December 18, 2019
People want to be heard. They want someone to listen and communicate in a manner that is not robotic. And that’s what established online influencers.
Influencers fulfilled the human need to have empathetic relationships rather than CTRL C + CTRL V dealings. They were people who spoke to their followers with a real voice.
Shorn of verbiage, it means the consumer demands more than a great product or service, they want an embodiment of personality.
Why are we harping about personality when the article is about tone + voice? Bear with us, digital native. We’ll get to it.
What’s Brand Personality?
The way you act in front of your audience is brand personality. It comprises of all the elements that establish your identity and makes you unique. For the lack of better words, it is “the practical expression of you.”
And how do you express yourself? With your voice and your tone which in turn becomes your brand tone and voice.
Think of personality as a house. Then the floral wallpaper, sheer white curtains and fancy candle that dot the home make your voice and tone.
Estee Lauder’s Voice:
How To Create Your Personal Brand Voice And Tone
Each time a creator publishes a blog, posts a video, responds to a comment or connects with a follower, they exercise their brand voice and tone. And based on it, people build an impression of you. The right voice gets you more engagement, just like right aesthetics do.
What’s The Difference Between Voice And Tone?
While creators tend to use the words interchangeably, they signify two different parts of a personal brand. Voice is the universe, and tone is a subset of it. If the voice is the words you use, then the tone is how you use them. Your voice always remains the same, but tones can differ.
Voice is your personality defined through an adjective such as professional, lively, critical, snarky, positive, etc.
Tone is the flavour of your voice. It can change based on elements such as channel, circumstance and audience. It includes the speed and rhythm with which you speak, and the jargons and -isms you utilize.
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Both examples say the same thing in a casual voice, but in tone are poles apart.
Tips On Finding Your Brand Voice And Tone
- Parroting another established content creator is not the way forward. Cultivate your own voice and tone. To do so:
- Make a list of adjectives (a massive one) that revolve around your personality. E.g. calm, bright, chirpy, peppy, informal, formal, fierce, faithful, delighted, clean, elegant.
- Weed it down to ten adjectives, the ones that mirror you the closest.
- Further shave it to 4.
- Now use those four adjectives ad nauseam. From the web page to the ‘Gram, from an email to a brand pitch, these adjectives should be seen or heard everywhere you connect with your audience.
- If you are new to content creation and unsure of your voice, then craft meaningful stories. When you tell a tale, a true one, you are impassioned, and your voice and tone rise to the surface seamlessly. Make a note of it and then continue utilizing it. Voicing an anecdote or using a real-life example works too.
- If you need inspiration, then step out of your field. For instance, a lifestyle blogger can browse through visual creators to search for voice and tone. Exploring beyond your immediate competition offers a fresh perspective and ensures that you don’t pick the same old phrases and colloquialisms.
2 Key To Your Tone And Voice:
- They should drive all your communications and interactions.
- They have to be consistent across all social networks. Offering a warm and familiar tone on Instagram and a cold, severe one on YouTube confuses followers. And no one is faster at clicking the unfollow button than a confused audience.
Tricks To A Better Brand Voice + Tone
Your audience will judge you on how you speak and interact with them. It makes using your voice and tone in the correct manner imperative.
- Did you know that the majority of social media users choose to follow a brand based on two factors a) How their content feels and b) How kosher they sound? Ergo, be authentic. When you are human, natural and utterly relatable in your voice, it forms a deeper bond with the follower.
- Don’t use jargon or slang just for the heck of it. If it feels forced and awkward, users will unfollow you. Can you imagine the Dalai Lama Instagramming from Dharmshala with #SpritiualGameOnPoint?
- Always change your tone when addressing different audiences. Think of how you talk to a 3-year-old kid and a 55-year-old person, for each person you utilize a different tonality. The same applies here.
- Using a great voice and tone to get traffic is nice. What’s nicer is a conversation with the reader. To engage your followers, include a meme, GIF, or emoji in your interactions once in a while. They inject some hilarity and drive responses.
Personal Brand Voice Or Tone: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
We’ve talked about why voice and tone are fundamental for your personal brand. We’ve explained the difference between the two. And we’ve illuminated how to find your voice.
There’s just one last question left to tackle. Which is the right voice to have? The answer is any and all. As long as your genuine personality shines through, everything works.
Be sassy like Wendy’s:
Or be upbeat like Starbucks:
The only conditions are: listen to your followers, be authentic in your communication and consistent with your voice.