“I don’t know how to promote myself. I feel like I’d just be saying the same old messaging everybody else out there uses. Pick me! Hire me! Choose me!”
“How can I stand out in the crowd when there are tons of other freelance writers out there promoting themselves doing the same things I do?”
Sometimes it seems like everyone is selling the same old stuff in different packaging. It’s easy to start feeling like it’s impossible to stand out especially when you’re depending on landing clients from sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
It might seem like you’re waging a losing battle when it comes to creating original, engaging content that communicates with your audience, but there’s one thing you have that NO ONE else does.
Your personality can act like a magnet to attract your ideal clients and customers. Your own unique messaging can be the differentiating factor that sets you apart from the masses. The question is, how do you communicate your messaging through your social content?
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the 7 steps you can take to identify your unique messaging and put it to use in your content.
Become a Detective of Yourself
This is going to sound super basic, but here goes. You can’t discover your messaging if you never listen to it #truthbomb. So the first step to finding your voice is to dig in and start studying yourself, Sherlock.
Don’t just limit yourself to studying only your existing social content though. You’d be missing some pretty big opportunities to really dial in on what makes your content more “you”. People follow people, so no content is off-limits, so make sure you consider personal content as well.
I know it can be cringe-y to have to watch and listen to yourself. I used to HATE the sound of my own voice, but the more I made it part of my process, the less it bothered me. So it’s now your job to go back and review:
- Video content – testimonials you’ve given, online trainings you’ve done in groups or pages, etc.
- Social posts
- Personal and professional blog articles
- Podcast interviews
- Facebook Lives on your personal profile
Another way to research yourself is to talk to the people closest to you. Your family, friends, and team listen to and watch you every day. They have a third-party, objective view of how you really communicate. Ask them things like:
- What do I sound like?
- How would you describe my way of communicating?
- What types of language do I use a lot?
- What are some areas of communication I excel at? What are some areas I struggle with?
Take Notes On Yourself Like It’s Your Job
As you go through your existing content, look for things that make it uniquely “you”. Pay attention to the small details so you can be purposeful and consistent in your communication.
Write down phrases and words you use often in speech. These words and phrases will be obvious in unscripted video and audio content because it just comes automatically.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always automatically translate in your written content. Personally, my brain gets in my own way. I tend to write more formally than I speak, which takes away from the fun, personal feel my unscripted audio and video content has.
Want a quick tip on how to keep that from happening? Speech-to-text. Instead of typing out your content, use Google Docs’ Voice typing tool to record yourself, then go back and clean up any typos or punctuation issues. Now you have written content that’s consistent with your actual messaging style.
Finally, make sure you take note of your tone and the level of energy you bring when you speak. Are you super animated? Do you wave your hands around? Or are you more soft-spoken and reserved? There’s no wrong answer here. The goal is simply to be aware.
Lock Down Your Messaging Non-Negotiables
Your audience doesn’t want you to be a carbon copy of someone else. Don’t be afraid to be YOU. There are certain things about the way you communicate that might be different from the popular influencers in your industry. Never apologize for what makes you, YOU.
You’ve done the research and taken notes on how you communicate. Step 3 is to declare your non-negotiables. What do you want to be known for when it comes to your content? What do you want to make sure you always include when you communicate?
Don’t be afraid to be different. If you use a lot of pop culture references, great! Tend to turn everything into a song when you’re talking? Do it! Remember, this is what attracts the RIGHT people to you.
Decide On Your Messaging No-Gos
You won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s a GOOD thing. Are there certain things you don’t ever want to include in your communication? Great! Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not. It’s okay to draw a line and refuse to cross it.
Your audience NEEDS you to stand for some things and not for others. If they get consistent messaging from you, they feel safe and solid. If you’re up and down and try to appeal to everyone, they get confused. For example, imagine Russell Brunson dropping the F-bomb on a Facebook Live.
My no-gos include profanity and opening calling out specific people. My momma taught me if I can’t say anything nice, then I shouldn’t say anything at all. It’s just ingrained in who I am, and I’m totally okay with that.
Utilize Free Tools
Still stuck? No worries! There are lots of free ways to get insight on your messaging. Here are some of my favorites:
- Stalk your competition. What topics are they covering? How is their audience responding? How can you use that to dial in on your voice?
- Survey your current clients/customers. What do they like about your content? How do they see you? What would they like more of? Less of?
- Use search engines. Google, YouTube, and Pinterest are great places to see what people in your industry are talking about. Create your own original content around popular topics and see what happens.
Study Your Audience
I’ll say it until the cows come home – your audience is SO important. They’re the whole reason you’re here, right? You want your unique voice to attract the ideal clients and customers you want to serve. In order to serve them well, you have to know them well.
Your audience is the barometer of your content. Their response helps you gauge how well your offers will do. If your audience doesn’t respond to something, even if you’re SURE it was just what they needed, pay attention. Your audience won’t always want what you think they want, and that’s okay.
Let your audience guide the content you provide. Follow their lead. They may be more or less problem/solution aware than you think. Meeting them with what they need right where they’re at is very effective.
Monitor Your Audience’s Response
When you’re getting good engagement, that means your audience is warm. Keep it up! But if all you’re hearing is crickets, it’s time to try something else. This process of testing content can take some time. You won’t automatically get super great engagement at first. If you show up consistently, it will build.
One great way to accelerate this process is just asking your audience what they want. Find out what they WANT to hear about, then give it to them.
Think of your audience like a barometer that shows the effectiveness of your content. Content that gets a lot of engagement means the audience likes it. You’ll know you’ve hit your voice on the head when your audience comments, responds, clicks, and buys.
The ultimate indicator that you’ve discovered and are thriving in your messaging, of course, is booked calls. Don’t expect your audience to read your mind though – make an offer! Keep listening to your audience and making offers until something works. You’ve got this!
More From Christa Nichols
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