- THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR VOICE
When talking about obtaining a voice for your business, it sometimes becomes easy to fall into the trap of merely focusing on words — how summaries and accounts on your website look, help your product descriptions flow, how your social media captions are managed — but this so-called “voice” is so much more than just words. Although they are important, instead imagine your voice is being a melting pot of what you either as an individual or as a company represent, what standards you wish to maintain, and so on.
And while words for your business require attention, too, your voice needs an array of things in order to become prominent and special. You can even come in the form of the physical aesthetics of your brand. If you want to demonstrate your lumber company as being a reliable, sturdy, and professional means of production, would you use Comic Sans for your website’s and business card‘s font, with a cartoon clip art instead of actual photographs? Of course not! This doesn’t provide the image that you want to sell to your clients, doesn’t provide evidence that you’re able to produce exactly what they desire — this cultivated image you’ve come up with instead might appeal to someone interested in miniature lumber decorations for their model train collection rather than a construction company in need for genuine timber.
- HOW TO FIND YOUR VOICE
The first step in finding your voice falls and identifying who your audience is. Your target audience should always be age-appropriate, of course, but should also best represent the demographics of those interested in your products and/or services. For example, an animation company that creates G-rated films focuses on making commercials and previews of their products that aren’t too intimidating or frightening for their very young viewers, who often fall between the ages of two and five.
However, the same animation company might also produce R-rated motion pictures, but the previous for those would never be crafted in the same way the ones intended for children would; and yet, this company‘s voice can still be present and consistent in both. How is that? Well, despite the vast differences between a G-rated motion picture and an R-rated film, the animation company can adhere and apply its unique voice in its image to both of these specific audiences, perhaps via the animation’s physical style, how the soundtracks are scored, or that the films always use the same cast of talented voice actors no matter what the genre of the movie is. It’s a consistent but special pattern that makes their voice their brand.
But what if you don’t know who your target audience should be? Should I make my set up more cutesy and cozy to represent how everything I make is homemade, or should I put emphasis on my independence and determination for helping me to where I am today? Are the products I’m making just for adults or with teenagers also potentially be interested in this? Sometimes, this is a simple question with a simple answer — if you make and sell sports cars for a living, your audience would have to be those with a drivers license already, that’s eliminating part of the population and narrowing down the demographic of who you should focus your efforts to. But, on occasion, it might be too hard to tell. Luckily enough, though, there are a multitude of online resources at your disposal to help you!
For instance, Google has a program called “Find My Audience Too.” Although it’s geared more towards finding your YouTube audience rather than providing specific statistics for your actual business itself, this tool still provides you with tips and tricks typically supplemented to those who present a similar image or have a similar brand/business. Want something more intimate and perhaps less generic? Some shop websites, such as Etsy, actually allow for you to be given a daily intake with charts and diagrams of how your business is performing. It even depicts in the form of percentages how customers find your shop and its items – for instance, while 53% of your customers might discover your shop directly through the Etsy app in the site itself, the remaining 47% could be redirected from your businesses Instagram page, meaning your social media captions are working and you should keep up the good work!
Utilizing these free kinds of features can help gain a sense of who is already searching for a voice and a brand like yours in order to receive products and services, and, by using these, you can learn how to cater to them and thus expand your business as a result. These statistics can even aid in developing confidence in your branding, or it can tell you what’s not working, and you’ll then develop your voice at a faster pace and be able to incorporate it more naturally as time goes on and as your voice becomes more cemented and stable.
- MAINTAINING AND MASTERING YOUR VOICE
Once you’ve gathered the resources and techniques to connect with your audience, it’s now time to become consistent and organized. While you might want to describe your business as loyal, reliable, steadfast, patient, quirky, special, and other things, you should be able to condense all of these defining adjectives into a set of 3-5 words instead. From that particular list, take the words loyal, steadfast, and quirky. See how much easier and quicker it is to digest those three? Using synonyms for these are alright, especially if you write a daily blog and want to reinforce your voice and image without sounding like a dull, monotonous script, but being able to sit down and identify a few key words that represent your brand is important. By taking these words and embracing them as your voice, you create a consistent image for yourself. You learn to invoke the feel of these words, thus allowing your business to stand on its own two feet.
With the help of a team like ours at DMA, we assist in all forms and techniques in helping you find your voice to show the world—whether it’s via video production or website design, we learn who you are on an individual level and teach you how to incorporate yourself in the aspects of your business in order to maintain a true and authentic sense of self.
Holton, Julie. “The Value of Finding Your Voice and Being Authentic.” Think Tank of Three, 3