finding your voice

Blogging, Storytelling…Finding Your Voice For Digital Equity

I always love coming away from teaching with something that helps me contextuallize a process. I began working with my MBA Students on blogging…and ultimately building/finding your voice.

Clemson’s new MBA in Entrepreneurship Program is a one year intensive program helping shape twenty-two students’ business plans into a reality. As a part of this program, I working with them all semester to build a digital communication strategy.

Every class from finance to sales, they are constantly having to pitch. They are pitching their business ideas and I get to take it from a communications point of view. How do you take that elevator pitch and turn into a marketable piece of communication for numerous target audiences. One way is to get them writing and sharing…and we are doing this through the blogging process.

As I was working through today’s session, we were not focusing on platforms…but the message. What is the mission behind the blog? Who is the audience? What are you going to write about on a consistent basis that meets your goals. Most importantly, how does that effect their digital equity?

I thought this diagram above made sense as I was walking through a messaging process. As they begin the writing process, they are searching for their voice. We know those keywords that will attract the search engines and the audiences, but the more they write…the more they refine their message and their voice.

We have to understand that blogging is a foreign many of these students. As they find their voice, they begin writing for their audiences. The more they share, the more chances they have to build a community around their idea(s). As the community grows, they begin moving from writing specifically for the audience to writing with the audience as community effort.

This workflow helps refine and grow their digital equity and thus their blog’s search engine optimization. They continue to think through their keyword strategy and continue connecting with more and more individuals that share their common ideas. This is just fun!

Now…this is my perspective and one small part of an overall blogging strategy. But, this just made sense during our discussion this morning. I love helping people work through the thought process surrounding audience and purpose…ultimately finding their voice.

finding your voice…just blast the music

Finding your voice is one the hardest things to do in the world of the creative. Finding the point where we place language with passion. Giving words to your passion is sometimes just plain hard to do.

I have found myself in the middle of a creative conundrum so many times…a great idea comes to mind, but when it is time to articulate…BLAH. So many times we find that thin place where we are completely connected to our ideas yet we have no words, no way to articulate.

Sometimes we use visuals, pictures, video, and even sound to articulate our passions…but sometimes we must find the connection to our internal discourse. So how do we find the voice?

I have always stepped back and taken part in answering three questions:

1) Who is our audience? Who are we trying to communicate and reach?

2) What is our purpose? Why are we trying to communicate this message? Why do we want to spend the time and energy to achieve this goal?

3) How are we going to deliver this message? Are we going to use words, visuals, sounds to reach our audience?

This helps me frame my  thoughts. This helps me bring context to my mission.

Then…I free write. Yes…I do a brain dump by writing until I cannot write anymore.  We should not deny our creative impulses and allow our ourselves to freely share our deepest passions.

When I am deep in a creative desert, one that feels like it is hard to find my way to water…I use music to inspire. I grab my keys, jump in the car, roll down the windows, and blast my favorite songs. I sing as loud as possible and use this time to purge all my predispositions. Sometimes that is all I need, to purge what is clouding my judgement.

Finding your voice can be hard sometimes…but sometimes we have to be willing to get away from what makes us comfortable and allow the creative juices to flow.