We can help you to uncover your brand identity so you can articulate and resonate with your audience using authentic communication strategies. Below is a helpful article written by the Collaborator, to guide you through what branding is and what you should be looking to achieve.
Voice | Tone | Brand
Your voice is your brand personality. The tone you use when you articulate acts as the specific flavour given to that voice. Increasing the visibility of your social media platforms and other forms of digital marketing is important, because it increases awareness of your brand. Conversation and engagement with your voice and tone is more likely to convert leads and ensure the right traffic is reaching your website. For example you may have many followers on twitter who like, share or retweet your tweets on a regular basis. That shows that they have identified with your brand.
This does not necessarily mean that they are engaging with you. To increase real engagement and conversion you need to strengthen your voice and tone, to encourage them to click through to your website or read your LinkedIn newsletter. You need to capitalise on the main reasons why a client might visit your website. These include wanting to get more information about you such as finding out more about the dispute resolution services that you provide or reading testimonials.
Clients may want to make an enquiry about your dispute resolution services, find a way to contact you to check your availability to mediate or check what your fees are for your services. Whichever reason it is, by engaging in this way the client acts as an advocate for your brand which will increase your market share. That is why voice and tone are so important.
Who is the person behind the brand?
Jay Baer of Convince and Convert talks about how to cultivate a voice that delights your clients. Delighted clients talk positively about your brand thereby essentially creating new content. That content reaches other clients and prospective clients, delivering your brand message for you. Baer explains that the key to giving voice to your content is, ‘Don’t just give your customers something to talk about, give them somebody to talk about.’
Tone and voice humanise your brand and promote a more natural conversation. In other words, put a face onto your brand and let your real personality shine through. People often want connection, not information. Your tone of voice comes across in your emails, your website, your social media messages and your overall branding.
How to be heard
Connect with your audience by getting your message across loud and clear. What does your dispute resolution business do? What are your core strengths ie. Do you mediate a certain type of dispute? What makes you stand out as a negotiator compared to others that your audience might look at? Your individual qualities are what makes you stand out as a coach or trainer and forms the basis of your voice. Develop your personal brand and give thought to who it is you are trying to connect with. Whose attention are you trying to get?
Communicate by listening first. We have covered the principles of social listening elsewhere and so know how important these principles are. Hootsuite talks of social listening giv[ing] brands an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations about them on social media. It’s a crucial component of audience research. Using principles of social listening, practice observing your community. How do they converse with one another? Recognise and pay close attention to this. You can then take part in that conversation and begin to engage meaningfully with them.
Choose your words carefully
Meaningful engagement is the key. One meaningful interaction will build your brand more than say 100 likes, that come to nothing more than that. Think about your own personal style. There is no point in trying to be someone you are not. People will see straight through that and know immediately if you are not being authentic. Use your personality to tell your story.
Build on this communication and transform it into collaboration. Think about what you can add to the conversation. How can you inject your personality and your authenticity into the discussion? Share your experiences to further dialogues. Use your personality to help your voice be heard. Adapt your tone to reflect the situation and enhance debates.
Now you have developed your brand persona and your business purpose and projected your voice you can focus on honing your tone. Think of your tone as your vibe or aura. What feeling do you want to project? Of course your tone needs to change and adapt to each specific circumstance or situation. You need to gauge which tone is appropriate at the right time. To get that feeling across what language are you going to use?
As collaboration grows be thinking in the background about how you can use the collaboration to enhance your brand statement. What services do you have to offer that will benefit these potential clients? How can you, as a dispute resolution professional, solve their problems and/or meet their needs? What makes you different to all the other businesses on the market?
You are the brand and you have a USP! Some find it quite difficult to answer these questions or find it a challenge to reflect on themselves as a brand. If you are one of those people, try approaching it in a different way. Remind yourself why you are so passionate about what you do. Answering that question will lead you into deciding who exactly it is that you want to help and therefore who you want to be marketing your services to. You will be able to articulate to your audience why you feel you can meet their needs, far better than any other competitor can. You now have an authentic personal brand! Your audience will now feel like they know you because you have nurtured familiarity with your clients which has helped to build a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
To explore the general principles behind branding, voice and tone and to explore working examples and exercises to help you implement your strategy there is a fantastic article written by Harriet Cummings, Freelance Writer and Editor – in collaboration with distilled.net which is definitely worth a read.