Rob and Kira take the mic for the 281st episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. In this episode, they walk through what makes TCC… TCC. Through an introspection of beliefs and celebrating what the last 5 years have brought, they challenge everyone listening to do the same thing for their own business.
Take a sneak peek:
- The core belief of The Copywriter Club.
- No one owns a niche, specialty, or title and why this is a good thing.
- How to use your x-factor to differentiate yourself from the sea of others in your niche.
- The golden rule of investing and how to effectively use it in your business.
- Paid mentors vs free mentors – is one better than the other?
- How to keep the momentum moving in your business.
- Outgrowing your title and shifting into a new one.
- How to find the best way for YOU to grow your authority.
- The importance of not comparing your goals to someone else’s.
- How masterminds are like buffets – yes, the food kind.
- The growth that comes with being the dumbest person in the room.
- Do you have a sales problem or a marketing problem?
- How you can do more good in the world and become a change agent.
- Why it’s good practice to treat your business like an experiment.
- How the red pen will increase your confidence.
- The value of stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone.
- How you can help TCC reach a million downloads.
Hit the play button below or check out the transcript.
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The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
The Copywriter Club In Real Life Event
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Rob Marsh: This week’s episode of the podcast is going to be a little bit different. Every 10 episodes or so, Kira and I, we get together and we just share stuff that’s not interview based and we’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while. So we’re going to talk about some of the things that we believe. That we believe around copywriting and around the importance of the work that we do and maybe some of the ideas that hold together The Copywriter Club. Does that sound about right to you Kira?
Kira Hug: Yeah, like you said, this is something we haven’t done before, so I’m not sure how this is going to turn out, but I’m excited to see what happens.
Rob Marsh: We could easily find out that we totally disagree on what we both believe.
Kira Hug: That’s true.
Rob Marsh: Yeah so, it’ll be interesting to see, because we have not really talked through this at all before hopping on to record, we just came up with our own lists and now let’s share them. Before we share them though, we should say, like always, our podcast is sponsored by something and this week it is TCC IRL The Copywriter Club, In Real Life, it’s happening in Nashville in just a couple of weeks, March 28th through the 30th and it is an awesome event. If you don’t have a ticket, there are a few tickets left and you can come and join us.
Kira Hug: Yes. And can I share the new excitement with what we just decided?
Rob Marsh: This is good.
Kira Hug: So, we just decided that we want to help the refugees in Ukraine. And so we are going to find an organization that we both feel like is legit it and doing great work. And 10% of the profit from TCC IRL will go towards a specific organization, which is TBD, but we will figure it out soon. It feels like a good way to do something when it feels like there aren’t many things we can do, this is one thing we can do. So we’re excited to do that. If you do purchase a ticket, at least that part of that is going towards an organization that’s doing great work in Ukraine and supporting people.
Rob Marsh: Yep. That’s maybe a small way that we can make a difference for a lot of people that are being very significantly impacted by the war.
Kira Hug: Yes. So let’s kick off with some of your beliefs. And again, these are TCC beliefs, but it’s fun because Rob, we both have our own beliefs that bleed into TCC and if we disagree, we’ll talk about it.
Rob Marsh: So, I know this is one that we both hold in common because we talk about it a lot, but number one, community over competition. If you’ve been around The Copywriter Club for any length of time, you realize that we really do value this community and bringing people together who may be incredibly different in so many ways and having this thing, copywriting, marketing that we have in common and a place where we can share ideas, enjoy each other’s company, get to know each other’s shared leads, talk about this stuff from maybe even completely opposite worldviews, but valuing the community and not looking at everybody else around us thinking, oh my gosh these are other copywriters, they’re the people that they’re going to be pitching my clients as well. We can help each other. We can help each other grow even when we are working with similar clients. And so number one, community over competition.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And has that shown up for you in your business Rob, just like where you have maybe viewed people as competitors and then you’ve changed that mindset and there’s been a positive outcome.
Rob Marsh: For sure. For sure. I think for the whole first decade or two of working, I would think of other copywriters as the competition, not necessarily like cutthroat, I’ve got to take them down or whatever, but sharing leads, would’ve been the kind of thing I’m like, why would I give away a lead to somebody who now they’re going to be making money or helping this client, why wouldn’t I hold onto all of this? And even maybe things that I know about copy writing, why would I help you learn to write bullets if that’s going to make you better than me and now you’re going to be able to take away my clients. I might not have taken that same approach, but I don’t know if it’s maturity, I don’t know if it’s just that I started joining mastermind groups or meeting you or what it was that really shifted that for me, but surrounding yourself with people who can be helpful, supportive, it’s so much a better approach than trying to take on the world all by myself. What about you?
Kira Hug: I was just going to say like, you and I are actually very competitive with each other. We joke around about it and it’s mostly playful, but it’s also okay to be really competitive if that’s who you are, if how you operate best. I operate in a competitive way when I need to get stuff done, but that doesn’t mean I view every other copywriter out there and creative out there as competition, but I can play with it and have fun. I almost set up my own gaming system to help me get the results I want in my business. And so I think you can have it both ways, but I do agree with what you’ve said and we have said it before, the copywriters we see do the best, typically in our programs seem to have this mindset shift somewhere along the way where they form more partnerships and see the upside rather than the downside.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, for sure. Okay. So what’s the number one thing on your list?
Kira Hug: Well, I’m going to jump in here because this yours bleeds into this next one for me, which is similar, but we believe you should pursue an idea, a niche, a specialty, even a title even if someone you respect is already working in that space and “owning” it, or has that title already. And I’m sharing that because when we are viewing other copywriters as collaborators and we’re in community with them, what often and happens is that we don’t want to disrespect other copywriters because we love them so much and we hold ourselves back from pursuing what we want to pursue, because we oftentimes think, well that person’s already doing it or like, I can’t be this brand specialist because so and so already owns that. And so we believe no one owns any of that and we’ve said that before, we’ll say it again. Of course, don’t actually copy, steal or cheat your way into building your business, we all know that.
But don’t be your own barrier. Don’t hold yourself back, don’t get in your own way. And that’s just something that I think is really important and it comes up so frequently in our conversations with copywriters behind the scenes and a good way to think about it is just like, there is not just one orthodontist in the world who specializes in fixing teeth, there is not just one dermatologist just who specializes in skin diseases. And so, there is not just one copywriter who can specialize in whatever that problem is. There’s more than enough opportunity and so hopefully you aren’t holding yourself back if there’s something that you really want to own, but you’re afraid to own it.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, like you said, we see this all the time where people will say, I can’t talk about conversion copywriting because somebody else is already… I learned that from Joanna or I picked it up from this other source or I can’t talk about brand voice or website copy or this approach to email because somebody else is already doing it. And I really like your comparison to the orthodontist. It’s not just there’s more than one orthodontist fixing teeth, there’s probably more than one orthodontist in your neighborhood that’s doing it. The world is so big and there’s so much space and I think this is one area where nicheing really helps because if you’re talking about email copy or brand voice or whatever, to your niche, as opposed to insular group of copywriters like us, this is all new information to most of those people and it’s helpful to all of those people.
And if you hold back because somebody else got there first, your niche isn’t going to hear about this thing. And so yeah, I 100% agree. If you feel passionate about some area of your business, talk about it. Talk about it in your way, create your own ideas around it, talk about it using your own unique stories, maybe even create a framework around it and talk about it your way. There’s plenty of space to share your expertise and knowledge without stepping on other people’s toes. And of course, you’re going to do it ethically. We’re not recommending you steal somebody else’s processes or any of that, but yeah, don’t hold yourself back. I love that.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And because we’re speaking about orthodontists, out of all the orthodontists in the world, I managed to choose one of the worst ones for my teeth, which is another story for another time.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. There’s an open loop.
Kira Hug: He was insane. I ended up working with a different one because he was just playing with my teeth and moving them around for fun and took us a while to figure that out. So anyway, lots of opportunity for orthodontists, I clearly did not choose the best one.
Rob Marsh: It feels like a story that needs to be expanded on at some point in the future, maybe, maybe IRL is just-
Kira Hug: Or therapy, it’s just for therapy. This is why I have dreams and nightmares about my teeth. Okay. So let’s go back to you Rob.
Rob Marsh: Okay. Next on my list, and this is an idea that I know I’ve repeated on the podcast before, but investing in yourself is never a bad investment. There are all kinds of bad ways to invest, buying fancy cars or something like that. But if you are investing in yourself, if you’re learning a new skill, if you are opening yourself up to new possibilities, that will always, always pay off. And I’m not necessarily saying you should buy every course out there or that you should join every mastermind but think about what you need, think about the holes in your experience or in your skills or in your networks. And if you can find an investment that helps you fill that, and find a solution for that so that you can serve your clients better, so that you can get better personally, that’s always going to be an investment worth making.
Kira Hug: Yes, I stand by that too. Okay. So I’m going to jump over to something that feels relevant today, especially today and always, but we believe it’s okay, it’s actually more than okay to celebrate your business wins even when it feels like the world is burning down, because we need the yin and the yang. So if you look out your window or flip on the TV or flip on a podcast and you just feel down or you’re feeling all the feelings, because that’s how many of us are, you have every right to also feel excited about your business, feel joyful a minute later and celebrate your own personal wins or business wins, we really need that balance. Especially during hard times, to continue to celebrate the joyful moments with meaningful work, I believe that’s important. So I just wanted to share that as well.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I a hundred percent agree with that. If the world is always negative, if everything around you is down, discouraging, that’s not a good place to be, and it impacts us. And of course there are good things happening around us even when there are bad things happening around us. And so looking for the good, celebrating that I think is really, really important. And yeah, so how do you celebrate wins Kira? Are there things that you do to identify or to really make sure that they’re getting recognized and not just glossed over?
Kira Hug: Oh, I should. That’s what I’m saying, I should walk my talk. I think for me, I actually struggle with celebrating the wins and I think you do too. And together, we haven’t been great at that. I know we’re working on that as a team to celebrate our wins. But I think for me, the win is actually just embracing the moment and the feeling of joy or the feeling of wow, I feel grateful for my children, my family, for my home and not feeling shame around that because other people are suffering. And especially again, like when you’re plugged in and you’re just like doom scrolling as we often do. Sometimes for me, I feel like, ah, I shouldn’t feel happy today, I shouldn’t feel good today. But this is just more for me, a reminder that it’s actually okay and it’s more than okay. We need that, like you said, we do not want the world to just dim, because regions of the world are suffering and other people are suffering. So for me, it’s more of a reminder to tap into that.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I agree. Okay. So I want to go back to something on my list and that is simply this, smart business owners find and use mentors and coaches. When I say that, that doesn’t always mean that it’s a paid relationship, although that can be a really good way to get in the right rooms with the right people, but finding people that you can learn from is really, really crucial. And I’ll even take that a step forward and say, it can be really helpful to only listen to one coach at a time so that you’re not getting a ton of different voices and you’re struggling with which things do I implement? What do I work on next? There may be people who that works for them, but in my experience with me and a lot of the other copywriters that I’ve seen is if you’ve got one person that you can work with, that you trust that can give you the advice and help that you need, learn from them. Read every email they send out, listen, show up for every one of their trainings, implement the things that they say, get everything you can out of them before moving on to the next mentor or coach.
Kira Hug: Yeah, I was going to add that if you hadn’t just said. That is a struggle, especially if you stack your mentors and stack your coaches. And I think there is power in having that wise council available to you, but having one person who’s front and center as your go-to mentor during this particular stage in your business and life is helpful so that you don’t have competing ideas and just competing demand on your time. And I did that last year, I had two mentors and paid masterminds I was in and I did feel that pull. It was really hard to execute because I was being pulled in two different directions and had almost too many resources available. And so I actually found that I got less done. And so that’s something that I’m not going to do again, it just doesn’t work for me. So unless that’s how you operate, just be careful before plugging into multiple mentor solutions at once.
Rob Marsh: And that can be a really hard thing too, because there are so many smart people out there. So many things that we want to learn. Like you said, there’s so many good resources, but it does pull from our focus. It makes it more difficult to execute on one or two things that might help us move forward. I also think that this is maybe something that happens as we mature as business owners. When we’re just starting out, of course, we’re looking at as many people as possible. You’re learning from five or six different people and you’re watching what everybody is doing, but as you start to get past the basics, it really helps to start to focus and to really listen to one person in depth. I’m not saying you can’t listen to three or four different coaches who have podcasts or whatever, but what I’m really saying here is, when you’re investing in that relationship, choose the one and learn from them.
Kira Hug: Yes. Okay. So another belief, we believe you can call yourself a copywriter and be an active part of The Copywriter Club even if writing copy is actually a small part of your job. So this is something that comes up frequently in our community too in conversation. We chat with a lot of copywriters who are like, “I don’t know if I can be a part of The Copywriter Club anymore.” Or, “I don’t even know if I should be at TCC IRL because I’m not really a copywriter anymore.” So, that’s okay and many of us really outgrow our role as a copywriter. We may even outgrow that title, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a part of our story and our evolution and how we approach problem solving and the new role and the new business direction.
So, it’s okay to shift from calling yourself a copywriter or a content writer to something maybe more focused and more of a specialty like client acquisition strategist, or messaging coach, or brand strategy consultant or something else, there’s hundreds of titles to choose from. But if you are a part of this club, you are always part of it and just know that we’re always excited to see so many careers unfold in interesting ways and really stem from this copywriting and writing as a core of who we are and how we think and how we process information. And so this is just, it’s normal, it’s normal and we all go through it at different stages and that’s okay. You don’t have to leave the club, you’re always a part of it.
Rob Marsh: I think the awesome thing about copywriting skills is they are so applicable across so many different opportunities. Everything from, we know copywriters who have become stock traders that are using their copy skills to do that, people who have launched their own physical products’ businesses and they’re using their copywriting skills to sell those products, obviously all of the strategists roles, brand voice specialists, there’s many ways that we use our copywriting skills. And I think that’s what’s so great about that skill, it’s a superpower that can just be used in so many ways. And so I agree. Another shared belief that you don’t have to only-
Kira Hug: We haven’t disagreed yet. We need to try harder to disagree here.
Rob Marsh: I don’t think we’re going to disagree on my next one, but this is something that we lean into really hard in the accelerator program where we talk about building a successful copy writing business and all of the business skills that are needed to do that. But this belief is the skills that are required to run a successful copywriting business are different from the skills that you need to be a good copywriter. Business is very different from copywriting. And you need both to succeed as a copywriter.
Kira Hug: Yes, yes.
Rob Marsh: No argument there.
Kira Hug: Well, I was thinking about it too, and I think there’s so many talented writers who are so great. They could be the best specialists in their area, the best writer, most talent, but if they aren’t focusing on the business side, then they could go under, they could lose their entire business even though they have all that talent because they haven’t built systems in their business to attract leads and to make sure that they have healthy lead flow and they aren’t marketing themselves. And they aren’t building processes even to help customers return and clients return. And so I agree. I feel like that is something overlooked and really if you have all that talent like parrot, with focusing on your business and building up those skills and those experiences and those processes, really it’s all tools and processes so that it can help you turn your talent into a business that is profitable.
Rob Marsh: Yep. And I’m just going to add here as a plug that if you are listening to this and thinking, oh, I am a pretty good copywriter, but man I struggle with all of that business stuff, look for upcoming emails about the copywriter accelerator. We’ll be launching again this summer and you can check out and see if that’s the thing that might help you get over the hump because that’s what we focus on entirely in that program, is the business skills that you need to be a good copywriter or to be a successful copywriter business owner.
Kira Hug: Yes. Okay. So I’m going to jump over to one. Okay. We believe every copywriter has a unique X factor. If you dig deep enough and are willing to give it the time it needs, so you can explore, so you can question yourself, question your business and really open yourself up to feedback from peers to figure out what makes you different and better than everyone else at that particular thing that you do as a professional. And so every copywriter does have that unique combination of gifts and talents, experiences, skills, interests and way beyond. And even though we may all use similar processes, similar research processes, and we work towards similar outcomes and deliverables, but we are not the same.
Rob and I have done this several hundreds of times now and helped copywriters figure out their X factor, and we are always able to help them figure it out, but it may take time. And it does take time and it takes digging and the ones who figure it out, are the ones who keep asking questions, digging deeper to figure it out. But we all have it. It’s just some writers do not know what it is because they haven’t worked through the process or are not familiar with the process, or may not even be aware that they don’t know what it is and it could be useful. And the ones who do figure it out have worked through a similar process and have used it to build their business.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I think this is really the key to attracting the right clients to your business. They’re are a myriad of ways to be different and a myriad of ways even to be better than other copywriters, but you really have to stand out. You have to show how you’re different and you have to talk about the things that make you unique. And so knowing your X factor, how that combination of all the things, your experience, your credentials, all the things that you’ve done matches up, lines up with the needs that your clients have, the problems that they have and thinking very deeply about what those problems are. Going well beyond just the initial needs, figuring out where that lines up and how you can serve them in a way that’s different based on your niche, on your deliverables.
There’s so much stuff that comes together here and that is really the thing that makes you stand out from others. And earlier we said that we’re all about collaboration, not competition, and that’s true, but there are also times when a client is trying to choose you over other copywriters. And if you know your X factor, if you know what thing it is that makes you different, unique, better and you’re able to talk about that in an intelligent way, then you’re going to connect with that client more often.
Kira Hug: And that’s where collaboration really comes into play. Because when you’re clear about what you do, how you do it differently, why you’re the best person to solve that particular problem. And then you meet a prospect, a potential client, and maybe it’s not the perfect fit because you’re really clear on what you do and they’re clear on their problem, then this is where you can refer someone else and say, “Well, I can’t help you with this because I do X, Y, and Z, but my friend Rob can help you because this is his specialty.” And so all of a sudden our X factor and these specialties that we have become really helpful to actually support more collaboration instead of playing up more competition. So I think it just helps the ecosystem work more efficiently.
Rob Marsh: Yep. Yep. And we talked a lot about X factor in all of our programs, the accelerator, the underground, the think tank. We try to help everybody because it’s just such a critical piece of the marketing that you do. Okay next from my list, building your authority is the key to getting clients to find you rather than the other way around.
I want to clarify this a little bit because it is possible to be a successful copywriter and just hunker down in your copy cave and get referrals from people you know, but if you want a real steady stream of clients to come to you so you really break out of the feast and famine cycle, or you’re not relying solely on referrals, building your authority in your niche, in your space is the key to doing that. And in order to do that, there myriads of ways to do it, you can be on podcasts, you can build a video show, you can write a book, you can show up and simply offer advice at networking events and social media. But all of those things help build you as an authority, as a celebrity, as an expert in your space and that really truly is the key to growing your business.
Kira Hug: I will add to that you can start any time. You don’t need to wait to build your authority. And that’s something that pops up frequently too, is just, well, I’m not ready, or I need my website copy to be finished before I start building my authority, or I need to have my systems dialed in before I start to market myself. Yeah that’s all helpful and continue to do that work behind scenes and build those systems, but you can start tomorrow and put yourself out there and build your authority and increase your visibility. And you can be a brand new copywriter and have something to offer and to share with your audience. You don’t have to wait and no one is going to tap you on the shoulder.
If we’re working with you, we probably will tap you on the shoulder and nudge you and then maybe even push you, but you don’t need to wait for that and you don’t need that and you don’t need it from us, you can choose yourself and start today and figure out what you do best. Rob just gave a bunch of great examples. You can figure out how to build your authority and even talk about it in a different way. If you don’t even like to think about it like building your authority, if that language doesn’t hit for you, talk about it in a different way that works for you.
But figure out what you do best, how you shine, how do you shine? And it can stem from real life, what typically works well. When do people pay attention to you? When do you light up? It could be content writing and writing a long form article. And you know that if you write a long form blog post that it really hits home with people and they feel connected to it. For me, I feel like it’s so much easier to jump into a podcast and interview someone. Like that is fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s easy and it’s part of our X factor as hosts of this podcast. So that’s something we can do more of and build our authority that way, but it looks very different for everyone and so it’s worth exploring that and playing around with it to figure out what that looks like for you. But there’s something out there for everyone.
Rob Marsh: For sure. And there are things that everyone can do now, having your email list, if you have an email list, emailing them and talking about what you do, documenting the projects that you’re working on, your thoughts, those kinds of things. Showing up in social media is another place where you can start doing it in a small way. And you can experiment with this too. As you throw out ideas, and messages, arguments, whatever, see what resonates and see what people respond to. And maybe you lean into more of that or think about the ideas that you disagree with or that you want to share with the world. Let’s just start putting them out there in a small way and as you then start perfecting the systems, everything else in your business, your authority grows right along with it. And as clients start to come to you, you’ve got everything in place to support them.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And when you say experiment, because we are fans of experimentation in your business, but also we’re not saying dabble, and we’re not saying go out tomorrow and like post on Instagram and then maybe a couple days later post on LinkedIn and then maybe pitch a couple podcasts to speak and guest on podcasts. Experiment in an organized way so that there’s some metrics attached to it. There’s a clear outcome and goal you’re working towards and there’s a period of time you’ve dedicated to this experiment. And there’s some purpose behind it, rather than just random dabbling and playing around. I think you can play in a productive way or just play and lose time and be like, I have no idea what I got out of this and nothing’s working I’m back at square one.
Rob Marsh: Yep. I agree with that a hundred percent.
Kira Hug: We are probably going to agree on this one too Rob, and I’m just going to start making up some new beliefs that we may disagree on because we need more conflict. We need more conflict in this podcast episode. There’s not enough conflict in the world. We need more conflict in this podcast. Okay. We believe your copywriting business can not only provide financial stability and wealth, but it can also be meaningful, it can also make a difference in the lives of your clients. And we also believe your business can be the ticket to achieving those other big goals in your life. So I like to look at the revenue from the business as almost like a ticket to pursuing my other aspirations. And that could be different for everyone. It could be that your business allows you to invest in properties, or it gives you additional income so you can enroll in education and more school to pursue another path or another side career.
It could help you fund another business. Often times you talk to copywriters and they love writing copy for their clients and they’re passionate about it, but they also have this other idea, like the next business. And so we can leverage our copywriting businesses to get to the next business too, which oftentimes, some of us are more passionate about. It even gives you the income to create and fund a new podcast. We know a lot of copywriters are interested in starting podcasts, but podcasts do take time. Rob knows that better than anyone, thank you to our editor Fina.
We have a team to help produce this podcast, it takes a ton of time and effort and resources. And so even just to fund that and to provide resources, to launch a podcast or something similar, all of this can be done. Our small and mighty copywriting business can be the foundation for all of it, so that is all possible. And I think the important part that I have to tell myself is that you can create the wealth and still do meaningful work and not feel bad about the fact that you are generating revenue and creating wealth for your family and hopefully for your team as well while also doing great work that helps other people.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. And I think related to that too, we see this thing happening in the marketing world and in copywriting. Often we see it because that’s our world, but that the goal is a six figure business or to be mid, a hundred thousand dollars plus, whatever. And we recognize that’s not everybody’s goal. Your goal might simply be just to take a couple of projects on to afford another car or to help with the family budget or whatever. Everybody doesn’t need that massive goal, but copywriting can help you achieve whatever your goal is. Some people do have those big goals and copywriting’s perfect for that. And if your goals aren’t those, then they’re smaller, copywriting’s also perfect for that. And I think that leads into my next, we believe, and that is there isn’t one right way to build a business.
A lot of gurus that we see in the world, they’re teaching how they did it. I did these six steps and built a million dollar business and if you join my program, I will show you the six steps and you’ll be able to build a million dollar business too. And that might work for some, but we believe that it’s better to figure out what you want and then get the right support to build that instead of trying to recreate somebody else’s business. So maybe those beliefs all roll in together.
Kira Hug: This is all rolling together because my belief is that we believe plugging into a copywriter mastermind, similar to the copywriter think tank which we offer, allows you to have access to a room full of different experts, different viewpoints, different experiences and skill sets. And that ultimately, that can be the game changer in your business because, like Rob said, now you’re not looking at just one way to build the business. You’re not following one path from one guru, you’re actually opening your eyes and exposing yourself to 20, 30 other people and 30 other ways to run a business and to write copy and to market and to sell. And once you’re open to all of that, you’ll start to figure out what works for you and pull ideas and figure out what also like more importantly, what doesn’t work for you.
And so to me, that’s the best way to get off the one track where you’re like, I’ve got to do it this way, because this person did it this way. And it’s really the ultimate buffet. Any mastermind, if it’s done well, is a buffet of ideas and you can pick and choose, you can go up for extras and also you can put something on your plate and not eat it if you don’t like it, without judgment, which is what I have done many times at buffets. But yes, I think that is the best way to figure out what works for you so you can create a unique business.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Oftentimes we’ve said this, that we want to be the dumbest person in the room. And when we talk about masterminds, that’s a really good approach to have. The mastermind that you and I belong to right now.
Kira Hug: Oh my gosh.
Rob Marsh: We’re like the smallest business in the room. There are some people in the room that have eight and nine figure businesses and we’re not even close to that. But exposing ourselves to the ideas that they have, the things that they’re doing with their marketing, the products that they’re building, the way that they interact with their customers, the sales processes that they have, that just changes the way that we think about our business.
And so, if you’re listening to this and thinking, okay maybe I do want to grow or to do something a little bit different or to see if there’s a different approach that would work for me, find a mastermind where you can be that dumbest person in the room, the smallest business. And oftentimes if you really want to hang out with people who are doing things successfully, it costs money. There are free masterminds, you can create your own mastermind, but to really learn from some of the experts that you might look up to, you may need to pay to join their programs, just to get that exposure. And that’s like I was saying earlier, an investment like that is almost always worthwhile.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And we were in our mastermind call yesterday and they were talking about how there are nine figure business owners in the same room as us. And I was like, there’s no reason I should not be in a room with someone who’s making that much from their business. But then I also was like, I should a hundred percent be in this room because we have something to offer. Rob and I have something to offer to that room. And so I think part of it is when you do step into a room like that, is to know that you also do have something to offer, even if you feel like the dumbest person in the room. And even if you really are the smallest business financially in the room, that you always have something to offer when you show up and you’re just ready to be there and to give back to the group. And so yeah, that’s how I look at it and how I feel better about being the dumbest person in the room that we are in.
Rob Marsh: And even with the mastermind that we run, like the think tank, oftentimes we show up and I still feel like maybe I’m the dumbest person here.
Kira Hug: Me too, all the time.
Rob Marsh: Because the people who are in that group are just, they’re doing amazing things. And the ideas that they share are helping each other. So yeah, there’s lots of approaches here, but maybe it’s just because I’m not that bright that I’m always the dumbest person in the room.
Kira Hug: That is not it Rob, I assure you. That is not it.
Rob Marsh: Okay. Here’s another one. We believe that a lot, maybe even most, marketing problems are really pricing problems and that is, copywriters are not charging for the value that we create or we are undercharging, we often negotiate against ourselves wondering if the client is going to accept the price that we should be charging. We discount in order to land projects. And if we were to price our projects properly, a lot of the marketing problems that we have, finding more clients, bringing in enough leads, those kinds of things start to go away because we have the money from the projects that we are getting, that the problems that we are solving and having products, services, that are priced appropriately helps solve a lot of those lead acquisition marketing issues.
Kira Hug: I will add to that. We believe that the majority of sales problems are actually marketing problems. Would you agree with that Rob?
Rob Marsh: I would. Yeah. If you have done your marketing properly, then the sales almost always will come easy because you’ve basically shown how you solve the problem, you’ve shown that you’ve understood your client’s needs. Those are all things that you can do with marketing. If you have to do them in sales, it means that you haven’t been doing your marketing very well.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And I can think of one copywriter in particular who’s struggled with this because she was landing on all these sales calls, getting referrals. She had a solid referral process in place, great copywriter, but when a prospect was talking to her on a sales call, she knew that they were always talking to at least two other copywriters, because they had a list they were running through. And what she struggled with was her own marketing, because she was not building her own authority and creating marketing messages that differentiated herself and included her X factor. And so once she started to market more effectively and talk about what made her different and show up as the expert that she already was, she was already that expert, just she wasn’t sharing that.
Once she started to do that, then the sales call game changed because that’s when people just jump on a call with you and they don’t want to talk to anyone else. That is the sweet spot where we can get with our own marketing where someone just wants to talk to you, they may even be willing to wait a couple weeks to get on a sales call with you, they don’t want to talk to anyone else. It’s definitely the goal. It takes work to get there but oftentimes if you feel like sales, aren’t working, you get on sales calls and it just never pans out, I would look at your marketing first.
Rob Marsh: Yep. Yeah. Super smart. Related to that belief, we believe that economics matter more than conversion rates. And I think a lot of times as copywriters, we get hung up on conversion rates. We see this asked all the time in our Facebook group, what’s a good conversion rate for my market. Is 4% good? Is 8% good. And when it comes down to it, conversion rates actually don’t matter all that much. What really matters is the cost per acquisition, what it costs you to get a lead or a customer, divided by the lifetime value of that customer. If that’s positive, then you can make money with the business that you have.
If it’s negative, you’ll never make money. And so thinking about your business, this goes back to what we were saying earlier about business skills versus copywriting skills, but thinking about your business like a business, where customers need to be acquired or that you can use these kinds of economics to help your clients so they need to be acquiring customers at a price that is less than the lifetime value that they bring to the business. That sounds like common sense, but we oftentimes overlook it when we’re talking about what we do as copywriters. And so if you’ve got clients that are talking about, you’ve only got a 2% conversion rate, that’s the wrong conversation to be having. The economics and what value you bring to a business are so much more important and we need to be able to talk about those more.
Kira Hug: I like that one. I have nothing to add other than I like that. Okay. I have a couple more we believes. And then I have a couple I believes Rob, that I’m going to add to the mix in a little bit. So we believe you can scale your business beyond what you thought possible and stretch yourself, like really stretch yourself. Even if you have never owned the CEO title, if you’ve never even pictured yourself building a business, or if you never imagined even growing a team, if there are things that you just never thought you would do, it is okay to surprise yourself. It’s okay to pivot. It’s okay to try something that is out of your comfort zone and doesn’t even fit in with your own identity that you’ve created for yourself. It’s okay to do the things that you never thought you would do and just see what happens.
And I think that’s something that speaks to me because so many of the things we’ve done in The Copywriter Club, I never thought I would do. I never thought I’d have a business partner. I never wanted a business partner. I never thought I’d have a team, a growing team. There are many things that I have opened myself up to and kept an open mind and really surprised myself because it’s been incredible. An incredible experience and also super smart move for the business. And so it may not be necessarily taking on a business partner, or growing a team, but what else have you closed yourself off to, what ideas have you closed yourself off to that you could try and possibly surprise yourself?
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I like that. And related to that, I would add we believe that if you want to grow your business and take on those new roles, as you get larger, you need to find leverage in your business. Maybe it involves having a team, maybe it involves having partners that are helping you get things done, maybe it’s bringing people that help you switch from those $10 an hour tasks to a hundred dollars or thousand dollars an hour tasks, but bringing leverage into your business so that you can take on those new roles. You can experiment with your business in new ways, I think is really important.
Kira Hug: All right, I believe this is my last believe. We believe it’s possible to do more good in the world when you’re operating a profitable business. As we all know, and we’ve all been there, when you are stressed beyond belief, over finances, over paying your bills, stressing over your next client or the fact that you don’t have a client lined up all of a sudden, number one, when that happens, just know that you are not alone, this is normal, this happens to all of us from time to time. And you’d be surprised at who it happens to and at what stage in their business, but it happens. So let’s just take the shame out of it and let’s just focus on when that happens, how can you reach out for help? And then number two, when this happens and you’re feeling anxiety and not sleeping at night because of the finances, it is harder to then give to others.
It is much harder to support organizations and nonprofits that you care about, to show up and even to share your voice and be a change agent, if that’s important to you, to pursue new ideas, to problem solve, all of that. If that’s important to you, it is nearly impossible to do that if you are rightfully so distracted and stressed about your business. And so that is something that can help me remember why it’s important to continue to focus on business activities and best practices and taking action and not necessarily freezing in a crisis and just being like, I’m just going to go to bed and I’m not going to deal with this, wake me up when this is all over. That isn’t going to help because if I want to actually create any type of change or be of any use, I need to keep the business running so that I have what I need to give back. And so this is really just a reminder for me.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Your business is a tool that makes the rest of your life work. And yeah, I agree with that. In fact, I would add that we believe there’s no such thing as balance. That life and business is a series of choices and priorities, and there’s no way to fit in everything that you might want to do. And so you’ve got to make choices. You’ve got to narrow down the list and over time, you may be able to accomplish more of those things, but none of us can be everything. None of us can do everything. And so trying to find a balance that works for you with the choices, the priorities that you set matters. And going back to what you were just saying, your business is something that should be a tool for accomplishing that rather than taking over everything or throwing that out of balance.
Kira Hug: What else do you have Rob?
Rob Marsh: So, I’ve got a couple more. We believe that professionals show up as professionals. Copywriters who you show up for calls on time, you deliver what you say, you’re reliable, you deliver at deadline, you don’t charge more than you promised, that’s being a professional. And if you want to be a professional, then you have to act like a professional. And I think my final, we believe with us, we already said this one, but everything is an experiment. Nothing is permanent. You can shift niches. You can change the products that you work on. You can change clients, you can change pricing. Everything is worth playing around with and experimenting, and if it works and it works for you, do more of it. And if it’s not working, it’s not a failure. You’re learning from it and you’re going to do something different. So everything is an experiment.
Kira Hug: We also believe that momentum and confidence, both of those are the key to this entire business building game that we play. And we can all do something, we can control that momentum, we can control the confidence at a micro level so you can feel it daily. And what builds momentum for you will be different than what builds it for me or for Rob. And the same goes for confidence, what builds my confidence may be very different than what builds confidence. But taking some time to really think about, what does momentum feel, that energy of, wow, I’m making progress, this is great. Even if it’s really small progress, baby steps, that’s okay, but what does that for you? Like for me, it’s early mornings. We’ve talked a lot about that, so we don’t need to talk about that, but it’s like, if I can get up an hour earlier and get one thing done in the morning, I feel that momentum and that will carry me through the day and make the difference for me. That doesn’t work for everyone.
And then for confidence, what gives you that confidence? Because really building a business, it’s the confidence game. So what gives you confidence? And again, that’s different for everyone. When I was just getting started as a copywriter, I gained confidence from getting my copy critiqued by other copywriters I respected. Rob is one of them who critiqued my copy early on. Many others that I would ask. I was like, “Can you look at my copy? Tell me what’s good, what’s bad.” And that increased my confidence. And so I would start charging more. I would start putting myself out there more because I was getting that feedback, which I needed. I am somebody who needs that. So whatever it is for you, to build your momentum, to feel the momentum, to feel confident, focus on that and do more of that if that works for you.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I think that’s really important. A lot of people get hung up thinking, well, I’m not going to get on stage until I’m confident that I can do a good job. And the problem is confidence is built in the doing. You couldn’t have said to me, “Well, I’ll share my copy with Rob when I’m more confident.” The confidence came because you shared copy that you weren’t sure about and the feedback act you got was, this is pretty good or here’s a place where you’re doing this and maybe you could do this differently. And that’s the thing that builds confidence. Confidence never comes first. And so I’m glad that you added that.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And you never know what will come out of those micro activities. So for me sharing my copy with a bunch of people, but like with Rob, that was one way we made a connection early on before we became business partners. Maybe that was a seed that was planted in your mind where you may have thought like, oh, Kira, okay, she’s a decent copywriter, maybe I’ll consider her as a business partner one day. So you just never know what will happen when you take that type of action. And then my I believe, although you may believe this as well. But I believe it’s possible to be a new parent and have a baby and all the craziness that comes with that while also growing your company, if you choose.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I don’t believe that. I’m kidding.
Kira Hug: We did it. We did it last year Rob, it’s a fact. While also growing your company or doing whatever else is important to you, it doesn’t have to be growing the company. It could be many different things, but for me, that’s what I believe. And we did make it possible, which is pretty cool.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I like that. It is possible. Anybody can grow a business no matter what your situation is with the right support, with the right attitude, if you can line up those things, anything is possible. I want to add one other personal belief too. And I think you agree with this, but that is that every human being has intrinsic value. Does not matter what you may believe politically, religiously, it doesn’t matter body size, skin color, socioeconomic status, everybody has value. And I think the more that we see that value in each other, the more that we can support each other, help each other to grow, learn from each other and going back to where we started, collaboration as opposed to competition. If we keep that in mind, it makes everything that we’ve been talking about so much easier.
Kira Hug: Yeah. I’m going to add to that one. We’ll just keep adding. That was actually one that I wanted to write down and I forgot, but I also believe that and I know you believe this too, this is what we’ve done with The Copywriter Club, but in a time and world that is highly polarized, that we can come together and I know this sounds very kumbaya-ish, but we can come together with something that we all have in common, because if you’re listening, you are a writer. And so we have this thing that we all share and like Rob said, we have value as humans and we have this in common.
So we can come together with all of our other differences and still come together in a civil way and connect and respect each other and have conversations and try to understand each other even if the only thing we have in common is copywriting or writing of any form. And that is it. This is a way for us to connect more people and community in a bigger way. And I think for us, it’s copywriting and this is our tool to do what Rob said and to see the value in other people.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. And that tool is a superpower and it can change the world if we allow it to.
Kira Hug: Okay, well, I feel like that’s a mic drop moment. We should just end right there. But I also think that we should challenge anyone listening, if you are still listening here to possibly run through a similar exercise, this is something that we did and it was actually really helpful to just articulate some of these beliefs that Rob and I did separate. And if that is something that you haven’t done in your own business, it may be a useful tool to create some new messaging for your own business, especially if you’re working on your website and you’re like, “I don’t know what to say.” Or you feel like you need some new content for social media, this could be helpful. Maybe some new ideas will come out of it that you can use or maybe not, maybe it’s a total waste of time. But you never know so I would challenge you to work through this exercise and if you do it, please share and let us know.
Rob Marsh: Everything is an experiment. And we’d love to hear how that works out for you. So 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 Mintner. If you like what you heard, leave a review on Apple Podcast or share this episode with somebody that you know who will like it. And as we mentioned earlier on in the show, there are still a handful of tickets left for The Copywriter Club, In Real Life happening later this month. You’ll find a link to be able to buy those tickets in the show notes, please come hang out with us in Nashville we would love to meet you in person.
And I guess maybe in the spirit of celebrating wins Kira, we should leak this, but sometime in the next three days, this podcast is going to hit a million downloads, which is pretty big for us. And if you want to help that happen a little faster, maybe just check out another episode of the podcast, download it, listen to it and let us know what you think. And then maybe that’ll happen even faster, but that’s a win definitely worth mentioning and celebrating. And we’ll be celebrating that even bigger in the future.
Kira Hug: No, that’s amazing. And thank you to anyone who has been a part of that millionth download and we will have a toast, I believe we’re having a toast at IRL. So if you want to celebrate that in person, definitely come to IRL because we’re going to throw a big party and we’re going to celebrate the millionth download and many other things. So we will hopefully celebrate with you in real life.
Rob Marsh: Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.