The Frustrating Myth of Developing a Better Voice
Being a business owner in today’s world doesn’t just involve spreadsheets and keeping track of inventory. As a creative entrepreneur, you also have to pump out a STUPID amount of content.
Who knew EVERY business owner had to be a writer? All the while, you got into your photography business because you are obsessed with capturing beauty, you got into design because you are a wiz with how things fit together to tell a visual story, but maybe you didn’t realize JUST how many words you were going to need to generate in the process.
Images draw people in, but communicating the right story will keep them around.
Oh, and your storytelling needs to actually SOUND like YOU, too. No biggie, right?
So, do you feel like you’re stuck trying to develop a voice that’s a healthy balance between personality to attract and authority to provide value?
Trust me, you’re not alone.
BUT, here’s the most frustrating myth that’s going around: You just need to give yourself time to develop your voice!
They make it seem like something you construct, something you build based on what you want to sound like. But that leaves you paralyzed feeling like Noah from The Notebook is badgering you.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SOUND LIKE?
It’s not that simple!
Take a deep breath while I spit the truth in the face of that lie.
You can't BUILD a true voice, you have to FIND it.
Stop trying to craft something when all you have to do is dig beneath the ground where you stand.
NEWSFLASH: Everything has probably already been said, but it hasn’t been said by you.
“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.”
WAIT… I have to be me? I didn’t sign up for that.
Tough love time.
Becoming the trusted friend and GO-TO for your audience only comes from showing up as YOU. Again and again.
Three Different Ways to Dig for Your Voice:
Ask people who know you (PROBABLY too well). The whole “ask friends and family” tactic may seem a little too obvious. But they hear you talk more than you do! Unless you spend hours listening to yourself talk. (We may have more pressing problems, if that’s the case.) Ask them what phrases or expressions you say ALL THE TIME. Then, weave these signature words and phrases throughout your communications of all kinds. Yes, it will make it SOUND like you, but it will also make it FEEL like you.
Go back through whatever form of communication gets the real you. I’m talkin’ text messages, voice messages, Marco Polo’s to your bestie, that kind of stuff. I don’t censor myself in my daily chats with my best friend, when I text my mom, or when I call my husband to tell him something exciting. Be a student of what comes naturally to you. For example, when I’m excited for my friend, I always say, “I’m so pumped for you!” I also use all caps to emphasize importance because SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO YELL FOR PEOPLE TO HEAR YOU, OKAY?! I infuse that voice into my Instagram captions, blog posts, emails, and even my services page + button copy!
What would you want to hear (or NOT want to hear) if someone was speaking directly to you? We’ve all heard it. That one phrase that makes you cringe and instantly signals that someone is trying to sell to you. Everyone has different triggers like this, but noticing your own is a good place to start. For me, it’s things that sound infomercial-tastic: “Have you ever…, look no further!” Sometimes we focus on GRABBING ATTENTION instead of appealing to emotions. I want someone to make me feel seen, known, heard, loved, so that’s where I always try to start. Grab their attention with not only something they will notice, but something that will keep them reading, something they care about.
It takes intentionality and maybe a little extra time to write some things down, but if it unearths your actual voice, isn’t it a worthy effort?
You have three to choose from! Pick one of the methods above and do some digging! THEN, actually weave some of that into your copy on social media. Social is the most low-risk testing avenue. See how it works, and see how you feel when you write it. If words like natural, effortless, totally me come to mind, oh-my-goodness-it’s-working!
I would love to hear what you uncover in the comments or tag me over on Instagram (@jessjordana) so I can cheer you on!