Cover image of Hot Copy: A copywriting podcast for copywriters

Hot Copy: A copywriting podcast for copywriters

Updated 7 days ago

Read more

Secrets of successful copywriters

Read more

Secrets of successful copywriters

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great so far

By Lex-Sea - Sep 04 2019
Read more
I’ve only listened to one episode so far but it really gave me the insight that I needed to be able to figure out if this is something that I want to do. Can’t wait to listen to more. I love the relaxed and informative vibe of the show, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

The Smoke Shows at Hot Copy

By Sullivan, Mike - May 03 2019
Read more
I just started listening to the hot ladies on Hot Copy and they’ve got me all hot & bothered. Each episode is oozing with oodles of actionable tips I can implement in my copywriting business right now. Thanks so much for dropping value bombs, making me laugh, and helping me make money. Thanks! Sully

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings

Great so far

By Lex-Sea - Sep 04 2019
Read more
I’ve only listened to one episode so far but it really gave me the insight that I needed to be able to figure out if this is something that I want to do. Can’t wait to listen to more. I love the relaxed and informative vibe of the show, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

The Smoke Shows at Hot Copy

By Sullivan, Mike - May 03 2019
Read more
I just started listening to the hot ladies on Hot Copy and they’ve got me all hot & bothered. Each episode is oozing with oodles of actionable tips I can implement in my copywriting business right now. Thanks so much for dropping value bombs, making me laugh, and helping me make money. Thanks! Sully

The Best Episodes of:

Cover image of Hot Copy: A copywriting podcast for copywriters

Hot Copy: A copywriting podcast for copywriters

Updated 7 days ago

Read more

Secrets of successful copywriters

Rank #1: E93: Psychology based copywriting tips: Cath Fowler

Podcast cover
Read more

How to use language to persuade and sell

Cold calls. Telemarketing. Infomercials. These words send a chilling shiver down my spine. In a world where folk are over the abundance of “buy my thing” being shouted at them, how do you avoid being lumped in with the salesy slime? How can we tailor our copy to make our users feel comfortable?

Today, Cath Fowler joins Kate to uncover how you can use psychology based copy to persuade and sell. We’ll delve into using clever copywriting to break down trust barriers and create a message your clients will remember.

Tune in to learn:

  • Why you should consider psychology when writing copy 
  • Using active voice and repetition to make your message memorable
  • Why metaphors and similes work so well
  • Using concrete claims to build trust
  • The best way to convey percentages and time
  • Getting bullet points right
  • How to overcome objections
  • The power of because
  • How to create curiosity 

Hot Copy #93: Psychology based copywriting tips: Cath Fowler #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to smilinsamiam from Australia for the lovely testimonial.

About Cath

Cath Fowler is an SEO consultant and copywriter who helps businesses get found and look good online.

Using SEO smarts and compelling copy she will establish your brand as the leader in your local area or industry. She loves working with financial services clients and regional businesses of all kinds – to help the little guys compete on the big stage.

Don’t make her pick which type of client she prefers out of those two. That would be like make her pick between her two cheeky daughters and she just won’t do it.

Connect with Cath


Kate:                            Cath, say hello. Tell us who you are and what you do.

Cath Fowler:                 So I’m Cath and my business is Cath Fowler Marketing. So I’m an SEO copywriter and SEO consultant, and I help businesses get found and look good online.

Kate:                            I like that USP. You have that honed.

Cath Fowler:                 I’ve been practising it.

Kate:                            Yes, we practise those a lot, and it’s a good thing to practise to get that right. It’s part of being a good copywriter, which leads very nicely into today’s topic, which is based on copy but not SEO copy.

Today we’re going to be talking about psychology-based copy tips. So what did you mean, when you came up with that title? What were you getting at?

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah, I mean, I guess just to give you a bit of the background of me. So my background is not … I haven’t studied literature or English, and Shakespeare almost is confusing to me. So when I came to the copywriting world, I almost found I needed a science-based mathematical formula almost to find my sweet spot in copywriting. And I discovered this school of thought that some of the big guys write about, other copywriters in this space, and it’s used quite a lot in conversion copywriting. Copywriting is basically just how you can do improvements for your copy that actually tap in to consumer behaviour and psychology.

Cath Fowler:                 So if you take a step back even from copy, I mean, one of my favourite subjects at uni was consumer behaviour and this is before social media and all that existed in my experience of marketing. But you go to the shops and those chips and those chocolates are on eye-level shelf. That’s all using psychology in marketing. They put those stupid little Kinder surprise things, little chute that you have to walk through in Kmart before you pay for things so my kids see them.

Cath Fowler:                 So there’s little things like that in marketing that I just loved 15 years ago, 20 years ago when I was learning about marketing. So when I became a copywriter, I was like, “Oh, there has to be little tips and tricks that we use in our copy that actually tap into the lizard brain that we have going in there that we don’t even know is driving our thoughts.” Because we actually are quite emotive creatures. We like to think we’re driven by logic, but we’re actually driven a lot by emotion. So that’s I guess where my 11 tips are about today. They’re about subtle things you can do in your copy, and not even being a copywriter. Just subtle changes you can make in your copy that can help to, I guess, use persuasive language.

Kate:                            Yeah, I love that. And I think the thing is often, even though I am copywriter, sometimes I read … I get sucked in by the ads and I’m not quite sure why, and it takes a bit of a step back to go, “What was it about that that compelled me to click? That compelled me to buy? Why was it so easy to flow through that page and buy the thing?” Whereas on others I stop myself before I get to the shopping cart or before I make the call.

Kate:                            So you’ve got 11 tips to share today. Some of them, especially if you’re a copywriter, may seem obvious. But as Cath said before we started talking, often we know these things but we forget to implement them. So I think this 11 point thing is a great little checklist. Maybe we could even make it into a little checklist to just go, “Have I done all these things? Have I ticked off each of these?” So let’s start with the first one, which is one that’s mentioned a lot, but often people don’t understand if they’re not copywriters, and that’s using the active voice. So what do we mean by using the active voice?

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah, so basically, I mean, we would have learned this in your course in the copywriting week. But there’s passive voice and there’s active voice. So passive voice would be me saying, “Some useful tips will be discussed in today’s master class.” Whereas, active voice is, “This presentation discusses some useful tips to improve your copywriting.” So it’s just framing that copy in a way that is a more positive and active tone. Tone’s not the right word. Phrasing.

Kate:                            Structure. Yeah. I find it very hard because we did agree before this that I would then give an example, but I find it very hard to articulate the difference. And so, one little tool that you can use to check if you’re using active or passive voice is the Hemingway app, which we recommend. It’s a free one. And it will just highlight all the instances of passive voice. And once you see them labelled for you, it’s easy to flip it around. Can you just repeat that example, though? Just one more time so I can [crosstalk 00:04:56].

Cath Fowler:                 The passive is, “Some useful tips will be discussed in this presentation,” and the active is, “This presentation discusses some useful tips.” So you’re actually making the presentation part the focus, as opposed to the tips part. So it’s actually saying the same thing. It’s just saying in a slightly different way. And I think at Copy Con last year, Kelly Exeter has some great examples of this, the men ran to the store and she flipped it around.

Kate:                            Yeah. And I wonder why that works. Is it just because it feels more alive? It feels more real? It feels more active? I mean, active, obviously.

Cath Fowler:                 It’s a bit more positive in a way. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but it … The thing is, I mean, I used [Yoast 00:05:51] as well. Me and passive voice are friends. Yoast is always saying I use too much passive voice. And I think it depends what you’re riding for. If you’re writing a sales page, I think you want to be really mindful about using active voice so you’re getting your point across and things like that. But if you’re writing a blog, sometimes you can use more flowy, flowery copy that will put you into a more passive voice state that think is okay.

Kate:                            I think it works well in storytelling. And I think the thing is as well, it’s all about knowing the rules well enough that you’re confident breaking them. So there’s not hard and fast, but Yoast Hemingway app is a good one to find you.

Kate:                            Okay. So the next one is all about repeating the core message in different ways. So take us through point two.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah. So this is basically … If you’re a copywriter or a [inaudible 00:06:43], a wedding entertainment-

Kate:                            Good example.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah. If you’re doing those kinds of things … I said my USP at the beginning which is helping businesses get found online and making them look good. So with my copy on my home page, I repeat that message but I don’t say it the same way. So I’ll say, “I’ll help you get found in Google,” or, “I’ll improve your social media presence,” because that’s another way. So what it is doing is basically … And the psychology behind it is that people need a few instances to actually get a message drilled into their head. So basically there’s a quote that I read that said, “Tell your audience” … And I’m sure Kate has said this so many times. Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.

Cath Fowler:                 So that almost even goes back to my essay writing days in uni. You’ve got the intro, you’ve got the body, you’ve got the conclusion. So they should all have a core theme running through them about the core message that you want to convey in that page. Whether it’s a sales page or whether it’s a blog you want to say what you’re gonna say, say it, and then back it up again. So basically, if you’re selling a widget and the main thing about it is that it will save you time, you want to say it saves time. You want to say gives you back time to spend time with your kids. You want to say will save you three hours in the day. So they’re all similar, but they’re saying the same thing in different ways.

Kate:                            Yeah, I love that, and I think it’s the different ways that’s key. I was looking at one of the students in the current round of the course, she was saying that she was Melbourne something or other photographer, but she literally just use that same phrase four or five times on the page. So actually that kind of repetition becomes irritating. It feels like SEO spamming. So it really is about really understanding what your core is. And so, you’re being found online. Mine’s all about slaying the Google beast and grappling the Google beast and overcoming jargon and all … Yeah. So I think it’s about … To say, well, you’ve really got to know what your message is. And your message has to have a bit of expansion to it. It has to have some room for manoeuvre so that you can come up with different phrases, and if you can’t come up with different ways of expressing it, maybe it’s not a good core message, maybe it’s a bit weak. So I think that’s an interesting challenge.

Kate:                            Okay. Point number three is all about metaphors. And I love a good metaphor, so take us through that.

Cath Fowler:                 Exactly. So basically, how often do you see on websites words like quality, powerful, reliable? Really they’re all words that everyone uses that they’ve just become-

Kate:                            Meaningless.

Cath Fowler:                 Who’s going to say that their product’s not quality or that it’s not reliable or whatever it is. So what you want to do is use metaphors where you can, and don’t go overboard because it can get silly, but you want to use metaphors to back up those phrases. So if you want to talk about a super soft pillow, you say it’s like laying your head on a cloud. No one’s laid their head on a cloud, but you’re painting an image in people’s minds. Or if you talk about, “Our app is the most powerful social media tool on the planet.” You can say something with Zeus-like power or Greek god power or whatever it might be. Find things that backup that. Reliable. You talk about when you have a reliable friend. They’re my rock. So it’s making instances of where you can use a word that really is meaningless now because it’s so overused, and finding a way to make people relate to it in a different way.

Kate:                            I love that. And I think it also evokes different types of emotions. I think often people are frightened of metaphors, because saying something’s got Zeus-like powers might feel a bit much. So I think that’s when we can move to similes, which is when we say it’s as something as a something. Do you know what I mean? So it’s powerful like a … I don’t know. As powerful as a lion or something like that. So it’s not saying it is the thing, it’s saying it’s like the thing. Metaphors and similes always confuse people a little bit.

Kate:                            But I mean, I think you can be bold and metaphors are bold and I think it’s good. If you have strong values and strong characteristics of your products, you should play with that. And playful writing and creative writing will really differentiate your copy from everyone else. So I do think it’s looking for words like innovative, unique, powerful, quality, affordable, and almost highlighting them and forcing yourself to maybe pick two or three that you’re going to swap out with something a bit more creative and a bit more playful, and that’s great advice.

Kate:                            Okay, next point. Point number four is all about concrete claims.

Cath Fowler:                 So this almost backs up the point before about quality and reliable and powerful and all those … Affordable. They don’t mean a lot these days. The same when you make generic claims. So if you say, “We’ll respond to you fast,” or, “Our customers love us,” or, “Our email platform is super reliable.” They actually don’t really mean anything. So instead, that first example, “We will respond fast.” Say, “We’ll respond to you within 24 hours.” Or, “Our customers love us.” 572 clients think we’re fabulous. 872, 5-star Google reviews. Use concrete claims to be able to back up what you’re saying. I guess in terms of reliability, “We guarantee 99% uptime,” you see with like site hostings and things like that. So how can you take something that’s a little bit like people just go, “Meh, everyone’s saying that,” and actually back it up with something a little bit more concrete that you can deliver on?

Kate:                            Yes. I always refer to this as specificity, which I can never say very well. So be specific in your claims, and I talk about how in the course I used to have lots and lots of worksheets. But then I realised that lots means completely different things to different people, as does affordable. And I would say, sometimes affordable is a good one. That’s what I recommend a lot because it will mean different things to different people and that’s okay sometimes. But giving an actual price is much more powerful because then that’s the specifics and people can make a definite choice. So I love that one. I can’t say specificity but I do like specificity.

Kate:                            So the next one carries on from this and that’s actually using percentages and statistics to back up your copy and make it more believable as well.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah. So this is actually also how you can say those percentages. So this is used a lot in the charity space and the medical world. Instead of saying 20% of people will be affected by this disease, or 20% of people will come across this, or 20% of people will need to make a claim. Change that and say 1 in 5 people will be affected by this, because when you suddenly change … 20% means not a lot. And these are so subtle things, but you don’t even know your brain’s processing it differently, because suddenly when you say 1 in 5, you’re like, “Whoa, there’s five people in my family.” 1 in 5 of us could be impacted by this thing. So I think it’s just … That’s more about, yes, it’s using to back up your message, but it’s actually how you frame it makes people think differently.

Cath Fowler:                 And if it’s a negative percentage that you actually don’t want to talk up that much, it might be better conveying it as 20%. But when it’s something like you’re trying to get donations for a charity, you want to know 1 in 2 people in their lifetime will be affected by cancer. That’s far more powerful than 50%.

Kate:                            I love this one. And I think because I don’t have a mathematical brain, it takes me longer to process percentages. It takes me longer to go, “Okay. So 20% of the people spent this much money. Well what is that?” It’s a little bit of a slower get. 1 in 5 makes more sense to me. It’s just an easier guess. A third. See, I don’t even know how to say that-

Cath Fowler:                 33.33%?

Kate:                            No, but like what would 20% be? It’s not a quarter. Fifth! There we go. This is how good at math I am people. But even a fifth for me is easier to get than 20%. But 1 in 5 is the fifth. And I would say that I’m not the only mathematically challenged person out there, so the more … But I also like your reverse psychology tip there. If it’s something you want to hide, then obfuscate it a little bit. Use that percentage to play it down a little bit. I like that.

Kate:                            And the next one is time, and this is the same kind of point how you convey time. So take us through this one.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah. So this is very much similar to the percentage. So this is really applicable for e-commerce stores too. So you could say 7 to 21 days delivery time, or you could say 1 to 3 weeks. Now, what you actually want to do is basically … The purchase process and where someone is is where you want to determine whether you say 7 to 21 days or 1 to 3 weeks. So before someone’s bought something from you, or even I guess it applies to copywriters too if someone’s got to wait 1 to 3 weeks before you can start their job. Before they’ve signed on with you and you’re having those initial conversations, or your e-commerce store before they’ve made the purchase, you want to say 1 to 3 weeks because it’s a smaller number and it sounds like a quicker timeframe. But then once they’ve purchased from you, you want to get into more specifics and you want to say the 7 to 21 days. There’s a bit of research and there was actually … I don’t have the name of it here, but they actually talked about you want to minimise the numbers before purchase and then you want to minimise the units after purchase.

Kate:                            Really interesting. I mean, I look at those and I’m not sure which one seems worse to me. 21 days seems like a very long time, 3 weeks. It’s almost where you go, “Less than a month,” and then it sounds possible. “We’ll turn this around for you in less than a week,” sounds better to me than, “Six days.” But then I’m not doing specificity, but I’m deliberately not doing specificity because 6 days delivery time is shit. Do you know what I mean? You’re hiding the thing by not being specific. So it’s interesting, isn’t it? Which one does everyone else think? Which one sounds better to you? 1 to 3 weeks, I guess, sounds better. They both sound bad, don’t they?

Cath Fowler:                 Maybe I should’ve used a lesser example.

Kate:                            No, no, no. I get what you’re saying, but yeah. Interesting. But I liked that. So minimise before purchase and then minimise units or specify after purchase. Be more clear-

Cath Fowler:                 Yes. So, you’re being more specific. So if they think 1 to 3 weeks, which you’ve said before, but in reality you’re probably going to get that thing on day 20, you don’t want that piss off factor or you don’t want them following you up after seven days if [crosstalk 00:18:38].

Kate:                            Yeah, and I think we would just mitigate this whole thing by saying don’t have a delivery time of 1 to 3 weeks, and then you’re sorted.

Cath Fowler:                 Don’t be in e-commerce if that’s-

Kate:                            If that’s your delivery time, get a different job.

Kate:                            Okay. So the next one is … This is one of my favourite tools and something that is so obvious and yet I do not understand why people do not utilise this beautiful copywriting tool. It upsets me. So Cath, take it away. What is it?

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah, so this is to do when you list bullet points. You want to include the most important points first and last because there’s a thing in psychology that is an effect called the serial position effect. People remember what they saw first and people remember what they see last, and in the middle is where it all gets jumbled up. So your least important points should be in the middle, most important at the start, and at the finish.

Kate:                            I’m just like, “Yes!” To this. Yes! I love this so much. I mean, I just love bullet points, full stop. Look at your page. If it doesn’t have some bullet points on it, add them in. And I love this. This is fantastic.

Kate:                            The other little tip I would pass on on bullet points is to make the start word in the bullet points the same type of word. So either every start word is an adjective or every start word is a verb. So buy our something-something, get something-something, know something-something, and I always bold that first phrase so that literally if someone just scanned that list, they would totally get what the bullets are about. So it’s bold the front phase, maybe then a colon or a dash, and then the rest of the sentence, which to be honest could not be read. So for a recipe course it might be, “3 months of support: in a Facebook group where you can get help and answer your questions.” “7 modules, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah.” And that works really, really well. But that one of putting a good word at the start, because usually you do best to worst, or even worse alphabetical, which I see people doing. But I love that. So it’s the sandwich. It’s all about the sandwich. We’ve talked about this again. Say what you’re going to say, say it again, say it again, and list middle, and then this. Perfect.

Cath Fowler:                 And I think this also applies to global navigation on your website, because you talk a lot about this in your [inaudible 00:21:02] reviews. You actually place the information. Your contact should be last because you want people to actually click there and that’s the action you want to take. You want your about and services towards the front. Then whack your testimonials and fluffy stuff in the middle. So it can apply as well to bullet points and I think website navigation.

Kate:                            And I think it can apply to sales page copy. So you have your killer opening paragraph. Then you have all your meat, your lettuce, your tomato, and you can see this in the recipe homepage. It’s the core message right at the top, and then that core message repeated at the bottom, and in the middle it’s all stuff that people might scan through and might be interested in. But it’s got what it is at the top and the pricing at the bottom, which are the two most important elements.

Kate:                            Let’s move on to the next one. I think people struggle a lot with this because I think … So this is about creating a sense of urgency. I think there’s a lot of false urgency created. It’s not the term I’m looking for. False scarcity is done as well. So how do we create a sense of urgency without it just being bullshit? I guess.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah. And there is a lot of bullshit and that was the point I was going to make. You have all these business coaches and things saying, “Sign up for this,” and then it ends. But then you clear cookies and then it’s another three day countdown bullshit. So don’t do that. People are smarter than that. Most people are anyway. But FOMO is real. So Kate actually does this pretty well with actually having real scarcity with her cause, and Copy Con, and I’ll give you my examples.

Cath Fowler:                 The mastermind, coming up for Copy Con, I knew there was only 20-odd places. I was driving home from Sydney to Coffs Harbour when the tickets went on sale, and I didn’t want to miss out. So we pulled to the side of the road on the highway, I got my laptop out, hotspotted to get my ticket because I-

Kate:                            I love that. I love the panic I induce. That’s right.

Cath Fowler:                 It wasn’t done in a fake way. It was completely authentic and the FOMO for me was real. Amazon actually does this quite decently as well from an e-commerce perspective. If you go and have a look, they’ve got limited time offers. And I’m not talking sales and stuff because I don’t think you have to do sales every now and all the time because then it just is useless. But literally do have things like this as only for three days or whatever it might be, and then the price … Or if you’re creating a course, this is a been around and then it’s going up. Those things can be done as long as they’re done authentically.

Kate:                            I think you need to be really careful as well. I don’t think you should cross over your scarcity. So I don’t think you should have time and price scarcity. So this year for example with Copy Con, I had no early bird pricing because I’m like, the scarcity is there are only 150 tickets. There are only 30 for the Mastermind, 100 for the conference. That’s it. That’s the scarcity, and they’ve always sold out. So that’s the scarcity. So I don’t have price as well.

Kate:                            And I think the other thing is if you’re going to do things like discounts on your services or even on your shop, you have to have some breaths between them. For example, if you’ve just done, “Hey look, you get 20% off with this discount code,” and lots of people order, and then 2 weeks later you have a 30% off discount sale, and it’s like … Actually, I just feel a bit duped because she said that this was a good deal, and now you’re just doing an even better deal and I just bought the thing. I think you’ve got to have some space between them while you’re actually charging your regular pricing.

Kate:                            And also you have to be consistent, because as you said, the whole cookie thing … And if you’re in service, the cookie thing with shops and the whole, “You have 10 minutes to get this in your cart. If you don’t buy it, it’s going to” … I hate that. Actually makes me feel quite sweaty and not want to buy. But if you’re a service-based business and you say, “Hey, I’m doing a special deal on blog posts or this or this offer,” and then you find out that’s actually the regular price because your mate emails you two weeks later and they get the same quote. I feel duped. And any duping like that leaves such a negative taste in the mouth. Worse than getting no offer at all.

Kate:                            I remember I signed up for, I think it was Webinar Ninja or Webinar Jam. One of them’s good, one of them’s bad, and I should know which. But it was constantly the countdown clock. You’ve got 24 hours to get it at this price. And so I panicked and I bought it. Next Day, went back to the site, it had reset. And it actively made me hate them, unsubscribe, and move to the other platform, which I think was Webinar Ninja. So you’ve got to be so careful, I think, don’t you?

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah, absolutely. One example that I think does it well, or maybe I’m just a sucker, is the airlines. Where they’ll say underneath the price, “1 seat left,” “5 seats left.” That gets me a little bit like, “Oh, I better book this.” Yes, it’s using the scarcity, and maybe it’s bullshit. I don’t know if the price is going go up. I’ve worked in the travel industry before, and with car hire we did do it. Once we sold this many cars, the price went up. So I think the airlines works similar, but that’s one that sucks me in because they have the underneath, “5 seats left at this price.” Oh my God, I better book my Copy Con tickets.

Kate:                            Oh yeah. And the travel hotel websites where it’s like, “5 other people are looking at this hotel right now.” And you’re like, “Oh, my god.” And I’m not sure it’s true either. And little easy ones are e-commerce stores, which is not so much scarcity, but a good little psychological tip is there’s a little plugin for WordPress. I think it’s called [Beakerting 00:26:36], which just pops up and says, “Someone in Whoop Whoop, Australia just bought one of these.” And you’re just about to either buy that product, and that gives you that bit of affirmation. Okay, well, Sue just bought it. I’m going to buy it. But it also does that thing of going, “Ooh, shiny object. I might buy that as well.” So that’s not the same thing, but I just think it creates a sense of affirmation as well as urgency, which is quite helpful. So if you’ve got an e-commerce store, it’s very much worth checking that out.

Kate:                            So the next one is a big one. We’re up to number nine, how to overcome objections. So obviously, everybody lands on your page wanting to buy from you but feeling worried about buying from you. They want the thing, they’ve Googled the thing, they’ve found you, but now they’re like, “I’m not quite sure. Get me over my fears and worries.” How do we do that?

Cath Fowler:                 I’m going to use the e-commerce example of one that I think does this really well. It’s The Iconic. So basically free shipping and returns always helps, because objections are, “Oh, my god. I want to buy this dress but it’s then going to cost me $20 postage,” and then returns, “If this dress doesn’t fit me, will it be easy to return?” And I’ve purchased stuff from The Iconic before. It’s a super easy process to return stuff. So if you’re an e-commerce store, free shipping, if you can afford it, or at least be transparent about shipping and not hit it on people last minute. And returns, make the returns process easy. Say things like your information is safely secured. You’ve got the SSL certificate on your website. We’re using encryption. It doesn’t need to be the core message on your page, but if people are searching out and needing insurance that you have a secure checkout process, say that your process is secure.

Cath Fowler:                 And if you’re talking about courses and things or things a bit more in that space, money back guarantees. Pretty much every big entrepreneur player in the world will write a 30-day money back guarantee on their course. It’ll have a conditions within an inch of its life that you actually have to prove you’ve done the work, show your notes, blah, blah, blah. No one’s getting their money back ever. People say, “Money back guarantee,” and people go, “Okay, well if I’m investing $1000 in this course, at least I can get my money back if-”

Kate:                            I have to stop you there. I just want to say that not all of us do that, Cath.

Cath Fowler:                 I know.

Kate:                            I don’t have a 30-day guarantee. I have a two-week guarantee and you don’t have to prove anything. It’s just that I’ll give you it back. But it’s only two weeks and that, I think, makes it a bit different. And in the last four years, I’ve had two people take that just because they bought it in a mad panic. That sense of urgency can lead to buyers’ regret. So you have to really be careful about that as well, which means as soon as someone’s bought something from you, you have to show value as quickly as possible so that someone goes, “Yes! I bought the thing and I feel good about buying the thing.” But yes, I agree with you. I think guarantees work really well.

Kate:                            I think examples of other people … I think what I’m trying to say is, you’ve got to know what the customer’s objections are and they’re going to be different for every single thing. So for example, we’ll use the wedding example again. If I was to book a band for a wedding, my biggest concern would be that they’re not going to play the music that I want them to play, that they’re going to turn up late, which would be … That’s going to panic me. And that they’re not going to be great at communication. Those are the things. You’ve got a lot of moving parts in a wedding, so those would be my big objections. So if someone had a website covering that topic, you’d need to cover those off. And you can do it in lots of different ways with statements. You can also do it with FAQs, guarantees. We guarantee blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, or you get your money back. We guarantee the band will contact you within 24 hours or you get your money back. It’s things like that.

Kate:                            So you’ve got to really know your audience to breakdown their objections and then reassure them that you’re going to do that. And then we’re coming to the next one, which I think ties into this as well. Because we’re talking about almost manipulating people. It’s evil, Cath. But then I like this one because it’s giving people back their free will. So explain what you mean by this.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah. So what I mean here is obviously with persuasive copywriting, sometimes you can feel, like you said, you have the buyer’s remorse, you were sucked into buying with that 24 hour thing, and you’re like, “You have manipulated me.” No one wants to feel manipulated when they make a purchase. So there’s actually things you can do in the copy and the language that you use that yes, you’ve got those hard hitting, powerful, persuasive messaging, but you actually in the end put the power back with them. But you’re free to think about it, or, but you’re free to ask me questions. So a phrase like, “But you are free,” puts them back in control. And you don’t want to specifically say, “But you’re free to decide you don’t want to buy this from us.” But you can say, “But you’re free to ask us more questions,” or, “You’re free to make sure it’s the right time for you to do this course,” or whatever.

Kate:                            Yeah, I like that. And I think, one thing that I do on my page is I talk about who the course is for and then I very, very clearly outline who the course is not for. Even these copy tips can apply to even when you’re talking to people on the phone and you’re trying to sell them into your service. I will often say, “I’m not going to sell you into this. I don’t want anyone taking this course who doesn’t genuinely want to be on this. I don’t want anyone working with me who doesn’t genuinely feel I’m a good choice, because I don’t want you being dissatisfied and going out into the world and being negative about it. So the choice is yours. I can give you the facts. I can give you the features. But at the end of the day you have to feel good about making this decision.”

Kate:                            And that’s not necessarily reverse psychology. I guess it is to a degree, but it’s saying, “No, I’m not going to sell you. I’m not going to tell you that this is the right thing for you. I’m going to give you all the information that I have and maybe use some of these little tricks a little bit, and then,” yeah, I love that. But the choice is still yours. Do not click that buy button unless you feel good about it, and I think that’s so, so important. I love that and I love that line, “But you are free to.” And I think it’s having little phrases like that that make copywriting easier, and little swipe file phrases that you just write. Whenever I write a sales page from now on, I’m going to remember to include Cath Fowler’s little line, “But you are free to.” I think that makes it super powerful.

Kate:                            So talking of powerful … God, I’m so good at these segues. The final point, number 11, is the power of-

Cath Fowler:                 I do have a 12th one I forgot.

Kate:                            Oh, did you? There’s a bonus point. Okay. The power of because. Take us through this one.

Cath Fowler:                 Yeah, so I’m actually going to refer and read out some things here. So there was a study done in 1978 to illustrate the effect of justifying things by using the phrase, “Because.” So it was basically people were standing in line to use a Xerox photocopy machine, and the first person said, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” The second one just says, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” The third one, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies.” So you’ve got because I’m in a rush. No, because. Because I have to make copies. That’s what photocopiers do.

Cath Fowler:                 But what was actually proven from that study was when people said, “Because I’m in a rush, 94% of people agreed to let them go in front.” And 93% of people allowed people to go in front when they said, “Because I have to make copies.” So a fluff thing that doesn’t even mean anything, 93% of people still obliged to let that person in front. Where only 60% of people agreed to someone cutting in when they didn’t have that because. So actually, when you’re using language, think about how you can tie in a because. And to be honest, people use this in sales a lot, in sales conversations. They say, “Because it will do this.” So just simply the power of using that word in your copy can make a difference. It will justify as to why they should let you do something.

Kate:                            Yeah. Not just stating bald facts. I mean, I think it comes into everything. It’s the features and benefits and advantage thing as well. People going, “We have 20 years experience.” I don’t care. How does that help me? Do you know what I mean? We’re the perfect people to help you. That’s not going to help me. We’re the perfect people to help you because we’ve worked with businesses like you before and blah, blah, blah. So yeah, I think that’s a great little little cheat sheet tool as well.

Cath Fowler:                 Even use it on the phone with people. I’ll say, “Yeah, okay. So I can send you through a proposal, but because I’m taking bookings in advance, you want to make sure that you lock it in. Otherwise we’ll be doing this in January or Feb.” So I bring those things even into my conversations with clients.

Kate:                            God, I’m not calling you up. You sound terrifying. What was your final bonus tip?

Cath Fowler:                 And you actually do this as well in your email campaigns, Kate, is you want to get people curious. This is quite specific to email, but you know how you use personalization? So people love that. That’s one thing. But also in subject lines … I want to give an example that I found online of Barack Obama used when he was running for office. These are three subject lines he used. “Hell no.” “This is potentially devastating.” “Meet me for dinner.” Don’t you want to open and know what those three emails are about?

Cath Fowler:                 That’s my last tip is, if you’re an e-commerce store, you don’t necessarily have to say in your subject line, “20% off sale on now.” You can get a bit smarter with getting people to open it. And of course, you have to [inaudible 00:37:06] open rate with then once they open it, the message has to relate to it. You don’t want people to feel tricked into opening it. But piquing people’s curiosity is a big one. And something that leads onto that as well, I’ve heard a lot of school of thought, is having a PS line right at the end of your email, because people are like, “Oh, what’s this little tidbit of information at the end?” So people are naturally curious. How can you play on that?

Kate:                            Tweak that curiosity. I mean, I think we had a lot of this with clickbaity blog headlines and being a bit unusual and using unusual adjectives. And of course, with email subject lines, the problem is you can’t really use percentages and pricing in your subject lines because it will get flagged for spam. So that little bit of curiosity, it does really work. I think the truth is, I would open any email from Obama, but those ones were great examples. And I just think it’s being again … Another little tip for psychology. Be a little bit playful. Step outside the norm and don’t be so conventional. People like to play, people like to be entertained, and that can make them think.

Kate:                            So I think those were amazing tips. I’m just going to do the TLDR version of them. So use active voice. Repeat the core message in different ways. Use metaphors and similes. Specificity. Make generic claims concrete. Convey percentages with more impact. Convey time with more impact. The bullet points, most important one at the start and the end. Create a sense of urgency and scarcity, but not false urgency and false scarcity. Overcome objections. Use the line, “But you are free to.” Give the customer back their freedom. Use the word, “Because,” to justify your statements. And finally, create curiosity. Cath Fowler, that was amazing.

Kate:                            So to finish off, where can people find out a little bit more about you?

Cath Fowler:                 Sure. So if you just look up or just Google Cath Fowler and you’ll see the whole page is pretty much me these days. Just Google Cath Fowler and you won’t have to look too far to find me. But if you’re looking for a blog on this, you won’t find that on my website.

Kate:                            This is awesome. Yeah. So you can Google Cath Fowler Marketing. She’s obviously a graduate of the recipe for success, and probably one of my most dedicated students who’s actually applied what she’s learned, which is always rather satisfying. Well, thank you very much for that, Cath, and thank you for everyone who’s here to listen.

The post E93: Psychology based copywriting tips: Cath Fowler appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Feb 06 2019



Rank #2: E73: Writing conversational copy with Vikki Ross

Podcast cover
Read more

All the chat, zero cheese.

These days we’re all aiming to make a deeper, more real connection with our customers, and we know the way to do this is through conversational copy.

Instead of stuffy, overly formal content we want to create warm, engaging, friendly wordage. Copy that makes it feel like we’re chatting with an authoritative, but affable buddy.

But how do we write great conversational copy? Today we’re talking with Vikki Ross, and we’re going to share our top tips for chatty, non-cheesy copy.

Tune in to learn:

  • The definition of conversational copy
  • How to use storytelling in conversational copy
  • The different conversational tones
  • Whether a conversational tone work better in some medias more than others
  • How to persuade your client to let you use a conversational tone
  • How to be conversational without being cheesy
  • Whether a conversational tone works for non-English readers.

Hot Copy #73: Writing conversational copy with Vikki Ross  #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for the listeners:

Do you like writing chatty copy?

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Hot Copy #73: Writing conversational copy with Vikki Ross  #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Nikita Morrel for a fantastic review of the show.

About Vikki:

Vikki has been writing copy for 22 years.

Her clients include huge UK entertainment brands like Sky, NOW TV and ITV, and she regularly works with creative agencies like Sapient, WCRS, and Portas.

She specialises in Branding and Tone of Voice, and runs workshops around the world for D&AD and Creative Equals, as well as teaching copywriting at London’s School of Communication Arts.

She’s a regular judge on international creative awards panels like D&AD, D&AD New Blood, DMA, Creative Circle, and AD STARS Korea, and last year was named one of Campaign magazine’s top 30 female creative leaders.

On Twitter, she created the #copywritersunite hashtag to connect copywriters online every day, and in person at quarterly #copywritersunite meet-ups across the UK. She also created #thingsyouhearinagencies, which you can find at @AgencyQuotes.

Two years ago, Vikki and fellow British copywriter Andy Maslen created Copy Cabana – an annual seaside event to celebrate copywriting. It’s all change this year so keep an eye out for an exciting announcement very soon.

Useful Links:

Find Vikki:




The post E73: Writing conversational copy with Vikki Ross appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Apr 18 2018



Rank #3: E91: Time saving tips for busy copywriters: Kate Christie

Podcast cover
Read more

Investing your time instead of spending your time.

Time. It’s the most elusive asset you have and yet few copywriters seem to be able to control it.

What do you do when you’ve run out of time? You can’t buy more.  We’ve tried. 

So, how do you choose what’s worthy of investing your time in and what’s not? How do you avoid the time traps that are laid all around us?

In this episode, we chat to the renown time master, Kate Christie about the biggest time pitfalls and how you can end the time race once and for all.

Tune in to learn:

  • The difference between Time Investment and Time Management
  • What the 4 cost lenses are
  • What the SMART Time Investment framework is
  • What Parkinson’s law is
  • The framework for a once off piece of work
  • The 3 biggest time challenges Kate Christie sees
  • Top 3 tips for getting time back immediately

Hot Copy #91: Time saving tips for busy copywriters: Kate Christie #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to Catherine Sempill for a stellar review.

Share the meme:

About Kate

Kate Christie, Founder & CEO of Time Stylers is a Time Investment Expert; International Speaker; and best selling Author. Kate consults to big and small business, government departments and C suite executives on maximising individual time spend and managing organisational drag through smart time investment strategies. She has appeared on television, radio and in print as a leading commentator on time management and maximising work/ life integration to ensure your success across work, family, community, and life.

With a reputation for helping her clients find 30 hours of lost time a month, Kate’s focus is to ensure you are left educated, entertained and with a lasting impact on the way you choose to live, work and play.

Connect with Kate

Useful Links:


Kate Toon:                          Time, it’s the most elusive asset we have, and yet a few copywriters seem to be able to control it. What do you do when you run out of time? You can’t buy more, I’ve tried, and now I think I’ve scared the assistant at the grocery store.

How do we choose what’s worthy of investing our time in and what’s not? How do we avoid the time traps that are laid all around us?

In this episode, we’re chatting to the renowned master of time, Kate Christie about the biggest time pitfalls, and how you can end the time race, once and for all.

Hello, and welcome to the Hot Copy Podcast, a podcast for copywriters, all about … you guessed it, copywriting. My name is Kate Toon, I’m a copywriter, the founder of The Clever Copywriting School, an online hub for all things copywriting, with courses, jobs, a community and so much more. And with me is the delicious Belinda Weaver.

Belinda Weaver:               Hi, my name is Belinda Weaver, I’m a copywriter, and my business is copywriter matters. That’s where you can find tonnes of content, coaching, and courses on all things copywriting.

Kate Toon:                          Hoo rah! And we also have with us Kate Christie. Hello Kate Christie?

Kate Christie:                     Hello ladies, how are you?

Kate Toon:                          It’s lovely to have you hear, she’s seen behind the scenes, and seen what utter buffoons both Belinda and I are, but she’s humouring us. So Kate, we … well I, we didn’t meet, we kind of met. I saw you, I think I touched your coat at the Flying Solo event, where you presented a fabulous presentation all about time management.

I made so many notes that I even turned it into a pretty organogram diagram, and shared it on Instagram. Which you may not remember, but I don’t do that for everyone, so you should have been very impressed.

Kate can you just tell us a little bit about you, who you are, what you do, and who you do it for?

Kate Christie:                     Okay, look, well thank you very, very much for having me and for that lovely introduction. I am a time management expert, I’m the mom of three teenagers, which in itself is a challenge.

I am the best selling author of a number of books. My new book is about to come out which is exciting, and we can talk about that later maybe. And I am very much focused on making sure that both men and women never feel that they have backed themselves into a corner where they basically have to choose between things they love doing [inaudible], through lack of time.

And I think that time is the one thing that we all have exactly the same amount of, no one can buy more or steal more or secure more. So if as a business owner, as a parent, as a productive member of society, if you’re able to invest your time wisely, then you’re actually going to sort of run the race faster and better than the people who don’t.

Kate Toon:                          I love that, and a couple of things to touch on there, does that kind of mean going around saying, “You have exactly as much time as Beyonce?” I don’t know why Beyonce is given as the example of the time master, but there you go.

But one of the phrases that you use a lot in your presentations and your books, is you talk about time investment rather than time management. Why that phrase, Why investment?

Kate Christie:                     Look, time management for me I think … and for a lot of people I’ve spoken to, just has such negative connotations. It’s this whole thing around, “Oh God, I need to manage my time better” or “I’m not managing my time well” or “I want to manage my day.”

It just has a negative connotation, because it’s almost like a task oriented, “I must do better.” I think if we flip it around and think of that time as something you need to invest, your time is like your money, your time is money.

And we consciously approach the growing of our wealth with an investment attitude. You’re going to put your money in the bank that has the highest interest rate. You’re going to borrow money for your mortgage at the lowest interest rate. You are going to …You set yourself financial goals, we all have financial budgets, and that they [inaudible] a positive discussion around investing your money for the greatest possible return.

That’s the way we have to start thinking about our time. It needs to be invested for the greatest possible return, not managed.

Belinda Weaver:               Oh, I like that-

Kate Toon:                          I like that, because it’s our biggest asset. As you said, managing stuff just sounds, well frankly quite boring and horrible. So I love that approach.

I’ll passover to Belinda, because we’re going to talk about the way that you invest, so the cost lenses. Because Belinda didn’t see your presentation, she’s like, “What?”

Belinda Weaver:               I want to find out. But I love … I think the idea with this time management is this idea of wrangling time as well. It’s something out of or control, and that we have this big problem getting it under control.

But I want to hear more about this cost lenses, so my notes here tell me that they’re four cost … is it cost lenses?

Kate Christie:                     Yes-

Kate Toon:                          [crosstalk]-

Belinda Weaver:               I want to hear them. What are these things?

Kate Christie:                     I guess it is intrinsically lined up with this concept of investing your time. And one of the things I say is or I talk to people about is that for any given task you perform, you always want to ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time?”

“Am I, Is this time investment I’m making right now the absolute best use of my time?” Because if it’s not, choose a different task.

Now one of the ways you can determine whether or not what you’re working on is the best use of your time is to look at that task through four different cost lenses.

The fist cost lens is financial cost. Your time is money, we all have … we can all allocate an hourly rate to ourselves. Whether or not you work in a business or if you’re a copywriter who’s charging by the hour or by the project, ultimately you can identify and allocate yourself an hourly rate.

And honestly, the higher the hourly rate, the better for the purposes of this exercise, because you are actually putting a fee on your time.

A good example of this is if your hourly rate is $50, so that’s what I’m going to charge my clients to produce this piece of work $50, and that’s the lens you should be looking through for all the tasks you perform.

If you’re putting together a piece of work for your clients, and you’re going to charge an hourly rate of $50, then if you’re spending an hour a day on Facebook, then you should be thinking about that as costing you $50.

And $50 times an hour a day across the year is $18,250 of your time. But is this the best use of my time?

Kate Toon:                          I remember during the presentation, the collective drawing in of breath once you gave that number out, because we all realised … especially now with our new apps that have a thing that tells us how much time we spend on social-

Kate Toon:                          It’s actually disgusting-

Kate Toon:                          And that one really shocked everyone, didn’t it?

Kate Christie:                     It does, and I think you can talk about the costs, but when you actually give people hard numbers, I think that’s when it resonates. The second cost lens is opportunity cost. Every time you perform a particular task, there’s something else you could be doing or a number of other things you could be doing.

Kate Christie:                     All right, so the second lens that I’d like you to think about is thinking about opportunity cost. Every time you perform a particular task, there’s always another task or multiple other tasks you could actually be performing. And if opportunity cost resonates with you, then the question is, well look, is this really the best use of my time, from an opportunity cost perspective?

If you’re choosing to spend an hour or two a day faffing around in admin, when you could be spending an hour or two in income generating, bottom line, revenue generating tasks for your business, then that’s your opportunity cost.

The third cost lens is emotional cost. “How I’m I going to feel about how I’ve been spending my time?” This one often sort of comes into play with your kids or with your family, particularly for women in business. It’s sort of like, if you’re distracted or you’re focusing on your business all the time, and you’re half focus on the kids, and you’re not having that conversation. And they’re just, okay, saying, “Mom you’re not even listening”, and then someone’s crying-

Kate Christie:                     And then you miss [crosstalk], because you’re at a meeting. And later on you turn around and you think, “God, I actually feel pretty shitty about how I spent my time.” So it’s an emotional cost.

Mine plays out on a Sunday mooring when I’m yelling at everyone to help me clean the house. “I’m not your slave”, and “For God sake, just clean up your floordrobes.” “This house isn’t a hotel.” And then my teenagers will manipulate that, and then they make me feel horrible afterwards, and that’s an emotional cost.

The final cost lens is physical cost, which is pretty much, any task you’re doing makes the pain, physical and mental pains or headaches, anxiety, stress, guilt, sore back from sitting in front of your computer all day, then that’s the physical cost.

The idea really is to think about which of those cost lenses really resonate with you, because they’ll be one or two that are more impactful for each of your listeners. That’s the cost lens they should seize on, so that when they’re performing a particular task, they can stress test it, and, “Is this actually the best use of my time?” If it’s not, then make another decision.

Kate Toon:                          I love that. So financial, cost opportunity cost, emotional cost, and physical cost. So those are the four cost lenses. The other thing you talked about at the event was the SMART time investment framework.

So really thinking about the greatest return on investment. How does that SMART time investment framework play out?

Kate Christie:                     So this is something that anybody can do, once you actually know and understand the frame, you can do it annually, it’s sort of a bit of annual detox.

SMART is an acronym, it’s five steps, the first step is self aware, the second step is map the third step is analyse, the fourth step’s reframe, and the fifth step is take control.

Just in summary, self aware, the process there is to understand exactly what is challenging you from a time investment perspective. So where do I keep tripping up? I’m I getting bulked down in emails? I’m I constantly procrastinating? I’m I allowing interruptions? I’m I distracted?

So getting an understanding what they are. But also then getting an understanding what your key values are, because your values are, sort of demonstrate, demonstrated through your behaviours during the day. And if you know exactly where you want to be spending your time, and what’s most important to you in terms of values, that makes it very easy for you to say yes and no to particular requests that come your way.

The second step is map, and that’s where you map a couple of days of your life, from the moment you get up to the moment you get to bed. It’s highly highly tedious, however the results or the data you get, the data set is amazing. Because you’re going to see things like how often you’re distracted, how often you’re multitasking, how often you’re in and out of your emails, who’s actually interrupting you, how often you’re interrupting yourself.

Over 40 percent of the times you are interrupted during the day are self generated. So you’re going to flush out that sort of data.

Step three, analyse, is basically you take all the tasks from your maps, and you categorise them either, as either a must, a want, something that you can delegate or outsource or in source, and something that you could reject. And that’s also when you cost your time, so we’ve talked about the cost lenses.

Step four, reframe is where you basically say, “These are the changes I’m going to make”, because we are all creatures of habit. I’ve now identified the sort of four or five really crazy habits that are costing me time.

And then step five, take control, is you’re actually, that’s the implementation step. You actually go out and make the changes.

Kate Toon:                          I love this, this is something we’ve talked a lot about on the podcast before. We’ve talked about using Toggl for our listeners who are listening, using Toggl to track your time, and look at all your task.

And yes it’s a laborious, and it gets really annoying. But one thing it really trains to do is to stop jumping from task to task as well. And this isn’t a question that we had, but something that I loved from your presentation was the whole notion that multitasking is a bit of a myth. There’s only a tiny percent of people who can actually genuinely multitask.

What we’re really doing is just doing a bad job of a lot of things at the same time. Do you want to expound on that a little bit?

Kate Christie:                     Yes. I think often as women we pride ourselves on being great at multitasking, and we’re actually shooting ourselves in the foot on this one. Ultimately the reason why people multitask is that they have a belief that the more tasks they have opened or managed the same time, the more they’re actually going to get through. And it’s the absolute opposite of that.

Multitasking is proven to reduce your productivity by 40 percent, which is the equivalent of losing a nights sleep. It’s the equivalent of [crosstalk] IQ points.

Now, an example of multitasking could be when you’re sitting at your desk trying to write, and you’ve got your computer open, and you’re doing your copywriting, and you’ve got your emails flashing in the top right hand corner of the screen, that’s multitasking.

Having your phone on the whole time, having it buzzing or on alert. Having a system where your staff or your family or your kids or whoever can just come in and interrupt you at any given time, they’re all examples of multitasking.

And it’s a killer, it’s an absolute killer. Imagine the productivity increase you would get if you were just able to single focus on one task at a time. To, and eschewing all distractions, your productivity goes through the roof.

Belinda Weaver:               That’s something we talk about on the pod as well Kate, and I use the Pomodoro technic, which is setting a timer for 25 minutes, and just focusing on one thing. And we … I don’t know about you Kate, but I can’t do it all day, because I’m so damn productive that I’m just exhausted.

But I loved what you talked about then, is multitasking isn’t necessarily just … I would have thought multitasking is actively doing slots of different things. But I love this idea that multitasking is just notifications coming up. Anything that takes you away from that focus, is in that category of multitasking-

Kate Christie:                     Absolutely-

Belinda Weaver:               Which I think is surprising a lot of people, that’s a big reframe for me right there.

Kate Christie:                     Think about it in terms of the devices or the multiple devices that you have. So it’s just not about your computer, the average smartphone user checks their phone 85 times a day. Now that is multitasking.

Kate Toon:                          That’s nothing compared to me, I think, that’s hardly anything. I can do that [crosstalk]-

Kate Toon:                          No I am. You know what I do which I always think it’s so smart of me, but it’s actually not is, because I’m uploading a lot of files and downloading, or waiting for things. I’m like, “In that couple of seconds while that’s uploading, could I open another tab and get the next task ready?”

But really sometimes I think I should just sit and wait for the 13 seconds it takes to upload, do you know what I mean? But I’m like, “No, no, no, no, that’s 13 seconds, I can use a lot in those 13 seconds.”

I think you can … It comes from a good place in trying to make the maximum use of my time, but also it frazzles you out. And just to sit and do the task, and do it all the way through, then start the next one, you’re saying that that’s a more productive approach. Is that right?

Kate Christie:                     Look, very much so, and just sort of picking up a bit on what Belinda said in terms of, it’s really hard to maintain through out the day, because you become exhausted. You need to think about your day as a series of short sprints, it’s not a marathon.

You need to sprint, and then rest, sprint and then rest, sprint and then rest. So you want to set your time up anywhere between 25 minutes and an hour depending on your personal capacity. When the timer goes off, you take a 10 to 15 minute break, get up and get completely away from what you’re doing. Because that will increase, it gives you a bit of a productivity boost, so around about 10 to 15 percent.

Now the other thing that you can do … and then you go into your next task, but the other thing I would say is that be very very conscious of your energy and your high periods of productivity during the day. Because you want to maximise those.

For example, if you are a morning person, then you want to batch or block time into your calendar for your hardest most impactful strategic task. So income generating, business winning, business planning, the really important stuff. You want to use your best brain for your best work.

Then what you do is if then you’re, typically if you’re really strong in the morning, you’re going to be weaker or tired or less energetic after lunch, in the afternoon, you don’t then power on through your really hard strategic tasks. Your brain needs to have a rest.

You then schedule or batch in time for the afternoon for your process driven mundane kind of work that you can do with your eyes closed. So billing, invoice processing, approvals, one on one meetings that don’t require your best brain. Because you can’t be 100 percent on during the day, you don’t want to do your best work when you’ve got a slow brain, because it’s going to take longer, it’s going to require rework, and the results are going to be substandard.

Equally you don’t want to do your mundane work at your best brain time. And always astounds me how many people, they’re morning people but they start the day by opening their emails, and that’s really just a list of everyone else’s priorities, that’s not a list of your priorities-

Belinda Weaver:               That is such a good way of framing that as well. I remember you posted something about this recently Kate, where you said you don’t do any … You do all of your hard work before your check your email, and you only check your email … was it two times a day or three times a day?

Kate Toon:                          Two times a day, because I find as soon as I … I like to … it’s the whole, I think it’s eat the frog, but I like to call it lick the frog. I like to do my most revolting task first thing. And then after that’s done or I’ve done an hour worth of work, or I’ve done something that earns me money.” I usually try and do something [inaudible].

Then I open my inbox because then I go from creative and proactive mode. As soon as I open my inbox, I go into reactive mode, I’m actually responding to other people’s … And that can screw your whole day, all those things you have planned, are gone out the window.

And that leads as nicely into the next question, because I think this is one of the biggest challenges, don’t you Belinda?

Belinda Weaver:               Is that, what do you think the biggest time challenges are? Because we’ve already mentioned a few like opening an email. But where do you think people really fall down?

Kate Christie:                     I think that, certainly starting your day on your emails is a messy one. You want to come into your day with a really good to do list that’s cross referenced against your calendar, so you know exactly what you’ve batched in for your high energy periods and for your low energy periods.

The worst thing you can then do is check your emails first, because your plan just went straight out the window. You are now marching into someone else’s beat.

So absolutely you don’t want to open your emails. My general rule of thumb is that unless you’re a first responder, so if you’re a fireman or a policeman or a paramedic, then yes absolutely, you want to be accessible. But if you’re not, then there’s no reason to be jumping straight into those emails.

Multitasking, we’ve already talked about is another big killer. I think also not prioritising income generating tasks. Often people will default to what’s easy, and will default to what you can … we often call quick wins. So I’m going to put in some quick wins, I’m going to clean out my inbox or I’m going to redesign this particular template, or I’m going to do a whole heap of admin.

And it has a temporary sense of satisfaction, because it’s a quick win. You’ve achieved something, but you’re not contributing to the bottom line of business-

Belinda Weaver:               That’s right-

Kate Christie:                     And it’s pointless. I think the other thing, and then another … Look, I can sit here and give you a thousand, another key one is particularly if a lot of your listeners are small business owners, is not, is kind of trying to do everything and be a Jack of all trades. It’s very important to quickly identify what you’re really really good at, and really that is going to be … unless you’re in the wrong business, that’s going to be … what you’re really good at is the income generating [inaudible] parts for your business.

Identify what you’re great at, and quickly outsource and get rid of the things that you’re not really great at, but at times suck in.

If you’re a copywriter, then you’re not an IT person. So don’t spend two hours trying to solve an IT issue on your computer. It’s about quickly identifying what you can outsource.

Other big time wasters are understanding and identifying your rejects. For mine rejects fall into two categories, they are partial rejects, and total rejects. A total reject is basically any task that you perform which is an absolute waste of your time that nobody on earth needs to perform.

Now we all have those and it’s about identifying them and getting rid of them. A classic example, I had a client who, she was sea suite executive, made an absolute fortune, very very highly successful. Assured me that she had no rejects at all, and about five minutes in we identified she was ironing her bras and undies, okay-

Belinda Weaver:               Who does that?

Kate Christie:                     That’s a total reject. No one needs to do that, I’m washing the sheets every day, I’m changing towels every day, ironing the sheets, ironing anything, they’re all total rejects-

Kate Toon:                          What, who are these people?

Belinda Weaver:               What-

Kate Toon:                          I know right-

Kate Christie:                     But people [crosstalk]-

Kate Toon:                          They obviously haven’t met copywriters, we barely even bathe, let alone wash our towels-

Kate Toon:                          No, no, I was just going to say I think, I’m trying to think what my reject things area. I don’t know if I have any, I think I’m perfect. What are your reject things Belinda, what stupid things do you do?

Belinda Weaver:               I was just looking at the state of my house, and this room going, there’s clearly not a lot of tidying that I could be doing. I recently got a cleaner with that kind of mindset of going, “I’m spending time that I want to be doing on something else, like having fun, having a life, dear God.”

So that was task that I’ve outsourced. Speaking of outsourcing, you talked about knowing what your best, what your, should be spending your time on. And I think we did an episode about getting a VA. In the early stages of your business, it can be kind of hard to outsource because you think “Oh, I can’t afford it yet.” But if everyone looked at their time through those cost lenses or through those four lenses, and you suddenly went, “Well, why I’m I spending an hour doing this document creation or this mail merge or all these admin tasks that a virtual assistant can do it for a lot less than a copywriter should be charging?” I think that’s a very valuable mindset-

Belinda Weaver:               To get other people in your team.

Kate Christie:                     It is, and I think it’s about thinking well, rather than thinking, “Can I afford to do this yet?” I think the question is, “Can I afford not to?” Because ultimately your time is money, and the reason why you outsource, and the only tasks you’re ever going to outsource are tasks where someone else who is an expert can do it faster, better, and cheaper than you. And if anything falls into that category, are they faster, better and cheaper, then you should be outsourcing the task.

Belinda Weaver:               I love that.

Kate Christie:                     Now, a classic one in terms of rejects if … Belinda if you’ve just got a cleaner is, the number one reject of all time is, do not clean before the cleaner comes.

Kate Toon:                          But who does that?

Belinda Weaver:               I don’t clean for the cleaner, I tidy up for the cleaner [crosstalk]-

Kate Christie:                     Everyone says that, everyone says that. They’ve seen worse, trust me.

Belinda Weaver:               It’s true. What’s your biggest challenge Kate would you say when it comes to these things?

Kate Toon:                          Time, I think I’m very much a Kate’s creature, so all the things that she’s saying, this is like music to my ears. Because that’s why I wanted to get you on the show. Because I’ve even found my original little diagram, that I’ve took, so I will share that as part of the show note.

Because this is way I preach to all of my people, I think the biggest challenge I see for copywriters is often the phone, so I see a lot of copywriters not putting their phone number on their website. Because they’re like, “People will call me, and I don’t want to be called all day.” And it’s like, “Just turn your phone off, and pick a slot in the day where you want to return calls, and manage that.” Also really limit the time, so my little trick always with my clients was to call them at 15 minutes to the hour, and be like, “Hey Bob, I’ve just got 15 minutes, before my next call to have this chat.”

And then you’re not rude, 15 minutes is enough time to talk about anything, nothing really needs to take longer than 15 minutes. And that was a really great way of me controlling my time, because I think a lot of copywriters become very uncomfortable because they have so much discussion time. And it’s why as well that Belinda and I always say in our process documents, in your proposal you should say specifically how much discussion time a client gets. Because talking can fill-

Kate Christie:                     That’s right-

Kate Toon:                          A whole day, do you agree with that Kate? Is that something that you find that really business owners struggle with, just getting involved in really lengthy conversations that just eat into their time?

Kate Christie:                     Yeah, absolutely. And look, I love what you say there about the, calling the clients when you’ve got about 15 minutes left. Everyone’s going to have lost pockets of time, and so one of the strategies that you can have is that when you find yourself with that 10 minutes to spare or 15 minutes to spare or a meeting finishes early or you finish a task earlier or a meeting is cancelled or you’re in the cab between appointments, have that list of numbers in your network, all that list of clients, and just work through that systematically.

“Hi Kate, I’ve been thinking of you, I found I had 10 minutes to spare, how have you been?” And it’s just a really great way of staying in with your network. To your question though around, do business owners just get caught in the chat, the chat, the chat. A very quick and easy tip to resolve that is to always have an agenda, even if it’s [inaudible] with a new client or an existing client. And it could be as simple as sending them some bullet points, “We’ve got a 15 minute chat, these are the three things we’re going to discuss.” Or, “We’ve got half an hour locked in, these are the two things we’re going to discuss.

Because there’s no reason to keep talking, it’s around communicating effectively so that you can then move on with the job. And so to start with, have a look at your meetings, and ask yourself this, “Would I be able to half the time of my meetings without compromising output?”

Kate Toon:                          Love that. I’ve got one another tip on that which is something that … was a entrepreneur called [Dale Bohrman], and whenever he wants to contact me about anything, he has a one way conversation with me, which sounds very odd.

What he does is he makes little sound files and emails them to me, and so I can pick those up whenever, I don’t have to schedule a call. So don’t be afraid of having one way conversations with your clients, like creating Loom videos or just recording a message saying, “I just want to update you on this.” So that they don’t get an opportunity to talk back, and you save a bit more time. That’s my little Toon tip.

Belinda what [inaudible] is time challenge? Because you’ve got a lot going on, you’ve got humans, and dogs, and a busy life. I know that you struggle to squeeze it all in, Kate can give you some advice. What’s your biggest challenge?

Belinda Weaver:               Well my biggest challenge is the distractions. I had a … Monday is my only free kid day. I’ve got two very small children, so I’ve had to over the last couple of years, I’ve had to break up my workday into little five minute intervals.

I’m like, “Uh, they’re playing happily, I can quickly work now.” And that has had a really terrible impact on my focus, my ability to focus. Now I’m shifting into having longer periods of time, and today was a big writing day for me, and I didn’t get as much as I wanted done. And I know it was because I checked the email too much, and I got distracted [crosstalk]-

Kate Toon:                          And she posted on Facebook that she was going to do some work [crosstalk]-

Belinda Weaver:               I know, “Here I am being really productive on Facebook [inaudible] gets done.” So I know distractions are my biggest things. I noticed some of the things I do is I have music on, I close some of the things down, but it’s that little kind of, “Oh, go on, Facebook [crosstalk] like you”, [crosstalk]-

Kate Christie:                     The sexy, [inaudible] the background.

Belinda Weaver:               Yes [crosstalk]. And I know it’s terrible, and I know some things to break it, but I need to become better at it because I’ve got too much to do. And I’m feeling anxious about it now, because I didn’t invest in the right things today.

Kate Christie:                     Well I think that to start with, really explore that feeling of anxiety that you’ve got right now, and dive deep into it and remember how bad this feels. Because I want you to tap on that, into that and draw on that. So that next time when you find yourself chasing the butterflies and the shiny objects, remind yourself of the emotional cost. Think about that feeling of anxiety that you haven’t got through right now what you wanted to get through. Then tomorrow, [inaudible], “Hang on, if I’m going to spend five more minutes, 10 more minutes, 15 more minutes on Facebook, I’m going to feel that feeling of anxiety that’s an emotional cost. It’s not the best use of my time.”

Belinda Weaver:               Well there’s a direct financial cost as well, because I’m-

Kate Christie:                     Of course-

Belinda Weaver:               Booking in my youngest for an extra day of childcare to catch up on the things, and that’s going to cost me some money.

Kate Christie:                     It’s going to cost you money, and it’s going to cost you emotionally too. Because you’re going to get to the weekend and you’re going to think, “God if I’d been a little bit more focused and disciplined, I would have had that day with my child, and we would have gone to the park and had fun. And now I’m a shit mom and I’m guilty and I, [crosstalk]”-

Belinda Weaver:               Stop Kate-

Kate Christie:                     I bet you know what, [crosstalk] ourselves-

Belinda Weaver:               You make me want to cry-

Kate Toon:                          She wouldn’t have thought about it, she would have thought, “I could have put my kid in childcare, and gone to the movies.” That’s-

Kate Christie:                     Or the spar. But that’s the same thing, isn’t it? It’s about using your time well to so that when you’re having your down time you’re spending on the stuff that’s most important to you. And [inaudible] would be a massage, 100 percent of the time.

If I could put my 18 year old into daycare, I would. The other thing that I do, and I think would work well for you, and for your listeners, because you are so sort of computer based and computer driven. Get some poster notes, and just stick them around your computer, “Is this the best use of my time?” And have three or four of them stuck on your computer and on your desk. So that when you do find yourself kind of flirting with Instagram or getting-

Belinda Weaver:               Facebook [crosstalk]-

Kate Christie:                     You’re on into Facebook, you’re going to have that visual reference there-

Belinda Weaver:               [crosstalk]-

Kate Christie:                     Other visual cues, have a photo of your kids next to the computer, so that you look at them and think, “God if I spend these 15 minutes on Facebook, that’s 15 minutes” … Oh, look and Kate’s holding up hers-

Belinda Weaver:               [crosstalk]-

Kate Toon:                          And I have my kid’s picture right here next to my desk, so it’s a very simple tactic.

Kate Christie:                     It’s just a visual reminder of where, your values, “Where would I rather be spending my time?”

Kate Toon:                          Now another thing that I loved that we’ve talked about again on the podcast, is Parkinson’s law. Something that a copywriter, many copywriters do is that they allow all the task to fill the time or alternatively, they wait until the last minute to do the same. What is it about humans that make us do that? Why is it that some of us only get productive and make good use of our time when we’re under a deadline pressure?

Kate Christie:                     It’s funny, there’s a fantastic TED Talk about this, about procrastination, and leaving things to the last minute. And I think, look, it is human nature to do that.

Now a lot of people will do it with the false belief or the explanation that, “I just work really well under pressure.” And it’s just baloney, if you pace yourself and [inaudible], and you lock in reasonable deadlines, then you’re going to work to them, which is going to free your time up to go win more business.

And bottom line, you want more business because you’re a business person. That’s why … Apart of the bit you love what you do, you actually want to make money from it. So-

Belinda Weaver:               And for copywriters, it gives you more time for editing, because that is really where you should be spending a lot of time. And if you’re slamming up against deadlines all the time, you’re not leaving time to fine tune and edit everything as you should.

Kate Christie:                     And then you have to wonder about the quality of your output in the product, “I’m I delivering the best possible product? Based on the fact that I’ve stayed up all night to deliver this when I already had, I had a three week deadline and I let it blow out.”

The other thing with Parkinson’s law is that once you get kind of good at doing it, then what you can do then is leverage it. So think about and identify tasks that you commonly perform, and have a really good understanding of how those common routine tasks, how much time they take you, and then you’re going to leverage Parkinson’s law.

So you’re going to say to yourself, “Well, this particular type of task generally takes me an hour, and I will spend three hours a week doing this. From now on I’m going to challenge myself to complete that task in 45 minutes” or “I’m going to challenge myself to complete that task in 30 minutes.”

And you tighten the screws and you actually leverage Parkinson’s law so you’re even getting more time back.

Kate Toon:                          Excellent. I think we’ve already shared some amazing tips on how to kind of claw back our time. But if you … maybe we can all share some at the end … Belinda’s disappeared. Oh there she is, she just, Belinda just disappeared under her desk for two minutes. What are you doing?

Belinda Weaver:               I’m dying slowly [crosstalk]-

Kate Toon:                          Okay, you’re [crosstalk], okay, I’ll ask it. So Kate, sorry, we’re so professional. What would be your big three tips? You’ve mentioned a few of them [inaudible], but leave us with three big tips that we can use to invest our time better as copywriters.

Kate Christie:                     Okay, so number one is a mindset shift, if nothing else, walk out of here thinking, “From now on, I’m going to invest my time, I’m not going to manage it.”

Number two is understand that you need to invest time to find your lost time, so you can’t just flick a switch or wave a wand here and start getting slates of time back. You actually have to focus on these stuff, get the strategies in place, put in a framework, make the rules for yourself, and then stick to them. Because you actually have to do the work to get the result from this.

The third big tip is remember that when it comes to investing your time, this is about making sure that you live a life that you absolutely love. If that doesn’t motivate you to look at your time differently, then nothing will. Because it’s all about just having your greatest possible life, and doing all the bits that you love. That’s the price, and it’s an awesome price.

Kate Toon:                          It really is and … I’m going to say resonate, forgive me, I did say resonate. That resonates with me so much, because over the last six months, I’ve done so much less in my business. I’ve invested my time in other things, and it’s amazed me how my business is just as good as it was.

And that the truth is when you’re a small business owner, when you’re a copywriter, you can fill every inch of your day with tasks. It will just expands to fill whatever time you give it, and unless you have those boundaries, it’s really impossible.

One other tip which you haven’t given really is my favourite tip from your speech, I’m going to give it anyway. Is I love the way that you said with your to do lists, that you actually put, instead of just having a task, you have the tasks plus the time you’re going to give it.

And that’s something that I know that I do try and use the Pomodoro method. But when I’m doing my to do list, I literally have quick look at it and go, “How much time is that going to take?” And often that makes me redo my to do list, because I’ve just overestimated how much I’m going to fit in today, and I never was going to get it all done. I was going to feel disappointed in myself, and then fell on the back foot.

But when I break it down into half hour chunks, “I can only do this much, that has to wait until tomorrow.” And it really helps me prioritise. “Well I can only get three things done today, which three things I’m I going to do? The rest have to wait.” I love that, that’s Kate’s tip, but I’ve just delivered it on her behalf. [crosstalk] useful method?

Belinda Weaver:               That’s where I kind of went wrong tody as well. Because that is something I usually do. Because I have very small windows, so it’s very easy for me to say, “Well, today I only have 45 minutes, and so I can only get this much done.”

But I fall into a bit of a trap when I have more time … like my Mondays when the kid’s in childcare, then I’m not under such tight pressure, and it’s just kind of finding that balancing act.

Kate Christie:                     It’s bringing the discipline to the Mondays that you show on the days where you kind of got your 45 minutes. It’s about bringing that same level of discipline through those other days.

Kate Toon:                          I don’t know if it’s a battle we ever win. Does anyone ever get to the point where they’re just supreme time beings? Belinda’s very into Doctor Who, so she would love to have her own time machine.

But do you know [inaudible] you’ve really managed to turn around? Because it sounds wonderful but it, I’m 10 years in and I’m still not mastered all of these things. Is it [crosstalk] a constant effort?

Kate Christie:                     [crosstalk]. Look at it, it’s I think once you get the basics right, and you start seeing the time come back in, it becomes quite addictive to be honest. There’s always going to be new strategies, there’s always going to be things that resonate with you. Once you start finding time and being able to leverage it for your business, and for your personal life, it’s fun, it’s awesome.

I’ve certainly, I wouldn’t be in business if didn’t work I guess, I know a lot of [inaudible] owners who have turned this around, once they start focusing their time and controlling their time. Then absolutely this stuff works, yes you can find slates and slates of time.

I’ve never not found someone 30 hours of time a month. And that’s … I guarantee that, so it’s great, I love it, and-

Kate Toon:                          Beautiful thing, I think it’s the discipline and for me, people often say, “God how do you produce so much stuff?” It literally is the discipline, it’s all the tips that you’ve mentioned. But I’ve got a few new ones as well, and just sticking at it, and being consistent. Not getting distracted, and only looking at Facebook once every five or six minutes, it’s fine [crosstalk].

Anyway Kate, to finish up, where can we find out more about you? You mentioned your book, feel free to give it a plug. Where can we find out more about you?

Kate Christie:                     My website’s called timestylers, My new book is called SMART Time Investment For Business, 128 Ways The Best In Time Use Their business. It-

Kate Toon:                          That’s sounds good-

Kate Christie:                     Has 128 strategies in there, and I’ve interviewed some amazing business people from around the world who talk about their time and their challenges.

So yes, look me up, and more than happy to chat with your listeners as well if they have any questions.

Kate Toon:                          Fantastic, well we’ll include links to all of those websites, and books, and your Instagram, and all the other things in the show notes for this episode. Kate thank you ever so much for your time.

Kate Christie:                     Absolute, absolute pleasure, thank you.

Kate Toon:                          I hope you feel it was a good investment. [inaudible]. That was a beautiful outro Belinda, you have to be proud of me there, wasn’t even scripted.

Belinda Weaver:               Absolutely Kate.

Kate Toon:                          Here we go, well our regular listeners will know better this time, we read out a review of the show. And today we’re giving a shout out to [Catherine Senfield], who says, “Kate and Belinda host an entertaining practical non intimidating pod. The advice is maga doable, I always feel motivated by the end of it, I especially love the freelance business tips, thanks.” Catherine’s going to be happy with this episode.

Thanks to you for listening. If you like the show, don’t forget to take the time to leave a rating and review on iTunes or Stitcher or whatever you heard this pod. Your review will help others find us and we’ll give you a shout out on the show. You can also head to and leave your comments on the blog post for this episode. Thanks again Kate and Belinda.

Belinda Weaver:               Thank you Kate and Kate.

Kate Toon:                          All the Kates. Until next time, happy writing.

The post E91: Time saving tips for busy copywriters: Kate Christie appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Jan 16 2019



Rank #4: E95: From copywriting to copy king: How Rob Marsh masters the art of copywriting

Podcast cover
Read more

Leveraging the experience of others to boost your own career

Rob Marsh has been a little name and then a big name.

He mastered the copywriting world, working with some of the biggest names and wearing many hats, founding communities, conferences, courses and more. He co-hosts the second best copywriting podcast too!

The golden question is of course “How did he do it? And how does he fit it all in?”

Today, we’ll delve into the Whens, Whats, Whys and Hows.

Rob will give us a sneak peek into how his career unfolded and how you can leverage his experience to boost your own.

Tune in to learn:

  • How Rob’s copywriting journey began and why he expanded into other marketing areas
  • Which of Rob’s kids he loves most
  • The 3 biggest challenges Rob faced in his copywriting career
  • How Rob increased his brand and mastered copywriting
  • Different approaches to international copywriting
  • If Americans or Australians are more open to the hard sell and why
  • The challenges Rob faced when launching his podcast, course and community
  • The biggest shortfall Rob sees in copywriters today and how to avoid it

Hot Copy #95: From copywriting to copy king: How Rob Marsh mastered the art of copywriting @copywriterclub #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Look out for Rob speaking at Copy Con! Melbourne, May 4-5 2019. Find out more here.

Listen to the podcast below

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to Draisydre from USA for his lovely testimonial.

Share the meme:

About Rob

Rob is an expert marketer, writer and entrepreneur. He has worked as a Copywriter, Producer and Creative Director at various companies including FranklinCovey, Publicis, and Hewlett Packard. So he has “big company” and “agency” experience.

In 2004, he joined a startup that revolutionized the online production of design (the predecessor to companies like UpWork and 99Designs). In 2012, he started his own SaaS business. So he understands small biz too.

Today he is part of the copywriting duo (with Kira Hug) that hosts The Copywriter Club Podcast and community for copywriters of all talent levels. He also consults with a variety of technology and wellness companies, to create effective landing pages, conversion funnels, and marketing campaigns at Brandstory Copy and Content. He is the author of the book, Telling Your Brand Story (available at Amazon, hint, hint). He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, four kids, and westie.

Connect with Rob

Useful links:


Rob Marsh:         Hey, Kate. Good to be here. I’m good. How are you?

Kate Toon:          I’m good. I’m good.

Well, look, let me just introduce you first to the listeners. For those of you who don’t know, Rob Marsh is an expert marketer, writer, and entrepreneur. He’s worked as a copywriter, producer and creative director at various companies including FranklinCovey, Publicis, and Hewlett-Packard. So, he has big company and agency experience. In 2004, he joined a startup that revolutionised the online production of design, the predecessor to companies like UpWork and 99 Designs. And in 2012, he started his own SaaS business, so he understands small business too.

Today he’s part of The Copywriting Duo with Kira Hug that hosts The Copywriting Club Podcast and community for copywriters of all talent levels. He also consults with a variety of technology and wellness companies to create effective landing pages, conversion funnels, and marketing campaigns of brand, story, copy and content. He is the author of the book Telling Your Brand Story, available on Amazon. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, four kids, and a Westie. Welcome, Rob. That was a big bio.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, that was … you should cut that out. That should be gone because that was boring me already.

Kate Toon:          I’ll put you in touch with a good editor to cut it down a little bit.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, good.

Kate Toon:          Well, look, let’s dig into your story, your brand story, and tell me how did you … why did you become a copywriter? Did you grow up as a small child thinking, “I want to move colons around for a living.”

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, desperately, you know? The Oxford comma and me starting at age three or four were very close relationship. But honestly, like most people, I didn’t even realise copywriting was a thing, even all through college. And of course, I saw ads, and I saw the advertising, but I didn’t really think through the process of how that stuff was produced. And so, I was headed to law school. I took the LSAT and I was in a Masters of Public Administration programme. And I was going to classes, and I was so bored out of my skull by the stuff that was being talked about in these human resources classes. I mean, it was boring. Boring. And so, before I started law school, I met a friend at a party, and she was doing some copywriting. And she suggested that we work on a project together. And again, I had no idea what this was, so I sat down, I remember writing a 300 word article for publication by a company here in the city where I live. And it got published in their little newsletter. And from then on, I was like, “This is kind of fun. Maybe there’s something to do here.” So, that’s where I got my start. It was not anything ever planned through school, and I just kind of fell into it. And yeah, again, that’s where it all came together.

Kate Toon:          So, did you actually drop out of college and not finish your degree then?

Rob Marsh:         Well, I didn’t finish the Masters of Public Administration. I had already finished my Bachelor’s degree and eventually I went back and got a Master’s degree in business later on, 15 years later or whatever. But yeah, I dropped out then and there. I was just so bored by it that law school never happened for me.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, well what a lucky escape. Although, I guess all that study and learning, it all comes in handy. I did classical literature and poetry for my degree, so I can name every Roman emperor, but I’m not sure how useful that is in the great scheme of things. But I think it is. I think it all adds up. So, you’re there, you’re starting off. You’ve had your first article published in a newsletter and you’ve got the bug. Take us through those first couple of years. Did you then go get a job in an agency? You mentioned that you’ve worked in some quite fancy pants agencies. How did that story begin?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, I didn’t immediately start freelancing. I was working for a company as I was putting myself through college, I had just graduated, started this Masters of Public Administration, and there was an opening at the company for a copywriter. They were expanding the creative department, they were adding a few designers, and they were hiring copywriters and some editors. And so I applied. And I only had that one piece.

Kate Toon:          Really?

Rob Marsh:         That one thing.

Kate Toon:          No way.

Rob Marsh:         I mean, I went to school studying history and English, so I was a writer, I could write. So, I knew I could write. And I was just lucky that the person, the creative director that was hiring was willing to take a chance on this young kid fresh out of college and see if it was worth it. And I remember in the interview as I was speaking with him and he said, “Why should I take the chance, or why should I hire you?” And I told him that if he thought that I wasn’t up to the task and wasn’t doing the job that he wanted that I would resign in three months. So, I basically removed the risk for him and just said, “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll happily step away.”

But there was a lot of opportunity there and the company was this day planner company, FranklinCovey, you mentioned in the intro. And they made these day planners sold all over the world. People would carry around these … they call them man purses, but it was these day planners people carried around back then. And I was writing catalogue copy, and then we would do seminars, time management seminars and money management seminars. And so, I would write promotional pieces for those. And that’s really kind of where I got my chops. I was lucky to work with a senior writer who was really willing to give me feedback and help show me the ropes and lots of creative resources that I could learn from there. And yeah.

From there, I went to an agency, and then my career really took off. But I think a lot of people who start as copywriters, they launch right into freelancing, and it’s hard to learn how to write and learn how to run a business and learn how to get clients. And so, for me, being able to work in-house and then in an agency before I even thought about doing anything related to freelancing just worked out really well for me.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, okay, so there’s a few things I want to unpack from what you’ve said there. So, the first thing is having the guts to call yourself a copywriter or even go for a job with the job title of copywriter that young, I think that’s something that people even at my age are kind of going, “I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a copywriter. Am I really a copywriter? Am I a writer?” How do you feel about that? Like, what gave you the right to call yourself a copywriter, do you think? Do you know what I mean? Like, people are really funny about it.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, I think … well, we see this all the time where people will say, “Hey, I thought I was ready to be a writer, but maybe I need to learn this next thing.” Or, “I don’t know anything about SEO, so what business do I have to write a website copy,” and all this stuff. And yeah, I don’t know what was going through my mind that I thought I could-

Kate Toon:          Confidence, blind youthful confidence.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, I think it was. I was too dumb to know any better.

Kate Toon:          That’s it.

Rob Marsh:         And so, I went for it and it worked out. Things worked out. My career has been very serendipitous. I have never had this master plan that I’m going to be this one thing at the end of my career, other than retired with a lot of money, I hope. We’ll see if that actually really happens. But you know, it’s just been serendipitous. I do the one thing and then it just has led to the next thing. And that next thing has led me to the next thing. And you know, one job you meet somebody, and that leads to being hired at the next job. And there you have a new experience, you do a new thing. And so, I’ve just kind of followed that-

Kate Toon:          That path. I mean, I wonder, because I’m very similar and our paths are actually very similar. When I was reading through your bio, I was like, “Gosh.” I wonder sometimes though is it serendipity or being open to experience and taking chances and seeing the world? I think there’s something to do with that because I just don’t think it can all be luck. But there’s a couple of other things I wanted to talk about there. One little thing that we do at our conference is we give everyone a badge that says, “I am copywriter,” so that they have to wear that badge and they have to own that badge for the day, and hopefully that wears off.

So, you started writing these day planners, a but similar to Filofaxes, do you remember Filofaxes?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, basically. It’s kind of like Filofax or-

Kate Toon:          That’s so cool. I loved my Filofax. I want to bring those back. God I miss them. Stupid smart phones, they’re not half as-

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, smart phones and palm pilots killed it.

Kate Toon:          Exactly.

Rob Marsh:         It’s a different business now.

Kate Toon:          And I love what you said there about how you didn’t launch into being a freelance copywriter. I’m always amazed when I see people who literally finish university and become a freelancer. Like, wow, that is some hootspa, because as you said, and same with me, I worked in agencies and managed to work under amazing creative directors, senior writers, but also next to fantastic designers and conceptualists, account managers and producers. And they taught me how to write through a series of ripping my writing apart, presenting in front of a client, watching the client, the light in the client’s eyes die. That’s how I learnt to write. And I think if I had been trying to balance my books and market myself, I don’t think I would have been able to. So yeah, a similar experience for you, hey?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, totally. And you know, I think that there’s this vibe in the copywriting community that if you’re not out there freelancing doing the thing that … that that’s the goal that you’re giving up, you know? If you take an in-house job that you’re giving up or you’re quitting on the dream. And that’s not correct at all. Sometimes in-house or in an agency is the best place to learn how to do copywriting or the best place to sharpen what you’re doing while somebody else figures out how to get clients and how to take care of the invoicing. You can just focus on being a really, really good writer. And there are people who spend their entire careers in-house or in agencies, and that’s fine. Those people are just as good at copywriting, some of them are better than a lot of the freelancers out there.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, I agree. I mean, it’s just a different experience as well, and I think it teaches you a lot about diplomacy and dealing with different personalities. Lots of people in agencies have big personalities, and you learn how to sell your copy to a client, project management skills. So, I mean, I think that’s a really great takeout for anybody listening, that if you can get an in-house job, even for a couple of months as a contract, it’s such a different experience. And as you said, I don’t think necessarily freelancing is the goal for everyone because freelancing comes with a whole different world. It’s good for people maybe at our age with kids and things to balance. But I honestly think at 24, 25, I’d have been pretty lonely working at home. I like that kind of group environment. It felt a bit more protected.

Anyway, so you then left FranklinCovey, and then you went into proper agency land. Boom, boom, boom.

Rob Marsh:         I did.

Kate Toon:          The Don Draper world. So, tell us a little bit about that.

Rob Marsh:         Well, that’s an entirely different experience again from being in-house, you know? It was very much the agency life. There was a basketball hoop in the middle of all of the desks and people played basketball until the CEO, whose desk was the floor below, came up and complained about the bouncing. We had a pool table. There were several of the art directors who would imbibe alcoholic beverages throughout the day to help with the creativity. It was very much that agency experience. But that’s, again, another place where I really learned how to do different things in the agency world. So, I went in as a copywriter, was promoted eventually to creative director. But I did television production, I did radio production. We did all kinds of different pieces of the advertising mix.

And it was a great learning experience for me, and another way to learn the different kinds of media that we all have to work on. Writing a 30 second script for a television commercial is very different from even a 60 second script on radio, just because the medium is no longer visual, right? So, you’ve got to create different images with the worse you use. Again, totally different from an advertorial that’s placed in a newspaper or in a magazine and has to look like editorial content and still sell. So, being exposed to all of those different kinds of projects in an agency, and again, like you said, working with some amazingly creative intelligent people that are able to give feedback, again, just helped me become a better writer. And I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to be at an agency.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, and obviously the opportunity to work on major brands that often as a freelancer, they’re just not going to come to you, you know? Like the big banks, they’re not going to come to a freelance copywriter. They’ve got like five or six agencies they’re working with. So, you get exposed to these awesome brands and their brand guidelines, tone of voice documents, all those kind of things that you can then apply that to small business clients when you become a freelancer.

Rob Marsh:         Exactly.

Kate Toon:          And also, did you have beanbags, because I think it’s a requirement to have beanbags. In Australia it definitely is.

Rob Marsh:         I don’t remember any beanbags at our agency.

Kate Toon:          It obviously wasn’t a great agency then.

Rob Marsh:         No beanbags. Maybe there were in one of the-

Kate Toon:          Maybe they were reserved for the creative director, he had his own special beanbag. So, you’ve had these experience working in-house and then in agency, and then at some point you did decide to take the leap to go freelance. What triggered that? Why did you want to become a freelancer? Why did you want to leave the agency world and give that a pop?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, I went from the agency world to another in-house gig. And then after that, I joined a startup that was acquired. And so, over a number of years came to the point where I actually started my own SaaS company, but it was something that I didn’t really love. So, it was a little product that people could use to make their own logos for their websites. And it was fine. It worked well. I had some contractors that I was working with and people that helped me out. It was actually a piece of software that was designed and built by the startup that was acquired by HP. And then I leased it back from HP once they decided to close it all down and move on. But again, it wasn’t something I loved. And so, I just kind of was thinking I really want to do just something that I always enjoy. I hated the feeling that I would have, that feeling of dread Sunday night when you’ve got to think about going into work. And I didn’t want that anymore.

And so, a few years ago, I just thought, “I’ll sell that off and I’m going all in on copywriting and I’m going to get back to the thing that I enjoy the most.” The people that I get to spend time with as a copywriter, the clients that I get to work with, other copywriters, it’s so much more rewarding than what I was doing before. And I don’t know that this is the last stop on my career track, who knows? But for now, this is the thing that just rings my bell.

Kate Toon:          So, I mean, the SaaS company was in 2012, so it’s not that long ago that you took the full plunge into copywriting. A couple of years.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, yeah. So, really three and a half, four years that I’ve been all in just copywriting only, not any of the other stuff going on.

Kate Toon:          And do you-

So, you know, since then you’ve started The Copywriting Club Podcast. And we always joke that we’re the second best, you’re the second … we’re all friends, it’s all good. And you’ve got a community as well. And again, there’s more than enough room for lots of communities, people. And you also have a conference, and I have a conference.

Rob Marsh:         That’s right.

Kate Toon:          We’ve got all the same things. It took me slightly longer than two years, but how did that come about? You could have just gone, “I’m just going to be a freelancer, and I’m going to have a nice life servicing clients.” Why all this other stuff? What was the goal?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, again, I think this is where serendipity comes into play a little bit because I was kind of thinking that three or four years ago. I was like, “I don’t want to create a copy course.” I was starting to see more people doing that-

Kate Toon:          So many.

Rob Marsh:         … sort of stuff. And it just kind of felt really … I don’t know, it just didn’t feel like me. But I ended up buying a URL for thecopywriter.clubs when they released all of these other TLVs. And I bought that. And then I thought, “Well, I wonder if I should just own the .com for that as well.” And it just happened to be available. So, I bought that and had that sitting in my GoDaddy account for maybe a year or so, not really sure what-

Kate Toon:          We’ve all been there, Rob. I think I’ve got about 17 little URLs there for strange things that are never going to happen, but I can’t let them expire just in case.

Rob Marsh:         Well I’ve got maybe five or six that will happen, right? So they’re all still sitting in there. And I met Kira in a mastermind group that we were in. And we started talking. I was really impressed with her writing ability. She’s a super great writer and a really smart woman, great copywriter. And we just kind of became friends in this mastermind group. And I reached out to her at one point and said, “I’ve been thinking I want to do a podcast, is that anything you’d be interested in?” We started talking, and it just kind of grew out of that.

So, we knew that you guys had a podcast already where you guys talk a lot about copywriting, and there are a couple of others that are out there. And we thought maybe there’s something we can do a little bit different. And so, we really tried to focus in on interviews. And so, we don’t do a lot of one on one interviews with just Kira and me talking about copywriting. But we do a lot of interviews of copywriters. And for whatever reason, we’ve been really lucky in the calibre of copywriters that we’ve been able to talk to almost from the very beginning. We reached out to A-listers who are happy to come on. And when I talk about A-lists, I’m like true A-listers that are literally making seven figures, maybe more a year. And they were willing to come on. And of course, we don’t just want to talk to the people who are awesome experts, you know? We wanted to talk to beginners and intermediates. So, we’ve got this really wide range of people that we’ve been able to talk to and meet and get to know. And it’s been an awesome opportunity. If that’s all that we had done, no regrets. Like, being able just to learn from super really, really smart copywriters is … it’s a gift in some ways.

Kate Toon:          It so is. You know, I’ll admit that I’m like you, I learnt a lot of my copywriting kind of doing it. So, I haven’t done an awful lot of study and I haven’t read all the books and I haven’t done all the courses. I’ve never done a copywriting course. But the podcast has been a fantastic way to learn more. I learn every week, I learn something new. And ours, as you know, is a bit different. People actually seem to prefer the shows where it’s just me and Belinda. I don’t know why.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, that’s like me.

Kate Toon:          Yeah.

Rob Marsh:         Of course they’re going to prefer you two.

Kate Toon:          But the podcast is amazing. And then you’ve also, obviously you’ve got your community. And you went … you started off with a big free community, which is now huge. And again, there’s lots of free Facebook communities. Some of them not as enjoyable places as others, I’ll admit. There’s some quite aggressive copywriting Facebook groups online, which I find a little bit intimidating.

Rob Marsh:         There are. That’s true.

Kate Toon:          And then, you’ve managed to use that in a way as your funnel into your course that you have, which focuses more on the businessy side. It’s not so much how to write copy, it’s how to be successful, is that right? I’m giving you a free little promo here.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, well … and thanks for that. We appreciate it. So yeah. It’s … I keep going back to this idea of serendipity. I mean, we started the Facebook group so that we had this place to just sort of be a home for the podcast, where people could come and talk. And we just kind of paid attention to the discussions that were happening in the Facebook group from the very first day and really started looking at what are the things that people ask? What are the questions? What are the problems that they seem to be struggling with? And for whatever reason, we were attracting people into our group that were just really struggling with the ideas around how do I systematise my business? Or how do I get started? How do I do all of … Like, I know I’m a decent writer, but all of the other stuff that you’ve got to do to be a successful copywriter aside from writing, people were struggling with.

And so, we put together a course that we called The Copywriter Accelerator. We don’t offer it very often, it’s not one of those evergreen things. In fact, the last time we offered it was last April. And I don’t think we’re going to offer it again until probably the August or September this year, so it’s a little ways off. But we really focused in on the mindset of a business owner, figuring out processes, putting together packages for your copy. How do you do branding? How do you get yourself out in front of clients? And the various ways to do that. And focused on that. And it’s been relatively successful. And it’s really fun to go through a course like that with a lot of other writers. And you kind of form this community and learn together. It’s been great.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, and again … because again, I have a community. And again, the same things come out. And I think that whole right brain, left brain thing is pretty hard. And you and I are lucky, again, in that we’ve been producers, which is very much more left brain. It’s budgeting, it’s time-lining, it’s packaging, it’s selling. It’s all that organisational stuff comes very easy to me. And sometimes I get too involved in that bit and find it quite hard to get back to the creative side. And I’m a big user of … I sell a lot of templates in The Clever Copywriting School. I’ve got templates for everything because I love to system … I just like to colour in, do you know what I mean? Like paint by numbers. The copy deck’s pretty much there. I’m just adding in some adjectives. Not really. Of course, there’s more to it than that. But that’s my left brain and right brain combining. And I think it’s something a lot of copywriters struggle with, taking that creative hat off, “I love writing. I love writing,” but then it’s like, no, you also need to be marketing yourself every day on top of your budgets, you know? If you’re sending the same email every single week, write it into a template, for the love of God. But people struggle with that, don’t they?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah. Absolutely they do. And I think that part of it is because copywriting attracts people who want to be creative, and they’re good at writing, and maybe we didn’t take an accounting course in high school or college and we tend to be introverts. And so, often times getting out and pitching ourselves to clients is difficult. Networking can be difficult. So yeah, so we focus in on a lot of that stuff as opposed to copywriting. In the future, we’ll do copywriting courses, you know? We’ll do some of that. But now, that’s really been our strength in helping people really focus in on what they can do differently in their businesses.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, that mindset. I mean, I think people go into it … some people go into it wanting to start their own business. But I think a lot of writers go into copywriting wanting to be writers. And unfortunately, an awful lot of running a copywriting business is not writing at all. I think that comes as a bit of a rude awakening to many people.

Rob Marsh:         For sure.

Kate Toon:          So, let’s dig into this a little bit because obviously we’re talking here about communities and courses and podcasts, and there’s a lot, you know? We will admit it, there’s an awful lot of copywriting courses, and an awful lot of people touting themselves as kind of people you can learn from. And obviously a lot to do with why someone choose your community or your product over someone else’s is to do with your brand and what you bring. And I think one thing that I’ve really noticed, because I know people who are in my community and yours, and what they like about the Rob and Kira approach is the Americanness. I don’t know how else to put that.

Rob Marsh:         Are we that American? That’s funny.

Kate Toon:          Well, I don’t think you’re American in a kind of yee-haw kind of way. But I think in terms of the way that you sell your copywriting services, the way that you talk. I do think there are differences. I know what I think they are. But what do you think is different in the American copywriting landscape, freelance landscape that you’ve noticed differences between England and Australia, maybe? Can you think of any?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah. I think there are a couple. I mean, I’m not as familiar with Australia and England as far as … because I haven’t lived there to write copy there, right? But we do see ads that come from both places. And I think there’s maybe two really big differences. The first one is the way that we use humour versus the way that-

Kate Toon:          Do you use humour in America?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, see? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. So, for whatever reasons, Americans sometimes struggle with British humour or with Australian humour. It’s just … it doesn’t translate quite the same. And if you want to see an illustration of that, look at the UK version of The Office.

Kate Toon:          It’s always the example. Yeah.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, because I think a lot of Americans watched the UK version and they’re like, “This isn’t funny at all.” I mean, it is funny. And then, you would look at the American version and say, “Well, this is sort of silly. It’s not as intellectual.” You know? Or I think a lot of times in the UK, the humor’s very biting and-

Kate Toon:          It can either be very subtle or very dry to the point of like, “Did he just make a joke? I’m not even sure.” Yeah.

Rob Marsh:         Exactly. Exactly. So, there are certainly Americans here that appreciate that. I tend to appreciate that kind of humour. But it’s not cultural wide, right? And the other thing is that American has a real focus on sales. Like, we have this culture where door to door salesmen through the 1920s and ’30s, and even through the ’80s and ’90s, people selling encyclopaedias and brushes and vacuums. Even today we’ll have people selling cable TV and pest control and alarm systems. So, I think we’re just more comfortable with the fact that everything is a sale, and there’s a lot of marketing. And our culture is very marketing based. So, I think in Australia and the UK, that comes off as really heavy-handed and maybe seen a little bit schlocky. And maybe the word for it is American, I don’t know.

Kate Toon:          No, it’s so funny because I was literally going to bring up the analogy of the guy with the vacuum cleaner bits in his brown case suitcase knocking on your door, because yes, that’s very cliched and I’m making a sweeping generalisation. But that’s kind of the way that we see you guys. Whereas, with Australians and British people, and I feel like I can talk for both since I’m British living in Australia, it’s a lot more subtle, a lot more storytelling, a lot more joke. And the sale is almost like, “I’m dreadfully embarrassed at the end of this blog post to mention that I actually offer the service that I’m talking about. Please, don’t mention it. Don’t mention it.” It’s kind of like that. It’s ridiculous. Whereas, you guys are just like, “Hey, look, we’re selling a thing. If you’ve got the disease and we’ve got the cure, we’re going to be happy to talk to you about the cure,” you know?

Rob Marsh:         Yep.

Kate Toon:          And then if you want it or you don’t. And this was a question that came from one of the members of The Clever Copywriting Community. So, Angela [Denly 00:29:55] asked, “Do you think Americans are more open to the hard sell?” Like, the just lay it out there, bam, bam, bam. Do you think that’s true?

Rob Marsh:         I don’t know if it’s true because I don’t know enough about whether Australia or the UK is open to that. But I mean, it sounds true to me. And again, I think it just goes back to the fact that our culture is so … it just kind of evolves around marketing in so many things, you know? Sports is really a marketing event. And even some churches in America are really marketing events, right? It’s not always about the things that you think of as being divine or spiritual, but it’s a lot of churches, and I’m not trying to be critical. I’m not passing judgement  on that at all. I just think that it’s kind of a marketing spectacle, and people expect that in American more than maybe they do in other places. And there’s good and bad to that. I think, again, it might feel schlocky to an outsider, but for whatever reason it seems to work here.

Kate Toon:          But I think one of the positives of it is the confidence. And that confidence not only to write that kind of copy, which is obviously going to work for your clients, but the confidence to sell yourself as a copywriter without feeling like you’re sort of being ashamed to admit that, A, you’re a copywriter, and B, that you’re selling your services. I think that’s something that really comes across from what you and Kira do. And I think that’s a real positive that all copywriters could learn from. And I’m also really excited because you’re going to come and talk at Copy Con. I forgot the name of my own conference there. You’ll be coming and talking about sales pages and selling. And I think that’s going to be a really interesting talk. Give us a little sneak peak of what you’re going to be talking about in that talk.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, so I haven’t written my talk yet.

Kate Toon:          God, no. Nor have I. Nor have I. Don’t worry, Rob.

Rob Marsh:         But let’s just say that I hope to be able to talk about what really makes a good sales page from the American standpoint, right? So, I think we were joking that Americans do sales pages better than Aussies. And that’s kind of what I’m going to talk about. But I’m not going to approach it necessarily from the, “Hey, this is what you do with your headline, and this is what you do with the deck copy or the body copy, or how you make the sub heads stand out.” We can touch on some of that, but I really want to talk about the persuasive elements. What is it that makes it so that as you read a piece of copy, you want to keep reading? Everybody’s had this experience where they’ve read a sales page and all you can do to keep yourself from pushing the buy button. And I really want to talk about what it is that creates that feeling. And maybe show some examples that prove that really well.

So, I’m excited to come down there. I’ve never been to Australia. I’ve been told that as soon as I get off the plane everything there is going to try to kill me, from spiders and snakes to sharks. But I’m looking forward to having a couple of days to spend with you guys down there.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, it’s going to be great. So, that’s May the fourth. I’ll do a plug for myself. And Rob will be coming to Melbourne. So, hopefully getting to Sydney as well to see a bit of that. And yes, the 10 most deadliest creatures in the world come from Australia. So, you be careful, okay?

Rob Marsh:         I’m going to be … Yeah, I’ll bring a biohazard suit.

Kate Toon:          Exactly, check your boots before you put them on. I guess a couple of questions that came out of the community and The Hot Copy listeners were, of all these things that you’ve done, and especially in the last couple of years launching these courses and communities, what do you think have been your biggest personal challenges? You know? Like, maybe pick a couple of things that have made you kind of go, “Am I doing the right thing? Is this going to work?”

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, that’s a really hard question for me to answer because I tend to be really optimistic and kind of believe in myself.

Kate Toon:          You’re so American.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, exactly. But let me maybe share a couple of the things that we see over and over and over, and you probably see these in your community too. So, number one challenge that almost all copywriters tell us, we ask before anybody joins The Copywriter Club, there’s a little survey they have to fill out in Facebook and say, “What’s the number one challenge for your business?” And I bet 80%, maybe even higher, say finding clients is the hardest thing. And that is without a doubt everybody’s struggle. I think it goes back to what we were talking about earlier that a lot of people are introverted and have a really hard time getting out in front of the right clients. They don’t always know who they want to serve. So, that’s a struggle.

And I struggle with that too, you know? I don’t necessarily have a line of clients at my door, you know? I have to make sure that I’m getting myself top of mind. I have to reach out to former clients and say, “What can I help you with this time?” I have a couple of projects that I’ve been on that I hope are going to turn out really well, big projects. But before the contract’s signed, I’m just like, “Am I going to have enough money in the bank for whatever I need in two or three months?” So, that is a struggle for everybody, and something that we work hard to help people solve in The Copywriter Club. I know you do the same thing with your conference and with your community. This is a big challenge that a lot of us try to help with.

Other challenges, kind of mentioned it before about connecting with the right people, not just clients, but connecting with the people who can help you move your business forward. And we see people all the time in our group who it seems like nothing changes from month to month or year to year. It’s always that same struggle, “How am I going to make rent? Or how am I going to find the next client?” And a big part of solving that problem is getting to know the right people, different people. So, people who maybe have done things that you want to do already. And so, they know how to do this stuff and they can point you the way or clients that can help you take yourself to the next level. We talk about it because we have a mastermind group and we do training, but joining a mastermind group with other copywriters or potential clients or business thinkers, just seeing how other people do business. People often who are operating maybe on a higher level and you can go, “Oh my gosh, how are they doing that? I’m no different from them.” So, you learn things from them. So, connecting with the right people, I think is a huge challenge.

And then, number three, again, figuring out pricing. Everybody seems to struggle with that, right? And it’s because there’s such a huge range in pricing. Some people who are willing to write blog posts for $24 or $30, ridiculously low prices. And then other people who come back and say, “I just wrote this 1,500 word blog post for two grand,” you know? Maybe more. And it’s like, wait a second. If there’s such a huge disparity, where’s the right place for me? You know? How do you go from low to high? Or how do you start out high enough? So, those are all really big challenges that I think all of us kind of struggle with.

Kate Toon:          So, you’ve struggled with those as well? Because you know-

Rob Marsh:         For sure.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, okay. Cool.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, I don’t have everything figured out all the time, for sure.

Kate Toon:          That’s good. That’s good to know. I think the biggest challenge that … I think those three are spot on. And if I could add a fourth, I think one thing that I see a lot of is the amount of emotion and kind of the way … the amount of emotion people invest in their copywriting business, and especially I think because we do feel like we’re creating something. It is a creative process. So, when it’s not taken well by the client, or when we’re struggling to sell ourselves to someone, it can be quite an emotional thing and there’s a lot of imposter syndrome, comparing yourself to others and their big prices. One thing I do notice in some of … I don’t think it happens so much in your group, but in some of the groups there are a lot of people who come in going slightly chest beaty, “I’m the big guy. Look at me charging X for a sales page.” And you know, we don’t know the story behind that. We don’t know how true that is, but it can make other people feel inferior and they’re not doing as well.

So, there’s a lot of emotion around it. And I think, you know, you said people are introverts. I think to be a good copywriter, you kind of have to be quite empathetic, you kind of have to be in touch with your feelings. And that can sometimes be a bad thing. Do you feel that you’re … Do you think you’ve got that side of it under control? Do you ever compare yourself and go, “God, I wish our podcast was as good as Kate and …” No, I’m joking. But do you still suffer from comparisonitis and imposter syndrome or anything like that?

Rob Marsh:         Kira and I joke often that I don’t have any feelings.

Kate Toon:          You’re one of those. I love it.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, so I compare myself, sure. I do. I mean, to other people that are accomplishing things. So, there are people that I look up to and I think I wish that I had that project or I was working on projects like that, for sure. That happens to me. But again, it’s a process. So, just because I’m not doing that today, doesn’t mean that I can’t be doing it a year from now, or even six months from now, right? So, it’s always looking for the next opportunity, the next thing that you can take a chance on. We’ve been talking about in our community this idea of quantum leaps and quantum mechanics. And we talk about it on our podcast, so I won’t go into it in real detail.

But one of the cool things about quantum mechanics is that a particle exists in two places at the exact same time, and this sounds really weird and for whatever reason, quantum mechanics and physicists need to explain why, but how you see that particle depends on where you are when you make the observation. And so, we’re often in our lives doing similar things. We operate on more than one level, but we don’t always identify the right level that we’re operating on because we’re looking at ourselves in a different way. So, we might be operating on that $200 blog post level in how we perceive ourselves, but we’re fully capable of doing the $1,000 blog post or the $500 sales page to the $5,000 sales page, whatever that jump is. We’re fully capable of both, and how we look at ourselves really depends on where we are when we make that observation. So, yeah. I mean, if anybody wants to talk … I don’t want to necessarily get it all in.

Kate Toon:          No, I get you, I get you.

Rob Marsh:         [Crosstalk 00:39:46] whatever, but yeah.

Kate Toon:          I think even if you take the quantum mechanics out of it, it’s just the way that we feel about a quote on one day when we’ve had a good night’s sleep and a great coffee and we’re feeling pumped, we’re happy to send that proposal off. The next day when we’re tired and the kids have been annoying and whatever, we look at our proposal for two hours and go, “This is never going to get accepted.”

Rob Marsh:         Right.

Kate Toon:          So, even in the mesh of 24 hours, you worldview can just tip to the side. But you were talking about leaps and next steps. You’ve obviously achieved an awful lot in the last couple of years. And I guess the question is, what’s next? I know what’s literally next, which is TCCIRL, am I saying that right?

Rob Marsh:         You are, yeah.

Kate Toon:          Tell us a little bit about the conference. When’s that happening?

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, so last year we started a copywriting conference, a little bit like yours. Ours is two days. And we made the mistake last year of asking way too many people to speak thinking that most of them would turn us down and then they all said yes. And suddenly, you have 20 people speaking in two days. And we promised ourselves we wouldn’t make that mistake this year. And then, of course, we’ve got 20 people speaking on copywriting in two days at our conference this year. But March, we’re going to kick off with a little bit of a welcome reception, March 13th. And then we get started March 14th and 15th. You’re coming to speak at the conference. And you’re going to be talking about SEO copywriting, but you’re going to be talking about it in a way that’s really interesting and exciting, which we’re happy about.

Kate Toon:          I love the way, Rob, whenever he said, “We can talk about SEO copywriting, but I’m just a bit worried that all the other speeches are going to be exciting and people are going to be like, ‘Oh, SEO, god it’s so boring.'” And I’m like, “Rob, this is my bread and butter.” Believe me, I’m going to make it so sexy. There’s going to be no one in any of the other rooms. That’s it. People won’t even want to go and see any of the other speakers after mine, just you wait.

Rob Marsh:         That’s right. Well, we’re a single track, so everything is-

Kate Toon:          That’s lovely, I love that. I do that too.

Rob Marsh:         There’s no competition.

Kate Toon:          I love that.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, and the really cool thing though is, the last year, and I anticipate this is going to happen this year, all the speakers stay for the whole time. They’re in the audience too learning. They’re taking notes. We have some really smart people that presented last year that are coming back this year just as participants. We have a few participants from last year who are actually taking the stage this year, and I anticipate that that’s going to continue as we get to know more people who come to our conference that they’ll be on the stage in the future years. And so, yeah, it was an awesome experience doing it last year. We’re excited about having it all come together this year. It is so much work putting on a conference.

Kate Toon:          Oh my god.

Rob Marsh:         It’s crazy.

Kate Toon:          We’ve talked about this. It’s so hard. Like, we are … what are we? Because I’m getting beanbags because obviously I’ve got a bit of a beanbag fetish. I’ve got a mother and baby area because we get a lot of moms. Otherwise, they couldn’t come if they couldn’t bring their baby. So, I have the-

Rob Marsh:         That’s a cool thing you do, for sure.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, we’re having a little beanbag area. But then the delivery guy’s like, “We can only deliver them on this day.” And it’s like, I’ve spent three hours trying to negotiate beanbags, aren’t I supposed to be a copywriter? Like, when did this all happen? I don’t know. So, the conference is obviously going to be awesome and hopefully something that you’re going to run every year. And you’ve got your courses and the community and you’ve got your own clients as well, which is a little bit different to me. I don’t actually have that many clients anymore. Is there anything next? Like maybe another book, another … what’s next?

Rob Marsh:         There’s lots of things next for sure. I mean, the real next thing is our conference and then your conference, and then some projects going on. We have a mastermind group that relaunches in April. And so, we’ll be working with a bunch of writers in that, which is exciting. Kira and I have kind of mapped out a couple of things that we want to do differently this year. And so, there probably will be a copy course of some kind coming. We’re going to be doing the accelerator again this fall. But really, our focus is growing what we’re doing right now. And at some point we might get to the place where we don’t take clients. Although, I kind of like having clients as we build the stuff. It just kind of keeps our hands in it and it’s just … I really enjoy the process of writing a sales page, you know? And putting things together. And it kind of gives me a little bit of heart burn to want to let go of that. But yeah, we’re growing our membership community, we’re growing what we’re doing. And we’re just excited to see how it all comes together in the coming years.

Kate Toon:          Fantastic. Well, it sounds like an awful lot. You’re like, “I’m just doing this and this and this. And this and this and this.”

Rob Marsh:         I have Kira there to help. She does a lot of the heavy lifting too.

Kate Toon:          I bet she does all the work, let’s be … No, I’m joking.

Rob Marsh:         She definitely … she does all the … if it’s good stuff that’s happening in The Copywriter Club, you can guarantee Kira’s behind it for sure.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, I love that. And we had a great episode with Kira, which you can go back and find in the annals of The Hot Copy Podcast in iTunes or Stitcher where we talked a little bit more about the American and Britishness. It’s kind of a bit of an obsession of ours. But Rob, it has been so awesome talking to you. I think we’ve mentioned all your things enough for people who are going to be able to find you. But I’ll include links to them all in the show notes for this episode. And I guess we’re all just super excited to see you in May flying over from the USA, so looking forward to it.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, I’m excited too. And you should be sure to link to our interview with you on our podcast, because that was a great interview too where you talk about your experience. And we’ve even talked to Belinda, so-

Kate Toon:          We’ll put both those in.

Rob Marsh:         Yeah, for sure, you can share those with your audience.

Kate Toon:          And I love … I think that sums up something very nice about your attitude and Belinda and I’s is that we’re all about collaboration over competition and there is enough room for everybody. And I find that people are going to choose things based on whether they like your vibe, but also, people are going to do all the things, hopefully come to your conference and mine if they had enough money. That would be amazing. Do both.

Rob Marsh:         They should be at both, for sure.

Kate Toon:          We should do a package deal, shouldn’t we? Buy both, get 10% off. That would be amazing.

Rob Marsh:         Great idea. We’ll have to talk about how we make that work.

Kate Toon:          Yeah, one day we’ll get a private jet to fly folk over. Well, thank you very much, Rob. It’s been lovely having you on the show. And regular listeners will know that at this time, we read out a review of the show. I say we, but it’s just me. And this time I have a review from the US of A from [Dray Zidree 00:46:03], what a great name. I’m sure I’m not saying that right. I could read it in an American accent, but I won’t. “This podcast is loaded with great info, but it’s not a slog to get through. These two women are bright, funny, and totally delightful.” Thanks. “If you’re either an experienced or novice copywriter, you’ll get tonnes of great tips and expert insights from this show. The hosts are real and candid and spare their listeners any salesy BS. A+++.” Thank you very much. And thanks to you for listening. If you liked the show, don’t forget to leave a rating and review on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you heard the podcast. Your review will help others find us and we’ll give you a shout out on the show. And as I said, you can head to and leave your comments on the blog post for this episode, find out more about Rob and follow links to all his thousand billion things that he’s doing. So, thank you again, Rob.

Rob Marsh:         Thanks, Kate. Appreciate it.

Kate Toon:          Until next time, happy writing.

The post E95: From copywriting to copy king: How Rob Marsh masters the art of copywriting appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Mar 06 2019



Rank #5: E64: Copywriting formulas: Smart copywriting? Or cheating?

Podcast cover
Read more

How a few acronyms can help you write faster

Today we’re going to talk about copywriting formulas. Is using a formula cheating or is it smart copywriting? Spoiler: It’s both.

In this episode, we share our favourite copywriting formulas and how to use them. If you’ve ever wondered, WHERE ON EARTH DO I BEGIN? this episode is for you.

Tune in to learn:

  • Why the PAS formula is our go to formula
  • How the PAS is made even better
  • What AIDA is all about
  • The unpronounceable formula that gives you rock solid structure

Hot Copy #64: Copywriting formulas: Smart copywriting? Or cheating? #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Leigh Gree from the USA for a five-star review of the show.

Useful links:

The post E64: Copywriting formulas: Smart copywriting? Or cheating? appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Nov 29 2017



Rank #6: E70: Leaving your day job to become a copywriter

Podcast cover
Read more

Should you plan your exit or just get out?

Deciding to change jobs is a big decision. Deciding to actually ditch your job (and the loveliness of a regular salary) to become a freelancer can seem like an enormous risk.

So, how can you prepare for and transition into life as a freelance copywriter? 

That’s what we’re talking about today! We share our tips and experience on making it a smooth transition. We cover preparing for the change, when to make the leap, getting your name out there and making sure your bills are being paid.

Kate and Belinda have had significantly different experiences in this area so you’ll be able to hear two approaches.

Tune in to learn:

  • How and why Kate left her last full-time job
  • The story of Belinda leaving her last full-time job
  • When you know it’s time to go
  • What kind of preparation you can do
  • Belinda’s handy trick that turned her boss into her first retainer client

Hot Copy #70: How to leave your day job and become a full-time copywriter #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for the listeners:

How did you transition to life as a full-time copywriter?

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Louise Brogan @SocialBeeNI from the UK for a fantastic review of the show.

The post E70: Leaving your day job to become a copywriter appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Mar 07 2018



Rank #7: E72: Micro copy: How to make a big impact with small copy

Podcast cover
Read more

Tiny snippets of copy joy to help and persuade your customers

So, you’ve finally finished writing your client’s copy.

The homepage is ‘Wow,’ the content pages are engaging and you’ve done just the right amount of SEO to keep those pesky Google hummingbirds singing.

But you’ve forgotten something.

That’s right — your micro copy.

We know, we know. Micro copy isn’t sexy. And it’s certainly not the kind of copy people rave about. In fact, if micro copy were at a party it would be lurking by the door, pointing out where the toilets are, while sales copy was busy showing off to the crowd.

But these teeny tiny snippets of text can have a huge impact on the success of your site. So in this week’s podcast, we’re going to tell you how to write awesome micro copy.

Tune in to learn:

  • What micro copy is
  • Why it’s important on your website
  • Great examples of micro copy
  • How micro copy can help persuade and reassure customers
  • Kate and Belinda’s top micro copywriting tips

Hot Copy #72: Micro copy: How to make a big impact with small copy #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for the listeners:

Have you had much experience writing micro copy? 

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Hot Copy #72: Micro copy: How to make a big impact with small copy #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Katie Matthews from the UK for a fantastic review of the show.

Useful Links:

Hot Copy #72: Micro copy: How to make a big impact with small copy #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

The post E72: Micro copy: How to make a big impact with small copy appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Apr 04 2018



Rank #8: E63: Writing Clickable Facebook ads

Podcast cover
Read more

Attract nurture and convert your ideal customers

Facebook, some of us love it, some of us hate it. But there’s no denying it’s a powerful marketing tool, both for ourselves and our clients.

But one area that still bemuses many of us is the dark art of Facebook advertising. We know from experience that randomly boosting posts has very little impact!

So today we’ve invited my friend and business buddy Loren Bartley to talk all things Facebook advertising.

She’s going to give us the low down on how to create successful Facebook advertising campaigns that will deliver clicks and customers.

Tune in to learn:

  • The five key elements of a Facebook ad
  • The general structure of a Facebook ad including character limits
  • Whether it’s worth promoting your existing posts
  • Tips for writing Facebook ad headlines
  • Magic words that help drive more conversions
  • How to use graphics effectively
  • Questions from Becky Brown, Lisa Kneibe, Liz Green and Dean McKensie
  • Loren’s top tips and resources

Hot Copy #63: Writing Clickable Facebook ads with @impactiv8
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to ‘A lover and a writer’ for their lovely testimonial.

About Loren

Loren Bartley is a social media strategist, speaker and consultant. She the Founder and CEO of digital marketing agency, Impactiv8, as well as being the co-host and producer of the top-rated podcast, #BusinessAddicts.

Loren’s superpower is creating Facebook Ads that attract, nurture and convert your ideal customers. She is on a personal mission to help remove the overwhelm, confusion and headaches that many businesses experience when it comes to Facebook Advertising by teaching you how to implement those strategies that work!

Useful links:

The post E63: Writing Clickable Facebook ads appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Nov 15 2017



Rank #9: E75: Beat the blank page! Our copywriting process from blank page to first draft

Podcast cover
Read more

A step by step process to get that first draft done.

Does the blank page ever mock you? That blinking cursor, flashing at your lack of ability to start this copywriting project… to write a killer headline or craft a first sentence that wows each and every reader…?

You’re not alone.

Once you land a job, starting the actual writing can feel like the biggest hurdle you’ll face but we’ve got your back. We’re starting a series about our complete writing process, from a blank page to the final draft.

This episode is all about getting to the first draft.

Tune in to learn:

  • How Belinda and Kate start every single project
  • The easiest way to beat the blank page
  • How to make sure you have the right tone of voice
  • Where brainstorming and research fit in
  • Whether you can edit as you write

Hot Copy #E75: Beat the blank page! Our copywriting process from blank page to first draft #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for the listeners:

How do YOU start each copywriting project? Do you have a system or do you just let it flow?

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Lucy – Baby Berry Collective for a fantastic review of the show.

Useful Links:

The post E75: Beat the blank page! Our copywriting process from blank page to first draft appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

May 16 2018



Rank #10: E90: From teacher to copywriter: Chris Cooper

Podcast cover
Read more

Building a successful business from scratch.

Imagine peeking into the office of other copywriters… copywriters doing their thing day in, day out. And making a success of it.

Comparisonitis can be our undoing but it can incredibly useful to hear how and why other copywriters make the choices they do. That’s when comparisonitis turns into inspiration.

Today I’m talking to Chris Cooper. Copywriter and content strategist in Denver.  

Tune in to learn:

  • How Chris made the leap from teaching to writing
  • The mindset time Chris uses to set the tone of his day
  • How Chris has attracted his dream clients
  • Why Chris doesn’t call himself a freelancer
  • How ditching his niche boosted his work satisfaction
  • The hardest part of being a copywriter
  • Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read online

Hot Copy #90: Chris Cooper: teacher to copywriter#copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for you

Do you have any mindset tips you can share? How do you get your head straight each day?

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Heather Woods from New Zealand for a fantastic review of the show.

Share the meme:

About Chris

Chris Cooper owns Real Good Writing in Denver, CO where he helps SaaS and B2B tech companies improve conversion rates. 

Connect with Chris

Useful Links:

The post E90: From teacher to copywriter: Chris Cooper appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Jan 02 2019



Rank #11: E71: The secret to writing profitable Google AdWords

Podcast cover
Read more

How to write Google ads that web surfers click on

Many of us are familiar with Google AdWords as part of our knowledge of SEO. But can Google AdWords shortcut your SEO efforts and get to page 1?

And are writing Google AdWords a profitable part of a copywriter’s portfolio of projects?

Today we’re talking to Google AdWords expert, Melinda Samson. She’s going to give us the lowdown on Google AdWords: the good, the bad and how to write them.

Tune in to learn:

  • The structure of the AdWords ad
  • What kind of content these ads should link to
  • Essential character limits you need to know
  • How testing ads can change everything
  • Surprising micro edits that can boost ad performance
  • Advice for copywriters looking to offer this as a service

Hot Copy #71: The secret to writing profitable Google AdWords with @clicktips #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for the listeners!

Have you written Google AdWords for yourself or others?

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Hot Copy #71: The secret to writing profitable Google AdWords with @clicktips #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Who is Melinda Samson?

Melinda, co-owner of Click-Winning Content, is a Premier Google Partner and Google AdWords & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer. She works with businesses to increase their leads and sales. Mel is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first and also likes grand slam tennis, greyhounds and Melbourne sunsets.

Basically what she does is help businesses get maximum value from their AdWords campaigns. I live, love and breathe AdWords!

Connect with Mel

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Frelsun for a fantastic review of the show.

Useful links

Hot Copy #71: The secret to writing profitable Google AdWords with @clicktips #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

The post E71: The secret to writing profitable Google AdWords appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Mar 21 2018



Rank #12: E88: The science of conversational copywriting with Nick Usborne

Podcast cover
Read more

Why conversations make more money than pitches.

Did you know that our brain responds differently to different messages? If you don’t want to write copy that puts readers on high alert, conversational copywriting is for you.

In this episode, Belinda talks to Nick Usborne (copywriter with 40 years experience) about the shifts in copywriting and why conversational copywriting is actually right for everyone.  

Tune in to learn:

  • What conversational copywriting is
  • The super easy way to know if you’ve written it or missed the mark
  • How our brain responds to different sales messages
  • Uncovering the language of our readers
  • How to persuade clients that it’s the right tone for their brand

Hot Copy #E88: The craft and science of conversational copywriting with @nickusborne #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to Greg from Portland for a 5-star review.

Share the meme:

About Nick

Who is Nick Usborne?

Nick Usborne is an expert in copywriting and web writing. He has written copy for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Citibank, Apple, Chrysler,, New York Times, WebEx, the U.S. Navy, and others. He attributes his success to “conversational copywriting,”.

Seth Godin says, “In a world of instant pundits and stuffed shirts, Nick Usborne stands out as an astute, insightful and original mind. He’s able to find substance when others see just fluff, and can cut right to the core of the issue.”

Connect with Nick

Useful Links:

The post E88: The science of conversational copywriting with Nick Usborne appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Dec 05 2018



Rank #13: E92: Writing long form FB ads (that convert like crazy): Justin Blackman

Podcast cover
Read more

How to add this profitable service to your business

We’ve all read those long-form Facebook ads and wondered if they really work.

Would you be surprised to learn that some of the highest converting Facebook ads are the length of some long-form landing pages? Upwards of two thousand words!

And they work. Why do they work and how can you write them is the topic of today’s episode. Justin Blackman shares his experience on writing high-converting Facebook ads in hundreds of different tones of voice.

It’s a bonanza of an episode that delivers much more than Facebook ads.

If you want to learn how to write long-form FB ads and bundle your services and write in different tones of voice… this episode is for YOU!

Tune in to learn:

  • All about “Pedestal Post” formatting (one sentence at a time that people hate UNLESS it’s for them)
  • The secret sauce to lowering bounce rates
  • A simple way to a/b test (changing only the preview copy)
  • The surprising detail of effective Facebook ad images
  • Justin’s “Daniel Day-Lewis/method acting” approach to finding the customers voice
  • Best formulas for long-form Facebook ads
  • Formal vs. informal language – is jargon always bad?
  • How to use your current Facebook ads to reverse engineer high converting ads
  • Headlines are even important in FB ads
  • How Justin stumbled into the 6-figure gig without ever pitching it

Hot Copy #92: Writing long-form FB ads (that convert like crazy): Justin Blackman #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to lawyer09 from USA for a great review.

Share the meme:

About Justin

Justin spent 2 decades marketing big name brands, like Red Bull, Puma & 5-hour Energy where he learned the power of good voice.

And it made him hate boring, drab, self-centred emails & websites. So he analyzed the good ones, studied quick-hit storytelling techniques from comedians, and cannon-balled into copywriting. Now he helps B2C businesses craft messages that sound like people.

Connect with Justin

Useful Links:


Justin:              Hi, thanks for having me.

Belinda:            The first thing we’re going to do in case anyone doesn’t know who you are, who are you? What do you do and who do you do it for?

Justin:              Sure. I’m Justin Blackman and I spent two decades marketing big name brands like Red Bull and Puma, and 5-hour Energy, and I learned the power of a good voice. It made me hate the boring drab, self-centered emails and websites. So I analyze the good ones, and I also studied a lot of cricket storytelling techniques from comedians. So I got involve with the copywriting, and now I help B to C businesses craft messages that sound like people.

Belinda:            I love that line that you write words that sound like real people, which is a very important thing for these B to C spaces. B to B spaces I should say.

Justin:              Yeah. You got to find your voice for sure.

Belinda:            So can you tell us how you got into writing Facebook ads?

Justin:              Yeah, it was not planned. I will say this.

Belinda:            I’m not surprised.

Justin:              I’m not someone that loves writing Facebook or social. A matter of fact, it was not one of my strengths, but I got a call out of the blue from someone that has a Facebook marketing company. They’d seen some of the work that I had done, and they needed someone that could write in different personalities. With the work that I’d done with the headline project, which I know we’re going to talk about a little bit later, they had seen that I can write in different voices. They said that they specialize in those long form pedestal post styles like the one sentence at a time posts. They asked if I wanted to give it a shot and the first one that I did, I nailed and it performed well. They brought me on and I’ve been working in-house for them ever since.

Belinda:            That’s awesome.

Justin:              They have a whole account management team. They just said can you write these Facebook ads. I said, “I’ve never done it before, but I’ll give it a shot.” He sent me a few examples of ads that they had that performed well, and I just reversed engineered it. A lot of it was the PAS, Problem Agitate Solution. I quickly identified the formulas and I saw just the way that they wrote, and the short staccato style, quick hit sentences because it’s all optimized for mobile. More than 50% of the traffic for Facebook is going to be on mobile. So you want the shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs that don’t wrap and look like a book on a mobile phone.

Justin:              It was actually really easy to analyze. I think that any writer with even a year of experience under their belt can reverse engineer a good ad, and figuring out what works with it and what doesn’t. Also just because you’re on Facebook all the time, see what works for you. I just looked and did a little bit of research. I asked some questions and we figured it out real quick.

Belinda:            I love that idea. So it’s obviously a good tip to start with is start saving ads that you’ll see.

Justin:              Yeah, absolutely.

Belinda:            So let’s talk about that one copy line at a time. You called it a pedestal post formatting. So I love it when things have names. We all sound really clever when we know what they are, but I mean that obviously works for mobile. That’s what you just told us. How does it work in terms of conversions, because it can be kind of annoying? Is the formatting for mobile the only reason we do it?

Justin:              Yes and no. The formatting I would say is primarily because of mobile. It can look a little tedious on desktop and actually LinkedIn was a bit notorious for these types of posts, but it’s the same thing. It’s written that way because also Facebook buries anything more than five or six lines with that see more. So you want to tease someone into clicking it and reading through. The lengths of these posts, they can get long. A lot of the ones that I write are between five and 700 words. Some of the, yeah it’s long for an ad. A lot of the gurus, like you’ll see the higher end guys, some of their posts are 1500 to 2000 words. They are long, but they’re done that way intentionally.

Justin:              If you are interested, you’re going to keep reading. Every time you click, that person’s got to pay for that click. Whoever’s post it is got to pay for that back end. If you quit halfway through, it means that you aren’t going to buy the product anyway. So they’ve already filtered you out. So you are going to get a lower click through rate, but you’re actually going to get a higher conversion rate. So it’s a really good way of qualifying your audience before they get to [inaudible 00:07:29].

Belinda:            That could be a great point when you’re talking to clients as well, where you were talking about how long do we need the ad to be. You can really upsell more copy as that qualification. So by qualifying the readers to get to the end, you’re lowering the cost per click and upping the conversion rate?

Justin:              Yes.

Belinda:            Nice.

Justin:              Yeah and the answer, when we’ve had people, it’s too long. We have people saying that it’s too short. It’s as long as it needs to be. That’s always the answer for the length. It’s not right for everybody. I’d say that these are best for people that aren’t coaches, who are in the service industry. You don’t necessarily need that for products, but it’s more, we did a lot of health coaches, fitness coaches, life coaches, speaking coaches and also network marketers. It works really well for that. Anyone that has a service that you’re trying to provide into, I’d say the more length and more qualifying you’re doing up the candidate, the better your results are going to be.

Belinda:            I think the same applies for long form copy on landing pages as well. I think one of the reasons, I mean short copy works for products because they’re usually more price sensitive, or things that are cheaper because people don’t care. The more you have to get someone to invest emotionally and financially, the more stories you need to tell them, the more testimonials you need, the more persuasion you need. So that applies across the board.

Justin:              Yeah, absolutely.

Belinda:            So you mentioned the pass formula, my go to. Are there any other formulas that work well in Facebook ads?

Justin:              Yeah, Facebook has a lot of proven techniques, and they’re not very common. I had to do a lot of research for this. So I will say that a lot of what I’m going to tell you is taken from other experts, and the information is out there. There’s a few different ones. Some of that work, storytelling is great and that’s the way of the future right now anyway. So anytime that you can tell a good story and bait someone on right away, that is a fantastic way of getting people through. It’s also just the way of making the copy more interesting. You can pick a fight, you can immediately drop another guru’s name in there and say like, this is why Tim Ferriss is wrong, or Seth Godin says this, but I disagree.

Justin:              You’re now going to ride the coattails and whatever name you’ve just mentioned. They’re like, “Wait a minute. Why? I love Seth Godin. Why is this guy contradicting? What’s he got to say?” Then you can loop someone in that way, so you’re instantly engaging them. It also pre-qualifies your audience so you know that you’re talking to the right person. Like if we mentioned Seth Godin and the person doesn’t know who Seth Godin is, they’re probably not going to be in your audience anyway. So they’re going to skip it. Let’s see, Facebook can also, you want to be positive with this. If you go too negative too much, Facebook’s new algorithm is promoting positivity and happiness, and they want people to feel good when they’re on Facebook. So if you go dark and gloomy, Facebook can actually punish you and limit your reach.

Justin:              They want positive words to be showing up posts. So you can start out by challenging, but you quickly want to go more into the positive results that you’ll get. So doom and gloom can be good to start with, but quickly drop it then get into it.

Belinda:            I love, I just quickly, I love this idea that Facebook is going no, everyone will be happy here.

Justin:              The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Belinda:            Anyway, yeah I love these.

Justin:              Yeah. Also the way, beginning your post. When I first started, I was always putting the target name. Like if you’re writing the stay at home so the stay at home moms. You would say, stay at home moms, are you tired of blah, blah, blah. I’ve since learned that that’s not best practice. You actually wanted to start like you’re just having a conversation with someone, and you can mention stay at home moms but you want to do it more naturally. One of the problems with being a stay at home mom is this. So you’re not just putting them up in a title and be like, “Hey, look at me. Look at me.” You’re engaging them naturally. You’re having a conversation with them. So good way of bringing them in right away.

Belinda:            That’s a really good tip because calling out your target audience in your headline can be a really good way to qualify it, but it looks really like marketing. So I guess what you’re saying is the more it looks like an ad, the less effective it might be.

Justin:              Yeah. One of the great lines I heard a couple of years ago is people go to Facebook to avoid making decisions, not to make decisions. So when you look like an ad, that’s not why you’re there. You’re there to escape reality. You’re not there to be solved. You’re there to see pictures of puppies and your friends, and just got to see where everyone’s checking in and just escape. When you look like an ad, that’s what people are trying to escape from. It kind if fit in there a little bit more organically.

Belinda:            Nice. I love that. What about the tone of voice, and I know tone of voice is very individual to the client and to their audience as well. Can you talk about some of the writing aspects that work well on Facebook ads?

Justin:              Yeah, absolutely. Facebook as a medium is more informal. That’s just where you go. I mean the whole social media-

Belinda:            The reason you said.

Justin:              Yeah, it’s like talking in text messages with the letter U for Y-O-U. You’re cringing, I’m cringing. I hate it. I don’t do it. There are a few ads that I have written like that because the person I’m writing for does that. So you have to write in their style. I hate it. I’m not saying that everyone should do this, but if your audience is young teens, you might want to. I’d say in general, Facebook gives you permission to be more casual. You still want to stay on brunt if you are a very formal brand and you don’t want to match that tone. I mean in general, it’s a conversational place to be and you just want to be engaging and beginning sentences with hand and but and because you’re allowed to break rules, it’s social.

Justin:              People are on their phone or texting. They’re used to short speak. They’re used to seeing typos, and actually typos can improve engagement as weird as it sounds. It makes you more human when you have typos. So don’t be afraid of being imperfect.

Belinda:            Yes. When it is imperfect, it feels less like a structured campaign.

Justin:              Yeah. Yeah, it shows a little bit of a human side to them.

Belinda:            Yeah, absolutely. What about things like jargon because I imagine with the Facebook targeting, we can actually get straight down to the audience. So if we’ve got a more technical topic, or we’re talking to a hobby or something that has its own language, we can just jump straight into that.

Justin:              We can. Jargon is not necessarily a bad thing. You don’t want to use it, you don’t want to overuse it. If you’re talking about something technical and your audience understands jargon and this is what they say, if they use weird acronyms that the majority of the world doesn’t know, it’s totally fine to use it. It shows that you’re on the inside, that you understand what they’re talking about. You’re one of them. So jargon can actually be a really good way of qualifying people.

Belinda:            Nice. I guess that also what you’ve got to think about is where are they in those five stages of awareness. Are they new to the topic, or are they about to agree to make a decision. So that’s the other balancing, which we [inaudible 00:15:24] do in all our copy as well.

Justin:              Yeah, that’s a great point. If they’re on high awareness, or most aware, for sure you can drop in a little bit of jargon.

Belinda:            Nice. So you mentioned storytelling, and so this could be obviously stories about my challenge. I was poor and my business had failed, and then I used these three secrets and now I’m a millionaire working from the beach. So there’s that but there’s also telling the stories of our clients and case studies and stuff like that. How can we use those best in terms of a Facebook ad?

Justin:              Facebook is interesting here. You are not allowed to make assumptions about your reader. You can based on targeting, but there are things that you can get in trouble if you’re guessing that someone is struggling with something. Dating specifically. Dating is a very, very hard niche to tackle. Facebook is ultra conservative when it comes to making assumptions about people. Just because you don’t know what someone’s going through, you don’t know if they’re heterosexual, homosexual. If you incorrectly target someone, that gets bad. They complain, Facebook has to complain and people have to apologize. So you cannot make assumptions about that. So what you can do is talk about the clientele that you serve.

Justin:              You can say, or you can talk about your own struggle. Like if I’m talking about dating for heterosexual, I can talk about here are certain things and I look for in a woman. You can say my clients often do this, but I can’t say you probably do this because that’s making an assumption about the end user and you cannot be 100% sure that you’ve got that.

Belinda:            Right. So you can tell a story from your own personal point of view. You can tell specific stories from other people, your clients, but you can’t make that projection onto readers. I actually have heard that once before where someone was having some trouble getting some Facebook ads for pregnant women, because they were talking about having the baby. That was seen as a projection. Like well, that’s what’s going to happen. That’s a really funny example, but I understand that. So when you’re using it, do you use testimonials? Are these things introduced at the start or through, or how would you tell a story?

Justin:              Well, I remember writing an ad for a divorcee coach. She was talking about her struggles, and the reason why she created the course. It was for divorcees over the age of 55. We could target that, but we can never say that they were struggling with depression and finding themselves. So we had to internalize it and it was, the story was I think it began with something along the lines of this isn’t how I expected life after 55 to be. We broke it down at the bullet points. So it was all first person and you felt for her, and this story had a great ending. It was a happy story, but it started off where the people that could identify with this immediately caught on. They’re like, “Yes, okay. I felt this, I felt this too.” So it just instantly hooked them in.

Justin:              Again, if you weren’t that, if you didn’t care about it, you would skip the ad entirely. So yeah, it’s just about bringing it into first person, making it real. It was a real story. There was nothing made up about it. So the more genuine and open you can be, as long as it’s got a happy ending because Facebook does want to hear about the happy side.

Belinda:            We’re talking about a literal happy ending not a-

Belinda:            Okay, cool. So what about telling a client’s story? Firstly I wanted to say I love that you had a little hook intro to the story rather than just jumping in to the story. I love that. So if you were telling your client’s story, would you just frame it in the same way where you are saying my client Sandra, discovered one day … That kind of thing?

Justin:              Yeah. You could just say here’s one thing that I’ve seen happen over and over again with my clients. Then you can introduce Sandra. Let me tell you about Sandra, something like that. So it’s an instant in and then you can talk about the results that she got, or that your client got. You’re not allowed to promise results. You can’t say that when you do this, you will make money. You could say this is what my clients did, this is what I helped them do and they made money. So you’re talking about a true success story but again with the projections, you cannot promise someone that they will be successful, or that they will have the perfect answer to whatever it is.

Belinda:            Awesome. That is really good to know. Now we’re going to come back to your brand voice, getting into the voice of the customer because this was something that really interests me when we talked about, but you just talked about a course, right? So say somewhere we’re writing an ad for someone who is selling a course, we want the call to action to be that they buy a course. Is that something after the story and after the results? Is it better because we’re talking about giving value in a long form ad can usually be the best approach? Do we want to leave the sale for the next step, or do we want to have that call to action in the ad? Buy the course.

Justin:              If the course is a few hundred bucks or a few thousand bucks, it’s highly unlikely that the Facebook ad is going to do the trick. You can’t put too much on a Facebook ad. What you want to do is get them to the landing page. Let the landing page do the heavy lifting. So I would say for a course, you’re going to want to make … The goal of the Facebook ad is to get the click. It’s not to sell the course. Your other materials, whatever you’re bringing them to, that’s the meat and bones of the sale.

Belinda:            Absolutely. So when you write Facebook ads for clients, would you offer to say I can write the ad but we also need to look at the landing page?

Justin:              100% yes.

Belinda:            Excellent. Yeah. How can you make that transition as easy as possible if you get both?

Justin:              One of my favorite things to talk about is called message match. That is when it’s a trail marker, a visual trail marker that when you click an ad and go to a new place, it shows you that you are in the right place. So if your CTA is say, buy my book. Click here to buy my book. When you get on the landing page, you want to see buy my book. You’re right there. You’re not on the home page where then you have to navigate to try to figure out what the next step is which is the biggest no, no, and can’t tell you how many marketers I’ve seen make that mistake. You need to drive them exactly to the next step. It is insanely important and you can use words as those trail markers. That could be the message match, or you can use images.

Justin:              So if you’ve got an image in an ad, and let’s say it’s a guy on a horse. The landing page should have a picture of a guy on a horse, the same one. It could be, or if it’s not the same one, another shot from that series. Same guy, same horse. You can know that you are in the right place.

Belinda:            I love that and I love the idea of bundling this service together, because they will often with our copywriting, we write the thing and then it goes off and we can’t guarantee what the presale is. We can’t control what the post sale is. We can’t control that our clients just leave the prospective customers at the home page, like dumping them on some land field site. We can’t control that. So I love the idea of bundling the service together, because that’s got to make the conversion rates much better.

Justin:              Yeah, that’s a huge increase. A lot of people will blame poor sales on the performance of a Facebook ad, and it’s not. It’s the targeting, it’s the ad, it’s the landing page, it’s the offer. The ad’s only one part of it. It can be a big part of it, but you cannot blame or credit an entire, you can’t blame or credit the success of a campaign on one ad.

Belinda:            On one element. Yeah. That also makes me think of when Google ads, I think when copywriters go to write Google ads, one thing I’ve found, one of my buddies, she manages Google ads. She said that a big part of effective Google ads is tweaking, and playing, and testing, and trying new things. As copywriters, it’s very hard for us to do that when we can’t control the testing process. You told me there’s a way that we can actually do that in Facebook ads, without being in the backend actually doing the test sequences.

Justin:              Yeah. This I just learned at Copy Chief couple of weeks ago and it’s been huge, because the long form Facebook ads can be so much. If you change too many elements when you’re testing, you’re never going to know which element was the best. You’re not going to know what the result was. So because Facebook has that see more feature after the first anywhere from three to seven lines depending on the lay up, all you need to do is change those first few lines. Leave the rest of the body copy exactly the same. If you try five different Intros, you’re going to quickly see which two or three are stronger. Facebook algorithm will, I believe it will automatically drop the poor performing ones.

Justin:              So then you can test the stronger ones. Then whichever the bestselling one is, then you can start going and changing more elements on the body copy, but figuring which is the strongest hook is first. All you need to do is change your first couple of lines, and it’s a preview text.

Belinda:            So if a copywriter is looking to offer this as a service, would you say we’re going to write an ad and I’m going to give you X number of alternatives for the intro. Is that how you might create a bundle?

Justin:              Yeah, yeah. I would say five different intros and the rest of the body will be exactly the same.

Belinda:            Awesome. Then they could either get you back in to do some tweaking, or they could just choose the ones, you said I’m going to give you five intros, you’ll see quickly which one works the best and then you just run with that.

Justin:              Yeah. Then once you have that optimized, you can change the image. You can change the CTA, but the easiest way to figure out what direction to go into is test the opening body copy.

Belinda:            Nice. I love that. With your clients that you work with all the time, do they get you involved to back as part of your retainer with them? Is that initial delivery some variations, then they get you back to do more tweaking, or do you tend to deliver it and then that’s the end of it?

Justin:              Well most of the time with the company that I write in-house for, if the ads are performing well, then we’ll let them run. If they are not performing, then we’ll go in and we’ll either start from scratch based on similar results that we’ve had, or successful results that we’ve had with similar clients. It could just be a change of the intro copy, or a different image. So it’s not often that we’ve got to go back and change things, but every now and again it happens.

Belinda:            Okay. So it sounds like for copywriters looking to offer this as a service, it’s not necessarily like a website page or a brochure where you write it, you deliver it, and that might be the end of it. It sounds like there’s lots of different ways that you can add bundles, that you can add a variable element to the service to keep clients coming back to you. Not that you want to write ads that need adjusting, but this is obviously a project that might suit retainer agreements, or at least have some elements to your pricing that will invite clients to come back with you and work on any adjustments.

Justin:              Yeah and that there’s a lot of different things that you can add. With the type of clients that we’re working on now, the landing page will require them to submit an email. Then there’s email-

Belinda:            Email sequence.

Justin:              … Later following up, and I love writing these emails.

Belinda:            Me too.

Justin:              I’ve written hundreds at this point, thousands of them for these clients. It’s so much fun and that’s where you can really dive in and get more personal, and you can do some of the things that you can’t do on Facebook because you’ve also further qualified them, so you know that where they are and that they’re further down the line. If they’re not, then quickly unsubscribe and that’s great because you’re not going to be wasting time with them. Yeah, you can absolutely bundle a package with Facebook ads, all of emails, landing pages and even videos.

Belinda:            I love that. I love that idea. That’s so much more potential than one ad let it go. It’s not every one. So you mentioned images. So let’s just quickly touch on images because I know whenever I’ve randomly tried a Facebook ad, I always get that there’s too much text on your image and we’re not going to show your ads. So can you tell us a little bit about what’s best for images? I’m sure clients when they ask people to write the copy would welcome some tips on the rest of their ad as well.

Justin:              Yeah, images are tricky. I’m not going to pretend that I am an expert in this, but I do know a couple of best practices. For the majority of people, you want imperfect images. Stock photography looks like stock photography. It’s not what you’re used to seeing. I mean think about the majority of things that you see on Facebook, they’re taken up with people’s phones, they’re blurry. There’s red eye. If you want it to look real and blend in to the newsfeed and make it look like it belongs there, it’s okay to be imperfect. If you do have a more professional image, maybe an arrow or blur out the background, or make it black and white but a certain part of it in color, there’s a way just to make it a little bit more engaging. Reds and oranges pop for sure. Text is tricky. There are Facebook rules, I want to say it’s no more than 20% of the ad can contain text.

Belinda:            Yeah, I think you’re right.

Justin:              Yeah, you want to be cautious with that. What I have seen some people do is have blurred text and which is kind of tricky. So it looks like there’s more and you can’t read he blurred the text, but the part that you can read is super engaging and it makes you curious what the rest of it is. So I’ve seen that recently. I thought that that was really clever, and an interesting get around.

Belinda:            It would be interesting because people might click for their curious. You pay for a click and it’s not a qualification like it’s the wrong person.

Justin:              Well that’s where the copy comes in. So you want to loop it all together, because remember by the time you see the image, you should have read the ad. The image is below the ad. So it should be there, which actually goes back to one point that I missed earlier. When you are writing these, it’s not just a curiosity gap. Yes, you do want to make them interested. You can have some open loops, but you want to provide value. You want to show that you’re in authority, you want to show that you’re an expert. It’s not just, click here and you’ll get the answer. You might have the top five things, give away three of them. You want to give away value and then, hey, this ad’s getting long, click here and I’ll show you the other two. So you can do things like that, but definitely give something away for free in the ad just to show that you’re genuine, and that you know what you’re talking about.

Belinda:            Is that where videos could help as well, where you have a video that you’re giving away value and some copy that give the hook?

Justin:              Yeah. Video ads are great and it’s the same thing. You really just want the video to establish authority, and show that you are legitimate.

Belinda:            And provide some value.

Justin:              Yes. Always provide value and then you’ll provide more value on the landing page, and that’s where you can begin to sell.

Belinda:            Yeah, absolutely. So the ad, videos aside, the ad shouldn’t just be story authority building call to action. There needs to be some kind of shared education, or tip or something like that?

Justin:              Yeah. Now a lot of times a story can provide the tip, and that will set you up. So if you can, the more natural and organic you can make it the better. You definitely want to show that you can help this person in some way.

Belinda:            Awesome. Let’s look back now to the voice. The Daniel Day-Lewis method acting approach to writing for people who are entirely unlike yourself. This is something that really interests me. When you said you wrote for over 50 divorcees looking, do a battling depression I was like, “What? How do you even do that?” So let’s talk about that, because this will apply for all types of copywriting.

Justin:              Yeah. This is an accidental superpower that I have discovered. In the last year, the last 12 to 16 months I’d say, I just did account before I came in here. I might actually be missing a few, but I think I’m at 324 different voices that I’ve written in which is crazy.

Belinda:            That’s crazy.

Justin:              Yeah. I’ve almost lost my own voice at this point.

Belinda:            I don’t know who I am any more.

Justin:              Yeah, it happens. I go to write something for myself, I’m like who is this? This doesn’t sound like me. It was something that I discovered during the headlines project, and that’s what I was writing 100 headlines a day for 150 clients for 100 days. So I wound up writing I think in total it was 10,211 headlines in 100 days. There’s a way that I had to get into this. I really had to embody, and I flipped it. I did it the person selling and then the person buying. I would close my eyes and I would literally just visualize myself becoming the target customer. I’d be sitting at a desk and I would picture what’s on their desk. I would picture what they look like, what they’re feeling, what emotions they’re experiencing. Are they hot, are they cold? What are they drinking? Are they drinking coffee? What kind of coffee

Justin:              I would get in depth into this. I just took on the persona, and it’s something that it can be physically and mentally draining to do. I don’t do it as deep with every customer, but I have learned to channel this inner person. Sometimes I’ll go too far with it just to get stuff out into a rough draft, and then I can always dial it back but I will go as deep as I possibly can and hit the pain points. Then I’ll also go into reviews of different competitor sites, or Amazon reviews for books that these people have read, and pull out some keywords that are better matched to what I’ve written. So you want to get the language and you want to be sure that you’re getting it right. It’s also important before you submit your draft, is you’re going to want to talk to the people that, other writers that are in this.

Justin:              When I write for females, I’ll run it by a couple of people in one of my groups and be like, “Hey, did I get this right?” They’re like, “Mostly, but we’d never say this. Let’s get this.” I’m at a point now I can get pretty close and it’s cool.

Belinda:            So this is where I follow what you’re saying, but if I’m going to write for 50 year old men or 20 year old men for example, very different age group to me, very different completely different gender. So I can sit at my desk and go, all right, I’m a 20 year old man. I don’t know anything about 20 year old men. So for an audience that is new for you, would you maybe do that review mining first, or do a bit of online research to figure out what they’re like?

Justin:              Yeah. You do want to do your research, but a lot of the information that you’re going to get will be given to you from the client during your initial intake. So you’ll get a lot of that. Like here’s my audience. You want them to go as much into detail as they can, and then you embrace it based off of their words. Then you go into the reviews just to help you channel that voice. As much as you said that you couldn’t write for an old man, I just wrote an ad recently for a 22 year old hairdresser. A female, and I got it. I just wrote an ad for a beauty influencer and nailed it. She was like, “Oh my God, this sounds like me.” When she found out that a guy wrote it, she was like, “Really, no one would have thought that.” So you can do it.

Belinda:            I find it a great way when you have clients who say I want it to sound like me, and I’m talking to them. I find that a lot easier because I’m like right, I am hearing your voice, and I am hearing your phrasing and I’m writing it all down. So I understand the value of that. Sometimes what I do is I also look at YouTube videos that people in that audience make, because that’s what I find useful. Seeing and listening to them.

Justin:              That’s a fantastic idea.

Belinda:            There you go, I give to you.

Justin:              I don’t think I’ve done that before and I absolutely should. I usually get videos of the client speaking and I’ll watch that. It’s the same thing but yeah, that is an amazing resource that I never thought of. So look at you. I like that.

Belinda:            I can do this.

Justin:              Yeah you can. That’s a great idea.

Belinda:            It’s a really great way to justify spending a lot of time on YouTube as well.

Justin:              There you go.

Belinda:            I want to finish up with headlines because you mentioned the headline writing project. Quickly before we talk about what the headline writing project was, do Facebook ads need a headline? It sounds like not in the traditional sense that we might write a blog post.

Justin:              I’d say that they absolutely do need a headline. I mean just they have to have one, but it’s not as important because remember you’re not going to see the headline until after you’ve seen the post, the text in the post and after the picture, then the headline’s going to be there. The headline is great for reaffirming what you’ve already read. So it could be a great call to action. It’s also good for, it’s your last chance to stop the thumb scroll as people are going by. So it can capture attention. There are a lot of things that I would say the headline is probably going to be your most important piece of copy, but in Facebook I don’t think it is. I think it’s important, but it’s not number one.

Belinda:            I guess when we look at the headline being really important because it’s often the first line, it’s almost the last line in Facebook ads. So it’s a hook in that first line that would be more important.

Justin:              Yeah, yeah. It’s a continuation of everything that you’ve written. A lot of times I will just pull out a line of copy from the Facebook ad and drop it in and there’s headline.

Belinda:            Nice, I love that. So tell us about the headline writing project and I’ll be including a link to this, because it’s a fantastic resource. So what on earth, I mean I tell people write 25 headlines for every one you need. What on earth possessed you to add 100 headlines a day?

Justin:              That was a challenge brought on by our friend Kira Hug, who has been on the show. Yeah, I was on a hot seat call with her and I was struggling to come up with a headline for my own site. I had written I think 50 or 60 and she’s like, “Keep going, see if you can write 100.” I did it and when I did it, she’s like, “Oh my God, you did it?” Like see if he can do more of this. It just evolved into me writing 100 headlines a day for 100 days for 100 different products. When she gave me the idea, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be just because I’ve written 100 headlines for myself and I was like, okay I did it and let’s see what happens. So I agreed to it and I started right away.

Justin:              If I had ever done research as to what was going to be involved in it, I would have quit immediately. I dove in, I said yes. I became accountable for it. I wrote I think three days. Yes, I’d written 300 lines. If you look at the first day, because it’s all up there. It’s up at the every post that I wrote. The difference between the beginning to the end is dramatic. The first few posts, they almost became like a content calendar of topics that you could write about. Whereas in the end, it became 100 headlines about one particular thing. It evolves quickly. I’d say by day four, I was more tuned in. It just got better as you went off but yeah it was a challenge. I hold myself accountable and I had other people holding me accountable, and I did. It damn near killed me.

Belinda:            Did you do it on top of your regular work? So did you just say, okay well I’m going to have to carve out of my day what? Three hours, one hour?

Justin:              It all, because I was writing a post, I was writing the headlines and then I was also writing a post for a previous day. So I didn’t-

Belinda:            Yeah, like a round up.

Justin:              I was always, I started out eight days ahead from when I first posted. So yeah, all in all it was about three hours. So this is where it gets stupid. Not only was I doing the headline project, I was working in-house for a hotel company at that point. So I was there for eight hours. I had an hour and a half commute each way. I was doing some client work on top of it, and try to take care of the kids and the wife, and all that and be a family man. It was not a smart idea for me to do it. I would not do it again. I’m glad I did it, put me on the map. You can read all about it and the struggles, and it gets real and it gets dark at certain points where I realized that my family stopped asking me to hang out with them on the weekends, because they knew that I would say no because I had so much work to catch up on.

Justin:              It was a mistake. I was a bad dad and a terrible husband for 100 days, but my family supported me and it made me a better person at the end. It made me a better writer. It allowed me to go all in with Pretty Fly Copy and gave me a great opportunity. So I’m glad I did it. I would not do it again, strictly for the sake of my marriage.

Belinda:            Yeah, absolutely and we have to consider these things. When we get new clients and our business starts growing, it’s really easy. I mean this is a slightly different topic, but it’s really easy for us to say yes to everything. We work, and we work, and we work, and then we crash and we burn and we think this is not fun. So we have to be able to monitor our ability to balance our work and our life, as we’re growing as well. If we can’t do it as we’re growing, then we’re just going to go into cycles all the time. I guess you’ve been burned, man.

Justin:              I was but I’m good now. I’m good now.

Belinda:            One thing I particularly like about this is one thing I talk about when in my course about writing headlines, and to other copywriters is the more you write, the better you get. So that’s why I say 25 headlines for every one you write and I say, just go through your swipe file and you’re going to write tons of shitty ones. Then you’ll pick some good ones, and fine tune them and keep writing and writing and writing them, because you get more dialed in. Then like now you must be able to bust out awesome headlines and people think, “He’s just talented.” No.

Justin:              No, there’s a structure.

Belinda:            You’ve put in so many hundreds of hours of practice.

Justin:              Yeah, and the thing is when you said write 25 headlines, you’re not trying to write 25 good headlines. You’re probably 23 lines of junk and two good ones. You need to be okay with that, and you need to not hold yourself to this high level and this unrealistic standard that you are going to write 25 good headlines. The 100 a day that I wrote, I didn’t get 25 good ones. On average, 14 to 18 that I liked out of 100 and I don’t know that they would beat any controls. They’re just ones that I liked, and that I think would do well but so much crap just to get one good one.

Belinda:            Yeah but that’s you got to go through the process, and it’s time consuming and it’s tedious as you can attest to. The more you do it, and I find this the same with brainstorming benefits and advantages and things like that. It’s very easy to go oops saves time, saves money, less stress but that’s boring. The more we work through these brainstorming processes and the more we practice our writing, the better it gets. That’s I think could be the difference between copywriters who are really great, and copywriters who are just okay.

Justin:              Yeah. Yeah. Just willing to dig deeper.

Belinda:            Yeah. So this has been a freaking bonanza. Thank you very much for sharing all of this.

Justin:              This has been great.

Belinda:            What I would like to know is, I’m just looking at … If someone’s is interested in writing Facebook ads, what would be a piece of advice you would give them?

Justin:              I would say learn the back end if you can not only write the ads, but if you know how to set them up, you are golden. So many people don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to do that. If I did, I could be charging a lot more money and I could be taking on some dream clients. The fact is I don’t want to learn how, but I do know a few writers that do it. They say it’s not that hard. Facebook algorithm takes care of most of the work, so learn the science behind it. Learn video, learn captioning, because that’s where everything is and everyone watches video on Facebook on mute. So learn all the science behind that. Also, look what you are clicking on, analyze that. Create your own swipe file. I will say this, don’t judge an ad based on the comments. I have seen ads get tremendous hate yet on the back end, do gangbusters. Haters are going to hate and the majority can be silent. So people are-

Belinda:            I guess if it’s getting that kind of strong reaction, it’s polarizing. That’s a good thing as well because it’s a bit sensational, and the haters are not going to be interested in anyway. So you’ve got rid of heaps of people and the people who aren’t there, are probably going to love it and that’s the thing.

Justin:              Yeah. Now you need to have thick skin. It’s not going to be right for everybody. You are going to have people that are saying, “Hey, we can’t have this.” Now you’ve a choice of turning off the comments, which is an easy way to do it, or burying some, or hiding it, or just letting it go. I’ve seen ads actually show up in copywriting courses, in copywriting Facebook groups being like, “What do you think guys think of this ad?” It got torn apart by writers, but I also have seen the back end and I know firsthand these ads have done phenomenally well.

Belinda:            All right, so that’s guidance and we could use this in other copywriting as well. Sometimes we need to challenge our clients like default. Give it a try. I mean I guess if we’re doing it as something a bit controversial and our clients feeling a bit shaky about it, we could always say, “Look, I’ll write your two ads for the same price.” Here’s a safe ad which will still be damn good, but he’s one that I think you should try.

Justin:              Yeah and you know what, with Facebook and really with any ad, you never know. How many times does a client come in and change something and be Like, that’s a mistake but then when you run it they’re like, “No, that actually, that’d beat mine.”

Belinda:            Damn it.

Justin:              It sucks. It sucks, but it happens. You just never know.

Belinda:            Yeah, exactly. All right, cool. So I will add as well, I think I love this idea of creating a little bundles and packages where it’s not just the ad. It’s the ad in the landing page, and the email sequence. It’s a whole pipeline. It’s a whole funnel. Get up in people’s funnel. What about resources? You mentioned you’ve learned what a lot of people are saying, do you have any key resources on this kind of stuff? If you Google Facebook ads, it’s just so many. So who are you interested-

Justin:              Got a lot. I would say your best bet is to go to a couple of different writing gurus, and look at the ads that they’re running. Guys like Frank Kern, Keith Krantz, Mike Renard. These guys aren’t going to be household names. Actually if you even want, you can even look at just some of the gurus that you do like. What’s Ryan Levesque using? Just some of the bigger guys. Whatever they’re using is a template for what you can do. Sam Ovens, they’re just ads that as soon as you click on one, you’re going to get targeted by all of them. So you will start seeing it real quick, but just one of your easiest swipe files is just using those ads, and reverse engineering like I did my first time. You could latch on to something real quick.

Belinda:            Awesome. I love that. So where can people find you? I’m going to include links to your website and the headline writing project, but where do you hang out if people want to-

Justin:              I’m on Twitter @PrettyFlyCopy. Facebook at PrettyFlyCopy. I’m in the copywriter club Facebook group all the time. You there?

Belinda:            Yeah.

Justin:              Let’s see. Then my website is and I’m also on LinkedIn.

Belinda:            Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing all this stuff today. It was a bonanza as I said, and I’m interested. I think Facebook ads might be a thing that I’d give a go in the new year, so I’m really interested. I’ve just been intimidated by it, I have to admit.

Justin:              Well, I’ll tell you this, pedestal posts are not much different than an email.

Belinda:            Yeah, okay.

Justin:              It’s essentially the same thing.

Belinda:            Awesome. Thank you very much, Justin.

Justin:              Thank you.

Belinda:            Have a good day.

Justin:              Bye.

The post E92: Writing long form FB ads (that convert like crazy): Justin Blackman appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Jan 30 2019



Rank #14: E97: TCC IRL NYC: Super tips from the experts

Podcast cover
Read more

What do you wish you’d know when you started your copywriting career?

We went to a copywriting conference in New York City in March 2019. It was Brooklyn but let’s not let facts spoil the glamour.

It was TCC IRL (The Copywriter Club In Real Life) and while we had a BLAST hanging out together – you would be surprised how many years it’s been since we hung out in real life – we also took the chance to pick the brains of the speakers.

We asked as many speakers as we could grab in the breaks, “What is ONE THING you wish you’d know when you started your copywriting career.”

We didn’t tell anyone what the other tips were and every single person delivered something unique. And they are some stellar tips too.

This is your chance to grab a shortcut to the mindset and process tips these copywriters have gleaned over years and years of working the job.

Cool, huh?

Tune in to hear from:

  • Kevin Rogers (Copy Chief)
  • Kira Hug (The Copywriter Club)
  • Joanna Weibe (Copy Hackers)
  • Justin Blackman (Pretty Fly Copy)
  • Michal Eisikowitz (Michal Eisikowitz Copywriting)
  • Bond Halbert (Bond Halbert Publishing)
  • Chantelle Zak (Chanti Zak)
  • Lianna Patch (Punchline Conversion Copywriting)
  • Parris Lampropoulos
  • Prerna Malik (Content Bistro)
  • Abbey Woodcock (On Life and Writing)
  • Tarzan Kay Kalryzian (Tarzan Kay)

Thank you to all our guests for coming up with BRILLIANT answers on the spot.

Hot Copy #97: TCC IRL NYC: Super tips from copywriting experts #hotcopy #tccirl
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below

Question for you

What is your favourite tip from this episode?

Let us know on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

Share the pod love

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, support the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or Stitcher. We’ll read your name and review out on the show and send you lots of virtual love.

Huge props to Pixelhappystudio for her super review.

Share the meme

Find out more about each speaker

Hot Copy #97: TCC IRL NYC: Super tips from copywriting experts #hotcopy #tccirl
Click To Tweet

The post E97: TCC IRL NYC: Super tips from the experts appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Apr 03 2019



Rank #15: E74: Hot Copy Q&A

Podcast cover
Read more

Your questions. Our answers.

As copywriters with our very own podcast, we’re often asked questions. 

Questions about copywriting. Questions about being a copywriter. Questions about managing our businesses and our family life. Questions about our dogs.

So, every now and then we like to pull some out and answer them. 

That’s what today is all about. We’re answering YOUR questions in a special Hot Copy Q&A.

Thanks to Sheree Chambers, Maurizio F. Corte, Angela Rodgers, Di Clements, Lyndall Talbot, Liz Green.

Tune in to learn:

  • The questions web developers need to ask on behalf of copywriters on the same project
  • Whether bad writing is essential for good SEO
  • How much of our writing is a process (as opposed to instinct)
  • Getting over the fear of asking for money
  • A super quick rundown of our pre-writing process of research / info gathering
  • How to showcase your work when you’ve worked as a subcontractor
  • Our challenges and lessons!

Hot Copy #74: Hot Copy Q&A with @KateToonCopywriter and @Copywritemattrs #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Question for the listeners:

Did you have any AHA moments from this pod? Let us know! We do love a good AHA.

Share your story on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Emma Rose Bell for a fantastic review of the show.

Hot Copy #74: Hot Copy Q&A with @KateToonCopywriter and @Copywritemattrs #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Useful Links:

The post E74: Hot Copy Q&A appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

May 02 2018



Rank #16: E65: How to be a happy and motivated copywriter

Podcast cover
Read more

Finding and keeping your copywriting mojo

Although we love being copywriters we know it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. There are the ups and the downs, the highs and the woes.
And while we can create a template for a copy deck it’s not so easy to come up with a cheatsheet for happiness.

  • So what do you do when you’ve lost your creative mojo?
  • Or when you’re feeling hopeless about your copywriting career?
  • How do you handle the dark day and get yourself back on track?

Today we’re talking to my good friend Sharon Chisholm all about staying happy and motivated as a copywriter. So if you feel like you’ve lost your mojo down the back of the sofa cushions, this is the episode for you.

Tune in to learn:

  • Why some copywriters lose their mojo
  • Warning signs that you’re heading into a funk
  • How Kate, Belinda and Sharon handle demotivation
  • How to deal with the happy freelancer myth
  • Being happy, how do YOU define it?
  • Resources and books for further mojo reading

Hot Copy #65: How to be a happy and motivated copywriter
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to Gareth for his extra lovely testimonial. Kate blushed!

About Sharon

Sharon is an award-winning coach, mental health advocate, writer and speaker living on the east coast of Australia.

She works with entrepreneurs and small business owners helping them with a variety of challenges from low confidence and self-esteem, through to mind health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Sharon writes for a number of publications and regularly speaks about her own lived experience with mental illness, as well as hosting her own podcast called the “Mental as Anything Podcast“.

She also facilitates workshops on mental health in the workplace and advises government bodies on how they can better support the small business owner living with mind health issues.

Useful links:

The post E65: How to be a happy and motivated copywriter appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Dec 13 2017



Rank #17: E94: Different copywriting clients and how to manage them

Podcast cover
Read more

Are you ready for a journey into the past?

We’re going back in time for a special flashback. In this episode, we’re sharing 16 types of copywriting clients almost every copywriter will get to work with. Some are awesome and some… are not. Plus our tips on spotting them and how to work with them (so your copywriting project is smooth sailing).

Tune to learn:

  • Our favourites types of clients
  • How to deal with scope creep and requests for free work
  • How to guide clients who can’t tell you what to change
  • The best way to organise disorganised clients
  • When (and how) to tell a client to step back
  • And more. So much more!

Listen to the podcast below

Question for you

How many of these clients have YOU worked with? Let us know on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

We read out a review at the end of each show and today, we’re giving a shout out to Jan for her FAB review. Thanks Jan!

Share the meme:

Links mentioned in this article:

The post E94: Different copywriting clients and how to manage them appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Feb 20 2019



Rank #18: E66: Charities and NFPs: Copywriting tips from Andrea Rowe

Podcast cover
Read more

How to get started in this popular niche

We know that many copywriters love the idea of writing copy for charities and Not For Profits, it’s a way of using our copywriting superpowers for good.

But what are the challenges of working with charities?
Should you charge less?

What are the differences between writing copy for charities and regular clients?

To find out, we’ve got experienced copywriter Andrea Rowe on the show!  

Tune in to learn:

  • The types of clients Belinda, Kate and Andrea have worked with
  • The differences between writing for charities and regular commercial copywriting
  • Should you charge a different rate?
  • Why charities love direct mail
  • Scriptwriting tips for charity videos
  • How to tug the heartstrings without being melodramatic
  • How to identify the value proposition
  • Tips for newbie charity copywriters
  • Resources to help you get started

Hot Copy #67: Charities and NFPs: Copywriting tips from Andrea Rowe #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to ‘Jody Carey’ for the lovely testimonial.

About Andrea

Andrea Rowe is a copywriter and campaign strategist helping not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises increase awareness, attract supporters and retain donors. She also helps coastal and government organisations create engaging words and identify tactical approaches for PR and fundraising campaigns, digital and website content and community report and grant writing.

Connect with Andrea:

Useful links:

Podcast #67: Charities and NFPs: Copywriting tips from Andrea Rowe #Copywriting
Click To Tweet

The post E66: Charities and NFPs: Copywriting tips from Andrea Rowe appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Jan 10 2018



Rank #19: E99: How to work with agencies with Kate Merryweather

Podcast cover
Read more

Approaching, winning and keeping agency clients

As copywriters and business owners, we seek the warmth and security of financial consistency. Many of us believe if you can wriggle in with agency clients, we’ll have just that.

But what are agencies all about? Are they something you should consider working harder to build relationships with? Are there any downfalls for working with agencies? And how do you even your little toe in the door?

Kate Merryweather joins us today and will be answering each of these elusive questions.

Tune in to learn:

  • How to approach agencies
  • Ways to stay front of mind with agencies
  • How to stay visible in an agency
  • Management tools to boost your impact
  • How agency relationships work
  • How to charge for agency work
  • The pros of taking on agency clients
  • The cons for taking on agency clients
  • How to get agencies on retainer
  • The legalities of working with agencies

Hot Copy #99: How to work with agencies with Kate Merryweather #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below

Share the pod love

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and/or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Oh and big hugs to Beck_co123 for her lovely testimonial.

Hot Copy #99: How to work with agencies with Kate Merryweather #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Share the meme:

Hot Copy #99: How to work with agencies with Kate Merryweather #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

About Kate

Kate Merryweather is a freelance website and SEO copywriter based in Melbourne. With six years of experience working with startups, leading brands and SMEs, Kate delivers succinct, readable SEO optimised writing for her clients. Before becoming a freelance copywriter Kate spent fifteen years working in PR and corporate communications for leading agencies in Melbourne and London. Her PR clients included Bunnings Warehouse, Emirates, Officeworks, Telstra, Mission Australia, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and many others. Kate is a member of The Clever Copywriting School and graduate of the Recipe for SEO Success Course.

Connect with Kate

The post E99: How to work with agencies with Kate Merryweather appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

May 01 2019



Rank #20: E69: How virtual Assistants can help your copywriting business

Podcast cover
Read more

How to find, train and use a VA

As copywriters, we know that one thing we have far too little of is time. But is it actually possible to delegate some of your work to others?

We’re not talking about sub-contracting copywriting work to more junior writers. We’re talking about handing off the day-to-day admin to another human. Sounds good right?

In today’s episode, we’re talking about working with Virtual Assistants or VAs.

Is this a good way to grow your copywriting business? We’re sharing our experiences and advice on making the most of your VA relationship and the common pitfalls to avoid.

So, if you’ve ever wondered if a VA could be the solution to your admin nightmares, this is the episode for you.

Tune in to learn:

  • What kinds of work a VA can help with
  • How to find a great VA
  • The pros and cons of overseas VAs
  • How to train a VA
  • How to get the most out of your VA

Hot Copy #69: How Virtual Assistants can help your copywriting business #copywriting #hotcopy
Click To Tweet

Listen to the podcast below:

Our wonderful sponsor

This week’s episode was sponsored by If business admin is sapping the life out of you, maybe it’s time you find a Virtual Assistant. Helping you with all those business bits you hate, your ideal VA will become your trusted business sidekick. Give it a go by posting a free job listing today.

Question for the listeners:

Do you use a VA, how has it changed your business?

You can let us know on Twitter (@hotcopypodcast) or our Facebook page!

Share the meme:

Share the pod love!

If you like what you’re hearing on Hot Copy, the best way to support the show is to take just a few seconds to leave a rating and / or comment over on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks!

Thanks to Readwritelearnwell from the US for a fantastic review of the show.

Useful links: 

The post E69: How virtual Assistants can help your copywriting business appeared first on A copywriting podcast for copywriters.

Feb 21 2018