Communication is much more than just what we say. Did you know the words you use only have a 7% impact on your reader?
That’s right, the tone we use to deliver our message has a whooping 38% impact on who we’re speaking to (according to psychology professor Albert Mehrabian, creator of the 7%-38%-55% rule).
As a founder, you’re in the business of building your brand from the ground up. While proof of concept and market research are important to turn your big idea into a reality, clarifying your brand voice is just as essential. And here’s why.
1. It gives your copy purpose
Whether you’re bootstrapping your start-up or pitching for funding, you want to know your efforts are going to be worthwhile.
You wouldn’t start building a new product without having a roadmap and KPIs in place to hold your vision accountable. So, why spend hours writing copy for your packaging, app or website without a set of criteria and objectives in place?
By going through the process of crafting tone of voice guidelines, you’ll clarify what your goals are for every piece of communication. This takes the guesswork out of crafting copy for your brand and ensures you hold your content and copy accountable for driving your vision forward.
2. It shows what your stand for as a brand
If you're rebuilding an entire industry or revolutionising the way things are done, chances are your vision is anchored by values. This process of articulating exactly why you’re building your brand in the first place is key to creating tone of voice guidelines and leveling-up the copy and content you create.
The vision and story behind your brand is what will connect with your ideal customers and give them a reason to remember you. By building these values into every piece of copy you create, you’ll give your target market a reason to buy into your big idea, too.
3. It establishes your position as a leader in your industry
What makes your business stand out from the pack? The answer to this question probably lives inside your pitch deck or on internal documents that your customers will never see. So, why not embed these unique selling points into every piece of copy you share with your audience?
Tone of voice guidelines capture and articulate exactly what sets you apart from others in your industry, and gives you the vocabulary and framework to craft copy that harnesses your points of difference.
With a strong identity and assured personality, customers are more likely to trust your brand and see you as an authority in your industry.
4. It humanises your copy and content
We trust people, not data points. While it’s important to share what your idea is, how it works and how it solves your customers’ problems, the language and tone you use to communicate this is what will determine whether you make the sale or not.
Here’s the thing: we’re 20x more likely to remember facts and information if they’re told as part of a story.
By crafting a unique tone of voice, your brand will be able to harness the power of strategic storytelling to humanise your copy and content and build brand preference salience.
5. It ensures your content convinces and converts your audience
Understanding the problems you’re solving for your customers is the first step. But, to really close the loop as a founder, you need to clarify what language will get your customers over the line.
Tone of voice guidelines give you the messaging architecture and phrasing examples to do just that. By understanding the needs of your customers, the solutions you provide and how you’re going to share your message, you’ll cut through the noise to leave a lasting impact on your target market.
While tone of voice might seem like a simple proposition, it requires significant time and effort to craft tone of voice guidelines that will truly move the needle for your business. By clarifying your objectives, understanding your audience and drawing on your unique selling points, you’ll be able to develop a compelling messaging framework that ensures you embed strategic storytelling into every piece of copy and content you create for your brand.