Three words won’t do
The conventional wisdom about ‘finding’ your voice for an audience suggests it’s simple.
1. Make a list of the content that represents the best of you.
2. Group the list into categories based on similar themes.
3. Identify three personality traits that emerge from these categories.
Somehow this process should reveal ‘who the brand would be if it was a person’, summed up by three magical words to guide the brand voice.
Quirky, authentic and passionate.
Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
Professional, responsible and credible.
But the pool of desirable personality traits is not exhaustive: grumpy, gullible, haughty, flaky or foolish aren’t going to make the cut. Which is how so many brand voices end up sounding alike. They’re singing from the same page.
Our voice is not our personality.
Our voice represents our personality, but it’s not derived from it.
Our voice comes from our beliefs, the ideas we hold to be true.
An authentic voice comes from having a deep understanding of those beliefs and using it to enliven our work.
What do you believe that informs how you serve your audience?
Thanks to Blake Weyland for sharing his work on Unsplash.