5 tips to nail your brand voice

Sep 02, 2021
Hayley Hilton Social Media

This may is the most UNDERRATED topic when it comes to branding on social media. I guess it’s easier to focus on the VISUAL nature of social - like flashy graphics, and designs - with copy - the last-minute add to a post.

I can't tell you how many wasted opportunities I’ve seen with bland copy on Paid Ads. Ads with hard-earned money behind them, going unnoticed. 

A brand that has found its VOICE stands out from the rest because they know exactly who they are and how to connect with their people.

When I’m working with a brand on helping them define their voice I like to run testing on the messaging. And I’ve seen brands go from getting no traction on their ads to seeing a return up to 5 times more on their advertising spend.

So let's get straight into those 5 tips to help you nail your brand voice. 

Tip 1: How do you want your audience to FEEL?

Do you want them to feel energized and motivated? Or calm at ease & in good hands. Do you want them to FEEL confident, happy, excited, inspired? Or maybe acknowledged and in a safe space.

Now whenever I give this exercise to my clients in a workshop, what usually ends up happening is they want to circle all of the options above … and I get it, these are all great feelings you want your people to feel, but trying to be everything to everyone means your brand will blend in with the crowd. 

If you’re a brand that wants to stand out from the rest, you need to get super narrow. What FEELING do you want to be associated with the most based on the problem that you’re solving for your people?

Tip 2: Define the RELATIONSHIP.

Are you the Coach, coaching them towards realising their dreams? A Mentor. Their BFF. Their biggest cheerleader. The Yoda to their Luke Skywalker?

Tip 3: Describe your brand's PERSONALITY.

I want YOU to think of 5 words to describe your brand’s personality?


As if your brand were a whole human being.


Are you the Quirky Scientist with a sense of humour

The Honest No-Holds Back Kinda Friend? 


What if your brand were a celebrity who would they be? Like Cardi B or Kate Middleton … 


I find it really helps to go through the exercise of my brand “Is THIS, but NOT THAT”


Funny but not too Silly

Teacher, but not too preachy

The KEY is you want your brand to have a VOICE that is UNIQUE to YOU

You’ll be un-copyable, and build deep long-lasting connections with your humans.

To stand out you gotta be different.

If everyone is so serious and uptight in your category what if you were the refreshingly honest, real and down-to-earth brand that just spoke about something like property investments.. like you were having a chat with a mate over dinner.

Marketing and advertising are full of rules…but if you want to STAND OUT sometimes you need to break them. 

That’s exactly what OATLY did. Yup, we’re talking about OAT MILK. Who knew millennials would fall in love with a company that makes MILK from OATS.

The brand has become famous for its self-deprecating billboards and tweets that are constantly going viral - for going against the grain (pun intended).

This brand is a LESSON on how a brand can be 100% serious about its cause, without taking itself seriously at all. They are unapologetic, and may be one of the few brands who have actually managed to make the topic of Sustainability FUN.

They even have a page on their website dedicated to their persona. Check out their captions on Instagram.

Getting your BRAND VOICE RIGHT means you: 

Deeply understand your AUDIENCE


Its DNA and personality.

But what if You’re a Freelancer or Solopreneur writing as YOURSELF??

The good news is that you just need to write like YOU, yourself.

The bad news is that for a lot of people this is can be alot harder than it sounds. because we’ve been trained to think being “Professional” means acting like some sort of corporate ROBOT when the truth is Businesses are all about building relationships with actual HUMANS. 

So forget the myth that you have to be serious to be taken seriously.

Here’s the best advice I ever heard on this exact topic:

“Write like you speak and you’ll never have writer's block again” 


No MORE overthinking and backspacing on yourself, or using fancy words that you wouldn’t use while speaking naturally.

Try it out on your next caption.

And before you go - I gotta clarify something that often gets confused.

THAT IS the difference between a BRAND’S VOICE & TONE?

Often people will refer to them as one and the same. When really they refer to different things.

When we are talking about VOICE.

Imagine you were sitting with a group of people around the table talking about a specific topic. Like Blue Cheese. Everyone has a different personality so they are going to talk about it differently.

When we are talking about a brand's TONE 

We are talking about how they speak about it around the dinner table with friends vs how they might speak about it in a Linkedin post. 

One tone might be more informal while the other is FORMAL. 

Their personality doesn’t change - only how they speak about it will be different.

Your tone will also change depending on the emotional state of the person you’re speaking to. You wouldn’t want to use the same tone of voice with a customer who’s annoyed or upset as you would with a customer who’s happy or laughing.

Alright friends, that is your Social in 5. On our mission to make social media work for you, and not the other way around.

And if you’ve got a question you’d like to see answered here send me a DM on Instagram @hiltonhayley.


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