When developing a marketing campaign, we often develop a brand voice. Basically, this is a conscious effort to strategically design the way a brand will sound to their audience. For example, if the brand we are working with sells children’s toys, then we want the voice to sound youthful and vibrant. On the other hand, if the brand sells custom made WordPress plug-ins, then we might want the brand voice to sound knowledgeable and nerdy. It all depends on the kind the message you want to send and the audience you want to reach.
The same can be said when developing a personal brand. In my last blog, I talked at length about the importance of creating a logo when self branding, but it’s important to note that a logo is not a brand. It’s only the visual component of a complex strategy.
It’s not as simple as it sounds. Sure, it’s tempting to confuse “brand voice” with your actual, literal voice, but in a professional context it’s important to put a little more intent into your language. When developing a self brand, the updates and actions you make on your personal account will likely vary greatly when compared to those you use professionally. To illustrate, let’s take a look at a few of my personal social media assets.
Dave P: The Man
The above is a tweet sent through my personal Twitter account, where I announce my desire to eat frozen yogurt. Sure, it’s not a professional tweet, but it’s not meant to be. This is an example of how I use Twitter personally, to supplement my private life.
Now, take a look at a Facebook update I made earlier this week. It’s conversational, funny, and somewhat nonsensical. If I were to say this in a professional setting, during a meeting or in an interview, it would likely be met with little more than a blank stare. However, used on a personal asset, it’s met with “LIKES” and “lols.” It’s the perfect example of how I talk and who I am in a candid setting.
Dave P: The Brand
Above is a tweet posted to my professional Twitter account. The only difference between @Dave_Your_Fave and @JoeyCheatsDeath is that I post industry news and updates on the former and whatever I want on the latter. In other words: @Dave_Your_Fave has standards.
For the most part, I use LinkedIn as the branded version of Facebook. I interact very similarly on a practical level, though the theory behind those actions is very different. Where on Facebook I feel comfortable making jokes about cats and dogs, on LinkedIn I am more concerned with articles on marketing, social media, and publicity stunts.
For those assets I use personally, I speak in an informal tone and post, quite literally, anything I want. In those assets I use professionally, I post information that is true to my brand voice in a timely manner. I’m sure you’ve picked up by now that my personal brand is one that I use to position me as a thought leader on the topics of social media, marketing, digital advertising, and writing.
When developing your brand voice, first ask yourself what it is you want your audience to think of you. Do you want to be seen as a NASCAR expert? Make updates and seek out conversations based on track racing. It’s all about creating a perception.
To put it simply: you speak differently with your grandparents than you do your friends. That’s a fact. The same logic works for communicating personally and professionally. When determining your personal brand, figure out your brand voice first.
Join us next time when I discuss the importance of developing a brand story.
→ David Pemberton, Editor, Social Media, AREA203 Digital; follow… @Dave_Your_Fave