Crafting Content That Drives Business Goals with Sonia Simone

 

“Content is the way you get your amazing ideas, visible and audible.” – Sonia Simone

 

In this episode of The Widest Net Podcast, Pam is joined by Sonia Simone, a seasoned writer, marketer, and coach, known for her groundbreaking work in content marketing. As the founding partner of Copyblogger Media and a coach to numerous clients, she brings over a decade of experience and has penned more than 1.6 million words.

With a teaching approach that emphasizes business strategy, content, and ethical marketing, Sonia’s insights have influenced countless small business owners. Her ability to translate complex ideas into actionable strategies makes her an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to align their content with business goals. Through her courses and coaching, Sonia shares her expertise, helping others navigate the ever-evolving landscape of content marketing with clarity and confidence.

 

Here’s what you can expect from this episode: 

  • Maximize your business impact with effective content marketing strategies
  • Unlock the power of aligning your content with your business goals
  • Discover the essential components for successful email marketing
  • Source and recruit top-notch copywriters to elevate your content
  • Streamline your content strategies for maximum efficiency

Here are the Show Notes.

Here’s the transcript:

00:00:03
            

Welcome to another episode of The Widest Net Podcast. I’m your host, Pamela Slim, and today I am joined by my guest and friend, Sonia Simone. Sonia is a writer, marketer, teacher and coach. She was the founding partner of Copyblogger Media when it formed in 2010, and she sold her interest in the company in 2019.        

00:00:23
            

Today, she coaches a handful of clients privately and also teaches business strategy, content and ethical marketing in cohort based courses. Sonia estimates she’s written more than 1.6 million words over her career as a content marketer. Her Coursera rating course on content marketing strategy has taught more than 450,000 students with a 4.5 star rating. Holy crap. So insane.        

00:00:51
            

So insane. And how alliterative. Four hundred and fifty k and four point five rating. I love that numerical alliteration, if that’s a thing. She’s been amused to watch as her once weird content strategies have become mainstream best practices.        

00:01:05
            

And Sonia believes that marketing is, very simply, the sum total of what you communicate to your customers, both in words and actions. She also believes the audience is the source of all good things in business, and that’s the approach she teaches to her audience, students, and clients. Sonia, welcome to the podcast. I’m just so delighted to be here, I can’t even stand myself. Well, I can’t stand it either.        

00:01:31
            

I will tell you 100%, you are a very clear member of my High Council of Jedi Knights in the content marketing arena.        

00:01:42
            

I feel like it’s diminutive and just like, so gender specific to say, like, girl crush, because it’s so much more than that. But I have followed your work for so long. I know in my early days as a blogger, when I started Escape From Cubicle Nation in 2005, I always just appreciated, so much, the way that you showed up in a community setting in terms of just cultivating and sharing with people about content, but then also just in the writing itself. I grew up in a writing household. My dad’s a photojournalist.        

00:02:13
            

My sister’s a writer and editor. So I just am so happy that you get to break down, which is a very big topic for a lot of folks today, which is like content marketing in the current state of the world. Yeah, I’m not kidding. I always put that in my bio and I think, well, maybe it’s a little goofy, but I am really not kidding. When I started content marketing, when I was in corporate, I got a lot of head patting and I got a lot of, we know you’re a very smart girl, but you need to get realistic about business.        

00:02:51
            

Stab stab, stab, stab. And, yeah, it was like I was kind of talking and you were, too. And I think that’s why you and I met, like early, early days, way back at south by face to face. And you and I were both coming into this weird, very tactical environment and we were like, hey, peace, love, understanding and justice, baby. And people didn’t know what to do with us, but they figured it out, so God bless them.        

00:03:22
            

Right? Well, yeah, because they’re definitely. I know you have a point of view about content marketing. Let’s just start with a definition of terms, really, for you. In describing what content marketing is.        

00:03:37
            

I think you and I both tend to work more with professional service providers. Right. People who have kind of thought leaders and professional expertise. How do you define and think about what content marketing is? Yeah, and I actually have been playing with a term thought mentor only because thought leader makes me kind of, it makes us throw up in our mouth a little bit because even though it’s really important, it’s also kind of used by people, like, I don’t personally vibe with.        

00:04:07
            

So, thought mentorship, thought leadership, content is the way you get your amazing ideas, visible and audible and gettable.        

00:04:25
            

But also, I think sometimes folks will fall into a trap, especially if they’re not like kind of content marketing geeks. They fall into a trap of thinking, well, I’ve got to put something on my blog. I’ve got to put something. I’ve got to SEO my website copy. I’ve got to do these things.        

00:04:44
            

They’re not 100% sure what the business driver is. And so they end up saying, well, content doesn’t really seem to do anything. It’s kind of fluffy, and a lot of content is fluffy and a lot of content is not. So I’m both very, I’m very idealistic and I’m also very practical. And if it’s not driving a business goal, then it probably needs to not be in your business budget.        

00:05:17
            

It’s really all about building that business around who you are, what you know, what you’re great at, what really matters to you on all kinds of levels, and then communicating that in an interesting way. Because in 2023, 2024, your website copy can’t be so generic as it used to be. Your SEO can’t be generic like it used to be. Like, we need these creative, original, human kind of expressions of what we are and what we do to make it work. And that’s where the content marketing folks in your arena, in your circle, those are the folks who really know how to do that.        

00:06:06
            

I love that, and I love thought mentor because I have always not liked hated the term thought leader because it doesn’t really work. And yet it is hard to describe more people who have big ideas that can change things. So it’s a beautiful term. We need to co opt that with full attribution to you. So in thinking about that, in having a clear and deliberate voice, I’ve said my two words for 2024 is deliberate focus because that is 100% what I have seen.        

00:06:37
            

We can’t just be smitter-smattering a whole bunch of stuff in marketing. We can’t just have broad, generic content that describes what we do. It just feels like we really need to be deliberate in terms of how we’re communicating with people. How do you see breaking down? And again, it’s been so interesting, having been in this world for so long, of growing up and blogging in 2005, where it was a whole thing.        

00:07:05
            

I work, for example, with somebody who’s a huge thought leader, like in an academic space, who is now offering really powerful classes in that area, both online and in person. And so often where I’ll get questions as I’m coaching them through is looking at things as you described, which could be straight up web copy that clearly and compellingly describes what they do. But then it also includes things like sales letters, email sequences, which, by the way, we’re going to dive into that deeply. But what are the different maybe pieces of content that you think of that would be like the starting essential set of somebody who is selling something that they would have to have in place and have aligned? Yeah, and that’s such a good question.        

00:07:55
            

And it kind of starts for me. So I have a phrase, don’t be Bob Ross in your content and Tony Robbins in your sales copy.        

00:08:03
            

You know, a lot of people, they have this kind of fuzzy personality in some parts of their business identity. Then, you know, maybe they took like, maybe they got a template or something like that for a sales page and there’s a mismatch. So what you want to not do is have that too tall step where you stumble off of one part of your presence and you stumble into this like, wow, the tone is really different, and I’m not even sure this is the same person. And I feel weird. So in that context where I love to see everything congruent, I want to see one voice, I want to see one personality, want to see one.        

00:08:47
            

And that doesn’t mean you don’t bring people in to help you out, because you can. But just make sure those people have that competency of capturing your tone and then probably take a look, make sure I don’t ever use that word or I would never use that. Know, I would never say whatever, I wouldn’t say Michael Jackson, I would say John Legend or, I mean, I don’t know, whatever it is, right? So the core pieces, I actually teach a class on this as it happens. The core, your, your website needs some kind of, you know, there needs to be something that happens when people go to your website where there’s a first impression.        

00:09:36
            

That’s kind of your front door. You make it look decent, it’s welcoming, it lets people know they’re in the right place. That’s mainly the job of the home page. You must have an about page, my friends. And don’t call it something like, I don’t know, don’t call it something weird, just call it your about page.        

00:09:58
            

People have funny, you know, such funny things for it.        

00:10:04
            

You probably need a services page again, depending on what you do, products, whatever it is you need a page dedicated to: What do you have to offer in the world? What do people give you money to get?        

00:10:17
            

There are sometimes exceptions to this. I mean, there are exceptions to a lot of these things, but normally you would have a services page or at least some kind of a work with me page that lets people know what is the next step to moving closer with this. And then I would really recommend not everyone, this is total content marketing heresy. Not everyone gets total value from an email list just because some people’s clients, they’re not necessarily big on reading those content rich emails. So it always depends on you, but some way to present an ongoing message to the right buyer.        

00:11:04
            

And that is usually an email list. But sometimes you have to be a little clever about other options. Like, one of my best clients is best in terms of just rockstar, amazing clients is a copywriter for healthcare, and she has an email list, but that’s not her powerhouse strategy. And then, yeah, when folks connect with you, what I love to do is create a user experience where they come into your world and they have cool things to play with and they have ideas that are motivating and exciting, and they have insights and they have beliefs that are either being challenged or affirmed and they might have a little bit of realizing, like, this person and I are really not aligned. Like maybe there’s something in their politics that’s just like, not a good fit and that’s totally fine.        

00:12:02
            

I think the more experience we have, the more we realize that working with those people anyway has all kinds of pitfalls yes. I’m very much of the point of view that you want to be really clear who is that ideal person for you and very clearly speak to them and also make it really clear to somebody who’s not ideal, who I’m sure is a wonderful human out there sometimes not everybody, but just to be aligning who you can really work with and be effective with both in alignment for the services as well as just those affective characteristics where you can really show up and be yourself. Yeah, I love that. And I love the idea because talking specifically about email in The Widest Net vernacular, as I know you know, is calling it a beacon.        

00:12:51
            

I think about what is a primary vehicle that you’re using to showcase really your point of view, your thought mentorship. Right. What is the way, if people want to get to know more about your body of work, where is that place that you would send them so that people can get a deeper experience, which could be something like a blog or a podcast or email list. An email list, though, for many service businesses, also has this very specific engagement and sales related components to it. I’m so curious, when you’re starting from the beginning, maybe you’re working with people on the design from the beginning.        

00:13:30
            

How do you think about the mix of let me welcome people into my magical land where they feel like they’re being supported and seen and have ways in which they can be buying stuff from me consistently over time? Yeah. And there is a common failing among the more content oriented marketers of, I call it the divide between pure content and dirty content. So we used to actually have folks saying like, oh, you have to deliver, and they would have formulas. You have to deliver this many pieces of pure content before you can sell.        

00:14:07
            

So I label selling, oh, that’s dirty content. Right? Because there’s no such thing as pure content or dirty content. It’s all, to use a very overused but still very valuable metaphor, “It’s all the customer journey”, right?        

00:14:22
            

Where is this person? Are they just in the stages of figuring out, like, okay, I’m all over the place on my business. I really need to start working with somebody to… I need to find a good coach who can help me reach better business goals. Are they just starting to think about that? Are they not even thinking about a coach?        

00:14:43
            

But they’re just like, how can I implement more consistently? I’m just not implementing.        

00:14:52
            

Have they just bought your book? And they’re thinking, like, this person’s so cool. How amazing would it be to work with that person? That person, they’re all different folks. They’re in a different place.        

00:15:02
            

They’re a different place on the path, but they all need support to move toward, let’s say, that coaching package with you. So I always start with the offer, and I don’t know why this is, but so many business owners, even really experienced people, it’s like, that’s like the part we don’t want to do. It’s sort of like flossing or something. It’s like, I don’t want to work on my offer. Can I just work on some marketing?        

00:15:32
            

Can I buy some traffic? Can I do a new lead magnet? And it’s like, yeah, you can do all that stuff, but if you don’t know, if you just get in the car and start driving, I don’t know where you’re going to know. You need to know. Well, okay, I’m going to, you know the West Village in New York City, or I’m going to Las Vegas, or I’m going to, like, Vancouver.        

00:15:56
            

I have to be going somewhere before we can start to build the road. And so until we know that and answer that hard question, and then from there, we work back. Okay, well, what kind of person, or sometimes what kinds of person are, like, your best fit? Okay, well, what do those people need? What do they need to know?        

00:16:20
            

What do they need to believe?        

00:16:24
            

What kind of confidence do they have to have in themselves that they’re going to be able to do it? All the pieces about why haven’t they signed up yet? Why didn’t they just find it and sign up and then pave that path? And that’s why I’m such a geek about email. And I have been a geek about email forever since, the AWeber days, you know, when that was kind of like, that was what there was AWeber and constant contact, and that was it.        

00:16:57
            

Because not only can you kind of take people by the hand and walk them through your ideas and help them feel safe and help them feel nurtured and help them feel powerful, but you can actually take a couple of different kinds of people through the hand without cluttering your message and branch forward. Like, I have a lot of copywriters and then I have a lot of all the other digital business people, and they’re different. They think of themselves differently. So, yeah, being able to, I’m really geeky about content marketing. I love that so much.        

00:17:40
            

And I’ve actually had my newsletter longer than I had my blog. So I started my newsletter with AWeber in 2004. And I will admit to you, me, the tree, and everybody listening that I have been relatively consistent with at least publishing on a semi regular basis for many years in a row. And it’s one of my favorite things to do, just to write a newsletter. I choose to do it monthly.        

00:18:05
            

That’s about what I can commit to. And then when I have courses or other things that I am promoting, I will put that in there. I have known, I have taught, I have coached probably thousands of people of the importance of building in nurture sequences, like actual pre scheduled emails that do a lot of the things that you are talking about. I have never really fully implemented that at all. And I’m saying, too, you, me, the tree in the universe and our listeners, I am going to change that probably by hiring you at some point to be doing it with me.        

00:18:42
            

But what is this difference? This is sometimes the confusing thing of where regular communication in something like a newsletter meets nurture sequences, which are automated sequences for new subscribers, meet launch sequences when you have something timely to sell. So it almost feels like a math equation of how do you plan and map those things out? Yeah, just straight talk. Mapping it out is why most people don’t do it, because it’s like, it’s daunting.        

00:19:18
            

It’s daunting.        

00:19:22
            

The way that I like to think about it is kind of, there’s one email marketer out there. I do like their approach, which is you’ve got your engine of a little train, and that’s your initial sequence. And by the way, that can change based on, for example, what kind of lead magnet they sign up for. So if you have, like, I have a lot of writers on my list, and I also have a lot of digital entrepreneurs. So I’m putting together just a branch there.        

00:19:51
            

Well, depending on what you signed up for, your engine is a little different. That’s just your warm up. Here’s what we do here. Here’s how it works, here’s the excitement. And then generally the easiest way to design this is to have self contained little modules that walk a person from one state to another state.        

00:20:19
            

And so for the copywriting geeks, if they’re problem aware, maybe you’ve got a little solution that gets them from problem aware to solution aware. So they know that they’re not doing implementation, but they don’t know that 99 times out of 100, working with somebody else is what’s going to help you do better with that. It’s not about getting mad at yourself, it’s about getting support. So, yeah, then if you think of it as these small, self contained messaging units, and they can be two or three messages. Sometimes they’re only one email, sometimes they’re maybe, I mean, sometimes depending on this is, and that it can be 20 emails long, not often, but it does happen.        

00:21:06
            

And then just, yeah, like you set up your automation so folks just go from one to the other. Let’s say they click on something about mindset and then maybe you send them some things about mindset. And that’s your best work, your best thinking, your best, your book excerpts, your favorite blog post, whatever it is about mindset. But you’re really putting your best into those pieces because you can create them once and then they are kind of good. I mean, you have to look at them once in a while, but they are kind of good.        

00:21:41
            

I love the real time. I think once a month is fine with that. But ideally when folks get onto your list, they do have some sequential stuff they can play around with. And also if you know, okay, I’m going to launch my new course in about 45 days. You can start putting that in your email list.        

00:22:04
            

Like, hey, heads up, I’m going to do a new course on this really cool thing. If you want to know more about it, click the link that not only puts them on sort of a waitlist, but then you can get them some of that.        

00:22:20
            

It’s pre sales content, what Robert Cialdini called Persuasion. You’re not quite selling yet. You’re sort of building the, laying the groundwork for the persuasive part when it comes next. A very common question that I get from people who do have things like maybe a retreat launching or a course or things like that is first, what is the timing, like how far in advance of essentially, like the cut off date for payment for some kind of thing that you’re selling should you begin to build a sequence and then that’s quickly followed by and then how many emails should be in that sequence, right? Yeah.        

00:23:08
            

And I think it depends on cost, but more than that, it depends on the commitment. So if you’re asking a lot of commitment, if you’re asking for a lot of time, if you’re asking for a lot of emotional energy, then you got to get people kind of warmed up for that. I used to say that copy blogger, we were constantly in prelaunch. We were in launch or prelaunch, 52 weeks a year, because we were always making the case for, and it’s important to know for your own business, what are my key messages that get people into the right frame of mind to make the decision to go forward. So you’re always doing that.        

00:23:54
            

You’re always talking about whatever it is that your folks, that’s the space they need to be in to be a good client or a good customer. And then boy, it’s just all over the place. It’s all over the place. I mean you never have enough time. So just give yourself like two to three times more time than you think you need because you will never have enough time.        

00:24:22
            

But if you give yourself too much time, you’ll be like, I have plenty of time and you won’t do it.        

00:24:32
            

And then it just depends on how warmed up is your audience. If you have a copy blogger, we would start probably a month before a larger product promotion with teasers and live events like webinars. I don’t necessarily call them webinars because that’s not the most beautiful thing. Might be a course. I love workshops.        

00:24:57
            

I really like, let’s do some work, know whatever it is. So a month is good for kind of a higher investment. And don’t only think of investment as dollars, but there’s one guy out there, he does a writing for the web course and I mean he’s sending emails like all year, but he’s very, to your point earlier, he’s extremely focused on one. He has one offer and so he sells that offer 365 for something smaller. I mean, you can experiment with like flash sales, you can experiment with.        

00:25:40
            

I just like to make sure people have enough time to have seen it. And please do not overestimate how closely people are paying attention to your email. Even if they love you, they’re not just sitting there waiting for. So I do it. Most people do it.        

00:25:55
            

I don’t send enough email because you’re like that guy, but you need to send enough to make sure people see it because they got things to do. That is a lesson that’s taken me a long time to learn. And now I do have more of a practice, like for consistent classes now these days it’s more tiny marketing actions and discover your thumbprint, like two classes that we just feel excited about dialed in. And now I can just see there’s a cadence to them where there are set things. And sometimes it is stories I tell myself.        

00:26:31
            

But I like to think with a purpose, like for Tiny Marketing Actions. I always challenge myself to create a five day sequence of five brand new recipes, tiny marketing action recipes. So it’s kind of fun for me where I want to feel like I’m sharing new things so that even if people have taken the class before, they get some new stuff as part of, I call it the celebration before the class is coming. But then I have learned to just send those extra emails. So doing the reminder the day before, right before the cart closes, we certainly see, I don’t know, in today’s world what’s different.        

00:27:08
            

I would see sometimes seeing the back end of people’s businesses that as much as everybody would roll their eyes and not like things like pop ups and multiple emails that are constantly coming from people. I would know in the back end that those folks were generally selling a whole bunch more than those that were more conservative. With the amount of emails that they would send. Is there any kind of range? Do you feel like these days are people like, tired of people who are sending messages every day and every week, or does it depend?        

00:27:43
            

It’s a thing. Yeah, it’s like a question. It comes up so much and, you know, sure, it depends somewhat, but I, I see so many people who say, you can’t do that in my market. And I will tell you, I can almost always find somebody who’s doing really well doing exactly that in their market. Yes, you can email every day to B2B.        

00:28:05
            

There are people with really good, strong, engaged audiences who email 365 days a year. And in every single one of those, there’s a link where somebody could buy something now because there’s no difference between pure content and dirty content because those emails are good. And having the. You want to say you had me at hello, right? You want to let people move forward when they are ready and you don’t get to choose that.        

00:28:44
            

I love the launch model. I have lots of friends. That’s their whole model. But the thing about the launch model is it’s the people buy when they are ready and they do not buy when you are ready. They buy when they are ready.        

00:29:00
            

And that is how it works. And so if you’re not connecting often enough, not in a grabby way, but in a useful way, you’re going to miss people when they’re ready on their timeline. So it’s actually respectful to communicate more often, but it’s important not to be a pest. And that’s where you talked early about you’re very smart. You know that you can commit to once a month and you know that if you started trying to do twice a week, you just don’t have that in you.        

00:29:42
            

That’s where the sequences can do a lot of lifting because they can give people this amazing, rich experience in the early days when they’re really taking a lot in and their excitement is high. And then you can put 50 messages short, little messages on an autoresponder and just like send people a little something once a week and they don’t have to be some long. I always go long. Like my idea of a short blog post is like 1800 words, but they don’t have to be long. It’s better if they’re not so long.        

00:30:22
            

It’s better if they’re just breaking into pieces. I really enjoy the idea of leveraging content because it’s just, I use the metaphor of like having a Mount Everest of content that’s sitting on drives. I’ve written for so long and I know there are things that I tend to reuse, but I really love the idea of in creating first in a coherent picture, as you said, of having the cohesion in tone, in spirit, in content that you’re doing all year long is part of what is building this trust. Because as we know, it’s not only people who may be reading our blog or on our email list or listening to a podcast, but generally they’re also following us on social media. They see how we are interacting in all ways.        

00:31:12
            

And so when you’re doing that well, and then you’re deliberate to be automating those things, that can be where it really is, more efficient use of energy and time. And you won’t forget, you won’t have a very common thing of if you’re not a very disciplined habit person, where you’re always going to be committing to doing everything. There are just too many things to take care of. I just think it makes perfect, smart business sense to have some of those things automated. But the planning in that context, I just do think.        

00:31:45
            

I don’t really believe in regret. And I always wink at Dan Pink because I know he said we should believe in regret. And regret is good, but I can look back and be like, how many, probably hundreds of thousands of email potential email subscribers did I leave by having my sign up not in the right place on my page or by not engaging people more like leaving sales on the table. I encourage people to not stress over what you have not done in the past moving forward when you are really deliberate for what you’re creating.        

00:32:21
            

Of all the things that I know in my own business and coaching so many service providers, a really well designed email content strategy will 100% put dollars in your pocket. And if you’re thinking about hiring a copywriter, if you’re thinking about maybe bringing somebody on to help with your content or with your words and your business, I really think even more than your website copy, that’s the best ROI you’re going to get because good copywriters cost good money and there’s great copywriters at all price points, but the ones who are really good tend to figure it out and charge a lot of money.        

00:33:10
            

Yeah, if you’re going to spend the money, because the thing is, you’re going to be able to use it. I would advise, you know, take a look at it every 6 or 12 months. Just make sure if you want to hear an embarrassing story, I’ll tell you an embarrassing story about that. But you’re going to get really good ROI with very minimal started when I started working with Brian over at Copyblogger before we formed Copyblogger Media, and I actually had like a formal ownership role. He didn’t have an email list and I was a total email geek.        

00:33:49
            

And I’m like, we don’t have an email list. And he’s no. Now. Okay, folks, this was like the Flintstones era of blogging. So this was a widely shared opinion at the time. He’s like, no, we don’t need email because we have RSS.        

00:34:04
            

So people subscribe to the blog with RSS and I was like, do they though? What do you think about adding the email? And he was open to it. He’s like, yeah, okay, let’s try it. We’ll see what happens.        

00:34:16
            

We tried it. It was a very good idea, but we had a 20 part long welcome sequence and it had some offers in it and I would design it differently today, but that’s fine. So it’s all going along great. I mean, we probably built that in like 2009, 2010, something like that. One of the mid sequence emails, the header is does your content have the me too blues so that sales along just fine, right?        

00:34:52
            

It’s about, are you doing generic content? Is your content just a cookie cutter? Is it boring? 2017, we get a horrified email from this woman saying, I cannot believe you would exploit ‘me too’ just to sell your shady stuff. And my support folks are like, we don’t know what to do.        

00:35:16
            

So lesson one in your email marketing for free folks, have a person. None of this it doesn’t go anywhere thing. None of this, this email, you don’t reply because nothing’s going to happen. Have a person that people can reply to when they get your emails.        

00:35:34
            

So I emailed this person back with profuse, thanks saying, okay, I wrote that like seven years ago and I am so grateful that you didn’t just let it slide and that you told me and wow, thanks. We’ll get that fixed. Really appreciate it. And so that’s one. I don’t know if I could have made that not happen, but things do go stale.        

00:36:03
            

There’s a very progressive, politically left business writer who started her book with, a really good book, about what a great person Elon Musk is. Bummer, right? Because her people don’t think that anymore, you know. And it’s a book such a tragic, um, stuff gets stale. Stuff that we don’t think will get stale gets stale.        

00:36:39
            

So yeah, take a look at it. But also just be open to people emailing you and saying, this link doesn’t work, whatever it might be, and you can fix it. So as you said, just when people are thinking about the structure of it. So it could be if there are maybe a couple of different types of folks in your audience that either are people earlier or later in the journey, is that what they mean by segmentation? So if there was one of these automatic emails that would come through, people would click, for example, on one thing or the other to identify themselves and then be tagged to get different information for folks who are just not familiar with the way that it works.        

00:37:17
            

Yeah, exactly. Sometimes people will do a poll. I have not found this works that well, but it might be because my audience is marketers and so they’re like, I’m not taking your poll, I’m on to you. It’s just funny. But there’s nothing wrong with a self identification poll and just let people know.        

00:37:33
            

Like different kinds of folks sign up for my list and I would rather send you something you’re actually interested in. Always be very transparent. If you’re going to use a little piece of automation, just tell people. If you click this magic link, it lets me know you’re interested in copywriting.        

00:37:49
            

So I’ll send you more copywriting stuff.        

00:37:54
            

If people click on information about if you have content in your newsletter or any email you send about generating more leads, you’d probably tag that person with having an interest in lead generation. Then you might pop them into a short, very nurturing, very friendly sequence about here are my favorite ways, but we’re all different. You should really get on the waitlist for the next Tiny Marketing Actions cohort. And so that’s an example. Just a real world example.        

00:38:32
            

There’s two things that can happen with automation. Either people feel like they’re just like marketing chow just being thrown into your funnel and you’re grinding the crank. Sometimes automation makes people feel like that, or automation can make people feel like I’m always getting the right thing at the right time. This person has this weird mind reader thing going on.        

00:38:56
            

I’m always glad when I open this person’s email because there’s always something in there that I find beneficial, and that’s what good automation actually does. Good automation is very respectful of people’s time and their interests.        

00:39:13
            

Speaking of copywriters, because you said that you do work with a lot of copywriters, that’s probably another exceptionally common question I get is, where can I find a good one? Because if you are hiring somebody that is writing your voice, it is a big skill. What are any recommendations that you have for that? Yeah, I would definitely say get yourself onto LinkedIn. I mean, unless you’re really LinkedIn allergic, but get yourself onto LinkedIn because there’s lots of good copywriters there.        

00:39:44
            

Get yourself onto the social platform where your business is. I mean, if you are more of a coach or a course creator, Instagram might be a better way. But follow some copywriters.        

00:39:57
            

Good copywriters give shout outs to other good copywriters. So just be on the lookout. Of course, ask your business friends if you love their copy on their site. Say, who did your copy? Can I give that person some business?        

00:40:14
            

And also, there are a lot of now you have to be cautious. And I can certainly give you some names of some folks I trust. But there are some really good small copywriting agencies out there who are very capable. I’ve hired a ton of copywriters, and I will tell you that one of the biggest things copywriters struggle with is staying organized in a business-like way. So the ones who do, if you are a copywriter, listening to this, and you’re really organized in your business, add 40 or 50% to your rates right now, because it’s a thing.        

00:40:57
            

But a small agency, they’ll typically be really good about just making sure the project gets moving, stays moving. Now, I have personally worked with amazing agencies. I’ve also worked with some kind of shady agencies. So get some referrals, make sure you know, talk to some friends. But I definitely have some folks.        

00:41:20
            

I’ll tell you one right now just to tell you, Rachel Allen, I think is terrific. If you don’t know her yet, you should, Bolt From The Blue. And James Hipkin runs an agency that builds simple websites and he has a little copy team, you know. I would certainly think about the Copy Blogger Agency if you have bigger business goals. But look around for referrals and also follow a copywriter a little bit.        

00:41:53
            

Do you like how they write?        

00:41:58
            

Ask questions about if you’re using AI, there’s nothing wrong with a copywriter who is using AI and part of their business. What’s your process? So that just talk to them about their process. It is helpful. I find it’s very personal that people who do often like to do copy over a long period of time.        

00:42:21
            

It’s beneficial to get to know somebody, to like the person they’re working with, to enjoy the kind of business that they’re in. There is a real human side of it. And so it is, I think, with a lot of other things, doing some experimentation. But those are great examples. We’ll make sure to link those in the show notes.        

00:42:36
            

So for folks who want to find you and your cohort based courses and everything that you do, where’s the best place for people to find you and connect with you? Yeah, right before the pandemic, I got super fired up, and so I kind of rebranded, which is great, to Creative Fierce, because I really felt like that was a combination of things. I have pulled together some resources for folks around content strategy, but also just being an ethical badass, being somebody who owns what you’re great at and claim that part of your market because you’re good at what you do and you need to stop giving all the business to cynical people who don’t care. So resources for that are at fiercerevenue.com and I’m just pulling some goodies together for you. I’ve been doing this, as Pamela said, 1.6 million words.        

00:43:42
            

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I have a lot of strong ideas, and I will be happy to share them with you. That is what I appreciate so much. We were saying before we started recording of just the passion that you have for having the good folks to be able to really make money and have work that goes out in the world. I know it’s a bit of a binary way to look at the world, but there are times where I just sit back and I just say, how in the world does somebody who may just not care about people whatsoever just have a very financially successful business? And there can be some really strong architectural pieces, like ways you can think about content efficiently that really will help you do your work?        

00:44:23
            

And I think you may even come to the place with good guidance, like from you, Sonia, of actually loving that. There’s probably nothing I love more. Often I get excited to write my newsletter, and I’m often just doing other things, and I can’t wait to get to it because it is such an enjoyable activity now to be connecting with folks who I care about so much. So I really appreciate all your guidance over the years and feedback, and I can’t wait for people to discover you even more. So thanks for sharing with us.        

00:44:55
            

Thank you so much. It has been so much fun. For those that are listening, make sure to check out the show notes at Pamelaslim.com in the podcast tab, I want to thank my 31 Marketplace production team, La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboleda, and our award winning narrator, Andia Winslow. Until next time, be sure to subscribe and rate the show and continue getting inspiration to help grow your world changing work at scale.        

00:45:22

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