How to develop your brand voice

By February 2, 2015Branding, Tone of voice

Content may have become the fuel for much of our marketing efforts but that doesn’t assume we know what that content should look like.

An organisation’s ‘brand voice’ incorporates both the copy that defines their brand (copy for your website, leaflets, and adverts) and the content that you create to engage your audience (social media updates, blogs and email campaigns).

The difficulty isn’t that we don’t know how to put our brand into words, but for many small businesses, it’s not having an awareness of what their brand is. The tendency is to dive in before we have a clear understanding of who we are and succumb to the pressure of having to say something, whether it reflects our ‘brand’ or not.

If your brand is not clear to you, it is unlikely to be to your audience. And it will undoubtedly show up in your copy.

Here’s how to give yourself a head start in developing an authentic voice that is clear enough to convert your readers into customers.

1. Know your values

Being clear about your values will give you a head start when writing your business copy. Not only will it tell you what you won’t compromise on, it also sets the parameters for your business communications. And it’s probably the best way of letting interested parties know early on through your copy, if they are the right fit for you.

2. Who are you talking to?

To be more specific who is your ideal client or customer? The goal is loyalty and long-term relationships, which means that you want to get inside the head of that person so you can put into words how you meet their real needs.

3. What’s your ‘difference’?

You don’t need a clever or gimmicky unique selling point (USP) to stand out. The key is ‘knowing’ what you do differently and being able to communicate it clearly and simply. Companies that are clear about what they bring to the table have stronger brands not because of their difference but because they know how to articulate it in a way that is meaningful to their audience.

4. Know your why

Two businesses may appear the same but there’s something about how one conducts itself that informs us this means more than just generating an income.

In this digital climate with almost unlimited choice, potential buyers crave authenticity and meaning. Understanding your ‘why’ gives purpose to your business and depth to your writing.

5. Clarify your message

The best way I have found of clarifying a brand message is by employing the ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘what’ model. What’s the problem you solve? How do you specifically solve it? And why is it important?

Use USP Copy as an example;

The problem: Articulate your difference /uniqueness
How this is achieved? Simple clear accessible language
Why this is important? Enables entrepreneurs to stand out and be seen by their audience

The message– to articulate your difference simply and clearly; your businesses success depends on it.

Employ the above steps and you’ll be well on your way to developing a voice that’s unique to your business.

The ultimate payoff? Prospects don’t just buy what you sell; they align with your brand.

First published on LinkedIn by USP Copy

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