“Moooooommmmmyyyyyyy!” my daughter, Sierra, 6, shouts from the opposing end of our one-story rambler as she prepares for school–having already devoured her overly sweetened oatmeal (we’ll work on that habit later).
1,2,3, I count, holding my breath as I wait…No answer from Mommy, I tell myself (intentionally, because as I tell the kids, “I’m not the family dog. You can come to me rather than screaming my name.”).
“MAH-MEEEEEE!” she shouts, more insistent.
Okay, maybe this is serious, I think, since it is now a two-Mommy alarm. And even if it’s not, it doesn’t feel terrible to be needed.
I run down the hallway in my teal microfiber socks, nearly denting my head on the corner as I round the final stretch of hardwood floor before I spy her splayed on her carpet floor, brushing her American Girl doll’s sleek auburn hair. She looks up at me with her globe eyes from behind her ringlets (which have yet to be tamed before school). “Mommy, when will you get me a hairbrush just for Saige?”
Not an emergency, I think. But to Sierra, it’s important. You see, her “Grandma Boppy” told her once that the oils from her own head can get on the doll’s hair and make it grimy, so she should use a different brush. She can’t find the doll’s brush her grandma had given her amidst the tangle of her rainbow loom, crayons, and candy canes left over from Christmas. In another morning’s haze, I had told her, “We’ll get you another one at the store.” Now she’s wanting me to pony up.
I just got off the phone with an author who is writing a rather riveting and tenuous life story. Like Sierra, he wants to be heard–as do all authors I interview for a ghostwriting or editing project. In fact, one of the biggest concerns I hear is, “Will you write or edit it in my voice?” which is the equivalent of asking, “Will you help me be heard?” or in Sierra-ese, “Will you buy that doll brush?”
Voice is the tone and style with which you say something. It may be the way the words fall on the page or are uttered into the auditorium. Your voice is the greatest tool you have to communicate with the masses.
Why is it so important that you tell your story–whether it be a book or the description of your brand–in your voice, and not someone else’s?
1)Writing in someone else’s voice means you will be attracting customers to a different brand–not yours. If you aim to attract customers that align to your brand, use the words–tone, inflections, imagery, dialogue–that represent your unique personality and principles as a writer, leader, or entrepreneur.
2)Writing in your voice means that when you are heard, you also will feel heard. Success in relationships is often measured by an equal exchange of power, which means that both parties feel heard. Success in business also requires being heard; but a lesser known thought is that it requires feeling heard. You will feel heard when you know that the recipient understands the true intention behind your message.
Let it be your voice that your customers hear. And then know when to pause and let your message distill in silence so that they can consider how to respond.
Sierra speaks in her own voice, which is why I will stop by Dollar General today to get Saige a hairbrush. Her words inspired me to live differently, even if just for the twelve minutes it will take to shop.
If you aren’t sure what to say or how to say it, hire a branding expert or ghostwriter to help. (That’s what we do for others.) What’s easy for you to say might be easier for us to write.