How did you get into copywriting? What steps did you take? What are some best tips for copywriting on websites?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Kimberly Weitkamp about her copywriting journey and the best copywriting tips for your website.
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In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Kimberly Weitkamp about her copywriting journey and the best copywriting tips for your website.
How did you get to this point?
Kimberly was teaching English to Spanish high school students and wanted to get out of it. She had written a few travel articles and then stumbled into copywriting. She wanted to help people to build their businesses with words. She wanted to turn complex ideas into easy to explain words, to help explain what they’re doing easily.
What steps did you take?
Researching through some writing travel articles, she came across an article that was by a full-time copywriter. She was interested and decided to get the certification. Now, she dives into the project-specific tasks such as email marketing and online website copy.
She then began building up her networks with events and conferences, to find out what’s going on in the industry and find clients. A tip is to look at the lineup of the event and you can automatically see topics that attendees are interested in. This way you can easily find ideas people are naturally interested in.
Look at the names of those speaking too, to give you a start with networking. Network with people on LinkedIn and see what people are up to. It’s a warmer introduction for people.
What are some best tips for copywriting?
Resonate with your clients. Kimberly is a firm believer in marketing and building relationships with your marketing and website copy. Marketing should be all about marketing helping your audience where they are. They know they have a problem and are looking for a solution. If you can create content that answers their question as a solution they’re more likely to follow you on the business journey.
You have 8 seconds to convince someone to choose you on your homepage and decide if they’re in the right place. In those 8 seconds, you need to be able to say who you are, why you can help and why the reader should stick around. This can come from a good header line that can state all of that. It’s a way to draw in the right kind of people you want to work with. If it’s not what they’re looking for, they’ll leave and you want them to do that too. You want to target people who are directly your target audience/
Provide a great customer journey on every page on your site.
Be you! Don’t be the guru you found a template for or corporate slang. Put yourself into your marketing, it helps it make it more personal and they can see you as an actual person.
What is the best use of an hour?
Do the 8-second test on a competitor’s website and see if you can answer the questions. Then do it on your own. Get specific and think of the best people as your clients and create some avatars that can help those potential clients. Find out what they want to know first and create a path to another page that answers one of those questions.
You are the reason your clients choose your business so it’s really important that your personality is a part of your marketing. Make sure to change it to sound like something you would say!
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 422. I am Joe Sanok, your host and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. Men, we are wrapping up this year strong. I hope you are too. As you probably know on January 14th Slow Down School tickets go on sale and if you are unsure about whether Slow Down School is for you, I would love to jump on a phone call with you. Head an over to practiceofthepractice.com/apply and we’ll jump on a phone call and talk about whether or not Slow Down School is right for you.
Slow Down School is happening summer of 2020 and it is such an impactful event. So, it’s going to be on July 26th, you fly into Traverse City and then we pick you up in a big yellow school bus. We slow down for a couple days and just let all those good ideas just kind of come to the surface and all those things that are just fires that we’re putting out we ignore them. And you know, to come here for a week and hang out on the beach and not spend time on your phone and then really kind of put your head down and work on your business and your big ideas and your lifestyle, you know, it takes some planning.
That’s why we do it for a week. It takes some planning to have people answering your phones and to make sure that you’re really getting a good ROI on your time away. We have some people that have brought their kids, they’ve brought their spouse, they brought, one lady brought her sister one year. And so, if you have extra people that you want to have, stay at the Leelanau School with you, we can accommodate that. Or a lot of people also have a, we had one couple that came and brought their kids and the grandparents of the kids and they rented an Airbnb close by and then kind of traded off. They are a couple that runs a practice together. So, Andy and Carrie from Blue Boat Counseling. You guys did an amazing job at Slow Down School last year just doing that tag team. It was awesome.
So, we can accommodate all of that. Food is included, we have an executive chef that man, that food, I just miss it. So many people at Killin’It Camp were just like, “We loved the Slow Down School food and the transformation that we see in just the clarity you get in how much you get done during the days that we’re working.” It’s just insane. So, if you’re approaching six figures or more, this is for you. If you’re just getting started then probably, Killin’It Camp Next Level Practice, those are going to be a little more your jam. But this time together in the woods, just reflecting and breathing that clean Northern Michigan air while then running full tilt for a few days and then we go wine tasting.
Last year we also went and did a chocolate tasting and did a cherry tasting. You know, Northern Michigan, Traverse City is the cherry capital of the world, so it’s a lot of fun. So, if you want information on that, go over to slowdownschool.com or if you want to apply for it and talk to me, go over to practiceofthepractice.com/apply.
Well today we have Kimberly Weitkamp and she’s talking all about copywriting, copywriting being the words you choose to put in anything. And so, it’s really important to think through who we’re trying to attract to our practices, how we’re talking to them, how we’re talking about their pain. For me, it’s so important to really get to know the people and the pain before you ever pitch a product. And so, you want to really feel like you resonate with your ideal client well before you ever say you should come in for counseling. You want to make sure that you really connect with why they’re there and kind of what they’re going through. So today we talk all about that. Kimberly is just amazing. I loved this conversation. So, without any further ado, I give you Kimberly Weitkamp.
Today on the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Kimberly Weitkamp. Kimberly is a successful marketing strategist and conversational copywriter and co-host of the podcast Chatting with Copywriters. She developed the concierge conversion method to create long-term motivated buyers for business. Welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
So, after going through and getting that certification, I started diving into the project specific types of knowledge acquiring, if you will. So, learning all about email marketing in particular and online website marketing and copywriting in particular because I really liked the idea of, you know, I’m a huge fan of the internet and there’s so much possibility with the internet. So, I figured I’d stick there. [JOE]: That’s awesome. So, when did things feel like they really started getting going for you? [KIMBERLY]: Probably about a year after I started. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve met in the copywriting world many people come from an in-house position. So, they start with a company and then they go out on their own or they have like 20 years’ experience in a corporate world and then they start writing in that industry that they have experience in in the corporate world. Well, I didn’t have 20 years’ experience and I didn’t start writing in-house. So, after a year I was building my network, meeting, connecting with people, getting to know the industry, getting to know exactly what worked, what didn’t, testing things out. So that after a year I had enough context and I had enough of a network for my own [crosstalk] [JOE]: Let me pause you there. So, you said, “I was networking and kind of getting to know the industry.” What does that mean practically? How did you, like, were you on LinkedIn just doing phone calls with people or were you going to actual events? How did you build that network in that first year? [KIMBERLY]: A bit of a mix. I went to a couple of events where there were both copywriting-specific events and industry-specific events. I used to be in the travel industry and I’ve transitioned to helping more entrepreneurs now, but I would go to, you know, it’s a great method for you to go to an event or to a conference and you know there aren’t very many writers or copywriters there. So, you’re one of the few and it’s a great way to find out what’s going on. I also used, I like to call it the, ‘How to get the most out of an event without actually showing up’ method which is basically, you know, if you go and look at industry events and you look at their agendas, a lot of them will put them online a couple months beforehand, you’ll see what topics and what content the industry is really interested in at that moment because the talks that they’re having are really relevant to the people in the industry at the time.
Also, a lot of them will have lists of attendees or past attendees. So, it’ll give you a kind of a starting point of a list of people who are interested in the event. They understand the power of marketing because most of them are creating marketing materials for the event itself and it gives you a starting list of who to reach out to as opposed to just kind of blindly Googling companies in this industry and then hoping to get the right people. [JOE]: Yes. I can’t kind of echo that enough because I feel like when you look at what people are already asking questions around that’s such a great place to not have to invent the answers or invent kind of, “What do you think people actually want?” If they’re having a bunch of things about an industry specific thing at their conferences, that’s a great kind of hack to take those ideas that people already care about. [KIMBERLY]: Absolutely. [JOE]: So, you build that network and you kind of attend conferences without attending them, which is such a great idea. Then how does it start to grow for you? [KIMBERLY]: So, it starts to grow for me, that’s, you know, that’s just one method of many different outreach marketing methods. A big thing I did was start creating content on my website and on LinkedIn and connecting with the right people on LinkedIn. And that’s kind of just builds your online network and it builds your in-person network. So, when — [JOE]: Why LinkedIn? [KIMBERLY]: LinkedIn, because it’s an easy way for you to make sure you’re connecting with the right people. You know, not everyone updates their Facebook for their current job and Facebook’s not really the correct medium to connect with people for a business. If they are professional and they have a LinkedIn, LinkedIn is the better option to do the initial outreach at least. Also, with LinkedIn you can kind of find out what these people are up to.
So if people are posting content on LinkedIn and they’re working for the company you’d like to work with, you know a little bit more about them so that when you do an initial outreach, it can be personalized as opposed to sending out those auto-responders, spammy outreach. “Hey, I do this, want to talk to me?” Instead you can reach out and say, “Hey, I noticed your company was featured in this magazine,” or “I saw your company just reached five years. Congratulations.” So, it’s kind of a, it’s a warmer introduction for people. [JOE]: Yes. I can’t underline, bold, highlight what you just said enough. The amount of people on LinkedIn that want to connect. I almost always will connect with them just because I want to build my connections and help people but I would bet that a good quarter of them, their next thing after us connecting is a straight up pitch. And I’m like, that’s the equivalent of asking for me to like move in with you after I just met you on a date at a bar. You know, it’s like, “Yes, Kim I’m not going to leave my toothbrush at your house.” Well I’m a married man, so I’m probably not going to do any of that, but the point is that it’s like, “Let’s get to know each other a little bit,” or show that you care about what I do or even have some insight and you’re not just copy and pasting your pitch to every single new person that you connect with on LinkedIn. [KIMBERLY]: Absolutely. And the same thing holds true for any kind of initial outreach. I feel, LinkedIn especially because LinkedIn, it’s you are building your own network. So, these are potentially people you want to be connected with and be in touch with for years to come and to immediately start saying, “Hey, I do things you should hire me.” It’s just jumping the gun and it’s kind of stopping the relationship before it can form. Because in business and in life, everything comes down to the relationship and I’m a firm believer in using your marketing to build that relationship, whether it’s an initial outreach, whether it’s the type of content that you put out into the world. It’s all about making sure that what you’re providing is actually valuable to the people that you’re providing it to. [JOE]: Yes, 100%. So, take us through some of your tips around copywriting. What should people do? What shouldn’t they do? How do you see people screw up their copywriting on their websites? [KIMBERLY]: Absolutely. So basically, as I said, I’m a firm believer in building the relationship through copywriting and marketing. And that comes from, I have a four-step process. You mentioned the concierge conversion method and basically, it’s all about helping at its core. I am a firm believer that marketing should be all about helping your audience where they are. Because nowadays people, they don’t know who you are, they don’t know what you do, but they know they have a problem and they’re looking for a solution. So, when you can create the content, when you can create the materials that answers their specific questions, they’re more likely to continue on that journey with you and keep looking for more information that you provide. So, on websites, for example, I have this test I tell people to go through basically, and it’s an eight second test, right?
You’ll see a lot of articles and thought leadership pieces that quote this eight seconds statistics. In some industries it’s longer, in some industries it’s shorter, but basically you have eight seconds to convince somebody on your homepage that they’re in the right place. Now it’s not eight seconds for them to say, “Yes, absolutely, I want to hire this person,” or you know, “This is the therapist for me,” but it is eight seconds for them to decide if they’re in the right place to start with. So, within eight seconds, you need to be able to say who you are, who you help, and why the readers should stick around.
That comes from like a really powerful headline that basically states right in the words, who you are, what you do and why they should stick around. So, something like, “I’m a talk therapist that specializes in helping people with X, Y, Z and I provide also a resource library for those who aren’t in my area.” Okay, great. So, I know if I’m looking for a talk therapist, if I’m looking for resources, I’m in the right place. If that’s not what I’m looking for, I’m going to leave. And you want those people who aren’t a match for what you do to leave your site because they’re never going to be matched for what you do. And you know, putting your time and resources into connecting with them and creating more content for them when they’re never going to want to hire you, is not a good use of your time. [JOE]: Awesome. Wow. So, then what else should they consider when they’re really looking at their website or even copy beyond their website? [KIMBERLY]: So, with their website, one of the things I try and really get people to understand is that with the way Google does their algorithms and everything people aren’t always going to be walking into your front door, right? If you’re a brick and mortar store on the street and people see your window and they say, “Oh, I like something in there. I’m going to go in and look around,” but your front store window, which is your homepage, is not how everyone is going to find you online. If you’re publishing content on LinkedIn, on Medium in different magazines or online publications, that might be the first time they see you. And then where are you directing them from there? So, making sure that your site is easy to navigate, no matter what page it is and that it has that little answer of who you are, what you do on pretty much any page is very, very important when I talk to my clients.
So that’s number one. It’s that you provide a great customer journey through any page on your website and also realizing that not all of your traffic, not the first time someone hears about you is going to be on your homepage. And then when talking about other marketing materials, basically it’s be you. That’s my biggest thing; is be you. Don’t be the guru that you found a template for. Don’t be you know, I call it the corporate wee-wee where you say a bunch of things, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. Basically, put yourself into your marketing. And that can be something very simple. You choose two or three things that you really enjoy outside of what you’re known for, like let’s say you really love fishing and you love gourmet food, right?
Speaker 4: And then when you create your marketing content, you might have just a throw away light. You know, I was on a fishing trip recently and I realized that one of the biggest problems most of my patients has is, so it’s not a huge part. You’re not talking about the wonders of fishing or fly fishing or I don’t know all the other different types of fronts you can use, but you are kind of making it more personal and realize, and it helps people realize that there’s a real person behind all of the marketing material that you’re creating, that you’re an actual person, that you’re not just kind of this collection of ideas and thoughts that aren’t freely from a real person who really wants to help. [JOE]: I love that and I think a lot of therapists really struggle with that because in grad school we learned so much about self-disclosure, like don’t make it all about you and make it clinical and have it evidence-based. But you know, the reality is that people make buying decisions based on connecting with you. Like you are the product as a counselor or therapist or if you have a group practice, your other therapists are the product. And so, if you look like absolutely everyone else in town and you do individual, couples, and family counseling, it’s like, what’s the difference between you and some other good looking website versus if you put some of your own kind of things in there, what you’re into, that’s going to help people make a decision as to why to work with you. So, for example, I have my own personal therapist that I see. He takes a Buddhist philosophy.
For me that was really important to have someone that had that kind of middle pathway of thinking. And he pushes me in a lot of ways that maybe a traditional therapist wouldn’t, and that was something I was looking for. So, by him inserting himself into his website and kind of his branding and just owning it, I mean, even his therapy dog’s name was Bodhi. And so, it’s like, and you go into his office and that matches what you see on the website. So, he clearly is someone that’s a practicing meditator. He has all sorts of things that point to that even in just who he is. And so, he’s really nailed kind of owning.
Yes, I take a Buddhist philosophy, but what’s great about that is that it attracts the people that he really wants, but it also pushes away the people that would be offended by that, aren’t there, don’t care. And he can just be as authentic self in therapy and feel like he really did a good job of saying, “This is who I am. If you missed that on the website…,” He’s not going to say that’s your own fault. But really, I mean it is your own fault because he was very clear about his branding. [KIMBERLY]: Absolutely. And that’s really what you said about you walk in and it’s just like the experience you have on the website. That’s what I strive to provide for all of my clients. The idea is going through your marketing, whether it’s your, you know, landing on your website, whether it’s reading the emails that you send out, a monthly or weekly. It should be like the experience they’re going to have when they work with you. It should be a reflection of that. And it’s a reflection of it because it’s also kind of a way to draw in the right kind of people who are looking for that particular experience. Because if you, if your marketing appears like super corporate or on the opposite side, right? If you have a very straight-laced person and their marketing seems like it was written by a hippie when they meet that person, it’s not going to be the experience they expected. Right? [JOE]: So, if someone was going to take action on what you’re saying and say they were going to put in an hour after this podcast, take us through what would be the best use of that hour? [KIMBERLY]: Wow. An hour. That’s way more time than I usually tell people. So, I have an email series where it’s like 10, 15 minutes a day that people can go through but basically the first thing I would say is look at, do that eight second test on your own website, but don’t do your website first. Because a lot of us we’re too close to our own business to be able to see it as an outsider. So instead look at a competitor or look at a fellow you know, look at a practice that’s maybe a few turns over. They’re not necessarily going to be your direct competitor if these are people who are coming in to see you in person but go to two or three competitors’ websites and see if you can answer those three questions, the who you are, who you serve and why they should stick around within eight seconds on that homepage.
Then after you view a couple of people who aren’t you go to your own website and see how easy it is to find that information. If it’s not, then immediately figure out, kind of sit down and do an exercise about, “Okay, who are the right people for my practice?” Kind of sit down and don’t just focus on general ideas like, “Oh anyone over the age of 18 and under the age of 60.” That’s really broad. So, what you want to do is sit down and think of the best people that you felt best helping or the people you have the most experience helping and kind of write down two or three types of short avatars if you will. Then make sure that the headline or the first eight second experience on your website answers those three questions about who you are, who you help, and why they should stick around.
After that, if you’re going to do a full hour, I would say look back through your clients and find out what they wanted to know first. For most people, they’re going to want to know maybe like general information, like what are your hours or how to get in touch or do you specialize in one particular thing? Then create a path to another page from your homepage that answers one of those big questions so that it’s one click for people to get to the answer they’re looking for. [JOE]: Oh, that’s so awesome. Anyone who’s listened to this podcast has heard this analogy before or I guess exercise before that I’m about to share. But if you go to your website and it just as easily could be a funeral home, there’s probably something wrong because a lot of therapy websites will have like a river with a tree and it says ‘There’s hope for your family,’ or ‘Are you grieving? We can help.’ Or ‘Your family is going through a rough time,’ like, and then you don’t have counseling on it anywhere. And so, it could just as easily be a funeral home as it is a therapy practice.
So, if you look through those eyes, through those exercises, but also think, “Could my website actually be for like a funeral home too?” Like your life has been great. So that’s another way to think about it as well. Well, Kimberly, the last question I always ask people is if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want him to know? [KIMBERLY]: I would want them to know that they are the reason their clients come. So it’s really important that their influence, their personality is a little bit apart of the marketing that your potential clients are going to reach because if somebody is looking for a therapist, they do have more than one option, especially with the ability to not necessarily have to go in person anymore. So, if you’re marketing, if it looks like everybody else or if it doesn’t really reflect who are, then people aren’t going to necessarily be motivated to choose you over someone else. So, while you don’t obviously want to have you, you know, as you were saying, right, it’s not about you, it’s about your clients. But the reason they’re going to pick you is because of who you are.
So, having a little bit of yourself in your marketing is really super important. And if you have a template or if you’re operating off of a templated website or a templated landing page, make sure to change it so it sounds like something you would say. It needs to be something that if they’re reading through this and then they meet you in person, they kind of feel like, “Yes, this is the person that has been sending me these things because it sounds exactly like them.” [JOE]: Oh, that’s so awesome. Kimberly Weitkamp, if people want to work with you, if they want to join that course, what’s the best way for them to connect with you? [KIMBERLY]: So, if you go to audienceconverter.com/podcast they will be able to get that 5-five-day email challenge to increase website conversions. You know, it’s very simple. They just put in the name and email address and over five days, you’ll get an action step for each day of what to locate on your website and how you can fix it if you don’t pass the test. And day number one is what we talked about, the who you are and who you serve. So yes audiencecompetitor.com/podcast. [JOE]: Awesome. Well Kimberly, thanks so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. [KIMBERLY]: Thank you so much for having me. [JOE]: So, go take Kimberly’s advice. Take some action. Don’t just let this content sit in your brain. Go do something with it. Also, head on over to slowdownschool.com so that you can opt in to get first access to those early bird tickets. Or if you want to jump on a phone call with me to see if Slow Down School is a fit, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/apply.
Also, Therapy Notes is our sponsor. They’re amazing. To get two months free at Therapy Notes, talk [unintelligible]. I’m going to leave that in, over at therapynotes.com. That was a weird like recovery ride. Anyway, therapynotes.com, use promo-code [JOE] for two months free. They are amazing. We had so many people over at Killin’It Camp that either already had Therapy Notes or signed up for it and are so excited about how much easier their life is now. So, go over to therapynotes.com and use promo-code [JOE]. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome week.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the hosts, the guests, or the publisher are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one and special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We love it.