Welcome to the Brand Your Voice Podcast, where we’re digging into how you can create personality-driven content that connects and converts. I’m Jessi…
…and I’m Marie. We’re the co-founders of North Star Messaging + Strategy, where we support business owners in outsourcing content without sacrificing authenticity.
Every brand has a unique voice that sets it apart. We're digging into how to capture the way your brand communicates from the words you use to the stories you tell. So you can create more compelling content that strategically helps you meet your business goals.
And if you choose to outsource that content, you'll be able to do so with confidence, knowing your brand voice is in good hands and you can reclaim your time. We're so glad you're here and hope you enjoy this episode.
Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. Marie here, and Jessi's with me as usual. And I'm really excited to start a little mini series here within our season, where we're going to be talking about the five copywriting characters or content personalities that we have identified at North Star. We're going to spend a whole episode talking about each one. So, I'm really excited for this cause this is like a really, it's been a really great tool for us to be able to support our clients. I find it that other writers could potentially leverage this to support their clients. But also if you want to take a look at your brand voice, whether you're a writer who owns their own business, or you're a CEO of any company, or you are somehow in charge of any type of communication that goes out from a company, taking a look at what is the content personality of like what's, you know, who is your company? What's their personas essentially. This can be really effective for being able to really get a great headstart on branding or voice.
Yeah, absolutely. So if you've been listening with us for a little while, we did sort of a sneak preview of this back on episode nine, where we gave a high level overview of each of the content personalities. So we'll drop that link in the show notes, but this is really intended to be more of a deep dive into each of those copywriting characters or content personalities. And we use the term sort of interchangeably. Before we get started, though. I want to just kind of, high-level talk about what this is and kind of give us some grounding around not just the usefulness of this tool, but how you can use it for yourself. So, first off, this is all based off of a very simple quiz that takes five minutes or less to complete called The Copywriting Character Quiz. And you can get to it northstarmessaging.com/character. That link will be in the show notes as well. And if you've taken any sort of quiz that is focused around identifying an archetype, this is very similar and the focus is really finding the archetype of your content personality, so the way you are communicating through your content.
There are five different copywriting characters, the rebel character, the artist, character, the nurturer, the scholar, and the architect today, we're going to be diving into the rebel specifically, but before we do just sort of a little bit of background information and a little bit of information about what to expect from your copyrighting character results. So often when people take this quiz and they get the result, let's say the rebels, and that's what we're talking about today. They're like, Oh, I knew it. I'm totally the rebel, that fits me, which is great. And the way that I always try to think about copywriting characters when creating content is it is a facet of a larger piece of who you are. You know, every rebel personality does not sound exactly the same. Every artist's personality does not sound exactly the same.
And so the quiz is designed to help you identify your primary copywriting character. So if you test as the rebel, that's great. That is the primary character that you can lean into. That is the primary way in which you can, or lens rather, which through which you can write your content. And we'll talk a little bit about how to do that. And you may have a secondary character. Just like in a band, you kind of have the lead singer and the backup singers. It's similar to that. You have the backup copywriting characters who all do have a role to play in all can show up. So as we go through the series, you may gravitate more strongly towards one or two of the characters than others. And if you test as the rebel and then you hear our episode about the scholar and you're like, Oh, that sounds like me too. That's absolutely all right. That may be a really good indicator that you are a rebel scholar, and we want you to feel like you can lean into that and not see this as something that is restricting you to just one content personality.
Yeah, for sure. So yeah, no that, like, there's not just five different types of content personalities out there. You're absolutely encouraged to explore this a little bit. You can take the quiz twice and kind of lean into a different facet of your communication style and see what comes out for you. And you can develop a unique content personality guideline that works for you and your brand. But we created the copyrighting character quiz. Gosh, was it like 2015, 2014, 2016? It's been a long time. And it's, we created it as well, really Jessi created it, as a way of helping us get a little bit closer to understanding the brand voice of our clients that we are writing for and to allow anybody who's creating content, to be able to get a little bit clearer on their communication strengths. Because each of these five different copywriting characters has different strengths to lean into.
And there was a kind of, Whoa, duh moment for me when, when I was reading Mike Michalowicz's Profit First two years ago, where he talks about like, look, you know, there's some things that are like maybe not great habits that, you know, we might have with our finances in that case, you know, this is about content it's a little different, but you know, the nice thing about profit versus it doesn't require you to completely go cold Turkey and change everything you're doing. It allows you to play to your strengths and the things that are quote unquote weaknesses, just integrate them, you know, accept them and bring them in as part of, of how you operate. And so this was like a framework that was really gonna work. So I'd say it's similar in terms of copywriting character.
We're not asking you to change who you are, how you communicate this isn't high school English, where we're like, well, you have to write your paragraphs this way with this type of sentence at the beginning of your, you know, whatever, like we're saying lean into who you are lean into, what makes you unique?
And if it's something that feels like it is a weakness, maybe that's just an area where we're just going to help you be aware of, like, this is one of those things that, you know, if you test as a rebel, um, rebels often just kind of don't notice this. And so just be aware of it. We're not asking you to change who you are though, because at the end of the day that brand voice is really going to help you connect with others. And I also want to mention that this is true for solopreneurs where like a human being is the face of, and voice of a company, but this is also true for a larger company. And you look at any, just think of a big company. There's a personality behind that brand, right. Even though there may be millions of people working for that company. So this is a process that can work for any size messaging platform.
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, it originally, when we developed this quiz, it was specifically to help us be stronger advocates for the brand voice that we were representing with our clients. And one of the things that we have always believed that North Star and always leaned into one of our strengths is the power of personality driven content. And I think in a lot of ways, when we're talking about creating content and creating, doing writing projects in a way that follows sort of copywriting best practices, there's a lot of attention and focus on what those best practices are, which is absolutely important and needed. And the thing that we feel is really important is making sure that your you or your client's personality doesn't get lost in that. You know, you don't want a email sequence or a sales page to follow all of the best practices, but not actually sound like your client.
You know, that your client may be one of hundreds of thousands of people in their field, but there's only one them. And so as a writer, it's our responsibility to be able to not just follow best practices, but also make it sound like them. And that is really getting this in-depth understanding of the nuance of personality. And for us, it started with the copywriting character quiz. That's sort of the gateway to beginning to understand the more nuanced personality that lies beneath the brand.
And so today we're going to dive in and talk specifically about the rebels. So, this is, I was actually just looking at our analytics on the quiz yesterday or a couple of days ago. And this is actually the most frequent result that people get, which is really interesting because the rebel is also the one that leads into being unique the most. And so we're going to go into the rebel personality a little bit here. What makes someone a rebel and what rebels tend to value, what some of their strengths are and what some of their areas of growth or things to pay attention to might be.
You know, and it kind of makes sense why the rebel might be a really frequent result because of people who, even though I signed, you know, this framework and quiz can work for any size company. We tend to work with smaller businesses and it really does take a pretty innovative risk-taking, you know, bold person to decide, you know what, I'm going to start my own company. I'm going to march to the beat of my own drum. And so it really does make sense that there's a lot of rebels, please know that if you get this result and you're like, I can't believe there's all these rebels, all rebels are unique. Like everyone has their own shtick, right. And their own personality, their own business. So just because there's other rebels doesn't mean that they're all just like you, in fact, none of them are.
So kind of leaning into that then, let's talk about who the rebel is. So some of the things that they really value, and these are things that show up in their content and are reflected in their content, they're really all about freedom, like personal freedom. They're very focused on, you know, the status quo to be questioned, right? Like we are here to make a change, a positive, meaningful change in the world. They're also very much in favor of empowering others. They're very focused on individuality. So their content, a lot of the time really does sort of ask those questions about the status quo and say, Hey, you've always heard this, but is that actually true? I'm going to take another look at this. I'm going to look at this from another angle today. And I invite you to do it with me so that you can make an empowered choice, right. They're here to create change. These are people who, you know, just when somebody says, well, that's because that's the way it's always been done. They're like about ready to tear their hair out.
Yeah, absolutely. You can, you can think of this type also as the warrior, if the word rebel doesn't quite resonate with you, another way to think of it as a warrior type. And I kind of visualize the rebel personality as the person who's sort of on the front lines, leading the charge towards whatever they are passionate about. They don't take no for an answer. They really lean into their own individuality and they really want to make sure that they are really, it's not just about them and their own individuality and their own empowerment. It's about how they can use their individuality to motivate the people they're talking to in their audience. They're not afraid to call people out. They're not afraid to call people up and they're not afraid to have somewhat difficult conversations with their audience members and their clients that make waves.
And that's really the thing that they're really talented at is making waves that aren't just for the sake of making waves. It's not just conflict for the sake of conflict or something like that. The strength of the rebel/warrior, if you prefer to think of them that way are tied deeply to this authentic individual identity that is then used as a catalyst to create change and to create content that is really compelling and sometimes polarizing. But is very outspoken about the belief of the rebel. There's a lack of fear of visibility when talking about those things that the rebel is passionate about, and that doesn't necessarily mean that, you know, you don't have things that you're afraid of. Like, I dunno, maybe going on a live is really intimidating to you and you're the rebel. That totally makes sense. That's fine. But if you got put into a room and challenged to talk about something that you thought needed to change that charge really lights a fire under you, can you have a lot to say about that, and you're not afraid of the visibility that comes with talking about it.
And with this comes a lot of determination and persistence because often because the rebel is leading the charge, it means that they're in a position where they are saying things other people have not been saying, or they're saying them in a way other people have not been saying. And so that really kind of, it makes it very easy to find a rebel. They're very much kind of, they're very visible in that way. But it also does require a little persistence and determination because often you are, you are trailblazing, you are forging a path that other people have maybe not forged before.
Yeah. So let's talk about how you can sort of recognize a rebel character type in a room, right? They are very ambitious. You know, it's a sort of no vision too large for them. If it's something they really believe in, they are going to be talking about it in a way that's very exciting and very compelling. Those values that we've just been talking about are like right there, front and center, they're not afraid to go against the grain. They're not afraid to challenge the status quo or maybe they are, but the drive to do so outpaces the fear.
They also are willing to put forth messages that could be a little polarizing, right? Yes. Maybe it's something that is new. But they're not afraid to say like, okay, I'm going to be the bad guy here for a second. Like ask the question, like, does this make sense? Right. They're not afraid to be that person that raises the flag.
They also, aren't afraid to be direct. This can mean, you know, calling like Jessi said, calling people out or calling people up, it could be like pointing out a specific problem that's happening with their industry, something that they have an issue with and why you know. They're the thing that they are most avoidant of is blending in just kind of being part of, you know, just the crowd, right.
They also really are resistant to doing things the way they are quote, unquote, supposed to be done, or always have been done. They're going to question that and if they end up there, it's because they've thought through it and they've decided, okay, that does actually make sense.
They're also really concerned that like, what if I don't empower people? What if I don't motivate people? What if I don't inspire them? What if I don't influence them to think differently? That's a fear that this personality type often has. And so they really lean into the content as a way to avoid that happening.
Yeah. So let's talk about that content a little bit. And, you know, we've talked a lot about the values and, you know, high level, like, what does this persona look like? But we were talking about writing here in content. And so how do you get all of that big personality, motivation, desire to make change into written words that are, you know, not necessarily you standing on a stage with a megaphone in your, in your hands, you know, shouting to the masses. The rebel character type in writing. I always think of this type as out of all of the five, the one that has the most inertia, the one that has the most momentum behind it, it's very action oriented. And of course, best practices for copywriting content, you always want action. You always want it to be moving your reader or your audience towards the next step. But like the rebel is this in overdrive.
It's, there's not a lot of times that sitting in naval gazing or pondering, it's really like, we know that there's something that needs to happen. So go do the thing that needs to happen. And that shows up in the writing, that shows up in writing that feels like it has momentum. So things like really bold declarative statements and sentences that are short and easy to understand sometimes not even complete sentences, sometimes sentence fragments, but they all move towards movement and action and getting your reader to continue to read or even read faster, and then to do something with what they read.
They also engage in creating dialogue through text. So if you're reading a website or something, you obviously are not actually talking to another person, you can't answer your reader if they say something while they're reading your website. But you can create the illusion of dialogue through questions. And the rebel really leans into rhetorical questions in their content. Usually those questions are directly related to that challenging of the status quo. So really essentially inviting the reader and the audience to rethink the things that they have been doing, because they have been quote, supposed to be doing them. Not necessarily telling them how to think, because the rebel doesn't believe in just, you know, exchanging one status quo for another and saying, this is wrong, do it my way instead. instead, the rebel leads leans into this idea of how can I, in my content ask questions that allow my audience to start thinking of, of it in their own way, start thinking about the holes that might exist for the opportunities that might exist and come to their own conclusions. And so in the spirit of this, a lot of these specific word choice is really what is often referred to in copywriting as power words, which are useful for all of the copywriting characters and the rebel personality really leans into them.
So we're going to do this with each of the episodes. We're going to give you the same neutral sentence, and then we're going to rewrite it using examples from each specific content personality.
So the neutral sentence that we want to rewrite as the rebel to give you an idea of how the rebel might actually sound on the page is "We show our clients how to brand their voice within their content." Okay. That's a neutral sentence. It doesn't necessarily use a lot of super strong verbs or add adverbs or adjectives. It's just kind of, this is what we do.
So to rewrite that sentence as the rebel, do you want to take this, Marie?
Yeah. So instead of, I'm going to say it one more time, "We show our clients how to brand their voice within their content." "We challenge our clients to unleash their unique voice on the world through powerful personality driven content."
So you can hear words like challenge, unleash, powerful. These are words that could be put into a rebel, you know, kind of word bank. Words, like, ignite, skyrocket, revolutionize, discover, battle, activate, engage, right? These, these words that, you know, like Jessi was saying, power words that it just takes the verb to another level. Right. And infuses a little empowering emotion within that. You know, when Jessi was saying earlier, the sort of short declarative sentences, you know. Something like, pay women more, or like you deserve better, or the like the rhetorical question, right? Like, are you content with this? Right? Like, are you willing to stay where you are a question like that? Right.
Anything like that, where it's just being bold essentially, that is a hallmark of the rebel and it's a really powerful voice. It's a fun voice. It's a voice where you come away feeling tingly and excited and like I can conquer the world. Right.
And there is a few areas of weakness, right? And we're, again, we're not telling you be different. We're not telling you to be someone else that you aren't, or we're not telling you to change the content personality of your client or your company. And we're suggesting that you just keep an eye out on these areas. So for instance, when JessI was talking earlier about like, this is a voice of action, this is a voice of like, let's do the thing. Like, why are we sitting around here waiting? Right. And sometimes we need to add just a little bit of context or explanation so that somebody can feel like they can go take the next step. Sometimes we have to just slow down a little bit to make sure that somebody understands why that action. It actually matters.
Because if someone's taking action, just because this really charismatic person told them to that's doing that thing that Jesse said, the rebels are afraid of, right. Which is exchanging one status quo or one set of directions for another, the rebel really actually wants someone to understand why they're doing this new thing. They want the person to feel as convicted and excited as they are. And so sometimes that needs me to just slow down, let somebody process, make a decision and then move forward. So in actual writing, what this could mean is like, literally just taking a sentence or something like that, to explain a core concept that may be important so that somebody could then can take action later on in the content.
Yeah. And I think you just said the key two words there in what you just said, Marie, which is "so that." I think often we, as writers, we're trained to always include a "so that" statement, so this is essentially like, here's a feature and here's the benefit. So, you know, this product includes, you know, three Q+A calls. That's great, but why do they matter? So a writer, a copywriter might say that includes three Q and a calls so that you can get some one-on-one expert attention to the why behind it. And this doesn't just qualify for that, like benefit and feature conversation.
With the rebel, it's really making sure that the, so that is always answered. It allows the reader to take a moment and contextualize what the rebel is telling them, and also apply it to their own lives and their own experience.
I like to think of this as like answering the two-year-old, who kind of is standing around going, why, why, why, why to everything. And so if you were a rebel and you're putting forth these really bold declarations, there's going to be a two year old, they're asking why. Why is this bold declaration worth paying attention to, and so it's balancing making those bold declarations with making sure that that two year old is satisfied and making sure that you are adding the context.
Right. Right. And I mean, to be clear that two year old and maybe like a 42 year old and not to like, you know, sort of turn them into a child, but just say that like, some people are a little skeptical. Right. And they're just like, that's their nature and the date, they want to understand the context. And as soon as they do, they're like, okay, makes sense. Cool. Right. So it's just to satisfy that person. Um, so that somebody who is your, a great client for you or a great audience member for you isn't, you know, turned away just because of one simple thing you could have done to welcome them in. Right.
I feel like we should challenge our listeners at some point to go back and listen to episodes and see how many times we say so that in a single episode, because it comes out in the way you talk to this is, you know, one of the reasons why, when we go through our brand voice process, it starts with an interview because the way you talk actually really represents their content personality. And so you can kind of see this in the spoken word, as well as the written word.
And, Jessi and I both test as the scholar, which is the teacher. Right. So it kind of makes sense that we're saying so that this, like, that's natural for us to put that in. It may not be quite as natural for the rebel. So if that's the voice that you're leaning into, just experiment with adding that. And just see if that helps connect a little bit more.
So speaking also of making sure we don't turn away our own people, like the really great fits. It's also really, you know, like I said, the rebel can be kind of polarizing and their language, and we want to make sure that we're not turning away the people that we actually want to be welcoming in. So just take a look at that. If the language starts becoming harsh towards the very people that we, that are sort of quote unquote on our side, like we want those to be our clients, we want those to be our audience, that's when we need to kind of check ourselves as the rebel and say, okay, I feel very convicted about this. And I also don't want to like, you know, lose the people that I really want to keep with me. This doesn't mean we have to keep everyone. It absolutely doesn't mean that actually. And it's totally okay to repel people that we don't want. And just pay attention to what's happening when you have a message that's really strong.
Absolutely. Sort of in a similar context is this idea of how we communicate the things that we're really passionate about. And sometimes there can be a tendency for someone of the rebel personality to really hone in on and naturally hone in on what is wrong that needs to be fixed. And there's nothing wrong with that. Often those things need to be pointed out, especially if it's something that people have sort of taken for granted and always, you know, this is just the way things are. Those things absolutely need to be pointed out in content so that the audience that you are speaking to has that opportunity to rethink things. And we want to make sure that we're not overly leaning into pain points and thinking of them as pain points, thinking of them as, you know, we're taking the things that people are unhappy with and just agitating it and making it worse-
Twisting the knife.
Yeah, exactly. Which just feels shitty. It's just not great. And we actually have a whole episode about this talking about pain points versus what we call them, which is empathy points. Same idea, same, same permission to talk about what's wrong. And just adding that little lens of compassion of acknowledging, not just that there's something we need to talk about that might need to change, but also empathizing with the person on the receiving end and what their experience of that might be. So instead of twisting the knife, you're actually inviting a conversation.
Yeah, for sure. Another thing that I've witnessed rebels doing in their businesses, especially if it's a small business or a business where there's sort of one person leading the charge, is there can become this point of frustration with like, Oh, this program isn't profitable. Or I am burned out on doing this and I want to do that instead, or whatever it is. And there's this tendency to want to just burn it all down when you get to that point. And I'm not going to tell someone not to do that because that can be effective for them. And that's their decision, you know, if you're hearing this and you're like, yeah, I'm going to burn it all down place. And I, you know, that's just where I am like, okay, that's where you are. I hear you. And also this is another one of those times of like adding the context, adding the explanation.
If all of a sudden you're burning down, you know, some signature program, and you had a wait list of 500 people who really wanted that program and they're never going to get it right. Because that program is going away. That's okay, but let them know. So I would just say, I'm not going to tell you not to burn it all down, but I will say, make sure that your content, your messaging supports the transition, supports your audience through your transition. So that way they can be along for the ride. They're not just going to be like, Oh, this person's flaky and they're ghosting out on this program. They're going to be like, Oh, they're changing it because this wasn't profitable for them. Or because this just didn't work with what they want to do right now, but this is instead what they want to do. Instead they'll be like, Oh, wow, aren't you a savvy business owner. Right. So just that simple idea of just adding some context around a major transition is something that may not occur to rebels. So that's why we're just raising the flag here.
Yeah. Yeah. And that context really shows up in the content and making sure that you have written content showing up in all of the places where your audience interacts with you, that answers the "so what" and the "so that" about that burning it all down moment.
And then the last thing that I really want to take a minute to talk about is, and you'll, you'll actually hear this come up probably in some way with all of the copywriting characters, because it really is important is making sure that clarity takes priority over cleverness. And some of the copywriting characters do this more naturally than others.
In the case of the rebel, it is not uncommon for a rebel persona to have almost their own vernacular. We call them a person's isms. And those isms really become their own language. And for people who are on the end, they, they are familiar with this person. They've been following them for a while. It is very intuitive and second nature, but people who are not in yet, it can, it can feel very much like trying to learn something from scratch.
I remember back when I got my very first job out of college, I was a high school teacher. That is an industry that is just overwhelmed with acronyms. Like everything is an acronym and no one tells you what any of them mean. You just have to figure it out. And so my first year teaching, I had probably spent more time trying to understand the acronym for what I was doing and actually like learning how to do the thing. And it was just, it was overwhelming. There were so many words and phrases and random jumbles of letters to, to learn. And I think this is true of a lot of industries and a lot of fields. And it can also be true of the individual voice of a brand, especially a rebel brand that ends up often creating their own terminology, their own words, their own ways of describing things. And there's nothing wrong with that. And we need to make sure that we are adding that context to explain what those words mean and treating them like sprinkles, like you add it to the top of your, your content. You don't, it's not the ice cream itself. It's not all of the content. It's just something to add a little flavor and make sure that it does show up and sound like you, without just becoming unintelligible.
Right. Exactly. So, I hope that if you've tested as the rebel, you're really excited about leaning into this and I hope that this has been helpful for you to kind of know where your strengths are, what to lean into and where maybe a few areas just to keep an eye out for are for you.
So let's move on to your homework. So I encourage you first of all, if you have not yet taken the copyrighting character quiz, and you're not sure if you're the rebel or maybe you've taken it and you've got something else, but this is resonating for you. Go ahead and go back in and take or retake the quiz, Northstarmessaging.com/character. That's going to be in the show notes along with some other things that we've referenced in this episode, like other episodes of podcast, but go there first and take that.
And then this one's kind of fun. This is like a creative assignment here. Take a piece of content that you have that just feels a little ho-hum or maybe a little like, kind of just factual, right? Just kind of here's the information, and rewrite it in the rebel voice. If you test as a rebel, you're going to get a little cheat sheet in this, which is going to be that word bank and some other information about how to write for the rebel. So that'll give you a little bit of a leg up in that process.
Yeah. And if you are listening to this and you are a writer, I guarantee that some of your clients will be rebels. And so this is a really great exercise for you to practice writing in a voice that may not be your own. Taking the different aspects of the rebel personality and trying to apply it to, as Marie said, kind of a ho-hum piece of content, you'll be getting a very similar homework assignment for all of the characters. And so for the writers out there, this is a really great opportunity to practice taking the same piece of content and writing it in different voices.
So we're going to kick off with the rebel voice. For the rebels out there. I hope you feel inspired and motivated to lean into that voice a little bit more. And for the writers out there who may not be the rebel, if you're really excited to try that voice on.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, Northstarmessaging.com, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, and more.
If you found value in this episode, we'd love for you to leave us a review on iTunes and share it with your friends. Thank you, and happy content creating.