How to be heard in a noisy world?
Have you noticed how noisy it is ‘out there’ and how it’s getting noisier by the nano-second as more and more ‘hot’ tactics and glitz are rolled out? The increasing noise level raises the question ‘how can we be heard in a noisy world so that we can be found by the right audience?’
However, It’s not just that is getting more difficult to be heard in a noisy world. There’s also something else going on, as Sarah, one of my clients, pointed out recently.
“Why is everyone sounding more and more like copy-and-paste versions of everyone else,” she asked.
She’d just read a new post by a ‘respected’ coaching professional, who she said, “should know better”. (i.e. she’s been in business for some time!).
According to Sarah, she’s now talking about “deets” and “peeps” and her every post is now “a thinly disguised ‘pitch’ that I can see coming from the first sentence.” Then she summed up her frustration:
“I can’t feel the person writing these posts anymore with all the fancy words and tricks, so I’m not going to bother reading them!”
I’ve noticed the same trend, too, and find myself unsubscribing and un-following more and more to what I call ‘template junk’ content.
Why are we sacrificing our voice at the altar of algorithms?
Why are we sacrificing one of our greatest assets – our unique voice – to the algorithms?
What I mean with ‘voice’ is not just the ‘how’ of writing (style, language, etc.). It’s also about how you show up in your communication – having your own perspective, the topics you choose to write about, the way you interact with the reader, etc. Having a voice is about having a distinctive identity that others can see, feel, sense, identify and hear. It’s about showing up as YOU!
In a world that seems addicted to the automated ‘clicks & likes’ game, isn’t it important to stand back and just be yourself?
The pressure to conform
Being yourself, however, is not so easy in a world where the pressure to conform is enormous.
When clients ask me how to be heard in a noisy world, I encourage them to develop their voice. There is an immediate resistance to my advice and they generally give me a list of reasons on what is holding them back.
This list below includes the most common ones, but it’s certainly not comprehensive:
- No one would want to listen to them if they used their own voice. (If you haven’t tried, how can you know they won’t want to listen?)
- The voices that are seen and heard ‘out there’, i.e. the ones that have high numbers of views & likes, all sound similar. (Numbers don’t automatically convert into paying clients)
- They’re afraid that using their own voice would expose them in a public space, which makes them feel very vulnerable. (If you concentrate on connecting with your own audience, it greatly reduces the ‘dangers’ of being exposed)
- Using the same language as everyone else makes them feel like they belong to the group. And having a sense of belonging is important to them. (Exchanging your identity and individuality in order to fit in, is a very high price to pay)
The benefits of developing Your Voice
While the pressure to conform and fit in is huge, it also overshadows the benefits of developing your voice. And it does take courage to take that step.
Not only do you enjoy the freedom to discover your unique voice and express yourself in way that feels aligned with who you are and what you do, it makes it so much easier for those looking for you to find you. As I’ve already pointed out in relation to your story, your voice is also your USP.
Why is speaking in your own voice one of the best ways to position yourself to be easily found?
Because your voice acts like an antenna for those on your wavelength. They are the people already tuned into the service or product you provide and how it can help them.
Developing your voice also helps distinguish you from the crowd. It makes you ‘one of a kind’ for an audience that will spot you immediately.