Subscribe for Letters From The Interior & discover YOUR brand's Voice Values with our complimentary self-assessment.

Illuminating Voices, Part 2: Analyzing Tara Gentile’s, Alexandra Franzen’s, & Tanya Geisler’s “certain something” — plus 5 more online entrepreneurs.

by Abby Kerr

in Uncategorized

About this column

Photo by anthonystoro courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo by anthonystoro courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

You know those bloggers who just have that certain something. It’s called — voice. Everybody wants one, everybody has one, and it’s exactly what I talk about around here.

This is the sequel to the previous post on what some of the most popular voices in online entrepreneurship really sound like.

It’s also the intro, Part Deux, to  PHRASEOLOGIE LUXE {my new digital copywriting and brand voice development experience for indie online entrepreneurs}. Rather than explain what I do with my clients — I thought I’d show you instead.

In my previous post, I shared my take on what voice really is with respect to writing for an online platform. For the scoop on that, check out that last post. In the next post, I’ll dive deeper into the technical and abstract elements of crafting your own most compelling voice ever.

All of the same disclaimers as in the last post apply: none of these people are or ever have been clients of mine. And there are no affiliate links in this post. These voices are not to be taken as models for ‘how to have a great voice.’ They only speak for themselves. And I’m only playing translator and interpreter for what I’m hearing — using my special 7th sense. ;)

Another cool thing about these voices: they all flagged me down on Twitter after reading the last post and wanted me to “do them!” I dug. And am gratefully accommodating. Read on . . .

Please note that men were not intentionally excluded from this list. I work with guys, too, but none volunteered on Twitter for this post. ;)

Rachel Cole

Out of her peacefully designed site beams a strong, awakened voice, calling women to inhabit more of themselves, their bodies, and the world.

Alexandra Franzen

She’s a whirling dervish of creative productivity, a patron saint of self-reflexive celebration, and an effortlessly pizzazz-full promotional scribe — hello, peer number one on this list!

  • Substance: Idiosyncratic self-promotion, work/life alchemy, freedom, love and sexuality, kitsch.
  • Tone/Relationship to Audience: Comrade in bespoke entrepreneurship and life-on-your-own-terms, hardcore wooer, cult of personality frontwoman.
  • Style: Playful. Colorful. Iconoclastic. Occasionally ever so slightly esoteric. Off-kilter rhythmical, like a hook in a song in a genre you’ve never heard before, but gets stuck in your head.
  • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Falling flat. Doing ‘business as usual.’ Slacking.

Tara Gentile

Her right people marvel over the past few years of her business trajectory — from headmistress of a popular handmade blog to a brief stint as a web designer to her current day body of work around what she calls the You Economy.

  • Substance: Artful earning. 21st Century economic philosophy for indie entrepreneurial types. Being human in business while making a profit.
  • Tone/Relationship to Audience: Philosopher-Strategist.
  • Style: Everywoman-as-Scholar. Brisk. Personable. Reflective. Analytical. Blog posts-as-treatises-you-want-to-read-over-a-slice-of-pie. Obsessively readable — like Cosmo for serious-about-my-business types.
  • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Being inconsistent. Ignoring her community. Letting grass grow under her feet. Not thinking.

Erin Giles

Possibility coach for creative women who dare to believe there’s something more for themselves than what they’ve got going on right now. With a point of view of — don’t we all want and deserve that?

  • Substance: Strategies for a life of integrity and creativity, being a woman, getting started on a business dream.
  • Tone/Relationship to Audience: She’s a gentle mash-up of your best true friend, your secret confidante, and your favorite next door neighbor — the one you’re always glad to see coming up your walkway.
  • Style: Calming, gracious, compassionate. Politely confessional. Clear language — no tricks.
  • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Being brazenly polarizing. Alienating her people. Losing perspective on what really matters.

Yvonne Bynoe

Talks to women about soulful affluence, laced through with a strong point of view on brand-building and message-shaping. Savvy to spare.

    • Substance: Business, branding, and marketing strategy for entrepreneurial women. Getting real about the bottom line.
    • Tone/Relationship to Audience: Seasoned professional counselor who’s a connoisseur of wisdom and All That Is.
    • Style: Elegant — and carries a hammer. Pulls no punches. Walks her talk.
    • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Being cutesy. Worrying about being popular. Wasting her readers’ time — or her own.

Bridget Pilloud

Intuitive counselor with plenty to say about the nature of business and entrepreneurship. Side dishes: lifestyle focus, the human condition, light comedy.

  • Substance: Healing ourselves and our life patterns through awareness and mindfulness, chakra work, lifestyle work, and by relating to what she calls your ‘Inner Me.’ Also, who we are when we show up in our businesses.
  • Tone/Relationship to Audience: Counselor-Peer-Advocate-Sounding Board
  • Style: Navigates spiritual ideas in a down to earth way. Deeply rooted in story. Multilayered blog posts with dialogue, characters, concrete imagery, and animals. Writes long. Toggles between her inner experience and her readers’ experience.
  • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Without an opinion {at least when she’s not officially working}. Without an idea. Unresourceful.

Emma Alvarez Gibson

Brand seer and business copywriting marvel — hello, peer number two on this list! Lit/arts/culture mag founder. Music obsessive. {Note: at the time of publication, Emma’s site was down for beautification. This profile to be updated with links ASAP.}

  • Substance: Life, copy, branding, and culture.
  • Tone/Relationship to Audience: Smart chick next to you at the bar meets coveted creative team member. Possibly cooler than you, but she won’t make you feel self-conscious about it.
  • Style: Off-the-cuff. Not so serious. Contemporary, indie, intellectually piquant. Highly conversational. Editorial.
  • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Pretending or being pretentious. Blustering. Being obnoxiously self-promotional.

Tanya Geisler

Coach and clarity-inviter. Lover of people. Extroverted warmth machine. Prolific communicator.

  • Substance: Life, change, clarity, love.
  • Tone/Relationship to Audience: Mama love energy meets the brilliant, playful, hilarious sister-in-law you lucked into. She makes you feel like family.
  • Style: Warm. Glow-y. Gooey {in a good way — not treacle-y} and grounded for growth at the same time. Sprawling, indulgent prose that invites you closer with the crook of a finger — then hands you a map to discover your own best stuff. No bullshit. Blog posts are lyrical, easily digestible, actionable, and personal narrative-driven — hard to pull off, unless when it comes naturally, like here.
  • You’ll never catch her {in other words, what is ‘off-brand’ for her}: Bitching in public. Being anything less than gracious. Faking it.

In the comments, can we talk about . . .

What in particular landed with you about the voice profiles in this post? And if anything I highlighted didn’t feel spot-on to you, in terms of how you experience them, I’d love to know what and why. See you below!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Bahieh March 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

So, there was more where that came from!!

What a brilliant, brilliant way to “show” us what you do.

I love how each profile really gets one to get a sense of the person behind the voice. 

Can’t wait to “see”  more of your work. 

Hoping Phraseologie will get tons of clients + raves!!

ps. How would you describe your own voice??


Abby Kerr March 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hey again, Bahieh! —

Yes! Lots more. :)

It feels good to have broken through the fear barrier of doing this ‘in public,’ and not just behind closed doors with clients. So much more to come in this vein!

And I loooooooove that you asked me about my own voice. Funny that you ask. I’m thinking of when and where to put my own profile up. Soon, I think! ;)


Illana Burk March 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Dude… all I can think of saying is, “Do me next! Do me next!” Lovely insights, doll… fo’ reals.


Abby Kerr March 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Thanks, Illana. Should there be a threequel to this sequel, I’ve got you in line. :)


Otiti Jasmine Ovuewhorie March 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Dear Abby,

Wow. I just read both parts of your ‘Illuminating Voices’ series and I LOVE them. Not only do I follow some of the fabulous women you profiled, I also totally agree with your assessments of them. I wanna write like you when I grow up, LOL. You have a pellucid style; I like that. Thank you for this peek into what Phraseologie Luxe is all about (love the name, too!). :)


Abby Kerr March 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Thank you, Otiti! I love the word ‘pellucid.’ Thank you for the lovely compliment. I appreciate you reading and commenting!


Otiti Jasmine Ovuewhorie March 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

You’re welcome! I hope some day my blog can measure up to these profiles, ha ha. And speaking about voice, it’s not just what you say but how you say it. Danielle LaPorte has been known to flashback on tough periods in her life in order to illustrate a point, but never in a ‘oh, woe is me’ way. It’s simply a recollection of facts and whatever life lessons she got from it. I’ve been thinking about these posts since yesterday, probably because I wonder if my voice is, as Alex Franzen discussed in a recent post, UNMISTAKABLE.


Monica Lee March 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Abby, So happy to have found your site today-perfect for an end of week read! I am clicking to all these wonderful people you have written about in both blog parts. I even jotted down a few notes…how would I define myself? I want to be the sister-in-law you’ve always wanted. I want to be elegant but don’t imagine I am…gracious and compassionate…you have given me much to think about!


Abby Kerr March 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Monica, so neat to hear how this post has spurred your own sense of discovery around your voice. Thank you for letting me know!


Kimberly Houston March 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

What’s so great about what you’ve done here is that, even if I don’t know of the person in question, I still immediately “get” what they’re about, based on your wicked accurate “profiling” skills.  So I know just who to add to my list of go-to online inspiration resources! (Thanks for saving me all that work, by the way. ;) ) 
Plus, it’s uber-useful for helping me better polish my own online voice.  Awesome, awesome.  : ) 


Abby Kerr March 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm

 Thanks, Kimberly! :)


super kamagra fórum January 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I?¦m now not certain exactly where you’re getting your info, however excellent topic. I desires to spend some time obtaining out extra or understanding more. Thanks for good info I utilised to be searching for this information for my mission.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: