“If only I could make him understand. I just don’t see things the way he does.”
– Ariel, from Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Although Ariel was talking to Sebastian about her father, King Triton, these words ring true for all of us. We all view the world in a different way. This impacts our personalities and voice. As business owners, our voice is what convinces our audience they’ve found what they’re looking for, converting them into dedicated customers.
Recently, we published “How to Define Your Writing Style,” a blog post about writing style and how to find yours. Even though style is important for writing website content, you can’t truly capture your audience’s attention without also homing in on your voice.
Ariel’s Voice Captured the Prince
Remember that moment when Ariel signed on the dotted line, exchanging her voice for a pair of legs to get to her prince? The poor unfortunate soul forgot one thing: her voice is what captured the prince in the first place.
Your voice is your unique personality—your “special sauce.” It’s what sets you apart from everyone else. Without it, you’re missing the critical component that your audience needs to truly connect and fall head over heels in love with you and what you have to offer.
5 Tips for Defining & Developing Your Writing Voice
The key is to communicate your unique voice to your audience. Don’t be like Ursula and try to steal someone else’s voice to capture your audience (we all know how that ended). Instead, follow these tips to harness the power of your own voice.
1. Just Write
Finding your voice isn’t a one-time thing. You must practice and write, write, write. As you continue to write, you’ll start to see phrases, words and certain tones shine through that underline your voice.
Take some time each week to free write. This means sitting down and using paper and pen or a keyboard to write about anything that comes to mind. When you’re done, read what you’ve written, paying close attention to the words, phrases, tone, etc. that you use.
2. Describe Yourself in Three Words
Jot down three words or adjectives that describe your personality. How would you describe your personality in real life? Be careful not to write down words that describe your writing. For example, are you witty like Sebastian? Kind, like Ariel? Imaginative, like Scuttle (here’s looking at you, dinglehopper)? These words can help guide you as you define your voice. With each piece you write, check to see if it rings true to these words.
3. Write the Way You Talk
The content on your website should be written in a conversational way, as if you’re sitting and enjoying a cup of tea with your reader. As you create content, write the way you talk. Trying too hard to impress your reader or using jargon to sound intelligent comes off as fake. Instead, be honest, using the words, phrases and tone you would use face-to-face.
4. Let What You Read Inspire You
Do you have books you gravitate toward when you sit down to read? Do you have a favorite author or blog? Consider what it is you love about their writing or what draws you in. After all, your preferences are part of your personality. Don’t copy. Instead, use what you love as inspiration.
5. Speak to Your Experiences, Passions & Values
Your personality is directly impacted by your past experiences, passions and values. Take a moment to:
- Consider your values—those things that guide the way you live
- Define what you’re passionate about—those things that fill your cup and make your heart swell
- Think about past experiences that greatly impacted you—the ones that shaped who you are now
Ariel’s passion for life outside of the water inspired her love for collecting artifacts, her dedication to reaching the sand for the first time and her experience with Ursula. Take some time to think about what makes you tick and how you can best communicate it to your audience.
Your Voice Helps You Deliver Happily-Ever-After Moments
Your audience wants that happily-ever-after moment, where they meet someone who just gets it, who has a surefire solution to their problem. It all starts by using your voice online. To learn more about defining your voice or for help using your voice to connect with and convert your readers, send us a message.