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EPISODE 40: Copywriting Characters: Creating the Artist Voice

by Jun 29, 2021Podcast

In this episode we will cover:

  • What content personality is
  • Why we created the Copywriting Character Quiz
  • How to recognize an Artist voice
  • The strengths of an Artist voice
  • The challenges of an Artist voice
  • How to write content in an Artist voice

At North Star, we believe in the power of personality-driven content. That’s why we created the Copywriting Character Quiz, to help brands identify and tap into the core traits of their unique voice. In this series of Brand Your Voice Podcast episodes, we’re introducing you to each of the 5 Copywriting Character Archetypes. 

Today, we’re talking about the Artist voice!

You don’t have to pick up a paintbrush to be an Artist. These brands are all about innovation and invention. They’re focused on creative freedom and expression, and allowing their audience to express their own authentic vision. These brands ask questions and encourage deeper exploration, and really know how to tap into their emotions and the emotions of others. They always see the world not just how it is, but how it could be.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How content personality fits into brand voice
  • How to recognize an Artist voice
  • The strengths of an Artist voice
  • The challenges of an Artist voice
  • How to write content in an Artist voice

 

Understanding your brand voice will help you connect to your audience, and knowing your content personality is a huge part of understanding your voice!

Are you an Artist? Take our Copywriting Character Quiz to find out!

 

Learn More:

Brand Your Voice podcast episode 9: What Is Your Content Personality?

 

TRANSCRIPT

Jessi:
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…

Marie:
…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.

Jessi:
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.

Marie:
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.

Jessi:
All right, welcome to another episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. I am joined by Marie and we are diving into the second episode of our mini series on the copywriting characters. So if you're joining us midway through, make sure you go back and listen to our very first episode on the rebel where we also give an overview of the copyrighting characters and the quiz that goes along with that. We'll do another brief overview today, but it'll be a little shorter than the one on the previous episode. And today we are going to spend a lot more time talking about the artist copywriting character.

Marie:
Yay. So, uh, I have a soft spot for this one cause my, my dad is a painter and I've always felt like, you know, everyone in my family is very artistic in a lot of ways. And so it's really neat to look at like, how does that actually show up and content? But I will say there's a misconception about this voice, which is that you have to be like a visual artist or a writer or whatever it is in order to be an artist. So, let me give the high level and then we'll swing back around and hopefully that will all make sense.
So we created the copyrighting character quiz a number of years ago when we were looking for two outcomes. One was a way for us to help us better capture the brand voice of our clients. And the other was to help somebody who was in charge of writing for a brand, really nailed the brand voice and really lean into the strengths of what that brand voice is, whether this was an individual like a solopreneur or like kind of just a personality based business, it was like based on one person at persona, I should say rather. Um, or it could, I mean, we've done this for nonprofits with a giant board and like, there's not like one person whose voice where we're stepping into, but there's a voice of the brand. Right?
And so the voice of the artist doesn't have to just show up for somebody who's a Potter or a painter, it's at its heart. Somebody who's very innovative, somebody who's very creative. So, you know, we've had people test as the artist who are engineers, right? Like they're like, wow, I didn't, I didn't think about that, but you're right. Like I do think in a way that is innovative. And so that's really, what's at the heart of the artist. So if you're like, wow, I can't even hold a pencil. I can't believe I got this test result. There must be something wrong. There's probably nothing wrong. It's probably just looking at how your brain works the end of the day, not your level of artistic talent. And if you don't know what this quiz is that we're talking about, it's the copyrighting character quiz. It's free. It's at Northstarmessaging.com/character. You can also go to the show notes and we'll give you the direct link there.

Jessi:
Yeah. I think the other word that comes to mind when I think of the artist is the creator. So if the word artist doesn't resonate with you, if that's like a non artist, you know, I only draw stick figures. And that is the extent of my art ability. Totally fine. We're talking about content personality here. We're talking about the way you think and the way that that thinking and personality shows up in your content, not necessarily your ability to, you know, draw something that's going to be featured in the museum someday. And so I like the creator as sort of a secondary way of thinking about the artists, because it really is a piece of what drives people who have the artist personality. It's this idea of creating something new that was not there before. And having that creation be an authentic representation of your self-expression.
And that creation doesn't need to be a piece of art. It could be something as simple as, you know, a new program that you have created for your business and the way in which it's run or the things that it talks about that, you know, are being approached in a new and innovative way. And from a content perspective, it's really about sinking into the process and making it your own. And it shows up in pretty much everything you do, and especially in content. So some of the strengths of the artists, and there are a lot of them because the artist is really focused on that innovation, which we mentioned for the rebel as well, that they're very focused on innovation. And in this case, innovation takes a slightly different tone than the rebel. So in the rebel's case, it's a lot of subverting the status quo, whereas in the artists case that may still be happening, but the intention behind it is really focused on making sure that you are able to authentically express your own vision for something, your own creativity create without really bounds. It's that very outside of the box, thinking that can be very inspirational for a lot of people who maybe haven't thought of doing things in this unique way. May need a little bit of a nudge outside to think outside of the box. And it's very expressive. It's a very, as I said in the process, and it's very good at the showing the process. So, one of the things you hear a lot in the writing world is show don't tell, and artists are very good at this. They really want the whole process to be documented and to be flexible and expressed throughout the process of creating content and also just running your business.
And so with that in mind, we're going to talk a little bit about if you walk into a room and you have a whole bunch of people there from a whole bunch of different content personality types, how do you recognize who the artist is?

Marie:
Yeah. So the artist is someone who they're going to take their unique perspective when there's like, you know, sort of a topic that's sort of old hat, or maybe just everyone kind of accepts it the way it is, but they're going to bring their own lens to it and even kind of an experimental lens to it, right. They just can't help themselves. I feel like they want to say like capita, like, is there another way to look at this? And they also really encourage their audience to reshape their thinking. They're not going to say hey thinks just like me, although some might. And I think that's actually maybe a little bit of a dangerous spot for the artist, right? It's like, they're so convicted by their own way of looking at things that they kind of want others to feel the same way. But at the end of the day, if you ask the artists, like, what do you really care about? It's like that freedom of personal, authentic expression.
And so they often respect that in others as well. They also really lean into the human angle of expression. And what I mean by that is emotions, right? Emotions can really come to the forefront, but if you think about it like a piece of art, right? You know, you may look at a piece of artwork and have an emotional response to it, but the art itself, you know, how do you express something like grief or elation, right? It's probably through metaphor or storytelling. So it's the same way for the artist personality type, right? There's going to be emotional expression there, but it could be reflected through metaphor, through stories.
They're also really going to project like this idea of like, there's one single way to do this. Like these are really creative explorers, right? Like this is the person who, if you drop them off on an uncharted continent, like they're going to have so many ideas of which way to go, what to do, what could this could be, where do I go from here? And they really do at the end of the day, welcome their audience to have that same sense of like optimistic exploration with them.

Jessi:
Yeah, absolutely. There's really this sense of possibility that shows up with the artist personality, that anything can be turned into something powerful, something that has that emotional conviction behind it. And from a content perspective perspective, this leads to a lot of excitement, a tone that carries across the content that an artist creates that is really invested in discovery. And really just sort of this idea of like, well, let's just try this and see where it goes and see what happens. And the stakes may or may not be high depending on your industry, but the way in which it's approached is really from this optimistic perspective of, you know what, and if it doesn't work out, we're going to try something new. We're going to shift gears and pivot. And that's a really big strength of the artist is taking things and, you know, because of the, they don't see one single path forward. If things don't work out, they're very easy, very quick to jump to the next path and try something else. And so it's very hard to stop the artist, you know, they have that forward momentum that is rooted in this sense of creation and invention and, enjoying the work that they do.

Marie:
Yeah. It's almost infectious. Right. And so this is sort of, now I want to talk about like how, if you've tested as the artist, or if you are a writer writing on behalf of someone who you're sort of like, yeah, that sounds, that sounds like my client, or my company. Right. And here to write. How do you lean into creating content for this character's hype? So, you know, we've been talking high-level, but like, this is specifics, right. So lean into that descriptive language. Right. Again, it's sort of taking a note from fiction writing or anything like that, you know, like that show don't tell, right. How can we describe something in a way that's really visceral? How can we evoke an emotional response? There may also be experimentation with an approach to content, the topics that you're talking about, um, the way you tell stories and even content mediums, right?
Like maybe the content needs to be a mixture of written and video, or there's going to be an integration of imagery through actual images into the content. So staying flexible, staying interested in like, how can I combine new things and how can I do that in a way that's, you know, still expressive and, but also like really allows those emotions to be evoked and come to the forefront. Another thing that you can do when writing for an artist or for yourself, if you've tested as an artist, is to think about like genuine stories you can share. General genuine experiences that you'd be comfortable putting into your content. How can you talk about that in a way that kind of gets you to the point? Um, because when you lean into that stuff, you're going to have such a creative, interesting take on experiences you've had and stories that you want to share that you're going to be able to bring the emotion forward almost effortless.

Jessi:
Yeah. You know, in some ways I think the artist more than any other of the content personality types is really the early adopter, you know. Circling back to this idea of different content, media, mediums, and ways of expressing content, I feel like it's often the artist's personality who, when something new comes out, you know, in the realm of content, whether it's written content or something else, it's often the artist who's like, Ooh, I have a new toy to play with. And let me see how I can best express myself in this new form. And I think that shows up across the board, whether it's video content or written content or something else, it really is this strength of immediately seeing something new as a possibility. And that shows up in the written content through creating an architecture to the content that you create that is really focused on your own unique process, your own unique thought process, your own unique language.
And, you know, I'll, I'll come out and say that in some ways the artist copywriting character is one of the hardest to write for, because there really is this investment in authenticity and making sure that nothing ever feels like it isn't 110% aligned with the way that you're thinking and wanting to express yourself. This is something that is a strength of an artist, is that ability to 100% always be, this is who I am. It's also something that can be a bit of a challenge for an artist who's outsourcing their content or for a writer who is expressing an artist's content. And so we'll talk about that a little bit more in a minute, but that's just something to kind of be aware of is that tendency to really, really, really hone in on making sure that everything is 100% true to you.

Marie:
So, one thing that we did in the previous episode that was kind of fun that we want to carry through is taking a sentence that's just kind of a neutral factual sentence and rewriting it into the content personality type. So we're going to do that here again with the artist to show you an example of what it can look like to take on artist's voice. So, and there's a lot of ways to do this. I think even more so with artists than probably any other content types. So you're testing as an artist and you're like, well, I would never say it that way. That's fine. Like, that's part of the beauty of the artist, right. Is like you lean into your authentic self. But some of the words that we're going to use are words that might kind of jump off the page to you, right. And sort of lean into that content personality.
So this is our base example sentence, without sort of the personality infused into it, "We show our clients how to brand their voice within their content."
So rewriting that as the artist, "We encourage our clients to explore and share their authentic personality through expressive content creation."
So words like explore, authentic, expressive. Those are words that can really work well with an artist type. Some other words that might sort of set your heart on fire a little bit, you know, craft, experiments, express, gather, investigate, inspire, invent. That's a good one. Opportunity, passion, possibility, revelation, reveal. These are all words that really evoke that sense of creativity.

Jessi:
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, like Marie said, there's a million different ways to represent the artist. And I think if you are resonating with the artist, if you're like, yeah, that sounds like me. This is a good opportunity for you to think about even that base sentence that we just gave you, "We show our clients how to brand their voice within their content." How would you rewrite that thing and thinking about, you know, maybe the version that we gave you doesn't fully click for you because the artist has so many different ways of expressing themselves, but I'm willing to bet that if you sit down and give it some thought, you can find a way to take that sentence and make it feel like it's being truly expressed through your lens. So just a little activity that you can do for yourself as you're going through this. And I think that it's particularly pertinent to the artist's personality, perhaps more so than any of the other ones.
Which leads us to some areas to watch out for as the artists. So, you know, every single copyrighting character has its strengths and every single copywriting character has some areas where, there are either opportunities for growth or things to avoid or things that just kind of be a little cautious about no might be tendencies of the artist and this isn't universal-

Marie:
Oh, so sorry. It's just like, not as natural for them.

Jessi:
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So it's not so much about, you know, these things are wrong or bad or, you know, things that the artist does wrong. It's more things that you may not just be fully aware are happening. And it's important to kind of just have them in the peripheral as you're creating content.
So starting off, one of the things that can happen with an artist is you trailblaze your own path and you're going down your path and you're enjoying it and you're loving it and you're creating content around it. And your audience gets left a little bit behind. There ends up being a disconnect between what you're doing and why you're doing it and how it connects to what your audience actually needs or wants. Because at the end of the day, we're talking about business owners and businesses are delivering a product or a service. And so while it is super important to be able to express yourself through your content, you also want your audience to be able to follow the breadcrumbs to whatever it is you are selling so that your business can stay operational.
And sometimes that delving into creativity without adding context, without any explanation of why you're taking the path that you're taking can make things a little hard to follow. And so just taking a moment to check in with yourself, check in with the content you're creating and making sure that that through line from start to call to action is very, very clear to your audience because they're not in your head. And making sure that what's in your head is very clearly expressed in a linear fashion that makes sense to your audience is important. And it may require a little audience research on your side.

Marie:
Yeah, for sure. And even if it's not linear, maybe it's circular, right. Like you start with something and then you take a story and then you end with it. But, but like a new perspective either way, like it's organized. Right. So, yes. Have your creative thoughts have your creative ideas. And then when they're ready to go out, make sure there's some kind of organization there that somebody can follow and sort of along the same lines, like it is very possible for inspiration to lead your content down a bit of a scattered, non-cohesive path. So watch out for this, right?
Like for example, you know, if you are really like, you know, the thing that like would really make your business do well this quarter would be to sell like five of this particular package. And so, you know, you're talking about that in your content and you're talking about all the benefits they can get from it. And then all of a sudden you're like, yeah, but I want to talk about the story about like, something that happened to me on a walk around the neighborhood. Okay. Well, that's fine. And then like, you know, we have something the next day where you're really inspired to write about like your relationship with, you know, a spouse or a parental figure or like whatever it is. And before, you know, it, you've sort of followed inspiration down a place where there's a lot of really great content going out there, but you've completely lost sight of that package that you actually really need to be selling. And like Jessi was saying, you know, money's good. We gotta, we gotta make that. Right. So don't follow inspiration to the point where it's to your detriment. Maybe it's something that you write that really inspired post, and then you just set it aside, right. For when it's a better time to use it. It doesn't mean you can't use it. It doesn't mean you like, I have to throw it away.
And that's another thing too, that I think the artists can do sometimes is sometimes they change their mind. Like they're like, this is going to be really great. And then they create something and they can also lean into perfectionism a little. And they're like, it's not exactly the vision I was hoping for. And so they just like ball it up and throw it into like proverbial garbage bin. You don't have to do that. Right. Like maybe it wasn't exactly what you were envisioning, but maybe it actually was helpful. Right. Maybe it was still a valuable piece of content. So maybe you could still go out there into the world. It's just not doing what you initially thought it would do. Maybe it's something you save for later. Right. But don't feel like you necessarily have to throw away something that you're not using immediately, just because it doesn't fit the vision of what you were going for in that moment.

Jessi:
You know, I think a really good analogy for the artist is I like going on a hiking trip, which is something that Marie and I can relate to because before we started business, we were hiking buddies and we still are. And so, you know, we've been on a lot of hikes together where you have this sort of main trail and the main trail, depending on where you are, maybe just straight from point to point, or it may be, you know, have a lot of switchbacks, a lot of loops. Sometimes the trail is hard to see. Sometimes it's really clearly marked. And then you also have a lot of little offshoots to the trail and sometimes they're legitimate side trails and sometimes they're not. And I think the artist has this tendency to be like, okay, I'm on the main trail. And that offshoot looks interesting and kind of go down in a little while. And sometimes there's something amazing down it and it really works. And sometimes it's a dead end and you kind of have to turn and go back and figure out how to make it work for you because-

Marie:
Like that time we got lost in a Boulder field in Flagstaff?

Jessi:
Yes. Like that time, you know what? We had fun wandering around the Boulder field for a little while. And we were unable to reach the summit of that mountain because we got stuck in the Boulder field. So there were consequences down the trail. And I think as the artist, sometimes it's so easy to get stuck in those details of where you are right now, that, that big vision that you had gets a little lost. And it's a balancing act because you do absolutely want to maintain your authenticity and make sure that you're fulfilling your vision and you don't want to fall too far into perfectionism and get so hung up on the details that you don't actually move forward. And so this is going to be different for every artist out there where that line is, but it's something to just be aware of that that line exists.
And it shows up in content, especially in either the content that Marie was just talking about, where your inspiration kind of leads you on one of those side trails. And it ends up kind of diverting from your original goal or the content that you're like, eh, I'm going to throw this all away. First of all, can you tie all of that content into your original goal? Because it may be perfectly usable and you just need to like put the right lens on it. But second of all, even if it can't, it might be able to be used later. It doesn't mean that it has to be trashed. And for writers who are reflecting the artist voice, this is where it can get a little frustrating sometimes if there's this, this hyper focus on the details and making sure that every single word is 1000% perfect. And then the process itself gets sort of hung up. And so the, the big vision doesn't ever actually get realized, which is frustrating for the writer and for the client.
And it also leads to this possibility of the artist, maybe more so than any other type feeling, the need to take the content creation back themselves. Which means a lot of artists end up stuck in content creation for longer. And that takes away from the time that they can be spending actively creating and actively working with their audience members, their clients, and their customers. And so there's a little bit of trust that needs to be built between an artist and their writer in order to really be able to hand off your voice.

Marie:
Yeah. And so I would say like, even if your content creator isn't doing it exactly the way you would be doing it, that does not mean that your content is now suddenly in authentic and gross. It's just part of the process. I'm not saying settle for something that is against your brand values or not high quality. I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying if they are not a clone of you, but the content is still supporting your business and still reflects you on a high level, you have a choice to make. Is that going to be okay? Are you okay with that?
I would say progress over perfection or that sort of mantra perfectly imperfect are, are really good things for the artist to consider. Because perfectionism does tend to go along with artist persona and that can mean you create some really amazing, impactful, inspiring things, and it can mean you can get hung up a lot and not be able to make the progress you want. Right. You can stay stuck in the Boulder field instead of being able to reach the summit.

Jessi:
Absolutely. So we want you, if you are the artist or writing for an artist to be able to capture that innovative, creative, authentic personality, and express it through content in a way that will really energize your audience members and really get them excited about following you down that trail, hopefully to the summit. So homework, this is going to sound very familiar for those of you who listened to our last episode on the rebel.
First off, if you have not taken the copywriting character quiz yet, please do. So. It is at Northstarmessaging.com/character. And if you test as the artist, you'll get a handy PDF that gives you even more words and phrases that you can use as you are creating content. And regardless of whether you are the artist or whether you write for artists or even if neither is true, but you just want a little bit of practice on these different content personalities.
Your homework after you take the quiz is to take a piece of content. And if you're following along and you've already done this for the rebel, I want to encourage you to use the same piece of content and write it in the artist's voice. As best you can try to tap into that inventive outside of the box, thinking and take whatever piece of content you choose, preferably something short. So you don't have to sit behind your computer agonizing over this all day. Maybe a short, you know, social media post or something like that. Blog posts, email something along those lines, and write it in the artist's voice. See what you come up with, see what the artist's voice means to you.

Marie:
Exactly. So thank you for listening and happy creating. 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.

Jessi:
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.

For additional content strategy and branding tips, check out northstarmessaging.com/blog. Also, please tag us on Instagram and let us know you’re out there! @northstarmessaging 


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