With so many ‘copycat’ businesses online, it’s important to use your authentic, unique voice to express your business in a way that feels original and feels like you… even when you’re writing across a variety of social media platforms.
But how exactly do you find your voice?
Finding your voice, or giving yourself permission to use it, can be challenging unless you have some concrete steps to follow.
Step 1: Share your own stories. This is the most powerful way to communicate and get closer with your audience. Note: NO ONE can duplicate your own personal stories!
Step 2: Use the best friend technique. Talk about what you strongly believe in and are passionate about as if you are actually having a conversation with a friend.
Step 3: Use italics, bolding, extra periods (…) to help the reader hear your written voice. Note: don’t overuse this, or it’ll get really annoying to the reader. I’m just saying!
Step 4: Cut out the consumption of so many others writings. Reading others with similar topics and interests that you have, can be debilitating and sometimes your voice gets lost.
The key to creating your voice is to really get to know yourself; what your strengths are, what your style is, who you hang out with, what unique voice/perspective/life stories you have to offer.
Here’s an exercise to help you…
Describe a strawberry in 2 or 3 sentences (either in your head or on paper). Use your senses to describe it. Use details. Get specific.
BFF Description: A mouthwatering pop of delicious red sweetness that always manages to ooze juice down my chin on the first bite. The back of my hand quickly becomes my saving grace right before a permanent red stain is embedded on my newly dry-cleaned, white chiffon blouse. This moment takes me back to my first job of picking strawberries (I was only 9) during the summer with my sister Cara!
Now, read or think about your description. Read my description. See how I shared one of my own stories, a story I’ve shared numerous times to friends face-to-face. This is my unique voice.
The purpose of this exercise is to illustrate that even something as mundane as describing a strawberry can show you that EVERYONE will say/write something different = your unique, authentic voice!
YOUR VOICE + YOUR BRAND = YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE
To illustrate my point, we are going to use my four branding words – Simple, Clean/Modern, Timeless Classic, Straight Shooter – to illustrate how my voice (written and visual) is heard on different social media platforms. Check out my Instagram and Pinterest accounts to see how my voice is represented.
Haven’t defined your brand/branding words? You can learn how to create your branding words here.
Once you’ve found your authentic voice, it’s time to showcase it across different social media platforms.
Keep in mind, people use various social media platforms for different reasons. When you understand peoples motivations (why they’re there, what their looking to do and/or find and how they use it), you can better understand how to connect with them and use your unique voice.
Let’s look at a few social media platforms to see how this all comes together…
Pinterest is visually focused (i.e., pretty). It’s a source for inspiration and to find things that are helpful to buy, make, dream, follow.
As a business you want to get products or information in front of new eyes to increase exposure. And because your pins usually point back to your brand’s own website, you increase traffic as well as eventual sales. Thus, you want to offer images along with content worth remembering, that are helpful, and visually attractive.
So for my business, I pin photos from the Your Marketing BFF blog (so that the particular image is linked back to the image and specific blog post) that are visually appealing and go with my brand. And because I’m also a straight shooter, I write a short, to-the-point comment to go along with the image.
Facebook meets two primary human needs: (1) The need to belong and (2) the need for self presentation.
Facebook is about communication. So visual and non-visuals (text only) work well.
As a business, I’m going to post images and topics straight from my blog, Instagram or Pinterest. I’m also going to share personal status updates that match my voice and brand in the form of images, favorite quotes, questions, stories, etc.
People love Twitter as a way of catching up on the latest news, following their friends that they want to keep tabs on, and fostering the hash-tag phenomenon.
Twitter does one thing and does it well, which is why people love Twitter. Twitter is all about quick reads, not about extended discussion. Less is more. So make sure your brand and voice is quick and gets right-to-the-point.
Instagram is all about sharing photos. So here is where you want to share photos that visually represent your brand.
Did you check out my Instagram feed to see simple, clean/modern photos? It doesn’t matter what the picture is of as long as it points back to your brand and authentic voice.
Let’s be honest.
There’s nothing new under the sun, but what we each bring to the table is our unique take/perspective/experience. Remind yourself that no one comes to this thing – whatever it is you are writing, posting, pinning, tweeting about this week – with your unique set of experiences…so let your authentic voice be heard!