Red hot copywriter Lorrie Morgan is our guest for the 197th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. As a stay-at-home mom she looked for a job that she could do from home. When a client asked for a 52-part auto responder, she knew she had to get serious about the craft. And she shared her decades of experience, as we asked about:
• her journey from actor to copywriter to direct response guru
• what she learned from her mentors (and who they are)
• what it takes to “write fearlessly” … Lorrie breaks down what she did
• the “pain-in-the-butt” writing exercise that makes you into a better writer
• what she did to attract clients when she was just starting out
• what she learned from moving 16 times before she graduated from high school
• how she uses an alter-ego to go beyond her limitations and write copy
• self-care and how Lorrie makes sure she feels good enough to write well
• the biggest mistakes her copywriter clients make
• the differences between writing for men and women
• the “tarket” trick for connecting on a deeper emotional level in copy
• the process of writing her book and why she wrote it
• what’s on Rob’s vision board (and why Kira might need one)
• why Lorrie wears a cowboy hat to events
• what is was like to work on Baywatch—the truth about David Hasslehoff
Lorrie shares some great advice to copywriters who want to grow. To hear what she said, scroll down and click the play button. Or scroll a bit farther for a transcript. And if you’re really serious about getting better as a copywriter, subscribe to the podcast (so you don’t miss an episode) and leave a review.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
Ignite Your Moxie
Andre The Giant
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Kira: This episode is brought to you by The Copywriter Underground, the place to find more than 20 templates, dozens of presentations and topics like copywriting, marketing, mindset. A community of successful writers who share ideas and leads and a copywriter club newsletter which is mailed directly to your home every single month. Learn more at thecopywriterunderground.com.
Rob: What if you can hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then instill 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 197 as we chat with Red Hot copywriter Lorrie Morgan about the differences between writing for men and women, why she wrote her book, Ignite Your Moxie and what it’s about, what she’s done to create a profitable copywriting business, and how she landed a job working on the set of Baywatch. Welcome, Lorrie.
Rob: Hey, Lorrie.
Lorrie Morgan: Hey, good to be here, you guys.
Kira: Great to have you here, Lorrie. So, let’s start. As much as I want to ask you everything about Baywatch right away, I feel like we should wait to hear about that. But let’s start with your story. How did you end up as a copywriter?
Lorrie Morgan: Oh yes, everyone has a story. Nobody wants to be a copywriter when they’re a little girl, do they? So, I have a journalism degree. But I always wanted to be an actress. So, this is the rambling version, but I’ll try to get to the point real quick. So, I moved to California, which is where I live now, to be an actress. We’ll jump into the Baywatch a little bit later, too. But I’m a terrible actress, it turns out. I just really like the whole idea of it. So instead, I got married and I had children, which was wonderful.
And then, I ended up going getting divorced and had to get a job. Oh, no. And the whole time I was working in corporate, I was dying to be home with my kids again and be a stay-at-home mom again. And I was like, “Wait a second, I can write. There’s no reason why I can’t write from home.” And this was in the 90s, right, when the internet was starting to get to be a thing. And my boss ended up retiring at my business and I just never got another job. I’m like, “I’m going to figure out how to be a writer from home.”
And I focused on doing like press releases and stuff like that. And then, a client came to me, who wanted me to write 52 autoresponders and I’m like, “What the hell is an autoresponder?” And that was my introduction into copywriting. And he introduced me to Gary Halbert, the style, and Dan Kennedy. And I’m like, “Oh my God, where has this been my whole life. This is what I want to do.” This is in 1999. And at this time, there weren’t the dozens and hundreds of copywriting trainings that there are now.
So, you really had to either work for an agency which I did not do, or you just had to figure it out on your own. And so, I just became obsessed within, I copied letters by hand, I found out who was the best. I think what pushed me over the edge was hiring John Carlton to be my mentor. And he really held my feet to the fire and made me get good really fast. And I went to a lot of events and it bubbled up from there. So, that’s how I started Red Hot Copy, was in the 90s, so I could be with my kids.
Rob: I love it. So, I’d love to know more about the mentorship with John Carlton. We’ve never had the pleasure of having him on the podcast, but I’ve heard very good things. I’ve seen him speak a couple of times. And I’ve seen a lot of the material that he puts out including some of his best sales pages. Tell us a little bit about that mentorship and the kinds of things that you learned and did while you were working with John.
Lorrie Morgan: Wow, John is my favorite mentor. I’ve also mentored with Gary Halbert and Dan Kennedy both later on down the line. But John is amazing because he is a no-bullshit-guy. Pardon my French. But he will tell you like it is. And he makes you do the work. So, he was hard. He sent me crying from the room many times like, “Oh, I’m never going to be able to do this.” And then, he told me, “Look, I’m hard on you because you’re good. And I want you to be better.”
And so, there were no cutting corners or no pats on the head. You really had to earn his praise. And I think I did because he actually started having me come to his live events to be the “female voice of reason” in the room or just interpret how women like to buy. Because as you know, it’s a big boys’ club when copywriting was getting started. It’s only just changing, I would say, in the last five years. So, I was one of the few women who had any visibility way back then.
And I’ve been around for a long time. So, working with John has been wonderful. And the kinds of stuff he would teach is to just like write your copy, balls to the wall, just full out and then you can go back and edit, you can walk it back. But it’s hard to amp up your copy after you’ve already written it. So, no holds barred, just go for it, and write just fearlessly. That’s the thing I learned from him most is just to write fearlessly.
Kira: Wow, I love that lesson. And to get a little bit deeper into that, I’m hearing that I’m like, “Oh, I want to write fearlessly.” How do we do that? How do copywriters write without fear and especially if they feel lit up even hearing those words, what can we do to break it down so we can do that better and do more of it?
Lorrie Morgan: A lot of us have the imposter syndrome going on. That’s a big buzz phrase going on right now. But it’s really true. And the way you can overcome feeling like you’re a fraud is to get really good at it. And so, you’ve got to do the work. You can’t shortcut reading all those materials like reading Gary Halbert, reading John Carlton stuff. Everything he’s written, I’ve read. And like I said, I’ve gone to all of his events. Dan Kennedy is another one. The guys and gals who have been there and done that.
You really need to take the time to roll up your sleeves and get in there and do the work. You have to study it. And I mentioned when I first started, handwriting a sales letters. That’s a really great way to get down to the skeleton of what’s underneath copy and you start to see there’s a pattern. There’s a rhythm to copy that you can’t necessarily see when you first start just reading it. When you write it, there’s something about going from your head to your hand that really lights up your copywriting skills in a way that nothing else really can.
So, I would definitely recommend doing that, rewriting sales letters out by hand. I know it’s a pain in the butt, but it works. If anything, it is a shortcut to learning things and learning how people who are the masters turn phrases. And also when I’m writing copy, I will read good copy before I sit down to write it because you’ve got to have personality in your copy and you have to have a voice that comes through in your copy or just his milk toast and boring.
So, just to get inspired, a lot of times I would read John Carlton’s. Nobody writes like John, as he’s unique. And I’m not trying to write like him, but it is inspiring to read somebody who really knows what they’re doing, and watch all the stops that they hit and stuff. So, I recommend doing that, getting in there.
Rob: Lorrie, clearly you understood the value of investing in yourself and in training and coaches very early on. How did you find clients? What were the things that you were doing to attract this first couple of clients to your business?
Lorrie Morgan: That’s a great question, actually. Because it does ebb and flow. And especially when you’re starting out, I really relied on live events to meet people. There’s something about meeting somebody face to face. And unfortunately, with the pandemic going on right now, who knows when we’re going to have live events again. That’s sad to me because that’s even something more than doing a Zoom video or podcasts.
There’s a relationship that can develop when you’re hanging out at a bar. You’re talking about regular stuff face to face with somebody. And that’s how I really built up my business was networking. So, I guess today, now, I am fortunate to have done all that, right? So, I have the name and people know me and my name gets passed around. So, that’s how I continue to get clients.
I really don’t advertise or do anything knock on wood. I’ve been very blessed that way. But it did come from building it up on relationships. So, I guess I’m thinking how you could do this today, I think you would have to go over above and beyond to write personal emails to people say like Kevin Rogers, a copy chief, to people that you admire in the fields and see if you can build a relationship that way.
Kira: Yeah. It’s a whole lot easier when we can meet in person, I agree. And I want to go back in time before we start talking about your business today. I read on your About page that you moved 16 times before graduating from high school, which is remarkable. What business lessons, life lessons did you take away from moving 16 times?
Lorrie Morgan: Wow. I actually am able to build rapport very quickly because I had to make friends in different schools and different neighborhoods all the time. And I’ve always been a bit of a loner, extroverted introvert, if you will. But I was able to read people pretty early on because you have to get to know them quickly. And you don’t know how long you’re going to be around. And the reason I move so much, by the way, is first of all, my mother married a man who was, he would manage factories. And we would lease our home.
And so, every year the lease was up and we would move. So, might be in the same city but it would be in a different neighborhood. So, I go to different schools and meet different people. Then, when they got divorced, she married a military man. So, we moved around a lot because of that. So, it wasn’t really planned out. But yeah, there’s a lot of moving, a lot of adapting. It has served me well because I can make friends so fast wherever I go, build rapport, which translates to copy.
Rob: Yeah, very nicely. So, before we talk about the copy and how it translates into copy, if somebody wanted to learn that skill, they didn’t have that opportunity to move 16 times or maybe even two or three times, but they want to bone up on making those kinds of connections, getting to know people really quickly. Are there some steps that we can take to put that into action?
Lorrie Morgan: Yeah, I think there are actually. One of the things that I’ve always done is, I’ve had an alter ego. And that was also something that when we talk about my book, Ignite your Moxie, that’s one of the secrets to building your confidence up is having an alter ego. And so, to me, my alter ego was just stepping into the skin of somebody who was confident, somebody who knew her stuff, somebody who was cool, I guess, one of the cool kids.
And so, I would think of different actors and actresses that I admired. And I would imagine I was them, which is where the whole desire to be an actress comes from. Nobody’s ever asked me that before. But that’s where it all came from was living with alter egos, and bringing those like as a shield. Because if they don’t like me, it’s not me, right? It’s my alter ego. So, it protected my heart and protected me from being too open in a strange way because I’m actually pretty open.
But I had that barrier, just in case I needed it, of the alter ego. And when I started going to live events, I didn’t know anybody really, at first, right? So, I’m meeting all these strangers and I would walk right up to Dan Kennedy and walk right up to Gary Halbert fearlessly, because I think of the background of moving so much, being able to build rapport. And it was like I didn’t have the fear because, was I too dumb to have it, I’m not sure, because I had this alter ego protection.
So, it wasn’t me walking up to them, it was it was Lorrie Morgan from Red Hot Copy walking up to them. And so, it’s a strange thing, even hearing myself say it, but that was one of the things that I did to be out in the world and build rapport is to have an alter ego.
Rob: And you mentioned that this gives you an advantage when you’re writing copy, talk a little bit about that and why that is.
Lorrie Morgan: When I’m writing copy, as far as an alter ego goes, it’s not a fake it til you make it, it’s not pretending to be somebody else. It’s really the heightened version of who you really are. So, when you’re sitting down to write copy, if you don’t feel confident or you feel crappy or you feel like you have a lot of self-doubt, it’s going to show up in your copy. So, you really have to be on your game when you’re sitting down to write copy.
So, I will bring all the factors of myself that I like and make sure that I’m in a good mood, make sure that I’ve had time for myself so I can really focus. To me, that’s really important, self-care and doing things in your life that fire you up. You have to be able to do those, in my opinion, in order to bring your energy back to copy and to focus on it because you do have to be there in a holistic way, if you know what I mean. You have to be firing on all cylinders when you’re writing your copy.
Kira: I want to hear more about the self-care. But first, I’m just picturing you walking up to Dan Kennedy and Gary Halbert with your alter ego. I’m getting into the weeds here but can you walk us through what did you say? When you’re using your alter ego, are you just channeling that actress? Or do you have to go through an exercise before you step into the skin of that alter ego? Can you break it down even more so we can picture what the scene looked like when you’re walking up to Dan Kennedy and how that interaction went?
Lorrie Morgan: For me personally, I don’t have to break it down because I’ve lived it so much. We talked about me moving so much. And it’s just become second nature to me to invoke an alter ego and to separate myself from rejection, if you will. And so, I guess it’s like that Eleanor Roosevelt quote, you can’t feel inferior without someone else’s permission. So, I just didn’t allow that to permeate. It wasn’t an option.
And it’s like going in as if I’m going to be best friends with Dan Kennedy, that never happened, but with that attitude. He’s not going to say no to me. I just didn’t think of the negative. I only focused on the positive of the positive outcome that I wanted. And then. I just went for it.
Kira: And what did you say to Dan Kennedy? What did that conversation look like?
Lorrie Morgan: That was funny. I actually walked up to Dan. I’ve never told anybody this. I walked up to him right before he was getting to go on stage. Because Dan, if you know him or you’ve been around in any of his events, he’s very protective of his space. You can’t get near him. He doesn’t hang out with people. He doesn’t go to the bar. He’s very hard to reach. So, he was literally getting ready to go up and speak on stage.
And I sauntered across the room, and I’m like, “Hi, I’m Lorrie Morgan. I’ve always wanted to meet you.” And he looked at me like dumbfounded like, “I can’t believe your walk up to me right before I go on stage.” But he was polite and he went up on stage and I started going to events of his. This wasn’t his. He was actually speaking at someone else’s event during this time. He started to get to know me because I was always there and in his space.
I took a course of his, a three-day copywriting boot camp in January in the cold 50 miles from any major city. It was like only Dan Kennedy we go someplace like that. But it was a three-day intensive boot camp with Dan and 13 other copywriters. And so, he actually asked me to do a product with him on how to build a copywriting business because I went to lunch with him and another copywriter and he realized that we didn’t really know how to build our businesses.
And so, he invited me to do a call with him. And I was so blown away. We had to communicate by fax, of course, because he didn’t have a cell phone and it was so old school, but it was a huge honor. So, I actually have this product that I never really marketed super well, that is about how to build your copywriting business that I did with Dan Kennedy.
Kira: And can you talk more about your self-care too? Just with what you’re mentioning about sitting down to write and how you really need to feel good because the way you’re feeling, it’ll transfer into your copy. And I don’t think we talked about that often at least on this podcast. Oftentimes, as copywriters were feeling overwhelmed by all the projects and all the things we have to do. And I think that can often show up in our copy that that feeling of lack or lack of sleep or just not feeling great. What is your self-care routine look like today?
Lorrie Morgan: Well, it’s different today than it’s ever been. And it’s the most effective that it’s ever been too. So, I used to get massages back when you could do that. Very big fan of massages. But that’s not such a doable thing these days. So, for me, it’s riding my horses. So, that’s getting out in nature. I go with my fiancé on a trail in the desert because I live about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, right in the foothills before it starts getting into the big Rocky Mountains.
And we will go through the desert together. And it’s actually quite beautiful through the mountains. And you can see there’s so much life in the desert. I didn’t think I’d really love the desert but I really do. And so, we will go out for hours at a time and barely speak two words because it’s the most meditative wonderful feeling of just being out in nature and being on a horse for me. That’s my major self-care these days is actually riding.
And the other thing I do is, and I just started this in the quarantine actually, I used to be a maniac about doing cardio classes like Tae Bo. Actually, Billy Blanks’ brother and sister opened their own type of thing. And so, it’s a version of Tae Bo that I was addicted to. And over the years, I stopped going. And now, I started it up again because of Zoom and everybody’s home and I don’t have to drive. It’s wonderful. So, that actually gets my juices flowing to move my body.
Dancing also, I love dancing. So, sometimes, I’ll just put on some hip hop, and I’ll just dance around the house, just to get my energy level up. But it’s not always about moving. It’s also about resting, I love naps. And I actually, when I take a nap, will sometimes, if I’m getting too overwhelmed with copying your or business stuff, I’ll just think, I’ll allow myself to put it aside, and I’ll take a nap. And sometimes, that’s when I get my best ideas.
When I sleep and I’m in that half-awake-half-asleep state when I get up and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to write this down. I got the best idea.” So, some people get that in the shower, I get it when I take a nap. So, that’s naps and horses and dancing. Those are my secrets to success.
Rob: Yeah, more nap, sign me up for that. That sounds pretty good to me. So, I’d love to shift our conversation just a little bit and talk about your business today. And what the kinds of clients that you work with, the projects you work on. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Lorrie Morgan: Well, it’s interesting because I went through another divorce three years ago. And that’s when I moved to the country and I met my fiancé and we got into the horse thing. So, before the divorce, I was very frantic about wanting to be a star, wanting to be seen, want to be very visible. Then, after the divorce, I just really didn’t care. I didn’t need that validation to be like, “Whoa, it’s Lorrie Morgan of Red Hot Copy.” I didn’t need that. But I think I did me that when I was building my business. And it served me pretty well. But these days, I prefer a much slower pace, as if you can’t tell.
So, my clients are, I’m actually doing a lot of copy coaching with a company. And I do copy editing. So, I don’t actually, lately, write the big sales letters and things like that. I clean up other people’s messes. And I like it. I like it so much better for where I’m at in my life right now. Because it’s like I’ve been there, done that, and it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of effort, as you guys know, to do a full on sales package and to do all the emails and all that. So, this is a lot more laid back and it suits me where I’m at right now.
Kira: With your copy coaching, what are some typical mistakes? Are there certain trends that you notice with your students or your clients that you’re working with where three copy mistakes that you see repeatedly that you know most of us are making?
Lorrie Morgan: Yes. I’m actually doing a training for my client tomorrow on how to tone down the hype, and how to build more rapport. And it’s a very subtle thing, but it’s why I went to marketing more to women than to men. Because when I first started writing copy, I did that full on testosterone, all bam, bam, bam, hit him over the head. And I loved it. I could write like a guy and all the exclamation points and the yellow highlighting and the capital letters. And it turns out that if you really connect with your prospect and build rapport, that you don’t need all that dressing, that window dressing, I’ll call it.
And it’s actually it’s like if you’re at a cocktail party and there’s somebody who’s up in your face and they’re all hyperactive and they’re telling you how great they are. That’s the last person you want to be around. You much more likely to gravitate to somebody who’s going to sit and listen to you, who understands where you’ve been coming from. And so, building rapport, which all starts with research, right? And knowing who your target market is.
Really getting deep into that, into knowing who you’re talking to is the way to build natural copy, if you will. And actually, Pauline Longdon and I, Pauline from Australia, we’re doing a product called Cognizance Copy, which is about that. It’s about toning down the hype and connecting on a deeper, more emotional level with your copy, which is amazing to me that a lot of people don’t get that right out of the gate. But I see it. I see it written and the exclamation marks and the overdone formatting.
So, I’d say that’s a huge one is not really building rapport and yelling at your prospect instead of drawing them in, which takes a little more effort, but it’s definitely worth it especially in a noisy marketplace. If you’re just going to be noisy, then it’s just going to blend in with everybody else instead of drawing somebody in. So, that’s a huge mistake that I see a lot more than I thought I would see. So, that surprised me when I started doing the editing that there’s a lot of hype still out there that’s really unnecessary.
Rob: So, you mentioned that hype maybe is one of the differences between copy that appeals to men and women. If somebody goes to your website, they’re going to see this nice headline. In fact, I love your website, because it’s so different from any other copywriter site that I’ve seen in the headline. You basically are just like, “Hey, men and women think differently. I can write for women and making it really clear what you bring to the table.” So, can you talk a little bit more about other things, other differences between writing copy for men versus women if our audiences are askew one way or the other?
Lorrie Morgan: Oh, yeah, that’s one of my favorite topics. And what’s funny is what “works with women when you write to women” per se, and it also works for men, because men also like it when you build rapport. They like to know that you’re listening to them. And so, they also don’t necessarily like to be yelled at or shamed, which is a lot of copy, the old style, did. And that was one of the things I wanted to get away from too was that like, “You’re a loser if you don’t buy my product.”
I’ve literally seen copy written like that. Or like, “Frankly, I’m confused why you haven’t bought my product,” and that thing that just the guilt and shame. That doesn’t really work with women. And when you turn a female prospect off, she’s gone. And not only that, she’s going to tell all her friends that you suck in the same as if you’re really good. Women are very loyal to their brands, whatever their brand is, and that brand expands to, let’s say, I bought like the toothpaste for our family.
So, my kids still use Crest because I chose that. And so, it’s got ripples, a ripple effect in a much bigger way when you get a female client versus a male client. No offense. Definitely, they stay very loyal to the brands that they love. And they talk about it, they leave reviews, which are super important nowadays, with them. That’s how a lot of people make decisions on buying at all is what other people have said. So, you’ll see a lot of times women will do that.
I’m not against men at all, by the way. That’s why it took me a long time to actually come out and say, “Look, I write for women, because I am a female and I’m able to naturally build rapport for all the reasons we talked about.” And I think that’s one of the main differences. I always take it back to the caveman days like the men are the hunters and they’re very single-focused and, almost with blinders on, they see a problem, boom, they’re going to fix it.
Whereas, we’re the gatherers and we’re taking in all of this information. We’re also smaller in general and not as strong in general speaking, with broad brush strokes here. So, we’re always having to evaluate our surroundings and make sure that we’re safe. Make sure that we make the right decision with our resources. So, we’re a lot more cautious about where we’re going to spend money or where we’re going to spend our energy.
We also have to make sure that our family is protected while the hunters are out doing their thing. So, we’re very focused on community. And women speak more. We have bigger language hubs in our brains. So, we use language a lot more than men do, in general. We speak about three times as much per day as men, which you can probably attest to, Rob. Right?
Rob: Yeah, I suppose I can agree with that.
Lorrie Morgan: Right? So, the differences are subtle but they’re very powerful differences.
Kira: So, I’m listening to this and I feel like some of this is built into my writing too, just to build that rapport to connect on a deeper level. But what could I do if I want to do even more of that, or I’m writing to female audience or I just want to just do that, in general, to improve my copywriting? How can I push I think about and what else could I do to connect on that deeper, more emotional level to build that rapport? I don’t want to ask for tricks, but how could I approach my writing to just take it to that next level in that department?
Lorrie Morgan: I have a trick, actually. I call it target. A target is your target market, distilled down to a single person. And I created this not knowing that there was such a thing called avatars or personas that businesses use. I thought that I’d made this up back in when I was starting writing copy. I’m like, “You need to write it to one single person.” And not only that, but you need to know what that person had for lunch. You need to know what their favorite color is, where they grew up, what their hopes and dreams are, how much money they have, if they have children or not, or they have pets. What do they do for exercise? Where do they go on vacation? Or where would they want to go on vacation? What are their hopes and dreams? And you have to get down so deep into knowing who your target market is, and then one single person.
And give her an age, not just an age range. Like, she’s 30 to 40, no, she’s 33 or she’s whatever. But you need make her a flesh and blood character. And then, when you sit down to write copy, imagine that person in the room with you and you’re writing directly to her or you’re speaking or having a conversation directly with that person.
So, the more you can make your target come to life, the more your copy is going to come to life and the more it’s going to connect with the other person. And it sounds it is very easy to do, but it’s so easy to not do it. So, when I teach people this, business owners and copywriters both have this light bulb moment, and it makes me feel so good. But it really does work.
Rob: So, I want to go back to something you said earlier when we were talking about putting on the alter ego. This is something that you wrote about in your book. And so, I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about the process of writing your book. Why did you write it and what is it about? Who’s the perfect reader that it will help?
Lorrie Morgan: Ignite your Moxie, I actually wrote about it or I came up with the idea at the last copy chief that Kevin Rogers held in 2019. And there was a speaker on stage named Todd Herman, who talked about alter egos. And I thought, “Wow, that’s amazing. I do that all the time.” And someone in the audience came up to me after he was done speaking and I said, “Do you ever use alter egos?” And I’m like, “Yeah, all the time.” And it struck me that a lot of people don’t really think about having an alter ego or using one.
And so, I sat down to write it, to write the things that I do to build my own confidence up. And that was one of the main ones is having an alter ego. I looked into other rock stars and movie stars and whatnot who have them. Beyoncé, for example, used to have an alter ego named Sasha Fierce. She said Sasha Fierce was bigger than life. That’s who she was when she performs, the rest of time, she’s just Beyoncé.
Now, she’s stepped into the Sasha Fierce alter ego enough that she doesn’t invoke her, if you will, which is I think what I do as well. I’ve stepped into Lorrie Morgan Red Hot Copy, whatever, so much now that I don’t actively invoke her. But back to your question, how do you get there? It is thinking about the things that you like about yourself. And even things that maybe that you don’t necessarily have about yourself.
My alter ego is a combination of Lara Croft, who’s just a badass and isn’t afraid of anything and can kick your butt and just this always on, and Gwen Stefani, who is the lead singer for, was the lead singer for No Doubt. Now, she’s on the voice and she’s just a rock star. And I don’t know these people personally. Lara Croft not even a real person. But I meshed them together to create my alter ego, which is this fearless, confident woman who just who never gets rejected. I think that’s obviously not true. But when I allow those parts of me to come forward first, I’m less likely to fail.
Kira: Yeah, no, that makes sense. And so, it seems like you could use that alter ego on sales calls and in all types of business conversations. Especially for new copywriters, I see how this could be beneficial. Or if you’re speaking on stage for the first time or going on a podcast interview for the first time, you could step into that role because some of these marketing activities and what we need to do just to keep our business running can be really uncomfortable and daunting for many of us who haven’t experienced that before.
Yeah, I agree. I think that anybody can really do that thing. Other things that are in the book that I talked about are creating like a vision board of the things that you do want and cutting out pictures from magazines or print them off the internet and then you make a board of the things that you want in your life and you hang those in your office. And so, you see them. The first time I ever made a vision board was when I was in a beauty contest in high school. And you had to wear a swimsuit. And so, I was like, “Oh, I’m too hippie.”
And so, I decided I was going to lose weight. And instead of going on a diet, I created a vision board of all these thin swimsuit models and I don’t know how much weight I lost or not, but I did. I reached my goal. And it was because it was in front of me all the time and it was something that I really deeply wanted. And you can do that with cars or with vacations or pets or with anything that you really, really want. So, the vision board is, I don’t know, have you guys ever created those?
Kira: Rob has a vision board.
Rob: I do have a vision board. It’s funny that you would ask too, because we just sat down with our kids last Monday and talk through what are the things you want to accomplish in life and try to get them thinking bigger about some of the things that they might want to do. And yeah, I actually added a couple things. I actually look at it as much as like a bucket list as a vision board. But yeah, I have a whole bunch of things that I want to accomplish before my vision goes away, finally, I guess.
Lorrie Morgan: Yeah, yeah. I love that. It’s a really powerful thing that you can do. And it’s fun. I love that you did it with your kids. That’s so cool.
Kira: Yeah. I journal but I haven’t created the vision board. I believe in it. And I want to and so this is just a reminder that it’s something that I really want to create because I think there’s power in writing it down in your journal and having that bucket list and thinking through it, but there’s so much power like you said, and looking at it every single day and having it in your office or in your bathroom so you can see it. I’m going to do it.
Lorrie Morgan: That’s very cool. Well, actually, mine is out of date. So, I need to update mine. So, that’s a good reminder for me, too. So, let’s hold each other accountable. I like it.
Kira: We will all share our vision boards in the next two weeks. That’s our mission. Okay. So, while we’re talking about the visions and mindset, you mentioned earlier that you felt like, these weren’t your words, but you were focused on your visibility and your business and showing up and then more recently through your divorce, it just changed, and that’s not a priority to you anymore. I’m just curious to hear more about how your mindset has changed over the last five or so years in business. What mindset challenges you’re dealing with today that might have been different than what you were dealing with five years ago?
Lorrie Morgan: Wow, that’s a really great question. Good on you for noticing the big shift. So, when I was married the second time, it was a long marriage actually, but it was actually very damaging to me. And so, there was a lot of emotional abuse that nobody really saw because I come off as being a very strong person. But somehow, ended up in this relationship where I was beaten down mentally. And I did actually rely more on the alter egos and things like that to thrive and to be visible because I didn’t feel like the person that people thought I was.
So, I would step into that role quite a bit. It was important to me to stay visible and, what’s the right word? Active. I’m going to cry. Because I didn’t feel, I just didn’t get that love at home. You know what I mean? I felt like I needed that from the outside, and I needed that approval. And I’ve never even said this out loud. But I don’t need it anymore because I have more self-love, doesn’t get very woo-woo on you, but I do.
And getting divorced was the best thing that I could have ever done for my emotional health and for my happiness and my freedom and my life. So, I’m lucky that I have the skill that I can continue to rely on and to use them to help others with. But now, I also have a love from within, self-love. It sounds so woo-woo but it’s true.
Rob: It does sound woo-woo and listeners to the podcast will know that I’m really into woo. So yeah, I’m the right person to talk about this. But I’m curious, if somebody’s in that space that you were in where you feel like you need affirmation or even love from outside of yourself, what can they do to maybe move beyond that, to take a step towards being okay with who they are, what they’re doing, all of the things in their lives so that they can move forward?
Lorrie Morgan: Wow, that’s a big question. I don’t know. I mean, I know for me, it was cutting cancer out of my life. I don’t think everybody has that extreme example. I guess, therapy, affirmations.
Kira: Therapy always helps.
Lorrie Morgan: Therapy does help. Truly, affirmations is another thing that is also in my book of Ignite your Moxie about how you can focus on positive things instead of the negative things without being a Pollyanna-ish. But when you start feeding your mind more powerful Positive phrases, it does come out in your actions. It does affect your mood. And affirmations was a big thing almost like prayer, if you will. Not that I’m super religious, it’s being grateful for what you’ve got and really focusing on the things that are positive in your life. And then, they expand. I’m very woo-woo today.
Kira: That’s great. I love it. So, when you’re talking about affirmations then, where are you pulling them from? I mean, I just haven’t experimented with affirmations. But are you writing your own? Are you just creating them on your own? Are you pulling them from another resource, from a mentor, from other resources?
Lorrie Morgan: No, I’m not pulling them from other resources. It starts from gratitude. Think of the top 10 things that you’re grateful for. And if they can be minutia, but you could be like grateful that I have a warm bed, grateful that I have my health, grateful that I have enough money in the bank that I don’t have to worry about not paying my bills. It starts with gratitude for me. And then, once you start realizing, appreciating what you really have, then it permeates out.
So, it’s it develops from there. I would challenge you to do that, come up with 10 things every day that you’re grateful for. And they start getting bigger and bigger. You have 100 things that you’re grateful for before you’re done and just put you in a better space.
Rob: So, we’ve talked about affirmations. So, we’ve talked about the alter ego. What else is in the book that would be helpful for copywriters getting the mind straight, getting ready to work with clients and write really good copy?
Lorrie Morgan: Well, it’s mostly about getting your mindset straight. And then, you bring your mindset, of course, to the copy table. There’s also things that you can do. This is something that I learned from John Carlton actually, going back in time, is to wear a uniform to dress the part of when you’re doing your copy. So, if you’ve seen pictures of me from years and years ago, you probably see me in a cowboy hat. So, I started wearing a cowboy hat in about 2004. This is a funny story. I don’t know if you know who Ali Brown.
Kira: I do, yeah.
Lorrie Morgan: You know who Ali? Ali and I were inseparable. And we would go to all these events together. They’re mostly guys, but then there was me and Ali, the two women. There was some females but not a lot. And so, there was one event that I got there first for and I wore a cowboy hat. And then, Ali came the next day and she wore a cowboy hat. And everyone thought that it was me. They were confusing her. And so, she’s like, “I’m never wearing a cowboy hat again.” And so, I started wearing it to every event. And so, it served a couple of purposes.
One was that you could see me from across the room if you’re with 3000 people at an event like the Dan Kennedy’s events. You could see me no matter what. So, it was for visibility. And it was a branding thing. And so, when I would sit down to write copy, I would make sure that I have my cowboy hat on so I was stepping into that alter ego, into the Red Hot Copy that was Lorrie Morgan. And now, it’s funny because I wear a cowboy hat to ride horses. So, it’s like actually functional now. But it wasn’t that. It was just a branding statement way back when and now, it’s real. So, it’s fun.
Kira: That just reminds me of how the whole alter ego. And the cowboy hat reminds me of when I started as a copywriter and started my own business, I was dressing up as a pirate. Not because I loved pirates but I just had the costume on hand. And so, it was my alter ego to make me feel more confident as I was marketing and showing up and doing podcasts. Because you’re right, at the time I needed it. And then, over time I’ve shed it, but I didn’t even think about it until now. I was like, “Oh, I haven’t had an alter ego,” but I have. It’s been there from the beginning, so.
Lorrie Morgan: That’s so cool.
Kira: And I love that your cowboy hat actually started for visibility. And there was a purpose at events to get attention from people who want to see you across the room, and now it’s actually part of your life.
Lorrie Morgan: It’s funny to me, too. I love it. It cracks me up. I got tired of wearing the cowboy hat. I got tired of red, right? Because everything’s Red Hot Copy, so I would wear red all the time, too. And I got so sick of red. But I got tired of the cowboy hat and I’m like, “I’m not going to wear it anymore.” And when I would go to an event, people would ask me, “Where’s your cowboy hat?” So, I would literally, whatever town I was in, I would go and buy one because I had to have a cowboy hat. And now, I have, how many do I have now? I have, I don’t know, a dozen right here next to me. So many of them. A little bit of a problem.
Kira: So, Lorrie, my last question for you is about, we teased it earlier, but what was your experience like working on the set of Baywatch? Can you tell us all the details?
Lorrie Morgan: Oh, okay. I would love to. So, I moved to California to be an actress. And as I told you, I sucked as an actress. And so, I ended up getting married and I did some theater. I didn’t do a whole lot of stuff. But I still studied acting while I was married the first time. And I still wanted to do it. And so, my then husband bought me, at a fundraiser, he bought me a walk-on role on Baywatch. So, you bid for it and then the school gets the money and I got to be on Baywatch.
And so, I went, I had to drive all the way town towards Malibu at super early in the morning, 7:00 in the morning, and flounce around on the beach where it’s freezing. And you’re supposed to play volleyball and all that stuff. And then, it got super-hot a couple hours later. And so, I was getting sunburned and whatever, but they loved me. And so, they kept having me come back and do extra work. That was how I got my Screen Actors Guild card, which is the hardest thing in the world to get.
You can’t get an acting job until you have your SAG card and you can’t get your SAG card until you have an acting job. But if you do enough extra work, they will let you in the union. And so, I finally got my SAG card after I quit acting, which is talked about. But I’m in the union. And I’m still in the union but I’m on hold right now. So, I did it for the summer. And I had a close up, I had an interactive part with André the Giant. He was the crazed-
Kira: Wow. Cool.
Lorrie Morgan: Yeah. He was like a monster locked up in a cage and I had a little boy who was supposed to be my son and we were right next to him. And he was growling at us and I had to have a reaction like, “Oh, no. He’s going to kill us.” That was my big acting moment. And Pamela Anderson was on back then. She was so mean to everybody. And I was very happy that, as skinny as she was, that she still had cellulite. That’s how petty I am.
Kira: What episode was this? I want to check it out.
Lorrie Morgan: Oh, my gosh. It would have been in 90, probably 94, I want to say. And so, whenever André the Giant was on. But I was on a bunch of them. You probably won’t see me on most of them. You’ll see with the one with André the Giant.
Kira: Yeah, I’m looking for it. Okay.
Lorrie Morgan: Tell me if you find it. I’ve never looked for it, actually, how funny.
Rob: If we can find it, we’ll link to it in the show notes.
Lorrie Morgan: Oh, my gosh. Okay, cool. You can see how bad I am as an actress, too.
Rob: Lorrie, this has been a fun discussion. You’ve shared a lot of great insights and some tips that we could all benefit from. We want to respect your time. So, if people want to reach out and connect with you, find you, follow you, even find you on Baywatch, where should they go?
Lorrie Morgan: Well, my site is where it all happens at redhotcopy.com. And I send out my musings copy, just what it’s like to live in the country with horses and snakes and chickens. So, I would love for people to sign up for my list at redhotcopy.com. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook too, also Red Hot Copy.
Rob: Awesome. Thank you.
Kira: Yeah, thank you, Lorrie. Hopefully, we can meet you or see you again in person some point soon.
Lorrie Morgan: I’m hopeful for that, too. Let’s visualize it.
Rob: Putting it on my vision right now.
Lorrie Morgan: I love it.
Rob: You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club podcast with Kara Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive available in iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.