5 Tips for Finding Your Online Voice

Posted by Jon Ostrow on Jun 12, 2014 11:15 AM

how_to_find_your_online_voice Photo credit: (image source)

Guest post by Jon Ostrow. Jon is the Director of Sales for Bandsintown and is the co-founder of the music marketing blog MicControl.

No matter the style of content you find most effective with your fans – blogging, tweeting, videos, photos, Vines, etc. – one thing remains certain: You must be consistent in your voice in order to build long-term connections with your fans.

This voice will become the building blocks for your brand both online and off, and will ultimately become the way your existing fans, new fans and the community at large identify with you as a unique presence. In other words, finding an online voice that best suits you is the first step to ensuring you are, to paraphrase Seth Godin, remarkable and not invisible.

Though there are a seemingly infinite number of ways to arrive at your own voice, here are five tips to help you focus in on what may come to define your voice later on:

1. Emulate who inspires you

In early popular/rock music, it was a well-established idea to seek out other musicians as a source of inspiration, and then to emulate that style and sound as a basis for something fresh and new. Without Muddy Waters, there would be no Jimi Hendrix. Without Robert Johnson, there would be no Eric Clapton. The list can go on and on...

This concept can certainly be said for all other forms of media, including the content you are developing as a basis of your online presence. Find other musicians, bloggers, journalists, filmmakers, etc. that inspire you, and begin to emulate their process. It is through this process that you will be able to determine which aspects each come naturally to you, and from this you will begin to develop your own voice as a sum of these individual parts.

2. Create often

Just like finding your voice as a songwriter, it is quite unlikely to happen overnight. Creating content that feels uniquely your own can take far longer than you might imagine. To give you an example of my own experience, it took me almost two years of blogging several times per week to arrive at my own voice.

The only way around this is to create as often as you can. The more you create, the more opportunity you have to better understand what comes most naturally to you.

3. Share your passions

One of the easiest ways to find your voice is to seek out opportunities to share your passions. Your passions are things that you are deeply and emotionally connected to, so sharing anything about them is likely to bring out the most honest version of you.

This genuine excitement will not only help you more easily define your voice, but it’s a great opportunity for you to connect with your fans and bring them into your world on a much more personal level. This is how a fan tribe starts.

4. Be honest about yourself

Let's go back to the most honest version of yourself for a moment. Being honest is one of the easiest ways to define a unique voice as it allows the true colors of you as an individual to shine through. If you can approach content creation from an honest perspective, it should be easy for your voice to shine through, as it will simply reflect your own personal experiences and your background.

5. Allow yourself to fail

Allowing yourself to fail is critical to successfully establishing your online voice. Going back to #2, you need to remove the fear of failure from your thought process. Understand that failure is never the end game, but only a stepping-stone towards your success. Every time you fail, you develop a better understanding of what doesn't work, so that in your next attempt you can seek out a better alternative. As you Tweet, blog, create videos, etc., knowing that each one is simply a learning opportunity will make it easier for you to create content at a more prolific level, and will help you to arrive at your own unique voice more quickly.

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