Have you ever been in a room full of people all talking at the same time? Hi — Ashton here, and my family is full of chatty Kathys so I’ve been in that situation many a’ times.
So many side conversations. Someone trying to get your attention while you’re listening to someone else’s story. People talking over each other. Yiiiikes. You can bet our Thanksgiving dinner is a real banger.
I love my family, but it’s hard to focus when there’s so much going on. And when I’m trying to listen to another one of my cousin’s riveting antics, I miss half the story because I’m always like “Wait what? The dog CHASED you??” and she’s like “No, no, it was a cat.”
Look, I share this lovely story about my crazy family because I know your brand voice does the same thing to your audience (otherwise why are you reading this?). It’s all over the place, there’s too much going on, and you don’t know where to focus.
It’s cute at Thanksgiving, but it’s not good for your business. It’s distracting, which means your audience won’t know what to do with the things they read. And you know what that means…
Why a chaotic brand voice is bad for business.
A chaotic brand voice can mean the difference between making money and losing it.
So yeah, we’d say it’s a little important.
Brand voice is one of the hardest things to get right, but it’s one of the most important things in your business. You have to know your voice to talk to your audience.
When you don’t have a clear way of doing so, you push yourself further away because they aren’t sure if you’re someone they want to listen to (and TBH, you don’t really have a grasp on who you’re targeting in the first place).
It’s also harder to create authority in your niche.
Inconsistent brand voice can translate as sloppy. Whether we like it or not, presentation in some capacity matters. So if you’re chipper one day and edgy the next, it’s going to signal to your audience that you may not know what you’re doing, even if that’s not the truth.
But don’t get it confused with tone
Brand tone and brand voice are not the same. Close, but not the same.
The tone of voice is how you communicate and connect through interaction with your audience. It helps set you apart from the rest of your niche through humor or impactful adjectives.
You could be serious like Nike or sarcastic like us.
Voice, however, is how you represent your brand’s perspective and values. It’s your brand’s personality, and it’s always based on your brand’s mission statement and core values.
P.S. — Here are some examples of brand voices we love to help you get a better idea of how to nail this!
Time to clarify your brand voice
Even if you already have an established brand, there’s always space for a refresh. Here’s how to wrangle in your brand voice if you feel like it’s all over the place.
Draw on your mission/values to develop a messaging hierarchy
You may have already done this, but it’s worth revisiting, even if that means starting from scratch and rewording things, so you have more clarity.
Show people who you are, what gets you jazzed up, and how your brand is achieving its end goal.
I.e. “We are ___ on a mission to ___ by ___”
For us, it’d be “We are writers on a mission to help women build a kick-ass brand through content and copy.
Know who you’re talking to and emulate that language
If you know who your target audience is, this shouldn’t be too hard. If you don’t, go work on that and then meet me back here.
How are they talking? Go over to Instagram and stalk their page. Are they using trendy lingo? Talking a lot? Not very much?
Or if that seems too Joe Goldberg for you, you can picture your brand as a person.
How would you talk to them? How would you break down complex ideas to them? Would you crack jokes and nervously share your favorite random fact? Consider (non-appropriative) slang, humor, tone of voice, and pop culture references.
Assess the words you use by this — will it build up your connections or alienate your audience?
Brainstorm adjectives with a words bank
As a designer and copywriter, this is one of my favorite exercises. It helps you see the flow of your voice, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a visual person. And the best part? It’s super simple and won’t take you all day.
Just pick a handful of generic adjectives, break them down into more specific and descriptive adjectives, and finalize your list to five-ish.
Here’s an example!
Take notes of others in your niche
Chances are if you have the same niche, you’ll have similar voices. Why? Because you’re trying to reach a similar audience. But don’t just copy it. Come up with your own ideas! People can sniff out fake easier than you think.
And like, stealing isn’t cool.
Need some guidance to help you get there?
Cleaning up your brand voice is no simple undertaking. It takes time, research, and lots of creative brain power. And when you’re running a business, those aren’t always resources you have readily available.
So let us do it for you!
If you’re sick of nitpicking every word you write and worrying about babysitting your content because you know it needs some TLC, the Uncanny Crew got you!