I ask nearly all of my clients to complete a few quick personality and branding tests before we work together on their branding or marketing. I usually include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Enneagram, and Brand Fascination Advantage. These tests tell me a lot about my clients in a short amount of time, which allows me to quickly define and refine their brand.
How they process information and make decisions
Lately, I’ve noticed that a LOT of my clients are ENFPs. with a few ENTPs sprinkled in there. I don’t think that I’ve acquired this little herd of extroverted perceivers by accident. My guess is that most of them, whether they consciously realize it or not, need a J to provide enough structure and direction to execute their high-energy ideas. And we share enough core NF traits to get along well enough to collaborate. I do spend a bit more time herding people toward deadlines than I otherwise would. But since I also have a toddler at home, I just build in lots of padding time. Everyone goes home happy. See, I’m learning to go with the flow!
What they want and what they fear
I confess that sometimes it’s tempting to use the same voice for all ENFPs. (Usually! With! Lots! Of! Exclamation! Points! Because that’s what extroverts feel like to me, heh.) But I also use Enneagram typing on top of MBTI. I’ve noticed a much greater variation in my clients’ Enneagram types, but I do tend to get a lot of 7’s who LOVE what they do but need my help getting organized, and 2’s who want to help others and need me to meet some of their needs.
Enneagram helps me dig into people’s basic desires and fears. This helps me further shape their voice as well as refine their brand messaging. A Type 5, who wants to feel capable and informed while avoiding feeling helpless, may talk about the exact same service or product quite differently from a Type 7, who pursues satisfaction and hates feeling uncomfortable. Observe:
Type 5: There’s an awful lot of crazy fitness trends that promise big gains…and big pain. That’s just not how we do things here. Our fitness philosophy is based on biology and psychology facts, not hype or wishful thinking. We designed the free 5-day fitness challenge to strengthen your mind as well as your body. Check it out if you’re ready for real answers to your fitness questions!
Type 7: Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a drag. We offer fun, community-centered classes that will bring you back to your young athletic self. (Even your younger self wasn’t athletic!) We have tons of fun toys like kettlebells, sandbags, medicine balls and more, but our free 5-day fitness challenge can be done at home with no equipment at all. Give it a shot, you’ll love it!
Why they’re special
The final piece I use for brand voice development is the Brand Fascination Advantage assessment. The Fascination system focuses on differences rather than strengths. After all, there are a lot of excellent yoga instructors, photographers, and yes, even copywriters, out there. So the point is not to make you look BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE, but to help you be more memorable than the next person. Figuring out my clients’ top advantages allows me to focus their messaging on what is already special about them, instead of trying to be everything to everyone. It’s been a liberating and empowering thing to do for my own business as well. My specialty is innovative communication solutions, and I stand out by being creative and relatable.
Adding it all up
I’ve always made a point to express my personality through my writing. This even includes my onboarding forms and e-mails. From day one, I’ve wanted to make sure people knew they weren’t getting a bland corporate copywriter or a chirpy crunchy mommy blogger.
Now, I can write like a corporate copywriter or chirpy crunchy mommy blogger if you need me to. I can write in a lot of different styles for a lot of different formats. That’s the reason I ask about personality in the first place. While many of my clients hire me because they like my writing voice, that voice may not be the right one for them. Understanding their personality and brand advantage helps me to clearly express who they are, what they care about, and how they help their customers.
Here are the assessments I use:
- 16 Personalities – This test is based on the Myers-Briggs framework (which itself is based on the work of Carl Jung) and takes about 12 minutes to complete.
- 9 Types – This system is based on the modern Enneagram framework which focuses on the basic fears and desires that motivate us. The quiz takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. I generally ask clients for their top 3 numbers.
- Brand Fascination – This system was researched and developed by Sally Hogshead. The quiz takes about 10 minutes to complete. (Optional: there is also a personal archetype quiz here that will give you two advantages that describe you as a person)
If you’d like to find an unique and authentic voice for your business, contact me and we can make a plan. (Even if you’re not an ENFP!)