In today’s episode, we have Kelly Harris with us and she is going to explain how to find your voice when writing excellent copy.
You will also get to hear why you should provide servant leadership to exceed people’s expectations, the N.U.R.T.U.R.E framework for mapping the customer journey, and mistakes most copywriters make when starting out.
In this episode, you will hear...
… Kelly’s story before starting her online business of helping others with copywriting.
… how to find your voice when writing excellent copy.
… why you should provide servant leadership to exceed people’s expectations.
… the N.U.R.T.U.R.E framework for mapping the customer journey.
… mistakes most copywriters make when starting out.
… how Kelly successfully uses Instageam and Facebook to network for her business.
… why Kelly advises course creators to pre-sell their course before creating it.
… how to connect with your clients using their language and what they resonate with.
… Kelly’s tips on how to structure you email for ultimate engagement from clients.
… learn the email algorithm and simple ways to engage your audience.
What is up everyone, thank you for being here today. I am excited to speak with our guest, Kelly Harris from Harris Virtual Solutions, who is an expert in copywriting and helping their clients find their voice. And I think this is super cool.
Copywriting is very important. When we get into online course creation and online business. You know, we're experts, we're good at creating the content or the education, but the marketing the sales, that is kind of second nature, and it needs to be first nature.
Copywriting is a major part of that and getting your voice across to your audience and speaking to the right person and making sure you're attracting the right clients. So this is going to be a great episode. Thanks for coming on, Kelly. How are you doing?
I'm doing good. Thank you for having me.
Yeah, super excited. This is a topic I love talking about. And so I think this is gonna be a great podcast episode. Before we start diving directly into the content, if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself. What were you doing before you got into copywriting and online business and what led you to this place?
So before I got into copywriting, and all this online business amazingness, I actually was a kindergarten teacher. I was a kindergarten teacher, I'd been a kindergarten teacher for eight years.
I'd always told my husband that 10 years was max, because I loved it. But I didn't want to be the old teacher who had a lot of medical problems. And I knew that there were things that I needed to learn while teaching and then that the next step was the next step. And we'd go from there.
And then the pandemic hit. And I went from working 65 hours a week to about 85. In the fall of 2021, my husband came to me in late October and he said, "You haven't had a day off since school started. Because they're requiring you to be in the building Monday through Friday to do stuff and film your lessons and go to meetings and all the things. And then you have the weekend to edit your lessons down, find the extra material and then push it all out on Monday and start over again."
And he said, "This is not sustainable. I know we said 10 years, but this is your eight and it should count for three. So at the end of the year, it's time to figure out what the next step in our journey looks like." So we did
You gotta give it up to teachers out there. They are underpaid, and understaffed and overworked constantly. And so anyone who is in that line of business, my hat's off to you. Cool.
So that decision, what did it look like? So you said, "Okay, I want to do something different? I've been teaching for eight years, and I'm ready to try something new." So what happened after that?
Yeah, literally, it was like I've been teaching for eight years, I subbed for 10 years before that while I went to college. So I've been in this for a very long time. What does life look like on the other side of this?
And so I basically was like, "I have no idea what this next step looks like." And I started with where all the millennial's start and that was Google,. Lke, what can I do from home that's legitimate, that's going to be awesome. Like, what can I do?
And I ran across a lady by the name of Lauren Golden. And she has a program called the Free Mama Movement. And it really stuck out to me because it was talking about like, you can learn to work from home and be a virtual assistant, like, "We'll teach you how to market yourself will teach you how to talk to people will teach you how to go above and beyond for your people."
And I was like, "This sounds interesting." And so I bought the course and I started my business in officially December. I started in October, but it took several months to LLC it. And so I started in December of 2020.
Knowing full well that when this all came down in May, I had a hard stop when school was out that I was going to have to basically pack up this chapter of my life and let go. And so for me, it was very like, "Oh gosh, am I really going to do this? I'm going to be a virtual assistant? Okay, I don't know what that looks like."
And so I started doing that. And at the same time, I was literally compartmentalizing my life on the teaching side. What do I donate to the school? What do I leave for the next teacher? What do I take with me?
Because I knew essentially, I was gonna be burning a canoe at the end of the year, like I could go back to teaching but I also knew that once I stepped away, the odds of me going back were very minimal.
And so I started as a virtual assistant because I thought, :I can do data entry. I can do emails, I can do whatever." But then I realized about this time last year, my husband and I took a I'm a boy scout leadership training.
And in the middle of this, we had to do some writing. And he was just very, "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to write," and I'm listening to him talk. And after about five minutes, I said, "Here are your ideas, here's the things you need to go do."
And his response was, "Where did these come from? These are great ideas." I said, "You said them, you said that you've been sitting here talking about things you wanted to do. And you said them, so I wrote them down."
And I realized at that moment that I was really great at writing. And if that was something that I could do and serve other people, then that was what I wanted to do. And so I kind of pivoted more into a copywriting role at that point, and started really using my writing skills to help other people with their voices and their messages.
This is a great skill to have, because, you know, we know our information, but we're not always great at writing or getting that information out. And generally, when we do, it sounds very robotic.
So to be able to take that information and pull the person's voice and the way that they speak and their tonality and put that into writing is a gift to have. So that's really cool. So once you decided like, "Okay, this is a skill that I think I can leverage or I can monetize."
What did you do from there? Did you start posting content? Were you reaching out to clients? Like, what did that look like?
So I started posting content, because one of my marketing strategies has always been to talk to as many people as I could, and then to basically leverage Instagram and social media, for marketing so that I wasn't paying somebody to market for me. But I was essentially showing people the value that I brought to the table, so that they would contact me and we could set up a call and talk.
And Instagram was kind of the big one that you chose?
I started on Facebook, I still do a lot of networking on Facebook groups, because it's an easy way to get to a lot of people. But what I find a lot of times is that even though the conversation may start on Facebook, typically they will go to my Instagram to look at the reels I've made the content, I'm putting out that kind of stuff.
And what's great about Instagram is some of that stuff I can dump back into Facebook. So I'm essentially marketing in two places.
Okay, yeah, they go hand in hand. That's really cool that you can do that. And then so you're posting this content, kind of explaining like how you can help people. And then you were sending people straight from there to booking your call with you?
Right, booking a strategy call, because I want to know what their goals are. I want to know if we're in alignment with each other. The reason I do that is it gives me a chance to basically make sure that we are in alignment before we move forward as clients because I like working long term with my clients. And I want to make sure that I can support you in the best possible way.
Yeah, this is really cool. I like the strategy call, you get to find out a lot about your clients in your audience. I don't feel like enough people conversate with their audience enough to really kind of figure out their pain points. Like you said, are they in alignment with you?
I'm reading a book now called The Pumpkin Plan. And he talks about just focusing on your best clients and getting rid of those clients that aren't really fulfilling you or fulfilling your business. So it sounds like that's something that you're going for. You want to have the best clients and work with them long term. Correct?
Right. And what I realized, when I took this boy scout leadership training, I learned a lot about a type of leadership called servant leadership. And the idea of it is that you don't just be the boss and you have people under you, but like, you meet the people where they are, and you work together to set the other people up for success.
And then as the boss, you step back, and you let them go. And it has really because of the timing that the training took place, my business was relatively new, it was less than a year old.
And without realizing it, I integrated a lot of the servant leadership models, I integrated a lot of things that I learned at that training into my own business. And it kind of in a way changed the landscape of my business and the foundational stuff, because now I'm really big into building relationships with other people.
And I use right now writing to do that. But I'm also working on getting into consulting because at the end of the day, we talk to people, it's about people. And the pandemic, like we weren't great at talking to each other before the pandemic, but it became very hard to talk to each other when we suddenly were all stuck in our houses for a while. Even after the whole lockdown thing. It's almost like we've forgotten how to talk to people.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, this is totally cool. I love this because a big part of my business, you know, Online Course Igniter and the stuff that I do online. I always say it goes back to the people. You know, you are in business in business.
It doesn't matter what kind of business you have. It evolves around helping people getting people results or fulfilling some type of needs. I totally agree with you that this is what the foundation of everything should be around is those relationships with those people.
I like also this idea of servant leadership. Can you maybe give an example like the servant leadership, making sure that you are helping people and then sitting back and then meeting them where they are? How would you apply that to a business? Or how do you apply that to your actual business?
So how I apply that to my business is in a couple of ways. One, as I said at the end of the day, it's about people, it's about relationships. So you want to not just meet people where they're at, but you want to exceed their expectations.
So if they tell you that, "Hey, I need this, and I need this by Friday," we'll try to get it to them by Wednesday, there's a couple of reasons for that. One, you're exceeding their expectation of when it was due. But you're also building in a little bit of a barrier there.
So that if they look at it, and they're like, "Hey, it needs revisions," or "Hey, it needs whatever" you've built that time in, to be able to go back and actually make sure that they are going to be happy, and that they are really truly feeling what you're doing.
And the other thing, too is sometimes it's as easy as like I had somebody call me yesterday and say, "You shared a document with me. I can't figure out how to edit it." And I literally said, "Okay, tell me more. What are you looking at? Can you make a copy of this document?" And they said, "No," I said, "Okay, let me go in."
It took me five minutes to go in and change a single setting on the document, to then go make a copy and do what he needed to do. And it didn't take a ton of time. But there are so many people that are like, "That's not my problem. That's not in my job description."
Servant leadership is seeing a need and filling it. So seeing what your client needs, maybe it's outside just a hair outside of your scope of what they need, you can still go and fill that need, you can still send them an email that says, "Hey, I was thinking about you today. Is there any way that I can support you?"
Very cool. All right. So let's talk a little bit about the copywriting side of things. You know, as I stated in the beginning, we create our courses, we set up our online course platform, we set up our landing page.
And now we have to get into the writing aspect. So we need to write titles, descriptions, may be an email sequence. So when someone comes to you, and they need help with copywriting, and they say, "Hey, I have an online course. And I'm not getting sales, and I really need help with the writing."
What would be some of the first steps that you would take them through?
First thing I want to know is did you beta test this course? Or did you just create it? Because you will have way more success if you get the idea and you pre-sell it before you ever create it. Because then you know that there's a need. And you know, you can fill it.
One of the courses that I no longer have, I actually created it because I was so excited. And I didn't even make a single sale on it. And that was because I created it, in a way I created it for me, I think I created it also to say like, "These were the ideas that I had, I needed to get them out of the way to get better ideas."
And so really, that's the first thing I would say. The second thing I would say is, what are your goals for these emails? Are you looking to create an email sequence essentially to go to your funnel? Like, what do you want the call to action to be because they all need to be connected.
One of the things a lot of people don't really think about is what do you want your customer journey, or your customer experience to look like? Whether they find you on Facebook, or they find you on Instagram. Or they find you because they want your lead magnet.
What does the customer journey look like? Once you have them in your email or you get them to your sales page, you know if your goal at the end of the day is sales, how are you articulating that? How are you meeting them where your clients are.
Because you may have a great course, but if you're saying, "Here are the pain points, it's X, Y, and Z." And your clients are not talking about them that way, you're going to have a disconnect. And so I would be saying, "Okay, you have a course and you want sales. Let's look for the disconnects."
If you have a whole bunch of people going through your emails, and they're reading your emails, and they're responding to your stuff, and they're following your call to action, but then they get on the sales page. And you have the data that says that lots of people are visiting my sales page, but no one's buying, then you have a sales page issue.
Something about the way you're wording it something about the words you're using aren't resonating with your clients. And so I'm very big into market research. As I told you and talking with people, I don't just want to know what their pain points are. I want to know how they are talking about their pain points.
I want to know how they are talking about their goals. I want to know how they're talking about the results that they want. Because at the end of the day, you can take those words and put that stuff back in your email and put that stuff back in your sales page.
And now suddenly, you're gonna have people who come to you and say, "How did you know? It was like you were speaking to me." Well, you were because you use their words to talk about their problem.
I agree with this 100%. So this is really cool. So we want to make sure that we're doing market research, we're focusing on the way that they are actually talking. So the things that they say the way that they phrase things, and we are interjecting that into the copy when we're writing it, correct?
Yes. For example, if you were selling a course on weight loss, and you're talking about how they're going to get skinny, and you're going to lose 50 pounds. But your ideal client is talking about how they can't wait to fit into this swimsuit to go on the beach in three months. There's a disconnect there, because they're not necessarily thinking, "I want to lose 50 pounds," they're thinking, "I want to fit into the swim suit so I look cute on the beach."
And so you really need to use those words, and what they're telling you, they're essentially giving you their marketing.
And then you also mentioned mapping out the customer journey. And you touched on that a little bit. Can we go back and can you give a little more detail? Like, if you were walking someone through mapping out the customer journey? What does that look like?
Say we had someone who's a beginner, and they're listening to this, and they say, "This sounds really interesting. I like this idea of figuring out my customer journey." How would you actually go through the process of walking someone through mapping out that journey for their customers?
So that actually is really what I'm working on my next course that I'm working on is creating a framework for figuring out you as the client what your mission, vision, and goals are. And then applying that to what I call the N.U.R.T.U.R.E framework to actually create touch points so that your people feel connected.
But they also are getting, there's seven touch points. So there's seven times that you're going to be interacting with them. And they're getting results that are going to go above and beyond. And as I said, it's the N.U.R.T.U.R.E framework.
The "N" stands for their needs, so you're identifying their pain points, you're identifying what success looks like for them. Then the "U" is are understanding so you're understanding what they need. So you're going to tailor the results to their pain points, you're going to make sure that you are speaking about their pain points, using their words.
The "R" stands for building relationships with your clients. So you want to focus on communication, you want to focus on sharing knowledge, what the expectations are, where your boundaries are, you want to give them value, follow up with them regularly, that kind of thing.
The "T" stands for tailor, which is tailoring the offer to the client's needs, you're gonna give them two to three actionable steps that they can follow to get a quick win. And you're gonna give them a timeframe to complete it in.
And then the "U" stands for upgrade. So you're going to upgrade their experience and their expectations, you're going to find ways, like articles that you can give them that says, "Hey, I thought about you I saw this article, it kind of reminded me of you, I thought you would appreciate it."
Or find things to say like, "Hey, I saw this quote, it really applies to what you're doing with your clients," just little things like that, that are upgrading it and making it a better experience for them.
Some people refer to this as "putting a bow on it," some people talk about it as just being like, "do better, be better."
And then the "R" stands for results. You want to upgrade their results in their expectations, you're going to set them up to have a better experience than they thought they were going to and experience better results than they thought they were going to. You're looking for tangible data right here to confirm their results.
And then the "E" for N.U.R.T.U.R.E stands for experiences. You as the business owner, you want to use the experience to get feedback so that you can be better next time. And then for the client, you want their experience to be unforgettable.
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So we have this information, we've done our market research and we sit down and we want to actually start writing the copy. So you mentioned that one of the skills that you had, you know, using the boy scout analogy with your husband as being able to take it and putting it in their voice.
So how do we do that ourselves? Like if we're trying to write some of these things on our own. How are we able to capture our voice? Or a do we even want to capture our voice? Are we tried to capture the customer's voice? Like, how do you actually write the copy?
You really want to capture the brand voice. So if your voice like, Jeremy, if you have a business, and your voice is the brand voice, it's not hard, you just write like you would normally write.
If you're doing it for a client, you really want to listen to them talk, see some emails that they've put out in the past, what you're looking for is you're looking for patterns of how they talk, you're looking for, like a catchphrase, you're looking for that. Because that's easy things that you can put back into the writing to make it sound like it's them.
For example, I used to have a client that would always say, "That's golden." That was like his catchphrase. So every time he was excited, instead of being like, "Wow, that's amazing, or that's whatever" he'd be like, "That's golden!"
And so every time we would write about every second or third paragraph, it'd be like, "Hey, you know, what's golden? Blah, blah, blah, that's golden." Because that was his thing. And so people never never knew that someone else wrote his stuff.
Because we listened to how he was talking and what he was talking about and used, the way he talks, his catchphrases, his quirky words, those kinds of things.
Okay, gotcha, gotcha. Yeah. I mean, I come from the beach in Florida originally. So I use a lot of surfer terminology like, "Dude and awesome."
Right, which I mean, the thing is, though, you put that in your writing, and people are gonna be like, "Oh, Jeremy wrote this. Awesome."
Okay, very cool. So when when you start writing, or when you see other people writing, like, say, your clients, and you have to go back and you have to fix things for them. What are some of the common mistakes that people make when they try to do their own copywriting?
A couple of things. Well, especially if we're talking emails, a lot of mistakes. One, you want your subject line, think of your subject of your email to be like a headline, essentially. And its whole purpose, well there's two purposes.
The first purpose is to tell you what's in the email. But the second purpose is really to get the person to open up the email. And so you really want it to be something that is unique, useful, ultra specific, or urgent. So that's the first thing that we see a lot of times is people will be like, "Oh, hello," or "Limited time offer! 50% off!"
Well, if you're using a lot of those, for lack of a better word, sspammer terms, the algorithms of a lot of the emails, things are built in such a way that they will flag that and put it into spam.
A lot of the algorithms are written in such a way that if they catch your stuff, and they put it into spam, after a certain percentage of your stuff goes into spam, it flags everything that you write as spam.
And so it won't matter if your email is essentially, really, really good, it can still end up in spam, because that's what the algorithms are reading it as. So that's the first thing, you want to make sure that you're actually giving emails that are valuable that people are going to open.
The second thing is that you nearly need to personalize stuff. Even if you send out a mass email, people want to feel like you just emailed them today. And it was, "Hey, I sent you an email. And it's just for you."
A lot of us know that there's probably 500 other people that this email went out to. But we want to feel important. And by personalizing it gives us that like, who doesn't love to be called by their name?
The other thing I would say is that an emails, a lot of people tend to really chunk what they're writing into these big old paragraphs. Our brains are not wired to read these huge chunks of text.
And in fact, when I open up an email, and I see a lot of text, I actually have to mentally prepare myself to try to get through this email. And I'm assuming that I'm not the only person in the world who feels that way.
A lot of people if you're writing your own email, what I would say, two to three paragraphs with two to three sentences in them, and then press enter and give some white space between your paragraphs.
The reason is, is that our brains are wired for scan-ability. And if you can make your email scannable it makes it a lot easier to read. It changes the tone of the email from being this big clunky thing to very light and airy.
The other thing I tell people is one subject, one email. If you're gonna send an email that says, "Hey, I want to talk about these five things," then you need to make them bullet point so they're easy to read.
And if you're doing something like that, where you're giving like five tips for whatever, put that in the subject line because then that makes that searchable so that someone can go back later and search the email and find it.
Okay, awesome. Yes, this is great, great content. And you gave a lot of really useful information. I'm just going to recap here. The first one is, your subject is a headline, make sure that you're telling what's in the email and get them to open by making it unique, useful, ultra specific or urgent.
You talked about the algorithms that if an email is sent to the spam folder, you know, multiple times that it could flag all of your stuff going forward.
My question for that would be, say someone falls into that trap, where they've been flagged too many times, and their emails are now constantly going into the spam folder, is there a way to get out of that?
There are. There's a couple of ways that you can do that there is some unique code that you can actually write into your email that will help you get out of that. The other thing is, is you just have to be aware that every email provider is different in what it terms as spam, and what it flagged as spam.
And the algorithm changes from time to time, because it was also based on the percentage of email. So if I send 100 emails out, it will change the percentage, if so many of them either are not opened, because you had 100 people on your list.
But like, let's say 50 of them, no longer open their emails, or it's junk email, that kind of stuff can affect your open rate, it can affect your click through rate, it will affect, it can affect your spam rate, and there is a way to get out of it.
But a general rule is try not to get into the mess, because otherwise you have a huge mess. And it's not going to be fun to try to get out.
Yeah, it's easier not to go to jail than to try to break out of jail, right?
Or trying to explain to the judge why you don't need to be in jail. Right?
Okay, cool. Very good. And then you said, make the emails personalized and make people feel important. I think that's really awesome.
In most of these email platforms, you can put a little code that will take the person's first name and stick it in the email. I've always done this at the beginning, like, "Hey, first name" and it'll take your first name and say, "Hey, Kelly."
But I saw another email marketer, and she was putting that code in the body of the email. And it's like you said, you know that this email is for someone else. But when they're just like saying a sentence, and they're talking, and then all the sudden they call out your name, you're just like, "Oh, wow," like that does make you feel kind of good.
Right? And you're like, "Oh, I'm paying attention again, tell me more."
And then we want to make sure that we're not using big chunks of text in our emails, that it's scannable makes it easier to read, people will stick around and read it longer, which I assume helps the algorithm also.
Yes, it does. And the thing is to like, you also want to have one call to action, you don't say like, "Follow me on Facebook, or go to my email, or email me back" or whatever.
Essentially, the most I've ever seen done with a client is we did two call to action, which one was follow me on Instagram. The other one was hit reply and tell me what you would like to see. And so we used it as a market research, essentially, an opportunity to say, "Tell us what you want, so that we can tailor the experience to you."
Awesome, yeah, that's great. More research, more data, more finding out how your customer talks, then you can start using that again, back into your copy. That's absolutely brilliant. Yeah, this is really cool.
I appreciate all of your help. And your time today. Just thinking about the person who is not that good of a copywriter, they're just starting out. And they could use maybe your number one piece of advice, what would you say to the beginner out there?
What I'd say to the beginner out there is I know you want to wait until things are perfect till you think it's like, "Oh, it's fantastic. I'll put it out there now." But that is a sign of perfectionism. And perfectionism is the death of creativity, it causes the death of creativity.
So what I would say to you is take the messy action. Nobody's going to be perfect, you're gonna make mistakes. And you need to become okay with making those mistakes. So set yourself a timer, write your email, or your sales page, then put it out there, get feedback on it, and then you have the opportunity to make it better, and to do better next time.
Awesome, perfect. And where do you see yourself going forward with your business? You mentioned that you're going to do some consulting work for people and helping them out. But in the next year, two years or five years, or say your 10 year plan like you had with a kindergarten teacher. Where would you like to see this business go?
Right now, as I said, I just created that N.U.R.T.U.R.E framework, recently, like within the last week. And I am actually going to really look at building out a course that basically make like a three month program.
So the first month, it's going to be about learning your voice, learning your mission, setting you up for your mission, your vision and your goals. And then that second month, we're going to talk about like how we can use this to then serve other people.
How we can use this to make the pain points and not just identify their pain points, but like create the touch points so that you're really truly creating a customer experience so that your people will come back to you over and over again.
And they'll refer you to other people and then the third month is really going to be about me helping you set up the things that you need to make your business a success. So let's talk about writing email templates. Let's talk about what your sales page is going to look like.
Because essentially, we're going to use those emails to set up a funnel, that's going to then funnel into the sales page to make it an easy "yes," for your potential people. So that's really where I see me, in five years and 10 years, I'd really like to have a team. Basically, the idea with the course is to be able to serve as many people as I possibly can.
Right, awesome. And that's what's great about online courses, online education, online business in general is that you do have a global audience that you can reach. This has been really great.
And if people are interested in your program, your consulting and this framework that you have, where can they find out more about you online?
So you can come to my Instagram. Instagram is @kmharris004. If you are interested in being in the beta for my course, I would love to have you and you could just DM me the word "nurture" and I will get back to you.
I'm also online at Facebook, the two are attached. So if you find me on Instagram, you should be able to find me on Facebook. And then my website is www.Harrisvirtualsolutions.com.
We'll make sure that we link all of that up into the show notes. So if anyone needs help finding that you can go to the show notes of this episode.
And go give Kelly some love and see what she can do to help you out with your business and your copywriting needs. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today and sharing all this valuable information. We really appreciate it.
And I just hope you have the most success going in the future.
Well, thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on the show today.
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