“WTF is your voice?”
WTF is your voice
WTF is the foundation of the Brand Ventriloquist™ framework.
This is how you scale your content.
Sounding like you is no accident. And it’s certainly not luck. It’s a practiced skill learned by breaking down and analyzing these three pillars:
Your language & lexicon
What vocabulary do you use? Even more importantly, what words do you avoid? This includes local slang, industry terms, your products, and signature dialogue you drop into conversation.
The way you say things
Are you happy, witty, confident, snarky, arrogant, blissful, techy, or funny? Maybe you’re a combination of each. (Tone is how people used to convey emotion before emojis were born.)
The rhythm of your writing
Short and choppy? Or long, flowy, wordy-bird sentences that paint wonderful pictures, draw you in with their splendor, and engage your eyeballs with their ever-flowing length. This is your cadence.
Words, Tone, and Frequency
These 3 elements are the foundation of your voice.
Nail them, and everything else is just gravy.
Then we document it all in a pretty little guide.
A voice guide lays out how your copy should look, sound, and read in every format
So everything your team creates will remain consistent
(and even your best customers won’t know it’s not written by you)
“Smarter companies treat brand voice guidelines as a living, breathing, evolving asset that helps writers and content creators communicate with similar (but not identical) styles.”
– Ann Handley
Digital Marketing Pioneer
I’m Justin Blackman.
I keep your writers on brand without you having to train them yourself.
So, what does a Voice Guide actually look like?
What do I know about voice?
(AKA: How I became a BRAND VENTRILOQUIST™)
“Justin adapted our voice for 12 different brands so we could produce more work in-house without paying extra agency fees.”
Every time we run a major campaign for our hotels, the language changes for each brand. Different audiences, different tones, different styles. Justin understood the nuances between them and modified every voice to fit. Being able to keep the work in-house saved us thousands of dollars per project.Steve Jones
“I’ve never seen anyone put as much thought into the process of voice and tone guides as Justin.”
“Audience avatars, lexicons, examples, practical tips, customer considerations… I TRIED to find a hole in his documentation, and I absolutely couldn’t. Whether you’re a company scaling up your content efforts with multiple writers, an international team struggling to keep voice and tone consistent, or even a small company trying to define what makes your voice your own, I have every confidence Justin’s voice guide will help you meet those goals.”Joel Klettke
Book a call using the button below for a live analysis of your voice and a walk-thru of a sample guide
Just like a style guide helps designers, a voice guide helps your writers
Because you can’t google your voice. But you can document it.
- Consistency between all your messaging—to create a balanced experience for readers every at every step
- Less editing time (often none at all)—to save you from all those unprofitable hours when you’re pulling your hair out
- Measurable and specific feedback—so if changes need to be made, they’ll be done right and ready to go
- Faster on-boarding for new writers—stock them with everything they need from day one (without constantly repeating yourself)
- Accuracy of file naming—all your docs will be easy to find, easy to tag, and easy to upload
- Streamlined submission process—outline how you want every piece delivered so it’s easiest for you
- Quick reference for relevant content—no more diving into the messy black hole of your C: Drive to look for examples
- A glossary of brand terminology & idiosyncrasies—which keeps your content looking, sounding, and reading right across all platforms
Do I really need a voice guide?
Will a voice guide help me create my brand voice?
Is this the same as a brand guide?
Can I incorporate my existing brand guide into this?
Yes. I’m happy to add your existing information into your guide.
How do I train my writers to use this?
Your guide comes with crazy-simple instructions. The first section will outline exactly how it (and you) work, so all you need to do is pass it along.
For the XL Package, we’ll develop a custom training option based on your team’s needs. It could be a video series, emails, or in-person sessions.
How long does it take to create my voice guide?
Depending on the amount of content you have, most voice guides take between one & four weeks to create. I’ll be able to give you a more accurate timeline when we speak. Please note that I often have a brief wait list before starting any project.
Can you create a writing rubric for me? (Also, what's a rubric?)
Yes. A rubric is a scoring guide used to review and critique submitted copy. It allows you to measure a writer’s accuracy and provide actionable feedback. Rubrics come standard in the XL Package and are available as an add-on to any service. We can talk about this when you book your demo.
What if I don't have a lot of content yet?
Analyzing your voice only takes a few pages, posts, emails, or videos to process. The more you have, the more detailed I can get, but we can build a very solid foundation with even just a little bit of copy. And if you’re looking to develop a certain style, I can incorporate elements to steer your writers in that direction. (You want your tone to be lighter? I’ll lay out specific steps to make that happen.)
What makes your guide better than anyone else's?
Can't I just do this myself?
Yes—much in the same way you can take the engine out of a car yourself. You can do it if you follow a specialized process (like the one I’ve developed over the past three years), take expensive training courses, and thrust yourself of into eight months of analyzing as many voices as possible. But why do all that when I can knock it out for you in 28 days?
Interested in seeing one?
I’ll measure your voice, research your content, and document everything for you.
So, whenever you need to create something new, bring in a writer, or update your pages, they just open their guide and start.
“Dammit, Justin – you’re f*cking gooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.”Rachael Kay Albers