Finding Your Voice
Everyone has their own take on how to find your voice for blogging or creating marketing messages for your company. We all struggle when we first sit down to the keyboard, but the more you write or post, the sooner you’ll start to find your voice.
And we want to believe that we’re all different. Truth is, your writing style will fall under one of these categories:
This is the blogger who has been writing for years. They’ve built up their confidence and it’s clear that they know who they are. You can see their strong word choices when they share their credible and heavily researched information. Sometimes these voices lean a bit into the salesy side but their readers continue to share their posts, tweet out the information or pin their articles to Pinterest.
2. Fun and Friendly:
This style uses quotes along with their personal stories to connect with their readers. You can spot them immediately as they tend to write funny and encouraging posts. They have a vast knowledge of some kind of information and nothing pleases them more in this world than to share it with you.
This writer comes across like a business plan. They usually follow the crowd and write about what others in their industry are posting. Since they’re representing a corporate company, they rarely show their personality or personal opinions. They like to think of themselves as part of the team that keeps the big company moving forward.
These bloggers want to create a reaction. Their posts flow with 4-letter words to emphasize their point of view. They want to create controversy. They want you to send them a nasty comment so they can continue the debate. A word of caution – not too many people can pull this off properly and still be taken seriously.
This writer puts their life right out there for all to see. Their soft and soothing words seem more like personal therapy than trying to sell you something. They connect really well with others and they tend to create their own communities that become their online support system.
The Breakfast Club
When I did my research about the breakdown of writing styles, I knew this looked familiar. I’ve seen these five people before from the movie called The Breakfast Club.
The movie celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010. (Did that just make anyone else but me feel old?) For those of us raised in the 80’s, we can attest to the fact that the movie impacted our generation.
When the movie came out, I was struggling through my own teenage angst so these characters really hit home with me. It was one of the first movie moments where we saw teens treated like adults and not just some Disney-esque version of what kids would do if they all spent a Saturday in detention.
At the ripe old age of 17, I clearly remember feeling a solidarity when we all watched The Breakfast Club together at the theater. This movie represented our chance to show the world that teachers and adults were just seeing teens as how they wanted to and not for who we really were.
Let’s circle back around to finding our voice
When we think about finding our voice, we begin with this preconceived notion of who we think we should be. We think since we’re representing our company, we have to be reserved and just provide our readers with the many reasons why they should buy our stuff or pay for our services (like the Corporate blogger example above).
We think we should hold back with our true personality because who would want to read something written with someone’s inner weirdness?
But The Breakfast Club teaches us that’s not the case when we attempt to figure out our voice. At the end of the movie, we watch Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) “The Brain” as he writes the final essay the principal Mr. Vernon assigned them at the beginning of detention.
Each of the students was asked to write a paper detailing “who you think you are.” Instead of each student submitting his/her own essay, Brian writes one letter from all of them.
In the end, the final letter challenges Mr. Vernon’s distorted judgments that he has about all of the teens. When we compare the movie to finding our voice, we realize that each of us has something that makes our company unique and this uniqueness creates our own touchpoints with our readers (or potential customers).
I challenge you to read through Brian’s letter and think about his words as it relates to finding your voice.
Dear Mr. Vernon,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain …and an athlete …and a basket case …a princess …and a criminal. Does that answer your question? (Click here to tweet this)
Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
Maybe we should all be required to write an essay answering ‘who you think you are’ before we start to blog or create our company’s marketing message.
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Photo Credit: dance