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Brand voice …… That's what we're talk about today!! Okay – so you want to talk to people in a way that doesn’t sound like you have something lodged some where it shouldn’t be and you’re finding it kinda hard. I get it! I work with both corporate and small to medium businesses, so finding a brand voice that fits is not a given. The big boys (I get it, it’s not politically correct but just go with me on this, yeah?!) like to keep it proper. They like to sound like they are usually in a bored room (whoops) I mean boardroom somewhere delivering a formal presentation that may or may not have people scrolling through their phones within the first three minutes.

Now you don’t want to be that person!! (can you please put your phone down….unless you’re reading this post on your phone then, by all means – continue). When it comes to small businesses, usually (not always, but usually) the brand voice is the owner’s tone of voice.

1// So before we dive in, let’s start at the beginning – WHAT IS BRAND VOICE?

Google tells me that – “Brand voice is the purposeful, consistent expression of a brand through words and prose styles that engage and motivate. The personality of your brand is determined, in large measure, by the words you use and the sentences you write.”

You know when you read something a ‘business’ writes and it just speaks you? You get their sense of humour, you understand their tone and you appreciate the way they communicate with you? Well that my dear, is tone of voice. It’s how you speak to people through the written word and it provides an insight into you, your business, how you want to be seen and how you like to connect and communicate with people. Who would have thunk it? But yes, everything you write provides a felling. Sometimes it’s a good feeling and sometimes it’s a not so good feeling.

Now not all businesses will have the same tone of voice (duh!) because obviously everyone is different and the way we communicate is different. So working out, not only what works for you, but what also works for your clients and how you want them to feel, respond and receive your messages and information is really where you need to start.

I’ve recently had a number of clients who have struggled to define or develop their brand voice and so I thought this was a timely piece to write as we head into a new year. I always think it’s good to review things and make sure you’re “on brand” which basically means you’re not Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to the content you post – and voice is one of the most important things.


If I asked you to describe how you communicate and how you want to connect with your audience, what are three words you would use? For me in The Connection Exchange, I want our brand voice to :

1. Fun & Real – I love a laugh so it’s super important that some of our posts have a sense of humour, share things I think are funny and just be me – which can be daggy at times, fun for our reads but also honest. Life isn’t a highlight reel!
2. Helpful & Supportive – I’m a business coach and brand consultant so we need to provide helpful tips, respond and engage to and with our audience and support them to grow their business & brand too.
3. StorySeller – When it happened, why it happened, what she said, what was great, who was there, how you can be part of it next time -yay!

So write down three words that you think describe what you want your brand voice to do/say.

If you’re struggling with this then think about how would you normally speak to people?
What is your sense of humour if you’re planning on injecting some in? Do you have a certain way of expressing yourself that really resonates with your audience?

I know you’ve heard it before but people buy from people and it’s the people who I love online that I usually end up working with. It’ll be something they talk about, how they say it and what they’re about that really draws me to them. It’s their unique take on things. Remember your vibe attracts your tribe so don’t worry about trying to be for everyone. Create a brand that you love and the right people will find you! Be okay with being different – that’s what you want in the end. If you sound like everyone else then you’ll just blend in.

Tips & Tricks – When I write my subscribers newsletter or my Instagram posts, I write it to someone. So for example I’ll write “Hey (Sarah), how’s tricks? Are you ready for Christmas? I can’t believe we’ve got a week to go. Have you done all your shopping, because I sure haven’t?” Even though I may not be putting someone’s name in there – as I’m writing my captions or newsletters I’m writing it to one specific person.


I want you to picture yourself in a room full of your ideal clients. Got it? Think about how you’re saying hello, how’s you’re asking them questions or how you’re sharing what’s happening with you.

How do they want to be communicated with?

Now your brand voice obviously needs to be authentic to you and what you’re all about – but if you want to work with a certain type of business or customer then having a brand voice that is jarring for them is seriously not going to be doing you any favours. You have to be 100% true to yourself, and hopefully what is true to you will attract the clients you want to work with too, but this is where the difference may be.

If you’re an agency style business and you want a more serious tone of voice (for whatever reason) – maybe you’re working with larger corporates and they respond better to a brand voice that is more formal then that’s a conscious decision that you have to make.

Understand how they communicate. Which platforms are they on? For example your LinkedIn tone of voice may be slightly different to your Instagram one if you are focusing on different audiences. What do they need from you? What are they saying and how are they saying it? This isn’t about mimicking them, it’s about talking TO them in a way that they are going to respond to you.


One thing I've learnt after going out on my own is to learn from some of the best in the biz.  It's not about copying, it's about watching people who know their craft better than you do.  I've never been great when it comes to copy. I'm a bit of a typo queen (sad to say really), and have always been a big picture girl rather than down into the detail. So once I write something, it's like putting splinters under my nails for me to go back and proof read. I am learning to get better and I love reading and watching people who are awesome when it comes to copy writing – it really is an awesome skill to have.  So if words are your thing then more power to you I say!

Skin care brands nailing their brand voice

Frank Body & Go-to Skincare are two of my favourite brands online. Why? Because their sense of humour nails it for me every time.

Go-to skin care by Zoë Foster Blake is funny, silly and tongue in cheek. Just reading their product names and about page, you’ll quickly understand what I’m talking about.  (excerpt) “It was founded by Australian beauty editor and the author of Amazing Face, Zoë Foster Blake, (there she is there on the right, clearly thrilled to get her mug on the site) who has been in the beauty industry for 213 years, and is the result of years spent reviewing and using every kind of skin care product available, from supermarket to spa brands, and receiving invaluable feedback from women on what they like, don't like, and find utterly baffling about the products they use on their skin.”

To me it says – this is for the woman who just wants simple, easy, not too fancy, fun and accessible skincare. I’m not going to bamboozle you with all of the fancy beauty terms – if you want to get the makeup off your face then use our ‘Properly Clean’ or ‘Very useful face cream’ – love it! Simple and easy with bit of fun thrown in for good measure.

Frank body on the other hand use their #letsmefrank hashtag which gives you a clear idea that they don’t beat around the bush. These ladies are amazing when it comes to wordsmithing clever, funny and sassy word styling. They are speaking to a certain type of girl who like to (probably) play hard, look after herself but with not to much muss and fuss – “I make natural skincare for the days you don’t want to touch your legs & have them feel rougher than your last hangover.” Bahahaha – so good!

I asked Jade Warne from the Hipster mum – whose brand voice I love what her tips on finding your brand voice was, and here's what she said:

How does one define their brand voice?
Well, throw lizard’s gizzards and owl’s eyeballs into a pot and cook it all up with some good old fashion witchcraft of course!!


The best brand voices are as sweet and infectious as the perfect pop song. They’re a perfect balance of the simple and complex and, truth be told, you CANNOT engineer that sh*t.

What you CAN do is coax them to life, slowly and gently, by putting all the pieces in the right place… then standing back and letting the magic happen. That doesn’t mean you don’t work hard – and I mean LABOUR – to bring them forward. It just means that you can’t force it.

In her brilliant book ‘Big Magic’ Elizabeth Gilbert invites readers to “Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart” — and I can’t think of a better instructions.
I’m a visual and sound person. I’m a stylist rather than a creator; I’m not great at sitting in front of a blank page and crafting magnificence from nothing. But if I SEE or HEAR something, I’m very good at grabbing it with a big “GOTCHA”.

For the Hipster Mum brand voice, I use two constant sources of inspiration: Pinterest and AudioJungle. Pinterest is a visual library that constantly floods my eyes with colours, graphics, words, palettes that might be useful for my brand. Audiojungle does the same for sound. I visit these sites often and when I DO NOT need to. I squirrel away interesting bits and pieces so that when sh*t hits the fan and I need to articulate my brand voice in like 30 seconds, I can draw from them and I know exactly who I am.

In terms of defining my brand with words, this is the last thing I work on and think of. But if I have to, I have one guiding concept: “MAKE IT FUNNY OR FORGET IT”. Life is simply too short not to laugh at every opportunity.

Below is my brand blurb. You’ll probably find it quite useless, but you’ll remember it — which is the number one goal after all. WIN.


Hipster Mum is a writer, photographer and mum to six children both natural and adopted from all around the world. Oh wait! That last one's not her, it's Angelina Jolie… but it’s easy to get the two of them confused! @hipster_mum offers a p̶e̶s̶s̶i̶m̶i̶s̶t̶i̶c̶ realistic guide to parenting in style and features two parts dancing, one part cats plus a pinch of tacos! Check out Hipster Mum on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and say hello!

See what I mean – the woman has a brand voice all her own and I personally love the honesty, wit and creativity that Jade brings to my social feeds. You can also check out her awesome podcast interview over HERE. Go listen – it’s too good to miss!

I also asked the lovely Karen Hollenbach from Think Bespoke who is a content whizz for her thoughts:

I believe it is becoming increasingly important to bring yourself and what you stand for to the table in the context of your brand voice. While it is potentially quite confronting to do this, if you stay true to yourself, your values and your intentions for your business, then developing a clear brand voice can be an empowering experience.

When developing your brand voice, I encourage you to think about the elements you considered when you created your logo. Think about the colours you used and the elements that were important on the logo design. Why did you make these decisions? What were the factors you considered? If you were to re-design or refresh your logo, what would you change? Considering this will help develop a clearer brand voice. The more clearly you communicate what your brand stands for, how you can help and who you help, the more effective you will be in attracting the right type of client to your business.

While you can try to develop a distinct brand identity that is separate from your individual and professional identity (also known as you!) invariably they are related. This is especially the case if you are running a service based business and you are what you are selling.

But where do you start? Knowing the values of your brand are a key first step. What does your business stand for? What is your mission? Who do you serve? Taking the time to consider this will help start to develop your brand voice. The values you choose are likely to be related to your own values. For Think Bespoke our values are helpful, curious and thoughtful. Providing insight, acting with integrity and honesty are also critical elements.

My personal mission is to help people reach their full potential. How this translates to Think Bespoke is our mission to help you unlock your potential.

These values and our mission have a strong influence on Think Bespoke’s brand voice. We are helpful, our blogs are very ‘how to’ focussed, we get that LinkedIn is scary for some people who are not as active online. We are patient and work at the pace of our clients, breaking it down our insights into bite sized steps.

Knowing your ideal clients well is also a key component of defining your brand voice. T

Think Bespoke’s clients tend to be quiet and thoughtful game changers who work at a slower pace than some. They read a lot of books, are members of their local library and may also enjoy regular visits to their local art gallery. They work for themselves, a not for profit or an organisation that educates or helps their community.

Knowing this about our clients influences how we share our insights. The brand voice we use on Instagram and Facebook tends to be more light hearted and personable, whereas our brand voice on LinkedIn is slightly more instructive and educational. The reason we vary our brand voice on different platforms is because our clients are expecting a different tone or style, depending on what they are reading or watching. It’s still us, and we remain true to our values, but our content type and conversations in comments and messaging may be more casual on social media than LinkedIn, as an example.

As you consider your brand’s voice, I encourage you to stay true to your company’s mission, consider your top 5 values and always keep your ideal client and those you wish to influence in mind.

I love what Karen says about aligning your voice to your values.  It's not just about tone, it's about really embedding what you want to say and how you say it into everything you do! Thanks Karen & Jade – love your work!!

So these are just a few that I’m loving. I love how Smack Bang Design story tells, I love Cherie from The Digital Picnic – never miss her insta posts or stories and she’s definitely helped me chillax a bit on the tone of voice front. I know that coming from a corporate consulting background I have to unteach myself all the “therefore, thus, hither-there-unto’s” after writing business reports for the last 10 odd years.

Yes it’s okay to just be human and have fun. Yes it’s okay for your voice to be YOU. No you don’t have to be formal and sounds like all the other businesses.


If your brand was a person who would it be? Now I know the obvious answer that most people would give is – YOU but like I said, not every brand is going to be exactly the same as the business owner and that’s totally okay. Because my brand voice is me it’s easy to describe what I’m like, how I talk, what I like to talk about, what’s funny to me and what stories I think are important. My brand attracts my coaching clients and the women who are in our community and I love them – they are exactly the women who I want to be hanging out with when it comes to my business and what I do.

If on the other hand you’re a little shy and you need a persona to show up (seriously no judgement here – if Beyonce do it – so can you girlfriend!!) then you do what you need to do. Persona’s are not a new thing. For anyone who loves a bit of Beyonce, there’s the famous story that she’s actually really shy and so when she gets on stage, her persona Sasha Fierce – how awesome is that – takes over. Sasha Fierce is what you see on stage. It’s the attitude, the steely look, the booty grinding, goddess. So every time she gets on stage this persona is her performer to help her to deliver the best show she can. And it’s the same for you. Your persona can help you show up in a different way.

Create your brand persona. Who is she? What’ is she like? What is she here to do, say, be and how can you invoke her when you’re writing your copy and creating your online magic?

Personas are great if you have other people working on your copy and content. If you can describe who you’re brand person, tone and voice is then it make it a lot easier for them to be able to replicate it in the right way.

Word of warning. The only word of warning I would say is that if your brand personality online is completely different to your in person brand i.e. when people meet you, then it can feel a little disjointed. I can’t be big, bold and crazy online and then when people meet me I’m so different that they think I’m an impostor. So use persona’s wisely. Miss B can still carry it off when she’s in person even though she is shy, but she picks and chooses when she brings out Sasha Fierce.

So let’s recap shall we?

1 Understand what brand tone and voice is first of all
2 Know what you’re here to say
3 Know what your client need and want
4 learn from other brands – find the ones that really resonate with you
5 Persona it if you need to but, use them wisely as you want something that your audience can connect to and a brand voice that is true to you and your business.

So go forth and write with confidence and conviction knowing that you’ve nailed your brand tone and voice and that’s it everything you want it to be. Learn from other who are doing it well and keep practising. I know for a fact that my tone of voice has evolved over the years and I feel like I’m finally getting really comfortable not being so corporate any more. Just be you and the right people will follow!

How to Develop your own unique Brand Voice




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