Lisa Zahran on Million Dollar Campaigns, Copywriting, & Email Marketing [S01E03]

Lisa Zahran on the SIA Business Podcast

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BRIEF BIO OF LISA ZAHRAN

From being a biotechnologist in New Zealand to an entrepreneurial and “spiritual” copywriter in Malaysia, Lisa Zahran has a pretty interesting story.

Lisa Zahran - the Copywriting Expert

Good email marketing is like “a knock on the door” – Lisa Zahran

Lisa has helped many of her clients authentically communicate their message and amplify their impact, including helping them achieve successes like million-dollar launches and launching books that reached the New York Times bestseller list.

With over 10 years of experience writing copy, Lisa’s copywriting has been used to launch digital products and services for companies like Productive MuslimTribe47Mindvalley, EverCoach, and Quran Academy. She also has a collective experience of over 15 years in creative writing, publications, public relations, and blogging.

Pssstt… Don’t want to go through Lisa’s bio, the show notes, and additional links right now? 

No problemo. Enjoy listening to the podcast episode instead :).

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Lisa believes copywriting should never be pushy, forceful or manipulative just for the sake of creating a sale. This type of copywriting may lead to short-term sales, but they do not create long-term value or lifetime customers.
Believing the most powerful sales comes from sincerity, her approach to copywriting comes from an intent to push forward a message of value, purpose, and positivity. Only when your communication is aligned with your authenticity and integrity, can you build a long-lasting legacy of abundance and positive impact on your business.

 

Show Notes

 

[2:08] From BioTech to the written word, Lisa’s unconventional journey to copywriting. She grew up in an Asian family where the focus, you guessed it, was on science.

[3:00] How Lisa’s first job in farm technology in New Zealand helped her get skills which got her ready for copywriting

[4:04] How selling baby diapers as a salesperson standing in a supermarket aisle, writing for magazines and other jobs helped Lisa get further training in copywriting and marketing skills.

[6:50] How Lisa got to work at Mindvalley when the company was still young (“a team of 20 people working in a bungalow house” in Bangsar, Malaysia)

[9:19] Lisa’s definition of copywriting, and why she feels psychology is massively important for copywriters

[10:37] Major differences between offline copywriting and online copywriting. Plus the one similarity between both

[14:21] Lisa’s top 2 favorite books on copywriting, and how they help one to become better at the art and the science of copywriting

[17:42] Why Lisa decided to leave Mindvalley, and go entrepreneurial 

[19:26] Lisa’s entrepreneurial experiences, working with the likes of EverCoach, Productive Muslim, Quran Academy etc

[21:01]The first Million Dollar Campaign at Mindvalley which Lisa helped orchestrate, the landing page she authored had over a 70%-80% conversion rate, and what a turning point this campaign became for Lisa. (The million dollar revenue mark was achieved in just one week!)

[24:36] More detailed discussion on the Million Dollar campaign including the roles of each team member, team hierarchy etc.

[27:07] How functional and cross-functional teams proved pivotal to the exponential growth of Mindvalley

[28:16] The skill set of technical staff (designers, developers) at Mindvalley, and the focus on proprietary software (for the most part) rather than solutions like LeadPages or ConvertKit etc.

[30:56]Deep dive into the key ingredients of a great landing page (that converts!)

[33:50] Why copywriting is still crucial for newer content formats like video, infographics

[35:40] The why and how of CTAs (Call to Actions), and how to use scarcity, trigger words and much more to make CTAs powerful

[37:20] How using scarcity the wrong way can negatively impact your sales, credibility, reputation. Lisa’s take on the morals and ethics of copywriting

[39:33] Examples of fake scarcity from the campaigns run by the likes of Neil Patel and NYT, and an idea about how they could have done it better.

[44:01] The positive impacts of genuine scarcity and how it actually works out

[45:06] The NYT bestselling authors which Lisa has worked with

[46:12] Top tips on (permission-based) email marketing, how NOT to upset your email subscribers in the age of ‘information overload’, and how an email is likea knock on the door’

[49:10]When is it right for your emails to be detailed. Plus, intro to sales emails, launch sequences, and how to plan “the seeds of curiosity” to keep people looking forward to for your next email

[51:15] How to repurpose your sales page for your email marketing campaign

[52:47] Strategically mapping out content (rather than just ranting), and how the number 1 rule of chefs “respect the knife” can help you be better at it. Planning properly around the building suspense, scarcity, and triggers.

[53:55] Key things entrepreneurs should look for while looking for a copywriter

[57:19] 5 Success Mindsets to Boost Impact & SalesWith Integrity by a FREE ebook by Lisa Zahran. Sharing how to write copy “without selling your soul“, Lisa, mentions in her book how the best sales don’t have to be manipulative but rather come from a place of “love, honesty, and integrity”.

Full Transcript

INTRO: (00:01) You’re the average of the five podcast shows you listen to the most. Learn to run your business well with the SIA Business Show, where our host, Sayed Irfan Ajmal, interviews entrepreneurs, marketers, and speakers of all colors and creeds, revealing their biggest secrets and lousiest mistakes.

 

Irfan: (00:24) Hi everyone. This is Sayed Irfan Ajmal again, from the SIA Business Show Podcast. Today, I have a guest whom I have known probably for about two years. We have worked together on a project, and it was a great experience in terms of learning and collaboration. Her name is Lisa Zahran.

 

(00:43) She is based in Malaysia. She is a terrific copywriter with over ten years of experience writing copy and launching digital products for different entrepreneurs. She has worked with companies like Productive Muslim, Quran Academy, Mindvalley, and Evercoach.

 

(01:00) She’s also the founder of Ikhlas Copywriting Academy, which is something we’ll be talking about in more detail, and she is someone who has actually worked with New York Times bestselling authors, which she will be talking about.

 

(01:14) We will also talk about persuasion. The importance of words, obviously, in your copy, and in your business, and your sales and marketing funnel. We will also talk about some of the crossroads that she has been at, have switched from an entirely different career choice to copywriting and a few more things, In Shaa Allah, including a million campaign that she had been a part of, which was instrumental in getting her very interested, much more interested in copywriting and online marketing, and much more. So, Lisa, welcome to the show.

 

Lisa Zahran: (01:47) Hi you, Irfan, for the introduction and thank you for inviting me on your show. I’m truly honored to be here, and it has been really great to know you also, these past two years and the amazing work you’ve been doing. So, it’s truly an honor to be part of this podcast.

 

Irfan: (02:02) My pleasure, and thank you for being here and I’m looking forward to discussing a few things. Copywriting. So, Lisa, before we talk about copywriting, actually, let’s talk about Lisa who was there before copywriting, and who may have not even heard of copywriting. So tell me, what were you like when you were growing up, what did you want to become, and what was that other career choice that you had mentioned?

 

Lisa: (02:25) Yeah. So, my journey into copywriting has been not conventional. Growing up, I did love writing, and I love reading. I wanted to grow up to be some sort of writer, but it always felt like a hobby or like a far off dream, which is, growing up in an Asian family, it was… we were… Science was the usual thing. Right?

 

(02:48) And I enjoyed reading science fiction books as well. So, I did enjoy Science. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Science and I went on to become trained in Biology. I graduated in a Biotech degree, and my first job, my first career after graduating was in farm technology.

 

(03:07) It was very interesting work, actually. It was a very interesting work because I was doing research for sensor technology, but at the same time in that particular job, at the time I didn’t realize it, but I was actually also getting marketing training because, in that job, I was also doing market research, speaking to farmers, we were traveling across Europe and running forums and getting customer feedback to develop the product.

 

(03:32) And I was part of that whole R and D process as well as the marketing and contributing in writing the five years business plan based on the

 

(03:40) research that we were doing. So, that job had actually already sort of introduced me to copywriting, but I did not know it yet.

 

(03:47) And working in the lab was really exciting as well, to develop the sensor technologies for the farms. And then after that, I left Science, eventually, because when I moved back to Malaysia… my job with the farm technology was in New Zealand. no

 

(04:04) When I moved back to Malaysia, there weren’t so many opportunities in Science that interested me. So, I decided to go into pursuing writing, which like I said earlier was more of a childhood thing. I enjoyed it. I enjoy reading it. I just love the expression in general, creative expression.

 

(04:22) So at the time, in terms of the job, I was working with my brother’s company, which again was marketing and copywriting, but I didn’t realize it was marketing and copywriting at the time.

 

(04:35) And I would be like the salesgirl standing in the supermarket aisle, giving out samples of the baby diapers that we were selling. We were importing and distributing, United Colors Of Benetton diapers in Malaysia. My brother had gotten the sole distributor license for that.

 

(04:51) So, I was writing brochures, and I was writing… and I was like the sales sample person at the supermarket aisles, booking the customers. So, honestly, at this point, I didn’t even call it copywriting, I didn’t know it was all copywriting. I was just… I just love writing.

 

(05:05) So, I was just helping my brother write stuff and write the brochures and stuff. And meanwhile, I was also freelancing for some magazines. And then after that, I decided to go into social work, and I was working with an NGO, a local nonprofit, advocating for children’s rights, particularly for child sexual abuse, in the field of child sexual abuse.

 

(05:28) and as advocacy manager, I was working with the courts, and I was working with education programs, and because of my skill in writing, I ended up inevitably getting all those, like, writing press releases, writing this, writing that.

 

(05:41) So, I know it’s just something I have passion for because… at the cause that I believed in, being able to use my skill and my joy or writing to give a message, and create education and create change in people’s opinion. Again, I did not realize at the time that that is copywriting, the that is persuasive writing. Something I was just not aware of.

 

(06:04) So after that, I became the magazine’s, I was freelancing for… an opportunity opened up to me at one of the magazines I was writing for to become a full-time editor. So, I was a full-time editor for about two years, and then I got introduced into Mindvalley.

 

(06:20) From there, someone who I had met in my job as the editor in that magazine introduced me to Mindvalley and said, “Hey, I think you should work here. I think you’re really good at what you do. There’s a position open for a copywriter.” And I’m like, “What’s a copywriter?” I honestly had no idea.

 

Irfan: (06:34) Can you mention what year was this, when you were being approached by Mindvalley when you are about to apply from Mindvalley?

 

Lisa: (06:42) It was 2008. Yeah, it was 2008, and I was approached by a friend who had known me through the media circle. And he said, “I think you should write for Mindvalley and… well, come work with us at Mindvalley.” So, that person was Kai Lee, by the way. I’m pretty sure you might know his name. Kai Lee, Ung Kai Lee, he went on to create a whole bunch of stuff outside of Mindvalley later on. But anyway, so yeah, so…

 

Irfan: (07:09) Yeah. I’m not sure. The name rings a bell, but maybe if I see his profile then maybe I will recognize him. I think this is around the same time when Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley was… I think he had just moved back to Malaysia or something like that, right?

 

Lisa: (07:23) Yes. Mindvalley was still young at the time. When I tried to Mindvalley, they were at the KL central office, and shortly after, we moved into a house. We were like a team of 20 people. It was… I guess you could call it a startup still, back then.

 

(07:36) And our team of about 20 people, working in a bungalow house in [(bansa)inaudible]. And it was an exciting time to be at the company and to be part of its initial growth spurt, and that was when I actually learned the term copywriting and the art of copywriting in a formal way.

 

(07:54) All this while, I had been learning it in an informal way and… I mean, Kai Lee recognized it as copywriting is what I’ve been doing, and he recognized that I would be a good fit for the company. He suggested it to me to join. And I learned a lot from doing it informally to learn it formally and applying it in the online world.

 

(08:14) Because before, I had been applying it mostly offline. Like, selling in supermarkets and doing advocacy work. So, there was a very interesting shift, and it was also very interesting in that, it combined my passion in writing and my passion for helping to create change. Whether that be a social change, or whether that be supporting a particular cause or product with good values behind it. So yeah, that was my go into copywriting.

 

Irfan: (08:44) Right, right. And for those who don’t know, can you briefly tell us what Mindvalley is?

 

Lisa: (08:50) Mindvalley is basically an online publishing house, and I guess you could say. That’s probably not how they would describe themselves. They’re like Hay house. Now, they publish digital products, mostly in the field of education and personal development. And their mission is to provide this education to help elevate humanity, that’s their slogan right now. Yeah. And to transform and make this education available, easily available to people.

 

Irfan: (09:18) Right. So, when you joined Mindvalley, as you mentioned, that’s when you basically formally adopted a copywriter label. So, can you tell us a bit about what copywriting is?

 

Lisa: (09:32) Copywriting is the art of persuasion in words, and it exists in everyday life. It has a lot of psychology in it. It merges a lot of psychology. Like, when I started learning copywriting formally, I actually became quite overwhelmed with how my psychology was behind it.

 

(09:54) Before, I had been doing it quite informally. I had just been writing from the heart. But once I learned it formally, I realized how to use, how to leverage that psychology, that understanding of human behavior to make copy more concise, more powerful, more persuasive.

 

(10:11) Whether you are selling diapers or whether you are fighting for a cause, copy, the words on paper is one form of communication that is aimed to challenge a certain belief and transform that into taking action, whatever that action might be.

 

Irfan: (10:32) Right. That’s a pretty well-phrased definition. Probably the best I have came across. In terms of… you mentioned that you are working… you are doing at least some bits of copywriting in an offline world. And then, with you joining Mindvalley, you went into doing online copywriting. So in your opinion, are there any major differences between a copywriting in the offline world versus doing the same on the online world?

 

Lisa: (10:56) Oh, yes, definitely. There are many differences. Copywriting in the online world, for a start, one of the biggest differences, which was initially very difficult for me to adapt to, was the casual tone. As working in journalists, working in press, having worked for writing press releases and advocacy statements, I had a very formal writing style, and when I went into online copywriting, it was very casual.

 

(11:27) It was like, “Write for a 10-year-old, these words are too big, these words too formal, the sentence structure is too formal.” Like, adapting to that was very, very difficult. But the psychology behind it is very powerful because it really is about just creating that instant connection that… online world copywriting is like talking to a friend and when you talk to a friend you don’t speak in formal press release sentences. Right?

 

(11:58) So, adapting to that as a writer was my first hurdle. And it is actually something that I think, I also see people struggle with also, at least people who are trained in writing like I was before, although I wasn’t formally trained in writing, but you know what I mean.

 

(12:17) But we’ve been writing for media, and we’ve been writing for press releases, for Science reports. I was trained to write for Science reports for the Science papers. And that was a big, big change. That was a big, big difference. And the other thing about how a copywriting online is different is the real-time.

 

(12:40) How you have to react so fast. You are not sitting down doing two weeks of research in a library to come up with a press release. You gotta be fast. You’ve got to listen to social media, and you’ve got to react very, very quickly.

 

(12:55) So, picking up on that skill was also another challenge for me because especially coming from the Science perspective, I’m like, “No, we’ve got to test all hypotheses first. We’ve got to read up all the papers first before we put anything out. We need to verify the source.” I wanted to do all these things, which is just impossible when you’re working online.

 

(13:13) Sometimes you just, it’s okay to just put out your opinion, and you can’t verify a source. That’s how it works online. If you’re writing an academic paper that’s different, but if you’re just coming across a news article and you’re just saying, “Hey, this is my thoughts on this news article.”

 

(13:26) You don’t need to dive into a whole bunch of research. You’re just there to provide content. And I was also, from a Science perspective, I was very resistant to that, and I’m like “Don’t put on anything until we’ve proven it right or wrong.”

 

(13:38) So, that mentality, that mind shift that we’re just sitting down with a bunch of friends and conversing. Like, when you’re sitting down with a bunch of fans, and you’re conversing, you don’t necessarily have to say that you’ve done all your research. You just like, “Oh, I heard about this, and this is what I think. What do you think?” It’s pretty much just like that.

 

(13:55) So, realizing that the whole online culture is different to offline writing, but actually, it is related more to offline interactions. That was a shift. But once I realized that shift and settled into that shift, it opened up a whole lot of avenues, avenues of creativity, avenues of ideas, and excitement to be in this world.

 

Irfan: (14:19) Right. So, before we move onto the next section, if you come across any interesting, relevant books, just when you formally started being a copywriter with Mindvalley, any books on psychology, persuasion, copywriting, anything that helped you, which might help some of the listeners who may be, are having their own small businesses and startups and want to know the basics before may be hiring a copywriter or someone who wants to be a copywriter. Anything that you can mention.

 

Lisa: (14:44) One of the books that I love is a book by Joe Sugarman. He’s a legendary direct copywriter, and the book is called, Triggers. What I love so much about Joe Sugarman’s approach to copywriting and in his book, Triggers, is because he comes from a very grassroots perspective, a very daily life perspective, observations of human behavior and translates that into a copyrighting psychology into how we can use it in our marketing materials, in our writing materials.

 

(15:22) His chapters are not “Emails”, “Landing pages.” His chapters are like, “my…” can’t remember from the top of my head, but he’s chapters are arranged in situations like, “My experience at an ice cream parlor,” and then the next chapter is like, “Walking down the street and I saw this,” he was walking down a street, and he saw this gate, and he was just observing people.

 

(15:42) So, what I love about it is that, and it resonates with me because, I guess in a way, that was also my entry into copywriting. I didn’t study it in school. I didn’t study journalism, and I didn’t study writing. I’ve observed people, and I felt the impact of words in my own life.

 

(16:01) I was influenced by a lot of writers that I read. A lot of authors that I read, whether fiction or nonfiction. I already understood intrinsically the power of words. And to see this perspective of teaching copywriting from that, not from a very academic view. That’s what I love about it. Because it’s so relatable.

 

(16:20) And that’s where copywriting should come from. That’s where persuasion should come from. It should come from something you can relate to, rather than it just being an academic formula. The academic formula is there to help guide you.

 

(16:34) I’m not saying it’s not important at all. It is an aspect of copywriting. There are many other great copywriters who teach that. Influence, by Cialdini is another book that teaches the science of copywriting in a very good way and is considered by the market as Bible for good reason, and I turn back to the six main triggers identified by Cialdini a lot in my copywriting, even to this day and even in Ikhlas Copywriting when I’m teaching other people how to write copy.

 

(16:56) So, you do need that scientific structure as well. But if you can’t relate it to your life, the art of persuasion in your own life, in your own observations, when you’re walking down the street, you’re not going to capture the true essence of copywriting. What I think is the true essence of copywriting, which is reaching heart to heart.

 

(17:13) If you’re trying to convince someone else to change their heart, you’ve got to speak from your heart too. It’s as simple as that. So that’s what I love about Joe Sugarman’s book, Triggers. So, between the two, between Cialdini’s book, Influence, and Joe Sugarman’s book, Triggers, if there are only two books of copywriting you will read, it’s these two.

 

Irfan: (17:33) Wonderful! The influence was already on my reading list. It’s already on my Audible, but I have yet to read it, and I will definitely be reading Joe Sugarman’s, Triggers, as well. So, what happened after Mindvalley? I know, you had mentioned some of the challenges that you had, or if you want to talk about what happened after Mindvalley.

 

Lisa: (17:54) So, my journey at the Mindvalley, the reason I decided to go on my own was because, put it this way, it was really exciting to learn about copywriting with Mindvalley, and as I learned more about copywriting, as I learned to put my own soul into copywriting. Like I said, like as I began to discover that copywriting is persuasion and that persuasion needs to come from the heart for it to be most effective.

 

(18:16) As I realized that this was not just an academic thing, and I began to put my heart and my soul into every copy that I write, it became difficult when I came across a project that I didn’t believe in, or that I didn’t connect to in some way or another or that conflicted with me in some way or another.

 

(18:34) So, when you’re working for a publishing house, it’s impossible to… and multiple authors and multiple products, it’s impossible to agree with everything. And it was difficult as an employee to pick and choose your projects. You’re being hired to work full time and, and to do what comes your way.

 

(18:52) And while I love some of the projects I did, some of the products, and love some of the artists that I work with because I resonated with that message. There were others that I did not. That’s why I decided to leave and go freelance. And as a freelancer, I could pick and choose my projects, and I did still.

 

(19:09) And I do still continue just to stay to work for Mindvalley, and for agriculture in particular, as those with some of the projects that I enjoyed doing. So, I kept in touch with some of the project managers, and they’re, who went on and also did their own companies while also still working with Mindvalley. Such people like, Ajit Nawalkha, who co-founded Evercoach with Mindvalley.

 

(19:28) And that has made it more exciting for me also. It makes things… it brought a new dynamic to my business and my copywriting career because now I was going out and really pursuing my heart and really helping the people whose message I believed in or shared in one way or another. As a copywriter contributing to that, contributing to getting the message out, contributing to getting their products and services out.

 

(19:55) One of which was Productive Muslim, whom I had actually been a follower, as a reader for two years. And then, when I saw that they were looking for writers to join their team, I applied. Alhamdulillah, I was interviewed and accepted into their team, and I worked with them for two years as a contributor and as a content editor and as a copywriter working alongside Brother Faris, Brother Mohammed Faris, and Brother Athif Khaleel.

 

(20:22) It was a great time working together with them, and from there, I was able to also write and learn about something I was passionate about at the same time. And of course, Alhamdulillah, also opened a lot of other avenues for me. Also introduced me to Quran Academy and also other businesses as well, not necessarily just in the Muslim world.

 

(20:47) So yeah, it was a good transition. It was again, a different challenge when you’re now working for yourself versus working in the comfort and security of a company. Many different pros and cons, but I absolutely loved it. I still do.

 

Irfan: (21:00) Right. Can you also mention a bit more details about the million-dollar campaign that you spoke to me about before we started this recording? The one which you had in Mindvalley, I believe.

 

Lisa: (21:12) Oh, yes. That was the first million-dollar campaign that I was involved in Mindvalley, and they had a few, amazing company to learn from. So, this was when I was still I think, in the first six months of being at Mindvalley, I think. Definitely the first year, perhaps the first six months or so.

 

(21:32) How Mindvalley is structured, at the time, they would have different project managers on the different teams and in each different team, there would be assigned a copywriter, designer, et cetera. Well, we worked in teams of about 4 or 5, and the goal at the time was launching one product a week across the whole company with every single team working on about one or two products, but that one is just a month.

 

(21:57) So, it was quite intense. And at that time, when I was working on this launch, I still remember it was, I think, it was called, The Science Of Getting Rich. It was a Bob Proctor product, and at that time, Law Of Attraction, the book was really big, and Bob Proctor was one of the people that was interviewed in that movie, The Secret, which was really huge at that time.

 

(22:14) And so, we were launching this product, The Science Of Getting Rich, and I had written a landing page for the launch, had written the landing page with a book and the landing page did really, really well. Getting about 70 or 80% conversions, which is way above industry standard.

 

(22:30) So, we were writing, I remember sitting down writing the sales sequence… and as a writer, when you look at the computer screen, it’s just you and a word document, and it’s words on paper. You don’t actually see the impact. You don’t feel the impact because you’re not in front of a person. It’s different to offline marketing, right.

 

(22:49) When I’m a salesgirl in the supermarket aisle, giving out a diaper sample, I’m answering the questions of the person. It’s a direct conversation. So, it’s like a different thing and to experience… but you’re writing… you’re like writing to somebody in a conversation, but there’s no one there.

 

(23:04) And so, copywriting at that time, to me, up to that point, it felt like a bubble. It didn’t feel real to me. So, what was different about that campaign is that after we launched it, after the… we had the pre-launch campaign with the landing page and everything.

 

(23:19) And then, on the day that we release the first sales email, on that day of that launch, I remember, we all sat down in front of the computer. I mean, the two project managers, the computer guy, they’re all sitting down, 4 of us in front of the monitor watching the sales come in from the moment we clicked send, the first sale came in within minutes, I think, within seconds.

 

(23:42) And by 10 minutes, went up to hundreds and within an hour had been thousands of dollars in sales. And by the end of the week, it reached a million. But that first hour, just watching those sales come in and knowing that just last week, I was just by myself sitting in front of the computer writing these emails to people. Talking to people that I was not seeing.

 

(24:06) And then to realize, sitting in front of that screen, seeing the results go out, to realize that those are my words that they are reading right now. That’s making them choose to buy, putting their credit card details and get this program, that was when it really hit me what we are actually doing, what I’m actually doing and how much power words have in this online world and offline as well, obviously. To me, that was an introduction to online sales.

 

Irfan: (24:33) Yeah. So yeah, I just got very excited. If it’s okay, I would love to ask a few more follow-up questions on this campaign.

 

Lisa: (24:41) Yeah.

 

Irfan: (24:42) Okay. So, you mentioned that there were 4 to 5 people in this team. So, if you can tell us what were the responsibilities of every team member, and what was your role in terms of the activities that you did? I believe you mentioned, writing a sales sequence, which I believe is a series of emails and the landing page copy. So, a little more detail about both these aspects.

 

Lisa: (25:03) Sure. Okay. So, we had a project manager, and her role was to coordinate everything. Coordinate the copy deadlines, the design deadlines, make sure that everything’s on track, setting up everything, autoresponders, working with tech computer, making sure that the tech side of things, to make sure that everything is smooth on the back-end.

 

(25:29) And then we also have an overall project manager who works with… the overall project manager is someone who works with that project manager, but someone who also works with the higher management. So, he worked with Vishen’s team as well.

 

(25:42) So, what happens is that every month, Vishen would have a team with all top project managers to strategically plan out what products and what authors are going to be launched this month. Like I said, we were going to… we were launching one product a week, so that was a lot of planning and they would do this planning months in advance or even quarterly in advance. Right?

 

(26:02) So, that person will then work with… every member of that team will then work with a few project managers and then each project manager with that one team. You’re following me so far, right?

 

Irfan: (26:13) Yeah. So, you’re saying that it was 1 to 2 projects being launched every week by the entire team or by every sub-team of 4 or 5 people?

 

Lisa: (26:22) No, every sub-team would be maybe 1 or 2 products a month. But across the whole company, the goal was one per week, 1 or 2 per week.

 

Irfan: (26:30) Okay. All right. And so, in your team there was the project manager who was obviously working on execution, making sure that everyone is working in sync and everything is according to the deadlines, there was a designer, there was, you was the copywriter. Who else was there?

 

Lisa: (26:47) There was also the project manager strategist, the one that works with Vishen. So, he works directly with my project manager. My project manager reports directly to him. And then occasionally, once a week, he would also have a meeting with all the sub-teams.

 

(27:01) So I think the top management team or project managers, I think, maybe there was about 4 or 5 at that time. And then also, in each division, there were also different teams. So, as a copywriter, there were many copywriters also in Mindvalley.

 

(27:13) So, we would also have our own individual meetings to discuss the copy that we were doing and we would help each other across the projects. Critique each other to help improve each other’s copies. So, it’s not just the sub-team of the project manager. I was also part of the sub-team of copywriters and the lead copywriter, at that time, was Kenneth Yu, brilliant copywriter, by the way. Whom I learned a lot from.

 

(27:35) So, he would train us, he would go through our copy, he would help with those things and then after it gets his approval, then I submit my copy to my project manager, and the project manager gets the approval from the strategist project manager, and then it goes to design. So that was, from my work that was done, once it goes to design, it was done there. Of course, I do bits of proofreading after the design was done,the usual stuff.

 

(28:00) So, there were many parallel systems in play at that time, and that’s very pivotal to Mindvalley’s growth. And that was a genius of Vishen’s leadership, is creating all these systems and process, has done a lot for exponential growth.

 

Irfan: (28:15) Right. Wonderful. So, the designer… when you say, it was a designer who was working with you in the team, would it be someone who had, say, skills in something like LeadPages or Convertkit? Like, one of these landing page software, or would it be someone who had Photoshop skills, if you know what I mean.

 

Lisa: (28:33) The designers at Mindvalley were also developers, I mean, they could code themselves. Mindvalley was not using any third party. They were using their own. They weren’t necessarily working with LeadPages. There were times that they did use a third party software and stuff, but a lot of it was proprietary Mindvalley stuff. They were programmers, development developers, coders, designers.

 

Irfan: (28:54) Okay. Would you say that at this stage, when you were doing this launch and reaching to $1 million in sales in about one week, when it comes to marketing, like getting those initial eyeballs to get the ball rolling? Would you say that Mindvalley was at the stage where the incoming traffic of Mindvalley from existing visitors was big enough to get the initial traffic to your products landing page?

 

(29:19) Obviously, you mentioned that it was 70 to 80% conversion rate. So, definitely, that’s something that I would say, several times more than what a normal conversion rate is. So, good job on that. But my question is since there was no marketer in your team, was it the overall Mindvalley’s marketing team effort that brought that initial traffic and was it something that was already there in the website? Do you know what I mean?

 

Lisa: (29:41) You’re talking about and how many people were already in Mindvalley subscription list to achieve those kinds of high numbers?

 

Irfan: (29:49) Yeah, partly that as well. But all I mean is like you mentioned the team, and I can see that there is no marketer in the individual product teams, right? The teams that are working on different product launches. So what I’m saying is, was the marketing being done by the… was there a separate marketing team that was working on increasing the traffic for the overall website, and that was basically helping to get traffic to individual product pages and different products.

 

Lisa: (30:14) Oh yeah. I mean, just sub-teams did that. Our project managers were also handling the marketing side, the blogs, keyword research, all the marketing thing that goes on in between launches as well. That is also what the overall product project manager. And we, as a copywriter, also did.

 

(30:29) Like, part of my job in Mindvalley is not just going from launch to launch, but in between also writing blog those posts. Also writing copy for social media. Also writing copy for newsletters. That was all standard work throughout, with or without a launch. So, when we have those launch times, once or twice a month in our sub-teams, it will be on top of the existing work. So it would be all the time.

 

Irfan: (30:55) All right. So, what are some of the key ingredients that a landing page should have from the perspective of a copywriter like yourself who has worked on million-dollar campaigns and who has worked with New York Times bestselling authors?

 

Lisa: (31:09) Key elements of a landing page, headline, sub-headline and pre-headline. The three things, pre-headline, headline, sub-headline. Yeah. After that would be an opening. That opening is what I call setting up the stage. It sets up the headlines, grabs attention. It grabs the people that you are speaking to, right?

 

(31:31) And then that opening paragraph, it sets up the stage. It will be the frame of your entire landing page. That is where we either frame the problem or frame the solution, whatever it is, it’s framing. And then after that introduction paragraph, bullet points.

 

(31:50) So, those bullet points then fill in the frame. Right? You’re starting putting the content of that. You’ve already got people’s attention, you’ve got the structure, and now you’re putting in the details into that structure. So, that’s your bullet points.

 

(32:03) And this is where you… whatever it is that you’re asking people to sign up for, whether it’s an eBook, whether it’s a video series, or whether it’s a 5-day challenge, those bullet points are going to be very key in convincing people to take action, which is to sign up for whatever it is you’re doing to take action.

 

(32:22) And so, your bullet points need to show the benefits. Your bullet points need to also show that you understand their pain. It can’t be an egotistical view of just, “This is what I do, this is what I’ve created.” It needs to relate to them.

 

(32:39) And by that, I go back to Joe Sugarman, go back to the philosophy of how Joe Sugarman approaches copies, how he persuades from the heart, right? So, that’s the essence of it. And in terms of making sure you have all the triggers, I go back to Cialdini, right? Your social trigger, your social proof, your authority, all those.

 

(32:56) Those bullet points will actually be the meat of everything, but for the bullet points to be effective, it needs to be within that frame of the introduction and within that headline and sub-headline that grabs the attention in the first place.

 

(33:08) Bullet points will not survive on its own. Even though it’s the most important part of persuasion is the heart of the landing page, but it won’t survive on its own. It needs the rest of the body, the body to support it. And then, another important element would be a profile of some sort, whether it’s an author or whether it’s a company.

 

(33:26) There has to be something about, like, who is this from. People always want to know who this is. There’s an authority in it. It gives credibility. We need to know who we’re learning from. We, as humans, that is just one of the important triggers.

 

(33:39) We want to trust the people that we’re learning from. We want to like the people that we’re learning from. Likability is one of the triggers that Cialdini mentions. So, those are the most important elements of a landing page.

 

(33:50) Now, whether this element are in the form of video or in the form of words copy, copywriting that goes into the video script, it’s still the science and the soul of copywriting. I see this debate going on all the time, like, copy is bad, video is in, forget copywriting, it’s all about video now. People just want to watch video.

 

(34:10) To me, I think, that’s just looking at the form over the function, the function and the psychology of writing copy of video scripts or whatever form it is in. Whether it’s infographics. People are saying copy is not needed anymore because there are infographics that are in it’s not about the form. Even in an infographic, you have the psychology of copy in that, in the creation of infographics, the creation of the video.

 

(34:32) Even in design, how the design complements a copy, and I often work with designers to make sure that the design and copy complement each other. So, it is bigger than just the words on the page as a copywriter. Sometimes I think the title, “copywriting” doesn’t quite encapsulate what we actually do. Because it’s so much more that goes into it and there’s a lot of people that actually contribute to copywriting, [(ezines)inaudible], for example, as one.

 

(34:58) So, that is an anti-graphic a little bit on a landing page, but those are the elements of the landing page and the psychology of copywriting that goes into the landing page, whichever form it takes. In words, video, infographics, et cetera.

 

Irfan: (35:12) Right. Yeah, I definitely agree with that. In fact, you answered one of the questions that I was planning to ask on, what are your thoughts on the video and other content formats. So, that makes total sense. So, in terms of… there is headline, sub-headline and then there is bullet points where we would mention the pain points of the potential audience members and we’d mention the benefits of what product or service and it is the company’s profile or the person’s profile who… and maybe some sort of social proof on who that person or company is, what they have done. What would it be next after that? Would they be like “Applies”, would there be a CTA?

 

Lisa: (35:45) Yes. And then, of course, the CTA, the Call To Action button, which… there’s a lot of advice out there on how to create a snappy Call To Action button. Words like “now”, words that trigger that makes you feel scarcity in that. Scarcity is one of the triggers Cialdini mentioned.

 

(36:02) So, when you say something like, “Buy now,” you sort of creating that time scarcity. Implicitly you’re hearing that time scarcity because you’re like, “This is the moment now.” “Now,” like, “You’re not going to have this opportunity later,” so that’s why “now” works so well.

 

(36:15) You don’t necessarily have to include it all the time. I’m just saying this is just one of the powerful words to use and ask CTA. But one thing for sure is that don’t make Call To Action so vague, and it has also to link back to what you were saying. Right?

 

(36:29) So, if the theme of… if the heart of your message was about transformation, right? Like, “transform your life,” for example, if that was the heart of your message and even if you have not used the phrase “transform your life” in the copy before, but that was essentially what you were saying. If your Call To Action then is “Transform your life now” that’s going to be what’s powerful.

 

(36:51) So, a powerful Call To Action is not, again, it’s not in a bubble. It is the punchline to everything you’ve said. So, it depends also on what you have previously written or what you had previously got on your landing page. It needs to encapsulate the key reason you sat down and wrote that piece. It needs to encapsulate the key change. You want to make your “why” to this. So short, snappy and purposeful. That is what makes a good CTA.

 

Irfan: (37:21) Right. You mentioned how scarcity can work very well, and I do understand the concept, but how do you think scarcity should be used without negatively impacting one’s reputation or one’s moral code? Where it means genuine, but you still get across the message that this is something that will not be there forever or something like that.

 

Lisa: (37:42) Scarcity is one of the most powerful triggers, but also one of the most abused because it’s so powerful, and because it’s so easy to use, it has been abused a lot for what I believe is the wrong reasons, which is just to make a sale or just for the sake of trying to get your conversion numbers up and that can ruin your reputation.

 

(38:04) Because if it’s not honest, people are going to know it. People are going to see through it. It just doesn’t make any sense. For example, for something to be limited to 1000 digital copies, we know digital copies technically infinite, right? So, how can there be a thousand limited digital copies.

 

(38:22) And words like, “It will be taken down forever after March 20th,” for example, and then two months later you see it up again, and only the date has changed. Like, “We’ll be taking it down in April 20th,” or whatever. Right? So, if you’re using scarcity for short term gain, you are going to lose long term, for sure.

 

(38:42) You’re going to lose long term sales, and you’re going to lose long term reputation, you’re going to lose long term credibility. So, scarcity is powerful because when it is honest, scarcity itself is scarce. Put it this way, it doesn’t happen very often. Scarcity itself is scarce. It is not all the time that you’re going to do a live event. Correct?

 

(39:05) It’s impossible for any author, however big their career or they are to do a live event every day in a year. You’ll probably be going to do a live event, for example, if you don’t do workshop live event on stage, like Tony Robbins, and you’re going to be… and you’re doing a world tour. It is scarce for him to be in your city. Right? Doing a talk.

 

(39:26) So, when that happens, that’s when you can really push for that scarcity because people know it is scarce. So, use it wisely and use it very carefully. As a simple rule of thumb is you use it honestly, it in itself is scarce. You will not abuse it, and people will trust you, and it will work for you long term.

 

Irfan: (39:48) Yeah. I mean, if I can just very quickly share a couple of brief examples. Neil Patel is someone whom whose content I learned a lot from, and definitely, he is someone whom tons of people learn from when it comes to digital marketing, especially SEO, content marketing, et cetera.

 

(40:03) And I don’t know if he still does that or not, but for a little while ago, maybe a few months ago, he had this webinar on his page. And if you are not careful and if one is not very tech-savvy, one would not realize it, but you know this, that fake urgency where he would be like, where with the copy says that “Okay, this is a live webinar where you can ask questions from Neil Patel,” something like that. I can be incorrect about some of the details.

 

(40:27) Basically, it was an automated webinar and the comments that are coming, they are not live, but they are already pre-fed into the webinar system. So, I get an email that I can attend the webinar on X date or on Y date. But whenever I attended, I would see a pre-recorded webinar, which is being marketed as a live webinar. And I mean, sure automation and everything like that, marketing technology, all of that is great, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of honesty and all that.

 

(40:56) And then there is another example where… it’s very funny that I see this example from a company as big as the New York Times. So, when I go to Twitter, I am shown an ad from the New York Times quite often. Maybe it’s going on for at least two or three months where the copy says that “New York Times for only $1.” I can subscribe to the digital edition for $1. That’s the ad.

 

(41:17) And I’m told that I have just 24 hours to do this. But it’s there for so many months, so it’s not 24 hours. So, don’t say, “24 hours” if it’s not 24 hours, maybe add some cost to it every day within an automated script or something that, “Hey, you could have gotten this for $1 yesterday, and now it’s $2.” I don’t know. I’m just saying that it doesn’t come across very good. And it’s made me not to take New York Times as seriously as I would have if it was a real scarcity.

 

Lisa: (41:44) Yes, absolutely. And I mean, New York Times, I’ve seen those ads as well. They are a reputable news agency, and unfortunately, when ads like this can catch you out and can catch readers who will start to see it, it can actually bring down the credibility of their news.

 

(42:03) I know, the marketing team is different to the journalist team of the New York Times, and that’s kind of sad that the marketing team is kind of now impacting how we view them in total and the credibility in total. So, you don’t this to happen to you or your company.

 

(42:16) So, it’s important that all your teams, especially if you’re the CEO of the company, you’ve got many divisions to look at, marketing, you’ve got sales, you’ve got your management team. It’s very important that you make sure that nobody is basically doing anything that can put the other team’s reputation.

 

(42:32) Because from outside, people are going to see this. People are going to see you as one. People are not going to see like, “Oh, their marketing team is not being honest, but at least the journalism is honest.” People are not going to think that. People are going to see you as a whole brand.

 

(42:45) So, it’s important to be consistent, and I really stress the thing about honesty because if you’re honest, there really is nothing that can go wrong. If somebody wants to claim that you’ve been lying, if you had to be honest, then can show proof that you were not.

 

(42:59) So, there are some things that will not work. For example, let me talk about extensions, right? Sometimes there was a deadline, like this event, we’re closing the deadline for registration on so and so date, right? And then, a few days after the date close, you get an email saying, “Hey, due to popular demand, we have decided to extend it by two other days. So, you still have a chance to get in. There are still ten slots remaining,” or something like that, right? Or “We have added another ten slots.”

 

(43:28) Now, we see this going around a lot. I know some people, I know some campaign, and I’ve worked on some campaigns where this was premeditated. They did this on purpose. There was, whether there is, or people writing in saying, “Oh, I missed out on the date.” They just know that this copy strategy works, so they put it in weeks in advance.

 

(43:45) To me, I feel a little bit uncomfortable about that, because if you’re on the list for a long time, you’re going to see this pattern a lot from launch, to launch, to launch. You’re going to see this, “Oh, this happens all the time,” and after a while, you’re just not going to listen to the closing date.

 

(43:56) And then the effect of scarcity is lost on any future campaign. But when it happens for real, and I have been on programs where that does happen for real, it is going to show that it is real because people on social media… because if people have been writing to you and people on social media have been saying to you, “I missed out on the date. I got the time zones confused. Please, please, I want to be in.”

 

(44:19) If people are actually really saying that, if you really do extend because of the feedback that proof is going to show because people on social media are going to be telling you, “Wow, thank you for extending it. I’ve just signed up.” That buzz is going to be there.

 

(44:32) People are going to be replying your emails, and you can post a screenshot of that saying things like, “Wow, I’m happy that we extended this because this person now joined and she’s really happy.” And that is going to build up for you as well. It’s going to work for you long term and short term. So, truly if it’s honest, it will work out for you, and that’s as simple as it can be.

 

Irfan: (44:53) Definitely, makes total sense. It’s important to keep long term goals and insight and not come across as desperate. If a company is relaxing the deadlines on every single campaign, then people will find out as you mentioned.

 

(45:06) We briefly mentioned the New York Times. I’m very curious about finding out who were the New York Times bestselling authors that you worked with. I can sort of guess that one would be Vishen Lakhiani, the CEO of Mindvalley. Can you confirm that? And who was the other NYT bestselling author?

 

Lisa: (45:23) I didn’t actually work with Vishen on his book launch. But I wasn’t part of that. I know who the copywriter was, he’s brilliant. I recently worked with Matthew Jackson. He wrote a book, Retirement Dream Maker, which was in a New York bestseller list two weeks ago. That’s my recent project.

 

Irfan: (45:39) Can you repeat the name of the author and the book again?

 

Lisa: (45:42) The book is called The Retirement Dream Maker. And it was written by Matthew Jackson.

 

Irfan: (45:49) Okay, wonderful. So, you’ve worked on this particular book with Matthew?

 

Lisa: (45:54) The book launch.

 

Irfan: (45:55) Okay. The book launch.

 

Lisa: (45:56) So, I worked on launching the book. I worked on a campaign that helped get it under the international New York Times bestselling list.

 

Irfan: (46:04) Right. Wonderful.

 

Lisa: (46:05) So, the website, the landing page, the emails, the sales emails, all that. So, another author I worked with also to bring her book to international bestselling status on the New York Times was Dr. Neeta Bhushan and her book, Emotional Grit.

 

Irfan: (46:21) Emotional Grit?

 

Lisa: (46:22) Yeah. By Dr. Neeta Bhushan.

 

Irfan: (46:25) Neeta.

 

Lisa: (46:25) Yep.

 

Irfan: (46:25) All right. Neeta Boucher.

 

Lisa: (46:27) Bhushan, B-H-U-S-H-A-N.

 

Irfan: (46:31) Right. Okay. We will put all these names and book links, et cetera, in the show notes as well. So, we all did talk about the anatomy of a great landing page, and you showed some really good thoughts, and I will definitely be thinking about those while updating my own website.

 

(46:47) But in terms of email marketing, do you have any advice for entrepreneurs and startups on how to do it right while running a campaign or just staying in touch with their subscribers list in general?

 

Lisa: (47:00) When it comes to emails, my number one piece of advice is to be very careful not to overwhelm your readers. We are in a digital age of so much information, of information overload. And one of the things is… I mean, our email inbox is also another form of clutter.

 

(47:21) Many people use the same email address for everything, whether it’s the Domino’s subscription or their work. And it can be very, very, very, very overwhelming. So, my biggest advice when it comes to email marketing is, be very careful. You don’t overwhelm your users.

 

(47:36) So, if you have a lot of information that you want to put in, put it on a blog, put it in a video, put it on social media, and your email, keep it nice and short, keep it compelling and then send them to the blog or video or whatever to read more, to listen, or to watch something.

 

(47:54) When I get emails… and I subscribe to a lot of emails because I study how people write emails, I study the people I follow, I study other marketers, so… and other entrepreneurs. So, sometimes I see this pattern, especially when people get something exciting to share and it’s good if you have something exciting to share, that’s great, but then it’s all in the email. And it’s like, paragraph after paragraph after paragraph, and it’s so overwhelming.

 

(48:16) Or they will blast you every day. It’s maybe they just like, it’s not a launch. It’s like, “I’m on holiday in Europe.” And everyday I’m getting an update about your holiday in Europe. I’m like, “Put it on a blog, don’t send it in an email.” It’s too much. Right? And thus, people are going to unsubscribe from you very fast if you overwhelm them. Remember, we are in information overload.

 

(48:38) Emails are like a knock on the door. It’s like knocking on the door and saying, “Hey, you want to go watch the Avengers movie with me? It’s really awesome. It’s got a really great reviews.” “Yeah?” “Okay, I’ve got tickets here. Here it is. Let’s go.” That’s that. It’s that invitation. That’s a knock on the door. You’re interrupting someone.

 

(48:53) When you’re writing an email, you’re interrupting someone. They could be doing something else and then the email comes in, or they could be multitasking, talking to their children, or having dinner with their friends and then they’re checking emails. Remember, you’re knocking on the door, you’re interrupting somebody.

 

(49:05) The email is permission for people to make the decision. “Oh, I want to know more about this.” And then you have their attention. Don’t knock on the door barging, thinking you have their attention, and then just spell everything. That’s my number one key advice.

 

(49:19) Whether you’re writing a launch, or whether you are just staying in touch with your subscription list. Beware of that “Overwhelm.” Remember, that an email is just knock on the door and it’s just like, “Hey, it’s me. What are you doing? I just want to tell you about this, and you want to go?” Something like that. Yeah?

 

Irfan: (49:35) Yeah, that makes total sense. And I suffer the same thing when I would get email from people and companies who may be sending too many emails and then there is often too much information in the same email. And the analogy that you used is really good.

 

(49:51) But would you say, and I have to admit that I have this habit of going into too much detail when I’m writing an email. Like for instance, when I was asking you to be a guest on the show, right? So, you must have noticed how detailed I tried to be.

 

(50:05) So, do you think that it’s okay to go into details after the initial knock has been answered and sort of providing the details because the alternative to email then is a phone call, or in-person meeting and in case of phone calls and in-person meeting there are a lot of scheduling difficulties and making sure that… for instance, the reason I prefer written communication, I guess, is also because everything is documented. Right? So, it’s not like I say one thing and other person has misinterpreted it or misheard something or vice versa.

 

(50:37) So, what are your thoughts on that? Is it okay to go into more details? Sometimes. And I do know I have to improve my ability to write more brief emails.

 

Lisa: (50:46) Okay. So, if it is planned sequence of emails, or a strategic launch and something where you build up the communication and then yes, it’s okay to go more into detail for the email. So, your very first email of that sequence is going to be that very first knock, and you give them that teaser, you’re like, “Okay, I’ve got this, and this and this. I want to tell you more about this. I’m going to tell you more about it tomorrow, about 24 hours from now.”

 

(51:15) People are already expecting that. You’ve already framed for people to expect that. You’ve already planted that seed of curiosity. And if you’ve written it well, you’ve planted the seed of curiosity where they’re like, “Okay, I’m gonna make a point to meet this email tomorrow because I want to know more about this, and this and this.” And then you’ve given yourself permission in that second email to go into more detail.

 

(51:35) So, this is where sales emails or a launch sequence begins that way. When you look at the overall triggers in that sales email, it’s actually a condensed sales speech that has been strategically split into many mini conversations, right?

 

(51:52) “Hey there’s this, check this out. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.” “Hey there’s this, and… that reminds me of something else. I don’t have time to point it today. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow,” and so on, and so forth. When you strategically map out your content like that, in an email sequence, in a launch, then yes, but if you are just ranting and you’re not planning it out, you’re just going…

 

(52:14) … and this is what I was like before I learned copywriting formally. When I was inadvertently found myself doing marketing, or I’m doing copywriting way back, I didn’t actually realize that there was a term to it, that there was a study to it.

 

(52:27) I was like that. I was just like, “Oh, I should say this. And I say that next.” And it was very haphazard, and while it did provide some results, looking back in hindsight, there was so much improvement that could have happened if it had just been planned properly around build-up, planned properly around the scarcity, planned properly around the triggers.

 

(52:47) When planning, most importantly is respect. There’s this term in cooking and my mom says to me all the time when I’m in the kitchen cooking, she says, “Respect the knife.” And many chefs also say this, they say, “Respect the knife.”

 

(53:00) When you respect the knife, you’re cooking will be brilliant. It will be tasty, and everything and you won’t cut yourself. “Respect the knife.” It’s the number 1 rule of chefs and something my mom has always taught me also.

 

(53:12) If you think about that, when you enter the kitchen with that mindset to respect the knife, you’re being careful in everything you do, everything you slice, and everything you put together in the recipe and not just haphazardly just trying to get dinner done or whatever, right?

 

(53:27) It’s the same thing when you are writing. Respect is there. Whether you respect the keyboard or respect the people that you are writing to, right? Respect their time, respect their emotions, right? You’re not just going to do that offline.

 

(53:41) Being online and being anonymous doesn’t give you permission to behave in a way that you wouldn’t behave offline. If you won’t barge into someone’s room without announcing or without making a prior appointment and then expect them to listen to you for 3 minutes, right? When they have no idea what you’re talking about, or you haven’t made an appointment. If you won’t do that in real life, why would you do that in email? But the anonymity of the email and the impersonal nature of writing digitally, sometimes we just forget that we are actually still dealing with people’s real-time and people’s real attention. So respect that.

 

(54:17) Right. Wonderful. These are all excellent points. Just a couple of questions before we can conclude this episode. What would be some key things any entrepreneur should ask from a copywriter while working with them on a project or hiring them as an employee?

 

(54:34) One of the most important things, I think, that you should consider when you’re hiring a copywriter, or you’re planning to work with a copywriter is that your values are aligned and that there is a way, or some sort of passion… it doesn’t have to be 100% exactly like you. Like, there is a relation. They can relate to your passion in one way or another, and they can relate to your values, one way or another.

 

(54:58) They can be the best copywriter, they can have the best experience, but if they do not resonate with your values or if they do not feel your passion, or they’re not driven by your passion and values… they may be like, “Oh yeah, hey, what you’re doing is great, but I don’t relate to it.” That’s not good because the copywriter is going to be the heart of the message that goes out.

 

(55:18) If they can’t connect with it, then the words too, right? And your audience is not going to connect with it. So, make sure that the connection is there. After all the usual stuff, like, your experience, writing samples, all that stuff, you got to make sure that that connection factor is there.

 

Irfan: (55:36) Right. So for instance, do you think… that leads to a follow-up question. Do you think that for copywriters, like for instance, I will use you as an example, Okay? So, for instance, if I am starting a biotech startup. So, should it be better for me to work with someone like Lisa who has a background in biotech, in terms of her educational qualification and also in terms of her experience or should that not be a qualifying factor?

 

(56:05) It would depend on the comfort level of the copywriter and their willingness to the new terms. So for example, yes, it will be an advantage for someone like me to come on board because I’m already familiar with all the terms, all biotech, I don’t need to ask you so many questions. I can freely do my own research and I understand the gist of everything.

 

(56:26) But even so, if I do not resonate with the project, even if it may be in the field of my expertise, but if the particular project, for example, it had something to do with, let’s say, plant microbiology or something like that, right? And when it comes to biotech, my excitement is more in medical technology.

 

(56:46) If, for example, it was in a particular field where I wasn’t particularly interested in the purpose, or the goal, or the hypothesis of the project, while I am technically able to do it, I may not be so excited. So, I would then say that it’s not a qualifying factor.

 

(57:01) Now, if on the other hand you had someone who was an environmentalist, may not be a biotechnologist may not know the terms of biotechnology and all that kind of stuff, but he or she happens to be an environmentalist who is excited to work in this plant microbiology area that could help revive the species or something like that. Right?

 

(57:18) And they have copywriting skills. Then I would say if that copywriter was excited about the project and the comfort level of learning about the new terms of biotechnology, and they’re comfortable with that, then I would say that is a better candidate. Connection to the purpose, I would say, trumps expertise in the field.

 

(57:39) Wonderful. That’s a good way to conclude this episode. Thank you so much, Lisa. Do you have any words, any sort of final message before you leave? I believe you have an interesting copywriting eBook that you can mention. You can tell more about it to the audience and also how can our listeners reach out to you? What’s the best way to contact you?

 

Lisa: (58:02) Sure. I do have an eBook right now. It’s on the mindsets of copywriting, and it’s called, Unleash Your True Voice. About copywriting mindsets to influence, to create impact, and boost sales [inaudible] in word. It’s on my website, Ikhlascopywriting.com, and the eBook is targeted to Muslim entrepreneurs, but I feel that it’s also a universal message in that people can learn from because it covers being honest in sales and how that can actually help your sales.

 

(58:30) A lot of people have this perception, this mindset, that in order to do sales we need to lie, we need to be that snake’s oil salesman. Right? And there’s this bad rep about sales being a manipulative thing. So, the essence of my book is that how should the best sales come from love and honesty and integrity. And, yeah, I mean, if you would be interested to know a bit more about that. It’s just a really short eBook that’s available on my site.

 

Irfan: (58:55) Wonderful, Lisa. That sounds like a very good concept. Having done some corporate sales for fortune 500 companies… not for fortune 500 companies, but the company that I was working for was targeting Fortune 500 companies, and we would have to use some of that fake scarcity and dishonesty, and I never felt comfortable with that, which is why I left that job quite quickly.

 

(59:16) So, I think I will also be reading this book on how honesty, trust, and love, and care for your consumers in your sales process can actually be a good thing for both sides. So, would your website, Ikhlas Copywriting also be the best way to reach out if any of the listeners want to contact you?

 

Lisa: (59:33) Yes, that would be the best way. You can just drop me an email. Usually, email is the best way to contact me. I’m also on Facebook. You can join the Ikhlas Copywriting group on Facebook and Messenger is also another way to contact me.

 

Irfan: (59:49) Perfect. Thank you so much, Lisa. I really enjoyed learning about copy marketing and your journey from being a biotech professional to being a copywriter who has worked on million-dollar campaigns, and with the New York Times bestselling authors and I wish you good luck on your journey.

 

(01:00:06) I know, you have just started a coaching academy as well, so I wish you good luck on that as well, and we will include all the links to your website and the eBook and everything in the show notes for the listeners. Don’t forget to check out the eBook. I think it’s something that you will definitely love. Lisa, thank you once again, and I wish you good luck with everything.

 

Lisa: (01:00:25) And thank you, Irfan, for holding the space for me and for giving way for an exciting conversation. I really enjoyed being on this show with you, and I look forward to seeing all the other interviews that you have on your show.

 

Irfan: (01:00:37) Thanks, Lisa. My pleasure. Bye-bye.

 

OUTRO: (01:00:41) Thank you for listening. For show notes and other resources, please refer to the description of the show.

 

 

References + Additional Resources

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Triggers: 30 Sales Tools you can use to Control the Mind of your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade by Joe Sugar Man

Vishen Lakhiani, Founder Mindvalley

The Extraordinary Mind [book] by Vishen Lakhiani

Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder of EverCoach

Muhammad Faris, Founder of Productive Muslim [Blog]

The Product Muslim [Book] by Muhammad Faris

Kenneth Yu Kern San[The copywriter and CEO of SpurPress whom Lisa “learned a lot from”

The Retirement Dream Maker by Matthew Jackson

Emotional GRIT: 8 Steps to Master Your Emotions, Transform Your Thoughts & Change Your World by Dr. Neeta Bhushan

Neil Patel

The New York Times

ConvertKit

LeadPages

5 Success Mindsets to Boost Impact & Sales With Integrity [Free ebook] by Lisa Zahran

Ikhlas Copywriting Academy

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Syed Irfan Ajmal is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and a seasoned digital marketer.
He is an international speaker, and speaks and conducts trainings at various organizations and events of Pakistan and UAE.
Moreover, he also writes about entrepreneurship and digital marketing for various large publications of the USA, UK, Canada, and Pakistan including Forbes ME, the World Bank, Huff Post, Business.com, Virgin, and others.
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