TCC Podcast #280: How to Create a Prelaunch Strategy and Set Boundaries with Ash Chow - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #280: How to Create a Prelaunch Strategy and Set Boundaries with Ash Chow

For the 280th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, we’re joined by Launch Copywriter Ash Chow. Ash helps her clients strategize for pre-launch and breaks down why it’s such an essential part of your overall launch strategy. Tune into the episode to tap into your next launch strategy.

Tune into the conversation:

  • Having a “is this really my life?” moment and completely shifting gears.
  • How a quarterlife crisis can be a pivotal time in life.
  • The pull to do something greater and make a big impact.
  • The stigma around being a certain age before starting a business or pivoting your career.
  • Navigating feelings of low self worth and shame.
  • How copywriters are constantly scrutinized and how to not internalize feedback from clients.
  • Why validation can be an important part of working through difficult situations.
  • How to respect your boundaries when you’re a people pleaser.
  • Using the comments by that mean girl in high school or an unencouraging teacher to ignite your creativity.
  • Why you need to train your clients on how to communicate with you – you have to lead by example.
  • How to write more empathetic copy even if you’re not going through the same situations. (Lean heavily on your VOC research)
  • The shifts and pivots Ash has made in her career as a copywriter.
  • How Ash has built her authority and visibility by leaning into pre-launch strategy.
  • Ash’s framework to power up your pre-launch.
  • How to address objections as part of your pre-launch strategy.
  • Mistakes to avoid in your pre-launch strategy and what to do instead.
  • How Ash helped with the Accelerator pre-launch.
  • How to create your own stage to speak on.

If you’ve been wondering how you can power up your launches with a pre-launch strategy, listen to the episode or check out the transcription below.

The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:

The Copywriter Club In Real Life Event
Kira’s website
Rob’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group

The Copywriter Underground
Connect with Ash
Episode 67
Episode 143


Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh:  We’ve interviewed several recovering attorneys on this podcast. All of them got through law school only to realize that the law wouldn’t be the fulfilling career that they once thought it would be. And the pull towards creativity and writing is just too strong for these folks. So they answered the call to be a copywriter. Our guest, for this episode of the Copywriter Club podcast is another recovering attorney and think tank member, Ash Chow. Since graduating from law school, she’s thrown herself into writing everything from fanfiction to launch copy. And today she’s known as the expert in pre-launch copy and strategy. All of the stuff that you need to do before a launch to make sure that it’s a success. She knows so much about this, that we focused most of our discussion on the topic of prelaunch strategy.

Kira Hug:  Before we dive into our conversation with Ash, this episode is sponsored by the Copywriter Club in Real Life. So that’s her are in person event happening March 28th through 30th in Nashville, Tennessee. The room is filling up and it can only hold a certain number of people because it’s a boutique hotel. So there are spots left if you want to join us. I am very excited to hang out with people in real life again, since it’s been two. And I just, I miss it. I miss people.

Rob Marsh:  We haven’t even seen each other in two years.

Kira Hug:  That’s true. This is the first time Rob and I… I feel like I see you all the time, but you’re right. We haven’t touched each other.

Rob Marsh:  Not that we do a whole lot of touching.

Kira Hug:  We haven’t hugged each other and just like high fived and all those more appropriate things. We haven’t done that in two years. And so this is going to be so much fun. We have incredible speakers now that we’ve nearly finished the lineup speakers like Mike Kim, Raven Douglas, Brigitte Lyons, Ash Chow, Jude Charles, Linda Perry, John Mulry, Brian Speronello, and so many more. And we’re planning lots of fun activities, social activities. I’m feeling really excited. So if you have any interest and you just want to check it out, possibly travel to Nashville to join us, we will link to additional information in the show notes.

Rob Marsh:  Now let’s jump into our interview with copywriter and pre-launch strategist Ash Chow.

Ash Chow:  Like most copywriters I was someone who was super creative as a kid. I really loved reading. I got straight As in all of my English subjects and I low key wanted to be an author. But as I got older, I got a lot more practical and it did feel like my creativity really got stamped out of me. But pretty much at the age of 15, I was super inspired by like all the legal dramas I was watching at the time. And I really wanted to work hard and get into a really good career, which at the time I believed was being a lawyer. So I pretty much at the age of 15, I was like, “Okay, that’s it. I am going to go to law school.” So I worked my butt off. I studied really hard.

I wanted to get into like one of the best law schools in Melbourne, Australia. And I did, I hit that goal, I got in and I was like super excited only to get there and realize like this isn’t it. This isn’t actually where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do, which was really distressing when it was a goal I had worked so hard for, like ever since I was mid teens pretty much. And what kicked it off was halfway through law school, I managed to get like a legal internship. And one of my tasks at the time was to like read through all of this email correspondence between our competing law firms. And lawyers, they tend to write in a really pretentious way or at least like all the things I was reading it came on as very pretentious lots of jargon, lots of unnecessarily… Lots of complex, big words.

And I remember I was just reading this email and being like, “Oh my goodness this is what I’m going to have to do for the rest of my life.” And that was like a super distressing moment. And around that time as well, my creative itch had started to come back and all I wanted to do was just start writing again, and telling stories and being real with people. Instead of writing pretentious emails. Like most copywriters again, I think words of affirmation is like my big love language. And when I was going through like a really dark and tough time when I was younger words of encouragement, and reading other people’s personal stories was what really helped me through that tough time.

So, I had like this urge or this like calling to want to be that for someone else. I wanted to write words that were going to help other people through a messy time feel less alone and like they were going to be okay. So I started a blog and I started like writing a bunch of personal essays, documenting this mini quarter life existential crisis. I was going through and sharing how, I didn’t know if I wanted to just persist with law school or start a side hustle and all of that. And that blog post ended up landing in front of a business owner who really resonated with my writing. And she reached out to me and she was like, “Hey, can I hire you to write for me?” And that’s when I discovered copywriting was a thing and that you could get paid decent money to write, and the rest is history.

Rob Marsh:  So, I have a couple of small questions kind of to pepper in through your story. When you wanted to be an author, what did you want to write?

Ash Chow:  I think I wanted to write lots of fiction. So I was a really big fan of Enid Blyton, I think when I was a kid. So she wrote like the Magic Faraway Tree and all of these stories about like fairies and wooded creatures being able to talk. And I was like, oh my goodness. I want to write these sorts of stories. And then obviously my tastes evolved as I got older. I wanted to write a lot of like young adult sort of stuff. You know what’s funny, I had a Wattpad and I wrote… This is really embarrassing. I wrote this Harry Potter fanfiction story on Wattpad that ended up winning like an award. That was the sort of stuff I was writing. I mean, I don’t want to write fanfiction anymore no way, but it really… That just reminded me I really did want to become a writer when I was younger, so yeah.

Rob Marsh:  That’s hilarious. That’s awesome.

Ash Chow:  It’s so hilarious.

Rob Marsh:  And then did you finish law school before you made the switch over to copywriting? Or did you just opt out and say, “Nope, I’m done.”

Ash Chow:  Yeah. Yes I did. I did. I always joked that I would’ve been like disowned if I hadn’t finished law school. I was in my third year when I started copywriting, it was like my third year out of a five year degree. So I’d already invested all of this time into it. And I was like I might as well finish it off. So I do have the fancy piece of paper that says bachelor of laws. So yes.

Kira Hug:  Can you talk, Ash, a little bit about just that knowing that you’re talking about. How did you know that path that you wanted for yourself wasn’t actually it. Beyond reading the copy and the emails that were really pretentious and just being like that doesn’t resonate with me. Was there something else within you that just helped that wasn’t for you?

Ash Chow:  Yeah, it was this really strong gut feeling. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how this wasn’t what I wanted to do and how… It was more like I wanted to make a bigger impact in the world, which sounds really corny, but it was like I didn’t feel that I could achieve that by just being a lawyer. So like I said I really wanted to be able to share some of the stuff I had gone through so that I could help other people who were in a really dark time get through that as well.

And I felt like I couldn’t do that as a lawyer, but I could do that if I had my own platform. And around that time, I’d started to listen to a lot more entrepreneurial podcasts as well. And I think like hearing how young, some of these people were. A lot of them started their businesses in uni.

I read a lot of stories from the Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs. And it made me realize I didn’t have to reach a certain age or I didn’t have to reach a certain milestone in order to do what I want. I always believed that I had to be like older in order to be more respected or to have more like stability or, yeah. But I think it was just, I just couldn’t stop thinking about wanting to be a writer.

And there was a lot of fear involved with that. I remember a lot of like, people are going to be like, who the hell do you think you are? Or what would my parents think, and all of those like uncomfortable feelings and feeling judged by other people. But I also decided I knew that it would break my heart if I never ever tried. So I did.

Kira Hug:  You mentioned a couple of times, just this dark, rough time when you were younger and what helped you get through it? Can you talk a little bit more about that if you’re open to talking more about that?

Ash Chow:  Yeah. So as a bit of background, I had a lot of head trash when I was younger. So I struggled a lot with like feelings of inadequacy and self-worth, as you do when you’re like a teenager and as like a young adult, when you’re just like finding yourself in the world. And I’m a very, very big feelings person. But the way that manifests is sometimes is shame, which is a big thing for me.

So always internalizing like, “Oh my God I’m not good enough or I’m not enough.” And we all deal with those thoughts, but sometimes when you don’t know how to deal with those things in a healthy way, it can start to become quite dark. You really do start to believe that you are not worthy and you don’t belong like in this world and things like that.

And I think around like my second and third year of uni, I was starting to feel again like I didn’t have a place in the world. And I went through some really big friendship breakups, which was really tough and it ultimately culminated in like I don’t belong here. So there was a bit of time when I got quite like depressed. And I was even like on the verge of like, of suicide. But thankfully I was saved by reading other people’s experiences and realizing that like I wasn’t alone in all of the inadequacy that I felt.

And also, namely remembering that I am worthy as I am and that I am enough and that I have impact that runs far deeper than I know. And so realizing that helped like save me and now like I’m in a strong enough place where I want to be that light or be that message of encouragement or hope to somebody else. So, yeah.

Rob Marsh:  I love that. And I wonder if we can maybe just go a little bit farther with that. Because I think so many people deal with the feelings of inadequacy. Maybe it’s not always not belonging, but the work isn’t good enough or I’ll never make this happen. And as those kinds of feelings have come up for you, Ash over the last few years what is the coping strategy? What do you do, what do you tell yourself in order to get through those moments of doubt so that you can show up and be the light and sort of this example of what to do in those kinds of cases.

Ash Chow:  Yeah. It’s really funny you because it’s so funny because we all have these thoughts. And then it’s, I used to deal with that. And so I decided, oh, hey, why don’t I become a copywriter where my job is literally to be like scrutinized. And sometimes like it’s up to the client to decide whether or not like my work is good enough and things like that.

And so, I think as well, in this business, in this entrepreneurship thing, in this copywriting thing, we are all going to experience that. And what’s helped me is knowing that, first of all I am worthy, no matter what. No matter whether a client likes me, whether a peer likes me, whether or not someone says yes to my quote, whether or not someone says yes to my podcast pitch, it doesn’t matter, I’m still worthy.

But sometimes you don’t remember that in the moment. So what I’ve done to cope is surround myself with a lot of safe people who understand what it’s like to go through that. So for example, talking to other copywriters, talking to you guys, talking to people who have been through that exact situation before and can be like, “Yeah you are not alone in that. I’ve also been rejected and it also really sucked. Or I’ve also had a really bad experience with the client?”

Because I think that when we go through dark things, the immediate reaction is to be like, you are alone in this. And that shame, that’s what really drives people over the edge. Shame works to isolate you, both shame and fear will do that. And that makes you feel even worse.

But when you talk to safe people who are like “Yeah, don’t worry. You are literally not alone. I’ve been there, I get it.” Then you feel like you’re not the only one. It’s not just you, that the world is out to get. And so that gives you a little bit of light. That gives you a little bit of strength to move forward. And then big emphasis on the word safe, because you have to be able to talk to people who know how to comfort you. So for example, I need a lot of validation first. I need to feel validated and that whoever I’m talking to understand what I’m feeling before I can like actually take action. If you try to solve my problem straight away, it’s just going to make me feel worse.

So, for example, sometimes I talk to my partner and bless him. But like as a male, I think like his immediate way of adding value is by trying to solve my problems when all I want him to do is just listen to me and comfort me. And sometimes that means we end up clashing. So now I know that, well, now he knows as well that when I’m confiding in him about a distressing situation, I would like for him to listen and validate and things like that.

And that gives me the strength to then move forward from that. So, pretty much you need to talk to people who have gone through what you’ve just experienced and also know how to respond in a way that gives you the strengths to move forward. So that’s been my biggest support and coping mechanism.

Kira Hug:  I can relate to that all too well in my relationship too, where it’s like, I have this problem. I just want to share it. I just want you to listen and hear me. I don’t want you to solve my problem right now. So Ash, how do you weave this into your client projects? And when you work with clients, because you know what works best for you. You know how to communicate and how you want to be communicated to, but clients don’t always know that. And we jump into these projects and things get bumpy along the way. How do you set up your projects and client relationships so that you feel safe as the copywriter and then you help your client feel safe as well?

Ash Chow:  Yeah. That’s a really great question. I think like going through all of the staff and understanding my feelings and being really self-aware about that means that I’m able to really support my clients in their own business. I understand intimately what it’s like to feel all of that fear before they like launch their digital product. Like back then it used to be when they launched their website. Now it’s like when they launch the digital product, it’s like, there’s a lot of emotions tied around that.

There’s even a lot of emotions whenever you write your own copy because you feel a lot of like perfectionism, but then there’s also that fear of like, “Oh my God other people are reading this. They’re going to judge me.” We immediately think about that mean girl from high school or that person who said like, we would never amount to much. And all of that holds our creativity.

So pretty much all of these past last experiences have given me the ability to write a lot of empathy driven copy. And I think it really helps me attract the right sort of clients, like a client who don’t mind talking about their feelings or who don’t mind putting their feelings front and center. And who believe in creating more impact and leaving the world a better place than they found it, rather than just purely let’s talk about the money.

And then in terms of like how I make sure that I’m safe when I interact with clients, boundaries has been a huge lesson for me to learn. Because as someone who struggles with self worth and people pleasing, at first I didn’t think boundaries were important. It was like, oh my God, someone likes me. Someone wants to pay me let me paint all of these red flags green so that I can keep working with them because they’re making me feel so…

Because they like my work, I feel so worthy and quote unquote love, da, da, da… But that leads to very, very unhealthy client relationships. So I’ve had to really, again, separate my self worth from what the client thinks about me and also really, really put strong boundaries in place. So I used to give clients my phone number, so that contact me whenever they wanted. And I was like, “Oh it’s just because I want to be that listening ear or that like supportive person.”

But more often than not, the client would always low key abuse it. And it was also my fault as well because I was letting them call me at all times of the night. But now I’m like, okay, no one gets my number. It’s email or Voxer only. I’ve learned how to teach people how to treat me. So for example, if I say like, I don’t want to be emailed at night, then I better not be emailing them back at night. Little things like that. So to answer your questions, just boundaries are the best thing you can do for your sanity.

Rob Marsh:  Ash, when you’re talking about writing empathetic copy it got me thinking. Do you think it’s possible to write with empathy without having to go through hard things and all of the negatives in the human experience. Obviously that helps us to relate to other people that are going through it. But are there ways that we can make ourselves more empathetic without going through the same things that the people we’re writing for are going through?

Ash Chow:  Yes, 100%, because I think like that’s what we as copywriters do. Our job is to step into our client’s audiences shoes and understand what they’re thinking, feeling and believing. And the way we can do that without having to go through that exact situation is through research or voice of customer research.

So, for example, I had a client earlier this year, she was a sleep nanny and her audience are obviously moms of newborn kids. And I do not have a kid. So I don’t understand intimately the struggle of what it’s like to train your baby. I had no idea all of the challenge moms had to go through just to get their baby to sleep. Because I’m like 25, kids are not in my immediate future, but the way I was able to still write for her and do it well and in a way that resonated with her audience was through research.

So, I combed a lot of like Reddit forums, Facebook groups, Facebook comments, things like that. And from there I learned like just how much pain or just how much of a struggle it was for these new moms to get their babies to sleep. I learned that. They said like, “Oh, I feel like I’m going crazy. It takes like half an hour to get the baby to sleep. And then I put the baby down and then the baby wakes up again in five minutes and then I have to go through this whole cycle again.”

And I could really feel the pain in their voice. And as a result of that research, I was able to create that compelling copy. So to answer your question, I don’t think we necessarily have to go through that exact scenario or that exact situation to still be able to write really great copy with feeling, with empathy and in a way that resonates. Having the right research method and being able to listen properly to the audience.

Kira Hug:  So, Ash, let’s fast forward to where you are today. Can you just give us a snapshot of what your since looks like today and then let’s back up and talk about how you got there. Because I know you pivoted several times. Can you talk about those pivots and how you thought through each pivot to get to where you are today?

Ash Chow:  Yeah. My business has evolved like since that first client, so she taught me how to write content. So I started off as a content writer, did a lot of blog posts, did a lot of show notes. And then I actually joined the accelerator this time last year. So it was like August, September. And that was when I got my first actual copy project. So it was website copy. And I really enjoyed it and it was great because I just kept getting a lot of website copy clients. So I was like, this is going to be my niche.

I’m just going to write a website copy for whoever needs it, whether it’s a service provider or e-commerce person, like that’s that. But then towards the end I realized like I wanted to niche down a little bit further. So I was like, maybe I’ll just focus it to service providers and freelancers. But then it wasn’t until the start of year that I decided to move completely into launch strategy and copy. And that’s where I am now.

So, I’m now officially a launch strategist and a conversion copywriter for online entrepreneurs who want to sell their digital products on repeat and leave the world a better place than they found it. The reason I pivoted so much, I think it was about like luck. It was just whatever client was coming to me, that was the project I took on. And back then, it just so happened to be websites.

But then this pivot into launch strategy and copy happened because I really, really fell in love with what needs to go into a launch. I’m talking like hot racing, palm sweating, butterflies fluttering in my tummy kind of love with launch copy. And then that’s when I knew, this is the niche. I want to plant my flag in and I think it’s something I’m going to continue doing for the foreseeable slash long term future.

Rob Marsh:  So, I know you focus on launch copy. You can do launches start to finish, but you’ve even focused recently deeper on all of the pre-launch stuff. Will you talk a little bit more about that?

Ash Chow:  Yeah, sure. So again, this wasn’t planned. It wasn’t… Yeah, it wasn’t planned. But being basically what happened was when I was working on my first end to end launch strategy project, I realized that the pre-launch stuff was very, very like underserved. So with launch strategy, we obviously spend a lot of time doing voice of custom research. And as I was reading through all of the audiences survey responses, the one thing that kept going through my mind was I don’t think this audience is ready to buy.

And what I mean by that is that I could a large part of them were carrying all of these like hesitations and beliefs and objections towards the digital product. So towards the topic of YouTube. They didn’t understand why they should invest in that area or they didn’t really understand… They really doubted their own ability to create their own YouTube channel.

And I remember thinking like, “Oh my God I don’t think they’re ready to buy because they have all of these doubts and hesitations. And if we were to just launch the YouTube course tomorrow, they would immediately talk themselves out of it.” And so that’s when I realized like, hey, we actually need to create a lot of content in the lead up to the launch. Otherwise we are going to lose a majority of our audience to these beliefs. They’re just going to talk themselves out of it.

And so that’s when I realized like pre-launch is actually a very, very important area of the launch. Even though there’s a lot of content out there around like how to write a really good sales page and how to write a really good email sequence there wasn’t so much about what do you actually do in the lead up to the launch. And as a result, people were just opening their cart and that was it. That was the only marketing they were doing was just during the open cart period.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. I mean, that’s basically what we have done with several of our launches. We would just open the cart one day out of nowhere and be like, “Hey, come buy it. It’s here.” And Ash, you’ve helped us. We’ve worked with you. You’ve provided strategy and guidance for our accelerator launch to help with pre-launch content. So can you just kind of break it down for us and talk about how we can approach our pre-launch content? What we should think about what we should do?

Ash Chow:  Yeah. That’s a really good question. So I think first, it starts off by… You have to recognize that your audience, they aren’t automatically ready to buy your digital product just because they’re ready to sell. So like I said before, a lot of your audience are carrying a deeply rooted beliefs and objections that are either like deterring them from understanding why they need your product, or it’s really making them doubt their own ability to achieve the transformation that they want.

And if you don’t really understand what I mean by beliefs, what I mean by that are like the thoughts and the feelings that your audience hold about themselves and the world around them. So for example, if you were to sell a TikTok course, but your audience believe that TikTok is only for dancing teenagers, then they’re probably not going to be ready to buy your digital product.

So as a result, what you need to do is create pre-launch content that is going to get your audience to be in the right state of mind that they need to be in order to invest in your digital product. And by right state of mind, one, I mean is that they’re at this place where they want to learn more about the topic of your digital product. They understand why they need a digital product like yours, and they understand like why they should get your digital product and not anyone else’s.

So basically, when you’re creating pre-launch content, you need to help your audience understand like all of these things before they get there. And in order to do that, I created what I call the power framework. And the power framework is basically what helps you understand how to create a pre-launch strategy and how to create what topics to talk about that’s going to intentionally nurture your audience to this point.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah, let’s step through that framework. Let’s go step by step.

Ash Chow:  Yeah. So to power up your pre-launch, you need to prime your audience, overcome any objections, walk through the why behind your offer, establish your authority and expertise and reshift your audience’s beliefs. So I can break that down even further.

So, when it comes to priming your audience, what that essentially means is talking about the topic of your digital product on repeat. So you really need to keep the topic top of mind for your audience. So for example if you want to launch a beginner’s course on watercoloring, then 90% of your pre-launch content needs to talk about watercoloring. This is especially important for example, if you are a business owner who sells multiple digital products on completely different topics. So for example, I know you guys, you have multiple offers, you have like the underground think tank, the accelerator. And even though they’re all sort of related they’re technically solving different challenges.

So, if you were to live launch different ones, you’d need to spend your pre-launch specifically talking about the specific challenges for that offer. As another example one of my clients has a YouTube course and a course about building habits. So if we were launching the YouTube course, we would need to spend all our time in the pre-launch talking about YouTube so that the audience would be in the right state of mind to buy that digital product.

And if we go even deeper, when it comes to priming your audio, you need to make them aware of like their desires, the challenges and the solution as it relates to the topic. So for example, you’d want to rekindle or remind the audience about the benefits or the value of your topic. So they will want to learn more about it. So my friend, Kristen, she recently launched her VIP offer creation kit to teach people how to create their own VIP intensives.

So, to prime her audience, maybe one of her pre-launch content could be about how thanks to VIP intensives, she has more white space on their calendar. She’s able to hit her revenue goals. And she only spends two to three days out of the week writing. And now these are the same desires that her audience has. So by connecting it to the VIP intensive and saying she was able to achieve all of these things because of that, then her audience are going to be primed to be oh clearly VIP intensives are the solution. VIP intensives are the way I’m going to achieve all of these things. I want to learn more about that. Does that make sense?

Kira Hug:  Yeah, that completely makes sense. I am just wondering how much is too much and time wise, how early could you start? Is there such thing as too early or too late? How much content should you include in that pre-launch?

Ash Chow:  Yeah, so the length of the prelaunch right away is a very, very hot topic. And I think there’s no right answer, because it’s very nuanced. And the factors that affect it are things like your audience’s state of mind and their level of awareness. So if your audience is completely unfamiliar with the topic of your digital product, you may need to create a lot more content to prime and educate them and overcome their objections.

Compared to if your audience is really familiar with the topic of your digital product, because it’s super saturated, then you might need less content. Another factor to think about as well is if you wanted to run a specific pre-launch event like maybe a free challenge or some sort of email series or like a video series or things like that.

So, you’re going to need to spend more time creating content and priming your audience for that free challenge or free video series. And then spend time hosting it before you launch. And then a really important factor as well is your energy levels. Because like there’s so many things you have to think about for the launch and that’s why people skip the pre-launch is because like they’re busy enough with all of the assets for the launch period, that the pre-launch is just like secondary or it falls off the to-do list.

So, you have to think about like, okay, how much capacity do I have to create pre-launch content. Sometimes that might be like, I only have capacity for just seven days or you may have more space and energy for two weeks or 30 days. For me when I’m doing it for a client, I advocate for 30 days of intentional pre-launch content. And that means like when I say intentional pre-launch content, it means that you are talking solely about the topic of your digital product. In that time you’re priming your audience, you’re overcoming your objections, you’re establishing your authority, all of that. So 30 days is the way to go.

Kira Hug:  Okay, let’s jump in here. Rob, what really resonated with you from this first part of our conversation?

Rob Marsh:  So, there’s a lot of things that as I went back and I re-listened to this episode that stood out. And I think number one is probably the thing that we’re focused on in this entire episode. So I’m going to go to the very end of my list of notes, but the pre-launch strategy that Ash laid out, and her framework for how to power up your pre-launch. She uses the word power to talk about priming your audience, that is making sure that they understand what you are about to launch, reminding them of the benefits, future pacing so that they understand the solution that they need to get. Overcoming the audience’s objections. Because of course we all have objections when there are opportunities to spend money. Maybe expense is one, time is another. There’s there’s literally a dozen of these.

The why behind the offer, why somebody should be interested and why you’re offering that in the first place. Creating your authority, establishing your authority. And we’ll talk later with Ash in this episode about how she’s done that. And then shifting or re-shifting your audience’s beliefs and the chain of belief that most of our customers have to go through from where they are right now to where they need to be in order to buy. And Ash does this really well with the pre-launch content that she creates. And I just think it’s definitely worth emphasizing that framework and structure.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And the cool thing is you can use this pre-launch strategy for your own offers when you launch your own services or products, and you can also use it for client work, especially if you work in a launch space, you can offer a new service to your clients or maybe even add prelaunch content to the mix in one of your packages.

I mean, I worked on a lot of launches as a copywriter and I don’t think I ever focused on prelaunch. And that was definitely a missed opportunity for me to show up as a consultant and advise my clients and give them some guidance and possibly even write that content for them, and get paid more for those projects. But I didn’t have that level of awareness and understand that need in the market. So I think we can use this episode with Ash not only to improve our own offers, but to use it when we do launch something in our own businesses.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah, totally agree. Every time I’ve thought about launching as well, it starts with, okay, launch day is today, or the webinar maybe is the day before the launch. But thinking through the three to four weeks before, and how do you start getting the people that you want thinking about your offer to do that, to start thinking. And I think Ash’s approach is excellent. And something that more launch copywriters, maybe anybody who’s selling a product really needs to start thinking about.

Kira Hug:  And we talked about this in the interview with Ash, but we’ve experienced this with our own launches specifically for the accelerator program. I mean, we’ve done it incorrectly so many times where we do show up on launch day, cart open day, basically. And we’re like, “Here we are, we are your solution.” But we haven’t primed everyone. We haven’t really educated and laid the groundwork and prepared the right people for the launch of this solution to their problem.

And so, as soon as we started to work with Ash and really dedicate more time to thinking through prelaunch content and strategy, we’ve experienced the financial boost just from that. So we know it works firsthand. And again, I think this is a great way to really help your clients get incredible results so that you can capture those testimonials and get a win all around just by adding this to your services.

Rob Marsh:  Agreed. It can be a big game changer for somebody who’s launching. What else stood out to you, Kira from our discussion?

Kira Hug:  Well, I mean, so many things, especially from the early part of the conversation where we talked a lot about Ash’s story. And I love how Ash feels her way into decisions and her path. And the fact that she was already in her third year in law school and on this really set path, that is a huge financial investment. And she decided to opt out and she finished it and graduated.

But the fact that she decided to take the less traveled path, the less prestigious path as a lot of people would probably say and opt into writing instead. And I love that she said I knew that if would break my heart, if I never tried to be a writer. And so she went with her gut and just felt her way through it and made this huge decision that a lot of people don’t always understand and she went for it anyway.

And I also thought it was cool that she mentioned… She talked a lot about impact. And when I think of attorneys, we think they have a lot of impact because they do. And there are so many great ones out there who can have incredible impact. But Ash also saw the opportunity that she could have as a writer and creating a platform and actually helping and touching more people.

And so, I think it’s just a good reminder for all of us that as writers, we can do so much with the gifts that we have. And we don’t necessarily have to follow those traditional paths to have that type of impact. And Ash got it right away and made that decision for herself.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. I came so close to going to law school. I took the LSAT, I was applying to law schools. And I wish that I could say that I felt a call to copywriting or something else. What I felt was stifling, whatever that oppression of law school and the boredom that I was taking some other classes as part of a master’s of public administration. I just like realized it wasn’t for me.

So, I can relate a little bit to what Ash was going through. And some of the other attorneys that we’ve talked to on the podcast. But feeling a call to something different where you can make a difference, even if it’s just make a difference for your family, almost always worth following that impression or that gut feel.

Kira Hug:  So, for you, was it more of a feeling of just, this is not what I want to do? This is not for me, but you didn’t necessarily know what would replace it.

Rob Marsh:  Yep. Yep. That’s exactly right. As I started taking classes that were related to law, I just realized that this is not out how I wanted to spend the next three years of my life studying, learning, doing that. It just, it felt wrong. I actually think I would’ve been a pretty good attorney. I just didn’t want to do the work that it would take to become an attorney.

So, I found something else to do. And my career path was a little bit more serendipitous. I just kind of followed along. I wish that I had had it planned out or that I knew exactly where I was going to be like, Ash seems to, but it’s all worked out. All worked out for me. And I think it appears to be working out for Ash very well.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And I really like that Ash talked about surrounding yourself with safe people. And I hadn’t heard anyone talk about it that way in terms of safety. And so I think that’s really important. And again, Ash knows herself well. She knows she’s a feelings person. She has big feelings and emotions. That is part of her gift that she brings to the table as a writer, her ability to empathize.

And so, when you know that that is your gift, you also have to be very careful with it and create boundaries and protect herself. And so I like her approach to creating almost this crew of people who can support her when she needs that support. And she knows who to go to and how to lift herself back up. And almost what to prepare herself for, especially working in a space as a copywriter, where we set ourselves up for criticism. Because that’s part of the job. That’s how we revise the copy. And so to be in this space where we are critiqued frequently, it’s important to know how you’re going to react and what you need in order to kind of stay sane and stay healthy and continue to grow in this business.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. When Ash was talking about the support that she gets and the difference between support and validation and then trying to solve the problem, it made me laugh. You related to that as well. You’re like, “Oh yeah, that’s my husband and me.” And it’s me and the women in my life too. I know we’re generalizing a little bit here, but it reminded me of a short called, It’s Not About the Nail, which Google it’s hilarious, but it goes along with that whole idea that at least most men want to fix problem, and most women want to be supported and listened to. And it’s quite hilarious, but yeah, just kind of… It’s one of those things. And we approach problems and support differently. And you just got to find the people that can support you in the way that you need to be supported.

Kira Hug:  It’s hard not to want to fix things. I mean, I think for me, when anyone is telling me about a problem, I automatically want to fix it. And especially if this is our profession, we are problem solvers. That’s what we get paid to do as copywriters. And so even as I speak to friends or family members, it’s really hard for me not to want to fix it. And most of the time I do. But just even talking to ask about this, it’s just a reminder that not everybody wants their problem fixed. And so just even asking that question, which I often forget to ask, and my husband also forgets to ask it, but do you just want me to listen or do you want me to offer some solutions? And oftentimes people don’t want the solution. They just want someone to listen.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. Or they want both for right. They want to be listened to before you get to the solution.

Kira Hug:  Listen first.

Rob Marsh:  And the way you figure out if the approach is right, is through the research and how you become more empathetic. And what Ash was sharing about that is you really need to do your research so that you understand exactly what people are feeling, what they’re going through, what they need here in order to be ready for a solution.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And I mean, in general, I feel like we have a listening crisis in the world, at least in the part of the world that I live in. And so I think when in doubt, just listen, because we don’t listen to each other enough.

Rob Marsh:  I agree. 100%.

Kira Hug:  Okay. So Ash also talked about painting red flags green. And I really liked the way she put that because I’ve done it. And we work with a lot of copywriters in the think tank and the accelerator and all the programs. And we’ve seen this firsthand. And of course we don’t realize we’re doing it, but it’s really easy for us to overlook a lot of those red flags or maybe the flag isn’t quite red, it’s like orange, and we can just talk our way out of it.

And then we get into the project and we realize those were all red flags. And so I think it’s just something that takes practice. I don’t know, I mean, Rob, maybe you have a better solution for it. But it is some something that happens frequently. I think it happens frequently with people you wouldn’t expect it to happen to. So I’m saying that just so that we can all cut ourselves some slack when it does happen and not beat ourselves up too much. Even if you’ve been at it for a while, it still can happen. And it’s a normal part of this business that we’re in.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. I think that phrase painting red flags green is really interesting because at least here in the states money is green and that’s the biggest thing that gets in the way of actually seeing red flags.

Kira Hug:  That’s true.

Rob Marsh:  It’s like, oh yeah, I can see something that I don’t necessarily want to do. Or I can see a client that I maybe don’t necessarily love working with, but the money is so good or the opportunity is so good that I’m willing to overlook those at the beginning of a project as the project goes on. That’s when we start to regret it, and think, “Oh my gosh, I should not have… I should have seen the red flag, but I let the green get in the way.” So I thinks a really good way of talking about what happens when those red flags are there.

Kira Hug:  And trusting your gut. Going back to how we started the conversation with Ash about listening to her gut when she knew that pursuing a path as an attorney was not the right path for her. She is someone who’s definitely in tune with her intuition. And so whether or not… Everyone has varying degrees of how in tune you are. But oftentimes we do know. We feel it in our bodies when the client is not going to be a great client. And so I think just practicing it and trying to listen more, we typically know right away.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. And that goes right along with what Ash for sharing about boundaries. And I know we’ve talked about boundaries in the past on the podcast, but you really do need to train your clients with how to communicate. You’ve got to lead by example. And as Ash pointed out if you don’t want clients to text you at night, you can’t text them at night, or email. If you don’t want them to text, you can’t give them your phone number.

You have to set those boundaries and then stick to it. And while it feels like that’s the kind of thing that clients will object to, the better relationship that you get out of the client makes it for a better experience. And you’re not really taking anything away from them. You’re helping them to succeed in working with you. So it’s a really important thing to establish. And I’m glad she brought that up as part of what she does.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And it’s easy to think that you have boundaries, but then when you look at how you’re operating in your business and how you’re communicating with your clients, you may realize that you’re not actually exhibiting those boundaries and putting them into action. Because it’s really easy to email clients at 10:00 PM or even at like 5:00 AM or over the weekend, because that’s when you work.

And I know the best part about running our own business is that we have that flexibility and that freedom to work whenever we want. And sometimes working over the weekend is great because you took off two days during the week. But I think it’s still… We’re still in the typical work paradigm where we work 9:00 to 5:00. And so I think for me, I do try to keep communication with clients in that timeframe for me. Because I don’t want them to think it’s acceptable to send messages to me over the weekend or late at night or early morning.

And so, it’s kind of strange because we can work whenever we want. And that’s what’s so great about what we do, but also we don’t want to open that door to our clients. And so in some ways I default back to like my traditional corporate background of 9:00 to 5:00, as far as communication and what’s acceptable. So I just try to pay attention to how I’m communicating. Because as soon as I do it, I’m basically telling my clients like, this is how you can communicate with me. And this is what I’m accepting from you as well.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. And I think a big part of that is just our approach to it. Because it’s fine if clients email me at 10:00 at night, but I’m not going to open the email and I’m not going to respond to the email. If that’s when they’re working and that works for them, that’s great. But that doesn’t change when I work. And I won’t even open it because who knows if they’ve got an email tracker, I don’t want them to see that I’m opening an email at 10:00 at night or whatever.

Kira Hug:  Everybody’s so tricky with their trackers now.

Rob Marsh:  Exactly. But again different people will work at different times at different places and you set the boundaries so that it works for you.

Kira Hug:  Let’s get back into the episode to learn more about prelaunch strategy and what not to do with your prelaunch content.

Rob Marsh:  So, Ash as I’m listening to you talk about this. I know you focus on courses and coaches who are launching something maybe two or three times a year. But is this transferable to something that’s evergreen? If I’ve got something that I’m not necessarily announcing a launch for this week, but it’s for sale most of the time or all of the time, can I still apply that framework to promoting that product?

Ash Chow:  Yeah. 100%. So, even though I talk a lot about open cart period and things like that, you still need to educate and prime your audience for your evergreen product. Because they’re still going to have objections and beliefs that need to be re-shifted and questions that need to be answered. So for example, one of my clients is going make her natural dyeing course evergreen. And natural dyeing is this really fun activity where you basically tie dye fabrics into a different color using things like leaves and plants and flowers.

And the thing is even though her course is available all of the time we still need to address her audience’s objections towards that topic. Which is things like, “I need a lot of space in order to tie dye my fabrics.” So we would need to create content that shows people that you can actually start… You don’t need a lot of space to do it. You can literally just do it on your kitchen bench or in a tiny garage and things like that. So yeah, to answer your question, the framework can be applied even for evergreen, because it’s all about getting your audience to this right state of mind, where they see the value of your digital product and they understand why they need it in their lives.

Kira Hug:  Maybe we can dig into what we should not do. You’ve touched on it a little bit, but anything that we should be aware of that could interfere with our prelaunch content and make it less successful.

Ash Chow:  I think where people go wrong with their prelaunch content is they skip it completely. So they don’t prime their audience in the lead up, or they don’t talk at all about their digital product. They just write or they create any random content about maybe their personal life or about their other services or things like that. Only to then randomly drop their digital product.

It’s kind of like a bit of… You’re kind of blind sighting your audience when you’re doing that. And what that means is then they don’t understand why they need it. And so they don’t end up buying until a lot later in the launch or not at all. I think another mistake people make when it comes to their pre-launch is not having an actual strategy. So usually when I talk to people and they, and they say like, “Oh yeah, we do have a pre-launch strategy. We are just going to create a lot of content that adds value.”

But then they struggle to define what they mean by adding value. I think that phrase is like used quite a lot in the marketing world. And it’s a really good phrase, but the problem is when you can’t articulate what that means. Because ad value has a lot of different meanings in different contexts. So you could share a funny story or you could share an encouraging message or you could share something really polarizing.

And all three of those things are adding value to your all audience in some way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what your audience needs to hear in order to see the value of your digital product and why they should spend money on it. Just because people find you funny doesn’t necessarily mean they’re automatically going to spend $1,000 on your course or your membership or whatever it is. So I would say those are the two main ways people go wrong. They skip the pre-launch content or they approach it with no strategy. And so they end up wasting time creating content that doesn’t actually move their audience closer to the point where they’re ready to buy.

Rob Marsh:  So, you actually helped us to work out a pre-launch strategy for our accelerator program, which we used when we launched this past fall. Do you want to talk a little bit about that specifically so we can see how this is applied in a true to life product and maybe even some of the impact that it had on our launch.

Ash Chow:  Yeah. So that was a really fun project to work on considering I was an alumni of that. So I really did understand your ideal audience’s thoughts and beliefs. So pretty much when it came to your pre-launch strategy, when it came to priming them, it’s helping them understand your audience are not where they want to be yet.

So, for example, before I was talking a lot about how you want to rekindle your audience’s desires and help them see the value of the topic. So for the accelerator, which is targeted to newish copywriters, a lot of your pre-launch content could be talking about like the benefits of running your business a legit business. So you could say things like when you approach it with like a CEO mindset or when you run your business properly, it will lead to consistent revenue, dream clients, a full pipeline, more white space on the calendar, more freedom.

So those are all of the things that your audience desires. So when you talk about that in the pre-launch and you’re connecting, how, when you run a business properly, you get all these cool things. Then your audience, by the end of that will be like, “Oh, I want all of those things. So I guess I better start taking my business seriously.”

And then from there, what you want to do is help them see that, okay, you have all of these desires, but you are clearly not there yet. So a big part of the pre-launch is also helping your audience identify what’s missing, or like the challenge that they’re facing. Because you clearly created the product to solve their problems. So you need to remind them of those problems. So for the accelerator, that could be the reason you don’t have a legit business yet is because you don’t know how to do that.

You don’t know how to get your business off the ground. You don’t know what to focus on or how to properly package up your service or how to get clients. So in the pre-launch, it’s really sort of agitating a little bit and diving deeper into this gap in their knowledge. And what that does is by the end of that post or that email, they’re like, “Yeah, oh my God I don’t know how to package up my services profitably or how to get clients.”

And what this does is it then primes them to try and seek out the solution, which in your case, then another post or an email might be telling them what the solution is, but not exactly how to solve it. So it could be like, “Hey, in order to figure out how to package up your service and get perfect dream fit clients and how to run like a proper business, you need the right structure. You need the right blueprint that’s going to tell you how to get your business or how to create a business from A to Z da, da, da…”

And then from there, the audience are like, “Oh yeah. Now I know that’s what I need.” They’ve now perfectly primed to be at a place that when you open the doors to the accelerator, they’re like, “Oh yes, this is exactly what I need. This gives me the community. This gives me the structure. This gives me the guidance.” So just, you see how that sort of unfolds in that priming element.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah, totally.

Ash Chow:  And then another big thing as well, was like, as part of the power framework, it’s also about overcoming a lot of the objections that your audience has towards the topic of your digital product. So in this case, it’s we had to overcome their objections towards the idea of running a business properly.

And I think for newish copywriters, one of those objections might be like, “Well, if I’m a good copywriter that’s all I need to succeed in business. I just need to know how to write.” But as we all know, it’s not enough to just be talented at copywriting. You need to know how to market yourself. You need to know how to create profitable offers and you need to know how to be visible.

So then what we would have to do is create pre-launch content that defeats that misconception. So we could write an email or a post literally saying like, you need more than just good copy chops in order to succeed in business. You need all of these other things. And then by the end of that post, the audience would be like, “Oh, crap. I guess I do need to invest in business building skills.” And then that again, primes them to be in that perfect position to want to invest in the accelerator when it comes out.

Kira Hug:  Let’s go behind the scenes of your business as we’ve talked a lot about pre-launch and you mentioned that this is a new niche for you over the last year. So how have you built your expertise? I mean, beyond doing podcast interviews like this, where you’re teaching and talking about pre-launch content, what else has helped you really kind of stepping into your own expertise as the go-to expert for pre-launch content and just as a launch strategist?

Ash Chow:  Yeah, so I think one of the biggest things that moved the needle in my business, like when it came to building my brand, my authority was actually like running and hosting my own a workshop just a couple of months ago in November, 2021. So behind the scenes to this is like, I personally want to start speaking on more stages and teaching inside more workshops, just because I really do enjoy presenting. And it is a great way to build authority.

And anyway, this year I started looking into a lot more speaking opportunities. And what I found with that was that most creators and organizers typically want proof that you can speak. So I remember I was talking to this pretty big creator about doing a workshop for their paid audience. And they asked me if I had any experience coaching or presenting live.

And I found out that was a pretty common thing whenever I was like applying for speaking gigs or like appearing or trying to appear in different summits. And it makes sense because the organizers want to know that you can speak well and that you can engage the audience and that sort of thing. And so I realized that if I wanted this goal to become a reality I can’t always just wait for someone to grant me a speaking opportunity. I have to go and create this opportunity myself.

And rather than just pitch people and wait to be accepted or rejected, I decided I’m just going to take matters into my own hands and just host my own workshop on my own platform to practice my speaking skills. So I pretty much said like, okay, I’m going to run a workshop purely on pre-launch because I wanted to be known in this area. I set a date and then I just hustled to bring it to life.

And it was an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience just because, I realize there’s a lot that goes into launching anything of your own, even if it’s free. A free thing takes just as much work as a paid thing. But as a result of running my own workshop, it really helped me generate a lot of leads. So it was a great way to build my email list. I gained about like, I think 170 new subscribers as a result of that. It also really challenged me to start talking a lot more about pre-launch content in order to promote the workshop, which also built my authority. Because I was talking about it so much on Instagram, people started associating me with pre-launch content, which is what I wanted.

I started to get lots of DMs about it. People started mentioning me more in Facebook threads and saying like, “Hey, you should talk to Ash Chow for pre-launch.” So that was pretty cool. And then even like after the back end of running the workshop after that was all over, people watched it and they were like, “Hey can you come speak on my podcast? Can you come speak at my summit?” So I started getting a lot of invitations as a result of that. And so, because I took that step forward and decided to just do it on my own platform and on my own space, people just naturally saw me, or they now see me as an authority in this area. So if you want to build, I reckon, visibility and build authority and do it relatively quickly, I highly recommend doing your own workshop and not waiting for someone to give you the opportunity to speak. Just do it yourself.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. I saw your workshop and I remember texting Kira at the end and saying, “Holy cow, Ash is a great presenter. And the information that you shared about pre-launch content.” Obviously we had gone through that process with you, but I was really impressed. And so I think that Kira and I are now going to ask a question we’ve never asked on the podcast before

Kira Hug:  Ash, can you speak at TCC IRL on our stage this year?

Ash Chow:  Are you being serious? Oh my goodness. Are you being serious?

Kira Hug:  Being totally serious.

Ash Chow:  Wait It’s recorded now. You can’t backtrack. Oh yes. I’d love to accept. Yes. Oh my goodness. Yes.

Kira Hug:  We figured it’d be asked you while we’re recording. So you can’t say no.

Rob Marsh:  That’s, no time to think about it.

Kira Hug:  I mean you could, but it’s harder. No time to think about it. You have to do it now. We’d be honored to have you speak on our stage and teach about pre-launch and launches and share your wisdom with everyone in the community.

Ash Chow:  Thanks guys. And for anyone listening, see, this is why you ran your own workshop. This is why you don’t wait for someone to hand you things. You got to go out there and do it first. And then the opportunities come. So there is proof right here.

Rob Marsh:  There you go. So as we’re thinking about that workshop, because we were there as really starting to brainstorm this and thinking about should you do it, should you do it now? Should you do it next year? Will you talk a little bit about what was going on in your mind leading up to that decision? Yes, I’m going to do it because I seem to remember there was some real hesitation, some real back and forth.

Ash Chow:  Around running the workshop and that’s-

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. Presenting it, yes. Actually doing it.

Ash Chow:  Yeah. It was really scary. And I think a lot of that head trash I talked about at the start of the podcast, it all came roaring back. Which by the way, when we talk about head trash, something I learned in my experience is that even though it keeps coming up, it’s always the same thing. Fear is always the same emotion. Fear can be very, very unimaginative. And I think that really helps take the power away from it. It’s just the same thing over and over again. And when you learn how to deal with it, once you’ll know how to deal with it in the future. But back to it. I had all that fear again about like people aren’t going to show up for me. People are going to judge me. I’m going to sound like crap. My biggest fear is think was like, no one showing up.

I was like, it’s just going to be me in a Zoom room by myself. But I think I’ve been working a lot with a mindset coach, Linda Perry. And she helped me recognize that when you, when you do something for the first time or when you are go putting yourself out there, the victory is in putting yourself out there. Is in taking the action. So it’s not about like how many people show up or if anyone shows up, it’s about the fact that you actually did it in the first place.

So, I think like I said, I could have just sat on my and just waited for someone to give me an opportunity and say, “Hey, can you come speak?” Or I could actually do something about out it and make that opportunity happen, which is what I did. I mean, it was still scary to actually do it. Literally it’s funny that you say you liked my presentation because five minutes beforehand, I was like throwing up because I was so nervous. But I pushed through and I did it. And so for anyone who’s thinking about doing it try not to think about the numbers, try not to think about whether or not people are going to show up and focus more on just ticking that task off. Just doing it and celebrating that action in itself.

Kira Hug:  And Ash, as we start to wrap up this conversation, I would love, this is more of a selfish question, but can you share what your experience was like in both the accelerator and the think tank since you’ve had the chance to be in both of those programs, just for people who aren’t as familiar, what was it like for you? Or what is it like for you?

Ash Chow:  Yeah, 100%. So it’s not an exaggeration to say that the accelerator really was the catalyst for my career. I think it came at a time when I didn’t know how to run a business, but I did have big dreams and goals and plans for myself. And so I realized I needed a lot of support and guidance to get there. And what I loved about the accelerator first was just how well structured it was. Because I think when you are new, you don’t know what you don’t know. And so it’s really easy for you to fall into that shiny object syndrome. So it’s like, oh do I build a website first? Or do I get clients first? Or do I do this other thing first? You can get it really torn and paralyzed by all the overwhelm. But the fact that you already gave us all the right steps in the right order that we needed to build the foundation for our business.

And you did it in a way that made sense. So it’s like you work on your mindset first, then you decide on a niche, then you set up the package. It’s like, it all just made sense. It all built on each other. And my favorite thing was like, because everyone is in the same boat as you in the accelerator we are all at that beginning stage, you can all relate to each other. You can all relate to the challenges that you’re facing. You all just like get each other. And so I feel like that was my favorite part of the experience was the community. Some of my best friends are from that cohort. And I still talk to a lot of them today. So I think like if you’re in the early stage and you don’t know how to set up your biz, the accelerator is a great experience.

And then I graduated from that. So I feel like the accelerator was my toddler years. And now in the think tank I’m in my like teenage years of business. So the think tank is all about taking that foundation and then, and building on it. I think it really challenged me to grow. So to like I said, run my own workshop. It challenged me to really niche further into pre-launch. It challenged me to then launch my own digital product. And I don’t think any of that would’ve happened if I wasn’t surrounded by a group of like high achievers and also having that guidance, I needed to actually like go out there and do it and try to do it semi right the first time round.

Rob Marsh:  So, with those experiences in the background, or as you continue in the think tank, what’s next for you in your business, Ash?

Ash Chow:  What’s next for me is again, continuing to build my authority and visibility. I think that I’ve done a good job in setting the foundation and now it’s all about amplifying all of the things I’ve done correctly and continuing to do that. And then also in the back end fixing some of the things that I still need to work on. So for me personally, that’s like having proper systems and processes and working on more mindset staff. That’s always going to be a thing. But I’m just going to continue to grow and make more of an impact. And also hit my sweet revenue goals.

Kira Hug:  In a sentence or two can you share what you think the future of copywriting looks like?

Ash Chow:  Hmm. I think the future of copywriting is that there are going to be a lot more copywriters. I think people from all industries are going to start to recognize just how valuable it is. Just because, can I say that? Because like when I first started out, nobody knew what a copywriter was. They thought that it was, because I went to law school, they were like, “Oh, trademarks.”

Kira Hug:  That’s very confusing. Especially if you did go to law school.

Ash Chow:  Yeah. So that’s why I try to avoid telling me more about law school. But my point is, I think that words are so powerful and people are going to start to recognize that a lot more. And the word copywriter, when people hear that, no matter what industry they’re in, they’re going to recognize like, wow that is a really cool job to have. It’s a very important job to have. And they’re going to want to invest more money into it, more time into it. So that’s what the future is.

Rob Marsh:  So Ash, if somebody wants to connect with you, get on your list, maybe show up for the next workshop that you do around pre-launch content or whatever it is that you decide to teach on. Where should they go?

Ash Chow:  You can follow me on @itsAshChow on all socials. If you want to check out my website, it is Those are the two main places I hang out. So definitely hit me up.

Kira Hug:  All right. Thank you, Ash. This was so fun to just hear more about pre-launch and I am excited for you to meet at TCC IRL this March. So can’t wait to finally see you on stage and hang out with you.

Ash Chow:  Yes, I’m excited. Thanks so much you guys.

Rob Marsh:  That’s our end of our interview with Ash Chow. Before we close Kira, I know that we kind of talked out a lot of the stuff in the first half of this episode, but was there anything else in the second half that jumped out at you?

Kira Hug:  Yeah, the biggest part of this conversation was how Ash has built her credibility, her authority, her expertise in our space so fast. I mean, Ash just jumped into her business I believe in 2020, when she joined us in the accelerator and she was a newbie business owner. And from the outside looking in, she’s taken off. So how has she done it? There are many different ingredients we talked about in this episode, but one part that she mentioned, the needle mover was hosting her first workshop.

And I think it’s so powerful to hear that because this is something that we do not need permission to do it. We don’t have to like pitch ourselves to anyone, send the perfect cold email. We can do this and we can choose to do it whenever we want. And Ash chose to host a workshop and she depended solely on herself.

She had some partners to help promote it. She decided, this is what I’m going to do it. This is how I’m going to do it. And I’m going to be the host. I’m going to be the star of the workshop. And so it’s the easiest thing for us to do. Yet most of us don’t do it because it requires us giving permission to ourselves and basically stepping into this new role in our business as this teacher and this authority figure.

So that to me is the biggest opportunity for all of us to host what we want to host, whether it’s like hosting a workshop or hosting a Facebook live or hosting a summit, we can all do that. And we don’t have to wait for anyone else. And she’s definitely, she’s reaped the rewards from that experience because her business continues to take off because she chose herself and said, “I’m going to do this even though it’s uncomfortable.”

Rob Marsh:  I mean, we talk a lot about our own framework for building celebrity or that visibility, that expertise. And we talk about three areas. There is the expertise side where you need to know something that your clients don’t know, and she’s done a really good job of building up her expertise in pre-launch content with the launch clients that she’s worked with over the last couple of years.

And then because she’s been able to get really good results she has the second part of that formula, which is trust. She’s earned the trust of her clients. And she can talk about what she does in a way that earns the trust of anybody who’s listening to her. And then the third piece is visibility. And that’s the hard part for most of us because many of us are introverts or many us have that imposter complex going on.

And we feel like we don’t have enough to share, or maybe we aren’t far enough along in the journey or why would anybody listen to us when there are people out there who know more? And so stepping into that visibility, giving yourself permission to go out on podcasts and talk about what you do. To create your owns age like Ash did with her workshop and speak up and share the things that you know and demonstrate your expertise. And again, allow people to trust that what you do.

Those three pieces, expertise, trust, and disability work together to create that kind of celebrity… I know notoriety, isn’t the right word, because it has this negative context, but you’re looking for people to see you as an expert. And in order to do that, you’ve got to be visible. And I love that Ash created her own stage to speak on and then it resulted in an invitation to speak in other stages, including ours.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. Ultimately when you bet on yourself other people are going to bet on you. When you choose yourself, then it’s sending a message to people who are paying attention. “Oh, well, if you believe in yourself, then we believe in you too. And you’ve proved the concept. You’ve proved that you can do it.” And so it was fun in this conversation to ask Ash, I think I did it probably quite awkwardly, but to ask her to speak at TCC IRL. The timing worked out perfectly with this interview and then the planning of the event so that we could do that. And it was really fun to do it. And I’m glad that Ash said yes, and I’m so excited to have Ash on our stage and that she’s flying in from Australia, just for the event. So it’s cool when you can connect the dots and say, well, Ash did her own workshop in November, 2021. And then months later she’s going to be on a stage, a big stage at our event speaking because she chose herself.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. The other thing that I love that Ash mentioned as far as setting up her own workshop is what she talked… When she talked about mindset. And the fact that putting yourself out there is the win, creating the workshop is the win. It does not matter if nobody shows up, it doesn’t matter if everything goes wrong. It doesn’t matter if anybody buys, because the thing that you are doing is showing up and creating the stage, the presentation, whatever.

And so just getting yourself out there is the win. And the more you do that, the more the other things follow. The more your list grows. The more people buy your product. The more people show up and listen, and the easier it all becomes. But that first, maybe the second or third time, the win is just getting up on stage, just showing up for the interview, just getting whatever it is that you want to talk about out into the world. So that you’re showing up as the expert. That’s the win.

Kira Hug:  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 liked what you heard today, specifically today, please, please, please give us a review on Apple Podcasts. We would really appreciate it. And we pay attention to it. Mostly Rob, think you pay attention to it more than I do, hopefully.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. We actually had a couple of interviews come through two or three weeks ago. I keep thinking at some point we should read some of these on air.

Kira Hug:  We should.

Rob Marsh:  But we do really appreciate when people share their thoughts or how the podcast has impacted them, their business. So if you do have a chance go over to apple podcast to leave a review, we would appreciate

Kira Hug:  If you liked it, if you liked it. Only leave it if you liked it.

Rob Marsh:  Exactly. And if you enjoyed this episode, and you want to listen to something similar check out episode number 67 when we interviewed Emma Siemasko, that’s a really good interview about setting boundaries and expands on some of the stuff we talked about with Ash today. And in episode 143, Lauren Hazel shared her experience in selling workshops as part of her business. And there’s some really good ideas there too.

If you want to hear Ash speak live or meet her, then get your ticket to TCC IRL, the Copywriter Club In Real Life now. VIP tickets are gone, but you can still join us for all the regular session. You can meet the speakers and our other attendees at the big cocktail party, Tuesday night. You can make new friends with the dinner adventures and the lunch adventures that we do. It’s such a great event. You don’t want to miss it.

And you can find the link for the event in the show notes for this episode or stop what you’re doing right now. If you’re driving, pull over. If you’re doing the laundry, pull out your laptop and enter the copywriter That’s TCCIRL-2022 into your web browser. And you can get your tickets to the event, and we will see you in Nashville at the end of March. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.


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