Why your unique voice matters more than you realise in these strange times
After I wrote my last blog post about embracing the new normal, I noticed some of the emails in my inbox had something in common: links to blog posts that all felt a bit bland and ‘samey’. And yet here we are in the middle of a pandemic that has changed our lives in extraordinary ways. Your unique voice matters more than you think. Because as readers we want more. We want you to help us feel differently.
We all like to think we write to the best of our creative ability. And so often, we do.
A lot of successful bloggers have a memorable voice that can be heard in their other communications too: talks, books, social media or video. This level of consistency may be missing when you are not sure what your unique voice sounds like. Or indeed what makes you different and special as a human being.
We see this so often with our blogging clients. It is easier to worry about what to write than how to say it so your message stands out for the right reasons.
Trust is key
Sometimes you just want to look at your writing through a different lens. Because it is hard to trust a voice that lacks personality. Or one that sounds different each time you write. To me this feels like wearing different protective masks all the time.
You're a blogger, not a ghost writer or journalist. You certainly do not want to hide behind a bland or neutral voice whether you blog for your one-woman business or to promote a book.
One of the effects of our corona-stricken world is that we’ve all had to change and adapt to new habits and new ways of communicating. And, perhaps more importantly, to living with fears and worries we may not have experienced before.
Readers want more from writers because it is so much harder now to know who to trust.
Readers want genuine words from real people who show up honestly online.
Your unique voice matters a great deal right now.
How I unlocked my own unique voice
I was both excited and nervous when I published my first blog post in 2007. Writing had played a big part in my work since founding my business in the UK 15 years earlier. But blogging felt like a giant step into the unknown. After all, I wasn't writing in my native language!
So it seemed more appropriate to hide behind the voice of an “expert”. I genuinely had advice to give and felt content that I had found my place. I got noticed, even started guest writing for other sites. But at some point the blogging world exploded and it all changed. It was now much harder to stand out.
I had no idea what to do. So I started to experiment with different content and techniques and learned a lot through trial and error. But not once did it occur to me to pay more attention to my voice!
One day, something compelled me to write a post about the inspiration behind my business. This was about my enterprising but frustrated mum who had died young. She had not been able to overcome the obstacles society had put in her path. As I grew up my mother was a great role model: I learnt both how I wanted and didn’t want my life to be.
Writing about my mother changed everything
I dropped my guard online. And I received many enthusiastic and supportive comments and messages. I knew then that I had unlocked something important in my voice that helped readers to connect with the real me.
Here was a glimpse of my true voice - not the voice of an expert but a voice that was a lot more congruent with who I am. I later realised that dropping my "expert" mask was only the beginning. I was finally happy with who I am, including my direct germanic ways.
And gradually I became more real online. I even started writing about some of my failures and the mistakes I had made. It was a big change from writing about a million different ways to be successful with your venture!
Slowly but surely my voice became more “me”, more confident and more consistent which helps me to attract the right readers.
My voice is unmistakably “me” also on social media, my web and landing pages, and my ebooks. And naturally, whenever I’m in conversation about a topic I feel passionately about!
You can’t stop change
Our world is so different now to the one we knew. The late Jack Welch said that “If the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside – the end is near”.
Wise words, because to survive and thrive online we need to make sure now that we catch up with change on the inside too.
So please ask yourself this:
If readers crave genuine messages from bloggers who are as real and true to themselves online as they are offline, what does that mean for you and your voice?
Is there anything you'd want to change?
Come on a journey of self-discovery with us. We can help you see what’s unique about you and how to build that into your writing in an authentic way. Then you can use your unique voice in ways that will resonate with more readers in the new normal.
Because your unique voice matters more than you realise in these strange times.