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Tune Your Brand Voice

As a marketer, you nurture the voice of your brand. Brands with a consistent voice that resonates with the target audience will achieve the most success.

Sadly, the majority of brands don’t have a clear and consistent voice. Messages conflict. Themes are mixed. You lose the audience because they can’t figure you out.

Here are some things to consider as you tune your brand voice to find the right pitch, tone, and volume to be heard.

Define Your Master Message

We’ve all heard the phrase “sing from the same song sheet.” Does your brand have one? A clear, precise statement defining your identity is the foundation for a sustainable voice that will focus all communications. Your master message should create emotional connections, which are more effective than rational arguments.

Know What Makes You Unique

Saying what you offer is unique is really cliché. Demonstrating what makes you unique in your marketing is gold!

Do You

Authenticity is critical. No one can connect with cold, corporate speak. Having a personality and a conscience is paramount. People want organizations to have values. Share your highs and lows. Be personable. Support meaningful conversations.

Tell Your Professional Story on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to tell your professional story. This is valuable in the job you are in, as it lets customers and potential customers understand your value. It is also helpful if you are looking to change jobs, as recruiters use LinkedIn heavily to look for and vet potential candidates.

Your profile should change as you reach milestones in your career. It should also change as your list of key accomplishments grows. At every stage, you need to make sure your profile is forward thinking and builds the case for the next job you want to have.

Following are some thoughts for each stage of your career. Note that if you have 30 years as a plumber and are working to build a career in fashion, you should create your profile using the guidance for the years of experience in the field you want to be in.

Before you dive in, you will want to refresh your list of the keywords that are most relevant to your profession and your immediate goals. The words and phrases that represent the most important skills do change over time.

1–3 Years of Experience

At this point in your career, highlight your enthusiasm for the work you want to do, your engagement within that field, and your abilities to organize, problem-solve, create, execute, etc.

Include pictures of yourself at industry events. Include any relevant projects, presentations, and other items related to your interests and industry of choice.

Share and comment on current articles or conversations related to the field. Follow relevant companies and influencers.

4–7 Years of Experience

Now it is time to remove details about your schooling and work experience that is not directly related to the work you want to be doing. It is no longer relevant that you flipped burgers to help pay for college, unless being a fast food manager is your career aspiration.

Focus on your experience, work products, and proven skills. Highlight these in your profile headline and summary, as well as in the most recent role in your professional experiences section.

Keep in mind that past positions are hidden away with a “see more” option and most people won’t bother to click this. Your current job description is central to your profile so make sure it communicates loud and clear about who you are and your value.

Keep it all short and easy to scan. Lengthy paragraphs won’t get read on LinkedIn or anywhere online.

8–15 Years of Experience

Tell your professional story in terms of your leadership ability and your specialized skills. Promotions and job offers come to people at this level who won’t need a lot of training and who have a healthy, relevant professional network.

Drop old work samples in favor of fresh items that show what you are doing today and reflect the next level that you want to achieve. Keep building connections with influencers.

Publish articles on LinkedIn that are relevant to your field and demonstrate your thinking as a subject matter expert.

Ask for recommendations for people in your focus industry or field. Recommendations speak to your professional value, but they also demonstrate that you are active and connected. Take time to identify the best people to make recommendations and ask them personally, either by phone or email.

16 and More Years of Experience

Make sure your profile tells a cohesive, compelling story about your skills, experience, and professional passion. Drop items that are not central to who you are and what you do now.

Focus on sharing your thought leadership in posts to groups, in comments on posts created by others, and in long form articles on LinkedIn. Be the leader that you are.

Want more ideas about marketing yourself and your business on LinkedIn? Read my post with marketing tips on LinkedIn.

A Brand Audit Provides Marketing Insight

Your most valuable marketing asset is your brand. A brand audit can give you a read on the value of that asset, as well as any areas in need of attention.

A brand audit is an in-depth examination of your brand to identify what you’re doing well, areas for potential improvement and your current position in the market. Your brand is constantly evolving so a periodic audit ensures it’s evolving in the most valuable ways.

A brand audit consists of looking at your external and your internal branding.

External branding includes:

  • Visual identity (logo, colors, etc.)
  • Marketing presence
  • Website

Internal branding includes:

  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Company values and culture

By looking at internal and external branding, as well as the same for your competitors, you can identify where you are performing well and where you can improve.

Benefits of a Brand Audit

Conducting a brand audit can better help you understand where you stand within your market and in the minds of consumers.

Doing a brand analysis will help you:

  • Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your brand
  • Discover consumer perceptions of your business
  • Understand and align your offerings with customer needs
  • Determine where you stand next to your competition

How to Conduct a Brand Audit

1. Set Up a Framework

The first step to take is to build a framework for your brand audit. Decide what’s to be examined and the methods you will use. Organize your list to incorporate both internal and external brand elements.

2.  Examine Your Website Analytics

Google Analytics provides rich website performance data. Look at:

  • Traffic: How many people are visiting your website, and where are they coming from?
  • Page views: How many times are pages being viewed?
  • Conversion rate: How many goals are being achieved on your website? (Sales, leads, etc.)

3. Survey Customers

Find out what your customers think and say about your brand. You want to know what motivates them, what influences their decisions and what they value most about your brand. Polls and surveys can help you get this insight.

Also, learn how your target audience uses your website. You can do informal or formal testing or a survey. There are tools that allow you to conduct free tests and others that have a low cost.

The goal is to get insight into pages and sections of your website that may be affecting your brand (and your bottom line). This data can help you optimize your website to ensure proper brand positioning.

4. Review Social and Other Online Data

Social media data helps you better understand your audience and how they are engaging with your brand. You want to learn where and how you are mentioned, conversations around valuable keywords, and who is talking about your brand. Be sure to check the data available any place your brand is online.

5. Analyze Competitors

Look at how your competitors are performing from a brand perspective. Where are they mentioned and in what way? What content are they writing about? Is their brand getting noticed?

Observe the use of competitor brand visuals and online presence. What’s working and where are the weak spots. Learn what you want to do and what to avoid.

Next Steps

Document your findings and then look for the intelligence you have gained. Document strengths as well as areas for improvement.

Set goals and strategies for improvement. Make sure you set some measures so you know when you have achieved your goals. Be sure to plan the next brand audit.