Tall Poppies Design / Katy Martin Voice Values: As Abby explains, “the most important takeaway from this self-assessment is deeper self-awareness, which leads to easier, more natural, and more confluent brand voice development.”

Do you know your Voice Values?

“Values are the ideas we hold dear, deem important, and try to embody through the way we show up in the world. We tend to live out our truest, deepest values whether we intend to or not.” – Abby Kerr.

The beginning of a new year is such a wonderful time for self-reflection; for reflection on the year that has passed and all that we accomplished. Who we loved working with, and what we loved working on, and perhaps noticing the punishing patterns that we keep adhering to when we work on less inspiring tasks, or with people that don’t light the fire under us – in a good way!

And of course, from reflecting, we learn to steer our next year on a better course, and to set grander, braver, bolder intentions.

This week, Abby Kerr’s name reappeared in my inbox. After a long hiatus from emailing her list (ahem, yes, I am hopelessly focused on my clients too and fail to reach out and connect with any regularity…) she was kicking off the new year with a letter “to reconnect, to say hello (again), and to orient you for this New Year, this new groove.” Apologies and updates out of the way, she also included her “Voice Values Brand Self-Assessment” PDF.

I took this assessment years ago and actually made up a spreadsheet to do all the math for me. You see, it’s a bit like a test in a Cosmo mag where each answer is allotted points. This time round, Abby has a beautiful PDF that does all the calculations for you.

*Drum roll* My Voice Values Are:

  • Intimacy
  • Clarity
  • Depth
  • Security
  • Power

Now that I have my Voice Values, what do I do?

As Abby explains, “the most important takeaway from this self-assessment is deeper self-awareness, which leads to easier, more natural, and more confluent brand voice development.”

You’re showing up in your business and creating meaning for your Right People just by embodying the qualities you naturally and powerfully possess. Your Right People will feel more emotional and intellectual resonance with your brand as you allow yourself to embody what intrinsically works for you and why it works.

What does it mean for you to connect with someone who values Intimacy, Clarity, Depth, and Security?

Intimacy

What It Means

You value knowing people — really knowing them, up close and personal. Proximity is important to you. You’re motivated by the need to feel connected, witnessed, and seen, and you value creating for others that feeling of being fully known.

What It Sounds Like In Action

Brands that value intimacy emphasize themes such connectedness, warmth, wholeness, specificity, and integration.

How To Tap Into Your Right People’s Desire for Intimacy

Provide safe online spaces for them to self-reveal and articulate who they really are and what matters to them. Build community slowly, carefully, and sustainably, establishing rules of engagement and lovingly realigning that which doesn’t mesh.

How “Intimacy” resonates with me:

I’m the kind of person who has a few really good friends, rather than hundreds. I like to meet someone at a party, connect with them on a particular topic of interest and to get sucked into a deep conversation.

Similarly, I prefer having fewer clients and working with them in at an intricately detailed, meaningful, and very practical level. I don’t band-aid websites; I start from the very beginning of the digital strategy and design, and love to collaborate to on every touch-point so that together we create an online presence and product(s) that truly exemplifies who you are, what you do and connects you with your right people.

Clarity

What It Means

You value expression for connection. In other words, you believe that words are wasted if they don’t land and incite an a-ha! You’re motivated by being heard and understood, and helping others to be heard and understood. You help people better grasp the concepts they want to understand and the ideas they want to relate to.

What It Sounds Like In Action

Brands that value clarity emphasize themes such as precision, illumination, getting to the point, and facilitating understanding.

How To Tap Into Your Right People’s Desire for Clarity

Whether you ‘say it plain’ or rely on metaphor, let your expression be elucidating. Shine a light on the truth and the essence of things. Structure your offers to aid people’s learning. You are most likely a teacher at heart.

How “Clarity” resonates with me:

It’s true. I do like to get to the point. I get bored by marketing and branding jargon, and sales pages that are 3 miles long. I want to know exactly how it will look, and function. I want to problem-solve drill right down to the very practical execution of the idea at hand.

And I guess the desire to aid learning expresses itself in the fact that I not only have a suite of 50+ training videos for my clients to explore in order to learn how to use their new website, but I also teach fellow designers (and designer-wanna-bes) on how to design + code over at Web Designer Beauty School.

Depth

What It Means

You value going beneath the surface, understanding dynamics, and finding meaning in all things. You’re motivated by a search for truth that is lasting and pure. You help people become more self-aware, better informed, and steadier in their decision-making.

What It Sounds Like In Action

Brands that value depth emphasize themes such as truth, substance, deep grooves, getting to the core, reflection, meditation, philosophy, and study.

How To Tap Into Your Right People’s Desire for Depth

Your people are most likely lifelong learners. Spend time with the nuances you and they so love. Validate their quest for knowledge and understanding. Present calls to action in a heartfelt yet unattached way (no false urgency), allowing them to reason through their buying decision and check in with their intuition.

How “Depth” resonates with me:

This is all true for me. What more can I say. I don’t like fluff, or B.S. I’m not one to throw my head back and laugh, perhaps toss some glitter, and say, “oh, it’s all soooo easy!” Nope. I’m honest. I’m sincere. And I’m quite serious.

Security

What It Means

You value holding down what’s yours, and holding down the people around you, too — not so much in a nurturing way, more in an I’ve got this way. You’re motivated by the need to feel in control and safe in the world, and just by spending time with your brand, others absorb that feeling of security and stability, too.

What It Sounds Like In Action

Brands that value security emphasize themes such as building, establishing, and securing foundations; putting the ground beneath dreams and goals; being planful, strategic, and organized; and seeing how the big picture comes together to form the whole.

How To Tap Into Your Right People’s Desire for Security

Reassure them that you’re steering your own ship and that when they stick with you, you’ll make sure they’re provided for, too. Remind them that you’re the authority on the work you’re doing and that your desire to provide for their needs and wants is at the helm.

How “Security” resonates with me:

Read that last paragraph again about tapping into your desire for security, because that says it all. (I say “your” because I’m talking to you, my right people, right?!) Yes, I am extremely practical, organized, and I like to be strategic – for you.

Power

What It Means

You value strength, decisiveness, and efficacy. You’re motivated by a desire to lead, shape results, and control the outcomes. You help people feel well-oriented, high status, and important.

What It Sounds Like In Action

Brands that value power emphasize themes such as authority, establishment, rules, guidelines, and systems.

How To Tap Into Your Right People’s Desire for Power

The best power-led brands meet their people eye-to-eye, in the style of you are great and so are we — that’s why we’re doing business together. Assure them they’ve made a wise decision in spending time with your brand. Reflect back to them their own well-developed sense of personal power.

How “Power” resonates with me:

I almost didn’t include “power” in the values list. This value tied with some others, so I revisited the relevant questions and questioned my answers. Afterwards, power dropped down a rung. But upon reading about the power value, the words “guidelines” and “systems” popped out at me, and they ring loud and true to me.

If there is one value that I want you to know about, and what it’s like to work with me, it’s that I am solely focused not just on painting a pretty face for your online home, but more importantly, I’m intent on setting up tools and systems for you so that you can easily and quickly get your ideas out of your brain, onto your site and into the lives of your right people. The expression of those ideas might come in the form of a blog post, a sales page, a course, a downloadable e-book… you name it!


Conclusion: Why am I telling you all this?

I feel that lately we visit someone’s website and they spend a lot of time listing off all the traits of their ideal client, such as “we might be a good fit if you…” blah blah blah, and they make a lot of (actually, often accurate) assumptions about what we are struggling with and why we need to work together. Hey, they’ve diligently done their customer avatar homework!

But sometimes I want to know more about that person and what they’re character is like, so I can understand if we will work well together. Will we have chemistry?

So, by revealing the results of this personal assessment, I wanted to share more about what I value, and in turn what I value you in you. More often than not, you are making the first step to connect with me, and I want you to feel confident in that connection.

Speaking of “connection,” that is going to be my word for 2015. More on that later!

If you would like to discover your own voice values, simply subscribe to Abby’s newsletter at http://abbykerr.com

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