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Has wondering if your brand sounds witty/professional/approachable/inspiring/enter your chosen adjective enough taken over your brain space?
We all know that now, more than ever, consumers buy from brands they trust – meaning brands that show up consistently, honestly, and with aligned values. The stats don’t lie:
So how do you establish that trust, show up consistently, and connect deeply with your audience? By creating a distinct brand voice that helps you stand out in a crowded market and share your brand’s mission without sounding boring af.
Picture your brand as a friend. How would you describe them?
Funny and positive? Rebellious and ambitious? Professional and honest?
The personality traits that encompass your style, values, and messaging create your brand voice and make your brand recognizable. From social captions to website copy to advertisements, your brand voice needs to be consistent across all platforms AND align with your entire creative direction.
What do I mean by that?
If your brand voice is refined, calm, and professional, but your photos are grainy film and your colour palette incorporates vibrant purple, neon orange, and black, you’re sending out mix-matched vibes.
To create a harmonious customer experience, your brand voice must work in tandem with every aspect of your business.
It tells your audience who you are, what your vibe is, and what they can expect from working from you. With time and consistency (and a branded copy bank), your brand voice becomes recognizable and memorable in just a few words.
It’s no secret that your industry is saturated with other businesses and entrepreneurs, but your brand voice can help you stand out.
Through all your messaging and marketing efforts, your goal is to call in clients who share your values, approach, and goals. With a brand voice rooted in those values, you’ll repel clients who don’t align with your business and attract those who do.
Creating a genuine, effortless, and recognizable brand voice starts with knowing your dream clients, your values, and yourself. If one piece of this brand voice puzzle is out of place, your messaging won’t resonate.
To create your brand voice, start by asking these three questions:
Dig into the purpose behind your business and the difference you want to make in the world. These values form the heart and soul of your business and your brand voice.
Example: Are you an interior designer who specializes in repurposing vintage furniture because you care about reducing overconsumption and waste? Then your brand voice may be soulful, inspiring, or unconventional.
You want to truly know your audience. Not just their job or income, but their style, interests, values, and goals so you can create a brand voice that speaks directly to them.
Example: You’re a social media marketer for luxury hospitality brands but include emojis, slang, or stories about that time you went out with a Ryan Reynolds look-alike in your messaging. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but it may not hit home with your clients – unless Ryan Reynolds is one of them.
If you don’t feel confident with your brand voice, it’s going to suck to craft messaging in it. So think about your own style of communicating – what topics do you like talking about, what words or sayings are common in your vocab, and what parts of your personality do you not like sharing?
Example: When writing for my brand, I dial up my bubbly side, dial down my sarcasm (while still keeping a healthy dose of sass), and strike a balance between sharing relatable stories without spilling all my secrets.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you should have a few ideas about how to describe your brand, voice, and what you want to be known for.
Now it’s time to choose 3 traits that represent this reflective work you’ve done. These traits will create your brand voice and guide your communication strategy.
Need some help?
Below is a short list of possible brand voice descriptors for your business.
Your brand voice consists of the personality traits and communication style that encompass your entire brand, creative direction, and messaging strategy. It’s broad enough to be present in everything you do or create.
Your brand tone consists of the emotions conveyed in specific situations so it varies depending on the context and messaging required. Imagine talking to your best friend vs. presenting at a conference. You may be bubbly, friendly, and honest in both situations but you’ll likely be a little more reserved or formal on stage with strangers compared to when you’re ¾ through a bottle of rose.
Identifying the details of your brand tone, or how your brand voice shows up in different contexts, will help you create a cohesive voice and make uncomfortable conversations a little bit easier.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of brand voice and brand tone.
My own brand voice is warm, playful, and clever which means I try to uplift my clients, create an approachable and adaptable environment, and am not afraid of a cheeky caption or two.
But there are levels to how cheeky or playful I get.
My email newsletter subscribers see me at my sassiest where I’m not afraid to drop an f-bomb or share my disaster tinder stories. In contrast, my LinkedIn network (I’m talking to you, Australian Institute of Business) sees me at my most formal or reserved.
Yet, no matter what I’m saying or where I’m saying it, every touchpoint stays consistent with my overall brand voice.
The truth is, creating your brand voice is a journey.
What works now may change in 6 months or 12 months as your business adapts, trends change, and you grow.
If you’re currently creating your brand voice, then head over to my case study on Samara Bortz to find an example of an empathetic, ambitious, and whimsical brand voice.
Or, if you’re wondering how to add your brand voice to your messaging, you’ll want to check out my tips on adding a little razzle-dazzle to your copy.
Finally, if you have a clear picture of your brand voice but want someone else to do the actual writing? Then sign me up!
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do-good brands in the creative and adventure industries.