Episode 227 - Featuring Lee Matthew Jackson
August 14, 2019
What is your brand voice and message? If you don’t know then neither to your potential clients. What helps you stand out from a crowded market place is a clear message that engages your ideal client.
Your messaging needs to appeal, have a hook and promote a response.
In this episode is share the main ingredients for developing your brand voice, and understanding what you should be talking about.
Who are you talking to
Note down the types of people you interact with.
Here is a helpful customer avatar template from Digital Marketer.
What is your brand voice?
Consider how you talk with your ideal client, what are those conversations like?
What are you talking about?
Brainstorm the following to help you create content for your site, marketing material and your conversations:
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Lee Matthew Jackson: Welcome to The Agency Trailblazer Podcast. This is your host Lee and on today’s show it is you and it is me. It’s another solo show. I am back from vacation and we decided to go up north of this time and stay near our family. So we rented a cottage with a hot tub, which was super nice and we hung out in a village called Kirby Lonsdale, which is up in Lancashire. I highly recommend you check that out if you are in the UK and just fancy a UK holiday, go and check out Kirby Lonsdale and the surrounding area. It is right next to the Lake District, which is just beautiful and there is so much to do around there. We actually spent a bit of time, twice actually in a place called Bowness or something along those lines and they have the Beatrix Potter Museum which is so immersive and magical. Even for me, a 37 year old getting to hang out in essentially Peter Rabbits world. It was a phenomenal experience and we went back twice because we loved it so much. Really, really good. Really recommend that.
Today is not about vacations, however Motivation Monday was. So go ahead and check out our YouTube channel and check out this week’s episode of Motivation Monday, which talks about why you should be taking a break. In fact it was because I took a break that the inspiration for this particular episode came about and I was ready to rock and roll this Monday, which it is right now. This is Monday to record and to talk to you all about your brand messaging and your voice. And let me just say something right now. Let me shock you because if you don’t know what your brand voice or your brand message is, then neither do your potential clients as a shocker, isn’t it?
If you don’t really know what your main message is, if you don’t know how you communicate to people, then your clients aren’t going to know your potential clients ain’t gonna know and you could be leaving money on the table. So I want to break all of this down for you. Let’s think about the marketplace. Right now there are literally hundreds upon thousands of web designers of developers out there. There are WordPress specialists, there are SEO specialists. Everybody knows somebody that builds websites or supports websites in some sort of way. Everybody knows a designer etc, and frankly it’s really hard. Sometimes it can even feel like a race to the bottom. Yet you’ve heard me talk so many times about the importance of niching, of having something particularly that you do for clients and for a certain set of clients, may be having an industry, a productized niche. Go ahead, check out agencytrailblazer.com/podcast type in the word niche and you’ll see plenty of episodes on the importance of having some sort of a niche. Now, within that niche though, it’s also important to have a voice and have a very clear message. If you want to stand out from a crowded marketplace, then you need to have a unique voice that represents you and it also engages your ideal client. So let’s unpack this in a little bit more detail.
First of all, I want you to remember that throughout all of this, your messaging needs to appeal. It needs to have a hook and it needs to promote a response. If you’re going to be able to create a message that has that appeal, has that hook and promotes a response, then you’re going to need to know three key ingredients. Number one, who you talking to. Number two, what is that brand voice? And number three, what are you talking about? So let’s look at this. Who are you talking to? So this is the point in the episode where I would encourage you to grab a piece of paper. Not if you’re driving, holy moly, if you’re driving, just listen and then kind of like re-listen after you’ve pulled over. If it is safe to do so, I encourage you right now, go ahead and grab some paper and a pen or open up on your computer, a notepad so that you can actually write some of these things down. Now the first thing is it’s important you know who you are talking to. So I would encourage you, go ahead, make a list of the different types of people that you interact with. Again, this needs to be fed by you already understanding who your target audience is, who are your clients.
So have a think, who are the people that you are interacting with on a daily basis. That means not just I am interacting with people in the finance sector as an example, we’re actually making a list of the types of job roles of those people that we’re interacting with as well. So it could be that you are interacting with the financial directors of marketing agencies or something. So we’re getting very specific with the different types of people and the roles that they have within those companies that we’re interacting with on a daily basis. Let’s look at the events industry. For example, I work in the events industry. I’m very often speaking to the marketing managers within big event organising companies. So this is not necessarily people who are organising the event necessarily. This is actually the people who are responsible for marketing all of the different events. So the language and the things that I’m talking about with them, is going to be very different to if I was talking to the people who actually organise the events. So who am I talking to, what sort of language will they be reacting to, etc.
Now once we have that list essentially of I guess job titles or positions, etc, we can now start to look at the types of people that we are interacting with those job roles. So I would take a look at all the different marketing managers that we’re talking to within Event Engine and I can start to create an avatar. I can see that the types of people I’m talking to are of a certain age, so they’re between a certain age. There may also be other commonalities, even things as simple as how they get into the office. So again, we have in Event Engine, a large client base in the London area and a lot of those folks live outside the edges of London. They’re getting in on a daily basis through the tubes and through the trains. So there’s quite a lot of travel but they’re also working quite late as well. So we’re starting to understand who they are, their family makeup, how they’re travelling into work on a daily basis, how they’re living their lives. Also as we get to hang out with these ideal clients, we’re also understanding how they socialise outside of the work environment as well. So quite commonly people will hang out after work for a beer before they then head on home to spend time with the family. We also see that they have really busy weekends cause they like to pack so much in that they’ve perhaps missed out on because of the work that they’ve been doing in the week. So we’re really starting to understand who it is we’re talking to.
We’re making a list of job titles and then we’re creating a range of maybe one, two or three different types of Aaatar. It’s called a client avatar. I’ll make sure I’ll put a link to some articles about that as well to help you build up that Avatar. But we’re starting to understand who it is that we are talking to, the job role that they have within the business. We’re also understanding how they operate. You know, how they may be consume information because of the way they’re travelling in, or how they want to be able to get fast access to information or want to be able to do things more efficiently because they were already so busy with their time and they’re trying to cram so much. So we’re starting to understand who it is we’re talking to and we can come up with those ideal avatars. So that’s the first thing we need to understand. If we’re going to appeal to people, we need to understand who it is that we are talking to and how it is that they operate, how they are living their lives, etc.
Next, let’s talk about your brand voice. So grab that piece of paper if it is safe to do so of course, and have a think and a brainstorm about the sorts of conversations that you’re having. We already know now who it is that we’re talking to. We have those avatars and it’s actually okay as well to pick out real people that form your avatar, it doesn’t have to be some one made up. It can actually be a client that you have that pretty much matches your ideal sort of avatar but have a think of them or those types of customers and what are those conversations like? Now are they very, very formal conversations or are they conversations where you can have a bit of banter, etc. Have a think? How do you naturally converse with your ideal client? With those people that we’re talking to and it is very different with regards to maybe the technical people that we would talk to in the events industry versus the marketers. So often when I’m talking to the IT department, I have a completely different conversation with an events company as I might do with regards to the marketer. With the marketer, it’s a very fast paced conversation. They need quick sound bites that they can essentially listen to understand quickly. They also, because they’re under a lot of stress, like to have a bit of a laugh and a joke as opposed to on the opposite side when I’m having a conversation with the IT people, that’s a much longer conversation I need to give them a lot of detail. They tend to be quite serious and a very different sort of conversation to the market or however the people that I want to appeal to, the people that I want to talk to and the people that I’m solving problems for are going to be those marketers. So I actually want to be focusing my brand voice in a manner and in a way that matches the sorts of conversations that I’m having with them as opposed to perhaps the IT department that I would normally be having more long winded, more technical conversations with.
So as we are considering our brand voice, we need to be looking at those conversations that we’re having. How do we naturally converse with those people? What’s the style of communication that those people are going to respond to? Then we can start to practise communicating in that voice i.e writing in that voice and that might start with just simple social media tweets or posts, etc. So start practising and evolving the voice that you believe represents how you have those conversations with your ideal client. Then you can then start to practise that out there with regards to blog posts and then eventually even the messaging on your website, etc. So test how that works. So your brand voice, think about the conversations you’re having, the style of conversations you’re having with those ideal avatars, and then see if you can start to recreate that softly softly at first with your social posts and see if you can push that out over all of your communications. So step one, who are you talking to? Then step two, understand how you talk to that person and practise and evolve that voice to attract them.
Let’s remind ourselves that your messaging needs to appeal, have a hook and promote a response. You can only appeal to people when you know who you are talking to and the sort of voice that they will respond to. In my previous example, a marketer is not going to respond to my voice if I am talking in the way that the IT department are expecting me to talk in.
So finally, what are you talking about? We now understand who we are talking to and we understand that we have to develop our brand voice and I believe we understand as well that that might take a little bit of trial and error as we practise that brand voice. But what are we to talk about? If we are going to appeal, have a hook and promote a response, then we need to know what we are talking about to those people that we have established in that voice that we have established. We need those two ingredients. Who and the voice, which will allow more power to the what with regards to what we are talking about.
So what should we be talking about? This is essentially the problems that they need to solve, but it doesn’t just end there because we know who we are talking to. What is it that grinds their gears? What conversations are they having about the industry? Many years ago, Wifi used to be a huge thing because a lot of venues were not providing Wifi in those venues. It was a high cost and attendees were complaining at the event because they had to pay £15 for the data to be able to get Wifi at that venue. Nowadays Wifi is available everywhere and it’s free. It’s pretty much a non issue, but back then when we were having conversations on social media about that, we were making new connections with our ideal audience because we were talking about the sorts of things that they wanted to talk about, the sorts of things that they cared about because we knew who we were talking to and we were also able to establish our voice, a voice that would appeal to them. The hook, the response there was the fact that we were talking about something that bothered them and they wanted to respond to us. They wanted to give us their opinion and we were therefore beginning to develop a relationship.
So these sorts of things go beyond just those problems I do talk about all the time. You need to understand the problems that you’re solving for people, but equally when you know who it is that you are talking to, you can also start to talk about the things that you know they care about beyond just problems. It could be their thoughts, their feelings, their opinions, hot topics in the industry and so much more. But again, you know who they are, you know what’s important to them and you know what will promote a response to allow you to open up a conversation and to start to build up that relationship.
Now, when it comes to generating leads, it is essential that you can understand the problems that they have and how you solve those problems. However, when you are having conversations online, through social media and on your website etc, often it’s helpful as well to have conversations about what is important to your ideal target audience, to encourage a conversation and to encourage connection. You can start to sell to someone straight off the bat if you want to, but it’s actually better to build up and develop a relationship over some sort of common opinions, some sort of common conversation. So grab that piece of paper and a pen again, what are you talking about? I think what would be fantastic is first of all, write out those problems. So that’s just the obvious one. What are the problems that your ideal client are having and what do you do to solve those problems? That’s the no brainer. Then in the next section of your piece of paper, write down some of those things that are really important to your target audience. So what are the conversations that they are having? Go ahead and check out groups etc, that they are in and websites that they read. What sort of things, what industry news is important to them or opinions that they might have, etc. So write a few of those down as well.Then finally, if you’re considering what you should be putting on your website, of course the problems that you solve should be on there. But also if you have examples of projects that you have worked on that solved those similar problems in the past, then see if you can showcase some of those on your website as well as case studies cause that’s gonna help you out.
So what we’re doing here is we’re building up our content not only for our website and from our marketing messaging with regards to the problems we solve, how we solve them, and also the credibility with regards to what we’ve done in the past. But equally we’re building a list of conversations that we could be creating and having online that could be through LinkedIn, through different social media platforms to allow us to build up that relationship. Remember the voice that we have as a business that is appealing to the people that we want to talk to is a voice that we can also practise when we are out and about having conversations with existing clients. But also when we’re out there networking. Because beyond all of this, we need to understand our messaging and our voice that we can start to build up new relationships and then take those people down the imaginary funnel as it were, of building up a relationship, discovering their needs, and then providing them a solution.
If you are a part of our premium membership, then you’ll know that I do this a lot. I love to do a very fast recap to help you put everything that I’ve said into perspective. So let’s start from the top. What is your brand messaging/your voice? You probably don’t know, and if you don’t know, then neither will your potential clients. What’s gonna help you stand out in a crowded marketplace is a very clear message that engages your ideal clients. So your messaging needs to appeal. It needs to have a hook, and it needs to promote a response. The only way your messaging is going to appeal have a hook and promote a response is if you know who it is that you are talking to. That’s not necessarily a whole industry. That’s the actual people that you’re interacting with. Those decision makers who are potentially going to purchase your product or your service.
You can only appeal. You can only hook those people in when you are now talking in a voice that they can respond to, a way of communicating that they are used to responding in and then finally they’ll only be hooked in or even respond when you are talking about either things that are important to them in their industry or you’re talking about problems that they have that they need solving. So remember, get out that notepad and pen. Can you write down your ideal avatar of who it is that you are talking to the types of people that you are interacting with? Who are those decision makers and what is the brand voice? Write those down. What sort of brand voice should you be having? The sort of style of communication, the sort of phrases and buzz words that you could be using that will appeal to those people. Then finally, what is it that you are talking about now that you know who it is you’re talking about and the voice that you should be having for those people? What are those problems that you solve? How do you solve those problems? Are there any examples that you can show of those problems and then just as importantly to create those new connections in those conversations, what are the sorts of things that are really important to your target audience that they will want to have conversations about that they will want to share their opinions on?
I think the common thread here is conversation. You’ll hear me start very often, especially if you rewind to old episodes of the podcast where I say let’s have a conversation on, and I think I also do it on the YouTube channel quite a lot as well. These are conversations, conversations are what create relationships and allow you to build your business as well as help other people. If you just think about calling an automated call centre or filling in a form online versus talking to someone, I think what most of us want to just pick up the phone and actually interact, actually have a conversation with a real person and that’s why we want to have a voice. We want to be talking in a voice that will appeal about the things that will appeal to those people that we want to appeal to because we become more than just a brand. We become more than just some sort of automated faceless entity. We actually become a personality. We become a group of people or someone or something that people want to interact with that people want to be a part of. You’ll have heard me say a few times that people want to align themselves with your journey. Very often as well that’s because of the sort of voice that you have, your friendly voice, the voice that appeals to them.
All right folks, that is it. Check out the show notes. I’ll put some bullet points in the show notes so that you can break down your own note taking. Be sure to check out the YouTube channel, that’s agencytrailblazer.com/youtube and please support the channel like subscribe and hit that bell notification icon. We have three shows a week. That’s motivation Monday to get you and your team started for the week. We have What’s Up Wednesday where we not only tell you what’s going on in the community, but we actually share with you for free a nugget of wisdom that we will be talking about in our premium membership. So check that out that’s What’s Up Wednesday. We also have Frank Friday as well where we talk about subjects that sometimes people don’t talk about and I give my own honest opinion so that you hopefully will have a conversation with me in the comments. So if you can support that show, we want to get a real message out there. I am so sick and tired of seeing these gurus selling systems out there.
I don’t want to be another guru selling systems. I want to be a guy who helps and promotes building lives and building businesses that make them happy, that are not stretching them, that are not taking them away from their family and essentially not doing all the things that I used to get really stressed out doing. I would recommend if you wonder what is pumping through my veins, what’s pumping through the veins of this show, of YouTube, of our Agency Transformation Live event as well. What feeds us, what drives us. Then I really recommend you go ahead and check out episode number 200 that will give you everything that is the beating heart of this organisation.
Folks, have a wonderful day. Don’t forget we have a free Facebook group. You can go ahead and check that out over on agencytrailblazer.com/group if we don’t see you there, we also have the premium membership. You get to be on a conversation with me or one of the team every single week and that’s over on agencytrailblazer.com. Don’t forget, we also have the YouTube channel and if we don’t see you in any of those places, we will certainly see you in the next episode.