I see you, you bad-ass entrepreneur—and I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. With all the nitty-gritty that goes into running a business you might be wondering:
“Look, does this whole ‘Brand Voice’ thing really affect my sales all that much?”
(Hint: Yes. It does. A LOT).
Funny story: Back in my bartending days, I once met the most insanely attractive man that this human world has ever seen (think a cross between Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom ::drool::) But when he opened his mouth? He sounded like a cross between Mickey Mouse and Michael Jackson. Womp, womp, WOMP. You can bet I wasn’t buying what he was selling (I’ll let you figure out what that was. Sorry Mom).
Here’s what you gotta know: Brand voice isn’t just about the words you choose or the services you’re offering.
Brand voice is your super-special distinct point-of view, personality, beliefs, worldview, audience preferences, sense of humor, and the way you talk/sound ALL whirlpool-ing into a giant vortex of lead-and-sales-generating POWER.
When people resonate with your brand voice, they get sucked into what you’re selling.
When people feel that they know you, like you, and trust you (because—cough, ahem—your brand voice is super clear, likeable, and true to who you are), then they WANT to get sucked into what you’re selling. They’re thrilled and excited to get sucked into what you’re selling.
They’re letting out an exuberant “Woot!” and squirrel jumping kamikaze-style off the high-dive INTO what you’re selling.
So how do you know if you’re “nailing it” with your brand voice? For starters, you’re getting new clients/subscribers on the reg. Like, a lot of them. Like, a lot of the time.
ATTENTION: NOW INTERRUPTING THIS BLOG TO OFFER YOU A CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE OPTION:
- If you have been gaining new clients/subscribers on the reg, jump below to the starred section.
- If you haven’t been gaining new clients/subscribers on the reg, jump below to the starred section.
*Yup, both answers lead to the same place. Because here’s the deal: Brand voice ALWAYS matters.
Whether you’ve been doing this for ages and are rolling around in money like that scene in Indecent Proposal, or are just starting out with a client or two, you know that in this entrepreneurial shindig you will ALWAYS need to focus on generating new business.
And, yup, you guessed it: Honing and clarifying (or re-honing and re-clarifying) your brand voice is a HUGE part of that. Just think about this process as something that will only get better and more potent over time—like a fine, fine wine. (Damnit, now I want wine).
If you’re ready to rock your brand voice but don’t know how, don’t freak out. I’m here to make it EASY for you to get started. So grab a glass of vino (I mean, I already did), sit back, and let’s get that whirlpool going.
- GET FEEDBACK. If you’re wondering if your voice has gone from stunning to stale, ask your peeps. I mean, it’s easy to convince yourself that fedoras should be your new style accessory until you talk to that loyal friend who says 2002 called and wants its shit back. Straight up: having an outside view helps. Ask your clients. Ask your friends. Ask your mom. Ask your mom’s hairstylist. But make sure to ask the people who you trust to be completely honest with you about whether or not the words/tone/message you’re presenting are true to you.
- DOES IT SOUND LIKE YOU? Story time ain’t just for Reading Rainbow anymore—speak it aloud. Then ask yourself “Does it sound like me? Does it sound warm, funny, capable, and all the other ways I am (insert super positive, empowering word here)?” If YOU find that it sounds like a slightly bland cyber-clone of the truly bright and amazing you, your audience will probably feel the same.
- HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL? Do you get those butterflies in the stomach when you read your mission statement, bio, and sales pages? Does it resonate with your inner chi? Does it leave you positively vibrating with excitement like that first touch from your middle school crush? If so, keep it. If not, go back to the drawing board till that giddy gold comes through.
- HOW DOES IT MAKE YOUR CLIENTS FEEL? Inspired, ready to rock, or needing a nap? We’re going for magic here, not “meh,” so pay attention to the response you get from your clients’ first impression of your voice. We want that ooey gooey infatuation to go both ways, and, simply put: they should be weak-kneed for you and swooning over what you’re saying.
- ARE THOSE FEELINGS ALIGNED WITH YOUR BRAND VALUES? Like the wonderful Julie Andrews sang: “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” (And yes, I def referenced Sound of Music twice in one blog ::movie nerd alert::). Listen, with all the go-go-go of running a business, it’s so important to stop, take stock, and make sure your words are still jiving with your life’s work. #nbd
Unsure of what YOUR Brand Values are? If you’ve never done Sally Hogshead’s “Fascination Advantage Brand Test,” I’d recommend starting there. It will tell you the #1 core value that your brand stands for–and help you figure out if your vision and voice are lining up in harmony like do, re, mi. I’m not an affiliate for Sally’s work, but I’ve found this quiz to be simple, effective, and extremely clarifying.
So, how did you shape up with your “vocal workouts”? Did this post give you some interesting, confusing, enlightening feedback? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know by commenting below (or by posting in The Champagne Room), where I’ll be answering Q’s about voice ALL month long!