Banish the Ickiness | Copywriting that Connects
Hi, and welcome to this new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We are here today with Nicole Kepic and we're going to be discussing how to write high con verting non salesly unsleazy sales copy. So, Nicole, welcome to our podcast.
Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here and to meet you both in person sort of.
Yes, I know. We are meeting from halfway across the world from each other because Nicole you are based in Canada. So, Nicole, you’re a conversion copywriter with 20 years of copywriting experience already and you serve coaches and creatives helping them to stand out from the crowd, attracting their local their ideal clients and selling their signature offers. When you're not on your laptop, you did tell us that you love spending time with your family and also devouring suspense novels and rewatching old episodes of The Office
I have been rewatching them lately as well and it's so it's like they're timeless I feel
My son is addicted- he's probably watched each episode I don't know how many times! Like, he has everything memorized. So, I'll come downstairs, and I'll see him watching it. I'm like, “again.”
How old is your son?
He's 15- I cringe saying that because in my mind he's still five, but yes, he's 15
We'll come to you for advice when our little boys grew up older as well. So, Nicole, why don't you tell us a little bit about your journey and how you started because I know that you you've been a copywriter for 20 years, but you didn't make it a full time venture or didn't turn it into your own brand till a lot later. So, would you like to share your journey with us?
Yeah, absolutely. So, my intro to copywriting was pretty traditional. I went to university for journalism. And then after a brief travel stint, I hopped right into the nine-to-five pretty much right away because I mean, that's what you do, right? You go to university and then you do the 9-5 time. So I hopped into a copywriting job at a marketing department for a fitness company. It was actually a bodybuilding company and I only mentioned this one in particular because it was funny, I was the first female hired for the marketing department at that company and it was all big, beefy bodybuilders because it was a bodybuilding company. We were selling protein powders,
It must have been like oh my god, this is terrible.
It was, it was so strange because I, you know, I walked into the lunch room and then there's me- this little you know, introvert and then there's all these big guys they were nice. But yeah, they hired me on because they had all these men writing ad copy for women and it just was not working. They were just not hitting the mark. So that's how I got into copywriting with that fitness and bodybuilding company. And then I stayed there for a few years and then segwayed into working for design agencies where I was the senior copywriter on staff working alongside designers and then I would write for different clients that our agency served. So, it was no longer just writing for one audience but a bunch of clients. I did the nine to five for a long time and I was happy doing it. I liked the people I worked with, I liked the work, but along the way I started doing my own side business, my own copywriting business on the side. So doing the nine to five, doing the freelance thing for many years, more years than I probably should have. And then yeah, about a year and a half ago, it just kind of got to the point where I was like,’ Okay, what am I doing? Because I was doing the nine to five, I was doing two hours of commuting a day. I was doing a freelance on the nights and weekends and it was taking me away from my family. So then I thought well, like one of these things has to go. So I left my nine to five and then went all in with my business
I must have been quite a hard decision to make though. It sounds like one of them has to go-‘I have to make the call’. It must have taken you quite a lot of courage as well to say ‘I'm gonna ditch that nine to five.’
Yeah, well, yeah, I mean, I knew to me the answer was obvious. I wanted to run my own business but yeah, I wasn't the kind of person who hated my job and, and just had to get out of there. I really was fortunate and I liked the people I worked with, and obviously the steady paycheck was nice too. So it was a bit scary taking that full time leap.
But there's the comfort of the steady paycheck that you know, for whatever reasons it works for a while, right? But until it doesn't. And so, with that, what do you think were the mindset shifts that you had to make or the adjustments that you had to make in order to say, You know what, I'm no longer doing this freelance. I no longer have my nine to five paycheck. I am now my own CEO. I am my own boss. This is real. This is now my business.
Yeah, I mean, that was a big one I because I already had the client experience nailed down because I've been doing the freelancing for so long. I had the copywriting nailed down, the client experience, but really, it was a lot of mindset shifts that I had to make. One of them being just trusting that clients would still come, that once I got rid of my nine to five, that, you know, the clients would always come, the clients would always be there and that's scary. At first because you might be busy one month and then not know if you're gonna have clients the next month, but I've also worked with coaches and they say, you know, history is proven that the clients always come in, you just have to trust that and obviously do the work to make sure that it happens but I guess having an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset. So that was a big shift.
That's great. Yeah, and I mean, you did have that marketing background working for your nine to five as well but it must be a lot different as well doing the whole marketing work for yourself.
Yes. And I also switched audiences essentially because in my other life, I was writing for corporate companies, marketing agencies in that world and now except for a couple of clients, I still have my from my previous life. I write for female business owners, so like myself, like ourselves, and I'm so much more passionate about that. But it's a whole other audience that I didn't even know existed before.
That is true. So it like the whole style kind of changes as well, right? How you approach that sort of the tone of voice you put into your offer and we'll dive into the offer as well in a little bit. But it must really be just quite a challenge. So what limiting beliefs maybe did you have as well about now, all of a sudden managing your own brand and your own company? And you did mention you are quite the introverted entrepreneur. So what kind of hurdles did you have to climb over there?
Well, I think that when I was in the nine to five roles. I always saw my introversion as just a setback basically,
And we’ve had introverted guests before to speak about this to like, you know, being in meetings and feeling like you had to be you had to speak up more all the time. Like you had to always be louder. Always. Push yourself out of your comfort zone just to make yourself heard.
Yes. And so when I started my own business, or when I went full time in my business, I worried that my introversion would be a hindrance that well, how can I stand out online especially on Instagram, especially on social media? How can I stand out if I'm not loud and attention grabbing and you know, the first thing people see when you walk in a room like I worried that my quiet nature would make it hard to sell my services, but I'm in that hasn't been true at all. I work with introverts and extroverts, but I do attract a lot of introverts. So I'm just learning to embrace that versus seeing it as a hindrance.
Yes, yes, that is so true.
And you get you bring to the table, other skills, right? That an introvert that- I'm sorry that an extrovert possibly doesn't have and as you said, it's a matter of how you want to use those things to your advantage instead of saying like, ‘Oh, because I'm not as outgoing or as loud or as said, visible like, here I am, look-at-me-type personality. But nonetheless, there is this quiet power, I believe to introverts that draws people in.
I like how you say that the quiet power and just true because for the extroverts it is they are probably like shouting a lot in their coffee as well. Right. And being a little bit maybe too pushy and we all learn that it this does not always sell. It really doesn't you know, people don't want service providers to be like in their face about things. In their face about their product and being overly salesy about it. So they are I can imagine that they are often looking to someone with that quiet power to really tone down their copy and make it more relatable, and find that connection with the audience and especially if you are serving sort of the female audience, right. It is a little bit different. So yeah, I can really imagine that it is an advantage in what you do.
Yeah, absolutely. And it's funny that you say that quiet power because I've heard about that sentiment a lot lately, just from clients who have hired me to do their writing they've said things like you know, I've looked at other copywriters’ websites and you know, some just seem too loud, like if their writing was too loud and it yours was more measured. It was you know, still powerful. There is a certain measure to it, versus just shouting. So, yeah, and that's like I said, that's what a lot of people want, whether you're an introvert or extrovert, extrovert, you want an offer, that's powerful, but that's not you know, crazy salesy and obnoxious, right.
Yeah, I felt so connected when I when I looked through your website, so her website is, you can find it on Nicolekepic.com. And we'll put all of that in the show notes as well. But when I was scrolling through it as well, you had me, I couldn't stop. I couldn't stop scrolling and I don't get that with a lot of website. I have to be honest, you know, you read the beginning. It's like, am I connected? Am I not and then you kind of stop at one point right or you browse through like other pages that they may have to quickly get a picture. But for years, to be honest, I couldn't stop like I wanted to read it because you did have that way of really connecting and then every call to action as well. It was a really nice way to draw the reader in and to build that care, curiosity and everything. So I love that. I love that power you build into the copy. When clients come to you What do you think they struggle with the most when they look for your copywriting services?
Yeah, it's a mix of things. Sometimes it's people saying that they already have copy on their website or other touch points and it just doesn't feel like them. So they've got the content there but they feel like it doesn't express their personality or unique selling proposition. What makes them different from everybody else. So hat's a big one. Because, you know, competition is fierce. So you have to be yourself to stand out. And sometimes their copy is just not reflecting that. The other big thing I hear is that their copy is just not converting. They feel like it's just sitting there, it's not driving action. So it's not getting people to not only keep reading but then to take action. So to click right, the button to book a call or whatever the call to action is. So those are the two big ones that that I that I hear most. And then on top of that, it's just people simply not having the time or desire to write their own copy. So you know, they're busy. They're busy people so they don't want to do it or they'll say like, I don't know how to do it. I I don't know where to start. So it's a mix.
And so it'd be cool today if you are sharing with us some tips that you know our listeners can take away with regards to their own copy and how to ensure that it's not salesly but that it converts, like striking that balance so what are some tips or advice that you can share with us today? That allows you to say, Oh, let me take a look at what I've been doing to see if I'm ticking those boxes or if there's anything missing in my copy.
Okay, yeah, so the first thing I would say I mean, this is just a general copywriting tip. But just always focus on your readers first versus yourself and it seems so simple. It seems so obvious, but we all like to talk about ourselves and our products and service but just making sure that your copy is really focused on your readers. So how your product or service is going to benefit them versus just listing all the features and courses modules_ you know, the elements of your product or service. Really speaking to your reader having a lot of use in your is one way to way to tell that you're really keeping it focused on them versus yourself. So that would be the first one. And then in terms of selling in a friendly feel-good way I would just say like, really have a lot of empathy for your readers and ensure that you get them. So that's as simple as just saying, you know, identifying with their pain points, their struggles, but then also with their dreams and aspirations too. And then the key with that is just to be really specific. So for this, so instead of just saying like, ‘Hey, I know you're a business owner, you're stressed out’ your copy can really dive deep into the finer details like, ‘Hey, I know you're so stressed out that you're working at 11pm on a Friday night or you haven't seen your husband and in a week because you're always glued to your laptop’ just really taking the copy to the next level and adding that a bit of detail. So when you do that if you know your audience really well and those are things that they are living that are real to them at the moment. They're going to kind of read along and nod along and smile and say yes, this is exactly me.
Your identifying them with that, right?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
And I love what you said as the first point of really knowing who your audience is, who you are at the end of the day serving and not selling to right, you're not talking at them, you're talking to them. So they gather from what you say is understanding that you're here to help them in their journey like whatever it is that they want to get towards. You are a key piece of that puzzle. And this is how it comes together for them.
Yes, absolutely. I think, you know, it shows if you genuinely care about your readers, if you want what's best for them and you have a solution to their problems and their pain points. Like that will come across your copy. I think it will also come across if you're just trying to sell more and make money so yeah, it really just comes from a place of wanting to serve your audience in a genuine way.
And the calls to actions. What would you say? Is there like a rule of thumb or like a ratio because sometimes I have noticed in certain websites or landing pages you know that there's there's quite a few of them like interspersed within the copy. Is that something that you say it is highly effective to do it that way?
Yeah, I think if you have something like a long form sales page, then you know, every couple or few paragraphs you're going to want to have a call to action just in case somebody doesn't keep reading all the way to the end. And you don't want to have one just at the very bottom of the page because when you get there and on the same note, you want to have one just really high up on the page in case somebody lands on your sales page and already they know they want to buy from you so just maybe they're there and they think you know what I already know this person I'm so in already so they click right away to buy it from you. They don't even need to read the rest of your page. So definitely one at the top. Definitely one at the bottom and then some throughout your page. And then in terms of the language I kind of go back and forth on this sometimes I think it's best to have something really simple and clear like Book A Call or like Call now or by now something really clear but then I also like doing call to actions that are really fun and cheeky to with language just to add personality. So yeah, anyways,
I think that's what I really liked about your own sales page as well. That was really nice because that really raises that level of curiosity as well. And when you are a copywriter, then you have clients that you are writing for. It is like we just mentioned so important to be absolutely authentic and to draw on your own personality and to really have it be your voice. So how do you do that when you're starting to work with a client that you don't know very well? Or how do you learn to write in their tone of voice so to say?
Yeah, that is a good question, because that's one of the questions I get asked a lot because I think people are naturally a bit nervous to hand over you know, pieces of their brand because they have to trust that I'm going to write in their voice. So it's a mix, honestly, part of it is just talking to the client and of course, getting a sense of their personality and understanding their business, their brand, their personality. It's also doing homework as in going on to their current content. So if they already have a website, obviously I'm going to look at that if they have social media, I'm basically going to binge all of their content. Yeah, so it's really just getting to know them through the conversation and then looking at the content they already have and then I also have in my process that my onboarding will have custom questionnaire too. So I'll ask more questions, right. But ultimately, it also comes down to just knowing the audience too. So like I've worked alongside a lot of brand and web designers throughout my career, so and our audience is the same and I understand that interest in the industry because I've worked with so many of them. So if I ever write for a brand or web designer, it just comes so much easier to me because I've been in their world for so long.
It's true and ultimately you are speaking to the audience right. So there are there are certain like similarities just between how you how you're selling to that audience, mixing in the personality, but also really pinpointing that because one of the biggest things I've kind of learned sort of in the past few months writing and setting up my own website as well as like your about page and everything. It's not really about you, it's about the people you're trying to target so it's really interesting to find that balance of making it you being different, being authentic, differentiating yourself from so many others out there. So what are some tips and tricks you have on that?
Oh my gosh. Yeah, I was thinking about that earlier. I think one of the things is to not compare yourself, to not go on other people's websites too much in your own industry. Like if you're always looking at other people's copy, then it's just, you're gonna soak some of that in and then start to use some of the same things. Even if you if you don't realize that you're gonna, you know, copy what they're doing essentially. So I would if someone's like, yeah, you just want to avoid the comparison-it is to a certain extent, still just ignore what other people are doing so that you can get your own voice in there
Walk with your blinders on.
Yes, exactly. I mean, you can look to other people for inspiration, but yeah, I mean, it's a slippery slope, because if you look too hard and for too long, then you're just going to start comparing yourself and then talking the same way they do.
If you’re at a point where they already have developed some sort of Brand Book or starting out because sometimes, I feel at the beginning, you do have your own personality, but you didn't know if that is the personality that is required to brand your website and everybody else. It's a bit like I know it's a mix and I know that it has to be infused with who you are at the end of the day, of course, but is there a way where you say it's really not necessary to have this official type of, you know, Brand Book already in place? And so how can you organically glean that because it's like, you're talking about yourself, like how do I describe myself? It's a bit tricky, like, I think I have an idea, but maybe that's not how people end up perceiving me. Do you work that way as well? Is that one of your approaches when you when you're starting off with a client?
Well, most Yeah, most of my clients actually don't have those formal Brand books in play, most of them don't. And that doesn't mean they're not established. A lot of them are established but they've just been so busy in their business and the momentum going that they haven't paused and created a document like that like saying their brand values, tone of voice Brand Character. Yeah. So I would say most of them do not have that in place. But just as I mentioned earlier, just in talking with them and asking questions about their business, I can get a sense of their tone of voice that they need for their brand and their values. And I'll even ask them, Are there certain words and phrases you want me to include and some that you don't? Because some industries might have, like faux pas, like, Oh, don't say this, and if it's a totally new industry to me, I might not realize that so that's one question that I always ask.
And across the board, what you see, going back a little bit into the copy itself. Would you say that right now, as we stand in, in this moment in time, right, because there are, I believe, when it comes to the internet, there are cycles, there are trends, they come and they go some things work for a couple of years and afterwards everybody's moving towards a different direction. So right now as we're standing, what do you think is the trend or the standard to say, Okay, I want to create this sense of urgency in in my customer to come and actually you know, click on that button, to set up that call, to really buy the package and do the things but I don't want to be pushy and I don't want to make it to salesly.
Yeah, I would say, I'm not sure if this is a trend but definitely showcasing more the dream life or the end result of your product or service. So painting the picture of what your readers life is going to be after they've invested in you, versus spending so much time in the pain point area. So yes, you want to bring up the pain points. You want to empathize, but I think, you know, previously or like infomercials, it's like all pain points. But this is just like, Yeah, this is more just like you know, mentioning the pain points, empathizing, but then segue and segueway into the more positive state like this is the transformation. This is the benefit. This is how you can imagine your life in the future. So it's definitely leaning more positive versus just like doom and gloom.
Yes, that's true. And it's, also what you refer to as conversion copywriting.
Yeah, those definitely go into it. So conversion copywriting is really just converting somebody from you know, just kind of browsing your site or sales page or whatever it is and converting them to somebody who wants to take that next step with you. Maybe it's applying to work with you or maybe it's applying for a course or downloading something, but it's getting them to take your next step.
Yeah, yeah. Clicking that button.
And what would you answer to those people that might be in a place still where they say, you know, why would I even need a copywriter? You know, like, I mean, I know myself, I know myself better than anyone where at least that's the way it should be. Why would it be in my benefit to really use somebody's expertise in copywriting to help me with my business?
Yeah, that's another good question. I would say it's, there's a difference between just reading content, so words on the page and then copy reading, which again, is going to sell essentially, so it's going to get somebody to take that action. So if you like, it's one thing for somebody to read your copy and think okay, this sounds great. But it's quite another for them, for the copy to drive them to take that next step. So obviously, if you want more people to invest in your products or service you want, you know, high-converting copy. And then the other thing I would say too, is that your copy is just in general, so important because it can do a lot of the work in the selling for you. So say for example, your website, people can go to your site before ever getting a call on a call with you. And then they can get a sense of your personality and your expertise and your credibility all those things before they even book a call with you or get on a call with you. And similarly, they can decide if you're not the right fit for them so saves the time and the same saves you from having to do lots of extra selling in person.
No, that's and that's great, because that's what we all want at the end of the day, right? We're not really looking to be tied up in the computer or on a sales call back-to-back, we want our copy to take care of most of the process that when people come on board, they are ready almost ready to jump in and say like Yes!
Exactly. For me personally, it's really like an automation tool as well because now having my second little one I just realized how little time I have to really spend in my business as I did before so it's so good just to have that website or that that sales page where you can really easily lead people to fairly quickly and then the rest is already done for you or like it's already there. And you don't have to spend hours speaking to people about and persuading them this this is what you do or this is what you're trying to sell. So it's such a valuable tool to have.
Yeah, I mean, I'm biased of course, but I think so. And also, if you if you get your copy written in an evergreen style, then you can continue to reuse and repurpose that copy to say for example, you have a welcome sequence for your emails. And if it's written in an evergreen way then you can keep using that every time somebody opts-in to your freebie so you can have it work harder for you to not just be a one-time investment, because I understand it. It is an expense and as a business owner, there are a million things that you could spend your money on. So yeah, there are ways that that investment can really pay off for you
So that's a really great segue to kind of tell everyone how you are serving people. So how can they work with you if they've been listening now and saying, ‘This is what I want? This is what I need. I need to convert more. I don't want to be pushy. I want someone to really speak to help me speak to my audience.’ How can they work with you?
Oh, thank you. Well, they can go to my website and I have a shop page. So I've got templates there for sales pages, launch emails, and even for an email. So if you have an email list and you just go through your list because you don't know what to write them then I've got some tools there that can give you ideas for that. And then my core service well basically, my only service is a VIP days. So it's a done-for-you VIP day where I will write my clients copy for them in one day, two days, whatever the job entails. But it's fully hands off. I do all my prep in advance and then on the VIP day, I just sit down and get in my zone and write and then yeah, it's super fast and efficient for clients.
Oh, cool. So you don't necessarily do it together because the prep work is done beforehand. And that when you get to do it, it's like you're in your zone of genius, right? You're just like, I know that I need to make to make.
Yeah. Yeah, and you've probably heard of VIP days and everybody has a different approach. I know I've got a lot of designer friends and their VIP days tend to be more collaborative back and forth. Like hey, do you like this font? Do you like this color and it's back and forth throughout the day. Whereas I feel like if I'm writing I really want to get in the zone and just you know, just have it flow life. nicely together and submit it all at once so that it's not just like hey, here's a sentence. Here's a headline.
Not fragmented, yeah, you need to get into that zone. Absolutely. It's going to be so hard to switch from client to client throughout your day because they do have different tones. of voices that you need to respect and I also feel that would be much easier that way.
You also have a freebie for us today. If you want to share a little bit.
Yeah, sure. Because we talk a lot about sales copy and if you go to my homepage, I have a freebie. It's a 15-minute video. My coach said I need to do more video so that it's a small video. And it's 5 Must-Haves For A High Converting Sales Page. So, it talks a lot about what we discussed here about doing writing feel good copy. You know just really friendly approachable copy that still gets people to buy.
Oh, thank you so much. We are going to put the link in our show notes to share it with everyone. And we want to thank you Nicole for taking the time to be here with us. We know that you are you know a busy mom, you're also running your business. So as a last question before we sign off, we wanted to ask you what, you know, in terms of work-life balance, do you have any advice for moms that are living abroad also trying to build a business, raising a family, doing all the things and what have you discovered that has worked for you and that you would like to spread the word and the advice around?
Oh my gosh, I would honestly this is something that I struggle with sometimes too because it's funny when I was 9-5 I would come home and I wouldn't think about my job when I was at home but now that I'm a business owner for myself, I just feel like I'm always thinking about work. So I have to purposely, I would say this is such a simple tip but just put your phone in another room sometimes because I just found sometimes I was you know even at night I'd be on my phone just kind of checking client emails, maybe not responding to them but checking them and you know, to the point where even my husband and my son said ‘you know you're kind of on the phone all the time or you're always working’ and that really like I didn't like that at all. And that's the kind of thing I was happening here. So sometimes now I'll just put my phone in another room and when it's family time, it's family time and you know, it's not always easy to set those boundaries.
But that is such a great tip and thank you for sharing because it's true. It's like out of sight out of mind.
I used to put the DND function but I still see the phone so it still reminds me to quickly look something up or check it. I love that I actually am going to try that starting from today into another room.
It is a good habit to start having as well. Thank you so much Nicole for sharing with us today. And if you want to connect with Nicole, you can find her on Instagram @nkcopywriting and we're also going to share the links to her Facebook page, website, LinkedIn and also the links to the amazing freebie that she brought with her for us today. So thank you so much Nicole was such a pleasure to have you on.
Thank you. I love it so much. I really love this conversation.
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Nicole is a conversion copywriter based in Canada, with 20 years of copywriting experience. She serves coaches and creatives – helping them to stand out from the crowd, attract their ideal clients, and sell out their signature offers. When she’s not on her laptop, Nicole’s usually spending time with her family, devouring a suspense novel, or re-watching an old episode ofThe Office.
Free Video Mini-Masterclass: "5 Must-Haves for a High-Converting Sales Page"
Links : www.nicolekepic.com/freebie