Business blogs everywhere say the same thing: Find your company’s “voice,” and half the work is done for you. Suddenly everyone knows you because of your unique presence, and you can’t physically stop the money from rolling right into your bank account.
There’s a big problem with that, though. How are you supposed to find a voice when all of them seem to be taken?
Not literally taken, of course; there’s nothing technically stopping you from using another company’s voice. But how does that separate you from the hordes of other new businesses out there?
Your own voice is your own
The important thing to remember when trying to find a voice for your business is that you already have a unique voice: your own. Many people forget that their own perspective on life and business is different from everyone else’s. You don’t have to do anything else to make it unique.
Another area that relies a lot on “voice” is creative writing. Writers struggle with finding a unique voice only to discover way down the road they already had one. It just takes a certain degree of confidence to use it correctly.
Another similarity between the two worlds is the adage, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” In other words, all the stories have been told; you’re just doing a take on a familiar theme. The same could be said for your business’s voice. You’re not trying to reinvent the wheel; you’re just trying to relate to your customers. Sometimes it’s much simpler than we think.
Look around you
There’s no shame in looking at what other companies have done to develop a unique voice. Often businesses go through a few ideas before finally settling on one that works. Sure, some get lucky and discover that magic touch right away, but that’s hardly the norm. Usually it takes work.
[RELATED: Ragan's new distance-learning site houses the most comprehensive video training library for corporate communicators.]
Examining how other businesses arrived at their way of doing things can help. Did they go through a strange “talk like the youth of today” phase? Was there a transitional period when they overdid the business doubletalk? Or were they light and fun right out of the gate?
Also, keep an eye out for inspiration in other niche markets. For instance, if you see that a jeweler has figured out the perfect mix of fun and business for his “voice,” you may be able to co-opt elements of it, if you sell computer parts. You’re not exactly in competition.
How hard has it been to find your unique voice?
Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases
and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article originally appeared.