- When your dream job doesn’t meet your expectations.
- How finding a group of like-minded people can spark new passions.
- Can sales and empathy go hand in hand?
- How to connect with your ideal client and meet them where they’re at.
- Is it all about sales? – How to be clear and ethical when someone isn’t a good fit.
- The ins and outs of internal branding and marketing for large companies.
- Maintaining a full-time job and building a freelancing business.
- How morning routines and monthly check-ins keep you on track.
- Do we only complete 10 projects in a lifetime?!
- What goes into creating a 7-figure launch.
- The first piece of copy needed when creating a launch plan.
- How you can go from copywriter to launch strategist.
- What copywriters can do to make their client launches more successful.
- Where you should start when e-commerce business is on your mind.
- How to deal with the little voice in the back of your head.
- Creating practices that will keep your big goals alive.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Kira’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey
Episode 234 with Linda Perry
Episode 241 with Daniel Lamb
Episode 70 with Joe Schriefer
Kira: The great thing about tapping into your entrepreneurial side as a copywriter is you can control your career and fate. You can grow and evolve personally and professionally over decades. You can chase any vision, as long as you don’t lose sight of it. Today’s guests for the 261st episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast is Think Tank member, Annabel Landaverde. Annabel is a clear example of a multi passionate copywriter and entrepreneur who doesn’t let big dreams or goals scare her away from building her dream eCommerce business.
Rob: Before we jump into our interview with Annabel, which is much better than last week’s interview with our guest, this podcast is sponsored by the Copywriter Think Tank. That’s our mastermind for copywriters and other marketers who want to think outside the box and build new offers or revenue streams into their business. There’s a couple of reasons that I like the Think Tank. Number one, you’re surrounded by a bunch of other ambitious copywriters, doing copywriter E-things. Not just copywriters though, marketers and experts trying to grow businesses using copywriting as a superpower. Number two, it’s built around your goals. A lot of times with masterminds you join, the person that’s leading the mastermind has a specific way that they built their business and they teach everybody to do that same way. That’s not how the Think Tank operates. We focus on your goals and what you want to achieve, and then figure out how best to get there.
Number three, if you joined the Copywriter Think Tank you get everything included in the Copywriter Club, including free ticket to the event that we’ll be talking about in the very near future next year in Nashville. If you want more information about the Copywriter Think Tank, go to copywriterthinktank.com
Kira: Okay, let’s dive into the episode and find out how Annabel started her journey.
Annabel Landaverde: It was a windy road, I definitely didn’t graduate college thinking, “Oh, direct response.” In fact, I graduated college with a political science degree and thought that I was going to go government or nonprofit. What I ended up doing actually was becoming an admission counselor for my alma mater. I didn’t know it at the time but that was my first introduction to direct sales, really, because what I did was, I would recruit nationally. I’d go to different high school fairs or just high school or college fairs and meet with kids and tell them why, Gustavus Adolphus College is where I went in Minnesota, was a great place to go. Then, I would guide them through the application process. Through that, I was learning email marketing, I was learning face to face sales and then as soon as people decided, they got the financial aid package, they tried to figure out what’s the right choice, then it’s really closing the deal.
I did that for about three years, which took me to my next spot in San Francisco, which was working as a digital marketing associate for the World Affairs Council. I thought it was my dream job. Again, I was a pol-sci major and here I was, basically leading all the digital communications for this international nonprofit and come to find out, I just dreaded it and that was my first time experiencing what I thought was a dream job. I was downtown San Francisco. I was working with all these touring artists … well, authors who were like ex-journalists, ex-government employees and I was like, “You know, this really isn’t what I thought it would be.” It’s not as exciting and it just didn’t light me up anymore. At the time, I was in a long distance relationship. That relationship brought me to Austin, where I ended up leading communications for Whole Foods Market’s newest nonprofit called Whole Cities Foundation.
Again, dream job scenario and I was able to really lead the branding there. It was internally focused, so that meant that I was really mostly focused on working with employees of Whole Foods Market and getting them aware that there was this new foundation and how they can get involved but I wasn’t putting to practice external marketing, right? It was really putting the foundation, communication plan together and really getting it out to an internal audience, but what I wanted to dip my toes into next was, how do I really grow this and get foundation money from the outside world. So, at this time, again, I was in Austin, Texas, I started going to, by chance, a networking event called the Internet Marketing Party. I say it’s by chance because I happen to live in the same apartment complex as the person who was running the event. His name is David Gonzalez.
My boyfriend was holding a book, which I highly recommend you read, called Influence by Robert Cialdini and David goes, “You look like you might be in marketing because of the book you’re reading. I run this club, you should come,” and it has been a game changer for me because what the Internet Marketing Party does is it brings together entrepreneurs, honestly, from all walks of life and people will fly into the event too and they’ll bring a speaker on stage to talk about whatever expertise they have and then you get to network afterwards. So it like kind of cuts the ice of just going blind into a networking event, like you actually have a training to go to and then you can talk about that. That’s really where I first discovered direct response copywriting. I had been in the world of branding, of communications, of really being a generalist.
The Internet Marketing party really opened my eyes to what does it mean to be in direct sales online, right? I had some face to face experience and I had … prior to going to college I actually used to sell Cutco. So that’s how I paid for my first year of college, was basically going door to door selling knives, totally. I was able to really channel what I had learned from Cutco, what I had learned from being an admission counselor and really bringing empathy into sales to you. I think that’s one of the things that I learned as an admission counselor, is you’re listening for what people want and then you’re also seeing, is this a good match, right? It’s one thing to be able to do that when you’re in a face to face conversation but what I learned with copywriting is to be able to do that even when there’s no face to face interaction.
Even if it’s just you listening to someone, by doing research, listening to what their pain points are, listening to what their desires are and really being able to speak to that online to move them to move, action.
Rob: Okay. Yeah, so I’ve written down like six different questions that I want to ask or six different things I want to ask about. I want to go all the way back to like that first job because it’s really intriguing to me, selling kids, 17, 18, 19 year olds on going to a college, it’s maybe not a name brand, it’s not Stanford or it’s not Harvard, or whatever. So obviously, that takes some serious persuasion. Tell us a little bit more about … and maybe you started getting into this when you were mentioning empathy, but tell us a little bit more about how you did that, how did you connect with them to convince them to come to a place that’s pretty dang cold? It’s not USC. It’s not Florida. How do you get them to make that choice and sell them on something that’s maybe not as good as some of the alternatives, at least in their minds is not as good?
Annabel Landaverde: Yeah, well, I think the biggest thing was I believed in the product and I believed in my experience there. I mean, one lesson is to just only ever take on work that you believe in, like the product is great and you can easily sell it because it doesn’t actually even feel like selling at that point. You’re really sharing your experience and why it’s been life-changing for you. So my background, I totally … like I’m one of the rare kids who is like, I’m moving to this college, sight unseen, sign me up. I had grown up in San Francisco and I just wanted something completely different. I was thinking about going to school on like … well, I wanted something different and I had limitations placed on me that I should stay in the same state. So I was like, “Well, let me get as far away as possible, and I’ll just be on the beach in LA at some school down there.”
By chance, I had met a professor who was at the school in Minnesota and I had some family ties in Minnesota too, and they had offered a lot of scholarship money. So my mom was like, “Okay, you can do it,” right? So I took that experience to all of my other out of state kids that I was recruiting and I was saying, “Listen, if you want something that’s different and if you want one on one attention,” versus big public schools, it’s more independent and with private schools, you get a lot more hand holding and a lot more, I would say opportunities for you because there’s less competition, right? So it’s really easy, I think, to sell that personal attention and the opportunities that that can come with because yes, of course, Stanford is amazing. Harvard is amazing. Any of the big 10 public schools are great but you also have higher stakes to compete in, right?
Then, when I think about the world of sales or the world of copywriting, it’s like there’s millions of copywriters but if you can narrow down to one niche, then all of a sudden, you’re attracting people who are in that space, right? So I took that with kids too and it was like, you figure out what they want and if it’s a good match, you line up all the reasons why it would be great for them to be at that college. Also, there’s responsibility there, right, because this is someone’s life and all the options that they have moving forward. So I was also really clear when it wasn’t a good match and I think that makes it … I think that’s a great trait to have anytime you’re selling an idea because one, if you believe in the product and two, you know who you’re looking for and whose life it could actually change, then it’s really like you’re doing a great service, right? If you’re clear about this is not a good match, then it’s easier for both parties to move on to the next thing.
Kira: Okay. So Annabel, I would love to hear from you about working at Whole Foods, and working on the internal branding and internal marketing because we don’t talk about that as frequently what it looks like, when you are working internally for a larger company. So I would just love to hear about what lessons, what marketing or branding or copywriting lessons you took away from that time, when you were focused internally and what was really powerful, what worked well, during that time?
Annabel Landaverde: Well, anytime you come into a company, there’s already a company culture that’s been established, right? So, the first part was really understanding what was the language that Whole Foods Market employees used? What was the core values that they already had set up, that they identify with and that’s already consistent in like all of the trainings that they were going through and how their team meetings were conducted, especially for a multinational company that has like almost 500 stores, right? So that was the first thing is just getting a handle on what is the culture and what is the language? Then the next part was one of the things that I think makes Whole Foods so cool is that, it definitely … there’s a value of local focus, right? So even each state or each region, excuse me, had its own quirks and its own culture.
I mean, it was kind of like … I mean, it’s one big company but there’s 12 different regions in it and each one like has its own president and its own kind of way of doing things. So it was learning also what matters to each region, and how do you connect to the audience there?
Kira: What worked during that time with that type of communication, internal communication that could be useful to us as copywriters, even if we’ve never worked on internal marketing?
Annabel Landaverde: Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is understanding like, okay, as a company as a whole, what’s the language and what’s the culture and then, in a company as big as Whole Foods and understanding that there’s 12 different regions and different contact points, the biggest thing you could do is network and just find who are your contact points in each region because they can give you insight into what resonates with their crowd and also what are their meeting times and what matters to them. In my time, I actually did a lot of traveling too, so I was in person in a lot of different places, one, to understand how I can improve my messaging but two, it was also … it was also a chance to really connect. Because it was internal and it wasn’t externally facing yet, my role was one, telling people that it existed but two, inspiring them to donate, right?
Inspiring them to give. A lot of the Whole Foods Market foundations are internally driven in terms of just passion that the team members have and since they’re the ones that are having the most interaction with customers, shoppers at Whole Foods, right, like the cashiers or the stalkers, they were then able to really sell why you should donate once there was an external fundraising opportunity.
Rob: As I listened to you talk about your experience and about … obviously, you have had a lot of experience with direct response even before you discovered direct response is a thing, like you’re always trying to take action, get people to take action and I want to go back to what you were saying about empathy as part of the sales process. I wonder if you can talk just a little bit more about how do we get empathy into the copy so that we’re making that human connection that makes people really want to say yes, click the button, do the thing that we were asking them to do.
Annabel Landaverde: One of the biggest things that we want is like, just when we’re communicating with friends or with family, is to be understood. The way that you find out like what’s on someone’s mind or what’s like keeping them up at night or where they want to go, outside of like having real life conversations with the target market, the other way you do that is by research. I think it was a Gary Bencivenga, I hope I said his name right. I think he’s the one who said that research … like copy is one and the research. So if you’re really taking your time and understanding what are the biggest pain points, what’s the biggest like hold back of that next level, like what’s on the other side of this pain point, if you really can understand that and if you can get specific on who your market is, it’s a lot easier to talk empathetically to them.
The first part is like one, understanding but two, I think it even goes back further in just like having a product or having a service that you really believe in, because then not only are you empathizing but you’re relating too and that’s just so important, I think with human connection is, are you relating? Are you understanding? Can you help them get to that next place?
Kira: Let’s talk about where you are in business today because you’ve been … you’re very busy and I know you have a lot going on. So where do you focus most of your time and energy today?
Annabel Landaverde: My gosh, I feel like, this is quite a few projects. So I do work full time as a copywriter with amazing.com. I also freelance and work with online … with business coaches that have online courses. So usually at any given time, I’ll have one or two, sometimes three launches that I’m working on but it’s really spread thin at that point. So what I’m focusing on next is, how can I move away from one to one sales and copywriting and move to one to many, right? So that could be consulting. Kira, you gave me that idea or it can move to like packages that I am not always in the work but able to advise because my time is limited and what I really want to do is also launch my own brand in eCommerce and that also gets me to the one to many where I’m not always … it’s not just me serving one other business client but it’s me being able to serve many clients at once.
So, there’s quite a few places where my mind is at right now but long term, that’s where I want to head is the one-to-many sphere and to be able to hire myself as my own copywriter in the eComm world.
Rob: Tell us a little bit more about what you’re doing with Amazing. So for those who don’t know, Amazing helps people set up businesses on Amazon, but what is the work that you’re doing there, like helping with their launches and the other communications that they send out there, what are you doing on a daily basis?
Annabel Landaverde: Sure. So we have moved to a model where we do a webinar once a month. So what that means is I’m constantly in launch mode. So that could be … I mean, at any given time, that could be writing scripts for a video, that could be writing scripts for an ad, that could just be writing plain text ads but the entire funnel, usually what that looks like is Facebook, Instagram ads over to a landing page and then over to a sales page. So I’m constantly on rotation doing that and then when we have big launches like one that’s coming up here in June, it’s adding those extra VSLs and those extra video touches and writing the scripts for that.
Kira: So, as you’re … you mentioned, you are building this eCommerce brand, that is the goal, right, is to build your own eCommerce brand, one to many, that’s the dream. So how do you prepare for something like that when you know that’s what I’m working towards but I’m not there yet and currently, I’m working for this company and I’m working with one on one clients, how do you get from point A to point B and how do you … Yeah, how are you proceeding towards that goal for other people who want to do something similar?
Annabel Landaverde: I think the biggest thing really … there’s two things. One is surrounding yourself with people who can help you get to that next level. So I’m a part of your mastermind but I’m also a part of the internet marketing group that I go to monthly and one other mastermind, right? Between those resources, I have such an amazing pool of talent of either strategists or people who can help me implement. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is being like really ruthless with your time and understanding what is the most important use of your time. I say this with a big asterisk because it’s really easy to get into productivity mode and nothing else matters outside of this, but you’re also human and that can lead to burnout. So taking care of yourself and really shifting your mindset there in terms of you also deserve to take care of yourself, you also deserve to have a break, whether that’s a workout or a dinner out with friends or something that really fills your soul, fills your cup.
So that’s … I mean, I’m still working on that balance myself, but one of the things that I’ve been doing that really helps is, most mornings … don’t do it every morning, I should. Most mornings I’ll write down 10 goals and 10 blessings and that really helps me fine tune what does my day look like ahead and am I on track to move towards that bigger goal? The other thing that’s really helped me is doing like monthly check-ins with myself, and just grading myself, okay, what went well? What challenges did I face? What did I learn and what are the next three goals that I have for the next month, and just constantly doing that for myself to keep myself on track or to allow myself to let go of something if that project isn’t serving me anymore?
Rob: So, I definitely want to ask more about the eCommerce brand that you’re going to build, but while we’re on the topic, what does that monthly check in look like for you and maybe even the daily goals, like getting 10 things done in a day seems really extreme, so are they really small goals or what does that look like?
Annabel Landaverde: Well, what I found, especially recently and now that I’m in crazy launch mode right now, is that I get my best writing done first thing in the morning. So I’ll set my intention of three things that are my top things to do in that day and there might be subtasks but I know as long as I get one, two, I don’t always get the three things done but if I get those first one and two, that I know I’m on track to roll over to the next day. Also, there’s a book called Start Finishing that I highly recommend. This is where I got my check-in process from, actually. It helps you figure out what’s important for the month, and what’s the big project that you’re working on? So, Charlie is the name of the author. I can’t remember his last name. He says, really, we have limited projects in our lifetime and if you’re working on like … you can work on five given projects at any given time but one of them is like your center stage.
You’ll only get maybe 10 center stage projects in your life, and when you figure that out, you’re like, “Oh my gosh.” Okay, again, shift your mindset around time because if you only got 10, well, what’s really worth your time, right? Then, it makes it easier to break it down into the daily of, “Okay, well, I know that this priority is actually going to move me forward in the long run, so I really need to get that done first.” Being able to be in that proactive stage versus the reactive stage is for me, the way that I’ve been able to move forward and just achieve more things.
Kira: That really stresses me out to hear about only having 10 projects at our lifetime. Okay. All right. Thank you for the stress. So, because we’re talking about launches … so many questions about launches, but I think the biggest one is I know you’ve worked on seven figure launches, you’ve worked on the big launches, like you said. So what are some of the ingredients, what does it really take behind the scenes to make a seven figure launch happen?
Annabel Landaverde: The first thing is having … like getting really clear on what the offer is and what the big idea is. I’ve found that the first thing that needs to happen is just getting super clear on what’s your message? What’s the end result that someone is going to achieve, why are you better than everyone else on the market and why should they trust you, right? Answering those three questions, kind of helps fill out the copy, right? Once the copy is done, then you can move into like graphics and filming and all of that. I’ve been on some launches where the copy hasn’t quite been done yet and we’re trying to do everything all at once and I feel like that’s the most stressful because things switch around and it’s really just from a process standpoint, the most efficient to honestly start with your sales page.
Then, from there, it’s like the ads write themselves, the emails write themselves. All the little spinoffs come after that, but you have to have that main ship first.
Rob: I love that advice, because I think when … especially when I think about launches and I don’t do a lot of launches, but they feel overwhelming and so for somebody who wants to break it to the lunch space or whatever, having that starting point is really great. As I think about, what you bring to the launch too, do you ever consult on the offer or improving the offer and if so, what does that look like?
Annabel Landaverde: Yeah. So I think a copywriter has a huge role in creating the offer because again, if you’re really immersed in the research, then you understand what the biggest pain points are, and what kind of bonuses or additions to the offer might actually heal that pain point and move them to that transformation that they’re after. So, in the realm of Amazing because their core offer has been established for like eight year, really it’s what is … what’s going to make it new this webinar, right? What bonuses can we offer this time around, that maybe somebody didn’t buy the first time because they were missing on that, right? So that’s what it looks like with Amazing and with my freelance clients, it’s understanding what’s your differentiator? What’s working for other people in your space and how can you make your own version of that, and that’s actually been really fun to help people create high ticket programs from scratch?
Kira: Can you give an example of that or talk through that a more of like, what that would look like if you’re looking for what’s working in the space and how that actually turns into an offer for your own business?
Annabel Landaverde: Sure. So I mentioned earlier how important it is to just have a network of internet marketers, right? Whether that’s like a club in town, right? For me, in Austin, that’s internet marketing party. It’s also virtual masterminds like this one or … I mean, there’s so many others out there, so when you have that network, you can compare what offers are working and what aren’t, and really get the behind the scenes numbers of is this converting or not? Is this coach making money or not? From there, you get the inside scoop of is this worth your time? Is it a lot of energy? Is at a high lift, low lift, right? From there, it’s now, you can only … not only are you offering from like a consumer standpoint, what’s easiest to buy, right, but you’re also able to advise on the creators side of what’s going to be worth your time and what’s within your resources right now?
Kira: I love that idea around networks add value in so many different ways. Communities add value in so many different ways, but actually like tapping your network to pull in the data, to see what’s working, what’s not working and then use that to become more of a consultant to your clients, makes so much sense. My question as a follow up is just, what can we do … if we work in the launch space, what can we do better with our clients to level up right, and maybe eventually charge more because we’re providing more value, to have more successful launches for our clients? I love the idea that you shared around, providing feedback on the offer, like show up, add ideas, talk about bonuses, give those ideas to your client. Is there anything else we can do as copywriters to really provide more value and make the launch more successful?
Annabel Landaverde: Yeah, one thing that I really enjoy doing is … I’m not a graphic designer but I do have ideas of where the copy should pop, right? So on the outside, right, there’s offering to help with the offer itself, which is a tremendous value, but then, there’s also helping with the project management side of how does it look to somebody who’s reading the sales page, right? What photos are you selecting? What message does that photo have? What are you highlighting either with borders or frames, or what are you making pop out on the page? I found that when you give that like … or even wireframing. When I do Launch Services, I also include wireframes, because I know how I want my copy to show up on the page. I’m not just handing it to a designer and letting them do everything, right?
It’s really working hand in hand with that to make the page come alive and I’ve gotten comments on that before, but I think it’s so important because it’s the whole picture. It’s not just the words on the page but how it stands out and what you’re highlighting as the takeaways in the offer.
Kira: Let’s cut in here and talk about a few things that stood out so far. So Rob, what stood out to you?
Rob: So, there are a couple of things that I think are worth touching on. Number one, and I’ll talk about finding a group that she joined to connect. Obviously, we are very big on that. We have a free Facebook group. We have the Underground. We have the Think Tank but I really just thought that it was nice that she emphasized that really the way to grow is to start creating that network, which happens in groups and to start learning, and if you get the right group, you can combine those two. So, if you’re not already part of the copywriter club, for sure, join the free Facebook group but there are other groups out there that can teach you things like conversion, copywriting or content marketing or marketing strategy. There’s all kinds of things that you can learn. I’m biased in thinking that the Underground and the Think Tank are great places to do that, but I just like that we hear this a lot. Copywriters need to connect and to grow and whatever is the best way to do that, you should do that in your own business.
Kira: Yeah, I was a big fan of joining meetup groups, not so long ago. I know some of that is still tricky, depending on where you live with the pandemic, but I don’t know, I love looking at different groups that match my interest. So before I got into copywriting, I went to a lot of wedding tech meetups and it was this really cool mix of industries, or businesses in the wedding industry, but who were creating really cool tech products for that space, so it had an innovative feel to it and that’s something that I could go to that meetup today and pitch myself as a copywriter in that niche who could probably be the only copywriter who would show up to an event like that in such a niche. So it’s also great to think outside of marketing groups, copywriting groups and start to show up in other circles where you’re the only copywriter.
Rob: Yeah, there’s a couple of events in Salt Lake where, I’ll go … they’re based on digital marketing, SaaS, that kind of thing and you’re right, when you show up as a copywriter in those spaces, especially if it’s your niche, you’re the only one there and it’s a great place not just to make connections, but to find clients.
Kira: Yeah, and it doesn’t have to be your declared niche, right? It doesn’t have to be like, “Well, I can’t go to that event because that’s not the niche I talk about in my marketing or on my website.” You can definitely niche hop and shop at a lot of different events to see which ones work for you, which ones are most fun and exciting and maybe also which meetups have the most potential business too, and then go from there.
Rob: And if you choose the right event, you can actually walk away learning some really great stuff, information about maybe analytics or conversions or strategy or whatever. Things that are applicable to almost any business, just a really smart thing to invest in a few times a year.
Kira: Yeah, so we talked a lot about sales with Annabel too. She mentioned that it’s easier to sell when you believe in the product and for her that was really selling the university that she worked at previously. I can echo that, from my own experience selling. It’s so much easier when you’re like, “This is an incredible product. How could you not buy this? Let me tell you 10 different reasons why you should buy this.” So I know a lot of copywriters struggle with sales and this is kind of an ongoing struggle for many of us, not all of us. So, I wonder if we could look at it differently, and maybe the struggle that many of us have is around our own belief in the product, because the product is actually us. So it’s trickier, it’s way too close to home, it’s so personal.
There’re so many mindset issues wrapped around that product, which is this … I am the product that you’re buying so it can make it easier to jump into the sales call when our own belief gets in the way, and it makes it a little bit harder to have that confidence in ourselves when we’re on sales calls.
Rob: Yeah, I thought something similar when she was talking about this. Oftentimes, we will get a product that we need to write copy for and it’s not the market leader. It’s not the most popular thing and figuring out, what is the thing that makes it different and better for the part of the market that you can aim for, is a critical part to succeeding with sales and that’s exactly what she did. She wasn’t competing for the students who might end up at Harvard, or who wanted that massive university experience at a place like Michigan or Wisconsin, but instead identifying what it was about the product that she had that was really different and really good and would appeal to the students who … where her target market and I think we can take a lesson from that in the products that we write for, making sure that we are finding the things that really resonate with our audience and set us apart from the big players in the same spaces that we’re writing in.
Kira: If you are the product and you are selling yourself as the copywriter who’s the best person for the job and you’re struggling with that then maybe you could take some time to work through your X factor. That’s something that we help copywriters figure out in the accelerator program and in the Think Tank because oftentimes, we feel more confident once we figure out, “Okay, this is what I’m doing different, better than everyone else and it makes it easier to jump into the sales call and really believe in that product.”
Rob: Another thing that jumped out to me was when Annabel started talking about her morning and not necessarily the morning routine, and we’re actually going to come back to this in the second half of the interview, but what she did every morning writing down 10 goals and 10 blessings, and I really liked this practice. I have my own morning routine. I haven’t really done much of this. I have taken times occasionally to write down things that I’m thankful for but I think being so conscious about how blessed is a good word lucky, privileged, however you want to look at that and all of the good things in our lives is a really positive experience, because it’s really easy to get hung up on the things that go wrong or the things that aren’t going quite as right. Being tired and just starting out with that outlook on a day, I think is really impressive and something I think that I need to do a little bit more of.
Kira: Yeah, that stood out to me too. I mean, that was huge, especially because Annabel is not … she’s focusing on 10. I mean it’s 10 goals. It’s 10 gratitudes.
Rob: A lot.
Kira: That is a lot. I mean if I do one, I will be happy. So I’m going to start with the basics and just focus on three gratitudes, three goals for the day. I think that’s a great place to start but yeah, I love that that’s part of her routine and while we’re talking about routines and time, she mentioned you could be ruthless with your time or you should be ruthless with your time and that phrase really stood out to me, just really that idea around being ruthless with your time and what that actually looks like. So I’m just wondering Rob, what have you done, if you’ve done anything recently to be ruthless with your time.
Rob: Yeah, throughout the day, this is one thing that you know I struggle with. At least I struggle with the way that I approach it but in the mornings, I am very ruthless with what I do, almost down to the minute. I know where in my run I’m going to be at quarter to six or I know that I’m going to be out the door by 5:15. So that works out really well and if I hit the minutes and I’m ruthless, that means I can get my 10 pages read in the morning before I have to take my daughter to school which happens 20 past seven, like all of the things line up. So I am pretty ruthless with that part of my day and it works for me. The rest of my day though, not as much and that’s something that I need to be better at, at least I feel like I need to be better at, making sure that I’m doing more with the time blocks that I set out, so that I can get more writing done or more consulting or calls that we do, the coaching that we do.
Getting a little bit more ruthless with the rest of my day. How about you? I mean you’ve got three littler kids you’ve got a relatively new baby, is it even possible to be ruthless with your time?
Kira: Well, the baby has forced me to become ruthless with my time because I don’t have a choice for the most part. It’s like I have certain hours where we have a nanny in our house and when those hours are up that’s it. So it’s been … I mean of course it’s been hard and frustrating to kind of adapt to new schedules but it’s also been really helpful for me to finally be ruthless with my time, in a way that I wasn’t prior to the baby and so now, I’m actually … I mean Rob, you’ve seen me to do this but I’m actually planning ahead and I’m blocking time in my calendar over the next few months so I know exactly what needs to fit in and where and it’s really helping me. So planning is helping me be more ruthless with my time where I don’t have open hours in my schedule where I can just like do whatever or book random calls or just like sit there and figure out what to work on.
It’s more rigid now but that’s actually what I needed and it actually makes me feel better to feel that ruthless about my time.
Rob: Yeah, that’s interesting to hear. I mean obviously Annabel, she’s being ruthless because she’s got a lot of different business things competing for her time.
Rob: All of us have things competing for our time, whether it’s family, business, community. There’s so many things and so, being ruthless with how we slot that out so that it matches our values, the way we want to spend our time, the impact that we want to have in the world is important. Again, something I need to do more of, but something probably all of us could learn from. Annabel also mentioned a book called Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey. She had forgotten, I think Charlie’s last name. We interviewed Charlie on this podcast, episode 178. He talked about his book and also his approach to getting things done. If you want to go deeper on what Annabel was talking about, and what she mentioned about Charlie’s book and his approach, you definitely want to listen to Episode 178.
It’s really good and Charlie’s book, Charlie’s approach is again worth emulating and worth thinking about in your own business. Okay, so let’s go back to our interview with Annabel and hear more about her business. I want to ask about your dream eCommerce company that you’ve kind of brainstormed. You haven’t really launched into it yet but obviously, you’ve put a lot of mental energy in figuring out like, what is this thing that you want to do? Will you tell us about that?
Annabel Landaverde: Yes, sure. So a couple years ago, probably 2019, I had a Maxim for the year. I said I would write by day and dance by night. I know it makes me sound like a nighttime dancer, it’s not what it is but I love salsa and bachata, like I’ve done Latin dance my whole life, and it’s so important to have a hobby or a community that you really tap into, that just allows you to express yourself away from a computer. So for me, that’s always been dance and in doing that, when I made that Maxim a couple years ago, and I was dancing way more, I realized that there’s no shoes on the market that look amazing, like go with your outfit that are super fashionable, but also comfortable to dancing. The dance heels that exist right now are like, strictly for like ballroom floors, like you’ll see it on Dancing With the Stars, they’re like nude shoes with crystallized, little rhinestones on them.
That’s cute for that space, but what I wanted was something that matched my lifestyle, where I would go network, I would go to a business function, and then go dancing right afterwards, and I wanted a shoe that would take me through that. So that was really the idea of the product that I’m coming out with. So, that’s the eCommerce company, is creating my own shoe line, specifically for women who love to dance and want to look good on the dance floor.
Kira: What are some tips, so if I also want to create an eCommerce company in a couple of years, maybe not a shoe company, but something else, what are some steps I could take to actually make that happen, because it does feel … it feels daunting, right? Especially if you’re not in the eCommerce space, but I know this is what you do, and Amazing does is they help people launch their eCommerce products. So what are some tips you could offer based off what you’ve learned from working out Amazing?
Annabel Landaverde: Well, the first thing is, tell people what you’re up to. I know, it’s kind of scary to share ideas that aren’t perfect or aren’t fleshed out or at least for me, I get … I used to be a little more nervous about that, but when you talk about what you want in this world, like we’re all one or two degrees away from somebody who knows someone who can help you. When I’ve just talked about, “Oh, I want to start this shoe company,” I have met designers, I’ve met people who have manufacturing connections, right? People will show up if you ask or if you at least shared that you have this idea. So one is to just start talking and your network will show up. The other thing too is you don’t have to invent your own product to be in eCommerce, right? I think that’s one thing that Amazing does really well is they actually show you how to private label your own products, right?
So, there’s so many ways that you can do eCommerce. You don’t have to be an inventor to be an eCommerce seller, right? You can certainly go that route but it’s not a, have to.
Kira: For you Annabel, as you think about, okay, you’ve got the idea. You’ve started making all of these connections and I know that this isn’t the primary focus of what you’re working on right now, but as you start thinking about what are the next steps as you move forward, is it building an audience? Is it like building the products? How do you keep that momentum going so that when you get two or three years down the road and you’re ready to do that launch that you’re ready to go?
Annabel Landaverde: Sure. So the first thing, like for me, what I struggle with is posting on social media. That’s always been like my … I don’t know, I just have a thing about it. So the first thing that I’ve done is actually I’ve hired someone to help me with my personal brand strategy because even though I don’t have a finished product right, now, I can start growing my list. The way that you start growing your list is by sharing authentic content, so who am I? Who is Annabel Landaverde, right? My social will tell you that before there’s a product to launch, and I think that’s the biggest thing with anybody, before somebody decides to buy from you, they have to know like, and trust you. They have to have that relationship with you. So even if you don’t have something right now, what I’m coaching myself through is to just start posting content, because eventually you’ll get more comfortable with that, and you can start your list.
You can start, yeah, just collecting data on like, what do people care about? What are they reacting to? Then when you do have something to launch, it won’t be the crickets, it’ll be to someone who like actually supports what you’re doing and loves what you’re doing.
Kira: I love following your content on Instagram, so keep doing it. I love it. So, you’re talking about these big ideas, big ventures, right, and launching something that feels really big and you are the inventor behind it. Sometimes this could be daunting and we tend to get in our own ways. How have you navigated your mindset over the last few years or even yes, since 2019, so that you are working towards it and you’re not self-sabotaging, and you’re continuing to grow and work towards these really big dreams?
Annabel Landaverde: I think it’s so important to be nice to yourself, because we all have that little voice in the back of your head, that’s already negating things, right? For me, I’m constantly reading a material that helps me become more nice and positive to myself because you’re living in your body, right? You have to live with your thoughts so you might as well make them positive and it’s okay, if something doesn’t happen right now. It’s okay, if something doesn’t go just as planned. I think, for me, that’s been a really big reminder of things will have happen in their time, I can do this, I will do this and just being my biggest cheerleader in that way. Do I wish that I could have launched a year ago? Yes, but what I’ve chosen to do is grow my coffee business. Is that working for me? Yes and so, will that serve me as I launch my eCommerce? Yes.
So, I know that for me, the biggest thing has just been writing those goals daily if you can or if you do, and just keeping yourself on track and giving yourself permission to also let those goals change. One of the things that I’ve learned, I’ve been writing my goals almost daily for like the last four or five years and it’s really cool to look back and see, “Oh, wow, I don’t journal about this anymore because I’ve already achieved it or I don’t write about this goal anymore, because it’s actually not serving the purpose that I want.” So just giving yourself permission to be flexible with yourself and nice to yourself and trust that you’re on that path.
Rob: So, we keep coming back to this, the list idea. Would you share what a couple of the goals are and a couple of blessings that you wrote on your list today?
Annabel Landaverde: So, one of the things that I’ve done is I have started bullet journaling and I know, I’m like six years late to this game, I just started this year but it’s Amazing because it really like … it gives you flexibility to journal how you want but it also gives you a system to realize what you’re avoiding or what you haven’t done and just make sure that you can either circle back to it or cross it off your list.
Kira: Can you define … I mean I’m late to it too, because I don’t know what that is. So, can you just talk about like what is bullet journaling? How do I do it?
Annabel Landaverde: Sure. Let me get to like my latest month, so I can … Probably, so I can talk this through. Okay, so bullet journal is a blank book, a blank journal that has like, little page numbers on it on the bottom and you literally draw in whatever you want. So I every month I will create my own analog calendar for the month and I still have a digital calendar that I add my Google Meetings to and all of that. This allows me to do like a digital detox in the mornings and just kind of like be with my thoughts. So I’ll literally draw a calendar, this is my May calendar that’s drawn out. Then, I’ll write like what are my top three goals and always come back to that. On top of that, I have a list right afterwards that’s like, what are the big tasks that I want to do. So, I’ll create four columns, and I’ll say, this is what I want to do for my Coffee Company, this is what I want to do for Amazing, this is what I want to just get done otherwise, right?
I’ll write my list there, and if I cross it off that month, great. If I don’t cross it off, it rolls over to the next month, so I never forget about it. I might notice that I’m avoiding something or I might notice that I just haven’t gotten to something, but at least it’s like accounted for in my mind, and then I’ll move on. The other thing that’s been really fun is, every day, I’ll write down my wins and I have it in one big list. So, like at the end of the month, I can see what were my three wins from May 1st, what were my three wins from May 18th, right? It’s actually really fun at the end of the month to go through that, because it gives you like a really big wave of gratitude of just, “Oh my gosh, look at all these things that went really well or that I celebrated or just made my life full.”
Then I’ll also do like a reflection of like what I noticed. So if I haven’t said it already, bullet journaling is amazing, because it just lets me like, get all my thoughts out but it doesn’t restrict you to like a page or two pages or whatever, like template any journal planner wants to sell you, right? You really get to create this for yourself so I love that. What you were asking about was, what were some blessings recently? Yeah. I mean, I got engaged, I just … yeah, I got engaged in Cabo so I’m really blessed that that happened. That was a total surprise. I went to Vegas with my sisters. I got to celebrate my sister’s 40th so I was really happy about that. I completed a money management class. So I feel like my money is on track and I know how to grow my wealth. Yeah, responsible for two launches, and while that’s a lot of responsibilities, it’s also a really good thing to have a full plate.
So those are a couple of my blessings. Again, I do 10 blessings a day and then as far as goals, top goal, be a millionaire in my early 30s, have a cash flow of 500K a month or more. Launch my own voice, grow my visibility on YouTube and Instagram, launch my shoe store. Launch my Amazon store. Bikini Body shredded up. Those are just some of my goals.
Kira: I love that and I love too, how some of your wins and some ways that you can look at stresses or challenges like managing two huge launches could be a huge struggle, but you’ve reframed it as this is a win, being responsible for two launches is a win for me. So I love that, I’m going to do more of it. So I know we’re running out of time with you, Annabel. Can you just share where our copywriter listeners can connect with you, find out more about you and yeah, just stay connected?
Annabel Landaverde: So, you can go to my website at that’s prosperamarketing.com or you can connect with me on Instagram and that’s annabel_landaverde. A-N-N-A-B-E-L underscore Landaverde, spelled L-A-N-D-A-V-E-R-D-E.
Kira: I can’t wait to buy your shoes when they are on the market, even though I’m not necessarily a dancer, I’m still going to buy them and wear them. I can’t wait and we’re grateful to work with you and the Think Tank and thank you for sharing your time with us today. We appreciate it.
Rob: Awesome, great advice.
Annabel Landaverde: Thanks for having me.
Rob: That’s the end of our interview with Annabel and before we end this episode, let’s talk about just a couple more things that Annabel touched on and maybe they stood out to you and me Kira. So first what jumped out to you from the second half of this interview?
Kira: Well, we had already talked about the 10 goals and 10 blessings earlier, but we revisited it in this part of the conversation and really reframed these struggles, so I think this is something Annabel does really well, reframing struggles, challenges as blessings. For her, she’s so busy, she has so many projects on the go, and I know she talked about running multiple launches at one time, which we all know it’s hard enough to run one launch at a time, but to have a couple going is intense. So Annabel was able to reframe it and view those launches as blessings. Isn’t it great that I have work and I’m working with great clients, and I have these launches that I’m responsible for and I can help my client have a successful launch. I mean, those weren’t her exact words, but it just shows the power of mindset and how we can reframe everything in our day.
This is really helpful for me because I can definitely go down the dark path sometimes and get stuck, just feeling sorry for myself or overwhelmed and I think it’s really great to be able to pull yourself out of it and say, “Well, actually, where’s the blessing in this?” Maybe you don’t use that language exactly but you can figure out the right language that works for you.
Rob: Along with that, she was talking about the three action items that she has every day. This is really similar to something that we teach in the very first module of the Copywriter Accelerator, we call it the Daily Four and it’s identifying four smallish … they don’t have to be very big. I mean, certainly they could be a little bit bigger but things that you can do and say 15 to 20 minutes in the beginning of your day, just to get things started off right and they include things that you want to do for your business, not necessarily for your clients, but for your own business. That could be something that you do for your client, something that you’re doing for your loved ones, family, whatever, to make a difference in their lives. Then, something that you do for yourself and self-care, take some time to rest or go for a run, those kinds of things.
Having those three to four things that you do every morning, can just set your day off in a way that you’ve already accomplished things. It starts that accomplishment chain and now, with the rest of your day, assuming that you’re being more ruthless with your time, like we talked about earlier, you’re able to get more done and I think Annabel has figured out how to use this kind of a process really to get herself going and make sure that she’s getting a lot done every day and that matters when you’re doing two or three lunches at a time.
Kira: Yeah, what really I take away from this entire conversation with Annabel is around the power of setting big goals and Anabel shared some of those big goals with us, and thinking really big about your future not just thinking about the next step in your career, but thinking about some of those big career ideas that excite you, that may not happen tomorrow but it could happen five years from now or 10 years from now, and giving yourself enough time to reflect as you work towards those huge goals and that’s something that I really admire in Annabel, even though she’s so busy planning a wedding and juggling client projects, and also balancing her job, her full time job, she still sits down and makes time for reflection to celebrate where she’s been, and to stay really focused on where she’s going.
She’s really clear about where she’s going and sure it may change along the way, but I don’t think most of us take time to really think about where do I want to be 20 years from now, 30 years from now. What projects do I want to work on? So that’s something that I want more of in my life, more time to reflect.
Rob: Yeah, when she was talking about this, I wrote the dream in all caps in my notes here. A lot of us have a dream, maybe it’s copy related, maybe we use copy to accomplish the dream but Annabel’s dream around creating the shoe company, the things that she’s doing on Amazon, the skills that she’s learning, it’s all building to something bigger, and I like that outlook. Sometimes we don’t have that huge dream, at least it’s not that defined. We’re thinking, well, we want to have enough money to retire or we want to live in a particular place, but really thinking it through, defining what that looks like, then allows you to do things like she was doing, when she posts content about her dream. She’s able to use that to research, to find out what does the market respond to, what should she be thinking about when it comes to questions, when it comes to features, the benefits.
She’s using content, basically, not just to validate the dream but really to make the dream even better, even bigger, because of the feedback that she’s getting as she starts to talk about it and share it with the world
Kira: Yeah, I just think it’s really a cool time to be a copywriter where you can use your copywriting skills to fuel the next dream that you have in a way that Annabel has done it and there’s no shame in that, right? You can be a copywriter and still use the revenue that you bring in or the skills and experience or just the platform that you’re building, the authority that you’re building to fuel and pay for the next stage in your career. I think that’s really exciting and yeah, I’m all for that so it was cool to see Annabel talk about that.
Rob: Yeah. I want to see more copywriters talking about what they’re doing, talking about the projects they’re working on or the thing that they’re building and not just after it’s done, but sharing throughout that process.
Kira: That’s the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter David Muntner. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard today, please, please visit Apple podcast and leave a review of the show. We’d love to see your review, if you enjoyed the show. If you’re ready to invest in yourself and your copywriting business and finally achieve some of those big goals, visit copywriterthinktank.com. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.