Archive | Facebook Voice Feature RSS feed for this section

How to Find the Voice of Your Business

business coaching

It’s no surprise that Virgin mogul Richard Branson (one of my business heroes) has a cheeky brand. And unashamedly so, he makes no excuses for letting his cheekiness seep into all of his businesses. From cheeky taglines in all of the Virgin advertisements to Facebook campaigns that are always fresh and a little bit left-of-centre. I love them.

Here’s a campaign that just came out a few days ago, for the “Virgin Produced” company…..

business facebook(c) Virgin Produced

And, here’s another cheeky Virgin post on Facebook from just the other day! Love it!

business mentoring(c) Virgin

So why is Sir Dick’s brand so unconventional? It’s because Richard Branson is himself cheeky. His personality therefore seeps through all of his business dealings including the marketing of all of his companies.

And of course, even the name of Branson’s whole empire “Virgin”, still lies somewhere between avant garde and shocking. We are all quite used to it by now, but I remember when “Virgin Music” first burst onto the scene in the 80′s, we were all a little taken aback. His style and attitude, even in business circles, was definitely “progressive” back then.

Branson is brash, a risk taker, and therefore, so are his companies, in every aspect. And so I bring you to my point that the “Voice” of any business follows the personaility of its’ owner. “The Voice” of a company starts at the top. It’s the only place it can start, really.

Following a presentation I gave last week at the Stella Group in Lismore, NSW, my inbox was flooded with lotsa folks asking me questions like….

How do I find the Voice of my Facebook Page? How do I find the Voice of my business? What is the process to do this?

You see, the topic of my talk was….

How to find The Voice of Your Business on Facebook

When I am coaching my clients, my advice is that the “Voice” of your Facebook Page actually starts with the Voice of your business. The Voice of your business stems from the business owner themselves, and this starts with your own story.

I always believe in leading by example, so I am happy to share my story with you. If you’re interested in reading a tale of what drives me, here’s my full story or a short bio here. If not, let’s push on so I can explain where I’m going with this post…..

But suffice to say, my bottom line is…. I was born to help. Some of my clients affectionately nickname me Dr. Francesca. If you’ve had the time to read my story, you’ll understand why….

If you don’t have the time to read my full story, here’s a brief snippet….

I wrote my first “computer program” when I was 14 years old, almost 30 years ago. This was a decade before the Internet was even invented. It was a high school assignment (I was lucky to be at a progressive school for the times)  and we were asked to program the rules of Snakes&Ladders with a 1 player and 2 player option. I remember being mesmerised by how you could join the dots together and how you could make the pieces of a concept fit beautifully, almost like composing notes on a page into a song. And I remember feeling equally distraught when the whole game fell apart when the structure wasn’t programmed right.

I was fascinated by this new phenomena called “Information Technology”, and I could see, even 30 years ago, that this “Technology” was no passing fad.

I could see that if we could program these machines called “computers” to do tasks for us automatically, that the whole of humanity could perform every task more efficiently. I knew this had to be a good thing, and something of a revolution in the way we did things. This was in the early 80′s after all, when things just clunked along pretty uncohesively, compared to the level of automation and ease we have now with iPhones, iPads, internet banking, WiFi, the list goes on!

So let me explain where I’m going with this post…. (stay with me on this one, I am telling you these stories for a reason, but stick with me because in a minute I’ll step you through a powerful exercise that will help You find The Voice of Your Business too)….

From that process of programming a simple Snakes&Ladders game, I became fascinated with automation. I was in awe of processes that linked together. I went on to learn about this new way of thinking in the IT degree that I later studied at University.

Combine this fascination with my inner “doctor” drive, I would have to say, that my heart and my story can be summed up as….

I’m passionate about helping people. I’m excited about connecting the dots. I’m driven to putting the systems and processes together that make life and business easier. I was born to do this job. I was cut out to mentor business people and to help them join their own dots between business and technology

So here’s how I coach my clients to “tune in” to “The Voice” of their own businesses…

First Step, you need to write your story. Yep, I mean on paper.

  • write what first sparked you to start your business
  • what captures your curiosity now
  • what still excites you in your business
  • what drove you to where you are now
  • ask yourself, “what am I passionate about in my business?”

This is Step 1 on Day 1 of a seven-day exercise. You see, over the course of the next week, you are going to do a little exercise that will help you tune in to “The Voice” of your business. It is simple yet powerful. And by the end of 7 days, you will understand exactly what your Voice feels like, looks like and sounds like. So why are we doing this over 7 days? Because this gets the best results, and I will tell you why it does, at the end of this post…oooh, a little surprise is in stall for you :) No peaking!

Step Two is to paint a picture. Yup, with paints, coloured pencils, watercolour, oils, crayons (I’m not joking by the way). Take a fresh piece of paper. It can be anything, butchers paper, a paper napkin, a proper stretched canvas or a lined scrap-pad. Whatever you have lying around. And….

  • draw what your ideal business looks like
  • what the heck, draw what your ideal life looks like
  • be sure to include as many details as you can, go nuts, truly, don’t be shy, the more details you can fill in, the more powerful this exercise will be for you and the more benefit for your business
  • have some fun with this, this is your time to shine baby
  • remember, no-one is watching and there’s no-one marking this, so pour your little heart out into this drawing. This exercise is more about the ideas and the content so don’t worry one iota about the quality of the artwork
  • draw what your ideal customer looks like
  • draw it all and get this all out of your head

And see how good it feels to have….

  1. your story written down, and
  2. your dream business and life drawn into a picture

Remember you don’t need to paint like Rembrant or write verse like Keats. This is not your Masterpiece or your Manifesto. This is part of your overall Business Masterplan, so let it flow, and let it take any shape or form. There is no right or wrong answer, though the only requirement here is to be real, honest and authentic with yourself.

Now you need to mull over what you have written and drawn for a few days, let it wash over you, and come back to this process in 3 days time. It’s really important not to skip this “mulling” step. So perhaps print this post and place it into your diary 3 days forward as a reminder to pick this exercise up again in a few days time. But to give this your best shot, I recommend not doing all these steps at once….

[3 days have passed now and we're ready to move onto Step Three....]

Step Three is to write the sensory values of your business. Whether you have a new or existing business, write down (on a separate piece of paper), what you want your business to

  • look like (is there a white or orange glowing lamp in your B&B foyeur? or do you want your cabins to feel like a Hawaiian cabana by the sea? or a black and white old fashioned photo? sepia maybe?)
  • feel like (do you want to walk into your restaurant and feel like you have bitten into a slice of watermelon or do you want to feel like you’re walking into a cafe in a Rue in Paris?)
  • smell like (is there a vanilla scented candle burning in your shop or can you smell freshly roasted coffee wafting in the background?)
  • sound like (is your business fast and racy with contemporary music playing eg a DJ or Zumba class, or does your business sound calm and peaceful with quieteness or birdsong eg a Yoga class or a quiet retreat)
  • write down all the sensory values of your ideal business, how it looks, feels, smells and sounds like
  • whether you have a shop-front or online business, home-based business or separate office, whether you are selling professional services or tangible goods, everyone can identify the look, feel, smell and sound of their business and their products. This is an important step in order to identify the voice of your business.

You see, what I want you to be doing here is to be connecting with the emotion of your business. How you feel about your business is how your customer is going to feel about your business. And this single factor, how your customer feels about your business, is one of the most significant factors that determines whether a customer will buy from you….

Step Four. Unique Selling Point or UPS. You need to write down on another piece of paper….

  • what is different about your business compared to your competitors
  • what is different about your products compared to businesses similar to yours
  • what is different about the service that you offer compared to other businesses in your industry

They key here is to understand that what you are selling is not the product itself. What you are selling is what is unique about your business. For example, if you sell handbags with detachable covers, the fact that your handbags have a detachable front cover is your unique selling point, not the fact that you are a seller of handbags.

Step Five. Solve a problem. Write this down on another piece of paper….

  • identify what problem your product solves. This is what you are selling. Hint. You are not selling stilettos, you are selling longer, sexier legs.

Step Six. Let this all wash over you for 3 more days. Let the voice of your business simmer, bubble and brew for a little while.

Step Seven. It’s Day 7 and you have now mulled over this for a week, in the background, while you have gone about your regular activities. And if you have done every step in this exercise, you should now be able to lay out in front of you, five bits of paper with these ingredients on them….

  1. your story
  2. your dream life/dream business
  3. the sensory values of your business
  4. your unique selling point
  5. what problem your business is solving

You now have the ingredients of the voice of your business in front of you, and more importantly, out of your head. And this all stems from your own personality, your passion and what drives you, what you are curious about and what you are most excited about in your business. THIS is The Voice of your business.

All the subtleties and nuances of the voice of your Facebook Page lay in the ingredients above. And now that you have let all these ingredients simmer and brew over the last 7 days, it’s time to serve up your beautiful soup. Your dinner party guests are arriving now, and they are arriving in the form of your customers. So go make them something delicious and memorable, go make them a meal they’ll never forget :) And I’ll be here cheering for you xx

PS. Oh, so why do we do this exercise over the course of a week? It’s because by allowing your subconsious to bubble up over a period of time, you are more likely to bypass your thinking brain and connect emotionally with your heart. Once you access how you feel about your business (not what you think about it), only then can you access the true heart and passion of your business. And it is this heart and passion that your customers will be connecting with too, the instant before they buy from you. It is this heart and passion that will open the door to The Voice of your business :)   And if you need a l’il help to find the authentic voice of your business, click here, I’m born to help :) Or if you’re more into DIY, my book “Novice2Ninja” was birthed to help too :)

Cheers

Francesca Esposito-Rose

Helping You find the Voice of Your Business Online

For more posts similar to this, check these out….

The Juice in Your Business

The Voice Feature on Facebook