That’s how much time you have before you lose someone’s attention and they leave your blog.
Recent research actually suggests that the average attention span of us humans is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.
And since you only have 8 seconds (or less) to capture someone’s eye and get them to stay on your blog, you can’t risk looking like just another coach writing about ___________ in the same way that everyone else does.
You need to separate yourself and stand out from the crowd.
This is where you figure out what your unique voice is.
This is also where many people get stuck.
Trying to uncover what makes you a special snowflake can feel ridiculously daunting.
You don’t have the time or money to spend dozens of hours and thousands of dollars uncovering your voice so you can leverage your uniqueness.
You need something quick and easy that you can actually use right away.
The good news?
I have just what you’re looking for, my friend!
Here’s how to capture your unique voice (and make your ideal readers wanna stay on your blog.)
In their book Nicely Said, Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee say…
“Your voice is in the fiber of your communications. It’s what makes people feel like they’re listening to someone they know when they visit your website…
Your voice is your company’s public personality…
Your voice is what makes all your communications sound like they came from the same place…
[It’s] an honest reflection of the people behind your company or website.”
The bottom line is that your voice – how you sound in your blog posts – speaks volumes about who you are and why someone should want to pay attention to you.
And if you carefully capitalize on cultivating a voice that’s a uniquely honest representation of you and your business, you’re gonna have an easier time attracting the right kinds of people to your blog (and repelling the wrong ones.)
How do you figure out what your voice is as easily as possible?
We’ve already chatted about the fact that you don’t want to spend a ton of time or money trying to get this right.
And that’s cool.
You can take a shortcut by following what Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee suggest – create a This But Not That list.
The idea is to use a handful of descriptive words – yes, I’m talking about adjectives my grammar-happy friend – to clearly define what your business is and what it isn’t. Who you are and who you aren’t. What you do and what you don’t do.
While creating a solid voice goes beyond crafting a simple list of words, this is a great place to start.
It works because you can infuse those adjectives into every piece of content you put out there.
It also allows you to take that list of words, read through a post you’ve just written, and ask yourself, “Do I sound _________?”
If you don’t – and you’d like to sound more _________ – you now have permission to saturate your content with more _________ because it totally fits your brand.
Here’s how you can create your This But Not That List…
Step 1: Come up with a list of words that describe your brand.
Step 2: Pick another word to explain what that first word doesn’t mean.
Yup. You’re just coming up with a list of adjectives that do, and do not explain your brand.
It really is that simple.
Let’s dive into 3 examples so you can see how this works in action…
Pete’s Pet Training Academy This But Not That List
Hannah’s Health Coaching This But Not That List
Jordan’s Jazzercise Bootcamp This But Not That List
What’s Your This But Not That List?
Your list can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
It can include whatever words feel like the right fit for you and your brand.
It can evolve over time as you get more clarity and direction.
The point is to simply come up with a list.
Then use that list to help cultivate your exclusively you voice.
If you’re having a tough time getting started, or trying to find the perfect word, try using Thesarus.com and play around with some words until you find the right fit.
Of course this is just the beginning of discovering your brand voice.
You can dive in deeper and spend a ton of time (and possibly money if you want to seek some help) exploring how to leverage your unique voice, but for right now, this works just peachy.
It’ll help you clarify who you are and what you stand for so that each piece of content you write has a unifying theme.
It’s time to cement yourself as a powerful voice in your niche.
Start by taking 30 minutes and jotting down your This But Not That List right now.
Yup. Now, now.
If you want to stand out as a rare flower in your field, this is how you get started.
So get to it!
Lots of love,
P.S. Trying to figure out what your This But Not That list should be? Write a couple ideas in the comments below and let’s chat about whether that’s the right choice for you and your brand.