How to use ChatGPT to create content: defining your brand voice (October update with paid ChatGPT-4)
Tips from a content strategist
We all know ChatGPT is the way forward. Yet how to go from average to good to great?
We're all stoked about the features and possibilities; we should prevent producing more content instead of better content. ChatGPT can assist you in the latter if you know how to.
It's the combination between you and ChatGPT that creates the magic.
With these tips, you can get your AI ducks in a row and speed up production while staying relevant with high quality.
Notice I did use ChatGPT for some research and ideation; however, all the text below is written by me. Playing around with ChatGPT took so much more time and frustration than writing it myself.
→ Update for ChatGPT-4, the paid version
In October 2023, I'm flirting, playing, and fooling around with the paid version, ChatGPT-4. Please scroll down to the last paragraph for the update and differences.
Why it matters
In one line with two bullets: content is not about more; it’s about better.
- In your brand voice; let ChatGPT rewrite in your tone of voice
- Distinctive from others; you do you
1. Define your tone of voice
This one is easier than you think and is a lifesaver.
Find two or three written content pieces that reflect your brand voice. Leading by example, I copied two of my latest articles on my newsroom thinklikeapublisher.com.
Go to ChatGPT and use the prompt ‘Can you define a tone of voice based on the text below? + copy-paste the text of the first content piece, and hit enter.
Read the result.
Use the prompt ‘Can you refine with the copy below? + copy-paste the text of the second content piece, and hit enter.
Read the result.
Get the final description
Use the prompt ‘Can you combine both descriptions of the tone of voice?’
If it doesn't reflect who you are, add a third or even a fourth example.
If the result reflects who you are, copy-paste the text to Word or text editor.
Clean up, edit where needed, and save it.
How ChatGPT defines my tone of voice (edited by me)
‘The tone of voice in this copy is direct, authoritative, and slightly informal. It uses strong language and metaphors. The author is not afraid to be blunt and even a bit confrontational in their language to make their point clear. However, they balance this with a friendly and approachable tone, offering practical advice based on their own experiences. Overall, the tone is confident, knowledgeable, and passionate, with a sense of urgency to get the message across.’
2. Use the tone of voice to rewrite the output
Now you create the real value and distinctiveness. Use and abuse ChatGPT for whatever content you’re looking for.
Play and fool around with prompts like ‘shorter,’ ‘in a bullet list,’ or ‘in paragraphs with a subheader,’ etcetera.
Don’t be shy or polite. The more directive you are, the better the results, no need to use ‘please’ with ChatGPT.
Make her sweat.
The prompt to use to rewrite in your tone of voice
Once you have the desired result, use the prompt ‘Can you rewrite the answer above in this tone of voice: direct, authoritative, and slightly informal. It uses strong language and metaphors. The author is not afraid to be blunt and even a bit confrontational in their language to make their point clear. However, they balance this with a friendly and approachable tone, offering practical advice based on their own experiences. Overall, the tone is confident, knowledgeable, and passionate, with a sense of urgency to get the message across.’
Notice that I deleted the descriptive part ‘the tone of voice in this copy is…’ and I directly jumped into the details of my tone of voice.
Giving an authoritative prompt and being blunt helps ChatGPT understand your ask. If you don’t do this, you’ll get stuck in a tone of voice description of the description.
Additionally, to have some more fun, you can provide specific guidelines or instructions for the desired tone and language in the copy, such as using active voice, avoiding jargon, or incorporating humor.
3. Last steps: refine, visual, and mobile by design
This is indispensable and where the real magic happens. Copy-paste the result to Word and refine.
First: sanity check
As ChatGPT doesn't reveal its sources, it's up to you to do the final check. Check the validity, sanity, and if it's really true. ChatGPT is a bot, has input till 2021, and can make mistakes. Many mistakes.
Think for yourself. Does this make sense?
Make the ChatGPT output your own. Get nerdy in the details of the copy, play around, have some fun, use Grammarly Pro (or don’t), and lastly, get some flow in your copy.
Rule of thumb: read your copy out loud. If it flows, it flows. If it doesn't, you stumble on words and sentences; you've got some more work to do.
ChatGPT is a language model. Not a content creator. That’s you. And that’s where your job comes in. Don't be lazy or cut corners.
Find a visual to match your copy. Think visual; use your dirty mind and imagination to create a visual that gets noticed. As the visual is the bearer of the (social) content.
Last: mobile by design
Edit for mobile. Mobile by design, not a deviation of the laptop. As 80% of your audience is on mobile, you write, edit, and review on mobile. The most made mistake in content production is reviewing on the laptop
There you go; now you have some great content, from yourself, with help of ChatGPT.
July 2023 update: ChatGPT doesn't write my copy anymore
This blog was originally published on April 28, 2023. I updated it slightly with some new links in July. And food for thought, I stopped using ChatGPT to write my copy. Even though I had defined my tone of voice, using that to rewrite the copy and make it my own took longer than writing it myself, with ChatGPT as my wingman.
Read more on how I currently use it, ChatGPT, your wingman
October 2023 update: Using the paid version of ChatGPT-4
Since a few days, I have the paid version of ChatGPT-4. And I kind of like it, prefer it, yet I am not sure if it's worth the monthly $24.20.
Even faster, smarter, wittier, and more accurate output. Feels more in ‘my’ natural language as before. And, based on gut feeling, the information is also more valid and trustworthy. I haven't seen any nonsense replies so far. This can also be due to the recent update that ChatGPT crawls the internet for output and uses most recent information.
It thinks more on its own, and I have to write my prompts even more directive and specific. Otherwise, ChatGPT will assume what I'm looking for and pro-active replies.
My brand voice, according to ChatGPT-4
When I ask ChatGPT-4 to define my brand voice based on the prompts above, I get stuck at the second prompt. It keeps on rewriting the copy instead of refining the initial output. That said, the first description is so accurate that there's no real need to refine it. This can't be based on my previous behavior, I guess, as there are about nine months in between my first ask for the brand voice and now.
'Based on the provided text, the tone of voice can be characterized as follows:
- Direct and Candid: The author speaks directly to the audience, without sugarcoating the message. Phrases such as "fcking expensive," "Cutting corners and wanting it cheap hurts my brand and content heart," and "Remember, sht in is sh*t out" are clear indicators of this straightforward approach.
- Knowledgeable and Authoritative: The author displays a deep understanding of the topic and offers clear guidance. Statements such as "These are the ballpark numbers" and "The ballpark split is minimal, 40% - 60%" exemplify the confidence with which the author speaks on the subject.
- Passionate: There's a strong sense of care about the topic of content quality and investment. This is evident in lines like "Cutting corners and wanting it cheap hurts my brand and content heart" and "Mediocre content harms your business more than no content."
- Slightly Provocative: The author isn't afraid to challenge common beliefs or practices, as seen in lines like "And having AI creating your content is not the solution" and "if that’s you, I recommend not to start at all."
- Educative: The text aims to instruct the reader, providing clear breakdowns, guidelines, and advice on content budgets and the role of AI in content creation.
- Balanced: Despite the direct and occasionally provocative tone, the author does provide a nuanced view on certain topics, like AI, where they highlight the benefits and drawbacks.
In summary, the tone of voice is that of an experienced, passionate professional who isn't afraid to speak their mind and challenge prevailing norms, but who also aims to educate and guide their audience.'
I'll take this brand voice as a compliment.
Read more on AI and ChatGPT
Me being me, I've got a vision and a mission for the wonderful world of AI. The top 10 most-read blogs on AI
- How to use AI for content creation: dos and don'ts
- How to start with AI for companies
- When do you need human writing and when AI?
- How to recognize ChatGPT copy
- How to use ChatGPT for content and marketing
- ChatGPT, your wingman
- AI speeds us up, so we can slow down
- Why you should say ‘Hi’ and ‘Thank you’ to ChatGPT
- 91% of companies are hiring workers with ChatGPT experience
- How to prepare the content team for AI
→ An overview of all my blogs on AI and ChatGPT
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