“Do you have a clear and confident online voice?”
Knowing your voice and then sharing your voice confidently online can feel scary and difficult. Maybe you find yourself asking questions like:
- How do I know what my voice is or what it should be?
- Why do I need a “voice?”
- Where do I start?
- Why does this even matter?
Let me share a quick but essential story with you. A few years ago, I hosted a two-day strategic communication workshop with the leadership team from a local church. On this day, I asked the group to write down five positive adjectives they wanted their church to be known for and five negative adjectives they did not want their church to be known for. I then asked them to gather in groups and “audit” their social media presence and website. Specifically, they were to look at their posts, engagement, and overall online communication. Was it lining up with the five positive or negative adjectives? To their shock and surprise, everything they were communicating online fell into the category of what they did not want to be known for, the negative adjectives.
This is why knowing your voice for communicating online is so important. If you don’t know your voice, you’re most likely communicating a message you never intended to convey. This is not only important for brands, but for you too!
What is voice? Voice is the personality behind an organization which is best described through adjectives. Every organization, church, business, and ministry has a voice, a personality, whether they realize it or not. And you too have a voice. Every time you communicate, whether through a social media post, email, website page, direct message, etc., you display a specific personality, a specific voice, and your audience is building a particular impression based on that voice. This is why it’s vitally important that there is clarity around your voice.
Think about it, do you want your voice to be:
How do you discover your voice for communicating online? Here are some specific steps and questions to think through:
- Who are you talking to? Take some time to think through the makeup of your audience. Who are they? Who are the people you are wanting to connect with and reach? Suppose your audience is primarily working moms who are leading in the marketplace. Your voice will differ from the person whose audience is predominantly empty nesters. As you think about your audience, ask yourself, what are their interests? What keeps them up at night? What do they care about? If you want to have a clear, confident voice, you have to know who you are communicating with.
- What do you believe and value? Think through your beliefs and values. Your values are the core beliefs that guide you in everything you do and communicate. Values help you determine what’s important and ultimately help you create that unique voice.
- How are you different? What do you do or provide that is different? What differentiates you? Is it your core offering? Is your viewpoint? What is unique about you?
- Discover your adjectives. Once you know your audience, your beliefs, values, and what differentiates you, it’s time to find your adjectives. Take time to work through this step and the three previous steps. Don’t rush it. Come up with a list of 10 adjectives that authentically describe who you are, and then bring it down to five. Once you’ve decided on your five, work hard to ensure all communication exemplifies those five positive adjectives. Also, find your five negative adjectives, the descriptive words you don’t want to be associated with. This is just as important too.
I promise you that once you get clear on your voice, you’ll find that your online communication is connecting with those specific people you have been called to influence, lead, and impact! And the added bonus is that you can confidently walk away from the computer screen knowing that what you communicated, is what you wanted to convey. It all begins with a clear voice!