As I mentioned last week, this first answer to this question is:
Don’t be someone you’re not.
Show the world who you are. If you’re one person, don’t act like you’re a big corporation. There’s nothing worse for me, when I’m drilling down and trying to discover who’s responsible for a website I’m looking at, and I discover that no one is taking responsibility.
It’s all “we, we we.” We do this and we do that.
The person in charge is never mentioned. Yikes. I want to know where the buck stops. Who’s in charge here?
How do you know who you are?
This is a legitimate question many people have. They really don’t know. It’s not, of course, who are you, as in, “Do you have amnesia? What’s your name?”
No, it’s asking, who do you relate to, who would like what you write, who’d be attracted to your information. Because we often are writing to and selling to people just like us, or just like who we used to be.
So that question, “Who are you?” is quite legitimate.
And how do you discover that?
First, decide who you do want to reach. Spend a lot of time pinpointing your ideal customer or client. Give her or him a name, age, place of residence, description of home type, marital situation, kids or no kids, political persuasion, income, even a name.
Just looking at this alone will tell you a lot about who you’re appealing to. Is that or was that you?
Spend some more time writing what you want to accomplish with your work with that ideal client. And, most important, how you’ll do it. Will you do it in person, on Skype, through downloadable programs? Will you be deeply thoughtful or happy-go-lucky? What’s the tack you want to take when imparting your knowledge?
Practice writing in this persona, in this vein. The happy-go-lucky one or the mysterious one, the snarky one or the funny one. Which feels most like you? Try out different personas and note which feel weird, awkward or pretentious. Note which feel comfortable, fun and you.
I think you just found yourself.
The next thing is to claim that voice, write in that voice, let that voice speak in all your messages—on your business card through design and color, and on all of your designed pieces. Your website, your letterhead, your worksheets.
Write everything—your blog posts, your emails, your articles, your advertisements, your profiles in social media and even your email signatures—in that voice.
You might feel like it’s an exaggeration of you, or you might feel it’s you for the first time and you love it.
When you find your voice, your real “you” and you begin to feel comfortable in it, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to do. You’ll also begin to really connect with people, like you never have before.
People aren’t dumb. They can spot it when you’re putting on pretenses. And they really don’t like it.
So be yourself at all times.
Here are some other ways to “be you.”
1. Write like you talk. This means using contractions. I can’t tell you how many writers produce work that reads like a formal English paper. This might get you A’s in school but it won’t get you A’s in marketing to people.
Readers like to read what sounds everyday and conversational. Its’ what they connect with. So use “I’ll” instead of “I will.” Use “you’re” instead of “you are.”
Which sounds better: I will tell you what I think you will want to hear.
Or, I’ll tell you what I think you’ll want to hear.
When in doubt, read it out loud. That’ll give you tons of direction about what to write and what not to write. If it sounds awkward, it’ll read awkward.
2. Tell people what you think they need to hear and what you’ve asked them and they told you they want to hear. But don’t tell them what you think they want to hear. Nobody wants to read what others think they want to hear. That’s kind of patronizing.
You might believe that telling a reader what you think they need to hear is patronizing, but that’s far from the truth. If you have knowledge and you think they need to hear that, you’re helping them by informing them.
3. Always tell the truth. Don’t exaggerate. I hope you’re an honest person. I think you are. So don’t write things that aren’t true. Don’t promise results that can’t possibly happen. Don’t tell people your work includes something if it really doesn’t.
Your readers, your clients and customers, will love you big-time if you’re honest with them. It’s one of “the big three” factors—know, like and trust—that are necessary if you want to have loyal clients and customers. Give them a lot to trust you for.
Here’s some extra help for you.
Be part of Be Heard + Be Hired: The Online Summit for Entrepreneurs
It’s a 3-day event with experts in all the areas mentioned in this article.
But listen: this online summit is changing the way people do summits! The presentations will be short!
Be Heard + Be Hired presenters time will be 25 minutes each—but they’ll still cover a ton of information.
To find out more go here: Be Heard + Be Hired
Then tell me how you’ve found your voice in the reply section below. Go on, now. Don’t be shy.