How to find your tone of voice
Finding Your Voice. When your brand or business needs to communicate with your customer, how do you go about it?
It’s a key question that everyone finds themselves asking, no matter how big or small their audience. Before you think about whether to weigh up the relative of merits of Facebook, Twitter, and the like, you need to find your brand’s voice…
What is ‘Tone of Voice’?
Just as you have our own way of speaking to people, every business needs to have a unique way of reaching out to its target market. Tone of voice is about how you go about getting your message out there and it’s something that is super important when it comes to portraying the right image. All the marketing efforts in the world will fall on deaf ears if you aren’t speaking in a way that will hit home with your target audience.
Know Your Audience
You went into business for reason and you have an ideal customer in mind – the question is, whoare they? If you have a brand that needs to appear cool and social then you’ll want to adopt an engaging tone with a touch of humour thrown in for good measure. If your venture is primarily educational then you may want to combine an informative style with an air of authority so that people really listen to what you have to say.
No matter which category your business falls into, the key to finding your voice is to visualise how you would speak in person to your ideal customer. This simple exercise will give you a starting point from which you can build your brand’s voice – from this point, all else follows.
You don’t have to reinvent the world of marketing in a single afternoon; the most important thing to do is make a start. Once you know your ideal customer, you can start to look at how others speak to them. This doesn’t mean copying your direct competitor; it’s more about getting a idea of what is out there as this can be a highly informative way of seeing the specifics of what works and what doesn’t. Draw up a shortlist of three brands that you think do a great job of talking to their customers. They don’t have to be exact matches for what you do; all you’re looking for are examples of companies getting their message to resonate with people they never get to speak to face to face.
A simple way to move forward is to try to sum up your business in a slogan or two that will hit home with your target market. You’re looking for something that builds trust, tells them about your brand, and gives them a vision of what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Avoid spinning famous slogans that are already out there – instead, just be you. After all, that’s what you’re asking the masses to buy into.
Source an Expert
Once you can articulate your message you’re then ready to start with the finer details. It’s at this point that you want to focus on your longer format communication. Is your website text sending out the right message on each page? Are your social media posts following a style that does your brand justice? Whether you decide to source a freelancer or to stay in-house and get creative, the key is to communicate effectively. Don’t be afraid to go through several iterations, and don’t worry if you end up throwing away what you initially had in favour of something that heads off in a different direction.
The secret is to stay in the mind of your ideal customer and ask yourself:
‘How would I speak to them if we were face to face?’
We (the fivesquid team) would like to say a mass thank you to fivesquid Best and PRO Seller Katie Howe for sharing her expertise in all things vocally tonal. This is not only a very well written post, but also really informative on our brands can find their own voice. Thanks Katie!