In this episode
Susan and I talk about
This conversation is overflowing with insights into how you can turn up the volume on the experience every one of your valued community has with you, no matter the level they interact or invest.
In this episode
- 0915 What is the user and the experience all about?
- 26:27 Common mistakes you see people are making their copy
- 33:13 Pet hate as a user
- 48:47 What role does leadership play in your life and business
- 50:51 How do you know when you’re thriving?
- 54:15 Freebies on UX copywriting
- 57:45 What’s a final piece of wisdom that you’d like to share?
Connect with guest Susan Reoch
Her free weekly newsletter, “The UX Factor,” and her UX group coaching program for copywriters, “Beyond Web Copy,” are go-to resources for online business owners and copywriters looking for the right words and strategy to skyrocket their success.
- The UX Copywriter website
- The UX Copywriter on Instagram
- Susan Reoch website
- Susan Reoch Instagram
- Newsletter sign up
- Susan on LinkedIn
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I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
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Shannon Dunn 01:16
Great big hello, everybody. Welcome to a new guest episode. I’m very excited to introduce you to Susan today. So in a moment, I’m going to share her bio and then we’ll get into some conversation. Like if you’re a longtime listener of She Leads She Thrives, you’ll know how kind of our flow of our guest episodes go. If you’re new to She Leads She Thrives. Let me just remind you, I’m Shannon Dunn, I am your host here. A long term self leadership and business coach. And one of the greatest things I love about hosting a podcast is getting to bring fabulous, inspiring, smart, wise women to you in this medium and to have a really cool conversation. So Susan, how long is it maybe two years, almost when we first connected?
Susan Reoch 01:59
Yeah, I think so.
Shannon Dunn 02:02
So we first met her doing some early probably masterclasses and programs with Anna Gichuru. So if you haven’t listened to the episode with Annie, I’m pretty sure it’s episode 10. We’ll tag it in the show notes. So Susan and I then went on to do her program Represented and then we were both ended up being in a kind of like a mastermind experience in this year 2023, which has been so fun like to get to know you better, but to share that experience of working with Annie, challenging ourselves, each other. Having Annie challenge us about how to lead a more racially inclusive business, right. It’s been a really cool thing to do. So that may come up into this but you have a whole different expertise that I’m very excited to talk about. So all right, let me share your bio and then we’ll get into some some questions.
Shannon Dunn 02:52
So, Susan Reoch is a maverick in the copywriting world. She’s known for her killer web copy skills and digital strategy, informed by a decade-long User Experience (UX) career. Her unique approach has seen her featured in top-tier publications like Copyhackers, Writers in Tech, The Freelancer’s Year, and The Content Byte – that spelled B YTE. For anyone who’s not sure about the right kind of bite there. Her free new weekly newsletter The UX factor, which I love receiving – I think you’re the only copywriter I actually stay consistent with.
Susan Reoch 03:30
That’s an honor
Shannon Dunn 03:31
her UX group coaching program for copywriters “Beyond Web Copy,” are go-to resources for online business owners and copywriters looking for the right words and strategy to skyrocket their success.
Susan Reoch 03:43
That’s me – gotta be bold.
Shannon Dunn 03:44
I don’t think we have yet had a copywriter? No, I don’t think so. Like I’m just kind of like just kind of doing a little mental note all the way back through. So we definitely haven’t had a UX copywriter, so we’re gonna get that. But I love a good founder story. And I’ve kind of found myself starting the conversations with those more. And I have heard your founder story, which I think it’s interesting around how you ended up being a copywriter and then we’ll get to that being a UX copywriter. So yeah, what’s the story.
Susan Reoch 04:20
Yeah, sure. I mean, they’re kind of entwined and I find I love listening to founder the stories too, particularly of copywriters, because we’ve all come from these weird and wonderful sort of backgrounds. A lot of us have tried different stuff. And I actually am a little bit different from a lot of copywriters because I got started in user experience or UX writing. So for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s they’re probably more familiar with UX design, which is designing things like apps, but I was doing the words part of it for booking.com, which is big global brand, living in Amsterdam, cycling around the canals, living my dream life. And I came back to Australia. The thing was that I got started so early in that industry that it didn’t actually have a name yet. We weren’t known as UX writers then.
Shannon Dunn 05:08
Total maverick. Pioneering. The thing we did didn’t even have a name yet.
Susan Reoch 05:17
Or not that I was aware of. So I came back to Australia. And I was like, Well, I’m a copywriter. Yeah. And I started pitching myself for these copywriting jobs. And they were so different from the stuff that I had been doing before. Long story short, I eventually got a job as like, you know, what we think of as a conversion copywriter doing landing pages, doing SEO, doing web content. But what I really found was that my user experience background really informed my copywriting. And then when I went out on my own and started my own business, after I had kids, I started my own business, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. And I found that I was getting also UX clients. So helping people build their digital products. And a lot of my conversion copywriting experience was informing that. So that’s where the UX copywriting sort of being came together where I was like, I don’t see how I can separate these two, and they’re both helping me do both the jobs that I’m doing really, really well. I think there’s something there, no one else is talking about it. I’m gonna start talking about it. And UX copywriting as sort of, as I talk about it was born. So yeah, it’s exciting.
Shannon Dunn 06:35
Very cool. It’s a very pioneering of you – love it. Now, in case anybody who’s listening, though, is not sure of the answer to this because we’re gonna be diving more into the UX piece, clarify what copywriting is for us. I know, but I’ve also seen over the years of being in business such a long time now, so many copywriters of your kind, sharing what the difference is between copywriting and having a copyright.
Susan Reoch 07:05
In case anyone who thinks we’re lawyers.
Shannon Dunn 07:10
The first few times I remember seeing it and it was multiple times I’m like, Are you serious? Like I don’t know kind of how I always seemingly knew the difference. But that shocked me that there were so many kinds of copywriters confessing that they don’t do copyright and copyright law, and that kind of thing. And I was like, Oh, that’s a straight like that it felt so strange to me that they kind of wanted to make sure people realized, it was obviously a thing.
Susan Reoch 07:34
People on the street, if you know, you’re at a barbecue and people ask you what you do. If you say I’m a copywriter, most people immediately think of copyright law and that you do something within that. I think people that are in the online business world have often written their own copy for their websites, their sales pages, their emails, so they’re a little bit more familiar with what copy and copywriting is, and but for anyone who is just completely in the dark. Hi, welcome. I’m so glad that I get to be the first point of introduction to the copywriting world. So essentially, it’s all about the words that sell products. And it really, you know, a point of reference that has helped all copywriters become a little bit better known is Madmen. Don Draper sitting there thinking about campaigns and slogans that’s sort of like the origin of copywriting where it was print media, of course, old school.
Shannon Dunn 08:36
Bit like brand agencies, but so different to what they would be now.
Susan Reoch 08:42
Although I think there still is a place for you know, we still see billboards. There’s still television ads, there’s still media, still newspapers out there, magazines, that kind of thing. But really like, and that’s where the UX or the user experience part becomes so important because the words that I write are all digital. They’re for websites predominantly, also for sales pages and funnels, landing pages, emails, things like back with the purpose to sell.
Shannon Dunn 09:15
Yeah, which is important to understand for sure. So it’s like okay, which question do we start with around the whole UX thing, because you’ve told us a little bit about what it is. But dive in a little bit more as to how difficult it is to I guess that general perception people have copywriters and copywriting. What is the user and the experience bit all about? Like what makes it different to are probably ignorant assumptions or understanding of copywriters.
Susan Reoch 09:50
Well, I think like all anyone who writes copy for digital, so anyone who writes like anything that’s going to appear on the internet, will have an impact on the user experience, and the user experience is exactly what it sounds like someone who is using that website or that sales page to get information and ultimately buy the thing. Or inquire about the thing, depending on you know, how people buy the thing, get in touch, whatever it is. But then there is also a whole sort of science, philosophy, industry of UX or user experience. And that’s like, over decades, because it has been going for a while – it might not have had a name – but it has been sort of talked about and developing for quite a few decades.
Shannon Dunn 10:39
I think back to doing my original business qualifications and doing like my marketing units, particularly. And they were talking about being user focused.
Susan Reoch 10:53
Yeah, totally. So it’s, it’s, it’s three things, it’s the experience the user has. It’s also a whole range of laws, philosophies, principles that have been developed and tested and tried that sort of, like, theories, a good starting place. And then there’s the practice of user experience where you are testing iterating, trying things, putting it in front of people researching, asking the consumer directly, what they’re going through, what their experience is, and seeing how they’re using that product. Because a website is just like a can opener in a way. It’s something it’s a tool that someone uses to do something. So it’s about developing that in a way that’s super user friendly.
Shannon Dunn 11:36
And I think when I first heard you talking about UX copywriting, and the UX experience, and heard you sharing about how much in depth you go into researching, and surveying and getting feedback from the users it was intended for whatever the thing is that you’re writing, creating, sharing. That surprised me in some ways it did, then it made complete sense. But I was like, I think about other copywriters that I’ve known, worked with, has clients over the years that don’t do that. And it’s like, oh, here’s the difference, right, that real commitment to going so much further to understand the user and what they want, need, whatever, to make that whole experience, phenomenal and to lead to sales.
Susan Reoch 12:26
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s what I love about it. Because well one, because I don’t have to think up stuff myself, I just know the questions to ask to get the answers that I need to write. So it makes it so much easier from my perspective. But also, you’re providing a win for the end user, because they’re having this amazing experience, and they’re getting all their questions answered, and they’re not getting frustrated, they’re able to do the thing that they want to do quickly and easily. And also, then there’s the business win as well. Because if you’ve got more people doing that, they’re more likely to lead to more sales as well. And you know, that your messaging is resonating.
Shannon Dunn 13:03
So I can kind of hear and sense a lot of obvious benefits about taking a UX approach with copywriting, what would you say is some of the benefits, even you just come up with a couple, that people don’t actually tend to realize or see or acknowledge? Really so important to people understanding what you UX copywriting and why you take that approach is actually why that’s as important as it is.
Susan Reoch 13:33
Okay, a couple of things. I think that, you know, when it’s your own business, and you’re really close to it, it’s easy – and this is like no shade on anyone – I own my own business. And I’ve been there like you can, it’s really easy to get in your own head and focus on what you think is important, when really if we’re service providers, or even if we sell products, we’re there to serve our clients and our customers. So it just helps make sure that we’re not just telling someone what we think is important, but we’re actually in dialogue and listening to what they find is important. And really, the ultimate benefit is that, it helps you make more sales, it helps you grow the company and because part of UX is about iterating.
Susan Reoch 14:19
So for example, I launched a digital product last year around this time last year, and it went really well. And I got some feedback and made some sales and raving success, but it was enough to go okay, this is a good idea, a solid idea. So now I’ve just invested the money that I made on that into a designer to make it a real whiz bang product. And I will relaunch it and I’ve tweaked and amended my messaging based on the feedback that I got. So I know that this time it’ll be more successful. So for me, it’s a sustainable way to not only write copy, but also it’s how I approach my business. It’s pretty much how I approach everything in my life. Like you can just keep listening. Keep getting that feedback, and keep improving, and feel like you’re a little bit more on track. I feel like so often in the online business world, it all feels a little bit like luck. You know, or a little bit like, or I don’t know if this will work, let’s just try something throw spaghetti at the wall.
Shannon Dunn 15:14
Definitely a lot of that goes on. Sometimes the spaghetti sticks that it’s good. Yeah, it falls right off or kind of slowly takes a slow kind of dive to the floor. Yeah, but I think you know, when you have a curious nature, which I know you do, like me, like, we like to ask why, we like to know, we like to understand, we like to educate ourselves so that we can put the best possible thing at this time, forward into the world. Such a different experience, both receiving it as the user, but also delivering it right, sharing, creating it
Susan Reoch 15:52
Totally, and I know that it’s something that a lot of my clients struggle with, and this might resonate with people listening too, is that they actually feel really uncomfortable selling their things. Yeah, you know, a lot of people come in, and they’re really purpose or values driven. And they want to do the thing, and they want to help people. But they don’t want to ask for money. And they don’t want to sound pushy, or grabby, or any of those things. And when you’re really focused on the user and just meeting their needs. It kind of takes that feeling of hard sell away, because you’re solving a problem for people.
Shannon Dunn 16:24
I’m glad you brought up the selling thing. Yeah, because I was gonna ask you a question about that, for sure. Because I think it’s such an important thing, because we know this through our own lived experience with, I guess, ourselves, our clients. But it’s also a common thing shared in the business space, no matter what your kind of industry or expertise is. Is that still the stuff about sales and selling, how hard it is, how horrible it is, how I don’t want to be seen or perceived by this. I don’t want to be judged like this. Like there’s so many self imposed, I feel barriers to selling. And then what how do we expect people to buy like, seriously, like, I find it such an interesting thing.
Shannon Dunn 17:07
I know, years ago, I changed the language I used around selling not so much for me, but around my ideal clients. LIke you said they’re very values driven, they really wanted to show that they cared and they didn’t want to come across as pushy or, it’s like but you have a business, you need to ask people to buy from you. Yes. But it kind of changed that whole narrative or the word I guess the language around sales and selling to, It’s an invitation, you’re inviting people to join you. And by the way, they have to pay to be part of that. You invited them to just like you inviting someone to go to a concert with you, need to pay for tickets, right? Yes, yeah, it’s kind of that kind of thing. And it made a shift for people. But I can see how the UX approach can definitely make selling easier, because you is not that, I guess, that mindset so much, potentially, of I think, what is the something I heard this morning, someone was talking about the difference between being convicted in what you’ve got to share. And being convincing, having to convince people to get the thing you’ve got to share.
Susan Reoch 18:12
Yeah, you’ve just given two really powerful examples of how important the words are, that we use, and how those subtle changes can actually have a really big impact in how someone sees things in their mind or perceives you in their mind. So it really is about finding those words. Yeah. You know, and that’s the curiosity part of me that I just love. I’m like, Okay, what are the right words? What do people say, and how can I reflect this back to them? So they feel seen and understood,
Shannon Dunn 18:46
Because language is such an important part of being human, of course. But at the same time, there’s so much perception and assumption around certain words and what they mean, what we think they mean, what we think that our audience thinks they mean, what their actual literal meaning is. Yes. It’s such an interesting thing. And I see, and you would have seen this in the years you’ve been in business now, the trends of certain kinds of words that then become like mass used and feel like they actually have no meaning. And yes, kind of gloss on by. Yeah, but what how do we, I guess, come to the place where we’re using the language that does resonate with our audience, our ideal client community, but we’re not falling into the trap of the jargon and the trending of whatever the industry you find yourself in.
Susan Reoch 19:40
Yeah no. Well, exactly. Well, I think like, the first thing is to use plain language. And I know everyone is always like, Oh, no, I don’t want to use plain language. That’s so boring.
Shannon Dunn 19:40
One example is when I think about some of the more well known business coaches in certain parts of the world, when I’m watching someone’s sudden brand evolution, they change their visuals, their imagery or their colors, and then the words they start using, Oh, I see you who you started working with. Its like they adopt that persona rather than actually really stay connected to who they are, what matters to them, what’s important and their ideal clients, which are not the same as that coach or person that they’re learning, mentoring with, whatever, Yes, we kind of stay in that rather than get swayed by all the trends in the fun fancy funny kind of words that often make no sense at all.
Shannon Dunn 20:39
We’re being told we need to stand out. If I use plain language, are we standing out.
Susan Reoch 20:43
Yeah, you actually will stand out if you use plain language, because everyone else is using all these wild jargon. But I always say that like is Hemingway boring. So there’s two parts of language or there’s two parts to copy. There’s the messaging, what you’re saying. And then there’s the how you’re saying. And the how you’re saying it is always going to be best if it’s in really plain language, that’s really easy for people to understand. But that doesn’t mean that your message or your concepts have to be simple, or like, really dialed down. They can be really complex and interesting and thought provoking. But they’re going to be so much more powerful if people can understand them more quickly. So that’s the balance that you’re looking for. And I think the way to stand out is by provoking thought, in people, not by using fancy flowery language, and it’s like hacking through weeds,
Shannon Dunn 21:40
Or jargon. That’s industry specific to your training or qualification or expertise. But the people that what you do, what you share, what you create, is intended for, don’t know the jargon specific words.
Susan Reoch 21:53
No, they don’t. And the key to that is to simply talk to those people, or look where they’re showing up in Facebook groups, Amazon reviews, Reddit threads, whatever it is, and see the words that they use, and then use those words, use those same plain language words that they use to describe the thing that you’re talking about. And you’re going to come up with some amazing stuff. I guarantee it.
Shannon Dunn 22:17
I know one of my favorite places to go looking for the language my ideal people use is in the testimonials that I asked for, and they provide.
Susan Reoch 22:25
Yes. Oh, yes, absolutely.
Shannon Dunn 22:27
Give them a kind of a little framework. I know I do. And I’m sure you do, because you’d like your little frameworks and surveys.
Susan Reoch 22:33
Shannon Dunn 22:34
Where were you before? What were you looking for? What did you do or learn or change? Whatever? What was the outcome? How are you now? I’ve written a little formula to get us beautiful story and there’s all the language.
Susan Reoch 22:48
Yep. Yep, absolutely. There’s all your messaging right there, right? And the exact words that you can use and weave into your headings or your body copy, you know, wherever it is. Absolutely. Yeah,
Shannon Dunn 22:59
Very cool. I remember that – last year, it might have been might be the year before now – writing like it almost like a glossary of coaching terms. It’s more probably business coaching terms, to be honest. Because at the time, I’d had a group of incredible women that were in a mastermind with me that were very savvy like smart women who just liked it to say it as it is kind of thing. You know how sometimes put a certain style of your type of person all kind of gets connected together in the same group. And they were all like that.
Shannon Dunn 23:31
And they remember one particular word, this is a word that gets used a lot in business programs and coaching programs. They’re like, what do people mean when they say container, come to my content. And one of them said to me, I feel like I’m gonna be shoved in a plastic box and have a lid stuffed on. It’s like Tupperware but not the kind that has the breathing hole. Right. So that that prompted this kind of like locale, let me kind of share my understanding from what I’ve seen about some of the terms that are commonly used in my industry. But what they really mean like, let’s get into plain English them, right? That was the start of it. But there was a lot of different things that came up. And again, this whole industry, specific jargon that when you actually look at the word really doesn’t mean much at all.
Susan Reoch 24:20
And I think the thing is, and where people often come to me and they’re like, but Susan, you’re telling me to write really short, snappy copy. And I can’t do that without using these jargon terms. But I actually think that it’s not worth sacrificing clarity for length. Do you know like, always go for clarity first. And then you can focus on okay, what can we cut out? How can we make this shorter but yeah, clarity is key. And when you’re talking about containers, and all these industry specific terms, like probably right this can be the worst for it. So many copywriters talk about connecting and converting, right, which is what we just want we do that is exactly what we do. Like we try to form an emotional connection with the user, and then we try and get them to buy something. Even saying that is so much clearer than saying, I’m gonna connect and convert your clients because as a reader, or as someone who is not a copywriter. I don’t I don’t know what that means.
Shannon Dunn 25:24
No, no, that’s it. Its so interesting, isn’t it how groups of people in industries or businesses or whatever, end up en masse usually adopting a certain or some specific terms, that to people outside of that space means nothing. And I think the thing that people forget is often their ideal clients are outside of that space. Yes, exactly. That was my client. I think I’m just remember who it was. It said that it was she was an HR strategist, spend time with business coaches, and business mentors, and people, you know, like, you and I are working with business owners,…
Shannon Dunn 26:01
Shannon Dunn 26:03
high level corporate government kind of things. It’s strategy at that level for HR. Yeah. And I just cracked me up when she said it. And I was like, Yeah, I know, it’s never word that made sense to me. And I shared that article I wrote at that time, and a few people come to me, and when I like “container”, that’s fine. You can like it. It just didn’t make sense to me. And when I had it pointed out like that, it really didn’t make sense to me. So for what it is, it’s a group. Yeah. Yeah. Just one example of many funny things that have come up for sure. For sure.
Shannon Dunn 26:37
So I know you’re phenomenal Beyond Web Copy program gets rave reviews. I can see you share them, which is great. Yeah. Practicing what you teach? Yeah. And I’m seeing more and more copywriters taking it, which I think is a very cool thing. And I know that you’ve also shared very openly that it’s not just for copywriters either, there’s others that do come and take your course, and learn to be UX – I’m not gonna say – the word converted came to mind – but they become immersed in that UX experience, right? Which is amazing. But for all the DIY-ers out there, all the business owners who were attempting at various levels of success to write their own copy, I think often from the feedback I’ve had through perception, and perhaps reality that a copywriter is too expensive to invest in. So they go, that’s all right, I can write, I passed English at school, or whatever language is your first language. Yeah. So for the DIY-ers is, what are the common mistakes you see people are making with their copy through that lens of UX?
Susan Reoch 27:46
Okay. So I’d like to give everyone like some quick wins that they can walk away with, because there’s more complex stuff that you can do as well, always. But some quick wins that people can do. First of all, with their website, this is something that I think everyone should do. And hardly anyone does is actually walk through it as if you are going to buy something from yourself, whatever it is, whether that’s getting in touch for a sales call, or whether that’s buying something off an ecommerce site. Actually go through that journey, because that’s what we talk about in user experience. We’re not talking about reading from the top of the page and reading down the page and liking the way it all sounds. We’re like, how does actually someone move through this journey? Because people click around. They’re not just reading things top to bottom. In fact, they’re barely reading down the bottom at all, if you’d like most website. So actually, just going through that clicking on the links, and is there anything missing? Do you need anything extra? Or can things be taken away? Can you streamline it in some way? Can you make it easier in some way? So I think just as a very easy little tasks that everyone can do, that’s something that they can do and see if there are any opportunities there. If you’ve got a free download that puts people on your email list, what’s the experience like of that? Sign up for your own thing.
Susan Reoch 29:11
You know, see what that experience is, like. Are there any kind of ways that you can make it easier, clearer, more simple to get in touch and work with you. I think that’s one thing that they can do. A little formatting thing that is my pet peeve is long blocks of text that is all center aligned. You see it a lot on long form sales pages. And it’s just very hard for the eye to track back to different lines, it is much easier, what you need to do is just bring in the margins, and left align it so it still looks nice and neat in that single column to bring it all over. That said, long blocks of text in general are not great. You know, is there any way you can break it up with subheadings, bullet points? You know, these kinds of things just to make it easier for people to skim down.
Susan Reoch 29:15
We often don’t realize until we find ourselves literally eyeball, you know, looking at how challenging it can be to read some styles of writing.
Susan Reoch 30:14
Shannon Dunn 30:15
All center. Yeah, fonts is a whole other thing entirely. Yeah, really fine font. My eyes are in their 50s now, they don’t see stuff, right? Yeah, tiny font where I have to constantly kind of bring it out. So I can see the size of it. Light colors on light colors, like Iight colours on dark colours – like all of the design stuff. But then if your words aren’t actually aligned in a way that our natural eye is designed, and trained through the way we read books, you know, school and stuff to read, get left to right, and as you said, left aligned.
Susan Reoch 30:50
Yes, exactly. So things like little, little things like that. Another one that I see a lot in emails, is just having the word here, linked. So it’ll be like, grab your free, I don’t know, seven steps to writing better UX copy, here. And then just the tiny little here. And if someone’s scanning that they’re just going to see here, they’re not going to see the whole CTA or the whole call to action. You know, so link the whole thing. So they’re just a few quick tips that everyone can quickly go and check and update and from and DM me on Instagram until you’ve done it.
Shannon Dunn 31:28
That’s a really great piece of accountability. And I think anyone who just went into a complete state of overwhelm right, then just update things as you come across them. Like if you’re reviewing a sales page for a program that you have hosted previously, and you just gonna update it with a more user experience lens now that you know more about that. And you’ve got feedback from the past participants that have taken it, and it was center aligned with big blocks of text. Now you can change it, don’t go and do it now, if you’re not going to use necessarily that sales page straightaway.
Shannon Dunn 31:57
So. And here, the hyperlink thing I love I remember someone saying that to me years ago, like don’t just do the like the tiny word at the end kind of thing. Yeah. And also don’t just bold the tiny word at the end so you think that makes people stand out. Years and years ago, when I was still in corporate, I had a boss and I was in a senior project management role. And she was obsessed with whitespace. All the hundreds of pages of scoping documents and things guides, manuals, workbooks we would write and create as part of a project. She was always like you need more whitespace, no one can read it, its all smashed together .Like in even like the, the distance between like line spacing and font size she was so particular about. And I’m so grateful, because I learned so much. It stuck with me and I make everything bigger in terms of a font size. I won’t want anyone’s eyes to strain to read it.
Susan Reoch 32:55
No exactly, and especially when you consider mobile as well.
Shannon Dunn 33:00
It’s so easy these days to check whether something is actually mobile responsive. Bring it up on your phone.
Susan Reoch 33:09
Or just drag browser across is how we see how it looks.
Shannon Dunn 33:13
I know. So it’s all these different things, hey. So much more. Okay. So what’s your pet hate as a user? So think about your favorite things. I know. In fact, I think I saw you share this in one of your emails just recently about your list of the things you’re ready to buy for Black Friday, because we’re right at that time. Right. So thinking about the things you’ve got in your kind of your periphery, if you like, or in your vision to go and purchase, what will be your pet hate that could turn you off buying from a particular place, because of the lack of user experience. Aside from the lots of text and center aligned.
Susan Reoch 33:56
Well, I think and this is something that happens quite a lot on ecommerce actually, is when you go to buy and you’re trying to put in your details, and you can’t. So a pop up pops up or something like that, that you can’t figure out how to make it go away on mobile or…
Shannon Dunn 34:15
pops up and then seems to hide so you can’t even turn it off.
Susan Reoch 34:19
Yeah, things like that. You know, that kind of thing will immediately make me go, nuh I’m not going to do it. And just not having like something a little bit more copyrighted a little less design related. I mean, with UX, I really do overlap quite a lot. It’s hard to talk about the copy without talking design, can’t talk design without talking about the copy. But a little bit more copy related is if I don’t have all the information that I need. If I don’t know for example, a lot of things on my list are Christmas presents if there’s no details about when I’m going to receive them – I won’t buy them. Delivery times. If I go to buy shoes, but then I have to go back two steps to find the sizing chart. Do you know all these points of friction, not having the right information is what’s going to turn me off buying. And it’s a similar thing if you’re selling, for example, a digital course, you know, but people go when do I get it? What’s going to happen? Well, you know, the anxiety is okay, I’m gonna put in my credit card details, I’m going to click this button. But then what? So just making sure that everyone has the information they need, when they need it, so that they feel really confident buying from you.
Shannon Dunn 35:30
I feel even just in reflection thinking about that now, as a business owner, I think we do most of our purchases online, particularly when it comes to programs, even working with coaches or mentors or copywriters, or designers, whatever. We often like that actual transaction piece of handing over money is all digital these days. And I find it interesting to see in reflection now listening to what you’re saying, the variations of what you see on FAQs, or like the kind of things you need to know what is best to include and how many actual questions they have left unanswered?
Susan Reoch 36:09
Yes, yeah. Yeah, I mean, a great way. You know, just like you gave the advice not to rush out and like wildly update everything all in one turn, with your FAQs, just update them as you’re receiving. So when you’re when you’re when ou’ve got a promotion on, someone asks you a question. Tthat is probably a question someone else also has, especially if you’re getting it multiple times, so put it in the FAQ, or even better, you know, incorporate it into the copy as well.
Shannon Dunn 36:38
Now I’m going to look at things like that in a whole different lens yet again, and going Ah, here’s all the questions I have. None of those got answered. Right. I also think there’s an acknowledgement there. And I like that you said we get our something multiple times that if there’s one person who asked you one question, that doesn’t mean necessarily you have to go and update your FAQs with the answer to that question. And the answer to that, if it’s, particularly if it seems to come across as very personalized, answer the question – don’t not answer it – but it might not necessarily need to go in your FAQ section.
Susan Reoch 37:17
No, definitely. There will always be, and that’s with any kind of feedback, and I think that that’s something that I think about quite a lot with the work that I do. And the way that I put myself out there is, you know, the ego can take a bit of a battering, because if you put yourself out there for feedback, you’re gonna get it.
Shannon Dunn 37:39
To tell you every single new thing.
Susan Reoch 37:43
So I always accepted graciously. And I always try to leave it a day before making the decision about whether it’s something I should take on because one of two things can happen. Either I panic. And I’m like, Oh, my goodness, I need to update this thing straight away. I can’t believe I did that blue box. And then a day later, I’m like, actually, you know, that’s just that person’s opinion. That’s not something I need to take on. I go, Who are they to tell me this? Don’t they know that blah, blah, blah. And I’d like want to dismiss it. And then a day later, I’m like, well, actually, okay, maybe the delivery was, but the, the content was actually really helpful. Yeah. I love that.
Shannon Dunn 38:21
So you’re having that space between requesting, receiving and actually actioning any feedback that you receive, particularly if you asked for it. But yeah, it’s so fascinating the different things that become important to individuals and I know over the years with the kind of clients that I work with who are ambitious they want to achieve, so they, quality and standards are really important to them. So they want to be giving the best that they possibly can the best kind of experience for their clients.
Shannon Dunn 38:53
And they might have someone who becomes that person who nothing that they share or do or how they do it is ever right for that individual. And they might end up in coaching having a conversation going, should I change? should I…. like everything from the price, to the way it’s delivered, to the way a support is provided, to the resources, the name of a program – had that one come up recently with a client she’s like, someone just keep telling me the name of our program is shit i think was the word she used. It was like one person amongst 30 and I was like, listen to the masses. Take that person’s feedback on but if it’s one person and it’s the same person, it’s not that it’s not important, listen to it, but it doesn’t mean that’s the person to listen to to go and change everything. Yeah, business models. No, no, because someone didn’t like that. Yeah, listen to the masses. I love it. Yeah.
Shannon Dunn 39:44
You’ve just recently launched your new website. What was that experience like? Doing that through the lens of being a UX copywriter?
Susan Reoch 39:55
Oh, man, The pressure – it was so intense. It was like this site had to be perfect.
Shannon Dunn 40:03
And I remember looking at your last website, and that kind of just flowed for me, so I was like how can she make it even better.
Susan Reoch 40:10
Yeah, well, I came to realize, so I’m still gonna keep my personal website, although that will be having an overhaul as well, because I’m sort of pivoting in the way that I position myself. But what I really realized Shannon was that I was running two businesses. So I’ve got my client work, which is amazing. And I love it. And I do things like this, where I talk about what I do, and I get up on stage and, you know, all that kind of good stuff. And I love that so I was doing that part of my business.
Susan Reoch 40:37
But then I also have this amazing coaching program for copywriters or people that want to be UX copywriters. And I’m developing more and more courses and resources there too. And I kind of came, it just was feeling too hard to talk about both of them on the same website. So I ended up in a very common situation with a lot of online business owners where I had landing pages built on ConvertKit, built on Thrivecart and built on WordPress, you know, and they’re all just sort of floating in satellite and sort of duct taped together. And it was fine when I was in the startup phase of my business. But ultimately, I’m like, No, I need a refined online presence. So I can really give this business my all, and that’s what the UX copywriter, so everyone can go to theUXcopywriter.com and check it out. And it’s an amazing
Shannon Dunn 41:47
So it’s a great website, everyone can go to it, theUXcopywriter.com. And at the heart of it is this amazing blog, because I just wanted to be able to help as many people as I could. And I decided that I was going to do that through blog form. So I am every week uploading these incredibly helpful resources. But people can also download freebies, they can just come into my world and get to know me, get to know what UX copywriting is all about. And what having that one presence does is whenever I have an opportunity like this, I can just refer people to that one place, instead of being a landing page for that, here’s a landing page for this and always having to sort of bootstrap things together, it just feels so good to have like, you want to know what I’m about. Here’s the URL.
Shannon Dunn 42:34
Right? So I love it. And I think that there’s a time in our evolution and maturity in business where this is kind of necessary, as grown up decisions about where our information is actually stored. And to make it so easy for people to find it.
Susan Reoch 42:55
Make it easy for people to find it, but also make it easier for you to run your business, you know, like having a really good website, it’s like having an employee. What job do you want to give your website? And that’s what I wish more people would think about websites like instead of being like, oh, I need to have an online presence. It needs to like sound amazing. Be like, Well, no, what do I actually want to outsource? You know, and it doesn’t have to be everything, but what can I give my website? What job can it do for me 24/7 in the background.
Shannon Dunn 43:25
That’s a great thing to think about. I find I feel like people who have websites for their business, one or more, because I’ve got two as well, one just for the Thrive Factor , and then my Thrive Factor Co for coaching and everything. Either tend to, particularly the DIYers come in and constantly be updating and changing and refreshing everything, like kind of like almost going through every page all the time, often in a reactive way. Or they don’t touch their websites at all. How do we find a happy medium if we are creating and putting our own content onto our website? Like UX lens, you know, excluded.
Susan Reoch 44:08
I think it’s a that’s a really interesting question. And I think it will be different for everyone. I think it is good to every few years, sort of audit your website. Is it still serving the purpose and the job that I want it to do? And if not, then what updates do I need to make? Do I need a completely new site? You know, can I get away with just refreshing a few things? Does the brand just need an update? Are the words still working? You know, all those kinds of things. I think that’s really good to do. I think going in and just tweaking a heading because you think something sounds better or because you saw something similar in someone else’s site and you thought Oh, that would look kind of cool to do that. I feel like that’s busy work that can distract from actually moving forward in your business.
Shannon Dunn 45:04
It can take up a lot of time content, just those little tiny tweaks and stuff all the time.
Susan Reoch 45:09
Yeah exactly. And the more you pull that thread then more unravels. And the more you start, like tweaking and changing, you’re not looking at it from that holistic journey sort of perspective.
Shannon Dunn 45:24
I even did that recently with something on a page that I had consciously consciously and intentionally decided to make some updates on like it was all planned out thing, knew what it was going to be and then all of a sudden, I saw a couple of spelling mistakes and a grammar mistake. This page has been live for a good couple of years. And I’m like, How did I not see it because I’m really like particular about those kinds of things. Where did they come from? Like, I’m sure there’s a gremlin gone in and change stuff, right? But again, then you’re like, oh, do I need to check every other page on my website or every blog post? And no, no, no, no.
Susan Reoch 46:01
I make typos all the time. I’m like these rare words person that’s like, life is too short to proofread. Literally, like I proofread, but not to that level. Copywriters all around the world are like clutching their pearls. I do not speak for all copywriters.
Shannon Dunn 46:23
Also any authors that are listening, just wait, if you haven’t yet or if you have you’ll know you’ll have had this, you publish your book, right? It’s gone through so many sets of eyeballs, editors, like the design, you’ve read it inside out, your teams, or whatever you’ve had people read it as like sample chapters, whatever. And you get the print version, you even read through – which is my process -read through that check every single page for design, layout, words, right? It’s all good, so good, so good, then you put in the order to actually order them because people have bought them. And then you find that they’re like the glaringly obvious like it’s got a big bright red line all over it. Massive spelling mistake, usually in our, like, one of the early pages or somewhere really critical. Like, what Where did you come from?
Susan Reoch 47:16
Totally. The good thing about writing for digital….
Shannon Dunn 47:20
Easy to update.
Susan Reoch 47:22
Totally. That’s the benefit. But also with typos. I’m always like I know someone is going to point it out to me. Just put it on LinkedIn and you don’t have to do any proofreading ever again. Yeah, true. Right.
Shannon Dunn 47:37
I think maybe for my next I’ve got a little book coming out before the end of this year. Yeah, certain little kind of journal style one. In fact, this is the first time even sharing that. But for my next big book, which might be end of next year, early the year after I’m doing kind of deep in the manuscript right now, which is usually a good two year process, I might make even a competition of who can find and show me proof of the typos or spelling mistakes, because we know it’s gone through all the appropriate processes to make sure there are none. And see which of them and I even know which two Archetypes are the two that are going to dive straight in. Right? When I’ve received feedback around typos, if there are people that I know, and I’ve profiled through the lens of the Thrive Factor, they always have one particular Archetype. It’s just like, there you go, she’s come to light again, hello. So very funny. It’s so funny.
Shannon Dunn 48:08
And it’s good. We need those people.
Shannon Dunn 48:35
Susan Reoch 48:39
That’s what makes the world so great.
Shannon Dunn 48:41
And there’s part of me that kind of almost like sits back for a little bit goes, Okay, which one of them’s going to contact me first. It’s like, it’s a little game that I play. And I am grateful for that feedback. But it’s how consistent some people are in having to give it to you. Funny, but also thinking about the UX lens of copywriting. And that, I guess, a connecting and converting how valuable knowing your Archetypes and therefore knowing the potential Archetypes, who your ideal clients has been for my clients is when they were writing to a version of ourselves. And I’ve shared this a lot that over about 14 years or so that I’ve been using the Archetypes in my business and working with clients with them, 60 to 70% of our own Archetypes are highly likely going to show up in our ideal clients. You’re literally writing or speaking to a version of yourself. Stop thinking about the jargon and all the like fancy language and all the things we talked about before. Talk to you. Yes, right. Yeah, that’s a like immediate opportunity to have some user experience without someone kind of learning from you or hiring someone like yourself, Susan to really take it to the next level. Yeah.
Shannon Dunn 48:47
I’ve got some questions. I need to ask you right now, though, that I asked all of our guests On the show, the first one I’d love to know your answer to is, what role does leadership play in your life and business?
Susan Reoch 50:05
Yes, I love this question so much. And I think it’s something that has been a real focus in my business this year. Although I might have phrased it differently. But really what this year has been about for me is about self leadership, following my own Northstar, and not letting myself get too caught up in comparisons and doubts. I think because I do put myself and my programs and my copy everything out there. You know, it’s easy to get sort of like pulled in one direction. And so it’s really about learning to trust myself, and to know that I know where I’m heading, and I can take everything in, but I can’t be taken off course.
Shannon Dunn 50:51
That’s so good. And then how often do we end up finding ourselves immersed in almost like somebody else’s identity? Without actually realizing that we have gone off course and forgotten that we have a Northstar, that is actually there to guide us. So my friend, how do you know when you’re thriving?
Susan Reoch 51:12
I love this question, too. And I feel like I can tap into something very recent because I was on vacation not that long ago. So for me, I know that I’m thriving, when I have time and energy to focus on things outside of my business. I’m someone when I’m under a lot of pressure, I will work harder. Like I am not someone that just naturally lights a candle, has a bath, like no. Go all in and do more work harder. So I know that I’m really thriving, when my life feels more in balance, when I’m surrounded by the people I love. And when I’m doing work that really inspires me. And when I’m really excited by the future, when I can see when I’ve got my eyes up.
Shannon Dunn 51:59
So many of us would have own variation of that shared experience of when there’s deadlines, when there’s pressure, when there’s expectations from yourself and perceived expectations or real ones from others. That kind of blinkers come up right? And the narrow focus comes in and everything else gets abandoned. Usually our self care first. So yeah, when we can open those up and have more space, it’s a very different lived experience, isn’t it?
Susan Reoch 52:29
Right and it’s so important. That’s what I’m in business for. I’m not in business just to build a business, I’m in business to have an amazing life.
Shannon Dunn 52:38
Right remember why we started? Yeah, exactly. Yes, I was having a conversation yesterday who was going on about but I don’t know how and I was like, stop focusing on how. Why? And potentially what could the end experience look like? So you’ve got kind of a vision to work towards but why is it important to you, the how will end up working itself out exactly.
Shannon Dunn 53:00
Alright, so if anyone is curious to know more, and I will just say at this point in time anyone who does end up following you on Instagram, which is I know is your kind of favorite place to hang out and social media, Susan has a lot of very fun reels that you share. I love your reels like whats she got now.
Susan Reoch 53:17
Such a dork.
Shannon Dunn 53:19
I love it though. I can remember connecting with those early on when I kind of got to know you a little bit but then getting to know you so much more on a much deeper way, more particularly this year with the stuff that we were doing with Annie it’s like of course, of course its you. It’s you being your authentic self, which I love. So where do people go to get that experience?
Susan Reoch 53:44
Yeah, well now there’s two social accounts you can follow me on if you want to learn more about writing incredible copy, that is super feels really amazing to write and helps you get more sales and connect with your users in a really genuine way. You should come and follow @theUXcopywriter. That’s on Instagram. And if you want to follow me and see the kind of podcasts that I’m showing up on, on stages that I’m talking to, or new things that I’m publishing, come and follow me at @Susanreoch_copywriter.
Shannon Dunn 54:15
Yeah, so we’ll link those and the website and everything to the websites I should say, to the show notes so it’s easy for people to find you. So one of the things a lot of the guests that we have on the show ended up having a resource that you can connect people to you’ve got lots of great things you’ve created, what have you got to share with us like and then we’ll make sure the link for that is also available. What’s your kind of favorite thing to share for people who want to know more about UX everything?
Susan Reoch 54:46
Yes, um, you know what, it’s a little bit….I’ve got two things. The first thing is I really think my newsletters are the best content you can get from me. They’re super entertaining. Yeah, they’re amazing. definitely sign up for those. So they’re just coming, jump on my newsletters and you’ll get my best content. There is also if anyone wants what I talked about before about moving through your website and following the user journey, if anyone wants to become more intentional in doing that, or would just like a little bit of hand holding with that, there is a resource that I’ve got, it’s free course, it’s very small and bite sizes, three steps to it, it’s called the Microcopy Micro Course, because micro copy of the little road signs that are on your website that point people in the direction that they need to go. So people absolutely download that for free. It’s great. There’s lots of before and afters. So you’ll be really inspired, and I list out all the microcopy that’s on your site in the beginning. And you’ll be shocked at how much microcopy you actually have on your website.
Shannon Dunn 55:52
I think one of my favorite places to look for interesting microcopy is on buttons. So you know, when you get you’re about to buy something, it says “buy here” or “click here”. Yeah, everyone says that. But it’s like, you know, the answer to your dreams is on the other side of this button. I mean, right. That kind of playful, fun, enticing, not what you expect to read.
Susan Reoch 56:20
I love that you’re doing that.
Shannon Dunn 56:23
I’ve invested quite a number of, of times to work with, or to learn from copywriters, of different kinds over the years because I love writing, it’s no surprise to me that I ended up being an author. I love written creation, the whole experience of it. And I understood early on that just trying to DIY it all myself was not the way to do it. But also I had so many clients asking me for kind of support for things to do with their content creation from a marketing perspective. And a lot of that ends up being their copy, the captions, all that kind of stuff.
Shannon Dunn 56:58
So that you know what this is important to arm myself with enough to support my clients until we get to a point where I’m like, It’s time for you to move to a copywriter. But it fascinates me how we use words, everything about that. And how we can be Yes, fun and playful, engaging and show a personality with our words. And I know that sometimes I have to remember to bring two of my Archetypes and not let the other two – who usually the ones that are in charge of writing the words – one of them who the Mentor Teacher is far more serious about getting the facts right. Let her kind of ease off a little bit. Let some of the creative more colorful, inspiring stuff come forward.
Susan Reoch 57:39
Yes, I’ve just finished creating a resource all about that Shannon actually.
Shannon Dunn 57:45
Look out for that in your newsletter. Before we say a final goodbye. There’s one last question I’d like to ask you. What’s a final piece of wisdom that you can leave for, you know the ambitious impact making legacy driven creating souls that are listening to us today? That are probably a lot of DIYers, I’m going to put it out there ladies, or gentleman if any gentleman listening. If you’re not. That’s awesome. I’ve also have invested in copywriters, I don’t just DIY everything. But a lot of us. I think when we think we’re clever, we just do it ourselves. But what’s the final piece of wisdom you can share with them?
Susan Reoch 58:21
Copy related or…
Shannon Dunn 58:23
Anything that comes to mind?
Susan Reoch 58:25
Yeah, I think, Okay, I’m gonna make a copy related then. I think when you’re writing your copy, just always have in your mind. How would I say this to a friend that I really wanted to help? I feel like that’s something that I always hold in my head. When I’m writing a copy for myself or whether I’m writing copy for a client, How would I communicate this? How would I just say this to a friend that was having this problem? And I believe this was the solution? How would I tell them about it?
Shannon Dunn 58:56
I think when you take that approach, you kind of sink more into your heart don’t you then being in the intellect of…
Susan Reoch 59:02
..what word do I need to put so that…
Shannon Dunn 59:07
How long was that sentence? Have I written too much. Yeah, yeah. I love it. Of course. Thank you so much for joining me. I’m so glad we got to do this. And listeners thank you for tuning in. I hope that there’s been one but I feel many things that you can take from our conversation today. And I say this often. If there is something that Susan said today that has really piqued your interest Oh, got you intrigued – go and follow her. And I love when I’m on podcasts – I love this one – but I love when I’m a guest on other people’s podcasts when someone reaches out and messages me and I heard you talk about and this is where. So go and DM her she’s very very aren’t you, very open to receiving. So let Susan know that you heard something, and what it was and what you’re gonna do about it. Like take some action, don’t just go that was a cool conversation. And now I feel like I’ve got a massive list. Write the list do one little thing at a time.
Susan Reoch 1:00:01
Right? I love it.
Shannon Dunn 1:00:04
Thank you so much, Susan. Thank you everybody. I look forward to being back with you with a new episode very soon.
Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.
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