How To Find Your Voice and Stick With It
One of the most powerful and impactful things each of us possess is our voice. It gives life to the things we want. Speaking is just as powerful as writing and when it comes to blogging, finding and knowing your voice is super important. When I tried to blog a few years ago (yes, and I do mean try), I had no clue of what I was doing. I didn’t know my voice so I was not able to communicate my message in a clear and consistent way. Fast forward a few years and now I have no doubt of what my voice is and that makes it so much easier to communicate in an authentic way with my audience. It doesn’t matter if you have a business or not, your voice makes all the difference and set you and your business apart from others. I want to share with you why finding your voice is so important, how I found my voice, and why it’s so important to stick with it.
A Voice is Found and Not Developed
The great thing about using your voice in whatever it is you do is that you already have one. (yay!) That’s why I want to emphasize to you that it can not be developed. Now if you’re a singer, well, maybe. Your voice is how you communicate your message, your brand, your style, and your personality to your audience. There are so many people who want to have a platform, but have not taken the time to find their unique voice. Knowing your voice helps you figure out what your platform should be. For bloggers and authors, your writing voice must be unique to you. Using one of my favorite bloggers as an example, The Nectar Collective by Melyssa Griffin, her writing voice makes me think of a young woman who is energetic, extroverted, loves to have fun and she communicates in a fun, free-spirited kind of way. Her voice is similar to the audience she writes to.
Think about these 3 key elements to your voice is:
- Style - how use spell certain words, use grammar, fonts, and images.
- Personality - the feeling you want to resonate with your audience like perky, upbeat, or serious.
- Tone - how you use your voice to communicate to customers and let them experience you, your service or product before they decide to hire your or purchase your product.
You have to know the style, personality, and tone that feels true and authentic to you. Like minds tend to connect and it’s the same with your audience or client. Don’t try to develop your voice because you’re likely to miss the mark. Find it! No one knows your style and personality better than you do, so find out what that is and go with it. Don’t try to copy someone else’s voice just because they have the social media following or sales that you want. It takes time to build your audience and connecting with your readers using your own voice will help you get there. The best part is you’ll be connecting to the right audience and you won’t lose your voice because it’s yours!
How I Found My Voice
When I decided to relaunch my blog, I thought about the type of audience I wanted to have and how I would communicate to them. I thought about what was important to me and and my audience. The big thing for me was my faith. I can’t be the real me without it and so I knew that it had to be a part of my voice. As a preacher’s kid and now a Pastor’s wife (uuhhh, did you know that?) faith has always been the foundation of my life and everything that I do. Even in my business, my goals and desires for success are rooted in faith and not just in numbers. I wanted that to be a part of my voice because it was my faith and hard work that got me to where I am today.
Now I admit at the beginning, I questioned my voice and the option of writing about my faith because I wasn’t sure how I would tie it in with the rest of my blog topics and I thought it might disconnect me from my audience. I soon realized that my faith was the very thing that would help me make the connection I wanted to have. So I decided to go with what I knew felt right Instead of ignoring that very big important detail about my life and made it a part of my blog and business. I knew that doing that would make it easier and bring clarity to finding my ideal client. If someone were interested in my services, but didn’t want to hear anything about faith, then I would not be able to service them in the most authentic way I can. No I’m not overbearing, but my faith is the foundation of my coaching business, so if I ignored that key element, (my tone) then my voice would be superficial.
I love connecting with different types of people because it's a big part of what I do in my ministry, but when it comes to my business, attracting my ideal client is priority and my voice will help me find them. My blog voice is moderately conservative, introverted, yet personable, intentional, and passionate with a hint of care-free-ness. My personality is a lot more quirky, but when I'm focused and intentional, my voice is a bit more reserved.
Communicating with an authentic voice is the same as introducing yourself to someone on paper before they actually get the chance to meet you in person,
Find Your Voice and Stick With It
It’s easy to let something fade out if it’s not important to you or true to who you are. This goes back to finding your voice and not trying to develop it. Sticking with your own voice is so important because if you’re an avid reader, blogger, or speaker and you see all of the income reports, blog traffic reports, social media followings, public speaking engagements, and books published, you might slip into a voice that is not your own or begin to question your own voice. There is no right or wrong voice, it just has to be yours.
To-Do’s and Not To-Do's
- If you know that slang and broken english is not your style, then don’t use it. How you write should feel natural and not forced.
- If you have a style guide, then stick with it and avoid throwing in some awkward font or color that’s not consistent with your style.
- Communicate in a consistent manner that will provoke the same feeling that your audience loves you for and makes them want to come back for more.
- Don’t hide your personality, let it shine. Someone will appreciate you for it.
Remember your voice can influence your client’s overall experience. Check out this blog post from the Forrester about the customer experience. Whether you are in business or not, you are creating an experience for someone everyday and hopefully a delightful one. Even if you are not in business, you can still find your voice and let it be your signature or what I like to call the watermark of your life. You can add your personal touch to what you do and your friends and family will recognize it when they see it. It could be how you style your wardrobe, how you decorate your home, or simply how you communicate with others. Stick to what you know, be true, authentic, and don’t question your voice. You are your best you and your voice resonates the loudest it's unique to you.
How to Find Your Voice in 15 Minutes
- Pick a topic that you really enjoy and write about it without edits for 5 minutes. Repeat this step 2 more times for a total of 3. That way, you can really tap into what you are doing consistently.
- Read your note aloud to listen to yourself. Use a voice recorder or Soundcloud to hear yourself better.
- Think about what unique or personal touches that resonate with you that would like to be a part of your business or lifestyle.
Is there anything peculiar about your voice of did you ever experience a moment when you questioned your voice? What do you do to stay consistent and stick with your unique voice? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.