Why Playing it Safe Kills Content Creators (And How Your Unique Voice Will Save You)

You've got a burning passion. A unique voice for positive change and a better world. But here's the harsh reality... will anyone notice?

Matt By Matt
15 Min Read

You’ve got a burning passion. A vision for positive change that keeps you up at night dreaming of a better world. But here’s the harsh reality…

The online landscape is a catastrophically noisy space. Billions of content creators are fighting for limited attention with virtually identical tactics.

So how do you stand out from everyone else?

How do you transform your world-changing mission from a hobby passion project into a real voice that moves audiences to action?

The answer is as simple as it is difficult: Developing an unmistakable unique voice and style.

This singular trait can transcend the noise and spark real kinetic engagement from audiences across platforms.

In this battlefield of digital noise, your authentic voice is your greatest weapon.

Find Your Unique Voice – Why Your Success as a Creator Depends Upon It

Look around at the change-makers, cultural forces, and thought leaders who are driving positive impact at scale. The ones whose voices boom above the deafening online chaos.

  • Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, a dear friend of mine, and founder of Karma Nirvana uses her voice to fight for the rights of victims and survivors of forced marriage, honour-based abuse, and victims of abuse in the Church of England.
  • Rico Jacob Chace is a friend whom I admire greatly. As a Black Trans Man, Rico has track record of advocating for minority groups in forums such as Parliament, the Mayor’s Office and the United Nations’ UNITE Future Leaders programme. 
  • Mel Robbins is an influential voice who uses her own experiences of deep, debilitating anxiety to help millions of people around the world challenge their anxiety and reduce its impact (including me).

What do they all have in common?

An utterly distinct, 100% authentic voice that’s impossible to ignore or replicate. Their bold, unwavering brand of self-expression is the core driver of their surging impact.

That gut-punching authenticity forges a real emotional connection with the right audiences. People are quite literally drawn into their vision like a powerful gravitational pull simply because of the raw humanity and unique perspective in their voice.

When your voice is inseparable from your individuality, your flawed genius, your essence as a human being – that’s when you transcend the label of “content creator” and become a true catalyst for a cultural shift.

Mainstream audiences have become masters at sniffing out what’s genuine versus what is manufactured online. They crave realness with a ferocious hunger in this sea of polished, cookie-cutter personal brands.

By leaning into your raw, imperfectly authentic voice, you ultimately cultivate the most powerful asset a change-maker could want: an activated tribe of obsessive evangelists who are overly invested in amplifying your unique message and positive mission.

So if you want to transform your passion into a real professional platform for positive change, the very first step is ruthlessly cultivating your one-of-one voice.

 

How to Distill Your Utterly Unique Voice

Okay, so we’ve established that developing a signature voice is mission-critical for separating yourself from the sea of creators and turning your passion into an actionable profession.

But how do you become that authentic, impactful voice that builds an engaged tribe of raving evangelists? It’s not like there are online courses for unlocking your real, raw self-expression.

It starts by dissecting the very core of who you are as an individual.

It’s reverse-engineering the precise recipe of flaws, experiences, and perspectives that make you inseparable from anyone else on this planet.

Here are 5 easy tips to find and develop your writing style and unique voice:

  1. Deconstruct Your Identity
    Write down words, phrases, life experiences, personal flaws – anything and everything that defines the very essence of who you are as a chaotic human being. What’s your background, belief system, and worldview? What makes you inherently different from anyone else?
  2. Unleash Your Natural Voice
    Open a voice memo on your phone and start ranting off-the-cuff about a topic you’re passionate about. Don’t censor or filter yourself; just let your natural tone, personality, and communication style flow out. This unearths your core method of expression.
  3. Be Influenced by the Authentic Voices You Love
    Who are the creators, authors, and thought leaders whose voices you find yourself effortlessly connecting with? Those visceral pangs of “I feel that” when you consume their material? Study their style and allow it to shape yours.
  4. Be Unapologetic in Your Truth
    Your voice should be incredibly resonant for the precise audiences you want to attract. Don’t be afraid that you may divide audiences by taking hard stances and leaning into highly opinionated expressions.
  5. Create a Consistent Voice Style Guide
    Create a style guide for your blog, Substack, Medium column or newsletter with words, phrases, tones and personalities that capture your new found authentic voice. Reference it every single time you create something to ensure your unique voice stays sharp and recognisable.

At the end of the day, unleashing your remarkably unique voice in all its weird glory comes down to this:

Give your audiences something they’ve literally never seen or heard before by fully embracing the creatively chaotic miracle that you are.

When you let the rawest, honest truth of who you authentically are, pour out through your content and expression, you radiate an energy that naturally separates you from the static of excess average online.

Your unapologetic individuality instantly will build trust with audiences because they perceive you as a fully real, flawed human being – not some manufactured brand or persona.

Allow them to peer into your strange mind, to feel your visceral passion for your vision, to become intimately invested in you as the imperfect vehicle transporting this positive movement.

This is how your passion transforms from a hobby into a profession.

When your expression drips with raw authenticity, you forge a true emotional bond that transcends the creator/audience relationship. It builds a strong source of energy that pulls people into actively becoming fervent participants in your vision.

That real, human connection to who you inherently are as an individual is what sparks the highly engaged tribes that successful change-makers leverage to catalyse impact.

So get weird.

Get uncomfortable.

 

Let your gorgeous strangeness as a human being pour out of you without apology or filter.

Because it’s that uncompromised devotion to self-expression that ultimately lays the foundation for turning a passion into an activated force for cultural momentum.

The Value of a Unique Voice Can’t Be Overstated

In this hyper-distracted online landscape of infinite options, the one wildly underrated skill for rising above the fray is cultivating a signature voice that demands to be heard.

While processes, strategies, and tactics have become violently oversaturated, your flawed genius as a unique individual is something that can never be replicated or copied. It’s your singular competitive advantage for sparking a revolution with your bare voice.

So many aspiring change-makers, content creators, and culture-shifters get caught up chasing shallow growth hacks, algorithms, and virality tactics. They treat their craft like some video game to be gamed and beaten with the right cheat codes.

But the truth is, you can’t game human connection.

You can’t hack meaning.

You can’t buy your way into forging a bond with people that transcends mere content consumption.

You have to earn that bond by showing up as your full, authentic self. By crafting your messy truth into a rallying cry that helps people contextualise their own lived experiences. By fearlessly expressing your you-ness unbound.

That unique voice – the unmistakable way you see and experience this crazy world we live in – is the most powerful asset you could ever wield as a force for positive change.

It’s the key for transforming your passion from yet another hobby blog into a cultural movement with deeply devoted evangelists. It’s your pathway for becoming an indispensable voice that commands attention, shapes narratives, and actually drives impact simply through your raw expression.

Think about the creators, artists, and thought leaders who impacted you the most over the years. The ones whose messages seemed to burrow deep into your psyche in a profound way.

Was it their production quality or editing skills that forged that connection? Their fancy equipment or ability to reverse-engineer the algorithm? Of course not. It was the rawness of their expression that allowed you to peer directly into their souls and find resonance with your own human experience.

People are subconsciously craving that type of visceral, meaning-rich connection in a world increasingly diluted by shallow, SEO-optimised clickbait. The more that online spaces become inundated with marketers in creators’ clothing, the more that real, genuinely authentic voices stand out and capture imaginations.

This is your opportunity as a change-maker to become a voice that actually moves audiences through the sheer power of your uncompromised self-expression.

It’s a chance to build a highly-engaged following that actively supports your vision and positive movement, rather than just passively consuming content.

One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.

Malala Yousafzai

The Rise of the Imperfect Change-Maker

Let’s be clear – your personal imperfections and rough edges as a unique individual are not flaws to be improved or burnished away. They are gifts that allow you to create powerfully resonant work capable of deeply impacting people.

By shamelessly leaning into those perceived “flaws” that you develop the type of emotional connections that transform audiences from passive viewers into active believers. Followers who become evangelists for amplifying your singular voice and mission for positive change.

Just look at cultural forces such as Malala Yousafzai and her fight for rights and better safety for girls in Pakistan, and now worldwide. She’s also the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The more I learn from Malala, the more it strengthens with my own work at my charity Naz and Matt Foundation.

Malala is a powerful change-maker who hasn’t just built a global following – she’s sparked real societal change, and loyal followers through the realness of her expression and purpose in life.

That unapologetic commitment to honouring her unique worldview and method of self-expression quite literally makes her work addictive for the audiences that connect with Malala’s “why”.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.”

Brené Brown

The Power of Vulnerability

Being vulnerable to show your true self is the catalyst for transforming from just another creator into the spark that ignites an engaged cultural revolution.

Developing your unique voice is the first and most critical step for any aspiring change-maker or impactful creator. It’s the skill that separates those shouting into an echo chamber from mobilising an activated tribe capable of reshaping culture.

So get messy with it.

Be authentic.

Get microscopically anthropological about the core truth of your existence, then shamelessly broadcast those beautifully flawed perspectives to the masses with transparency and authenticity.

Our future world is at risk and doesn’t always benefit from more perfectly polished creators regurgitating borrowed worldviews.

THAT is how you transform a passion into a legitimate force for sustained positive impact.

By unapologetically developing your one-of-kind unique voice to spark a revolution, not just momentary entertainment.

I look forward to joining you on the exciting journey ahead.


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By Matt
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I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.