When a particular blogger is hot, professional writers are inundated with requests to imitate their style by others in the same industry. The ironic thing is that all of these imitations, allusions, and references create the buzz in the first place.
Of course, it is impossible to say something original and relevant without being aware of what thought-leaders and those at the vanguard of your industry are thinking and saying. But simply imitating their style and repeating their ideas is not going to get you noticed in a crowded marketplace, it’s only going to increase their credibility. Crafting a unique and representative voice is essential if you want to build a real community in your niche. What do we mean by a real community? Simply put: real people, with real money to spend.
A representative voice is one that emanates from your core values. Powerful, compelling voices are so because they are authentic and consistent. We trust these voices, and trust is essential, whether you are recommending a new hair product, a financial package or a cloud-based data storage service. These voices, the ones we trust, are the ones we let entertain us, guide us — handle our money, our data, and our hair.
The breakdown of this essential trust is at the heart of our economic condition. Recessions are not merely the result of dispassionate market forces. Or rather, the market is not an inhuman force, but a keenly sensitive instrument that measures emotions like confidence and fear. Fear begets fear, and likewise confidence.
Virtual spaces–where your community already is–offer a great opportunity to begin rebuilding this trust and confidence. Creating a comfortable, inviting space where your community can grow, share and learn is the beginning. Articulating your values and aligning your ideas with them is the next goal. Next, ask yourself: What common values will your community coalesce around? How can your expertise and knowledge add value to your community’s experience? Be prepared to be generous with your experience. Remember, your community’s experience will also add value to your space.
A representative voice is a voice that represents you and your community. How can your knowledge benefit your community? What kind of service can you offer in a virtual space? What kind of virtual space best suits your particular business? The answer to these question will define your original and powerful voice.