I’m sure you’ve heard that to build an “authentic” brand, you have to be yourself and get vulnerable. That’s great and all, but what about the actionable steps you can take to do all of that stuff?! When working with clients, I’m all about “authenticity” but I do hate using that word. What does being authentic mean, anyway? Does it mean getting SUPER vulnerable on the Internet and letting your community know about everything? Does it entail sharing all the details that make your business work?

Finding and harnessing a brand voice takes practice and diligence. Then truly making it dazzle and stand out takes consistency and courage. What does your brand voice say about you and your business? Let’s dig into nine ways to harness your brand voice and dazzle while you’re at it!

Do a little soul searching

Before we can dig into harnessing a brand voice or creating one, we’re going to need to do some soul searching first. Yes, I’m getting into the “woo-woo” with y’all, but I promise this helps! Take a few moments, grab a pen and paper, and write down all of the things that make up what you think your brand stands for or doesn’t stand for. What does it feel like, what does it look like? How do YOU make people feel and how do you want people to feel with your brand? Uncovering answers to these questions help put our brands into focus, which means now we know how we don’t want to sound to people!

Get honest with your business values

It’s always surprising when I work with clients and ask them about their business values, and they list out things such as “work hard”, “do good work”, “provide great service”, etc. Those are great, but they’re generic and lack-luster. We’re trying to dazzle here, so let’s scratch these from the beginning! While you did your soul-searching, I’m sure you uncovered things like what your brand/business brings out in people and what you hope to do with it. Well, tell me, what are your business values that guide you in your decision-making?

If you’re drawing a blank, these are a few business values for The Quirky Pineapple Studio:

  • ·         Kindness and having an open-mind
  • ·         Good soul food
  • ·         Creating open communities and deeper connections
  • ·         Chasing the adventure

Try listing out at least 6-8 business values that help you make decisions. What would make someone want to work with you? What are you looking for in your clients?

Define your business and personal goals

Alright, let’s clarify that goals and values are not necessarily the same thing. Values are what we base our decisions on, the underlying foundation that sets up our decisions in life and business. Goals are objectives that we’d like to reach in life and business. To define our brand voice, it’s important to be clear on our goals within business and life, especially as small business owners, entrepreneurs, or side-hustlin’ divas! When we can define short-term and long-term goals for ourselves, and sharing it with our audience, we’re 1) putting it out into the universe! (here we go with the “woo-woo”!) and 2) it attracts clients and potential collaborators that share the same goals. What are a few of your business and personal goals?

Really, stop trying to “sell” while you’re typing

Remember those 80’s or 90’s commercials where you KNEW they were trying to sell to you? The ones I’m specifically thinking about are infomercials. Oh man, they are the worst! I feel like they’ve decided to force me to buy something, begging us for the sale, and sounding desperate. Y’all, this may be a personal thing, but I don’t want to look or sound desperate when I’m trying to sell. My brand is also not about selling. I’m guessing your brand isn’t about selling either. Your brand is about the values that you follow, the goals you’ve set, why you started this business in the first place, right?

I’m not saying don’t ASK for the sale, but that’s not our focus. Our focus is to create a strong brand that connects with our audience first, and then introducing our services that are designed to help them. Using the values, goals, and the soul-searching we did in the first steps will help us connect first with our brand and voice, and then selling is just another component of our brand.

 Photo credit: Laura Quintero Photography

Photo credit: Laura Quintero Photography

Think about the first thing you want people to think about when they think of your brand

This is when I see my clients become cluttered because they’ll start listing out at least 10 different attributes or adjectives they’d like their brand to be recognized for. I’m all about adding the extra into life, but this is where I love simplifying. Name the first THREE things you’d like your brand to be known for or associated with when someone interacts with your brand. Try and sit still, and really listen to what your gut says. The first three things that pop into your mind are what is going to guide you when you’re sharing content.

After you’ve established the main three things, feel free to list out other attributes that fall under each category. I’m sure you’ll begin to find a connection in all of them and similarities.

Identify what really pisses you off and what would you stand for

Social media sure looks curated and perfect. It seems like everyone is living their “best life” and doing all of the amazing things we wish we could do! Actually, everyone always looks so darn happy, right? Although social media is used to highlight some of our best moments, what I want to know is what really pisses you off, what do you stand for? What is the motivation that carries you through on tough days when you think you’re ready to quit? Weaving this into a brand’s story shows that this brand isn’t just here to look pretty, sell you things, and is just another online business. It stands for something bigger than itself and adds meaning to the business.

List 3 things that are non-negotiable in your life or business

This one is easy, what are 3 things that you would consider non-negotiable? If you need help brainstorming some ideas, these are three things that are non-negotiable for The Quirky Pineapple Studio:

  • Nothing takes away time from my sleep unless I’m celebrating something or having a heart to heart conversation.
  • Punctuality is NECESSARY!
  • Micromanagement is a hard no.

These three things may seem unimportant to share with your audience when harnessing our brand voices, but they play a HUGE factor in being transparent and honest. Sharing these bits here and there in your copy, social media posts, or even on video build respect for you and your brand, so that clients, collaborators, or other brands know what you’re not going to put up with!

Talk like your brand

Now that we’ve established the back-story and foundation to your brand’s voice, it’s time to start thinking about how to actually talk like your brand. Y’all might be thinking, isn’t it the same thing to just write out all the foundational pieces and keep it like that? Wrong! We’ve all got quirks and ways we say things. From where we were raised, the culture we grew up in, I’m sure you’ve got a way to say things that are unique to your personality! If you’re still going through this with a sheet of paper, let’s make a list of your go-to words and a few of your phrases for the following:

  • Hello
  • Goodbye
  • Your mantras
  • When you’re excited
  • When you’re frustrated
  • Your little quirks when you talk with your friends

Step out and dazzle, lady – you’re a fierce diva!

We’ve made it! Tying in everything that we went through in this post, and seeing how you can weave in parts of your story, values, non-negotiable, and what even pisses you off to create a brand voice is the next step! Use your words and your language to start writing out these pieces of your brand! The most important step is to take your voice, share it, and do it with confidence. My little tip is even when I feel “stupid” or “extra” for talking the way I do, is that I’ll be faking it ‘till I make it! Y’all were already dazzling to begin with, but now we’ve harnessed your brand’s voice to make it more concise and stronger.

A brand isn’t just about the beautiful logos, websites, or colors that you use. It’s the essence and feelings that it portrays. It’s how clients will feel after interacting with a brand, the experience they leave with, and the underlying and sometimes hidden motives behind it, that make it stand out and DAZZLE. These 9 steps help us hone in and harness our brand’s voice to confidently share it, but being consistent and vulnerable will help your client and audience recognize your content. THAT is strong branding!

Still struggling with harnessing your brand voice or need a little bit more confidence to share your entire story? Head to TheQuirkyPineapple.com to find more resources to hone in on your voice and create a strong community that converts into visibility and higher profits!

What’s the one step you’re struggling with most, to harness your brand voice? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author

Cassandra is a copywriter and brand/blog coach for the creative, fierce soul. She works with small businesses and entrepreneurs in the hospitality and tourism industry, to help them hone in on their voice and connect with their community to increase visibility and profits. You can usually find her frolicking through cobble-stoned streets, scouting out the best street food, or blogging at The Quirky Pineapple Studio. She believes that there is a fierce diva in everyone and is on a mission to make sure others harness their confidence!

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