One Thing Wednesday: Brand Voice
I met with a girlfriend very recently and had a really insightful conversation. She had outsourced her social media and was feeling pretty uncomfortable with some aspects of it, particularly the way that the social media posts were being written.
She said it didn't feel like her.
And I had to agree.
When I saw the posts pop up in my feed, I knew it wasn't her writing them and it was a little jarring reading them because they had no soul or sense of what she was all about.
So what's the solution to making sure your brand voice is always 'on brand'?
First of all, figure out what your brand voice actually is. This comes into knowing your brand values and personality and can go as far as a Tone of Voice guide.
If you are outsourcing your social media, make sure this is documented and shared (or have this work included in the services of the person taking on your social media).
Some general guidelines depending on your business size:
If you are a one person business, often your brand personality and voice will be YOUR personality and YOUR voice. Embrace it!
- If your business is intimately tied to you, even if you do have a team, again, your brand voice will often be yours, or a slightly tweaked version of it to suit your target audience.
- If your business has no clear person who is leading the brand (i.e. the founder/director isn't very public and isn't the person who is the face of the content), then you need to do the work around refining what you brand personality is and what that looks like in the way you communicate.
A few tips for us all to keep in mind:
Do not copy other brands' voices. For example Frank Body hit the market with its very clever brand persona of 'Frank', who speaks in first person, calls everyone 'babe' and is cheeky. Now, so many brands are taking on this persona and it's just not the right way to speak to their audience. A 19 year old came up to me at the end of a talk I gave last week and told me she feels many brands targeting her age group are speaking to her like she's ignorant.
- Picture the person you are communicating with when writing. It might be that favourite client of yours. Write to THEM, and it'll help you be more authentic and more interesting!
- Avoid feeling like you should write in a certain way. This often means people try to sound more 'professional' or more fancy than they would normally speak/write. Keep it simple. Be open and honest. People connect with vulnerability, so practice being true to you.