You have so much to say about your brand but no idea how to say it.
Every time you try to write, you pause to go over what you’ve put down on screen—and cringe because it sounds nothing like you.
You are a great conversationalist—seriously, people love talking to you. But getting that fun personality of yours to translate in your copywriting attempts? Not exactly your strong suit.
Brand voice development is one of the things wedding pros, female entrepreneurs, and creatives most often reach out for—and my Brand Voice Guides are one of the most popular copywriting services I offer. Today, I’m talking my top tips for defining your brand voice. You ready to dig in? Let’s get to it.
Just like with humans, your brand voice is something that is unique to you. Think of it as your brand’s personality—it’s the combination of how you sound and the attitude you exude. Your brand voice may be playful and punchy, or it may be confident and concise—but, either way, it should be uniquely yours and rooted in developing a connection with your dream clients.
The best brands are consistent, and developing a clear voice is crucial for brand consistency. Consumers are drawn to brands that are consistently clear in who they are and what they stand for. Honing a brand voice that resonates with your ideal client allows you to reach them in an effective, engaging, and memorable way.
Start with research. Ugh, research? Yes, research. Developing a strong and effective brand voice starts with a deep understanding of your audience, your market, your industry, and your competition. Before you can begin to define how you want to sound, you need to know what works with your audience and what doesn’t. What does your competitor’s brand voice sound like, and how do you want yours to differ? Are there other websites and social pages you’re drawn to—or ones you’re turned off by?
Once you know what’s going on externally (with your audience and your competitors), it’s time to turn your eye inward. The product or service you offer will have a ton to do with the type of brand voice you ultimately decide on. Is yours a product or service that can stand to be playful and light, or should you keep things professional and buttoned-up? Do you want to come across with some energy and a cheeky attitude, or do you want to be strictly professional? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin defining your brand voice:
What voice is my audience drawn to? (I.e. Playful and personal, educational and informative, sophisticated with a touch of celebratory, etc.)
What three words best sum up how I want to sound? (I.e. Witty, personal, insightful. Warm, welcoming, authentic. Educational, expert, informative. Approachable, confident, engaging.)
What words and phrases will my brand use regularly?
What words and phrases should my brand avoid?
Are there nuances in my brand voice I should note? (I.e. “It’s always sophisticated but only sometimes educational.” “It’s always expert and sometimes playful.”)
How will my brand voice be distinct from others in the industry?
How do I want my audience to feel when reading my website copy?
This is a question I get asked all of the time. And the answer—in a nutshell—is absolutely. When you’re a service provider (as opposed to a product-based business), people aren’t just investing in your service; they’re investing in you (and that epic personality of yours). The less of a disconnect between how you sound on your website and how you sound on that initial consult call, the better. Leads don’t want to fall in love with one personality (aka brand voice) on your website—only to be met by someone entirely different the first time they interact with the actual you.
This doesn’t mean your brand voice will sound exactly like you do in real life (as an email might)—there’s definitely an art to creating a brand voice that’s rooted in, inspired by, and true to your unique speaking voice…but polished and elevated to a place that’s clever, creative, and crafted to convert (cha-ching).
Absolutely. If you’re serious about defining your voice but find yourself struggling to do so yourself, it’s time to bring on a creative copywriter. My favorite type of content for budding brands to invest in is evergreen copy. (“Evergreen” copy is copy that never grows old—it’s content that isn’t time-based and, as such, remains relevant year-round.)
In the brand voice guides we develop at GG Copywriting, I love to provide a few pages that offer phrases, headlines, and body copy you can pull from time and time again. That way, you don’t need to hire a copywriter every single time you need to run an Instagram ad or post on social. Instead, you can turn to your evergreen “bank” of copy in your guide and pull different words and phrases.