In the 20th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, Kira and Rob talk about the ideas and advice from the first 19 episodes that they’ve found most helpful in their own businesses. This episode is a bit like a Cliff Notes version of the podcast and a great way to catch up on the show if you’ve missed any of the previous discussions. But more than just a review, Rob and Kira talk about how the ideas their guests have shared have changed the way they do business. This is a great episode, don’t miss it.
Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
Reviews in iTunes and Stitcher
The Ultimate Sales Letter
The Advertising Solution
The Dark Arts of Long Form Sales Pages
Kira’s Email List
Rob’s Email List
Finding the Right Message (Jen’s book)
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
Intro: Content (for now)
Rob: The Copywriter Club Podcast is sponsored by Airstory, the writing platform for professional writers who want to get more done in half the time. Learn more at airstory.co/club.
Kira: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes, and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Rob and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Rob: You’re invited to join the club for episode 20 as Kira and I talk about our favorite advice from several episodes of the podcast and how we’re applying it in our businesses.
Kira: Hi, Rob.
Rob: Hi, Kira. How’s it going?
Kira: It’s fantastic.
Rob: Yeah, today’s a really good day.
Kira: Today is a great day. We’re pumped up from our previous interview and conversation that was just really … Gosh, it just gets me so excited about what we’re doing.
Rob: I’m the same way. It’s like every time we talk to another expert, another copywriter who’s doing really smart things with their business, I just get so excited. I get off the interview. It makes me more excited about the work that I’m doing, the clients that I’m working for, that stuff that we’re doing in the Facebook group, and all that stuff. This has been an awesome fun project that we’ve been working on.
Kira: Totally. Today’s episode is really discussing some of the major highlights from the past 20 shows. I think we’ll jump around a bit. We’ll probably going to miss some of them. Also, talking about the way that we’ve already integrated some of these changes or some of these lessons into our own businesses. Some of them we have not, but they’re mostly ones that I or still my list of things to do. I have implemented a couple and I know you have as well.
Rob: Before we do that though, we want to cover two things. That first is that for everybody who’s listening, if you haven’t already taken the opportunity to leave a rating or a review in iTunes, if you would please … We know you might be driving. Pull over, park the car, go to iTunes, leave us a review. We’d love it if it’s five stars, but even if it’s not, we really want that feedback for two reasons. One, it tells us that you’re listening and that you enjoy what we’re doing. Two, it really does help other people find the podcasts. When there are a lot of reviews, Apple moves it to the top of the list. There are a couple of good podcasts for other writers and we just want to be ranked among those. If you take a minute to rate us in iTunes or if you’re on Stitcher, that would be fantastic.
Kira: Also, if you could join the Facebook group on The Copywriter Club Facebook group, we have around 800 people in the group already. If you’re in there, it’s an incredible conversation and a really zen positive vibe that we will maintain. Rob is our bouncer. He would kick you out if you are a jerk. Anyway, it’s really incredible. I’m learning a ton in there. I can’t actually keep up with it because there’s so much valuable information. I have to go back, and copy and paste everything I’m learning.
Rob: There are a few members who have put comments and advice that are so good. I don’t even know how to compare this like being in a Mastermind group with some super smart people. They’ll make that comment and I think, “Wow! I’m copying that into a document to use for later.” If it’s advice about pricing, or how to brand your business, or position yourself in the market, there’s just been so much good stuff there; even have been people who’ve shared projects that they couldn’t get to clients, that they’re sharing with our writers who might have time. It’s been a fantastic group. I agree. Get in there and participate. We can all learn from each other.
Kira, this episode we want to talk about our favorite moments from the first 19 episodes I guess, since this is our 20th. We’ve talked to some really smart people. We’ve had a lot of really great advice. Let’s start with your favorite.
Kira: I don’t know if this is my favorite because but this is the one that I’ve implemented already, so it’s worth sharing first. It’s with one of my favorite people, Joanna Wiebe. In our conversation with Joanna, we asked her how we can kind of up level our copywriting and charge more. She said you need to really own the process and kind of manage your client in the entire process, and part of that is presenting your copy and doing it in such a way that you again are owning that process. Do it in such a way that you are the leader. It’s well-organized and it’s well-thought out, that it doesn’t put a question in your client’s mind of, “Oh, they don’t know what they’re doing,” or “I should take ownership of this and tell them what changes they need to make.”
The way she explained it is really brilliant. Since hearing that, I did actually test it even though I was a little bit scared to do so, because typically I just will send my copy. Pull into a Google doc and send it and say, “Hey, here you go. You have a couple of days to review and comment back, and then I’ll work on the final draft.” With one of my current clients, I actually changed it up. I said, “Hey, I would really like to have a touch point with you, jump on Skype and I’ll share the copy with you and present it.” I did let her know that this was my first time doing it. I was transparent. It kind of gave me some relief to just be transparent with her. This is something I’m testing. I think it’s a good way to go.
I did it. I was a little nervous presenting my copy. I kind of felt like I should think it out before I do it again as to what I should share and how I should share it, because I felt a little bit awkward, but I did it. I think it’s important. I want to continue doing it and I want to take the step further and really think about touch points with client projects. How I can just take it to the next level and even have a VA help manage projects so that I’m not dropping the ball which I have definitely?
Rob: How did your client react to the presentation?
Kira: She was very quiet. What Joanna did say because I was going back to the notes is that you should share the copy an hour beforehand before you get on the call. I did not do that. I guess I did not remember that part. I just shared it for the first time on the call. Next time, I will share it beforehand. Anyway, it was the first time she saw it. It was a very personal, especially the way I started the sales page, was super personal and like revealing this part of her past that she still feels uncomfortable sharing. She was just quiet.
Rob: Right. That’s an agency trick. It’s not a trick, that’s an agency process. If you go to an ad agency or design agency, they wouldn’t just send you an email with the work. They’ll always sit down, and present it, and talk through the strategy and that sort of thing. I think that’s some of my favorite advice as well that we’ve heard in all of the episodes.
Kira: I will say just be prepared for it to be potentially uncomfortable or awkward. The first time, I feel like it might get easier. When she did speak, this client did speak, she did say she got teary eyed and that she really liked it. Then we moved forward from there. It was a positive experience that I’d recommend trying it. What about you Rob? What really stood out to you and what have you implemented so far?
Rob: My favorite piece of advice and it’s one that I have implemented came from Ben Settle show. Ben Settle is kind of a controversial character. There are a lot of people who don’t react well to his shtick, his personality, and the way he talks. If you set that aside and just take the advice, he knows a lot of stuff about email marketing and marketing in general. One of the things he told us was that when he finds a really good book that he’ll read it five, six, maybe even 10 times in a row to really internalize the information that’s in the book, so that it just becomes a natural part of the way he thinks, what he can offer clients, all that kind of stuff.
I thought I’m going to try that. I picked up, I had it sitting on my desk already, Dan Kennedy’s Ultimate Sales Letter. I said, “I’m going to read this one five or six times and sort of see what happens when I do that.” I’ve done it. I’m on my fifth time through. I’ve underlined tons of notes. I’ve started writing notes into a notebook to try to understand it even better. I actually think that this advice is so good. I understand more from reading that book. It’s changed the way I thought even about landing pages that I work on. Even little things that might not stand out the first time that you read through it. By the fourth or fifth, you start to notice, “Oh yeah. This little trick is actually pretty cool and can do something different.”
That is of everything that we’ve heard, and we’ve heard some really good advice over the last few episodes. That’s the one that I have really started to make part of my business and recommend that other people should do the same. I’ve got this list of books that I’m going to get to next. I’ve started through Brian Kurtz’s Advertising Solution. I’m going to read that one, four or five times. Breakthrough Advertising is on my list to re-read again several times this year. Basically all of these old direct marketing masters and copywriters, that’s where I’m starting. My personal reading for the next few months is only going to be re-reading these classics several times taking copious notes, and trying to internalize the information that’s there.
Kira: I think Ben Settle actually said that he’s read Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz 19 or 20 times.
Rob: Yeah, that’s crazy number.
Kira: When I heard that, it was just shocking because I have had never gone that deep on a book. I think it also takes the pressure off. I know I feel pressured to keep up and read all these books. I barely have time to breathe most of the times. If I could just take one book and go deep for a year, and not worry about keeping up with everything else, it feels manageable to me. Rob, what book would you recommend for me because I feel like I’m only now tapping into these legendary copywriters and the direct response worlds? I need to get into that world. I know it’s important and I’m excited about it. Where should I start?
Rob: Everybody says that you should start with Claude Hopkins. I’m not sure that I agree with that. I think that’s a great place to start and it’s very basic. From where you are in your business and what I know about you, I would even say Joanna Wiebe’s The Dark Arts of Long Form Sales Pages would be a good one to read and re-read. That’s on my list as well.
Kira: Oh, interesting.
Rob: I think The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy is a really good one if you’re writing landing pages and sales letters, that kind of stuff. That one should be on there. Brian Kurtz’s book like I mentioned earlier, that’s probably a really good one. The thing I like about that book is that it sort of [inaudible 00:11:08] the teachings of six different classic copywriters and it makes it really understandable. For me, it’s one of my favorite books that I’ve read about copywriting. There’s some good stuff there. I’ll share my whole list with you via email may be, but that’s a good place to start.
Kira: Okay, perfect.
Rob: Next, what other ideas have really stood out to you?
Kira: This is a big one. It’s not new but it definitely keeps popping into my mind. Basically with Amy Posner, we interviewed her. I’m not sure of the actual number of the episode. I’ve worked with Amy in a couple different projects now. We’ve collaborated on different clients that she’s brought in or that I’ve brought in. It just has reminded me of the power of collaboration. I know that’s a big part of the club. Now, we have this thriving club where we’re sharing processes, and we’re sharing information, and rates. People are really stepping up and sharing vulnerable information which is incredible. I think we could even take it a step further and start working on projects together, because I know from working with you and working with Amy and other copywriters, every time I do that not only as my final product, the copy that much better. It’s also I’m learning these little details that I just could improve upon like how to make my bullets even stronger. Amy’s helped me with that.
I think when you get in to a document and you’re in there with someone who is at your level, or more experienced, or maybe even less experienced but they just have a different background. You will-
Rob: Bringing the beginner mind, right?
Kira: Yeah, you will learn something new. I know that’s a big part of what I’m working on is just kind of seen my projects as collaborations. Then I want to bring in the best people, and maybe it’s just like hiring someone to come in and add a sense of humor, like it’s bringing [inaudible 00:13:05] into the mix, like “Hey, can you help me make this funnier?” Just kind of seen it as every work of art as a way to bring in the best people and then also learn and have an incredible final product.
Rob: We see it in the Mastermind group that we participate in, but every time people share a copy, or when I’ve relied on people like Jen Havice who we interviewed about research, she’s always and you … I get so much good feedback. Angles that I hadn’t considered. Maybe it’s just a tweak of a headline or a subhead that just makes it that much better. I totally agree with you working with another writer can make a huge difference in the quality of your copy. It’s hard to price in, because you can’t always just rely on … If it’s more than say, “Hey, check this out 10-15 minutes whatever,” people need to be paid for their time.
Kira: Oh yeah, definitely.
Rob: If you can figure out a way to make that work within your project budget and scope, it’s definitely worth doing.
Kira: Yeah, I’m definitely not saying like, “Rely in this people and don’t pay them.” I think there are couple of people I know will go back and forth and we just help each other out. I think Rob, we have that relationship. We just help each other out. Everyone else gets paid for their time. I think it’s also fun to help support other copywriters to pass money around, so we’re all getting paid. I think that just feels really good too.
Rob: Yeah, I agree. Now having said that, the few copywriters that have reached out to me in the past, I don’t want them to feel guilty that they didn’t offer. That’s not what I’m saying. Those relationships are worth maintaining and sharing information is just part of that.
Kira: What else for you Rob?
Rob: Another idea that really jumped out of me that I’ve adopted is when we talked with Tarzan Kay in episode nine about her postcard project. I thought, “You know what? This is something that I’m definitely going to do.” Almost immediately went online and I’m working with some thank you cards with The Copywriter Club logo on them, and have started using those as thank yous to people that we’ve talked to. I’m going to now adopt actually the postcard idea and use those to send to clients, to people that I’m interacting with in other ways. I just think that that personal communication offline in the mail is so huge. When Tarzan was talking about the difference it has made for her, it was just like a light bulb went off in my office. I’m like, “Okay, I really need to do this. I need to build those connections.”
I’ve been doing it. We’ve send out thank you cards to most of the people that we’ve talked to on our episode so far. It’s something that we’re going to continue to do, and find other opportunities to interact with people through actual hand-delivered mail in expressing those personal feelings and heartfelt thanks for what people have helped us do.
Kira: I give you credit because you really did do it. You created the cards for the club. I know, I certainly did print them out. I’m a little bit behind there. I think receiving a postcard from Tarzan with a really solid, nice, thoughtful message was very touching. I just remember getting it. I was like, “I love Tarzan.” It just will bring you closer to people that you’re sending them to in such an incredible way. I was even thinking, “Wow! What if I could do that with my mail or my email list?” Especially, I’m still starting with a small list. Do we request mailing addresses or do we ask our list to submit that? Will people do that? I kind of wonder if that’s a direction to go, and how we can collect that information at large.
Rob: If you’re on Kira’s list and you want to get a postcard from her, send her your address. Let her know you want to hear it from her. At the very least, tell her to send you an email because that’s something that she could do as well.
Kira: I kind of felt like that might come up. You probably don’t know if you’re on my list because you wouldn’t know because you don’t hear from me at all, which actually we talked about with Laura Belgray because she is excellent at emailing her list with fantastic stories every week. They’re always entertaining. I was able to ask Laura, “How should I handle this if I haven’t emailed my list yet? What’s the best way to jump back into that?” I’m sure there are copywriters that are listening that have not or do not email regularly. She said just kind of make a joke out of it and just jump back in and move on, and don’t dwell on it. People probably don’t even care or realize, so just provide them with something, entertainment, content, value, inspiration, something and move on.
Rob: Now, the trick is just finding the time to do it, right?
Kira: Right. It’s making it a priority. I think it’s just all about what are your priorities. So far, I feel like each month I’ve been looking at each month like a year. What can I accomplish in this month that makes it feel like I have accomplished these great things throughout entire year? I’ve been pretty good. I know we’re only two months in. I’ve been pretty solid, but emailing my list has not been on that list. I just would say it’s not a priority for me right now. Maybe that’s bad. You’re good at it.
Rob: I do email my list every week, sometimes it’s better than other times but that’s definitely something that I try to make a priority. I’ve done it for almost two years now. It takes a lot of time. It takes effort, but in the end the feedback that I get from a lot of people who are on my lists just makes it really worthwhile. I love hearing from people that are like, “Hey, that idea really struck home.” Whatever that feedback is, it’s just sort of gratifying when you hear back from people who are really what you write.
Kira: What else on? Tarzan also mentioned having a VA and hiring a VA. Not only has that helped her create systems in her business and also offloaded a lot of work, but it changed or created a shift in her clients’ perception of her; and even has helped her increased her rates because people look at you different when you have someone basically like answering the phone for you and responding to emails for you. That really stuck with me as well because I do have a VA on my team, but I’ve been very slow to ramp that up and to bring on to basically invite her to help me with multiple projects because that takes time; even training someone or helping them support you takes time. I think after speaking with Tarzan about that, I was more determined to actually help my VA help me. I think just showing the impact of how that could help you increase your rates is really important; maybe the catalyst that other copywriters need to take that step.
Rob: I thought that was really interesting that having the VA made her clients perceived her as a real business and not just a freelance copywriter.
Kira: It works. I know I view people differently when they have someone else responding to their emails or running their projects. I can’t help it. I look at their business differently.
Rob: That’s something … I sort of have been aversed to having a VA help me, but maybe that’s something I need look into on my own business.
Kira: Maybe, but if you’re systems are running smoothly and you’re happy, and things are going well, maybe not?
Rob: I need a VA for my life. Maybe that’s just keep me on course.
Kira: What else stood out to you Rob?
Rob: Another one that I want to mention because I do this in my own business. I didn’t start after we talked to her, but I did start after I got to know her and that’s Jen Havice talked about her research process. That’s something that she shared a year ago when she published her book. She shared it with me. I use this book, her book so often when I’m thinking through what kind of research do I want to do. When I’m starting with a new client and trying to think through what questions do I need the customer to answer. The client’s customer that I’m actually writing for, what questions do I need from the client? How do you do research like message mining?
Her book is short. It’s simple, but that one book may have contributed more to my business over the last year and a half or so, than anything else. The advice that she drops in her episode was fantastic. I guess if anybody wants to get on and listen to that, that was episode 12. Anybody who hasn’t got her book really should head to Amazon and buy it now.
Kira: I have used her book as well. I have it. I don’t go back to it as often now, only because I think it’s finally all in my head, although I should revisit it. I use Jen’s research processes as well. That I think her research process has elevated my business and helped me kind of finally just feel like I can really bring something to the table when I’m working with clients. I feel like I can back up what I’m doing now, because I have the proof. I have everything I need to do the job correctly.
Rob: Exactly. It may not apply to somebody who’s writing blog posts quite as much to somebody who may be doing launch videos or sales type copy. I can’t think of a copywriter who wouldn’t benefit from reading it at least once.
Kira: What’s interesting is popping up in our conversations and maybe there’s some other conversations that are post episode 20. It’s about the copywriters that are going to be like the million dollar copywriters are really owning their niche. Even if you are focused on white papers and blog content, and maybe you haven’t integrated surveying into your process, maybe we all should become those experts and have all the survey responses and data about our audience before we tackle any project. Maybe that’s kind of the way of the future of copywriting. It’s like just having that so you know more about your client’s audience than they do. I mean how much power is that when you can say, “I know this. I learn this about your audience.” Then you start providing those aha moments for your clients.
Rob: We interrupt this program for a message from our sponsor. As we noted at the top of the program, The Copywriter Club Podcast is sponsored by Airstory. Recently Kira had a chance to talk to copywriter Lisa Pierson about how she uses Airstory in her business. This is just a part of that discussion.
Kira: What should other copywriters know about Airstory?
Lisa: Some of us are a little ADD or our minds wonder, and it really helps you focus. You can do all of your research ahead of time. You can add it all to cards. It’s right there in your document. You don’t need to leave your document once you start writing. I love that I can do all of my research, have it in my cards and focus on the work. My name’s Lisa Pierson. I’m a conversion copywriter and strategist. I love using Airstory to keep me focused and on task when I’m working on my projects.
Rob: All right. What’s another takeaway from our previous podcast?
Kira: Okay, from Ry Schwartz. Of course, that was a great interview.
Rob: I was hoping you’d leave Ry for me because [crosstalk 00:24:16]
Kira: I can. We might have-
Rob: That’s a good note, go for it.
Kira: We might have different takeaways because of course there were a lot from that episode. I took away just going deeper and so especially since we’ll tie him on the research. Ry mentioned, it’s great to collect the survey responses and to really dig into those. What if you can dig deeper and kind of understand what’s behind those survey responses? I think he says just sit with it long enough to pierce below that surface and ask questions about that will allow you to think deeper and kind of make connections that may not be relevant when you first review the survey responses. I don’t know if I’ve actually started doing that, but I think it’s just something that I need to consider what does that mean to me and how can I start doing that in my research process. Part of that too is I know, people in the club have said, “I want to spend more time on research and interviewing, but it takes so much time. I’m not charging enough to warrant that time.”
I think it’s tricky. If you want to beef up this process, you do increase your rates so that you can support it and you can allot that time to this process in going deeper without feeling like you have to cram in 20 projects in a month, and you don’t have time to breathe.
Rob: I think when you read Ry’s copy, you see that he does that really well. In the emails that he does for Amy Porterhouse-
Rob: I’m sorry, Porterfield. Porterhouse, she should slap me for that. You can read those and it’s almost like he’s in your head. He really understands her basic customer and what they are looking for. I think ultimately that translates into sales.
Kira: Yeah, definitely.
Rob: I have another takeaway from Ry’s episode. That is towards the beginning of the episode, he talked about the process of helping the customer to forgive themselves of the actions that they’ve taken in the past because so many of the customers that we are writing for have purchased products in the past that didn’t work or try diet plans, or whatever the thing is that is going to solve their problem and it doesn’t work. Partly because of that, they are sort of, it’s not really angry but they feel guilty that I’ve tried to improve and I’ve failed. This next thing is going to be just more of the same.
Ry basically says, “Look, we need to give to people writing our copy permission to forgive themselves of the stuff that they’ve tried in the past. They were doing the best that they could using the best information that they had, and for whatever reason it didn’t work; but that doesn’t mean that the next thing can’t work.” Obviously we don’t want to use that manipulatively, but we need to be able to help customers sort of move past the mistakes and the failures that they’ve had, so that they can find the one thing that’s going to help them solve whatever the pain is that they have.
Kira: I have definitely started doing that. I think that’s really powerful. I think Ry is really good at writing copy that empowers the reader to feel like they can do X, Y, and Z. I think he’s built a really good process to do that. I tried to incorporate that in my sales page copy. Let’s see. I was going to bring out Jessica Mehring’s interview because I actually took a lot of notes from that interview. She mentions really the copywriters that are great. She’s based this off of what she’s heard from her clients. Jessica actually asked her clients, “What separates the good copywriters from the great copywriters?” I know she’s collected a lot of valuable information around that. What she was willing to share with us was that the great copywriters really understand their client. This is kind of what we’ve touched on earlier, but if you can understand the company and the beliefs their audience just as well or better than the client, that’s how you really do great work. You stand out to that client.
Rob: Jessica has worked with in a coaching situation with other writers as well. She knows what she’s talking about.
Kira: It seemed so obvious, even as I’m saying it now. That just sounds obvious but we don’t always do it. I know I don’t always do that. You have to kind of go in with that mindset when you start a project. How can I understand everything I need to understand? I think it’s just a mindset shift and I don’t know if did an easy switch. I guess, it helped to figure that out, but it’s a good reminder.
Rob: I think another sort of know the moment from the podcast was in episode one when Kaleigh Moore was talking about how she gets to know influencers when she’s doing outreach for guest posting and just trying to find more publicity for her work. She talked about how she uses Twitter not to make pitches but to create relationships where she’ll start following people. She’ll respond to funny things that they might say or a comment that’s applicable to a topic that they’re covering. If they post an article, she’ll respond and say, “Hey, great article,” and really try to develop a relationship; so that down the line when she’s ready to make that pitch, she can reach out to that person and say, “Hey, I had a few ideas. Do you want me to run them by you?” The person immediately recognizes that Kaleigh is this person they’ve been interacting with and has a relationship, and of course the answer is going to be sure.
If the things that she is pitching to them work for the audience, it’s almost a no brainer for the person that she now has a relationship with to say, “Yeah, let’s do it.” She’s done that to get post on Copy Hackers and on The Crazy Egg Blog. I think AppSumo blog, even Entrepreneur.com. It’s worked really well for her. That was another one of those things, it’s like, “Of course, that’s how you do it,” but we don’t always do it that way because it’s like, “Hey, let’s just make a pitch.” It falls flat because we don’t have that relationship.
Kira: Even as you’re saying this and like, “Well, I haven’t really done this since chatting with Kaleigh about it.” I think it does translate into all forms of social media. I spend more time on Instagram, but even just building relationships through Instagram. It’s something as simple as when somebody comments on your image, commenting back to them is really powerful. It’s something I don’t always make time to do, even though I don’t have a huge following. I should make time to do that. That’s where you can build these relationships to people that may be aren’t in your circle, or they are in your circle but they want to get to know you better. I know some of the bigger influencers in Instagram like Jasmine Star. She comments back on every comment. She has a huge following. It’s like if she can do it, she’s a busy lady, we can all do it regardless of the platform.
Rob: How about another idea?
Kira: When we were chatting with Lacy about her brand, I think it was just a really great reminder that your brand can impact your bottom line. I don’t have all the stats. I know Lacy shared some of the stats on her show about how it impact her numbers. I know she mentioned that her list doubled since she relaunched her brand. For me, if someone who has … I’ve branded recently in the last year. I saw the results in my business, just attracting clients I never would have attracted before. I have this new brand. I know the impact. It’s real. It does lead to dollar signs and not to mention just buying in the right people and attracting the right people who get you and like you. I personally think, this is like me on a soapbox. I think the copywriters that will really stand out are going to be the ones that know how to brand themselves, and understand what they’re bringing to the table. What they do really well and maybe what they don’t do. I think having that self-awareness and then integrating it into a brand will go really far.
Rob: It’s interesting in The Copywriter Club Facebook group, several people have mentioned a few writers over and over because they’ve got really strong brands. They click on to their sites just to see what other writers are doing. Lacy’s site has just such a strong brand voice and a visual look that supports it. Hers gets mentioned almost every time. Your site Kira, gets mentioned a lot because you’ve got such a strong brand voice and a very unique look to your site. I’m a little bit sad that nobody ever mentions my site. My pathetic, sad-looking site that needs a better brand voice. It’s definitely a tool that I think really sets the few writers who do it well, apart from the rest of us.
Kira: Definitely. What else for you Rob? What else stood out?
Rob: Our whole interview with Sam Woods. I should just like stop here and hit play because we’ve talked to so many smart people. I’ve listened to not only as we interview people, but then I cut the episodes together. I’m listening to it again. Then it shows up on my iPad. Sam’s is one that I’ve sort of saved to my iPad, listen to again and again. What he says about the things that motivate customer decisions and customer buying decisions in particular is something that I think I should listen to 20 or 30 times. It is such good advice and he mentions a couple of resources that he’s used to sort of learn the skill. Again if you haven’t heard that episode, you should probably just pause this one right now and go back and listen to it, because almost everything Sam says is gold and will make you a better writer.
Kira: Yeah. I know we always talk about … We don’t enough, we always talk about it but I always hear business owners talking about knowing your numbers. What Sam talks about is knowing their numbers. You should know your client’s numbers. If you are working on a sales pitch for them, you should know what the conversion stats are. How much they made from it? Everything around the launch as far as numbers. He mentions that if you’re interviewing a potential client and they don’t know their numbers, that is a red flag. You should stay away from that projects because you want to work with clients who know their numbers, so then you can position yourself and show your value based on those numbers and the impact of what you’re going to do base on those numbers.
I took away from that that I should start maybe even integrating the question in my inquiry form about their numbers. Maybe it’s just a simple question, so I’m not prying too deeply but just to kind of weed out people that maybe want this like killer launch plan, but they don’t have the actual list and the marketing know how to accomplish their goals yet.
Rob: I think it’s critical if we’re going to be able to do as writers, demonstrate the value that we bring. If you don’t have that sort of place where they’re beginning the numbers today so that you can compare the numbers after whatever piece we create for them launches, that’s really hard to demonstrate that you’re worth more than just somebody who is being a hired gun to write copy. It may not be as applicable again to blog posts and top of funnel type content. Although there is a place for it there as well, you want to see people sort of move through that funnel in a really deliberate way. If you’re going to pitch yourself as a conversion copywriter, or a sales copywriter, or somebody who is helping to grow a business and doing that kind of consulting, you really need to know the numbers. Let’s have another one. We’re running out of episodes, but I think there’s a couple more.
Kira: I know and I feel like we’re missing a couple too, but that’s okay. What I want to mention next is Hillary’s episode, Hillary Weiss. Hillary is just like this powerful copywriter that I always kind of say, “I want to be Hillary when I grow up,” because she really works her tush off. Ever since I’ve known her, she just is the hardest worker and just like continuing to push and grow. She’s also had a lot of success at a young age because of that. I think it just shows like you can have the best brand, but if you’re not working and just putting in the time and the sweat, you’re not going to make it. Hillary has proven that if you do, you will. What I took from the conversation with her though, is it’s all about style. Hillary is one of the best copywriters such as incorporating style into her brand, into her copywriting. Even just like when she shows up in real life, she’s decked out. Her fingernails have decals on them. She’s like-
Rob: Just for the record, that wasn’t the takeaway that I have for Hillary’s episode.
Kira: I’ve seen her recently and when she shows up, she matches her brand. It’s just all powerful. I notice that because I am hanging out in the same outfit like for five days in a row at home. I pay attention to those things.
Rob: Hillary is a fantastic writer. You’re right. Given her age, you would think that she’s got 10 more years of experience just on what she delivers. The way she talks and coaches others with her writing, she’s made an awesome contribution within the Facebook group as well. I agree that that episode is one worth listening to.
Kira: She also mentions that she really infuses hip hop into her writing.
Kira: We’ve talked about this before, off the podcast show just about the power of music. I know she’s inspired me to listen to new artists and to even listen to music more, and really kind of branch out in order to find that creative inspiration that we all need.
Rob: My last big takeaway was from the last episode that we just did with Danny Marguiles. I have to admit, I went into this episode sort of thinking there is no way that Danny could convince me that Upwork would be a great place to find clients at work because it just sort of feels like the low price, cheap option where people take advantage of copywriters who don’t know the real value that they’re adding. I’m not sure that I personally would want to do a business on Upwork, but I came away from that really with a little bit of a changed attitude. Danny’s made it worked for him and I think it is the right place for some writers to build a following.
Danny shares what he called his crystal ball technique for attracting clients. That is that when a client needs a blog post or a webpage that talks about a particular subject and he doesn’t have that in his portfolio, he’ll go and create a piece that’s sort of similar; not exactly the same thing but it’s related so that the customer can then read that sample piece and say, “Oh yeah, I can see that Danny could create something similar for me.” His argument was that that landed him more jobs than other writers would get. While that maybe a little extra work, it’s a great way to way build out a portfolio. It’s a good way perhaps for the right writers to launch their business and attract new clients.
Kira: It really does work. I feel like anytime I landed a project is because that client had seen a similar project in my portfolio or they had just stumbled upon it somehow because I think we want to have that matched. I think we don’t want to have to imagine what it could be. We just want to see it and have that proof. It’s easy sell. I think as we wrap this up, I know we didn’t cover every episode and there’s a lot more to cover. I think, one last takeaway for me was just when we talk with Laura Belgray about her writing. She mentioned that she has a crisis of confidence almost before every single client. That just I guess gave me some relief to know that we’re kind of despite how experience you are, we all have that at times. It’s normal. I think and I appreciated Laura mentioning that because I feel that all the time. I’m sure many of you do as well. Just to kind of know that we’re all dealing with the doubts and the fear. You just kind of moves past it.
Rob: I think that’s great. A lot of writers suffer from a lack of confidence or even the impostor syndrome. What do we have to do with these customers that we have? How do we advise them on the business? What do I know? It’s nice to hear people like Laura who had such a thriving business and has success in television, in working one-on-one with clients, in teaching copywriting, to hear her say that she still struggles with that. I think it’s a relief to a lot of people.
Kira: All right, Rob. I think that’s a wrap. I’m really excited. I can’t exaggerate that enough to cover the next 10 episodes. We’ll probably jump on after the next 10, right?
Rob: Yeah. We’ve already talked to a couple of people that we’ve got lined up. I’m just going to go ahead and throw out a couple of names. We’ve talked with Joel Klettke. Again, we hang up the phone from Joel and just thought, “Wow, that was just such a great episode. It’s so loaded with great advice.” I’m excited to be sharing that now, and it comes out in the next week or so. We’ve talked with Roy Furr who’s a direct response copywriter that at least a few of the members of our club will recognize. The advice that he throws out about retainer clients and he walks us step-by-step through how he’s grown and increased his pricing all the way from the beginning of his career to where he is now. It’s pretty impressive. Some of the stuff that he shares, I’m really excited about. Then do you want to share the person we just talked with this morning?
Kira: Oh, Brian Kurtz. That’s why we were both really pumped when we got into this conversation. We just wrapped an interview with him. He mentioned and maybe you can describe this better, but he said he’s the bridge. He’s focused on teaching based on his 34 years of experience in direct response. He sees himself as kind of this bridge between the old world of direct response and then this new world of online marketing. I don’t think there are that many people that are the bridge and actively want to teach and help in the way that he does with his background, and all of his knowledge and all of his connections. He’s someone that you introduced me to Rob. I’m just so grateful that I’m now aware and kind of obsessed with him. I’m just really honored that he’s a part of our show.
Rob: He’s kind of like the favorite uncle. He’s got such great stories, and you just kind of want to sit at his knee and just say, “Brian, go.” That’s kind of what he did on the podcast. Anyway, we’re excited to share that with the rest of the group. There are others as well that we haven’t mentioned that we’ve got lined up. If you have ideas of people that we should be talking to, if there are subjects that you want us to cover, drop in to the Facebook group and just let us know because we would love to reach out to other experts that maybe aren’t in our group of contacts. We’ll see if we can make that work.
Kira: I feel like we should have a great wrap for the show. Let’s just put some music on.
Rob: You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive, available in iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review. For show notes, and full transcript, and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.