Over the years I've worked with dozens of passionate people getting ready to launch the business of their dreams.
They're excited. They're terrified. They're...confused.
"I have a website, but I have NO idea what I'm doing."
"Someone just told me I need a [LinkedIn/Poppl/GoogleMyBusiness/Alignable] account. Do I?"
"What the heck is SEO, really, anyway?"
When you're starting a new business, the fact that you can watch 3,427,540 YouTube videos about "how to scale your business" can feel more daunting than helpful. There's just SO much information out there. Where do you even start?
As a writer, I think it all comes down to voice. Or what a marketer would call your "brand." If that word makes you dry heave, fear not. Much like "networking," what it really means is:
Making a GENUINE connection based on what GENUINELY motivates you.
I genuinely connect with people over cookbooks!
...Not sounding so bad now, is it?
Just like you need to know your vision, mission, and target customer, establishing your voice will help guide you in every future step. After all, that's how you're going to communicate your wonderful vision to that target audience.
After working with dozens of start-ups and new business owners, I started to see a pattern emerge. Every brand voice seemed to fall into one of four categories (or a combination of a couple) - and each one has its own superpower.
Do words like elevated, curate, journey, artisanal, and boutique speak to you? Do you gravitate towards soft, earthy colors and streamlined visuals? Are you offering a high-end, exclusive service?
You, my friend, are The Sophisticate. While you might not necessarily want to scream, "I'M EXCLUSIVE!", you're drawn to branding that makes your customers feel like they're on your V.I.P. list. - and that's a message that sells. Why? Just like The Sass Master, you harness the power of marketing to a niche audience who's looking for what YOU, specifically, have to offer.
You share 'unusual animal friends' photos on social media and believe that you can connect to everyone's heart if they just take time out from their busy lives. You've often been told that your smile or laugh is infectious and people just "feel better" after spending time with you. Everyone is your bestie and you want to be sure they know it.
Appealing to customers' emotions is your superpower, and if harnessed properly, you can create a genuine, loyal bond - a bonafide selling strategy in the business world.
The Sass Master
You're not afraid to push the envelope. You like short, snappy sentences. Maybe a swear word or ten. Your marketing is bold -in font, color, AND style- and sometimes makes you giggle at the thought of Aunt Sally reading it.
You and The Sophisticate seem to be at complete odds, yet deep down you share the desire to create a customer base rooted in the same feeling: exclusivity. Your audience feels special (read: exclusive) because, with you, they're part of something "the rest of them are scared of." Just like The Sophisticates, this is a GREAT marketing tactic and your ultimate superpower. As you know best, Sass Master, trying to please everyone means you please no one.
The Subject Matter Expert
If you're not jiving with any of the other categories in this article, then you are almost certainly the Subject Matter Expert. You're here to make an impact through information.
You might be a lawyer, financial consultant, doctor, therapist, nonfiction author, or nutritionist. You don't think of your business in terms of "selling" as much as "helping" and "informing." Just like the other voices, you have your own superpower, because indeed, knowledge is power. One of the BEST ways to drive traffic to your website (or other online platform) is to provide quality, accurate, and informative content on a consistent basis. (Like, hey, a post all about establishing your brand voice.)
What do you think? Which one feels the most "you"? Ready to tackle the next step and put that voice into action? Schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation with me to discuss how to bring your voice into the marketplace in a way that wins hearts and minds.
Julie (Jules) Schnedeker is the founder of write with jules, LLC and a seasoned writer with a passion for bringing out the best in others through creative writing, resumes, marketing materials, and more.