Statistically, your ‘About’ page is the second most looked-at page on your website.
What distinguishes you from your competitors?
Today's guest is copywriter Concetta Cassidy, the owner of the Cheeky Pineapple, a copywriting studio that provides stress-free vacation rental marketing, for owners, hosts and property managers.
Singing and playing the piano from an early age taught Concetta how to resonate with an audience. When she began her journey as a vacation rental copywriter, she realised these skills came in handy. Finding the right combination of words is like hitting that sweet note in a song. It stops people in their tracks and makes them take notice.
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EP#25 - It's not about you with Concetta Cassidy
Jenn: Hello and welcome to the Direct Booking Success Podcast. Today I'm speaking with Concetta Cassidy. Concetta was one of our speakers at the Direct Booking Success Summit this year, and I loved her and her presentation so much that I had to have her come onto the podcast. So Concetta, could you introduce yourself to anyone who missed the summit?
Concetta: Hi, I'm Concetta Cassidy
And I'm the owner of the Cheeky Pineapple, a copywriting studio that provides stress-free vacation rental marketing for owners, hosts and property managers.
Brilliant. Thank you very much. And your business is writing. Yes.
Jenn: Copywriting. That's exactly it. Okay.
And before we get any further, we have to say where you're from and where you live. Because, like me, you have an accent that sometimes confuses people being, I'm Canadian, living in the UK, and you are
Concetta: I'm originally from New York. I grew up in Queens and Long Island when I was a teenager. But I've been living in the UK for the last 12 years.
Jenn: Right. And you're in the northwest like me, too, aren't you? I. And what brought you to the UK?husband did. We met online in:
And then we got married, in new. But then I moved over here because he had a great job, and I was in between things at the time. I was also obsessed with Outlander and wanted to explore the UK. Yeah,
Jenn: yeah. Outlander, we all love that series, don't we? and you now have two little boys, don't you?
Concetta: To James and Joseph.
Jenn: Yeah. And I've seen them. They're very, very cute. So you're here for a while. Great. And how did you become a writer? Was it something you did in the States?
Not as a career. I, I've always loved to write. It’s always been something that I have been good at. I'm better with the written word than the spoken word, so it’s a way to express myself easily.
My poor ex-boyfriends used to have to deal with really long letters.
Concetta: But I've always written poems, stories, and lyrics because initially, I had planned on being a singer for the rest of my life. So this, Oh,
Jenn: attractive. . And what type of singer would that have been?
Concetta: Well, I like to sing everything, Pop, Broadway, country rock, I mean, a little bit of everything. I listen to everything from Britney Spears to Barbara Streisand, so it stretches across the board.
Jenn: Oh wow. Well, that is interesting.
Concetta: Yes, I recorded an album in Nashville when I was around 19. No way. . Oh, my
Jenn: goodness. The things you get to know about people. Yeah.
Concetta: So, a little bit different from what I'm doing now, but I've always loved to write and have always been good at it.
And, at one of my previous jobs, when I was around in my late teens, it was like my first real job. I worked for a school photographer, and he decided one day that he was finally gonna get a website up, and he wrote out a whole bunch of stuff and handed it over to a few of us to look over.
Concetta: And I ended up editing the whole thing and giving him all these notes. And someone turned to me and said, Hey, you should become a copywriter. And back then, I had no idea what that even was. , right? Yeah, yeah. They explained it to me, and I was like, Oh God, that sounds like so much fun.
That's something that I would be into. But it took me quite a few years to get here because there wasn’t much information about it back then. Like how to get into that industry, you know? Not like online now where you could, you know, find everything. It wasn't until I went on maternity leave for the first.
I started to think about it as a career, and I took some r, really amazing courses, and I never looked back.
Jenn: So copyright, you could do that for any business, you know. Why vacation rentals? What has drawn you to this industry?
So the previous job I had before this was working for a holiday ownership company.
Concetta: Hmm. And something. What they emphasised was the guest experience. And it's something that resonated with me. Because, like, even in a few of my other previous jobs, like, I worked for a hairdresser, and I worked in a restaurant and as bartender and stuff, and I feel like no one gets their hair done or goes for a meal like just to have food or a haircut.
Everything’s really about the whole experience. So I liked the emphasis on the guest experience that resonated with me, and it's something that I brought with me into copywriting because, like, as a kid, you always look forward to those summer vacations, don't you?
Mm-hmm. , um, You have like this whole endless period in front of you where you get to make all these memories with your friends and family. But then when you get to be an adult, I feel like you lose that a little bit because you have so many responsibilities and probably, you know, less time to do, you know, to have fun.
And you did before. And I think that, no matter what age you are, everybody deserves to have that same excitement as they did when they were a kid. So that's something that I'm passionate about. Yeah.
Jenn: And something that you can evoke with your writing, isn't it? Yeah.
Yeah. Oh, that's great. Okay, so vacation rentals. It is; you’re in our industry now. You're stuck here, which is excellent.
Concetta: And I love the people in it too. That's, that's another big reason,
Jenn: Yeah, that's very true. And are you working with many people in the states? Are people here in the UK or worldwide?
It’s a mix.
Concetta: I've had clients in America and here as well. I am open to it. No matter where you're located, Well, that's,
Jenn: Yeah. It's great because, in an online business, you don't have to worry about where you're located. It's, it's excellent, a great thing these days that we can have clients all over the world.
Jenn: speaking about the guest experience and listening to your story, I know that we said before about the host or the owner, the manager's story and how that, that needs to come through, in there, on their website, their copywriting. There's something that I always say about people buying from people.
And so I wanted to get your take on how, why, why, start with the why, why, why their story matters. Well,
Concetta: There are a couple of different reasons. One of them is if a potential guest chooses between two amazing vacation rentals, sometimes the only deciding factor is because they feel more connected to one company.
Or another. And nowadays, people are, I think, really thinking about whom they're giving their business to and whom they're spending their money with. And if your business is portraying itself in a way that you know someone. They'll go somewhere else if they don't agree with or don't fit their values.
But your potential guests aren't just waiting for you to tell them that information. They're actively seeking it out by going to your about page. It's the second most highly viewed page on your website, and it's because people want to know. You know, mm-hmm. Money over to and associating themselves with.
I always go to the about us page. Yeah. Whatever I'm doing online, whatever kind of service or product I'm looking for, I want to know who is behind that.
Concetta: brand. Yes, absolutely. And you know, sharing your why is the ultimate way to connect with your ideal. But I can also.
Jenn: see it from other people who may need to be more forthcoming with that idea.
They think that if they're sharing, they don't want to share too much, and they don't want to, they don't want to be talking about, I don't know, their kids and everything online. They want to try to keep things private. So how can we sort of deal with
Concetta: that? Well, the thing is, You really shouldn't make your about page all about you anyway.
That's something that I always say you're about, Page. If you think about it less as an about page and more as, you know, why we're the right company to fit your needs page, it makes it much easier to keep it relevant to whom you're trying to connect. It would be best to dig deep and tell people what you're all about.
Because no one's going on your about page to read your biography, they’re going to your about page to find out what you stand for, your values, and how they apply to them. Yes, your potential guest. And then once you've figured out, you know, how to communicate all of that, you need to make sure that you're consistent, you know, putting that same message across and infusing your story and.
Concetta: You know, into every communication that you have with them. Mm-hmm. ,
Jenn: I love that, that you're about, about us. Page is not about you. Yeah. . That's, it's a different way of looking at it. And I think that it will be really helpful for people because they realise that it's not about you; it’s about that guest and how they can connect with
Yeah. It's reframing how you think about it. Yeah,
Jenn: So what kind of things should we be looking at including?
So when you're thinking about the information you want to put on your about page, you want to give a little background.
Concetta: You want to say how you ended up in your industry and why you love it. , but you want to frame all the information in a way that ties back to the reader. Because at the end of the day, they're reading that information to find out why they should choose you over another vacation rental company.
Jenn: So why don't you walk us through how you approach writing and the About Us page?
Concetta: Yeah, sure. So if I were working with a client, I would make them tell me everything about themselves. , not that I would write all that stuff in there about page, you know, Cause, as we said, it's supposed to be about the reader, not so much about you.
But it’s important to get down to the nitty-gritty of, like, you know, the person's why you want to. Why they're in the business, why they love it, and why that makes them the perfect choice for the potential guest. So I would take all the information I had gotten from the client.
Concetta: although I wouldn't necessarily put it on the page, I would use it as an inspiration to connect it back to the reader, which is the potential guest. So like, for instance, on my personal about page, I talk about how I used to be a singer and at first glance, that's not something, you know, that applies it all to copywriting.
But being a singer taught me a lot about connecting with my audience. And the same feeling that you know my singing would give to someone listening to me sing the song. I now try to infuse that in my writing. To give them the same kind of feeling, but, you know, using a different vehicle,
Jenn: Yeah, I get what you’re saying: you’re taking your why and your background and applying it to the situation by bringing guests or clients into your life.
Concetta: Yeah, exactly. So whatever your story, your own experiences are, you know, and.
It's going to be relevant somehow. It is because that’s what shaped you as a person. That’s what helped you on the path you're on right now. And all of those experiences are important, but you have to figure out which ones are important and why they're important to your potential guests. Why do all these things that you've gone through make you the right choice, you know, for how is that going to help you give them, you know, the best experience?
Jenn: Yeah. No, I get that. No, that's it to hear it from your perspective. And you know, we just, we've already mentioned that the About Us page is the second most looked at page on your website, and it is so important, and I see so many owners and managers, hosts out there who don't do it.
They want to hide behind their brand, and they need to learn how to. To bring themselves in. And what they're not realising is that people want to hear your story. They want to know why you're doing this and who you are and connect with you even though it's through a piece of writing before they book.
Concetta: Yeah. Because I know even for myself, if I go on a website and someone doesn't know anything. It puts me off because then I'm wondering, who is the person behind this website? It could be anyone. How do I know if I can trust them? How do I know if they're the type of person I even want to do business with?
Yeah, it's a really strong tool to get you more business. And if you're missing. You are just leaving money on the table.
Jenn: Yeah, that's very true. And I always think of it as a red flag when I don't see anything. And I think, not just in our industry; I’m also looking at other industries.
And if I'm looking at a tech business or something and you think you, I can hear them thinking, Oh, nobody cares about us. They want the tech, or they want this or that. I'm like, No, I wanna know the people behind it.
Concetta: I wanna know the people behind it. You want that assurance. They exist.
They exist that they are doing, and care about what they’re doing; that’s what it comes down to. It's not just about knowing what you're doing. People want to know that you care about what you're doing because that will be the ultimate difference between having a great vacation and having a horrible one.
Because if you had money, You know, you just kind of know right off the bat that you're not gonna have a good time.
Jenn: Yeah. Well, because also it's reassurance. Like if you're reading somebody's page and they're being very, very lovely talking about the experience and the guests and, and that you almost feel reassured that if something does happen, you know that person is gonna care about your experience and help you, rather than just going, Yeah, sorry, you know, Yeah, I think so.
Now, what about, so we spoke about website. What about social media? How, how can we, or how, why should we bring our story into that?
Concetta: Well, you want to be consistent in everything you're doing because just imagine if someone went on your website and read this page that you.
It makes them feel this amazing connection with you. And then they read one of your social media posts or an email you've written, and it's like a completely different person wrote it, you know? Yeah. It like a different vibe. That could undo all of the hard work that you've done, connection.
So you want to ensure that you're bringing your story and values into everything you're doing. And that doesn't mean that you should go and write your biography in a social media post. It just means that you want to show that you care, why you care, why you're good at your job, and why people should be doing business with you.
Concetta: You want to make sure that that's something consistent over any community. Yeah. That you're getting out. And I
Jenn: guess not to be afraid of putting yourself out there. We're not saying anything about telling us your deepest, darkest secrets. You know, nobody wants to know that. People don't want to do business with robots. They want to know that there's a person behind the brand. They want to know that, you know, you know how to have a little bit of a laugh and that you. If they want to reach out to you for any reason, you're gonna be receptive and care about what they have to say.
Concetta: So really it's just, again, about making that connection, Showing other people that you're, you're a person, it's a person behind the business and that you care about what you're doing. Yeah. And not be
Jenn: afraid of it. Yeah. You know, take the pieces that you'd like to, you think other people that you're, it's not even other people that your ideal guest will connect with.
Concetta: Because at the end of the day, you are going to be the reason that that guest, that ideal guest, is going to feel that connection. Mm-hmm. A connection to you and what you're putting out there. Mm-hmm. They will look for someone else who makes them feel that connection. Yes. Yeah,
Jenn: that's very, very true.
And keeping it consistent, like you said, across your website, your email marketing, your social media, keeping that consistent because it is you and, and not hide behind your brand in one area. And then, be yourself in another. Just be yourself across the mall and,
Concetta: and even behind the scenes, like, you know, I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but you.
Read the website of a business that seems like they, they care so much about, you know, the guest and then if you go to, like, send them an email or something, or a question, and you don't get that, that same level of care that you're, you know, That's repeat business at all. So you need to make sure that you know you want to be honest and truthful.
Also, if you're saying that you care, make sure you care arend the scenes. So, no matter what you're doing, whatever way you communicate with your potential and ideal guests, be whom you say you are. And you know, be honest and,
Jenn: and follow through with that. Brilliant.
Well, thank you so much, I think that's given us a lot to think about, and I hope that, if you're listening to this and you haven't got an about us Page, or about me Page, or whatever you wanna call it, that you seriously think about creating something. Before I let you go, I've got a couple more questions.
But I ask everyone when I'm speaking on this podcast, what does direct booking success mean to you?
Concetta: So, to me, it means having a choice. And that's something I feel strongly about in life and business. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of being stuck.
And having to do something that you don't want to do. For me, direct book, Booking success would know that you could use the OTAs to supplement your income if that's what you choose to do, but also knowing that your business will run just as efficiently and successfully without them.
Jenn: That's great. Yeah, that's a great answer. Thank you for that. And Cheeky Pineapple is the name of your business, and it is very different. Too many people use their name, So I wanted you to tell us why Cheeky pineapple.
Concetta: Yeah. So I pulled my business, the Cheeky pineapple.
First, it just brings a little bit of my personality in there. You know, I could be a little bit cheeky sometimes. Not in a horrible way, just a fun way, and I always have loved pineapples. I'm obsessed with them. You can see them. I don't know.
Jenn: I know they can't see your video, but I can see, I can see at least two pineapples behind you in
I've got candles, frames, just all sorts. They make me feel happy, and they remind me of summer and good times and that, you know, the laid-back feeling of fun being on vacation, and, That's, you know, something that I wanted to bring into my business. And they also represent a feeling of hospitality.
People used to bring them to the homes of people they were guests of because it represented welcome and hospitality. So that's another reason why. Ah,
Jenn: learn something new every day. I didn't know that about pineapples. So you at the Cheeky pineapple; what services do you provide there?
Writing about US pages,
I provide various services, including website copy, email marketing, property descriptions, and blog. Just anything a vacation rental business needs to create a solid online presence.
Jenn: Brilliant. And I'll pop your links in the show notes, but can you tell everyone where they can find you if they'd like to connect with you?
Concetta: Yeah, you can find me on Instagram and LinkedIn. My username is the same in both places. It's the cheeky pineapple. And if you want to check out my website, it's www the cheeky pineapple. Do.
Jenn: Brilliant, Concetta; thank you so much for
Concetta: this. Thank you for having me; it’s been great.