Which Grammy-winning superstar is your business?
I was bullied at school. Like a mutha-fugga. I was shoved into walls. I was kicked in the back. I was called a whore, and cute (which, in my school in 1995 meant 'ugly, but fuckable.') I was 12. It was shitsville, and if I could go back to my child self I'd tell her every single day how extraordinary she is. How brave, strong, beautiful, and made for GREATNESS she is. Sometimes I do talk to her. She's in there. And she's listening hard.
Why do I tell you this? Because it's taught me something major in my life. It's taught me to be ME. Unapologetically. To embrace everything that I am. From my strangely short arms and huge nose to my loudness and my penchant for the dark and the strange (brain surgeries on YouTube during downtime, anyone?).
What does this look like in my everyday life?
If I sing the wrong words to a song, I laugh at myself, loud and proud. If I trip on the street, I give no fucks about who saw it. If I don't know something or understand something, I say 'I don't understand this.' Judgers be damned.
But, sometimes, I'll see a group of people, who all seem to be close and know each other well, just hanging out together outside a shop or on the pavement, and I'll avoid them deliberately. I'll cross the road, or I'll dodge being in their path, because deep down, 12-year-old me is still scared of being bullied and singled out by a group. Bullies are the worst in groups.
So. Having started my business, I've made it my mission to spread the joy of authentic branding. That's my jam (while writing kickass copy that makes people swoon for dayzzzzz). Now that I'm a grown-ass woman, I'm using my business to embrace the idea of stepping into my voice...and helping other women do the same.
How do we find our authentic voice inside our business?
We HAVE FUN! We ask ourselves questions that get us thinking outside the box. We approach things a little differently. The next time you sit down to craft an email or a blog, or a sales page, think about these questions before you start writing, and see how they influence you:
1. If your business had a theme tune, that you could pump out to all prospective clients what would it be?
Roar by Katy Perry: You empower the shizz out of people.
I’ll be there for you (the FRIENDS song) – The Rembrandts: Laid-back, fun, and full of personality.
Imagine by John Lennon – Your business is all about thought leadership.
The Ketchup Song – fun, quirky, snappy, crazy. Your business is pretty far out there.
2. Your business is creating an interactive experience? What is the soundscape?
Soaring, cinematic – you know that music that makes you think anything is possible? That!
Something fun and friendly – you want to chill, relax, get lost in the easiness of the sounds. Unintrusive, but there, providing a vibe.
Jazz – The music where you learn something, right? You’re listening for the chord changes and the trading fours and the moments of dischord, that make total sense.
You’re a mixed bag – you’re going to play whatever’s grabbing you on any given day.
3. You’re in a magic dessert-making shop. Which delicious masterpiece do you create?
Empowering lava cake – a cup of strength and another cup of confidence, with just a pinch of aggression thrown into the mix.
Your good old, friendly Chocolate brownie - heaps of positivity and friendliness to create a cake that’s down-to-earth and totally genuine.
Classic Tiramisu cheesecake – This elegant concoction is full of class and sophistication, wit and boldness, consistency and professionalism.
Zany Eton mess – happy accident, divine design and totally fun.
4. If businesses were superheroes, who would yours be?
Okoye – General of the Wakandan army, she is a leader and a commander. She holds authority. She’s not there to be friendly. She’s rebellious, bold and fiercely independent.
Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman is the strongest of all the superheroes. She fights for justice and equality, and we know that we could sit down and have a coffee and confide in her, and she’d have our back.
Jean Grey (Marvel Girl)/Supergirl – mentor, friend, advisor. You provide empathy and kindness. You’re a leader and a teacher, who charms and educates.
Harley Quinn – You’re a liiiiitle bit controversial. You’re strange and unpredictable, a bit of an antihero, with a weird sense of humour.
5. You receive 4 dream networking invitations. Which one screams your name?
A fundraiser to empower women and girls, with you as the keynote speaker, inspiring the ladies to kick ass and take names.
A laid-back breakfast get-together, with people in your industry who are there to support and advise each other. And you bring everyone a gift.
A conference with different sessions and panels. You’re one of the thought leaders invited to speak.
The event that’s so far out there, it’s in another galaxy. Completely untraditional, irreverent and totally wacky – exactly what you love.
6. When you were in high school, what was everyone listening to?
The Naughties - Outkast, Eminem and Coldplay, Rihanna, Usher, Kelly Clarkson
Pop starlets were all the rage – Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, J-Lo, Backstreet Boys, Nsync, Alanis, Mariah
It was a Material World, baby – Whitney, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Madonna
The age of rock – Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Queen
It was the best of times – The Beatles, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys
7. Your bestie calls you up and asks for an honest report on how work is going, what do you tell them?
Your business is basically a puppy. It poos everywhere and chews everything but you love it and you’re going to make it work. Every day brings something new and a different learning curve.
You’re growing. Things are moving. You’re enjoying your work but you have too many clients and not enough time. You definitely can’t take time off.
You’ve got a team, you’re taking the foot off the gas a little, and you’re watching your baby soar. You’re a total Rockstar.
You literally have no idea what you’re doing, and you're thinking about calling it quits.
8. What is holding you back from simply being you and letting who you are shine through your business, into your brand voice?
You’re afraid to put yourself out there…like, really out there. What will people think?
You have no time, and you’re not making the kind of money that justifies sitting down and really working on your brand voice.
You’re not even sure what your own voice is, let alone your brand voice. It’s all hella confusing.
Nothing. You’re exactly where you want to be. If anything, you want to get your voice out there even more.
I thought these were the RADDEST questions ever, so I put together a quiz using all of them so that you can get an idea of where your brand voice sits. And I used Grammy-winning superstars as our barometer of branding. Isn't that FREAKING BRILLIANT?
So, which Grammy-winning superstar is your business?
Remember, 86% of consumers say authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support. But there's a major disconnect there. Because, according to a Stackla report from 2019, 92% of marketers believe that most or all of their brand content resonates as authentic with consumers. BUT 51% of consumers believe that less than half of brands create authentic content.
I know. WTF.
You want your ideal client to see you online, and fall in love with you. That's when people sign up to your list, read your blog, and pop open their wallets for your bitchen' services.
Take the quiz to discover your brand’s unique and authentic voice and develop a melody that makes you memorable AF (basically you’ll be the online business version of an earworm!) And then create copy that rakes in the $$$s.
PS. Me today, protecting 12-year-old me: