Season 01, Episode 02
Aligned Copywriting: How to convert your audience into paying clients (with Valicia France)
In this episode, we discuss the building blocks of a good copywriting strategy, from how to build an ideal customer profile to creating your authentic marketing message, to tips on how to convert your audience into paying clients.
Jade: Hi everyone, welcome to the second episode of the Aligned Marketing Podcast, where we discuss an alternative to mainstream marketing and introduce you to resources, tips, and expert guests so that we can guide you through your own aligned marketing journey where you will go from discouraged to happy with your marketing.
I’m your host, Jade Francesca, and if you’re like me and you need subtitles to understand what people are saying, you can get the transcript in the show notes.
So today I’m welcoming Valicia France, copywriter for women who have service-based businesses. In this episode, we’ll first talk about creating a simple, but powerful and aligned ideal customer profile. And next, we’re gonna dive into developing a clear and effective brand message.
And finally, we’ll talk about a few tips for creating copy that attracts and converts your ideal audience into paying clients.
So I want to get right in the heart of it and ask you, Valicia, why is it important to create a powerful and aligned ideal customer profile? And why is it important to develop a clear and effective brand message?
Valicia: Okay. So, thanks for asking those questions. So, the reason it’s important to identify your ideal client is because you need to have a direction for your business; you need to know exactly who you’re speaking to and how you can help.
We like to say in the copy world that if you’re trying to speak to everybody, you’re basically speaking to nobody. So think about the times that you’ve probably purchased a good or service; it’s usually because somebody has spoken directly to who you are and what your exact problem has been.
So we have to be very clear on who we’re talking to in order for us to actually be seen by the people that we want to reach.
And then for your brand message, you wanna be very clear on your brand message because clarity wins over anything else. If I’m searching for a service and someone says:
“Hey, hey you.” (‘You’ because they don’t know my name at the time, right, but they say): “Hey, you, I know that you’re having a hard time losing weight because you’ve had kids and your metabolism has slowed down ‘cause you’re aging.” (That’s all facts that are really relevant to who I am) “and this is a specific program for moms like you.”
So I’m gonna pay attention to that person versus someone who’s like: “I can help you live your best life and lose weight in two minutes flat.”
It’s very important to tell the people who you want to help, exactly how you’re gonna help them. And help them understand, like, “hey, I know your problem and I know how to help you solve it.” And that really catches the eye, again, of the people you want to help.
So you have to know who you want to help, and you have to understand how you want to speak to those people so they recognize that you’re the trusted expert to help them with their problem.
Jade: So how do we do that? What questions should our audience be asking themselves when creating an ideal customer profile?
Valicia: So when creating your ideal customer profile, I know there is so much information out there in the world, and sometimes it gets confusing ‘cause they want you to like, think of 50 different questions, and see if they know how many pets they have, or what’s their favorite color, or what they liked about their sixth grade class. And, you know, there’s so many questions they want you to ask.
But honestly, as a service-based business, especially if you’re doing one-on-one services or you’re just a small business, you don’t need all of that information to really start making that impact on moving forward in your business.
So the key things you really want to know about your ideal customer is:
- What problem do they have that you can help them solve
- What is it that they’re struggling with and how can you help them with that struggle?
- You want to be able to understand a couple things about how the problem is affecting them. You want to know what they’re saying, what are the words, the exact words, they’re using to describe that problem that they have.
- You want to understand how that problem is making them feel.
Are they feeling, I mean, overwhelmed is such an overused word, but it’s something that a lot of people connect to; if you’re sucked into hustle culture or you just have a lot of responsibilities, you feel overwhelmed, right? Or frustrated or sad or depressed.
5. What are they feeling about the fact that they have this problem?
6. And then what are they doing? What have they tried before to solve the problem? Are they not trying anything at all to solve the problem?
7. What is the problem preventing them from being able to do and achieve in their life and/or business?
So you want to know all those things about the problem they have, right? And then you want to understand how that’s gonna change once you help solve their problem.
So once you’ve helped them solve their problem, what are they saying now? Are they excited? Are they relieved? Are they motivated? How are they gonna feel after you’ve helped them solve their problem?
And then what are they doing, what are they gonna say, and then how are they gonna feel? Are they gonna feel relaxed? Are they saying that, you know, because they have this problem solved now, they can have more time back in their life, they have more time to spend with their family, they feel better about themselves, they feel more excited about their world, about their future? And what are they able to do after you help them solve the problem?
Again, it kind of connects all together, but do they have their time back, right? Are they able to schedule that vacation that they wanted to go onto? Are they able to quit their 9-to-5 job? Are they able to lose those last 10 pounds and now they’re able to fit in this like, you know, this bikini that they wanted to fit in five years ago?
So what are they doing now, once you’ve helped them solve that problem?
And that’s really what you need to know:
- The problem they have
- Everything about that problem that’s affecting them
- How you help them solve it
So that’s the key parts to understanding your ideal customer profile.
Jade: And so do we use those answers to develop our brand message?
Valicia: Yep, absolutely. So I love to use the story brand kind of method. I’m not a story brand copywriter, disclaimer, but I love the concept of it. It really is based in… very strategic copywriting principles that’s been around since sales has been effective, right? Since copy has been around but it’s a very clear way of structuring your message.
So for your brand message script, you have to know your ideal customer profile, right? You have to know who you wanna help, just like we discussed, who you wanna help and how you can help them. You want to understand, again, the problem (you’re gonna feed that problem into your brand message), how the problem is affecting them, what they’re feeling, saying, and doing before versus what they’re feeling, saying and doing after you’ve helped them with their problem.
You want to explain why you want to help them with this problem and that’s key for people to connect with who you are as a service provider. “Why do you actually want to help me…right? Why should I trust that you’re doing this because you’re looking out for me, not just because you want my money?” And I know it’s weird to think about because it’s like, okay, you’re a business. We expect to spend money with a business. But really, and truly, people love connecting with people. So you have to show them, you have to let them know why you’re really targeting a specific audience and why you really wanna help these people.
So for example, for me, my big fundamental belief is that every woman with a business should have the resources and the ability to succeed in business, right? And a lot of it just lies in being very clear in your message. So, I want to empower women in their messaging, so that they can have successful business. That’s really my big why.
So what is your big why? Why are you solving this problem for the specific type of people you want to solve this problem for? Okay, so what’s your big why?
And then after figuring that part out, you also wanna talk about why you’re an authority, why they should trust you for your business. So, not just what certificates or degrees, ‘cause you don’t need certificates or degrees to have a successful business. It’s really about how have you helped before? Who have you helped before? Is there proof or their testimonials? Case studies? Do you have a video conversation that you may have had with someone and they just said: hey, you helped me a lot with X, Y, and Z.
Or maybe a social media post, comments that have been there, you know. How have you helped people? Can you show proof that you have helped someone before? And if you’re newer in business, right, you still have skill sets that you are using in your business that have been proven in some way, right? You’ve worked with people maybe in a career before. What do people say about working with you as a person? Are you trustworthy or are you kind? Did you bring some ease into the situation when you’re helping them solve their problem? So, what is it about you that would make someone want to work with you for the specific problem itself? And all of that fits into why they should trust you as the expert to help them with the problem.
And then after that as well, you want to talk about your process, right? And you know, if you look on different, you know, bigger company websites, they usually have like a process page and they have four to five steps about how you can work with them. That’s something that everybody in business can develop for themselves.
How can you break your process down into three or five steps that someone can easily remember and tell to someone else, like, “I know that Valicia does copy for women in business. And this is her process. This is her five steps that we would work through if I wanna work with her.” So what is a simple way to show your process to the world so that they can understand it?
And then how do you guarantee that this process can help get this person results so that they can trust to invest in your services? So, you know, like if you’re downloading an app, there’s a trial period, right? So not everybody can give a trial period, like maybe a fitness coach, for example, could give a trial period if they choose to.
But what is a way for you to guarantee your work? As a copywriter, I have revisions built into my process, right? I have a 7 to 14 day turnaround period where you can come back to me and say: “hey, I don’t quite like how this header sounds. Could you check it out for me? Or this page might be a little off, even though I looked at it a week ago. Could you check it out for me?”
So there might be some where you can build in some type of support into your programs, so that people can trust to invest in your offer.
And then the next part is looking at different ways to speak about the results you provide to a business, to a person, to your target audience. So what results do they get from working with you? And that goes back to the transformation. What happens after you provide them the solution? A lot of that is pulled from your ideal customer avatar, right? What are they feeling, saying and doing after working with you? So the results you provide.
For me, they have like copy deliverables that would help someone launch and promote faster than they have before. They have clarity in their messaging. They have confidence in marketing themselves ‘cause now they know how to speak to other people, their target audience. They can talk to their target audience in any platform because they’re clear on their message. So they can cater that messaging on any platform, whether it’s Facebook, emails, their website; they understand how to speak to their messaging. So that’s some of the results that I would provide.
And you can build this list out. Everybody, I guarantee you can get at least 20 to 25 results that you give someone if you just break it all down and then you also think about, okay, what do they avoid? What type of failure would they avoid by working with me? So what are some things that your client might face if they don’t work with you?
So in my case, it might be someone who never launches their business, never promotes a service, because they’re not clear on their message. They don’t know what to do, they don’t know how to talk about their messaging. It might be that they gave up on their business because they’re like: “okay, this is too hard. I’m confused. I don’t know what to say. I can’t attract clients”. You know, there’s a series of results that failure that they can avoid if they work with someone like me.
So you would do the same thing in your business. What can someone avoid if they work with you? How can you help prevent it? How can you help prevent them from failing or continuing along the same path that they’ve been going this whole time without your help? Okay, so after figuring all of that out, you have a copy for everything. You have copy for your homepage.
‘Cause your homepage, excuse me, your homepage talks about, you know, the problems they have, the solution you provide, the way you provide your service, your processes, right? How they can trust you.
Your About Page talks about who you are as an expert that can help them. What’s your experience? Why do you want to help people? What’s important, right? And then your ‘work with me’ page, it just covers the same information.
Once you have clarity on your ideal customer profile and you have clarity on your brand message, you have a way to be clear and consistent in your messaging on any platform that you choose. So it’s super important for businesses to focus on those two pieces of their marketing plans.
Jade: So what would be some tips that you could give our listeners when it comes to creating copy that attracts and converts their ideal audience, all the while still being aligned with who they are?
Because as I’m sure you know, in the marketing world, there are a lot of tactics and a lot of ways that people write copy, that is just, in some ways, sometimes it’s really not ethical, at least in my opinion. There will be a lot of scarcity tactics, fear tactics that is just–
In the short run it can work, but in the long run, I mean, the integrity no longer is there when you use copy that way because you’re just scaring people into buying your products. They might not even be your ideal client to begin with, so what could be some tips that you could give about that?
Valicia: So I think the very first part of it, and I’m not a business coach, right, but the very first part of it is making sure that you have an offer that has been validated. ‘Cause I think sometimes what people tend to do is they have an offer and they’re trying to get it sold, but they haven’t even figured out if it’s something that people want.
So they’re trying a lot of fear tactics, a lot of funnels, etc, to try and force people to buy, right? So I think the first thing is making sure that you have a validated offer, and it’s easier than it sounds. It’s really about connecting with the people you wanna help and just asking them: what’s your problem and how would you love your problem to be solved?
And then speaking to them about your potential thoughts on your offer. And you can, as a small business, you can start talking to 10 people or even five, and then go from there and just figure out what the people (who you want to help), what they really want, and then build an offer that people want.
Once you build an offer that people want, marketing becomes way easier ‘cause then all of a sudden now you start talking, you just simply start talking about your offer, talking about who you help once you have a clearer message, right.
The more you present your offer to the world, the more that the people who you can help see you, and people will naturally start connecting with you.
Like, hey, tell me more about your service and what you do and how you help, right?
So validating your offer is a huge deal. Now, coming to the part that I can help the most with, is speaking about the offer. So when you figure out your ideal customer and you fill out your ideal customer profile and you figure out your brand message, you use that to build out your copy.
And what you wanna do is use the exact same words that clients use in speaking to you. So if a customer, a potential client says, you know, “I feel so exhausted all the time because I’m eating so poorly”, right?
So in your copy, you can literally say, Are you feeling exhausted all the time because you know you have a poor diet or you know, something like that. You can use the exact words that they use, right? So if you speak to people or you just do your research online and you realize that people are saying the same things over and over and over again: pull that. Use it in your copy. Because what you want your clients to think is, okay, this person really gets me. They know exactly how I feel because you’re speaking their language. Right? So a big part of copy is using the exact words that your ideal clients are using.
Another thing too is, you want to really talk about when you’re talking about aligned messaging, I don’t like the poking of the pain points, so that means: having copy that’s only talking about the pain for like 80% of the copy.
I’d like to talk more about the transformation that people can get from a solution that you provide.
So instead of talking about like: Oh you’re not ever gonna launch or promote if you don’t hire a copywriter, right? Now you’re feeling so frustrated and overwhelmed all the time because you never know how to speak about your copy. And if you don’t stop what you’re doing right now, you will never get the success you dream of.
And if I just speak about that for 80% of my copy, I think that’s too much poking, poking the bear, like you’re poking it. Right? So talk more about the transformation. What do people get if they work for you?
Example: So if you want to be successful, more successful in your business, you want to reach more of your ideal clients. I can help and this is how we’ll do it.
So I’m talking about how I help people achieve results. I’m not so much poking a bear, so of course you want to let them know that you understand the pain that they’re having, but that doesn’t have to take up the majority of your copy.
Another thing I– I would say, shy away from, is like on your button copy, if you using buttons for a website or even in your emails, for example, saying stuff like, “I’m gonna sign up because I want to be more successful.” And then the other option is, “no, I don’t want to be successful”, right?
So if you click no, you feel bad. And you feel bad clicking no because it’s like you’re telling yourself a message; “No, I don’t want to be successful”, but do you really want this person’s offer? Not really. Right?
So, making it okay for people to say no to your service, that’s completely fine, because the people who want to say yes will find you. So, being careful not to use that kind of icky tactic where you’re making people feel bad in order to connect with your services.
And then another thing that I know it’s kind of controversial, is the countdown timers.
Okay, So I’m not gonna make a broad statement saying like, it’s always a bad thing forever.
I’ll bring up a copywriter that I really love to read her email. Her name is Tarzan Kay, you can look her up, right? And she does this thing where she does put a countdown timer but she says: “I’m putting it here so that you remember when the time will run out.” But if you do not want to see countdown timers, you can always click here to get rid of them.
I love that so much because it’s like, okay, give them an option if you want to use that timer, ‘cause of course your business is not gonna be on everybody’s top of mind all the time, right? There’s so many things happening. So if you want to put a timer, I definitely like that tactic of putting a note saying, “hey, don’t like timers? Click here to opt out of the timer.”
But in general, I don’t practice using timers ‘cause I don’t like people feeling negative, like triggering people negatively to make them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t buy by the time this counts down to the second, right?
There’s other ways of encouraging people to buy that doesn’t involve counting down to the second. Like you can simply say, as a service provider, you have a limited schedule, you have limited time. So if you say, hey, when you have three spots available this month, that will encourage someone to buy now versus later. And it’s an ethical way to do it, in my opinion, because you’re telling the truth. So you’re not forcing their hand, you’re telling them like, hey, this is my limitation. So if you don’t buy now, of course you’re gonna have to wait until I have availability next month. So, that’s just some of my top ideas on that.
Jade: Oh, yeah. No, I definitely agree. Like the countdowns give me anxiety, like when I see it, I’m just like: “Ugh, no, why?”
I mean, sometimes, it does make sense. Let’s say someone is launching a group coaching that starts on, I don’t know, August 1st, and it’s like the last day to sign up is on July 31st or whatever, like, okay. In that situation, it can make sense to put a countdown.
I personally wouldn’t just because it gives me anxiety, but I feel like in that situation it’s just, yeah, like, okay, it makes sense to have a countdown.
But for a lot of countdowns that I see, and I’ve tested that with different emails and signing up at different times, the countdown just kind of resets. It’s just really there to be like a fear tactic really and just kind of tells you like, “Okay, you need to do it now, otherwise, like you will miss out.”
So it just really attacks the fear of missing out, and I really don’t like that because I’m like: “But it’s a fake countdown, and it’s not real.” If you use it, and it’s a real countdown because your offer really will expire on that date because you’re starting your course or you’re starting your program, your coaching group thing, or like whatever you’re doing, and it’s for a limited amount of time, then yes. And it makes more sense to do that and do that if it aligns with your business, and if it aligns with your ideal audience.
But for a person like me, the moment I see a countdown, I’m like: “No, I can’t. I can’t do this.”
Like no matter how much I like the offer or didn’t like the offer, no matter what my opinions were, if I see a countdown, I’m immediately just scared and I’m like, ugh no, because I just panicked because it’s like I’m suddenly back in high school and I’m like looking at the time because I have a few minutes left to finish an exam.
Like that’s what it reminds me of.
Again, if there was a reason, for instance because the program started like on July 1st or something, then okay, yes, that’s okay. But it’s like, most of the time it’s for like evergreen courses. Courses that are gonna be always available. So why are you doing that?
It’s also like another weird tactic to say: oh, it’s gonna be live, but when you actually show up, it’s not live. And I’m like: Why though? Because if you told me it was a recorded thing, I still would’ve shown up for it. I don’t care; I just want to know the truth.
I don’t like being lied to because it’s just tacky. Just don’t do that, right? So definitely, honestly, when it comes to copy, there is a way to do it that is just so much more aligned, than to do all these weird tactics that just kind of make no sense for a lot of businesses.
So, I love everything that you said. I can tell that you’re very passionate about this and it really aligns with who you are, which is what this podcast is all about.
So, can you tell me about how you started this work and what really attracted you to copywriting?
Valicia: Okay. Yeah. So I actually started my business after going through some natural disasters. So I’m from the Virgin Islands, right now I’m in North Carolina, but I started after two natural disasters.
I really had two jobs; I was considered an emergency responder for both jobs. So, I was trying to respond in a disaster while being a mom of little kids which had me like reevaluate my whole life.
And I started looking into a way to use my skills to run a business, and I actually started as a copy editor. While doing my copy editor certificate, I was doing like some training for it, I learned about copyrighting and I just, my mind just, whew, exploded.
I’m like: “I can write to help people succeed in life for a living? Sold!”
So that’s how I started my business. I’ve been, I’ve actually started in health on technology copywriting and I wasn’t even sure exactly what type of copy I want to to write, so I was trying a bunch of things.
I tried like a case study; I tried doing business plans and blog posts and you know, a bunch of different types of copy and I eventually realized that I really like all things web based, like writing web copy, sales page copy, email copy, helping like online businesses.
And that’s just a short version of how I came into copywriting and the reason that I actually moved from health and technology copyrighting to working with women with service based business is just, again, building a business in alignment with who I am.
I’ve always been the person who supports other women in whatever their life or career decision has been. So I’ve helped people like revamp their resumes or cover letters before I even started copywriting. This is like years ago. So I’m always helping people with their cover letters or like grant applications or anything that required writing that I can help them with, I did.
And it was always about empowering other women, and I really wanted that to be a key part of my business. So, here we are.
Jade: That’s amazing. And if our listeners want to work with you to align their brand message with who they are and create an ideal customer profile that would really resonate with their business and is really gonna attract their ideal audience, how could they go about doing that?
Valicia: Yeah, sure. So you can find me at www.valiciafrance.com. I’m sure it’s gonna be in the show notes. It’s hard to spell it now, so www.valiciafrance.com and you’ll find all the information about me and how we can work together. My signature offer is the Copy in a Day experience where I help women in business launch and promote faster than ever. We basically get your website, your email, and your sales page copy knocked out in a single day, a single project day. So that’s my favorite offer as of right now. So you can get to me at www.valiciafrance.com and we can connect there.
Jade: Perfect. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Valicia. And if any of you would like to dive deeper on this subject, I encourage you to read the blog post accompanying this podcast where I give you 9 tips on creating an ideal client or customer profile that actually serves your business. The link will be in the show notes and the transcript. Thank you all for listening and here’s to your aligned success!
About Valicia France
Valicia France is a digital copywriter who traded her tropical home to put down new roots in North Carolina at the height of the pandemic. She re-discovered her love of writing during a life-changing “a-ha” moment after surviving back-to-back natural disasters. Now, she uses her writing talents to help coaches and consultants communicate their offer value so they can attract, nurture, and convert more perfect-fit clients.
How to connect with Valicia:
About your host, Jade Francesca
Jade Francesca is the founder of Strategize with Creativity and is an aligned marketing strategist & designer. She helps heart-centered and passion-driven entrepreneurs & authors go from discouraged and overwhelmed to happy and aligned with their marketing so they can connect with their ideal audience as their authentic self.
How to connect with Jade: