Amy Collins is our guest for the 267th episode of The Copywriter Club podcast. Amy is a storyteller and copy strategist who unveils the mystery of creating stories out of everyday events. By taking your conversation skills to the next level, you can craft better stories not just for yourself but for your clients. Win-win, right?
We break it down like this:
- Amy Collins journey from the art of writing to the art of copywriting.
- How to work on referrals, so you don’t have to overload the cold pitches.
- Is it possible to perfect the art of conversation? And is it even a thing?
- How to get your clients to disarm themselves and enhance the conversation.
- The different ways you can niche in your business.
- Reframing your perspective on being in your ideal client’s inbox.
- Behind the scenes of a storytelling master’s process.
- Why open loops take your emails to a whole new level.
- The common mistakes copywriters make when telling stories in their emails and how to fix them.
- How you can play with language to take your reader on a journey.
- Tools you can use to become a better storyteller.
- When to use VOC data and how to blend it into your story.
- Using your past lives to add value to your copy.
- Why “should” needs to disappear from the English Dictionary.
- How to become aware of your negative self-talk.
- The active choice to invest in yourself and your business.
- Going against the status-quo and ridding yourself of the need for validation.
Thinking about starting an email list but have no idea what you should write to them? This is a good place to start. Hit that play button below or check out the transcript.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Kira’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Rob: When it comes right down to it, copywriting is a lot like having a conversation with your customers, or the customers of your client. And like any good conversationalist, that means that you can’t afford to be boring. You have to stand out, engage the person you’re talking to, and be interesting and interested. Our guest for this episode of the Copywriter Club Podcast is copy strategist and storyteller, Amy Collins. Amy shares how she’s been able to have genuine conversations with her clients, and she gives us a few ideas for how we could all do better at this important skill.
You’re going to want to stick around for this one, but before we jump into the episode, my co-host for today is copywriter, voice strategist, and I just learned this a few seconds ago, trained as a radio announcer, Nicola Moors. Nic, welcome.
Nic: Hi, thanks so much for having me.
Rob: Yeah, I’m excited. I’m excited to have this conversation and have you share some of your takeaways. And of course, if anybody’s been listening to the podcast for a while, they’ll recognize that you were a guest on the podcast maybe a little over a half a year ago. If I remember, that was episode 200 and, what, 53.
Rob: 236, 236.
Rob: So, check out what Nic shared, and you shared a ton of really good stuff, your research process, how you were a journalist, and some of the crazy stories that you had to track down as a journalist. It’s really interesting episode, good listen, and lots of good advice about brand voice. So, let people check that out.
Rob: And of course, this episode of the podcast is sponsored by… right now, today, it’s sponsored by the Copywriter Accelerator. We’re getting ready to relaunch the accelerator in January, so keep your eyes open for that. The accelerator is our 16-week program that helps copywriters some of them starting out, some of them who have been in business for years re-establish or create the foundation for their business. We talk about things like mindset and goal setting. We help you create packages, price them appropriately, figure out how you’re going to show up in the world with your brand, how you work with clients, all of those things. And we’ve literally just reworked all of the content.
So, we’re excited to share this updated and revised version with the world. If you want to get on the wait list for that, go to thecopywriteraccelerator.com, and we’ll send you more information as soon as that opens up. Okay, so we’re going to jump into our interview that Kira did with Amy Collins and be back in a little while.
Amy: So officially, I got into copywriting about a decade ago. I was pursuing the art of writing in different elements. Some of that was journalism writing for a local magazine in Florence Alabama, where I was living at the time. Some of it was writing a blog, short true stories if you will, little essays. And then I needed money and journalism doesn’t pay much, and blogging certainly doesn’t pay. So, I just started talking to people around town who might need a writer to help them produce copy for various projects, and that’s how I got into copywriting. And I think it started with working with the University of North Alabama College of Business, writing their newsletter and other things just came through various websites, blogs and that sort of thing.
Kira: Okay, and how did you find your clients along the way? Were you pitching clients? Were you reaching out to your network? How did that work?
Amy: Yeah, a lot of networking. And like I said when I got started, I was living in such a small town that I could just be out and about and see someone I knew and have a conversation and say, “Well, this is kind of what I’m doing.” And they might have an idea for me and connect me with someone else. It’s always been very organic for me in that way, and most of my clients I have found through referrals, through people that I’ve worked with before, or people I know who know what I can produce and would recommend me. And more recently, more referrals through fellow copywriters. So, I have not done a significant amount of cold pitching, but I guess initially I have, because I just start conversations with people and, “Hey, I could help you out here,” and that sort of thing.
Kira: Yeah, maybe we could talk about that, the conversation because I think that’s something that you do really well just from our conversations and where at least I don’t think sales calls dawn to you. It seems like you’re able to jump on with prospects and sell them on a variety of packages, and you can write a variety of different deliverables. And it seems to come so naturally to you to have that conversation, and have it turn into something much larger and often unexpected. Is there an art to that? Does that come naturally to you, or do you go in to those conversations with some strategy in mind?
Amy: It does come very natural to me. I feel like I’ve been perfecting the art of conversation since I was four and wandering across the street to the neighbor’s house looking for interaction, right? But I have thought about this a lot, like what’s the art to it? What can other people learn how to do? And I think I’m probably more extroverted than a lot of copywriters which I don’t always identify with because I also appreciate a lot alone time, but I love people and I’m genuinely interested in people’s stories, their experiences, how they live their lives, how they make their money. I’m very inquisitive in that way, and the truth is most people actually really enjoy talking about themselves.
And if you give them an opportunity, they will share things with you. And for whatever reason, I think I have a demeanor that’s disarming that people… I think that’s the right word, that people feel comfortable talking with me, but I think for someone wanting to get more comfortable with that, always asking the other person questions. And it’s a balance, because you don’t want to get too personal. You don’t want to come off as nosy or judgmental, but a genuine curiosity about a person’s worldview can create connection very quickly.
Kira: Yeah. Well, maybe we could talk about that in the sense of let’s say a sales call, and how you can shift that conversation, so that you are interested and you can connect easily with that person. And maybe understand their world view and ultimately turn that into a project where by the end of the caller like, “Yeah, I want to work with you.” Is there a certain way to do it on a sales call versus other conversations you may have outside of that business space?
Amy: Yeah, I’m not sure I’d differentiate necessarily. Years ago, I was a sales rep for a wine wholesale company in New York City, and I remember once I was out with my manager. I think we were at dinner, and I was just having a conversation with the server. And he made a joke when the server walked away. He was like, “You’re always working.” I’m like, “I don’t even realize what I’m doing. I’m just having a conversation with this person about their experience with wine and their opinion with wine,” right? I think it’s not a clear line between a discovery call or a conversation and a sales call, but the other thing I really learned in that job as a wine sales rep is to truly listen and to ask the questions to get down to what your prospect really needs, what they’re really looking for.
And that’s often going to be questions that they may not know the answer to right away, but it brings up other ideas that you can start talking about and figuring out what’s their philosophy, what is their worldview, what is their dream for their business. And they may not have that written down in a structured way and conversation helps them find that. And it helps me find where I can fit in and where I can help them.
Kira: And to figure out their world view, what are some questions you might ask to figure that out in a conversation?
Amy: Yeah, that’s a really good question. Again, I don’t have a structured interview. I mean I will ask people, and this is a hard question for people to answer, so I’m working on perfecting it, but I will ask people what is your what’s your philosophy? What’s your philosophy for business? What’s your general philosophy about life? What’s really important to you? What are your values? And some of that language can feel I think obtrusive in a sense if people don’t feel like they have that at the ready. It can be hard to answer, but I think that’s how I approach it.
Kira: Yeah, and I know we have talked about interested people are interesting people, and that goes along with what we’re talking about with conversations, but this can also play into just writing better copy too. If we’re able to pull out those interesting elements in our clients and in our projects, then we’re going to write stronger, more compelling copy. And it sounds easy to do that, but we all know it’s not. When you’re working on a project and you’re looking for those interesting elements that would appeal to a larger market, what’s worked for you? And maybe this comes from your background in journalism, but what can we do to find those really interesting elements?
Amy: Yeah. Again, I think it’s just being really genuinely curious. It helps certainly to know what other people are doing and what other stories are being told, because you’ll often find that the same story, or a slightly different version of the same story is being told over and over again. And I think if you can find an element that’s just slightly different or that’s a little deeper or a little more relatable or unusual, that’s really the thing is what’s unusual? What’s truly different?
And you sometimes have to ask a lot of questions and get them to tell you stories about their life, to find out what’s interesting to them, what do they think is not interesting that’s maybe very commonplace because they’ve lived with it their whole lives, but you recognize it as being something you haven’t heard before. And then that’s an interesting element. I think a lot of times, I work in a lot of different industries. I have an insatiable curiosity, and I think that a lot of times being somewhat of a novice in an industry is helpful, because I’m coming at it with fresh eyes because a story that may be very common to them in their industry sounds unusual to me.
I’m able to ask more questions to find out well, what’s that really about? Where does it come from? Where is it going? And now we have a new angle to tell a story, and we have a deeper story to tell.
Kira: Yeah. Well, that could be the benefit of not niching down in a particular vertical, because you have that novice mind as you’re working on new projects, and you can bring that curiosity to the table. So, that makes me wonder what are your thoughts on niching, and how have you worked through it as you’ve approached that in your own business? Especially for you because you have interest in so many different areas, how have you narrowed in on your business?
Amy: Yeah. And I have struggled with this, because I do believe niches make riches, right? The more specific you get, the more you become an expert, the more probably in some ways the job gets a little easier, slightly more uniform. But for me, again just being so curious about people and about the world. And I do think added to that being somewhat of a novice coming to a project is also the excitement of the newness for me, and that excitement is contagious. And then the client or the prospect feels that excitement as well, and it can inject some freshness to a project. But as far as niching down, I’m going in the direction of what deliverables do I really enjoy? What am I really good at?
And of course, as far as the client goes, is the project interesting to me? Do I like this person’s values? Do I feel like we’re in alignment enough that we have general idea about the world, where I’m not going to feel like I’m fighting to take on someone’s values that don’t fit? And vice versa of course if that makes sense.
Kira: Yeah, and I love this because you’re in the middle of it too as you’re figuring this out in your own business and figuring out your niche. So, you mentioned asking what am I really good at, and where has that led you? Where are you today as far as working through that process to figure out where do I want to focus? What am I good at and I enjoy?
Amy: Well, story is by anchor and of course, we all know we need story. We need brand story. We need stories for email campaigns. We know that story sells on a neurological level, right? It connects people, but it’s such a core part of who I am I think. And I do it in my own work and my personal work. I do it in the copywriting. I do it on stage actually. I’ve played quite a bit with storytelling and some comedy, and it based in storytelling. That’s the core coming from there. As far as physical deliverables, I really enjoy writing emails. I think they’re such an incredible way to connect with an audience. It’s a fun challenge to get people to pay attention in that way, but you’ve got the permission to be in their inbox.
So, you’ve got a foot in the door. You’ve started the conversation that way, and now it’s a matter of essentially checking in and keeping the conversation going no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s nurture campaigns or a sales campaign or launch for a new product or a work workshop. So, I’m really looking in that direction, but also doing brand stories and about pages and things like that, just helping small businesses, solopreneurs, creators really tap into that thing, that helps them tell a better story about themselves, about their brand, about their services.
Kira: And can we dig into your storytelling style, or your approach to it because your stories are so powerful. And I know you have your own newsletter where you share your stories, which we can mention too. And I’m hooked every time I open up your email and pour into your stories about Uber experiences and all sorts of experiences you’ve opened up and shared with us. What does it look like when you’re behind the scenes sitting down to write some of those emails and telling your own story, and identifying what you think is interesting to other people? What’s happening in the background as you work on those stories?
Amy: Yeah, that’s another process that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, like how do I distill this into some formula? And of course, there is no formula. How I come up with the stories, what crosses my mind, I don’t know where they come from honestly. I think I read a quote by Tom Waits once, the songwriter who was in traffic in LA and he didn’t have any paper, he didn’t have a pencil and these beautiful song lyrics came to him. And he just was so frustrated that he’s yelling out the window, pumping his fist to the muses, “Why now? I can’t accept this right now.” I do feel that a lot of that is the way it comes. What’s going on this week? What am I thinking about? What am I feeling? What’s happened?
And then I’ll sit down to write it. I often come up with a subject line first, and then work my way through it top to bottom. And if there’s a line that makes me laugh, that always stays, right? Even if it seems so bizarre, if it makes me LOL, the line stays in the email because it’s probably going to make someone else laugh as well, but I just have such a repository of stories as well. I’ve lived like 500 lives. It’s pretty ridiculous. Yeah, the magic is in terms of the system, like I said, I often actually start with the subject line at first. I’ll often get an idea earlier in the week. I’ll start thinking about something, and I’ll write it in my head.
And then once I sit down on Friday morning to actually write it, it usually flows pretty quickly. In the structure, I play with open loops a lot. I like to open with an idea or a statement or something that’s just like, “Okay, what’s going to happen next at the top,” but I won’t complete that until the bottom of the email. And I often will fold in multiple stories into one email, and two stories can become one cohesive story, which I think is very much how natural conversation works, right? It’s not super structured. We’ll start talking about one thing, and then it’ll flow into another element of that topic, and then we flow back to the original topic or maybe we don’t. Maybe it continues, but it’s all very natural and organic, and it communicates.
Kira: Yeah, and where could we possibly mess that up, or where have you seen other writers mess it up when we do integrate multiple stories into one larger story, and it doesn’t work out so well? What should we watch out for when we’re writing our own?
Amy: Yeah. Well, you definitely need elements that bind, right? You need some pattern maybe, and that can be I could come across it in so many ways. It could be a language pattern. It can be a theme pattern. It can be a character that ties in the two stories. I’m trying to think now of an email I could possibly reference, but of course, once I write something and send it out into the world, I’ve forgotten it exists, I’m on to the next thing.
Kira: Well, let’s talk more about storytelling because this is your area of expertise. And when you’re reading other stories, stories written by other business folks and their emails, what do you catch? What drives you crazy where you’re like, “Hey, we could really do this better. We can improve here”? Are there any particular areas of storytelling that you catch when you’re reading your own emails?
Amy: Yeah, definitely. With other people’s emails, I noticed I have two pretty big pet peeves. And one of them is an easy fix, and that is when people apologize at the top of their email. You don’t need to say, “Hey, I didn’t write last week because,” or, “Hey, this week’s email is a little short.” No one needs that. It comes across as an apology. I know it’s not necessarily intentionally that, or it may not feel that way when we’re writing that, but it’s unnecessary and the chances are people who are on your email list, if you didn’t write last week, they did not notice. People are very, very busy. They’re getting a ton of emails. They may still be happy to see you and hear from you rather, but they’re probably not thinking, “Oh, you missed last week.”
Also, you don’t owe anyone an apology for that, right? I think especially, women we tend to say I’m sorry way too often, and we actually don’t owe apologies to anyone for anything. Rarely do we actually own apology in which case, most people are unwilling to actually make the apology and to take responsibility. That’s a totally different conversation, but that drives me crazy. Summaries at the top of an email drives me crazy again, “Hey, this is what this email is about.” And you may not think that’s what you’re doing, but it is what you’re doing. And I think it’s more powerful if you put more energy into creating language that just hooks and keeps them reading. People are not stupid. They will figure out this email is short.
They will figure out this email is about this if you do that well and you craft it well. So, that drives me crazy. The other thing which is a little harder to fix is when people pull their punches, and there are some very well-known email copywriters whose emails I adore and they’re excellent. But every once in a while, I’ll notice they pull a punch, which is when you make a joke and then you apologize for the joke by saying like, “Oh ha-ha-ha or just kidding,” or, “Oh maybe, it’s just me.” And again, it doesn’t feel like an apology necessarily, but you’re literally pulling your punch. So, take boxing for the metaphor, right? The way a punch works in boxing is the power comes from your body.
It’s not just from the arm, it’s not just from the fist. You have to use all the power from your entire body when you swing that punch, and you have to follow through with the punch. If you stop short when you just hit the other guy’s face, then you have completely created a wall for all that power in your body, and you’ve literally just dropped it, right? It’s basic physics. But when you continue the punch through the jaw, then all of that power goes. And you punch the guy and now he’s out, and you’ve just won the fight. And it works the same way for language. When you stop short, when you do that little like, “Oh, it’s just me,” then you take the power out of the language.
And we do that because we’re a little afraid that the line is going to offend someone, or that we’ve showed a little too much of ourselves. And if you’re not comfortable doing that, don’t do it. But if you want to make a difference, if you want to grab people’s attention, you have to follow through with that and let that land, and let it be strong whether people like it or not.
Kira: What else can we do to have that power in our emails, like that power that you hold in your emails? And again anyone listening, check out Amy’s emails. Your newsletter is called Rude but Charming, right?
Amy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kira: Okay, so check out the emails and so you know what we’re talking about. What other elements do you put into your stories, so that they hold that power, they hold the attention and they still feel natural?
Amy: Yeah. I think in terms of writing powerful lines that catch people’s attention, it’s probably helpful to be very opinionated and be willing to put those opinions out there, but I think I also spend a fair amount of time thinking about syntax and diction. And this is probably something that a lot of copywriters don’t think about very deeply. Because in our work, we’re often using voice of customer data, right? We are taking voice of customer data. You’re taking every other language and you’re crafting it, you’re piecing it together. Whereas more classic writing is a little more nuanced, and you’re writing maybe from a different audience. But when we talk about diction word choice, there are so many words in the English language.
We have way too many words, and they’re way too specific. But as a writer, that is a playground for playing with your language, playing with your story. What’s a different word I can use that’s just interesting that sounds a little… It sounds better in this sentence, because it plays off the syllables of the other words in the sentence. Now, we’re talking about syntax, right? The order of the words. How can you say this in a way that’s maybe not what you were taught in school in terms of how to craft a sentence, but it still works, it communicates, it’s fun for the eye, it’s fun for the reader, it’s fresh? And I think the brain responds to that, and it keeps it interesting and fun.
Kira: Yeah. I mean it sounds like what so many of us have pulled from our voice of customer oftentimes, we almost don’t want to touch it because it’s like, “Well, this is what they’re saying.” So, why would I change the word here because this is more powerful, but you’re offering an alternative, like we can still capture the voice of customer and still play with language, and pull in something that could be even more compelling and still work. Is that what you’re saying?
Amy: It is what I’m saying, and it’s a little bit of an unpopular belief. I’m not a huge fan of voice of customer data. I appreciate it has its place and on from a lazy perspective it’s because I just really hate spreadsheets, right? Just I open an Excel file and I immediately go into like, “Oh, I can’t do this,” which is ridiculous because also when I do voice customer data research and I do, I just catalog it on a yellow legal pad because that’s what I’m comfortable with. But I think even when we are using other people’s language to speak to them, people will still respond to fresh language, right?
They still want to be wowed, and it’s a fine line between listening to what they’re actually saying, repeating back what they’re saying and also delivering it in a way that’s fresh, that’s interesting, and that makes them feel smarter. And I may be learned this from writing advertorials, where I would write a business article, an article about a business that looks like a review, but the business paid for the article, right? They get to approve it before it goes to print, and it’s like native ads I think as native advertising is the fresher digital version of this. And I often would interview people, and then I’d write the article and send it to them and they’re like, “Wow, you make me sound so smart,” because maybe I didn’t quote them exactly directly.
I just cleaned it up, made the language a little cleaner, So, it was easier to communicate the ideas they really wanted to communicate. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it is a different approach, and you have to be careful when you use that of course. It’s not a blanket approach to copywriting, but I think it’s one that we could probably use a little more, spend a little more time on, just to put out like more interesting content, right? Just something a little fresher, a little poppier, a little more interesting to read.
Kira: So, how can we do this better? Let’s just focus on diction and syntax if that’s something that maybe we haven’t focused on, and we’re pulling voice to customer and then stopping right there, and not going deeper. How can we focus on it and do better? Are there any exercises that we could think about, or try just to focus on it if it has been a weakness in our own writing?
Amy: Yeah, I think play with a thesaurus, right? I mean just Google synonym for this word. Just pick one word that’s in this paragraph let’s say that you’re working on, and see what you come up with, and go slow and try out different words, and see how do they feel, how do they read, where do the syllables fall, does it read it out loud, how does it sound. And make sure you’re using the definition correctly. I mean I often will write a word in my email and then I’m like, “I don’t know if that’s means what I think it means.” And sometimes, it doesn’t, right? I misremembered what the word means and often, I get it right though too and then I celebrate.
I think using a thesaurus is really a very simple way to play around with language. Also, all copywriters should be avid readers. I think most of us are, but read different kinds of material, right? Don’t just read business books, or copywriting books read fiction. And I say that and I really don’t read a lot of fiction to be honest with you. I love memoir, I love essays, I love fact-based, non-fiction. My mother’s always telling me I should read more fiction to make me more empathetic. I’m like, “I’m the most sensitive person you’ve ever met. Thank you, helpful not.” And paying attention to the world and listening to how people speak. How do people craft sentences? How do they tell stories?
When you talk to the cashier at the grocery store who’s maybe she’s a little older and she’s a little lonelier, and she just wants to have a conversation. And you probably just want to check out with your groceries and go, but just listen to the word she uses, what she’s talking about, what she’s saying. I mean there are gold mines in that. You’ll find phrases that people say that are so unusual that you can play with later.
Rob: Let’s break back into this discussion between Amy and Kira and talk about a few things that stood out. Nic, you’re the guest so you should probably go first. What jumped out at you from this first half of the interview?
Nic: This was such a good interview. I made so many notes. Amy is awesome.
Rob: She’s awesome.
Nic: Can I just start by saying that? She’s awesome. I think the first thing that really stood out to me was the phrase that art of conversation and that is how I’m going to refer to all of my sales calls now. Just really sex them up by calling the half conversation. No, I think it’s such a powerful shift because sales calls are hard. And I think even though we’re marketers, we sell our clients stuff every single day, marketing ourselves and talking to people about ourselves, especially if you’re introverted or whatever, it can be really hard. I mean like you said at the start, a lovely intro about me. I’m trained journalist, so I can talk to people. And I struggle selling myself and having sales calls. So, that shift is small, but it’s so powerful and I love that Amy brought that and talked about that.
Rob: Yeah. When I think about sales calls and a lot of the questions that we get from people that we’re coaching, copywriters that we’re coaching, a lot of copywriters start out thinking, “Oh sales call, that means I have to sell myself, I have to sell my services.” We end up doing a lot of talking, and that’s not how a great conversation goes. The best conversations are when you’re talking with somebody who’s asking you a lot of questions, getting to know you. And they basically let you show up as the star. And I think as copywriters when we do that, what Amy’s suggesting, we’re having this conversation and we’re actually interested in what the other person is doing in their business, the transformation that they’re being able to achieve with their clients, how they get traffic.
As we ask all of these questions about their marketing, about the things that they do, it’s not just a better conversation and a better sales call, but it also engenders trust. And as you have that kind of a conversation, your clients are more likely to trust you at the end. And it takes a lot less, hey choose me sales type stuff and instead, they want to work with you simply because you’re interested in them.
Nic: Yes. I actually read this study that was done, and I can’t remember where I read it which is really annoying, but basically they got these people to chat to somebody else. And after the conversation, the person that they spoke to was like, “Oh, that conversation was great. They really listened to me,” but all that had happened during that conversation was person A had just asked all the questions, listened and then continued the conversation on with more questions. Because that person was listened to and felt like what they were saying was valuable, they immediately came away from that conversation really feeling like they were really seen and heard, even though it was really one-sided.
I think that’s really important to show it the power of like you just said, the power of listening and asking genuine questions and making that connection.
Rob: Yep, I totally agree. So, I’m also going to start thinking about my sales calls as a art of conversation type call, just to get that same back and forth with my clients. What else stood out to you Nic?
Nic: When she was talking about the inspiration that she gets and where she finds her stories from. Like Amy, I used to be a journalist as well. So, it’s weird like the places that you find inspiration, it’s always when you’re not thinking about work that things just pop into your head. And I find that I get my best inspiration when I’m running. There’s been many times when I’ve been running down the road, and I’ve had to stop my straw back, because I’ve had to write something down, like a really good copy idea. Because when you’re able to zone out, just genius comes to you and you feel really creative. What about you? Where’d you get your inspiration from, Rob?
Rob: Yeah, it’s the same thing. It’s like it’s never when I’m sitting at my desk. As I was thinking about what Amy was sharing, it reminded me of this story that Steven Pressfield talks about in his book, The Art of War. I think it’s in Art of War, but he talks about how when he sits down to write, he actually summons the muse. And he has this prayer that he offers up to the muse, the actual Greek. I guess the muses weren’t goddesses, but the deity that is responsible for inspiring music and literature. And he offers this prayer in order to just set the table and basically tell the universe that he is ready for that inspiration to come. And I wish I were more like that.
I wish I could just sit down and say, “Okay, I’m ready, turn on the tab,” and it comes. Maybe Steven’s been writing for 40, 50 years so it’s maybe a practice that you pick up. But for me, it also tends to happen when I’m doing other things. So, I may be reading a book and suddenly hit with an idea, or maybe the idea is even in the book. And I’m like, “Oh wait, that thing that I’m reading about could apply to this idea for an email, or could be a new strategy that I want to try out with this client, or something that we’re doing in the copyright club.” I find a lot of that happens. It’s not always as I’m sitting down with a blank page open on my computer. I wish it were more like that.
Nic: Same. Do you feel that if you have like a impending deadline that your creativity and your inspiration flows more, or do you just panic?
Rob: I don’t panic, but I’m not sure that it necessarily flows more. I think what happens is just my brain’s more serious, right? Okay, let’s get these ideas out on paper. I could very easily settle for that first idea that hits. So, I have to be a little bit disciplined and play, iterate and try to get something better. But as the deadline looms, that time for being afraid of doing the work or even procrastination disappears, and you just get to the point where it has to be done. Are you a panicker or get down and get a donner?
Nic: No, I’m not a panicker. Yeah, I like having that deadline because it makes me work. And again, I think that’s just because of the training that I’ve had. Yeah, I think sometimes I give myself fake deadlines. If I know I need to do something, but I’m procrastinating, because maybe that deadline’s two weeks away, I’ll be like, “No, you have to get at least a spit draft done by the end of the day,” and then force myself to work that way. I guess it feels what you do to a child.
Rob: It takes a little discipline. Yeah, making the child inside us actually, yeah, get to work. Yeah, I don’t know. If you’re lucky enough to have inspiration hit whenever, that’s an awesome thing, but sometimes you just have to sit down and make it happen.
Nic: Yeah, definitely. What else stood out to you from Amy’s interview with Kira?
Rob: Okay. Another thing that I loved is when Amy’s talking about finding things that make us interesting. And she talks specifically about the words that she chooses, the syntax, the order that she puts them in, and I think this is really important. I’ve been hearing from a lot of mentors and people that I been listening to recently who have been harping on this idea that better isn’t better, different is better. And what that means is you can’t stand out by being higher quality or by being 10% better, but by being different, you can stand out and get noticed. And when you’re choosing interesting words, you’re doing something with your copy that’s different.
You’re not saying the same old things or when you mess up the sentence structure, or if you’re thinking of ideas, it’s even bigger than that, right? You need to get noticed, and the thing that gets noticed is being different. I love what she was saying about that. And then later on, she came back to that idea a little bit when she was talking about how she doesn’t love the idea of copy being assembled. That’s a Eugene Schwartzism, and that idea that sometimes, you can take those words that you see in the research and just add a little interest. If you’re hearing things the same thing over and over from your research and from the customers that you’re trying to write for, obviously you want to put those ideas into your copy, but it doesn’t have to be word for word.
You can change it up a little bit, so that it’s different enough to pique interest to get attention. And then of course, it’s more effective if you can catch the attention of more people.
Nic: Yes, I love that. Plus, you’ve got to think as well in the marketplace, are the competitors going to be using the same words as what you found from your audience? Probably. If you can find a way to make that stand out and differentiate yourself, you’ll be hopefully getting customers from the competitors as well. And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re in this industry forward is to win more customers. I think it was Joanne Webb said that your main goal is to make sure that your customer picks you and not your competitor. Yeah, being different is definitely the best way to go. It’s memorable and it works.
Rob: Yeah, definitely the best way to stand out and get noticed and then of course, you’ve got to deliver on that promise, right? You’ve got to deliver something that’s worth buying, but getting noticed requires you to be different. And I think the last thing that stood out to me, and this isn’t really even a discussion point, but I just want to echo what Amy was saying about the email apology. The email apology drives me nuts. I hate it when I see them it’s something that we see over and over and over that we feel like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t write last week as I promised.” I have never ever read one of those and thought to myself, “Oh yeah, I missed you last week. Why didn’t you write to me?”
Instead, it just starts that conversation that I’m having with this person who’s emailing me in a negative like, “Oh, I’m not showing up. I failed or whatever.” And I think it’s so much more powerful to just skip that and get on with whatever it is that we’re there to say.
Nic: Oh, I totally agree. When I heard Amy talk about that, I was laughing because I totally get that. Nobody ever reads those emails to think, “Oh yeah, yeah, you didn’t actually email this week.” They’re like, “No, I’m too busy watching just Judy to even notice.”
Nic: Like come on, and I think that template and that framework is so overdone now. I feel like it’s become one of those things where it maybe it was a recommended practice by somewhere. I don’t know where it’s come from, and now everybody does it. You see it all the time. I just feel like it’s so overused. Maybe there needs to be like an email non-apology, just to just be different and mix things up, maybe because we need to introduce.
Rob: Yeah, and I mean I know maybe it’s more of a female than a male thing. I don’t know, but I just think any time we’re starting with an apology, we’re starting off on the wrong foot and yeah. So, let’s all as a copywriting community resolve to never again apologize at the start of an email. Of course, unless we’ve made a really legitimate mistake in which case, okay apologize and then get on with it.
Nic: Amen to that amen, amen. Let’s jump back into Amy’s interview and hear more about being opinionated in your writing.
Kira: You mentioned being opinionated helps having strong opinions will help create a powerful story. We didn’t really dig into that. Can you share more as far as identifying those opinions and knowing when they’re the right ones to drop in to your own story, or maybe it’s even for a client story which becomes more challenging? And when they’re the wrong opinion…
Amy: Yeah, it’s definitely more challenging for a client story, because you need to work within what they’re comfortable with. I think when you’re going to throw opinion out, and I do this even with my personal email, my Rude but Charming newsletter, what’s the intention behind it, right? Is there an emotion behind sharing this opinion? And if it’s coming from a place of anger or frustration, I’m probably not going to share it, because the world doesn’t need more of that. If it’s coming from a place to provoke, then what provocation am I looking for? Am I wanting people to think about something differently, or am I trying to piss people off? And if it’s the latter, again I’m going to let it go because that’s not really a value of mine, that’s not what I want to do.
And if I ever start creeping close to that, I usually am like, “Okay, it’s time for a walk and we’re going to go put our bare feet in the grass outside.” I think just asking yourself what your motivation is? What’s your intended outcome? What do you want to do with this opinion? Are you starting a conversation that might be useful that has some purpose, or are you just saying something to just be heard? In which case, yeah sit with it. Is this really going to add value to the world? Is this really going to brighten someone’s day, or make things better, but I’m always an advocate for small steps trying to improve the world for all of us, right?
Kira: Yeah. And earlier you mentioned that you’ve lived 500 lives. For any other copywriters that can relate to that, how has that helped you in your business? As you’ve been building this copywriting business, how has it given you an advantage, or how has it been more challenging and what advice would you offer to other copywriters who also have lived 500 lives and might even be struggling to figure out what does this life look like for me as a copywriter?
Amy: Yeah, I think it’s definitely challenging if you are that type of person, where you have moved around a lot and you have worked a lot of different jobs. It is very hard in this culture, this society to feel like you’re making good decisions, or you’re making the right decisions. Because unfortunately, school systems are still teaching us to make As, hit perfection, make 100% on the test, follow this rule, follow this rule, then you take this step in life, then you take this step, and then you take this step.
If you’re a person who that doesn’t jive with, it is very easy to get to a point where you’re ready to start out on your own and be a freelance copywriter or build your own business and think, “Well, I don’t know how to do this because I’ve been doing it wrong all along.” And of course, that’s a myth and all of this is a social construct. And if we start there, then we can dismantle it in pieces. And whatever you’ve done up to this point, everything you’ve done informs what you’re doing right now. And that’s true even if you followed the rules, and you went to college and maybe you got a graduate degree and then you got a good job, and you kept that job for 20 years. And now you’re president of the company, whatever.
Even that, everything you’ve done informs what you do now and the decisions you make now. But I think for people who’ve done a lot of different jobs, you’re probably bringing a fair amount of creativity to your copywriting business. And I think that’s what keeps it interesting and that’s what keeps it fun, and that’s what clients often respond to. Even if it’s not written into their business plan, we need more creativity. They know they need more creativity, right? You need problem solvers, right? Okay, I’m actually reading Seth Godin’s linchpin right now, so a lot of this is really fresh in my head, talking about being a problem solver. And that’s ultimately what most copywriters who have made the commitment to build their own business and really invest in themselves, we are problem solvers.
We’re doing more than just writing copy. We are eking into strategy. We are doing customer relations. We’re doing sales. We are wearing many different hats. How you connect those dots in your own business that’s right for you, and how you show up for your clients, and how you bring creativity to the table and all of that? I think if you’ve worked 500 jobs, you’ve lived 500 lives, then you’ve already gained so many skills that you can’t maybe necessarily quantify, right? They don’t necessarily fit on a resume, but they all come together in ways that can help you set yourself apart as a copywriter, and move your business forward and set your business apart. And ultimately, attract like-minded people who want to work with you.
Kira: I know in our space today, you mentioned it’s like the processes that are often suggested for growth are step by step. And it feels like we’re oftentimes put in a box, and that’s what we see is the success at least in the online marketing space. As someone who is a creative thinker and doesn’t quite work in that way, how do you view and approach your own business growth as you look ahead?
Amy: Yeah, this is something that I work on pretty regularly. And I will dip into a little bit of woo on this, but I do spend quite a bit of energy working on my spirituality, my core values, my core philosophies, how I interact with the world, how I approach the world, how I see it. And just constantly coming back to getting grounded, what’s really right for me, what’s true for me, what feels good for me right now in this moment. And I try to make decisions from there and less so decisions from this is how you need to do this, this is how you need to show up. And anytime I see the word should or hear the word should come out of my mouth, I immediately stop and correct it.
I think that word is so limiting overused and unnecessary, but we use it all the time. And I think that creates more barriers actually to creativity for one. So, to answer your question, I don’t know if I did answer your question exactly, but I’m a very intuitive writer. I’m a very intuitive relationship person. I just really listen to what feels right, and I know that’s probably not helpful for a lot of people, because there are no action steps to that, but I think probably most of us could benefit from at least a little more of that.
Kira: And do you have any examples that come to mind, where you’ve said should yourself to someone else or maybe to yourself and then caught yourself, and it changed your perspective on something?
Amy: Yeah, I don’t know about necessarily changing my perspective, but I think even just recently I put a video on Instagram, and I’m trying to remember now what I was talking about, but I think I used the word should. And then it immediately stopped and said no, not that word, let’s not use that word, but what you could do, and I think just changing it to could or can changes the whole flavor of the conversation, right? It’s no longer a directive, it’s no longer a rule. It’s now a suggestion, it’s a possibility.
Kira: Yeah, I catch myself doing the same thing and it is amazing when you do pay attention to it, at least for me how often I do say and use should in my writing and also just in conversation with family, with friends. It pops up more than I’d like. Going back to getting grounded, I know it sounds like you’re saying it’s just part of tapping into your intuition and who you are. And there’s not a formula for that, but how have you shaped your day and maybe even your structure you’ve built for your work, so that you are able to get grounded and tap into your creativity? What’s allowed you to really step into that?
Amy: I try to keep a couple of regular practices that I feel help ground me, and meditation is one of them. I meditate for about 20 minutes every day, usually in the morning. I also practice yoga several times a week, which I’m increasing the frequency of that. And I find that that just being still and just paying attention to the breath and to the body, and just noticing what’s going on because I think a lot of times we just busy ourselves. We just jump right in with our to-do list, and we don’t pay attention to little body signals. And it could be the simplest thing of hunger, right? And we’re really busy, and so we don’t eat lunch. And a few hours down the road we find that, we’re really cranky or we’re really frustrated.
And it’s like, “Well, that maybe that’s an easy fix if we had just eaten, right?” It can be as simple as that. It doesn’t have to be really intensely emotionally based. And the thing I love about meditation and I hear a lot of people say, they’re intimidated by meditation or they tried it, and it doesn’t work because they’re like, “I can’t get quiet. My mind just keeps racing and yeah, I just think the whole time.” And it’s like, “Well, that’s part of it, right?” I love meditation because you can’t get good at it. It’s not about being good at meditating, right? It’s about the discipline of just being still and recognizing what’s going on. And this morning, for example, I had many different thoughts and I have started visualizing them as these little wooden balls that have grooves in them.
I have no idea where that came from. But every time I have a thought, I’m just like, “Oh, there’s another little wooden ball.” So, I just place that in front of me imagination and go back to the breath, or go back to listening to the sounds around me. That’s all it is, it’s just about being aware. And I think that when we develop this practice of being aware of our thoughts and our actions and what we’re doing, then we become more aware of what we’re doing in our business, right? The decisions we’re making. Why am I implementing this? What is this? What do I think this is truly going to do for me? Is this going to grow my business? Is this going to get me more clients like I want, or am I doing this because I feel like I should? There’s the word, right?
Should be doing something because business owners are busy and we’re always doing things. And that is a philosophy that I don’t subscribe to, but I think a lot of us get caught up in that, right?
Kira: Yeah. Well, I’m just thinking of what you shared about meditation. We are trained to want that A, so many of us to get the A or in the A, to become perfectionist. So that meditation’s tricky if there’s no A. We don’t know how to attain the A. It’s like, “Ah, then how do I actually do this?” It’s challenging, and as someone who again has lived those 500 lives, what has surprised you the most as you’ve built your copywriting business? What’s popped up for you?
Amy: Oh, that’s a great question. I think what surprised me the most is probably how easily opportunities come my way maybe. For someone who doesn’t really hardcore market or cold pitch, I have it’s funny like going back to what you’re asking me before about having conversations with people and the difference between a conversation this sales call is I feel like maybe a year ago, a year and a half ago, maybe I was in a job and I lost the job, or it evaporated. And I was talking to a friend about being stressed out about replacing that income and she was like, “Yeah, I feel like this happens to you. And then you just have a conversation with someone, and then you have three job offers.”
I feel like is how much opportunity is out there, right? And I’ve certainly as an artist, as a working comedian, as a person who wanted to just write art and not do copywriting, I’m very familiar with the feast or famine. And the truth is there is money out there. There’s always money, there’s always opportunity. There are always clients who need work, and it often doesn’t take that much to put out a feeler and have something come back to you. Maybe it’s not the perfect thing, but I think that has been really surprising to me, is just how many opportunities are available.
Kira: Yeah. Beyond the conversation and the conversations that you have consistently, what’s the one thing that’s helped you build your business the most over the last year or two?
Amy: Ki, I had taken a step out of copywriting for a little while. I was doing some other things and then the pandemic changed all those plans for me, as it did for many people. And I got back into copywriting, because an old copywriting buddy had too much on her plate and started referring clients to me. And that started snowballed into a pretty decent income, and I thought, “Well, let me get serious about this.” So, I actually joined the accelerator program with you and Rob. I guess that was… Was that January of this year? I mean like what even is time, right?
Kira: That was… Yeah, bizarre.
Amy: I think making the active choice to really invest in myself and invite some structure and invite some ideas, that has helped. And really the greatest takeaway from that and the pricelessness is just the relationships, right? I mean you can’t beat that, and just the free flow of ideas and seeing how different people build their businesses, and what their struggles are and knowing that you’re not alone. I mean oh, it’s hard to get into a bad head space as a copywriter working in a silo, right? It’s you and your thoughts, and most people are not having great thoughts most of the time, right? That’s just the human condition unfortunately.
So, it’s nice to be in a room with other people who are like, “Oh man, I get that. I had that thought today too.” And you can just lift each other up and just brush off and keep going.
Kira: So many negative thoughts.
Amy: We’re just wired that way. It sucks, but it’s true.
Kira: So, let’s talk about your business today. What does your business look like today? How can clients work with you and hire you today, and how can copywriters work with you as well?
Amy: Yeah. So, I touched on this earlier, but I’m doing a lot of email campaigns, different types of emails, welcome sequence, launch sequence, some nurturing campaigns, that kind of thing and brand stories about pages, helping people just tell better stories, particularly small business owners, creators, service providers. I’m also doing a lot of punch-up work. So, that is a great way for copywriters to work with me if they have some existing copy, but they want a little fresh take on it, or they want… It’s also a great way to learn how to nuance that language, that voice of customer data that can work with them on just punching it up, making it a little bit extra special.
And people can find me through my website, therealamycollins.com and also on Instagram, @thereal_amycollins. And my Instagram marketing is a little bit of a mix of comedy, humor and I don’t know, I guess business oriented stuff. It’s fun, it’s a little loose, it’s personality driven. If people are into that kind of thing, then they should check it out.
Kira: And where can we go to jump onto your email newsletter Rude but Charming?
Amy: Yeah, you could go to rudebutcharming.com or you can go to therealamycollins.com. The Rude but Charming website forwards, but sometimes that’s easier to remember. There’s a sign up page naturally.
Kira: Okay. As we’re wrapping this up, I want to know what you’re most excited about right now in business, or what you’re looking forward to the most.
Amy: Yeah, so many things, right? I’ve got my hands in three different directions which looks like I’m split, but there’s a common thread through all of them which really comes down to again storytelling and connecting with your audience. I love my Rude but Charming email newsletter. I enjoy it so much. So, I’m always looking forward to that and doing more stage performance as the pandemic relaxes and things open up, doing more comedy and live storytelling shows, which is really fun. And then how does that all fold into my copywriting business is I get to use all of that craft, and that personality and that quirkiness and that fun ideally to produce email campaigns and stories for clients who are wanting to grow their business.
And that’s exciting for me to be able to help someone else level up what they’re doing, and what’s important to them.
Kira: And my final question because we can’t have this interview end without me asking you about your ride share experience with Uber and Lyft. And the question is, what was the biggest business or life lesson from your time as an Uber driver? What did you pull away from that that actually shows up today frequently for you?
Amy: Oh gosh, what shows up today? I think from a marketing standpoint, certainly in the beginning, the way Uber positioned themselves and the way Lyft positioned themselves was very different. And I believe Uber took the point of like here’s your private chauffeur, and Lyft took the angle of your friend with a car. And driving for both of those companies sometimes simultaneously… not simultaneously, but in the same day, I would alternate platforms, who I picked up. And the way customers behaved would be markedly different. Hands down, Lyft customers were more congenial, they were more polite. They were more likely to ask if they could bring a beverage into your car before getting in.
And Uber would be a lot more flippant about the fact that this is an actual human being driving you around, and this is their property that you just spilt your cocktail on which by the way, it’s also illegal to have a cocktail in the car, but I’m in New Orleans, right? So open container 24 hours a day any part of the city. There’s a fine line between that. And of course, Uber was first. There’s more people on the platform, so you have a broader range of quality of people, but I think it really taught me that a lot of people don’t have manners and a lot of people don’t tip. I really hate for this to go negative, but on a personal level, it taught me that that was the wrong job for me.
But at the same time, I have some incredible stories, and I did get to meet some really lovely humans. And every once in a while, people would treat you really well.
Kira: And if you want those stories, you have to get on the Rude but Charming list. It’s totally worth it to jump on there. Well, thank you Amy for your time today and thank you for working with us over the last year within your business. It’s just been so much fun to hang out with you and get to know you better.
Amy: Well, thank you so much for having me. This was really fun.
Rob: That’s the end of Kira’s interview with Amy Collins. Nic, let’s talk about a couple more things just before we check out here. Again, made a list of things that we want to cover, but you’re the guest. What stood out to you?
Nic: Oh, I feel like as well as getting rid of email apologies, let’s get rid of the word should.
Nic: I feel like Amy is starting a movement in this podcast, because she is bringing up so many points and I’m like yep. Yeah, no, I think the word show just needs to end. I think there’s so much expectation around the word. And I was taught and again I can’t believe I’ve learned this, but it might be my therapist. She said when I ever want to say should, I say want instead. So instead of I should do this, it’s a I want to do this. It just reframes things in a more positive way if I actually do want to do that thing. But often when we’re using the word should, it’s around an expectation that other people have of us is not actually something that is going to move our business forward, it’s not something that’s going to help us. And yeah, I think it needs to go.
Rob: I really like that reframing idea because when you say I want, it becomes really clear it either is something you want or you don’t. I should have a hundred thousand people on my mailing list, versus I want a hundred thousand people on my mailing list, or I should make six figures, seven figures, whatever versus I want. And then when you start saying I want, well maybe I don’t actually want six figures, maybe I want time for myself. Maybe I want to be able to go running. Rather than I should sit at my desk until 7:00, actually I want to take the afternoon off and get on my bike or whatever. I love that reframe. I think that’s really smart.
Nic: Thanks. Yeah, it just takes it away from what we think other people want us to do and what we actually want to do. And like you said, how we want to run our business, but what stood out to you from the second half of that interview?
Rob: This is something that I think a lot about with our marketing and when I see other people doing it, but being smart about the opinions that we share, I think it’s really important to share opinions and to not just be bland. Going back to what we said earlier about being different and standing out, bland doesn’t stand out. Having opinions can make you stand out, but you need to be very conscious about how your opinions are going to attract or repel the right or wrong people. And there are certainly opinions around anger or frustration, which maybe will push people away.
And I’m not even talking about political or religious, or those kinds of opinions which obviously can divide us our audiences 50/50, but showing up angry frustrated, it’s so much better to have positive opinions and to be affirming and to really think through like, “Okay, if I share this what’s the impact on the people that I want to attract towards me? If it’s going to push away all of the wrong people, then that’s fine, but I want to make sure that I’m showing up in a way that’s going to be supportive of the people that I want to attract to my business, to purchase the products, to listen to what I have to say, all of those things.”
Nic: Yeah, definitely. And what Amy was saying about yes, share opinions, but also think about the reason why you’re sharing, I think always bringing it back to our business and why we’re doing things. And making sure that as long as it’s right for us, it’s right for the business, it’s moving us forward, then yeah, share it, but you’ve got to make sure that it hits those things first. Yeah, I love that.
Rob: Yeah. I mean we live in a world right now where it feels like there’s an expectation that everybody, every company, every brand needs to share opinions. And depending on where you live, what you believe, there’s right and wrong. And I’m not sure that that’s always true. And it’s certainly not always true about politics, but having an opinion can also be things around the way you show up in life, what you do with your time, how you help other people, those kinds of things. And it doesn’t have to devolve into things that then everybody starts worrying about, “Well, my audience is going to hate me for this. Am I going to be canceled?”
All of those kinds of things, there’s ways to show up with opinions that don’t do the negative things, but then again attract all of the right people. I feel like I’m rambling on this point.
Nic: No, I think it’s important. For example, I have really strong opinions about having barbecue sauce on pizza. I think it’s a win.
Rob: Okay. I’ve had some pretty good barbecue pizzas, so I can go with that, but it’s not on every pizza.
Nic: Oh, I just love it. I feel like I need to do an Instagram caption about this.
Rob: All right. Nic is repelling the wrong people away from her brand. If you don’t like the barbecue chicken pizza, Nic is not your copywriter.
Nic: That is actually my favorite. Well done Rob. How did you learn that?
Rob: Yeah, it’s so good, such a delicious pizza. All right, one or two other things that stood out, Amy talks about taking the time to ground yourself. She talked about specifically meditating, yoga. Nic, I know you run. Are there other things that you do in order just to make sure that things aren’t out of control, and that you feel grounded?
Nic: I think running is probably my main one. I actually don’t run with music, and that’s almost meditative me because I’m having to focus on my breathing and getting it controlled. I’m almost meditating without realizing. I think that’s why so many creative ideas come to me when I’m running. But other than that, I think it’s just doing little things, making sure I try and get outside every single day and don’t stay cooped up in my copy cave, which is so easy to do. And I’m probably having like human contact, but again where I was instead of being on my laptop all day. But yeah, I don’t really have like a set routine that I do every day. I’m trying to get into the habit of one, but I just feel like I’m a non-routine kind of person. What about you?
Rob: Yeah, I also do regular exercise, so lately it’s been running. When it’s warm, I love to be on my bike. And I do listen to music, but I love the repetitive movement. When I’m on my bike, it’s just left, right, left and I can feel that as I’m going down the road. It almost becomes a meditation in a way, but in addition to that, reading. I read some scripture in the morning. I do some meditation. Not serious meditation like the experts do, but I do try to just control my thoughts for a little while, and focus on ideas. At some point, I want to be able to add journaling in there in some way that makes it effective, but I’ve struggled with that my entire life. I know people do it. I wish I were a better journaler and at some point, I’ll figure that out.
Nic: I don’t journal either. I can’t get into the habit to be honest, but I do read every single day. And I think yeah, for me, that’s really grounding and meditative as well, just to zone out. I always read two books at the same time, one nonfiction and one fiction.
Rob: Okay, and what’s the fiction you’re reading right now?
Nic: So, it’s a random book that I found in Airbnb that I stayed a few weeks ago. I really hope it’s not theirs anyway, but it’s called The Almighty by Irving Wallace I think. It didn’t have a cover on it. I literally just picked it up not knowing what it was about and started reading it. And it’s great, I love it.
Rob: That’s awesome. I do something similar. I usually am listening to fiction. I don’t read a ton of fiction anymore, although I have read a little recently. And then reading nonfiction is like yeah, that’s part of the morning routine as well. All right, I’m adding your book to my list here.
Nic: It’s good, that’s the fiction book, but it’s good. Yeah, it’s actually about journalism which I had no idea when I picked up. Yeah, it’s cool.
Rob: And then last thing that stood out to me is just when Amy is talking about investing in your business and yourself. And if people are listening to this podcast, they’re doing that. You’re investing time in learning something that’s hopefully going to help them in their copywriting business and as they grow. Obviously, there are programs and courses and masterminds and all those kinds of things. This is something we talk a lot about on the podcast. We say it a lot, but there’s no better investment than investing in yourself and it’s an investment. Even when it feels sometimes expensive or hard to justify, when you’re investing in yourself, there’s always a payoff down the road.
Nic: Oh, I 100% agree and actually one of the best… and I’ve not been paid to say this, but I’m just going to say it anyway. One of the best investments I definitely made in my business, if not the best investment was 100% the think tank, the mastermind that you and Kira. And again, I’ve not been paid to say that.
Rob: Yeah, it’s not in the notes that…
Nic: It’s not in the notes. I’m freestyling, but no… And I think the reasons why Amy actually touched upon, so firstly you help us do things our own way which Amy talks about not following the rules. And I think that again, I keep going back to this, but it’s so important like we’re given so many expectations of business to read this book and follow what it says, but we have to make sure that things work for us. For example, when I was in think tank, it felt like everybody was releasing their own course. And I was like, “I should release my own course too, but it just didn’t feel right for me.” And you and Kira helped me realize that maybe that wasn’t the right approach for me at that time and later when I released a digital product, but there was a strategic reason behind that.
It wasn’t just because I felt like I had to keep up with everybody else and do that. And another thing it helped me with really was when she’s talking about the opportunities as well. There’s opportunity everywhere, but you have to go out there and get to know people, and speak to people really to find out where they are. And I think once you start doing that, you realize actually there is enough work out there for all of us. Community over competition, we can all be friends, but sometimes it’s easy to hide away and want to be by ourselves, but having that community and that network really does help find those opportunities, because there was so many out there.
That’s why I was really grateful for the think tank as well because when I joined, I’m in the UK. I had no idea of any other English copywriters at the time. I just met one of the Eman Ismail about that time. But other than Eman, there was not really anybody else that I knew. And then obviously there was this huge community mostly in America, and that now a lot of people I’m friends with. We chat to each other and help each other out. And I think that’s so important to even if you can join a page mastermind, find a Facebook group. I know your Facebook group is the free one is huge, and there’s a lot of people in there that people can connect with to find those opportunities if they feel like they’re really struggling and don’t know where to turn, but they really are everywhere.
And I feel like I went under such a tantrum. I just feel so passionate about it. Yeah, it’s so important just to get out there and start talking to people. Like Amy says, follow the art of conversation that you don’t know where it’s going to lead you. It’s going to be tough get out of your comfort zone at first, but it’s so, so worth it. Even if you’re just making friends and connections, it will really will help you down the road.
Rob: Yeah, I couldn’t have said that better myself, even if I had written that into the notes which we didn’t, but I echo that. I wish that I had gotten to know more copywriters sooner and to connect in the ways that Kira and I’ve been able to do in the copywriter club. And I just think it’s such a powerful way to grow your business, to grow your own skills and just inspiration. There’s just so many things that come out of it. Yeah, I 100% agree. If not our community, find a community somewhere, where you get that kind of support and inspiration and all of the things. Anything else, Nic?
Nic: No, I just took an interview. I think my last thing I wanted to say is I totally signed up for Amy’s newsletter after listening to her podcast.
Rob: It’s a good one. Again, it’s not your typical marketing newsletter or whatever. She writes what’s on her mind, whatever has come up, but she shares very interesting stories. And yeah, it’s a good one. Yeah, we’ll encourage everyone to do that.
Nic: I’m looking forward to getting my first email, and I think the one thing that I do feel like was skipped over in this podcast was the fact that Amy is a comedian as well.
Rob: That’s true, she is. She’s done some stand-up and she’s funny. She’s really funny and fun to be around.
Nic: Oh, she’s awesome. I’m really looking forward to getting my first newsletter from her. We want to thank Amy Collins for joining us for today’s episode of the Copywriter Club Podcast. If you want to connect with her and get on her newsletter list like I have, be sure to head to therealamycollins.com, and that’s the end of this episode of the Copywriter Club Podcast. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter Addison Rice, and the outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter David Muntner.
Rob: All right. Before we go, I want to thank you Nic for co-hosting with me here. And if you like what you’ve heard, as you’ve listened to Nic and I and Kira and Amy, leave a review on Apple podcast, or if you’re feeling extra generous, go ahead and share this interview, or this episode with a friend who you think might benefit from it. And then one last thing, if you enjoyed what you listened to, jump into some of the other episodes that are related to what we shared today. In episode 94, we talked about email marketing with Val Geisler. That’s a really good. Episode 224, we talked about warming up your cold pitch with Bree Weber, and don’t forget about episode number 236 which you mentioned earlier which features, Nic Morris, my guest host today.
It’s a good one as well. Links to all of those are in the show notes. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.