That expression about putting lipstick on a pig always gives me a good laugh.
For those of you who have never heard this expression before, the actual definition is “a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.”
When I talk to my clients about finding the voice of their company, I tell them its more than just ‘be real’ or sound like your customer service scripts. Trying to fake your voice is like putting lipstick on a pig. It doesn’t make the pig look better and in the end, it just pisses your customers off.
The same goes for discovering your company’s voice. Spend a few minutes Googling the words ‘authentic voice.’ There’s a 101 articles out there trying to teach you how to find the voice for your company.
In your Google search, you’ll read the same questions over and over: What type of work are you passionate about? Who are you talking to? How do you let your personality come through?
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How many times and how many different ways have we heard this? And how many of us have taken the time to come up with an answer that we can translate into our company’s voice?
While it’s good to ask ourselves questions to help find our voice, let’s make sure they’re the right ones to get us the answers we need. From my years of working with clients, I’ve found that the best place to find your company’s voice comes from our own personal journey of your business. It’s a combination of where you’ve been to where you are right now in your life.
It’s more than just using the catch-phrase of ‘discovering your authentic voice.’ It’s about finding out who you’ve become since you cashed your first paycheck.
Take some time to think about these questions:
1. What job were you in when you first discovered your love for the work that you’re doing? What was the path you took to get where you are now?
2. What three words would you use about why you started your business or took the job that you’re in now?
3. Why do you get up every day and unlock the doors to your office? Is it your courage for sticking it out in this economy? Wanting to give back to the community? What are your reasons to get up every day?
4. What experiences have affected you and the way you look at your business?
I challenge you to answer these questions truthfully because that’s where your true voice will come from.
Let me know what you come up with. I’d love to hear your answers so please share in the comments.