Imagine you’re at a party with a mix of old chums and people you haven’t met.
Your buddy introduces you to the coolest woman.
“You two,” your buddy says, “should have a lot to talk about.”
Your new acquaintance smiles and shakes your hand as your buddy drifts off.
You like her immediately because she’s friendly, well-read, and well-traveled. She also shares several of your interests.
From everything your buddy told you, this might just be your new BFF, so you tell her about yourself in the most factual, detailed way you can. You keep your voice low-key, monotone, and without dialect. You don’t want to come on too strong, so you skip the anecdotes and carefully remove all traces of personality from your words. You are sharing pure information.
Her eyes slide away from you, and her smile fades. Then she turns her face, and eventually her entire body, away from you as she scans the crowd for someone else to talk with instead.
Suddenly, she turns back to you with a smile that’s a little too bright, cuts you off mid-sentence with, “So nice to meet you.” and walks away.
Content is conversation at scale.
When you want to make friends with someone, you don’t drone on about yourself in a monotone hum. You make conversation by asking them about themselves. You talk about shared interests and let your dialect, experiences, and personality shine through.
Good content is like a good conversation. It’s engaging and focuses more on the consumer than on the creator.
Good content has a voice and a personality all its own. The significant difference is that instead of talking to one person, you’re speaking to many. Content is a conversation with your brand’s audience.
You are the secret sauce.
The world doesn’t need more content. We’re drowning in it, thank you very much. The problem is that the vast majority of it is mediocre.
It’s not bad, per se. It’s just forgettable—like a boring conversation.
What the world needs is good content. Content that resonates. It plants a flag in your psyche, and you find yourself thinking about it again a few days later—like an engaging conversation.
There are probably other people who do what you do. Other people may know what you know. And they’re creating content about it.
So how do you get your content to stand out from what they’re doing?
You use the one thing you have that they don’t. You! Your personality. Your experiences. Your values. Your voice.
Companies and solopreneurs are no different. Your company needs to have a distinct personality and voice. Your company’s personality may not sound exactly like yours. That’s why you need a brand guide that defines what the brand voice sounds like, so no matter who is creating content, it sounds authentic and consistent.
But isn’t that unprofessional?
I hear so many people say they’re afraid to create content that shows their personality because they don’t want to come off as unprofessional.
Bull dookie. You can be professional and still have a personality.
Content that focuses on being completely neutral and inoffensive to everyone is like that monologue I described from the party. It’s not interesting to anyone.
It’s helpful to get a clear picture of your target audience. Who do you truly want to do business with? What is important to them? What do they value? That is the only group you should worry about offending.
Suppose someone who does not fall into the description of your ideal customer is offended by your content. Good because they were never going to be a great customer for you anyhow. If your brand’s personality turns someone off, any attempts to sell to them would be a waste of time.
Showing personality in conversation is how you find friends. Showing personality in content is how you find community. When your community connects with you on a human level, they will be better customers. They may even become evangelists, going out and telling their community all about you.
Before you create one more piece of content, do two things.
- Think about your brand voice.
- Think about your ideal customers.
Here’s a list of questions to help you crystallize this in your mind.
- What interests them?
- What’s important to them?
- What do they value?
- And how can you help them?
Now create your content as though you’re having a conversation with your ideal customer. Make it the kind of conversation they’ll remember later.
Need help figuring out your brand voice or working it into your content? Give me a shout for a one-on-one consultation.