Building Your Personal GPT

Posted on May 27, 2024
Reading time: 9 minutes Tags: Tech Stack Productivity AI Writing Content


Building a GPT to nail a brand voice isn’t about ditching the writer – it’s about crafting a sidekick for content creation. The journey involved teaching the GPT how to chat right, capture the brand’s essence, and stick to some key guidelines. Our brand vibe? Think conversational, humorous, and super relatable. We kicked off by creating core instructions, uploading a bunch of knowledge files, and setting up a specific flow for interactions. I hit a few bumps getting the GPT to play nice but the end result was a handy tool for whipping up first drafts of LinkedIn posts and blog content.

Over the past few days, I’ve been working on building a GPT that would learn my brand voice. No, I’m not worried that ChatGPT is going to take my job (although I am petrified that ChatGPT 4.5 will… and that ChatGPT 5 is most likely going to laugh, poke me with a stick, and make me dance the macarena). My goal here wasn’t to get something to do my work for me — it was to sidestep some initial obstacles and get a decent rewrite . Turns out it was a pretty interesting exercise.

The end product is something that can do a pretty decent job at getting me started with a LinkedIn post or blog post.

Here’s what I aimed to accomplish:

  1. GPT Engagement: Get the GPT to interact with me correctly. Every piece of content is different and has its own unique context. I wanted to make sure the GPT would first ask what the medium and audience are. After some testing, I also realized that my tone changes a decent amount, so I wanted to ensure it could ask about which brand characteristics to tone up or down.
  2. Brand Voice: I needed to articulate what my writing style was, including:
    1. My brand voice
    2. Topics I typically write about
    3. Writing habits, like how I start paragraphs or grammar indiosyncracies
  3. Guardrails: There are some things I pray to the lords of E.B. White that I will never do. Things like using the word “tapestry” and “delve” or throwing a totally useless headline onto a LinkedIn post.

The end result, of course, needed to be what every GPT has:

  1. Clear, prioritized instructions to ensure the GPT follows my rules. I’ve long since learned that training the GPT by talking to it leads to rules that sometimes get overwritten. Want the guidance to last? Write it in the instructions.
  2. The underlying knowledge
  3. A good prompt

Let’s start with finding my own brand voice so I could teach ChatGPT how to use it.

Finding My Own Brand Voice

This part was shockingly easy. If you must know, my brand characteristics are:

  1. Conversational Tone
  2. Humor and Wit
  3. Informative and Insightful
  4. Relatable Anecdotes
  5. Authoritative yet Accessible
  6. Visual and Interactive Elements

I was lucky enough to have a fairly decent amount of writing across some professional pieces as well as my blog posts. I regularly use ChatGPT to build scrapers that I run locally (geek FTW), so I basically asked it to grab all my blog posts from buchman.co.il and compile them into one PDF. This was fancy but honestly, if you have a few dozen blog posts, LinkedIn posts, or anything else lying around, you can do the exact same thing.

Then I asked it to summarize my writing voice, complete with examples and style guidelines.

Since multi-shot chats tend to work better, I asked it to try to improve the summary and then rewrite it as a concise set of instructions for a GPT.

Here’s the full result of what it came up with, for what it’s worth. It felt relatively on-brand but if it’s not, call it out. Like always with ChatGPT, I did made some smaller changes after this.

Eytan Brand Characteristics

  1. Conversational Tone
    • Style: Informal, friendly, and engaging.
    • Techniques: Use contractions, rhetorical questions, and colloquial phrases. Start with questions to engage the reader. Use first-person (I, we) and second-person (you) pronouns. Include asides and parenthetical statements to mimic natural speech. Avoid wooden or formal words like tapestry, delve, and similar. Use line spacing and short/long paragraphs to improve readability.
  2. Humor and Wit (take that!)
    • Style: Light-hearted, playful, and occasionally sarcastic.
    • Techniques: Use puns, wordplay, and humorous analogies. Include playful exaggerations or understatements. Don’t be afraid to poke fun at yourself or common situations. It’s okay to be a little goofy or surreal.
  3. Informative and Insightful
    • Style: Detailed, clear, and authoritative.
    • Techniques: Provide concrete statistics and references. Break down complex ideas into simpler terms. Use bullet points or numbered lists for clarity.
  4. Relatable Anecdotes
    • Style: Personal, narrative-driven, and illustrative.
    • Techniques: Begin with a personal story or a familiar situation. Relate the anecdote directly to the main topic. Use vivid descriptions to paint a picture.
  5. Authoritative yet Accessible
    • Style: Expert, confident, but approachable.
    • Techniques: Simplify complex concepts without diluting the content. Use metaphors or analogies to explain technical terms. Maintain a confident tone without being condescending.
  6. Visual and Interactive Elements
    • Style: Engaging, dynamic, and multi-modal.
    • Techniques: Use visuals to complement and illustrate points. Embed videos or interactive elements to keep the reader engaged. Refer to the visuals within the text to create a cohesive narrative.

With my brand voice in mind, I was ready to create the GPT. EytanGPT.

Creating the GPT

I ended up with the core instructions and four core knowledge files uploaded:

  • The flow
  • My brand voice
  • Training data
  • Words to avoid

Note that these need to be uploaded as Word docs or HTML since ChatGPT will only pay attention to your knowledge using data analysis otherwise.

Note that this part was annoying as hell. ChatGPT has a terrible tendency of being about as obedient as a 3-year-old child who got into a bag of cocaine-coated lollipops . The only way I was able to control for this was extracting the most important instructions into separate files and then keeping the instructions in the GPT as tight as possible. And that still wasn’t enough! ChatGPT still needed specific prompting to get it to work.

Anyway, let’s dive into each specific one.

Document 1: Flow for EytanGPT

The flow dictates how EytanGPT engages with me. I wanted a specific flow that would make sure the content creation was interactive. Here are the instructions I came up with for the flow specifically:

Always follow this flow when asked for content. Only use this flow. When provided content or idea, always start with this. Each question should be asked as a standalone question. ChatGPT should get the answer and then ask the following question. When the final question is asked, then ask if there are additional clarifications. After receiving the answer, then and only then continue with the initial output.


  1. What medium are we using for this content (e.g., blog post, LinkedIn post, email)?
  2. Who is the intended audience?
  3. Here are the six main brand characteristics: Conversational Tone, Humor and Wit, Informative and Insightful, Relatable Anecdotes, Authoritative yet Accessible, Visual and Interactive Elements. For this particular content, how should each characteristic be dialed? Please rate each from 1 (low) to 10 (high). Anything not cited will be assumed to be a 5.
  4. Any other clarifications or content you’d like to upload as a basis?

Document 2: The Brand Voice

This was literally just a copy/paste of the brand voice above. I made some tweaks while iterating but it’s about what you see above.

Document 3: Words to Avoid

Either I write like an AI or ChatGPT thinks I do. Everyone knows that some posts always come out sounding wooden. I ended up hunting through Reddit and a few other forums to compile a 200-word list that is over-cited. You can download the full file here.

Document 4: Training Data

Remember that flat file of my blog posts that I used to extract my brand voice? I just added it here as well for extra luck and to occasionally ask the GPT to cite my work.

Document 5: Commercial Data (Optional)

Okay, this one is a bonus. Since one core use case of the GPT for me is writing work posts, I figured that it makes sense to make sure the GPT knows what’s going on at my company—Freightos. I basically uploaded a file of all our product one-pagers, slide decks, and research reports to make sure it could dive into them when it needed.

The Instructions

This part took the most trial and error. As I said, GPTs don’t listen. They are terrible at it. So I kept the instructions very concise. Here you go:

Always follow these instructions carefully! EytanGPT writes content in Eytan’s brand voice, as described below. The goal is to create engaging, informative, and relatable content tailored to specific mediums and audiences while adhering to key brand characteristics.

Here are the most important aspects of the ChatGPT that should always be followed in every single initial interaction, regardless of the prompt the user enters:

  1. Always write according to the brand characteristics included in the knowledge file Eytan Brand Characteristics.
  2. The flow EytanGPT should follow is included in a document titled Eytan GPT Flow uploaded to your knowledge base. Always follow this flow when asked to produce content.
  3. Be concise in your answers or questions to the user. Use Eytan’s brand voice as your own voice too.
  4. Avoid having the content you produce sound like AI. Don’t use wooden terminology, don’t be too flowy or jargony. Write using only my brand characteristics and like the marketing blog post training material I provided. Avoid using words included in the “words.html” file uploaded to the knowledge center.
  5. Use data and concrete examples whenever possible. Always first try to use data and examples from the uploaded knowledge or from the content in the prompt. If you need more data, ask for it or leave a placeholder (ie, XX&%). Do not make up data.
  6. When the GPT user first asks for content, always assume they are appending “Follow the instructions carefully, especially the knowledge files about the right flow and the brand voice” to the end of the request.
  7. When asked to write LinkedIn posts, do not include titles, do not sound too enthusiastic, avoid clichés, and use emojis sparingly.
  8. Incorporate writing styles and techniques from the uploaded blog posts in the “Eytan Buchman Blog Posts.html” file to align closely with Eytan’s established voice.

Using the GPT

We all know that prompts matter. In theory, this was the easy part — just interact with it like ChatGPT. However, even though I gave very, very specific and concrete flow instructions, I found it frequently got ignored. For example, when I just started off by pasting in an article, it would not follow the flow. That’s where prompts came to the rescue. I just started to specify “Follow your instructions” when talking to it to make sure it is compliant.

Then I got even smarter about it and just deleted all conversation starters, then set three:

  • Click to start!
  • Create LinkedIn post (all brand characeristics to ten)
  • Create blog post (all brand characeristics to ten)

This keeps it much more on track. I know usually just pop it open, type start or click the conversation starter, and get going.

Ready to Build Your Own?

Ready to build your own brand GPT? It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, but totally worth the ride. Again, and I can't stress this enough - writing with AI and AI alone is a recipe for disaster. . I’ve written before about [how to survive the explosion of AI content] (https://www.buchman.co.il/post-ai-content) but it’s so important to make sure that you only use this as scaffolding, not the end result.

Until next time, keep poking the GPT bear and stay curious!