We interviewed Aly Goulet for the 249th episode of The Copywriter Club podcast. Aly is a SaaS copywriter and content strategist. She started her content writing business while still in college, and took it all the way when she graduated. By using her cold pitch method, she’s been able to book clients in her niche and she breaks down how she made it happen in this episode.
Here’s the rundown:
- The scrappy method and when it may be time to start investing in your business and skill set growth.
- Skyrocketing and hitting goals in your business in 1 year.
- How many cold pitches you should send a day if you want to find clients fast.
- Why you should actually narrow in the type of clients you want to work with.
- What to include in your monthly retainers and how you should go about pricing them.
- When your cold pitches should be long or short and why.
- Perfecting your project management process, so you don’t get lost in all the moving pieces of retainer deliverables.
- How even copywriters need automations to keep up with their projects and save time.
- What you can start doing to get out of feast and famine mode.
- The science of connecting with people on LinkedIn. (Plus, your new cold pitch message.)
- The quickest, easiest way to become visible online.
- Why you shouldn’t put your own business on the backburner. (Hint: You won’t forget about your clients.)
- What happens after you start hitting your income goals. What’s next?
- Do’s and don’t of creating an epic portfolio.
- The newest WordPress plugin to make building out your portfolio easier. (You’re the best, Aly!)
- How the Think Tank has helped in reaching her goals in her business.
- How thinking of your business as an asset will propel you forward tenfold.
If you’re tired of the merry-go-round of gaining clients, tune into this episode or check out the transcript below.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
Aly’s premium portfolio plugin
Rob: If you’re a regular listener to this podcast, you no doubt have noticed the many differences in how copywriters make their living. Most of us earn money from writing content or copy, but still structure our businesses differently. Some charge by project, others work on retainers, and still others offer day rates and VIP days. But that’s just the beginning in the differences that we have as copywriters. Some copywriters consult on funnels and offers that audit websites and campaigns. Some structure their work so that they earn royalties, when a promotion does well. And still others create their own products to sell. Today’s guest on the podcast is Aly Goulet. She’s tried several of these approaches, very successfully, and recently launched a WordPress plugin to help copywriters show off their best work. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. But first I need to introduce my guest host for this episode, Brandon Burton. Brandon is a copywriter and a brand voice strategist, and he is also the community manager for the Copywriter Club, Facebook groups. Brandon, welcome to this episode.
Brandon: Thanks for having me, Rob. I really appreciate it.
Rob: Yeah, of course. So, before we get to all of this other stuff, just really quickly, not only do you manage our communities on Facebook, but you have your own community. Just take a second to tell us a little bit about that.
Brandon: Yeah. I started a community called Our Children’s World, quite recently. And yeah, it’s just helping parents tackle the reality in the next few years and helping us raise children who can survive in it and thrive in it.
Rob: Awesome. And you have a couple of young kids yourself, so you’re like a man deep in it.
Brandon: Yeah. Yeah, like yourself. Yeah. I’ve got free. Yeah, they definitely made me realize this conversation we’re having.
Rob: Awesome. And if after listening to this episode, if you like what you’ve heard from Brandon, check out episode number 215 of the Copywriter Club Podcast, he was our guest for that episode and talked a little bit about his approach to Brand Voice and some of the stuff that he does for us. Again, thanks Brandon for joining me for some of the additional comments in this episode. Before we get to Aly Goulet, and our interview with her, I want to just quickly mention the Copywriter Think Tank, that’s our mastermind for copywriters and other marketers who want to do more in their business and their work, whether that’s creating a product or a podcast, or a video show, whether you want to build an agency, product company, like what Aly is building. Maybe you want to become just the best copywriter in your niche. That’s the kind of stuff that we focus on with the members of the Copywriter Think Tank. If you’d like to learn more about how you can join, we promise no hard sell, just information, visit copywriterthinktank.com, and maybe you can join this group of extra ordinary business owners too. Okay. So, let’s jump into our interview with Aly, and find out more about her business and the clients that she works with.
Aly: The WordPress plugin creator part happened a lot later. So, I’ll start with the writer and content strategist. It all really happened by accident. I was working a job where I was just really exhausted and working nights. And I was coming to the end of that opportunity where I had to figure out if I wanted to extend my role or not. And I really didn’t want to. So, I decided to go on an internship site because I was still in college at the time, and start applying for remote internships. And pretty soon, I landed my first client who was paying me to write blog posts. And that’s when I was like, “Oh, wait a minute.” Because I’ve always been interested in writing, so it was something that came naturally to me, but it wasn’t something that I realized that people would actually pay me to do until I saw those opportunities there. And so, for a little while I was doing content, I was doing outreach for a radio show. I interned for an independent artists booking shows. I was doing everything I could remotely that would make me money. But writing clients were the ones that I liked the most. So, ultimately, that’s what I settled into.
Kira: So, you started your writing career while in college?
Kira: Okay. So, how long were you doing it while you were still in college before you graduated?
Aly: So, it was about two and a half years. Yeah, two and a half, three years, part-time. And it was going really well. During college, it’s what helped me pay for school. That’s what I was using that income for. And I didn’t want to stop the momentum. So, once I graduated, I’m like, “Okay, this is the thing we’re doing now.”
Kira: How did you build momentum once you graduated and you were committed? You’re like, “This is what I’m going to do. This is my career.” How did you gain that traction early on after graduation?
Aly: Yeah. So, the funny thing about the way that I started is I was really scrappy in the beginning and I did not spend any money on anything at all. And when I decided that I was going to do this full time, I thought, “Okay. Well, I need to invest in my professional development here.” Because I had no professional experience in anything at all. Writing is really the only thing I’ve ever done professionally. So, I joined a mastermind the first year that I decided to go full time in 2018. And I went through that whole program and it was so helpful for me. And it’s the thing that kick-started me into being able to go full-time and realize what that really takes.
Kira: When did you get to the point where you’re like, “I figured this out. This is great. I’m going to keep doing this. This is working.”
Aly: Yep. By the end of that program, which was a six month program, I had met the goal of doubling my income and surpassed it. So, I was like, “Okay. This is a thing that I can do for sure.” I had proven that to myself.
Kira: And what did you do in that program? I’m sure some people listening, might be wondering, what is that program? And what were the activities that you focused on in that program that helped you get to that point?
Aly: Sure. So, if I can give it a shout out, it was the 2X Accelerator by Carol Tice. It was a really good program, just walking through the basics. I remember the first module very clearly was like, where’s your low hanging fruit? Right? So, going back to people that you have worked with and trying to get projects. I won’t go through every module, but basically it was really methodical. And the part that changed everything for me was marketing and networking. I really started getting on LinkedIn a lot more during that program and making connections. And so, I think before that, I really wasn’t telling anybody that I was a writer. I was just pitching things and taking jobs when I got them. I had my Upwork profile, but I wasn’t really visible at all. And doing that was my first experience with getting a little bit of visibility and branching out of my non-existent network, at that point. I say branching out, but I think I had like 35 LinkedIn connections at the time.
Kira: And how many connections do you have today on LinkedIn?
Aly: Over 5000. So, it’s been quite a change on that front.
Kira: Okay. So, can you just talk about your growth from graduation 2018, right?
Aly: Yeah. I graduated at the very end of 2017. So, my first month going full-time was January 2018.
Kira: Okay. So, since graduation from college, 2017 to now, 2021, can you just talk about the business growth in terms of numbers or anything you’re comfortable sharing, just to show the power of what you’ve been doing and how it’s worked?
Aly: Yeah. So, I mean, it’s been crazy because going into this, I was just like, “I need to make $3,000 a month.” And $3,500 a month is like a stretch goal. 5,000 would be crazy. So, I accomplished, surpassed my income goal in doing that initial program. And then the very next year I had hit pretty close to six figures. I had invoiced six figures. I didn’t quite collect at all. So, it was really, really quick growth for me.
Kira: And what do you think contributed to that almost sitting six figures in that year, that initial year? Other than low hanging fruit, tapping into your community, what else was working behind the scenes?
Aly: Yeah. So, the year and hit six figures was actually the following year. It wasn’t 2018, but it was the year after. And I mean, for me, it’s something that I know about myself is that I’m a little relentless. So, something that I did after I finished that program was like, “I’m going to get really serious about this.” And I started sending 25 cold pitches a week because networking was happening, but I was still largely unknown. As you know, visibility scared me for a very long time. So, even though I was branching out on LinkedIn, there still wasn’t a ton of traction happening there, certainly not inbound. So, I started sending out 25 cold pitches every single week. And I all of a sudden built up this base of clients and was getting people saying, yes. I got very, very good at cold pitching. And that is the thing for sure, that helped me grow my business the fastest and be able to get to that level really, really fast.
Kira: Can you talk more about your cold pitching process, especially back then when you were pitching 25 clients a week? How did you improve that process and what could work for someone who might just be jumping into it for the first time?
Aly: Yeah. So, I think the first important thing is you have to know who your ideal clients are, right? And that was a struggle for me for a really long time because I really, I was just comfortable being a generalist. And I still recommend that people, explore different opportunities and don’t feel pressure to jump into one certain industry right away. But over time, what I determined was that I liked working with B2B SaaS and IT clients. I enjoyed the process of working with them. I found that they usually have the budget. And so, that’s when I felt comfortable starting to cold pitch. I think trying to do that before you have at least some of that figured out of who you like to work with can be a little bit of a recipe for a disaster. So, I started there. And then I would look up companies that I was interested in working with. I would use sites like Owler to look up clients that I already had, and then look at who some of their competitors are, who’s in the same space. And then I would go on their websites and I would really just see, “Okay. Is there an opportunity for me to help you here?” And not being critical. I don’t think that super critical cold pitches work. No one wants to be criticized by someone that they don’t know. But yeah, and then I would just write them. I would personalize every single one, which can be really time-consuming. I did eventually drill that down into a template that worked really well for me, but I certainly didn’t start there. And then the other thing that I did that was really important for me was I used a CRM, the HubSpot free CRM, and I connected it with Zapier to Google Sheets. So, every time I sent a pitch, it would automatically track it and put it in a spreadsheet for me, “You pitched so-and-so on this day at this time.” So, that I could keep track and follow up.
Kira: Okay. And are you pitching 25 clients today or prospects today? Is that still happening?
Aly: No. No. I mean, I work on retainer typically. So, a lot of the clients that I have stick around for a while. That was not sustainable for me to continue to make that part of my process all the time. Now, I will still cold pitch people and I’m not afraid. If I think there’s really an opportunity for me to help them and I want to be involved, but that’s really more how I handle cold pitching these days, because I think it’s a great way to grow your business really fast to send that many cold pitches. But I don’t know one copywriter, one freelancer who could sustain that until the end of time. And I don’t know why you’d want to.
Kira: Okay. So, before we move away from cold pitches. Can you just share where you feel like many of us might mess this process up, where we go wrong, maybe based off what people you’ve taught or what you’ve seen in this space, where do we mess it up?
Aly: Yeah. So, I mean, cold pitching is a whole art, but just a couple of tips on that. I think first of all, I know a lot of people send really, really long cold pitches, and they can work. But what I would say about that is short pitches have worked a lot better for me. And I think it depends on your market. Right? I used to pitch CMOs directly to their inbox. Those people are not going to read a novel from me, right? Because they don’t care and they don’t know me. If it is a smaller business, maybe they will appreciate that longer pitch. So, just be mindful of who you’re reaching and what might be going on in their world, because it really determines or helps you determine the length of your pitch. And then also if the word I appears in your cold pitch, more than once, you’re doing it wrong. I see so many cold pitches that are just like, “I do this, and this is why I’m reaching out to you.” And I, I. And it’s not intentional. We want to help them. Right? But just how many of those phrases can you switch and make it, you focused? How can you make it benefit focus for them?
Kira: And so, let’s fast forward to today, what does your business look like today? How do you work with clients?
Aly: Yeah. So, my business today, I’m still a little bit of a generalist in the sense that I don’t specialize in one particular type of deliverable. I’m still doing B2B SaaS and IT. And I do a lot of email these days. But I’m not super committed to one type of content or copy. I’m everywhere. And like I mentioned earlier, I work on retainer with my clients. So, typically we agree on a set of deliverables during our kickoff call that we have, or our discovery call. And then usually for three or six months, they’re signed on with the opportunity to extend.
Kira: And how do you structure those with what you’re charging, if you’re comfortable sharing, how you approach it as far as what you charge, or how you would advise other writers to approach retainers as far as what they charge?
Aly: Yeah. So, for me, and if we can back up a little bit to the earlier, me as a college kid, I had no idea what I was doing. When I first started freelancing, I was cool, if I can make $8 an hour, awesome, which is why was I ever providing content to anyone for that amount of money? They were getting a deal. So, do as I say, not as I did, if you’re starting your business. But I think it’s important to look at what the industry standard rates are, just so that you get, what are people charging for this stuff? I had no clue. I was just looking at, “Okay. What am I comfortable charging?” Which was well under market rates at the time. Right? So, start there and then factor in your experience level. Usually with most surveys or data, you can find it’s organized by how much experience you have. And then I like to think about, even though I don’t charge hourly anymore, I like to think about what I want to make per hour. And then I add 10% or 20% on top of that, just because I’m really bad at estimating how long it takes me to do things. I’m pretty fast. But even then inevitably somewhere I will hit a snag where it’s some element of the project took me longer than I thought it would.
Kira: So, are you promising a certain number of deliverables for your retainers? Or how do you set it up so that the expectations are set from the beginning?
Aly: Yeah. If they are absolutely certain on a number of deliverables that they need, like right now, I’m working with a client where we’re doing a number of web pages and that was determined from the very beginning, I will say, “Okay, I’m going to deliver to you exactly this number of deliverables.” If not, I structure it as an up to type of deals. You have up to this many deliverables. And I do allow them some rollover within 30 days, just so that, if something goes wrong on their end, they can make up a little bit of that. And that’s usually how I structure things.
Kira: And if you were to step into retainers for the first time or advise someone who’s just working on their first few retainers, what would you tell them to do or not to do, so it doesn’t become a hot mess.
Aly: I would say, be very, very solid in your project management. And if you’re not solid in your project management right now, figure out what tools you’re going to use, how you’re going to structure things, because if you end up… And I still have this happening to me today, clients wanting to add me to their project management systems and run things their way. And depending on the scope of your agreement, some of that may or may not be appropriate. But if you have a really solid process that you can guide them through of, “This is how we do things.” It becomes a lot easier to deal with, all the different deliverables that are flying around on the retainer.
Kira: So, what would be an example of that in your business, your project management system that allows you to stay in control of the project?
Aly: Yeah. So, I can give you one example that I have with one client right now, where I do blog content for them. And for some reason they insist on sending me everything via email, the different ideas that they have. And I was like, okay, I’m probably not going to have much luck like getting them to adapt to something different. But what I did was I created a system, you’ll catch onto it is, I love automation, where they will send me something that will end up in my inbox and I will tag it with a special tag in Gmail, which is what I use for my business. And then when it’s tagged that way, it will automatically go over to Trello and be created as a card. And the cards are sorted by oldest to newest, so that we’re always addressing the oldest item in line. And then I can manage it that way. They have a link to that board. So, they always know like, “Hey, yes, I’ve received this, it’s here.” And then I will go in and move things around, and progress them through. And they know that they can always go back to that board and look at things. But at least for the intake process, it’s all automatic. If he sends me six things in one day, that’s cool. Sometimes that happens and sometimes I don’t hear from him for a couple of weeks, but either way, we can always see what’s coming up.
Kira: Because you mentioned automations, what are some other automations that you use frequently in your business that maybe we aren’t using and we could use?
Aly: Yeah. So, like I mentioned earlier, for any sort of email tracking, obviously your CRM can do that. I’m a spreadsheet lover. So, any sort of automation that you can do between email or projects in spreadsheets, you can connect to those two things. I use some automation in my business right now on LinkedIn, just to help me find and connect with people. And then some other automations, so many. I also really love, this is a little, more approachable than maybe more complex automation, but I use email templates that I have created again in Gmail. I’ve saved a bunch of templates for when things are ready for clients reviews or scheduling calls, or things like that. So, I’m not rewriting those emails every single time. They’re saved in there and I just swap out some names and some details, and they’re ready to go.
Kira: Okay. So, let’s go back to what you shared about launching your business in college. I think that’s something that we haven’t interviewed many, if any, other freelancers who started in college. And so, what do you think when you look back, what do you think is different about your approach to business growth? Because you started so early and in a different, earlier stage in your career, that maybe you’ve observed over time and you’re like, “Oh, I think I’m doing this differently than people that maybe started a decade after college.”
Aly: Yeah. I think for me the way that my business has been different, obviously this is not the case for everyone, but a lot of people, they have either a different career or they’re in-house somewhere, and then they want to go out on their own. Whereas for me, when I decided that I wanted to do this, I was on my own completely. And not only that, but no one else around me understood what I was doing either. I think we are out of that a little more now, but it was still a little bit of that era of, you come into contact with people online, and then they pay you money. That sounds sketchy. So, from the very beginning, I just had to take this approach of figuring it out on my own. And so, a lot of that in the beginning was a ton of just learning and then throwing stuff at the wall, and seeing what sticks, and that’s the truth. And not getting discouraged when things don’t stick. It’s like, “Okay. I tried that and I’ve been doing that for two weeks or a month and that didn’t work, but let me see if I can find some communities and what people are talking about now and what’s working for them.” And maybe, if I think that makes sense for me, I’ll try that too.
Kira: So, what could I do to channel my inner Aly or the inner college student that might be scrappier, even though I’m way past that stage, but so I could channel that same thought process and energy into my own business growth?
Aly: Yeah. I mean, I’d say the key, if you’re really focused on growth is say yes, more than you say no. That’s something that I definitely took on in the very early stages of my business. I’ll be honest and say, I’ve taken a little too much of that into the current stage of my business. So, maybe keep an eye on that. But that’s what it really was in the beginning. I wasn’t too concerned about the right way to run a business. I was more concerned about, how am I going to do this in a way that works for me? What am I going to do next month to ensure that I can pay for my class bill that’s coming up? So, I think a lot of that inspired in me, just say yes, more than you say no. And the results I think can really surprise people.
Kira: Yeah. And that just reminds me of another question of around being responsible in business and saving money. And if you’re comfortable sharing or talking about it, do you have advice or best practices as far as how to build a business where you actually are creating a cushion and saving money, and having the rainy day fund? Because again, most of us don’t do that well, or don’t do that at all.
Aly: Yeah. I mean, I think money is so interesting because we all view it so differently. But for me, I really try to view money as a tool to get me what I need and really analyze what I want. It’s not that I never treat myself, but if I have a fleeting thought that like, “Oh, that might be cool to have.” I don’t just go out and buy it. My rule of thumb is like, okay, if I’ve thought about this three times, maybe it’s time to think about, maybe this is something I need. I try to take that approach with everything. And for me, I think that there is nothing more empowering than knowing you’re good from a financial standpoint. So, that’s something that I’ve always tried to prioritize. And I’ve also always been very aware of lifestyle inflation. That’s a real thing. You spend more money when you make more money. And so really, I mean, some things have changed, but largely I don’t live a super different life than I did six years ago when I started this business, with a few luxuries and changes of course. But I think, if you can keep that in perspective, what do you need and then what do you actually want? And if you want those things, was it just a fleeting thought or do you really want them for a reason? That’s I think is really important.
Kira: I guess, related to that, what would be your advice for people who struggle with that? And maybe the better question is, what have you been able to do because of this approach to money management and savings? What have you been able to do in your business that maybe you wouldn’t have been able to do if you were spending more, as you made more?
Aly: The really great thing about that is that just recently as I’ve become more comfortable without sourcing when I really needed help because I was struggling and there was too much going on, I could, without thinking about it, say yes, I’m going to bring in help because I need this right now. And I wasn’t overly concerned about cashflow. And I understand that that’s at an extremely privileged position to be in, but that’s just my approach to saving. It’s like, save it for when you need it because you will need it. Other things, joining different masterminds and programs, and not having to be stressed when you know you have those cart open, cart closes type of launches. When I know that there’s something that I want to do, I have the capability to do it. And certainly, I mean, hopefully that continues. That is the financial situation that I’m in right now. And that’s where I would like to stay. So, my approach to that is just, yes, save until you have a reason not to save.
Kira: And the last question related to that is, what is the last luxury purchase you made, where it was a desire or a want that came up three times for you, and you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to do it now.”?
Aly: Oh yeah, I renewed my annual pass for a theme park, super recently, since I can go again, post COVID. It’s very expensive. It’s a top tier pass, that I was like, “Oh, do I want to do this again?” Because I also bought it in 2020. And we know how that went. Didn’t go well. But yeah, I was just like, “I’m so ready to go back.” So, that was the most recent pricey thing that I splurged on.
Rob: Okay. So, let’s break in here and just talk about a couple of these things that Kira and Aly have been talking about. I’m not sure what’s come to mind for you, Brandon, but first up for me is just this idea of niches. And I know we’ve talked a lot about it. We mentioned it in our last episode. We talk about it quite a bit. But just that struggle of really figuring out a niche and how leaning into a niche can help. And I mentioned this briefly in the last episode, I don’t know if I got the numbers right or not, but when we did our salary survey, we found that people who have a niche, work in a single nation and really limit themselves to that, earn 96% more money than copywriters who have no niche at all. So, pretty amazing stat. I know a lot of people are still going to say, “Hey, you can do great without a niche.” That’s true. There are definitely people who do well with nice. But on average, on the whole, over the entire community of copywriters, those who have niches tend to do better than those that don’t. So worth mentioning maybe as many times as it comes up in our interviews. But what stood out to you, Brandon?
Brandon: The first thing that stood out to me was Aly describing the point where she started telling people that she’s a writer, mostly because I see that come up quite a lot. People talk about, “How do I become a copywriter?” And I think just that moment, that visibility, that choice seemed a quite powerful one to make, and it obviously paid off for Aly. I’ve seen pay off for people as well. And even on the niche bit, I think Aly has done really well to identify who she wants to work with, but describes herself as somewhat of a generalist, and then works with some retainers. I think that’s quite refreshing. I think we focused on niche a lot because it works, but at some different stages, it’s not for everyone. So, I think a lot of people for where they are right now will feel pretty good listening to that example as they build their experience.
Rob: Yeah. I agree. I mean, when it comes to niching, you can choose a niche at any time. But I agree, for the first, maybe even a year or two, you can keep it a little bit more general or play around in several to really figure out what’s working for you, because it’s not just about choosing the most profitable niche. You can make money in any niche, but you want to be comfortable. You want to choose one that’s going to work for you and that you’re going to love. And so, I appreciate that. What you’re suggesting is sometimes you don’t want to move into that too quickly either.
Brandon: Yeah. And that’s something that I did, and then ended up doing it several times. And I think the approach that Aly mentioned and I’ve seen other people do as well, which is saying yes to more opportunities and be visible, and putting yourself out there. Yeah, it seems to pay dividends. And I think when tied into the cold pitching process as long as you have a process which I know Aly does, then yeah, it seems like this is a really good way to get out there and try new things, and experiment with different ways of doing this job, and then taking it from there.
Rob: Yeah. Since you’ve mentioned cold pitching, let’s talk just a little bit more about that, because again, another topic that we’ve talked a lot about on the podcast, people like Chris Collins have come on and talked about how he’s automated a process. And you can listen to our interview with him about how he does that. Aly has done that a little bit, but she also talks about how she’s changing things up. So, everything is always personalized. Her pitch changes based on who she’s sending it to. She’s making those connections in smart ways, so that she can pull things from say a LinkedIn conversation or something that she knows about somebody from social media. And it’s changing that up in order to make sure that those pitches land a little bit better. And so, regardless of what the pitch is or your approach to pitching, just making sure that you’re creating that personal connection. Even if you’re automating things, ultimately you’ve got to get it to the point where you can then make a personal connection through a follow-up or through some other kind of interchange as you start to work with the client.
Brandon: Yeah. I think the cold pitching element is, and you mentioned Chris Collins, well, Aly and Chris did a training in the Underground and it was incredible to see how much detail they put into, not just the pitch, but the process and the follow up. And I think that’s obviously one way they’ve seen the results, but also that’s the lesson that a lot of us can learn and can grow from.
Rob: Yeah. And that training is like you said, it’s in the Copywriter Underground. And if there’s any questions, if you’re a member of the Copywriter Underground, if there are any questions, we can help you find that, so that you can watch the training. Because I agree, it’s an awesome training, especially if pitching is part of your business, it may help you find some ideas and some approaches that you hadn’t considered before. Another thing that jumped out to me as I was listening to Kira and Aly talk is just Aly’s approach to business. She says yes to a lot of things. It’s certainly she was starting out, she was saying yes to a lot of things. But she just has this approach where if she has an idea or she has something that she’s thinking about doing, she’s just going to figure it out. And that’s such a healthy approach to know that, you don’t always have to hire an expert. You don’t always have to have somebody else doing the work for you or with you, or any of that, but that you can figure stuff out. And whether it’s buy a book or get a course, or hire a coach, or join a mastermind, or just work through Google searches or whatever, all of us have the ability to figure stuff out in this business and make it work. Anything else stand out to you, Brandon?
Brandon: I think again, it was great to hear that by focusing on working with retainers, that one, that was a business model. I think a lot of people go the other way. But also just acknowledging the challenge of project management, I think we talk a lot of copywriters about the writing and the quality of the deliverable, and the customer experience. But I think the project management and anything we could learn around how we can make that easier for ourselves and the client, I think that’s a way to appear more professional, which that’s something that Aly has invested in a lot in her brand professionalism development.
Rob: Yeah. And I’m glad that you mentioned that because I think as the copywriters that we’ve worked with, and as I look at the copywriters that I know, and even in my own business, I think for most us, project management is where the problems happen. Most of our issues with clients come out of that project management processes, we haven’t handled it well, or we don’t have one that is consistent, or we’re reinventing it every single time. There are different pieces, different parts, every time we work with a different kind of client. And marketing issues, client issues, even some work issues are often really process issues and client management issues. And so yeah, I agree. I think if there’s maybe one thing, once you have copywriting down, you’re a pretty good writer, you’re able to find a client or two, if there’s one thing to focus on your business, it’s figuring out those systems to support the work that you do in a consistent and very repeatable manner. Okay. So, one last thing that I just want to mention, because I know Kira was asking about this, but the rainy day fund. Aly has a rainy day fund. We’ve talked about it with her before. She didn’t talk about how big it is, and I’m not going to do that either. But it’s so important to get to the point in your business where you can put some money away just as a safety measure. Maybe the retainer clients disappear, or you’re not able to bring in a project this month or next month, and having a rainy day fund can just take away the desperation that you can feel when your business has those inevitable slowdowns. And then on top of that, if you have a rainy day fund, that’s maybe even three or four or five, six months big, so that you couldn’t go through an extended slowdown, if that kind of a thing happens, if a recession happens or an accident, or something like that keeps you from working. But in addition to that reason to have it, it can also fund the development of other parts of your business, where you can actually take time to say, “Oh, I am going to build this product that I’ve been thinking of.” Or, “I am going to create a workshop or a training for my niche in order to create something bigger in my business.” And just putting money away to support you, so that you don’t always have to be taking client after client, after client, or retainer after retainer, you fill your hours with that. Just having that slush fund, for lack of a better word to support you in those things is super, super smart. So, the size depends on, you and your business, everybody really ought to have somewhere between three and six months just in case something really happens, bigger if you can get it. But again, something that maybe we don’t talk enough about.
Brandon: Yeah. It seemed really clever to me that Aly uses that fund, that amount to invest back into her business when those opportunities come up. It seems like a really intentional way to grow, to know that you have that amount there for when it comes, as opposed to living a bit more seasonally, which I know that some us do. So yeah, I think if there is a plan, then having that money makes a lot of sense, makes a lot of sense.
Rob: So, now everybody should be checking their bank balances, their credit card debts and making a plan for building a rainy day fund or a slush fund to support us and our businesses.
Brandon: Let’s go back to our interview with Aly and ask of her approach to connecting with clients on LinkedIn.
Kira: All right. So, let’s talk about LinkedIn for a bit. And you mentioned that you’ve automated parts of your LinkedIn marketing. And I know this is an area that you focused on heavily in your business. Can you just tell us, how do you use LinkedIn to find or attract clients today and to grow your business?
Aly: Sure. Yeah. So, the first thing that I want to say is before you really dive into LinkedIn, make sure your people are there. I think that LinkedIn is a great place for business, but depending on who you work with, your audience might not be there. So, try to look up some of your clients and see if they’re even there, if they’re active there. If they are, that’s probably a really good sign for you. For me, being in the B2B tech space, I knew my people were there. So, it was really natural for me to go into that space. And then for me, it was all about looking for people with a lot of those same titles that I was cold pitching and just reaching out to them, and being really friendly and genuinely saying like, “Hey, I want to be a part of your network.” And even when you add automation into that mix, which I’ve done, I don’t think that makes it any less genuine. Sure. Maybe I’m able to connect with more people. But when you use LinkedIn search to drill down into the people you’d like to serve by title, by location, by industry, there are so many different filters you can use. All you’re doing is really scaling up your ability to network. And then, it’s about just showing up and being nice, and being helpful and reminding people that you exist. Because the great thing about LinkedIn is that your title is there always on everything you do, on your profile, in your messages, on every comment that you leave. So, you don’t necessarily need to scream it from the rooftops that you’re looking to make a sale. If you’re around, people will get in touch with you.
Kira: So, maybe we could break it down even more into steps for people who haven’t done this on LinkedIn. So, it sounds like, step one is identify your ideal clients. Number two, check to see if they’re actually on LinkedIn or not, before you focus on it. What would be the next few steps as far as the tools that you’re using to move forward and to do this well?
Aly: Yes. So, the next step is determining what LinkedIn filters you’re going to use to search for those people. So, you can use just your standard LinkedIn. A lot of those filters work fine. If you sign up for Sales Navigator, which you can do a free trial of, you get a lot more filters that you can use. So, you can filter, for example, if you use Sales Navigator by people who were active in the last 30 days, which is a really good filter to have, because just because your people are there doesn’t necessarily mean they’re there all the time. If you can know you’re reaching people who exists and who have a presence on the platform that’s obviously better. But you can filter by industry, by title, by location. I like to filter by second degree connections, which basically means that that person has a connection in common with you, just because I find they’re more willing to interact with you if you’re not completely out of left field. So, I would say that that’s the next step. And then once you have your list of people, you can just start reaching out to them. My connection message is usually something like, “Hey, I noticed you work at X. That’s super interesting.” X, meaning like a company name. Of course, you have to fill that part in. “But hey, I noticed you were here, and I’m so interested in what you’re doing. I’d love to be a part of your network.” That’s it. And I would say probably it’s about 50/50 that I get a connection request accepted. Most people, especially if you’re searching by people who are active, they want to network. That’s what they’re there for. And then I have a series of follow-up messages that I send. You can automate this with a tool like Dux-Soup, or Octopus CRM. Be very, very careful. I won’t go into all of it here, because we’ll be here all day. But there are certain parameters that you have to be careful of when you’re using automation. So, there’s tons of documentation along with those tools that you can look at just to make sure you understand it. But you don’t need to use automation. After the person connects with you and you get that notification, “Hey, thanks so much for joining my network. Just you know, here’s a little bit about what I do. I’d love to know about what you do. And if you or someone you know, could use any of my services, feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to help.” And it’s just a series of messages like that. You don’t have to be overly salesy, just be friendly and helpful.
Kira: So, how many messages do you usually use to follow up? I mean, it sounds like that follow up is key where you actually introduce yourself and what you do. But then after that, is it just moving forward if you don’t hear from them, you’ll continue to check in, or is there something else in place?
Aly: Yeah. So, after that followup, if they don’t reply, I’ll usually still try to get in touch with them or do a coffee or tea chat, and just say like, “Hey, I’d love to learn a little bit more about you.” If I have a relevant industry survey that I think they might be interested, and I’ll send them that, and just be like, “Hey, I think this might be relevant to you.” I try not to go in too hard for the pitch, unless again, I know that there’s a reason that I can help them, which obviously is not done by any sort of automation. That’s something that I have to realize. But usually about four or five messages, if they don’t respond by then, I’ll reevaluate what I’m doing and can I reach this person differently.
Kira: And then beyond that, what else are you doing on LinkedIn, on the platform to show up consistently? What does it look like today? And then maybe what does it look like when maybe you were more aggressive on the platform or showing up more? Maybe aggressive, isn’t the right word here, but whenever you were investing more time in it.
Aly: Yeah. So, to be honest, I’m not posting on LinkedIn as often as I should be. And I know that. But something that I’ve found to be really powerful is just commenting on other people’s stuff. I know that some people are like, “Well, isn’t that a waste of time?” The thing is about the LinkedIn algorithm is the more you interact with people’s stuff, the more you see their stuff. Especially when you have a lot of connections like I do, I want to make sure I’m commenting on people that I’m interested in, so that their posts continue to show up in my feed. Because I just happened to land on a couple of months ago, someone saying, “Oh, we’re looking for a B2B writer to do X, Y, and Z.” And I was right there to be like, “Hey, I’m right here.” And that would not have been the case if I wasn’t watching my feed and interacting with people’s posts. So, I think that there’s a whole strategy behind posting on LinkedIn and doing it frequently, and showing up and providing value. But I think the part that often gets overlooked is engaging with other people too.
Kira: Let’s talk more about visibility, because you mentioned earlier that that’s something that you struggled with earlier on. How have you worked through your own mindset or any resistance to visibility? What has helped you do that, so that you are showing up more consistently today?
Aly: Yeah. I mean, visibility is still a little scary to me, if I’m honest, but I think for me, I’ve had to adopt a little bit more of the same approach that I took with cold pitching where it’s like, if one person says no, it’s not going to be the end of the world. If I post something that people don’t like, or I have one podcast episode that I do and I just bomb it, everyone in the world is not going to realize that. It’s not going to be the end of my business. So, I’ve just had to chill out a little bit and realize, what got you here, won’t get you there. I’ve done a lot to grow my business really, really fast, but I have no choice, but to try other strategies now, if I want to get somewhere beyond where I am today.
Kira: So, what are the strategies you’re focused on today?
Aly: Right now it’s visibility and reaching out to people a lot more and teaching, and not doing as much client work as I once was, and really focusing on, “Okay. What can I do to build up more of my platform?” Because as resistant as I was to that, I realized that it’s really important.
Kira: Yeah. Well, let’s also talk about that because since we’ve been working with you and the Think Tank, you’ve made so many changes and you have done a great job of pivoting away from just focusing on client work and putting client work first, all the time. And now you’re focused on your business growth and your business development. What’s helped you make that change and what could help other copywriters who are struggling with that? Because again, most of us do put the clients first all the time to the point where it’s hurting our business.
Aly: Yeah. Actually, Kira, it was something that you said to me that totally shifted my perspective on that. I think it was actually during a group call. I don’t know if you said it to me directly, but you said, “Look, you’re always going to get the client work done. You’re never going to let that slip.” So, if you’re the type of person which I imagine that you are, if you are having to be freelance, self-employed, you’re committed to deadlines, right? You don’t miss them. You have to be. You have to be responsible. And so, what was happening is I was putting all my client work first and it was easy for me to push my own stuff off. I think that happens to everyone. But if you force yourself to put your stuff first, every single day, even if that means, occasionally you’re working a late night or two, you’re going to get that client work done, because you’re just not going to drop the ball. And so, that was the thing that I had to realize that, this is hard, because I want to say like, “Oh, let’s get the client stuff out of the way. And then let’s work on my stuff.” But it just wasn’t working for me. So, I had to make that shift and realize like, I know this about myself. I’ve been in this business for six years. I’m not going to drop the ball on my clients. So, the only way to do this is to shift it around, to make sure that I don’t put myself at the end of the day, and then end up dropping the ball on myself.
Kira: And what has been the impact of that, now that you have started putting your business first? What have you seen or have you felt from that change?
Aly: Yeah. I mean, in terms of tangible results at the moment, this is all still very new for me. So, I’m excited to see what happens. But I think just the realization that look, I can work on my business for two hours in the morning, and nobody imploded, everyone’s okay. That’s always my fear because I try to be as helpful as I can with my clients. And I’ve really had to put in that boundary of like, I don’t need to respond to that email 20 minutes after they send it. It’s going to be okay. So, I think, just for my sanity, for my mental health, I think that’s been huge so far and I’m excited to see what impact it has business wise.
Kira: Let’s talk about the evolution of your business and just how you have changed and shifted your business over the last few years and the direction of your business, how you’ve thought about it and approached it.
Aly: How have I thought about it? I don’t know. I feel like maybe a lot of people feel this way, but I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time. And that’s the truth. I’ve had a lot of success. But I think for me, the biggest thing that I’ve thought about in my business, especially lately is like, okay, I’ve reached the income goals I wanted to reach. Now what? What am I doing this for? And so, what that inspired in my business is I want to help more people figure out how to do this. And so, that’s the shift that I’ve made is like, I know that I come from a little bit of a unique perspective, having essentially no skills when I started. And I was in college and I know that this was life-changing for me, often as stressful as it is. The things that I get to do every day and the financial goals, I’ve been able to meet, paying off all my student debt as early as I did, for example, this is unbelievable to me. I wake up every day still and I’m like, what’s happening? So yeah, I think the biggest shift that it’s inspired is now, I still want to serve my clients and it’s important to me to still be involved in that world, but I’m shifting a little more into like, how can I help other people realize that this is a thing that they can do too? And it doesn’t have to be really, really stressful.
Kira: And what are you building to do that and to help other freelancers figure out all these things?
Aly: Yeah. So, I have a blog called Freelancing Flow where I try to provide lots of actionable advice and templates, and I have a newsletter. And the idea is not really about telling you the right way to do business, because as I said earlier, I was never super interested in that, but it’s more about just providing you with the information you need to make those decisions for yourself and to create a business that works for you. So, that is one thing that I started doing at the end of 2019. And then right now I’m working on a WordPress plugin for freelancers that’s going to help them build an awesome portfolio on their site, because I struggled with that. And so, I realized that there was a need there and that’s the thing I’m working on now.
Kira: Okay. Yeah. So, let’s back up. And before we talk about the plugin, can you just share maybe some do’s or don’ts of building a portfolio as a copywriter, and what works, what doesn’t work?
Aly: Yeah. So, I mean, I would say that the first one is having one, having a portfolio. It’s unbelievable to me how many writers, their portfolio is just a collection of Google Drive links. And that’s cool. I mean, I’ve done that. But also I think it’s really important to have a collection of your work, to be proud of and to be able to show off. And then I think for writers, especially, I think we’re word nerds, we’re word people. I think we don’t often think about the visuals. I think not including images in your portfolio, if you do actually create a portfolio page is a mistake because nobody wants to look at a wall of links. That’s just, I don’t want to do it. You don’t want to do it. No one wants to do it. And then also, I think including everything you’ve ever done in your entire life is a mistake. I think that a lot of people fall into that because they think of a portfolio as like, “Oh my complete body of work.” And that’s not what it is. And also, I don’t know about you, but I look at something I wrote like six months ago and sometimes I’m like, “Oh.” That’s not something I want in there anymore. So, I think it’s just important to be a little bit selective about what you put in there. It shouldn’t be everything.
Kira: Yeah. And what was the catalyst for creating this plugin? I mean, again, we’re word people. We’re strategic minds. We are problem solvers. But not many of us are WordPress plugin creators. So, where did that come from? And then, how did you actually do this and build a plugin?
Aly: . So, the funny thing is I did not even realize that this was going to be a thing that I was doing. But years ago, when I was setting up my portfolio on my first WordPress site, it was so hard. I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like, and it wasn’t, tons of frills and whatever. It was very basic. And I tried a couple of plugins to try to recreate what I wanted, and it just was not working. And I was spending hours doing this and tearing my hair out, going like, “Why is this going so wrong? Why is this so hard?” So, I got some very basic code done for my portfolio that I know how to update. And that was the end of that story, that stopped there. And then when I built my first course last year, teaching people how to build portfolios, I was actually on a call with you and Rob, following that lunch. And I said, “Something I’m thinking about including maybe as a bonus is that code. Maybe people will find it helpful.” And Rob’s like, “No.” And I’m like, “No, what do you mean no?” I mean, that was the catalyst for that was him saying, “No, you should turn that into a product.” Believe me, developing a WordPress plugin, working on a WordPress plugin was not the thing that I thought that I would be doing, but I knew that I was really frustrated with the options out there. And after having that conversation with you and Rob, I just realized this can be done better and it can be done specifically for people in this community of writers and freelancers.
Kira: Any advice for anyone who’s interested in creating a WordPress plugin? What you wish you knew before getting into it?
Aly: I would say it’s going to take longer than you think it’s going to take, probably, also true of my client work. But yeah, there’s just a lot of different factors that go into it, especially because in my case, there are a lot of portfolio options out there. And so, for me, I had to do a lot of the research into what our competitors are doing? And I really had to think about, okay, we’re not going to make this different for the sake of different, because I don’t think that works, but really think about if you’re going to create a plugin, especially because unless you are the most creative person on earth, there probably is a simpler plugin to what you want to create. Think about what needs to be changed or added in order to serve the people that you want to serve, and what is the unique take that you can bring to it that other people may not necessarily be able to.
Kira: And how can we get our hands on your plugin? What’s the plan? How do we access your plugin?
Aly: Yeah. So, there’s going to be a free version of the plugin, which you can access by searching for plugins directly in the backend of your WordPress site. It’s called Genius Portfolio. There’s also a premium version. And for that version, you head over to getgeniusportfolio.com. And once you sign up, you’ll get the download for the plugin.
Kira: Okay. And we’ll make sure we link to that in our show notes. And so, as we wrap up, Aly, I want to ask you, you’ve been in the Think Tank for over a year now with us and it’s been so great to work with you and see your growth firsthand. What would you say has been the biggest surprise about your experience in the Think Tank over the last 12 months?
Aly: I mean, my biggest surprise is the direction of my business has changed and not in a bad way. I’ve been in the TCC community, and so I’ve seen Think Tank alumni and what they’ve done. And I had all these ideas for what I was going to do when I went into the Think Tank. And some of those happened and some of those didn’t. But the awesome thing about the Think Tank is you talk to people all the time. You’re in so many workshops and you have so many opportunities to think out loud in front of a room. And things just happen that you’re like, “Oh yeah, that is a good idea.” Or, “Oh, actually, maybe I should stay away from that.” And so, making those really genuine connections and having this collective experience together of having these huge goals. And then just being open to, hey, I know I had these ideas about what I wanted, but I don’t have it all figured out. And being open to those new opportunities that become available to you, that’s been the biggest surprise and also the biggest value that I’ve gotten out of Think Tank.
Kira: And you are an avid tea drinker. So, I have to ask, what tea are you drinking today? What is the name of the tea subscription that we should subscribe to if we want to drink new teas every day?
Aly: Yeah. So, this is going to break your heart, Kira. I’m so sorry. I have water today, because I was nervous to drink, because I didn’t want to spill it. So, I have a glass of water over here.
Kira: Not acceptable.
Aly: This morning I had a mint mate tea, which is very, very good. It has a lot of caffeine. And if you’re looking for a really good tea subscription, there’s a Sips by Box, so you can find at sipsby.com. That’s really awesome. You fill out a profile quiz, looking at your tastes and what flavors you like and things like that. And they send you a personalized box every single month. And then when you get the box, you can rate each individual tea that you got, to say like, “Hey, I liked this.” Or, “No, I really didn’t.” And it gets more and more catered to your tastes over time. So, it’s awesome if you’re looking for new teas, which I always am.
Rob: So, that’s the end of our interview with Aly Goulet. Before we go, Brandon, let’s touch on one or two more things that stood out to us in this last half of the episode. Aly was talking about her approach on LinkedIn and what she does there. And the question occurred to me, should we even be on LinkedIn? There are definitely copywriters whose clients are not on LinkedIn. They’re not going to connect with their clients. And so, I think that’s the number one question that people should should ask. We’ve talked a lot about how to engage people on LinkedIn and different approaches over the last 50 episodes of the podcast. But maybe the very first question all of us should be asking is, should you even be there? And if your clients are there, then awesome, engage there. But if they’re not, don’t waste your time on a social media platform where you’re not actually going to connect with the people that you want to work with.
Brandon: Yeah, I completely agree. And I think that question is worth asking for a lot of advice rides. I think Aly mentioned earlier in the podcast is how to make this work for us. I mean, even just thinking of LinkedIn as different from other social platforms, is that going to see the way that you use the internet is not going to suit the way that you like to show up. And then, on the other side of that as well, can you commit to that? And I think Aly, again, has been really deliberate with that approach, and it’s paid off. And I think you could apply that same way of looking at any angle we go down, just being really smart about whether or not you fit as opposed to just doing it because other people have had great results from it.
Rob: Yeah. And while she was talking about LinkedIn and her approach to it, she did mention, there was a comment about the parameters with LinkedIn automation that you need to be careful with. I think that specifically, she was talking about how, if you’re using automation software, LinkedIn can detect that. And if you start sending out pitch after pitch, after pitch, more than say 20 a day, or the number may vary a little bit from that, but they can actually shut down your account and not allow you to connect with other people. So, just be careful that when you’re setting those parameters that you’re not violating LinkedIn’s rules for automation. They do that to control spam, so that we’re not all flooded with emails from people that we don’t want to hear from. But if you’re there pitching, smart to be aware of what those limits are. Another thing that stood out to me and this is, other than how impressed I am by Aly and the plug-in and this business that she’s building, but just the idea that she was talking about how she started putting her business first, and how client work tends to get done because we have the deadline, we have to pay the bills. And so, by carving out one day a week or a couple of hours every morning before you start that client work in order to work on your own business is such a critical idea. I know Kira and I have mentioned that in several places. We’ve talked about it on the podcast before. But it’s that idea that it’s so easy to forget, because again, I have a deadline this afternoon and I’ve got to get stuff done. And so, I’m going to skip working on my business this morning. And we can always put that off, and the fixes to our own websites, the pieces of our own business that help bring in more clients, we put that stuff off until the current clients are taken care of. And then that’s oftentimes what causes the feast and famine cycle, because we’re not paying attention to our business or to whatever the processes are that bring in new clients. So, just reiterating that idea, you have to put your own business first, whether it’s your copywriting business, whether it’s something else that you’re doing and building for the future, that has to happen first before you work on your clients. I’m not saying give clients short drift and to not give them everything that you promise, but take that time for yourself first.
Brandon: Yeah. I think that always seemed quite counterintuitive to me, but it does work and for the reasons Aly outlined, which I think came from you and Kira. I think that more of us as we build these things should stop thinking of it as long-term businesses and what today means about tomorrow. But yeah, I like the approach. I’m a big fan of marketers generally taking what they’ve learned, and then building solutions for the people coming off to them. I think both of the projects that Aly is working on seem really smart, really helpful. You can see the value in the blog and the plugin. I think these are just things that people really need. So yeah, it’s great to see that and to see again, that example of the things people are doing with the skills they’ve built over the years.
Rob: I think what you were saying there is really important too, because one of the reasons we put our businesses last is that we don’t always think of our businesses as an asset or as a thing that we’re really building. We just see ourselves as service providers. I’m a copywriter, I write copy. I can help you do your copy. Rather than thinking this business that I’m building is actually an asset that is going to provide for me in different ways in the future. And maybe you do continue just writing copy, and you’re a great copywriter, and you’re not necessarily building a plugin or other pieces of your business, but you still need all of the pieces in your business to be as good as they possibly can be in place in order to keep that client flow coming. So, I think you hit the nail on the head when you’re pointing out that we need to see our own businesses as a business, as an asset, as something that we’re building in order to really start to prioritize it.
Brandon: Yeah. I love that. I’m going to start thinking of it as an asset for sure. Yeah. I love that.
Rob: So, what else stood out to you, Brandon, from this last part of the conversation?
Brandon: Aly, previously did a training in the Copywriter Club group about portfolios. I think it was one of our most popular ones, but it strikes me as something that quite a lot of people struggle with. So, that pivot that Aly is making, one just from a portfolio angle, I think is great. I think that’s stuff we need. Even just, I think, yeah, the more of us that do stuff like that, it feels like that’s where the opportunities are, just outside of client work, I think when we can solve bigger problems and keep raising the bar. I think what Ali is doing helps make other copywriters avoid bad job and attract bad clients. And I think anytime we can do that and raise the bar for all of us, yeah, it seems like a win-win.
Rob: Absolutely. And to really put that idea on steroids, creating these kinds of assets for people in your industry, in your niche, thinking beyond the copywriting world or the marketing world, where we’re all sort of familiar with this stuff. And so, it makes sense to share these ideas. But even going deeper, if you have a set of templates that is directed at medical providers or dentists, or health clubs that can help drive traffic for their business, that’s the kind of thing that… Again, let’s say health clubs, think of the thousands of health clubs that there are across all of the various countries where we all live, right? They all need help attracting clients. And so if you can create these kinds of tools for that niche or for whatever niche you work in for your clients, it’s just an awesome opportunity that can help all of us grow our businesses in different ways.
Brandon: Definitely. I’m looking forward to seeing Aly does this, and then to see what other people do and take into that spaces as well.
Rob: Yeah, I am as well. Let’s talk briefly about that plugin. That all came out of a discussion as Aly was telling the story, with Kara and I, and she was talking about some different things that she could add to help the freelancers that she works with in her community. Is even an idea, I don’t remember exactly how it came up in the discussion, but it struck me as such a good idea that we basically said to, Aly is like, “Hey, if you’re not going to build this thing, we will, because it’s needed in the world.” And again, just sitting down and having those kinds of conversations with other copywriters or with a coach, with somebody who can reflect back what’s going on in your business, and help you isolate, determine which ideas are worth pursuing or which ones you want to put time into, it’s just such a really healthy thing for us as business owners. Kira, and I do it. We have mentors that we reach out to for discussions all the time. I know Brandon, you’ve done it. And obviously, the members of our Think Tank, there are other copywriter groups, if one of our groups isn’t a perfect fit, by just having those kinds of discussions and reflecting ideas back at each other, can help us all in so many ways, whether it’s feedback on copy or feedback on business ideas. Something that we highly encourage everybody to be doing in order to make our businesses as successful as possible.
Brandon: Yes. It seems like one of those things that helps to speed up how we go from ideas, which most of us have great ideas to really put something out, that just having it validated by people who know what they’re talking about or had done something similar, or are working on similar stuff at the same time. So yeah, I think the more times we can test our ideas and put them in front of people. Because I’m sure that reaction that Aly got from you guys, which is, “Hold on, this is a stand alone product that you could do really well.” Was game-changing. And yeah, the more people who can put their ideas to that stage, I think more of us will see that results and do bigger things that may be risks we wouldn’t have taken otherwise.
Rob: Yeah, for sure. And obviously, you’re doing something similar. It’s not necessarily a product, but you’ve created this community that’s not focused on copywriting. It’s focused on parenting and for a need that you’re seeing. And you’re able to experiment and play around with that. And whether or not it’s successful, the things that you learn in doing that are directly applicable to the kinds of projects that you work on with other clients. They can lead to additional ideas, further things down the road. And in the short term, maybe this one is a success and you hit it out of the park, and you’ve just built a second business that can contribute to your income and to your lifestyle.
Brandon: Yeah. In fact, I think the more of examples we get of people doing stuff like that, I think just helps us to realize that maybe we don’t… And again, because so many people who’ve come from non-copywriting backgrounds, it seems crazy that we’ve always then boxed ourselves in when we’re continuing to pick up new skills that people can use everywhere. I think, I’ve certainly taken inspiration from some of those examples so far that I’ve seen from people around me.
Rob: And more copywriters doing more kinds of businesses. I can’t wait to see it. It’ll be fun. We want to thank Aly Goulet for joining us on the podcast today. If you want to connect with her or check out what she’s doing with her business, there are a couple of different places that you can go. To learn more about the portfolio plugin that we’ve been talking about, that she’s developed, go to getgeniusportfolio.com. And you can check out freelancingflow.com to see what she shares about running a freelance business. And finally, to learn more about her copy and content writing business, go to Copy on Cue, that’s copyonC-U-E.com, copyoncue.com.
Brandon: That’s it on this episode of the Copywriter Club Podcast. The intro music was composed by a copywriter and songwriter, Anderson Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter, David Muntner. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, please visit Apple Podcasts to leave a review of the show. And if you’re ready to invest in yourself and your copywriting business, and finally achieve your goals, visit copywriterthinktank.com. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.
Rob: And I want to thank you, Brandon, for joining me, for adding your ideas to this interview. Thanks for being here. I appreciate it.
Brandon: Right. It was great. Thank you.