When I first launched my sleep consulting business, I had no idea what my brand voice was. Or rather, I didn’t know that it was important to have a consistent brand voice. In my mind, I was my brand, so my voice was obviously my brand voice.
And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I know many sleep consultants whose personal voice and brand voice match.
Sleep consultants who are witty and sassy both in real life AND how they show up for their business. Sleep consultants who are professional in real life AND in their business.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with incorporating your own voice into your brand. Afterall, you’re likely running all aspects of your business, and showing up authentic is easier than “switching” voices.
But I realized pretty quickly that I needed a brand voice. Because my own voice changed based on who I was with…around family, I was witty, and my dry-humor shined through. But with co-workers, I was much more professional and didn’t joke around much. So how was I supposed to stay consistent with my brand voice if my own voice changed frequently?
How would my audience or clients react if one moment I was sassy and the next I was easy-going? It would be confusing, I’m sure.
Regardless of whether you want to use your own voice in your brand or whether you want to adopt a unique voice for your business, here’s the key takeaway: Every company needs a brand voice that they can use to speak to their customers.
What is a brand voice and why is it important?
A brand voice is the tone of voice you use when speaking about your company or to your audience. It's the personality of your company — and it's also just as important, if not more so, than any other aspect of marketing.
It's what makes people decide whether they want to work with you or not: how you sound when responding to an email inquiry, how friendly your website copy sounds (or doesn't), how someone answers the phone when a client calls—all these things contribute to this intangible but extremely important aspect of branding.
How do you discover your brand voice?
You can discover your brand voice in a few different ways.
On one hand, you might discover it over time. As you write emails, draft blog posts, talk to clients, and create social media posts, you might discover that you are drawn to speaking a certain way. Maybe you find that your brand voice is very friendly, or straightforward.
The second way to discover your brand voice is to intentionally think about how you want your brand to come across to others.
A good place to start is by thinking about who your ideal customers are. What type of messaging would appeal to them? Do they want a sleep consultant who is understanding and compassionate in their correspondence, or do they want someone who doesn’t beat around the bush?
Then, once you have a sense of what your audience might like and find appealing, think about how you can incorporate that into the way that you write content for your business. For example, if you want your audience to view you as the life of the party (because you want to show them what life could look like when they work with you), your posts will likely be upbeat and happy. You may use music on your stories that are fun and remind you of your younger years (before you had kids, of course).
If you want your audience to view you as knowledgeable and trustworthy, you might use more advanced terms when talking about sleep, or you might go more into depth when creating content about sleep struggles.
Make sure your brand’s messaging is consistent.
Once you decide on your brand voice, the most important job you’ll have is making sure your brand’s messaging is consistent.
This means that every time you sit down to write a blog, respond to a client, or create a post, you want to come across as the same person. Think about the tone words you want to communicate (friendly, trustworthy, knowledgeable, witty, etc.) and how you want people to perceive your business.
One strategy to adopt is to find words or phrases that speak to your brand voice and use them throughout your messaging (Erin at Lake Country Sleep does a great job of this, if you need an example!). If you don't, people will think that your brand's messages are out of sync—or that someone wrote this in a different language! Don't be afraid to use humor, jargon or colloquialisms to make your content feel more authentic and relatable. While those things may be frowned upon in English class, when you’re running your own business, you get to make the rules!
Every company needs a brand voice that they can use to speak to their customers.
Every company needs a brand voice that they can use to speak to their customers. It’s the tone of your company’s messaging, and it’s how you want people to perceive you.
Your brand voice is the personality of your company. Your mission statement and vision might be focused on helping people, but if you or your team are cold or unhelpful when speaking with potential clients, then those good intentions will be lost in translation.
A strong brand voice doesn't just help attract new customers—it also makes existing ones happier and more likely to spread the word about their positive experiences with you.
In the end, it’s all about getting to know your brand, understanding how it communicates and how it should communicate. You can use this knowledge in many ways, from developing a tagline to writing a blog post or even just deciding on what kind of design style you want for your website. It may seem overwhelming at first glance but once you start diving into the nitty-gritty details of who you are as an organization and what makes you unique (or not), everything will fall into place!