I am currently launching my business…
This means I am taking everything that I have learned from the last ten years of delivering creative business development on behalf of universities, charities and local authorities in the UK and putting all the good stuff in one place, so that all you lovely people can build the business of your dreams.
The thing is, that all the “Know How” – the technical knowledge is the easy bit, the information on “How To…” shape your business in whichever way you want.
The hardest bit for me is finding my voice.
“Nothing is more intimately more part of who we are than our voice”
– David weinberger, The Cluetrain Manifesto.
You see, I have a lot of exercises and techniques that I have developed over the last decade or so, some of which are even unique to me. However, they were all written on behalf of other organisations, to their corporate guidelines and their brand values. I am even finding writing blog posts like these ones a challenge, reading over every line and thinking..does that sound like me…really?
And finding your voice is important. Very important.
We live in oversupplied times. There are very many varieties of everything we could ever want to buy…so how do we ever make up our mind which ones to get?
The short answer is that we choose the version whose brand values add something to the story we tell the world about ourselves.
Let me ask you a question…
…are you an Apple person, or a PC person?
…why is that?
My guess would be that if you are an Apple person, you see yourself as a creative and that your Apple products add to that story that you share about yourself.
Maybe it is about cool design (which means I am a person who cares about cool design) or it is about advanced functionality (I care about using the best tools), but whatever it may be, it means something to you and more critically tells everyone else something important about you.
If we believe that in this over supplied economy we differentiate by being more ourselves and expressing our unique value, then finding our voice is one of the most useful things to do. Perhaps even the most useful.
The more clearly we find our voice then surely it will follow that we will find people who want to listen to what we are saying in the way we are saying it. Those whom we can help tell their own story.
So, let me share with you the questions that I am puzzling over, even as I write the words you are reading now.
- What are the key features of the personality I am trying to express?
- How am I getting those across?
- What is the tone of voice I am aiming for?
- How does that match what my intended readers are hoping to find?
I suppose in the end a very useful answer could be found in Seth Godins astonishingly concise wisdom in his book “Lynchpin” that “..real artists ship..” and that we can only find our voices by using them and by using them often.
So that means write more.
And by write more I mean finish and publish what you are writing. If you keep on tinkering with the same piece for ever you wont learn anything other than you can say anything in almost infinite ways.
Finish. Ship. Move on to the next thing. Repeat.
Photo by Imagemajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net