What made creators such a big deal? Their voice. Their tone. Their personality.
They fulfilled the human need for empathetic relationships because they spoke with a real voice. Instead of listening to cut, copy, paste messaging of brands, people wanted to read, watch, and hear content with personality in it.
Think about it. Why do people follow Dolly Singh? Because we love the way she talks. Why do people love the travel duo Bruised Passports? Because their content has a special voice.
And that, my dear budding content creator, is your key to increasing organic reach. Claiming your own voice and tone. But first, you need to know about personal branding.
What does personal branding mean for a content creator?
The way you act in front of your followers is your personal branding. It’s everything that makes you, you, and unique. For lack of better words, it is “the practical expression of you.”
And how do content creators express themselves? With the voice and tone of their content.
If personality is a house, then the floral wallpaper, sheer white curtains, and fancy candles that dot the home are the voice and tone.
Here’s an example of Fenty’s Voice:
Roll call!! Who copped that new FENTY BEAUTY today and what’d y’all get?? ??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️
— FENTY BEAUTY (@fentybeauty) January 12, 2019
And an example of Estee Lauder’s Voice:
Whether you’re jetsetting ✈️ or turning heads at an evening soiree ?, NEW #DoubleWear Stay-in-Place Matte Powder Foundation is ready for any moment in your day. Find your perfect match now: https://t.co/ys4FxSoIQI #DoubleWearOrNothing pic.twitter.com/zmqalHohqY
— Estée Lauder (@EsteeLauder) January 16, 2019
How to build your voice and tone for better organic reach?
Each time you publish a blog, post a video, respond to a comment or connect with a follower, you exercise your brand voice and tone. And based on that, people build an impression of you.
The right voice gets you more engagement, just like the right aesthetics do.
What’s the difference between voice and tone?
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 by an adjective such as professional, lively, critical, snarky, positive, etc.
The tone is the flavour of your voice. It changes based on which social media channel you are on or what audience you’re speaking to.
Example 1 of tone:
Are you ? all the info ? DYT drops on the blog?
Example 2 of tone :
Head over to the DYT blog page for some more expert advice on how to be a better creator.
Both examples say the same thing in a casual voice, but their tones are poles apart.
What to keep in mind when establishing your creator 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.
Tips for creators to find a unique 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 repeatedly. 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 followers.
- If you are new to content creation and unsure of your voice, then craft meaningful stories. When you tell a story, especially a true one, you are impassioned, and your voice and tone rise to the surface automatically. Make a note of it and then continue utilising 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 a food creator’s IG 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.
More creator tricks to building personal branding
Your audience will judge you on how you speak to them. It makes using your voice and tone in the correct manner imperative.
- The majority of social media users choose to follow creators on two factors
- How does their content feel?
- How kosher do they sound?
Ergo, be authentic. When you are 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 utilise 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 followers. To engage with them, include a meme, GIF, or emoji in your interactions once in a while.
Building personal branding with voice & tone: one size doesn’t fit all
We’ve talked about why personal branding is fundamental to your organic reach. We’ve explained that your voice and tone make your personality. We’ve even spoken about 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. Be upbeat. Be sarcastic. Be bold. The only conditions are: listen to your followers, be authentic in your communication, and be consistent with your voice.