Finding your marketing voice

I’m in the process of developing Tornado Marketing — the Tornado Method version of marketing for non-marketers. In Tornado Marketing we make a distinction between brand awareness marketing, a continuous stream of messaging to your ideal clients, and targeted marketing, where we promote anything with a date.

Brand awareness marketing is designed to raise awareness that you exist, that you have something of interest to your ideal clients, and get them to contact you. It can range from (in the real world) billboards or signage outside a shop to (online) a kick-ass Instagram feed, posts on LinkedIn or articles on Medium or your blog (like this one).

Showing up consistently

One of the keys to successful brand awareness marketing is showing up consistently. If you’re posting on LinkedIn every day you have to consistently show up every day. If you’re writing content your ideal clients may find valuable you have to show up consistently as well.

I’ve been publishing weekly articles on my blog and Medium for almost year now, and I’ve recently started writing daily (this article is one of the dailies). Showing up weekly for almost the last year established a sense of trust with my readers and provides them with information they find useful — the comments and feedback I get every week are testament to this.

But writing every week or every day can get difficult because it’s not always easy to get inspiration. And when you start Tweeting a couple of times a day it gets even more difficult — we run out of things to say.

Except if we develop our own marketing voice.

What’s a marketing voice?

Seth Godin is one of the most admired marketers today. As I write this his blog has over 7,000 posts (he’s been at it since 2003) and more than a million subscribers. A post a day (and sometimes more than one). His posts are short and to the point, but most importantly they are unmistakably Seth — clear, concise and human.

And there’s the key — human.

None of us like to be treated like a target. If you write at your target market you subconsciously adopt the attitude that you’re just a mark and I’m going to get my hand in your wallet. The world is full of hype and hard sell, and we recognize it when we see it and without exception we hate it.

Seth’s posts are written for people — not targets. When you read them you can clearly see that they are not there to lure you into some sales funnel; they are there to help you do or understand something better. He writes from the heart and it shows in his posts — and his following.

The mindset shift

To find your marketing voice you need to make a mental switch — or a mindset shift as I tell my coaching clients. When we make a mindset shift, the way we look at the world changes, and when our view changes the way we think about the world — and interact with it — changes as well.

You need to make the mindset shift from target market to person.

But not just any person — a real person. A person with a name. Your ideal client, without a doubt — but a real, live person with a name, a business, a personality and their own strengths and weaknesses.

As soon as you make the mental switch from I am writing for my target market to I am writing to John, you’re talking to a real person. You know them, you know what they look like and you’ve seen the things they’re good at and not so good at.

And that’s your marketing voice.

Finding your marketing voice

You won’t find your marketing voice when you write at your target market. You find it when you talk to someone you know. You don’t write or talk at them — you’re talking with them.

Don’t write for an avatar — write for someone real.

I didn’t truly find my marketing voice until I stopped trying to write for an imagined client, trying to be scientific about the words that would hook them and evoke the emotions that would lead them into my sales funnel.

I found my marketing voice when I started writing for specific people. Almost every single one of my articles now is inspired by — and written for — one or more real people I know.

This week’s long-form article (an 8 minute read) was about dealing with email overwhelm. It was inspired by an email from a subscriber and I wrote it specifically for her. And after it was published I had comments from other subscribers about how on the mark and useful it was.

Writing for one specific person made it human and real. Real people responded to it.

Find your marketing voice by just being you

“Just be you” is such a cliche. But if you write for (or at) artificial people it’s going to show up in your voice. So don’t write for avatars — write for real people and make it easy by writing for just one person. Just be yourself — and learn the techniques that will make your writing more entertaining, compelling and useful.

Make it easy by writing for someone specific — a real person.

Just be yourself, even if it is a cliche.

And if you’re wondering, yes — this article was written for a real person. Someone struggling to find their voice. I hope this helps.