If you’ve been hanging around the online biz, blogging, or writing world long enough, you’ve heard the term VOICE.
Maybe it’s made you think to yourself:
“What the hell is VOICE? What are these people talking about?”
“Yeah. I can speak. Loudly if I want to. Just ask my husband.”
“Is that the show with all the singing?”
The idea of “voice” can be weird and confusing, so I’m writing today to tell you all you really need to know about it:
Voice is the ability to be yourself on the page.
Sounds simple. So that should be easy, right? Not exactly.
I first heard the term when I began my screenwriting career. “All writers need a voice.”
I was 18 years old, bright-eyed, excited, and sharing a small classroom in New York City’s East Village with a handful of other writers of various ages and ethnicities.
Our teacher’s mantra (which is still her official tagline now) was: “Don’t get it right, get it written.”
I still think about that today when I write.
She knew that what mattered wasn’t whether you wrote perfectly, it was whether you wrote authentically. And, of course, whether you wrote at all.
Taking her advice, I started my first screenplay (an arthouse drama) from my heart. I focused on just letting the writing flow instead of controlling it. I spilled scenes and scenes that were truthful to me. I took myself very seriously. I was an artist, after all. (Insert serious face here.)
The next week, I took my pages to our workshop and we read them aloud.
You know what happened?
Because, apparently, I am funny.
So I found my voice, but it sure as hell wasn’t the voice I was expecting.
Here I thought I was writing an epic Oscar winner, but I was really writing a long episode of Friends. See, you might have an “idea” of what your brand voice is based solely on other brands you like… Danielle LaPorte, Ash Ambirge, Nisha Moodley, or whoever does it for you.
But until you actually develop your own unique voice, you really have no idea what your brand is going to sound like. And you don’t want to be that girl that’s like “I’m writing The Mindy Project when tonally you actually sound like Law and Order.” #awkward
The significance of developing your voice as an online personality or brand, whether you have a business, a blog, or simply a social media presence and desire to reach millions, is this: it lets your audience know you.
Which is necessary if…
- you want to grow your following (your audience has to know you to like you and tune in)
- you want to sell your products (your audience has to know you to trust you and become customers)
- you want to book more clients (your audience has to know you to decide that you’re the right service provider for them, and sign up)
Having a distinct VOICE is foundational for your business.
You will stand out and generate success, simply by being yourself on the page.
But first you have to know your voice and be confident in it.
So if you’re confused about your voice, or don’t know what yours is yet, there is ONE action you can take that will help.
Write more. Not perfectly, just authentically.
If that feels hard or terrible, I have a free workbook that can help you get going – starting with your about page (also known as the most read page on your website – eeps!). Grab your FREE copy by completing the form below!