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How to Get the MOST out of Your Copywriter by Emily McGregor

{this post is brought to you by Emily McGregor, one of our fabulous copywriters here at Your Hot Copy!}

Alright, so you’re ready to invest in some snazzy copy to beef up your website and sell your products like gangbusters.

Woo! Get it, girl.

How you present your biz through words is 100% the difference between ‘GIVE ME ALL YOU GOT’ and ‘NOT FEELIN’ IT, BYE.’ So yes, it’s a fantastic idea to hire a professional. (And I’m not just saying this because I am said professional)

BUT, after working with hundreds of clients I have to say, some clients milk me to my fullest capacity, and some honestly don’t. And it all comes down to knowing HOW to work with a writer.

I probably have 100+ tips I could tell you, but I don’t gotz time to write a novel today. I’m gonna give you the 5 big ones, so you don’t leave any milk in your copywriter cow. (Did I just call myself a cow? Man, some metaphors get out of hand…)

Anyway…Let’s do this!

#1 – BE READY FOR A COPYWRITER

So this is a big one (hence it’s first). The truth is, you might not be ready for a copywriter.

At least not yet.

For example: Say you want sales pages but haven’t FULLY decided on your program deets and are always changing what you want while I write…then I’m spending my time chasing your changes instead of polishing your message!

Or if you want an email funnel but aren’t quite sure WHY you’re doing it in the first place, then I’m not going to be able to get as specific or deep with my copy.

Now, that’s not to say you have to have EVERYTHING figured out. If you want some feedback or advice, I got you, girl. BUT just know the less you have prepared, the more time I’m spending on logistics instead of getting to the good stuff with your copy. It’s just science.

So basically get your shiz together before we chat. Know WHAT you want me to write and WHY you want me to write it. Answer those and we’re probably good to go!

#2 – KNOW YOURSELF

Now, not to brag, but I’m a little bit of a shift-shaper. I can craft my verbiage to sound like literally anyone (including you!) But sometimes that takes some reading between the lines. What we THINK we want to sound like and what we actually SHOULD or DO sound like can be very different things. (Totes guilty!)

My goal is always write in your AUTHENTIC voice.

So, to help me out a lil’ I ask that you do some exploration in your ideal tone.

Sassy? Inspirational? Quirky? Silly? Authoritative? Blue? (Please don’t tell me ‘blue.’)

One way to do this is to look at other brands and websites you like and examine WHY you like them and IF a similar tone fits with YOU and your BRAND.

Don’t try and squeeze another person’s voice onto yours. Chances are, it’s not going to feel right, and we’re going to be doing a TON of rewrites. I can help with this discovery, BUT the process will go SO much smoother if you know yourself first.

#3 – SHAPE SHIFTER NOT MIND READER

As I said, I can be a shapeshifter. But unfortunately, I’m not a mind reader. I know, bummer.

If you want something in your copy, you have to TELL ME. I know this sounds totally obvs, but I can’t tell you how many times clients have only given me 50% of the info I need and then expect 100% of it to be there on the page.

Remember: ALL I know about your products and your goals is what YOU tell me.

So lay the deets on me, yo! You’ll be happier, I’ll be happier, and having all that shiz figured out goes back to my point in #1!

#4 – GIVE FEEDBACK PROMPTLY

Now, this isn’t JUST about meeting deadlines. (Although that’s totes important!)

When I take on a client, I absorb myself in their voice and world. I embrace what you’re selling, your message, and what you’re all about. I live in your shoes for a little while.

But, if you take too long to give me your notes, I will have probably moved on to another project, and it’ll be just that much harder to get back into the flow.

So help a sista out! When you hire a copywriter know you need to be around to give some notes (it takes more time than you THINK!) and give them in a couple of days after delivery so I can stay in your brain! (Too creepy?)

#5 – GIVE KILLER (AND KIND) NOTES

Alright, so honestly we should probably do a blog post DEVOTED to this subject, or potentially a whole encyclopedia.

But the main thing with notes is to be SPECIFIC.

Bad note: “Um, this whole section doesn’t click with me. Change it.”

Good note: “This paragraph felt a little off-tone. I think it was the usage of words like ‘drop’ and ‘fight.’ These words felt very negative to me. I want this to feel warm and inviting.”

Specificity lets me know exactly where the problem is and allows me to give you more precisely what you want! Because at the end of the day I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY. HELP ME HELP YOU BE HAPPY!

Also, telling me what you LIKE is helpful too. Not just for the compliments (although compliments don’t hurt! We’re not robots…yet) but it helps me shape my re-writes in a way that captures what you want. It also helps me narrow in on your voice and tastes so the next time we work together; we’ll knock it outta the park the first time around!

Think of copy like a dart board. Your notes will help guide me to that bullseye!

So be specific and be kind!

I know writing can seem like this mysterious, magical process. And it is. But we’re also just folks doing what we do best. And as with anyone you work with, knowing HOW to communicate will help you get the BEST work possible.

Drop. The. Mic.

BRAND AND REBRAND TIPS YOU CAN TRUST

After last week’s super emotional and majorly cliff-hanger share (Spoiler: No update as of yet), I figured TODAY I should give you a smooth ride-along blog filled with amazing informational goodies to make up for the roller coaster I put you through.

Isn’t this fun?!

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few emails (or just have been too busy catching up with Master of None on Netflix), we’ve been talking about the magic, madness, and mental marathon of nailing your brand and/or going through a rebrand.

I’ve shared my specific experience with the initial branding and current rebranding of Your Hot Copy (the highs, the lows, the revelations, the what-the-fucks), and some wisdom from my days as the writer/director of my film “Hannah Has a Ho-Phase.”

(Pssst: No shame about the Netflix binge, obvs. If you’re late to the game you can still go read the past blogs and fill up your brain HERE , HERE annnnnnnnnd HERE.)

I hope my words offered you some much-needed encouragement, practical know-how, and, as always, a little bit o’ Lolz.

And without further adieu: now’s the time to open up the floor to some other seasoned branding professionals to give you their own pearls of wisdom.

I reached out to some of the best in the branding biz to get some tips, tricks, and time-tested tactics for absolutely NAILING your brand/rebrand.

Bad-ass lady entrepreneurial tribe for the win!

1. GET THE GOODS ON ALL THE NITTY GRITTIES

First off we’ve got the amazingly eclectic and talented design fanatic, blogger, and genius creator of the Biz and Brand Roadmap (click on that shit to download, sillies): Jenna Soard of You Can Brand.

(You guys, her company is called YOU CAN BRAND. If that doesn’t just make your little heart fill up with hope that you can do this thang, then I don’t know what will.)

For first-time branders, Jenna recommends asking all the right questions to cross your t’s and dot your i’s when it comes to effective visuals. Questions like: “Do the colors, fonts and images take into consideration your aesthetic? Does it fit the industry trends? Would my ideal client love this? Does this fit the brand’s personality (values, benefits, character qualities)?”

Melissa Burkheimer, design visionary and diva of digital identity, also advocates a methodical approach to a first-time brand. But don’t get too complicated, she says!

“When you’re branding your business for the first time I have two simple rules,” Melissa told us, “keep everything super simple and be yourself. Between your font style, your photos, and your offerings, and your entire customer experience, don’t overthink the process, and don’t change who you are. Your business and brand will most likely evolve and change, but having something out there is better than nothing when you’re first starting out.”

2. DEFINE YOUR VISION, YOU VISIONARY!

Lindsey Barbara (brand stylist and founder of the incredible iBlossom Business Collective) has some amazing advice when it comes to branding for the first time: get your INTENTIONS on fleek, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD.  

This means knowing exactly what YOU want to give your audience.

Do you know what kind of brand you want to be? A personal brand? Several brands? Branding as a company or “parent” brand? These are all internal questions to consider carefully BEFORE you put moolah into the making of the external things like a biz brand logo, design, and all that other fun visual jazz. Honing your intentions on your vision will not only clarify your direction for you, it will give you a greater chance of success with your biz.

Like Lindsey says, “Intention will make or break a brand. It will make the difference between a superficial brand and one that has traction, profit, connection, and emotion, AND one that immediately wins you work.”

3. PUT YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST

Obviously, it’s SUPER important to clarify your biz’s mission when you’re thinking about representing your brand to the world.

But it’s also WILDLY important to put your client first, and consider what THEY would be drawn to support with their monies and time.

The amazing Naomi Niles, Brand Strategist and Digital Storyteller, says it extremely well (doi, she’s a branding BOSS):

“Be clear on who your audience is. What are their likes and dislikes. What resonates with them most? Branding is very much about you, but even more importantly, it’s about the intersection between where their needs and yours meet.”

So all that time making sure your perspective is clear? Make sure it’s met halfway with time spent understanding the perspective of your prospective client.

“There must be a mutual understanding in order that your brand captures their attention and resonates with your customers. Most times it’s not about what’s most original or what feels 100% you. You must dig to find what feels true for you and also what is also true for your customers.”

4. SOLIDIFY THAT BIG PICTURE PLAN AGAIN…AND AGAIN…AND AGAIN

As for rebranding, web maven Melissa advocates a slow-and-steady, big-picture approach that takes into account the LONGEVITY you are hoping to create with your biz.  

“If you don’t take the time to define the elements of your ideal visual identity, then you may not end up with a logo that looks like it belongs on a frozen treat,” she says.

“You want something that matches where you’re going in the next 5+ years, so as you build that big thing you want to create!”

Jenna chimes in on this as well, adding that the refining process of a rebrand can evolve over time. She recommends “updating visuals on timely trends” and “re-analyzing your target to see if things have shifted” as important steps to focus on during your biz makeover.

The amazing Kasia Zukowska (WordPress consultant and web designer extraordinaire), totally agrees with the concept of working that long-game to your advantage (both for rebranding AND initial branding), saying:

“Allow your brand to evolve and grow with you over time. People often want to start with a rockstar brand and spend so much time or money creating that brand to then find out they need to rebrand because it wasn’t right or because they weren’t clear on their business at that point and now they are. They key here is to start, get to know your audience, your business and yourself so your brand can blossom into that rockstar brand. No one ever starts out with a badass brand, it happens over time.”

5. RESONATE RELATIONALLY TO REAP SWEET REWARDS

We all know that tone, emotionality, and relational attributes are a HUGE part of repping your biz.

For all of you experiencing #thatrebrandlife, Kasia recommends an easy-does-it approach to moving into your new aesthetic, and utilizing the relationship you have with your audience to keep the love between your biz and your clients alive! (We’re talking freebies and sneak peeks to whip the masses into a fun frenzy.)

“You likely have a big audience at this point and they are emotionally invested in your brand so it’s important you ease your audience into the new brand. You can do this by getting them excited and leaking out little hints and previews of the new brand.

She also warns not to change anything TOO drastically, so as not to spook the herd and startle away your audience.

“Something else to remember is not to change your brand drastically, you should be able to connect your old brand to your new brand in some way. The only time you would do a drastic change is if you are targeting a different audience, changing your whole business (what you do/offer) or if your previous brand suffered because of negative reputation and can’t bounce back from it.”



There you have it, branders and re-brander alike!

What spoke to you most? Any specific words of wisdom spark an “a-ha” moment for you? Make sure to tell us at our Facebook page, and also STALK ALL THESE WOMEN AND LEARN EVEN MORE FROM THEM.

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
xo,

Am I pregnant?

Let’s talk about SEX, baby.

JK. Let’s talk about something way less fun (but more “necessary”)…

HOW TO NOT DIE WHILE YOU’RE WORKING ON A BRAND OR REBRAND.

For clarity’s sake, YES I mean your own.

Working on other people’s brands is pure joy.
Working on your own = I’d rather swallow nails.

This week, I’ve been waking up exhausted and nauseated every.single.day.
On Sunday, I was in bed all day with a stomach flu. Which basically means I was in such a sour mood that not even WATER wanted to stay and hang out with me. #abandonmentissues

Then, my good friend and mastermind sister (and mindset coach to the stars) Kelly Ruta asked me if I was sure I didn’t have a “bun in the oven.” Well, Kelly, I’m NOT sure but I DO know that I have a very large bun (also known as a REBRAND) that’s been in this oven for about 9 months now… so, I’m ready to give BIRTH!

Am I really pregnant? I don’t know, but you’ll know as soon as I do. Cool thing? I would DEF know who the father is. #winning

While I’m keeping it real and vulnerable with you, I wanted to share more about the DEPTHS of what comes up when you’re going through massive growth in your business.

This is the shit that might happen when you’ve decided to do something like rebrand, invest in a coach to help you grow, hire a bomb ass copywriter or designer, commit to launching something new, or putting yourself out there more with ads, funnels, or videos.

I’ll cut to the chase: Growth and expansion of any kind leads to DEMONS GALORE.

You know the ones I’m talking about…

Those nasty A-holes in your head that say things like:

“You’re crazy.”
“You can’t do this.”
“You don’t deserve it.”
“It will never work.”
“You’re not smart/pretty/good enough.”

And then you cry and stress and worry… and eventually put on your big boss panties and say “WATCH ME, BITCHES.”

But for ME there’s an even stronger anxiety happening.
You see, I’m scared this rebrand WILL actually KILL me.

I discovered this during a therapy session with my amazing analyst in NYC, and it’s been this eerie knowing, slowly burning in the background while I move forward with each little piece of the rebrand ever since. It came up again during a mastermind event in March, and Kelly once again held my ass to the fire in her ever-so/NOT-AT-ALL subtle way, saying something like… “THIS IS THE REAL SHIT RIGHT HERE.”

Wondering where this irrational fear comes from? I’ll share the story.

My father, Joe Jensen, was an entrepreneur. He loved entrepreneurship SO much; he truly raised me to have my own business and think BIG. I learned so much about business and life from him. The thing is… he passed away right after he leveled his business up.

We’re talking… moved into a new, bigger, beautiful office, opened a new arm of services for his clients, hired more staff, enlisted more partners and then BOOM. He was gone.

I’m (personally) at a turning point where Your Hot Copy is about to shift, change, and expand – and I deeply hope you’ll stick around and follow our journey as that happens. But somewhere in my guts I’m terrified that after it happens, I’ll kick the bucket. Fade to black. POOF.

I don’t have a genius lesson here, or a cute “wrap-it-up” statement except to say that I know my faith has to be bigger than my fear. Things that feel like they’ll absolutely kill you might be the best thing that ever happened.

Joe Jensen had a saying just for this:
“Stop trying to be so smart and just be a C student.”

Thanks, dad.

Lots of love,

 

 

 

 

p.s. Am I pregnant tho!?

Rebranding Part 2

The last three weeks have been amazing and terrifying all at once.

As you know from last week’s post, we’ve been getting closer and closer to launching the Your Hot Copy rebrand, including… a fancy new website, a whole new look and feel (#makeover), and fresh photography to match it all.

Last week I mentioned the FOUR things you need to survive a rebrand (or ANY creative project of that scale).

These four things also represent the MAJOR risks of re-branding, how it could (actually) kill you, cripple your business, and possibly make you go crazy and lose your sanity in the process…

Keep in mind, I’m NO stranger to creative leadership.

Case in point: this photo from the set of my movie Hannah Has A Ho-Phase on our final shoot day. See this crew?

That’s 40 women representing various production departments — all working to make our vision (that’s me and my creative partner Nadia Munla) a reality.

So I am TRULY embarrassed to admit where I’ve failed throughout my own rebrand process.

But, to make sure you don’t make the SAME mistakes, here they are….

  1. TAKE OWNERSHIP OVER YOUR VISION.

You know what every creative project really needs? A fucking leader. Someone who’s the CAPTAIN of the damn ship, navigating the waters, deciding what’s a good decision and bad decision, keeping the overall VISION front of mind, and knowing what to eliminate and what to keep throughout the process.


The thing is… making ART isn’t about adding more shit to the composition, the schedule, or the track record
. Making ART is more about restraint than anything. Knowing when to get rid of something, when to slow down, when to pause, and when to breathe — those are the moments and choices that determine whether you’re making the emotional impact and STATEMENT you want to be making. That goes for copy, branding, websites, sales pages, screenplays, visual art, music, LIFE, etc etc etc.

When I decided to embark on this rebrand, I was shortsighted in what it would require — not just in terms of HIRES, but in terms of ME. I thought “OH, I have a vision so I’ll just HIRE the best people I can to help me execute it.”

[insert evil laugh here]

Sure, you need to do that. But you also need to step into the role of DIRECTOR (#justlikemovies), take ownership, and do the fucking job. If you’re NOT a director, then please, for the love of GAWD, hire one. I didn’t hire a director because I am one. But, after I made my hires, I realized that I deeply wanted someone else to be the BOSS of the rebrand — because managing a rebrand AND a business is basically taking on TWO big jobs at once.

Once I realized that I had to step up as the rebrand boss, I chose to pause until I was clear on my vision and had the time and space to do that job properly. < Cause of delay #1.

Cause of delay # 2?

  1. GET A PROJECT MANAGER.

In other words, hire a project manager or at least a project planner who’s familiar with rebrands. You’ll need someone who can tell you which order things need to go in so you can execute like a PRO. Someone who can manage a budget and timeline for you if YOU’RE not someone who can do that.

If you’re currently thinking about rebranding, you might be asking yourself things like …

“Do I hire a photographer first? Or a strategist? Or a stylist? Or a copywriter? Or a designer?”

“How much does a rebrand cost? What should I be spending?”

(If you’re not asking yourself those things, you need to be!)

The truth? That answer depends a little bit on what you’re trying to create, where you are in your business, who you’re working with, and what role you’re prepared to play in the process.

And once you know WHO you want to work with, you’ll then have to be mindful of their schedule and how they work too! A HUGE reason the YHC rebrand was delayed was due to discovering we wanted my home city of New York to be present in the new brand photography… but we didn’t discover this until mid-holiday season — right before 4 months of freezing cold weather in NYC. #dammit

So YES, project planning matters, but being flexible with the creative process is the other side of that coin. More on that later.

If you don’t have someone who can support your vision by being the “get shit done” person, it will be even HARDER to NOT have your rebrand KILL YOU.

  1. KNOW YOUR TIMELINE & BUDGET.

Most things in life take longer and cost more money than we originally estimate. In the world of filmmaking, we’d add a 10% contingency to any budget to make sure we are covered in case of unexpected/unforeseen costs.

Not sure if I even need to say this out loud but… I didn’t do this. 😉

What I did: hired the branding and design team FIRST, knowing that was an achievable, tangible thing that I could afford. What I forgot about: Styling, photography, extra needs, etc etc.

You CAN save all the money you need for your rebrand in ADVANCE. Start doing that now.

My advice? Get $30,000-$40,000 set aside for ALL of it, minimum.

Hate me for saying this? That’s OK. You can do it all on a tight-ass budget but you’ll probably feel creatively crippled, you won’t have all the support you need to execute it properly, and you might resent the process of feeling like you’re not as available as YOU wanna be throughout it. And remember what I said about YOU taking ownership?

Yeah. Mic drop.

Which brings me to my last point…

 

  1. ACCEPT THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

You will NOT have control over everything.

Your vision will evolve as you go.

You will not execute the exact plan, as planned.

You will do things like wait 7 months for great weather, and then STILL end up shooting on a cold, rainy day (what happened to me, LOLOLOLOLOL.)

STILL.

This is THE PROCESS.

You will want to quit.

You will want to cry.

You will want to give up and cancel it ALL.

DON’T DO THAT.

Remember that it is JUST the process.

If you instead lean INTO the creative process and accept it all (the good, bad, and ugly) you might find that what you end up with is A MILLION TIMES better than what you originally thought you were getting.

#truestory

I’ll tell you LOADS more about the SCARY A F unknowns that crop up throughout the creative process too so YOU can be prepared. Come back next week for more on those/that.

For now, tell me… any AHAs, OH SHITs, or YESSSS, THANK YOUs from this?
xx

REBRANDING COULD KILL YOU: A cautionary tale (Part 1)

Rebranding is a  B I T C H.

Let me rephrase that. Rebranding can be a bitch.

Before I get into all of the how’s and why’s — let me take you back, wayyyyy back — to summer 2016. My business was nearing 3 years old, our website had seen MULTIPLE iterations as Your Hot Copy had evolved TONS since its inception, and I was anxious for our BRAND to ACTUALLY reflect our team and the work we were doing with clients.

Actually – PAUSE. Let’s go further back in time… back to YHC’s first ever website.

>>> HOW CUTE DID I THINK I WAS WITH THIS HEADER?

Huge thanks and big-ups to Bluchic for making easy-to-customize WordPress themes.

BONUS shout-out to all the women in tech who have the brains and expertise to create amazing products like these!!!

Yeah, it’s no secret that my very first website was self-made. Thank f*ck for my professional and educational background in film producing (#business #marketing #packaging). I credit my brand’s initial success to knowing a whole shit ton about the content creation business (a.k.a. the entertainment industry) – not to mention my own personal zone of genius (creative direction) and a penchant for attention-grabbing sass and creativity.

AFTER ALL, BRANDING IS ABOUT MAKING A SPLASH.

Spoiler: It’s about more than that, but when you’re in the business of helping other people stand out, attract clients, and turn website visitors into raving fans and customers, your website better do that job for YOU too, boo.

CONFESSION: My first photo shoot was a favor from a friend. I paid zero dollars, but I knew exactly what I wanted. I’ve stretched the results through nearly 4 years of business.

Once I had sexy, creative, fun photos, my first official hire was the lovely and talented Bec Feldman who created our first logo. It was everything I wanted. Simple, crisp, feminine, and fun.

Next, I needed help turning my crazy ideas into a more colorful BRAND. Enter: Kacie Erickson.

I hired Kacie to create a series of graphics that I loaded into my site myself. *Dusts shoulders off.* See, I HAD the vision, but I needed another smart, fun, highly creative lady to help elevate and execute what I was going for: urban, fun, energetic, and sassy.

Kacie nailed it.

But 1 year later, this branding (photos, design, and copy *self-written, of course) stopped communicating the truth of YHC.

Erin had joined the team, and we were working in tandem. I started training and working with a handful of other writers too to keep the copy FRESH.  So we updated AGAIN with new photos, new copy, and brought Kacie’s genius brain back for a refresh.

I loved what Kacie did. It took us a few rounds to really NAIL this with back and forth collaboration, but that’s the beauty of co-creation.

Notice the detail of it looking like we spray painted over the old header. It was GENIUS. These are small things that a casual (or new) site visitor would never notice, but I knew it was there. And tiny details like that are what tell the story of your brand and business, whether your audience is consciously aware of the impact it’s having on them or not. DETAILS MATTER.

A lot.

Fast forward to another year later, and we had become a full agency. YHC wasn’t about ME anymore. It was about our clients, our process, our team — and I wanted a fresh look that said just that. So thankfully Kristen Ashton of stillpixels swooped in for the rescue.

Your Hot Copy Agency - For words that sizzle and SELL.

I LOVE WHAT SHE DID FOR US.

Back to summer sixteen

. I just couldn’t fucking take it anymore. It was starting to feel like I had outgrown the business I had created. It was as if I had built an amazing jet plane to carry me, my writers, and my clients towards our dreams — but as the impact grew, the container stayed small. We needed an Airbus A380 and instead we were still in a puddle jumper.

After all, a LOT happens in 4 years. I had grown up. The business had grown up.

The sight of pink now made me nauseated. The term “boss lady” now made me cringe in embarrassment. And a self-made website felt SO creatively limiting. It was time to get a web designer and developer on board for the full shebang — finally.

CUE: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

I decided to hire the amazingly talented team at ShiftFwd for a FULL makeover. New errythang. Colors. Fonts. Logo. Culture. Website.

I know what you’re thinking…

“Wait, it’s been almost a YEAR since you hired them… where’s the new brand?!”

And then I cackle maniacally in response and just say…

“You see, rebranding could KILL you.”

As a self-motivated self-starter, risk-taker, and visionary (also see: ENTREPRENEUR) I jumped in headfirst, confident that these two were the right team. (No weird plot twist here; they ARE.) I started collecting examples of websites I adored, photography I wanted, and ANYTHING that visually communicated the vibe and style I was going for.

But after we got started, I quickly realized that I had forgotten the FOUR most critical pieces of any creative project. And, as a storyteller and filmmaker, that part feels really embarrassing to admit. It doesn’t matter if you hire the most talented team on planet earth (or plizzanet Earth if you’re Snoop Dogg) — if you SKIP, overlook, or glaze over these FOUR key pieces… rebranding could literally fucking kill you.

I’ll tell you more about those next week…

For now, tell me what YOUR biggest fears or areas of confusion are when it comes to branding or rebranding?

xx

Sales Funnels: WTF!?

A quick guide to how to actually get started without losing your sh*t, wasting your time, or banging your head against a wall.
(It happens.)


Well, let’s all start by just taking a nice, big deep breath because from what I see out there, the concept of “sales funnels” typically comes with a side of “ugh,” “ack!” or “WTF!” and a big, heaping serving of “OMFG, I KNOW I SHOULD BE DOING MORE BUT IT’S SO OVERWHELMING, WHERE DO I START?”

If you’ve ever thought those thoughts OR felt that way, you’re not alone.

Funnels can be BEASTS. If you’ve ever looked at a flow chart of a wildly detailed sales funnel (looks kinda like this) it’s enough to make you think you’re suddenly lost in a labyrinth, desperately trying to find your way out while hoping that the Minotaur doesn’t find you and eat you. YEAH. It’s confusing and scary A F.

While ultimately, a well-plotted automated sales funnel is designed to make the process seamless, easy, and smooth as butter for your CLIENT  — from the backend it can feel and look like a mad laboratory of potions and recipes that you think might explode at any second.

You’ve got tags, segments, flows, automations, sequences, upsells, downsells, and a whole lotta crazy nonsense — it can make anyone go BATTY. But today, I’m going to make this easy for you.

Here’s all you need to know about sales funnels to get started without wasting time or tens of thousands of dollars…

 

  1. Sales funnels are not passive money generators. They’re passive LEAD generators. Designed correctly, they exist for THREE reasons: to help you attract more potential buyers, to turn those potential buyers into actual buyers, and to ideally break even on developing and nurturing that relationship. THAT’S IT. Does this mean that sales funnels can’t turn a profit? OF COURSE NOT. But trying to do that immediately is like trying to skip over the first few levels of Super Mario Bros and beating Bowser right away. Not how this thing works, y’all.
  2. Sales funnels require testing and tweaking to turn a real profit. LOTS of testing and tweaking. Here’s what that means for YOU: If you f*cking HATE tech, you’re going to need to hire someone to set this stuff up for you, to look at numbers, data, and analytics and you’re then going to have to make adjustments to BOTH the copy & strategy to improve and optimize those numbers. If you’re not up for that level of commitment and dedication, or don’t have a team to help you out with this — don’t try to do something super complicated. Keep it simple. You can create a simple, effective sales funnel without worrying about all that sh*t in the beginning.

  3. Start where you ARE. Don’t try to “hack” it all at once. Your very first step to building an effective sales funnel is figuring out the best possible lead magnet (a.k.a. a “HELL YES! Opt-In”) to capture emails and start building that relationship with your potential clients and customers. You don’t need to build Rome in a day, and you don’t need to make everything perfect all at once. This stuff takes time, but if you work smart you won’t have to waste thousands of hours or dollars on figuring it all out.

Actually, because I want to make this whole process SIMPLE, EASY & CHEAP (#free) for you, I’ve decided to run a FREE CHALLENGE next week on How To Create Your HELL YES Opt-In.

After all, your opt-in HAS TO BE the sexiest part of your funnel. It’s how you’re going to get people in-the-door, make a stellar first impression, grab those digits, and create mutually rewarding business relationships. That’s kinda important to your business, don’t ya think?

>>Click here to learn more about this FREE 5-Day Challenge.<<

We kick off on Monday, April 3rd — and I can’t wait to see you in there.
xx

“But, can you really sound like me?” Ask Kerin.

“CAN YOU REALLY SOUND LIKE ME?”
-said 1,000 perspective clients”

Our response “ABSOLUTELY.”

How? Our system is threefold.

We learn about your business. Duhsies. Before each project we have our clients fill out an in-depth questionnaire so we can get crystal clear on your biz. And not just the basics, we go deep. (Oh, yeah, baby.) We want to know why this business exists! We immerse ourselves in your mission, your vision, and your WHY.

We get into the mind of your client! We wanna know everythingggggggg about your ideal client. Her loves, her hates, her deepest desires. Knowing the people you’re targeting helps us connect your voice to her ears (or eyes, in the digital world we live in!)

We LISTEN to you. Like, really listen. During your kick-off call with your head writer, we get to know you. We listen to the way you speak, the words you use, and we pay attention to the story you tell us. We connect with your vision and then use our gifts to translate that into written word.

And when those 3 things happen, MAGIC happens. Next thing you know, POOF! You have a website copy that SOUNDS the way you want to sound. A strong message that’s conveyed clearly. And empowered readers who are INSPIRED to reach out to you.

And when your voice is there, your website comes to life.

And that, is exactly what we did for Kerin. But we’ll let her tell you about that…


Your name?

Kerin Briscese

Who are you, like, for REAL?

Yikes, This is a loaded question. To sum ME up I would have to say Wine, food and travel lover (preferably all at the same time). Shoe and purse collector. Obsessed with getting women to love their bodies and who they are from the inside out! Hopeless romantic at heart.

 

What’s your business, and what do you LOVE about it?

I help women who struggle to lose a pound drop weight eating REAL food (dare I say even cake) by figuring out the macronutrients intake (proteins, carbs, fats) that they specifically need in order to lose 1-3lbs a week of body fat, and keep it off PERMANENTLY. As an EX-emotional and CRAZY- around-food binge eater I work predominantly with women who struggle with the same issues. Not only do I teach them how to eat for their bodies (a.k.a they take back the control. NO more diet plans, they now get to choose what they want to eat) but I also work with their mindset so we break through any self sabotaging, glass ceiling limiting belief systems that have held them back in the past. It is a lot easier to lose weight when you are consistently showing up at the gym and eating till you are satisfied, not about to burst.

What did you love about the process of working with us?

It is still my words. Emily listened to everything I said and really captured the tone and feel of what I was going for.

We know the power of copy– a full site overhaul is like an amazing makeover transformation that you could watch over and over on TLC (no, just us?) Anyway, we wanna know how did reading your NEW copy MAKE YOU FEEL?!

Empowering to see my words and what was going on inside of me come to life. I felt overwhelmed and not sure where to start when having to redo my website copy. It was such a relief to see all the words that were scrambled inside my head be put on paper that made sense and flowed smoothly.

Overall, what was unique about working with Your Hot Copy as your copywriter?

How clearly your team can capture the voice of your clients!

Overall, were you happy with the results and performance of the copy? Yes, we’re asking you how we “performed.” Teehee!

Haha, in short, YES!

How did having your website written by YHC make writing future copy easier for you?

I got more clear with my message which makes writing everything easier.

Would you recommend working with Your Hot Copy?

Absolutely! And I have!

Tell us what you’ve got coming up next in business!

I am currently working on booking 3 events every month (I just love the face to face interactions!) I have also stepped up my Private FB Group game, it’s been great watching women from around the world join and come together to support each other. I’m loving how they look and not holding themselves back. It is so cool being a part of that.

Gush for us. What are you most excited about creating this year?

A bigger community! It is the most amazing thing to be able to help women who come to me saying they have tried everything else and have given up hope of ever loving how they look. It lights me up to be a part of that!


There you have it! You can find more about Kerin on her website, join her private Facebook Group, and grab your copy of her free eBook right here.

If you’re feeling like “ahhhhhhhhh no one will ever nail my voice” or “omg I have so many ideas, where the hell do I even start and how could I even hand this over to a copywriter?!” Take a deep breath, sweet thang, because we got you. And you can click right here to book a call with Erin to hear more about working with us and figure out if we’re the ONE(S) for you.

 

Lots of love and word wizardry,

xx

jamie signature

Why PERSONALITY sells (Even better than sex does!)

Scantily clad models with perfect pouts, holding Gucci handbags. Justin Bieber in his boxers, repping Calvin Klein cologne. Jessica Simpson washing a dirty car, with garden hose in one hand and Carl’s Jr burger in the other. Open a magazine, turn on the TV, peruse the internet, and you’ll realize the old adage is true: sex sells.

And, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Bring on the chiseled, handsome dudes with the treasure trails and the washboard abs! I’m just gonna be over here, minding my own business, objectifying their bodies in my imagination with a super sexy NSFW daydream. No big.  

:: 5 Minutes Later ::

Huh? What? Where was I? Sorry, sorry, I’m back.

Look, while your grandma might gasp at the alluring aspect of lust, YOU know and I know it’s got power. After 15 years of working in the nightlife industry, and 5 years of working in film and TV, I’m well aware that a saucy wink or steamy joke can definitely get it up—the sale, I mean! (Ok, and possibly other things). Hell, I even wrote a screenplay called “Hannah Has a Ho-Phase” (which shot up to #1 Hulu right after it’s release for 3 weeks running). So, yeah, I know that sex sells. But we’re not here to talk about sex (much as I LOVE to talk about sex).

We’re here to talk about PERSONALITY.

WHY?

Because personality sells more.

PERSONALITY is what makes people fall in love with you, and love > sex.

Think about it: SEX is a fun romp that could last anywhere from 20 seconds to 20 minutes (depending on your partner, obvi), but LOVE lasts a lifetime.

Love is all you need, love conquers all things, love can move mountains. Love can make you do crazy things—like giving away the last piece of pizza to your BF, or waiting to watch the most recent episode on Netflix until they can watch it with you (true sacrifice, you guys).

Yeah sure, you might have potential clients who flirt around with visits to your website, who toy with the idea of working with you, who sneak back and forth between you and your competitor. But the clients who fall in love with you are going to be loyal as FUCK (And not just “DTF”). You don’t want booty call clients who will be there one minute and gone the next—you want starry-eyed, love-sick clients who can’t get enough of you and what you’re selling.

So the question is: do you want the sex kind of sale, or the love one?

That’s what I thought.

So why do people fall in love? Two reasons: they either see themselves in you (and know it), or they see themselves in you (and don’t know it, because they think you have something they don’t have or can’t have). This is some deep psychology shit, guys.

In order for people to see themselves in you, they need to get to know you, for real. They need to connect to you. And the main way that potential clients connect to you is—yup, you guessed it— through your copy. Visuals can paint a pretty picture, but words make the world wide web market go ‘round, y’all.

Did you know that 100% of online sales require effective copy?

The right words, in the right place, can bring in the dough BIG TIME. Companies have even been known to lose MILLIONS of dollars in revenue from just a few website spelling mistakes. Ooof!

I know, I know, with the pitfalls and potential for disaster it can be a bit daunting to make sure your copy is really speaking the language of love. But like a good wing-woman, I will tell it to you straight: stop stalking that potential lover you’re crushing on—pull the trigger and talk to them already!

I know you might be thinking…

“But Jamie, what if my PERSONALITY/POV/voice/self is unlikeable/unloveable/too controversial??”

ALSO GOOD. Trust me.

The truth is, even if you approach a potential consumer and they HATE what you’re about, that can still be good. Bad feelings are strong feelings. Polarization is a great sign that you’re doing it right—you’re expressing a point of view that’s STRONG, instead of vague or wishy-washy.

When you hone in on what you’re REALLY about, you’ll slowly weed out the not-quite-right clients and find the long-lasting, satisfying members of your market that, you know—fit just right. (Tee tee).

Middle School sex jokes aside, let’s talk about the various components of personality as it pertains to your BRAND, shall we?

 

Likes/Dislikes  

Speaking of Middle School—remember when you and your first boyfriend cemented your love for each other through a mutual obsession with Nirvana’s “Nevermind”? (I am TOTALLY dating myself here). Shared likes/dislikes bond us to other people who feel the same way, so expressing those likes/dislikes opens the door to that mutually-obsessed kinda love.

 

Values  

What do you care about? What do you support? People who care about/support similar things are going to be drawn in by shared values—so whatever you “stand” for, make it super clear in the story you’re telling about yourself.

 

Beliefs  

See: Values, religious/philosophical/spiritual edition. Make your big WHY and worldviews totally clear.

 

The Way You Talk/Sound 

Remember last week’s blog about the importance of voice? Like moths to flame or bees to the honey, a silky-smooth and strong voice can bring in the buyers. Get comfortable writing how you speak and watch your conversion rates shoot through the roof.

 

Your Unique Perspective  

Are other people selling the same thing as you? All the more reason to focus on making your personality stand out. Hone your super specific slant, so those potential clients find themselves not sighing “Yawn” but shouting “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

 

Sense of Humor

What is your sense of humor? USE IT. Use this ALL over your copy. All over your videos. All OVER EVERYWHERE YOU CAN. WHY? Because laughing increase chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. THOSE ARE LOVE CHEMICALS—and we know love sells. (Are you hearing the cha-ching? I am.)

 

Don’t know how to dope up your clients with your love-sale chemicals? Keep your eyes open for a special offer coming soon. I’m also dying to hear from you, so tell me in the comments below: What’s hard for you about nailing your personality in your copy? Or, feel free to brag all about how you’re TOTALLY nailing it!

You can also pop into The Champagne Room to continue this conversation with moi!

xo

How much does “BRAND VOICE” really matter? (Hint: A LOT.)

I see you, you bad-ass entrepreneur—and I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. With all the nitty-gritty that goes into running a business you might be wondering:

“Look, does this whole ‘Brand Voice’ thing really affect my sales all that much?”

(Hint: Yes. It does. A LOT).

Funny story: Back in my bartending days, I once met the most insanely attractive man that this human world has ever seen (think a cross between Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom ::drool::) But when he opened his mouth? He sounded like a cross between Mickey Mouse and Michael Jackson. Womp, womp, WOMP. You can bet I wasn’t buying what he was selling (I’ll let you figure out what that was. Sorry Mom).

Here’s what you gotta know: Brand voice isn’t just about the words you choose or the services you’re offering.

Brand voice is your super-special distinct point-of view, personality, beliefs, worldview, audience preferences, sense of humor, and the way you talk/sound ALL whirlpool-ing into a giant vortex of lead-and-sales-generating POWER.  

When people resonate with your brand voice, they get sucked into what you’re selling.

When people feel that they know you, like you, and trust you (because—cough, ahem—your brand voice is super clear, likeable, and true to who you are), then they WANT to get sucked into what you’re selling. They’re thrilled and excited to get sucked into what you’re selling.

They’re letting out an exuberant “Woot!” and squirrel jumping kamikaze-style off the high-dive INTO what you’re selling.

So how do you know if you’re “nailing it” with your brand voice? For starters, you’re getting new clients/subscribers on the reg. Like, a lot of them. Like, a lot of the time.

ATTENTION: NOW INTERRUPTING THIS BLOG TO OFFER YOU A CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE OPTION:

  1. If you have been gaining new clients/subscribers on the reg, jump below to the starred section.
  2. If you haven’t been gaining new clients/subscribers on the reg, jump below to the starred section.

*Yup, both answers lead to the same place. Because here’s the deal: Brand voice ALWAYS matters.

Whether you’ve been doing this for ages and are rolling around in money like that scene in Indecent Proposal, or are just starting out with a client or two, you know that in this entrepreneurial shindig you will ALWAYS need to focus on generating new business.

And, yup, you guessed it: Honing and clarifying (or re-honing and re-clarifying) your brand voice is a HUGE part of that. Just think about this process as something that will only get better and more potent over time—like a fine, fine wine. (Damnit, now I want wine).

If you’re ready to rock your brand voice but don’t know how, don’t freak out. I’m here to make it EASY for you to get started. So grab a glass of vino (I mean, I already did), sit back, and let’s get that whirlpool going.

  1. GET FEEDBACK. If you’re wondering if your voice has gone from stunning to stale, ask your peeps. I mean, it’s easy to convince yourself that fedoras should be your new style accessory until you talk to that loyal friend who says 2002 called and wants its shit back. Straight up: having an outside view helps. Ask your clients. Ask your friends. Ask your mom. Ask your mom’s hairstylist. But make sure to ask the people who you trust to be completely honest with you about whether or not the words/tone/message you’re presenting are true to you.
  2. DOES IT SOUND LIKE YOU? Story time ain’t just for Reading Rainbow anymore—speak it aloud. Then ask yourself “Does it sound like me? Does it sound warm, funny, capable, and all the other ways I am (insert super positive, empowering word here)?” If YOU find that it sounds like a slightly bland cyber-clone of the truly bright and amazing you, your audience will probably feel the same.

  3. HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL? Do you get those butterflies in the stomach when you read your mission statement, bio, and sales pages? Does it resonate with your inner chi? Does it leave you positively vibrating with excitement like that first touch from your middle school crush? If so, keep it. If not, go back to the drawing board till that giddy gold comes through.

  4. HOW DOES IT MAKE YOUR CLIENTS FEEL? Inspired, ready to rock, or needing a nap? We’re going for magic here, not “meh,” so pay attention to the response you get from your clients’ first impression of your voice. We want that ooey gooey infatuation to go both ways, and, simply put: they should be weak-kneed for you and swooning over what you’re saying.

  5. ARE THOSE FEELINGS ALIGNED WITH YOUR BRAND VALUES?  Like the wonderful Julie Andrews sang: “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” (And yes, I def referenced Sound of Music twice in one blog ::movie nerd alert::). Listen, with all the go-go-go of running a business, it’s so important to stop, take stock, and make sure your words are still jiving with your life’s work. #nbd

Unsure of what YOUR Brand Values are? If you’ve never done Sally Hogshead’s “Fascination Advantage Brand Test,” I’d recommend starting there. It will tell you the #1 core value that your brand stands for–and help you figure out if your vision and voice are lining up in harmony like do, re, mi. I’m not an affiliate for Sally’s work, but I’ve found this quiz to be simple, effective, and extremely clarifying.

So, how did you shape up with your “vocal workouts”? Did this post give you some interesting, confusing, enlightening feedback? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know by commenting below (or by posting in The Champagne Room), where I’ll be answering Q’s about voice ALL month long!

xx

Got Sales & Money Cock Blocks? Here’s how to eliminate them.

If you checked out last week’s blog, you know that I went on my favorite kind of rant – all about CREATIVITY. I love to talk about creativity because it’s one my highest values, but also because (as I mentioned last week), it’s ONE of two primary things you need to make money as an entrepreneur.

Thing TWO is SELLING.

Selling comes with all kinds of ick factors. It’s one of those things that just gives people the heebie-jeebies.

Ever thought to yourself about SELLING…

 

  • What if I sound like a creep?
  • What if I come off as sleazy?
  • What if people think that I’m greedy, or decide they don’t like me?

You’re not alone.
Well, today I’m determined to help you BLAST through that shit with some solid sales tips.

First, tell me how you react when you just hear the word “SELLING.”

Do you think to yourself “UGH?” Well, I can’t say I blame you. Selling isn’t my FAVE either when I do it for myself. When I do it for my clients I utterly LOVE LOVE LOVE it. So, before we proceed, I want you to simply forgive yourself if you don’t love selling.

Typically entrepreneurs are only great at one of those two key “THINGS” – creating or selling. It’s RARE to be great at both. Why? Because creatives often feel icky about selling, and salespeople can’t always connect to their “inner artist.”

PERMISSION TO NOT LOVE THE IDEA OF “SELLING” GRANTED.
Now, let’s work on your sales skills.

The first step to getting better at selling is identifying what your holdbacks are, so let’s start with the biggest sales & money cockblocks I see —

A > Not believing that YOU, and your OFFER, are good enough or valuable enough.

This is really the crux of the issue for all creatives, healers, helpers, or big-hearted business owners. When you’re not IN the business “for the money,” setting your price and asking for money can be hard. How DO you determine your value when you’re questioning if you’re even valuable at all?

B > Fear of failure.

Another whammy. So many entrepreneurs, even established ones, are terror-stricken at the idea of putting something NEW out there. What if it doesn’t sell, or isn’t successful? And then you’re just left with the sad stench of FAILURE. Ick.

C > Fear of rejection.

The other tough thing about putting something (i.e. yourself) out there is REJECTION. If no one buys, it can also mean that no one likes you or wants what you’re selling. It can feel like a big, fat NO from planet Earth, and no one wants to take a leap just to end up in a puddle of disappointment tears.

D > Lack of knowledge on HOW to sell.

Having sales-know-how is critical to your confidence, and without confidence it’s going to be IMPOSSIBLE to sell anything. Whether you’re selling face-to-face, at an event, over the phone, or in an email and sales page, you have to know HOW to do it, or else your market won’t know your value and THEN… that whole failure and rejection thing? Kinda bound to happen.

> Zero confidence writing sales copy.

If you’re putting an offer out there via the mighty internet, you better believe you need a sales page. But, if you don’t know HOW to write one in a way that will truly compel people to buy – you’re just going to spin your wheels and waste a whole hell-of-a-lot of time.

Yeah, do any of those roadblocks hit home for you?
I bet they do, you beautiful creative you.
Here’s WTF to do about it….
  • Werk that mindset. Once again, you gotta kick that nasty, addiction-prone, co-dependent inner critic to the curb. After all, everything he says is LIES. So make sure you take time each day to connect with your inner wisdom and drown out that inner critic with LOVE.

 

  • Remember: rejection and failure aren’t lethal. Also, it’s all relative. Case in point: I made a full-feature film (it’s called Hannah Has a Ho-Phase if you’re curious) and upon release it immediately shot to the New & Noteworthy section of iTunes comedies and was the #1 movie on Hulu for two weeks running. It even earned me a “Best Feature Writer” award. Does that mean the movie made loads of money? No. Does it mean we didn’t get hate-tweets from a-holes on the internet who exist to trash people? Also, no. And yet, I’m still standing. Still successful. And STILL SELLING. No matter what happens, you will learn and you will survive. #peptalk
  • Still freaked out? Just start with a pre-sale and/or beta-test then! If you LOGICALLY don’t think your offer is good enough, test that shit! Get feedback. Make it better. (This brings us back to the creative process – it never ever endsssss.)
  • Take a class, course, or workshop like this one right here. YES. Because I LOVE YOU, I designed a workshop that will help you OWN your value, gain CONFIDENCE in selling, and actually WRITE YOUR SALES PAGE. It runs ON TUESDAY and it’s going to FORCE you into action. You’ll walk away with a SOLID sales page draft AND clarity on how to sell your next awesome thing – whether that’s 1:1 sessions with YOU or a massive $2,000 course. And it’s ONLY $47 for the next 4 days.

Click here for more info on TUESDAY’S LIVE $47 SALES PAGE SMACKDOWN WORKSHOP.

ONLY $47 for 4 DAYS…
You will have LIFETIME ACCESS to the RECORDING of this LIVE workshop, so, for $47, grab it while you can…

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