6 ways to create your authentic voice in a digital-first world

Image of Goldie Chan.

Image courtesy of Erin Beach.

In today’s visual and digital-first world, content is fuelling the global economy, and personal branding is one of the most important components of your career. With the surge in remote work, digital networking, and interactive media, people are no longer limited by their in-person connections or physical location. Alternatively, they have the ability to create and promote a personal brand that can establish them as an expert in their field, connect them with like-minded people, and open doors to new opportunities.

However, there are also several challenges that come with making a mark in the digital universe. With so much competition and noise, the internet has become incredibly crowded, and there is an increasing need to stand out in a crowded social media landscape.

You could say that branding and storytelling is my life. As a personal branding coach to many top leaders and brands, I've come up with a short list of effective strategies that you too can implement to create and establish a strong personal voice.

Find your voice

Establishing a strong digital presence is essential if you want to succeed in today’s creative and career marketplace. One of the most necessary components of building your personal brand is developing your authentic voice. Your voice is an expression of your personal brand, and it should be your consistent and coherent way of communicating with your audience through digital channels that thoroughly shows off your personality. It embodies elements such as your language, style, and tone, and should reflect personality, values, and goals. Your authentic voice shapes the way people perceive your message. Developing your digital voice takes self-reflection, time and effort, here are some tips to help you do so.

Know your authentic self

To develop your digital voice, you need to know who you are and what you stand for. Spend time reflecting on your personality, beliefs, and values — think about your style of communication, the tone, and what feels most natural to you. Are you professional and serious, or more conversational and casual?

Define your audience

Knowing who you would like to have your brand speak to is equally as important as knowing yourself because it helps you tailor your marketing efforts and your message to the people who are most likely to benefit from your products, services, or expertise.

Be transparent

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to personal branding because when you try and be someone you’re not, it clearly shows — and it won’t resonate with your audience. Authenticity requires transparency and honesty — be upfront about your goals and motivations. Be willing to talk to your audience and engage them in decision making processes. Don’t shy away from expressing your true personality and inject some quirkiness, creativity, or humour into your content. You will stand out when you’re transparent and unapologetic about displaying your authentic self.

Be consistent

Consistency means using the same tone, language, and style in all your digital communications. Whether consumers buy their products or not, everyone recognizes certain brands because their voice and their message is consistent across all platforms. When your audience encounters your brand, they should know it’s you because they’ve become familiar with your voice.

Share personal stories

One of the most powerful ways to showcase your authenticity is to share personal stories, let your audience get to know you, and more importantly see themselves in you. You don’t need to put all your business out there, but sharing personal stories makes you more relatable and gives your audience insight into who you really are.

For example, I worked with the CEO of a global luxury real estate firm who wanted to grow their personal brand on a multitude of social platforms. To do this, we wanted to show that this person was at the top of their game in the industry, but also led a fulfilling and relatable homelife. So together we showcased images of carefully curated real estate offerings as they were being developed, coupled with personal images, giving followers a glimpse into who this person was both personally and professionally. I also worked with this person to create thought leadership content around the future of luxury real estate. As a result, this individual was ranked #1 on LinkedIn for luxury brokerage searches and saw an over 130 percent + increase in engagement. On Instagram for the personal touches? Over 300 percent + uptick in their account’s engagement. Show (and tell) your audience who you are — they care.

Listen to feedback

Your audience is made up of the people consuming your content and investing in your products and services — what they say matters. Pay attention to reviews, comments, and messages from your followers and be willing to listen to (and learn from) constructive criticism. To get deeper insight into how your audience perceives you, ask them for feedback directly, host an ‘ask me anything’ or find other ways to engage with them to learn what’s resonating — and what’s not.

Once you’ve locked down finding your brand and voice, it’s also important to have the necessary tools at your fingertips that work best for you and most importantly, help you stand out. That’s why I love using Adobe Express — it's truly revolutionizing the way anyone with an idea, and a story to tell can make stunning videos, design and documents faster and easier than ever before.

Get started today and keep an eye out for part two of my article series. Until then, see you on the socials!

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