The Character Diamond Framework Left 30+ Software Founders Dumbstruck
If you watched the video above I shared the story of how I came across the Character Diamond framework. I always find it fascinating when someone presents LIVE and is able to capture everyone’s attention. The classic sign of a good presentation involves 3 things.
- People taking their phones out to screenshot the presentation slides
- A line of people standing to talk to the presenter after the presentation
- Being able to teach what was taught months later
The character diamond framework I am going to layout checks all of the boxes above.
The purpose of this framework is to create a character for your brand that everyone can relate to and finds interesting. It gives you a common language to use and make decisions by when selling to your ideal customers.
I would cement to you that the Character Diamond framework can be taken a step further and implemented in YOUR story. Yes, your story. I truly believe everyone has a unique story to tell and they are the character at the heart of it.
If you haven’t put much thought into your story, the legacy you are leading, and the character at the center of it, you should. You are wasting time if you aren’t purposefully planning, and leading the life you want. Life is short, you only get one of them, use it wisely.
Watch the video above to learn more about how people don’t care about stories…they care about the CHARACTERS the stories give us.
Did you know there are only 7 story themes? Yes, all of your favorite movies are just a repeat of a story that has already been told.
The characters are unique. Often when you connect with a story it is not the plot but the character you are relating too.
Take that knowledge and build a character for your brand that is instantly relatable, liked, and known.
The 4 Parts Of The Framework
The Character Diamond exercise is pretty straightforward but will require you to think deeply about your personality and what makes you tick.
It takes a specific type of person to get a ton of value out of this framework.
Anyone who is ambitious and cares about what they are creating will find this exercise extremely helpful with sharing a message and connecting with readers.
Don’t worry if you struggle with this exercise. It took me over a month to refine and get my character diamond to a point I was happy with it and could recite it from memory.
You can write it out by hand or fill out the form below and I will send you a PDF you can print off and use. The PDF will have helpful reminders and some helpful resources on the bottom.
The North Star
Starting at the top of the diamond graphic, write out what makes you unique. Think about your life’s experiences and everything you have accomplished. Is there something that stands out?
What do you think separates you from 95% of your friends and family members? What would your closest friend or spouse say makes you unique?
To me, this is the hardest part of this framework. You are probably thinking about some really big character trait (which is 100% fine). But often times, your unique ability is something you don’t put much stock in because it comes so natural for you.
I will use an example from my own life…and again it took me a while to arrive here. My personal north star is my love for knowledge. I found a word that sums it up perfectly.
Sophophilic – “Used to describe a person who loves to gather knowledge with higher emphasis on wisdom. Aristotle and Socrates were the greatest sophophiles of all time.”
At the bottom of your character diamond is a place to write your kryptonite.
Not everyone is familiar with this term but it is another way to say, what is your biggest weakness?
Here is a hint. It should be at direct odds with your North Star.
Humans love conflict.
Conflict is interesting, relatable and instantly makes someone want to learn more.
Your weakness should be an internal conflict that you struggle with internally that you don’t often vocalize. If you nail this correct you will have customers, prospects, and fans who feel the same exact way you do, but can’t explain why they like your brand so much other than it just makes sense to them.
Going back to my example, my biggest weakness is when I overthink things to the point of “paralysis by analysis” and can miss out on opportunities or become bored with something after learning the basic information about it.
Often times I won’t vocalize it but I shut down to outside influences when I have too many thoughts running through my head and can seem distant and unpleasant.
The Hill You Are Willing To Die On
This is my favorite part of the character diamond framework. I like it because it was really easy for me. It might be more difficult for you.
This part of the exercise goes on the left side of your diamond.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. What is the one thing you 100% believe in no matter what? For some people I take through this exercise they say their family, loyalty, success, or something else.
For me, it’s my faith. What is it for you?
Flaw or masks
The final spot on your diamond (the right side for those keeping track at home) is for your critical flaw or mask.
Again, remember the conflict we are trying to create with our character.
This trait should conflict EXTERNALLY with the hill you are willing to die on.
Just like your weakness is at odds with your superpower this trait should be what you do when your back is against the wall and you feel the pressure closing in on you.
For some, it’s drugs and alcohol. Or, it might be blaming others or giving up.
For me, it’s becoming worldly and taking the easy way out which is to chase fame and money. This is directly against what I believe to be important and the hill I am willing to die on.
In one breath, I might say that God is the most important judge of my character but then I create something for admiration from others.
Put it all together
Don’t worry if you feel this isn’t your best work.
Take some time and meditate and think about it.
I would often doodle a diamond when on conference calls or at night when I journal and try and hone in my character.
The last step is finding a character that embodies all of the 4 traits you lay out. Once you have this character you can use them to guide your writing, offerings, and how you related to ideal customers.
People want to feel a sense of connection and understanding. If you can present a character to them that they are automatically drawn too (because they feel they are that person) you will have a huge leg up on the competition.
The character diamond framework is meant to be an internal tool you use to write, think, etc. It is NOT meant to be something you publically vocalize to your audience. This was an important distinction the presenter taught us during the Q&A part of the presentation.
Resources Mentioned In The Video
The two personality tests I recommend you try out if you are struggling with your North Star and Kryptonite are
- 16 personalities – a free test that I have used multiple times. The results are really accurate.
- The Enneagram Institute’s RHETI Test – easily the best personality test I have ever taken. It does cost a nominal fee but the results were incredibily accurate and put words to feelings I had a tough time figuring out and expressing.