So you know you really need to start getting your business out there online, but you aren’t sure what to say. You struggle to come up with the right words. Or, you think that everything you want to say has already been said before. You end up second-guessing yourself right into not taking any action.
I’m guessing it does because I’ve heard the same thing from my new clients over and over again. They struggle with knowing what to say and how to say it.
They struggle with finding the right brand voice to use for their business. They’re uncomfortable talking as themselves. But they don’t want to sound like everyone else. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. It’s actually a common problem.
So, how do you overcome this fear of getting your message and business out there? You have to find and use your unique voice. Here’s some things that can help you get started.
One warning before we start..
Watching your competition too closely can be problematic.
You’ll never find your own voice by trying to copy what someone else is doing. There’s way too much of this happening online. Now that people realize you don’t have to come across with the old school “professional” tone (more on that in a minute), things have quickly changed.
The “in your face” tone of voice content has grown really popular as people have realized it’s more acceptable these days to use profanity (or pretend profanity in order to swear without swearing) on business websites. Things like “Get Your Sh!t together” are all over the place.
Now, if that’s your natural personality and the message fits with your ideal client, then it might work for you. But if you’re just trying to be a little more risqué with your message because that’s what you see other people doing, your message is going to fall flat.
You have to find your own voice and the voice for your brand. It’s not the same for everyone, even everyone within the same niche. And that’s what makes the online world of business awesome – you can find your people.
How to find your marketing voice
So now that you’ve been reminded not to copy what others are doing (I know you already knew that, but still…), what are you supposed to do? How do find and add your unique voice to the conversation?
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
1. Remember, digital marketing is not writing a book report
A lot of people are stuck trying to write blog posts by following the rules they learned when they were in school. And I’m not talking college. I mean back in the day of middle school and high school. The older the person is, the harder this adjustment tends to be.
You have to break out of this thinking before you start writing.
Did you see what I did there? I have one sentence all alone. Stop thinking that you need to have 4-5 sentences in every paragraph. The old-school rules are out the window.
2. Start with your mission and values
What do you stand for? What’s your business all about?
The better you know your brand’s message, the more clear your voice is going to be. That’s why you have to start with your business foundation.
If you don’t already have your business values and mission statement written out, do it. Then, keep them in a place where you see them when you work on writing content for your business. This helps them be directly in front of you as you work, which makes it a lot harder to deviate from them.
If you need a little help with how to get started on this, I encourage you to check out The Brand Foundation blog series that my friend Stephanie at Flourish Online Management created. She’s all about helping business owners with brand strategy that really connects who they are with what their business does.
3. Figure out your business personality
If you’re a therapist for young adults, your business personality might be a lot different than if you’re a business coach for seven-figure c-level executives. Or, if you’re a fitness coach for new moms, your message and brand personality might be different than a fitness coach that’s working with professional athletes.
There’s two things that you need to think about here:
- What will your audience connect with?
- What’s authentic to you?
Years ago, I signed up for an online Business Bootcamp. The information was great, but I could barely stand to listen to the woman talk in her videos.
Remember when you were a teenager and you had that teacher in school that tried their hardest to sound cool? They used the slang that teenagers were using and you could tell it wasn’t natural for them. That’s what this woman sounded like. And because of it, her message fell flat for me.
Don’t just talk the way that you think your audience wants to hear. If it’s not natural for you, it’s going to come across as forced and disconnected. That’s one of the last things that you want your content to do. So, you have to find that balance between what they want and what’s natural for you.
That’s your sweet spot where you’ll start connecting with your ideal client.
What if you’re running a larger company?
If you’re creating content for a private practice with multiple therapists or a company full of different employees that will interact with your clients, you need to find a voice that works for the business. Don’t get stuck thinking that your personal voice is necessarily the right voice.
This is when it might take a little more strategy to get it just right. But it’s still an important piece of your marketing efforts.
4. Be conversational
The easiest way to get started is to think about how you already talk with clients. Write blog posts and social media posts the way that you would interact with your clients when you have them face to face or on the phone or through a Zoom call. This is going to be what’s most natural for you and the easiest to maintain.
This is a consistent issue that my therapist clients run into. They have so much knowledge in the field of mental health and psychology. They’re experts in their field. They love to dive into the science behind treatment and what the best forms of treatment are. And that’s all wonderful and good, but it’s not what their clients care about.
Yes, we all want a therapist that is educated and knowledgeable. We want them to know the best form of treatment to use. But we assume they know that. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be a therapist.
When people reach the point of deciding to contact a therapist or when they’re searching for help online to a problem they’re experiencing, this isn’t what they’re looking for.
Instead of trying to pack your content full of statistics, research, and terms that only other professionals in your field are familiar with, write for your clients the way that you talk with them.
Once you find your voice, stick with it
You don’t want to send mixed messages. It confuses your audience. You want all of your content to have a clear voice that remains consistent through your web copy, blog posts, and social media interaction.
This is how you build trust with your audience.
The more clear you are on what your business voice is, the easier it will be to hire others to help you while still maintaining a cohesive message. Because let’s face it, if you want your business to continue to grow and scale, you’re not going to be able to keep up with all the marketing efforts on your own.
If you’ve reached the point of needing help with your marketing, or if you’re struggling to find your voice, schedule a free consultation and we’ll figure it out together.