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The Voice Values Guide to Content Inspiration

by Abby Kerr

in Voice Values How-To

About this column

Your Right Person is listening. Learning to use your Voice Values ensures you’re speaking the same language. Create. Connect. Converse. (Convert.)

Voice Values Guide to Content Creation Inspiration

If you’re growing a brand online, you know you need ‘great content’ in order to survive & thrive.

You know that great content is the first type of currency your Right People will receive from you. Great content educates your clients before they ever hire you. Great content inspires, teaches, empathizes, rallies, and even enthralls.

You know you’re supposed to blog, tweet, Facebook, create images for Instagram, and maybe even podcast, Periscope, or YouTube. That can feel like SO MUCH and in fact it is SO MUCH. (And no, you don’t need to do it all and be on all the platforms. But that’s a different post.)

When content creation calls, but you’ve still got a business to run, where do you find the motivation & inspiration to keep creating?

What if I told you there wasn’t just ONE or even TWO common inspirations/motivations to create great content? What if I told you that your inspiration for creating great content inherently goes beyond (a) “because I need to if I want to do business online” and (2) “because I want to connect with more of my Right People?”

Well, I CAN tell you that! Your motivation for creating great content — unique content that’s skillfully created with artistry and confidence, on-brand for you, and highly compelling for your Right People — is intrinsically inspired by who you are and how you already move through the world.

Your inspiration for content writing (& other types of content creation, like visual & audio) is encoded in your Voice Values, which are the drivers of your innate brand voice.

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Here’s a rundown of what inspires & motivates each of the 16 Voice Values when it comes to content creation.

NOTE: Because you have 3 or 5 top Voice Values driving your brand voice and inspiring your content creation, you’ll want to look at multiple write-ups to see how those inspirations play, texturize, harmonize together. Or contradict each other! That can be fun.


MOTIVATORS: A desire to give your Right People information that no one else has accurately captured or expressed.

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Data, facts, studies, quantitative info, numbers, statistics, proof

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Citing statistics, studies, numbers, and data; sharing case studies and finding ways to validate your own product or service through careful study and testing


MOTIVATORS: A desire to set the world (or at least your industry or niche) on fire, getting attention, catalyzing your Right People to shake things up in the context of what your business does

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Burning things up, tearing things town, blasting through roadblocks, overcoming challenges, being bold and fearless, calling bull*sit

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Bold calls to action, wild rally cries, exciting movements, unprecedented formats, manifestos


MOTIVATORS: A desire to make things easier and simpler for your Right People, and/or to express something in a more elegant way than it’s been done before

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Making things easy to understand, maybe even helping others DIY; saying more with less

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Infographics, flowcharts, decision trees, helpful charts, Q&A, glossaries, clear prose, terrific headlines, lists, an image (that says a thousand words), Pinterest, Instagram


MOTIVATORS: A desire to bring your Right People together, to promote inclusion, to make people feel seen and special

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Forming and cultivating groups, creating and being a safe place for others to belong, multiplicity, togetherness

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Private Facebook and Google+ groups, Slack communities, forums; Google Hangouts, Blabs, and Periscope; subscription sites and e-letters with an insider, “you’re wanted and accepted here” feel, crowdsourcing products or services


MOTIVATORS: A desire to take your Right People deeper than they’d be able to go with anyone else’s content when it comes to your product or service

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Deep discussions, complexity, layers, backstories, nuance, details, multiple perspectives, investigations, philosophy, theories

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Forums, Socratic discussions (in person or online), long form content (written, audio, or video) including book-length works or multi-piece series, investigative-style content, methodology, theoretical models and frameworks, philosophical treatises, indexes


MOTIVATORS: A desire to delight your Right People around what lights you up, to stoke the fire and increase the energy of the world around the topics that underpin your brand

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Passion, adventure, freedom, newness, variety, fun, romance, drama

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Pinterest, visual eye candy, addictively consumable content (may be snappy, quippy, or quotable), video, inspired calls to action, TED Talk-style content


MOTIVATORS: A desire to achieve, to create, to accomplish something rarely seen or done, or that’s never been done before — to be a pace-setter or record-setter; to achieve one’s personal best; to inspire and call your Right People to a higher level in the context of what your business does

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Achievement, records, mastery, being the best, recognition, honoring and validating high performance, reviews/ratings/recommendations, criticism (as in, being a critic)

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Best Of lists or Most [Insert Your Topic Here] posts or round-ups, awards and recognitions, case studies of successful clients, techniques and tips that help your readers be the best, coverage of ‘best in class’ services/offerings/products/events/moments


MOTIVATORS: A desire to provide support and come through for your Right People, to share knowledge and other resources to aid in the betterment or thriving of what matters to you

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Sharing, giving, being of service, authentic concern

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Q&A, advice column formats, one-to-one work (though not necessarily), crowdsourced support, tips/tricks/techniques, orientations to whatever is new, primers, glossaries, toolkits


MOTIVATORS: A desire to show your Right People something they haven’t seen before, to support the future

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Being first, pioneering, breaking new ground, exploring new terrain, making unforeseen recommendations, developing new techniques or tactics, researching, investigating

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Mind-mapping, conducting and sharing original research, launching minimum viable products and services, iterating as you go, interviewing users for feedback, trial and error, continuous improvement


MOTIVATORS: A desire to connect with your Right People, or to promote a connection between them and what your business does or resolves around

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Closeness, proximity, interiority, getting personal, having the inside track, careful knowledge

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: A personal tone or style that feels like writing to one person (or not), obsessive attention to particulars, personalization


MOTIVATORS: A desire to work with the past in the context of what your business does, or a desire to create the future (what you will leave behind)

WHAT EXCITES YOU: History, backstory, foundations, forebearers, heritage, ancestry lineage, creating for the future, next generation

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: A ‘then and now’ (past and present) take on something, referencing the past in some way, time capsules, looks back and forward, retro or vintage style or references


MOTIVATORS: A desire to cherish and share positive regard for your Right People, or your topic, in the context of what your business does

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Affection, care, warmth

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Personal call-outs or profiles of people or things, recognition of uniquity, validation, lists of favorites and beloved things (or people)


MOTIVATORS: A desire to lighten things up, to create more fun, to add levity, to break the seriousness, to reframe things for your Right People in the context of what your business does

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Tricksters, comics, humor, play, the unexpected, the irreverent (maybe)

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Unusual juxtapositions, humor, jokes, verbal play, shareable visual content that makes people laugh/smile/smirk, irreverence


MOTIVATORS: A desire to establish your brand as an authority in your industry or niche, and/or to help cultivate your Right People’s power in the context of what your business does

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Strength, mastery, dominance, ownership, leadership, confidence

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Calls to action that tap into people’s inner strength, “follow me” orientation, techniques and strategies for mastery, strategy in general


MOTIVATORS: A desire to help your Right People feel safe and protected, or to promote trust

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Safeguarding and safekeeping, prevention against danger, violation, making mistakes, or failure

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Tips for preventing or avoiding certain outcomes, secret/secure and protected discussion forums or portals, built-in privacy and discretion, anonymity


MOTIVATORS: A desire to reveal truth to your Right People in the context of what your business does, and/or to help your Right People develop their own revelatory skills/gifts

WHAT EXCITES YOU: Being upfront, showing your hand, demystifying, eliminating guesswork, taking off masks

WHAT THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN YOUR CONTENT: Exposés, ‘go behind the scenes,’ ‘a peek behind the curtain,’ ‘everything I know about X,’ ‘the actual strategy I used to Y’

I think every brand creator who markets via the web would agree that creating great content isn’t easy. But it’s definitely rewarding if you keep at it and keep moving toward what works best for you. Hopefully, understanding your intrinsic motivations moves you even closer to finding a medium and a method of content creation that inspires your content creation serves your brand and your Right People well.

In the comments, we’d love to hear:

What’s your top mix of Voice Values, and do the insights shared here resonate with you? What can you take with you for inspiration as you look to creating content for your brand?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Susanne Rieger February 24, 2016 at 7:43 am

Hi Abby,

Thank you for this list of values and the information given. It was helpful to read this list so I could get a feel what is me and what is not me, to get more clarity about me. Just reading this article helped me already a lot.

Your description helps me to find out what is very important for me:
Clarity – Community – Depth – Love – Playfulness

I will read the list a couple of times and sense for nuances.

Thank you so much,



Abby Kerr February 24, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Thank YOU, Susanne. Glad this was helpful. I’ve never seen your exact mix of Voice Values before, & it’s quite refreshing!


Susanne Rieger February 25, 2016 at 3:01 am

I’m glad about you finding my mix refreshing! :-)


Helen Rebello February 25, 2016 at 6:24 am

Hi Susanne – we’re almost voice values twins! I have the same combo apart from I replace community with helpfulness. Maybe we should stay connected…

Reading through the list I am pretty intuitively tuned into exactly what Abby says suits me – so trust your gut and do what resonates with you – it works for me. Abby – you are clearly a genius rocking your voice values perfectly :)


Susanne Rieger March 2, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Hi Helen – hey, almost voice values twins. Thank you for sharing. I love you suggesting to stay connected. I was on your website and saw that we have a lot in common, so yeah, let’s stay connected. :-)


Brittany February 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Love this! Only one thing—did Transparency get left out (or am I just blind and somehow overlooking it)?! That’s one of my top 5 and I would love to hear your thoughts on implementing that one as well!


Abby Kerr February 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Oh, you’re right! Thanks for pointing this out. I’d like to tell you the write-up itself was so transparent it couldn’t even be seen, but that wouldn’t be . . . transparent. Okay, /endbadjoke. :)


Brittany February 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm

Hahaha I appreciate it


Susanne Rieger February 25, 2016 at 2:58 am

Hi Abby,

for me transparency is somehow included in clarity. You need clarity to be able to be transparent.

When I saw the word “transparent”, what I noticed was that it includes “parent”. Funny. Well, at the moment, I’m trying to figure out, to sense what my heart issue, my deep motivation, my business is. It has to do with the male and female aspects of life – Ying and Yang – and parenthood, having kids in the today’s world.

What do we honour and appreciate in our society? At the moment, the male aspects pay better off than the female ones… Something is out of balance. And if we want to have a better world, a major task is to balance our appreciation for male and female aspects of life, and, for example, pay better jobs representing female aspects of life, or giving parents time to take care of their kids.

Well, as to reproduction, a major pattern is the bisexual one: a species reproduces by a male and a female, This is where PARENThood comes in, where both sides are equally necessary to assure that life goes on ;-) TransPARENT.

Love, Susanne

PS: I love your joke :-)


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