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Uncovering the Psychology Behind Writing Copy with Erin Ollila
Episode 1487th March 2023 • The Driven Woman Entrepreneur • Diann Wingert
00:00:00 00:52:49

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Erin Ollila is an experienced writer and copywriter with an MFA in creative writing and a background in mental health. She is passionate about understanding human nature and using her expertise to help people make informed decisions about their businesses, especially in the words they choose and use to convey who they are, what they do, and the clients they are best suited to work with.  In other words, copywriting.  

Erin knows that the key to engaging copy is to speak to the reader and create an inviting journey. She believes that everyone has the capacity to write their own copy, but needs to keep an eye out for the pitfalls of poor advice that can make them think they are successful when they really aren’t. 

In this episode, you will learn the following:

  • ow did Erin Ollila realize she wanted to become a writer?
  • How can we use customer journeys to communicate effectively?
  • How can we ensure that our marketing assets, such as websites and emails, are speaking to our readers and prompting them to take the desired action?

In Her Words:  

"I'm ingrained in my communication style to relate through stories, to tell stories, and that's how I connect with people."   Erin Ollila 

Want to connect with Erin?:


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Other episodes you'll enjoy:

Ep # 146 Unpacking Marketing Strategy -

Ep # 98 The Client Journey in 6 Steps -

Ep # 56  Elevating Women’s Voices Through Story -

Connect with me: 




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Chapter Summaries:


Writing is something I always thought I would do as a child. My first bio referenced myself as an emotional archeologist. I love studying what makes people tick. It's this love of storytelling that makes me good as a marketer.


My most abiding topic of interest is human nature. From a marketing perspective, it's just taught so incorrectly to online business owners. He says we don't all have one ideal client. A used car lot has multiple client personas.


There are many people who can write well, but that does not mean they have the skills to write marketing copy. No one's really taught to write to a reader in any different type of writing. It's very difficult to get someone to take you seriously as an expert when you are showing up with an insecure vibe.


Are you a fan of the notion of a customer journey? Because I have heard that you can literally create a journey for every email, for every social media caption, and obviously for every sales page. Think about how can I present information and then move someone through that information.


I am both an SEO copywriter, which is search engine optimization, and a conversion copywriter. What I believe is if we can use SEO to attract people to our website, we then have to give them instructions on what we want them to see. Marketing and copywriting are very easily overlooked.


A lot of people are just following the popular wisdom, if you will, online. What I think is so sad and super frustrating and I have absolutely been a victim of this, is just focusing on the amount, but not the quality. Do you think that most people can be successful DIY-ing?


I am very passionate that people can manage their own copywriting and marketing for a good period of time. When it comes to marketing, the answer is almost it depends on everything and everyone. Where is the best time investment? Where do we have more room to test?


Three years ago, my standard mantra was “I'm not tech-savvy.” Now I realize that everything I want to do requires technology and that I am getting better at it every day. 


The difference between being a conversion copywriter and an SEO copywriter. Where I get true heart eyes in my own business is SEO. Not every business can make a quick sale. Seo is coming back into being extremely important in people's businesses.


So think of content. Instead of trying to spray everywhere, you're going to come up with one thing and allow that to kind of rain on all of your different touchpoints. And remember, we are talking about strategy, not tactics.


H: So everybody has to write for their business, and almost everyone who writes for their business thinks they either suck at it or they're okay at it, but it's a tedious thing, and yet this is what you do for a living. So before we get into all the particulars, like why are you a writer?

G: Why am I a writer, that is, oh, that's a jump in question right now, Diann.

H: I know that's, that's me, that's my deep dive.

G: You know, it's funny because it, writing is something I always thought I would do as a child and throughout my adult career. I was one of the lucky people who knew what she wanted to study in college and I say that as someone who has a child about to enter college with zero clue what he'd like to do in the world. So I just kind of knew I would always be in the, I'll say like quote unquote literary world cause I really wanted to teach college, that was my big goal growing up. It's funny, I think it's just something that I assumed about myself. You know, my mom always jokes that I would read myself to sleep even when I couldn't read as like a little kid, because I just loved stories. So I think I'll say this, the best answer here is I have I think I'm ingrained in my communication style to relate through stories, to tell stories, and that's how I connect with people.

And because I just grew to love to read as a child and escape into a story not that my life was bad, but it was nice to have these teeny tiny bits of like the Babysitters Club, or Nancy Drew. I'm gonna be like a detective for the day and then growing into that, you know, and going to college and just loving poetry and fiction, non-fiction, masters. And I think that it came from a love of reading and writing and then it has changed to post-college and during college even. I worked in the mental health field for a really long time and I really loved studying the psychographics of people. My first bio, I referenced myself as an emotional archeologist, and I think that as and I think as like silly as that sounds to say that now what I mean is I love studying what makes people tick.

I don't wanna be in psychology, but I think that's how I came over to the marketing world, right? It's this love of storytelling and this love of understanding what like motivates people and moves people. And that's kind of, I think what makes me good as a marketer is not necessarily just jumping into like, oh, here's a pain point, like how can we harbor on this to get someone to make a decision. It's, well, why is this person struggling to begin with, right like, why do they have this need and then how could we help them walk through the, like, steps of awareness, like the level of readiness to want to make a purchase. So that was a long answer and a kind of simple answer, hope it worked.

H: It absolutely does, and yes, maybe I should have warned you first. We know each other, so I figured I didn't really have to give you the warning, but I do tend to start right off with a deep dive because I believe one of the reasons why I like to think I'm good at what I do is actually the same reason you just shared for why you're good at what you do. I am an intensely curious person and my most abiding topic of interest is human nature like I have always been fascinated with what makes people tick obviously I was a shrink for 25 years, but now it's like what makes people tick in their business. What makes people attracted to one business over another behavioral economics, like helping people figure out, are you for them.

So you and I have businesses in the online space and we hear the same rhetoric over and over and over, Erin. It's like, you have to niche. You have to have your ideal client avatar. You have to know their problems better than they know their problems themselves. You have to stimulate their pain points and use the language that your client uses and we've all heard this a hundred thousand times, but having the astute awareness and fascination with human nature that you and I share means we go beyond the avatar. It's like, I don't wanna talk about, my ideal client is Amanda, she's a 34 year old, stay-at-home mother of two, like come on.

G: You know, I have such a bone to pick with ideal client avatars, but I will say I absolutely love them from a marketing perspective, it's just taught so incorrectly to online business owners, that's my problem. Prior to leaving my last traditional job, I focused heavily on creating the personas that we'd speak to. And my big belief, and I hope everyone hearing this is like, okay, if I'm gonna take one thing from Erin, it's gonna this is we don't all have one ideal client. If you think of a used car lot, they are not all selling convertibles to a man who's having a midlife crisis, right? There's not like a used car lot that's like, here's the soccer moms van club and come by from us, that's not how it works. A used car lot has multiple client personas and while I don't necessarily love to use car salesmen as the best sellers or marketers, if you think about it, they can, they have the skills to size up the potential customer by their needs from what they hear from them, so, I guess this is the strangest advice.

If you're thinking about what your ideal client could potentially be like, put yourself in that like car lot for a second and think like, well, what type of people come in and then what are their exact needs? You know, for me, I am the soccer mom with a van, not soccer, baseball actually, but I did need extra seating. It was really cool to have that little flip down mirror so I could see the kids in the back seat. So these little things they could know about me, just from me saying I have children of different ages, you know, I drive around a lot with my kids. I need a safe place to put my car seat so for any business, really just recognize that I think you have client personas, you don't need to like indicate whether they drink tea, coffee, or chai, right? You don't need to talk about like what they do at two o'clock in the afternoon. You just have to have a general understanding of what their needs are so you can talk to them correctly.

H: Now everybody listening is either breathing a tremendous sigh of relief because they're realizing, God, I've been trying to have an ideal client avatar nailed down for two years, and now I don't have to or they're thinking, oh fuck, now I have to now I have to cover a lot more territory so I have a feeling we are going to streamline, simplify, and, and also maybe bust few through a few myths because everybody is literally saying the same thing. And I know one of the reasons why people seek you out is because you think and do things a little bit differently. So let's go all the way back to someone is an established solopreneur, the kind of clients that you and I both work with, they're an expert in their field. They know their stuff backwards and forwards now they're learning marketing and they're specifically learning how to write copy. Now, hopefully at some point they're gonna realize how smart it is to hire someone to do this for them, and we will get to that later, but when they're still in the, I need to figure this out, I need to do this, what do you think are the reasons why people, smart people, smart accomplished women struggle with this so much when they're already good writers?

G: Yeah, no, that is a great question, and I think there's two different answers to it. The first answer is they may well, I wouldn't say everyone is a great writer, but there are many people who can write well but that does not mean that they have the skills to write marketing copy well. For example, I have my MFA in creative writing, I've written books in different genres. I have a literary journal, I have a copywriter, but there are certain types of copywriting I don't do well, I don't enjoy and because I don't enjoy it, my output is not as good right? So even someone who has written and published for over 20 years now, I just don't really do the best in certain things, and that's okay right. So the first is just a simple like lack of experience in specific marketing, but the second part of why it's so hard to be someone who is really knows their job well, they have this business that they care so deeply about is because we all have blinders on when it comes to our own business.

It is so hard to step out of your brain and put that on paper because we care so much and I think we inherently know a lot of things about ourself and our business that we want to get it on the page perfectly and we want to do it so we can show our clients like, you know, this is how what I can offer you, and this is what I'm passionate about and here's how I can help you so let's work together. But to get it out on the paper is just so difficult because it either feels like generic, it feels like we're copying competitors, or it feels like it's just not enough. Like it doesn't say exactly what you want it to say and I think because of that, people either put out a draft that's kind of crappy or they hold back for so long. And constantly say, oh, don't look at my website you know, like, oh, let's just hop on a discovery call, you don't need to check me out, or things like that, which then decreases their expertise because it's automatically showcasing the fact that they are not happy with their own business.

H: It's absolutely true, and I think that it's very difficult to get someone to take you seriously as an expert when you are showing up with that kind of insecure vibe. But I cannot tell you, well, you see this all the time too, because people who are experts cannot necessarily explain what they do in a way that helps someone decide is this person for them, is this the right time and will I have a good outcome? That's a totally different skill, isn't it like you, you even had to learn that because going from literary work to conversion copywriting.

G: Yeah, for businesses, huge, huge and I think what happens is what no one's really taught to write to a reader in any different type of writing that they've done. So, like, think back to your high school days, there's the introductory paragraph where you introduce an idea then there's the three paragraphs of supporting that idea and the conclusion. Then we go off into college and we're supposed to write thesis papers or even just research papers around the actual instructions, like, introduce something, prove it, discuss why those proven things are important, and then conclude.

So even interoffice emails, things like this, like we're not taught to communicate as if it were a conversation as if you wanted to like invite someone in. So then all of a sudden we sit down thinking we know how to write and take those old ways of writing, and we use that to get our content out, which is why so often people's websites or emails or social posts tend to be word vomit, right? So much information, and what I see most often is that it's not even poorly written. It can be written well, it's just not organized correctly, too much information and it doesn't speak to the person who's reading it. Those are the three key things I think, that hold good writing back.

H: Say those again for the folks in the back and for me.

G: Sure so, it's just that it's too much information for one. It's not speaking to the person who's reading it and number three, one I think that's easy to fix. Usually I would say work with like a strategist or a copy coach, but it's organizing the information because I'll have my clients gimme great drafts and I'll say, like, you, you have a lot going here. Like, there's very little I have to do from the writing perspective, but I'm gonna take what you said here in paragraph seven, that's your lead, like that's where you, the hook or however you are used to hearing that like, enticing sentence. I'm gonna take paragraph seven, cut it in half, and move it all the way to the top then maybe we have to fill in the blanks a little. Or I see a lot of people needing transitions from the thoughts that they have but it's not that the writing's bad, it's just that it's not clear from the way that the reader needs to receive information.

H: That makes sense. Now, are you a fan of like the notion of a customer journey and that the customer journey, if you will, and for people that are not familiar with that, it's like the person is at point A and you want them to go to point B or perhaps they wanna get to point B and you need to like take them there right? So do you do that in the copywriting that you do or are you a fan of that notion because I have heard that you can literally create a journey for every email, for every social media caption, obviously, for every sales page, and also on your website so that you're leading the person through the information so that it's logical, organized, persuasive, and in the right order.

G: Yeah, the answer is yes and no. I am actually very passionate about a customer journey, but from a different lens and I'll hop back on that in one second. The advice that what you're suggesting though is really good advice for the DIYers though, because we have to think imagine going to a networking event and meeting someone for the first time, and you too are potentially actually good people to work together. You know, you can't just literally say, can I have your credit card? You know, like, I'm confident that I'm right, I'm good to hire so just give me your card and we'll work together. You have to explain what you do and talk about how, what the benefits are to them, and then how you could work together. So like the process as an example then they may be willing to say like, I'd love to schedule an appointment with you. So that's just a quick example of how a customer journey works in the like, communicative, speaking to someone.

So yes, if you are DIYing your copy, think about that from when, how you get to start to finish versus that whole, that old high school essay thing that I just said. Think about how can I present information and then move someone through that information, but to jump back to where I said that I feel really passionate about customer journey is it relates to the word conversion in the conversion copywriting. Now I am both an SEO copywriter, which is search engine optimization and a conversion copywriter and not all copywriters do both. And you know, there's reasons why you may wanna work with one separately or one who does both but what I believe is if we can use SEO to attract people to our website, we then have to give them instructions on what we want them to see and this goes for emails and social media too, but I'll use the website cause I think it's a clearer example.

So someone comes to your homepage, maybe because they've been referred to you, if you have no button on your homepage except that main navigation bar in the top, they're not going to know what they want to do next unless you've really convinced them and they want to check out your about page for example. But for most websites, we want someone to take action. We want them to learn more but we want them to book a call to purchase a product to buy our services. So we want to actually encourage them to go to a specific place in our website. I always tell people to think of themself as a tour guide if they're DIYing their copy, because we want to be that friendly face that suggests like, oh, this would be a great next thing for you to do.

And then you can look at your homepage as, I mean, this is second level info here, but you can look at your homepage as that trip itinerary so when someone lands there, they know that they are in the right place like they didn't book a trip to Mexico and accidentally end up in Paris. And that's by presenting them the information right away so that they know they can kind of checkmark, oh yeah, I'm in the right place. Okay, they're talking to me, they know what my needs are and then again, you're the tour guide who shows them the right place to go so, from a DIY perspective think about that in every action like how can I address where they are and take them somewhere new. And then from a second level, if you want to make the conversions, which is take someone from a lead and make them a client, or at least move them into a lot warmer of a lead you need to kind of direct them on how to take the actions that you want them to.

H: Don't you think it is the most fascinating thing that we actually need to tell people what steps to take and most business owners they do not get that, they think, well, I said that I'm a coach, a consultant, a service provider, a strategist, a copywriter so obviously they know they can hire me and obviously they know they can, and it's like, no, they don't like and we're like you said, we're so close to it that we have blinders and I think also blind spots. We think it's perfectly logical, you go to my website, you look at the homepage, if you're curious about who I am as a person, maybe you'll go to the about page. But if you know what I do, you're gonna go to the work with me page somebody may very well get lost on your resources page and then go to someone else's website from that resources page and you'll never see them again.

G: Yeah, which is why it's so important all these tiny little things that we can do with all of our marketing assets just using that as an example, resources pages can be great. We still wanna make sure we have calls to action on the resources page, or if we're sending them off, let's say they download a freebie that you have, we wanna make sure that freebie indicates why they should get back to book a call or to purchase a product, things like that. Now, when it comes to leaving your website completely, we also wanna make sure that when we add links to our website, if we are sending them off of our website, we wanna indicate that we want it to open in a new tab. Why, because your tab is still open on the screen right so if they want, once they start kind of going down that squirrel hole of, Ooh, this, this, this, and that, and they see your tab, even if they're about to exit out, they could say, that's where this started. I came to Diann's website cuz I was curious about her after hearing your podcast.

So, all of the little decisions that go into marketing and copywriting are very easily overlooked. I think people hear copy or copywriting and they assume that like I just type away all day long and it is probably one of the least amount of the percentage of my work. More of it goes into strategy and decision making and data analyzation and, and follow through on all these tiny tidbits of is the link opening in a new page or like, why is this not working the way we thought. We have to adjust our strategy here even though we're talking to you guys about how to create copy that is more natural and how to show up in your business, once you're doing that, you have to also kind of like be an investigator of your website I guess the best way to say it

H: Use an archeologist like you said.

G: Use it as if you're seeing it for the first time and you are the lead and click around and see what happens because you are getting the same experience that your leads do if you do that and I think it's a really good practice to do that every year.

H: Actually, I think it's an excellent idea to go to other people's websites as like a secret shopper, right and just show up and maybe even if it was something that you would never, ever buy, right? It's got nothing to do with you and see if you can make sense of it, assuming that you were someone that wanted to buy, because I'm gonna guess that most websites that are DIY, are not set up that way, they are not strategic and most people are probably gonna get lost or click away, do you think that most people can be successful DIYing, or do you think that they're probably not as successful as they think they are, I'm gonna give you the back, the context of that. What I see is a lot of people are just following the popular wisdom, if you will you know, a lot of people who are giving advice online, it's regurgitated, right? It's regurgitated.

It's exactly what everybody else is saying and it's like, I think of it, I said, don't be a silly putty person because you're like a copy of a copy of a copy. You're not saying anything original or different so, but that's sort of the common wisdom. So people just think these are the things they hear, you have to be on social media. You have to reach your target audience, and you have to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. You gotta be consistent and you gotta be repetitive and you have to email people on a regular basis so people are just thinking, I just need to create content. And a lot of it, and what I think is so sad and super frustrating, and I have absolutely been a victim of this, is just focusing on the amount but not the quality and not doing it in a strategic way. So you're putting out all these words that are just getting absorbed into the ether and they're not reaching the intended people and the conclusion that you come to is, this isn't working, but you know that it's working for some people because you see evidence of that.

G: Yes. Oh, I have so much to say here so your question was actually two questions. It's, can they be successful and do I feel like they think they're successful, but it's really failing and the answer is both yes and yes. I am very passionate that their people can manage their own copywriting and marketing for a good period of time as a business owner. I absolutely will say that there is a point in time people should hire copywriters, some people early, some people later, and we can talk about that later. But I have full faith in people who can write well especially if they team up with like a coach to help them maybe edit what they've written or like I said, reorganize it so that, that I will say is something I will scream from rooftops on all the time. I am not gonna push people to a copywriter if they're just either not ready or not interested because there are, like you said, people who that can write well, sometimes people love to write for their business and they should be able to write for their own business if they can do it.

The second part though is do people think that they're doing a good job and they're actually not? And honestly, yes that's why and use, I mean, yes, that's the case and using your example is because this quote unquote online marketing business world is so poor with its advice because what what's happening is you're having people who have practiced a method that has worked for them that is then trying to sell that method to the masses. And if anyone's ever listened to my podcast, they know that I think honestly in 99.9% of the shows, I've said the word, it depends. I firmly believe when it comes to marketing, the answer is almost, it depends for everything and everyone. My business would work, operate in one way that your business would not Diann.

There are things that would work so well for you that would fail for me so I think really we have to look at it from an individual perspectives. Where is the best time investment? Where is the best money investment? Where do we have more room to test because marketing is ascience, it is testing. That's why I get frustrated when I see these courses for like two, $3,000 where they're trying to teach a method that you, here's how you show up on email, and then you can repurpose this to social and you can repurpose it here and I love repurposing but like I said, they're teaching hundreds of people a method that on how to approach things one way and if they don't know psychographics for their clients for example what about the mom who just had a baby and has much less time than the other business owners who also have employees or contractors that can do some of this for them.

So all of these individual factors, I think, really play into the advice that follow online and to answer this specific question that you said, I don't think business owners need to be everywhere. And what the other thing that you said was key is quality is so much more important than quantity because if your leads find you and they're not impressed with the quality, that's a very clear signal they're not going to be impressed with you as someone they could work with when I applied to my master's programs in writing, I had checked out all their websites and I just couldn't apply to the colleges, even the like prestigious colleges that had crappy websites cuz I'm like, guys, you were writing program. If you can't write your own like copy to explain what the program is like, why would I trust you to teach me and why would I give you my like a hundred thousand dollars to teach me these things if you can't even write a webpage?

So I think that we have to use that lens to think about how our clients see us if we have that crappy website, if we email so inconsistently that people see our names in their inbox and think, wait, who is Erin? Why is she here? If we show up on social media with like a rant one day, 12 pictures of our kids for the next couple weeks, and then a business advice asking them, you know, to purchase from us, all of these little things are just not making us look like the expert that we want to be in this online business world and we have to help our leads and our audience learn about us from the way that we want to be seen. So there is definitely some strategy that goes into showing up, but that does not mean you have to be everywhere and do everything.

H: You are absolutely preaching to the choir. As a matter of fact, there's a little story that I've shared on a couple of interviews. When I was in grad school, I went back to get my master's in my thirties, I was a married mom of three and also helping my former husband run his business. And most of the other students that I was in grad school with at the time were a decade or more younger than me, and they were asking, especially in our clinical program. What do you do when this happens or how do you deal with this type of situation? Or what is the this type of client need and they were all anxious, insecure, and basically incompetent, they were beginners. There's nothing wrong with being incompetent when you're a beginner, so they were always asking, what do I do when this happens and it was very obvious that they were looking for a cookie cutter solution because, you know, well, first of all, who doesn't like cookies?

But it's like, if I have a cookie cutter solution, then I can feel more competent, more confident, and more prepared when I go to meet with a client, but this professor who I am still in contact with today and absolutely love, would answer every single one of their questions, our questions with it depends. And everybody hated that so hard except for me because I had a little more life experience and a little more ability to recognize there are all kinds of variables and exceptions and intersections that really do shift what's necessary. But when we're just getting started, we want to feel more certain and have more clarity. You can't have that until you get in the pool and splash around and actually try to figure out what works for you. And I absolutely believe that the majority of people who are offering business coaching or consultation on the internet, they're treating it like religion. I know the way, I found the way, this is the way, you don't need to pay attention to any other way but this, and here's where you buy and it's like they're all kinds of ways.

G: Yeah. No, and I loved the example you just shared one for the reason that anyone who says it depends is like a kindred spirit to me. But I wanna say one thing quickly about those two words is I think that they scare people for the exact reason you just said but what I always tell everyone is if you have someone who says that to you, be open to it because what you want that person to do is to walk you through those potential scenarios, right? I've definitely seen people in the online business world say those words or have the meaning that those words would have, and then the conversation stops, you don't wanna work with someone like that. You wanna work with someone who will spend some time kind talking through things, and you might not get the I immediate exact answer. But to kind of stay on your scenario that you just shared, I think that's what happens with a lot of the like professional business woman who start their own businesses, and I can use myself as an example.

We are experts in what we do. We leave fields where we were either in jobs managing other people, the only people at our company to be able to do these things that we do, and it's so easy to think that, okay, well I have these skills. I'm excellent at what I do, so I'm gonna start my own business and do this with people all over the world. But then what we don't recognize is that there are so many things that goes into having a business, like copywriting as an example and one of my values in my business is complete transparency. So I love to admit that I am not this God of marketing that people should just, you know, aspire to be? No, I have no clue what I'm doing half of the time and I'm working on seven years being self-employed. But when I started my business, it was awful. It was just so awful to feel like, why can't I do this? I've always been a high achiever. I've always been someone who got the gold stars because I worked hard for things but when you're conditioned to be a high achiever and get the gold stars, things I think feel like they should come naturally because that's the natural progression of things.

So here I am, you know, cute little old Erin with, you know, rose colored glasses on, starting my business and working with actually really big brands. I knew I was valued by them because I got great feedback about my work, but I had no clue. I didn't even know how to send an invoice to my clients. I was like, wait, there's not like Microsoft Word, you don't have like an invoice built in, like what the heck's happening you know, like all of the learning curves from day one to even now. And I really wanna point that out even right now, there are certain things that are so overwhelming that mindset wise, I think to myself, look, what, what's happening Erin, why can't you do this? But I say all of this as the lens to other people who are going through this and starting their own business that you don't have these skills and that's great, you're going to get them as you work through them.

My example of right now is I started a podcast last year and I like to talk and I know technology, so I was like, cool, let's just turn the microphone on and start talking we're gonna be great. My gosh there was such a learning curve for me and again, it made me feel like a beginner and I kept saying, why am I here? Like, why does this feel so hard? Why can't I just do this easily? That's because I was not a podcaster before, I was not an audio technician, so I just say if you're listening to this, especially if you are a professional high achiever coming into this online business world or being here for a period of time and you still have these feelings, recognize it is a learning curve and you are exactly where you need to be, wanting to learn and wanting to grow, and it's just a practice that you're gonna have to get used to.

H: Yeah, and you are absolutely, absolutely accurate in this. I'm 12 years into being self-employed, three years ago, my standard mantra was, I'm not tech savvy, and I realized that I have to change that because everything I want to do requires technology. So I just started thinking I am getting better at technology every day, and I just swapped out one thought for the other. Am I tech savvy Erin? I am not. Am I up to my eyelashes with technology in my business on the daily? You betcha. Like we had difficulty this morning even getting our tech to work so we could record this interview but I think what's different is that instead of thinking, I can't do this, take my ball and go home, is I've chosen to be self-employed for a reason, for many reasons. And it's up to me to figure this out and if I'm hating on myself, that's not gonna happen so what can I do to figure this out. So before we have to wrap up, because we're running out of time, I absolutely want to know about the difference between being a conversion copywriter and an SEO copywriter, because this is one of the ways that you have a standout business is you do both. And I don't know that everyone really understands and appreciates the difference so that if they are looking to hire a copywriter now or in the future, how do they know which one to look for and why do you do both?

G: Yeah, that's a great question. I do both because I'm pretty passionate about both so I would say the true, where I get true heart eyes in my own business is SEO. I love gamifying the system to try to get eyes on websites based on the phrasing that people use when they have a question and they go to Google. I don't remember if this is correct stat, but I believe like the average human mix about like, I don't know, 300 Google searches in a day or a week or something like that. Someone said it to me once and I was like, yeah, I think I'm like, 300 in like 10 minutes like I spend so much time searching things. And I think maybe that's where this like hard eyes come from is, I know as a consumer I come to the internet for answers so I want to, as a writer, provide those answers for the people who are looking. So, SEO with search engine optimization, all we're doing is we're using keywords and phrases that people are actively searching for in our writing so we can draw them to our website, draw them to all of the content that we're creating. Or even, for example, our YouTube channels or our podcasts have a lot of opportunity for SEO. But what happens, I said that, I kind of hinted at this earlier, what happens when they get there, we need to actually convert them.

So with conversion, I think, not that I don't have the heart eyes for it, but I think it really plays more into the fact of why are we having these conversations and what would motivate people to move through the actions? Because not every business, again, it depends, not every business can make a quick sale right especially, I've worked with a lot of coaches before. Now depending on who they're coaching it, exec coaches, for example, may be able to make a lot quicker of a sale because the people who are deciding to work with them know they have a specific problem or something they want to address. Life coaches, on the other hand, may be working with moms. Let's just say an example that woman might not be ready to purchase because she might not even be aware of the coaching, she might not be ready to spend her finances so that business needs to spend more time kind of nurturing.

So depending on all of these factors for your own business, we would have to give them that journey through your website where we're presenting information. But then also letting them know, even in those touchpoints of the people who are not ready to buy yet, we have to let them know we're there and the opportunity is there maybe that's by smaller price products so that they can kind of test drive us. Maybe that's just by nurturing a lot of content, so, really, I love SEO because it gets people to the website and then I think conversion copywriting is such a nece necessary thing, so it gets them off the website and into our actual businesses. And I think there's one thing I wanna point out though, if you are copywriting for yourself and you have, let's say a sales launch. That's probably one of the few things that I don't think you need a SEO copywriter for. I think you can work with someone who is absolutely just a conversion copywriter because they're very well trained on sales psychology and moving people through sales decisions.

Besides that though, I think that SEO is a really up and coming not that it wasn't before, but like it's coming back into being extremely important in people's businesses. With the economy, how it is, people's spending has changed a lot in the last couple years and will continue to change. So there are different ways we need to reach our clients and the best way to do that is by in investing in a long term sales approach. SEO is a long-term game, early in my SEO days, I had a client decide to work with, this is my last traditional company I work for, they decided to work with us because a post that they had written, and it wouldn't, didn't really go viral in the way that we think about virality. But when quote unquote viral, two years after it was first published, and it dramatically changed their business so at that point, they could recognize the benefit of SEO. I always say SEO is kind of like, walking, like cardio or exercise because we all know it's important, but there's no urgency encouraging us to invest our time in it. And because of that, we just say, okay, we can do it next week. We can do it in the future.

I think if we all thought about, and I'll say this as someone who doesn't work out, so I'll put myself on the skewers here okay guys but I do, I think about exercise often cuz I say, you know, I'm in my late thirties right now. It's something I really haven't done much, there's history of heart disease in my family. Even just a walk around the block would be a great idea for my physical and mental health so we have to like convince ourself that this needs to be done. This is going to benefit our entire lives from that case, right? And then with SEO, it's going to benefit our business potentially a long time into the future. All the little tiny baking companies before that did like sourdough recipes during the pandemic saw drastic change to their SEO, and they didn't expect that. Take that as a lens of why SEO might be good for your business and the up next, upcoming two years and I would say invest your money there.

H: I am gonna do a lot more with SEO because I finally reached the conclusion that it's probably easier to catch fish that are already swimming toward your boat, and based on their search questions, if my content and the information on my website and the way I show up on my podcast is in alignment with the searches that are already happening, that just makes a lot more sense than trying to interrupt their entertainment scroll on social media to say, Hey, why don't you hire me? I'm not even thinking about you like I don't even know who you are and even if I do know who you are, I wanna watch funny cat videos right now.

G: Yeah, a hundred percent and I think that this is the answer to something that you talked about before we all feel, or we're all trained to think that we have to be everywhere and show up in email, social, all these different things for our business. But I like to remind people instead of thinking, cuz everyone comes to content as the perspective of where should I show up? So stop thinking about where, and start thinking about how. So, we talk about making this easier on ourself if we think of SEO as the driver of our content, think to yourself, well, what information are they looking for or what information do I need to provide them? Now, if you have one idea, let's just say like, how to make a taco to make this ridiculously easy right, your content is how to make a taco. You can do a podcast episode about making tacos and write a separate blog post about the steps it takes to make a taco.

Now I'm not talking about show notes, I'm talking about an actual piece of content from that should be all of the content creation you need to do in order to show up in the rest of those location-based places. You should be able to pull quotes out of your blog post or your podcast that you can use on social media. You should be able to, even if it's not a quote, maybe just take like a sentence or two and then expand upon it in an email. So think of content again, not like where do I show up, but is what I could speak about and then use that as a trickle down instead of trying to like spray everywhere, you're going to come up with one thing and allow that to kind of like reign on all of your different touchpoints.

H: That makes so much more sense.

G: Right? I mean, but again, what we're taught again with the marketing is like we have to do these things and there's nothing wrong with the people who are teaching these, and the methods are not wrong either the problem, like I said, is they're teaching the mass amount of people to do things in one way. Where they might not be at the right place in their business to do them in that way you know, one of the things that I struggle with is when people are taking like Facebook ad courses and I'm like, where are you sending like, okay, cool, you wanna invest in that.

H: They don't even have an offer yet.

G: Right and I see this for very intelligent people I work with so these aren't someone who has I have no clue what they're doing they're smart businesswoman. They are like, they want to be strategic and they, for example, spend $2,000 on like a course or worse, hire someone from, you know, two to $5,000 a month plus the ad spend, but they don't have a funnel in place. So there's nothing wrong with being in that case if you are, okay, cool. But we have to just, again, think about what's the easiest option to show up in the most quality way.

H: And we are talking about strategy not tactics. Now we needed almost 10 minutes to get our technology together to start this call, so I'm actually supposed to be doing my own livestream right now. However, there's one more question I need to ask you. I brought it up earlier, I think it's hella important and that is, at what point does it make sense for you to actually hire someone like yourself instead of continuing to do it because I'll tell you what I see a lot, especially for high achievers like yourself, myself, and the people that we both work with. Once we've invested all the time, all the energy, all the effort, all the money, all the opportunity cost, all the frustration into learning how to get better at writing our own copy it's very difficult to let that go because of sunk cost fallacy. And yet there is probably a time for many, if not most, I don't think all experts to turn this over to a qualified expert like yourself. What is your feeling about when that time actually is?

G: I love this question again, remember, I'm very passionate about people like DIYing, but I think there's a few different touchpoints. One if you need to adjust your messaging, and when you adjust your messaging, it doesn't necessarily mean that things aren't working, but that's definitely a place like if you're struggling to get leads through the door but the clients you do have are very thrilled with their services that would mean that with all of your it's just not converting the people you want. So I would definitely say bring someone into problem solve at that point but another adjustment to messaging could simply be that you want to niche or you know better now that you've worked with a group of clients who you like working with or who you serve best so that could be an indicator that it is time to work with a copywriter. Another indicator is that you need more time so for example, you just said, you know, you've been doing this, you may have seen some success, but here you are like running on exhaust fumes.

Copywriting is a great place to invest your money and not that I think you know, hiring a VA or a contractor, any like team members are not, but here's why. It took you a really long time to learn how to do this. It's not gonna take your copywriter long at all because this is what we do for our business. So this is how we know how to just click the switch on to sound like Diann versus sound like Erin, because we already have those skills. So it's a quick high wind situation because they're gonna hopefully they're gonna provide great content that gets those leads in and has a financial ROI. And then the final one, and this is the one where I think no one thinks of, and it is the prime time to hire a copywriter when you're starting to see success in your business because just like seeing failures or like struggles, a copywriter or especially a strategist like copywriter can come in and say, okay, cool, here's where the success is coming. So how can we drive other parts of your funnel, other parts of your copy to replicate this a little more. Or again, these are the people who may be skilled to do that testing, like I talked about.

So keep working on your own copy until I think you see any of those touchpoints. I always tell people you might not actually want to spend in those first couple years of your business now I've definitely worked with people who've come out of corporate and then spent right away because it was the right decision for them because of like, mostly it's that time, they're ready to jump in and do other things so they could parcel out this. But for other people, I think you need to just figure out what the heck it is you're doing before you hire someone to write what you're doing. Or be willing to know, okay, this is like round one, this is how I'm showing up. It may be a little bit more general in my marketing, and two years later I'll hire this copywriter again to kind of like touch up things now that I know what my business is like. So yeah, do it yourself and you know, the other thing people don't talk about very often is you can hire copy coaches to review your work, to help you outline your work while you're DIYing. And that might be why I'm so passionate about it, because I think I see success so often from the people who do invest the small amount to work alongside someone and get the best results during this DIY phase.

H: And I think it's one of the things that I think is outstanding about your business, that if people like your approach, they like the way you think and they don't necessarily want to hand it off indefinitely they can do the copy coaching. It's like they can do it done with you or done for you and you can try it and you can switch to the other type because like everything an experiment and an adventure so this was even more valuable. I knew it was gonna be great, but it was even more and I cannot believe you've only been podcasting for a year because you are an outstanding listener. You hear the questions within the questions and you can circle back around and say, I want to talk about something that you brought up a few minutes ago. That's a rare skill for a guest, and I really wanna thank you for bringing it to this conversation.

G: Thank you so much. It reminds me from the beginning of our conversation where I talked about how I love gold stars, so I appreciate that gold star right there Diann.

H: There you go. Okay folks, that's a wrap. I'm gonna include links to all the ways that you can find Erin, follow Erin, learn from Erin, and work from Erin.