I know this sounds obvious, but it's 1000% true—there is no one else like you.
Sure, there are plenty of photographers, therapists, interior designers, and coaches—lots of them.
They might even buy from the same brands, watch the same movies, and live in the same state.
But they don’t have what you’ve got.
The best way to stand out in your market? Discover and own your brand voice.
But first, let’s talk about Brand Voice and why it matters.
What is Brand Voice?
Brand Voice is the essence of your brand. It’s the feeling, the emotion, the personality that’s evoked when your audience hops on your website, scrolls your Instagram page, or steps into your shop.
Think of it like this: when you walk into a friend’s home after they’ve recently redecorated, there’s a feeling they’ve created. A feeling they have that they want to invite you into. It’s found in both the art hanging on the wall and in the feeling you get when they stand at your kitchen counter sipping a homemade margarita from your favorite cookbook.
Yes, brand voice is represented in the tone words we use to describe your brand: friendly, professional, trustworthy, and conversational.
But it’s also about the head and heart work that helps you arrive there.
When you intentionally decorate or design your home, you can’t slap some photos on your wall and expect your guests and visitors to experience the fullness of your home’s new aura. In the same way, you can’t build a brand on tone words alone.
How does Brand Voice relate to Brand Identity?
The work Meredith and her team do is far more than a logo (as you’ve probably read before!), and it’s for good reason.
Brand Voice development works in tandem with developing your Brand Identity.
The work Meredith and her team do empowers female entrepreneurs to get clear on the essentials so that the development of your brand is comprehensive and cohesive—and uniquely you. They understand brand-building better than anyone, and that’s evident from the questionnaire to the final asset delivery. Investing in Brand Identity adds depth to your company and increases your brand's reach.
A key element of that branding experience? Developing your brand’s voice.
Don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered.
3 ways to discover—and own—your Brand Voice:
Do the Head and Heart work: Audience Research and Your Brand To truly understand your Brand Voice, you need to first dig deep into the heart of your brand. Developing a full Brand Voice Guide can include a mission statement, tagline, brand story, audience personas, messaging hierarchy, and more. This is extensive, thoughtful work, but it can also be the difference between clearly speaking to the right audience and getting inquiries — or not. Really, you decide how extensive you want to get as you develop your Brand Voice.
Let’s make it practical: To maximize your time and energy (and still get results), start by thinking through and writing down answers to these questions:
Head Work: Audience Research
What are they afraid of? Concerned about?
Who do they trust?
Who do they NOT trust?
What do your customers already say they love about working with you? (Pull up your testimonials – those are SUPER helpful!)
What voice does your audience *need* to hear?
Heart Work: Your Brand
What are your core values as a business owner?
What part of your personality in real life do you want woven into your brand — even if you’re not the face of the brand?
When people talk about your company, how do you want them to describe you?
When your clients or customers are done working with you, what do you want their life or business to look like?
The answers to these questions get to the heart of your business and the people you serve.
2. Identify Brand Voice Mentors
In the same way you create a mood board to help orient the type of brand identity you’re going to create, start by identifying the voices you want to emulate.
This exercise is not about copying someone else's voice or becoming someone you're not. Rather, it's designed to get the gears turning in your head and help you think through the styles of voice you like or don't like.
Sidenote: I used to be a writing instructor, and modeling great writers is a research-based strategy to improve your voice!
Let’s make it practical: Open up your Notes app or create a spreadsheet and list the brands and companies whose voice you like and don’t like — and why. I’d encourage you to look outside of your industry as well. Check out bigger brands of companies you buy from, authors whose books you always recommend — any place with copy to devour.
Ask yourself: How do they engage in their emails? What do you like/dislike about their social presence? All of this work will help you identify one or two Brand Voice Mentors styles you want to make your own.
3. Pick a Voice Direction
Once you’ve identified your Brand Voice Mentors, it’s time to be clear on the direction you’re headed with your Brand Voice. To do this, review these broader tone words and pick ONE to lean into.
Professional vs. Conversational
Respectful vs. A little bit edgy
Serious vs. Light-hearted
(Note: You can mix and match these tone words!)
Let’s make it practical: Once you’ve picked a direction for the tone of voice, break it down a little further with:
Structure – The structure of the sentence and how you use tools or break rules. I.e., Do you follow standard grammar rules? Do you use emojis?
Word Choice – The words you choose based on your personality and your readers’ context. I.e., How academic or approachable is your word choice? What types of pop culture references match your audience?
BONUS TIP: Test it out!
One of the best (and hardest) ways to really develop your brand voice is to test it out in real-time. I suggest starting with email and social captions since those platforms have a bit more elbow room for you to test out content and see how it lands.
This is an excellent opportunity to use an AI tool like ChatGPT to help get your creative juices flowing as you personalize and humanize your voice.
Once you’ve tested it out, you’ll start refining your voice, knowing when to dial it up or down. Then, you can work on updating the website copy to match.
Remember—there will always be competition in your field and reasons to doubt your business, which is completely normal for an entrepreneur.
But the great brands — the ones that last — are really clear on the essentials: Brand Voice and Brand Identity. And they aren’t afraid to lean into it.
Take the time to develop and own your Brand Voice— even if it starts with brainstorming a list of your core values.
Any time you spend getting clearer on your brand identity is an investment you won't regret.
As a gift to you, I’ve put together a Brand Voice Brainstorm for you. This customizable Google Doc is a practical way to take you from confusion to clarity as you discover and own your brand’s voice.
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