March 17, 2022

#292 Lucinda Starr – Transcript

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Jess Brady
And today I am absolutely delighted to be interviewing Lucinda Starr who is the founder of the star studio, and also an amazing copywriter Luci is going to help us unpack all things copywriting, as she did for me about three years ago. So a huge welcome Lucinda.

Lucinda Starr
Hi, just so excited to be here. Thank you for having me,

Jess Brady
Thank you for joining us, because this is an area where I feel often overwhelmed actually. And I know that that resonates deeply with a lot of other financial advisors, particularly those that are running a business and just think great. Another thing to add to my to do list or must do list, and I know often this is something that is vitally important, but not always deemed urgent and therefore gets put sort of on the do that when I have time, which is almost never to do list. So what I would love to do today is really unpack from your side of things, you know, how can easy financial advisors, you know, really think strategically about how they are present online through the MMA, you know, through communication, and all things that you do? And the practical steps around understanding, you know, what is copywriting? What do you need to think about if you’re going to engage someone and what do you expect to see on the other side?

Lucinda Starr
Perfect, I’m very excited. There’s a lot to tackle. So let’s dive in.

Jess Brady
So Lucy, what is copywriting? So

Lucinda Starr
it’s widely misunderstood term. And I think that’s very interesting. So essentially, copywriting is a specialized part of marketing. So copywriters are essentially people who craft written copy for businesses and brands. And the ultimate aim is to connect with audiences, to build trust, and to convince people to do something. So copywriting typically in these days exists online. So it’s websites, it’s every social post you write, it’s every email newsletter you send out. But it can also be offline as well. So think billboards for an advertising radio or those sorts of things as well. So yeah, it is a specialized skill, it takes a lot of times. And I think, when people think of copywriting, typically they think of the end product, they say, the 20, character, social caption, they see the finished web page, but ultimately to get copywriting right is involves understanding your audience who you’re speaking to, and really investing upfront in the strategic work around. Yeah, really getting into the needs, challenges, aspirations of your audience, and finding the right way to develop a tone of voice that will connect with them that speaks their language and convinces them to do something.

Jess Brady
It’s so interesting, because you know, if I think about myself, I quite like writing copy. And, yes, the time it takes Lucy to get it, right, it is such, it’s so like, if you haven’t actually really done a lot of it. I remember when I originally started our business, and we were writing the copy for the website, I honestly think we spent weekends trying to get one page worth of copyright. And so it’s not that I couldn’t do it, it’s just a time investment. Is that why a lot of people would choose to outsource to a copywriter? Like why do most people who run small businesses come and say we need your help?

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely, it is the timepiece is huge. You know, I have so many clients coming to me, telling me how many times they reread in their LinkedIn bio, or that one page or they needed to send out for a piece of PR. It’s huge. And I often find the main motivator for sending it to an external professional is they want some kind of distance between themselves and the business. So it’s really tricky to write punchy, short, convincing copy when you’re across everything in the business like most small business owners are. So getting that element of perspective, and opt in a fresh perspective from an expert is really why a lot of people do choose to outsource to a copywriter or even hire their own in house copywriter as well. It’s the time piece it’s also understanding how you want to use your time. So I often find a lot of business owners really want to be working on growing their business, recruiting team members, onboarding new clients. And that in itself is so much work. And so to add in the marketing piece of understanding how to build your presence online and writing all of your copy from scratch, it’s it’s an overwhelming task. And as you mentioned, it often is dead prioritized and popped at the bottom of the to do list because there is simply only so many hours in a week and it can feel almost pointless to be spending so much time writing words. But those words ultimately especially on things like your website and socials. Other things that are going to bring in new business, other things that are going to keep people coming to you, and also keeping your current clients engaged as well. So it’s a time thing, it’s a working smarter, or what you do guest. Rather than spending your time working on things that will ultimately take up a lot of your week, when someone professional can do it quicker and often deliver a better outcome as well.

Jess Brady
You know, as you were saying that I was just thinking about the world that we live in now, I am recording from my very sophisticated, spare bedroom slash office. Table. Beautiful, as many of us now embracing the sort of hybrid and or complete work from home life. It literally just struck me then at how much more important our virtual presence is, and our tone of voice and all of the things because we don’t have that traditional, you know, shop frontage anymore, or what have you to sort of say, This is who we are. And this is what we’re about, we’ve all become so used to learning about brands via their digital means. And yet, as you very rightly pointed out, like it does just feel like another thing that becomes almost put in the too hard basket. And yet more than ever, we need to have a focus. And we need to respect the fact that our existing clients or members and our future clients or members sort of need to build trust via that. And if you don’t have a good social interface, or good website copy or a website, I immediately feel turned off for absolutely,

Lucinda Starr
yeah, I mean, if you think about, I have to put myself in the shoes of a customer or client. So whenever I’m deciding to work with either a service provider or purchase from a brand, where do I go, I look at their socials, I look at reviews, I check out their website, I look for pieces of social proof. So I look for them, to see what they’re about to get an understanding of what they stand for, what’s their personality, and I feel like particularly with service providers, because they’re ultimately are so many people who do exactly what you do. Things like your personality, the kind of service you deliver, what you stand for, as a business becomes so important, because they are the things that ultimately set you apart from every single other, for instance advisor that exists, who was servicing the same sorts of clients. So by having someone who can really understand what makes you different, and what, what are those points of difference that will resonate with your potential members and clients that’s so valuable, because as soon as they land on your website, they’re going to feel really seen, they’re going to resonate with everything that’s there. And it just makes the process of a suppose vetting potential clients as well a lot easier. Because people automatically know, is this person right for me? Am I aligning with their current client base? Or? Yeah, is this the right solution for the problems that I’ve got?

Jess Brady
Sorry, it is very, very important. What I am keen to do, because it’s lovely to talk about how important this is, and then go back to your inbox or busy day, I’m really keen that if people are listening to this, that they can leave today’s conversation and go, Okay, here’s the things that if I’m actually going to do it, here’s what I need to consider and just fire off and go and do. So let’s talk really strategic and tactically. When you look for copywriter. How should you best approach this? And I guess the success or failure in it, I would imagine is trying to help them understand you and your niche and, and your personality. How do I mean I assume that the financial advisor almost provides like a brief to the copywriter? Is that a thing? What should literally just help us? What do we do?

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. So I think let’s take a step back. Before we get to the briefing stage. Let’s look at kind of like what to look for in a copywriter and how to I guess find one that fits your needs as well because I think that’s the important piece. Because there’s a whole bunch of ways to work with copywriters, so you can either go down the path of hiring an in house employee, so hiring a copywriting specialist or a marketing specialist, who joins your team and works in house for you as an employee. Yep. The other option, particularly for small businesses, or businesses who are just starting out, it can be really nice to outsource that to either a freelancer or a small agency who focuses on copywriting. And so in that relationship, it would be a contractor relationship where they have their own ABN and invoice you as a contractor. And that often works quite well if you are unsure if you’re ready to make a ongoing investment into copywriting or you have very specific tasks that you would like help with. For instance, you’ve got a designer designing your website and you’re trying to write the copy but feeling overwhelmed and it’s taken too long. In that instance, hiring a freelance copywriter is great because they can come in, fix that exact problem and provide Add the service for that one project. Yeah, at the same time, you can also work with freelance copywriters on any ongoing basis. So typically they’d be able to set up things like retainers where if you would like them to do manage your social captions, or your blog posts, or your email newsletters and just take that off your plate every single month, they can work out a monthly fee for you to do that on an ongoing basis. I think first and foremost, think about what tasks do you want them to take off your plate? And consider Do you want them to join your team? Are you happy to outsource to an expert who runs their own business? That’s kind of step one, then I think you need to really understand what to look for in a good copywriter or what kind of questions to ask even before we get to the briefing stage. So first up, think about a portfolio or examples of that work. So most copywriters will have either a website with case studies or examples of previous copy they’ve written, some people will have a PDF that’s sort of a portfolio of all the work they’ve done, and projects that they’re really proud of. And I think within that, asking for specific examples of the tasks you were thinking of outsourcing. So if you’d like someone to write an award submission for you see, they’ve got something similar that they can provide, to really give a flavor of what what their style of writing is, and if it kind of feels like it could align with your needs as well. So be really specific and feel free to ask the specific examples to give you as much information as you can to choose between different copywriters. It can also be helpful to look for things like case studies or testimonials. So often on people’s websites, they’ll might have previous happy clients vouching for their work. And that’s always a nice one, just to see that other people have vouched for their expertise, and ability to transform, you know, complex ideas into the copy they were looking for. And I also think when it comes to the stage of potentially emailing and chatting with a couple of different copywriters that you’ve found through your research, I think it’s all about thinking about what kind of experience they’re offering you as well. So making sure that you’re finding a copywriter that from the get go makes you feel really confident makes you feel really assured that they know what they’re doing, that they’ve got clear processes in place to really understand their processes well, so they from the get go should be able to start to advise you on what could be the right way to work together. And then it comes into their briefing process as well. So I think when we think about briefing, it’s all about giving all the information and knowledge about your business, to the copywriter and making sure they’re really informed about except essentially what you expect from them in return. So a really great copywriter should provide you with some kind of questionnaire, template, or framework with all the info that they’ll need. And so they should give you some kind of piece of document that you can fill out to share everything from what your business goals and objectives are to how you want to sound as a brand and what you stand for all the way down to the specifics of the actual task you’re wanting to outsource to them. So what key messages do you want to highlight? What things are words? Do you want to avoid being really clear and prescriptive, to kind of give them a clearer sense of the scope of the project itself to quote accurately, as well as when they’re actually delivering the work? Making sure they’re actually you’re on the same page from the beginning. So I think that is really important to make sure that process is clear, and you that you feel like you’re setting them up with everything they need to succeed essentially.

Jess Brady
Yeah. And I think that that takes the burden. Certainly, from my perspective, you know, having someone send you a briefing document that asks all of the questions that they want to know, you can just do it once to know that you’ve covered all the things that they are likely going to need. And then that creates opportunity to just kind of clarify, rather than having to start from scratch. Yes, exactly. And

Lucinda Starr
I think what should happen after that briefing processes, the corporation should come back to you with some kind of scaffold or as sort of dot pointed idea of what they think their product or piece of copy is going to look like. So again, there’s that moment for you to feed back and make sure you’re still on the same page. And making sure it’s really collaborative. And that although you are taking this task off your plate, you’re still getting a finished product that feels aligned to what you actually want. There’s nothing worse than kind of ending the project journey and still feeling a bit like things didn’t sound the way you wanted it to sound. Whereas if throughout that process, you’ve really been involved and able to feedback in clear, concise ways. That makes sure that what you end up with is actually not lost in translation. It’s clear.

Jess Brady
The irony of miscommunication with communication professionals, but it is real. It’s real. Yes. And then so let’s say We do the briefing document, we get it nailed, because we are exceptional. What can you then expect? So let’s say that you do you find someone you feel like they’re a good fit for you, you do the briefing document, like in terms of tangibly, you know, let’s say that we wanted them to the copywriter to help with anything and everything that is comms related, like what do we, what should we expect? Is the benefits of having a copywriter? Do that for us versus us doing it ourselves?

Lucinda Starr
Yeah, that’s a really good question. So essentially, you should expect someone to be able to take very time consuming tasks off your plate, and really understand how to deliver them efficiently and effectively, month to month or on a one off basis. So it should be a feeling like you are supported. And you have a professional that really gets your business and can actually become sort of a custodian of how your brand should sound online, and be able to execute that I find, for example, it starts here, we often work with clients or ongoing basis. So after a couple of months, you really understand what the brand voice is, you really understand what the client likes and doesn’t like. And during those initial pieces of feedback, your copywriters should be learning and next time won’t say that word again, or will phrase things differently. So over time, the longer the relationship goes on, the copywriter becomes more efficient, and more cost effective, because they are better at their job, they really understand who you are. So ultimately, it’s about spending money in the right places to get the job done more effectively. I think in terms of, there’s two sides to it, as well, in terms of business benefits, so it’s about being able to attract the right clients to you. So as soon as they land on your digital shopfront, your website or your socials, they really understand what you stand for. And they feel really clearly guided for your website to take a specific form of action. So for instance, it might be to book that first initial conversation or coffee, they really actually make it through that journey, and you’re starting to see an uptick in the number of inquiries you’re getting. And then potentially, during those conversations, you might even start to hear that potential clients are starting to actually highlight that they really liked your brand and saw you as a leader in your field because of the way your website was structured, or the way that your copy was written. So you’re starting to see some sort of intangible but really impactful benefits to having a copywriter writing that for you. And then for your existing members as well. It’s about making sure everyone feels really supported. So I think when we’re so caught up in the day to day writing a business, going that sort of extra mile to provide extra resources, and value and content to existing members can easily become that task that just feels too hard in a list of so many conflicting priorities. So I think by having someone who is that stay dedicated job is to find ways to strategically keep your current clients engaged, and to make that as impactful and valuable for your business as possible. That also means that the retention is really strong for the business as well. So yeah, I think it comes back to both bringing in new business and keeping your existing clients happy. That’s the huge benefits to having a copywriter and someone whose that is just their dedicated job. They’re there to support you come up with new ideas and find better ways of phrasing things to have a stronger impact on your business.

Jess Brady
And I think we need to mythbuster that good copy, good social presence, good website, coffee protects? Yeah, isn’t just for young people. Like I think we we’ve we here because our industry predominantly works with people that are a little bit older, you know, maybe five years out from retirement or in retirement age, you know, often we can get caught up in this belief of, you know, oh, well, that’s for the millennials. And you know, that’s what Millennials need. And actually, we know that women over 50 are like the most prolific on Facebook these days, etc. So can you help me if this is a myth, write good copy is not just important for people who work with younger people?

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. If you think about any business does no matter what their audience is, even businesses that are targeting? Very, like an older demographic? Absolutely, you’re investing in their copy and making sure it feels aligned and doesn’t feel like it’s trying to attract the wrong audience. It’s so important I think, often the reason younger brands tend to prioritize it is because they, they see the direct benefits themselves as a consumer. But I think the more that everyone is using the internet and everyone is searching for businesses online COVID really accelerated this right? There’s, I think the first point of contact no matter what age or demographic, you are, with a business, we’ll be online. And so making sure that actually understands how to speak to potentially older audience as well and what kind of language we should be using. How to make sure things showcase expertise without sounding too stiff and corporate, but also not sounding too young. That’s a skill to get that balance right is a massive skill. So it’s totally a myth. I think younger brands do it well and more prolifically often because they’ve got younger teams. But I think it’s almost an area of opportunity that isn’t being explored enough. In my opinion, I think a lot of advice businesses, particularly the bigger, more established ones tend to sort of believe it’s sort of a set and forget, and you’ve got the words on the page, and you’ve got all the jargon filling all of the documents and it all clients will keep coming because they always have. But I think there are more options now. And there’s always going to be more options coming in. And with more competition comes the need to stand out. And to really figure out how can I attract the right people to the business and keep them coming in. So I think it needs to be an ongoing priority.

Jess Brady
I think that’s so true, in that it’s an area of complete opportunity. If you’re looking after an older demographic, I mean, just as a random example, my grandmother lives in a very tiny rural farming town in the bottom of New Zealand. She’s never had internet. She’s never had a computer. She has Instagram. Amazing. And she uses it really well. You know, she’s in a nine year she’s very capable. And I’m very proud of her. But I think that that in itself, and there’s so many countless examples of that, but for sure, we can’t keep pretending that digital is for younger people. It is not. And so I think if you’re, if your strategy is She’ll be right. Or we’ve never needed to focus on this that might have got you so far. But I’m not convinced that it’s going to get you where you need to be in the future. No, absolutely not. And I Yeah, tell me what are the mistakes people make?

Lucinda Starr
I think first and foremost, this is something we’ve covered already D prioritizing copy, not making it a priority. So I see a lot of businesses focus on their visual identity. So getting their branding, looking great. Investing in a logo, making sure their graphics look beautiful, potentially even hiring photographers to get beautiful headshots or lifestyle shots of their teams. But yet, once it comes to ultimately one of the most important parts of the whole branding journey, your copy, it seems to fall on too often a junior employee who’s wearing all the hats in the business and is the marketing go to but also the admin go to and often I feel it becomes that thing of ticking a box. So anyone can write, copy, we know that. But ultimately, if you want it to be an asset for your business, it also needs the same level investment that you’d put into a graphic designer or a bookkeeper. It’s, again, a specialized offering. And I think by not prioritizing it, there’s just huge opportunity that’s being missed, to really connect with people, and your ideal audience, ultimately. And I think, again, in industries, particularly like finance, where there is a lot of jargon floating around a lot of technical terms, I do think that I have seen a lot of businesses fall into the trap of letting jog and showcase expertise. And ultimately, I think it is a leader in their field is someone who can speak to a really general everyday audience, and showcase what they know in ways that don’t leave people scratching their head and wondering what that means or having to Google or these terms dropped in websites or conversation. So I think being able to articulate what you do in a way that is speaking your audience’s language, whatever that looks like, no matter whether they’re in their 20s, or in their 50s 60s. Plus, really understanding how your audience actually speaks themselves, and replicating that language in ways that feel authentic to your business, ultimately, and that allows you to resonate with the kind of clients you want to attract. So that’s another big one. I think jargon is huge, particularly in finance, I see it everywhere.

Jess Brady
We bloody love it. We are obsessed with jargon. And to your point, we like to use jargon, maybe a because it’s just you know, sort of everyday vernacular, we forget that people don’t speak like this in real life examples. But I do think we like to use it to showcase expertise. And to your point, it creates this big disconnect. And we know that it makes people feel often like a barrier a wall is put up because they feel like well, I don’t really understand what on earth this is talking about. So I have no idea whether this is what I meant to be doing or not. This has become too hard. I’ll look at it later. Thank you, which of course we know doesn’t often happen. So that is a hugely important piece of advice there in terms of, you know, getting someone who is completely outside of our industry to run their eyes over something and be really ruthless and honest about saying like, this makes so much sense or I have absolutely no idea. What you are trying to say here and often. Simplicity is underrated. For sure.

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. I’ve written at length about this about the benefits of hiring a copywriter that doesn’t necessarily have industry expertise. So there’s so much value in having a copywriting marketing professional that is so good at their job that they can take even the most complex of subject matter, and make it convincing and engaging for an audience. And someone who’s actually got that separation from all the kind of industry terms that are thrown around. Because ultimately, your audience are not going to know what they mean, and is a disengaging tactic, in a lot of ways it causes people to go, like you said, Oh, it’s too hard. I don’t understand it. A lot of people feel afraid to even clarify what these terms mean as well. So it continues sort of a knowledge gap for a lot of customers as well, who might not even really understand what they’re getting themselves into when they’re signing on for a new yet amount of services. So I think the more that you can do to speak in everyday language that’s engaging and unique, and stands out from everyone else in your field, the more people will come to you because they’ll really understand who you are. You’ll feel like a human as well, you won’t just feel like you know, a PDS that’s full of like all the terms in the dictionary as well. Look at you with a cute little acronym for finance.

Jess Brady
Well done. Okay, so let’s sort of recap. We’ve looked for copywriter, because we’ve decided this is ridiculous, I cannot keep waiting slash pretending that I can do it well myself. We find one that we feel like is a good fit, we complete the briefing doc, we have some discussions around exactly what they’re coming on to do whether they’re in house, I suspect, given that a lot of businesses are the size that they are, it’s more likely that they’re going to be more retainer and an outsourced model for either a particular piece of work or an ongoing, sort of day to day management of specifics. How do we know that we’ve done a good job? How do we know like, what are the success metrics or benchmarks that we can use to actually say, this is worked out? Really well, apart from feeling like we’ve put a giant taken out to do? Yes,

Lucinda Starr
which is also feels great. And there’s also a massive benefit. But I do think there are specific things that you will start to notice when you have got someone on your team who’s specializing in copy. So first and foremost, I think what you’ll start to see is sort of a sentiment around conversations about your business where you’ll see people noticing, mentioning human conversation, they might mention your website presence, they might mention your social presence and say, Ah, I really remembered seeing that from you. Or I remember seeing this blog post that you wrote, I think it’s about being memorable, and making people realize that you’re there and you’re present. And you’re top of mind. So not only so with potential clients, they’ll see you and be Yeah, they’ll remember you were sort of a someone in your field to watch out for. There’s also I guess, specific metrics around the different placements that you can play as copy. So websites, emails, social. I think within all of those, it’s also important to call out that copy exists alongside other industries. So it exists alongside graphic design, it exists alongside web design. So often, the success of copy is not simply the words on the page, it’s also how fast is the website load is how beautiful the graphics it’s, does the photography match the words that you’ve written. So ultimately, there are a few different moving parts at play. But I’ll rattle off a few kind of metrics to start looking at once you do invest in the copywriter, just to see if you’re really getting some actual tangible benefit from that as well. So with websites, if you’re investing in someone to particularly blog content, or perhaps refresh the structure of your pages and the copy that’s on them, if they’re using what’s called SEO principles, so that’s search engine optimization, essentially, finding keywords that are high traffic and relevant to your business and placing them in the copy. If they’re doing that, well, you’ll start to notice that you’re seeing an increase in website page visitors. So you’re starting to see when someone Google’s those particular terms, your website is starting to appear in those results. That’s number one, and also seeing time on page. So the actual length of time that an individual person is spending on your page. If your copy is really engaging and speak their language, and it’s filled with value, and gets their needs and what they want to do and where they want to go. They’ll spend longer on your website. And that’s really valuable because that means that they’re actually not just seeing something and jumping off elsewhere and finding another website to scroll. They’re really engaging with what you have to say. So that’s really valuable. So start to have a look at those and these are sort of medium to long term metrics as well to be tracking you know, you won’t see log on one day after your website’s been refreshed and suddenly everything’s up and triple the website visitors but it’s a long game and you will got to see some positive impact from that as well, with email marketing, so I know a lot of people send out either newsletters to their existing members or potentially new members, if you’re starting to see your open rates increase. Typically, if you’ve got a copywriter working with you, the way they’re writing that subject line, so the copy that appears in people’s inboxes, if they’re getting that, right, and really understanding how to drive action, you’ll start to see more people opening your emails month to month. So that shouldn’t be something you can quantify and measure. Again, click through rates. So once people are in the email, if they’re actually taking action, visiting your website, booking inquiry, reading something that your copywriter has written, that’s also a good sign that the copy in the emails as well is driving action. And then for social media, there are a few things to I guess, have a look at. So I like to look at engagement metrics. So things like how many people are liking, commenting, saving and sharing your posts, the better the copy is written, and the more tailored it is to your audience. Over time, you will see an increase in that engagement, which shows that people are really not only more interested in your business, but also potentially sharing it with their friends who could also be a good lead for your business as well. And then ultimately, as well starting to look at things like are they actually taking action from your social posts? So are you starting to see people tagging their friends? Are you starting to see people leave a comment when in the caption, you asked them to share something in the comments with you? So are you seeing that feedback loop of your audience on social media responding to

the copy that’s been written for you? So they’re kind of a few broad ones. And obviously there are it will depend really on the level of support you’re getting? What if it’s an ongoing relationship versus a project relationship with a copywriter. But ultimately, there’s a ton of benefits, both quantitative as well as sort of that word of mouth referral or brand awareness piece where people will start to really have a positive association with your brand as well.

Jess Brady
Thank you. And I think that that’s a really important piece around you know, it’s, it’s an investment and it’s a long game, like, you’re not just going to post something on social media that a copywriter wrote and suddenly have your daughter’s being banged down as much as that would be possibly a lovely aspiration. It’s, it’s probably not realistic, exact. But I want to come back to one point that you’ve said before around, sort of this idea of it being an ecosystem, if you will, around, you know, graphic design and imagery and all of that stuff. Practically, how does that work? Like? Do you work with a graphic designer, as a copywriter? Does that fall to the financial advice business? Like how do you normally see clients interlink all of those different services?

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. And that’s a really good point, because I think it can be overwhelming, who does what, who do I go to for all the different things? So I always like to say I prefer copywriting to come first. So I love when clients come to me before they’ve designed their website and said, Hey, we want to do this project, can you help us get the messaging and the language nailed down and the structure, and then often I our team doesn’t do, it doesn’t do graphic design. But we do have a number of other agencies that we often refer our clients to have chats with. So ultimately, it’s about finding either an individual copywriter who can refer you to the appropriate designer or web designer to support you through the design part of the project. But I do think getting the copywriting sorted first is always a good kind of workflow to work with. And then also, obviously, you can find your own web designers, I often find talking to other business owners that you know, is also a really good source of referrals going on to websites that you’d love. Often there’s a site credit down the bottom where the designer of the website will have their links and how to contact them. So if you ever do see as a site that you love, option look for that, because that’s a really easy way to get what you want as well. And I would say as well, it’s nice to have the copywriter, particularly for things like websites come back into the project right before the website is published. So once their words have been designed to put into this beautiful layout, getting them just to have a final look over everything and make sure it flows and it all feels like it’s kind of come to life in the right way. Bit. That’s really good, because then you kind of got that full end to end service from them. So they can really say often things can change when you’ve got them in a visual layout. So it’s good to have Yeah, their support and then touching it again, right before it goes out into the world as well. Yeah, hopefully that answers sort of the workflow question. I think it

Jess Brady
definitely doesn’t it has me giggling that I did it the complete wrong way around when we designed our

Lucinda Starr
there’s no right or wrong, but I mean, that’s just the way I prefer to work, I suppose.

Jess Brady
No, it makes total logical sense. I just didn’t know enough and that is the benefit of hindsight and listening to an expert and you know, if you are sitting there thinking I need to do a website refresh, I think that that piece of insight or Intel is really hugely beneficial because end up, you end up retrofitting things, and it takes so much longer and things don’t look correct. And I literally remember our designer coming with like 700 pieces of paper to the office with like different layout designs and nothing fit. And it took so much longer, probably because we did it the wrong way around Lucy.

Lucinda Starr
The benefit of hindsight, though, I mean, you just, that’s the thing.

Jess Brady
Let’s talk about our relationship, because I didn’t know what a copywriter was before I met you. And I was not reluctant. But I was busy. And I was like, yeah, we’ll get to this. So within you and I have been working together for about three years. That’s right. 2019, it was an evolutionary process in that I was in that loop of being too busy, to invest the time to give you the work to then have you helped me. However, I think as someone who has seen the benefit of outsourcing and outsourcing to someone who is structured and has a lot of rigor, which I do not, has been hugely beneficial, because it’s created accountability for me as well, like I have regular sort of check ins with you and we work on a retainer model where you know, I have to give you something for you to post, otherwise, there’s nothing going out. And so it does create that accountability which we all thrive when we have. And you also tell me when stuff is not good, which is also hugely important. Or if you like just, this is not our own brand. And I’ll give you a really good example. So Lucy and her team, they work for sort of three different voices or personas, I guess you would say, for us. So there’s our financial advice business, which has a different tone of voice to my personal voice on Instagram and on social media. And then we have ladies talk money, which is an online platform that we started a couple of years ago, what’s been quite interesting is that you and your team have been able to distill quite different tones of voice, all of those have different tones of voices and different sort of messaging and common styles. And knowing that you will literally just take that off me once you’ve been briefed properly. And come back to me with it. And I know that we’ve sort of talked about it being consultative, but often it’s just like, is this what you mean? And I literally reply, yes. To it has been, honestly, extremely beneficial. Because every time I see someone, the most common thing that they say to me is, I see you everywhere. You’re everywhere I see you all over social media. You know, I loved your post, and I’m like, Wow, thanks. Because I really feel like beyond sort of my monthly chat with you, it’s actually not a huge investment of my time at all, now that you’ve been able to really understand the learn those three different voices and what we’re looking for from those different voices.

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. And I think it’s just a fact of doing the initial work. So we work together and figured out the strategies and the tone of voice of each of the brands. And once you have that document in place, not only am I empowered and my team are empowered to write on brain copy for each of those settings, the fox and her team are also empowered to do the same and it’s consistent. So I think creating things like tone of voice guidelines are so valuable because it gives you practical examples about this word on brand. This is off brand. Here are some templates and examples for you to start DIY your copy. So if an in house marketing manager or someone in the admin team needs to send out comms as well, there’s also that like framework to come back to, to give you the structure to make sure everything feels consistent as well. And it is I mean, most of my clients, we do a monthly meeting where we do the brainstorm, and we chat through what the next month of content looks like, we get the priority sorted. And then it’s over to us and we handle it end to end. And there’s an approval moment where everyone can weigh in on what they like what they don’t like. So you still feel like you have that touch point of knowing what’s going out. But at the same time, you don’t physically have to be sitting there staring at the blinking cursor, trying to write some copy. You’ve got someone managing that doing it super efficiently and you reap the benefits. So yeah, it’s it’s a no brainer, in my opinion. Yeah,

Jess Brady
I mean, well, I mean, I feel like I’ve drank the Kool Aid too. But you know, the idea if you told me a few years ago Oh, you know, you will sit and you will do a strategy on this and you will write a tone of voice document. I’d be like, Listen, lady, I’m going to write like I got things to do, but it does pay dividends it is it is such an interesting journey that I have been on where I am. I am so so old. And this is why I wanted to have you as a guest because I know truly how much you’ve created capacity in my day to day and you create that accountability and that rigor so that I cannot forget I cannot push it aside because you very politely remind me like there is nothing To go out next month unless you get on top of this, and actually, you know, being vulnerable and open, which I want to do on this podcast, you and I had a good chat at the end of last year. And we were being really honest about the fact that my Instagram wasn’t enough of me. And I wasn’t putting injecting enough of my sort of own unique quickness. And so we had a good kind of re energized, re planning meeting. And then we agreed, okay, well, this is what I need to do to get this to be more like me and more authentically me. And the results, even over the last sort of month or so since we’ve started pushing some of that content that we’ve we’ve sort of tweaked has been hugely different.

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. And I do think it’s about having that kind of collaborative process where we were, we’ve been working together for so long, and this is what should happen in this working relationship where you have the confidence to make those strategic recommendations around, this is a personal brand for you. And as much as you know, I can go off our list of Top points, we really need your voice. And we need you to be present and to be vulnerable, if that’s what you want to do. And having that feedback loop and being able to pivot and not being stuck in a set and forget black and white strategy and being able to go, this is going to evolve, and it needs to evolve, because doing the same thing for three years is not going to work. And it’s going to need to evolve as well. So I think that’s been super valuable. And it’s awesome to see such an uptick as well, it’s great to see like that direct impact of we changed the messaging, we change the structure of the way the copy roads. And instantly engagement is up reaches up people are commenting and tagging and loving it. And it’s just, that’s yeah, it makes me so happy. Because I love seeing that. And I love seeing the the direct impact of Yeah, our work and US shifting

Jess Brady
strategy. You know, I was sending Luthy screenshots of texts have DMS of instant messages that people I knew, or people that I didn’t know, you know, telling me how much they resonated with my content, how much they loved what I was talking about how they wanted to learn more about what I did, like I was, I was sort of overwhelmed. But I was immediately told, Hey, we can see that you’re being different. We love it. And it’s working. And we saw an uptick, actually in people reaching out for coffee. So we’re supporting them in February. But I now do not have coffee availability until April. And so there has been

Lucinda Starr
just like very deeply

Jess Brady
great but challenging problem. And so there has been, there has been a huge uptick in reach out. And I think it was, it’s back to what you were saying before. It’s because we are selling our own brand, we’re selling ourselves our trust and credibility of vulnerability, we’re selling us even if you’re part of a bigger business, we’re really selling the person that’s going to be your confidant. And so, you know, I have shifted my my belief system around not just having a business identity and a business communication strategy, I have also now realized that I do need my own personal one. And you know, I don’t think I would have got that message loud and clear without, you know, a copywriter or your team’s help. So I want to say a big thank you. Just to sort of round out today’s conversation, I’m going to ask you some rapid fire questions. But I think that, you know, what you’ve done is given everyone a really good overview of what is copywriting because frankly, I don’t think a huge amount of us know, a copywriter or use regularly a copywriter. Some very, very good tips on sort of what to look for and what to do and how to know whether you’ve made it or not. Are there any other sort of points that you don’t think we’ve talked on today, or case studies or anything that you want to talk about that I haven’t allowed you to speak about

Lucinda Starr
yet? I feel like I’ve got so much of the floor today. The only other thing I would say is don’t be afraid to speak to multiple copywriters. Don’t be afraid to have multiple conversations. Again, you’re picking someone that you want to work with. And so making sure you find the right fit for what you need the way you work. And ask him some questions like be really particular about what you want and make sure that you’re on the same page from the beginning. Because ultimately, I think that’s the best way to have any working relationship is to find someone who, for instance, can add structure to all the big ideas you have or whatever it looks like for you. So I think yeah, that’s the only other piece of sort of wisdom I would give is just have a whole bunch of coffees have a whole bunch of conversations with copywriters find the right fit for you. And then that should lead you to the best success.

Jess Brady
Totally. Thank you This has been very valuable. And the proof is in the doing so I think it’s just about making that momentum and just you know, getting online and finding one and then you know going and booking in a couple more and you know committing that over the next say four weeks you’ll make three, which is not that big of a commitment from a time perspective, especially because everything’s virtual. But the worst thing you can do is be given all of this great insight and then place it very politely on your to do list with Sometimes gathers a tiny bit of dust. Okay, absolutely ready for rapid fire. Always ready for and ready and make it sounds scary. It’s not scary at all. I’m really wanting to tackle your how do we live great lives. And today’s conversation is really to help business owners create better businesses, which hopefully helps them live better lives, but also creates better client outcomes because you end up finding the right fit. But I want to turn inwardly. And so I want to know, what do you do to look after your mental health,

Lucinda Starr
a lot of things. I always keep Fridays as meeting free days, I find it’s really nice to end my week with no client meetings that I can just smash the my to do list or whatever that looks like. The other thing is, I am mildly obsessed with Pilates. So I do that religiously three to four times a week. I really enjoy it, I find it’s just such a good mental health break. I mean a class so I can’t have my phone out like I usually do at the gym, I’ve just got to be present, everything switched off. I love it. I think moving your body in whatever way feels good is so, so important. And I make sure I do that at least three days of the week. So I’m getting moving and getting out. And having a dog and walking my dog every morning and night is another really big perspective moment and just gives me a chance to leave the phone at home, be out in the park, going for a walk and just kind of realizing that life is bigger than your to do list. And it’s just such a nice moment to see how simple and happy a little dog can be at the park. And yeah, chatting to your neighbors. And I don’t know, I think you know the same thing. Jeff after getting a dog. It’s so nice to just have them as like a reason to end your day and not be chained at the desk at 9pm. Still,

Jess Brady
yes, yes, yes, rain, hail or shine. I’m with you on that one in terms of dog walks. Okay, next one is what is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self.

Lucinda Starr
Don’t be afraid to ask the question whether that’s a raise, whether that’s asking for more responsibility, whether that’s trying for a new client or asking for a new work opportunity. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The worst that’s going to happen is they’ll say no. Love it.

Jess Brady
What’s one thing on your bucket list?

Lucinda Starr
Write a book. I don’t know what about but I would love to write a book. I’ve had that on my list for about five years. I just have no time right now. So maybe when I’m older and maybe semi retired, that’ll be a thing. But yeah, definitely that

Jess Brady
I look forward to reading that which is a great segue to my last question. Do you have a book suggestion for my new fake book club? I love that. I love it. It’s

Lucinda Starr
a fake book club. So good. I do. It is eggshell skull by Brealey. So she is a fantastic journalist, ex lawyer. This book is basically a memoir that she’s written about her experience working as a judges associate. She oversaw a whole bunch of cases around sexual assault. And it’s kind of a nice blend of her work experience and how confronting that was, along with her personal experience of sexual assault as well. It is kind of a heavier book, but it is really powerful. And it talks a lot about the Australian justice system. So it’s a very interesting eye opening read, and very topical, I think with what’s going on in the world, unfortunately. So yes, I would recommend that she’s a great author.

Jess Brady
You’re the second person that told me about that book, and given the world today. Very poignant recommendations. So thank you. I shall add that to my list. My pleasure. See, today’s conversation has been so fantastic. How can people learn more about you and what your team do?

Lucinda Starr
Absolutely. The best way to find out about us is to go to star studio.com.au. So it’s star with a double R, or find me on Linked In at listen to star. Yeah, let’s that’s probably the best place to find us. But yeah, it’s been so much fun. Thank you so much for having me. Just it’s always really nice to talk about copywriting and share what it actually is with people. So yes, thank you for giving me the ability to chat and be on the podcast,

Jess Brady
you’ve helped me run our business better and so I couldn’t think of a better platform to help other businesses you know, take something off their to do list and be able to showcase themselves and their brands in a better way as well. So no doubt hugely valuable to our listeners a huge thank you and have a lovely day. Thanks, Luci.

Lucinda Starr
You too. See you Jess

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