The importance of personal branding today cannot be stressed. It’s how you differentiate yourself from other people with the same talents and skills. It’s how you let the world hear your unique voice. It’s practically essential to any professional who hopes to survive in the current job and business market.
There comes a time, however, when you want to transition your personal brand into a business one. You’ve finally outgrown your brand, and you now want to take it to the next level. And one of the important things you need to consider is how your brand voice will change.
What exactly defines a brand voice? It’s up to you to create it, but here are some important points that you should consider:
• Your brand’s voice should be one that your target audience will relate to
• It should reflect the culture and values your brand upholds
• It needs to be consistent across all channels
As a personal brand, your target audience is likely to be hiring managers, companies, job recruiters, clients, and so on. But as a business brand, your target may be a lot wider, encompassing different groups and demographics.
This is why you need to adjust your brand voice to this new target audience. You don’t have to do a complete 360 degree turn – but you have to start thinking about your new target audience and what voice resonates with them.
How do you adapt your brand voice to your audience?
1. Consider how they think.
2. What are their wants? Needs?
3. What do they value?
4. How do they speak?
One of the best ways to connect with your target audience is to use their language. As a business brand, you need to be able to adapt to your audience’s needs and speak with them on the same level. Because if not, how can you convey your message to them?
Also, as a business brand, you may not be able to manage all of your communication channels anymore. You may have to delegate and let others do tasks for your business, such as customer support, managing your social media accounts, and even going to client meetings. These people will represent your brand to others, so their voice will also be part of your brand. So it’s essential that their culture and values mesh with yours, and that their voice can easily represent your business’ brand voice.
You also need to consider the tone of your brand voice. As a personal brand, it’s okay to be more personal, more casual, and use a less serious tone. As a business brand, you can still use a less formal tone in your brand voice, but it should align with your target audience. If your target audience is composed of mainly professionals and other business people, for example, then you should probably adapt a more formal tone in your brand voice.
Transitioning your brand and your brand voice takes time, though. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes careful planning, a good strategy, and the right timing. Don’t be afraid to seek advice – you can always ask people who have gone through the same route. And remember that once you’ve found your new brand voice, always ensure that it’s consistent across all channels, and make sure that it reflects your brand’s culture and values.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is co-founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.