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“Do I even have a voice”? How to master your unique voice to grow your business

If you own a business, you’ve probably heard “speak to your ideal client” more times than you can count. Nailing your voice and your ideal client’s voice is a crucial step toward building a comprehensive and effective content strategy. Specifically, one that will help you grow.


But just like all the other marketing and copywriting cliches you hear, this advice probably leads to one of the following reactions:


  1. Screaming into the void (this one will help you lose your voice, not find it).

  2. Winging it and taking way too long to figure out what your ideal client wants and needs to hear.

  3. Giving up and deciding you’ll become a goat herder instead (this is the coolest option in my opinion. Plus, goats don’t speak human, so you won’t have to figure out your voice).


Let’s say you don’t want to choose one of these options. I have a fourth one for you; read this article and skip the screaming, experimental goat herding phase. 


A woman songwriter sings into a microphone. She has long curly dark hair and dark lipstick.

Figuring out your voice 

You might think you can just write and use whatever comes out for your business content. While you should be yourself and be “real”, it’s not that simple. 


You may have heard “write like you speak”, but that advice can be hard to implement, especially if you’re generally uncomfortable sharing online. Fear not, it’s what it sounds like. Read your writing out loud. Does it sound like it was written by a human or a being who recently gained sentience? It should be the former. 


What if you’re not sure what your voice sounds like in copy and content form? 


Here are some guiding questions to keep in mind as you’re developing your style and voice. 


  1. What tone do I want to carry into every piece of copy and content for my business?

  2. What kind of language will I use to support this tone?

  3. What are my values? How do I emphasize them in my content?

  4. What differentiates me from other professionals in my industry? 


Once you have your voice figured out, the next step is stealing your ideal client’s voice. Don’t worry, it’s not as sinister as it sounds. 



Determining your ideal client’s voice

You might be wondering, “Do I even have a unique voice”? 


Of course, you do. The hard part is letting it loose online and making sure your voice harmonizes with your ideal client’s voice. 


So where do you go to determine this? Right to the source. 


Listen to the clients you do have (if you already have some). I work with coaches and professionals in the health and wellness space who are service providers. If you’re in a similar position, you can:


  • Listen to clients during sessions (the language they use to describe their struggles, goals, and desires is important!).

  • Ask current and past clients for testimonials (some providers can’t do this due to confidentiality so make sure you know the rules for you).

  • Collect data from social platforms where your ideal clients are present (like FB groups, Reddit forums, and your competitors’ testimonials).


Once you know what and how your audience thinks and talks, all that’s left to do is use this information to connect and relate to them so you can help them meet their goals. 


Winning hearts and minds 

Alright, you know your voice and your client’s voice. Now, you need to combine the two in a way that encourages them to trust you, connect with you, and ultimately, work with you. 


How do you do this?


1. Share stories that resonate

If you’ve personally gone through something similar to your clients, share what you’re comfortable with sharing. 


Keep in mind that you should relate your story to what it means for them. How have your experiences contributed to your professional approach? Do they give you an advantage other professionals might not have? 


Even if you don’t have similar experiences, there’s always a way to connect with your audience through storytelling.


2. Let them hear it from others like them

Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. Formal testimonials, case studies, and even texts from happy clients can make a huge difference in persuading potential clients


Of course, you know you can help people and you know what makes your service unique, but what’s better than singing your own praises? Yep, showing leads that you know what you’re doing because others just like them have benefitted from working with you. 


3. Don’t make assumptions

It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be on the other side, where your potential clients are now. 


You already have an idea of why they’re struggling, what they might need, and how you’d go about it. But that doesn’t mean they do. 


You have to meet your clients where they are. 


I wouldn't be a copywriter if I didn’t bring psychology into this. Have you heard of the “curse of knowledge”? It’s a bias that makes it difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and communicate with them. An example would be a tutor who struggles to explain a topic in a way that someone who’s starting with little knowledge can understand. 


Your audience will consist of those who:


  • Have little awareness or knowledge of you and the problems you’ll help them solve. 

  • Are problem-aware, but don’t know enough about the potential solutions you offer (or they’re not quite ready for them).

  • Want to solve their problems and find solutions, but they don’t know who or what is the best choice for them (this is where you show them you’re the right choice!). 


Reaching individuals in these different stages of the customer journey involves creating top, middle, and bottom-of-funnel content and copy (but that’s for another day and an entirely different blog). 


An ongoing process in voice development

Don’t stop doing your research. Working in your industry for ten years doesn’t mean you know all there is to know about your clients and what they want and need. 


Your client’s needs, preferences, and language may evolve. Let them grow and be willing to grow with them. Are you the same person you were ten years ago or have you changed? I’ll answer that for you. Of course, you’ve changed. Assume your audience has changed as well. 


Put your audience first and you’ll be amazed by the results. 


Want to know more about how copywriting can help you grow your business? Visit Eilis’ website or message her on LinkedIn. She posts about “copy tips for health professionals and the importance of empathetic and ethical marketing with plenty of puns and silliness for all”. 

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