TCC Podcast #142: How to Inject Style into Your Copy with Tamara Glick | The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #142: How to Inject Style into Your Copy with Tamara Glick

What’s the big deal about style in copy anyway? We invited Style Consultant and copywriter Tamara Glick to join us for the 142nd episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast to get to the bottom of that question. We covered a lot of ground in this one, but unfortunately we forgot to ask Tamara about joining a biker gang—even though we teased it in the intro. However, we think this episode makes up for that mistake because it’s our first interview to include the word, “huge-mungous.” Here’s what we covered with Tamara:
•  how she went from working as a fashion consultant to writing copy
•  what it means to be a style consultant
•  the importance of a personal brand and showing that to the world
•  what she learned working closely with other creative in an ad agency
•  what it took to transition full time to copywriting
•  what she did once she decided to quit a full time job and make a living writing copy
•  what she did to line up projects and find clients
•  the changes she made when she went through the Copywriter Accelerator
•  the packages, prices and other things she offers in her business today
•  how she’s investing in her business today
•  mindset and how she gets out of her own way
•  her advice to others who aren’t as outgoing and energetic as she is

To hear this episode, you’ve got to click the play button below or download it to your favorite podcast app. Prefer to read? Scroll down for a full transcript.

 

The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:

The Copywriter Accelerator
The Copywriter Think Tank
Soho House
Agnes Kowalski
Tamara’s website
Kira’s website
Rob’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Intro: Content (for now)
Outro: Gravity

 

Full Transcript:

Rob:   This podcast is sponsored by The Copywriter Underground.

Kira:   It’s our new membership designed for you to help you attract more clients and hit 10K a month consistently.

Rob:   For more information or to sign up, go to thecopywriterunderground.com.

Kira:   What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Rob and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.

Rob:   You’re invited to join the club for episode 142 as we chat with copywriter Tamara Glick about leaving the safety of a job and going freelance full-time, the role that fashion and style play in her business today, what she’s doing today to invest in her business, and whether it’s true that she’s a member of a biker gang.

Kira:   Biker gang, what?

Rob:   Hey, Tamara.

Kira:   I feel like we’re teasing that, but I want to know right now. So welcome. I know you and I have chatted about this for a while and getting you on the show, because definitely you have been through a lot of transitions in your own business that we want to talk about. But before we do, let’s just dig into how you ended up as a copywriter.

Tamara:        Sure, hi guys. This is so exciting for me. How I ended up as a copywriter is kind of a twisted, checkered story. I actually started my career in advertising, but on the business side. Originally I would be the person who was going between the clients and the creative teams and briefing a creative team from what I’d been given from a client, and then allowing the creative team to do their magical work, and then coming back and working through that again with the client, and back and forth and back and forth.

I would be that person who would sit with the creatives right beside them kind of hanging over their cubicles and saying, ‘What you doing? Can I help? What can I do?’ So I really learned a ton from hanging out with my creative teams and appreciating the processes that they would go through, but I was working more on the business side.

Simultaneously, I was also building a business as a personal stylist. So I became a trained image consultant and built a business helping people with essentially self-expression. So that came in terms of the clothing that they would wear or the words that they would use on their resumes or their LinkedIn profiles or on their business’s websites if they were growing their own businesses. I had quite a few clients when I moved into image consulting full-time for whom I did that kind of messaging work. But I never really considered it to be ‘copywriting’. I’ve got my air quotes going.

Then as my business started to evolve, we’re talking 13 years down the line, a few of my digital copywriter friends approached me and said, ‘We could really use your help on some overflow. Did you know that you’re a copywriter? We don’t really understand why you’re not doing that.’ I said, ‘What do you mean I’m a copywriter?’ They’re like, ‘Well, can you go back and explain your story again?’ I thought, ‘Oh. Oh that’s what you meant.’

So essentially, I’ve been helping people to tell their stories for the entirety of my career just in different types of ways. I was really ready to do it in a more concentrated sense. So taking all of my different sorts of backgrounds, from agency side to client side to retail and fashion and service and putting it all together into my content and copywriting business.

Rob:   Okay, so before we get into the copywriting stuff, I want to talk a little bit about you being a style consultant and what that involves. Talk about it. Tell us. If you saw me on the street and you saw my style, how would you fix me?

Kira:   Can we have a makeover episode where we fix Rob up?

Rob:   That’d be-

Tamara:        Makeover, makeover.

Rob:   I could definitely use it for sure.

Tamara:        Yeah. Oh no, the sneakers are a signature style, Rob, and I think you need to keep that.

Rob:   I have some pretty sweet bacon socks as well, so yeah there’s that.

Tamara:        Nice.

Kira:   Oh my gosh.

Tamara:        And the eggs, don’t forget the eggs. So a style consultant, the way that I approach that world is, again, it’s to help people express themselves effectively so that what people see on the outside is essentially how they feel about themselves on the inside in their best day, right? So a lot of us will fall back on a uniform that’s easy. So maybe it’s jeans and a T-shirt, because we don’t really know what else to put on our bodies. Or maybe it is yoga pants, because one day we’re actually going to go to yoga, or we don’t need to wear pants, because we work at home, so we just wear shirts and we do the entrepreneurial mullet.

Sooner or later, we kind of lose a sense of ourselves when we look in the mirror and don’t really relate to what we see. So being a style consultant to me is a lot about helping you to relate to the person that you see in the mirror, so that when you look at yourself, you’re really happy with what you see. When other people look at you, they have a sense of who you are.

So what I loved seeing initially, I’ve known you guys for over a year now, and some of the first pictures that I saw of you were you sitting together on a couch. I don’t know if those were intentionally branded photos for your personalities, but what I really liked about it was how individual you each were. You reflected your own personalities in a way where I knew that if I was going to talk to Rob, I’d get somebody who is fairly buttoned up, but at the same time, comfortable, relaxed, and confident in what he knows and who he is.

When I looked at you, Kira, I saw a person who was equally comfortable and confident, but also colorful and a little bit more expressive of her individuality. That’s just like how you are in both your work and in person. So I loved seeing that you were able to figure that out for yourselves visually as well as you can when you’re writing.

Kira:   I love that. So because we’re going down the rabbit hole, how important is style for other copywriters, in terms of their photos and showing up to events, and even what they wear day-to-day, which I have confessed I do wear the same outfit most days, but I know how to dress up when I’m going out, because I think it’s easy for us to say we’re all about the words, and style and fashion doesn’t matter in our business.

Tamara:        I think that coming from… I’ll back up a little bit. My image consulting business started because while I was taking my MBA, I was looking to apply for work in advertising. That is not one of the two typical flavors of Kool-Aid that you get in an MBA course of study. The flavors are either purple, which would be finance, or orange, which would be consulting.

So I was going for this tutti-frutti flavor that nobody really understood. So when I would ask, ‘What should I do to get ready for an interview in this kind of environment? What should I wear? How do I network in an agency setting?’ I got some really poor advice for agency people, awesome advice for corporate people. That was my first real understanding that my love of fashion and beautiful things was not just novelty. It was a practice of identity.

So I did go to a mock interview where I wore, I will never forget it, I wore a black skirt suit that I bought from the store that I had been managing prior to getting into my MBA. It was very cool at the time. It was a skirt suit with a long jacket that had a zipper all the way up. It was in the late ’90s, early naught, and a top that went right up to my neck, and a French twist, and pearl stud earrings, and pantyhose.

Rob:   Wow.

Tamara:        Yes.

Rob:   Knock the doors down. Yeah.

Tamara:        Whew. It was something. I met up with my mentor, and she took one look at me and said, ‘What the heck is this?’ I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you. Stick a fork in me. I’m done. I could do this to a bar mitzvah, but I can’t wear this every day. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be creative if I’m showing up in a uniform everyday.’ So we had this really great conversation about your image, and your audience, and how to relate yourself to your audience, and what your role would be, and all these cool concepts that I had learned about in marketing and I had learned about in branding and had never actually applied to me. I thought, ‘Well, that’s really refreshing and interesting.’

So I rebranded myself to something that felt authentic and individual and like me, and I succeeded very quickly. I learned that other people needed that same help. So that’s when my business started to come to fruition was, ‘Wow, this actually is a career choice. It’s not just working in a store or enjoying the design of clothes. It can actually positively impact somebody and their own bottom line. So how do you do that on purpose?’

So I do think it’s really important that even if we work from home, we show up in the best way we can every day, and that doesn’t mean that you have to wear a full outfit every day. I choose to get dressed every morning, but that helps me. It helps me get into the groove. It’s sort of the same as when you’re studying for exams. You can only hang out in your sweatpants for so long before your brain gets into sweatpant mode too.

Rob:   I am fully on board with that. I’m the same way. If I were to stay in my pajamas, I think I would end up reading the newspaper all day long and surfing the web instead of getting to work.

Kira:   Really?

Rob:   Yeah.

Kira:   I could wear my robe all day and do great work.

Tamara:        So you’re the Dude, that’s amazing. I think that everyone is different.

Kira:   Everyone is different.

Tamara:        I think that everyone, they are, and everyone has the… I think everybody is entitled to feeling their very best. Whatever that means to that individual is what’s most important. I would also say that I think that the idea of being comfortable is not synonymous with wearing sweatpants. I think being comfortable means being comfortable with who you are that day. That’s what fashion is all about to me. That’s what style is all about to me, no matter who you are. So you can always find clothes that are comfortable and that are also totally presentable if, oh my gosh, you have to get on a conference call right now, or oh my gosh, I got to go pick up the kids right now, and you think, ‘I’m not even wearing pants.’

Kira:   Yeah, and I think it’s so important too just what you said about it helps you understand who you are as a business owner too and as a person, and it connects to your brand. So it doesn’t mean you have to be dressed up the way that somebody else would be in an actual dress or something colorful if that isn’t your brand, but at least being intentional about how you show up. I know some business owners that are so successful and they show up with the hoodie and just jeans and super casual, but that reflects their brand. It’s perfect. It would be strange if they showed up in something that was just a little bit different, right? So I think that’s the important part is just the reflection and understanding your brand.

Tamara:        Totally. Totally. It’s about alignment and continuity. Just like any of the brands that we work with, when we say that your customer should see the same execution of your brand across all platforms, the same is true when you’re a business owner. There should be continuity and authenticity and alignment with what people see of you.

Kira:   So I want to back up to the ad agency time and find out, because you were working so closely with creatives, and knowing you, you’re such a creative yourself, what did you learn from working so closely with those creatives at the ad agency?

Tamara:        Oh, that’s an awesome question, and shockingly nobody’s ever asked me that before. I think some of what was really important to me was seeing the teamwork that would happen. Often times in the agency world, you’d have a copywriter paired maybe with another copywriter if they’re super lucky and it’s a really huge account. Whether the copywriter is on their own or with a partner, they would also be partnered with a designer. The two of them would need to solve the problem of communication visually and verbally together so that the final product, the end result, made a lot more sense than if one was working in a silo from the other.

So I think that teamwork was really key to learning how to understand a message, lay out a message, or understand the way design can impact copy. I think that that can be really important. We see that all the time when we’re joking around with different posters or out-of-home adverts that we see, and we think, ‘Oh my goodness, how did that get through?’ It was really an important time for me to understand how those things worked.

I also was working on the digital arm of a large agency when there were only three kinds of online ads that you could buy. There were skyscrapers, big boxes, and leader boards, and that was it. So It was really… I’m totally dating myself as I say this, but it was really fascinating to see how creative teams could really use what to us then was an incredible opportunity but now, looking back, quite a limited opportunity. How do you push the boundaries of what you can do with those things? How do you animate so that one piece of the ad goes into another piece of the ad? Or how do you buy things effectively so that when your customer comes into contact with a brand in a whole bunch of different scenarios, everything feeds back into one larger message and helps that customer to make a decision. That was super cool.

Rob:   I love hearing that. My experience in the agency world was similar. I was afraid that you were going to say, ‘Oh, they taught me how to play ping pong or roll a blunt or something,’ but yeah, that’s good. So let’s draw the lines then really clearly from what you learned as a fashion consultant, what you learned in the agencies. How have those skills made you a better copywriter today?

Tamara:        In deciding where I would focus my energy in my business and how best I could serve a client for whom I was writing, I realized that I have been one-on-one and one-on-many with a very specific group of consumers for over 15 years at this point. That is where I kind of like to focus. So a lot of people will niche according to type of copy or industry. For me, I do niche by category, but I also like to niche by end customer. That is really where I’ve kind of maneuvered both my agency and client experience as well as my styling experience to form something that’s new and a little bit different.

As a stylist, many of my customers, I’d say 80 to 85% of my clients were women 35 and up. They’ve all gone through some pretty amazing shifts in their lifestyles that brought them to a point where they would say, ‘I think I need some help. I don’t know who I am right now.’ Whether it was changing careers or having children or going back to work or becoming an entrepreneur, I have literally been in fitting rooms with these customers for over 15 years learning from them about their lives and what they’ve loved, and their struggles, and how they see themselves.

I would say that because of that, I have some pretty primo market research at my disposal. To have me on a team where we’re talking about lifestyle brands that are relatable to these customers is like having somebody who has literally spent 15 odd years with naked ladies on your team.

Kira:   Okay, so that’s a lot of naked ladies.

Tamara:        A lot. It’s a lot of naked ladies. That’s true.

Kira:   So let’s catch up with the rest of your story about getting into copywriting, because I know there’s more to it, right? So once you realized, ‘I am a copywriter, I want to pursue this, I want to launch my own business,’ what did that look like? What did that journey look like for you? Because I know it didn’t happen overnight. It took several steps. Can you talk us through what it actually took to eventually focus on your business full-time?

Tamara:        So in 2016, I had a pretty major year. I was moving my styling business online and had decided that I would launch a course. While I was doing that, I was also becoming aware that an amazing retailer you may have heard of called Nordstrom was moving to Toronto, and they were opening their first flagship store on the east coast of Canada. A lot happened in the summer of 2016. I had a huge data crash where all of the information that I had been slaving over to create my style course got lost. I decided to try and revamp it and launch that course anyway, and Nordstrom came knocking on my door at the same time asking if I would be so kind as to bring my styling business in house and help them to open their first Toronto store.

I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. These are all such incredible things. I have to say yes, because Nordstrom is just so incredible.’ At the same time, I just spent all of this time writing funnels, and creating content, and developing audience for an online style business. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a lot of things.’ I took the leap. I decided to join Nordstrom. I did launch my course, but I couldn’t do both at the same time.

While I was there at Nordstrom, I was thinking, ‘I am learning so much here about service in a way that I have never really experienced it before as a stylist who goes to a bunch of stores all the time and also is a service provider, and how they provide that feeling of one-on-one care in a huge-ungus environment, how do you leverage that? What do you do?’

All of this is happening at the same time as I’m loving this career choice. I’m also getting super, super fatigued by it. I had reached the pinnacle of what I could achieve in this career, and I was looking for challenge that would take me in another, but still related, direction, because I loved what I did. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I saw greater things for myself, I was looking for greater achievements in the next part of my life, and I just thought, ‘I’m not sure that this is the career that will take me all the way through my working years.’ A lot of people do a lot of different things. So maybe at 42, at that time it was 40, but maybe when you’re just around 40 to 42 is the time that you should be looking at changing your career instead of 50 to 52, which admittedly would be a little bit harder.

A couple of friends came to me and said, ‘I don’t understand why you’re not writing. You’ve just done all this amazing work. You’re a writer and we need help. Would you mind doing some subcontracting for us?’ I thought, ‘Okay. I’ll try that out.’ I loved it and I had a great time.

So last year, we’re speeding up now from 2016 to 2018, I decided now was the time I need to make a change. So as I said, it’s a lot easier to make a career change at 42 than it is at 52, so I think I’m going to take this leap. Oh my gosh, what do I do? I have no idea. That’s when I stumbled onto The Copywriter Club and The Copywriter Accelerator. So I joined the Accelerator and I remember very clearly saying to both of you, Kira and Rob, that by Labor Day weekend, the first weekend in September, I was going to give my notice to Nordstrom. Your very kind reply was, ‘That’s very aggressive.’ I thought-

Kira:   Did we say that? Did we really say that it was aggressive?

Tamara:        Yeah, you did. You’re like, ‘It’s an aggressive goal. It’s bold. It’s a bold goal.’ You said it with total love. It wasn’t that you meant it wasn’t possible, but I was coming in with no clients really, just some subcontracting work, and not necessarily a clear idea of how I was going to transition. I just knew that I could do it and that I was surrounded by people that would support what I was doing and who had more information and knowledge than I had that I could learn from.

That’s the beginning of how I made the transition. I worked really hard, I’m not going to lie. A lot of people ask me about what it’s like to start a business. This is my second time starting an entrepreneurial endeavor while working full-time. I have to say I think that’s the best way to do it. It’s going to be hard. You’re going to work a lot of hours, but with the right goals in place, that difficult time is going to be really short, and really short is different for everybody, but for me, I did make that September timeline my goal, and I focused on that with absolute energy. So by the time September came around, I did write my resignation, and by the end of September, I was full time in freelance.

Rob:   Yeah, I remember those conversations when we said, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty aggressive,’ but I think we also said it was doable. We just wanted to make sure that you had clients, that you sort of were ready to launch as you launch, but talk us through that what was the process? Once you decided, what were the pieces that you had to put together so that you felt comfortable going out on your own, giving up the steady paycheck, and relying on your ability to find clients?

Tamara:        So entrepreneurs in general, I think they need to have an appetite to eat what they kill. I think that’s primary. Because I’ve already experienced what that’s like, I came from gainful employment as an employee, moved into my styling career, which was self-funded and entrepreneurial, then moved over to be a stylist in an organization where I wasn’t necessarily experiencing a steady paycheck. I was experiencing a commission-based paycheck. So I was still eating what I killed, essentially.

So I thought that that was really key. I needed to keep that going, and at the same time, I needed to build connections as well. I do think it’s totally doable to have a short timeline when you’re moving from one career to another, and that the doability of it has to do with setting structure for yourself so that you can network effectively, you can learn effectively, and you can set yourself up for that success. It also requires a lot of letting go. I think that that was a little bit challenging for me and maybe for other people as well. I really wanted things to be perfect, and perfect is the absolute death of making something happen. There is no perfect time, and not necessarily will you have everything in place before you go out on your own.

As an example, in my head I thought, ‘Okay, if I reach the 5K a month goal on my copywriting business, then I can leave my full-time job. If I reach a 3,000 a month goal, I can go part-time.’ But in reality, I didn’t have as much control over that as I would have wanted or thought that I had to make those decisions happen I was able to go down to four days a week instead of five days a week at my job, but that’s not part-time. I was still working seven days a week, because I needed to satisfy my writing clients also.

So what I recognized was it was great to have those financial numbers in place, but the reality was unless I left my full-time job a little bit earlier than the financial goal I had in my mind, I wouldn’t be able to satisfy my writing clients. Then I would have been successful in building two jobs, but not a new career.

Kira:   Hey, we’re just jumping into the show today to tell you a little bit more about The Copywriter Underground. Rob, what do you like best about this membership?

Rob:   This membership community is full of copywriters that are investing in their businesses and taking what they do seriously. Everything is focused around three ideas: copywriting and getting better at the craft that we all do, marketing and getting in front of the right customers so that you can charge more and earn more, and also mindset so that you can get out of your head and focus on the things that will help you be successful at what we do.

There’s a private Facebook group for the members of the community, and we also send out a monthly newsletter that’s full of advice, again, on those three areas: copywriting, marketing, and mindset, things that you can mark up and tear out, put them in your file, save them for whatever, and it’s not going to get lost in your email inbox. Kira, what do you like about The Copywriter Underground?

Kira:   So I love the monthly hot seat calls where our members have a chance to sit in the hot seat and ask a big question or get ideas or talk through a challenge in their business, because we all learn from those situations. Then I also feel like the templates we include in the membership are valuable, because who wants to reinvent the wheel? Rob and I end up sharing a lot of the templates and resources we use in our own businesses. So I would definitely want to grab those.

Rob:   So if you are interested in joining a community of copywriters that are investing in their business and in themselves and trying to do more, get more clients, earn more money consistently, go to thecopywriterunderground.com to learn more. Now back to the program.

Kira:   So it sounds like you left the job then in September before you were actually hitting the 5K a month, but you had to do it in order to make the 5K a month. So can you talk about then what happened when you left? Even just emotionally that change and then what you did in your business to rev up the engine so that you could really continue and wouldn’t have to get another job.

Tamara:        Definitely. So what happened for me was when I recognized that I was going to need to leave my regular job earlier than what I thought would be comfortable, I wrestled with that a little bit, because I had this figure stuck in my head that that’s what I needed to do.

At the same time, though, I had already been saving. I had already been networking. I had already started to build my clientele. What was happening was unless I left my regular job, I would not have the time capacity or the brain capacity to do more work or better work for them. So when I was ready to give notice, I was also fully prepared, and depending on your stance on the woo, I was opening to the universe to say, ‘I now have the bandwidth to take on more.’ As soon as I closed that door, the next window flung open. It just became so much easier for me to say, ‘Yeah, I can totally take that on,’ and not, ‘I’m not sure I can take that on right now. I would love to do that, but I think I’m going to need to wait until next month. Is that possible?’ So being able to be a little bit more free and open and fun with my availability actually created so much more opportunity for me.

Rob:   So before we get to where you are today in your business, let’s talk just a little bit more about the specifics that you put into place when you went through the Accelerator. Were there branding issues or marketing issues or specific things that you needed to work through before you were ready to launch into your own freelance business?

Tamara:        There definitely were. I would say because I like to focus on strategy and I like to focus on branding, I really wanted to get my branding right before I knew exactly where I was going to put myself in the landscape of copy and content. So that felt a little bit cart before the horse. I really had to zoom back a little bit and look a little bit more at what all the options were, because to be honest, coming from the agency world that I came from, copywriters did all kinds of things. We didn’t really talk about content then, because content wasn’t a thing at that time. Now everywhere around you is both copy and content.

So wrapping my head around what the different streams could be, that took some time for me, especially because, again, there’s flavors of Kool-Aid, and right now I think one of the most popular flavors of Kool-Aid is conversion copywriting. It’s really important. It also just felt a lot like stuff that I was a little bit familiar with from agency land, but also in a really different context, because it was longer format, and it kind of had a taste of content in it as well.

So I really needed to wrap my head around who I wanted to be and what kind of services I wanted to provide. So I tried a bunch of different things and realized along the way that working on personality-driven copy was really fun for me, and also the fact that I had a personality in my copy was also really important to my client. So how do you bridge those things? I really needed to do a lot of thinking around what that would look like.

Then over time, it started to become obvious that it was a little easier to combine the stuff that I already knew and my history with things that I wanted to do. So that was another point of process for me is how do I find clients who function in adjacent ways to the sorts of things that I know and love, because writing about what you know about is always a good beginning. How do I sell the value of what I can do for their businesses?

That’s when I started talking to a lot of people, really anybody that I knew I started talking about writing and development of brands and personalities and self-expression, and what would that mean for this kind of a company versus that kind of a company? That’s how I started to get a few clients in place. I actually was able to draw on my historical contacts from the agency land, and I think I’m lucky in that way that I do have that to refer to. Also, a lot of clients that I’d worked with in different capacities, whether I was in the fitting room with them and dressing them or helping them to dress their customers, I had an understanding of their target market in a way that other people simply didn’t. That became a competitive advantage and something that was a readily available offering.

Kira:   So you mentioned that the doors flung open once you moved into your own business. The way you describe it, it sounds almost like it was easy. I know it wasn’t easy, because I know you and I know what you’ve had to go through. You do work extremely hard. Can you just dig a little bit more into what you were doing to land more and more clients? So you did mention it’s through contacts through the agency, but what else did you do to line up projects so that you were making money?

Tamara:        That’s a really fair question. I think it sounds like it was easy because I did things that were comfortable for me in a lot of ways. I talk a lot, and I like to relate to people. So for me, building my business came from building relationships, which is essentially what I do in copy as well. So that was a really nice tie-in. If somebody feels comfortable building a relationship with me, then it makes sense that their customer might feel comfortable if I was representing their brand via the written word.

So a lot of what I did was networking, and a lot of what I did was passing contacts on to other people, things that I may not be able to do myself, and hoping that they might exchange my name as well in their crowds. I met people on the sales floor. I met people by going shopping. Two of my clients came to me that way just by course of having a really easy-going conversation, and not necessarily trying to sell my skill, but recognizing that there was an opening to discuss a person’s business. Asking a person to talk about themselves is always going to be a win, because everybody likes to talk about themselves. It’s at that point where you get to learn a little bit more about what they might need.

The other thing that I did was I structured my business to have retainer clients. I know that retainers are not for everyone. Some people prefer to work by project. Some people prefer to work hourly. For me, in order to feel comfortable leaving my job, I needed to know that I was going to have something to look forward to in the bank next month and the month after that. So the first few clients that I started to work with, I developed upon a retainer model.

For me, I think that’s really important for a couple of reasons. One, again, it’s about relationship. Two, you can’t really have a relationship with one shot, right? So I’m not so much about the one-night-stand. I’m about the relationship. My clients are also that way. So when we get together, we really have a good understanding of who we’re talking to, why we’re talking to them, and over the course of time how we can develop a relationship for them.

Kira:   Yeah, and because I’ve worked with you and we’ve worked on several projects together, I’ve been able to see this firsthand and echo everything you’re saying as far as building the relationship. You have been so great at just checking in with me at least. So, ‘Kira, do you need any help? Do you have any projects? Are you stressed?’ Which I’m always like, ‘Yes. Yes, I am.’ So you just do this so naturally where it never feels pushy. It’s always just like I’m here to help you, and I just want to poke in and see if you need anything, and then I’m out.

I think everyone is capable of doing that, and it comes naturally to you, but I’m just saying it because if there is someone who’s listening that is struggling to get work, there are things that work, like developing relationships and just showing up and continuing to ask if people need help in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s too pushy. So that’s really worked well, and I just wanted to thank you for that.

So I do want to hear more about where your business is today, as far as what you’re offering. You’ve hinted at this already with talking about retainers and lifestyle, businesses, but who are you working with and what type of packages do you offer today?

Tamara:        So right now I’m in a new phase of my business where things are starting to evolve in such a way where I’m recognizing that the packages I’ve been offering could be a lot more robust, as long as the client is at the right stage of their business to welcome it and understand it.

So for the past year, I have focused on small businesses, which is an area that I’m really comfortable with. I grew up in a family who owned a small business, so I’m very accustomed to what that looks like and the dynamics of it. I also have owned my own small business, so I know firsthand what it’s like for a business owner to realize in the middle of the night that they have not marketed their own business. That’s where I’ve come in with my cape and saved the day.

At the same time, often when you’re working with a solo-preneur or with a really small business, there’s only so much bandwidth to be able to talk about deeper strategy and longer term strategy. I really like that, and I think it’s really an important piece of the puzzle when you’re developing content and putting information into the world.

So my business is moving into an area where I’m looking at the importance of developing content strategically so that it feeds into the conversion cycle. I don’t think that they’re disparate. I think that they work very well together when given the opportunity to do so. That’s what’s going to happen over the course of next year, which is really exciting.

Rob:   As you do this stuff, Tamara, how are you investing in your business? What kind of support are you getting? Who are you working with? I ask this, it’s a little bit selfish, because I know that you’re in the Think Tank, but what else are you doing to invest in your business in addition to that?

Tamara:        Sure. There’s a few places that I’m investing in my business, and I’m totally, totally stoked about Think Tank. I’ve been thinking about it since you launched it, and I was totally not ready then. Now I just feel like it’s time. I think that that’s been one of the major things is focusing on investment in a couple of areas. I have my investment in business development and my investment in skillset and my investment in mindset. Those, to me, are the three buckets that I think are really important to invest in annually, if I can.

So this year, Think Tank is on my business development side and in my skillset side, because there will be the sales copy course that comes out as well. I’m totally excited about that. I’m also investing in a networking community that is live and in person. So my goal is not necessarily to only have clients I my local city. My goal is to have international clients almost exclusively. But being a solo-preneur and working creatively on your own, you really need to have in-person connection or you forget how to form a sentence. I’m looking forward to joining Soho House, which is a really cool international membership for creatives.

Then on the mindset side, I work with a money mindset coach named Agnes Kowalski who’s absolutely brilliant and has really helped me to identify where I’m blocking myself and help to neutralize those blocks so that you can get to the next level.

Kira:   Okay. I love all the investing in yourself and the business. So can we talk about the mindset blocks? How are you blocking yourself?

Tamara:        Oh, for sure. So mindset blocks, they can be super sneaky. That’s their charm. But I find that there’s some really interesting ways that your mind can get in your way. You could have a phenomenal idea and then research the heck out of it and decide it’s not so special, when in reality your way of doing it might, in fact, be the thing that’s special about it. But you do that stuff every day, so you don’t necessarily see the spark that somebody else will. So having people around you that you can bounce that idea off of and poke some holes in it, but then also seal up those holes can be a very handy thing, in terms of neutralizing the mindset that you’re just not really that special or smart or different.

I think also believing that you have to be super special and smart and different can also be a mindset block. Lots of people do what we do, and also lots of people need the service and skills that we provide. It’s really just a matter of finding the right fit, because there’s room for everybody. There’s not some kind of a tap that turns off with this sort of thing. The tap flows. You just need to find the right temperature of water.

Then I think also you can very subconsciously or unconsciously be carrying mindset stuff around with you that you’ve had, in luggage you’ve carried since you were a kid. You may not know that you’re carrying it, and it may not actually be your story. But because you’ve heard it so many times or you’ve lived with it so long, you don’t recognize that it isn’t your story. So you buy into it as if it were true. Having somebody there or somebodies there to help ask you those questions and see if, in fact, you’ve proven them not to be true already can be really helpful in allowing yourself the opportunity to go further than you’ve gone before or to go different than you’ve gone before, and to enjoy that ride.

Rob:   I think this next question is related to mindset. It seems to me that you are really energetic in everything that you do. You bring this positive vibe. I think you’re relatively extroverted and connect well with others. Do you have advice for copywriters who maybe that doesn’t come very easily to who are in the same kind of place in their business? Maybe they want to go full-time as a copywriter, or they’re struggling in the beginning stages. How can they get more of that or build stronger relationships without being quite as energetic or as optimistic as you appear to be every time I’m talking to you or every time I see you in person?

Tamara:        Well, thank you for that. There are certainly times where I don’t necessarily feel so optimistic. That happens to everybody. We all have a rainbow. Mine may have more shades and more tones visibly than some others, but we all have them. So I would want to just set that record straight. There are times where I’m having a rough couple of days, and I need to find my way out of it.

But for people who may not have the personality style where it is comfortable to reach out in a group of people, and I’ll tell you there are times where I don’t like to do that necessarily. I prefer small groups or one-on-ones sometimes as well, and that’s all you really need. You just need one or two people that you can build relationships with at a level of intimacy that you’re comfortable with to be able to have the support that you need and that you feel you can provide to other people as well.

So I think it’s all shades of the same thing where I have a couple of copywriter friends that I met through TCC actually who are Toronto based. That’s a beautiful thing for me. Who knew that was going to happen? The three of us sometimes get together, and maybe two of us sometimes get together, and maybe the three of us are just chatting online, because that’s all we can do. But it does give you a sense of community that is intimate and small.

Then I have some other groups where the dynamics are a little bit larger and we are international, and we come together on a weekly basis, and we chat, and I actually met those people through the Accelerator. So thank you guys for being able to help me meet my friends. Then, of course, you’ve got the people in your own life, and you need to sort of selectively choose those people that you know you can talk about your new business with and feel that you’ll get the support that you need. Sometimes it’s easier to find it in people that don’t know you on that intimate level, that familial level, because they see you as who you want to be. That’s what’s really important.

Kira:   Yeah, I like the way that you outlined that in the different … It’s almost like these different organizations and relationships have a different place in your life. You don’t just need one. You may need one more than others at a certain time based on what you’re going through, but it’s good to have the larger groups, the intimate relationships, family, friends, business relationships. It’s good to have all of that available to you and to build out all of that so that you can run a sustainable business and not crash.

So we do have more questions for you, but we are out of time. So we’re going to bring you back in six months or a year after you’ve really been in the Think Tank and see how your business has grown and talk to you some more about all of those upcoming changes as well. So in the meantime, where can copywriters find you?

Tamara:        You can absolutely find me in The Copywriter Club if you happen to be a member there, and you can find me at tamaraglick.com, which will be updated relatively soon.

Kira:   Which will be updated.

Tamara:        Yes.

Kira:   Okay. Thank you so much. So glad that you could join us and that you successfully launched your business and made the transition.

Rob:   Thanks, Tamara.

Tamara:        Thank you so much.

You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from ‘Gravity’ by Whitest Boy Alive available on iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing at iTunes and be leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript, and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.

 

 

 

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