Find Your Authentic Brand Voice + Message
“I don’t have anything to say,” I thought, staring at the blinking cursor.
I felt like everything worth saying had already been said, everything worth doing already done.
What was left for me – or anyone – to say?
And why would anyone would listen to me? I hadn’t been featured in Forbes, or interviewed on Goal Getter. I didn’t have a million followers, or a million-dollar business, or any of the trappings of a hugely successful entrepreneur.
What is my voice?
What do I have to say?
Why should anyone listen to me?
I was trapped in an endless loop of comparing myself with Jasmine Star and Marie Forleo, and feeling utterly hopeless.
I know it’s tempting to compare yourself with BIG influencers. You know, the ones who OWN a message and an idea in your mind… the ones who stand for something you believe in or want to believe.
But if you look back at their journeys, you’ll see that it took them time to find their voice too! And it didn’t stop them from speaking up. They had to keep using their voice until they found it – until they figured out what they had to say!
even major influencers need time to find their voice!
And along the way, in between clumsily speaking up and taking imperfect action, they sat down and reflected, and thought deeply about what they had to say. And that’s what you’re about to do, right now!
You have to keep using your voice until you find it.
Let’s turn down the volume on everyone else, and turn UP the volume on YOU.
You, your gifts, your past
Start by thinking about who you are. Your gifts, your strengths, the things you do really well and the things you enjoy. The things you love about yourself, and the things your friends love about you, and the little quirks that make up your personality. Take inventory of what makes you YOU!
The “real” you
Now… what are you holding back? What are you hiding? What are you afraid the world will see and not like? Why are you afraid someone would change their opinion of you if they knew the real you? We all learn during our childhood and teenage years that there are certain parts of ourselves that we need to keep under wraps.
Maybe it’s the music you listen to, or the movies you like, or how sensitive you can be sometimes, or how awkward you look on the dance floor. Maybe you’ve worked hard to come across as tougher, cooler, or more whatever than you really think you are.
What are you afraid the world will see?
It’s time to put your finger on that thing about yourself you think people won’t like, and instead bring it out into the world for everyone to see! Because that’s what makes you HUMAN and RELATABLE. Those little imperfections are actually your strengths and your MAGIC…so don’t dim your magic!
How you’ve grown & changed
Next, think about how you’ve grown and changed over the years. Maybe you’ve learned some important life lessons that shaped who you are today. Maybe you’ve struggled and survived. Maybe you’ve changed as a person. Put words around how you’ve evolved and grown, and how you’re different today from how you used to be. Think about the advice you’d give your younger self, if you could.
Who you are becoming
Now imagine who you WANT to be. The person you hope you are becoming. There may be some key differences between you and her – what are they? How would you LIKE to be different in the future? Picture stepping into this future you.
The person you want to be is the person you already are.
It’s not a matter of “becoming” who you want to be, but rather allowing yourself to be more fully you. So if this person is more confident, or more organized, or more creative, or more caring… if she sings, or writes, or takes amazing photos, or makes people feel special… that is who you really are. It’s your true self calling out to you, calling you forward. You just need to get into the practice and habit of allowing yourself to be.
Look for parallels
Lastly, are there parallels between what you’ve learned, or what you need to learn now, and what your dream client needs to learn? Are there ways she can benefit from hearing your story, knowing how far you’ve come, and knowing where you’d headed? From knowing that the transformation you’ve been through is possible for her?
If she were standing right in front of you, dealing with the same struggles you’ve faced or are facing now, what words of advice, encouragement, or insight would you give her?
Write a letter or record a voice memo on your phone. Whatever you need to do, let out your thoughts and speak directly to this dream client. Ultimately, he or she is a lot like you, and your brand “voice” is probably a voice you need to hear, or needed to hear in the past.
Your “brand voice” is probably a voice
you need to hear.
That’s how you lead and develop a voice people trust – by standing for something that needs to be said. By pinpointing the biggest, thorniest struggle you have, resolving to find or create a path forward… and then shining a light for everyone else coming after you.
Keep taking imperfect action!
Get out there and take imperfect action. Say what’s on your mind, and on your heart. Share the wisdom you need to hear, because others need to hear it too! Over time, slowly but surely, you’ll peel back the layers and find the heart of what you’re meant to say.
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Hey! I’m Ashley.
I’m all about growing your mission-driven business with heart and intention! If you need help connecting authentically with your dream clients, you’re in the right place!