Creating a Voice for Your Brand
Do you have a social media presence for your company? How about a website and blog? Do you use print materials and speak at events? Keeping track of just one of these can become overwhelming, but many small business owners are juggling all of these communications themselves.
Before you launch your next business profile, take a few minutes to think about your brand’s voice and its consistency across channels.
When it comes to your brand’s personality, you need to be consistent. All of your communications are on display and many of them link from one to another. It’s confusing to your consumers if you’re outspoken and sassy on Twitter, but reserved on your blog. What does your brand really stand for? All of your company communications should have similarities in tone, language and personality. In 2012, people are connecting with brands on a personal level, so a well-defined brand voice is more important than ever.
Here are five tips to help you get consistent before you speak for your brand:
- Are you an “I” or a “we” This one is a pet peeve of mine. There’s no shame in being a single-person operation. If that’s the case, use “I” and use it consistently (social media, website, brochure…). There’s nothing more confusing than when people say “we” to refer to themselves. A tip for brands with multiple employees – in order to establish a more personal connection with consumers, you can designate one person to make updates, just let people know who’s in charge and let their voice shine through (just make sure that voice is a representation of the brand as a whole).
- Define what you want to be known for. If you are a consultant who wants to be known as a dependable expert, it’s probably time to put down that glass of wine and stop tweeting about your ex. But, if you’re establishing a humorous relationship column, keep the sassy ex comments coming. There’s a fine line between being honest and sharing too much. Keep your brand focused on business goals and not personal shenanigans.
- Know who you’re talking to. Part of what you’re saying depends on the person you’re saying it to. Having a strong understanding of your target market will help authentically shape your conversations.
- Be careful. This kind of goes back to the wine comment, if you don’t want your clients or potential clients to see it, read it, think it or associate it with you – don’t post it.
- Being consistent doesn’t mean being boring. Don’t let these tips make you feel confined. Being confident in your brand’s voice doesn’t mean that you need to feel boxed in. Don’t reuse content from one place to another – just make it clear that the same voice is “speaking” no matter where we find your brand.
So, what do you think? Does your brand have a personality? Is it your own?
Mine is a pretty strong reflection of myself. I love to help people and throw my two cents in (admittedly, even when it’s not asked for). So far, my company is just me and I’m proud of that. I try to make everything I post conversational because I can’t stand talking to myself. The more I work on my brand and my company, the more I realize I am talking to small business owners and entrepreneurs. I find that the people who work with me relate to my personality and don’t take themselves too seriously. I don’t use the words expert, guru or ninja to describe myself. I get excited whenever someone comments on my stuff or tells me they read my blog. I love creating things that help people.
As I grow and learn, I change. My brand is no different. Being cognizant of your voice is the first step to consistency. But, that doesn’t mean that from year-to-year or even day-to-day things will be exactly the same. Keep developing your voice until you’re happy with its representation of your company.