Wellness copywriter and online branding strategist Blair Badenhop recently made her way to our studio for episode 73 of The Copywriter Club Podcast. We were excited to talk to Blair because we’ve had a ring-side seat as she’s launched her new podcast and built her soon-to-launch course. In this interview, we asked her:
• how Blair went from ad sales to non-profits to health coaching to copywriting
• whether writing in the health and wellness space is really different from writing for other niches
• how she helps her clients get clear on their positioning and branding with her discovery process
• why Blair takes three hours to get to know her clients BEFORE she starts to work
• what she did to create a steady flow of clients from the very start of her business
• how she got herself to the top of Google for her main key word
• the difference between “getting clients” and “making friends”
• her thoughts about what copywriters should do to stand out online
• the place red lipstick plays in her personal brand
• her experiments with Pinterest and Instagram to grow her list
• how other copywriters can use Instagram more effectively
• how she gets it all done—social media, client work, her own course, a podcast and more
• why she launched a podcast and the effect it’s had on her business
We also asked, as we often do, about where she sees copywriting going in the coming months and why more people will start investing in it. It’s another info-packed episode. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times… and have fun! Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
Dress for Success
Blair on Instagram
Blair on Pinterest
Your Wellness Brand (coming soon)
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
Intro: Content (for now)
Rob: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Kira and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Kira: You’re invited to join the club for episode 73 as we chat with freelance copywriter Blair Badenhop about her path into copywriting, writing for clients in the health and wellness niche, creating a podcast and a course to reach her audience, and developing a brand that stands out from other copywriters.
Kira: Welcome, Blair!
Rob: Hey Blair.
Blair: Hey, thank you guys so much for having me!
Kira: It’s great to have you here. So, Blair, let’s start with your story: how did you end up running your own business?
Blair: Oh man. It has been such a crazy, winding road to this point. It’s kind of funny to look back on. So, the reason I started was kind of by accident. I wound up losing my last full-time job and I got a severance package that kind of tided me over for four months and so I was like, okay! What do I want to do with my life? And I’d been working in the marketing department over at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for three years and before that I worked for a non-profit called Dress for Success managing partnerships, and before that, I worked in magazines, most well-known would be Harper’s Bazaar as a sales assistant, learning all about sales and marketing.
So I had this kind of like, marketing background and I had a lot of knowledge to leverage but I was really interested in utilizing my health coaching certification because I had gotten it from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition a few years before, so I was kind of like, you know, torn between these two things that I loved, so I started consulting as a way to make money and then I started to build my health coaching practice. And you know, I had no clue where I was going with anything.
I was also still interviewing for other full-time positions at other wellness companies. And I kind of had to surrender, like, and just allow things to unfold the way they would, so I wound up getting a part-time position at Parsley Health as a health coach, where I worked two days a week and on the side of that, I started growing this consulting business, which started as like kind of a branding, strategy, social media strategy and support and content development… and soon I just started to you know, get asked by fellow, you know, friends in the wellness industry to help them with content development specifically. And that was really what i loved to do and I should mention that I’ve been a writer, personally, my whole life! And I’ve used my writing talent in all of my jobs and specifically copywriting, I learned a lot about when I was the head of a marketing department at Dress- ah, Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
So, anyway, I was just kind of playing around with it, and then copywriting became the area that I was getting the most opportunities and I had a lot of connections in the wellness space because of my full-time job; I was a more public-facing figure, so this whole community of health coaches and graduates of the Institute for Integrated Nutrition knew who I was; I’d spoken at conferences in front of thousands of people, so I had this face that was already recognizable. So it became pretty easy for me to connect with these people, reconnect with people I hadn’t been in touch with in a while, and just start to build these relationships.
And over time, I ended up working with influencers in the industry who, then, were referring me to all of their friends and so it kind of all just happened by accident. And I trusted how it all kind of came to fruition—like I just went with it all! Suddenly, I was realizing that this could be a business and that I could actually write for a living, which was a dream of mine because it was what I loved in my life and loved to do and it was how I expressed myself in the best way possible. I’ve journaled my whole life and I’ve enjoyed writing stories and I’ve written articles for different publications over the years… and I just didn’t know that it was possible for this to be a thing.
So that’s kind of how it happened and it all started in 2014, and now, here we are in 2018! And it took me 3 years to really make it a really successful, strong, steady business, and having a side source of income, of working as a health coach at this functional medical practice, Parsley Health, really helped stabilize me as I was starting to really put myself out there and had I not had that stability and like, an income stream that was consistent, I don’t know that I would’ve stuck through all the ups and downs of creating it, the business itself. But that’s kind of how it all happened!
Rob: So listening to you describe your path, Blair, it makes a lot of sense that you’re writing in the health and wellness space, just because that’s where your experience has been. Have you noticed that there’s a difference in writing for this space versus other kinds of copywriting? Is there some special kind of knowledge that you really need to have to break into the health and wellness area?
Blair: Yeah, I think that my background and passion for health and wellness gives me an edge because personally, I live a healthy lifestyle, I kind of walk that talk of, you know, eating really clean; I meditate; I move my body; I put a lot of time and money into investing in my own personal growth. So I think that kind of approach to how I live my life and just kind of perspective on life and the knowledge and education I have has allowed me to really easily step into the shoes of my client’s target audiences and kind of the challenges they might be having, and how to translate where they are to where they want to be, and I just love writing about that kind of stuff so much. It just is part of me. It’s like in my DNA.
So it’s really easy for me and I think that, as far as it being different than other kinds of copywriting, I mean, I don’t think it’s really different because we all, no matter what the business is, knowing that target audience and what they need, what their issues are, their challenges, getting into the psychology of that and then making that product or business the solution is the same formula, really, across the board. But if you have kind of a passion for health and wellness and you really love that topic and you have the knowledge, I think that gives you more of an edge and making it more your specialty as a copywriter.
Rob: And who is your typical client? What kinds of copy are you writing for them?
Blair: So I primarily write website copy and people come to me who are wellness entrepreneurs of some kind, so they might be a health coach or a life coach or an author or a yoga instructor or somebody opening a wellness studio of some kind, or they might have a product that’s maybe really delicious, organic granola, or chocolate, or something like that… and they either are either launching their brand for the first time or they are rebranding. So I help them first get crystal clear on what that brand is, and I really enjoy that discovery process.
I’m such a—I don’t know—I’m such a strategist at heart, too, like I really love being a part of the beginning of something and helping somebody craft their vision from the very bottom. And I find that a lot of people don’t spend enough time getting really clear on what they want to put out there and how they want to position themselves and what makes them different and unique. So I do a lot of discovery work to help us both get really clear on that and then, you know, getting clear on their target audience and all that so it really helps me prepare to write the copy for their website in their voice and kind of step into their shoes to create all of that. That’s kind of the website copy piece.
And then I also do sales pages and sometimes blog posts, but what I really love is more the website piece, just because it feels more creative and it’s more story-telling, and the branding piece and really positioning someone as an expert in their own kind of flavor and style is so much fun for me.
Kira: I’d like to hear more about that, Blair. Just your discovery process and how you help position your clients. What does that actually look like in your business? Is it a couple of calls, is it online forums? How do you pull those insights for your clients?
Blair: When I sign on a client, I send them an intake form and have them fill out a questionnaire, basically, and it just helps them start to get their thoughts clearer and their creative juices flowing a little bit before we dive into the conversation so that they’re not coming to the conversation completely like, unsure of where they’re going with it. So that’s step one. And then I do a 3 hour deep-dive with each client, so I’ve never experimented actually, with the multiple interview thing and I’m thinking about doing that, but I really liked doing this three hour deep dive where we’re either together in person or over Skype or whatever medium we’re using, and just really go in there. And what that looks like is we first start with, who are you? Tell me your whole story. What got you to this point? Why are you doing this kind of work?
I like hearing all that because it helps me understand what makes them who they are, and my whole brand is all about helping support people be who they are and brand what that is. So this discovery call really allows me to dive in there. So we start with them, why they’re doing this, we go into what they want to specialize in, what they think they’re really good at and what they’re most drawn to about their expertise, whether they’re a coach, or an author, or whatever it is. We talk about what they really want to be known for and then we dive into who their audience is. So who is this person that you’re going to be supporting and helping and serving? Who is this person that you’re the solution for? Who do you want to be helping?
I think a lot of times, people starting businesses think they should position themselves this way or the other way because they see outwardly that there’s people doing it a certain way and I’m a big fan of giving people permission to create their own rules around it, to position themselves in a way that feels completely authentic and is not, in any way, shape, or form, having them be anything that they’re not. So this call is really me supporting that freedom to be who they are and for me to translate it in a way that makes sense, from a branding perspective. So, after that conversation, I put together a document which I call a Creative Brief, which summarizes all the golden nuggets in this conversation so it helps them see who they are, what they do, what makes them unique, who they serve, the services that they’ve offered to that audience, what their voice is, how their website’s going to be structured, the content for each of the pages of the website, some guidance around their overall brand vibe and tone and because I have a background in personal development and I am kind of a spiritual person, I really like to encourage them to just really own the energy and intention their putting into their work and the why behind it so this document is a way to just summarize what the brand vibe is. What are they hoping to achieve with this business and what do they want it to feel like for the people reading their website? And what makes them, them? So they have this foundational document after that conversation and that’s kind of the beginning of working together with me.
Kira: Okay, so a three hour deep dive; there might be some copywriters that are listening that are like, oh my goodness, three hours?! That is a long time! So what would you say to them? I mean, I’d love to hear every single question that you ask, but what would you say to the copywriter that feels like they couldn’t possible even fill that time with the right questions? Does it just take time to get there?
Blair: I come prepared with a loose agenda and you’d be surprised how quickly it goes by. The thing is, like, human beings, it takes them a while to open up and really tell the truth. And so I like to give people a lot of space to do that and I like to give them space to feel comfortable with me. And I feel like if I’d broken it up into three one hour sessions, I’d be kind of starting from scratch every time, with like, warming them up, if you know what I mean. So, that three hours just really allows us to kind of get cozy and I really enjoy it to be honest. I really love being with people and discovering things about people and knowing what makes them tick and helping them figure out why they’re doing this and I think if we don’t know why we’re doing things, we’re not connected to that truth and mission and we’re not going to stick with it and we’re not going to remember why it’s worth the pain and the stress that comes along with running a business. I’m so fascinated by what makes people do what they do and I think it’s important for them to know that and have the clarity. So that’s just me—I mean, I know not everyone feels the same way and enjoys that process, but if you really want to get the truth from your client, and like, help them see their own truth, I think spending time together for that extended amount of time is crucial. And everyone has their own style of getting information from their clients and this is my style, and I’m sticking with it, and I may experiment with some other things, but it works for me.
Rob: So Blair, when you were telling us about your path to become a copywriter, you mentioned that it was a good thing you had a position that you could rely on for some salary, while you were sort of going through those bumpy first couple of months or maybe even the first year. What were the things you were doing to find your first clients, and maybe more importantly, once you had those first couple of clients, what did you do to accelerate your business to where you have more work than you could do in a month these days?
Blair: (laughs) It’s kind of funny to look back on that. Well, like I said, it was a very organic kind of process. I just said yes a lot. You know? I remember one day I was sitting in Madison Square Park with a friend after lunch and I ran into this friend I used to work with at my last job and she had her own business and she was like, oh my god! I need you to help me write this ebook! And I was like, sure! I’m not doing anything. (laughs) So I said yes to that. And then she referred me to somebody else. So then I wound up becoming this copywriter for this girl; she was like a one woman show branding agency and she was like, I can’t do the copy anymore; it’s so much time an energy. So I was like, okay, I’ll support you. Meanwhile, I was charging like $500 to write full website copy.
Kira: Oh wow.
Blair: Like, (laughs) I had no idea…
Blair: …I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I was like, that sounds—I could get it done in like, five hours, and like, $100 an hour, that sounds like—yeah. No clue.
So meanwhile, I’m diving into all of this, listening to interviews from her clients, and like, writing this copy and it was so much fun but I was like, this is so much work! This is so much energy! How could I just charge $500? So I quickly learned that I could not do that. So I said yes to that partnership with her and she sent me probably six clients, and I was working through her and eventually we raised how much she was paying me overtime. And then I bumped into different people who knew me from my last job, like, I also put it out there and I had my website redesigned.
I started doing this like, end of 2014, I had my website redesigned and launch April (2015), so in between that time was when things really started ramping up around this. And I also went on this retreat last minute—this girl that was also in the wellness industry was like, Blair, I can’t go on this retreat to Vermont—will you go in my place? It’s with all these people and I was like oh my god, yes! Because it was a group of influencers in the wellness industry. Some of them I had met before, and some I was friends with, and then some I hadn’t met that I really admired so I just said yes. I said yes and I went and this is me like, not making that much money, and having to pay to go on this retreat in Vermont, and I just did it because I knew I needed to go. I went and I wound up meeting someone who has actually become a dear friend of mine, but she was first a client. Her name is Nitika Chopra, and she’s really well known in personal growth, self-love space.
So we’re sitting around in a circle and everyone was saying why they were there. And I was you know, explaining that I was a health coach but I also did this content development stuff and whatever—I was very loose about it. I was not really sure what I was doing. And she mentioned—she was like, I really need help writing copy for my website. And I was like, oh, I can help you! So I spent the whole weekend helping her write her website copy, and then we wound up partnering for—I helped her with her content strategy with her blog and all these things. And she is the type of person who shouts from the rooftops when she loves you and your work. And so, she just told everyone about me. And that relationship really blew things up for me and I just had a lot of credibility and when she launched her new website, I launched my website like a week before so she could drive people to that site and just say Blair did the copy for my website and all of these things, so that was kind of the turning point where I was like okay, this is happening.
So from the beginning, it was really all referrals. Like, I just got referred clients and I was never really ever reaching out to people and cold emailing people and pitching myself ever. So I somehow just allowed it to happen organically and because I had this income coming in through Parsley Health, I wasn’t worried about paying my rent—I wasn’t worried about my basic expenses—I had that covered. And anything I earned through my freelance business was just extra you know, more of enjoying life kind of money. And of course I didn’t feel that comfortable yet because I wasn’t making as much money as I had been at the full time job, but slowly it just kind of grew from there and you know, getting more and more clients… one strategy that worked for me is so, if you search wellness copywriter on Google, I’m the first search result so I show up on the first page.
Kira: I actually noticed that recently. (laughs)
Blair: Yeah! So that was by accident also; I just picked that keyword and I used it all over my website. Then, all of a sudden, somebody told me they found me through Google. And I was like, “what did you type in?”
Blair: So people find me through Google. They find me through my clients, raving happy clients. And I have to say, having clients that are really happy is so important and putting that praise all over your website is huge and having these projects to show for what you do is huge and also, Instagram surprisingly started to get me new clients. And at first I did Instagram for fun, so I have to tell you guys that I’m also a photographer, it’s like my other creative outlet for my whole life along with writing. I do photography sometimes here and there for clients but it’s not really a focus in my business, so like, I’m just somebody that visually is creative, and loves taking photos, so Instagram was always just fun for me. And more personal. But then I started to incorporate it into my brand and so then, I started getting clients through Instagram! It all just happened naturally; it was never like, I’m implementing this strategy and I’m going to get clients this way… that was just never how I did it. So yeah. That’s how it happened.
Rob: I know you say that you did it organically or it just happened naturally, but it sounds to me like…
Rob: …two things that you did really importantly: you started saying yes to everything and second, you got yourself in the room with the right people. And…
Rob: …after that, it just all starts happening organically. But if you hadn’t done those two things, none of it happens!
Blair: Yes, that’s true. Yes. You have to put yourself out there. Absolutely. You have to be willing to be in situations where you’re outside your comfort zone and connecting authentically, from the heart, with people. I didn’t go on that retreat to get clients. I went to make friends. And making friends and just genuinely trying to connect with people, on a real-person level, and just being a good person and doing good work and having integrity—that was so important to me this whole time. Yeah, I think those are two things I did, for sure.
Kira: And that’s so funny because that’s exactly what I was thinking too, as you were running through all of this, like, “What are the themes here?” And Rob mentioned a few, but even the way that we met, Blair, it was through Lauren and we met for lunch! We didn’t know each other; just again, saying yes to a stranger and now we have a relationship and beyond that, the fact that you had the side business so you could take the pressure off yourself and take jobs that don’t pay as much early on and continue to go all in, even if it’s a $500 website, you know and not let that hold you back and not do great work because it’s not what you should be charging, but beyond all of that, we’ve already talked about all the things that you’re doing really well, all these superpowers… photography… personal development… you also know how to stand out online. You know positioning. And that’s a big part and a lot of copywriters struggle with that. So what can copywriters do today, again, in a crowded marketplace—what can we do to stand out online?
Blair: Yeah, I love this question. (laughs) I think when we consider this we’re immediately like “I have to be so amazing and wow people with my brand and I have to make myself memorable” and I think that that is important to keep in mind, but I think we all have to remember also: I’m the only Blair Badenhop on the planet and the only person that grew up the way I grew up, that has my background, that has my set of talents, that has my perspective, that has like, who I am in my DNA. So I think everyone has to consider the fact that that is your most valuable branding asset. Who you are and what makes you, you is what will ultimately have people becoming loyal followers. People will want to work with you. You being yourself is like, the easiest way to stand out, to be honest.
And I do see the value in creating a persona for a brand and that being an approach, but I’m really into being real and being who you are and so, taking a look at what makes you, you. What makes you who you are? What are the personality traits and characteristics and style and flavor and all these things that like, make you who you are? For me, I—as I mentioned—am really into personal development; I’m really into wellness. I love fashion and interior design. If you’ve seen me on Pinterest, I have tons of boards up because I’m just such a visual person and so, I’ve really incorporated all of who I am into my brand. My website looks basically like my apartment, it’s basically how I dress, like that red lipstick I wear—I wear that red lipstick regularly. It’s not anything that’s not me. So, I would just say that that’s how I’ve gone about it for myself and that’s how I encourage my clients to go about branding.
I think for copywriters, obviously, we all share this amazing talent for translating somebody’s business into this thing that resonates with a target audience and it’s just so beautiful. But what makes your copy and your style of writing and who you are? What is all of that? How is that different? What makes you unique? And how do you want to be perceived? So it’s just asking yourself these questions, really, and doing the discovery work and figuring out what makes you who you are and then when somebody goes to your website and recognizes that, and feels that, and then they schedule their call with you to do a consult or whatever, they feel like they’re speaking to the person they just saw on that website. It doesn’t feel like it doesn’t match. And I think building trust with our clients and customers and audience is so important.
Everyone needs to feel like who they’re seeing online is who they’re buying from and who they can count on and trust and so, I really believe that everyone is on the planet with whatever gifts they have for a reason and we don’t necessarily have to worry about what other people are doing and how they’re branding themselves or like, who we’re competing against. I think as long as we focus on ourselves and who we are and put that out there and really learn to leverage it in a really beautiful way, then it will be successful. And I think it’s important to enlist the support of branding experts and, I think, people that can help you develop that brand in a way that’s going to feel completely aligned with who you are and just is going to make all of the amazing qualities that you have, shine online!
Rob: In addition to showing up as some of the—you actually have two of the top four places on Google—organically.
Kira: Way to go, Blair!
Rob: In addition to that, though, you’ve actually experimented a little bit with Google Ads. And so you’re not just in the organic search but you’re doing something in the paid search area as well. Will you talk a little bit about what you’re doing? How effective has that been for you and does that drive any meaningful portion of your business?
Blair: What I have done, from a paid advertising perspective, is, I used Pinterest a lot recently to promote and drive traffic to my blog posts on my website. And Pinterest, I would say, is definitely more effective than Google in getting traffic to your website and it’s helped me build my email list as well. So what I do for that, is I’ll create a graphic—and another fun fact is, I’m kind of a Photoshop self-taught, I wouldn’t call myself a whiz, but I’m pretty good at Photoshop so I create a lot of graphics in there—and then I promote them on Pinterest and they link to my blog post or they link to my opt in and that has really been effective at getting more eyeballs on those posts and on my website. And then I also used Instagram, promoted posts on Instagram and Facebook as well, and Instagram definitely performs better; I also have over 10,000 Instagram followers now so I can use the Swipe Up Feature in Instastories, which is really helpful and you know, for anyone who is trying to grow their Instagram following, I highly recommend investing in that. Because a lot of people spend time on Instagram, my audience definitely does, and when you’re able to use those features, it’s just the easiest user experience to get somebody to your website, or their eyeballs on something you want them to read or their ears listening to your podcast episode or whatever it is. So, those things are awesome.
Kira: Can we talk more about Instagram? Because you have ten thousand followers; you’re doing so well on there and partially because, again, it’s like your superpower: you have a creative mind and you take photos and can write beautiful captions. But I feel like, in general, copywriters are not necessarily standing out on Instagram and maybe they are and I’m just missing it but it feels like we should be because this is what we do! We write copy, we start conversations; do you feel like in general, copywriters are missing out on the whole Instagram channel, which is a huge, robust marketing channel where a lot of our clients are hanging out?
Blair: Totally. Yeah, I think it’s definitely something a lot of copywriters aren’t doing because there are some of the top copywriter names out there and I think one of the first things people do is, Oh, I have to look at them on Instagram, or I want to follow them on Instagram and then you go to their profiles and you’re like wait, this is not is a reflection of their website! Or wait, who is this person? You know what I mean? I think that, yes, I think that your Instagram has to match your website or your brand in some way, shape, or form.
So, for me, my Instagram is a combination of personal and professional. That’s just how I’ve done it and it works for me. But the thing for any copywriter out there to consider is like, how do they want to position themselves on Instagram? I like to tell people to pick four pillars of their brand. So if you’re a copywriter, maybe you share behind the scenes of writing copy, you might share a copy tip, you might share something that is personal about you and you might share what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. And I kind of… those are the things I offer my audience there, and I think for me, it’s fun. It’s an art for me to be posting on Instagram, so I know not everyone feels that way about it but I just look at it as a way to offer value to people that follow me and just being consistent about posting and having more of a plan around posting just makes it so much easier.
I don’t always take a picture in real time and write a caption, on the spot; I’ll use a picture from a few weeks ago and write a caption that’s relevant right now. I have a few apps that I use for editing and planning out my posts so I can see what my feed looks like so that it all looks pretty. There aren’t like, photos next to each other or stacked on top of each other that might not compliment each other. And so—I don’t know—not everyone does this and goes to this level, but I just think of this as like, your online magazine, in a way. You’re an extension of your brand, and extension of your website, an extension of who you are. And that’s why choosing to brand yourself as you are and letting Instagram be able to combine both the professional and personal aspects of yourself, it just all becomes very seamless and easy to do instead of having to between the professional you and the personal behind the scenes you.
I think that’s a good way to approach it. And as far as how I’ve grown it? Initially, just consistency of posting, so I would post every day or every other day and it’s changed a lot since the algorithm has changed so sometimes posting daily doesn’t matter as much but people do different things different ways. So posting consistently. The second was, the clients that I’ve had or the influencers that are my friends or whoever, the times that they have reposted something or mentioned me in a post or something has given me more followers, so that’s been a way to get more followers, and then in 2017 I invested in a social media agency so I have people, like a team of people, that know the type of person that I’m targeting. So I’m targeting a lot of health coaches, I’m targeting people in the wellness industry, I’m targeting people in personal development and people that are entrepreneurs and then we go through and see which accounts of other influencers or experts that I’m like—oh god, I want to get in front of their audience—and they have a whole strategy around how to do that and how to get them to follow me and for me to follow them and you know, it’s a whole thing. And it really works. This agency grew my following by 7,000 in six months.
Rob: Oh, wow.
Blair: So it was major. And it’s not that expensive to do it. I spend like, $150 a month on it maybe? Like, it’s not that expensive. So, I just think that really making that a priority is going to take you further and I really decided to do that and invest in it more and spend more time curating my feed and my posts when I realized I was getting clients from it. Because I would get people contacting me through my direct messages or they would email me and then we would be on the phone and they would say, Oh, I found you through Instagram. I was like, oh! Awesome! That’s great! Thank you for letting me know! I think it’s also important, as a side-note, to ask your clients where they found you so then you can know what channels they’re coming from and that’s where you can invest more money and more strategy.
Kira: Okay, so Blair, you’re running through all of this with Instagram and I’m just like, oh wow, this takes a lot of work to do it right! And to take it beyond an art and use it as a business and marketing engine where, you’re actually getting clients from Instagram! So, this leads me to the next question, which is: how do you do all of it? How do you all of this and speak about the podcast and your course; you’re doing so much right now. So what does your day look like? What’s working, what’s not working, how do you stay sane and calm and integrate health and wellness into a crazy work life?
Blair: First of all, I’ve gotten really familiar with the rhythm of my business. So, the first couple of years, I noticed patterns in when I would get my most huge influx of clients and when things would get quiet. So I really leveraged those quiet times to strategize and kind of think about what am I creating that’s new for my business, what do I want to put out this year, that’s kind of going to take things to the next level, so, I’ve really, you, taken a step back and I look at those patterns. I think it’s important to do that. A day in my life….it’s not that glamorous. I mean, I wake up, usually put on yoga pants, I will brush my teeth and make myself some tea, and then I’ll journal a little bit, if I have any anxiety or stress coming up around “Oh God, I’m so stressed about starting this project”, or “I’m afraid I’m going to have writer’s block” or, you know like, I feel like overwhelmed. I just have to journal and get it all out of my head, because that really allows me to just kind of like, let it out, and then I can kind of dive in.
If I’m really hungry in the morning, I’ll make myself breakfast. If not, I won’t eat anything until I feel hungry because I believe that intermittent fasting can be helpful in giving your brain some good clarity in the morning, and it just works for me. Also just knowing what works for you, I would say, is really important as a side note, I mean, I’m most clear and fresh first thing in the morning, so I always make sure that between like 8am and 1pm, like, is always blocked off for me to focus on writing, or anything that requires my creative energy. It’s like, always the morning, and the afternoons are more when I do my strategy calls with clients or podcast recordings.
I think also just knowing when you function at your best and when your creativity is at its, you know, finest point is really important. So after I do the writing in the morning, then I might take a walk. I live near Riverside Park in the Upper West Side in New York, so I like to get outside and have some fresh air. I’m not going to lie: sometimes I don’t go outside, and lately, since it’s winter, I haven’t; there have been days where I—in a row—where I haven’t gone outside, so…I’m not going to act like I have this, like, perfect all the time. In then, in the afternoon, I, like I said, might have a few calls, I might have to record podcasts, I might have to listen to a podcast episode to approve it. I hired somebody to help me with all that good stuff and editing and stuff, so…it’s not as overwhelming to have to do all of that.
I mean I feel like, you know, being an entrepreneur, it’s so much about your mindset and like how you take care of yourself, and allow yourself to process stress and…. and not let that get in the way of your performance, and you know, to know like when you need to take a break and step away from your computer. You know, I notice like when I step away from my computer and I’m cooking or I’m taking a walk, that’s like when I get the tagline idea, or like, that phrase that I’ve been struggling with; like, becomes clear again. So, I really recognize the importance of creating space for the creativity to arrive, and not putting pressure on myself. Because when the pressure starts happening, like, that’s when I know I’m going to block it, and then this time around this year, I’m really looking into support, more support. I’ve been a one-woman show for three and a half years, and it’s been great and I’ve…I’m a Gemini, I like, wear so many hats. I’m interested in so many different parts of business that, like, I’ve enjoyed juggling it all, but I understand that in order to scale and for me to make more money, have greater reach, take on more clients, and just like, you know, make the most of my course and this podcast that I just launched in January, I have to build structure and systems and support around me, so that’s a big focus for me right now. And, not going to lie, like this month is very busy and I’m a little overwhelmed with everything, but I am just trying to find ways to map it out and I actually hired a former colleague of mine to help me with my launch strategy for my course.
So, I’m just investing money in places that I know I need to at this point, and we all have to like, get to the point where we can afford to invest, but I think just being smart about what you’re putting your money into and making, you know, smart choices about who you’re bringing on board to help grow your baby, you know, like I think is key. So, I don’t know. That’s kind of like, what goes into all of it, I’m still figuring it out. I’ve been at it for a while, but I’m not by no means, like, a master—laughs—and I’m so committed to it and I’m so in love with what I do that like, I know that there’s no way I’m ever abandoning it, it’s just like, I’m meant to be doing what I’m doing. So, it just you know, this year because you know, I had my most successful year financially last year and it’s steadily growing every year.
I’m just…I’m running out to make investments and things that I haven’t before and I’m considering working with, like, a business strategist this year, and so there’s just like a lot of things that are happening, but I think just like honoring your process, taking care of yourself and having, like, a really healthy mindset and just kind of self care practices that allow you to re-center yourself and re-access your creativity… All that stuff has just helped me so much and just, you know, weather the storms and the moments where I feel like “Oh my God, I can’t do this anymore,” you know what I mean? Like, we all have them. So, yeah. That’s kind of a day in my life. And then, at the end of the day, I don’t work usually past like 7 or 8pm because I’m married, and I like to spend time with my husband, and we have dinner together every night, and we might watch a show on Netflix. I go to bed later than I want to, because I just like to enjoy that end of the day, and then, yeah. I sleep really well…I’m a healthy person, and I feel good. My energy’s really good, so, I just feel like your body and your mind have to be in really good shape, you know, to be at your best when you’re running a business and, especially a creative business where you’re writing so much, so. That’s what that looks like.
Rob: Blair, I want to ask you before we run out of time about your podcast. You just launched it earlier this year. When I listen to it, I’m jealous because I…the production is so good, the music’s awesome, you know it’s… You’ve done a really good job in telling the stories of your guests and in interviews. Why did you launch a podcast, and have you seen an impact on your business in the few weeks it’s been live?
Blair: Yes. So, the reason I launched it was because I was tossing around some ideas about how to just build more social proof around my course materials. So, my course is called Your Wellness Brand, and it’s an eight-week video training program for health coaches, and teaches them how to leverage their unique qualities and who they are to create their wellness brand and kind of map out all the pieces of that foundationally, and it really just leads them into their website content. So, you know, every single entrepreneur that I know—and a lot of them are thought-leaders in the wellness space, you know—have done a lot of inner work to know who they are, and they’ve positioned themselves, leveraging, you know, who they are as a person and what they love, and you know, what they’re good at, and all that good stuff.
I wanted to interview women in the wellness industry specifically because that’s primarily my audience. Most of my clients are women, and trying to build business. So, I originally planned on doing a tele-summit, and then, I had a conversation with a mentor of mine. She was like, “You should just create a podcast.” And I was like, “I know, I’ve actually been thinking about that too.” And then, there’s also—this is kind of—another fun fact about me—I have this, like, spiritual woman that I speak to. She’s not a psychic, but she’s, you know, she’s connected—laughs—in some way. I talk to her one time a year, and she told me that I should start a podcast. It was just really weird. It all kind of serendipitously happened, and I was just….it just felt like a “hell yes” to me, and I was like, “That would be fun.” So, I looked into how to do it; I connected with everyone I know that has a podcast and asked them questions, and how they do it; like, what are the inner workings behind the scenes, like what’s the structure, you know—how do they make it all happen. So I educated myself a little bit beforehand, and then I hired a podcast launch strategist and she helped me figure it out all out, and so I just went for it, I mean I had no clue what I was doing, but I’m just the type of person that figures it out as she goes.
I just throw myself into the fire and figure it out; that’s just like what I’ve done my whole life, so…. And it was a really fun learning process. I mean, I really enjoy it and so, the podcast is, you know, called Brand Yourself, and it is a really open conversation with an entrepreneur about how she built her business, all of the challenges she’s faced and mistakes she’s made; a bit of the low moments she’s had and then the high moments, and you know, the things that she’s done to honor herself and, and her mission and kind of get really clear about what she wants to create, and put it out there. And these are women who have been in business for like, five years; ten years; twenty years who have been on talk shows, who have written books, who are sought after speakers, who have partnerships with people like Deepak Chopra, like, these are women who are really, really out there and doing what they love and making things happen, so I thought that it would be really valuable for my audience to hear, not just because I want to sell them a course but because this is a truth; like, running a business is not easy, it’s really hard. And I know it can look glamorous on the outside and everyone’s Instagram makes it look so amazing, but it’s not. It’s a freaking mess. Like, it’s like crazy.
I just want people to see what it really takes and what the truth is behind it, and also inspire them. Also inspire them to chase their dreams, to do what they love, and to just trust that like who they are is like their most powerful branding asset. They have to leverage and own every bit of themselves to become successful and to have that really solid relationship with themselves. The podcast is really just about that, and I launched it in January because I wanted it to lead into the launch of my course in March, and it’s a lot happening at the same time. Not going to lie, it’s a little aggressive, and I didn’t realize how much work it was going to be, you know, doing both. But, you know, you live and you learn, and it’s done, so it’s already out there. And every week an episode is released. People can subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn…it’ll be available on Spotify eventually, and it’s available on my website. So, it’s all out there.
Kira: And Blair, before we wrap this conversation, I’d love to hear from you regarding the future of copywriting, what direction is it moving in the near future, or the next few years.
Blair: Well, I think that, you know, over the past couple of years, it’s become very clear that copy is one of the most valuable marketing assets; you can’t do marketing without it, like, it’s like the heart of marketing, it’s the soul of it. So, I don’t know—I feel like more and more people are going to be recognizing that and investing in it because I think, especially when it comes to having a business be immediately or like “Okay, I have to put my web design up, I’ve to hire a designer”, and one of the last things or things people don’t think about is hiring a copywriter. And I just feel like copywriters don’t get enough credit for the work that they do, and I feel like we’re moving into a space where copy is going to become the thing that everyone needs to invest in.
I think storytelling…you know, in our climate politically, in our country, around the world, it is just what connects all of us and what allows us to really feel for each other and feel inspired and inspired and motivated to buy something, to try something, to experience something. So, I just think it’s just so necessary and I think we’re kind of going in a direction where it’s going to become king, you know. I just think it’s crucial and I think everyone who is a writer and who is a copywriter or running a business right now is in such a great place. I think you’re right on the money; I think you’re, you know, not only doing what you’re meant to do, and offering the talent you were meant to offer, but, you’re in a space that’s going to become quite desirable over the years I think, and that’s I don’t know…that’s my prediction, I don’t know. Who knows.
Rob: As long as you say “yes,” and get yourself in the room with the right clients; I think you’re 100% right.
Blair: Mmm. Absolutely.
Rob: So Blair, this has been fantastic. If people want to connect with you online, if they want to find your podcast or even the course that you’re going to be launching that’s coming up in March, where would they go to learn more?
Blair: They can go to blairbadenhop.com. They can follow me on Instagram @blairbahenhop, and those are probably the two best places to find me. And then obviously, if you search “Brand Yourself” on your podcast app, you’ll be able to find it right there.
Kira: Thank you, Blair.
Blair: Thank you guys so much.
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 on 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 Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.