re showcasing your worth, your undeniable value, your very special it factor.
Do not hold back. A brand voice should be distinct.
It should ring beautifully and clearly like a crystal bell, not be generic or irritating like the ding at hotel front desk.
Start by writing down your brand’s core values – it’s reason for being. Nothing too fancy or long. Just a sentence or two; the very first things that come into your mind when you think of what you love doing and why you love doing it.
Once you have that sentence or two, rewrite it over and over again. Rework it a little every few days, amplify, add more as you see fit. The idea is to start with the very basics – the briefest possible explanation of who and what your brand is.
Then, spend a good amount of time really sitting with it, playing with it, switching out different words to adjust the tone and feel. You’ll know when you’ve got it. Write it down, over and over again. Write it down all the time, like you did your multiplication tables. Say it out loud. Say it into your phone.
Next, ask yourself why you’re so good at what you do. Again, just a sentence or two.
Note: There is ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY something about how you do what you do that makes you good at it.
You probably don’t think too much about it, but this is an exercise in exploring that element. Think about it, find it, write it down.
And again, cycle through it. Write it down and rewrite it and say it aloud, and record it on your phone and switch out words and rework it until both your reason for doing what you do, and your unique quality are crystal clear to you.
Eat, sleep, live and breathe those words. They are your messaging and since they’re words you came up with and wrote down they’re automatically your voice.
To bring it back to my favorite multi-billion dollar family, the Kardashians have touted their messaging from the beginning – whether anyone believes it or not – but they’re all about family and all about fashion.
Clearly, those two elements are the underlying messaging beneath their success.
Identifying what you love and why you love it will make it infinitely easier to share it with others who feel the same way.
But you have to get comfortable with your own voice, in your own space, and your individuality.
And it will take practice. So dispel any and all thoughts of sounding silly or overzealous or pretentious. Nothing is too much, unless it’s word-count. Remember, you’re doing something you love and believe in. And as long as that remains true you will be successful. There’s no room for self-doubt in that mix.
When you’re talking about your passion and what you love you can never be too excited or sound ridiculous. LEAN ALL THE WAY INTO IT.
And if your language and your personal voice, or individuality isn’t flowery or whimsical or over the top, or aggressive or bold it’s okay. That’s what graphic design and photography is for.
The language of your brand is one part of it. Aesthetics is the other.