Creating Your Voice

Creating Your Voice

Branding is a key element of your business.  Having the same colors, fonts, and copy across all channels you use for marketing helps people recognize what you’re doing and increase brand awareness.  It also allows you to let your personality shine and allow people to get to know you and identify with your brand.

So how do you create your unique voice?  By voice – we don’t just mean written or spoken word.  Remember, the content you generate should be where you’re most comfortable.  Maybe it’s a regular YouTube series or a Podcast.  Maybe you write a blog on a regular basis.  Maybe you go live on LinkedIn or Facebook.  Choosing the platform for your content that feels most comfortable for you will allow your voice to be more authentic.

Here are some tips to figure out how to create the voice for your brand or business.

Decide who or what is the face of your brand

Is the business owner the face of the brand?  Do you use the business as the face?  Or do you have a spokesperson, like an industry influencer or other personality that is the public image?

Knowing who is going to be the person the public associates with your brand will help you with creating the voice for your brand.

Who is your ideal customer?

Knowing who you talking to also defines your audience.  For example, digital marketing has a lot of technical terms and acronyms that people outside the industry might not understand.  Since my target market is small business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s important that I use language that is easily understood by marketing beginners.  On the flip side, if I was targeting VPs of Marketing at large organizations, I might want to use more technical terms to show my experience and level of knowledge.

This is also important in defining where you develop your content.  Knowing where your ideal customer spends time online can help you with prioritizing your content.

Casual vs Professional

I would argue that voice should always be professional.  But for the purposes of this comparison, it’s about a more relaxed style vs a more technical style.

Letting your personal style shine is definitely important.  And the level of professionalism varies from industry to industry.  Being authentic and being you is always a good thing.  But you want to make sure that the entire company is following the voice.  So creating several different canned responses for commonly asked questions for people on your team can help with getting everyone else on board with the same style.

Stay within the guidelines of your profession or industry

There are several regulated industries out there.  If you’re in finance, healthcare, fitness, nutrition or legal, then there are specific requirements for what you can and cannot say online.  There could be also requirements for how you have to track outgoing communications.  This is especially true of the financial world.

You definitely want to let your personality shine, but make sure you don’t get yourself into trouble!

Develop a language guide

Many people use different words for different things.  So it’s important that your business is consistent with the language it uses.  For example, in the guitar building industry, different people use “fingerboard” and “fretboard” to describe the same thing.

Create a word document with all the terms that are important to your business and what you want to use consistently to describe that particular item.  As with everything we write about, consistency is key.  So by using the same terms for things that are utilized in different areas of your marketing, you’ll limit confusion from your potential and current customers/clients.

Test

When you’re just starting out – test!  Many email servers allow for A/B testing of subject lines to see what people open.  Some websites allow you to create different versions of web pages to test out copy.  Divi, which is the builder we use, allows for that.  Post the same blog post on Facebook with two different types of copy.  You’ll learn quickly what your audience resonates with more.

While you want to be yourself, the idea is to drive sales and traffic.  Making sure your audience enjoys what you’re writing, recording etc is super important.

Conclusion

Creating your voice is just one part of branding.  But it’s a really important part because a strong voice that customers relate to will increase engagement and build a loyal following.

Take the time to think about how you want to come across and bring your team together to build a strong strategy that creates consistency.

How a Membership Program can Scale your Business

How a Membership Program can Scale your Business

Generating an opportunity for your business to create recurring income can be a great way to help grow your business.  Think about it, what if you knew you had your customers coming back every month and paying for your services.  There are so many membership opportunities for your business – it’s all about thinking outside the box and providing an experience your customers can’t live without!  It can also be a great way to incorporate your social media strategy and engagement in your business or dive traffic regularly to your physical location.

Let’s run through some examples.

Subscription Boxes

There are subscription boxes for EVERYTHING.  From makeup to meal prep to books business leaders should read.  Who doesn’t love to get a fun box in the mail once a week, month or even a quarter with great products they should try.  It’s better than only getting credit card offers and bills, right!?

The great thing about these is it generates income for you regularly but also gives your business an opportunity to upsell.  Here’s an example of how it could work in your marketing plan.  We’ll use skincare products as a generic example.

Step 1: Send out the boxes quarterly to all your customers with 5-7 samples of skincare products your business sells
Step 2: Over the course of the quarter, go Live on Facebook or do a series of Instagram stories showing how to demo the product and best ways to use them.
Step 3: Write blog posts detailing how to use them, or get the videos you created transcribed and post on your blog.
Step 4: Send out emails with links to your website where they can find the blogs.  Be sure to ask for reviews on the product in the emails.
Step 5: Run limited time offers for them to purchase the full-size versions of the product.

So as you can see, by creating the subscription box, you’ve also generated the featured product and stories that you need for your blog, social media and email communications with your customers!

This is also a great way to work with brands you carry in your store to build a relationship and leverage each other’s social channels.  Ipsy makeup bags do a great job of this.  Check out there website and social channels to see how they leverage all their products and upsell clients.

Build a Loyalty Program

Some examples of this you might take a look at the Barne’s and Noble subscription or Amazon prime.  You pay an annual fee to get discounts on products (or free shipping) in the future.

Think about what opportunities you have in your business to provide value to your customers.  Maybe it’s double points if you already have a point system.  It could be 10% off the product of your choice each month or a discount on every purchase.

Spas are successful with these.  They offer a monthly fee to their clients and with that, they get one service each month.  Additional features include a discount on a featured product that month or a limited number of extra services.  Some even include the opportunity to give a discount to a friend – bringing more people in the door.

VIP Program 

Once you have a program that is running well it might be time to increase your packages and add a VIP level for your best customers.  The sky is the limit here and you are only limited by your own creativity.  Insert the personality of your business and create an amazing experience for your VIPs.

Let’s go back to the makeup example.  Maybe VIPs get an extra product in their boxes.  Maybe monthly there is a product that is available only to them at a discount. It could be separate emails to them with videos straight from the founder of the product or special Q&A sessions.  Whatever would be enticing to your audience.

With the spa example – you might offer a free upgrade to a service each month.  Or a special event quarterly at your location where they can sample additional products.

Create a Membership Site with Behind the Scenes Goodies

Customers feel special when they have access to things that people don’t have.  Creating a special part of your website that only members can access creates a level of exclusivity.  It could also be a private Facebook group that you only get access to once you become a member. It is also a great way to educate your customers and create a loyal following.

Some examples include:

  • Behind the scenes information from the owner.
  • First access to new product.
  • Opportunity to give feedback or see items before they are completed.
  • More training on how to utilize the products/services.
  • Exclusive access to events.

At AH & E Marketing Solutions we have two membership programs that are educationally focused.  The Simple Group Coaching programs offer weekly training and a community for business owners wanting to learn more about Social Media or Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  While we provide free training, through our blog, email and Facebook live training, we go more in-depth and provide individualized solutions to those that are our members.

Conclusion

Creating memberships can be a great way to build loyalty with your customers, provide value and generate recurring income for your business.  It’s really a win for all parties involved.  These programs can be as unique as your business personality is.  Don’t be afraid to let it shine!

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