How to Write Empathy-Focused Sales Copy with Sara Frandina

How to Write Empathy-Focused Sales Copy with Sara Frandina

Update: 2021-03-02
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Description

Episode #162. If you don’t want to be sleazy, ‘salesy’, and slimy with your marketing, what is the alternative? In this episode of the Go-to Gal podcast, we’re talking about talking to your customers. Sara Frandina is a conversion copywriter and she joins us today to share her research-oriented approach to writing sales copy with your customers in mind. Listen to learn Sara’s smart approach to copywriting and how you can do it yourself (with or without outside help!). 





In This Episode You’ll Learn:





  • The one thing you need to do to avoid sleazy bro marketing tactics
  • Why you don’t have to create fake scarcity and fake urgency 
  • Everything Sara does before writing copy that makes all the magic happen
  • The curse of the expert and why you need to talk differently to your audience 
  • Why the voice of the customer research is everything when it comes to copy
  • What this looks like implemented in a real business!




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Favorite Quotes





“I never ever encourage people to use things like false urgency or false scarcity, even though they do work. What we want to learn is where hesitations actually lie and what’s going to best address them.” 





“You’re always dropping breadcrumbs, right? Whether you have a very direct call to action or you are mentioning something for the sake of mentioning it, people need to hear it 15 times before they will actually take action.”





“We always want to learn where our people are starting from. We’re usually not in the business of selling people on the idea that they have a problem. We usually meet people at the problem.” 





Discussed on the Show:





https://plugnpitch.com/plug-n-pitch-new-version





sarafrandina.com/go-to-gal





More About Sara:





Sara Frandina is a conversion copywriter with an insatiable appetite for learning, reading, and popcorn. Her superpower is translating the thoughts and stories of others into meaningful insights that fuel empathy-based marketing + communication. She’s worked with more than 100 clients, from course creators to membership hosts to service providers, and more, since she started in 2013.





When she’s not busy reading between the lines of customer research, you can find Sara getting tackled by her toddler, walking her pup, or warming up her coffee. Again.





Find Sara:









Show Transcript:




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Jaclyn Mellone 


Welcome to Go to Gal episode number 162. As always, I’m your host, Jaclyn Mellone. And it’s so funny. I always talk with my hands during this part. Well, probably, I always talk with my hands. But I don’t know, you would think that I wouldn’t need my hands for this intro, but apparently I do. I don’t know, there’s like a zest to my, it’s almost like my conductor. I don’t know, go with it. Alright. So today, we’re not talking about my talking with my hands. We are talking about talking to your customers. And with that sales and conversion and copy if you will. Now in our industry, in this online marketing online business world, you likely have come across the term bro marketing. I know we have discussed it here on the podcast, but likely you’ve come across it other places too. And there’s a lot of talk about bro marketing and we don’t want to be a bro marketing and bro marketing as the past. And bro marketing is slimy and skeezy and all of these things, right? But what is the alternative? And while I think we know what the alternative is? Sometimes it helps to really dive into like, how do we make sure we’re not doing the bro marketing thing? How do we make sure we’re not doing those things that are going to alienate people we want to truly help and create that sense of distrust with the people who we are seeking to serve. How do we do that? 


Well, our guest today is a friend of mine, Sarah Frandina. She actually used to be local to me. We were in a local mastermind. We would meet up at different coffee shops every other week or something like that. Gosh, I miss those days so much/ Oh, but I’ve seen behind the scenes of just how brilliant she is because she’s also done. I’ve also worked with her as a copywriter before I hired her a couple years ago for a sales page. And I was blown away at her approach to copy and how extensive and just different her process for customer research. And really digging into that voice of the customer was so different than any other copywriter I had worked with or even heard about before. And I’m really excited to share her with you today. One because she has brilliant insight on this. She’s gonna peel back the curtain and talk about her process for doing this. It’s something that you don’t necessarily need to be working with a copywriter to implement. In fact, you could do this yourself or even with a virtual assistant on your team. And it’s so powerful. So we’re gonna dive into lots of the elements of writing conversion copy, but from that empathy focused angle, not that raw marketing angle. We are going to cover the ins and outs of what you need to do before you sit down and put pen to paper or put your fingers to the keyboard. 


And before you get to that place, what do you need to do? And Sarah does this in a way that is so different than much of the industry. I’ve worked with many copywriters over the years and I was really blown away by her approach. And I love how she breaks it down for us in a way that’s replicable even if you’re not working with a copywriter. So we go deep, we peel this apart, and it may or may not ask for some specific feedback on some things I’m working on. And listen, I like to do that one on talking to my brilliant friend. I just can’t resist asking for advice. But I also think sometimes a real example of whatever it is we’re talking about helps to just connect some of these dots. So you’re gonna hear a little bit about what’s on my mind with my own copy. And hopefully, that inspires you for whatever project you’re working on too. 


Now the copy I’m specifically asking about is for our upcoming plugin pitch live. Now you may have heard me talk about our podcast guesting plugin pitch system. It’s a digital product with templates to help you pitch yourself to get on podcasts. Well, we are running it live for the first time. I don’t know if we’re ever gonna do this again. I certainly hope so. But who knows, this is a one-time thing for right now. And I’m really excited about it. So if you’ve been wanting to get on podcasts and you want that extra push, that extra help and support of okay, here’s some templates and here’s some training on how to fill them out. And also the live interaction of getting feedback and support and connecting with other people who are maybe even podcasters but also other people that are pitching themselves on podcasts and me. And we’re gonna have prizes and we’re gonna have a grand old time. So if you are like yes, this is the push I need because I keep listening to podcasts and thinking I should really be pitching myself to get on these podcasts but you just haven’t found the time to do it yet. Come join us for plugin pitch live. If you go to pluginpitch.com sign up. If you have already purchased the templates. If you’ve already purchased the podcast guests plugin pitch system, you will be receiving an email from us very soon, with an invite to join for free. So if you’ve had it before, you’ve already purchased your ticket. If you will, and anyone who joins now is welcome to come as well. So we are excited to kick things off in a week or two, depending on when you’re listening to this. So go to pluginpitch.com, or go to the show notes for the details. 


Now you’re gonna hear me ask Sarah for some specific advice on my own copy. Gosh, I just can’t resist asking my brilliant friend for her advice. Okay. But also, I know that it helps to have that example of like, we’re talking about these concepts and strategies. But how does this actually apply? How do we apply this to our own real life examples. And I guess today, I’m just example A. So hopefully, my own example gives you a good behind the scenes of how you can start applying this and just thinking about your own copy. Now, what I asked her about is you may remember that I have or maybe we even have our podcast guests plugin pitch system. Well, this month we are running that digital product as a live experience for the first and possibly only time we’ll see how it goes. But I’m super excited to run this as a live online event. We are kicking off on March 15. So if you’re listening to this around the time it goes live, we would love to have you join us if you’ve already purchased this $27 system. If you’ve bought your ticket, we will be emailing you very soon. If you haven’t already, to give you all your information on how to join us. And if you haven’t yet, go to pluginpitch.com by your end, and we’ll see you on the 15th. So excited to help you actually put these templates and action and pitch yourself to be on a podcast. Well, how many times are you listening to a podcast you’re like, okay, I really should be pitching myself. I really should be that guest on that podcast. Let’s do the thing. So gosh, I can’t believe we’re almost winding down a queue one already. This is your time you belong on these podcasts. If you’re a podcaster This is the fastest way to grow your podcast. And if you don’t have your own podcast, this is the most powerful way to leverage the podcasting platform. I don’t need to sell you on being a podcast guest. You already know that you should be a podcast guest. So go to pluginpitch.com, and hopefully you can join us this month for plugin pitch live. 


All right. Now before we get into things, let me formally introduce you to our guests today, Sara Frandina. Sara Frandina is a conversion copywriter with an insatiable appetite for learning, reading, and popcorn. Her superpower is translating the thoughts and stories of others into meaningful insights that fuel empathy-based marketing and communication. She’s worked with more than 100 clients from course creators to membership pose to service providers and more since she started her business in 2013. When she’s not busy reading between the lines of customer research, you can find Sara getting tackled by her toddler, walking her pup, or warming up her coffee again. Oh, I hear that so hard. Alright, without further ado, here’s my conversation with Sarah. 


Jaclyn Mellone 


Sara, I’m so excited to have you here.


Sara Frandina 


Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.


Jaclyn Mellone 


This is taking like all of my willpower in the world to not just chat your ear off for an hour because we’re so overdue to connect and like, we are going to record a podcast, we are going to record a podcast. 


Sara Frandina 


Absolutely. 


Jaclyn Mellone 


Okay, so here we are, before we dive in to you, and all things copy, take us back to when you were growing up. What were you the go to gal for back then?


Sara Frandina 


Oh my gosh, depends how far back we want to go. But I have to say the thing that has carried through from the time I was probably like four or five was I was always the person who asked for book recommendations. Because I always had my nose in a book. So if anybody from my kindergarten class to, I mean, in first grade, I was going down to the kindergarten class to read to them. I was just like, I was that kid that was just like, you want to read a book. Let’s sit here and read a book. And that really didn’t change moving forward. And I’m still that person. Like my friends are like, What are you reading today? So I think that’s been like the thread that’s come through. And it’s pretty funny because I ended up as a writer and the number one thing I tell people when they’re like, how do I become a writer, a better writer like you read more? So? Yeah.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Ooh, I love that tip. Now just reading for that specific purpose account if you’re listening.


Sara Frandina 


Yes! Absolutely, absolutely audiobooks, especially in this day and age. Absolutely. 


Jaclyn Mellone 


I think they count in terms of reading like I  use the word deliberately. Deliberately. I don’t even know I forgot what I was saying, oh, but I use the word reading very liberally in terms of I read and I that means I’m listening to audiobooks, but that’s good to know. Totally counts, but it’s good to know that it counts in terms of consuming content in that way can also still help us become better at writing. That’s hearing how other people are talking and putting sentences together communicating big ideas. Like what do you that is about reading that helps us become better writers?


Sara Frandina 


I think from I mean, there’s definitely like, you know, you do reading for self in personal development, right. And that’s, that’s very learning focused, or even business books, but I’m, I’m even talking fiction, like, it is awesome to see how different authors put stories together in a way that shows us different perspectives. And then it’s simply the best portal into other lives that we can’t even begin to imagine. So that’s why listening to it is no different than reading it. But it’s really more about how are people communicating those ideas and weaving together stories because even as a copywriter who’s very much focused on like, the scientific side of conversions, I am still telling a story with every piece of copy that I write. 


Jaclyn Mellone 


Oh, so true. So true. And that actually reminds me that was the main reason I bought Mel Robbin’s book, The five-second rule because I was just so fascinated by how she was able to make a whole book out of that.


Sara Frandina 


Yes, absolutely


Jaclyn Mellone


And I love Mel, but I was really like, okay, you can explain this in literally a minute, maybe two, maybe five. Okay, I’ll give you like a 20 minute presentation. But how are you taking this concept and turning it into a whole book? It was really fascinating to me, and she did a great job with it. But that was one of my drivers of curiosity. Okay, but now to reach it back in, let’s come back to you. So fast forward to today. Tell us what you do? And who do you help?


Sara Frandina 


Awesome. So I am a certified conversion copywriter. So that simply means that I write copy that is meant to connect with an audience and drive them to take action. I mostly work with people who will have products,services, offers, that they are very passionate about getting in front of the right people. And they do have some sort of focus on retaining those people, whether that’s inside a membership or a course. So there’s a ton of opportunity for touchpoints. And that’s really the bulk of my work


Jaclyn Mellone 


Yes, and we have worked together in the past. I was so impressed with the amount of research that you do before sitting down to write copy that informs that copy. So would you just pull back the curtain a little bit and share with us what that is because a lot of times we think about writing, or copy we think about the actual copy but part of the magic of what you do is everything that happens before you ever put the proverbial pen to paper. 


Sara Frandina 


Absolutely, yeah. I’m so glad you asked because this is the bulk of my process. When I have a discovery call with a new client, the thing that always surprises them the most is when I tell them that 80% of my process is research before I ever sit down to write. And this is where for anybody that is ever sitting down to write their own copy, the biggest problem lies is that we’re sitting down in front of a blank page with nothing to work off of, I never do that. That’s where that 80% comes in, where I’m going out and I am collecting what in the conversion copywriting world is called voice of customer research. And that is getting inside the heads of your customers and hearing how they talk about what they’re experiencing in their life or what they get out of your offer, the outcomes that they’ve experienced from working with you. So hearing how they talk about it so that we can take that language, and then start from there when we sit down to write our copy. So that’s what I actually start with, with all of my clients. And there’s so many benefits to it, besides just getting us started on the page. But that is the first place I always point people to start so that they’re not just throwing spaghetti at the wall and trying to guess at what their customers are thinking.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Yes. Okay. We are going to dive into all of that in a little bit. But I’m curious a little bit about your journey. And you mentioned you were certified. What, brought you to writing copy? And where did the certification come in? Give us a little bit of your story that brought you to where you are now.


Sara Frandina 


Awesome. Yeah. So in 2012, I was working for a Tourism Organization in the Finger Lakes. And I worked with a ton of small business owners in the area. And the recurring theme from all of them is that they needed more content, copywriting, and it was just a skill that they didn’t have. So I started hosting some lunch and learn. And we were talking about everything from blogging to social media to emails. This was really before email marketing was really a big thing. But I was hosting those lunch and learns and thinking like this is really something I enjoy doing. So when I started my business, about six months after I had started hosting those lunch and learns, I was doing everything I was writing blogs, I was writing case studies, white papers, sales pages, emails, websites, you name it, I really became the the Jill of all trades when it came to copy. And I realized that just was not sustainable. I really wanted to become an expert in one thing. That’s when I stumbled upon copy hackers and Joanna Wiebe, she is the original conversion copywriter, she coined that term. And I did a year long certification program with her. So that’s where I got the certification from. So that entailed a year’s worth of learning, and then three projects at the end that she reviewed, edited, and then had to give me a pass fail on. So that was nerve racking, but that was 2013 to 2014. So that’s where my certification came from. And then from there, I’ve gradually niched down into writing strictly sales pages and email sequences, because those are typically the drivers of action, whereas somebody who’s going to your website, they still need to get a really good feel for who you are, who you serve, what you offer. But it’s the sales page and the email sequences where we’re really driving them to actually take a very specific action.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Yes, that’s it’s good to distinguish the difference between maybe social media content or, you know, website, copy even. And then these email sequences or sales pages that are designed with that, like, explicit purpose to drive them to make a decision to convert.


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, and I really, I really separated between how I describe it is you have your nurture content. So that is your weekly email newsletter, if you’re sending something like that, or your Instagram posts, anything social media, or the monthly or weekly blogs that you’re putting out. That’s all the content that is meant to keep you top of mind to establish expertise to share opinions and viewpoints. That’s the important stuff that is going to keep nurturing your people. And then when I’m talking about email sequences, that’s separate from you know, your weekly newsletter, that’s the sequence that is, you know, promoting a webinar or promoting an open cart on something or promoting anything that’s going to drive that specific action and a discovery call with you anything like that. So it’s more of like that one off kind of messaging, after you’ve already done some nurturing.


Jaclyn Mellone 


That makes a lot of sense. A Conversation I’ve been having with my team a lot lately, though, is even when we’re not directly selling, I feel like everything is sales and I know I’ve heard my dad say this a million times throughout my whole life and probably before I even really knew what it means but you know, it’s interesting how your parents Or maybe a mentor in your life says something. And then when you’re at different ages and stages, you think of it in a different way. But that keeps coming to my mind recently because like, even on like an Instagram story, like what’s going to get them to go to that next slide? Or what’s going to get them to open up that newsletter or read to the end? or all of those things? Do you find that it’s maybe some of the same conversion copy principles that are trickled into all of these other things? Or is that a little bit different?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, no, I think there’s certainly overlap. And when you say everything is sales, it, it really is because, like, I consider it, you’re always dropping breadcrumbs, right? Whether you have a very direct call to action, or you are mentioning something for the sake of mentioning it, because people need to hear it 15 times before they will actually take action. It’s all important. So in it all will lead to those sales. So it depends on, you know, what your offer is, what your typical pipeline is, and how long I’ve got clients where they offer high end programs, that it will be seven months before people who have heard about it from at first glance, before they actually buy and that’s a normal sales cycle for them, they have to do a lot more nurturing, but it’s gonna it’s gonna take a while, but then when they are ready for the sale, they are ready for the sale. Other times, I have people that do a five day cart open and a two week promo, and they see a ton of conversion. So it entirely depends on what your audience is used to and what your offer actually is. But we are always dropping breadcrumbs, because the like no matter what people need to hear things way more than one time, in order to keep it top of mind and actually convince them to take that action.


Jaclyn Mellone 


So true. Now, one of the things that you mentioned to me before this conversation that really sparked my interest was that sometimes there’s like this curse of the expert where we’re talking to our audience in a certain way. And we might be missing some key things like the way that we’re talking may actually be preventing us or getting in the way of really connecting with them or, or showing them that they should be, you know, joining us for whatever the opportunity is. Can you tell us a little bit about that?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, yeah, so I work, almost everybody that I work with has been in business for a while. So I consider them experts, which is really awesome. And it means that they have a lot of trouble separating themselves from their offer in their messaging. So what I see I see two things, I see people coming in with certain biases, right? They have been running their business for a while, or they’ve launched their offer a few times, or they’ve served a bunch of people. And they just have this idea of who their person is without really thinking outside that box. The second thing that I see people doing is coming into a conversation with what kind of stifles their progress in growing their messaging or growing how they’re talking to people. They already are thinking about the next thing without taking into consideration what their audience wants. So I’m already thinking like, hey, this is the next offer, I think my people need, I’m going to ask them about that instead of trying to figure out where they’re starting from and seeing what the next best place they can go is. So when I come into a conversation, and this is why it’s really good to have somebody that isn’t you conducting your voice of customer research, because when I come into a conversation, I am trying to figure out where my clients, customers, clients prospects are starting from, so that we can discover all the possibilities for the next best step. I just think that there’s this plateau people hit when they become a really knowledgeable expert, where they are so ingrained in their offer, that they’re not asking themselves the questions that will bring themselves out of it, and then they can’t have those conversations with their people.


Jaclyn Mellone 


No, I think that makes sense. And I’m, I think what this does is also highlight but okay, let’s dig into what is this? What is this voice of customer research because it is so important when we’re so used to talking about what we do, we may not even realize that something a term that we’re using is jargon or doesn’t make sense or wouldn’t resonate with the people that we’re talking to or if we’re maybe our best, like, we’re, we’re working with clients or something like that, right? Well, we know our customers are working with clients, but maybe they’re further along and that customers journey. And so the things the questions our clients are asking or the problems that they’re having are going to be different than those people when they’re at that buying stage before they become a client. Right? So that’s where this voice of customer research is so important, and also asking the right questions that are going to give us that insight. So did I get that right? Is that where?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, yeah, I think the beauty of the voice of a customer is that before I even get into a project with a client, I’m going to interview them right about what they think their offer is solving who their people are, what their pain points are. What I do when I’m doing the voice of a customer, when I’m talking to their clients, is I match up where those two things align. And sometimes they align really well, like my clients know exactly what those pain points are. And sometimes they are very far off only because they have been in their silo running their offer. And it’s really, it’s, it’s finding that sweet spot of this is what I want to be the expert for and how I want to solve this, this, you know, pain point problem, whatever you want to call it with my offer. And here’s what my people actually need and want. So your voice of customer really validates and expands that for you. But then on the other side of things, it gives you that messaging that you need. So one of the things that I get into a lot is states of awareness, we always want to learn where our people are starting from. And when I talk about states of awareness, that’s the scale of unaware people don’t even know they have a problem, we’re usually not in the business of selling people on the idea that they have a problem. And then we usually meet people in pain or problem or state. So they know they have an issue, something’s not right. But they don’t yet know that there’s like solutions out there, they’re not sure what to do about it. Once we get them to the solution aware state, then they have this idea that there is a way to solve their problem. And they’re going to be actually seeking out products that solve that problem, then when we get to them to that product aware state, that’s when we are educating them on our product, how it’s different from our competitors, how our offer can actually address their pain points. And then we just have to seal the deal and get them to that most aware state with your voice of customer, the number one thing you’re digging up is where they’re starting from. Because depending on where they’re starting from, we’re going to use different messaging and different amounts of copy different amounts of nurturing, to take them to that most aware state where they are ready to say yes, you’re the person I want to work with.


Jaclyn Mellone 


I love how you break that down. Now. So this unaware person, we should not even be trying to necessarily talk to you, but with those other two levels. When should we be talking to that person that is maybe problem aware? versus solution aware?


Sara Frandina 


And those are the two people you’ll meet most often, honestly. Um, so we’re gonna find them. Usually at the problem aware state. They are hanging out in Facebook groups, they are posting on Reddit. They’re reading the books, they’re attending the free webinars, they’re information gathering, right? Because they just know something’s not right. But they’re not really at that stage where they’re they’re seeking out solutions. At the solution aware state that’s where they’re actually doing searches for, like, you know, how do I solve this problem? Where can I find a course on Facebook ads? Where can I get this? When we’re meeting people at that stage, we’re doing a little bit more education on how the solution addresses the problem. Even at that stage, even at that solution aware state, we are talking to them from a place of your problem can be solved. You belong here, your problem can be solved. Take a deep breath. Now I’m going to introduce you to my product that addresses the solution. But those are typically the two places we’re most often meeting people. And again, you’re going to find that out from a voice of customer when you ask them. Hey, when you first found out about me what was going on in your life for your business that made you want to seek out my community, my webinar, my whatever the offer was that they took advantage of join my email list, that kind of thing. Because when they’re sharing about where they were at, at that particular moment, when they decided to interact with you, you’re going to learn, hey, they knew they had a problem, but they didn’t know solutions existed or no, they were seeking out solutions.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Okay, so I have a question for you. That is very specific to me. But I’m not asking this with a selfish intent because I do think this is as we’re taking these concepts and trying to figure out how to apply them. I think these are the types of questions that come up, right. So in my own business right now we’ll talk about the plugin pitch system. So my podcast guest plugin pitch system, most of the copy and content that I created around that, was really for that problem aware. Now the problem that they were aware of, and this is where I want to drill down a level deeper with you, right? Is the problem they were that I was saying it was like, okay, so you know, you have a problem that like you want to grow your audience and connect that to being a guest on a podcast being guest on podcast, that’s going to to be that solution for it. Right. And we’re running ads right now. And it’s with that messaging. But in the back of my head, I’ve been thinking like, should I just make an ad that’s more direct, like, I know, there’s people out there that know that they want to be a guest on podcast, and maybe they have been pitching and maybe they’re not getting results, or maybe they know they want to but they just keep putting it off, or they don’t know how to pitch. Like, I kind of want to test out that more direct like that person that has already sold on podcasts guesting, but maybe they haven’t had a lot of success, or they just haven’t gotten themselves into action yet. Like they can’t find the time or these other excuses. So those are both problems, but one is much more specific. Like they’re already you know, is that how you would define a solution or where like, they already know podcasts, guesting works. And that’s when we can talk more about the pain points of the actual pitching versus the more abstract pain points of the I want to grow my audience problem.


Sara Frandina 


Yes, that is exactly it, you’ve got you just broke it down beautifully. Where the people that you’re currently targeting with that messaging, they’re not sold on the idea that podcast pitching is the way to grow their audience. So that’s what you’re trying to get them to, you’re trying to convince them that podcast pitching is a great way to grow your audience. And they should look more into that for the people that you’re thinking about. And this would be a very interesting way thing to learn from the people who have bought your plugin pitch system before where they started from, did they already know that they wanted to be pitching podcasts, but they didn’t know where to start, or they had tried themselves and they just weren’t getting anywhere, or they had hired a company to do it for them and that wasn’t working out, you’re going to learn a lot about what they’ve tried before to. And that, again, is that solution where you’re doing a little bit different messaging, because they’re already sold on the idea that they want to be pitching podcasts. So the pain point is different from the person who’s like, I have no idea where to start in growing my audience, but I’m sick of having a stagnant number on my email list, right? This person is saying, I know I want to pitch podcasts and something about what I’m doing right now isn’t working. How can your plugin pitch system help me?


Jaclyn Mellone 


Exactly. Okay. So I’m glad, I’m glad I’m thinking along the right lines there. And we actually just sent out a survey this morning. So that’ll be interesting to see. And my first thought with that is okay, that 95% of the people, that’s not an exact number, but most of the people that have purchased, were organic, or warm leads that were on my list are following me on social. We just started running ads for it this month. So I’m curious. And we don’t have enough data because it’s like, like, a week of running. Right? So we don’t have enough data on the new people. And we did not segment new and old of them immediately thinking we probably should. But I’m curious if that warm group effect could skew us if that could skew the results of all these people that are giving us their experience, they already probably knew me on some level first, versus marketing to cold. Do you find that like humans? are humans and the problems are the same? Or do we need to look a layer deeper to be like, Where are these people coming from?


Sara Frandina 


I always do want to look at where people are coming from. I do think humans are humans and the problems they’re experiencing are very similar across the board, how they talked about them might be different. But at the core, we’re mostly experiencing the same problems. Where the difference comes in having a cold audience versus people who are warm. The people who are warm that haven’t had experience with you have been on your email list or listen to your podcast or anything of that nature, they’re just going to need less to convince them that you’re the right person, for them to buy from. So that’s where the difference lies, the problem might be the same, but they just need less time nurturing, convincing to actually make the decision to buy from you a colder audience, you’re going to need a little bit more time nurturing, educating, convincing, so that that’s where the difference lies. It’s not in the problem itself. It’s more in how we’re going to actually have to get in their shoes and convince them that you are the right person.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Okay, that helps a lot. That helps a lot. Okay, so now we’re thinking about these different stages. What is our first step in starting to figure this out, and how many people do we need to maybe be able to pull the audience and get a good insight here?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, that’s a great question. Because I think a huge sticking point with going out and serving or interviewing your audience. And those are the two big tech, if you have an existing audience, I’m usually talking about email surveys and phone interviews when it comes to voice of customer. The biggest sticking point is, well, I don’t have a big enough audience or I haven’t been around long enough, you don’t actually need voice of customers an ongoing thing. So you do not need to start with a huge pool of people to respond to your survey. I’ve had clients where we’ve gotten 30 responses and gotten a really great array of voice of customer research. And then I’ve had clients where they send out one email and we get 250 responses, there is a point of diminishing returns with a voice of customer where you’re like, I’m not reading through the past the first 100 115 surveys, right. But don’t let the fact that you might not have a huge audience stop you from getting started. Because even if you are brand new, and I’m actually working with a client right now, who’s just launching her business this spring, so she has no existing audience, but she knows who her target market is and who she wants her target market to be. So we were able to go out into Facebook groups and into forums and just have people who had because her target market is very focused on moms. So like there are mom communities everywhere, right? We were able to go there and know that these are not people who have actually bought from my client before, but they are prospects, and we sent surveys to them. So there’s always a pool of people somewhere. And that’s where I am like, even if you can get three phone interviews, start there. If you can get 10 email services start there, it’s going to give you the jumping off point that’s going to get you out of your own head and into your prospects’ shoes.  


Jaclyn Mellone 


Yes, that really helps. So what with that survey? What types of questions should we think about including?


Sara Frandina 


And yeah, the big things that I’m usually going for when I send out a survey is I want to learn about those pain points. I want to learn about their hesitations, and I want to learn about what an ideal outcome is for them. So when we’re talking about pain points, that single best question that I’ve already mentioned once is, hey, when you found out about me, or you join my email list, or however, they had that first interaction with you, what was going on in your life or business that cause you to seek me out? From there, people will answer these questions in different ways. And I actually love leaving questions open ended so that people can interpret it however they want to. From there, we will learn what they were experiencing at that time. With the you know, for this survey that we just did for this client who doesn’t have an existing offer, and these people didn’t opt into something from her yet, we asked them what does a typical day like look like for you with your kids, we’re gonna learn where their frustrations, their head and their and their pain points lie. Then from there, the hesitations, this is my favorite thing to dive into. Because this is usually what we’re addressing. When people are solution aware, and they know that they have a problem, they know that solutions exist, we are addressing the things that are going to keep them from actually solving the problem. because a lot of us get to that solution aware state. We’re like, Oh, yeah, I could hire a house cleaner. I could do this, I could do that. But I’ve got all of these hesitations running through my mind about why I shouldn’t do that. Those things are almost always going to come down to time and money. But how people talk about those things is going to differ. So the thing I usually ask is, if you’ve considered buying from me before, so I usually segment surveys between people who have bought and people who haven’t. If you’ve considered buying me from me before, what’s the number one thing that stopped you from doing that? And then I and they will say time, they will say money. So then I asked the follow up question of what were the biggest contributing factors to that hesitation. And then people will dive into you know, like, I had I just wrote for a membership and when we mixed medium membership, when we asked the question of what’s the number one hesitation and people said money, then they shared more about like, I’m retired and I am on a fixed income. Well, we realized how many people in her community are retired and on a fixed income by asking that question that wasn’t something that she had considered before. So you get more details about what it actually means to be hesitant about time and that’s usually you know, I don’t have the time to commit or I don’t have the time to take part in whatever the offer is. And then money can be anything from finances to I don’t like ongoing subscriptions to anything like that, you’re gonna learn way more about what that actually means to them and how they talk about it. So that’s, that’s the pain points. That’s the hesitations. And look, that’s two, maybe three questions if you’re trying to keep this really minimal, then when I’m looking at ideal outcomes, I want to learn what for the moms for this offer for the client who’s just launching this spring, the breath of the offer is a video editing membership. So the question of, what would it mean for you, if in two to four weeks, you had a fully edited video of your last month of memories coming at you, and we learn what their ideal outcome was, I would feel so relieved to know that my kids memories are being captured by somebody that isn’t me. Like things like that, where you’re like, what does an ideal outcome look like for them? If you actually had an offer before that people have bought, then we ask them, Hey, what has been the biggest shift in your life for your business since you bought this offer or took part in this course. And then we learn about what the outcomes they feel are important to call out our? And oftentimes, and then I’ll even follow up with a question. I’m like, What surprised you most, because then they’re like, Hey, I bought this because I was expecting this outcome. But I was more delighted with this outcome, I see that a lot. People buy for one reason, but end up loving it or sticking around for a completely different reason. So this is a thing where you can anticipate this as the expert, but you cannot actually know what it is until you ask your people.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Ooh, I and I’ve experienced this too, where sometimes we think it’s going in one direction. And it’s so different. So, okay, I’m going to ask you this question. And I want to come back to this. But how do we when we’re getting that type of feedback, especially feedback that’s unexpected, let’s say a bunch of problems come back, or a bunch of maybe outcomes that maybe we weren’t expecting? What do we do with that data? How do we decide, okay, this is what this is, maybe the couple of pain points we’re gonna focus on? Or, geez, we didn’t realize that this, like unexpected outcome was such a thing, like, you know, how do we determine if that is worthwhile to change our positioning or our messaging? Right?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, that’s a really good question. So that’s where we have to have some discretion in taking what we can and leaving the rest, because what I will find is that sometimes voice of customer will steer my clients down a path, they don’t need to go down. Because what you’ll find is, you’re not only going to get the messaging feedback that you need, and the empathy that you need to really have the copy that connects, you’re also going to get feedback that’s going to give you ideas for how to change your offer. And that might not be what you’re actually after. But you’re going to get product offer feedback, no matter what it’s a blessing and a curse. I try to position it more as a blessing as long as you know, again, what to leave and what to take. If you come up where there are problems that you didn’t anticipate, looking at trends, first and foremost. So when we realized how common it was for this client’s audience to be retired on a fixed income, that was something we wanted to address in the copy. That didn’t mean she changed her pricing or her offer. But it was a really strong issue or hesitation that we needed to address in the copy, we took that we addressed it in the copy because it was a trend, we saw it over and over and over again. And it’s something that she can’t control their income, but she can address it and help them overcome that hesitation. If it makes sense. Then there are the pieces of feedback that you’ll get where you’re like, I understand that’s a problem we have, there’s nothing I can do about it, or it’s just not something my offer solves and they’re not my ideal customer. That’s the other big thing that you have to have discretion on is when you’re reading through your voice of customer. Realizing that not everybody is your is your ideal prospect. Not everybody’s going to buy from you. So you’re going to have people to answer your surveys or give you feedback where you’re like, That is great. And it makes me realize that you are not the person I’m targeting. So it gets you really clear on who you are targeting. So being able to look at it and say, You know what, that is a very valid pain. But I’m not the one that’s the expert in addressing that or this offer in particular is not the thing that’s going to address that and that’s totally okay. It’s more when we see the trends that really resonate with what we’re doing then we bring that into the messaging. We answer that in FAQs. We see what kinds of myths need to be busted or beliefs that they might have that we need to help them overcome. But it’s really finding that sweet spot of what makes the most sense for my offer and who I do want to target, and then leaving the rest.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Thank you for those examples too, because it is such a unique situation for each person. But hearing these examples, gives us some of that insight of how we’re able to navigate that because it’s such as getting this information, doing something with it, and knowing what we’re gonna keep seeing those patterns, but also knowing maybe which ones to gloss over “throw out”. And sometimes people who actually have paid you for your offer are not your ideal customer or client to you, right. So even if you’re surveying your customers, it doesn’t mean that they’re all people who you want to be finding hundreds or 1000s of more people just like them.


Sara Frandina 


And that’s a really important distinction of when I am initially getting into a project with my client, we need to look at whether the people that they have been serving are the people they want to continue to serve. And that’s a really important thing to know going into any point in your business, asking yourself that question of, Hey, I’m gonna ask these people for feedback. But are they indicative of the people that I want to keep growing and serving with? 


Jaclyn Mellone 


Exactly. Now, you mentioned doing phone call interviews, and this is something that you did with some of my customers and clients in the past that I am like, I have never even heard of this before, a number of years ago. So where does that fit in? And what are those? How are those different from the survey?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, so email surveys are definitely the less scary thing to put out there right? Email surveys are great, because you can hit a lot of people at once and get a lot of feedback without a lot of the time commitment on your side, you can leave them open. But the kind of barrier with email surveys is that you’re asking questions, and however they interpret them, they’re going to give you their feedback, and there’s no room for back and forth, right? I can get more on one phone interview than 20 surveys sometimes. Just by having a back and forth with somebody, how I typically go about it is I will send out a survey and then I will actually read through the survey responses and any survey responses that really light up or show a red flag for me or I’m like, I want to know more about that. Those are the people I will reach out to for phone interviews. So they’ve already offered feedback, they’re clearly willing to talk and then I will reach out to them for a phone interview. Other times, I’ll have a client say no, I know I want you to talk to these three to five people. But the beautiful thing about getting on a phone interview is it is a back and forth conversation, which can be scary, but your clients and customers like to talk typically. And again, it’s about coming into it asking questions that are very much about them. What is your experience with this? How does it feel when you hear this? Really making it very focused on them not your offer, we do want to relate it back to their experience with your offer. But it’s very much we want to learn about what it was like experiencing it from their shoes. With phone interviews, like I said, I always recommend that you have somebody else do your voice of customer, but if you can’t, it’s totally okay. But I also like to incentivize time is always of the essence with people right? Like it’s it’s our most scarce resource. So typically, I’m saying like, hey, jump on a call with me and I’ll buy you a coffee or you know, my client will send you a $20 gift card to Xyz just to incentivize giving them a little carrot for getting on the phone with you.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Yes, I find that helps a lot too. That little extra bit to get them to say yes and commit that time. So if someone isn’t working with a copywriter, who else could they have done these phone calls?  Like other team members? Or could a friend do it? Or is this really like you gotta just hire a copywriter to do this?


Sara Frandina 


No, absolutely not anybody. Honestly like if I, I did the voice of customer for my own business and I had my assistant do the phone interviews. She’s not a copywriter, but she knows my business. So she knew where I was going and what I was trying to learn. That’s the most important thing you could have your mom do them if you wanted to write as long as they know what you are after. Anybody that can go in it’s almost better if they don’t have, like I said, any sort of biases and they’re just there to ask the questions. But the most important thing is you find somebody that is curious and knows how to ask follow up questions. And one of the things like that the easiest thing to do as a follow up question is can you tell me more about that? Because oftentimes people do have more, and I can’t wrap every phone interview with, is there anything that I haven’t asked about that you’d like to share? The first the gut reaction is no, I think I got it all, actually. And then I get five more minutes of talk. So it’s pretty funny when you give people the opportunity, they will open up. But you certainly can have anybody do this. If you don’t have a copywriter, you can have a teammate do it. You can have your sister do it. You can have your mom do it, a friend do it, a fellow business owner, anybody, somebody in your mastermind, as long as they know what, what goals you’re after and what kinds of questions you want to ask.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Okay, I love that advice and I’m thinking about my mom and like, she would actually be very good at interviewing people, but she is like, massive biases. She would not be able to not be biased about me so


Sara Frandina 


I can’t believe you said that about Jacqueline.


Jaclyn Mellone 


What’s my daughter? So funny. So when it comes to those people listening who are thinking about working with a copywriter? What is something we should look for? I know with myself, it’s always it just feels so hard to like, okay, but it’s my voice. It’s like as a go to gal personal brand, it feels extra hard to hire someone else to write for us. Right? So how do we know we’re hiring someone who can take on our voice? Or just any? Any questions we should be thinking about in that process?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, I think this is, I mean, if I were to hire somebody to write for me, I’d have that same reservation of how can you encapsulate my voice better than I can write. And I’ve run into this with many, many clients, the most important things are going to be that your copywriter is willing to do some research, they’re willing to talk to your clients and your customers, they’re willing to put themselves out there and learn from them. But also, your copywriter should be spending quite a bit of time with you. So I start all of my engagements with at least a 90 minute kickoff call. And then we’re usually going back and forth on boxer. I’m listening to their podcasts or watching their webinars. So I’m getting really, really in tune with how they talk. And then it’s not so much like yes, I need to be adopting your voice, right? When I go out and do that research, I’m not trying to replace your voice. I’m trying to line up how your customers and your clients talk about their experiences, or about what you do with how you talk. So it’s really just fortifying your voice and the copywriter that goes out and does that research is going to know how to bring those two things together. But yes, they need to be the greatest skill in my business that has served me time and time again, is listening. Because the better I can listen, the more I can step into the shoes not only of your clients and your customers, but also you as the expert.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Okay, so thank you so, so much for sharing all of this valuable insight and like step by step things we can implement. Really appreciate you being so open about your process. How can we stay in touch with you?


Sara Frandina 


Yeah, so I’ve actually put together just a week long crash course into getting started with voice of customers in your business, no matter if you’re starting with a large audience or a small audience. You can find that at Sarafrandina.com/go/to/gal . Sarah with no H, of course, I should mention that. But yeah, that’s pretty much where I hang out the most on my website. I’m not huge on social media. But I do linger there trying to limit the screen time lately. It’s not going as well as I hoped. But yeah, if you head over to Sarafrandina.com/go/to/gal, you can jump into that little crash course and I’ll give you just a few more actions you can take to start getting that voice of customer that’s going to help you stop staring at that blank page and really reinforce what you’re after as the expert that you are.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Amazing. And of course, we’ll link to that in the show notes as well. Thank you so much, Sarah.


Sara Frandina 


Thank you, Jaclyn.


Jaclyn Mellone 


Can I just say thank you so much for listening. I don’t think I can say it enough. But I love that you’re here. If you enjoyed today’s episode, or if you’ve been getting value from this podcast, to do me a quick favor, head on over to iTunes and leave a rating and review. When you leave a rating and review it basically tells iTunes that they need to spread the word and tell more people about this podcast, I am on a mission to get the word out. I’m so grateful for your support. We want to make sure to shout you out too so if you do leave a rating review Keep your eyes and ears open. We will be either shouting out in the podcast or on Instagram stories.


The post How to Write Empathy-Focused Sales Copy with Sara Frandina appeared first on Jaclyn Mellone || Go-To Gal Podcast.

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How to Write Empathy-Focused Sales Copy with Sara Frandina

How to Write Empathy-Focused Sales Copy with Sara Frandina

Jaclyn Mellone, Online Marketing Strategy for Freelancers, Experts, Personal Brands, Entrepreneurs, and Consultants