If you find yourself saying "I'm not a writer", just wash your mouth out and go & have a go.

36:44          |          2020          |          Episode 177

Playing with Perspective
with Darren Saul

If you find yourself saying "I'm not a writer", just wash your mouth out and go & have a go.

36:44          |          2020          |          Episode 177

Playing with Perspective
with Darren Saul

If you find yourself saying "I'm not a writer", just wash your mouth out and go & have a go.

36:44          |          2020          |          Episode 177

Playing with Perspective
with Darren Saul


Introduction & the magic of copy

Darren: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to another great episode of Playing with Perspective, the Suspended Animation podcast. It's episode 177. I'm Darren Saul, your host. I'm here with the fantastic Jo McKee and we're going to be chatting all about our favorite topic, copywriting. The title of today is Copywriting Made Easy. So Jo, welcome.

Jo: Thanks for having me on Darren, it's really nice to be here.

Darren: My pleasure, my absolute pleasure. Now, copywriting is something that is so important these days. I mean, we're all digital content creators and marketing has turned into digital content creation. So as solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, large companies, we all need to know how to create content and how to write copy. It's so important.

Jo: Definitely.

Darren: But before we get into the discussion, I thought let's give everybody a little bit more of a intro and a rundown into who Jo is and what she does. Jo McKee runs Copywriting for Profit, training small business team members to write irresistible ads, sales pages, and marketing emails so that they can make more money. She has worked on a number of campaigns that have brought over a million dollars in revenue and loves helping businesses see how profitable they can be with the right combination of strong offer and persuasive words. I love that. When she's not immersed in words, Jo I really likes to go sailing. She thinks nothing beats the sound of water along the hull of her yacht. I love it.

Jo: It's pretty nice.

Darren: How often do you go sailing?

Jo: Actually this year not so much because the yacht's kind of a... Well she's 64 foot so we had events lined up for Sydney, Hobart, et cetera. People from Europe sending money to come and participate and then COVID. So anyway, but she's pretty cool, yes. My partner is the seriously good sailor and I just jump on and say, "Make it go faster."

Darren: You're there to cut up oranges and make bagels and all that kind of stuff.

Jo: Yeah, no it's good fun. 

Darren: Sounds like fun. I get too seasick, so it wouldn't be good for me.

Jo: Nah, we'll have to see about that.

Darren: Jo, I'd love to hear more about your story and why you love copywriting and words so much. Tell us how you got into this whole field and what you love about it.

Jo: I think probably the written word is good for introverts and I like getting out and being with people, but I'm pretty happy in my own company as well, so I guess it serves really well there. I've got more years than I want to own up to, it'll show my age as far as editing-

Darren: Don't we all?

Jo: ... books and community magazines and all that sort of thing. I've just seen the power of a good story and how people will come up with tears in their eyes and go, "Thank you so much, that just changed everything." So of course copy includes writing for video and film as well, but it gives you that versatility for people who maybe don't feel so great being in the limelight. If you want to be behind the scenes, you can still get some very, very powerful results and nobody has to see your face at all. So that's pretty cool.

Darren: You brought up a really good point. I mean, a lot of people, they want to express themselves creatively and they might not be ready to do that on video or audio, but they can do that through the written word. Some people are extremely good with the written word, and extremely creative, so it's a great avenue for them to amplify and tweak their creativity if they channeled it through the written word.

Jo: Definitely, it's very strong. Even in Copywriting for Profit, we'd have people from agencies, they'd come in and they just said, "Look, I'm just not a writer." I just, first of all, tell them to wash their mouth out. It's not a matter of waiting for that muse to drape herself over the... Well, for old people, you know what a filing cabinet is. It's just rubbish. It's just, you have something to say that people need to hear and you need to get that message to them. To me, it's as practical as just getting your housework done, it just needs doing.


The mindset behind great story

Darren: Definitely.

Jo: Once we change that mindset and teach people how to see who they're speaking to and bring in that empathy, it suddenly becomes easy for them. There's still a bit of work involved obviously, but it flows much better.

Darren: That makes really good sense. I mean, if you try and think about who your audience is, who you're writing to, what problem are you trying to solve? That already is half the battle won.

Jo: Yes. If you think you're sitting there with just a screen in front of you, then you're looking at it the wrong way. You need to be thinking about the person you're communicating with.

Darren: Yeah, I love that. It's so true. You mentioned storytelling. I mean, that's a word that's been thrown and done to death these days.

Jo: I'm almost ready to burn that word.

Darren: Storytelling, it's like pivot is another word we can burn.

Jo: Yeah, crush it, skyrocket, smash it, kill it. Kick it to the curb. All those lovely words.

Darren: Yeah exactly. But I love the concept. Storytelling is incredible. I'm a photographer, storytelling is involved in photography. Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. Everything we do involves a story and every communication, that sound has a story in it, that's what keeps us engaged. So I'd love to hear your take on that.

Jo: Yeah. I actually put together a module that I can have your listeners... They can access it for free if you like, because there's not enough training in digital marketing on story. Most people use feature films as examples and that's just discouraging when you're sitting down, trying to write an ad. In it I've got some examples, they're video ads, but obviously scripted, but they're ads, not movies. And we go through the different story arcs there, but basically it's the old thing. Everybody likes to hear about somebody succeeding or overcoming an obstacle, or being in a place that they wish they were at and thinking, "Oh my goodness, that's possible." So it's really just that, it's that simple.

Darren: So true. Even to the point of even using the one word or a couple of words, do you feel like this? Are you like this? And then people's like, "Wow, it sounded like you really wrote that for me, you were speaking directly to me."

Jo: Yes, but if you write that in an ad, you'll get it shut down immediately for calling people out on Facebook, they're such snowflakes. You can't start an ad like that. But what you can do is flip it around and say, "People in this position find this," and just turn it around onto third person a little bit, and then you get it through, so that's all right.

Darren: Gotcha, gotcha, love it. Let's start, I want to go a bit higher level and I mean, give us your insight into the psychology and the mindset behind why copywriting is so important these days. Why do we have to care?

Jo: I would suggest that it never stopped being important. I think it's become a buzzword with young entrepreneurs. I did see one entrepreneur recently on Instagram who was talking about the power of referrals in business as though it had just been discovered. It was pretty cute. He was very earnest. And talking about doing a good job with your customers so that you get referrals. I think there are a lot of young digital marketers who have heard the word and thought that it was something exciting and new, or revived, when copywriting again, the word has become a bit ridiculous. It's just communicating with people, and usually that means in the written form.


Why absolutely anyone can write amazing copy

Jo: So again, there's so much mystery been whipped up about the skill and that's actually rubbish, it's a skill that anybody can learn. The power of it is that you're dealing with humanity's fears and desires and dreams, and that's where the power comes from, because that's what motivates people to act, to either run towards something or away from it. Really you're just pressing those buttons with people and I like to do it in a way where it's a product or service that's actually good for them. You can use words to sell anything, but it's nice if you do it for something that's reasonable. You're playing with those core emotions of humanity, I suppose, is the cleanest way to describe it.

Darren: You're looking for those trigger points.

Jo: Yeah, yeah. Obviously with the psychology, you get into the whole structure of a landing page where you've got to get some of the tension and state the problem upfront. And then make them feel like it's not their fault because obviously they're not idiots, they've tried before. Why yours? Why your offer is different to everything they've tried before and how risk-free it is. All those things that are fears that people have in their mind and you just lock them down one after the other so that it becomes a no-brainer for them to go, "Yep, I'll give that a go." There's definitely flows that you can work through to make sure that you've covered all those bases, so that you take the fear away from people and build that trust.

Jo: That's yeah, again, quite simple flows that have been whipped into some secret strategy that everybody wants to sell. Again, that's what I'm about, I suppose in Copywriting for Profit, is demystifying it and just bringing it back to reality so that it's doable for people. Because the reality is if you own a business, whether you're a marketer or not, you have to get newsletters out, you have to help people look at what your offer is and decide to buy it. Therefore you need to be able to convey that message. If you can write that down, you're a step ahead, instead of having to get someone else to do it all the time. It gives you flexibility on time and cost and all that sort of thing. It's a basic skill.

Darren: And I think the more you do it, the better you get, yeah? The more you do it, the better you get.

Jo: It's a basic skill that you just should pick up where you can just address the pain that somebody's got, dig in a little bit to really bring it to life and then offer them a solution that's nice and clear. The psychology is actually very, very simple.

Darren: Yeah, and here's a great question. I mean, a lot of people will get caught up with particular words, do you think that those words are important or is it more the underlying structure of how you orchestrated that whole sentence or phrase? Or is that word going to make such a big difference in whether I change that word for that word?

Jo: I think the words are really important in terms of using the voice of who you're speaking to. And this is, again, nothing new. Fiction writers have been doing it for centuries. They might write about a situation they've never lived in, but they observe the behavior of those people in that community and how they speak, and their slang and make it. That's important because if you're speaking to a group of people, you want it to feel familiar so that they're not getting stalled by unfamiliar words. But as far as... I guess I'd just say, be careful not to use industry terms that people not in the industry wouldn't understand, because again, that's a barrier to them hearing you. Keeping things very simple and yeah, using the words that they would use. Just keeping a really easy flow in that communication.

Darren: Yeah, which brings up a really good point. I suppose, really important these days as a marketer, as a digital marketer, as a promoter, we have to think about tailoring our copy to many different subgroups. Can't be vanilla because as you just mentioned, if we use one term that might fit one subgroup or subculture, but not be understood by another, we've wasted that whole audience.


How to make audiences feel like you're speaking just to *them*

Jo: Yeah, the more you can dig into one subset of a community, they call it... sounds a bit crazy, really... the dog whistle kind of principle, where you whistle and your dog knows that that's you. It's just that close connection, I suppose. So the more specific in anything it can be when you're presenting a solution to somebody, the easier it is for them to jump on board. Part of that specificity... it's a nice word... is again, the words that they would use so they're hearing it in a language that they understand, that makes sense to them very easily and they can just go, "Yep, that's good for me."

Darren: That's me. Because it's about touching them emotionally. That's what all this is about.

Jo: Yeah. Yeah. It's just, if I'm writing for a four wheel drive campaign, which I'm going to have to do soon, I've been four wheel driving a few times, but I'll certainly be jumping into forums and looking at books on Amazon and magazines, just to get the lingo and the terms, and the problems that they face. We've got one client who's just starting now who do horse grooming products and within the horse grooming industry, there are probably 50 subsets that Jenny was reeling off between dressage and hacks, and racing, and your Shetland pony in the backyard. I was getting lost. So we were talking there about being quite broad to the horse community because unless they've got ad budget to test every single one, we're going to keep the copy at that higher level that any horse owner will resonate with, so how to keep the coat shiny and the mozzies off.

Darren: Because it is a balancing act between doing a lot of testing with different versions, because that costs a lot.

Jo: Yes.

Darren: So it's a balancing act.

Jo: It does. Happily the algorithms are getting more powerful, it seems, by the year. And so if you put a few basic ingredients in, it pretty much goes, "Yep, I've gotcha. I'll go and find the right people." But again, once it finds the right people, it needs to be a language those people resonate with.

Darren: I mean, what platforms do you use the most in terms of where your copy goes?

Jo: In our agency, and I think we've got about 70 other agencies coming to us for copy on demand as well at the moment, just à la carte orders to fill in gaps for them. Mostly it's Facebook, Instagram, Google, Google ads and search and display. Some YouTube, but mostly still Facebook, Instagram. We've done some LinkedIn as well, but because a lot of small businesses find the LinkedIn budgets have to be a bit higher, they're a bit hesitant to start there. So they tend to stick with the organic, which is understandable.

Darren: Exactly.

Jo: So yeah, it seems to be still the powerful core grunt of most people's campaigns.

Darren: Because it's still quite cost-effective to advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

Jo: Yeah, it is. The costs have certainly increased over the last three years that we've been doing it, but it's still damn good value for what you get.

Darren: But I suppose a lot of people would still... People should still remember that writing good copy is just as important for your organic campaigns as well.

Jo: Totally, it's everything.

Darren: It's everything.

Jo: It's right down to your cookie notice on your website and your terms and conditions.

Darren: Yup, everything. And your email signature.

Jo: I'm trying to remember the banking brand, actually there's one banking brand that was doing a fabulous job of their copy and they just had every facet nailed. I should go find them because it's one of those things you read early in the morning and you forget to keep a record of. But for a dry brand, like a bank, to do such a good job and bring some humanity into it was just brilliant. I even noticed, and this is not political, but I'm Jacqui Lambie, independent reporter threw a donation at her a few months ago and the thank you note was, "Beauty, mate." Just in the lingo of that old fashioned Ozzie, and it suits her personality so it's good synchronizing there.


Combatting overwhelm to keep energy fresh

Darren: Absolutely, very important. Do you ever get tired of reading and looking at words? And it's like, "Oh, I can't take it anymore. Let's stop. I need a break."

Jo: Sometimes we get a rush of people wanting stuff done and I go three days where you're just writing commercial stuff for a whole lot of different econ brands, from pillows to bladder problems to whatever, debt consolidation or fashion, the whole gamut we do. So you do have to go and fill your own well a little bit and just go and jump in the pool and...

Darren: Yeah, just stop writing.

Jo: Watch something stupid on telly, some old cop show or something, you know?

Darren: Watch a movie, do something else.

Jo: Yeah, and just to get a little bit of a change of angle, because otherwise... I'm really conscious with everybody who comes to us that behind that order... Somebody might order two ads, which is not a big job, but behind that is a brand that's wanting to build and grow. And there's a family behind that and people trying to build their dreams.

Jo: So we don't take it lightly and we try to start fresh and go, "Okay, let's just put the best job out there for them." But yeah, you do have to protect your space a bit. Like with my team, I don't have them just writing all day. I was in contact with one guy, he's a very successful copywriter and he actually got stomach ulcers. He was writing hundreds of headlines a day for months on end and it really ruined his health. So like anything, too much of a good thing. You've just got to ease up a bit, yeah.

Darren: I mean, I'd love to get some tips from you for the audience, because everybody always says, "I sit down at my computer, I want to write something or I want to create something and I go blank. I'm not creative. I don't know what to do." What are some great ways for them to beat writer's block or start moving into that creative realm and enjoying it?

Jo: Yeah, just firstly pulling out the core elements and sometimes it can start with something as simple as, if I just want to tell my brain it's time to write an ad, I have a format where I'd have put a headline and underneath I've got maximum 25 characters because I know that won't get cut off on any Facebook format, newsfeed link description, maximum 30 characters ad copy. I will just put those headings in for a start.

Darren: Put a framework around-

Jo: Just that framework on the page so it's not an empty page, which is great. Always love that. Chuck the URL in if you have to. Then go to the landing page and go, "Okay, what's the offer and what are people saying about it?" So you've got the social proof right there, which helps me go, "Okay, this looks pretty good." Once I'm on board with it, I can go, "Okay, how do I present this to people?"

Jo: Again, it's starting with real people and what they say about it and then also always, always benefits before features. So using this for the five senses, how will people feel? What does it smell like, tastes like? What's it like to touch? What pain will it relieve? Before you go into anything to do with the features, that's retargeting or when you want to justify your decision with the logic kind of time.

Darren: I like that.

Jo: Definitely not in your first approach. So whether it's the top of a landing page or your top of funnel ads, you're going for the emotional and the sensory side of what you're selling, and that works pretty well. Once I start to get a flow from what people are saying about it or the owner's backstory if I don't, always interested in people's stories. I've got a copywriting client, Pedramin Vaziri who own Soulex in Washington, DC, it's a float spa, she was an architect and then she fell in love with the benefits of floating, mental, spiritual, physical, amazing benefits.


Tips for creating easy flow

Jo: As you can imagine in DC right now, they've got COVID issues with lock downs in space like everyone's dealing with. Then they've also had a lot of the streets shut down, she's right in it. We were just talking the other day and she said, "Look, we're the only light on when you come down our street. We're determined to stay open because we've got locals coming in in tears saying, 'Thank you, I'm so glad you're here. I'm so glad you're open. This is really helping.'" So when we did her emails, we were telling the story of how she started the business. And then the feedback from customers saying, "this is great to hear how you put it together. Thank you for sharing that," it just builds that engagement.

Darren: It's just amazing again how important that story is. People love the backstory.

Jo: Yeah, we connect with people, so I'm not sure where it start-

Darren: They love the why.

Jo: Yeah, you go to the person and why did they start it, or what problem did they want to solve? That way you start to flow into that ad pretty quickly from there.

Darren: Gotcha, gotcha so kind of think about the benefits, think about the why you're doing something. Think about how you're really going to help your target market or your customer, and maybe start with just a loose framework that gives you a guideline and then everything will start to fall in place, rather than to think you have a blank canvas and you don't know where to start.

Jo: Yeah, if you're really stuck, get a customer quote and use a snippet of that as a headline and then you can go, "Oh, I've started."

Darren: I got to do that a lot as well. When I'm drafting podcast episodes or whatever, I take a sentence or something that someone's given me and I use that as my base point. And then I start to get creative on top of it and play with it.

Jo: Then you don't have trouble with it, do you? It just comes out.

Darren: Yeah.

Jo: Exactly.

Darren: But you need that a little bit at the beginning to give you that edge, and something to start with.

Jo: Yeah. And if you're not sure about your own writing skills and you're sitting and going, "Whatever I write's going to be crap." If you start with somebody's endorsement, you've already got something on the paper.

Darren: Yup, so true.

Jo: It just helps beat that rubbish out of your head.

Darren: So true, so true. And what about if you had to give somebody a bit of an insight into what are some of the things that will really make a difference in increasing the engagement rate or the conversion rate of their copy? There must be two or three things that can really make a difference if you keep an eye on them.

Jo: The one biggest thing is make it about them and not you. Just don't make it about the brand, make it about the community that they're speaking to, and that will flip your conversions like you wouldn't believe. That's very, very powerful. And then I guess, your strong headlines and your strong intro are pretty massive factors so that you're hooking people in. We can play with headlines. I was just saying to you before the podcast I was looking at some subject lines for an email campaign one of our clients who's a naturopath. The lead up to her was for her Christmas campaign. I didn't want it all to be sell, sell, sell, so I literally just threw one in there that one was called kicking back, that's all the subject line had and it made, I think about $3,000.

Jo: Another one was just lazy Sundays with a kiss hug and it brought in 1,300 bucks, it was not even a call to action button. It was literally just a message to her community saying, "You know what? You're fantastic. Take a bit of time out for you," is all it was.

Darren: Take a break, enjoy yourself.


The importance of taking breaks

Jo: People still went and bought from that anyway, so playing with your subject lines is pretty important and getting people to open. Then once they're open, you want to click. You want to do something. You can brag about open rates all you like, but it's also nice to have some good click-through rates. And some good revenue, which you can measure in email platforms now quite well. It's pretty cool.

Darren: I suppose call to actions are important there?

Jo: Yeah, definitely.

Darren: Some kind of a call to action.

Jo: Yeah, people worry that they're being pushy, but it's actually not a problem. We're so busy, our brains are so cluttered, we just want to know what to do next is the simplest way to put it.

Darren: Yeah, so true.

Jo: Denise Duffield Thomas puts us really well, just share what you know and make an offer. Simple. Share your offer, what is it? Here's what to do next, and people do. They just go, "Oh, thank you," off they go.

Darren: If you're interested in it, great, if you don't, no problem at all. We're not tying you to the ground. It's your choice.

Jo: Keeping it to one thing is also very powerful. I remember I had clients that were selling cosmetic fashion lenses a couple of years ago. And we did get really nice 12 times return on ad spend with them, but they wanted to run six different specials in one ad copy, depending how many sets you bought, you get this discount. And I said at the start, "I think it'll be too many. Okay, well let's run it, whatever," but it was literally only the first or second links that ever got clicked anyway. So just one thing is enough for people really, to deal with, and keeps things a bit easy.

Darren: Yeah, I love it. I mean, so true and I really think those points are so valid. Something that hits home for me is that these days, being that everything is so visual as well, I think it's really important for people to make sure that they have just an eye on how it looks on the font. Is it bold? Is it the right color? Is it engaging from a visual point of view because we're so visual now on all these platforms wherever we have our copy. What are your thoughts on that?

Jo: Yeah, I'm surprised when I see some people I know who are making millions every year online, and their emails come out, they're plain text format. They don't even have paragraph breaks all along, which shocks me. And I have never been able to see how their emails are converting, I'm not on their team, but it surprises me and they've been around long enough and they're growing. So I figure, well, they can't be terrible. But I think it's really nice to just keep things clean, loading as quickly as you can. Make sure your housekeeping's done. Make sure that when people click a link, it goes to the right place. Many people don't check.

Jo: Like when we're on the boat, when we talk about putting up the sail, you're always looking at the other end of the mast. You're not just down there grinding. Otherwise you can break the grinder because there's so much tension on it, you don't know you're there already and it's... You've got to look at the other end of what you're doing. This is what I'm always saying to people when I work with them is, "Check every link, send a test email, make sure it's real. Always find something." I'm so tempted when I'm in a hurry to just go, "Oh, that's fine." The one time you do that, it won't be fine. Check your Google analytics is clicked on in your email tracking. Just get things right and make sure that your buttons are linked to the right area, and that's half the battle.

Darren: I find it's great to just kind of say, "Okay, just take a break for a second. Take a breath. Come back. Reread it. Okay, there's a mistake, there's a mistake, there's a mistake."


What "full service" really means

Jo: There's actually a really nice principle. If you've got the time to do that, there's a nice way to think about it too. You know how, especially as a business owner, you have your days where you feel really on fire and you can go for it, and other days you're just a bit tired. It's actually really nice if you can put something away for another day, to check it because you're going to be in a different mood and you're going to see it differently. So if you can give yourself that grace, it's a good thing to do.

Darren: So true, and actually that's something that we do as photographers, as creative or artistic photographers. When we do creative projects, we always leave our photographs to marinate, to digest, ideally for a month, if you can. If it's something creative and a personal work. Because I guarantee you, when you come back after a month, the emotional connection to that situation in which you took those photos has gone and you see the photos for what they really are. And the same applies here, when you're in that emotional momentum, you sometimes don't see how it will be received. I think that's a really good point.

Jo: That's very good. In fact, I built a landing page a couple of days ago over the weekend and it's for property. So I kind of went, "Oh domain they've got red, let's use red, let's put it out there," slammed it all up. Everyone went, "Yeah, that's great." I haven't launched it yet and I'm looking at it going, "That looks really screamy." You know? Yeah, you're right. Go back and have another look.

Darren: You get caught up in the whole momentum of it all and these ideas are flowing, but then you see later on, that's terrible.

Jo: Yeah, now it's just looking really shouty and I'm just going, "Oh, come on."

Darren: That's really interesting. Great little tip for anyone in the creative industry is always let your work digest, marinade, air out for a day or two at least. Then you might look at it with a different light.

Jo: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. It's a good thing to do.

Darren: So Jo, I'd love to know, and I'd love the users and the viewers to know a bit more about how you work and what you do. So maybe tell us a bit more about your agency.

Jo: Well, I do have a full service agency, McKee Creative. We work with clients really for the long-term. When we take a client on, we like to stay with them. We've got clients starting their fourth year with us.

Darren: It's life without parole.

Jo: It is. We don't actually lock them into any contracts. It's just month by month, we just say 30 days if you want to go, but I'd rather them be with us because they want to be there, so that's cool. But we really take that mental load off. It actually started, we started doing just Facebook ads, but then you find that the website isn't ready for traffic and it's not loading and all the rubbish, and then they want to buy it and you got to charge them more. It just becomes this messy thing.

Jo: So what we do now is we just look after it for them. Basically we just say, "Look, at the very minimum, we don't take clients unless we can do the SEO as well," because I think that's very important long-term foundational work. But we look after their Google ads, their Facebook and Instagram, if they need a messenger bot built, we do it. If they need a site built, we just did two this week. We host it, whatever. It just means that we've got that big picture and we can look at the whole business growth and spot opportunities with them for ways to do things better.

Jo: It means that we know that the ad campaign is tied in really nicely with the email marketing, and as best as humanly possible, it's all running really well. That's a really nice thing to do. And then as part of that, we've had other agencies start to ask for copy, so about a year ago, we started Your Ads on Demand. Just an order form, you can say, "I want this and that," and they get it in three days, so that's all sorted. Then we've started training people in house with Copywriting for Profit, because it's just a good investment long-term for people.


What kind of results we're getting

Darren: So you're working with clients all over the world?

Jo: Yeah. Yeah, it's nice and it keeps it interesting too. For me, it's not so much a niche as in we're in this industry or that industry. It's more just brands that are doing things that we can be really proud of and clients that are willing to do the work in building the business. To the point where we're having to slow down ad spend on some of them because they're packing products as quickly as they can and we need their families not to fall apart with the pressure of it.

Darren: The copy's doing so well.

Jo: Well, it's not just the copy of course. I mean, does a good job on the media buying and it's a good team effort. But it is really important not to just have things break because they grow too quickly, you've got to think about the people behind it as well.

Darren: Yeah, you hear that a lot with marketing in general, that people, they market too well, and then their systems are not in place and mature enough to handle the load, so it's important to make sure that you can do both.

Jo: Yes, and even if it's a digital product, some of the campaigns that I wrote for over the past year were for other agencies and for their clients, they did very, very well. I know one lady had hoped to do 700,000 in a year and she did that within the first four months, paid off her mortgage selling courses, Australian lady. It's really lovely that they did that. They're still going to have customer service issues though, because more people are asking more questions so even if you don't have to pack a bottle in a shed, it's easy to say we're just selling digital products, but there are always growth hurdles to be overcome.

Darren: Definitely still always going to be support in some way.

Jo: Yeah, so I think it's really important for clients to have a goal, okay let's have big goals and we do, and it's possible to get there, but why are we setting those goals? Is it just because, hey we want to have a $10 million in two year business? Or is it because you want to pay off your house and spend more time with the kids, or whatever the freedom means to them, you know?

Darren: Buy a yacht.

Jo: Yeah.

Darren: So Jo, I mean, I'd love to do some storytelling. Hey, I'm going to use that word just for fun. I'd love a little case study or a story about one of your customers that might've come to you, and they were struggling with their ad campaign or their, whatever they had to write, and the copy, they couldn't get it right. And you took them on and all of a sudden things turned around and it's remarkable. I'd love to hear a story about how important, and how you made a difference through copy.

Jo: It's so much fun. We've got one of our clients, Jessica and Andrea Curtis, who own Easy Exercising. They came to me, they bought the rights to the old Shapemaster power assisted equipment that you might've heard about 30 years ago exploding around Australia.

Darren: Yeah, I think so. You used to watch them on those late night TV.

Jo: Yeah, they've got the Australian rights to that. Now you can imagine a Facebook ad saying, "Come and have a session on a power assisted machine." You go, "Oh yeah," so that was a bit scary. So we talked about it and we called it easy exercising for the over fifties. And I've got to stop calling them oldies because I'm going to be 50 this year, so that's a bit scary. And the tagline was laughter and a cup of tea included, and the offer is a free trial session because once people get in there and meet Andrea and Jessica and feel the community, they're there for life. We've started a little Facebook group for each clinic. They've started their third clinic just after they got back out of lockdown, which is great, planning to open a fourth one soon.


Using business to create community

Jo: And literally people phoning them saying, "You saved my life," because they didn't expect first of all, to make such good friends. They won't move to the next suburb until these girls opened a clinic there. They're starting to get people come through as well and finding all sorts of things like Parkinson's and people with mobility issues, it's really, really helping them. It's pretty exciting and just by calling it easy exercising and having that laughter and a cup of tea included. I think we had to drop the cup of tea though because Jessica ran out of time to put the kettle on.

Jo: But building that community, and they give each other a hard time and tease each other. And it's not fancy. If you look at their site, it's not fancy at all, in fact, we need to improve the load speed pretty quick. But we've got their clients making videos. Again, nothing glamorous, but they'll just say, "Hey, I can pick up my little dog and I couldn't do that last month." And so as Seth Godin says, "People like us do things like this." So people in these suburbs, we can only advertise about 10 mile max from each clinic because they don't travel far. Got to keep the lead costs down over time, which is doing. But they're seeing videos of people like them and they go, "Oh, I could do that."

Darren: Wow, these videos just popping up on Facebook and Instagram in that radius?

Jo: Yeah, yeah.

Darren: And it's just converting so well.

Jo: It's a bit of a problem because they share it with their friends, so then we get people going, "Oh, are you in Perth?" And they go, "No, not yet." There's a whole list of people saying, "Are you here, are you here, are you here?" They're building the list. And actually when we didn't know where to open the next clinic, the nearest one's at Wellington point in Brisbane, and we were not sure about demographics. So what we did was just make a little messenger bot. Gosh, I think we only spent 250 bucks running it, it wasn't a big project. But we just put a thing in saying, "Hey, if you've been looking to do this, let us know where you'd like to see it." And we had about 12 options that people could click on the poll, on the survey and the bot. So that helped them make that business decision as to know when to open, and that was fun.

Darren: How amazing. I mean, to me, it still just blows my mind how just a little bit of copy or the right copy can make all the difference in the engagement.

Jo: Oh, and it can be so simple. Sometimes we just put a funny meme up and everybody... You know the meme with the old ladies dancing in the kitchen, one of those?

Darren: Yeah, incredible.

Jo: And that can go nuts and bring inquiries, so yeah. It's just giving people a good time, making them feel like it's going to be easy and then they'll come and have a go.

Darren: Sensational, the power of the written word. Fascinating. Well, Jo, thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure. I could go on forever of talking about this kind of stuff because I love getting into all the creativity. But really been amazing to chat to you about this. And I think that anybody who's interested in learning more about what you guys do and if they need help with their copy, they should definitely get in touch. Do you want to tell us how to find you?

Jo: Well, if they want to learn, copywritingforprofit.com. And the nice thing about the course is it includes live edit calls, so we jump on once a week, they bring what they're doing and literally everyone can learn from each other. I didn't know how it would go. I didn't know if I could think quickly enough, but it worked really well, so it's a very hands-on course. There's no enrolling and not doing it because I'd probably come and slap you. So that works well, copywritingforprofit.com or if they really want the full agency treatment, mckeecreative.store, S-T-O-R-E.

Darren: Beautiful, and I'll make sure I put those links in the show notes. And obviously LinkedIn, Facebook and anywhere else where good social media is found.

Jo: Yeah.

Darren: Well done, and anything you want to leave us with before we finish up, with regards to copy or creativity?

Jo: If you find yourself saying I'm not a writer, just wash your mouth out and go and have a go.

Darren: Have a go.

Jo: You can do it.

Darren: It's like anything else, start. Start, just try. You'll be amazed with the result.

Jo: Absolutely, yes.

Darren: Well done. Well, thank you so much again, Jo. Really been a pleasure having you on the show. I've certainly enjoyed our chat and I think the audience will as well. So for everybody out there, hope you had a fantastic one. Have a great day and we'll see you back on Friday for episode 178. Bye for now.

Jo: Thanks Darren.

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