Anne Janzer, Unleashing Your Brand Voice: Empathy, Authenticity, and AI Writing – Innova.Buzz 587


Anne Janzer, Cuesta Park Consulting.

Our guest in this episode is Anne Janzer, a nonfiction book coach and the author of six books about writing and marketing. She is fascinated by human behavior and cognitive science, and is always looking for clues about how we can communicate more effectively. As a nonfiction book coach, she guides authors using the concept of servant authorship, or writing to serve a specific group of people with a meaningful message.

In this vibrant and insightful conversation Anne and I explore the power of brand voice, the role of AI in writing, and the keys to effective communication. Discover how empathy, authenticity, and the assistance of AI can elevate your writing and create meaningful connections.

Key Takeaways:

  • Authenticity and empathy are essential in writing, and understanding the reader’s needs and incorporating effective metaphors can engage and resonate with the audience.
  • Consistency and alignment between personal and business brand voices are crucial in establishing a strong brand voice that leaves a lasting impression on customers.
  • Using AI tools like Chat GPT can enhance writing by providing different perspectives and ideas, but writers should be cautious not to compromise their individual voice and relationship with readers.

Mark Herschberg, who was our guest on Episode 565 introduced us to Anne.

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Writing is a powerful tool to serve and connect with others. It's about empathy and meeting the needs of your readers. #ServantAuthorship #WritingCommunity @AnneJanzer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Anne Janzer, Cuesta Park Consulting

Topics covered in the podcast episode:

  • Using Chat GPT to generate different ways of standard text
  • Worries about sounding boring
  • Modification of generated text to match style and tone
  • Anne discusses generative AI and its impact on writing
  • Caution in giving too much control to software
  • Importance of maintaining individuality and ownership of voice
  • Servant authorship and empathy for reader
  • Effectiveness of metaphors
  • Legal and trust issues surrounding AI in writing
  • Importance of brand voice for businesses
  • Opportunities to embed brand voice in all interactions
  • Focus on entire ongoing relationship with customers
  • Brand voice as a fundamental differentiator
  • Belief in the value of conversation content to larger audience
  • Authentic and consistent voice
  • External and internal levers for voice
  • Chat GPT as a useful tool for summarizing and brainstorming
  • Chat GPT’s use in inspiring individuals to write
  • Importance of alignment and consistency in personal and business brand for strong brand voice.

Host Jürgen Strauss and guest Anne Janzer delve into the fascinating realm of writing, brand voice, and the role of AI in the creative process. Anne, a well-known author and writing coach, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to the discussion. The episode kicks off with Jürgen sharing a golden tip that he believes is crucial for effective marketing and communication. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a consistent brand voice that aligns with the initial impression people have of the brand, even as they delve deeper into interactions and get to know the person or business better.

As the conversation unfolds, Anne introduces the concept of servant authorship, which emphasizes writing to serve others. She explains that good writing requires empathy for the reader and a deep understanding of their needs. In this context, Anne discusses the psychology of writing and how communication fundamentally works, shedding light on the power of metaphors to engage the reader’s brain on multiple levels, including visual and sensory systems.

Anne suggests an empathy exercise that you can do every day – as soon as you write an email, before you send it, go back and look at the first couple of sentences. If they are focused on “I”, re-write them to have the reader be the subject. If we read an email like that, we’ll pay attention, as this email is about “me”. This is a simple way to add empathy to our writing.

The spotlight then shifts to the topic of AI in writing, particularly using AI tools like Chat GPT for ideation and understanding tone and style. Anne welcomes the use of AI in assisting writers, but urges caution in not completely abdicating one’s voice and individuality to software. Drawing an analogy to microwave cooking, she underscores the need to recognize AI’s strengths in saving time and providing insights into reader vocabulary while also maintaining control and ownership of one’s words.

The speakers explore the ethical considerations surrounding AI writing, emphasizing the importance of transparency in disclosing the use of AI tools to readers. They touch on the growing trend of writers implementing AI policies on their websites to clarify how AI is employed in content creation.

During their discussion, Jürgen raises the issue of legal and trust concerns related to the use of AI in writing. Anne expresses the need for caution to avoid getting caught in the gap between rapidly advancing technology and evolving regulations. On a positive note, Anne suggests that using AI for grammar correction, especially for non-native English speakers, is a legitimate and honest use of the technology.

As the episode progresses, the conversation turns to the challenges faced by solopreneurs in maintaining their brand voice as their business grows. Anne and Jürgen discuss the distinction between the vision of a brand and the individuals that make up the company. They highlight the significance of infusing brand voice into all interactions, including invoices, shipping notices, and reminders, to strengthen the ongoing relationship with customers beyond the initial sale.

The speakers agree that authentic and consistent voice is essential for businesses of all sizes. Jürgen reflects on the potential of Chat GPT as an early tool, foreseeing new applications that will emerge in the future. He shares his own experience of using Chat GPT to analyze his conversations, extracting interesting points that can be transformed into articles for a broader audience.

Anne emphasizes that voice is not static, but evolves and adapts over time to different purposes. External levers like punctuation, sentence patterns, and style guides play a role in shaping voice, while internal levers involve considering the intended audience and the nature of the relationship with them. She recommends a branding exercise to determine three adjectives that consistently characterize one’s writing, ensuring alignment with the desired voice.

The conversation also highlights the practical applications of Chat GPT. Anne highlights its potential as a tool for summarizing dense material and saving time. She shares the interesting anecdote of using Chat GPT as a brainstorming buddy, generating ideas for book titles for her mother, who subsequently began writing her book. Both speakers express their enthusiasm for the way Chat GPT can inspire and motivate individuals to overcome creative blocks.

Throughout the episode, Jürgen and Anne provide valuable insights and perspectives on writing, brand voice, and the utilization of AI tools. Their exploration of the balance between AI assistance and maintaining individuality in writing and marketing serves as a thought-provoking and informative discussion for writers and business professionals alike.

AI can be a valuable writing assistant, but transparency is key. Be open about how you're using AI to maintain trust with your readers. #EthicalAI #WritingAssistance @AnneJanzer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Anne’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. 1 thing to be more innovative – Step away from the desk and take a walk outside with someone who works in a totally different industry.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Question established wisdom and give yourself permission to fail.
  3. Favourite resource – Free writing using pen and paper.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Focus on who their serving and why.
  5. Differentiate – The relationship you have with people. You actually add value to the thing you’re selling by adding value to that relationship.


When you write your next email, go back before you hit send and look at the first sentence or two. And if it begins with “I”, change it to “you”. See what that does, and how it lands differently with the person who opens it.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Anne through her website.

Suggested Guest

Anne suggested we have a conversation with April Rinne, author of Flux, How to Thrive in Times of Change, on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.


Cool Things About Anne

  • Anne spent most of a career working in the technology industry as a marketing consultant.
  • She lives on the Central Coast of California, spending time in the beautiful surroundings, singing when group singing is allowed, interacting with other authors over video calls, and continuing her writing.
  • The Writer’s Process, a book about the inner game of writing, won a gold medal from Readers’ Favorite and a silver medal in the ForeWord INDIES Book of the Year award. The Workplace Writer’s Process, winner of the 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award for Nonfiction, helps writers find more success at work. It was named one of the best business writing books of all time by BookAuthority.
Your writing should serve, connect, and add value to your audience. Let empathy guide your words and create meaningful relationships. #AddingValueThroughWriting #WritingCommunity @AnneJanzer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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