TCC Podcast #387: Rethinking Your Client's Experience with Jason Friedman - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #387: Rethinking Your Client’s Experience with Jason Friedman

Most copywriters and content writers don’t give much thought to the client experience beyond getting the information you need to start a project and handing off the copy at as you wrap up. But that’s a mistake. The client experience you create can be a huge differentiator for you and your business. Our guest for the 387th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast is Jason Friedman. And what he shared about creating a unique experience for your clients is a total game changer—especially if you want to work with high-end clients. Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.

Stuff to check out:

Jason’s Offer for Copywriters
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground

Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh: When is the last time you thought about your client’s experience—that is, the experience of working with you from their perspective? What does it feel like to work with you? What are they excited about? Where do they get lost? What do they get and how does that feel? Most copywriters don’t give it a lot of thought to this beyond working out how to get the information you need to start the work and maybe what you deliver to your clients when you’re done writing. Although, if you just deliver a google doc, you probably haven’t thought about that at all.

Hi, I’m Rob Marsh, one of the founders of The Copywriter Club. And on today’s episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, my co-founder, Kira Hug, and I interviewed customer experience consultant Jason Friedman. We talked in depth about what it takes to make the customer experience special. And how it is one of the few things you can do to truly differentiate your business from the other two million copywriters out there in the world. I know this is a big promise, but this episode has several ideas that will practically guarantee clients work with you again and again. 

But before we get to that, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for long, you’ve no doubt noticed a recurring theme… how do copywriters and content writers find clients TODAY. Shortly after we launched The Copywriter Club, we created a special report with a bunch of ideas for finding clients and shared it with the world. I recently took a week to rework and revise that report… it now includes more than 21 different ideas for finding clients… some of which you can use today and possibly attract a client in the next 24 hours. Some of the other ideas will take longer to bring in clients. But they all work. We’ve either used them ourselves, or know other successful copywriters who have used each one of these ideas. And we want to give you this report for free. This isn’t a one page pdf that will get lost in your downloads folder. It’s comprehensive… 36 idea filled pages… including the 4 mistakes you can’t afford to make when looking for clients—if you make them, clients will not work with you. It also includes more than 21 ways to find clients, several templates for reaching out to clients, and finally the five things you need to do to improve your odds of landing a client. If you want a copy of this report, visit

And with that, let’s go to our interview with Jason.

Kira Hug: All right, Jason, let’s kick off with your story. Let’s start with your time working with bands and touring with bands. Let’s start there and then move towards today, because I really want to talk about your time working in the music industry.

Jason Friedman: Absolutely. Well, yeah, so, you know, my background, I was a theater nerd, right? Like, so I went to school for theater. I started doing theater when I was like eight, nine years old at summer camp. And it was just, it was always backstage. So lighting, set design, things like that. And I remember I had just got the bug, like I wanted to be a rock and roll roadie for Rush specifically. And it was like, I remember I got introduced to them by a friend of mine and I was like that nerd. Like I opened the CD case, if you even know, people listen to this, but you don’t even know what a CD is, right? But you open the CD case and on the album jacket, it said Lighting Box. 

And so there was a company name there. I was like, I’m going to work for that company and I’m going to go on tour with Rush and I’m going to do this. And over the years, I’ve just been doing shows and doing performances of all these different things. And when I got out of school, I had the opportunity to do anything. Right. So what did I do? I sent my resume in and I went on an interview with that company and they hired me. And it wasn’t all glamorous. I worked in the shop. I was coiling cables and washing things and just doing all the grunt work. 

But one day came and they said, hey, you want to go out on the road? And I went out with Fleetwood Mac. And it was a small summer tour. It was only like 10 stops, but I was a roadie officially. Like I went out on a rock tour and it was awesome. And then I went out with Rush, which was my dream. And I also went out with Peter Gabriel as a tour and a variety of other smaller groups that probably most people don’t know. But it was this culmination of setting that intention and having that kind of clarity of goal and just knowing that you’re going to do it. And yeah. 

And so it was a wild journey, being out on the road, doing those shows, like being in a situation where you are playing to an audience, right? We all do this in our businesses. We all have an audience. We have customers, we have prospects, but being in that environment where everyone is in a concert, we get there hours earlier, we’re tailgating, we’re sitting there, we’re listening to the songs. We’re so excited about what’s going to happen. 

What would happen if your customers were doing that with your business? They showed up early getting in the mood to learn from you or work with you or do something. And then when they’re there, all the problems in the world fade away and they are so present and they’re so involved and they’re engaged and they’re on their feet, they’re dancing, they’re jumping, they’re singing along, they’re sharing your words and singing your song for you. And then at the end, they go crazy with the standing ovation. 

I grew up with that over and over and over again. It’s intoxicating, right? And so being with these groups, you learn this. It’s like the Mr. Miyagi, wax on, wax off. You start to see the things, the techniques, the tactics that you use that elicit that kind of response night after night with new people, different audiences, different crowds, how you get them that level of engagement. It was pretty cool. And for the people on the team, the employees, there’s no better place to work than when you’re creating that kind of joy and excitement and engagement with people. 

So you see the front stage, what’s going on with the customers and the backstage, what’s going on with the team. And it was amazing. So I started there and then I went on to do some more legit theater. So Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar, Man of La Mancha, same experience, right? Night after night, getting those audiences to have that kind of experience and have that transformation and playing a role, it was super fulfilling, super exciting.

Rob Marsh: So while we’re talking about that part of your career… that gets me thinking. Obviously, the experience is everything, but there’s so much behind the scenes that goes into creating the experience. I mean lighting is just part of it, right? And as you’re talking about it, I’m thinking about the message that we have as copywriters—or whatever businesses we’re running—is a little bit like the music. We sit down, the musician sits down, writes a song, But then all of this other stuff has to happen to create an experience that is amazing. So talk just a little bit about the elements of how that all comes together. And obviously, the interest is in how you put together a rock concert for someone like Rush or U2 or whatever. But I really want to apply this to my business. What are those elements that I need to be thinking about in order to create an awe experience?

Jason Friedman: Yeah. I love the question. Let me just start off by saying, like defining what I think experience is. So we have a frame of reference to level set, right? So, when I think of the word experience, experience is not something you do. Experience is something that someone has. It’s not the cause, it’s the effect, right? So experience in my mind, a customer experience, it’s the result of all the things you’ve done, right? That allows the customer to feel something. So experience is a customer’s perception of the interactions that they’ve had with your brand, with your business, with your copy, with whatever it is, right? It’s a feeling and it’s their perception of that feeling. 

It changes based on where they start, right? If I come in and I’m having a horrible day, you’re starting with me from a very different place than if I came just off that rock concert and I’m on a high, right? And part of understanding all of these things is how do we bring people in? What is that onboarding, if you will, that gets people in? And how do we look at our different customers or different avatars or personas who are going to be interacting with us, and understanding how to meet them where they are? It’s not a one size fits all approach. And most businesses, most organizations, we kind of treat people that way, which is like, oh, here’s the journey. And here’s how people are going to come into our world. And we just assume it’s going to be a fit for everybody. 

So as we think about this, as you think about your copy, I’m not a world-class copywriter. I wish I was, but I know enough that I try to paint pictures with words. And I try to use as many senses as I can trigger and interact with. And I do that in my copy, but I do that in my business. And so I think about how do I? In a theatrical show, the script is one thing. When the words matter, there’s a script. Right. That’s true. When the words matter, there’s a script. And the beauty of having a script is that as we start to put it together, like in the show. If I want an audience to laugh at exactly this moment, night after night, I can get them there with the script, with the acting, with the scenes, with all the other elements that I put in place. And when I’ve done that, I’ve actually been able to repeat that consistently, reliably with different audiences in different cities, night after night. 

So how does that work? It’s all the elements. It’s the way that the lines are delivered. It’s not just the words written. It’s how the person says them. The actor or actress recites those words. It’s how the other person reacts to those words. It’s the costumes, it’s the lighting, it’s the scenery, it’s the environment, it’s the colors, it’s the textures of things. It enhances the mood and it sets us up. Just like we’re talking about when people come to the rock concert, they get there, they’re tailgating, they’re having a drink or they’re eating some food and they’re playing the different songs in the background and there’s other people singing. All of the environment, all of the elements come together and they affect how someone’s feeling about that situation. 

And so in your business, as you’re writing copy, ask how do I paint that picture for someone where they really have that feeling? Because it’s that’s where that’s where the rubber meets the road. Right. And so what we do with clients all the time is we start at the end. We don’t start at the beginning. We don’t just start writing some copy or start designing a customer journey or deciding what the first moment has to be. We actually go all the way to the end and we say, look, They just finished reading your copy. They just finished attending your show. They just finished an amazing Zoom mastermind meeting, whatever it happens to be. What would the ideal, most amazing customer testimonial be? We call this the ideal customer script, because again, when the words matter, there’s a script. 

So what we want you to do is we want you to script that ideal customer reaction, the best word of mouth testimonial they could ever give it. But we don’t want you to do it based on what most people consider the result.  Most people consider the result like if I’m selling something for weight loss, it’s like I’m going to lose 20 pounds in 30 days. That’s not the result. The result that I want you to focus on is that I feel better in my clothes, that I was the person that was sitting on the couch and my friend would call me to go out and I would say, I’m sorry, I can’t go out tonight because I would dread walking into my closet and seeing that nothing fit me and I didn’t want to go out. But now I’m actually calling my friends saying, hey, let’s go out. I have like all these different clothes I can pick from. I’m actually not sitting on the couch with a shovel of ice cream going to my mouth. I feel good and I’m doing things. I’m active and I’m living my life. We want people to tell that journey. I was nervous when I first started. I’ve tried so many things. So we want the journey, the testimonial, that ideal customer script really illuminates their journey and the emotional rollercoaster ride they went on and shows these mile markers, these moments where they’ve had these transitions all along that way. 

When you’re able to help your clients do that and see that and feel that, now I can reverse engineer the whole journey that the customers go on so that those moments happen for them. I can reverse engineer what has to happen. And that’s how we do it in theater, right? We have the script, we know what we want it to be. Now we say, how do we stage the show? How do we bring that script to life in a way that we get that laugh at exactly that moment, night after night? 

So what we teach people how to do really is build a business operating system that allows them to scale their business. They get consistent results time after time again, that gets the response. Because that marketing, those testimonials, those, when your customers say those, that’s what you’re going to start using on the front end of your funnel. I want you to flip your funnel. I want you to focus on the results that people are getting and become so obsessed with your customer results that that is your marketing. Your experience is your marketing. That’s when we put $1 in ads and we get 20, 40, 60, 100, 1,000 back because we know that the conveyor belt that’s bringing people through your program is going to get results night after night after night.

Kira Hug: So this is fun because it has been a couple of years since we last sat through your workshop. And hearing you talk through this, this is the part that stuck the most. And this is the part where I’ve been quoting Jason for years. But it’s the mile marker piece here and the emotional roller coaster and that we can really reverse engineer that for our customers and clients. Could you talk more about the mile markers and how to view that along the journey from the perspective of a copywriter who’s working in a service based business and is thinking, if I’m working with this client over the next month, delivering a sales page, how should I think about these mile markers?

Jason Friedman: Yeah. You’re going to have to help me with this a little bit. We’ll do this together, right? So I’ll, I’ll be the client and you’re probably the copywriter cause I haven’t worked that way, but I have worked with copywriters and I’ve been in that. I think the biggest thing, like when you’re thinking about a journey, is let’s start at the beginning. The most important thing in the beginning, we have a first impression, right? First impressions matter. It sounds very cliche, but it really does. It sets the tone for everything. And so we have to think about onboarding in the beginning, right? 

Now, I believe that onboarding actually happens many times in the relationship with a customer, with a spouse, with friends, with everybody, right? Onboarding is something that you do every time there’s a transition in the relationship. So when I first come into your world, before I hired you, you have to onboard me into your universe. I might only be problem aware, I might be solution aware, I might be brand aware, but we have three different kinds of people that maybe coming in and they’re at different places. So how do I bring them in and get them to a place where we kind of have a baseline to have a conversation? So there’s onboarding that happens there. 

Now let’s say you hire me, right? Now I have to do an onboarding there because the relationship just transitioned again. And now there might be another major transition where we finished our first project, now we’re going to a second project. There might be another onboarding that happens there. So onboarding is something I like to think of as how do I welcome people in and set and manage expectations and set things up for success as a key shift in a relationship, right? So onboarding is going to happen all the time. 

Now, onboarding is not logistics and housekeeping, although most people believe that it is. And so imagine that I just hired you. You’re my copywriter. And you’re like, awesome, Jason. Here’s everything that I need from you and everything you have to do. I just hired this person. You just gave me seven months worth of homework. I want to die. Why did I hire this person? So what we need to do in onboarding is we need to bite size our onboarding in a way that brings people in. We want to bring people in. We want to set expectations. but we want to guide them through an experience that doesn’t overwhelm, right? Because when someone buys something from you, when someone signs a contract, they buy a product, a service, an online course, offline course, it doesn’t matter. I believe that is an intention, not a commitment. It’s an intention, not a commitment. 

And so part of that onboarding is like buyer’s remorse is going to set in pretty quickly. Did I make the right decision? The itty bitty shitty committee inside their head is going to start going in cycles wondering, is this the right thing? And so we have to help them reassure and reaffirm that it was a good decision. And if we’re overloading them and overwhelming them, we’re going to do ourselves a disservice, right? So just psychologically speaking, like we’re dealing with cognitive biases. They may have stuff that happened in the past when they hired someone that’s coming up for them because it feels similar. And now you’re maybe at a disservice because they were used to it, they got that with a hot copywriter before. And that was, they almost had the same email. And now they’re like, Oh my God, that didn’t work out. This is going to be bad. So we have to think about those things. Like they’re coming with their own baggage with their own experience. 

So what I, what I like people to do is I want you to find, we call it the time to first value. I want you to find the fastest, shortest way to get them a win as soon as someone starts with So that first mile marker, like you’re going to give them some onboarding, you’re going to welcome them in. And then the first thing I want you to do is, how do I get them a win? Now, what is a win? A win is a perception of success. And it’s not going to be that they got their first bit of copy finished and it’s awesome. That’s a big, big, big win, right? That’s down the road. What’s a little win that gets them to say, wow, this is good. This is working. 

So as you start to think about that, I want you to think of these mile markers as wins or key milestones that someone sees that they’re moving in the right direction. They have momentum. They’re making forward progress. Right. And so if you wrote that script already, you know what some of those key moments are going to be because you put yourself in the shoes of the customer. You looked at it from their lens. One of the tricks that we like to do is use theater again. Imagine that you’re Matthew McConaughey and you’re playing this character on stage. How do you get into character? I want you to think about that. I want you to think like if you were going to be your customer, you were going to go to the grocery store as your customer, what would you be thinking when you walked into the grocery store? What kind of mood would you be in? What car did you drive in with? How would you, you know, what do you dress as? How do you feel? Are you, are you someone that’s going to say hello to everybody? Or are you going to kind of be in your own place and not looking around? We need to know how you could believably portray your character on stage, like Matthew McConaughey. 

And so as you start to put yourself in that role, what would that first win be? What do I need to feel confident and say, wow, this was great? And so you’re going to do that with your script, and then you’re going to reverse engineer and start saying, what is that first win? What’s the next cool thing? And as you start to look at all these things, you can really analyze what success looks like. 

Now, the other mistake that I see most people make is that we measure against the ultimate result. So it’s like, oh, I didn’t get there yet. When you measure against the ideal result, it’s always going to be a negative number until you get there. It’s never going to be enough. So I want you to actually measure from where people started. Because it’s always going to then be a positive number. I’ve made progress to here. Now I’m here. And so our job, if we want our customers to feel good and see the momentum and see that they’re making progress with us, we have to show them. We have to communicate that. 

So in your copywriter example, how do I know what those key stages are? And how do I know? Oh, awesome. I’m on step three. We’ve already made it through step three and we’re only in two. That’s awesome. That’s amazing. Right. And let’s say that step four is going to be much bigger to get from step three to step four is going to take longer. That’s a bigger lift. Well, I accurately communicate those expectations. I set and manage those expectations. Because it’s like I think about it like in our business, like what we help people do is figure out how do we create this perfect journey, right? This ideal journey that gets people from point A to point B and allows it to be as smooth as possible, right? So imagine that you’re on a water slide at a pool. You go down this crazy water slide, you’re at a cool resort, but there’s not quite enough water. And so you get stuck and you chafe a little bit, right? And then all of a sudden, they realize, oh, there’s a lot of friction there. It’s not working. And they turn up the water. And all of a sudden, the water starts flowing, and you start going, and you’re going up and down. And even if you’re going uphill, there’s enough movement and momentum that you keep going smoothly and fluidly through that experience. We want your journey to be that fluid experience. We need to remove and reduce as much friction along that journey. 

So if you think about it from your customer’s perspective, what are the hardest parts? Part of it is not knowing what the next step is. Part of it might not be not knowing where we’re headed or when we’re going to get there. Part of it might be that you’re off in your own place doing all this amazing work. You’re researching, you’re writing, you’re testing, you’re doing all the things, but we don’t know because we’re not seeing it real time. So we don’t know what’s going on. So communication might be, oh my gosh, I just had some amazing things. Like here’s a little snippet. I can’t wait to share the rest of it with you. It might be that showing that you’re engaged and you’re excited that gets them to feel really you know, part of the process with you that there’s like a little bit of co-creation going on, maybe, or maybe it’s just updates. It depends on the client, right? But as you think about that journey, like, how do you make it better? 

So if the step three to step four is a bigger lift, it’s like you need to build up a little more momentum to get them over that hump. If you’re driving a car, if you hit the accelerator, and you’re holding it at a steady pace, you’re just going and all of a sudden you hit a hill, you have to hit the accelerator more to get up that hill. So what do you do between step three and four to give it a little bit of a boost for them to know this is a longer spot or this is a harder piece. Or once we get to this place, it’s all downhill and it’s gonna be smooth sailing. It’s just gonna take a little longer. So bear with me, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna check in with you, you know, once a week for the next three weeks and just kind of keep you up on the progress. If you have any questions, you know, whatever that is. But you’re setting and managing those expectations all the way through, those mile markers help them. 

And when you share things that will help them feel confident about the work that you’re doing, like maybe it’s like those, like those little nuggets of like some samples or some little pieces or just letting them feel reassured that you’re on the same page. And we’re like, what I’m going to see when it comes out is actually going to be aligned with what I’m looking for. You’re going to find that they’re pretty happy and they’re pretty excited about it. And those are things that they’ll probably tell other people about later because it meant something. Not everyone else is doing that, right?

Kira Hug: It’s so amazing because I’m so proud of my onboarding. I have my email and it has all the things my clients need to do for me and it’s really well organized and it actually works pretty well. But when I hear you talk about it this way, I’m like, I’m overwhelming them at step one. Could I break it up and just give them a piece of it? And could I also create some type of roadmap of visual because I’m a visual person to show them all the steps and to track like, here’s where we are. What do you recommend?

Rob Marsh: At the very least, Kira, you need to be sending them like a protein bar so they have the energy to get through it.

Kira Hug: It’s interesting too because I thought I was doing a good job by being organized and just getting it all in one email because otherwise I’m worried they’re going to lose emails and it’s all scattered. But it sounds like that actually isn’t the most efficient way of doing this.

Jason Friedman: Every business is different. And so I think you’re right to be thinking about it. And most of us are like, oh, I’m doing a great job. Nobody’s complaining. That’s not necessarily the best measure of success. How long does it take people to complete? Could they get it done faster and would it make them feel better and you if we did it and we broke it up? Now, some of us also like to bin. Can we like it all in one email? So maybe when you first talk to me, say, hey, listen, I want to actually tailor the onboarding experience to you. 

Let me ask you three questions so I know how to best set you up for success. And you actually tailor that. If it’s someone that says, look, give me everything at once, organized neatly, that’s great. Or it’s like, hey, listen, I like to like, you know, I like to kind of break it up. So, you know, it might be that, right. And it might be like that. There’s something that they do when they submit step one, step two, step three, and it just triggers another note back saying, awesome, congratulations, you finished step one. As you know, from our initial email, this is your next step. Looking forward to hearing back or whatever. It could be that, I don’t know. Again, I don’t know your specific process, but think about it from that perspective. where it can be more like choosing your own adventure, right? It’s like, I can go and do it as I want. And some of us like to binge, right? So like, if I’m doing all this and I decide, hey, you know what, Saturday is my day, I’m gonna kind of get everything set up for Kira so that I have all the stuff in place, then I might want everything in one spot, or at least know that I have all the information, but here’s my first mission, is this. So just look at it through the lens of the customer. Because what you said is exactly how we all think. I organized it. I made sure that’s all clear and whatever, because it’s easier for me as the business to have it all clean and then get it off my plate and get it over to you. It’s just writer’s logic versus reader’s logic. 

You know what you’re saying. You know what you’re thinking. But are they getting the same message when they read that thing? So I would just encourage anybody. How do I make it better for my customers so that they feel that it’s not overwhelming? And it could be calling it out, saying, hey, listen, congratulations, this is the first step. We’re so excited you’re working with us. Iin order to give you the big overview, I’ve actually attached a document that has everything that you need to do. But for right now, I really need you to focus on these two things. So you can do both. I think it’s just, it’s just thinking about your avatars. And if you have different avatars in your business, how do I mass customize it? How do I make it so that they all feel like it’s done the way that they most need it? And there’s probably a way to do it where, like I just gave that example, maybe you have both within one email and they’re covered.

Rob Marsh: Jason, as we’re talking about this customer experience, I want to go back to your story and your career path because I think it’s really helpful to see other examples, maybe outside of the copywriting world, the marketing world, where you are basically producing these kinds of customer experiences. So as you look you left the theater world—or maybe you never really left the theater world because that’s really what you’re doing—instead of doing it for Broadway shows, I know you started doing some of this stuff in retail environments. Will you tell us how your career evolved from there?

Jason Friedman: When I, when I started I was brought in to help bring theatricality to retail. So we were bringing in technology like lighting and sound and scent you know, like, because they wanted to kind of zhuzh it up, if you will, right? It started, I’m going to date myself right now, but this was in 1997, 1998. And so at that time, online shopping was just becoming a thing, right? I know many people listening to this probably don’t remember a time when you couldn’t go on Amazon, but it was pre Amazon. And so what they wanted to do was make sure that people came to their store and they found value in being in the store versus just going to some random online, shop. And so the first client was Foot Locker. And they brought us in to help them create what we were calling a store of the future at the time. Like what would an ideal shopping experience look like? How would we take the current shoe store shopping experience and make it be something special so that it would beat the online market?

Rob Marsh: And at the time, shoe stores were like racks of shoes. You’d walk in and that was it.

Jason Friedman: There were boxes stacked up. There was like a sample on top of that. They had some merchandising along the walls, like slat wall design and whatever. It was mildly functional. So they had a bunch of extra inventory in the back and you had shoe jockeys running back and forth, getting stuff and trying to help you and kind of ignoring you when they were helping somebody else. And it was, it was messy. So we did some work and really started to understand what would be the ideal experience for people? They wanted to find what they wanted quickly, but what we also learned was that as people spent more time, shopping and browsing in the store, you know, feeling good about it, excited and engaged in it, they would actually spend more money. The average order value would go up, right? Makes sense. 

So we, we redesigned the store quite dramatically, where it would tell stories. And so imagine that the store actually kind of came to life. So you’d walk in the store, and you would feel like you should go to the left, you could go to the right, but you’d feel like you should go to the left. And so the store was kind of guiding you in, and it was partially the way the merchandising was set up. It was partially the way the lighting was moving you, like it was actually moving you through there. Audio was moving around the space, and you just kind of felt like naturally this is the way to go. And as you go through, TV screens and sounds and whatever, the store would come to life. 

And it was about athleticism. So we had media that we were producing that would get you in the mood and would be stuff about basketball and, you know, elevating your heartbeat and all sorts of fun stuff. And everything was organized in a different way. And we would feature different products, the way lighting would focus on it. So if you know the Foot Locker, they have this like a crazy, like referee guy is like their logo and he has like a whistle hanging out. So all of a sudden you’re like tweet, tweet, tweet. And then all the lights would pivot and go and they’d highlight a specific product. And then a promotion would come up on the screens for it. 

Now, what was happening is people were actually excited about the store. They were going and they would look at the products that were being featured. It was organized in a way that let them find things and was also exciting for them to go and discover more things. So they weren’t just there. They came in like, I want to find this shoe. And they said, wow, like, let me see what else they have. And so what ended up happening through that first store that we built is they had a 400 percent increase in sales. Wait, what? Boom. So they’re like, OK, that’s crazy. Let’s try this again. Let’s do another pilot. The first one we did was in Watertown, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. The second one we did was in Oakbrook, Illinois, just outside Chicago. Same store, same design, different demographic, same results, 400% increase in same-store sales. Boom. And then they’re like, all right, let’s do one more. So then we did one more just outside of New York City in Stanford, Connecticut. Same results, 400% increase. Boom. And so we had figured something out. We figured out a formula of how we would engage people. 

Remember, this started out by wanting to make it more theatrical. Let’s hang some screens. Let’s put some TVs in. And what we asked was, if someone saw the screen, what would you have them do? What would you want them to do next? And they couldn’t answer that in the beginning. But over lots of conversation and really understanding it through the lens, it’s like, well, what would the customer want? What would be awesome for them? What would get them to want to be in the store more? When they leave, what would get them to not only have a positive experience and feel good, but what would get them to go to their friends and say, wow, you’ve got to go to check this store out, because that’s what was happening. We were getting foot traffic because of word of mouth, because it went viral within their little communities of what was happening. Anyway, fade out, fade in, we ended up doing like 1,000 plus stores all across the country, different levels of investment. We had a flagship A store, then a slightly less expensive B, C, D, based on the market and the size and the footprint and the real estate. But it was super successful. And from that, Rob, we ended up getting called by lots of different brands. 

What it really was, was how do you tell these compelling stories that engage your customers to be more present, to buy more products, to invest in the relationship in a bigger way? And we ended up doing it not just with retail, but hospitality, so theme parks, restaurants, spas, financial institutions, And then ultimately universities, we ended up working with them on raising funds for their endowments. Stanford was a big client, Duke, Yale, Harvard, tons of universities, and helping to tell their story and create an experience for their donors that would actually want them to learn more about the initiatives and not just give money to put their name on a building for the vanity of it, but actually care about the costs. And so we started to bring causes and bring those stories to life through the same formula. It’s the same formula that I’m talking about to write the copy and make that experience better for the customer. It doesn’t matter. It’s online, it’s offline, it’s events, it’s retail, it doesn’t matter. It’s the same formula.

Kira Hug: So let’s talk about shifts in the customer experience space. I know that we had chatted before we hit record on how you’ve adjusted some of your programs and teaching. So I’m curious, has anything shifted over the last few years where you’re teaching in a different way or we should be aware of different things as we think about our customer experience?

Jason Friedman: The world is evolving rapidly, as we all know. I’m sure you guys talk a lot about AI nowadays, right? It’s the great equalizer right now. And, you know, we’ve had this happen many times, uh, since we’ve all been, you know, on the planet and it’s going to continue down the road, right. There’s going to be new things down the road. What is very ironic about all of this—so 25 years ago, I remember saying to a group that I was speaking to, you know what? Customer experience is the most impactful, best way to differentiate your business in the marketplace. It will allow you to rise above your competition. For 25 years, I’ve been saying that. It’s more important today than it ever has been before. I’m still saying that. Today, I mean it even more than I meant it then, and I meant it then. 

Here’s the thing. Anybody can put a bunch of prompts into chat GPT or wherever you want to use as your AI tool, and they can create a program, they can create a course, they create a sales letter, they can create a sales page and have it done in just a matter of minutes. What’s going to make them hire you as their copywriter? What’s going to make them hire me as their coach or as the course that they choose to learn? It’s going to be the results that they get. And it’s going to be about how they feel as they’re going through that journey. It’s the conflation of both of those things that really sets people apart. And I believe that’s the experience that you create. I know that the experience you create, it is your fingerprint. It is your differentiating point. It is what creates your blue ocean, if you will, in your business. 

And so for all of us today, if we want to have that staying power, if we want to have that longevity, we need customers who love working with us. We need customers who actually become our sales who share their experience with others, who bring other people in. Word of mouth is amazing. It’s important. It’s one of the best possible ways to do it. And when your marketing is the stories of your successful clients, when those become your marketing and your experience is what they’re sharing, when we talk about that ideal customer script, they’re really sharing their journey, you will have an exponential growth in your business. 

Every dollar that you put into the front end of the funnel becomes many more returns on the back And so what we do today is we’ve been doing the same thing for a really long time, teaching people this formula. But we’ve enhanced the formula. We’ve learned a lot over the years. And where we were kind of focusing primarily on customer experience before, we’re really focusing more on that kind of customer obsession over positive results. Right. And so what we’re helping you, like if you’ve got a business where you need retention, right, if you have a membership or a subscription or something like that, this will help you. 

If you’ve got a business where you want people to buy another engagement or upgrade to another platform or another level of service, this will help you. If you’ve got a business where, you know, having a sales force is expensive, this will help you. This will turn your existing customers into your sales Right. We talk about this, this ideal result. It’s when they rave about your business. It’s when they return to buy more products from you. It’s when they renew their products and services and it’s when they recruit others to come and buy from you. Right. It’s not a referral. It’s a recruit. It’s active. It’s engaging. They’re going out and they’re, they’re selling for you because they had a transformation. And we’re all in this for the transformation. That’s why we do the work we’re doing, right? I’m not in this for the money. Money is a nice, you know, nice measurement. It’s a nice yardstick. We got to eat, we got to put food on the table. But I want to help more entrepreneurs, I want to help more small business owners, I want to help more copywriters get bigger, better results. And so as I’m doing it, I have to get those results. So for me, they have to win. Otherwise, they’re not going to buy more stuff from me, they’re not going to tell more people about me. 

And so we help people understand how to shift the funnel, like flip the funnel and put the focus on the inside of the business. All the gurus, all the marketing teachers, everybody out there is teaching us how to get more leads, how to optimize for conversions. And that’s important. It’s definitely important. But let’s say that you’ve optimized everything and then people come in and they don’t like the experience. They ask for a refund, they exercise the guarantees and the warranties and all of those things. When you really look at the cost of acquisition, when you start factoring all those defectors and all of those refunders and all those things in, it’s not such a rosy, pretty picture. And all of our budget is going to strangers. How much of our budget and our time and our focus goes to the people who said yes. And when we do focus our time and our energy on the people who said yes, and we flip that funnel, we really focus on the inside, then once you’ve optimized and done all that great work, now I’ve got a consistent machine that’s bringing people through getting results, and they’re going to keep filling the funnel. 

So my cost of acquisition goes way, way, way, way down. And my cost of delight, like I can put more of my energy here, because I’m saving so much money here. It’s unbelievable. Like if you look at just the online business marketplace, right, people that are selling courses, Only 3 to 15% of buyers actually get results from the programs. And there’s a huge percentage of buyers that never even crack the seal. They never even start the program or get going. 

So if we started focusing on how we optimize that side of our business instead of just optimizing people that give us a few dollars up front, every dollar that comes in up front will be worth many, many more dollars. And so what we’re trying to do really is create that awareness. And in our program, you know, we call it the kinetic customer formula. I want customers who are in momentum, right? And so, you know, potential energy, energy with potential, not in motion, kinetic energy, energy that’s in motion, that’s taking action. And so we teach people this kind of way to put this operating system into their business that delivers these results consistently.

Kira Hug: I’m going to ask a quick follow up before, I don’t want to dwell on this for too long, but can you speak to just shifts in the online marketing space? We know it’s a tougher market now. Customers are more skeptical because you’ve shared those stats because so many of them don’t get the results that they’ve paid for in the past. It’s just crowded now. It’s shifted. So could you just speak to what you’ve observed in that shift? it relates to what you’re doing and makes it an obvious solution. You have to improve your customer experience. Otherwise, you’re not going to last today. It’s just the market’s not there anymore.

Jason Friedman: 100% like and beyond the experience, right? You have to get them results. People need to get the results. And so that’s why I keep saying it’s more important today than it ever has been before. And it’s true. So like, here’s what I’ve observed, right? Take some of the big marketing gurus out there, right? I’m not going to name drop anybody. I’m good friends with a lot of them. And I think they’re awesome. But when you look at how their business has shifted, the way they used to sell their products was through affiliate relationships. So they’d have other marketers that have an email list and they would promote for them. And the big guys would promote the big guys. 

Well, the big guys are not promoting the big guys as much because they don’t have room on their calendar. And so what you see as a shift is the people that are winning affiliate contests and leaderboards and are getting the biggest results are the customers of those gurus that are teaching it who actually use their system and got the results. Now think about that. That’s what I’m teaching you how to do, really. How do you turn customers into your superhero? So your customers are actually getting those amazing results, and then they want to tell other people. And then you’re putting them in a system where you can reward and recognize them for even doing that further, right? And so what you’re seeing as a shift is the big online space, like the affiliate, you know, universe, joint venture universe, and that the ones that are having the biggest success with that are the ones whose customers got results from using the program, and then they’re sharing it with their audiences. And they’re doing it, again, in that recruit, not in a refer. 

It’s not passive. They actively get behind promotions because it has changed their life. They feel an obligation or a duty because they’re not just helping someone make more money. They’re sharing their journey of how they actually had a transformation and how it affected their life. And that’s what we’re talking about with the ideal customer script in a nutshell, right? And I’ve been working with some of these gurus as well to help them do this, right? Because that’s the way, right? When your customers get the results and they wanna tell other people, that’s what’s gonna help you win. 

And so in the online marketplace, with all the crowdedness, with all the noise, the way that you’re, like, if you’re looking for someone to clean your house, you go on Facebook, you know, local Facebook group, right? And say, hey, does anyone have a great person? You don’t know, you’re taking a referral from a friend, right? Like that’s how we do things. Like we look for the social proof. Now, if the social proof and those testimonials and those case studies and whatever become really expository about their journey and how they were going across that, you start to relate to those even more and you start to buy into them and you can see yourself actually having those success stories, right? Like hearing that someone lost 20 pounds, you’re not seeing your journey in that. You’re like, okay, great. I know a lot of people lost 20 pounds. I’ve tried this a thousand times. But when you hear about the struggles they had, and you’re like, oh my gosh, that’s my story. Wait, they did it? I can do this. Oh my gosh. This is different. The way this person’s teeth, that would work for me. I understand that. Wow. Like a light bulb, breakthrough, right? That’s what’s helping people take action and move forward. It’s that they’re seeing themselves, and they can understand and relate to it in a different way. 

And so as we start to understand what those results really are, how to better quantify or qualify the results. And it’s not just about the 20 pounds. It’s about the way they feel in their skin. It’s about how they show up. It’s about how their life’s going to change. And you tell that story, but you tell it with the hero’s journey that they went through, if you will, the struggles and the epiphanies and the moments. People, people fall in love with that and they connect with it. And that’s how we, that’s what we want. We want to help people, you know, so as an entrepreneur, as a, as a small business owner, my goal is to help more people. And the reason that we do what we do, it’s like, I believe that entrepreneurs like us, all of us here and those of us listening, we got into this to help other people and make some money along the way. And I’m going to change the world by helping other people who are also going to change the world. We can’t do it alone, right? We have to do it through other people. 

And so I just, I know that this is the way to do it. And I’m passionate about it because, you know, it’s funny when I was, 17 years old, my best friend, Drew, who’s my business partner. We’ve been best friends since we’re about five, six years old. We joke about it like, you know, it’s the longest marriage that either of us has been able to sustain because we weren’t so successful in our actual marriages. But we were driving down the road in my 1985 Pontiac Trans Am. We called it Thunder Chicken. That’s a story for another time. But we had just gone to do something for his dad. He’d given us something to take to the bank and deposit a check. And they just wouldn’t let us deposit this check. and they made it so hard. And we were trying to give them money that would make them more money. And it was like roadblock, friction, friction, obstacle. No, no, no, no. And we just sat there and we’re like, why does this happen? Like, why do businesses make it so hard to do business with us? This is crazy. We had that epiphany then, and we had come up with this dream of a business called Making It Better. Like someday we were going to have a business called Making It Better. And actually, as we look at all the different businesses we’ve had and the different markets and the different things we’ve done, most of them have been really successful. We’ve had a couple of flops. But the theme, the through line of every single one of those businesses is that. It’s how do we make it better for our customers? How do we make it better for ourselves, for our families, for our employees? And I think when you look at things through that lens and you remove the friction, you reduce the obstacles to people having success, amazing things come out of that. 

And so I think today in this market, as you’re looking at your business, ask yourself that tough question. Am I making it hard for my customers to have success with me? And how do you find those friction points, those moments that are a little harder that I can either reduce them or remove them? And you’ll start seeing massive, massive improvements pretty much immediately.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, I’ve got a whole list of ways that I make it hard for people to do business with.

Jason Friedman: Don’t do it and don’t be so rough. Yeah, don’t be so rough. Just start just one at a time. Just start picking them off.

Rob Marsh: It’s amazing what’ll happen. We’ve got, yeah, we’ve got work to do. Okay. We’re going to run out of time, but I really would love to just quickly step through the kinetic customer formula, if you’re willing to share some of those steps that we can think through this on our own. And then obviously you’ve got some resources that we can share if people want to find out more, but tell us a little bit more about the formula.

Jason Friedman: Absolutely. I’m going to give you the quick 10 cent version, right? So there’s four key things that four factors. There’s attitudes, which are how people are thinking and expecting about your business. There’s behaviors, the things that they’re doing to get results. There’s friction, the things that are slowing them down or stopping them from achieving those goals, those goals with those results. And there’s momentum, how do we actually give them those extra boosts. And the combination of those four things are what we help people put into a very specific process to clean that up. 

So if you’re going to try and implement what we’re teaching and kind of think about it, literally start at the end, write that ideal customer script. What do you want that person to say and how would they share their journey and use your best copywriting skills? Make it juicy, paint pictures with the words that people are seeing that journey through the words that you write in that script. That’s the first thing. 

Then we’re gonna reverse engineer that. So we’re gonna look at like in order for them to get those results that say that script, what behaviors do they need to do? So if you’re designing it from scratch, you do that. If you’re not, the first thing you do is you look at your existing journey and you write out everything they do at every step along the way. When you do this exercise, critically important, you’re doing it from the vantage point of the customer, right? So for example, it’s not send them an email, it’s receive an email, right? See the nuance there. So it’s through the lens of the customer. map out everything they do from beginning to end, and then go deep on each one of those doings, right? So you’re asking, what are they thinking and expecting when they do that? Who are they interacting with when they do that? What are they using when they do that? And how are they feeling, most important? 

What you’ll start to see is you’ll start to see this rollercoaster ride of emotions that they go on. And so after you’ve done that, what I want you to do is go through and find the friction. Like, where is it hard? Where do they get stuck? And you’ll be able to easily identify that when you look at the tension that’s created between feelings and thinking and expecting, right? And I’m thinking, expecting one thing, but it’s not actually happening. Okay, there’s probably an expectation mismatch there, right? And so what we might have to do is go a couple steps back and set a different expectation, right? Or if they’re feeling unsure, they might need a momentum boost, or we’ll put another step in there, maybe that’ll help them feel more confident and understand what’s going to happen. Like we were saying about the difference between step three and step four of copywriting, if there’s a long lag, I’ve got to give some communication steps in there maybe. 

So you might add a few steps. That make sense? So you’re going to start to look at all those, map those out, go deep on each one. What are they doing? What are they thinking, expecting? What are they using? Who are they interacting with? And how are they feeling? And then once you’ve done that, like I said, find the friction points. And look at the ones that are going to remove the biggest obstacles. Take out the biggest obstacles first and go deep. There’s a lot of nuance to this. There’s a lot more steps. I know we don’t have a whole lot of time, but this will get you started and get you going in the right way. And pay special attention to the transitions. So look at your onboarding, that first transition. Like really make sure that you make it easy for people to get started. And make sure that as it gets harder, either the relationships get stronger so that it’s worth the fight, or that their skills are getting stronger, so that they’re able to do the harder work, whichever it happens to be for your business, right? If it’s always so easy, we’ll lose interest. Also, if it gets too hard, we’ll lose interest. It has to be in this, we call this the flow channel, where the degree of difficulty and the degree of effort and skill are increasing together in lockstep.

Rob Marsh: And I appreciate, too, what you said when we were just starting out talking, Jason, about looking at this journey, not just from the purchase, but from the very first engagement, because there’s a ton of things that happen between that first engagement and a purchase where we introduce friction or we’re not even thinking about a customer experience. So thinking through this process from day one, day zero, I’m about to meet you to result, I think could be really helpful.

Jason Friedman: I love that, Rob. And I would, I would even say, go back to day negative 180, like go backwards. And like, when someone’s having a problem, like, because if you, again, if you get into character, if you do what I say, like you kind of Matthew McConaughey here, right? If you get into that spot, you have to know what brought them to that day. right, where they started to learn and they started to go back further. The insights are tremendous. And you might actually build a customer for life just in your sales process at that point, because you can really connect with them on a much deeper level, and authentically deliver what they need, while selling them what they want in a way that’s so profound, that they really they just the reciprocity is just kind of baked in from the get go. So super powerful, really good point.

Kira Hug: There’s so many takeaways from this conversation. Just thinking about my onboarding, which I’ve been so proud of and thinking of new ways to evolve. It’s just a good reminder that there’s always more to learn and to improve. And even the testimonials you’re talking about. As copywriters, we can rewrite testimonials for clients, of course, get approvals, but we can create them as transformations rather than just these are the results. So I think that’s another power move for copywriters with their clients or for their own products. And so many other takeaways for anyone who wants more information from you, Jason, or wants to jump into a program or course. Where should they go to learn more?

Jason Friedman: Awesome. Thanks. You can definitely check us out at CXformula dot com. If you’d like to get a little bit more information about us, but I have a little present for your people. I’m going to use a copy technique. I’m not going to tell you what it is. I’m going to tease you. 

If you go to, there’s a PDF there. It will take you less than 10 minutes to go through. But it’s got a really killer strategy that is going to actually have you ask some different questions about your business and it will change the way you think in a very positive way. So I encourage you to read it. And then it will also give you some ways to like immediately, actionably implement this strategy in your business. 

I ask two favors. Favor one, if you download it, actually look at it. Like, I don’t want this to be shelfware that just sits on your computer hard drive and gets stale someday. So just take a look at it.

Rob Marsh: You know us so well, Jason.

Kira Hug: Yeah. I think you’ve been around for a while.

Rob Marsh: There’s that friction again, right there.

Jason Friedman: Not my first rodeo. So fight through the pain, it will be worth it. I promise you when you get to the other side, you’d be like, that was a really interesting question. I love this. And number two, I’m going to send you an email that gives you this thing. When you put in your information, if you use it or you like it, or you don’t like it, tell me what you think. I actually am very curious about how people are using this so that I can help more people. So that’s it. I know it’s going to be helpful. I know it’s pretty cool. Um, and, uh, I really would love to see how you’re using it.

Rob Marsh: I’m downloading it right now. I’m already intrigued by the title. Yeah. So I’m on it.

Jason Friedman: So did I do good in the copy?

Rob Marsh: Pretty good. Yeah. I might, I might send you a way or two to improve. No. It looks good. I’m just teasing.

This has been eye-opening, like the last time we talked. I just remember walking away thinking, holy crap, I’ve got so much work to do here. 

Jason Friedman: Don’t beat yourself up, just start fixing, because I think that’s the approach. 

Rob Marsh: And I just really appreciate the level of thought that you bring to the customer journey. And it’s something that way too many of us as service providers who just like to send our customers Google Docs, We don’t really think about that experience. And so there’s just a ton here that’s really valuable. Jason Friedman: Thank you for that. Thanks for having me, guys. Really appreciate it.

Kira Hug: Thanks, Jason.

Rob Marsh: That’s the end of our interview with Jason Friedman. I want to add just a couple of thoughts to our conversation. I don’t know if this is going to extend a lot of what Jason was talking about, but just some thoughts that occurred to me. 

At one point, Jason mentioned the idea that experience is not something that you do. It’s something the customer has. This is a really big idea in my opinion. A lot of copywriters who have worked in agency environments have the experience of working with clients on a level that’s really different from what most freelancers do. In the agency, you invite clients into the office oftentimes or you’ll go to their office to present oftentimes. There’s a lot of drama built into it. They serve lunch or drinks. If you’ve watched Mad Men, you’ve seen this yourself. They’ll show a video or they show all of the work and it’s all mounted on black boards and it’s very professional and feels very high touch, white glove kind of thing. But a lot of us as freelancers, we don’t ever even think about what that level of experience means to our clients. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we need to be presenting over lunch or that everything needs to be fancy, but there’s something that happens in that client experience where they are being treated differently. They are sort of being wined and dined just a little bit that is worth emulating in the businesses that we have all built. So again, not saying you need to take your clients out to lunch in order to present, but maybe there’s something you can do that’s just a little bit different, that creates a slightly different experience. Maybe instead of presenting on plain Google Docs, you are presenting your work on branded documents of some kind, and you’re showing up obviously on video or in some other ways to present it. So you’re not just throwing a Google Doc over the fence and letting the client sort of figure it out on their own. If that’s not what you’re doing, there may be other things that we can do during the process to make that experience of working with us different, higher end, or just feel really good. It’s definitely something worth considering and thinking about as you consider how you work with your clients. 

Again, we start with that ideal customer testimonial, which is based on the transformation, not just the work that you do, but the results that you get and asking, where can you find these wins in the process? Is it during the initial interviews and on the sales call? Is it before that? Is it as you’re working with that call and going through your scorecard or your diagnostic process? Is it something that you’re doing with the research and presenting the research? Is it as you’re outlining and writing the drafts? Think about different ways that you can increase your customers’ experience or positive experiences throughout that process. 

Lastly, I just want to repeat that formula that we talked about with Jason because I think each of these four elements is really important when we talk about this customer experience. Number one, attitudes, the beliefs that they have, behaviors, what they do to get the results is number two. Friction, what’s slowing them down and causing them problems or making things hard for both you and for them. 

Finally, momentum, what keeps them going? What are the things that you can do to keep them excited about working with you? Of course, you’re doing all of this from the customer’s vantage point, not from ours. Oftentimes, when we think about customer experience, we look at it from what we’re doing and we are creating that experience. Going back to what Jason said earlier, it’s not something you do, it’s not something you create, it’s something the customer has and engineering that from their standpoint. 

Thanks to Jason Friedman for joining us to chat about client experiences and how to improve them. Make sure that you take advantage of his free giveaway at I believe that’s all one word. I downloaded it. You should too. And when it arrives in your inbox, don’t let it gather dust.


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