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Episode 52 – Transcript + Timestamps
Joanne Homestead on Harness the Power of Email Storytelling to Connect, Compel, and Sell With Integrity
[00:00:00] Yvonne Heimann: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Boss Your Business. And today I am joined by Joanne, which I should have checked in the green room. It’s if it’s actually Joanne or Joanne, that podcast host.
[00:00:16] Joanne Homestead: Joanne.
[00:00:19] Yvonne Heimann: Yes. Did that right.
[00:00:20] Joanne Homestead: You got it. You got it.
[00:00:21] Yvonne Heimann: If you are having your own podcast. Make it a habit to actually check with your guests that you are pronouncing their names right.
[00:00:28] Just looks way better on the podcast. Just telling you, you and your founder of the Desk Planned Creatives, which is you are an email copywriter strategist and obsessed with storytelling for heart-centered women entrepreneurs and coaches and wellness. Well-being and mindset with 15 years of experience, creating aligned messaging as a former master teacher.
[00:00:53] Your mission is to elevate your client stories, to connect, compel and sell with [00:01:00] integrity and impact. You are a mama of two little ones and you love a good cup of chai to feel your creativity and passion for human-to-human marketing. Email style. There’s a lot in that for me to unpack and I’m loving every minute of it.
[00:01:21] Guys, did you pick up on that? First of all, email. So you already have an idea of where we are taking all of this today, potentially, but the complete idea of storytelling, emailing, connecting, that’s literally my journey right now. Because it’s like, I am, I am so dry. It’s like, okay, what’s your problem?
[00:01:45] Here’s the answer. Storytelling for me, that’s all
Realizing Your Passion; Embracing Opportunities
[00:01:52] I’m like, okay, storytelling. Great. But let’s start in the beginning. [00:02:00] I don’t think anybody ever decides at the age of five at night, right? Before falling asleep, that they’re going to become a storyteller and email-obsessed. How did you get here?
[00:02:12] Joanne Homestead: Yes, that definitely was not starting at the age of five, thinking in my dreams that I would become an email copywriter.
[00:02:20] Actually just three years ago, I did not even know what a copywriter was. So it has been quite a journey. I come from teaching. I taught for 15 years, as a classroom teacher, kindergarten through sixth grade, and then became a reading specialist, then also a coach and mentor for both new and veteran teachers.
[00:02:48] And I had no idea what a copywriter was. Literally, until three years ago when I started my business, and I fell [00:03:00] into this online business world, and that’s where I learned about copywriters, and all the things to do with the internet. Copywriting with sales pages and email marketing and social media on websites, all those things.
[00:03:19] So I, okay. So your question was, how did I fall into this? I listened to, okay, it started with an email. It started with an email I got from a friend who is a life coach whose subject line said, calling all teachers. And all the sirens in my head started going off, like calling all teachers, click. Yes, this is for me.
[00:03:42] And he said he was going to be guest speaking on a live online summit, hosted by a former teacher who was going to be interviewing, must have been 20 former teachers who… left teaching and started their own online successful online business. [00:04:00] And I remember commuting to work every day at the time and listening to an interview every day.
[00:04:06] It was like two full weeks. I listened and it was not until the very last one. I said, I can leave teaching and I can do something else and I can start my own business. And that’s where it all began.
[00:04:20] Yvonne Heimann: So with, with me being somebody, I despise typing. I despise writing. I always joke around, put a camera in front of my face and I will talk for hours and never shut up. That’s me. My team, literally the blog post on my blog. It’s not written by me. It will not happen.
The Simplest Way To Understand Copywriting
[00:04:41] Did you always have a passion for storytelling and writing, or is that something new that just came out of this process of leaving teaching and going out on your own?
[00:04:56] Joanne Homestead: I never saw myself as a [00:05:00] writer until…
[00:05:03] Until recently, when I realized, like, the common thread throughout my life, I love writing. I just never saw myself as a writer, for all kinds of reasons and the storytelling piece is something that I love doing, that I never saw myself as a storyteller either, but as a teacher, that is how I engaged with the students.
[00:05:29] I’m thinking, I mean… I feel like a teacher is a copywriter or just a marketer in general because they have to understand who they’re talking to. They need to understand what do they need to hear. They need to understand what story is going to help connect that seven year old or ten year old or whatever.
[00:05:51] What’s going to connect with them? So then they make, they, they want to take an action from it. They go, Oh, okay. Yes, I get it. I want to take [00:06:00] that action without me having to force anyone to take an action, because that doesn’t, that just doesn’t work very well with kids, or people in general. So, I feel like I just, I’m, I’m doing what I did as a teacher, I’m just doing it now specifically through writing, which is, and copywriting, which is just, it’s persuasion, you’re persuading someone.
[00:06:21] Yvonne Heimann: It’s funny. I’ve never looked at it, looked at it like that from the copywriting standpoint, but you’re right. I’m like, if you can get a seven year old to do something by their own choice, and I’m not even a parent. And I know that if you can manage that, you can manage a sales page. Because I’m like, anybody buying anything out there is just a grown up 7 year old, let’s be honest.
[00:06:51] Joanne Homestead: Exactly! Oh, exactly! You just need to understand the psychology behind it. Okay, what are they thinking? [00:07:00] What is going to get them to understand what I’m trying to say to them? And how can I get them to pay attention long enough for me to get them to that point, that’s, and that’s the storytelling piece.
[00:07:13] It’s especially the branding, the attention, the long enough. Yes. And that’s where a lot of
[00:07:19] Yvonne Heimann: We are TikTok generation and I’m guilty of it, guys. I’m like, if I come across a TikTok that’s longer than two minutes, I’m scrolling past. I’m guilty of it. Let’s be honest over here, right? Being able, and that’s, that’s where my current, current situation actually comes in where I, I am doing a similar thing right now on my YouTube channel, where with long form content, not just shorts and stories and reels, right? With long form content, especially when it’s educational content, working on making it interesting enough that people [00:08:00] first of all, stay there past the first 30, 45 seconds.
[00:08:07] But also watch most of the video because it’s, first of all, I do want to connect with my audience. I know that I’ve always been a to the point solution aware, but my audience is not in the same situation. They haven’t been through the pain yet that I’ve been through. And I’m already seeing, even just with having started to really script my, my videos and, and get that storytelling in it and connecting all of the pieces that are happening in a video.
[00:08:38] I’m already seeing the impact storytelling has where I can better connect with my audience and, and get them that lesson that I dearly paid for in the past. So being able to not just do that again, for me, it’s [00:09:00] really easy on video, but being able to do the same thing and putting that into a written format.
Using Relatable Stories To Connect With Your Audience
[00:09:08] That’s a whole nother story. So where I’m pretty sure a lot of my audiences in a similar situation, a lot of my audience, coaches and consultants, a lot of us are problem aware. So with knowing that we have this struggle, where would you say somebody that is like, okay, I get it. I get it. I need to get better at this.
[00:09:35] I want to get a better hang of this. I want to, I want to be more storytelling and be able to better connect with my audience, with my clients, where they at, do you have a recommendation of where they should start?
[00:09:51] Joanne Homestead: Yes. I mean, I, I love the way you connected the story with, with speaking, with recording. I mean, that’s like, if [00:10:00] you listen to any TEDx talk, how are they going to hook you in is through story.
[00:10:06] And that’s how they’re going to engage you for that whole time. They’re, they’re continually coming back to the narrative, to the story. And that’s the same thing in email storytelling and what you’re saying on, on YouTube. It’s hooking them in with a story so that they want to listen to a point where they’re invested, they are invested, and they want to keep listening, or they want to keep reading, and they want to get to the end.
[00:10:30] It’s like a book you can’t put down. And in a world where… the attention span can be two minutes max on TikTok.
[00:10:43] Story is a way to hold that attention. And so if you want to start using stories in your marketing content, this is how I like to think of it. Your marketing content is your expertise. That’s your expertise as a coach. And I [00:11:00] imagine that is kind of like the 2D. Imagine it on like a 2D plane. And then what story does, if it brings depth and dimension, it, it creates like a pop up book.
[00:11:12] If you’ve ever seen one of those, I mean, pop up books now are incredible works of art. I went to the library with my son and he opened up one up and I literally gasped. I’m just, I’m just imagining, you know, little, like a little, like a moon or something. No, like a full world just pops out.
[00:11:33] Yvonne Heimann: Have you seen the, the pop up cards?
[00:11:38] Joanne Homestead: Yes! And those pop up cards, my sister found those, I don’t know where, and she sent one to my mom for her birthday. And my mom, of course, took a picture and said, look at what your sister sent. Those are gorgeous! And I was like, wow! That is amazing! It is incredible. The intricate detail, and that is [00:12:00] what I feel like story is.
[00:12:01] It’s, it’s creating depth and dimension to your marketing content. It’s putting someone into your world like they are like watching a movie. And so that, that is what storytelling can do. And so what you can do is very easily is don’t overthink your story. If you’re a person,
[00:12:31] you can use the easiest one, I feel like to use is to use your, I call it the everyday story. This is a story that a lot of people can resonate with because it is an everyday story. For example, I was wrestling with my bed sheet to get it onto the mattress. And I get one corner on and I swear the other corner pops off and then I go to the other [00:13:00] side.
[00:13:00] I’m trying to get that one and then another corner pops off and I’m just about to lose it. I feel like I’m wrestling this thing. Like it is. It is like, what is that called? The WWF World Wrestling Federation. And doing like pile drives, okay? And this bedsheets just not getting on. So I write to it, to my email list about the frustration.
[00:13:30] So I’m connecting with the emotion. The emotion behind this story is I am so frustrated. I just want to just, give it up, like whatever, this bed sheet is just, it’s going to win. And I say, and I just connected to, to my, my marketing content, which is usually about email, storytelling, copywriting, or email strategy.
[00:13:53] And I connected it to email strategy. I said, this is how it feels when you don’t, you haven’t [00:14:00] set a purpose to your email list, you know, you need to have an email list, you have one because everyone says you got to have an email list as a business, but you haven’t set the purpose. Like the true, like what is your, what do you want your email list to do for you?
[00:14:13] What do you want your emails to do for you? And so now you’re writing and you’re not, you’re just frustrated. You just write and you’re not sure where you’re going. You keep, you have like so many drafts of emails and none of them are going out because you got to set your North star. And so that’s where the connection, that’s, that’s an everyday story.
[00:14:33] And everyone understands the bedsheet. Who doesn’t understand?
[00:14:37] Yvonne Heimann: It’s like, see my, this is where my brain is getting rewired and retrained because I, I, I can’t just. My brain is not there yet to just natively think of that, but when you started talking about the bed sheet and the struggle and how one side pops up and when you’re trying to put the other one, [00:15:00] now my brain was like, that’s like building your business.
[00:15:05] Because if you have not determined what your inner core values are and your goal with your business, you’re going to be popping around every single corner with every single coach, listening to what they say, the best thing is out there and you can’t decide what the one, the best thing actually is.
[00:15:26] Because you keep popping around not having figured out what you actually want. Now, if we can get my brain to look at my everyday and make those connections without getting triggered by somebody else. Now we’re getting there. We’re getting there. It takes some practice.
[00:15:46] Joanne Homestead: It takes some, it does. It takes some practice and it takes some awareness.
[00:15:50] You’ll start noticing like your everyday stories. You’ll just start noticing when when something happens, you go, Oh, that could be a [00:16:00] story that I tell to my, to my community, to my audience. And you can think about how it’s connecting. Is it connecting emotionally? Is it connecting on like a process level?
[00:16:11] Is it like, where is it connecting? And that’s where you can go with it. I mean, stories can connect in so many different ways, just like how you just said, like the popping off the corners is like what it feels like if you’re working with other, with so many different business coaches and they’re telling you things and it’s not, it’s not working.
[00:16:28] Yvonne Heimann: And you are not committing to anything either because nothing fully connects with you till you know what you actually want. And, one of the things that I have started that also just popped in my head for this specifically, I started taking notes about everything. Every time something pops in my head, I literally have notebooks all over the place.
[00:16:47] So what just came to my mind is like, I do have, I do have my iPhone. I have a notes app on there of starting to collect those [00:17:00] everyday stories, because when you are getting to the point of, you have to write an email or you have to write, we we’re shitting all over ourselves again. And that’s one, or you want to record a YouTube video, you want to do anything.
[00:17:14] And it’s like, Hmm, what are we doing now? Having had a notebook, this is where my system comes in. Having a notebook where I’m like Oh, this is something every day that just happened today, or I was struggling with this or I forgot to put the mug in the coffee machine again and went all over the kitchen countertop stuff like that, where you have everyday stories ready to go.
[00:17:43] And you, you don’t have to write them all out. Just literally one sentence of forgot to put the coffee mug in, coffee went all over the kitchen counter. And now you have a list in a notebook. That’s like, okay, how, what are we doing? This is my goal. This is where I want [00:18:00] to get the audience to which of these stories can I connect with?
[00:18:05] Joanne Homestead: Yes, exactly. That’s something I tell my clients to do is collect their stories. And one of the, one of the stories is the everyday story and just to collect it. However, is easiest for them because they start thinking, Oh, I got to write in a notebook. I’m like, no, if it doesn’t work for you to write in a notebook, do it the way that makes sense.
[00:18:27] So some, some just record the, use the voice memos in their phone. They like to have the audio, and they’ll go back and listen to it, and that works for them. And they give it a little title, so they remember, like, Coffee Spill. Or, or the Notes, Notes app, on the phone. Or, I use, I use Airtable, and that just works for me, to keep it in there.
[00:18:50] Writing physically in a Notebook. sticky notes, whatever it is, just have some kind of system that works for you to collect your stories. So then when you go [00:19:00] to write or to record something, you have it right there and you can look through the list and go, Oh, this coffee spill one is perfect for what I’m trying to say here.
[00:19:09] Yvonne Heimann: So now that you are where you are today, no more teacher. No more, no more driving all over the place just to tell seven year old stories. Who do you help write stories now? How do you work with clients? How does life look nowadays?
[00:19:32] Joanne Homestead: Life is pretty good. I have to say, I get to spend about half my day playing with my kids.
[00:19:39] I have my five year old and almost two year old and they’re really fun. I have to, I have to be honest. I used to be a little scared of this age five and below because I felt like my, my expertise was in the ages five to 10 range and I was like, I don’t know what to do with this little, little one, the like little tiny [00:20:00] little muffins.
[00:20:04] And they are so fun. I love, I love playing with them. And then my other half of my time is working in my business or working with clients. And so I gave me, I had two main offers. One is my done for you service. And that one is for clients, coaches, entrepreneurs who just want it off the plate.
[00:20:26] Yvonne Heimann: Don’t make me, don’t make me write.
[00:20:30] Joanne Homestead: Just take it off a plate. Yes. I, you and I will write it in their brand voice, with their stories. I have a process that I use to collect all that. So it’s really minimal time and effort for them. And then I focus on it for three days and I write out an email sequence of their choice with their stories, with the call to action, the subject lines, preview text, all that stuff.
[00:20:59] That is [00:21:00] my done for you VIP service. And then my other offer is the email copy coaching. And this is where I’m teaching you to fish. I’m going to teach you how to write, how to feel confident writing to your email community in a way that you know is infuses your brand values. It speaks your brand values and you’re using your stories and you feel confident knowing what stories to write and use.
[00:21:31] And you just, you have fun with it. You go from not doing anything, to, wow, I, I love writing to my email community. I want to write to them and I have set a goal for myself for whatever consistency looks like to them, because I swear every client comes to me going, I don’t think I can write an email every day.
[00:21:55] So where’s that coming from? You don’t have to, you don’t have to. [00:22:00] Anytime I have to, or should, or need to comes up, we go ahead and explore that. Like, let’s, let’s dig into that. Why are you saying that? Because you don’t have to,
[00:22:09] Yvonne Heimann: We have that. Don’t, don’t, don’t we don’t, we don’t.
[00:22:13] Joanne Homestead: Yes. So whatever consistency looks like to you, it could be in terms of frequency.
[00:22:19] It could be in terms of more action based. It doesn’t even have to be frequency in terms of time. And so that copy coaching is specifically for, for like email, it’s all about email marketing for me, because I just, I just love email marketing and I could talk about it all day. So those are the two ways clients work with me.
[00:22:42] And I feel like the copy coaching is, is a holistic program because I feel like there’s, as you said, there’s like the system side, there’s the copywriting side, there’s the storytelling, there’s then, you know, looking at your physical environment because that has a huge impact on [00:23:00] if you want to write or not, and then also blocks that come up because we are all human and blocks do come up, even if someone says, Oh, I don’t have any blocks.
[00:23:12] I don’t know. And you know what, I laughed because that was me just a couple years ago. I was like, no, I don’t have any blocks. Just give me the strategy.
[00:23:19] Give me the system and I will go ahead and do it. And then. And then all the blocks came and I go, Oh, okay. I see, I see the importance in releasing the blocks. I, I understand it now. So that’s why I laugh because I was that person.
FREE Guide To Make The Best Emails!
[00:23:33] Yvonne Heimann: We’ve all, we’ve all been there now for any, for anybody and everybody that wants to get started, tell the audience about your freebie.
[00:23:42] You got a little guide for them with three simple steps to irresistible entertaining emails.
[00:23:52] Joanne Homestead: Yes, so I have a free guide. And this is not your average freebie that is going to be sitting [00:24:00] and getting dusty. This is a guide that you can reference to all the time and it has the steps for how to infuse story into your marketing content for what you’re talking about in your business. Through email, and it also comes with, I’m trying to remember how many, it’s like seven different kinds of hooks for that first line of your email to hook them in, but you can also use those as subject lines too, because that, that also, you can write a beautiful, wonderful, Email, but you gotta have a hook to get them to open it so they can see all that beauty in there. It also comes with I forget how many maybe like 20 different segues so that story to whatever marketing content you’re talking about.
[00:24:55] You could just choose one. So you don’t have to think about it because it just makes it so much [00:25:00] easier. If you could just go, Oh, this is the perfect segue. I can just choose this one, kind of tweak it a little bit and then you can go on and then you have your, your email and really. If you want to sell through email, it’s about the nurturing.
[00:25:14] And that’s where the storytelling is. It’s you got to nurture and help them understand who you are, what you stand for, and how your unique approach can help them. So that is, that is where the storytelling comes from. The nurturing to then sell in a way that doesn’t feel icky. It’s just inviting them into your world.
[00:25:39] Like, I know this is going to help you and I want to invite you in.
[00:25:44] Yvonne Heimann: And that’s where the personal growth comes in. And guys, as always, the link for the guide is in the description as always, no matter if you’re watching, listening, or reading this, you will also find Joanne’s social links in there and [00:26:00] all the ways to connect with her.
[00:26:01] So, Joanne, go tell the audience where best to connect with you. What’s your favorite platform before we say goodbye.
[00:26:09] Joanne Homestead: Sure. I would absolutely love to connect if you’re listening in and I like to pop into the messages and say hi. So I am on Instagram @desk.plant.creatives with a dot in between the words, and then I’m also hopping on LinkedIn more and you can find me there at my name, Joanne Homestead, and my LinkedIn handle is Joanne Homestead copywriter.
[00:26:38] But if you search Joanne Homestead, I think I am the only Joanne Homestead on LinkedIn, so it will be easy to find me by, by my name and I am starting a live series soon for social media on the behind the scenes of entrepreneurs and business owners [00:27:00] and how they, how they write.
[00:27:01] What are the, what do they do to get through blocks through, through writing? I think it’d be really fun because it’s just going to get into the good, the bad and the ugly. We’re not, we’re not just doing any polish thing. This is, this is for real.
[00:27:15] Yvonne Heimann: Like no, no filter on this. And guys, as always, you’re going to find the links in the description.
[00:27:20] Easy for you to click on. Make sure to go subscribe and follow the podcast. I’ll see you in the next episode. And Joanne, thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks everybody.
[00:27:33] Joanne Homestead: Thank you so much for having me on.
00:00 | Introduction
01:52 | Realizing Your Passion; Embracing Opportunities
04:41 | The Simplest Way To Understand Copywriting
09:08 | Using Relatable Stories To Connect With Your Audience
23:33 | FREE Guide To Make The Best Emails!
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