Lady Gaga (circa 2010)
“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”
Your business is so far out there, it’s in another universe, lady. It’s not the norm and it’s not average. Your business is wacky, zany, and even a little bit aggro at times.
3 reasons this is the brand voice for you:
1. You're irreverent
Your business is a badass that wants to turn heads, winning Grammys and embracing the weird, while it makes people sit up and take notice, while it makes them wish they could also be as random.
2. You're non-traditional
You're not interested in fitting the mould. You want to be seen as ‘other.’ You're not scared to show the world a whole other, disruptive way of being.
3. You're strong and confident
You're not there to make people feel comfortable. In fact, some people might not be into you or what your business are all about, at all. And that’s A-OK with you.
Your business challenges its clients. It’s a little bit rough around the edges; you'll throw an F-bomb out there to see what’ll happen. You're unafraid of being judged, and you know who your people are.
The question is…is this actually what’s coming through in your branding? Your website, your socials, your design, your blogs, your emails?
You may be feeling the taboo-breaking badassery of The Gaga all over your damn self, but if your audience isn’t…then we’ve got to sort that out!
When you nail this brand voice, like get super-clear on it, and apply it consistently to all your copy and content…man, the whole world gonna be your stage, and you’ll be fighting off the fans left, right and centre.
Why? Because your Little Monsters want to hear it! They want to feel like they have someone out there who’s also a little bit strange and unafraid to experiment; someone they can be inspired by and learn from in an iconic kind of way. Someone they can see in a room, who’s dressed unlike anyone else and who doesn’t give a FUCK what people think. This is your competitive advantage.
Are you leveraging it?
So…let’s back up a little.
What is a brand voice and why does yours need to be SPOT ON?
Your brand voice helps your audience know exactly who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.
Sure, your products and services are the things that they will actually use and implement to make their lives the bomb dot com. But how do you get them to buy those services and products?
You gotta get them to engage with you. You gotta get them to see your copy, content, design, logo and go, “Oh, hell, yes. I need this in my life.”
That’s what your brand voice does. It speaks to people inside their souls. Or hearts. Or spleens. Whichever you prefer. If it’s authentic.
Your authentic brand voice introduces you to your ideal client. They’re waiting for you. They need you. But you’ve got to cut through the noise and make them see you.
A clear, authentic, unique brand voice will do that every time. People will feel a connection to you. They’ll feel seen and heard when they read your social posts, or stumble on your lead magnet, or read your blog, or spot your Facebook ad. And that is gold.
But…here’s the problem: most people don’t know how to really define their brand voice. Or write with it. When this is done successfully, your brand voice cuts through the noise and ultimately impacts your bottom line.
What if you had a custom chart-topping strategy to create an authentic brand voice that:
Gets put on repeat – like that song you love, right? The one you play over and over again. That’s what you want people doing with your business. Coming back to your content over and over again.
Makes people dance – or simply tap their feet to your rocking tune. Emotion is major when it comes to making an impact and being memorable. People are always going to remember how they feel when they read your words or see your kickass website.
Gets the heart rate of your $$$$s floating like Gaga’s meat dress at the MTV Video Music Awards – yeah, this is huge. Let’s not deny it. We want to make the big bucks. Your brand voice is the foundation of that. Make people fall in love with you, and they’ll buy from you every time.
But first, let’s take a look at what makes you the Lady Gaga of branding:
YOU KEEP PEOPLE GUESSING
Here’s the thing about Lady Gaga – she pushes boundaries. Early on in her career she made headlines with 16-inch heels and the meat dress. She was the most out-there person in the room. This was a strategy that cemented her as someone who broke the mould, but who also knew exactly what she was doing as a business and a brand. Some people hated her, some ADORED her, but no one was ever on the fence. Some people didn’t get it, some people got it so deep inside their souls that they called her their Mother Monster. She taught people to embrace what they are, who they are, and never be ashamed about it.
That’s you, woman. You’re a Mother Monster. You’re not afraid of showing up in a way that might alienate people. You know exactly who your tribe is – people who are looking to break boundaries. People who are looking for a way to fully express their weird. They want you to guide them.
You’re the kind of woman who goes to events wearing the most outrageous thing you own because you’re all about authenticity and keeping it real, and turning heads. You’re someone who shows others what’s possible. You’re a badass feminist who believes that we’re all human, and that makes you as sexy AF.
Is this pulling through into your business’s branding?
Ready to create your melody? Let’s get jiggy with it.
“If you don't have any shadows, you're not in the light.”
~ Lady Gaga
Your authentic brand voice is your superpower because it does a ton of things for your business:
You’re telling a story.
People love stories. Why? Because, basically, we’re still kids inside. And kids looooove stories. A story creates a feeling, a perception.
Your brand shapes that story. It woos and seduces and tempts and excites. And that’s how your brand becomes the earworm in your niche.
Having a clear brand voice is cost-effective
Think about hiring a designer and a copywriter to create your website. That discovery call is everything. That’s when they’re going to get a sense of your brand voice. If they don't have a crystal clear picture of it, they’re never going to be able to create the magic that you want them to.
A clear brand voice gets the job done, quickly, painlessly…and you won’t be paying those extra $$$s for edits.
All the feels
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Your brand voice has to get people right in the feels. It makes you memorable. It makes people sit up and go, “Oh, hello. Who is this?” Think of Nike, Coca-Cola, Old Spice. That’s the level you want to be at.
It gets people to interact with you
Imagine being able to post on your socials, and have immediate feedback? Have people respond and tell you who they are, what they want, what they need. That’s like market research on crack, right? Pretty damn nifty.
What if your marketing collateral did all the work it was supposed to do and attracted exactly the type of client you want to serve? We’re talking leads that WANT what you have to offer, and WANT to pay you for it.
Your brand voice is your IT factor.
It tells your business’s story…
So instead of creating design and copy that speaks to everyone (and no one), you speak to ONE person…and make them twerk their way over to your website so that they can find out more about you and why you make them feel so damn good.
Take a look at what’s possible when you have a clear brand voice that targets your ideal client:
HELLO REAL: 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support
THE TRUST FACTOR: 81 percent of consumers said that they need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy from them
YES, COLOUR IS PART OF YOUR BRAND VOICE: Choosing brand colors wisely can impact how people perceive your brand. In fact, using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent
PEOPLE ARE SOOOO JUDGEMENTAL: It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website
CONSISTENCY IS KWEEN: In fact, consistent presentation of a brand has seen to increase revenue by 33 percent
GET NAKED: 66 percent of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities of a brand
ON THE FENCE? Most consumers want brands to take a stand on social or political issues. As a matter of fact, two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world said that they would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on a social or political issue
THOSE $$$s AGAIN: 77 percent of consumers buy from brands who share the same values as they do
DOWN WITH THE INFLUENCERS (BYE, FELICIA): 79 percent of people say that user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions
How to scale your business, and your bank account, with your brand voice.
When you think of Lady Gaga, what comes to mind?
Hardcore edginess? Unique style? Feminine power? Aggression? Has an opinion and isn’t afraid to voice it?
She’s seen as someone who knows what she believes in and tells the world about it in a way that is loud and proud. She’s a woman who has stayed true to herself and remained clear about her goals. She’s real. She’s authentic. The person you see on TV and in interviews is the person she’d be if you met her in the street. That’s authentic branding. That’s powerful, yo.
But are you stepping into this badassery? Or are you silencing your gorgeous self?
Yup, it happens. We silence ourselves. We do it all the time.
Maybe you were bullied at school. Maybe someone told you you were too loud. Maybe someone told you that your feminism was too much. Too much for whom…hmmmm….?
It’s possible that you struggle with really getting your voice out there into the world. You’ve been led to believe that it isn’t helpful. That it might turn people off.
My question to you is, What would Gaga say?
“I want my fans to love themselves. It’s almost like I want to hypnotise them so when they hear my music they love themselves instantly.”
Your brand voice composition strategy:
(Brought to you by a professional copywriter that people pay the big bucks to do this for them. It’s all yours. Keep reading.)
Composing your authentic brand voice is like composing a song. It has different tones and melodies. There’s a foundation (the drum and bass) and then there are the intricate and detailed notes and sounds that sit on top of that.
Let’s break that down…like a good old tune.
Foundation – drums and bass
This is you. This is the heart and soul of who you are. Your beliefs, your history, your culture, your background. The things you’ll never compromise on. Who are you at your core? What excites you? What makes you wanna scream ‘hell yes?’
Values and Vision - Rhythm guitar
These sit on top of the foundation of your business. They emanate from you to give your biz its own unique rhythm. When you define your business’s values and vision, you attract the kind of people who want to tap their feet to it.
Brand Voice - The melody/lead vocals
Once you’ve got your foundation set, and the rhythm established, that’s when you add your voice into everything. You create an ebb and flow. You sing out loud about the things that you stand for. You use language and a catchy tune to get people to hear you.
But it’s also your speech patterns, vocal quality, tempo, pace, resonance, logos, colours, typefaces, slogan, symbol, phrase, volume. It’s err-thang.
Your ICA - Harmony
Now you can add your customer into the mix. They’re going to hear your song and be compelled to listen and when they know the lyrics, they’ll start singing along. Soon they’ll want you on repeat, so that they can feel your goodness all the time. Their voice and your voice work together to create the magic of your business.
Would you rather:
BE REAL AND HONEST and YOU all the time. Have a sense of ease, grace and flow. Always know how your brand is being perceived because it comes from the heart of you.
BE ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE – constantly having to make calculated decisions based on what you think other people want
IT'S TIME TO CREATE YOUR AUTHENTIC BRAND VOICE
So, are you clear on your beliefs?
Do you know how you want to convey them?
Do you have a brand voice that does exactly what you want it to?
Are people singing along to your melody?
You know who you are. You know what you want. You know your quirks, your needs, your goals. You know what lights you up. Is that pulling through into your brand voice? Are YOU pulling through into your brand voice?
Do you know who your ICA is? Their needs, desires, fears, pain, joy, pleasure? Do you know their age, where they live, what they do, whether or not they have kids? This is important stuff. The more you know your ICA, the more you can speak directly to them.
For B2B and B2C, the end goal is to speak to your ICA so that they feel understood. And so that they can hear YOU. We’re all people. Not words on a website or in an email. We’re people, first. Speak as a person to another person. The rest will follow.
That’s why Lady Gaga is the queen that she is, right? Because she’s just so damn authentic. She doesn’t seem to really care about what people think. She makes the music. She does the work. She shows other people what’s possible. She wants to go deep with people, show her emotions and explore what’s inside of us.
Is Lady Gaga the only brand voice out there?
Nope. What do you think of when you think about…
That’s branding, baby.
WHO AM I?
Hi, I’m Ashleigh. I’m a copywriter, theatre-lover, dog mom, feminist, and I’m totally bat-shit crazy about branding (authentically).
I get up every morning for one thing! To feed my cat.
And then I smash my mission: To help women stop caring about what other people think. Because YOU have to live this life of yours. No one else.
We are not here to smile. We are not here to be told what to wear. We're not here to earn less than men. We're here to show the patriarchy our collective middle finger, and let our voices RISE.
I help businesses nail down their ICA and get full-on serious about creating an authentic brand voice that speaks directly to that ICA.
When I took this quiz (yes, I know it's my own quiz), I got Beyonce! Because SHA-ZAAM! Feminism.
Let’s make music with your biz and get your people tapping their feet to your slamming tunes.
It's time to get bat-shit-crazy unapologetic about your REAL brand voice.
When you really know that voice, deep inside, that’s when you start speaking to your audience.
86% of people who check out your website, read your emails, follow you online...they want to see YOU. That's when you'll convert all that time (and money) you've spent on your blog, your podcast, your content creation, your direct response copy into sales.
Is your business's melody as memorable AF?
You took this quiz because you give a damn about your business. You believe in authenticity. You believe that your voice has this kind of power:
I am in this with both feet. I am sitting on the sidelines over here yelling your name. I'm willing you to smash the world in its face with your YOU-ness.
Because sisterhood. Because real is queen. Because when one woman rises, we all rise.
I'm going to be sending you some emails, ladyface. Yes. I know you're probably getting hundreds of emails a day. But NONE of them have the wicked gifs that mine do. #gifqueen
You are a KWEEN. Your kweenness can be seen from space. Now, let’s get your business strutting to the rhythm of Crazy in Love, and let’s get the world in love with you.
Be YOU. Always. Everwhere.
Pssssst...while you're here, can I ask you to answer one teeny but MAJORLY powerful question for me? Two mins. Promise. Here's the question.