SaaS Copywriter Rachael Pilcher is our guest for the 182nd episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. We’ve had a front row seat over the past year as Rachael has made dramatic changes to her business and stepped up as an expert in the SaaS space. So we wanted to ask her about:
• how she went from travel blogging to SaaS copywriting
• what she did to find her first clients—it started with job boards
• what she learned running a “little shop” and why she sold it
• why she niched into SaaS and the clients she works with today
• the process she went through to choose her niche
• what she did to transition from blogger to fully booked copywriter
• her processes from start to finish on a project
• what she looks for in clients she takes (and those she rejects)
• her new website and the process she went through to get where she is
• Rachael’s SNACKS framework and how she uses it
• the resources she’s used to improve her skills and grow her business
• value-based pricing and price anchoring
• the biggest mistake she made in her business
• why she hangs out where other copywriters DON’T hang out
• how she works and avoids the temptation of site seeing while traveling
• what Rachael is doing in 2020
This is a good one. To hear it, click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript. Or subscribe with your favorite podcast app (don’t forget to leave a review).
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The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Josh Garofalo
Copywriter Think Tank
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Rob: This episode is brought to you by The Copywriter Accelerator, the 12-week program for copywriters who want to learn the business skills they need to succeed. Learn more at thecopywriteraccelerator.com
Kira: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Rob and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Rob: You’re invited to join the club for episode 182 as we chat with SaaS copywriter Rachael Pilcher about working with software clients, the investments she’s made in her business that have paid off, what she learned from her brick and mortar businesses, and what it’s like to work and travel for months at a time.
Kira: Welcome, Rachael.
Rob: Hey, Rachael.
Rachael: Nice to be here. Thank you for having me on.
Kira: Great to have you here. It’s great to have you in a time zone near me, selfishly. I just feel like you’re near me finally because you’re traveling all over the place, which I know we’ll talk about. But yeah, we’ve just really enjoyed getting to know you through the Think Tank over the last year and I just feel like you’re one of those people that is always, you’re just cool. You’re just always cool. When we’re not around you at the Think Tank, we’re all talking about just how you live a very cool life and you’ve done very well in your business and built this really interesting brand that stands out. I mean, you’ve done it in a short period of time.
Kira: We’re going to talk about the cool factor today, but let’s kick it off with your story. How did you end up as a copywriter?
Rachael: Well, it was kind of accidentally, actually. I had sold my business and I’d sold my classic car as well, so I had quite a bit of money saved up and I just wanted to travel because I hadn’t really done that. So travel, travel, travel, and then obviously started running out of money. So it’s like, what can I do to keep traveling and also have some money coming in? I think I just Googled and Googled and I came across… It was actually Nomadic Matt’s traveling blog course, embarrassingly enough. And so I took that and that was actually really good, and it tells you how to set up a WordPress website, how to find clients and things like that. It didn’t end up being travel writing, but the more I got into that scene and found that I could actually get paid for writing, I sort of stumbled across the Facebook group and you guys, and it went from there. Yeah.
Rob: So how did you find your first clients, Rachael, as you set up your website and got going? What did you do to find clients as you were kicking off?
Rachael: I set up a really, really crappy website on WordPress and then I think I went through… ProBlogger job board was the first job I got and it was an $80 US post. Can’t remember what it was about. Something to do with kids and business or something. It was a bit random but they gave me the job, and then I got another one off the same board which was just marketing stuff. It kind of snowballed from there quite quickly.
Kira: So when did you get into copy? Just time wise. You were traveling, you ran out of money and you’re like, ‘Cool, copywriting, I’m going to do it.’ What year was that roughly?
Rachael: That was kind of the end of 2016, 2017. I’m not sure. But I wasn’t taking it seriously. It was just a bit coming in here and there. I wasn’t sure it was anything I could make a proper living out of at that time.
Kira: Okay. All right, great. I’d love to hear about pre copywriting, running your brick and mortar businesses. Can you tell us more about like, what did those businesses look like? What did you learn? What lessons did you learn from that time running that business?
Rachael: Okay, so this is my little shop. I always wanted a shop or something as a kid. Just play shop and have your own little store that you open in the morning next to a cafe so you can just pop next door and have coffee. It was all this nice little dream and I kind of achieved that, but it didn’t look like that. It was actually really stressful. Juggling finances, they’re really, really lean days. That was quite difficult to get through and just to make a living on that and pay all the shop overheads and everything.
I sold mostly summer clothing because it was a 1950s themed store and apparently in the 1950s there was no winter back then. It was all summer dresses and parasols and blouses. So yeah, there were definitely difficult times there, but it taught me a lot about how to sell to different types of people. Selling nicely and authentically, not being pushy about things, even when money was tight.
That told me how to market effectively as well because Facebook wasn’t really a thing when I started. So I was on the street pasting up flyers and using emails to people that I knew and just advertising in street magazines, things like that. Just really trying to get creative with how I marketed and how I got people to come to the shop, which was a bit out of the city as well.
Rob: Was there anything that happened that was a catalyst for deciding to move on and to sell the shop, or was it just that you wanted to travel?
Rachael: I’d been doing it for about 10 years. By the time I decided to sell it, I had the shop… Well, I had two shops actually. That was about four years between both shops and I was just feeling burnt out. I didn’t want to see any more polka dots or cherry prints again. I was going crazy. So yeah, it was just time to go, and one of my lovely customers really wanted to buy it so it was the perfect time to leave it.
Kira: Okay. So then from end of 2016 roughly, starting the copywriting career, where are you today? Can you just give us an idea of what your business looks like today, who you work with, what type of projects you work on?
Rachael: Okay. So I’m fully committed to the SaaS industry at the moment. I think that was a really good move for me to just niche down into that. It’s quite scary feeling just committing to one industry, but it’s a really wide industry and I think there’s room to sub-niche further because SaaS covers absolutely everything you can think of now. There’s just so many products and I think there’s a good fit for anyone, no matter what you’re doing. There’ll be something that you can find that you like within that SaaS model.
So yeah, I’m just doing that and a bit of B2B work and some agency work and it’s all going really well. I used to work a lot with the startups, but I’m finding myself going for more established funded companies now, which I’m liking a bit better.
Rob: So as I listened to you answer that question saying everything’s going really well now, but it seems like starting out with a couple of posts from ProBlogger or job boards to where you are now, there’s been quite a transition. Will you talk a little bit about that?
Rachael: Yeah, it’s been really patchy and I think a lot of that was hating my website and I didn’t really want to show any clients that because I was really embarrassed about it. And it was kind of patch and it didn’t really tell them who I was or exactly what I did or what my process was. So I always had trouble communicating that to clients I wanted to work with.
So once I had that more solidified in my own mind, I put that down in my website and then communicated to them a bit easier. Otherwise I just found myself floundering on sales calls, losing projects, and just scraping for work and it was a bit difficult.
Kira: So when you look at that transition stage from just getting started to where you are today, what were some of the pivotal moves during that time? It definitely sounds like launching your new website and brand, which we’ll talk about, but what else did you do? Niching was another one you mentioned. What else did you do during that time that really helped you move forward?
Rachael: I think I really just started to ethically follow people that were ahead of me in the SaaS industry so I could see how they were working and what their processes were, parts of their business that they had struggled with and their advice. There’s lots of advice out there from like Josh Garofalo, Joel Klettke, Joanna Wiebe. They’re all in that sort of SaaS industry and there’s a lot of stuff that they’re publishing and talking about that I was just following, following, following. Really just taking their advice and working on it actively in my own business.
Rob: So can we go a little deeper on that? Like, tell us about your processes from the time that you take on a client through delivery. What does that process look like?
Rachael: I think it’s probably pretty standard for conversion copywriters. We just start with doing discovery with the client, the interviewing the customers and surveying them and then doing review mining and then talking to their team if they’ve got sales support people and other stakeholders. Just talking to them about the problems and pains that they’re having trouble with. Just really sort of digging into as much as possible that we can use to put in the copy for emails and websites, which is my focus at the moment.
Kira: Now that you’ve been in SaaS for a couple of years and you understand the space better, what do you wish you had known before getting into SaaS or as you had just decided, okay, I’m going to niche down in SaaS. What do you wish you had known that would have saved you some troubles and challenges along the way that might even be advice you’d give to a newer copywriter going into SaaS today?
Rachael: I think I really liked the startup industry because it’s really fast paced and it’s fun and it’s exciting and people are really stoked about building their product and getting lots of customers and reaching their own budget goals, but there’s often not a lot of budget for the copywriter. So it was kind of a struggle getting the money I needed for a project, which takes a lot of time. It’s six to eight weeks it can take to get all the information and get the copy wire framed and written and edited. The money that the startups can pay is sometimes not enough to get you by that space of time. So once I started aiming for a little bigger projects and more established companies that got a bit easier. So yeah. But I think starting with startups is good because you’ve got groundwork, everyone’s learning and growing at the same time. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword there.
Kira: How do you avoid those clients potentially now that you know, okay I need to work with this certain type of client who can actually pay me on time. That is the challenge in that space so what does your vetting process look like and what are some red flags that you try to avoid now when you’re looking at a potential client?
Rachael: If it were people that say, if they try and talk me down on my proposal… I think I’ve had trouble in the past when someone says, ‘Well, you said you want to charge 5,000. we’ll give you 3,000 and you’ve got the project.’ That’s really about just saying no then because they’re going to talk you down in other areas. I just found those clients really difficult, so saying no has been a big one this year. Also clients that know everything about their customer already, like they don’t really want the research. They just know everything. They can tell you everything you need to write. Those are also huge red flags for me because usually they don’t know anything and it’s frustrating.
Rob: Yeah, those clients drive all of us crazy, I think. One of the things that you mentioned as you’ve grown your business is you were embarrassed by your old website. You finally got a new website and I’ve got to say, I love your website. There’s so many cool things about it. When you click to Mighty Fine Copy, it’s engaging, you’re watching different things move. All of the cool things that you’ve got on there. You’ve got also your framework laid out and the theme. Will you talk about just building the website, the process, what you went through to identify how the graphic design and the copy direction and how that’s impacted your business?
Rachael: Yeah. I’m glad you like the website, Rob. I actually installed [inaudible 00:11:36] on there and just curious to see how people were moving around the website, and everyone does the same thing. They click on that home page, scroll down to Godzilla and just go up and down on that for a little while. It’s quite interesting. He’s got googly eyes now that move with the mouse pointer, so you should check that out. That’s my new year’s upgrade.
Rob: I’m looking at him right now. This is, it is cool.
Rachael: Yeah. Play with his eyes, they’re fun. Yeah. So I wanted something that felt a bit more me and through the Think Tank, I think he really pushed all my buttons and just got me to bring my me out a lot more than I was. I wanted to play it safe because I didn’t want to turn any clients away, but I think what has happened is that I’ve turned away the clients that I didn’t want to work with anyway and I’ve got the people that get it and understand and they’re also looking at the copy and what’s in there and the process in it that makes sense to them and my target client base.
So yeah, it’s been fun actually with on that, but quite daunting and a bit scary. If I hadn’t been in the Think Tank, I don’t think I would have done that. I probably would have just struggled a lot with my own built thing and been suffering.
Kira: Yeah. I’m just wondering what advice you’d give to someone else who might feel that same way and isn’t in a Think Tank or our mastermind group and is just thinking… is playing it safe and feels like that is the right move. What advice would you give to them?
Rachael: Well, and I have people that are doing quite well without websites, but you think if you’ve got a homemade job and you’re always thinking, oh maybe I should just pay someone to give me a really professional look so I can attract higher quality clients, I think do it. But I think put a lot of thought into it. It shouldn’t be something that you rush into. This website took about eight months from start to finish and the first kind of ideation I put together, I sat on it for about three months and I didn’t like it at all after that. So I think if you’re getting a designer, you need to be honest with them about, if you don’t like it, just say you don’t like it, because you don’t want to be stuck with something that you’ve paid thousands of dollars for and at the end of the day it’s still not really you. It’s really important to communicate with a designer and have everything solidified in your own mind before you push the button and pay and get that rolling.
Rob: So one of the things that I love about your website is that it is so not like any other SaaS copywriter’s website. You’re not standing there. Your profile isn’t you standing in a blue shirt. It doesn’t talk about necessarily your expertise in SaaS. It’s colorful, it’s fun. There’s so much personality that comes out in that.
Rob: Obviously that was intentional, but what has the reaction been from clients that maybe are a little bit more staid and conservative? When they see your website, is it a hiccup in the process or does it actually help?
Rachael: I think I don’t actually hear at all from those people. I think they probably click on it and go, what? And then go and talk to someone else. But everyone that’s come to me as a client or a lead that’s come through the website or that I’ve referred to check out the website has come back and really loved it, and they do go on and on about just how they love the copy and they love how everything’s clearly laid out in terms of framework and my processes and exactly how I work personally. It’s been super positive from pretty much everyone.
Rob: So can we go into your framework just a little bit? I know you spent a lot of time developing that. It’s illustrated beautifully on your website like I mentioned before. Tell us about the snacks framework and how you use that as you attract clients to your business.
Rachael: Okay, well to start off with, I had no idea what a framework was, and even after a few months in the Think Tank, I still didn’t know what a framework was, but I knew it tied in with process somehow. I think Mai-kee Tsang described it really nicely. As you know, the framework… How does she put it? The framework is like the candy wrapper and the process is like the candy inside the wrapper and that..I don’t know, the way she described it suddenly clicked in my brain. It was like, great. It is just my process. I get to lay it out and just describe that and put it in a little package so that people can easily understand how I work step by step and why that’s important. That’s really stopped me having to explain this on sales calls every time, just because it’s laid out nicely and clearly on the website for people. I was really sick of explaining exactly what I do on every call. It was just tedious.
Kira: Can you just share what you call your framework?
Rachael: That’s this next framework. If you go to the website and have a look it’s an animated exploding sandwich. So it really starts with the foundation of the sandwiches. Your first layer of bread obviously, which is your discovery and estimate analysis, and then everything builds on top of that until you get a nice sandwich. If you’re missing any of those pieces you’re going to have a shitty sandwich.
Kira: Right. Yeah. And if you go to the website, you will be hungry. You will get hungry fast looking at this sandwich, it looks delicious.
Could you walk through how to develop a framework? I know you’re not necessarily teaching frameworks, but how did you do it once you realized, ‘oh this is what a framework is.’ How did you figure out what to call it and think about it and approach it so that it worked for you?
Rachael: I basically just started with lots and lots of paper and pen work and wrote down my process and data, like exactly what I do. Then I tried to just basically find a letter that [inaudible 00:17:01] with that and make a word around it because that’s the easiest way I knew to build the framework. I was sort of tinkering around with burger and food and things like that. It didn’t really work. Then I don’t know what happened, but snacks just popped into my mind at about 4:00 AM in the morning and I rolled with it and it worked really nicely. Yeah. It kind of worked on with the rest of the branding on the website as well so seemed like a good fit.
Kira: The hardest thing for so many of us is to put ourselves in our brand. You mentioned that that was a struggle for you early on. You didn’t like it, it didn’t feel like you. So how did you work through that and start to pull in pieces of you into the brand? Were you working with your designer on that piece of it? Were there any exercises that helped you along the way? Because again, this is something that we all struggle with.
Rachael: Yeah, absolutely. It’s hard to actually see yourself and then see yourself as how you want other people to see you. It’s quite a balance that needs to be struck. Obviously, get a good designer that can take your very fragmented ideas and put them into something cohesive.
What I did was I built a Pinterest board as soon as I started thinking about a new website. So I had a board for just the stuff I liked. Random things like cartoons and adventure time and monster movies and I don’t know, things like that. Another one was more for interior design and other people’s websites and things like that. So by the time I came to the actual design phase, I just shared that with the designer and they can get a really good feel for things I liked and colors I liked and designs I like, and I think that was super helpful and I definitely recommend that as a good start to the process.
Rob: So what’s the before and after with your website? Again, you mentioned the old website that you were embarrassed to show. You’ve now got this awesome website that not only can you show off, but anybody who goes here is going to show it to their friends because there’s just so much going on and it’s such a cool site. But what has that done for your business?
Rachael: It has helped me get higher caliber clients, for sure. It just makes me look more professional and like I know what I’m doing, which is kind of what I wanted to convey. So it’s definitely paid off in that sense, I think. The word’s got out there and people are coming to me from referrals a lot more than they used to.
Rachael: I think I’m on the first page of Google now as well, just because so many people I think have been to the site and that’s really helpful.
Kira: The first page of Google for what?
Rachael: B2B, SaaS copywriter-
Kira: Wow. That’s impressive.
Rachael: Fluctuates between one and two, but I’m pretty pleased with that and that happened quite quickly as well. So yeah.
Kira: How have your prices and your rates and even just your financial, your income, how has that changed since you invested in the website and your brand and spent almost a year working on it?
Rachael: It’s definitely improved. I’ve crossed my, I’ve sauntered casually across my finish line for the goals that I set for this year, which has been super amazing. But that’s really a Think Tank thing as well and just really networking and talking with other copywriters to get tips and tricks and lots and lots of advice. So I couldn’t say that was purely because of the website that that’s happened. Just more smart thinking in the processes that I’m using.
Rob: Another of the things that you mentioned that has helped your business move forward was choosing a niche. I know we touched on this a little bit, but I’m curious about the process that you went through as you were thinking through the various niches that you could do, because I know you’ve got a legal background, obviously you worked in retail and so you have a bit of a fashion background, you love to travel. You’ve got all of these variety of things you could have drawn from your background, but you chose SaaS. Will you talk a little bit about the process that you went through as you decided on SaaS as your niche and how you went about positioning yourself for that market?
Rachael: That was also an accident. I was doing some agency work and I was mostly writing about marketing copy and I don’t know, AB testing and things like that. And then they were giving me some other projects and I had no idea what SaaS was. Then I realized I was actually doing it so that seemed like a no brainer to keep doing that because I found it really easy and interesting. Yeah. I didn’t want to do legal and travel was really difficult to get into that. The niche where you actually get paid well, it’s super competitive. So that was a no. Fashion, also the same thing. I didn’t really want to go and write about that again. Yeah. So, SaaS it was, and then I found out that it was actually a really popular growth industry. So it seemed like a good place to stay in.
Kira: You mentioned that it wasn’t just your website that helped you take your business to the next level. You learned tricks and strategies from fellow Think Tank members. Can you share some of the specifics? Like what you learned and pulled from that community?
Rachael: I spend a lot of time listening to, obviously the podcasts that you guys put out, which are really helpful and there’s such a broad cross section of people. You pull little bits and pieces from that that you need. So it could be things like better proposals and how to run a better sales call and mindset training as well was really important. That’s been super helpful this year. Just to get over myself a lot. Yeah, just little bits and pieces you can always just pick up.
Rob: I’m not sure if you’ve met Kira before last year, but the first time I met you was in Brooklyn this past year, hanging out at the event that we threw. You kind of show up for these kinds of things. You’ve invested in yourself, you’re at the event, you’ve invested in our mastermind, but you’ve done things to really move yourself forward. Will you talk about maybe your mindset and your philosophy around what you choose to do, where you go to learn those kinds of things?
Rachael: Yeah. I think I should have invested in my business sooner and more because once I started doing that, things really picked up. And invested in things to meet the people and interact with the people as much as learning the actual copy and business side of things. I think networking and getting mentoring and just interacting with people in the same field is so, so valuable. More than happy to invest in that. I feel like my family just says I’m throwing my money away but I don’t feel it at all. They’re like, stop flying to these things. Like, what do you actually get out of it? I think I get so much and it’s just so, so valuable and I’m going to keep doing it.
Kira: Let’s talk about your proposals. You mentioned your sales game has changed, proposals have changed. We’ve talked a little bit about this. I know when Nigel who’s also been on our podcast, presented at the Think Tank retreat, you took that really seriously and you started implementing a lot of what he shared about value-based pricing in your own business, which again is like a side note I think why you’ve been so successful because you take these bits and pieces and you actually implement it. But anyway, to back up, how have you used value-based pricing or even just anything new you’ve learned around proposals and pricing in your proposals today? And how has that changed the way… how efficient and effective your proposals are?
Rachael: Yeah, Nigel’s talk was amazing and because he’s kind of in the SaaS field as well. I really just sat there and soaked up everything he said like a little sponge. Then I get a call maybe like a week after that and I just bring all these notes and I just brought everything that he’d said into that and I got that signed off straight away and it was for… That was my highest paid email project ever. It’s like damn, that worked. It’s always quite a surprise when stuff works like that straight away. But I do think it’s really important if you’re gathering all these little pieces of knowledge that you do implement, because otherwise what’s the point? You actually need to see that change in your business and have it work for you to get it to sink in.
So what Nigel taught was the value-based pricing. When you put your proposal together you have three tiers. So one, two and three, and these all got slightly different deliverables and pricing tiers. It was really helpful because before that I was just giving one price and it was either a yes or a no. Whereas having three options and anchoring option two as the one that you want the client to pick up on because that’s the price point that you kind of want to work at and the deliverables you want to work at has been great, and usually works perfectly and get signed off.
I think my close rate is like 90% at the moment, so I’m pretty happy with that. Usually it was terrible, so nailing your proposal, actually treating them like more of a persuasive sales letter and treating them all like a challenge and making them a bit more fun. Like it’s kind of, not gamified it in my mind, but it’s definitely made it less fear and loathing when it comes to proposal time.
Rob: When you say ‘make it more fun’, what do you mean by that?
Rachael: I think that’s a mindset thing as well. It used to be like, ‘Oh, a proposal.’ It would take me days to put one together just because I hated it, but just framing it differently in my own mind has made it more of a fun challenge. Sometimes I know that I’m competing against maybe five or six other of my peers so it’s like, ‘Oh, what can I do? Get that project over them. What can I say? What can I put in there that the client will be like, yeah, we want you.’ Treat it more as a personal challenge.
Kira: Yeah. Well, it’s clearly working too. How do you view your pricing now that you’ve got your new website and you’ve figured out how to craft your proposal? Do you have a process for your rates and when you raise your rates or do you just kind of feel it out as you go along?
Rachael: I think I should raise my rates more for the level that I’m at and just the amount of work that I put in. It’s hard. It’s finding your value. I think being in the Think Tank and just being pushed along by, ‘Put your prices up, you’re too cheap,’ has helped a lot and it’s just helped me value the work I do and the time I put in a lot more, but I still think they could go up a bit more. Yep.
Rob: I think you’re probably right on that. So we’ve talked about some of these amazing things that you’ve done and the way that you’ve transitioned your business. Can we maybe talk about a mistake or two? Something that you failed at? Like, what is the biggest mistake that you’ve made as you’ve gone through this entire process?
Rachael: Not getting mentoring sooner. I was always afraid to get any sort of mentoring because I didn’t want to be told that it sucked and maybe you should go and work at a gas station or something instead. But there’s always that kind of fear that someone’s going to smite you down and you’re just going to run away into the distance and never be seen again, but honestly mentoring is great and if you can find someone to help with that early on, that’s a bonus. I feel I wasted a couple of years by just not getting help and not networking and trying to do everything myself. So it’s not really a failure, but it’s something I look back and I wish I’d got help with that sooner.
Rob: Something we hear a lot of copywriters say.
Rachael: Yeah, it’s super important. In terms of client failures I haven’t really had any. I’ve had a recent one where that was just a time zone problem. They knew I was in New Zealand and I was trying to do the client interviews and I opened up my calendar from 6:00 AM till 10:00 PM and they’re like, that’s not good enough because our clients won’t want to talk to you. Can you open it up to like, 3:00 AM? Kind of like, no, I don’t want to do that. So I had to just hand that over to another copywriter because it’s obviously not going to work out between us. That’s about it. Most of my clients have been pretty awesome.
Kira: Any other struggles? I really want to hear some more. Anything else that was hard and surprising along the way that you didn’t expect?
Rachael: The hardest? Probably still the lead gen thing for me. I think I just need to do a lot of work on authority building and things as we all do.
Kira: Yeah, and how do you market yourself? What are you focused on right now?
Rachael: I’m trying to hang out where other copywriters don’t hang out. So obviously, I can’t talk to you about that. I’m in a few [crosstalk 00:28:43].
Kira: We’re going to follow you. We’re all following you.
Rachael: But I’ve sort of noticed the places that are quite saturated with people scrapping for work and pitching for the same projects. I think that’s just quite tiring trying to compete all the time so I’m trying to just find places where it’s a bit easy to get clients and get work and get noticed and heard and referred. That’s a bit of a challenge but that’s kind of working for me at the moment, just to try to find those spaces where the work is.
Kira: We’re going to figure this out. I’m going to follow you.
Rachael: I also use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is really great. Twitter is pretty cool. And yep, Facebook groups as well.
Rob: Very cool. So you mentioned that working with a client in New Zealand is a little difficult, which might be a little surprising because you are also from New Zealand, but it’s because you travel so much. I’m curious how you balance travel with work. When I’ve done that, I’ll work for a couple of hours but the temptation to go out and see the sites or to go sit on the beach is overwhelming. So how do you do that?
Rachael: I treat those things like, like a treat. So I’ve done my work, now I can go and sit on the beach for an hour with a beer or a snack or whatever, and then it’s back to work time. It’s kind of nice to be in a different place where there’s stuff to explore. But yeah, I do understand that challenge, you’re always thinking I’d really like to go and explore those ruins or just go for a swim or go shopping or something like that. Yeah, it’s a juggle and it’s stressful. The time zone thing is a challenge and the WiFi thing is definitely a challenge, but it’s rewarding in its own way.
Kira: So when you’re traveling, do you have a set schedule to keep you focused? You’re a morning person and you just bust it out in the mornings, you have the afternoon to explore. Does it really depend on where you are and where you are in your project load too?
Rachael: I am not a morning person at all. I just have a relaxing morning and have breakfast and then I get started maybe at 10:30. I’d rather work later and then I just take right one or two days off during the week, just full days where I shut the laptop and recharge and explore, because I find it quite hard to split the days in half. It’s a bit much to do that.
Rob: So share with us a few of the places that you’ve been. We know we connected with you in Barcelona, you were in Brooklyn a year ago at our event and I know you’re coming to San Diego or at least I believe you’re coming to San Diego for the event this year. But where else have you been in between?
Rachael: Bali for the Running Remote Conference this year as well, which was really fun and I met lots of SaaS founders and marketers there, which was an amazing little event. Right on the beach too, which was pretty sweet. Yeah. So I’ve sort of traveled to Finland, Romania, Egypt. London I think I stayed in for two days because it was so expensive and then I was out. But I really enjoy working from places that are quite warm, cheap and have good food. That’s really my requirements, plus WiFi.
Kira: Do you have a certain amount of time you’re usually in one location before you feel the itch or you move on to the next location?
Rachael: I think, well in New Zealand we can sort of get three months everywhere and then we need to move again just because of the visa thing, or you need to be flying in and out which I find is a huge pain.
Mexico now I think we get six months before we need to leave so that’s pretty handy. It’s nice to stay as long as you can because moving around is just a huge productivity killer and a time suck and money suck. So yeah, the longer you can stay in one place is ideal.
Kira: I want to hear about your craziest work desk situation because you’ve posted, you post some pictures on Twitter, or at least you talk about it on Twitter and you’ve posted pictures in the Think Tank group too, but you’ve had some crazy desk situations where you’re like working on a toilet or next to the toilet. Can you just share one or two that come to mind where you’re like, ‘I can’t believe, this does not feel professional but I’m going to make it work.’
Rachael: Yep. The first one was a Land Rover and it was in Karatu and it was just raining and it’s muddy and I had gum boots on and I had a blog deadline to get in and I was just sitting in the front of the Land Rover in the rain typing away. They actually had really good Wi-Fi there for surprising reason, so that was fun.
The last one was in Shanghai and it was a digital nomad hub. You know, everyone is there just checked into this cheap little hotel space, laptop space suitable for working, great Wi-Fi. I got there and it was just like a chair, the bathroom vanity next to the toilet, which was amazing. So yeah, that was the one I took a photo of for Twitter because honestly, crazy stuff like that.
Rob: So what is the biggest challenge that you’ve had as you’ve traveled? Again, knowing you’ve mentioned a couple of things that have made it a little bit difficult, but is there anything that jumps out as the biggest thing, the biggest hurdle?
Rachael: It’s definitely the Wi-Fi situation and I wish remote work didn’t rely on that, but it does 100% so there’s been a lot of moving around and running out to coworking spaces, like early hours of the morning just to make that client call and get the interviews and things like that for customers. So that’s quite a challenge. That’d be my number one challenge, I think.
Rob: So where do you go from here? I mean you’ve got this business that’s supporting your lifestyle, you’re traveling, it seems like you’ve got a fantastic life and doing what you want, but what are you doing with Mighty Fine Copy in 2020?
Rachael: I haven’t quite figured that out because we’re only a couple of weeks in, but obviously I’d like to bump up my revenue goals, but also I really just seek to find a balance. Like, I really want to find my enough. I think this level is it, but obviously you just still want to strive for that little extra and I’m not sure what that extra is at the moment. I think clients that pay a bit more, but I don’t want to be doing more work because my workload is good now. Like the manageability of everything as it is. I don’t want to be stagnant where I am, but I haven’t quite figured out where I’m going this year. If that makes sense.
Rob: It definitely makes sense. Yeah. And as you look back over what you’ve accomplished over the last year or two, what would you say is the biggest game changer for you?
Rachael: Oh, just having more faith in myself and my abilities. Getting over myself. I’ve taken Linda Perry’s mindset course and her little mindset programs. I get her monthly meditations and worksheets to work through and think about, and that’s been really helpful to just get past a lot of my blocks. I’ve got bad blocks with money. Overwhelm. I tend to take on way too much work and just burn out, that’s just a horrible cycle. So yeah, recommend that if anyone’s having similar struggles. She’s great.
Kira: We’ve asked this question, I know Rachael you’ve heard us ask this question before on the show, but what does the future of copywriting look like to you?
Rachael: I hope it’s not AI. I hope we’re not just working AI in the future. It’ll just be copywriters behind that big AI system, doing something completely different. I’m not really sure. I’d like to think it would go on as it has for quite a while yet. Maybe in our lifetime it will still be the same as it is now. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s super interesting question. I haven’t really put much thought into that, but I see people worrying about AI a lot. Yep.
Rob: Yeah, for sure. I’m hoping that our future of copywriting looks a little bit more like your past. That is, that we can travel a little bit more while we write and see more of the world as we help our customers.
Rachael: Yeah, we have that freedom. I think some people are a bit scared to do that because they don’t know what it looks like or if it will be too hard or if they’ll run out of money in the middle of nowhere and be stuck somewhere horrible. There’s a lot to think about, but honestly if you’re thinking along those lines just try it for a couple of weeks and see how you manage with that. Yeah. It’s always worth it to just give it a shot.
Kira: Yeah. That’s what I love watching you as you grow in your business because you… That is the perk of running an online business, that you can do that. You have that freedom to do it. I think there are disadvantages to having an online business and dealing with the hard parts of it, but how many people actually embrace that flexibility? Probably not as many as we would think. So it’s fun to watch you do that and truly own this online business space that we’re in.
So, Rachael, where can copywriters find you if they’re interested in checking out your incredible website and brand or they want to just connect with you and talk about SaaS? Where should they go?
Rachael: Connect with me anywhere. I’m on LinkedIn, I’m on Facebook and Twitter and at mightyfinecopy.com and I love talking to other writers about SaaS, especially the ones that are just thinking about getting into the niche work, need some help or advice with anything like that.
Kira: And you’re in a lot of other secret places that you will not tell us about too.
Kira: But we will find you. Rachael, thank you so much for jumping in here with us and sharing more about your business growth and what you’ve done to get there too. We really appreciate it.
Rob: Thanks, Rachael.
Rachael: Thanks for having me on, Rob and Kira. Cheers.
You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive, available at iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.