TCC Podcast #190: Making Changes with Rob Marsh and Kira Hug | The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #190: Making Changes with Rob Marsh and Kira Hug

Copywriter Per Andreasen interviews Rob and Kira for the 190th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. Per kicks off the interview with the Intro in Danish… which will probably confuse a few listeners expecting to hear our regular intro… then we talked about what’s up with us and how the podcast will be changing in the near future. Here’s most of what we talked about:

•  what the intro sounds like in Danish… thanks to Per Andreasen
•  how to thrive in a crisis—Rob’s advice for surviving a recession
•  what has happened to our business since the virus became a “thing”
•  the Copywriter Roundtable… and why we don’t promote it
•  how The Copywriter Club evolved into what it is today
•  how The Copywriter Club is a bit like a cult
•  how we deal with imposter complex ourselves
•  when the biggest leaps in our business have happened
•  why we haven’t offered certifications for the training we provide
•  our biggest program failure and what we did instead
•  the changes we are making to the podcast in the future
•  where we think copywriting is going in the future
•  why some copywriters are busier than ever during the COVID crisis
•  good example of advertising in response to the economic crisis
•  what we are doing in our own businesses this year
•  when to expect the very first Copywriter Club event in Europe
•  a bit about Per’s business too

If you’re interested in what’s going on in our businesses, and what’s next for The Copywriter Club, you’ll want to check out this episode. Scroll down to listen or for a full transcript. Or better yet, download it to your podcast player now.

 

The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:

 

Full Transcript:

Per Andreasen:   [Speaking in Danish] Hvad nu hvis du kunne hænge ud med seriøst talentfulde copywritere og andre eksperter. Spørge dem om deres succeser og fiaskoer, deres processer og vaner for så at stjæle en idé eller to som kan inspirere dit eget arbejde? Det er hvad Rob og Kira gør hver eneste uge på…The Copywriter Club Podcast. Yes, this is still The Copywriter Club Podcast. You’re invited to join them for Episode 190 as former journalist and now the world’s strongest copywriter, Per Andreasen, lovingly grills them on this and that.

Rob:   Our Danish audience is going to go through the roof with this episode. So, for this episode of the podcast, we’ve invited our friend and someone who has participated in The Copywriter Accelerator, The Copywriter Think Tank, has been to all three TCC IRLs, and is the only copywriter that we know in Denmark, I think, to interview us for the podcast and that is, Per Andreasen, the strongest copywriter in the world.

Kira:   Yeah, 190, that’s pretty crazy.

Per Andreasen:   It’s amazing. So, the last time I saw you two guys was at your amazing real life event in San Diego, and you’ve already gone through all your takeaways before, so I want to talk about the crisis that made everything about the event feel even more special than your previous events. Especially, Rob, your talk was about how to thrive in a crisis, can you repeat some of that advice and how that has stayed true?

Rob:   I can definitely repeat a lot of the advice, it was kind of… I guess it was a timely talk. I wasn’t assuming that it was going to be quite as timely as it was, as I was preparing it. I kind of thought we might be due for a recession in the next year or two, maybe in six months but wasn’t thinking that it was going to come together the way that it quite did. And so, I just gave some tips for how to deal with working in a recession. And you can get all of those tips in the videos from the event that we have made available.

But I guess, one or two of the main takeaways, and we’ve talked about them in a couple places, having an anchor client, this isn’t necessarily an ideal client or a client that you love, but a client who is going to consistently pay you money so that you don’t have to worry about the mortgage or keeping the lights on, or feeding your family. Because when you are dealing with that kind of stress, it changes the way that you’re able to approach your work and new clients, and you start operating from a place of fear rather than from your expertise and from your ability to create value for your clients. And so, that was one of the recommendations that I made.

We talked a little bit about investing wisely. It seems a little counterintuitive sometimes when money gets tight to say that you should be investing, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend that people take on debt to invest in a coach or a program of some kind, but that if you need a skill or you need to think about your business differently, that it can be a really smart investment to hire somebody to help you with that or to find the right course, the right group of people, the right mastermind to hang out with and really help uplevel your business. So, those are maybe two of the biggest takeaways, without all of the fun stories that I added to make the presentation interesting.

Per Andreasen:   Cool. So, you did say that the NASDAQ shot up right after you came off stage, but how have your points aged within your own business?

Rob:   Well, yeah, I mean, the NASDAQ had crashed and then it had a really good day right after I spoke. So, I want to take credit for that. I mean, I don’t know that our business has changed significantly, as far as The Copywriter Club goes, we have been able to find people to join the Accelerator. People are still interested in and joining the Underground. We have a good group of people who joined our Think Tank. All of that has happened since everything kind of went south right after the event, and so I think it’s just an indication that business still goes on, there’s still needs in the market that need to be met. And if you have the right programs, if you have connected with people in the right way, it’s still possible to sell things even when everything else looks like it might be going crazy.

Per Andreasen:   What do you think, Kira?

Kira:   Yeah, I would just add that in our business, we’re lucky to have this online business that we can continue to run and we weren’t sure how it would go. I definitely had some moments early on after the event where I was just like, I don’t even know if we’re going to be able to continue running. I felt that way. But once we jumped in and just continued to try and to try to fill our programs… I mean, the crazy part about all of this happening for us is that our event kind of marks almost like the beginning of our year, and that’s when we launch our programs. And I guess I didn’t realize that we launched most of our programs right after our event. And so, in some ways, the timing wasn’t great to launch at least three of our new programs, but like, Rob said, we were able to fill all of the programs and continue to run all the programs. That surprised me.

But I think the people we’ve attracted into the Accelerator Program, into our Think Tank Mastermind, and even into our newer Roundtable Mastermind, they’re all just very serious about getting results. Very intense in a way, because they’re not messing around, and any investment they make needs to have an ROI, and I can feel that intensity. So, I think for me, I feel the weight of that sometimes, not like we weren’t delivering prior to COVID, but I do feel the weight, we really need to help every person who invests in our programs get results, because this is such a critical time where their business could make it or not. And so, the big change really, for me is around the delivery of the programs and that we’re providing more support.

We’re adding to what we’ve already created in the past because the copywriters in the programs really need more and they’re overwhelmed, and they need more support with implementation. They don’t really need to sit through more courses or trainings right now. They need help taking action and figuring out what to prioritize because most of us have half the time we had a couple months ago. And so, we need to know, what do I need to do with half the time to keep my business running and to grow my business?

Per Andreasen:   Cool. So, I don’t know if you’ve gone into this in a previous episode, but you launched the Roundtable membership very discreetly at the event. Can you go into a little bit of detail about what’s going on there?

Rob:   Really, discreetly, nobody’s heard of it.

Kira:   This is probably the first time we’re actually mentioning it on the podcast, I don’t think we’ve actually mentioned it before.

Rob:   Is it a secret society?

Kira:   It kind of is. I almost didn’t want to even mention it because it is like a secret society. And it’s a mastermind that we created that is… Basically, the catalyst was from members who had participated in the Think Tank mastermind which, Per, you’re a member of, and they had experienced it for a couple of years and grown dramatically in their business. And they were kind enough to give us some feedback as far as, they wanted to continue working with us. They wanted to continue in the mastermind, but the conversations they needed at that point in their business as they’ve grown, and they’re hitting multiple six figures, the conversation and the support they need is very different from the type of support that’s in the Think Tank where copywriters are making anywhere from 5K a month to 10K a month and growing from there.

Kira:   So, once we realize there’s two conversations and these two very different levels in business, if we want to support and continue to work with these kind of top copywriters who have grown so much over the years, then we need to create a new path for them and a new mastermind where we can cover the type of topics that they need to hear about.

And so, we weren’t sure if we were going to do it, but we jumped in as we tend to do, and got enough feedback from the people who were interested in it, to put together this new mastermind group where it is for copywriters who are making 200K or more and are having a very different conversation, and want to be in a smaller intimate setting with us and 10 copywriters where we can really partner more. So, it kind of came together very nicely and quietly and it’s not something we would even promote because it is something that we want to make sure we know people who are entering and we trust them, and we’ve seen what they’re all about too, before they join this group.

Per Andreasen:   It seems like your ecosystem of helping copywriters make it on their own is sort of complete now, you’re sparking new friendships across the desk, you’re even having some diehard fans get your logo tattooed. How far is that from what you had anticipated when you started out?

Rob:   When we started out… And I know we’ve talked about this in a few places, but when we started out, we didn’t have a huge master plan of what we wanted to build. We knew that we wanted to do something, we knew we wanted to create a business together, but we didn’t know exactly what that was going to look like. We knew that it wasn’t just a passion project and that there was going to be at the end of this, a business. But again, we didn’t really have a plan. We just launched the podcast because we knew we wanted to do that, and we knew that we could have some interesting conversations with a lot of copywriters and other experts, as we’ve said almost 200 times now. And we would just go from there. And when we launched the Facebook group along with the podcast, we started to see these conversations and people would talk about the same kinds of things, asking for advice about the same kinds of problems over and over.

Rob:   And as we heard that, as we saw those conversations happening and we participated in that, we realized that we could start to offer help and coaching and templates, ideas, strategies that people could use to start to grow their business. So, we launched the Accelerator. And as we have done that several times, new needs would arise, we would realize that there are opportunities to help people in other ways, and so we launched our mastermind, which we call the Think tank. We launched our membership program, which is called The Copywriter Underground. And most recently, The Copywriter Roundtable. We’ve had a couple of other things that we’ve tried out with the events, we’ve got event videos that are available for anybody who wants to purchase and watch them, or even better, the tickets if anybody ever wants to attend.

So, we’ve kind of all built this around what we saw happening in the community. And you say the ecosystem is complete, maybe it is, I mean, there’s certainly other things that we can add and kind of fatten out some of those offerings, so to speak, to really strengthen them, make them even better. But, yeah, I mean, there was no grand plan. In some ways, I don’t think we lucked into it, that would be understanding what we wanted to do, but we let it develop kind of organically, just because it was the natural way to move and to grow.

Kira:   It’s partly also thinking about what we enjoy, what excites us and considering that. So, that’s a big part of the conversation at every point along the way. But it’s also thinking about, as a copywriter, what do I want to be a part of? How do I want to grow through my copywriting career? So, looking at it from that perspective and taking a lot of frustrations that I’ve felt personally as far as where I can go to get mentoring, where I can go to learn, and a lot of my frustrations come out of… I always feel like I have to jump around. I’m jumping from this coach to a different coach, to a different community. And I have all these different communities and all these different mentors and coaches, and that’s not a bad thing. But I would love to just be able to follow a path and be involved in an ecosystem where I feel connected to the people and to the offerings in that space, and I can grow within that ecosystem. And I think that’s kind of what we’ve ended up creating.

And I know for me, personally, it’s creating it out of my own personal need, because that’s what I want, that’s what I’m always looking for. And I have a hard time finding that in the business space that we’re in. And then, of course, we have to look at, beyond my personal view, beyond what Rob and I enjoy creating, what do copywriters actually need? And so, developing the first program, the Accelerator, to the current program, the Roundtable mastermind, we develop all of them through asking and finding out, what do they need? How can we create that? And sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we don’t get it right. But it’s that ongoing conversation. So, we’re not just creating these offers that aren’t actually helping anyone.

Rob:   Or wanted by anyone.

Kira:   Right.

Rob:   That’s kind of been the real advantages, that we almost know that there’s going to be an audience for what we create, because we’ve listened to people ask for exactly what they want.

Per Andreasen:   I’ll just mark this as one of the ideas you should steal, when you’re listening to this, go back a minute or two, note it up, do that when you’re launching your own membership. But for you, Rob and Kira, is the irony completely lost on you? Rob, you did a presentation about cults at the first IRL.

Kira:   Oh, god.

Per Andreasen:   Is the irony lost on you?

Rob:   No, absolutely not. It’s funny, when people actually got our logo tattooed on their forearms, their biceps, it’s one of those things where in some, I mean, it was fun, it was kind of intriguing. But in some ways, it also puts on a lot of pressure because when somebody loves something that much you feel like you need to deliver. And I wouldn’t describe The Copywriter Club as a cult, but I really like that there are people who feel so much a part of what we’ve been able to build. And, Kira and I haven’t built it alone. I mean, obviously, the community has really helped to build what is there and why it’s such an awesome place to hang out.

And just knowing that people love it that much kind of puts a little bit more pressure on us to say, hey, what you bring to the table every day, it’s got to matter, and it’s got to help people, and you can’t just phone it in. So, the irony is absolutely not lost on us. We’re not exactly cult leaders, but we definitely appreciate how people feel about what we’ve been able to help build together.

Kira:   Yeah, I don’t think I’d be a great cult leader because I want to be alone. I don’t think I like being around people enough to be a cult leader. And I wouldn’t want them to follow me or hang out with me, I would just want to be alone in the forest. But I love how we’re talking about tattoos and how these people got these tattoos at the event. And these people… I mean, Per, is one of those people, so we haven’t actually said… You got your tattoo at the event. I feel like before we move on with the interview, we have to hear from you about the catalyst and why you got that tattoo?

Per Andreasen:   Well, that’s sort of obvious to me, at least, but I’ll explain it. As you say, The Copywriter Club has outgrown just the two of you, it’s a huge community and it’s helped spark a lot of different things. To me, the logo is a symbol of all the friendships I’ve made, the progress from being an in house copywriter going out on my own, and all the teaching I’ve gone through. Yeah, it’s a matter of community that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. So, that’s it. And of course, it was sort of the pinnacle of that to go along with two really nice ladies, to get their… They opted for the smaller tattoos but I’m a bigger guy, so I sort of had to have the bicep tattooed.

Kira:   Yeah, that’s right. And it was a, Gin Walker and Allison Smith, two other members in the Think Tank.

Rob:   Yeah, we videoed it, and we can link to the video for anybody who wants to see that. But when we shared that in the Facebook group right after the event, my brother-in-law actually emailed me and said, “Hey, congratulations, you’ve hit the pinnacle of marketing. When people actually want to tattoo your logo on their bodies, you’ve done something special.” Because, I mean, really, this happens to very few companies. And like you said, Per, when you were asking about the irony, it’s absolutely not lost on us. The thing that The Copywriter Club has come to represent for us and at least for some of our listeners and the participants in our programs, is a pretty powerful thing. And we’re just grateful to be a part of it.

Per Andreasen:   That’s so cool. And please don’t worry about me. I know I seem very crazy once in a while, but I’m not jumping off a cliff anytime soon or drinking anything more harmful than Monster Energy. But going back to one of my greatest takeaways at IRL in San Diego was a pretty shocking experience actually, seeing parts of this awesome community being all honest on an imposter complex panel, and hearing how some million dollar copywriters still feel like frauds made me think, when do the two of you experience imposter complex?

Kira:   I feel it all the time, every day, so all the time. I mean, but mostly it’s when I’m trying something new. It’s when we’re creating something new, I’m moving out of my comfort zone. So many of the things that we’ve done, like having this podcast, running some of our programs, so many of those things feel not easy to me, but I feel confident, comfortable, we figured out what works, what doesn’t work.

But anytime there’s something new even if it’s exciting to me, so, like launching this high level mastermind called the Roundtable, that’s new and a little bit scary too. Because what we’re promising that group, what we want to deliver, the value we want to provide is really great, and it has to be valuable to those copywriters who are aspiring to make 500K or a million dollars or something, whatever their goals are, at a different level. And so, creating something like that, I have enough confidence and courage to do it.

But yeah, of course, my imposter complex kicks in big time. Taking copywriting projects, my copywriting or my imposter complex will kick in too. So, it’s frequent, but it’s usually a good sign, too. And I was thinking about it recently how I feel like, okay, it’s good that I’m feeling this way because it means that I am doing something new, trying something new. That excites me, I don’t want to do the same thing every day in The Copywriter Club. I am more excited about growth and the vision and what else we could do, then kind of getting into a routine that just doesn’t fulfill me. So, I think it’s probably a good thing that I’m feeling that imposter complex.

Rob:   Yeah, I think that’s well said.

Per Andreasen:   Rob, this might feel like an awkward side hug to you, but you’ve got to do it.

Rob:   Well, I mean, I think, Kira said it really well, every time we’ve stepped up and we’ve done something different. That first event that we had in Manhattan, that was a huge leap for me, personally. I had never done an event. I had spoken at events before, but I’d never actually created one and fortunately, Kira had some previous experience with that. But even with that, we quickly realized that we were in over our head and we needed help, and fortunately, we found some really good help with, Elaine, who we’ve interviewed on the podcast in the past. With each of the coaching calls that we would offer initially, I had not really done coaching before, I had managed employees and helped coach them in their careers but it’s a little bit different from coaching one on one or one on two with a copywriter who is struggling with something in their business. So, each time that we would do these things, and the list goes on and on.

Yeah, there’s a bit of an imposter complex that goes there. But also, I’m okay realizing what I do know and what I have to share, and I can trust others to help where we need help. But there’s not really a choice, you have to step through that imposter complex if you’re going to achieve something new or something different or something better.

Per Andreasen:   I imagined lawyers and accountants don’t feel the same way because they always have diplomas to hang on their walls. Have you thought about adding something to your courses in that way, so we don’t have to just get tattoos to show off how real we are?

Rob:   Yeah, certified copywriter, copywriter license or something like that. I mean, I’m sure that we could add something like that to some of our programs. We have had badges that people have added to their websites when they’ve completed things like the Accelerator, or being a member of the Think Tank. But honestly, I’m not sure that… Other than the fact that a license or a certification gives you permission to do the thing that you do, it’s not really about the credential. It’s about all of the things that you need to learn in order to get the credential. And so, so many of those things can be learned by copywriters just by doing the work. You read a book or two about copywriting, maybe you take a course, but really it’s in doing the work and trying things out, and figuring out what you have to do to be persuasive or to grab attention, to generate curiosity. All of the things that we learn how to do, none of that really comes naturally, at least not to most of us, and you’ve got to learn by doing.

So, having a license, the danger there is somebody gets the license and they don’t actually know how to do the thing that the license says they can do, so I’d almost rather just operate on reputation. And we know who the great copywriters are, they get mentioned by a lot of different people, they get passed around, or at least their names get passed around between clients who need great copywriters. And if you work hard, you can join that legion of super copywriters that’s out there.

Kira:   I think the coolest thing about the space we’re in, in the online territory, and building our own copywriting businesses is that, you don’t really need those credentials. And the people who are attracted to the space most often have rebelled against some sort of credential. I mean, I don’t aspire to attain all these credentials, that’s not what I’m about. So, I think it wouldn’t feel aligned to me to create that credential when I don’t really believe in credentials. I still will daydream about getting a PhD. So, it’s not like I don’t care at all, but then, what we do as copywriters, I think, Rob’s right, it’s like we know who the A-listers are. We know who the upcoming copywriters are. It’s about the results you get. It’s about the value you’re creating for your clients, your community members.

And people talk, and people know that. The testimonials in some ways are credentials in the businesses that we run, and that can kind of separate the people who really have done the work from the people who just aren’t quite there yet.

Per Andreasen:   So, I suppose we’ll have to suffice with the going through the PhD of marketing like Brian Kurtz refers to it. I know that before you came to this place of having a complete ecosystem, as I refer to it, you tried something different to build upon the Accelerator, and something didn’t really work out. Can you-

Kira:   You’re talking about the Accelerator Plus, right?

Per Andreasen:   Yeah.

Rob:   You were a member of that, because I remember, right, Per?

Per Andreasen:   I was, this is not a complaint.

Kira:   No, no, no, this is good to talk about, because we did talk about it briefly on one episode. But when we had your Accelerator group back in 2017, right? We fell in love… I mean, every time we run the Accelerator, we just kind of fall in love with all the copywriters in it, and we just want to keep hanging out with them. So, we finished that over three months, we wrapped it up, and we just… The group connected, you all felt like this tight knit community. We wanted to stay connected to you. And so, a couple of you were asking for what’s next, what can we do next? What can we jump into?

So, there was definitely interest and some demand for the next program, but we didn’t have anything ready to go. So, Rob and I quickly put together this plan for this next program that we called Accelerator Plus. And we just jumped in and had, I don’t know, 10 people in it. And, Rob, I’ll let you tell the rest of the story.

Rob:   I think that’s all the planning that we did. We knew we needed something but we hadn’t done the work that we had done when we started the Accelerator to really understand what it was that people needed there. And so, after about a month of meeting together, it was pretty clear to us that something with it wasn’t working. And it wasn’t that the people were wrong because the people were great. It wasn’t that we couldn’t teach things. It was just that we really hadn’t done the underlining work to figure out what it was that the Accelerator Plus should have been about.

And so, we made the decision to pull the plug, we refunded everybody’s money and ended that. And kind of learn from it, that when we create something new, we really do need to make sure that we understand the foundation, what it’s going to deliver, what the benefit is going to be, and we’re not just reacting to a feeling like, oh, we all want to hang out together, do things together. And so, I’d love to be able to restart some kind of an Accelerator Plus, but not until we can figure out what the actual benefit of that program would be.

Kira:   Yeah. And we also… I mean, part of that, I remember, was that we just didn’t have a lot of extra time. At that point, I was still working heavily with clients, Rob, you were working with clients.  We were working with clients, we were planning our events, we didn’t have as much of a team, our team was very lean. So, we were just both stretched. I think we could have figured out how to make that work and how to make it work for everyone, except we just didn’t have the bandwidth.

So, I think it’s more of being realistic about what you can take on, which is not always easy. When is it really too much? When does it not make sense? And that was also before we had developed the Underground membership which has served as kind of the place you can move into after you run through the Accelerator and you want additional support, and you still want to stay connected to a community, you can now go into the Underground. So, we created something that we gave a lot more thought, but it didn’t exist at the time.

Per Andreasen:   Cool. I must admit, I did cry a bit when you refunded us. I’m so glad that you did…

Kira:   But were you kind of happy, too? Were you just like, “Oh, yeah, this isn’t really going anywhere.”

Per Andreasen:   That just showed me that you were… Proved to me that you were real. Being able to admit mistakes is awesome.

Rob:   Well, the number of mistakes that I make, if we couldn’t admit them, we’d be in serious trouble. So, that’s probably a good thing.

Per Andreasen:   So, was this the worst decision you did in The Copywriter Club, or is there something else that we need to switch over now?

Rob:   Good question. I mean, I wouldn’t say that it was the worst decision, I wouldn’t even call it a mistake, I would say that we learned from it. So, we approach everything like an experiment, we try things out, and if they work, we keep doing them. And if they don’t work, we stop doing them and we do something else. So, I mean, you can look at our social media presence, for example, when we first started out, we posted a bunch of stuff into Instagram. And we actually had somebody helping us with that for a little while. But we just didn’t have a lot of traction, we didn’t have a lot of followers. It wasn’t the best use of our time. And so, for a while, we stopped.

Rob:   And more recently, we’ve come back to that, because we’ve got more followers there. We’ve more interactions, and maybe there’s a place where we can make a positive change again. And so, everything that we do, again, it’s an experiment, we’re just trying stuff. If it doesn’t work the way we hope then we’ll try something else.

Per Andreasen:   Cool. Rob, you mentioned that something new is going to happen with the podcast, what’s up? Where is it going?

Rob:   Yeah, so, we are approaching Episode 200. And I know a lot of people may be new to the podcast, so it may not feel a little bit dusty, a little bit used, like it maybe feels to, Kira and I…

Kira:   Feels used.

Rob:   But it’s a well-worn, well-loved podcast, and there are a few things that we want to do to just change it up a little bit. We’re not going to stop doing the great interviews, talking to the copywriters who share their learning, their skills, their path, and all the ideas that they come on and share. But we do want to change a couple things up, and one of the things that we’re going to change is the intro and the outro music. So, we’ve never really had anything that was ours and we’ve asked the community of listeners and people in The Copywriter Club, if they want to participate, to submit a new intro or a new outro that we’ll consider starting Episode 200.

We’ve posted some details about that in the Facebook group. The deadline may be passed by the time we post this episode or maybe within a couple of days. But yeah, we’re interested in having somebody in the group maybe contribute some music that can work for everybody. And then, in addition to that, we’re going to maybe change the interviews just a little bit. It may not be real noticeable to anybody who’s very new to the podcast. But listeners who’ve heard more than a few dozen episodes may see just a little bit of change in the style of the interview that we bring. What else, Kira?

Kira:   I’m just expecting people to hate it because people tend to not like change. I don’t like change. But I think over time, you will start to warm up to the new format. Like, Rob said, it won’t be dramatically different, but we are excited about experimenting with podcasting. To me, the podcasting format is just so rich, and while the interview style is really cool, and we’re going to integrate that and continue with it, we just want to play around and experiment a little bit more with sound and with audio, and integrating background clips and kind of going deeper into our guest’s story. And so, we’re getting creative with that, which is something that is really fun. It’s kind of going back to what I was saying about, this needs to be fun for us too, otherwise, we’re just going to… What’s the point, right? If we can create value for everyone else but we’re miserable, there’s no point in doing this.

So, we’re both really drawn to production of podcasting and experimenting, even though it will take more effort. Plus, we want to teach a little bit more, too. So, the new format will allow us to share a little bit more of what’s going on and our insights, because we have a lot we want to share and teach, and we don’t really have an opportunity to do that on the podcast as it exists right now. So, we’re kind of blending everything that we like about the podcasting space and what we enjoy into this new format. And it may be a little bit messy at first, but we’re going to figure it out.

Rob:   Yeah, Kira mentioned that, it may take a little bit more work. So, we’re committed to trying this for at least 10 episodes. We’ll maybe reevaluate after about Episode 210 and see if it’s too much work, but hopefully, it’s something that resonates well with everybody who listens. And yeah, it’s something that we want to continue to improve and do better, and just lead the way when it comes to podcasts in the space.

Per Andreasen:   I think you should add big name sponsors to your podcast. I want to hear some Mercedes ads targeted to copywriters.

Rob:   Coke Zero. We should have Coke Zero sponsor the podcast, something like that.

Kira:   We are interested in sponsorship. So, if anyone listening knows of a sponsor or wants to sponsor, we’re open to those discussions.

Per Andreasen:   Excellent. Cool. So, I was afraid for a second that you were going to say that you were not going to ask your guests anymore about the future of copywriting, Kira and Rob, what does the future of copywriting look like?

Kira:   So, when I think about the future of copywriting, here’s some initial thoughts that hit me. I just see copywriters, I’ve said this before, as the problem solvers, not only in marketing and in business but in the world. So, I see more activism coming from copywriters who are frustrated with not only their industry, and are providing services to help with those frustrations and to solve those problems, but are looking beyond their industry and looking at their local communities, looking at their governments, and taking more proactive change to fix what’s not working, and to kind of take on more leadership role. I think the time for us to sit behind the laptop and be quiet and hide… Not that all of us have been doing that. But it’s a comfortable space in our copy cave.

But more and more of us will be stepping in to leadership roles and speaking, speaking on stage, hosting our podcasts. I see more and more copywriters launching their podcasts, speaking on other podcasts, taking really kind of control of their own media empire, owning their media company.

And so, really, building out the media side, the authority of the marketing, and being way more visible in the work that we’re doing. I also see us being smarter about creating multiple revenue streams. And so, yes, we can continue to serve clients, work with clients we’re excited about. But creating other options too, so we never feel like we’re stuck, or that if one area of our business dried up, we’d be in trouble. But being really smart about how we build our business in our own extension model, so that we have multiple offers that we can rely on as we grow.

And then, I just see more community, more connection, as far as the community that we’re all building. And each copywriter will choose their own and build their own, whether it’s small, or it’s large. But providing more community support in the services that they provide, and also creating their own communities, connecting communities worldwide around their beliefs and viewpoints, and the topics they care about most. So, I see this kind of web of just the copywriters all over the world really connecting in a new way, especially when it feels like those doors are being shut outside of our arena. That’s just some initial thoughts.

Per Andreasen:   That was a lot of initial thoughts. Well, cool. Well, if I can pitch in, I definitely do see some potential here because I know a lot of us have been crazy busy for the past couple of months. It doesn’t look like freelancing is going anywhere or copywriting indeed, copywriting businesses are going anywhere especially not in a crisis situation.

Rob:   Yeah. It’s interesting when you say that, because I think the initial response as we all had to hunker down and COVID came online was, oh, my gosh, I’m losing my clients. And a few people have suffered losses of clients, and particularly people who were writing in the travel industry, for events, those kinds of things. But so many businesses need help navigating a crisis like this that a lot of copywriters have been busier than ever. There’s always opportunity even when everything is going wrong, it just really comes down to our ability to figure out, how can we serve our clients? What value can we bring to the table? How can we help them solve a problem that they have? And if you can do those things, you almost always will have work.

Kira:   Yeah. The cool part about what we’ve seen firsthand from copywriters in like the Think Tank mastermind and the Underground, is that so many of them have stepped up and really turned on the marketing switch, and are showing up or sharing, their viewpoints are just way more visible than I think they would have been six months from now. And I think this crisis has forced many of us to take more control over our marketing system and our business, so that we’re less reliant on referrals. Because we know that moving forward, we don’t know what’s going to happen. And so, we can’t just rely on one stream of clients coming to us, we need to be more proactive. And so, it’s been really cool to see so many copywriters be more proactive and figure out what that looks like for them, rather than just seeing what comes to them.

Per Andreasen:   Rob, I was thinking about, now more than ever is the time to talk about crisis copy. Have you seen some examples of the best and worst crisis copy?

Rob:   Yeah, I’ve seen some… Well, we’ve all seen a lot of really bad crisis copy and voiceovers on TV, and that kind of thing. But I actually stumbled across an ad, I was going to post it in the large Copywriter Club Facebook group to talk about, so by the time people listen to this, it’s probably on a thread a couple weeks ago, from Southern Utah, it was in Outside magazine. And it was just… I can’t remember the exact headline because I’m not looking at it, but it’s a woman sitting out on one of the rock formations in Southern Utah, We have these awesome national parks down there. And she’s all alone, you can see hundreds of miles around her and she’s completely alone. And the headline was something along the lines of, we’ve been socially isolating for years, we just call it getting outside or… Again, I’m butchering the headline.

But I remember seeing that in the magazine and first of all, really impressed with how quickly the ad agency and the Tourist Board got it out, because magazine timelines for ads run four to eight weeks. And so, they did some pretty quick thinking just to get it in there. But it was also just kind of a creative play, the imagery that was in the ad, and playing off of the social isolation that we’ve all been through over the last two and a half months. And I saw that and thought, wow, that’s a great ad. And it’s not the most clever, it may not even bring anybody to the national parks to check it out. But it was just a nice tie into the headlines, into all of the things that we’ve been experiencing lately. So, that’s one example that I’ve seen recently.

Per Andreasen:   Cool. So, I don’t know, would you mind diving into how your own businesses are behaving in this time?

Kira:   Mine is behaving very badly…um, no…Mine is under a renovation. So, I slowed down in 2020 with client work and actually hit pause for the beginning of this year. And told myself I probably wouldn’t take on client work for the first six months of this year, so I could focus on The Copywriter Club and building that which, to be honest, it feels like there’s never enough time even to do what needs to be done to maintain and build The Copywriter Club, especially considering I now I’m basically down a day of work because my kids are at home. But we’ll see, I have a sales call this week with a client who seems promising. So, I’m still taking one off projects, but I’m trying to be really deliberate about where my time is focused.

And in the background, I’m working with my project manager VA, Genice to rebuild some of my offers and to make some background updates to my own business, because I’m in a very different place as far as what I want to offer, how I want to show up, compared to a couple of years ago when I launched my website. So, a lot of the maintenance and a lot of the strategy that I have overlooked for the past few years while I’ve been heavily focused on The Copywriter Club, I’m going back in and spending the next year really focusing on building the foundation and doing all the right things that we teach so often, but we don’t necessarily do, to just tighten it up and be really clear about where I’m going in that business and where we’re going with The Copywriter Club.

Rob:   Yeah. My business is very similar in that I’m basically taking projects one at a time, spaced out with lots of time because so much of our focus is on creating content and creating different support things for the programs that we’re running in The Copywriter Club. And so, yeah, I’m still active, I’m still taking clients, but they’re few and far between. They really have to be projects that I’m excited about, I know that I can make a real difference for the client and create something that’s unique and appealing to me.

Per Andreasen:   Cool. So, one last question, it’s a very ego-testicle thing… Wow, testicle?

Kira:   Please keep that.

Rob:   Ego-testicle, I’ve got to use that for something.

Per Andreasen:   Okay, thank you very much. I want to ask you, when will IRL be coming to Europe?

Kira:   Oh, you do know how badly we want to go to Europe?

Rob:   Yeah, we almost…

Kira:   We’re trying.

Rob:   Yeah, we were talking about doing it this year and obviously, the travel bans have put a little bit of a wrench in those plans. So, soon, I guess, is maybe the best we can promise. Soon.

Kira:   Yeah, I mean, there’s an event I was speaking out in London, I don’t know if it’s happening. We were going to do some type of meetup in London, where we were going to plan other meetups. So, I mean, ironically, this was the year, Rob and I were like, “Let’s go global and plan events around the world.” And so, whenever we can, we will, it just depends on when we can.

Per Andreasen:   Cool. And it sounds like London will be the place?

Kira:   Not necessarily.

Rob:   We have a lot of copywriters in the club in the UK and so, it would make sense to start out there. That’s easily the largest number of copywriters in the club in Europe. But there are other places too, we’d love to be in Paris, we were in Barcelona this past fall for a Think Tank meetup. That’s obviously a much smaller group. But yeah, there are definitely places where we could travel to, and there are plenty of people who have listened to us before who might want to come and participate in an event of some kind.

Per Andreasen:   And if we can’t be more than 10 people, I know a very nice summer house in the Southern Denmark where we can meet up. But otherwise…

Kira:   That sounds great.

Rob:   Let’s do it.

Per Andreasen:   Otherwise, I’ll definitely vote for Southern Europe.

Kira:   All right, well, we’ll just wait to see when we can start traveling and we’ll make plans.

Rob:   It’s on the list for sure.

Per Andreasen:   Well, that’s all I had. I know that… Oh, hang on a second, there’s this live update from Facebook. Turns out, Kim Krause Schwalm wants to know if you would rather eat a pizza or a burger with her?

Kira:   What? A pizza or a burger? Those are the options?

Per Andreasen:   No, no, no. So, Kim Krause Schwalm asks when you can hang out. She says, “All the rest is gravy.”

Kira:   I’ll hang out with, Kim, I live close to, Kim now. So, whenever we can hang I… Kim, well, let’s do it.

Rob:   The last time I hung out with, Kim, she tried to get me to eat sugar. She was trying to force feed me desserts. And I kept telling her, I don’t eat sugar, I’m not eating sugar, and it took maybe 20 minutes before she finally accepted that. So, as long as she’s not going to try to get me to eat crème brûlée or a root beer float again, I’d hang out with, Kim anywhere.

Per Andreasen:   I’ll come with you and eat all the sugar then.

Kira:   Per, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your business? What type of services you offer, what you’re building, who you work with?

Per Andreasen:   Oh, wow, you ask me all the time and I can’t really seem to find the answer for that.
This feels like the moment you asked me impromptu to go on stage to talk about my tattoo. But, yeah…

Kira:   Sorry.

Per Andreasen:   Wow, I thought I was going to be the one to ask the questions here. So, I have branded this, The World’s Strongest Copywriter because I love working with brands in the fitness industry. And I have been following it closely for the past two months in particular because I know it’s a very hard time for brands in the fitness industry. And in Denmark, especially, where it looks like gyms can’t open before middle of August, it will mean a lot of bankruptcies and so on. So, doing my best to help them make it out of this coronavirus crisis.

I started as a journalist many years ago and now I’m using that research experience that I built there to help build brands in the fitness industry. I’ve also been teaching a lot of stuff, running copy boot camps for marketing people that want to do their own thing. So, I love teaching and that’s definitely something I want to do more of. Right now, you can check me out at strongestcopy.com, but please don’t opt in to my email list because it’s all in Danish now. That will change though.

Rob:   So yeah, if we want to get better at Danish, opt in to your list. If not, we’ll wait for a little while until you come back and then opt in.

Per Andreasen:   Thank you very much.

Kira:   Thank you for interviewing us, Per, and thank you for being such a big part of our community and part of Think Tank, and the Accelerator and at our events too. It’s always good to see you in real life.

Per Andreasen:   It was a pleasure, you too.

Rob:   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 in 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.

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