To find your brand voice, you've got to know how to communicate. To know how to communicate, you need to know who you’re communicating too.
Why? Because communication is based on understanding. Speaking is not communicating if the other person can’t understand you. Take a game of pictionary. It doesn’t work if the person doesn’t know what you’re drawing to begin with, say if you're drawing a film your partner has never seen. No matter how lovely your drawing is, you can’t communicate it to them!
So that’s the thing about voice. No matter how good your visuals and writing are, your brand can’t communicate well if you don’t understand who you’re communicating to.
Research the kind of customers you truly want to have. That’s who you should be speaking to. Get to know them, here’s some questions to get you started.
The kinds of things you would want to know about your friends, that’s what you want to know about these people. If these are your dream customers, my guess is you genuinely care about helping them. So take the time to get to know them. This doesn’t happen overnight, we all have to put in the time to truly know about the people we care about.
So you’ve gotten to know your people. Now it’s about where you fit into that equation.
What problem are do you want to help people with? And importantly, how do you want them to feel when they see you?
It’s time to bring a little magic into this equation. And that magic, – it’s you! Who are you? How do you like to speak? How do you sound, and feel? Find ways to make room for you in your brand voice. I’ll be doing a separate post about bringing your story in, but this is more about how you prefer to communicate with people, your cadence and rhythm. Are you fiery and feisty, or a bit more calm and relaxed? Do you speak really descriptively, or naturally short and to the point?
Don’t ignore the work you’ve done in the steps before, still be true to your people and what you’re trying to do. But do consider how your natural voice fits in. It’s a unique part of you!
The first thing you’ll probably think of is your copy writing, and you’re not wrong. But your voice is also in your visual style, and communications. Will your visuals be bright and uptempo? Or moody and evocative? All of these visual decisions are about your voice, and your voice is about you and your customer and how you communicate with each other. Don’t forget, communication is based on understanding.
Okay super star, you’ve researched, you’ve planned – it’s practice time. So here’s a bit of a brief, create three different Instagram posts. Paying attention to your visuals and copy, try to put your brand voice into play as best are you can. Ask for feedback from someone you know, you don’t need to actually put these on instagram, though you totally can. Ask for feedback specifically on how it makes that person feel when they see and read the posts.
Use that feedback to see if you’ve hit the mark, and tweak things a bit.