Health and Fitness copywriter, Misty Mozejko joins Kira and Rob for the 85th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. We asked her all kinds of questions about her fitness and copywriting business—and got a lot of great advice to apply to our own businesses. We even talked about nipple tassels, which is new ground for us (though not for Misty). Here’s what else we talked about:
• how she got started running her own businesses and how that led to copywriting
• how she found a mentor and why she continues to look for them
• what she did to lose 120 pounds (and how long it took)
• the business lessons she learned running her own fitness club
• her diet recommendations for copywriters who need to feed their brains
• the system she has developed in her business to help her succeed
• the moment she realized she was good at copywriting
• what she’s done to improve her own writing (this is a great tip)
• her advice on how to choose clients
• why she emails her list every day (and the impact it has)
• where the ideas for her emails come from
• how she captures the voice of her clients
• how she manages two businesses, being a mom, and staying healthy
• the mistakes she’s made (and why she tries to stay in her lane)
• what she’s learned about hiring people to help her
• how she communicates with her team (and the tool she uses)
• what she does to improve her writing and business skills
• the words she uses to push back on her clients
Finally, Misty pulled out her crystal ball to tell us where she sees copywriting going in the future. She’s probably not wrong. To hear it all, click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
Sponsor: The Copywriter Think Tank
The Go Giver
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
Intro: Content (for now)
Rob: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Kira and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Kira: You’re invited to join the club for episode 85 as we talk with copywriter and business owner Misty Mozejko about succeeding as a copywriter while running a whole other business; how she stays sane balancing two businesses while being a mom; her best fitness and nutrition advice; and what she does to stand out as a copywriter in a crowded field.
Rob: Hey Misty.
Kira: Welcome, Misty.
Misty: Well, thank you very much for having me; this is an honor!
Kira: It’s great to have you hear. I think a great place to start is with your story, and how you ended up running multiple businesses.
Misty: Uhhhm, yeah; you said ‘sane’? You mentioned something about my sanity in the intro, and I think we should address that, because there’s definitely none of that happened in the past. I’m not sane at all, so let’s just clear that up right now. But yeah, I think that, you know, I started out as an entrepreneur just after my son was born and he’s almost twelve, so it’s been over a decade now doing my own thing. And the fitness business arose because of my own personal… Well, I lost 120 pounds after my son was born, and I figured if I could do it, then everyone could do it; like seriously, everyone can do it. So, I grew a fitness business from that, and the copywriting kind of came out of the fitness business, because I was writing to my clients, and writing to my list everyday, unbeknownst to me what even copywriting was or even email marketing was. I had no idea. I was just doing it. And then, after a few years of thinking, “Huh, I should probably make some money off of this,” I got a mentor and they kind of helped me really get into email marketing. The fitness business came first, and then the copywriting and email marketing came second mainly because I needed it as a tool for my business, and then that little seed kind of grew and blossomed, and here I am today. So, that’s the nuts and bolts of it, really.
Rob: So let’s talk about how you found your mentor—I think we know who it was, or at least one of your mentors. But, how did you find that person, and what did that mentorship look like?
Misty: So, yeah. I’ve always had coached from day one; I quickly realized in business you’re not going to get very far on your own. And so I definitely try to surround myself with people who can expand my horizons, and teach me new things, and if I can learn from different people, then that’s really key, which is why obviously I’m in with Bryan and learning from him now. So, that’s always been crucial. So, the mentorship with the email marketing started way back in the day with a guy in England called Paul Mort. And then it kind of went on from there. I ended up with the notorious Ben Settle a couple of years ago, and I worked with him, firstly as his podcast announcer, and then secondly as a writer for his podcast list. So working with Ben was terrifying, actually.
Misty: And also, quite wonderful. So, a little bit of both, you know? You never know what you’re going to get. It taught me a lot; it really did teach me a lot. A lot about online marketing, email marketing, a world that I wasn’t really in. When I have a brick and mortar business, you don’t really get into that. So, he definitely did open my eyes to this world now, which is fantastic.
Kira: Yeah, I remember hearing your name from Ben’s show a couple of years ago, i guess now, and just wondering like, “Who is this Misty person? Like, what’s her story?” So it comes full circle! So how did you end up becoming his announcer, and working with him?
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Misty: Well, you know, I’m an “email player”. I was on his subscription list, and so with this little group—we’ve gone through quite a few groups, but the group back then, he put out an email and maybe a message in the group saying he was looking for a podcast announcer, and I just figured, you know like, I had tons of experience talking everyday, so that put me in good stead to be a podcast announcer, so i just said, “Yeah, I’m going to do this.” And so I emailed in my application; just said, “Yep. I’m pretty good at speaking, so let’s do this.” And I put on my best British accent, and I really ramped it up for the mic. And, it went from there. So I was a podcast announcer. I’ve also got quite a big mouth, and some wordy fingers, and so I think he saw some of the writing I was doing inside of the group, and then invited me to write for him as well. So, I just kind of walked my way into the podcast announcership position, and it all went from there.
Rob: Okay, so I want to go back a little bit to the fitness business, and talk a little bit about some of things that you learned. You said that you had lost some weight on your own, and I’m curious—first of all, what that was like, and then second of all, what it’s like teaching that to other people?
Misty: I think losing weight is really hard. Like it’s one of the hardest things, you know, you’ll ever do because food’s everywhere; temptation’s everywhere, you know. I was like over 300 pounds, and to be honest, like I didn’t even really think I was eating that bad! Like I grew up with a terrible diet, you know? Just, drinking and all things that you shouldn’t do. And, you know, I just didn’t think it was that bad until I actually went and got an education on nutrition and became a nutritionist and that’s when, you know, I had my eyes opened to me. But losing weight was hard; it took me two-and-a-half years to lost a hundred and twenty pounds, and it’s a longer battle than most really want it to me and that’s, when it comes to teaching others, I think, that’s the hardest lesson, is to teach them that it takes a long time, and the older you get, the harder it is! And so, if you’ve ever suffered from obesity or battled weight, it’s a longer process than most want, and pretty much no one wants to hear that. So that’s a hard sell, but I try to do it anyway.
Kira: I’m curious. What’s a lesson or maybe two lessons you’ve taken from your experience growing that fitness business, and what does that business look like today?
Misty: Everyone will tell you their niche is the hardest niche to work in. “It’s such a hard niche to work in; it’s so overcrowded,” and every niche is the same. But the fitness industry really is a changing landscape and it changes all the time. And it’s tricky, right, to keep up because the 99% of the fitness industry is complete bull, and there’s 1% who’s actually trying to do a good job. And so, trying to face down Goliath every single day is, you know, it’s tiring. So, I think the one thing that I’ve learned it, especially in the fitness industry is, you have to be very careful with what you sell. You have to sell what people want, and you can’t sell what people need, which is very, very tricky in the health industry, because they’re two very, very different things. People want flat abs, but you really want them to be healthy, and those two often don’t really meet, at all! So there’s building your audience and knowing what they want is very, very important, and also I think, especially if you’re looking at a business that has team members where you’ve got employees or subcontractors, if you’d got a brick and mortar location that’s, you know, more than likely, and understanding that people come and go, and that employees and subcontractors just won’t last forever, and that you have to have systems on board to make sure that as people circle in and out of you business, your business isn’t affected by individuals that come and go. And I think that is a much deeper business lesson than I can explain right now, but it is so fundamental to anyone looking to expand.
Rob: Okay, so I have one more fitness-related question. Knowing that there are so many copywriters who do nothing but sit all day at the computer, you know, working, if you have to do a copywriter fitness program for those of us who just aren’t moving enough, what are the first steps we should be taking, or what would that program look like?
Misty: Well you know, what’s funny is like, it’s a bit of a black hole, copywriting. And like, I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one, but I can sit probably for three or four hours, and just type stuff. And, you know, just write words and got lost in ideas and thoughts and, you know, all that kind of stuff. And so, hours can do by where you really don’t pay attention to what you’re doing, and I think one of the biggest things that, you know—and I’ve taught this before in the copywriting world—is that nutrition goes on a long way when you’re writing, because if your brain is tired and you’ve got no carbs or no fuel, or anything in there, you’re not going to be able to create as well as you should, right? So feed your brain, feed your copywriting. That’s going to be my new slogan forever. So, feed your brain, feed your copywriting; best thing you can do is get a really good nutrient-dense shake, and just keep it by you, because you don’t have to get up from your desk, you don’t have to move. You can just sip on it, you know, while you’re there, and it’ll just keep feeding your brain, so you can keep feeding you copy for a good couple of hours.
Kira: Okay, I need a shake. I’m like, looking around my desk, I’m like okay, I got pasta…
Misty: Coffee. Yeah. Less coffee, more avocados. How’s that?
Kira: Okay. I’ll take it.
Kira: Okay, so you mentioned systems in your business that worked for you, and I know that’s a big, big topic, but copywriters also need systems, so what are some systems that you created in your business that copywriters could use?
Misty: I think—I mean, when it comes to systems, I’m specifically looking at the way my brain is organized because, you know, most of the time it just resembles, like, a two-year-old’s vomit splattered all over the kitchen floor, and I can’t work with that. I need to have…like, my brain is very, very creative and it works, you know, a million miles an hour, and I need something in place to help me organize all that. And actually, I hired a guy at James Friel who’s actually one of my clients as well. I hired him to come in and put a whole organizational system into my business—for both businesses. For the fitness business, which is managed primarily by a team, and the copywriting, which is primarily handled by myself and my virtual assistant. So having a platform that will organize your day-to-day is really important; I’ve got James in with his business Autopilot Entrepreneur, and they came in and just, basically—I don’t know. You know like those recipe cards….what are they called? I don’t know what these Americans call them. They’re like recipe cards—like cheat-sheet cards? I forget what you guys call them! Anyways, it’s like a bunch of cheat sheet cards, but on your computer, and it just gets your brain organized on a day-to-day basis. It’s fantastic. So I’d say definitely look into Evernote, or Trello, or Basecamp maybe, is that’s your thing. Definitely utilizing one of those tools if you’ve got a lot on the go, will help keep you somewhat sane… Somewhat.
Rob: I need recipe cards in my life.
Misty: You know, it sounds stupid, but I don’t know how I’d operate if I didn’t have my own organizational tools to keep me straight, you know?
Rob: So Misty, when you started as a copywriter, you mentioned that you started writing for yourself. How did you find the first client that wasn’t your own business? What did you do to find that person?
Misty: In my fitness, that was a momentous day. I’d been working for other fitness businesses and gyms and stuff like that for a while. And this was back in the day, like ten years ago, but so much has changed. The first client I ever got came to me through my website, actually, and it was one of those, you know, I had like the cheesiest little opt-in form or whatever, and she was just looking for a personal trainer to come to her home, and you know, and that was great. I didn’t have a studio back then, so that was fantastic. So they actually came through the website, and the website was handwritten by me, with absolutely no knowledge of SEO, or anything resembling any kind of wisdom in that area. But I just, I’d written this heartfelt website, and I put all my stuff in it, and then she came to me through the website and was like, “I want you to be my trainer!” And I still train her to this day! So I think something worked…well…. there, laughs, back then. It was… The first client ever is quite an occasion, something to be celebrated, I think.
Kira: It does feel miraculous who have that first person who you’ve never really heard of before finds you somehow and is willing to pay you money. I remember that as well.
Misty: Laughs. “You’re going to pay me money? Wow!”
Kira: Right! “And you’re not related to me, you’re not a friend.” This is great! So I want to hear about the moment in your business where you realized, “Hey, I can do this writing thing, like this is another business and I’m good at it, and there’s an opportunity here.” Do you remember that moment, or maybe it’s a sequence of events that took place?
Misty: Yeah, I think… Like, I’ve always written from the heart. Like, a lot of my writing, I mean you saw a little bit the other day inside the Titans group. A lot of the writing that I do for email marketing, or even for my clients, is pulled from my own memories; my own pains; my own experiences, of which there have been many. And so, I never really thought that that was going to get me anywhere. I just started doing that because it felt good, it felt cathartic. And you know, I figured it would help someone somewhere along the line. The change really came when I started writing for monetary game that wasn’t my business. The change really came when I started writing for somebody else. And realizing that my words could l make somebody else money was a very interesting, like… I’ve always written and made myself money and my business but, you know, I’ve got my website, I’ve got referrals, I’ve got the team of…you know, all the kind of stuff, but realizing that directly my emails could make somebody else’s business flourish? That was a game-changer. And I think it’s sequential. Like, I think a series of launches really proved that to me, and how easy it was to make money from proper email marketing and launch series, and good writing. That, I think that’s—and that’s probably over the past four—three or four years, I would say.
Rob: And as you did that, what were the things you did to improve your writing?
Misty: Chuckles. You know what? And this is for every copywriter… Just knowing what to take out if very important. Understanding when you’re beginning to meander, okay? Do email marketing coaching, and a lot of clients that start out with me, their copy is very wishy-washy. There’s a lot going on; there’s a lot of concepts, lot of ideas, and understanding which idea to hook onto and go with? That’s a really important skill to kind of harness. Understanding what your main message is. And I think I’ve really been able to narrow that down over the years, is finding that one little hook, and then powering forward with that and then writing an emotive, emotional piece, or email, or whatever it’s going to be just on that. So I think learning to cut, and learning to—and this sounds awful, but—learning to dumb it down a little. Okay? You can write run-on sentences like it’s no one’s business, but learning to put a period in here and there has been, you know, it’s been a real game-changer. Laughs. The Hemingway app really helped me, actually. So that was a really great app, it was… Laughs.
Rob: I was going to say that your British accent makes you, of course sound smarter than, you know, us. We Americans. But, that doesn’t come through in copywriting. So…
Misty: It’s…yeah. Yeah! Yeah. And I’ve got quite a conversational tone, so I personally have to be careful of writing too much like I speak. I mean you have to do that a little bit, but, yeah. Making it a little bit more, you know, pure, I think is the word, was really critical for me as a copywriter.
Kira: Yeah, we interviewed Bond Halbert recently and he said, you know, you really need to write at a third great level. Which was surprisingly; I knew it was like a fifth grade, or maybe an eighth grade level, but he said third great level.
Misty: Third grade, yeah. I mean, I don’t know. I try to keep it around five, five-six, especially for, you know, email marketing. That kind of stuff. But I do know that you can get so much across in so few words, and mastering that is awesome. Using less words with more emotion, I think it awesome.
Kira: And do you typically dull from your own life, your own pain, when you’re working with clients? Do you have a good way of doing that? If that really important to your process?
Misty: I think one of the things that I’ve learned is only take on clients that you can really relate to. Like you’ll never see me working in the political niche, or the finance niche, because I don’t care about either, and I’m useless in both, so I’ve got nothing to give in those areas, but when it comes to internet marketing; when it comes to being an entrepreneur; when it comes to fitness and health; when it comes to supplements; when it comes to nutrition…all of these things I can write, you know, very well because I’ve done it; for ten years, I’ve been doing it. So I think it’s really important that you only take on clients that you can actually, you know, you have some part of your life that will relate to it, so you can pull from that part of your life and try to remember like what it felt like: the pain, the solutions, the emotion, and all that kind of stuff so you can put it in to the copy, so you know what you’re talking about. I think that’s really key.
Kira: Yeah. So who are some of your clients? Like, what type of clients and projects are you working on today?
Misty: I’ve a health company out in British Columbia, Canada, and I have James who’s down in—now in Idaho. He works closely with Mr. Russell Brunson. So James is running the Autopilot Entrepreneur. I’m helping him with his daily emails. And then I’m selling supplements and health-related products through a company called Sell Health. So, those are the two main ones right now. So I have the… and obviously the boot camp, as well, so.. because I’ve done email marketing coaching, I’ve worked with people who have clients in so many different genres—like everything—but the email marketing coaching, it really gave me a, sort of a wide knowledge of… what is it, what’s the expression? “I know a little about everything”? “Master of one, Jack of…trades of…”? Oh, you know, anyway. That phrase.
Kira: Yeah. Laughs.
Misty: Yeah, so I know a lot, but not in depth, so it’s really important in copywriting that you go right back into what you know in-depth, and you can really, you know…pull out some of that raw emotion. But yeah. I’m in IM space and Health, typically. That’s where you’ll find me hanging out.
Rob: So, could we talk about daily emailing for a minute? You’ve done it for Ben; you just mentioned you were doing it for clients today. I think you do it in your own business as well. Why do you email everyday? What’s the impact on the business? Should we be worried about unsubscribes, and all of those things that we hear about, you know, pestering our list too much? What are your thoughts on that?
Misty: It’s really interesting; I just did a teaching—I jumped in to teach a course with a friend of mine out in Calgary—and you know, she wanted me to teach on daily email marketing, which was fantastic because that’s what I do. And I couldn’t have met a more resistant group of people; just, all of them were just appalled at the fact that you would “pester” your… One of them said, “Why would I spit emails at your clients everyday?” And I was like, “Well…. it’s not like…I wouldn’t say ‘spitting’, that’s a little harsh.”
Misty: But I think what they’re misunderstanding is I’m not going on my list everyday and hammering them into the sale of this discount, or buy this, do this, you’ve only got three minutes before the world implodes…like, I’m not really there to do that. You can email your list daily, as long as you’re helping. As long as your sole intention is to help people, and as long as your sole intention is to give and to serve, then no one can complain about that. And if they do, then they’re welcome to leave the list, right? because you can’t get berated for helping people. So I think that’s the switch that needs to be made with people when it comes to email marketing. As long as you go out there to serve and to offer, you know, good advice, add some value, and to help them along your way, then you can email as many times a day as you like.
Rob: And what’s the impact on your list? Do you see that people are falling off? Do you see higher engagement?
Misty: I think that there’s two impacts: the impact to the list, and the impact to the business. The impact to the list: I have people email me, you know, they get into a routine with the emails. They know the email’s going to come out at 7am in the morning, so they get on their train, they hop on their train to Toronto, they have their cup of coffee, open up their email, and see my email and they’re going to read that email on the train because they know that the email is going to have something really worth while in it for them today, that they need to hear. And so if I don’t email or the emails shift to a different day, or I’m in a launch of whatever, i will get emails from my clients saying, “Hey! Where’s your email today? But you didn’t—did you, did you not send you email today? Did I not get it? Have I put taken off the list? Did you get me off your list? Did you kill me from your list??” Like dude, chill, like…! So there’s a lot higher engagement. Obviously the more you email, the more that you’ll sell so that, the impact from the business brings consistency in sales. It takes a long time to nourish the list, so if you’re consistently there, offering help and solutions everyday, eventually someone will buy from you. And that, you know, that long-term commitment to it really does bring in consistency when it comes to sales. Plus, it makes it easy if you have a new product to launch or a new book, or whatever it is, they’re much more receptive to a launch series, than say, someone who hasn’t heard from you in six months.
Rob: And, do you batch-write all of your emails, or you’re sort of writing them out a day or two in advance, or even the night before? How does that process work?
Misty: Yeah, like typically, like, you know, in a perfect world, I usually would batch three of four at a time. So I’d write four, schedule them, then write three, and then schedule them, so that’s typically the way it goes. If, however, life is insane and, you know, I’m just not feeling it, then I’ll just write them everyday on the flight. Like some of the best emails I’ve written have been like in the garage waiting for my oil change. Like I wrote this one about nipple tassels because i was burlesque dancer for one sort of night, and that email was about, you know, overcoming fears, and all that kind of jazz, and so I wrote the nipple tassel email and that was written while i was getting a trailer hitch put on for my car, on my phone, and that was like, one of the best emails that ever—you know—ever went out. The response was amazing.
Rob: I want to be able to link to that in the show notes.
Misty: Laughs. Would you like a link to nipple tassels for use? Laughs.
Kira: We will link to that, yes! So there are probably some people listening, I think I’m just one of them, I’m like, okay, seems to come so easily to you, so naturally. Yes, you are focused on your niche, which is like, email marketing. But, when you’re sitting down to write, sounds like sometimes it just kind of pours out. But do you have any processed, any formulas, that you’re following with these emails, or anything that you have taught before?
Misty: When I first started writing for somebody else, it doesn’t come as naturally sometimes, you know? You’ve got to really think about the different, you know… especially if you’re doing seven emails a week or, you know, whatever you’re doing… You really have to give it some thought. So sometimes what I’ll do is, you know, if I’m driving or just puttering around the house or whatever, if I have an idea for a new email that might work, I’ll just pop it down in the notes section of my phone, and when it comes to sitting down later on and actually think, “Alright, now I got to spend an hour or two doing some work,” I can go back to the notes and say, “Oh yeah! I have that idea, that came from that song I was listening to,” or, “I was remembering back to when I was a kid, and this idea popped up.” So I think, in the beginning, just writing down some of the ideas that come into your head wherever you may be, and then, you know, coming back to them later. That really, that really helped me out in the beginning a lot. And the processes are, you know, when it comes down to email marketing, I’m super-simple. Like, it’s like, big, sort of like skeezy slap-you-in-the-balls type opening statement that will capture attention; a little bit of background information; go into the story; a nice juicy call to action—which everyone screws up really badly—and then lead into the link. And that’s pretty much the formula for everything. Laughs…for life! Laughs.
Rob: So, how do you capture the voice of your clients in the emails? Writing for your own business has got to be very different from writing for someone like Ben Settle of someone like James, you know. What do you do to make sure you’re writing with their voice?
Misty: I have been very, very lucky and a lot of my clients give me free reign, which is not typical. A lot of clients will expects to assume the voice instantly, which is tricky—right?—sometimes, but luckily, I actually worked with James for about a year prior to me writing emails for him. So, that gave me a lot of, just, time with James, right, to see how he talks. He’s sarcastic like me, you know, so that worked out really well. Ben actually just let me write from my own name, which was great. He introduced me to the list and I just took it from there. I was writing as Misty. That was lovely. And then my client in B.C. really wanted a much stronger voice, and so I suggested that they… we create an avatar called Sarah, and Sarah was also an RHN, just like me—shockingly—and so Sarah, RHN, is basically my voice. So I’ve been able to work with clients who’ve let me use the voice that I’m, you know… Sometimes you have to swear a little less and sometimes be a little more PC, and those kinds of things, but yeah. I’ve been lucky enough to work with clients who have let me muscle in and let me use my own voice which fantastic.
Kira: Yeah. So, are you still working with Ben?
Misty: No, no, not anymore. I’ve got the business, I’ve got a bunch of clients here, so I’ve got a lot on my plate. Yeah.
Kira: Yeah. And no, and I want to ask you about all of that on your plate, but you mentioned, you know, everyone screws up the call to action. What do you mean everyone screws it up, and how do we not screw it up?
Misty: It’s funny, I just did this email, to my list. I have a list called the COW list, which is “Copywriters of the World”, and i just call them my “Cows”, which is awful, and God forbid I ever get the fitness list and my copywriting list mixed up, because that would be terrible.
Misty: So my COW list is a lot of people that they’ve just kind of jumped on the Misty train over the years. It’s a small list, and I write to them. I used to write to them daily; I write to them once a week now, but my email—they’re called “email hot seats” and what I do is, it’s an open-invitation to help anybody on my list, right? So Molly—Molly Pearson from Tight & Touch, she emailed in and, she was at—her email hot seat last week was about her CTA. And so, last week’s email was specifically about her call to actions and how make them a bit more beefy, and, call to actions to me, you know, they’re the most important part of any email, or anything that goes out! That’s the part that tells people what to do next. And so if you screw it up, they’re not going to do the thing that you want them to do. So you do really have to pay a lot of attention to what you’re saying in there. I always tell people they should, you know, in an email at least, it should be at least a hundred words focused on, you know, trying to get them to that next stage, whether it’s clicking the link or, you know, solving problems for them by clicking the link or whatever it’s going to be. So I really think that call to actions are one of these things that people just try to slide in the backdoor without anyone noticing, just kind of in, “Oh yeah, and if you want to buy my stuff, click here!” Whereas, I believe it should be part of the entertainment. It should be part of the whole show, and not just something that’s kind of like, you know, snuck in, trying to get in there without even noticing. So I definitely think in emails it should be at least a hundred words, if not a little more. But, not sleazy, not sales-y. Just, you know, honest, true, and helpful.
Kira: So just being more bold with our call to action.
Misty: Bold, but not in a way that some people are just like, you know, “If you don’t click this link now, you know, you’re going to be an idiot and you’re never going to be able to buy anything ever again, and everything’s going to be…” Not like that. Like, more sort of like, be really raw and honest with them: “If you click this link, this is what’s going to happen. Here’s what’s going to happen when you click this link.” Right? And then whatever, you know, whatever you’re selling or whatever it’s going to be. I really like to be honest with people when it comes…I’m not one for trying to slide things under people’s, you know, noses without them knowing. I will be really upfront and honest with them. But at the same time, let them know what problems I will truly fix for them. Should they buy this product of click this link, or watch this video, or whatever it is that we’re doing that day.
Kira: Okay, yeah. This is a good reminder. I actually realized for our email going out in The Copywriter Club tomorrow, I did not add the call to action at all! So…
Kira: …Thank you for that.
Misty: Oh yeah! Laughs.
Kira: Thank you for that reminder!
Misty: Ah, you’re welcome.
Kira: I want to ask about juggling both, and I’m just, like…how?
Kira: You mentioned that maybe you’re not as sane as we said in your introduction, but how are you managing what sounds like a thriving—two thriving businesses—right now, plus you know, being a mom, staying healthy… How do you do all of it? Please help us.
Misty: It’s more of… There’s a lot of wine. There’s a lot of wine.
Kira: I thought so.
Misty: So there’s that. Yeah. So now… So I think l like… I mean, I got divorced six years ago, so… or maybe even seven now, I’ve forgotten, right? So, it’s been…I’ve been on my own for a little bit, trying to, you know, juggle all these things and keep everything running, and run businesses. The good news is, I really enjoy working. I really enjoy what I do; I love people, you know, I love…you know, I’m very sociable, so I really do enjoy getting out there and being front and center. That’s not hard. I think the most important thing has been my team of trusted and loyal trainers and assistants, and accounts managers and you know they’ve stuck with me through the past ten years and I think that—there’s no way. There’s no way I could do both without these people so, the largest portion of the credit does go to the people I’ve surrounded myself with, including my mentors as well. Like, they’re not to be forgotten, because they’ve kept me upright when I’ve nearly felt like running it all to the ground. So I think there’s definitely other people. Chuckles. It’s not me, it’s them. Laughs.
Rob: As I listen to you talk about this, there’s so many things that you’ve done right in your business, Misty, and I just wonder: is there a failure that sticks out to you that you look back and think, “Aw man, I wish I could’ve avoided that?”
Misty: Ugh, God, there’s so many. I mean, I don’t know, there’s I’ve—
Kira: Share all of them. Just share all of them.
Misty: Oh God!
Rob: We… we’ve got an hour, right?
Misty: Laughs. We’ve got a long time. We’re going to need more than an hour, my friends. I think, you know….sigh. So this is going to sound really hokey. But I don’t believe in failures, right? Like, I believe in lessons. And it feels like a failure at the time and you might sit on the couch, crying into yet another bottle of wine, and at the time it might feel like, “Oh my God everything’s ending, I can’t do this anymore.” But actually when you look back, it’s like, “Oh, well, you know. I’m glad that kind of happened now,” right? So I think when I look back over the years, definitely the hiring process—again this speaks to people who are looking to build their team. I’ve hired some… I’ve just hired people I shouldn’t have hired. I mean, I…you know, I don’t know what I was thinking when I hired them. So I definitely made some mistakes in the hiring process.
So, fine-tuning the hiring process, and listening to your gut, not what it says in the resume, or what it says in the cover letter. That’s really critical. And trusting your gut instead of facts and data? That’s really critical. So i definitely think I’ve learned some lessons there. I also learned a big lesson: I took on a client I shouldn’t have taken. That client is a copywriting client. I shouldn’t have taken them on. It was way outside my field of expertise. It was in the sexual education, and I, you know…and I like sex, I figured i could do it. And you know what? I learned my lesson. Stay in your niche. Stay in your lane. Don’t try to venture out; it’s just going to be…it’s going to not… It’s going to waste time for both parties. And so, that was a really good lesson to learn, is, the grass is not greener. Laughs. Let me just tell you that. So I think, you know… there’s just so much you can…just so much you can say, right, over the years. I think another one is realizing, or, don’t do it on your own. Right? Don’t, don’t…you’re not an island. No man can do this alone. Make sure you reach out and have a team of people and team of mentors around you. That’s key.
Rob: Love that advice. I especially like reframing failure as experimenting, so you’re never failing, you’re always learning. That’s something Kira and I talk about all the time, you know with people that we’re working with, and in our own business. It’s like hey, it’s okay to try things if you don’t expect success. If you expect to learn something and if things work, then you keep doing them. And if they don’t work, then you cut the losses and move on.
Misty: And knowing when to cut your losses is also really, really helpful and it’s usually earlier than later. I give people seven days, and if we’ve moving apart, and not coming together, I’ll just do a full refund and off you go, you know? Have a nice life. Go find someone that can help you better; obviously I’m not that person. So I think knowing when to say “goodbye” to free up your time for bigger, better projects is really… especially for copywriters, because you can get very bogged down with stuff that you don’t want to do just because you need the paycheck or you got to pay your bills, you know. It’s kind of scary to say “no” when you’re in that position, but you have to. You have to listen to your gut, and you have to say ,”No, I am not going to do this.”
Kira: What do you think are the most critical hires for the first person to hire as a copywriter, based on your experience hiring in this entire routine with your other fitness business?
Misty: There’s two types of hires, right? There’s people that will make you money, and then there’s people that will make your life easier. So, it really depends where you’re at on the spectrum. I would always say in the beginning, when you’re, you know, you’re just starting out and there’s not that much money to go around to kind of throw at assistants to go and, you know, handle all your dirty work, I’d say hire people that will make you money. Now, when you’re a solopreneur, like, you’re the main person making money so, I don’t know if that’ applies so much. But, getting yourself a virtual assistant or maybe even an in-house assistant will make you money, because it will free up your time so you can concentrate on more projects. So, you can spin it in that way as well. if you’re in the fitness industry or any industry like that, you would hire trainers, because they make you more money. It’s like, they train more, they make you more money, you know, cut and dry, right? So you always try to hire someone who can make you more money to begin with. Don’t hire frivolous people just to go do your dry cleaning, right? Just make sure that when you hire someone, you understand that that’s person’s been hired, so you can do X, Y, Z, so you can make more money, so you can have a bigger business. It’s really important that you don’t just hire any ol’ Joe on the street to just do whatever. They got to have a purpose, especially the first hire. Really, really important.
Kira: And once you have hired them, what is the best way to manage them? Like, again, especially if it’s like you’re virtual assistant, because I have hired people and it has not worked out as well and it’s on me, because I did not delegate well. What advice would you give to copywriters who are making this first hire?
Misty: I’d say, you know, you need open communication. You need a forum, an organized forum. I use Trello to have open communication with every single member on your team. The first hire—the way that you manage your first hire is the way that you’re going to manage the rest of them. Right? And so, if you don’t have open communication, or a place where you can have precise communication, and not just fluff…I don’t do fluff. I don’t even have salutations on my emails. I just want to get straight to the point, and a lot of my VAs have to get to grips with that; it doesn’t really come across as super-pleasant, but I’m just getting to the nitty-gritty. If you can have a forum whereby all the projects are organized, and you can have that, you know, you tag in people and have conversations…I used Basecamp with one of my clients—they prefer Basecamp. I prefer Trello with my own business. Both of them have the ability to put up documents, have conversations, have brainstorming sessions, all that kind of jazz. So definitely managing them via, you know, not via text, not via phone, not via Facebook, none of those things…get yourself a proper tool to talk with them, and so everyone can see visually whereabouts in the pipeline the project is at.
Kira: Okay, cool. And you mentioned, “stay your own lane.”
Misty: “Stay in your lane!” Laughs.
Kira: This keeps popping up. So at our recent event, Bryan Kurtz talked about going really deep…
Kira: And like that’s what’s going to turn you into the million-dollar copywriter. And I feel like that’s something where, for a while, I was scattered too, and I was like, “Oh I could jump in and becoming a health writer, I can become a financial writer, and try all these different spaces.” And then I realized, no, no, no, no; just like, focus on launches until you do it really well. And then look elsewhere. So can you just speak a little bit more to that, because I think we get a lot of mixed messages about how fast we should lean, and how sooner we should pivot in our business.
Misty: I’ve been doing health and nutrition, so I’m a holistic health copywriter, right? That’s my title. That’s what I will be venturing forth into the world from here on out. I’ll be Misty HRN, holistic health copywriter. And the reason I’m going to be a holistic health copywriter is because I’m a registered holistic nutritionist, so that makes a lot of sense. I have a vast knowledge in this area, and I have now for the past ten years, so it makes sense. And, also I love it, so that really helps. You know, it makes sense that I get into this. I already have a lot of experience, so anybody looking for anything to do with health, at any copy you do about, you know, health products or that type of stuff, obviously they’re going to want the best and that’s going to be someone who’s been doing it for a long time, or even someone with a designation. So that’s why I’m going into this.
But I think what happens is, with just time—with time and dealing with people and experience and just having clients in this field—you just get a knowledge that you can’t gain from Google, right? If I was to jump into like, I don’t know—the financial field—the only information I’m going to have for that is from Google, right? Maybe talking to a couple of people. But I won’t have enough layered information. I won’t have that depth of knowledge that I can bring to the writing. I just won’t, because i haven’t had the experience. And so I think finding the thing that you’ve been doing the longest, and turning that into your copywriting lane, is you know, is ideal. If you’re a brand-new copywriter, and you haven’t got ten years of, you know, holistic nutrition experience, then you must focus on the thing that you’re passion about, because then it won’t be as hard to do all the research and learning and, you know, get that experience that you need.
Rob: So once you have niche experience, what are the things, Misty, that you do in particular to improve your writing experience, or to improve your business skills?
Misty: Sighs. Well I’m just so good Rob, I don’t need to improve.
Misty: Laughs. You know what? Every time that I get a new client, like, it’s…everyone will stagnate. Everyone will stagnate at one point. There’s no… If you don’t get in any new clients, you don’t do any new reading, or you don’t read to…. You know, if you don’t keep on educating, you will stagnate, and your writing will never change. I’m lucky in the fact that I’ve had a lot of clients, and that I’ve had my ass handed to me on several occasions, all the time, like recently, too! And every time that you have a new client and they don’t like what you’ve done, it’s a change to learn. Every time you have a new client that has a different opinion that you, that’s a chance to learn. You know you can look at the books, as well. I mean, there’s a ton of great books out there; there’s a ton of great courses. But I think, my experience, I prefer to get my experience on the job. I prefer to look at my clients and say, “Okay.” Well, you know, what is it that they’re used to, where they learn from. Anytime they throw a name out there I’m like, “Oh, what was that again?” And then I’ll go Google that person and make sure I understand their preference in, you know, with that writing style. I think it’s listening. If you want to be a good writer, you have to be a better listener, and I think that’s key and just, you know. And obviously, doing things wrong is a great way to learn how to do things right. So, you know.
Kira: Yeah. Well I think the key part is, like you said, you’ve worked with a lot of clients and a lot of different projects and every single project you learned something new from that client.
Misty: I do.
Kira: It seems like you have a partnership mindset, whereas it’s really easy to look at clients, sometimes, even like the enemy.
Kira: Like, why would I want to listen to them? Why would I want to learn from them? I know more than them, but it seems like, you have a more holistic mindset about actually learning from them, and that they do know something they can teach you along the way.
Misty: Well I think the best partnerships are one, you know—they’re always give and take, and that goes across the board, right? You’ve got relationships everywhere, right? At home, at business, and you’re never going to get anywhere without some give and take, so I know that I know my stuff really well. Like I…what I do, no one else knows how to do what I do. Right? But who cares? My client didn’t come to me for what I do, it’s what they want, and what they’ve seen success in. So, you know, it’s not my way or the highway, which, it is in my household, but it’s not in my copywriting. But I think that understanding that you just can’t dictate—you have to listen, and you have to push back. You know, you definitely have to push back and say, “No,” you know, and I would preface all of that with, anytime I’m going to push back on a client, I’ll be like, “You know what? I’m going to be blunt with you, but…” you know, and then I’ll go into what I think they should do and, you know, they’ll either like it or not. You have to be fairy non-emotional as well, which really helps; taking the emotion out of that relationship is as helpful as well, so you don’t get sucked into the drama and the, you know, hurt feelings, and all that kind of jazz.
Rob: Misty, as I listen to you talk about your business, it feels to me like a lot of your clients don’t see you just as a copywriter, but they see you as a business partner, or as a consultant. Are there specific things that you’ve done in order to elevate yourself as a trusted partner or as a consultant that other copywriters could learn from?
Misty: Yep. You know, as I get…sigh. As I said, I’m pretty blunt, and I don’t mince words, and I’ve been doing this a while, and so when I see something that I think needs improvement, I don’t hesitate to let my client know, and that often can feel like stepping out-of-bounds, right? It’s almost like you’re overstepping the copywriter-client line. But I think that you have to do that sometimes. You know, delicately, and you know, don’t just sort of muscle in there, you know. You go in there with some suggestions, which I, you know…the only reason that I’m writing with a pen name right now, and a, you know…I’ve been able to elevate my client’s email marketing to come from an RHN, you know a designated person with some kind of cred you know, certifications, is because I went there and I’m like, “Listen! I’m a holistic nutritionist. Do you think we should not use that somehow? You know, we could create this, we can do this. I can write in this voice which is much more like me.” And so having those brainstorming sessions and not being scared of really saying your opinions can be quite helpful. Just go easy, because you have to remember—they’re a CEO too. So you know, it’s like putting two rams in a cage. Laughs. One of you’s got to think about it a little bit, right? So you just go in there and you offer suggestions. And it all…. Have you guys read the book, The Go-Giver?
Rob: No, but I’ve heard of it.
Kira: I saw you mention it so I wrote it down.
Misty: Dude. I’m telling you right now, if there’s one book that anyone listening right now needs to go out and get, it’s The Go-Giver. And that’s what my business mindset comes from. It wavered a little bit; it has over the years. I’ve been like, “No, no, no; screw those people, ehh!” But, it all comes back to that and the sense of giving before you getting. And that’s, you know, that’s what it is with relationships, that’s what it is with copywriting, that’s what it is in the fitness business. It’s give before you get. And so, always go with a helping hand, and, unless you’re a real jerk, you’re not going to have any problems with that, right?
Kira: Yeah, no. That’s a great recommendation. And I think part of it too is like choosing your battles with clients, too. Because there are some things like with the sales page that you know will really help and there are just other minor details, wordsmithing that you could let go, and it’s not a big deal. So just remember to choose your battles wisely.
Misty: Yeah, yeah exactly.
Kira: So I’m going to ask you a big question.
Kira: What is the future of copywriting look like?
Misty: What does it look like, or what do I hope it looks like? Laughs.
Kira: Well, it could be both! What do you hope, and what do you think the reality is?
Misty: You know, copywriting’s great because everybody needs words, right? And good copywriters know how to make visions in peoples’ heads into lovely, beautiful, persuasive words on a page, and so, there’s never going to be a shortage of need for copywriters, which is beautiful. Not a lot of industries can say that in this day and age, right? So I think, you know, looking forward, there’ll always be, you know…especially as we move to more and more online stuff, there’s always going to be a need for good copywriters, right? So that’s what I think it’s going to look like; there’s going to be an abundance of work, and so, we can forget scarcity. We can forget all that; there’s going to be so much work, we’re not going to know what to do with it. What I hope it looks like, though, is very different. I hope in the future that we can get away from the smoke and mirrors. I hope that we can get away from the fake portions of it, and the lies that come out. I hope that we can get away from the bolstering and the boasting, you know, all that kind of stuff. Like I really despise all of that in the copywriting world. Like, I wish we could get to a more honest and unique and authentic voice, and I think there are definitely copywriters that do that, and that’s fantastic. I do think, as in any industry, there is a large portion of it. It’s just—they like to embroider the truth. So I think I’d like to see less of that, more authenticity, and understanding that there’s going to be tons of work for everyone. So, we don’t need to do all those, you know, silly little moves. Laughs.
Kira: I like your future. I stand behind your future.
Kira: You can lead the charge.
Misty: Thank you.
Kira: So, what happens next for you? What’s happening in businesses, in life…what’s coming up next?
Misty: We touched on it briefly; in my personal life, I’ve moved, which is wonderful. And so I’ve now got myself into another family—we’ve got a blended family now. So we’ve got four children now, and we’ve got, you know, new house—all this kind of stuff’s going on in the background which really opens up your horizons, in a whole different way, and you can use that in your business as well. So I think that in the personal realm’s going, you know, fantastically. The copywriting is just getting bigger and better, and I’m getting more and more referrals. Like, I made a promise to myself. And, the only way that I’m going to run this new business—this copywriting business in the holistic health niche and the email marketing business—the primary focus is going to be fun. If it’s not fun, I’m not going to do it. Because I’ve done ten years of hard-ass grind. Laughs, I won’t do it anymore. So, I’m super focused on fun projects, working with fun people…you know, going to events, getting out there, doing that kind of stuff and I think if more people would take the fun route, rather than the “oh I got to pay my bills” route, I think we’d all be a bit happier.
Rob: Awesome advice. Excellent. Thank you so much for, you know, coming on and sharing so much good wisdom all the way through. Misty if people want to connect with you, where should they go? Where should they find you?
Misty: You know, just go on Facebook. For the love of God, just go on Facebook. I’m on there mostly so they can go on to Teresa Misty RHN and just, you know, send me a message. Don’t stalk me, you know; just send me a message and ask me the question that you want answered, and I will answer it for you.
Kira: Are you talking to me about stalking you?
Misty: Yes, a little bit.
Misty: Tiny little bit. Yeah, I just…you know what? I really enjoy speaking with people and helping people, so, instead of them just nosey-ing around for a little bit, I’d much rather them just send me a PM and just be like, “Hey, so, this is the deal.” And I’d be like, “Cool. Let’s do this.” So I think that’s the easiest way, just to get me on Facebook and, hit me up with a message.
Kira: Sounds great. Alright, thank you, Misty.
Rob: Yeah, thank you so much.
Misty: You’re very welcome; thanks for having me.
You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes, and by leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript, and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.
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