Ep. 320: Copywriting Secrets with Kelsey Formost of Copy Class

Kelsey and I talk about:

  • Kelsey’s journey from actress and screenwriter to teaching entrepreneurs how to write words that sell.
  • The best way to market yourself.
  • The first thing you should write about.
  • Why you need to be specific about who your ideal client is.
  • Common mistakes that Kelsey sees people making on their copy.
  • Tips for knowing what to put on each website page.
  • How to find a mentor.
  • Why instead of going at it alone you should let people in.
  • Kelsey’s advice for someone who is struggling to get traction & visibility in their side hustle.
  • The belief Kelsey had to change about herself to get where she is today.

My favorite quotes from Kelsey:

  • “I feel so connected to these people by helping them tell their unique stories and everybody has a story.”
  • “The most empowering thing was helping people understand how to express themselves.”
  • “So much of being in business, especially as an entrepreneur or a solopreneur, is about learning to trust yourself and learning to trust that what you have to give is unique and then just learning how to express it in the way that helps you reach the most people. “
  • “Put yourself on the back burner for a minute, focus on who you're helping and how you help them”
  • “the thing that scales that allows you to reach more people is actually getting more specific about talking to one person.”
  • “Once you understand how you want to express yourself and how to use your words, to paint a picture for other people of how they're going to feel after they connect with you, everything else just sort of falls into place. Everything else becomes so much clearer, including your actual service.”

Shannon Mattern: Kelsey. Thank you so much for being here on pep talks for side hustlers. Can you share a little bit more with our audience about you and what you do?

Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. Thanks for having me Shannon and hi, pep-talk for side hustler fan. I am a copywriting expert who teaches entrepreneurs, how to write words that sell. So one of the first questions I usually get is, uh, what is copywriting. And a lot of times it gets mistaken for the little C in the circle that you see on legal documents. That is not what copywriting is copywriting with a w is how to write words for your business, that convinces someone to take a desired action. So anywhere you have words for your business, that's copy and writing those words is copywriting. So I'm a copywriting expert and I teach entrepreneurs who might be intimidated by the idea of writing for their business, how to demystify the process so that they can connect and convert their customers.

Shannon Mattern: Uh, I love it. So we're gonna get into some of the nitty-gritty of that a little bit later, but first I want to learn more about how you became a copywriting expert for entrepreneurs. So can you take me back to, you know, the beginning of, of your journey?

Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. So my background is actually in the entertainment industry, I got a degree in theater and I was an actress and a screenwriter for 10 years. And in those 10 years, I really honed my skill for storytelling and writing scripts, writing movies. I really loved the element of taking people through an experience and through a story. And as my life went on and my career evolved, I realized that the thing that I really liked about that was helping other people feel heard and seen by telling their story and cut to. I became a staff writer at a women's magazine, and really it opened me up to this world of blogging and social media and people sharing their stories online. And that was like the cartoon light bulb over the head going off moment for me, where I was like, Oh my gosh, I feel so connected to these people by helping them tell their unique stories and everybody has a story.

Kelsey Formost: So what ended up happening was I tried to, I had kind of a mental health moment. I think everybody has that crossroads moment where you're like, am I really doing what I want to be doing? And I dove into, okay, what careers will help me do this? Help people tell stories? And I found copywriting. So I took all the fancy classes and I got my first handful of clients. And I was a copywriter for private clients for a couple of years. And in that process, I really learned that the most empowering thing was helping people understand how to express themselves. And so I moved from being a one-on-one copywriter to teaching entrepreneurs, how to write the words that sell for themselves so they could succeed over and over and over again.

Shannon Mattern: I love that story because I can definitely relate to the, the moment where you're like, what am I doing with my life right now? Like, is this even like, how did I get here? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? What purpose does it serve? You know, I can't do this for the rest of my life. So definitely relate to that.

Kelsey Formost: Oh my gosh. I think everyone can, because I think that those moments are a unavoidable and be like the moments that make our lives. Right. Do we turn right? Or do we turn left? Do we take the brave path and make the decision that's actually right for us and pay attention? Um, or do we stay safe and scary equals big payoff baby. So if, if you whoever's listening to, this is in that place where you might be having one of those moments. No, that doing the brave thing always has a payoff one way or another.

Shannon Mattern: Oh yes, yes, absolutely. I mean, I, and, and I've learned now at this point too, like when I'm scared of something, doing something that's assigned to me that that's what I should be walking into. Whereas for the majority of my life, that was the sign to like, Oh, shrink back, stay safe, stay secure, don't take the risk. Um, and now I see that as, um, you should probably be doing that if it's, if it scared you that much.

Kelsey Formost: Yes. So much of being in business, especially as an entrepreneur or a solopreneur, is about learning to trust yourself and learning to trust that what you have to give is unique and then just learning how to express it in the way that helps you reach the most people.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah, absolutely. And just knowing like, you will, you will figure it out no matter what, like, as long as you don't quit, you will figure it out. So I want to take you back to, you know, you found, um, copywriting, you found that as like a, as a outlet that you could really have a bigger impact and you took all the courses and you mentioned that you got your first handful clients. How exactly did you get that, those first few clients?

Kelsey Formost: So the first few clients that I got, I really did some research on some places to look for entrepreneurs who would need help in this specific area and yeah.

Shannon Mattern: Which is all of them,

Kelsey Formost: Really, everybody would love help on this subject. And so, um, once I felt really comfortable with like, okay, I know exactly how to do this. Um, I, I found a couple of freelancing sites. One that really paid off at the beginning was Upwork. And then I also joined quite a few, um, Facebook groups for women entrepreneurs. And I created a freebie, a couple of freebies that I knew would be a really great introduction into how I worked. Um, and that should have been a little bit of a light bulb at the beginning because I knew when I wrote the freebie, like, Oh, this is so exciting to me. And yet I was still the one doing the writing at that point. Um, but it was great because it was an immediate calling card. And, um, I got a lot of clients pretty quickly, um, just from those sites. And then from there I stopped having to do that. And I only had word of mouth for a year plus.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. It's so interesting. How, when you do have this as a concept that I teach my students, when they're like, how do I market myself? I'm like, create something amazing for free and give it away because you only have to do the work of actively giving the thing away. It's not like forever that you have to be promoting that. If it's, if it's your best stuff without giving away your time, it will take on a life of its own.

Kelsey Formost: Yes, absolutely. And something that I learned in copywriting and learning how to be a copy writer was that you do want to have those lead magnets. And I was writing lead magnets for other people. And so it helped me see what was special about what I was doing to create my own lead magnet in turn. And as you said, offering something for free is you have to remember that that's the way in the door and people have to be exposed to you, your service, your product, whatever. And I think it's an average of seven times before they actually hire you or buy from you. So having something for free gets them in the door so that you can re-expose yourself to those customers and clients, and eventually land them.

Shannon Mattern: I love the way that you, that you put that because it's not just about like give away this free thing. They do whatever with it, they go away forever. It's it really is the first touch point of building that relationship with them through email or through them following you on your social platforms or a combination of all the things that we do, um, do to market ourselves. And I, and I think one of the things that I see, and I'd love to get your perspective through this, you know, from, from what your expertise is, is with copywriting is people, people separating what they do for their business, from their marketing, as if they're like two totally different unrelated things that they have to be a different person for the marketing piece than they are, you know, when they're performing the service or delivering the expertise that they deliver. So I wanted to get your perspective on that as a, as a copywriter.

Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. So this sort of leads into copywriting advice that I teach, which is the first thing that I always encourage people to write is their value proposition. If you don't know what a value proposition is, your value proposition is the number one thing that you do or sell that you offer that your competitors don't. If you can land on what your value proposition is, that is going to be the tent pole in the middle of everything that holds up all your other content, your blog, your freebies, your emails, you will understand like this is my, this is my support. This is my tent pole. This is what I offer is my number one thing. This is what I'm known for. Once you understand that, you'll understand how everything else can connect to that. So starting with your value proposition is a great place. Once you know that, then you can see, okay, how can I spin that into a freebie?

Kelsey Formost: So let's give an example. Let's say you are a life coach making this up as I go along. But I work with a lot of service-based businesses. Let's say you're a life coach. Life coach can mean a billion different things, right? So if you get down to the nitty gritty, say you're a life coach who specializes maybe in relationships who specializes and marriage who spoke. And I'm again, just totally making this up. If you know, okay, I'm a life coach who specializes and getting your marriage on track. Maybe then you can say, what freebie would help somebody get their marriage on track? Well, maybe seven ideas for seven date nights, right? That's like something that's still related to that tent pole of I'm a life coach that gives marriage advice, but it's a freebie that you can offer somebody to get them interested. And it also kind of acts as a, um, a qualifier for leads. Because if somebody who's not looking for marriage advice, isn't going to download that freebie. Right? So you're sort of honing in on your ideal customer through that freebie, it all relates to what's the number one thing you do or sell that you offer that your competitors don't.

Shannon Mattern: So one of the things that I hear from my audience all the time, and, you know, it's, it's some kind of like imposter syndrome or something going on where they're like, well, I'm offering the same thing that everybody else is offering. So how can I stand apart from everybody else? You know, when I'm a life coach, who's offering marriage counseling, we're a dime a dozen. How do I even write a value proposition? Because 75,000 other people are out here doing this.

Kelsey Formost: I'll tell you exactly how you do it. You build an Uber specific ideal customer avatar. Yeah. That is where you start, stop worrying about yourself. Stop comparing yourself to other people that is a road to mental health. Disappointment. I've done it. We've all done it. You know, don't beat yourself up about it, but put yourself on the back burner for a minute, focus on who you're helping and how you help them. Because first of all, you're a unique human being. You come to the table with a unique set of, of, of expertise and perspective. People are coming to you and not the other person for a reason. And part of it is because you're you. So once you do this ideal customer avatar work, and if you don't know what that means, it's building like character. Going back to that screen writing background for me building this character of the perfect person, who's going to come to your website, see your stuff and think, Oh my God, it's like she in my brain. Once you understand who that is and you're talk just to her, then none of the other stuff matters. It doesn't matter if somebody else is a marriage counselor, it doesn't matter. Somebody else's a life coach for relationships because your ideal client is your ideal client. And she's going to be the one who's interested in what you have to say.

Shannon Mattern: I couldn't agree more with everything that you just said because you know, it really is like, I always tell my students it's like marketing has nothing to do with you. Like, it really has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with the problem that you solve, the person that you're solving it for. And yes, you do get to show up and be yourself and bring your personality into it. And like you said, bring your unique story and experience, but you also get to design the ideal client. Like you get to decide like, okay, if you're the kind of person that likes to swear a lot, like your ideal client will be okay with you swearing a lot. Like you get to decide who that is. And I think, um, I think what I, what I did at least in the very beginning is like, Oh no, I have to, um, adapt myself to the people that might hire me. And like kind of an, almost a, I don't want to say subservient way. That's not quite the right word that I'm going for, but just in a way like, Oh, I have to make myself acceptable and right. So that these people who have the money and the decision-making power will hire me instead of turning it around and saying, I get to decide all of this and craft it and then go out and find those people.

Kelsey Formost: Yeah. And don't be surprised in the exercise of building that ideal customer avatar is she looks a lot like you because a lot of times, um, that, I mean, that's, for a reason that happens for a reason, because if you learn how to present yourself as you are, then you will automatically connect with the person that you want to hire. You. It's not about fitting in somebody else's box. Teddy Roosevelt said comparison is the thief of joy. That's a hundred percent true, no matter what area of life you're looking at, if you're trying to fit into somebody else's box, instead of somebody else's idea, it's never going to work. And even if it does kind of work, it's never gonna scale. Because the thing that scales that allows you to reach more people is actually getting more specific about talking to one person.

Shannon Mattern: Uh, yes. And you know, when I was first starting my business and thinking about like, who is this? Who is this for? Like, who am I teaching to build websites? Right. You know, I, if I was, if I was being very literal about crafting an ideal client, who's just like me, they wouldn't need my service. Right. Because they're techie, they're confident in all of these areas and it's, and, and all of that. But what I, I didn't do this intentionally. I kind of did this by accident. And now that I'm like, you know, as I've learned more about how to copyright and, you know, connected with more people like you and others that do this, I realized like, Oh, I accidentally did this. Right. It was totally unintentional. But you know, it was, it was thinking, it's like, Oh, it's not this. It's not necessarily all of my superpowers, but it's like my big goals and dreams.

Shannon Mattern: Right. So I had the big goal and the big dream of leaving my day job and starting my own business. And, um, you know, all of those things. But then what was, what was holding? I didn't have this barrier holding me back that I saw the other people who wanted the same things as me holding them back, which was the technology. So I'm like, I can speak to you, the person that's at a day job, you know, hustling on their lunch hour to try to build this website. And that's kind of like how I, how I talked to them. It's like, you only have so much time. You're kind of hiding out, you know, with your door, closed on your lunch break, trying to bang this website out. Like I can help you with that. You know? And so that's kind of like how I was speaking to the person who was just like me. I was doing the exact same thing, hiding out in my office, trying to get this business up and running. So there's, I think there's a lot of different ways to think about your ideal client. And I see people fall into like the demographic, like, Oh, it's a mom, who's this with kids and she's the Sage. And she reads these magazines and it's like, that's all helpful, but it's not the exact thing that's going to help you connect with them.

Kelsey Formost: One of the most profound, uh, and often surprising exercises of building your ideal customer avatar is to talk about what she's afraid of. If you get into, she's afraid of not contributing enough money to the household and she's up, or she's afraid of it, let's go back to, let's go back to the marriage. A life coach example, she's afraid of getting a divorce, like that's really dark, but that is going to connect on a very deep level with an idea with your ideal customer. Because if someone is truly afraid that they are going to lose their marriage and they come to your website and they see seven date night ideas, that person is the most likely to opt in and download that freebie. So don't be afraid to get emotional because we, human beings are emotional creatures. We make decisions based on our emotions. So if you can really build out the emotional life, the fears, the frustrations of that ideal customer, then the way that you speak to her is automatically going to connect on a much deeper.

Shannon Mattern: So good. So what are some other, you know, what are some common mistakes that you see, um, people making on their website? Copy?

Kelsey Formost: Sure. So since we're on the topic of brand voice and ideal customer, um, the two things, inevitably, no matter what, when people came to me as when I was doing one-on-one copywriting, and even with classes, you fall into one of two categories, one you're a verbal vomiter and you have so much to say that you feel like you have to explain everything. And if you don't fully explain everything right away, then the person's not going to understand you. And you're not going to be heard and they're going to go away and you're going to lose the customer. And so you just let all over the page and it's just copied, like blocks of copy. The other camp is, Oh my God, I don't even know what to say. I'm so overwhelmed with the idea of writing this website, that I'm just not going to do anything. Or I'm going to put up a few words, like subscribe, download, buy, okay, please don't look at me anymore.

Shannon Mattern: Or like the corporate sanitized version of me that someone else do on this demo website that I really thought was cool.

Kelsey Formost: The one in profile, I can't, I can't,

Shannon Mattern: Or the one that's like, do we specialize in this? And it's like, but you're just one person. Like, why are you saying we like,

Kelsey Formost: Yes. So it feels right now when you're listening to this, like, Oh my God, that's totally me. Oh,

Shannon Mattern: It's the verbal vomiter you guys. So like,

Kelsey Formost: Most, most people are verbal. Vomiters it's really interesting. It's like 70, 30 verbal vomiters versus, um, deer in the headlights. Uh, and during the headlights, people tend to be procrastinators and, um, verbal vomiters tend to be overachievers, just like fine. So yeah, I think the copywriters, because overachievers want so badly for their ideas to be heard. Yeah. Right. They so badly want to show, I can do this. I can help you. And then the deer in the headlights procrastinators are like, it's not perfect. It's never going to be perfect. So I'm never going to release it right up. So first mistake doesn't matter which camp you fall into understand that you can do this. That's the first thing, admit that you can do this. You have the power to do this. Lots of other people have blazed the trail for you. You've got it. Second mistake to your point of the walking LinkedIn profile.

Kelsey Formost: Right? How you talk, just write how you freaking talk. You do not have to sound like a super buttoned up professional. Even if the service you're providing is an extremely professional service. If you don't speak like a teacher, then don't write your website. Like you're a teacher. If you curse a lot, don't be afraid to throw a curse word in there. Once in a while. As you said, if you're stuck on, how do I write? Like I talk, here's a trick for you. Everybody's got one of these. I got a phone I'm showing a phone,

Kelsey Formost: Not a phone. Go to your voice memo app, literally talk through your services, talk it out. Like you are telling someone, not just someone, your ideal customer, exactly what you do. And then just play it back and write it down. That's it. That's how you write how you talk. If you're still having trouble, pretend like you're on the phone with your best friend. While you do this. Someone who is there to support you, not going to judge you. And you're like, Hey, Desi, my best friend's name is Desi. Can you please tell, um, your acting class that I'm hosting an improv night and this is what we're going to go over. If you pretend like you're talking to your best friend, then immediately, it's going to take the pressure off. And you're going to rank that your talk.

Kelsey Formost: Um, another

Kelsey Formost: Third mistake is, and this is usually more for the verbal monitors. Um, a lack of clarity. Overexplaining yourself. I like to, uh, explain this as an overstuffed suitcase. So say your website is a suitcase and you're going on vacation. When you get to vacation, you usually wear like three things, right? You, and if you pack like, Oh my God, maybe I need like four tops for this like one place we're going to dinner. And Oh, I'm definitely gonna want heels and flats and, and boots and rain boots, because who knows, you're only going to wear your sandals the whole time. Right? So I like to give that image because I feel like everybody's been in that situation. Think of your website, copy as that suitcase, take everything out of the suitcase that does not belong in there. You don't need rain boots. Right? All I need that sexy dress that, you know, you don't like, but you keep it because it was expensive. Take it out, edit it out. Don't be afraid to delete, keep your website clean and minimal and clear. So that those would be like my three biggest tips is except that you can do this. You've got it. Um, be really clear and rightly talk.

Shannon Mattern: I made all of those mistakes, um, in,

Shannon Mattern: Uh, when I first, when I launched my first first website as like my freelancer website, like it was, there was an, it was as if there was no person behind it. Like there was just like a faceless company, um, robot with, you know, very technical terms of what services I provide as if my customers knew what, like really cared about how the backend of the website would work. No, they just want the website. You know, I learned all of this, um, through trial and error over the years. And I love just, I, I feel like I'm the, over the overachiever, um, verbal vomiter cause I'm like, Oh my gosh, I just have so much to say about this. Like I get so excited about all the things that I have to say. Cause I, you know, nobody, nobody in my personal life wants to hear me talk about it. So it's like dear diary on my website, here's all the reasons why. And it's like,

Kelsey Formost: That's why we have blogs, a blog

Shannon Mattern: Off the homepage, move it off the about page. That's what's your blogs for it. That's what your podcast is for. So that's, that's really, that's what your Instagram's for. Like all those other places are so many other places. Um, for me to express all of the reasons why I think like doing, like, what I can help you with is so important to your long-term goals. And if you're like me and you're like, I'm so excited about all of these things. I just want to like overstuff the suitcase, like think about like, maybe you can save that for later or in a different, you know, if it's like something that you're like, Oh, but this is really important to me to communicate. There's so many other ways that you can do that aside from like, like you said, like writing the words that are going to help you sell, which that's really what your website's for.

Kelsey Formost: Yeah. And actually it's a perfect segue into, uh, a point that I definitely wanted to make with your audience in particular, because your audience is, you know, you're building your website, you're here probably because you saw Shannon's amazing DIY website content. And so you might be thinking, well, how do I make sure that I'm not verbal vomiting, but I'm still explaining everything that I need to, and to that I say one of the best things that you can do is set a page goal. So when you are writing, you know, that all of the copy on that webpage, whether it's your home, your services about whatever it is, it's all related to the goal. And the goal of the page is the desired action that you want your reader to take. So say somebody visits your about page. Your goal might be to lead them from low awareness of who you are and what you do to high awareness of who you are and what you do. Right. So everything has to be related to that goal, maybe on a different page, it's get them to opt into an email list. Every single piece of copy should be leading them towards that desired action. That goal. Does that make sense?

Shannon Mattern: I love that advice because, you know, I think a lot of times people are just like, Oh, it's my homepage. I'm going to put everything that I've ever possibly done on here. And I'm like, in my opinion, in my professional opinion, your homepage has one goal and that's to get people on your email list. Like I treat the home page as, you know, basically a landing page for your opt-in, you know? And then like, like you said, the about page is, you know, for you to decide if, if I'm your kind of person or not, like if you come to my about page and you're like, she says like too much, I can't, I can't with this. Then you're probably not gonna want to listen to my podcast or get on my email list or all the things. So it's a place for me to really be myself in a way that I could never do at a day job, any day job I ever had.

Shannon Mattern: So I think one of the beautiful things about like, you know, like you said, the goal of the, about pages, low awareness to high awareness about the solutions that you can provide about yourself, but also about your personality and, and who, who you are. And, and so that you can create a business that you actually love and not recreate a job where you'd have to be someone else to while you're here and then like you get to be yourself while you're not doing that. I think that that's one of the most beautiful things about copywriting is that you get to express, you get to basically use words to bring the right people to use so that you can create a really fulfilling business.

Kelsey Formost: Yeah, absolutely. And to that point, copywriting is just one piece of the puzzle of your website. It's a super important piece. But as know when you're building a website, you, every decision you make from the color to the fonts, to the style, to the template or whatever it is, those are all puzzle pieces that you get to build the picture you want to see. So don't make the mistake of looking at somebody else's puzzle and being like, Ooh, I wonder if that piece would fit in my puzzle cause it's not going to right. You have to create your own and stick to the puzzle pieces to put together the picture that you want to paint. Right?

Shannon Mattern: Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, and even, you know, I just think back to like, you know, year one, I'm like, Oh, I wanna like Shaleen, Johnson's wearing this shirt with her necklace or all of this. I'm going to do my pictures like that. Like, I don't dress like that ever in my life. Right. But like, I'm looking at someone who I see as successful and I want to have like the business and lifestyle and I'm trying to like model myself after that. And it's just, it's, it's not working. It's, it's not me. And you know, and to your point, I think that copywriting is, I think it's more important than any of the other pieces. You know?

Kelsey Formost: I mean, I feel I'm an evangelist when it comes to copywriting, but once you understand the key principles of copywriting as an entrepreneur, you will never look at anything the same way ever again, because literally everything that you put out into the world has copy, right? Your social media, your website, your blog, posts, your emails, anywhere that you have words that represent you, even in speaking that's copy. And so once you get what copywriting is and why it works and key principles that you can incorporate everything else, it's like a, it's like knocking over that first domino. It really is. Yeah. Because once you understand how you want to express yourself and how to use your words, to paint a picture for other people of how they're going to feel after they connect with you, everything else just sort of falls into place. Everything else becomes so much clearer, including your actual service.

Kelsey Formost: Right. Sometimes I know that a lot of people, myself included have offered services. They actually don't even really like offering, Oh yeah. It feels like they should. Right. If you, if that's not something that you are wanting to do or that your ideal wants, then you got to get rid of that service. So again, it all comes back to how do you want somebody to feel, how do you want to communicate with them? How do you present yourself and copy and learning how to write copy is one of the best skills that anyone in business can possibly learn.

Shannon Mattern: I could not agree more. And I spent time first, I spent time and I'm sure a lot of listeners can relate, like looking at other people's websites and trying to reverse engineer what they were doing. And it never worked. It never worked. And it never worked because there were fundamental things about how they arrived at the copy that they were writing that I did not understand until I started, um, myself investing in, in copywriting classes and courses and learning, um, and learning. And then, you know, once I figured out like, Oh, that's how they put that together. And that's why when I write it, it doesn't work because I didn't think through that same process for myself. And then once I understood that, it's like, okay, it's like writing for my website, writing for emails, writing sales pages, all of that stuff to me feels like very natural now. Like it's like, it's almost a, I think that way first now, instead of trying to reverse engineer or back into it or figure, figure that out. So that kind of just brings me back to, you know, you mentioned at the beginning of the interview, you know, you worked with people one-on-one for a while. At what point did you decide it's time to work with more people, it's time to help more people and start teaching this to people?

Kelsey Formost: Oh, absolutely. So again, it was one of those cartoon light bulbs where I realized that a website and a business is a living, breathing thing that needs ongoing changes and adjustments. When I was doing one-on-one copywriting by nature of the beast, I was delivering a finished product. And then that was it. And I through experience, saw people coming back to me being like, okay, now I'm ready to launch a product. I don't know what to do. And I felt like doing it for them was not serving them. Yeah. Because it's that whole teach a man to fish idea. Right. Rather than just giving somebody a fish, I forget the, I forget where it comes from, but I love the image. Like if you teach somebody to fish, then you feed them for a life rights. Yes. And it's the same idea with teaching someone copywriting skills because a, the skills don't change, right?

Kelsey Formost: Like once you understand these key principles, those are going to be the core principles, like learning grammar in a new language. Those are never going to change. You're going to have that skill for life. Second. You're going to be able to use that skill for life no matter what business, even if you completely changed to a whole new business in five years, you're still going to be able to understand how to communicate who you are, what you do, how to connect with and convert your ideal customers. And that idea excited me so much more than only having 10 clients a month, because that's all that I could fit dollars for hours. I could only give a finished website or a finished email funnel to so many people before I ran out of time in the day. But if I took them through a class and I showed them the basics of how I did it, then they could take that information and feel empowered to continue to grow their business, to continue to get new skills and continue to change and evolve as Bay themselves changed and evolved whether it was in business or otherwise.

Kelsey Formost: And, you know, I think that everybody reaches a point in their business to where it becomes a scalable, a scaling thing where I can now reach as many people as I want to. As many people is by my class copy class, then that's how many people I get to reach versus I only have 10 slots in my calendar. So that was a big part of my decision too.

Shannon Mattern: I think that the whole, you know, the whole concept of, yes, you want to scale and we all, we all want to figure out how to maximize our time and, and all of that. That's, that's one side of the equation, but the other side of the equation, I think that you touched on, that's been so fulfilling for me is like the number of people that I can help and empower beyond me doing for them. And it's the same thing for, for a website. It's like, why, you know, if you know that there's like a repeatable thing that it's the same for everybody, no matter what the principles never change,

Kelsey Formost: It

Shannon Mattern: Just makes so much sense to teach someone how to do that. And at least at the very least give them enough knowledge to decide for themselves, whether that they, whether they want to do with themselves or they want to hire it out, they don't have to, they don't have to, they always have the choice. Right, right,

Kelsey Formost: Right, right. And it helps no matter, I mean, obviously again, my focus is copywriting, but no matter what service you're hiring, somebody for, it always helps to have a of what that is just because, um, like with a website, for example, it's incredibly helpful to understand the fundamentals of what a website does and how to build it. Even if at some point you hire a web designer, it's going to help you to understand how to DIY it and understand the fundamentals of it. Same thing with copywriting, just because you take a copywriting class doesn't mean that you can't ever hire somebody to help you with a bigger project down the line. That's totally great if you get to that place, but it's really going to help you direct that professional on how they can better serve you. If you have a basic understanding of what they're doing.

Shannon Mattern: Uh, yes. Yes. And for those of you listening, you know, that are providing any kind of service and you just hear like, you know, we're talking about the way that we looked at what we were doing for people one on one, and really took that into like, how am I like, how am I doing this the same way every single time? How is this a repeatable system that I am offering? How can I teach someone else how to do this so that I don't have to do it for them? And I think that's one of the things that really helped me make the leap from side hustle to self-employed was, um, being able to take the, um, the one-on-one services that I was doing outside of my day job and add some like time independent revenue coming in, uh, so that I could like replace my salary. So if you're listening to this and you're a freelancer or doing some sort of one-on-one service work start thinking about like, how can I teach what I am doing to someone else? Like how, what is like this system that I walked through the same way, every single time you can, you can teach almost anything to someone else and, you know, have them take it and run with it. And that just frees you up so much.

Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. And another thing that I'll piggyback on that is pay attention to how you yourself like to be taught. Right? So I, obviously my wheelhouse is copywriting. And yet, as any solopreneur, entrepreneur knows, you have to wear a lot of hats if you are running your own business. So I pay attention to class, like Shannon's where I like to be taught in this way, how to DIY a website, or I like someone to show me this way, how to build an email funnel. I know what words go in it. But the technology is often technology and money are the two places that often feel the most intimidating, but pay attention to how you like to learn how you like to be taught. And that can then inform how you present your services. Especially if you are pivoting into something that is more like a teaching, like a, um, an online course or a membership or whatever it is.

Kelsey Formost: If you're guiding multiple many people, rather than one-on-one, that's something that, um, really helped me. Somebody said, pay attention to how you like to learn. And that really helped inform, like, I'm very casual when I speak in my classes, I'm very like, look, this is like a, B, C, D, how you do it demystify, like, just tell me what to do versus like super technical stuff. Like that's a teacher. Right. And that goes back to, well, how am I different to what we were talking about earlier with like, Oh, well, there's so many, um, relationship counselors, life coaches. Yeah. But nobody teaches like you, you might, you might be the relationship coach that lights a fire under their butt, or you might be the safe Haven life coach. Like you don't know until you understand how you yourself like to learn how you are going to then teach.

Shannon Mattern: Ah, so good. And I also think too, just to, just to piggyback off of what you said, you know, when you're talking about copywriting and writing, how you talk and really kind of bringing your personality into it, I think that same thing goes for teaching or creating content that you're selling or whatever. Um, one of the places where I see a lot of my students kind of run up against that, um, imposter syndrome wall again too, is, is, you know, I have to have perfect slides and my technology must be perfect and my transitions have to be magnificent. And it has to be the level of a million dollar business owner. Who's hiring a production team, but I'm DIY in this. And it's like, no, it's okay to say, uh, okay. So I'm gonna just, you know, close these notes and turn on my slides and pull out my notes and let's dive it. Like, it's okay to just say, you know, just talk them through what you're doing. It does not have to be this perfect polished thing. People aren't there to be impressed by you. They are there to learn, you know, what, they're there to learn from you. And so I think that that's just another place where you get to kind of take the pressure off of yourself and have some fun with it. So I wanna, I wanna dive into your copy class. Like what kinds of things, um, will people learn inside of your copy class?

Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. So I have two tracks. One is copy class, which is my signature course, and that covers everything. But it, if the whole thing, if you sat down and took it beginning to end, it's three hours. So it's not crazy 10 week module, whatever, what you learn in copy class is it's broken into four modules. The first one is copywriting one Oh one in that one, I teach you what copywriting is, why it works, the psychology behind it, and key places to incorporate it in your business. So the basics, it's kind of like the toolbox you're going to come back to again and again, no matter what business you're working on and what stage you're at, the second module is all about crafting your unique brand voice. That's where we dive into that ideal customer avatar work. That's where we dive into tricks, like very practical, actionable ways to trick yourself into writing, how you talk.

Kelsey Formost: The third

Kelsey Formost: Module is the biggest one in the class, and it's how to write your website. I take, yeah. It's you would love it. Shannon. It takes you through how to set your site and your page goals, how to drive people from high, from low to high awareness. Um, it talks about writing headlines because 80% of people only read headlines, which blew my mind when I heard that statistic. And finally, how to smartly incorporate your opt-in through your whole website. Uh, finally module four is all about emails. So it's another big one, but it really dives into what you should be saying, how often you should be saying it and how to build the three funnels that every single business needs needs, which is your welcome funnel, a sales funnel and an opt-in funnel like a sales, meaning like a launch or something. Yeah. So, and that includes a template of exactly the funnel that I use.

Kelsey Formost: And you can kind of fill it in like a Madlib to see what works for you, what doesn't and the whole thing that I really, really, really stand behind with copy class is that I always make sure that I present multiple methods of learning. So you can watch it or slides. You can listen to it like a podcast, or you can read it. I have a full PDF of every single module. So if you're somebody who likes textbooks and that's how you learn, then you can do it that way. So copy class is my baby. It gets updated regularly. I talk all the time, back and forth with my students. I love it. It's my wheelhouse. Check

Kelsey Formost: It out. The second

Kelsey Formost: Track briefly that I have right now is I'm just starting to launch mini courses because sometimes you just need specific help with one area. So right now I've got how to write your value proposition because that's where I always suggest people start. And this year I'm going to be releasing a mini course every quarter. So definitely check out, stay tuned for whatever the next mini course is. The next one is going to be how to, uh, pitch, press using copywriting tricks. Ooh, nice.

Shannon Mattern: So, you know, I love just like the way that you have the modules organize them, like yes. Writing websites and yes. Writing emails because that like your website is just useless. If you do not have the correct, like not the correct, but just, you know, I call it the right words in the right places on the right pages. Like you have to have those things. And then also, you know, beyond the website, like, it's very likely that most of the people that come in contact with you are going to go to your website, like baby, once, twice, maybe they're going to get on your list. And that's where you're going to be doing most of the communication. Unless you then in an email, direct them to a page on your website. It's not like they're sitting there every day thinking, Oh, I'm just going to go to Shannon's website type in, see what she's got going on. Like they are not thinking about, you have to show up in their inbox, um, a message, all them what you want them to do.

Kelsey Formost: Yeah. I'll give you some nerdy statistics right now. Yes, please is six times more likely to be seen in an inbox than anywhere else. You can literally 600% your results. If you pay attention to your email. And I think something that holds a lot of people back is they think, Oh my God, that's so much writing. Like, I wouldn't know what to say in an email, you know, every day, like what would I even say to people? And the answer is you don't have to, emails can be very short and sweet. They can be personal stories. They can be quick updates. There are lots of different types of emails, all of which I go over and copy class, but you can find that information. There are so many different ways to keep delivering value to your list, through your email in order to get them to know you like you and trust you and eventually buy from you. So yes, emails, numero UNO thing that you should be focusing on. For sure.

Shannon Mattern: I could talk to you about this for another hour. Unfortunately we do have to wrap up here soon, but I want to ask you a couple more questions that I ask everyone that comes on the show. And the first one is what advice would you give to someone who is struggling to get traction in their business?

Kelsey Formost: Hmm. If you're struggling to get traction in your business, I would say, take a deeper look at your ideal customer avatar, because there's a reason that whatever you're putting out into the world, isn't landing with who you it to land with. So I would set aside some time, get really honest about who exactly it is that you're speaking to. And also take a look at your services. Because a lot of times we have things on our service list that we don't actually like doing, or we don't actually want to do, but we feel like we need to, or we should. I encourage you to be brave and delete that from your services. Get real, honest and real deep and real emotional. Do that fear work. What is your ideal customer afraid of? What is she frustrated by? What are her problems that you can help her solve, really dive into that. And once you understand, once you hit that, that bulls-eye, the traction will start pouring in.

Shannon Mattern: So good. And then the final question is what belief about yourself? Did you have to change to get where you are today?

Speaker 6: Whoa,

Kelsey Formost: This is, Oh man, this is good. What belief did I have to change to put it succinctly that I could do it? I had, and I know that sounds so simplistic, but the idea behind it is I let myself be intimidated by everything that wasn't the service that I was providing for a very long time. Meaning I really held myself back from building a website, getting finally deciding on an email provider, understanding how to put an opt-in out into the world, all of these steps that I thought, well, I don't have that million dollar business with a staff to do this for me. And I really held myself back for a long time because of that limiting belief, that that was going to be too hard for me to do. And that doesn't mean that I didn't have a lot of failure or a lot of trial and error, but eventually it's like anything else. You have to learn how to do it in order to start doing it right. So the thing that I had to change about myself is just that mindset of, I can totally learn how to do this because other people have learned how to do this, which means I can follow in that path and I myself can learn how to do this and use it to my advantage.

Shannon Mattern: Uh, that is the perfect place to wrap up our interview. Kelsey, thank you so much for being here and sharing all of the awesomeness that you shared with us today. Can you share with everyone where we can go to learn more about you, get on your email list, connect with you on social media, all the things

Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. The best place to start would be to go to foremost.com/freebies. That is the list of all of my opt-ins and it's like a choose your own adventure. You can choose which one is right for you. I've got one. That's more about your email list. I've got one that's about social media. I've got one that's about copywriting in general, my signature freebie, which is three copy secrets to three X profits. You can download any of those at Kelsey foremost.com/previous. If you want to find me on social media, the best place would be Instagram. And my handle is at Kelsey dot rights. W R I T E S. So I will see you over there and let me know that you found me through Shannon. I'd love to connect with you guys about this episode.

Shannon Mattern: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me.

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Bio:

Kelsey Formost is a copywriting expert and mental health advocate who teaches entrepreneurs how to write words that sell.

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Kelsey:

Kelsey's Website

Kelsey's Instagram

Kelsey's Facebook

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