You’ve created a great product or perfected a stellar service offering. You are excited about it. You know that people’s lives will be made better by it.
The only problem is people don’t know about it.
So how do you bridge the gap between the consumer and your product? Well, a few things: You need a marketing plan and marketing materials, and...you have to tell people about it.
Seems pretty simple, right? Great product. Consumers who need it. Tell them about it and they’ll buy it...well, maybe. It also matters how you tell them about it. That’s what we are going to discuss today.
Have you ever noticed that some websites sound like they were written by your college professor and some sound like your cool best friend? The types of words we use, the way we lay out the words, and the vocabulary in our writing all make up its voice. When we take all these components and make them uniform across all writing and platforms of a brand, this is called brand voice.
Remember that great product or service we talked about? Let’s say your product is a lotion, but it’s not just any lotion. It’s an anti-aging lotion. You have decided your audience is middle-aged women. You will need to establish a brand voice that will speak to this audience. This is likely different from a brand voice that is speaking to senior citizens in Miami or teeneagers interested in music.
Why does it matter how your brand sounds? Brand voice helps you to reach and engage your audience. Let’s discuss a few reason brand voice adds value:
It sets you apart
Any Jo Schmo could create a product. What makes a brand stand out is the ability to differentiate themselves. A brand voice does just that. It makes you sound unique and adds personality to your product. We don’t just want to know about a product, we want to know why it’s different. Brand voice establishes a difference.
It builds a connection with your audience
You should have a specific audience in mind when marketing your product or service. Your anti-aging cream isn’t for everyone and that’s OK. You have a specific group of people in mind who need this anti-aging cream. You need to connect with this specific group of people.
Your middle-aged female audience probably won’t connect as well with a knowledgeable dermatologist as they will with a matter-of-fact but cheeky girlfriend. Think about how you imagine both of these people speak and communicate. When you translate their “isms” into writing for your business, you are using brand voice. You want to write with a voice that connects with your audience.
It establishes authority
Your audience wants to know that your lotion brand knows its stuff. You can tell your audience that you know what you are talking about by the way you talk to them.
If we use the matter-of-fact but cheeky girlfriend as an example, the “matter-of-fact” is what matters for authority. If the girlfriend is only cheeky, we can’t be certain that the product is more than just fun. The “matter-of-fact” part of your brand voice means you are communicating the facts and knowledge of the product. This helps your audience to trust you as not only a friend, but a friend that will tell it to them straight.
Your brand voice is an important tool for communicating with your audience. Every brand has a unique personality and approach. Make sure your audience is clear on your personality.
Need help establishing your brand voice? Let’s talk.
My work is all kinds of all over the place. I have two part-time jobs. I am a freelance writer. I run my own copywriting business. I write a blog for fun. I also partner with my husband to take care of our home, cars, and meals.
I love the variety and freedom that this combination of things brings to my life. But, there are definitely systems and structures that I use to stay on top of it all. Probably the very most important structure in my life is my to-do list.
I am an unapologetic (and sometimes obsessive) to-do list maker. My typical day starts with a to-do list and I use this structure to build my day. This structure works for me and I love it.
And also, my to-do list doesn’t always work...sometimes the organization that my list normally brings to my day is nowhere to be found. Some days, I sit down and make the list just the same way that I do all the other days and then I just can’t find the motivation to get the things done. Some evenings, I find that I have had to refine my list several times because I avoided and procrastinated and simply didn’t do the things I should have done.
On these days, I have to find extra grace for myself. You see, on a typical day checking things off the list brings me a sense of accomplishment, pride, and success. Those things aren’t inherently bad feelings, but on the days when the list isn’t working I have to remind myself of a few things.
I am not what I do
The work I do has the power to bring me fulfillment, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I can certainly take that too far. If I let my work and the things I check off of my to-do list run my life, I am letting them control me.
When I feel discouraged and not good enough because my list isn’t complete, then I need to take a step back and remember that the to-do list is just a tool and not my barometer of self-worth. This is something I need to know and remember all days, but on a day when I am struggling to complete the list, it is especially important.
Some days the odds (and emotions) are against me
Do you ever feel like no matter what your intentions are, you just can’t seem to find a single ounce of motivation? I know how you feel.
We have highs and lows in emotions and I need to remember to pay attention to that. If I had a rough week, my emotions might be heavy, and it’s ok to take some time to process that, even if it takes away from my work. If I am mentally and emotionally healthy, I will do better work going forward.
There’s always another day
Tomorrow is always a new day. That is the beautiful thing about tomorrow. Even if I get to the end of my day and not a single thing is crossed off of my list, I always have a chance to try again tomorrow.
Sometimes I just need to let a bad day be bad, knowing that tomorrow always brings a new beginning. As my girl Annie once sang, “...the sun’ll come out tomorrow…” This is always true - maybe not literally - but a new day is always on its way and it brings the hope of doing better next time.
Have a dance party anyway
We should certainly celebrate the big accomplishments and milestones (I’m a big believer in celebrating), but I think we could all use a little more celebrating even if we don’t feel like we’ve done anything noteworthy.
Being alive is worth celebrating.
These precious days are worth celebrating.
Having a to-do list to fail miserably at is worth celebrating.
And, dancing just makes everything better.
So on a day when your list seems like a discouragement, pull out your favorite tunes and start grooving. I’ll be over here spinning The Supremes and dancing alone in my living room.
Recently, I introduced both my husband and his little sister to the charming little film called 13 Going on 30. This movie comes from an era of cheesy rom-com’s with predictable plot lines. These films aren’t usually heralded for their Oscar-winning screenwriting or for the most imaginative storylines.
But here’s the thing, most of us like to watch a wholly predictable and wonderfully cheesy rom-com every once in a while. They comfort us and bring us joy and show us that things like true love are true and the things that we don’t think could ever happen sometimes do. These films help us to believe in everyday magic. Now let’s scoot past some of the misogyny and lack of female independence some of these movies peddle. (I’m not saying these things are good, I’m just saying for the sake of my argument, let’s ignore them for now.)
Let’s get back to that everyday magic because I think it is important and valuable and we should all look for those everyday magic moments of hope. Like me, you may have noticed that the era of the rom-com seems to be over. It used to be that every season a new rom-com would hit theaters and we would all head out on a Friday night with our girlfriends or obliging significant other and have an evening filled with simple joy.
These days, it seems new and modern rom-coms are few and far between. This dawned on me that recent night when watching 13 Going on 30. I’ve heard and read all the reasons that we don’t have many of these types of movies anymore. I know that they perpetuate the idea that women are helpless without a man. I know that they often portray women as weak, and I totally don’t think this is okay.
But, here’s the truth: we need movies that make us hope and sometimes help us to believe the unbelievable. We need art that reminds that there is good and hope and imagination in our lives.
I see that we are making more well-rounded films. I see that gaps in the movie industry are being filled and that is good, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring back something that is lacking.
When something like a rom-com enters our lives, we are reminded of not only the hope there is in love, but also of hope in general. A rom-com is often cheesy and many times the goings-on inside of them don’t make a lot of sense, but at the core is a story that teaches us to hope.
Predictable stories can be boring, but if they are created well, predictable stories can be just what we need to be inspired. We need to see a girl down on her luck unexpectedly fall in love and then encounter a problem, only to live happily ever after. We all know the movie version of happily ever after doesn’t exist in real life. I think we can all recognize that real life can’t be fully and accurately portrayed in a 2-hour movie.
But, the cheesy movie happily ever after has the power to teach us to seek out our own fuller and wilder and messier real-life happy endings. It reignites the lost hope we have in our hearts. It gives us this new perspective on things in our real lives that might seem hopeless.
So, I for one, am calling for a resurgence of the rom-com. I need that kind of idealistic hope to inspire and remind me of the bigger, fuller hope I have in my real life. Maybe we need to make a few revisions to rom-com rhetoric, but I think we all would be better off if we had a few more rom-com’s in our lives.
What about you? Do rom-com’s bring you hope?
Hi, I'm Emma!
A Maryland girl who moved to Washington state seeking adventure, I adore writing and delight in sharing my favorite things. I celebrate whimsy and you can find me doing a happy dance when something really strikes my fancy.