Jacq Fisch is a copywriter and writing coach for business owners, helping people like you and me sound human! In this episode, we discuss how to marry good copywriting with our YouTube descriptions, how to write a fantastic About page on our websites, and the what and why of copywriting for your business. mary as the one in Simplecast.
Listen to Episode 47: What is copywriting and why do we need it? with Jacq Fisch
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To listen in on the entire conversation with Guest, please listen to episode 47 of the Video Pursuit Podcast in iTunes, or your favorite podcast player.
You’re listening to episode number 47 of the video pursuit podcast. This is your host, Meredith Marsh and today I’m having a conversation with Jacqueline Fisch or Jacq as she had commonly called and Jacq is a copywriter and writing coach for business owners who want to sound human while they change the world. She helps people ditch the jargon so that they can spark connections with their perfect clients. And we’re diving into topics like what exactly is copywriting, why is it so important? Even if we maybe don’t think of ourselves as writers and how can we marry good copywriting with keyword rich YouTube descriptions. She has a really great two step process for this, which I love because we don’t want to sound like robots, right? And we are also talking about your website copy and how to write a fantastic about page. And here’s a little spoiler. Your about page is not about you. So let’s dive into this conversation with Jack fish. Hey Jack, welcome to the video pursuit podcast. So excited to have you on today.
Thank you. I’m excited to be here too.
So I want to start where I start with all of my guests and ask you to give me like a 62nd backstory. I’m not going to time it, but give me a little backstory about who you are and how you got here.
Okay, well as soon as he said 60 seconds, I was like, Oh no, I’m going to have to really expedite this. I’ll do it as quickly as I can. So I’ll start with today. Today I’m a writer and a writing coach. I either work with online business owners to coach them on making their better, their writing better, or I do the copywriting for them, so they just handed over and I do it and there’s some collaboration, let’s say to get there. That was where the story could go longer than sickies 60 seconds and I will not do that. I started off in a corporate career. I spent 13 years there in management consulting, crisis communications, project management, very big government corporate type work. So three layoffs, two kids and probably reading the entire self help section on creating a business. I landed here and I have just about three years into going into my writing business full time and I did the side hustle thing for awhile too to to bridge the gap, but definitely the best decision I ever made at that might’ve been 60 seconds.
How long have you been doing what you do now with the copywriting and helping people with their copywriting?
Great question. So that’s about I think like five or six years in this format where when I was doing that searching of I need out of this corporate job, but I don’t know what I want to do. I discovered blogging, I started as a food blogger and then I stopped caring about food and I realized it was the writing part that I was enjoying and looking back at my corporate career, that was always something that everyone had asked me for. My advice on, I was helping write big proposals, selling millions of dollars of work. I was helping your own with their LinkedIn profiles and editing and white papers and that was the stuff I enjoyed the most. So I’ve always been writing in some capacity and it was when I discovered that it was more the online stuff that was a lot more fun because I could have a lot more freedom, I could be more creative. And I really enjoyed that more. So to test it out when I was in my corporate career, I emailed a handful of my contacts and said, Hey, I’m thinking of starting this writing business, can I write some stuff for you or edit some stuff for free? And you know, if you like it, great. And just in exchange for some great feedback and that exercise turned into a handful of clients and great testimonials and lots of referrals and it’s, my business has mainly grown on referrals since then.
Wow, that’s really cool. And your, how you described, um, being interested in blogging is very similar to myself. While I was at my job, I was like, Hmm, well what is this whole blogging thing? People actually make money doing that and it turns out they do. And, um, and so that’s kind of, it’s kind of interesting how, what made you, I’m really curious, so you were like interested in blogging. You started a food blog until you are no longer interested in food. What made you think, um, to switch gears or what made you, I guess decide that, um, that you had the ability to just like be this other thing and be this copywriting coach and this, you know, provide copywriting services?
Yeah, great question. It was not like a quick, easy natural decision. It did not hit me in the middle of the night. So my food blog was a vegan food blog and I had started like transitioning the kids to become vegan with something when they had some sensitivities and stuff. And then I stopped being vegan. So that was a big part of my blog. I was writing about food and recipes and teaching class. I couldn’t just like, Hey vegans, like we’re adding bacon today. And that wasn’t in the blogging. I was also sharing a lot of lifestyle stories and I w and I still continue to do that and I didn’t know exactly where it was going. So I, I’m sure I totally confuse my audience back when some people stuck around and the people who stuck around. Yes. So many are vegans still. They were there though for the writing and lifestyle stuff.
And I press pause on the blog for awhile when I didn’t know what direction to take it in and I knew I wanted to do something. And also I was thinking about it being a business too because I was making money as a, um, as a blogger but more, more money was coming in from teaching workshops. The blog was a platform just to share content and, and from marketing. So through a series of, I don’t know how many questionnaires, self help books of like discovering a job that you could get paid well at and also enjoys like, huh, well that’s interesting. It was not like an aha moment kinda hit me out of nowhere. Um, I did shift gears early after the vegan food blog to writing from moms because I was a working mom. That was also why I started the blog cause I was interested in feeding my kids healthy plant based food that wasn’t a veggie burger and having a corporate job.
So I wrote a mini book. It was pretty, it was a quick process. I focused and got it done in about three months. It was like get this thing out and it was a very short easy to digest book and that was like huh well writing books is fun. Maybe I could do other stuff. Although books weren’t like yes I just want to sit and write books all day. And I knew that wasn’t quite it. I liked the the like blogging and helping people get their website copy up cause it’s a, it’s a quick type turnaround project that has a result that you can easily see and get the results of, especially when it comes to websites where they’re converting into sales and especially for service based businesses. Getting out there, speaking, all that kinds of stuff and helping people get their voice out there. It’s a slow evolution.
Yeah, I love that though because I think that is the case for most people. Like they have this idea of I want to try this thing and that thing may not have lasted, but it led to another thing which led to another thing which led to another thing. And so often people are like, well I want to kind of want to start a blog on this, but I like what if I get bored? Or what if it doesn’t work out? Or what if, you know, what if I’m no longer vegan or something. And it’s like if you have to start something and then just follow the path, like just literally follow the signs and it’ll lead you somewhere other where you are now. And that’s really like ultimately that’s what you’re trying to do is like get to somewhere that you’re not currently.
Yeah, the, you bring up such a great point. That was, that was key was doing something. And so what I did include in the story is all the, so all of that time I spent reading those books, doing that stuff. I was not out there. That was me sitting behind my laptop trying to figure something out. And until you do that, like it didn’t come together. Same with, so I started as a copywriter doing done for you copy. And then in there I discovered
and helping people make their writing better because in some cases doing it for them wasn’t right path. But with, with doing nothing like guaranteed by finding your path will be a lot trickier. It’s uncomfortable. But once you start building that muscle of trying things out there and then tweaking, you will tweak and change whatever you put out there the first time.
Yeah. Yeah. And one of my favorite quotes is action creates clarity. Yes. So like if you don’t take any action, there’s like, you’re not going to figure it out. Just thinking about it. You have to actually do something. Exactly. So I love that your story lines up with, you know, my own philosophy. Perfect. So all right. So, yeah, that was definitely more than 60 seconds with that was great. So, um, let’s talk about copywriting because, um, this podcast, we talk a lot about creating videos and it might not seem like creating videos has anything to do with writing, but it definitely does because you’re putting words together and that’s writing. Um, and I have to tell you, every time I meet somebody who’s, who tells me that they’re a copywriter, I’m like, wow, that’s so cool because I, there are some things in this world that I love learning about, but I feel like that’s as far as I will ever go is just learning about it and just trying to apply little things.
But I had to tell you, I love learning about copywriting. I have like, once I figured out what it was or like once I knew that it was a thing that existed, um, I was like, wow, this is so cool. You can like get people to do stuff just by writing words. You know, you can get people to click a button by saying, click this button. Like little things like that that I realized were surrounded by copywriting all day long. Um, but to realize like when you’re creating any type of content or anything online, you are crafting that copy, which is copywriting and you can actually do it yourself. It’s not just, it’s not always just flying by the seat of your pants. There is an actual, um, uh, like an actual process and system behind it. So let’s dive into this with the um, perspective of people who are interested in, um, we’re video content creators. Some of my listeners are bloggers who want to be video content creators, but for the most part we are all on social media. So we’re all creating some type of written content at some point throughout the, even if it’s not actual letters on a page. Um, what, why is copywriting so important? And really maybe you can start with what exactly is copywriting.
Okay, great questions. I love this. Copywriting is the, like you were already talking about, the copywriting itself is writing on a website page. Some people might also get confused between content and copywriting. So content is like your blog content, video content which isn’t actually written. Um, social media is content and not copy. So it’s slight distinction and then it is important because I believe language is one of the most important communication tools we have. And just like you said, you can get someone to click a button. And most often I hear business owners say that, Oh, I’m not a writer, I’m not a writer. But think how much writing you do on a day to day basis in your business. And even if it’s not directly, you’re not writing your website yourself emails, asking someone to do something in an email, hiring someone you’re convincing and using persuasive copywriting and you might not even realize it.
So the words are important because they help create connection, build trust, establish your authority. And this is all outside of SEO keyword reasons. This is let people read. Yes, some people prefer to watch video consume videos. It depends on how your audience likes to consume content and how you like to create it, what feels most natural to you. So yeah, we can get into some other side conversations around when it comes to creation, like where do you start? You start with video, do you start with blogging, which like which do you start with? And some of it might depend on your business goals, but I usually recommend starting with where you feel most natural and what feels easiest for you because it feels easy, fun and natural. First of all, you’re going to do it because it feels hard. Yes, we can do hard things and I always recommend starting with the easy feel good thing and that comes across in your message.
That’s cool. Okay. I like that. So, um, one of the, you mentioned SEO, one of my favorite things and one of the things that I was, um, just having a conversation with a client the other day and she has a like a little bit of a background in copywriting and she is creating YouTube videos and um, you know, when you publish a YouTube video, your, the description of that video is, you know, best practices for SEO. It’s got a lot of keywords in there. A lot of you know, long tail search phrases in there and you want it to be an Erik is Google sees that YouTube sees that. And she was telling me how it just makes her cringe at what is like best practices for SEO versus how to write something that is actually a piece of like decent written copy. So I thought this would be kind of a fun thing to talk with you about cause I have like, my tendency is to think that nobody really reads that first paragraph in your YouTube description. It’s really just there for the bots and the artificial intelligence. So I’m curious of what your thoughts are on like SEO and keywords versus good copy.
Yeah, it’s such a great question and yes, you can absolutely tell when something has been written for keyword stuffing, like it’s, it’s barfy. It’s like what is this? This is not, I’m not meant to entice you to feel anything or do anything. So I, I think you, if you haven’t already figured it out by now, I’m definitely a fan of connection copywriting. So writing words that help people like help you obtain a goal, whether that’s to connect to a, create a certain feeling in your audience or to get them to do something. So if, and yes, my clients do need to use keywords in some cases. And so personally for me, when I’m working with keywords, I like to keep them handy. Like, okay, tell me what the keywords are. And I kind of, I keep them there perhaps at the top of the document.
And then I write what I want to say in a conversational tone. By keeping the keywords in mind, you may be able to weave them in naturally in a natural, in a sentence that feels completely natural and normal. And then you can go back in your editing phase and weave in any keywords that you missed or that you want to highlight in a certain way or make some tweaks from there. So that’s a little bit of a two step process, starting with a conversational tone, making it however you’d like to say it first. Um, when I worked in crisis communications, I used to always say, start with the truth. And then edit. So I don’t mean edit, like edit the truth out. I mean edit, make it better. Start with the truth. Start with whatever feels easiest, quickest, natural to write. It is so much easier to edit once you, I mean, you can’t edit without words, but getting words on, you can’t edit a blank page. Another thing I like to say, once you have some words on the page, then you can go in and do some editing. So perhaps it start with the conversation and then edit with keywords.
Yeah, that’s, that sounds like a really good process actually for writing those YouTube descriptions. So start with what kind of feels natural, how you would naturally describe the video and then ask yourself, do I have my keywords in there? If you already do naturally, then super, that’s great. But if you don’t, then maybe you can be like, Oh yeah, I could just switch those two words around and that’s, I got my keywords in there.
Exactly. And when you’re writing that conversational message in the description, pretend you’re writing it to your favorite viewer and your friend is like, Hey, what’s this video about? Let me tell you.
Right, right. That’s good. I really like having like a solid, here’s your two step process. So let’s talk about some others. Social media channels, like perhaps Instagram. Um, do you feel like writing Instagram captions is, like you mentioned Instagram is content, but is it like, do we apply copywriting principles to our Instagram captions? Is that something we should be doing?
You can, Instagram is, I would treat it more casual than you would your website copy. So treat it as there are lots of ways to treat it. I could go in so many different directions. Definitely have fun with it because it’s social media and it’s also the place to really play, experiment, see what works well, see what your audience is commenting on and clicking on. And then you can create more posts based on that. So it’s definitely a little bit of trial and error. And speaking of copywriting, if you’re looking to create a bank of Instagram captions, start with what you already have. I am a big fan of stretching every word you write everywhere as far as it can go right at once. Share it as much as you can. So your website copy. So think for instance your about page, break that down into bite sized chunks and share those over a series of getting to know you Instagram captions and you don’t even need rewrite it.
Just adjust the spacing because on Instagram we like to see extra white space instead of a big block of text. Which side note? Um, on your copy. Definitely add in some white space too. It’s, it helps her reading and, and then you have a post. So it’s a lot of taking what you already have, cutting, pasting and tweaking and then you can build up like a bank or that stuff. And even if it’s something you’re selling, take your sales page and break it up. Or if it’s a shorter sales page, put the entire thing on there.
Right? Yeah. It’s so interesting. I like that. I have been like what you just described is a process of know exists but haven’t put into practice for myself, like taking a video and just breaking it out into Instagram captions. Um, I think part of me is like once I start, I’m going to have like three years’ worth of Instagram captions and that feels like, and so like when they start, I’m going to be like, Oh my God, I can’t stop. And then, um, and then I’ll have to decide, well, what do I post first? And then I have to make sure to go with it, you know? And I like, I really like that. Um, that, that process of stretching the idea of stretching everything out as much as possible across your social media. That’s perfect.
Yeah. So doing that for your, like about page or website copy that already exists, that can be used as, I want to say filler, but to fill in the other things that you’re talking about. So when it comes to content, I like to think if you publish new content weekly or every other week, think of that piece of content, whether that’s your video or a blog post as your anchor. And then you’re going to talk about that one thing all week long in different ways with different images. And that’s another way to really stretch your blog posts and your YouTube videos too, like taking a few snippets and sharing a piece of it. Also, part of doing that is as much as we wish people would, no one is listening to or reading every single word that we put out there across all our platforms. Maybe they are, maybe there’s a few, let’s say, but it’s not that common. So doing that also helps reinforce the message. And even if you’re saying something in five different ways, it might take the fifth way to really strike someone and connect with them. But the way you said it the first time wasn’t, wasn’t quite yet.
Yeah, that is so true. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard the same person say the same thing like seven times. And I’m like, Oh yeah, I think I, I’ve heard you say that before and I, it just never sunk in. Right. They’re saying him before. So that’s perfect. All right. So, um, let’s talk about the, you keep mentioning website copy and um, so not your blog posts and not the content, but what do you, what do you, um, what exactly is website copy if it’s, you know, if our blog posts our content and what do you mean by a website copy? Good question.
So like the copy on our website are the words that stay there that we’re not adding to each week. It’s not teaching, it’s the stuff that’s up there to sell and let our readers know that they’re in the right place. Like, this is who you are, this is who I am, this is what we do here are you in, and a whole other layer to sales copy and telling your story. So storytelling is part of your copy is
storytelling seems like something I feel like everyone’s talking about all of a sudden. It might just be my perspective because I’m interested in it and it’s natural for some people I think, and maybe not as natural for others or they’re not sure how to weave it into what they’re trying to say. Can you talk a little bit about like weaving in storytelling into your content?
Absolutely. So telling your story I believe is really important as it relates to your audience. So telling, I mean every little detail of your life story that’s best served for your memoir, you can save those stories for that or for your content, like your blog content, your about page or your story or your bio leaving in story. Think about the perspective of the journeys that you’ve been on and especially if you’ve had any light bulb moments, transformations, aha is that your prospect prospective clients might be wishing for, or if you used to be who your prospect is, like who your target audience is. I see that a lot. Usually someone’s figured out a solution to something, some kind of problem, and now they’re teaching people what they did. So telling those stories is really key, especially as it relates to their audience. And there’s, there’s some ways to do that so that it doesn’t, sometimes people, I see two things when it comes to writing your story.
Some people want to tell every little detail and share everything and some people hold back and put like a quick little paragraph about them on their website and that’s it. And then you’re left like hanging like, who are you? I want to know more, tell me all the things. Um, and we, we buy from people we know, like, and trust. And one of the greatest ways to do that is to let people know your story. It’s often the most your about page is the most visited page on your website after they, if they land on your landing page, the next page they’re going to about like, okay, I want to, I don’t want to know about this person. Like tell, tell me all about them. There are some ways to get it, get the story out. If that doesn’t feel natural to you. I usually share a few writing prompts to get people thinking about them.
And it can be a journaling process. And then you take whatever you brainstormed or journaled and then weaving it into your story. So some of those questions could be like, what? What do you believe? Or just simply asking that like I believe like dot, dot, dot. Fill in the blanks. Things that bother you about your industry. [inaudible] why I’m different. Or like what’s your biggest lesson or what do you believe that everyone disagrees with you on? Um, one of my favorites is what do you wish the entire world would believe is true? Mmm. And then using that as, as the anchor to guide it can go to a lot of your messaging and a lot of your content.
Yeah. Especially the one about what do you believe that most people don’t believe?
And I love, um, I, I guess I love like picking out and noticing when I come across somebody online and they’re saying something that seems totally wacky and it’s opposite of what everyone else in their industry is saying, you know? And I’m like, wow, look at them being all brave. And, but the thing is it makes you keep reading or keep like digging. Why do they think that? And maybe like one of those is true. Should I be paying attention to this? And it gets your attention and like keeps you, um, keeps you on the page and interested in what they have to say.
Exactly. I think another thing I like to share, when people are afraid to share their stories or they’re afraid to give details and, and talk about themselves, I usually remind them that it’s not about them. The storyteller, it’s about your reader. Your reader is looking for metaphors. So your story is serving as a place holder for them. Yeah. In some sense, depending on the kind of stories you’re telling and stuff like that, that usually helps take the pressure off because people are like, Oh my God, I can’t tell my story. I can’t do this yet. Yes you can. And it’s about your reader and how they perceive it.
Yeah. Cause like would you still think, Oh, I can’t tell my story. If you knew that something in your story was going to be a light bulb moment for someone else, would you still think, Oh, I can’t, sorry, I can’t, I cannot provide that light bulb moment for you at this time. Please come back in a year.
Right? Yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s tricky and it’s such a great reminder to so in, in my personal writing, what I’ve discovered is whenever I share a personal story as opposed to a writing tip, it received so much more engagement email replies than anything else. And I’m like, really? Like, this is what, this is what you already read. I’m like, okay. And then I often hear from people, like they’ll respond to a newsletter and they’re like, I love this. I’ve been reading this for years and I’m like, I’ve never seen you before. So, which is also a really great reminder that people are consuming and not commenting or replying. So it’s like, keep that in mind if you think you’re getting crickets, know that there’s someone on the other end who’s life you may have just changed and they might not tell you about it. Chances are they’re not going to tell you about it.
Yes. That is so true. And that happens to me sometimes too. People will say like, I’ve been following you for a really long time. And I’m like, why didn’t you reach out to me like way sooner? Like right. Nice to meet you. Hi. You know, um, yeah, that is so interesting. S there I guess becomes a point where you say some thing that compels them to respond and like say, hi, I’m here, I’m listening, I’m reading, I’m watching.
Right? And there’s no way to guess what someone else’s experience is like. You’re taking someone who’s had completely different life experiences, use different language and you just never know what will connect with someone in a, in a moment, depending on what they’re focusing on. Like, um, you’re focused recently on discovering that people are telling stories cause it’s something you’re curious about. Right. So because of that, you will notice more stories.
Yeah. It is. Yeah. Law of attraction, right? Yes. So, all right. So what can you tell me about, um, your business? Where can people find you, work with you or learn from you more?
Yeah, everything is linked up at my website, which is chaplain fish.com. Awesome. And then on Instagram I have the most fun we were talking about. That’s where I play and experiment the most.
Yeah. Yeah, it is definitely one of the most fun platforms. Okay. So before I let you go, you mentioned that you read through the entire self help section. So I’m curious if you have any good book recommendations in the like self-help, personal realm.
Oh, so many. So I’m going to start with the first one that was most impactful for me and that probably led me down this path. But it was Danielle LaPorte’s, the Firestarter sessions and that even those, those exercises, it was the first time that I had discovered the idea that you could do work that you enjoy and get paid for it. Yeah. So that was big. Definitely the one that set me on a path on discovering all the others.
Yeah. I’ve read the, um, what does she call it? The desire map. Yes. But I had read that like, well, it wasn’t like a discovery book for me. It was like, okay, cool. I like this. I will apply this to my life. Um, like I had, I was already like way down the personal development and like business path at that point. Um, all right. So thank you so much Jacq for being here. I’m going to link up your website and your Instagram and all that stuff in the show notes @ vidpromom.com. And do you have any last words of wisdom before I stop recording?
Um, maybe something I want everyone to believe and that’s that they can right.
Period. Yup. That they can, right, right.
I believe everyone can write with a little bit of support and practice. Everyone can write.
Awesome. Thank you so much Jacq. Thank you for having me. Well, I hope you got as much out of that episode as I did. Like I mentioned, I love learning about copywriting. Um, and so any time I can apply those like golden nuggets to my own business and what I’m already doing, I just love being able to do that. So I’m gonna link up Jacq a website is Jaclyn fish.com just to make sure you spell it right. Just go to vid pro mom.com and click the link in the show notes for this episode, episode number 47 and you should go and follow Jack on Instagram as well. And I will link that in the show notes too. Or you can find her at Jack underscore fish, which is J a C Q underscore F, I, S, C H. and if you do that, take a screenshot of this episode right now and hosted on your Instagram stories. Tag me, vid pro mom and tag Jack as well. Let us know that you’re giving it a big thumbs up cause we really want to hear from you there. So thanks for listening and we’ll talk next time.