Rob and Kira sit down on the 340th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast to chat about a few episodes that have stood out to them over the last 5 years. Yup, they’re jumping all the way back in the archives to tap into what still applies to today’s copywriting arena and how you can use past insight to your business today.
Here’s how the conversation goes:
- The copywriting event happening in London in 2023.
- The FREE A.I. challenge being hosted THIS week.
- Rob and Kira’s new A.I for Creative Entrepreneurs podcast.
- Why Joel Klettke didn’t start with beginner rates and jumped straight into value rates?
- How to turn mindset and confidence into action.
- The difference between an employee mindset and an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Do you need a portfolio to start charging higher rates?
- How to shift our mindset around the imposter complex.
- The benefits of imposter complex.
- The 12 lies of the imposter complex and what to do about it.
- What is The Stone Soup tale and how does it apply to copywriting?
- How to become the go-to copywriter in the room.
- Jereshia’s advice on high-ticket sales as a copywriter.
- The real difference between low-ticket and high-ticket sales.
- Are you being a spork?
- What are the POP and the Champagne Closer methods?
- How to lead a sales call with authority.
Tune into the episode below by hitting play or reading the transcript.
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The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Join the AI Challenge
The Copywriter Think Tank
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Free month of Brain.FM
Episode 21 with Joel Klettke
Episode 47 with Tanya Geisler
Episode 36 with Ken McCarthy
Episode 204 with Jereshia Hawk
Rob Marsh: Today’s episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast is number 340. Not very many podcasts have that long of a lifespan. Most stop a long time before that. In fact, I’ve heard some people say that the average podcast lasts about 12 to 15 episodes. I’m not sure how correct those numbers are. But we are fully committed to keeping this podcast going because talking to copywriters, content writers, and other marketers isn’t just a learning experience for us, it’s fun. You are our people, and talking to copywriters is honestly one of the most enjoyable things that we do every week. Having said that, there are a lot of great episodes you probably haven’t listened to yet, especially if you’ve only been listening to the podcast for the last year or so. And even if you’ve heard every single episode, I’m tempted to wave at our mothers here, Kira, although my mom has passed, but your mom maybe is one of the few that’s listened to every episode.
Kira Hug: She has not listened to every episode.
Rob Marsh: She should have. But if you’ve listened to every episode, you’ve probably forgotten some of the phenomenal advice that we’ve heard over the years. So we thought today we would share just a couple of clips from our back catalog so you can go back and check out some of these amazing interviews. It’s a bit of a best of show episode for you today.
Kira Hug: But before we jump into all those episodes, this episode is sponsored by the Copywriter Think Tank, which is our mastermind. And we have a retreat coming up pretty soon actually, in June. Early June, we have a virtual retreat with all of our Think Tank members. It’s one of my favorite parts of this mastermind and being a part of the Think Tank. It’s also my favorite part of being in other masterminds that Rob and I are part of. The retreats are where, it’s really cheesy, but that is where the magic happens. Because there’s collaboration, you’re talking about ideas, and you bring in brilliant people who can teach you something new that you can implement right away in your business. It’s where, Rob, you and I have really implemented a good amount from the last retreat that you and I attended, so we know it can make a difference, and we know it makes a difference for the copywriters in the Think Tank.
So if you have any interest in being a part of a mastermind and being a part of a retreat, I would not wait to jump in. Definitely reach out to us and you can learn more about the Think Tank at copywriterthinktank.com. And I will also mention that we have an in-person retreat because we like to do both in-person retreats and virtual retreats, a combination of the two. And our in-person retreat is coming up in September, will be in London, which we might talk about more in this episode. So join us. It’s a lot of fun.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. It’s funny because you’re talking about that, and we might have mentioned this once before on the podcast, but one of the things that I’ve found with retreats is the first one, maybe even the first two or three, you’re kind of still new to the group, and so you don’t have those same relationships. But in the masterminds that you and I have been a part of, years two and three, it’s almost like somebody dials up the heat on all of those relationships, and suddenly people are sharing more deeply things that they’ve been doing. Those friendships just become deeper. And so having more time in a mastermind tends to even make that more valuable. But there’s no time like the present to get started if you’re not already in the Think Tank.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And I will add that Rob and I have been a part of multiple mastermind groups since the two of us met in 2015. And so because we’ve attended many, many mastermind retreats, we’ve been able to take what we liked, take what worked, leave the rest, and really come up with an experience that I think works really well for people. So that’s a benefit too.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. So let’s kick off this episode just with a couple of updates, things that are going on, Kira. You’ve been working on this challenge that, if you’re listening to the podcast on the day that it drops, it actually starts tomorrow. Tell us a little bit about that.
Kira Hug: Yeah, I am so excited about this challenge. It’s a free five-day challenge. It’s all about figuring out how to use AI, specifically ChatGPT, in our writing processes so that we can create more space for creativity. We can feel more in control of our writing and our businesses. We can maybe feel excited about it, and create more play in the writing process. And so we’re going to do it together because there’s so many people talking about AI right now. It’s everywhere. Of course, we’ve been talking a lot about it too. And we thought, why not figure it out together as a group in a community rather than forcing all of us to figure it out alone.
So this is a free challenge. You’re all invited to participate. We’re just going to kind of baby-step our way into using ChatGPT in different ways, a variety of different ways. So by the end of the challenge, you’ll have one or two really great ideas that you can implement in your own client work or for your own business that will help you provide more value for your clients and may help you do more strategic thinking about your own business. And that starts April 26th, so it’s not too late to jump in. You can find out more at thecopywriterclub.com/aichallenge.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. The thing that I like about this challenge is that it’s not only are you working through with a lot of other very friendly copywriters in a group together to share, but we’re trying to demystify all of the stuff that’s being said about it. There are so many people talking about prompts and inputs and all. We want to take a step back and just make it easy. So if you’ve been all intimidated by AI tools, ChatGPT, this is definitely a good way to just put your foot in a way that’s going to be very easy to engage with. You’ll learn and you don’t have to worry about blowing up your business or making sure that you’re using the right words to talk about it, any of that stuff. It’s really to make it simple.
And if you feel like you’re beyond that, yeah, okay, you’ve been playing around a little bit with ChatGPT, and you want to maybe go a lot deeper. We do have the AI for copywriters, content writers, creatives, course/adventure that we released a few weeks ago. More than 100 copywriters have joined that. And it just goes a little bit more deeply into it. So if you’re brand new or you want to play around with a group of people doing it, absolutely join that challenge. If you feel like that’s maybe too basic, then we also have a course for AI for copywriters, and you can find information about that at thecopywriterclub.com/ai4c.
Kira Hug: Yeah, and the cool thing is we already have the challenge group. We have a pop-up Facebook group. It’s already happening. People are in there. We’re already talking about concerns we have. We’re talking about different ways people are using the tools. So Rob’s right, this is for people who are relatively new to these tools, but we’re also all relatively new to using these tools. So even if you know a couple of things, you can share what you know with this community. And then I guarantee you’ll learn something from other people in the room because it’s a big room of people. And the cool thing is that we’re all in this particular community for this short period of time to talk about one thing. And so it’s a really focused group that you won’t necessarily be able to find elsewhere, especially for free.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, absolutely. And then since we’re talking about AI, we should probably just mention really quickly the podcast or the videocast, because it’s also on YouTube, and you and Brandon have been doing a ton of work on that. But yeah, let’s mention that too.
Kira Hug: Yeah, let’s not even talk about it quickly. Let’s just slow down and talk about it because it’s so fun. It’s the AI for Creative Entrepreneurs Podcast. Like you mentioned, Brandon Burton is our producer, and we have about seven or eight shows out now. And it’s video and also audio, so you can choose your preference. But I think the best part about it is that we’re going to interview, and we are interviewing a variety of entrepreneurs and creatives. Some of them have specific case studies or use cases from different tools. So we’re not just focused on ChatGPT, we’re going to talk about all the tools. Some people will have different experiences from actually using tools in their businesses. Others have created tools. We want to talk about ethical concerns. We want to get really deep and not keep it on the surface level, but we also want it to be something you can apply in your business.
You can take one idea and implement it in your business, but we can also go much deeper, and not be afraid to talk about all of the larger ideas, concerns, excitement around it. Because it’s such a big topic, it’s multifaceted. So we want to create a multifaceted podcast. So hopefully that’s what we’re doing. I think we are. And you can check out the most recent episode, one with our team member, Brandon Burton, who has so much to share about how to be adaptable in 2023 so that you can continue to pivot as needed as a creative and as a digital marketer and as a copywriter. Our most recent episode just came out, or is about to come out, is with Yona Schnitzer about how to use Wordtune. And Rob, you were in that interview. What would you say was the highlight for you?
Rob Marsh: Yeah, it mostly is a demo. So I would encourage everybody that can to watch it. We talked about what he was doing so you can listen to it if audio’s your preferred way of doing it. We tried to make it as useful as possible. But the thing that I really like about this particular tool is, well, it does some things that ChatGP does, but it automates them. The writing help that you get, it can write jokes and change voice really easily with a click of a button instead of having to type in prompts. But one thing that ChatGPT does not do that Wordtune does is it will source the material, where it’s coming from, which is a huge, huge help. If you’re writing content for clients, and you need to be able to link to things or to back up your arguments.
ChatGPT hallucinates. That means that it just makes stuff up sometimes. So if you ask it for sources, it will give you sources that sound right, but if you actually try to find them online, they may not exist. In fact, most of the time they don’t exist. And so this is one thing that Wordtune does really, really well. So anyway, it’s a tool worth checking out. There are some links that you can use that Yona gave us to save some money if you decide to actually purchase and try it out. So look for those links on those episodes. But yeah, it’s just a cool tool.
So lots of tools out there. There’s more than 100 AI tools right now for writers. We’ve got a whole list of them that’s in that AI course that I mentioned earlier with links so people can go check those out if they want. But we want to talk to a bunch of them because they do different things in different ways, and different tools are going to work for different people. So it’s worth checking out and trying out as many of these as you want in order to find the tools that work for your business.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And if you already feel overwhelmed, even just hearing about Wordtune and all the tools, you can kind of take it slow, move at your own pace, and listen to the episodes on aiforcreativeentrepreneurs.com because you can just kind of digest it at your own speed and learn about everything on your own time. And again, it’s free. So it’s a great resource.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, for sure. What else is going on, Kira?
Kira Hug: Yeah. I mean, should we talk about personal life?
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Every time I do this though, I’m like, you have this long list of personal things, and I’m like, wow, maybe I need to do more. I don’t know. Yeah, it’s-
Kira Hug: You said that last time.
Rob Marsh: … a little depressing for me. It’s a little depressing for me.
Kira Hug: You said that last time, so I kept my list shorter. But I think my list is short now. It’s not very lengthy.
Rob Marsh: I think all I do is work. Maybe that’s my problem. I don’t know.
Kira Hug: Maybe you’re keeping the business afloat. Maybe that’s what you’re doing-
Rob Marsh: It could be that.
Kira Hug: … that we can even have this conversation. Yeah, I mean personal updates. I am excited because you and I have talked a lot about our book ideas, probably ad nauseum at this point where it’s like just write the book already. Stop talking about it. But I mean, you’ve been working on your book, right?
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I have basically two chapters ready to go. A bunch of people volunteered to help with ideas and edits, and I’m about to share some of those out. I actually stepped away from it for the last few weeks because we were putting together all of the resources for the AI course that we mentioned. And then two people in the last two weeks have reached out to me about book ideas that they have. One’s an influencer in our space, and another person, a copywriter who sent me a copy of her book that she just finished. And both of them used the exact same title that I was thinking of-
Kira Hug: No way.
Rob Marsh: … for the book. Yeah, both of them. So I-
Kira Hug: I think it’s the influencer, yeah, I think…
Rob Marsh: That might be one that you know about. But so I’ve got to work on my book title. I’m not changing the content because I think the content will likely be different than what those two other books are. And I think our approach, some of the things that we talk about in the Accelerator and in the Underground and the coaching that we do will be unique enough and helpful enough to people that that’s still what my book is about. But now I know I’ve got to go back and get a little bit more creative with the title. So there’s work to be done there. How about what’s going on with your book idea?
Kira Hug: So I just knew I wanted to do it, but I had no idea what it would be about. And that’s been my struggle forever. I did sit down with Lindsay Hyatt, a Think Tank member who’s also a coach, and she kind of helped me work through the vision for it. And I had a really great brainstorming session with Lindsay, so shout out to Lindsay. And I got closer to it, but I wasn’t quite there. And so this past week, I’ve been on vacation during spring break with my family, and I had the idea yesterday. I was running, this connects to the other activity I’ve been doing. I was running up and down a hill for an hour and that’s when I got my idea.
Rob Marsh: That sounds like the worst brainstorming technique I’ve ever heard in my life.
Kira Hug: But it worked. It worked. And all the ideas flooded my mind, and I couldn’t even write them down because I was running the hill with my brother. But now I’ve got the idea, and I’m not going to talk about what it is because I have to just do it, otherwise it’s not real.
Rob Marsh: And somebody else is going to come up with the title too and then send it to you.
Kira Hug: I do have a title for it. I’ll send the title to you. But anyway. So I’m excited to talk about when I actually have written a chapter or two because then I feel like it’s real and it’s not just an idea in my head and I can share.
Rob Marsh: And you were running up and down the hill because you are still training, I take it.
Kira Hug: I was running up and down, yeah, because I didn’t want to go to the trails. And there’s this long driveway and I was like, let’s just run up and down for an hour. And so that kicked my butt. But yeah, I’m still training for the Iron Man. I have not quit yet. So it’s still happening. I ran 15 miles on Monday. Yeah. I was going to text you and tell you because I was excited.
Rob Marsh: That’s a long run for me.
Kira Hug: What I’ve realized, and I’ll probably write about at some point, is mentally I’m feeling really strong, physically I’m not there yet. So mentally I’m like, I can do this. I can run for four hours, but physically my body can’t keep up. So it just breaks down.
Rob Marsh: And have you gotten on your bike yet?
Kira Hug: I’ve been on Peloton. I need to buy a bike because I don’t have a bike. If you want to send me a bike as a partner gift, that would be great.
Rob Marsh: I’m working on it. I’m working on that. I am doing my best to get outside too. We have finally had more than one week without snow for I think the first time since October. I mean I know I’ve mentioned this on some of our coaching calls and stuff, but our ski resorts here have almost 900 inches of snow, and the previous record was just over 700 inches. So when you think about the number of feet that that is, we’ve had so much snow here. So I don’t have any on my front lawn anymore for more than a week. So I’ve been able to start getting out and running again, which has been really nice. But I’m not even thinking about doing 15 miles. That’s not in my playbook.
Kira Hug: But you’re just running for pleasure, right? It’s for fun.
Rob Marsh: Just to try to keep my heart healthy so that I can live longer than I might otherwise live.
Kira Hug: Okay. I was going to tell you, though, this is something nice that I almost don’t want to share with you, but I will. So I was in the hot tub with my kids last night, and we’re talking about favorites. The game was what’s your favorite blah? Animal, favorite food. And we were talking about people, who are your favorite people? And we couldn’t share our family members, so we took family members out of it. And I said, “Rob Marsh is one of my favorite people.”
Rob Marsh: Oh, that’s very nice of you.
Kira Hug: I was surprised that I said it, and then it came out, and I was like, yeah.
Rob Marsh: I’m surprised that you said it too.
Kira Hug: I know, I know. So I just feel like I should share that with you too.
Rob Marsh: That was very nice of you. Thank you.
Kira Hug: You’re welcome. Before we get too sappy, anything else? Let’s talk about-
Rob Marsh: Yeah, you mentioned that we’re going to do our next Think Tank retreat in London. And along with that we’re like, Hey, if we’re going to go to London, we might as well try to connect with as many Copywriter Club members who are in the London/UK, maybe European area. And so we are actively looking for an event space. I was looking at spaces just yesterday online seeing if I could find something cool. So our friends there, Rob and Kennedy, they suggested a really cool event space, but it’s probably not quite big enough for us. It only holds about 15 or 16 people. So I think we want to meet with a few more people than that. But it is going to be pretty limited, it’s not IRL with hundreds of people, and hotels and all of that. We just want to do a one-day get-together. There will probably be some trainings and some workshops that we’re starting to put together. That’s going to happen at the end of September. So pencil in, I think, the day we’ve got penciled in right now is the 26th.
Kira Hug: Yes.
Rob Marsh: I think that’s a Tuesday if I’m not mistaken.
Kira Hug: It’s a Tuesday.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. And so we will be somewhere in the likely London area. It might be just outside of London if we decide we need to do that. And so pencil that in. If you are interested in that, we definitely want you to reach out and tell us so that we can make sure that you get details. We don’t necessarily want to hammer every single person on our list who isn’t interested in that kind of thing. But if you’re in that area, if you want to fly to London to hang out with us for a day, you should definitely let us know.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And we’re going to have the day-long event, like Rob said, and then we’re going to go out in the evening. I’m just making this up as we go, but we’re going to go out. So it may not be dinner, but it might just be an evening out cocktails, or I guess whatever, a pub. I don’t know what we will find, but it will be very much fun. And if you want to also extend your time with us in London, then consider the Think Tank, which we already mentioned, but that mastermind, because then we’ll stay in London and have the mastermind retreat for Think Tank members. So if you want to kind of go all out in London with us, it might be worth considering that mastermind if it’s a good fit for you.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, it’s going to be a great couple of days. I know every time I mention going to England, my wife’s like, “Hey, you got to take me.” So she’s going to be hanging out in the city while we’re doing all of this work stuff. And I’m looking forward to having just a couple of days to explore. Again, to go back, I always feel like I’m going home when I go to England, so this is going to be fun.
Kira Hug: I do not feel that way, but also I’m still excited. And we do have a call to action, so if you want to find out more, this is a long call to action, but you can email email@example.com, and just send in London as a subject line and we will add you to the London wait list so you can receive updates if you’re like, I definitely want to do this or hear about it. You could do that if you want more information.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, that’s probably the best way. Obviously, you can reach out to us directly as well, but let us know and we will make sure that you get updates. I know there’s been some posts in the Facebook groups, people have mentioned that it’s happening and getting excited about it, so this’ll be a lot of fun.
Kira Hug: And one last note about events. Obviously, well, I don’t know if it’s obvious we’re not doing TCCIRL this year. And a couple people have asked us about it, and I just want to say we plan on doing it again. We just needed to take the year off from the big event to just kind of figure out, recalibrate, and focus our attention elsewhere on events like this one in London and possibly some other ones that we’re really excited about creating. And so we will do it again. It will come back. We just needed to pivot this year and focus elsewhere.
Rob Marsh: Do something a little bit different. There may be some opportunities also for some online things that we’ll be doing a little bit differently. So just stay tuned. The best way to do that is just be on our email list, and we’ll make sure that you hear about them as it happens. Obviously if you’re in the Facebook groups, we try to make sure that people get updated there. Sometimes the algorithm doesn’t show you everything. But if you can make sure you’re on the email list, that’s probably the best place to do it. Okay, so that’s it for updates.
Kira, as I mentioned in the introduction, we’ve got this massive back catalog of great podcast episodes that a lot of people just probably haven’t heard because they’ve only found us in the last year or two, or maybe they’ve dipped in and out of the podcast from time to time. So let’s just take a few minutes and mention some of our favorites. And we’re going to ask our podcast editor Fina, she’s amazing, to drop in some examples from these favorite episodes so that you can get a taste of what they are. So you might go back and listen to them. And I am talking about going back, most of them, quite a long ways, almost five years. I’m wondering though, it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite, but is there one, two, three episodes that stand out to you?
Kira Hug: Yeah, I don’t do favorites, but I do have a handful I loved. So I’m just going to mention them, and maybe we can link to them in the show notes. So favorites, Glynn Washington, mentioned that several times. I was really nervous for that one because I love listening to his podcast. And he’s a producer, and he hosts my favorite podcast of all time, Spooked, which is the number one podcast. Seth Godin, super nervous for that one. I think that I was most nervous for that podcast just because I respect Seth so much, but I think you and I did well.
Rob Marsh: I don’t look back at that one and think were we good? What Seth shared in that podcast was just fantastic. In fact somebody wrote us back and said, “Hey, I listened to all of the podcasts that Seth did when he launched his book, What is Marketing. And of all of them, you guys got him to share the best stuff.” And I haven’t listened to them all, so I don’t know that I can make that, but somebody else told us that. And so I love that one too.
Kira Hug: Well, I think that’s why I was nervous because he’s interviewed all the time. And so it was like what are we going to do? And the people pleaser in me wanted to impress him, and then how can we make this a useful show and different from all the other shows out there? And like you said, I think we did. So that’s another good one.
I will also share the one with Robert Skrob. I don’t know what number that is, but we can link to it. That one I think is brilliant as far as how to show up as more of a consultant in your business, rather than just a copywriter, and solving bigger problems in a retainer model and charging way more for the work that we do solving these problems, rather than charging hourly and allowing your clients to view you as partners rather than just the hired help.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, it’s a really good one.
Kira Hug: Okay, I would go back and check out episode 41 with Jenny Blake about pivoting. That’s one I’m going to listen to again, just because pivoting is so pivotal right now with AI. We can’t not listen to that and think about how we need to pivot in our own businesses, and that’s not going to stop. And so I think Jenny was just ahead of her time, and that book will definitely be helpful this year especially. I also would circle back to episode 57 with Heather Dominick about the highly sensitive entrepreneur. If you are someone who is highly sensitive, I know Rob is not, but I am. Are you disagreeing with me?
Rob Marsh: Well, I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to that podcast but-
Kira Hug: Definitely you should listen.
Rob Marsh: … I am definitely not that… The highly sensitive label does not apply to me in very many situations for sure.
Kira Hug: But you’re right, it’s good to listen to it just maybe to learn about, I don’t know, if you are in a relationship with someone who’s highly sensitive, or even just to know, well, I’m not this way, so maybe here are the strengths because I’m not as highly sensitive. So that’s a good one.
And then the last one I’ll mention is number 89 about building frameworks with Mel Abraham. Mel helped me create my framework. And the copywriters I see doing the best across the board, and doing the best means, like landing clients consistently increasing their rates, feeling really good about the work they’re doing, most of them have some type of framework. Whether or not they realize it, they have one in place. And so I still believe that having a framework is what can dramatically change your business and just make it easier to attract better clients and to get more visibility, strengthen your marketing. And so Mel talks about that in episode 89.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, they’re all fantastic. And in a future episode, we should probably pull some comments out of those and do this again. So for me, when I go back and think about this, I go way, way back. So Joel Klettke in episode number 21, he talked about how he got started in his business, but he didn’t start out charging beginner fees. He recognized that he was bringing a lot of value and that he could deliver that from day one and started charging for it. And so I want to play a bit of this episode because I think that there’s something here that even experienced copywriters need to remind themselves of.
Joel Klettke: The reason why I was able to get momentum so quickly is I came at it with a business mindset, not an employee mindset. I wasn’t looking to be someone else’s employee, I was trying to be a consultant. I wanted to be someone people trusted. And so instead of acting like, well, I’m new to this, I don’t know it very well, I had the confidence to say, you know what? I know I’m a good writer. I’d done some writing for the agency. The clients were happy with it. We’d hired other freelancers whose work was garbage, and I would revamp that. And I thought if those people can charge what they do and make a living as a freelancer, surely I can do the same.
So instead of coming in at it from the lens of like, okay, I’m going to charge low and get my feet wet and pay my dues, I just started charging high right out the gate. And nobody cared that I hadn’t done this for 10 years. That wasn’t the question they had. All they cared about was how well I could do the job. And if I could prove I could do the job, I could get that right. And I learned that really quickly.
Kira Hug: Okay. So I love that you said bet on yourself, and clearly there’s some confidence and a business mindset going into your business from day one. And I think most of us tend to miss out on that side of it when we start businesses. So how can new copywriters take what you just talked about, the mindset and the confidence, and turn that into action to get their first few clients? I mean it sounds like you said, number one, you can start off with higher rates. You don’t have to start off with low rates. But what else can they do to land those first few clients?
Joel Klettke: Sure. And I know the question in the back of people’s heads is, well, what if I don’t have a portfolio? Don’t I have to take jobs for cheap to get a portfolio? And the answer is absolutely not. No, you don’t. Again, that’s the employee mindset of paying your dues and working up the ladder. That’s not the case. What I did is I had a few clients that I took from the agency. I didn’t take them with me, but I’d done some projects on the agency side. But then when I was floating out there, I deliberately avoided things like Upwork, things like ProBlogger or Job Board. That’s not a knock on there. There’s great jobs there, but it’s a low-cost economy. You’re competing against everyone to see who’s going to be the lowest to bid.
And instead I went to connections I had that I knew they would have real clients, serious clients who needed copy, and where I could get a referral in. And there’d be some trust because I was being referred. So I took my little portfolio, and I went to web development shops, I went to marketing agencies, I went to consultants who already had done the hard work of cultivating these clients who had some budget, and who I knew didn’t offer copy, and said, “Hey, why don’t I charge a rate that you could get a cut and you’ll make more off the clients you already have, and you’ve seen the work I can do, and we both win.”
Now as far as if you have nothing, invent a project. Don’t wait for someone to hire you for your dream job, invent one. Because again, all people want to see is that you can do it, that you have the process. They want to see an example of a final deliverable. It doesn’t matter if that sales letter never actually got used. It doesn’t matter if that website doesn’t actually exist. If you can show them the process you went through, and an example of what your copy will look like when it’s done, that’s enough for people to get buy-in.
Kira Hug: What else can we do, and this is for more experienced copywriters as well, to show up as a consultant versus the employee? Because I think that is an ongoing battle. And what are some other ways we can just embody that consultant mindset?
Joel Klettke: Yeah, I think so much comes down to proving that you’re not just a writer. If you want to work with big clients like a HubSpot, like an InsightSquared, it’s not enough to just be good with words. You have to be able to demonstrate your process. You have to be able to communicate the value you can bring to the table.
And for my generation that kind of hates being on the phone, I’m sad to say, but a lot of that happens on a phone call. Where people aren’t coming to me and saying, “We need a new website. What do you charge?” It’s okay, you think you need a new website. Let me get you on a call and talk through what I see going on on your site. Talk through the opportunities I think you’re missing. Ask you about your research process, ask you what you know, what you don’t know. And help the client realize, you know what? This person isn’t just a writer. They’re bringing strategy to the table. They’re bringing things to the table that we didn’t even know we needed and now we have to have.
And so I think a lot of it’s about properly framing and communicating. One of the most impactful, and I don’t even think that’s a word, but we can… One of the highest impact things I did was publish a process page that showed all of the stages I go through so that people aren’t looking at my deliverable as just here’s a bunch of words, I hope it works for you. They can see here’s how this guy thinks through problems and that’s why we need him on board, as opposed to that writer we hired last time who totally didn’t nail it and didn’t get our voice and didn’t convert. Let’s go with the guy who’s shown us he can think through our problem.
Rob Marsh: Kira, I still think about this episode every time that we work with newer copywriters in the Copywriter Accelerator or the Copywriter Underground. If you can fix big problems for your clients, you do not need to price yourself like a beginner. You can charge for the value that you create. But the real challenge is that you need to figure out what is that value, what is it, what it’s worth, and how do you solve that problem?
Kira Hug: Yeah. I think it’s a challenge for so many of us because many of us came from a corporate world and a world where we kind of had to climb the ladder, and you did have to start at the bottom and put in your time. And that’s the reason I know I left that world. I wasn’t interested in that. That didn’t work for me. I know that’s something many of us feel. But then we move into this space, we start our own businesses, and our mindset hasn’t dramatically changed. So we start to follow the old way of feeling like we’re at the bottom of the ladder. And so we can’t charge as much as that copywriter over there who’s been doing it for five years, and has got this great marketing and seems like she really knows her stuff. And so we get in our own way.
And that’s why we left, so we can do this on our own and figure it out and build our own elevator or escalator or ladder, if we want a ladder, or maybe we build a ramp. But we can build it our own way and move faster if we have the skillset, the experience, if we can get results, if we have that confidence to do it, we can move as fast as we want to the top floor. And so why aren’t we and why are we getting in our own way? And that’s what Joel addresses.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I totally agree. It’s a great episode. Highly recommend people go back and listen to that one.
Kira Hug: Of the episodes both of us recommend to so many copywriters we coach is our interview with Tanya Geisler, all about the imposter complex. She talked about the 12 lies of the imposter complex, and then the three primary reasons the vast majority of us experience it. Here’s a little bit of what she said.
Rob Marsh: Before we get to the lies and the coping mechanisms, I want to ask because obviously, this is a natural phenomenon. There’s got to be a genetic reason that we feel this. It’s protective in some way, or it’s defensive. And so it’s great that it’s natural, but we also need to recognize that, while it may hold us back, it also helps us in some ways, right?
Tanya Geisler: Yeah. Keeps us safe. Has for lots of years. So yeah, it’s evolutionary in context. So our job, and thanks for bringing that in because this isn’t about cutting it off, shutting it down, never experiencing it forever and ever, amen. It’s actually a really important part of the ways in which we have achieved excellence, the way that we keep striving, and the way we keep pushing our own edges. It’s important that we recognize that one of the most important things that it tells us is that there’s room for improvement. And as high-functioning, high-achieving people, this is really good news. So there’s all of these lies that want to keep us held back, but that nagging belief that there’s room for improvement, that’s what keeps us striving towards mastery. That’s what keeps us on our edge. And that’s what has actually helped us to be these people who have strong values about mastery, integrity, and excellence.
Kira Hug: Yeah, I was going to say, as you’re talking about this, there’s part of me that’s like, no, no, no, I want to cling to my imposter complex because in a way I feel like it allows me to push myself. And I kind of cling to it because I’ve told myself a story that this is what keeps me humble. This is what helps me grow. I need it. I don’t want to get rid of it, even though I also kind of hate it. So it’s like this strange relationship with it.
Tanya Geisler: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like fear, right? I mean, we know that we’re never going to completely eradicate fear, but we just need to recognize that it’s here, what it’s here to tell us, and then move on in spite of it. Do our due diligence. Again, masterful people with integrity and excellence. That’s what we do. Our job is to recognize what it’s here to tell us and to move forward. So it really does three primary things, or it has three primary objectives.
One is that it wants you to doubt, wants to keep you out of action, wants to keep you low. Doesn’t want you to get pegged off by the pterodactyl if this is pretty ancient. It wants to keep you doubting your capacity, and that it also wants to keep you isolated. So these are the three things that it does time and time and time again. So when we start to look at how we apply the strategies against those objectives, then we’ve got a fighting chance here.
But again, it’s here to remind you that what you’re about to do is really important to you. And I think it’s also important to remember that, and I feel like I’ve said important about 100 times already in this call. We’ve been on the phone for about 10 minutes, so clearly this is important stuff for me. You don’t experience this in every area of your life. Glory be hallelujah. You really only experience it in the places that are new and emergent for you. If you’ve got kids, the idea of facing down the barrel of parenting was so much more than you could even begin to imagine. And the fears and the I don’t know what I’m doing, and they’re going to find out that I don’t know what I’m doing. And, and, and. We just had to get through the act of parenting. We had to just start to be a parent.
Or the first time we were asked to manage or the first time we were asked to do a pitch. All of these firsts. When we’re starting our business, when we’re starting our career. All of these firsts are this place of self-doubt to be certain. And then it skews right over into the imposter complex when we have proven track records in specific areas, and we still discount it and we still externalize the success and internalize the failures.So what I’m trying to say is, I’ve got a yoga practice, I have zero need to become masterful in yoga. I have no need for that. My parenting is very important to me. My work as a leadership coach, very important. My authorship, my speaking, these are really important areas. So this is the place that it shows up for me. As a citizen of the world, as a yoga practitioner, as an artist, not so concerned about it. So it’s just to remind you that it’s here to tell you what’s really important to you as well.
Kira Hug: You mentioned isolation, that that’s part of the imposter complex. It wants you to feel isolated. Why is that part of it? What’s that connection?
Tanya Geisler: It wants you to feel outside of the tribe. The response to that would be to conform, to not swing out too much. This is why we’re afraid of success. This is why we’re afraid of failure. Because at either end of that spectrum, we’re going to be outside of the norm. So it’s always trying to point those places out. It wants you to believe that you’re alone. So it starts to tell you, you shouldn’t tell anyone about this. Your experience as the imposter, don’t let anybody find out. Your job is to just you’re supposed to want to belong. If you’re feeling on the fringes, then you’re feeling unsettled. It’s harder for you to continue to move forward and be that pioneer. And that way we don’t mutate too fast. That way we don’t evolve too fast.
Rob Marsh: Tanya, at the top of the show, you mentioned the 12 lies of the imposter complex. Can you tell us what some of those are?
Tanya Geisler: So the first, I almost feel like this is the only lie we need to know, your self-doubt is proof of your inadequacy. So the fact that you’re feeling self-doubt means that you’re inadequate. How can you possibly be a leader when you are experiencing self-doubt? How can you possibly be a confident writer if you’re not feeling confident? So it’s just like right off the bat, self-doubt is proof of your inadequacy. The truth, of course, is that self-doubt is proof of your humanity, not your inadequacy. That’s the first one.
Successful people don’t experience this is the second lie. So we really love to think that everybody else has it so much better than us. We are the only ones who are sitting in the stew of awfulness. But I just point people to how relieved they feel when they hear that Neil Gaiman has experienced this and talks about it quite vocally. His partner, Amanda Palmer, she talks about the fraud police. We feel such relief when we hear that. Meryl Streep said, “I’ve been nominated for an Oscar 18 times, and I keep thinking this is the movie they find out that I can’t ask.” That’s amazing. And Maya Angelou. So we feel this deep sense of relief when we hear these people at the top of their game experience it. And then we know that we are in exquisite company. We are so far from alone, we’re in exquisite company.
Kira Hug: Tanya goes on to share the other 10 lies in the rest of the interview. So you’ll definitely want to listen to more of that episode if you haven’t already.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, this is one that I remember. I think I might have shared this before too, but I remember thinking, oh, this episode’s going to be super short. What can we possibly say about the imposter complex? It’s like, okay, if you’ve got it, get over it, done, we’re out. And it turns out I was completely wrong about that. We talked for almost an hour with Tanya. And it was just a fascinating discussion about who suffers with this complex, why it impacts us, the different ways that it shows up. It was just not fascinating, but it’s really useful because, like you were saying, so many copywriters have this experience, especially as you’re starting out or when you’re trying something new, maybe the first time on stage, first time with a new service that you’re offering or a new product. And it’s just really good to revisit the idea that everybody has it, and there’s really simple ways to get through it.
Kira Hug: And it pops up at every stage. So it’s even the two of us that sat through that interview with Tanya, and we cured ourselves of the imposter complex because we listened, we understood, we took in the messaging, we understood it conceptually. It doesn’t work that way. Even sometimes when you’re working with a mindset coach, it’s still you just still run into it at every single level, whether it’s getting clients, or it’s starting your own business, or it’s growing the business, or it’s like the two of us writing the next book or writing a book, it sneaks up on you. And so that’s definitely a classic interview that will continue to be useful to all of us.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, absolutely. Go back and listen to that one. And while we’re talking about great old episodes, I want to add in our interview with Ken McCarthy. So Ken is one of the original online markers who had to figure out how to make money online before anybody had bandwidth to create courses or hold Zoom calls or webinars, or anything like that. We asked him about specialization, and he told us the story about stone soup, which really dovetails well with what Joel Klettke was saying in the clip that we played. So take a listen to what Ken shared.
Ken McCarthy: I think copywriters have a better chance to flourish if they are specialists, rather than just being sort of a I- write-copy. It’s better to be a financial copywriter or a health copywriter. And by the way, I brought those two topics up because those are the topics where the preponderance of money is spent on copywriting. So it’s better to have a niche.
Now, let’s take health as an example. Let’s say you decide, hey, I’m a copywriter, and I want to focus on health offers. I have a colleague that does this. I’m not suggesting you copy his idea, but here’s what he did. He sponsors this health marketing summit every year. And he invites in about 30 or 40 players in the health marketing arena, big people from the big firms and the big mail order companies. It started out as a free event. It originally started by just sponsoring this get together. Everybody would come, they’d sit around a horseshoe table, everybody would make a little presentation, he’d make a presentation, he’d have some guest speakers make presentations. Now, I believe it’s a paying thing, you have to pay to come, but for the first several years it was free.
But that was ingenious because, number one, he now has positioned himself as a player. I mean, he always was a player, but I mean, this just solidified his position as a player in the health niche. So if somebody wanted to get consulting about a new product, or a strategy for expanding an existing business, or improving a sagging product line, he’d be one of the very first people that you’d think of. He didn’t advertise, he didn’t say, “Hey, I’m great. Here’s 20 reasons why he should hire me.” He just put himself at the head of the room running this meeting with all the potential clients they would ever like to have.
And the way he got the clients together was that everybody in business needs time to get away and meet with their peers and talk about the business, just the industry, and share ideas and hunt up potential joint ventures. I mean, this is a very valuable thing in the business world. So he created this occasion. And it’s sort of like, I don’t know if you know the old fable, Stone Soup. Have you ever heard of that fable?
Rob Marsh: I haven’t.
Ken McCarthy: Oh, this is really important. This is how you make things happen out of nothing. I’ll have to tell you the story. It’s not that long, but it’s really, really, really valuable. It was after the war, and this soldier arrived in town. And everything was devastated and people were really suspicious of each other, and everybody was hoarding and hiding their food. And he was really hungry. So he started to talk to people about this wonderful dish called stone soup. And he talked about it in such an intriguing way, okay, here’s where the copywriter skill comes in, that people listened and they became curious about this stone soup. And they started to desire the stone soup.
And they said, “Well, how do you make it?” And he goes, “Well, I’ve got the stone, but I need some onions.” So one of these people who had been afraid to come forward with their food, went to their stash, found some onions and brought the onions out. He said, “Great. Now the next ingredient for stone soup is carrots.” And then somebody had carrots, and they went through the same process. And then we also need some, I don’t know, garlic. So starting with nothing, literally a stone, he was able to convince all these otherwise highly reluctant people to pitch in something of value in order to participate in this vision that he created of stone soup.
And that’s how interesting events are created on a shoestring with no money. They’re created by vision. And then you got to talk it up and convince people to participate. And then there’s a lot of labor involved in that, but it’s not so bad. And that’s how you get people together all in one place who you otherwise might not even get a chance to talk to individually. Does that make sense?
Rob Marsh: Oh yeah.
Kira Hug: No, I love that idea because, and I hadn’t really thought of it, but there are a couple club members that I can think of, copywriters who specialize in pets. And I’m just thinking of this one specific copywriter. And for example, she could host or throw an event for different pet stores, and she could be the only copywriter in the room, and really position herself as the expert in that space. I’m thinking even for myself, I really want to get into virtual reality. And so you could throw an event in New York City, and get some of the key players in there, even if it’s a small event like you said. And then that’s how you can start to get that business, even if you’ve never written about it before.
Ken McCarthy: Absolutely. And then everybody knows you. We often will say, well, I’m just a beginner and I don’t know anybody, and I got to sort of work my way up the ladder. And there is no ladder. If you get yourself out of the equation, and you just think in terms of what all the various parties want and need and would be interested in and excited about, you can make the most amazing things happen. In other words, don’t worry whether you’re brand new or nobody’s ever heard of you or nobody knows you, you just have to find the first person that’s interested in the idea or at least expresses interest in it. And now you can take that person’s name and use it to get the next person, the next person. And suddenly you have this sort of critical mass, and then everybody wants to be there. Well, not everybody, but you get that critical mass of people that want to be there.
And yeah, I can’t think of a better way. And by the way, I do think that copywriters should really think beyond just the copy and think in terms of, all right, I can write copy, but I can also help with positioning, and I can help with marketing systems. Everything related. Because remember, think functional. Think functional. People don’t want copywriters, people don’t want to pay copywriters. What people want are leads and they want to convert leads. That’s what they’re really paying for. So everything related to generating leads and converting leads.
So for example, you should start to make yourself aware of people that generate traffic for specific niches. Who are the people that are really good at generating traffic for health or pets, or virtual reality, or any niche that you want to go in? Don’t just say, well, I’m a copywriter, and I’m just going to sit here and wait for people to hire me to write copy. Really, the bigger your network is, the more people you know. It’s like what I was saying about reading earlier. The more you read, the better a writer you’re going to ultimately be.
And the same thing with copywriting. You want to know every player. You want to know every business in the niche, you want to know what their products are. You want to follow their campaigns, you want to get some sense of how well they’re doing. You want to know who’s generating traffic for them, who’s designing their websites? I mean, there’s so many data points that you could be gathering that would just naturally lead you to become a player in the niche that you want to be in.
My bias is to be a player, not just a writer. I have very rarely written for clients. I kind of do it once in a blue… I mean, now I don’t do it at… Well, I will do it for causes that I believe in. For instance, there was this orphanage that was also a child development study center in Hungary. And it was very famous internationally, and they did a lot of important research and it was amazing. And then after East Europe became commercialized, there were no funds to support it anymore, and they were going to close it. So the wife of one of my students came to me and said, “What can we do?” And I said, “Well, do you have a list?” And they said, “Yeah, we have this big list of people because all these people have been involved with it over the years.” I said, “Well, here. Send them this letter.” So I wrote a letter because I actually knew a lot about the story from other sources. So I wrote a letter for them, and they raised over $100,000, and they kept the place open.
So that’s the kind of stuff that I’ll write for, but I can’t write for somebody who’s got a new gizmo. I couldn’t care less. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry to say that, but it’s true. So I’ll only write for things that completely set me on fire if I’m writing for a client. Otherwise I’m just writing for my own projects. But the thing is if you have the ability to write good copy, which means you have the ability to lay out a vision, you have the ability to add glamor to something, to add excitement to something, then you have the ability to create successful events. And I can’t think of a more powerful way to get into a marketplace then put on the events.
And if you know where the traffic is, and who’s generating the traffic and how to get it, and who’s using what conversion methods and what’s working well, now you’re infinitely more valuable than “just being a writer.” And I think copywriters should know all these things. I think they would benefit tremendously from knowing these things, and their copy would be better. The more you know about the system, the niche that you’re in, and all the things that are working and not working, and how they work and how they don’t work, all that’s going to make your copy better because the copy’s functional. The words, they’re important, but they’re really not the thing. The thing is the function. Are we getting people to call the number? Are we getting people to click on the link? Are we getting people to ask for the free report? Are our follow ups getting people to read the report and then sign up for the course, or buy the pet supplies or whatever? It’s functional, functional, functional.
So if you know who’s selling what, who’s driving the traffic for them, who’s doing their websites, who’s doing their tech, this is going to be tremendously useful for you in getting gigs as a copywriter if that’s what you want to do. But I would expand your vision of yourself and think of yourself as a marketing advisor in general. And then backing it up with knowledge, of course. Don’t just declare that you’re a marketing advisor, actually have something to back it up.
Rob Marsh: So the Stone Soup analogy is just so good. It’s basically how we built our TCCIRL events. It’s how we look at a lot of the retreats that we put together for our Think Tank and what we’re going to be doing in London. And it’s just a really smart approach that copywriters can use to build products, to build services, create events where they can stand up and be the authority in their own space.
Kira Hug: I’ve got one more. This one’s not quite as old as those first three, but it is going back a couple of years. We did talk to Jereshia Hawk about high ticket sales, and the mindset you have to have in order to do it successfully. I asked her specifically about how to structure our sales calls. Here’s what Jereshia said.
Jereshia Hawk: Well, I will talk about copywriters because it’s really interesting that a lot of writers that, when they initially come to me, there’s this huge mindset that copywriters can’t make money online or that writers don’t get paid high ticket. And I’m not sure if this is the same for listeners here, but that-
Rob Marsh: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It is.
Jereshia Hawk: Okay. Wanted to make sure it wasn’t just my pool of people in the world. But they come to me with this belief that like, oh, because I’m a writer, unless I’m Rachel Hollis or Oprah and have this New York Times bestselling book, I can’t make money as a writer. And I just think that belief is where a lot of individuals go wrong because they don’t even give themselves permission that working with clients paying them 2,000 or 15,000 or $40,000 for projects is even available to them. So Kira, I think that’s the first where people go wrong, especially copywriters, is they don’t even give themselves permission that’s available to them as an option in their business.
Rob Marsh: So let’s assume then that I want to start adding high ticket sales to my business, whether it’s for projects $2,000 plus, or I’m not even sure, maybe high tickets more than that, 5,000, $10,000. What are the steps? How do we start figuring out what it is that we should be offering and how do we sell it?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, I want to say I know somebody, a friend that’s a copywriter, she sells a $40,000 copywriting contract for a 12 month agreement. And she literally sells out every single year all of her spots. But I’m like, how did she do that, or how can somebody listening to this do that? I think the first thing is recognize, one, actually getting clear on defining what the offer promise is going to be. And this is where the mindset typically needs to shift because we have to really think about it beyond just like I’m writing emails for somebody, or I’m creating a sales page copy. Thinking about it from what the deliverable is, but really start to think about it as what is the promise that I’m guaranteeing with this?
Let’s say you’re doing a sales page for somebody’s coaching program launch. And I know most people that I know in this space, they charge 5,000 to $15,000 to do that. And it’s not just because of how much “time” that they spend writing, but they understand how to articulate the value from, I know that by giving them the sales page is going to produce X amount of money for them. So really thinking about what is the promise or the guarantee, what is the outcome that is able to be produced by the copywriting that you’re delivering to that client, and you getting clear on what that is.
I think the second thing is aligning your price, understanding what does it operationally take from an expense standpoint to be able to do what you do or a time perspective. But also think about what is the return on investment that this client is going to experience by the work that I’m writing for them? And just making sure there’s a healthy balance between those two things. And then when it comes to the actual packaging of the offer, I think you have to keep it simple. Confused clients do not convert.
And one thing I noticed with copywriters who are selling lower tickets and they start transitioning into high is they offer way too many freaking options. It’s like too many a la cartes it. And I know for me, the one making the buying decision, if it’s too convoluted, I have to figure out what I need. I think as a copywriter when you start elevating your price points, not like, well, let this client just decide what they want. They’re also hiring you because you’re the expert. They want you to come to the table saying, “This is what you need and this is the package that delivers it.” Versus giving them all the variable options of, well, give me this, but take out that. They’re trying to, I don’t know, customize the Build-A-Bear.
I think when you start stepping into a high end, there’s a level of expertise and certainty that somebody is also paying for and why they’re willing to pay premium because they’re working with somebody who understands, and this is really where niching down, we call it the POP method. Pick one problem, pick one person, package one process. So when you start elevating into high ticket, it’s really important to, one, synthesize down and really narrow and niche down on what the actual deliverable is going to be, who specifically it is going to be for, and not necessarily having this wide swing of customization from client to client. Because that does allow you to more position yourself as an authority, as an expert, rather than being a generalist. I call it the spork analogy. You guys, you know sporks? Like they’re spoons-
Rob Marsh: Yeah.
Jereshia Hawk: … but also-
Kira Hug: Oh, that’s right.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, yeah. The Kentucky Fried Chicken utensil.
Jereshia Hawk: Yes. You can’t eat a $500 steak with a spork. The spork is trying to do too many things. And a lot of the time in business when you start elevating, a lot of people and myself included, when I started my business, I was a spork. I was trying to be a spoon and a fork. I was trying to do all the things that customize and bend and shape. I can serve everybody. But when you’re trying to move into elevated price points and higher-end premium services, you got to decide: are you the knife, are you the fork, or are you the spoon? And you can’t successfully eat a high-end steak with a plastic spork. So it’s stop being a spork, and we really have to start stepping into being a specialist.
And the POP method is a really great rule of thumb to pick one problem that you’re going to be solving that’s specific, that’s tangible, that is results-based. Focus on a minimum viable audience, one specific narrow niche target client to go after, and really focus on packaging one process that I would say 80% is pretty consistent from client to client, and there might be a little bit of margin for variable or customization.
Kira Hug: Okay. So let’s say we’ve figured this out. We’ve worked through the POP, and we’ve figured all that out. How do you structure the sales call for a high ticket? What are you doing differently compared to just selling a regular package? What do we need to be thinking about, asking, and doing on those calls?
Jereshia Hawk: Yes, I love this question. I love talking about sales and making money. It makes me so happy. And I love other people making more money. But we call it the champagne closer method. And this came from, when you see luxury high-end real estate, a lot of the time the real estate agent isn’t selling the house. The house kind of sells itself. All they have to do is just bring the champagne, pop the bottle, and pour the glasses, but the house sells itself. And when you start elevating your price points and handling a sales conversation, I want you to think about it from that type of perspective.
But we are really big on, I use organic marketing to sell. And I’m giving you guys context because there’s a lot of selling that happens before we ever get somebody on the call. But I would say most people, most of my clients, especially the ones in the writing space, how they used to handle their sales calls were they’d get on a sales call, they may talk to the client about what results they’re looking to accomplish, what exactly it is that they want. And then on that call is when they really start to sell the offer, breaking down all the things that are included. Then they start getting objections or questions that are not closing questions, but more of maybe objections or those types of things.
And they’re trying to handle a lot on one call conversation. And I know a lot of clients, especially in the writing space in the past, is like I feel sleazy. I don’t want to feel misleading. It’s kind of too much spotlight at one time for me to be able to handle that on that one phone conversation. And I kind of crumble and either discount or downsell versus enrolling them in the thing that I know that they need because it was just too much to manage and handle on one call.
So we like to break up our sales process a bit. In our free content, instead of teaching people what to do, we start teaching people what to think. In all of our marketing content, and if you’re selling high ticket, I highly recommend that you start to do this, is what are the objections that you’ve always gotten? What are the limiting beliefs that somebody has? What are all the other options that somebody might consider over you that’s preventing them from wanting to work with you? And then what is the belief that they have, and how can you shift that belief in your free content? Because if people are consuming your free content, and you’re shifting their beliefs in that free content, you’re kind of taking some of that load of convincing that you have to do on a sales call, and you’re doing it before you even ever make physical contact with that person.
So that’s the first thing that I would change about your sales process to help alleviate and streamline the actual sales call. Stop teaching people what to do in your content. No more of this how-to, here are three copywriting subject line hacks. That works really, really well when you’re selling low ticket. But when you start raising the rates, the buying decision criteria of a client significantly evolves. So we want to use your free content to not teach them necessarily what to do all the time, but start teaching them what they need to think. What are the beliefs and the mindset that we need to shift them into?
And then once we invite them to the call, once the call is actually started and you’ve already done some of this belief shifting in your organic content, then at the beginning we will kind of build rapport. We talk about where they future-wise want to go. We talk about what challenges they’re experiencing now. And then I pause and say, “What about this conversation has been the most valuable for you?” Because now I’m not having to sell myself on why I’m so good. They’re now selling themselves on why I’m so good. They’re the ones saying it versus me convincing them.
So it’s permission-based sales. It’s leading from a very permission-based perspective. So instead of me forcing myself on them, or trying to convince them of how valuable I know that I am, I give them the opportunity to tell me instead. And that’s a minor tweak, but it has a significant impact. Once we talk about value, and why me, why now, why is this important for you? I never lead with the closing information. I always ask, “Okay, where would you like to go from here? What questions do you have for me?” And it completely changes the dynamic of the call because now I’m not selling anything. All I’m doing is holding space and they’re asking questions. They may ask, “Well, how much is this?” Really great question. Let me explain to you how the investment works. Or, “What is the timeframe, or when can I expect deliverables?” Excellent question. Let me break that down.
And again, it shifts the dynamic of me convincing them or having to tell them, to them asking me, just responding. So that’s really how I would handle, and that’s how we do handle, it’s how we teach our clients to handle high end sales conversations. But it starts with organic marketing ahead of time because your free content is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you so that you’re not doing it on your sales call. Does that make sense?
Kira Hug: All right. So that’s just a small taste of what’s in that interview. Jereshia also talked a bit about discipline and getting things done. This episode is definitely worth going back and listening to the entire thing again.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. That one is easily in my top 10, maybe my top five. What Jereshia said about conducting performance reviews on ourselves, and asking the question would I hire myself to do this in my own business is a phenomenal question. And our discussion, between the two of us, I think oftentimes we feel like the answer is no, I wouldn’t actually hire myself to do this again. We admitted that, and it probably happens more often than we would like.
Kira Hug: Yeah, unfortunately, it does. Even as I’m thinking through this, I’m like, well, would I hire myself today? I don’t know. So it’s just an ongoing process of having that self-awareness. But not just having self-awareness, giving yourself time to sit down and evaluate yourself and review your performance because no one else really is going to do it. I mean, you’ll hear feedback from clients if they’re not happy, but building time into our schedules to do this on a regular basis is so important.
And then even just setting the goal of what you expect. What should the performance look like? What are the expectations you set for yourself and for your business at every level to know whether you’re hitting it? And if you can start to add metrics to it so you can start to measure whether or not you’re achieving your goals and various segments of that, that’s helpful. I think that’s still an area that I know I can improve in. So maybe this is something that you and I give ourselves more time to focus on in our business.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, lots of things to think about there. So those are four episodes that you definitely should go back and listen to. Thanks for hanging out with us today as we wandered back a little bit through our back catalog. If you like this kind of episode where we play some clips from the past, let us know and we’ll do more of them in the future. If you absolutely hated this and you don’t want to be reminded of those old episodes, you can tell us that too.
And while we’re still here, we want to remind you about the free AI Copywriting Five Day Challenge. It’s kicking off this week. It’s not too late to jump in, even if you’re not listening to this the day that the podcast is released or the day that we start the challenge. Go to thecopywriterclub.com/aichallenge, and sign up. And just start experimenting with ChatGPT and some of these other AI tools in your business.
Kira Hug: All right, one more thing before we go. We got another five star review this past week that is so exciting. I want to share it. It’s from MP Black in Denmark. It says, “This podcast manages to balance a friendly conversational vibe with in-depth, helpful information on the business and craft of copywriting. I appreciate how often the hosts ask follow-up questions about process, pricing, and similar hands-on stuff I’m always wondering about. They also manage to promote their own stuff without coming across as pushy, which is a real copywriting skill. Highly recommend.”
Rob Marsh: I hope that MP still feels that way after listening to us talk about the AI challenge and the AI course. But yeah, it’s-
Kira Hug: We’re pushy. We were really pushy today.
Rob Marsh: We may be a little pushy today. So if you feel like we were too pushy, go and check out those links and prove it to us. Otherwise, yeah, just listen as we wrap the show.
Kira Hug: All right. That is the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. You can also check out our newest AI focused podcast at aiforcreativeentrepreneurs.com. We have new episodes every week on that podcast, so check it out. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter David Munter. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode today, please visit Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts, to leave your review of the show, just like MP did. We really do appreciate it and we will read all of the reviews that are four and up. Thanks for-
Rob Marsh: You always put in that qualifier. I’m waiting for a one star review.
Kira Hug: Well, I just see people be like, “Oh, are you really going to read it if it’s a two or a one?” No, we will not.
Rob Marsh: Maybe. Maybe I will.
Kira Hug: Maybe we will. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.