Finding your voice online

The internet is one big noisy mess. It’s so easy to get lost.

On social media everyone is competing for the next client – inspirational quotes are being shared all over the place, blog articles are being pushed out full of ‘key terms’ to increase Google rankings (and make little sense to real people), ecourses for this, ebooks for that. Generally it’s tough to get any traction because everyone right now wants the dream lifestyle business.

So how do you stand out?

In the sea of ‘sameys’, you know what everyone else doesn’t have that is unique to you? Your voice.

Whilst people can try to emulate your voice, no one shares your quirks, humour, ideas, loves, likes, hates, knowledge and experiences.

I know it’s hard to know how to use it for your business, so here are my tips on how to find your voice:

Let go of the fear

First one is a biggy, that horrible F word that we all hate. We all have it. Fear. Most people get so stuck on this and think that speaking their truth is the hardest thing in the world to do. They are scared of putting themselves out there for fear of who is watching, who is taking score, what will “so and so” think of you. You know what, those fears are totally unwarranted. I hate to break it to you, but those people actually don’t care.

Be real

Just be you. I always tell my clients to pretend you’re at a BBQ talking to a new friend who is fascinated by what you do, but also doesn’t fully understand it. You wouldn’t use industry jargon, you wouldn’t speak like a robot, you wouldn’t throw them a sales pitch right off the bat. So write like you would speak, like a real person.

Be personal

Now I am not telling you to give away your home address, but people like being able to relate. So thread some of your personal experiences through your content to keep it real. Some common themes that get engagement for me is my ability to turn hangry (hungry+angry) at a moments notice, my love of gardening and my Beagle Lucy. Whilst these have absolutely nothing to do with what I do as an online business strategist, they make me a real person. Not some nerdy faceless being tapping away behind the screen. I cannot count the amount of times that people have emailed me and said they really want to work with me because something about my personality or life resonated with them.

Tell stories

Stories are the new quote image. People love it, people love being able to relate and in a noisy space, people are seeking that connection. Think back to your childhood and story time, do you remember hating story time? Do you remember how it brought people together? That’s the basic concept.

You just have to look at the success of the Facebook page Humans of New York to see how effective a simple story can be, how engaging, inspirational, motivational and sharable.

So get creative with it, bring relatable concepts of your business into a story format. Make it fun, make it inspirational, but most importantly make it you!

Be patient

Finding your voice is definitely a process. It took me a long time to get the courage to just be me, and not try to be something bigger than that, so allow your self that space to move into it.

In the words of Rachel Hunter, if it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Test what works with your audience, don’t force it, ease into it and find your groove. Allow your voice to evolve over time.

The way you communicate online is a very powerful thing. There are more people watching than what you actually think, and the feeling when someone contacts you wanting to work with you saying “they’ve been watching you for a while” is quite satisfying (after you get over the stalker-ish part).