How to Clarify Your Brand Voice to Delegate Without Fear with Jackie Sunga
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I’m your host, Amanda Tento. And I have with me the lovely Jackie Sunga and who is a certified master marketer and conversion copywriter. Today. We’re gonna talk about how to clarify your brand voice to delegate without fear. So welcome, Jackie.
I’m very excited to hear what you have to say. Delegating and clarifying your brand voice. But first I wanna know about you and how you got started and how in the world did you end up with conversion, copywriting, and Azure? Area of expertise.
Before starting my online business, I was a music teacher and I actually got my start in online business with social media, since a music colleague president of a nonprofit was following me on Instagram.
And she was like, you’re pretty good at Instagram, can you manage hours? And that was like five, six years ago. And I was really hungry at the time too. Gaining skills in digital marketing and my older sister, an entrepreneur and copywriter before me, was like, did you know that email marketing is so much more effective than social media marketing?
And that really motivated me to study copywriting on my own for a few years before I really. Went full-time working for me. And then fast forward to 2020, my husband graduated from medical school and I said, you know what? This is the year. I’m not gonna go back to teaching. I’m going to work full-time from home.
This is gonna be way less stressful. Since my husband was a first-year resident and so all that same time I was also exploring a path to. Be a therapist part-time in grad school. So I was doing two things at once. I was exploring online businesses providing services, as well as connecting with therapists to learn more about the profession online.
And then it just so happens that one of my dreams was that someone found talking about launching a course in email marketing, she had found it and she was like, it was a therapist who found it and she was like, you look like the person who could help me. Can you help me with Emails for my course?
And at that time I had already done things like I had created a lead funnel. I created a lead magnet for myself. I grew my own email list and I was like, yep, I’ve taken a copywriting course before. And I’m also a grad student in your niche. And she really loved that. There was that alignment between me, what I was already studying part-time, and the experience that I was already.
That I had already educated myself on. And that first project of the course launch, I wrote everything. I wrote the sales emails, the sales page, the social media options, the landing pages, literally everything. And I really surprised myself. She had a return on investment of seven times over. I was like, yes, like this is so great.
I love working with this person and love helping the expert really basically bridge the gap between their expertise and their audience with their, customer-first messaging.
It was really fulfilling to me and it was confirmation for me to pause grad school and really pursue online business, full-time with copywriting.
That’s awesome. That’s a great success story too, right? Outta the gate, I love it.
It was serendipitous, honestly, with my wanting to explore clinical, mental health counseling as a graduate degree, and then finding the right person to write for.
Yeah, that’s awesome. I love when those things come together, like two passions, I think we’re all multi-passionate in some way. And when you can combine your skills and your passion and make them come together, I think that’s awesome. Have you worked with a lot of mental health counselors since then?
A lot of mental health counselors are. They’ve built up their private practice already, and then they’ve built up a social media presence and then they wanna launch or grow their educational platform. So I’ve got a lot of pages and emails that I’ve written for a lot of therapists.
But I don’t have a niche. I’m not super niche down to only working with them. I really love having a variety of different clients that I like to work with. They just have to be impact-driven and mission-driven. Not necessarily just about the money. But really driven by something deeper.
I love it. Awesome. So let’s talk about it then. How do you clarify your brand voice and then be able to delegate, without fear, like it’s hard to give anything up in your business to someone else, right? Let alone, your brand voice, like what the heck that’s like the biggest part of it that’s you, right?
Let me start off with a story of mine because I know that, I completely relate. I deeply relate to the fear of delegating and one of the reasons why this is so important to me is because when I first started. That client had sent me a ton of referrals.
And so, it became the need for me to hire an assistant, to help me with a few things so that I wasn’t necessarily doing everything on my own. And one, the incident was where that assistant had. I Wrote something via email to a client and that client was, unfortunately, it was very off-brand and that client had gotten really triggered by what was said.
And I felt so embarrassed that was said in that way. And I. Knew, that, that was really the turning point for me. I was like, okay I can’t, we can’t come back from this. And this is ultimately my responsibility to train people. Whoever it is, whether it’s a client-facing system, whether it’s a social media manager or someone in operations and they’re not client-facing.
It was so important for me to be able to say and create onboarding materials that just had unmistakable clarity. Just no, no room to be able to say, With subjectivity of oh yeah, like that’s not how, that’s not how we’re gonna say things in this way, or but in a way that’s very organized and that’s clear to whoever is being onboarded.
And so it was really a lesson in my own leadership to be able to realize what are the gaps in my team onboarding processes. And then if everything. In my brain, right about how I write and my preferences don’t really serve my business really well.
And so I then had to like it, because that was such a humbling experience for me and I never wanted any client to feel that way, whether that was. Something that I had accidentally said or something that a team member had said, like I’m ultimately responsible and I have to be the one to take greater responsibility for anyone, whether what, with whatever communication is going out.
And so that became the impetus for me to really hone in and create a guide essentially to make onboarding processes for my team, to be very clear again, whether they’re client-facing or they’re in marketing. Because then, you can, you don’t necessarily have to start with delegating all of your words.
But it is very helpful when you’re not the only one responding to all of the emails or if you’re not the one writing literally every single one like blog or social media caption, or if you’re like, even if someone is just repurposing something for you, it’s okay to have. Specific preferences.
In fact, it’s a really good thing to have a very specific way that you want to do things because when you’re decided upon this is how I want this to be, and you’ve decided upon that, then that makes it very clear for someone to understand the direction, as opposed to being like on this day, I feel like this.
And on this day I feel like this. Being actually being specific and what you want is actually a really good thing. And for me, when I really had to start first with clarifying, like what even is the brand about, and who do we want? Serve. And what is the transformation? What is the transformation that we go through?
And I could go on about this, but one of the first things, if you are, if you’re not yet at the point where you are thinking about delegating. We first have to start with almost a soul-searching process of what is our message, first of all, and then how we say that message with a specific voice.
I like to break down brand messaging and brand voice into distinct ways. As a musician, I like to actually use musical concepts to illustrate marketing concepts. If you think about the message or the song happy birthday, right? You can sing or play happy birthday in so many different ways, but the melody never changes.
You can play it fast, or you can play it slow. You can add instruments to it. You can sing it as a soprano. You can sing it as a bass. And so on, when you think about that and how. How your brand message is, what you say happy birthday and how your brand voice is, how you say it. You can say it with so much like there’s so much color to play with and tonal qualities.
And so when it comes to. Figuring out first, what is your overall brand messaging. And then what is the brand voice? We can dial into that in terms of specifics like how you are different and that’s where there’s so much opportunity to be. To really show off your personality and your opinions and your experience, especially when it comes to your industry and your niche, and maybe there are hot topics in your industry.
And you’re like, yeah, this specific hot topic does not actually serve my client as well as everybody says that it should. But here’s my take on this and here’s my experience. To back it up why this is the way that I do things or this is why I have formulated my opinion on this topic in this way?
So that’s why it really has to begin or you have, we really have to think about it as like a soul-searching process because if you are consuming all of these, content pieces, and if you notice that something doesn’t. Align with your values. It’s deeply important to have that strong foundation to know even what your business values.
What are your core values and what is the lens that you see your business through and your customers through? And that really shapes everything. That’s a really high-level overview, but as you can see, I can talk forever.
No, that’s great. And that’s a great example. I think as business owners, we focus. When we are thinking of hiring, at least I know, I think of the procedure. I think of brand colors. I think of fonts. I think of just things like, okay, this is how you do things, but not necessarily what you say. Like it’s never, ever really crossed my mind to create some sort of SOP in our voice.
It literally never happened in my mind. but it’s so important. Yeah. And honestly, I don’t know if it would’ve been this important to me, if it hadn’t gotten to a point where I was like, literally so humbled by an experience as a client and that it happens to a lot of us. And you never want that sort of thing to happen to you, but that’s again until.
Experience of just no, someone said something that was very, off-brand. And, it’s we often think that it’s okay, it should be easy for someone to pick up, but the truth is you are the only one who has your experiences and it’s all really living in your mind until you get what’s out of your mind and you put it on paper for someone else to perceive and see things from their own perspective.
And then you realize okay, We can actually get very specific and we can actually get very even measurable. And non-emotional about what the words are and how we say them with again, a specific tone or a specific, excuse me, written style and punctuation and emojis and the context of which you, when you use certain emojis, anyways, again, I could go on and on, but that really comes.
When, if you are thinking about delegating. That there’s always that shift of when or how can I, instead of living inside the bottle, how can I get myself out of my own bottle and read things, read the bottle from outside the bottle. From the perspective of the person that I’m hiring. Hopefully, nobody ever has to go through the experience that I remember.
And that’s why we’re making this episode. So that way people can learn from Jackie’s mistakes, my mistakes, and everybody’s mistakes because it happens, and you are bringing this to light. It’s not something that I’ve ever even thought of, but it’s so important and so hopefully we’re preventing some of those awkward moments and humbling moments from happening for everybody that’s listening as well.
Yeah, for sure. And client experience is so important to me and like I’ve had it’s not even just paying clients, but it can even be when you take that time to really document the specifics about your message and your voice it’s we realize.
There has to be that consistency in communication within the internal team and then the outside marketing and then like with customers too. So like hitting all of those departments of the business. And when you can see where there might be a gap in inconsistency and even ask your team members, like where might there be, where might there be this inconsistency.
It creates the opportunity for you to just tighten things up and really just make stronger decisions about the brand as well. Because one of my clients, for example, like she really, we were going through a brand voice exercise and she said that she wanted her voice to come off as calm and compassionate, but she was noticing that her audience on social media was saying that she was coming.
Kind of combative and aggressive and that’s like that sort of very harsh difference. Between what you think that you’re saying and how people are actually perceiving it. That’s important feedback to get, whether that’s, again, from your audience on social media, who’ve never bought anything. Who’s never bought anything from you before?
Or, paying clients in my company. And then even your internal team, because it’s always really hard to hear, stories of 7, 8, 9 figure companies who like the marketing sounds great. And then like internally employees are like dead tired or exhausted or whatever, so anyway, so so much, room or like space to explore how that can affect you wherever whatever stage in business you’re at.
Yeah. So do you have any type of resource that we can use to get started? There are so many when I think about writing. Communication with clients in my business alone. There are so many things. There are emails.
There are even obviously email sequences and chat communications. And there’s just, it’s overwhelming to me to think about having to like, Put that into my brand voice. For someone else to digest and understand how do you do that?
Yeah. Good question. So of them, I do have a free resource, which I can talk about later on, but for anyone who wants to just think about what is a good structure to even. Think about when you are building, basically the SOP for your words, a good structure to start to think about is okay.
First of all, think about your overall high level at a 30,000-foot view, the brand. Mission. What’s the vision, what’s the, what are the core values? And when you start with that, that can really help you even with the job descriptions that you write. And if it’s if you wanna avoid hiring the wrong person, that’s one of the first things that they need to know to be like, yeah, I don’t actually have the same values.
Those are all of the values that I align with too. And then that’s an easier way to attract the perfect person. And when I kid you not like when I created this for myself, like that was also like a strong reason why, like I now have an assistant that is I ne I tell her all the time, I’m like, I never want you to leave me cause you’re. So great.
And so anyway, so at a high level, right? So your mission statement, your vision. Your core values. And then what a lot of people, especially emerging online business owners, who I highly recommend, you spend a lot of time on and it’s okay if it takes you like a year to work on this, to really ask yourself what is our brand unique value proposition?
Like, how are we so different from other competitors that, even though we have similar services, they cannot do what we do? What are the things that only we can do? Our competitors. Cannot say that they can only deliver this service or transformation in this way.
So then that’s super, super important. Then you can follow it up with things like an elevator pitch or what would you say to your Uber driver? If they ask you as an online business owner, what do you do? So take a funnel strategist, for example, they’re like, oh, I build funnels. An Uber driver is probably not gonna be able to understand what that is.
And then you go through this like a long conversation. This is the customer journey and you’re gonna lose ’em on that. A really succinct, way. Describing the transformation that you provide is really easy for people to understand, and then your brand stories. So for example, again, like I was saying at the beginning of this interview, a customer wins, how do I get started, how do you do things differently?
There are so many other stories that I explain when I work with clients, but those are easy-to-remember stories about you, how you got started, a client won, and how. Develop something that you developed and then any like bios, for example, if you’re doing podcast marketing, if you’re on all of the social media platforms, how does your bio look a little different on each of those bios?
And then this is where we can get into your ideal client and really get clear on okay. Based on the re-market research that I’ve done. Here’s how. For this offer that I have, let’s say, you have a self stud self-study course, and then you have a high-ticket group program, right?
How is the ideal client different based on what they said that their struggles were their desired transformations, any failed attempts that they like, the things that they’ve already tried before that were not working for them?
And then, the same thing. Your own product suite has evolved and whatever other offers that you have in your offer suite. And then after you have all of these really clear, high-level brand messaging guidelines in place, then that’s where you can even get specific with things like tone.
And here are the things that I say on a regular basis that only I say or here are the ways that we. Here are the ways that we greet our customers and we like to sign off on our emails. Here are phrases to avoid, never say these things and then, that’s where you can go super deep in terms of like style and even comparing your written style to somebody else’s, that’s actually something that I had done with a social media manager.
I tried to hire when I paid, I created this test project. I paid her for the test project. And, I basically asked her to write a social media caption for me. And I just noticed there’s a lot of things that were off and here I was really objective about, basically like an English teacher.
I’m just objective. Here’s what I noticed. And here’s how I would write this differently. And here’s why. And it can get really emotional, but we didn’t, we don’t have to be emotional about that. We can get really objective when we know what to talk about again, what to say, your tones, your punctuation, and how long and short your sentences are. And that’s pretty much it. That’s a long list.
That sounds a little complicated, but I like how you broke it down because when you just make that long list, it’s. Okay, where do I start? But I like how you broke it down. Okay, you gotta figure out your brand overall messaging, your company values, your, that kind of stuff. And then work down, I like that.
There are lots of, and there’s no, there’s no one like right or wrong way to start. I think what matters the most is figuring out what, based on the things that I mentioned. What are the things that you’ve already got, right? If you’ve already written your bios on social media, right? No problem.
Put it all in one place. If you’ve already started. Think about your core values in like a business program that you’ve been through, and put that in one place. And then, then you can go in and start to let’s say analyze your own content and be like, my audience really loved this piece and it felt like me when I wrote it, I’m just gonna put this all in one place, as far as the level of detail that you wanna customize it to.
That’s gonna be your own to create when you hire specific roles in your business. Every business obviously is very different in terms of the roles that we hire. So that’s where you can create it based on what you know, that person is going to need to do their job really well, as opposed to being.
Okay. I wrote all these blogs, go read them and then figure out what I wanna say next, figure it out. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, exactly. But just taking that step of just can I have, even if it’s messy, mine is really messy right now. My brain’s messaging kind and voice guide are super messy.
So to like the release, first of all, like the idea that it even has to be a certain length or it has to have everything in. The fact that like you are, even if you are even wanting to be like, I am gonna create this SOP for my business. And if it is, if it’s functional, that’s the point of having it.
Like it’s meant to be consumed by someone else. That’s not you and you are supposed to also use it for yourself on a regular basis and come back to it to remind you. If I’m having a bad day and I don’t necessarily want my content to reflect that I’m having a bad day. Like uncontrolled things happen all the time.
And if you think about big brands like Disney, for example, that comes with a certain feeling. If the CEO of Disney has a bad day or someone dies in their family, that’s super morbid. But that doesn’t mean the content is going to change. So it’s that, it’s supposed to serve as a way for you.
It’s a roadmap. It’s a roadmap to keep you. Consistent and intentional with what you want to say and how you want your customers to ultimately feel no matter how you may be feeling on a certain day. Cuz yeah, it’s always rough. When you want to say something a certain way and someone intends it or like perceives it in a very different way but it’s okay.
Again, like we’ve all made we’ve we’re all. We’re all going through this experience of discovering and testing. How did that land, what feedback am I getting from someone? It’s all an experiment.
Yeah. I like that. You gave us permission to just let it be messy, but at least start working on it. That’s the main thing: admit that you have a problem. That’s the first step. And we’ve already admitted that. I know for sure I do. And then, just go from there and start working on it and start developing all of those things that we’ve talked about. So I love it.
Self-compassion is honestly one of them. The biggest value lately is that it’s so easy for us to be our own critics. And our own oh, I have to do this better than this person, but at the same time, it’s you can be as. Self-compassion towards yourself and where you’re at and being motivated to continue growing.
And that’s having worked with a lot of therapists in the past couple of years, and going through a couple of semesters about myself is just like a deep business gets to be deeply healing in that way. And that I, if you resonate with being. Recovering perfectionists like me. That’s a sort of message.
It’s so deeply important to see it as both. And if you can, you don’t have to criticize yourself. You don’t have to like to use language. Like I suck or whatever. I don’t have that yet. I must like, not be good enough, but you can be self-compassionate. And see yourself exactly as you are while still wanting to grow and meet again, meet yourself where you are.
So I hope that is super, super comforting for all of your listeners because it can be easy, right? To fall into guilt, whether you are a mom or not, I’m not doing enough, but truthfully self-compassion is one of the best gifts that I can give myself as a business owner. And that other business owners I think can give to themselves too.
I agree. And I think that’s why we all have created our own businesses because we didn’t like working for someone else. At least. I know I didn’t. Yeah. You have that this is what I would do. If I owned this company, this is what I would do.
I would change this. I would change that, but we have that opportunity as business owners to make everything exactly how we want it. Hello, that’s why we’re here. And using that self-compassion to guide us, I think is a great way to put that.
100% every day. I like to remind myself to forgive myself for the mistakes that I may make that day because I will make them.
I love it. I love it. I love it. So tell us about the free guide that you have to help us figure this out.
Yeah. So in this brand VO, this free brand voice resource I, the landing page. Clarify your brand voice in 90 minutes, and it’s a totally free resource that you can find at Jackie sunga. co/brand-voice. And when you download it for free, you get a Google doc where you, I basically walk you through how to analyze your own content.
And then once you do that, using free, totally free tools on the internet where you can analyze your own writing style, then what you can do? Basically, go through the star. I like to call it the star framework to brand voice so that you can, again, start to document what are the things that I say, what are my sayings.
Regular tones, my everyday ones that I use, what are the ways that I articulate myself with specific punctuation, emojis, et cetera. And then the rhythm of your writing style. Do you like to keep things short and punchy or do you like to have long flowy sentences?
And so again, there’s so much beauty and opportunity to get even stronger and clearer in what you, do and how you want to say something in a way that’s different. That’s the most important thing. I think that I want everyone to take away that you are so different from everybody else. And there’s something about you and your experience that nobody else has to offer.
And if you can lean into that, Find out what that is, what are those things about you that are different than anyone else? That’s such a beautiful opportunity to show off those creative gifts and experiences again, that nobody else has. So the reason why it’s so passionate, I’m so passionate about it is because I think for the longest time, I didn’t believe that I had that.
I was, I remember being in a place where I didn’t. I didn’t give myself permission to lean in and own that about myself. I’ve definitely been on a lifelong healing journey, but I think for me, from an identity perspective, I had to see myself, I had to see that about myself, that I could own what I wanted to say and that like what I had to offer based on my experiences, it mattered just as much as everybody else’s did.
When you really start if you need to start there and then go through your own stuff. And then document yeah, these are the things that are the things that make up my brand voice based on the star framework. And like there you’ll be able to see, and you’ll be able to make more decisions of just actually I, this is an old version of me.
And I don’t want to tell that story in that way anymore. Or maybe you’re like, yeah, I’ve really grown from this experience. And here’s the new story that I wanna tell. So there’s so much beauty, there’s a big and beautiful opportunity for people to explore again, who you are and who you were in the past, who you are now and the way that you want it to be reflected in the future, as it relates to how your customers see you too, and your own growth.
Awesome. I love it. Thank you, Jackie so much for being here for sharing your expertise and your experiences with us. Definitely huge for us to learn from, everything that you’ve been through and help us to get better at what we do as well. So we appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me. I really loved our conversation and I hope that your listeners feel super empowered to own their own voices. And hopefully it also yeah. Gives you the permission to let go of that fear. If you are wanting to hire someone inside your business.
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