Home » Ep 119: Content Creation & Story Telling Made Easy

Ep 119: Content Creation & Story Telling Made Easy

All right, ladies, welcome to the she is extraordinary podcast, I am here with Sabrina pies, and she had been responsible for content marketing for honey Brook. Most recently she is the head of marketing for a company that I just love. It’s called flow desk, okay? And they help entrepreneurs design emails that people love to open. If you’re not familiar with flow desk, you’ve got to check it out.

Because I’m in love with it. I mean, they’re actually very pretty. And they make you look like your graphic designer. I mean, I don’t even know how they do it. But anyway, Sabrina has 15 years in all things marketing with a focus on storytelling. Let’s welcome Sabrina to the show. How are you, Sabrina? I’m doing great. Thanks for having me, Judy. Oh, I am so honored to have you here. And Sabrina just told me that this is her first podcast ever. So I’m just I’m just honored again that you’ve chosen this year’s extraordinary podcast to kind of as your inaugural.

I’m honored. I’m very excited. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I’m, you know, I was introduced to you by one of my primer experts inside my best to thrive Academy, Kayla, who is a copywriter extraordinaire, and she raved about you. And so I thought we’d start there to kind of give the ladies an idea of your story how you got to where you are today. Yeah, great question. So I think I mentioned to you that it’s kind of been like this weird, interesting path. And like, I’m so thankful that but my first podcast is with this audience and like, people, women of faith, because I’ve had this realization that faith has been at the core of my career journey. And I’ve only now just like really started to realize that so it’s always started with like, me always trying to do the right thing. And like what I think, is what’s gonna get me to the next thing. But I’ve always felt like this, this pole, this calling inside to do something to do the these other little things. And to me, it was always just like, okay, those are like, interests I have, and I’m gonna, I’m not really gonna fully indulge those things, I’m going to stick to my, my path I’ve made for myself, I’m just gonna, like, entertain those as like hobbies.

And so an example of that is like, even at college, it was like, I was going to be an economics major, because that was going to lead to a solid career choices after, but I had this interest in psychology. And so I double majored because I was like, well, I’ll just add on those extra classes, and I double majored. And I was convinced that my economics degree was going to get me my first job. Turns out, I was really in love with psychology and research. And so I did a volunteer as a research associate for this one, a postdoc at UCLA. And that’s actually what led me to my first job, like, they didn’t really care about my economics degree. They’re like, everything about my psychology background, they really loved my first job. So so that’s like, the first thing where it’s like, I thought this was gonna be my path. And then it was like I was pulled this way. Wow. My first career was like, so I was in market research. And it was all very data analytics, heavy on the numbers. And I really struggled with it because I’m a little bit more of a creative person. And math is not my strong suit.

But like, I felt this other poll, right. So I’m trying to fill in this little poll about like, I’m feeling like I want to write and so I was like writing little blurbs for fun, like writing like anything like little emails to my friends. I started volunteering with an organization in LA, tutoring and helping edit young writers work. And I just really loved that.
And I was really miserable at my job. And my friend goes, you should get a job writing the words on the side of a vitamin water bottle. I don’t know if you are familiar with those, but they’re like really quippy and witty little piano text. And that’s when I learned for the first time about email, copywriting as a career like that someone got paid to write that copy. And so I started looking into how to become a copywriter myself, and it was like the chicken or the egg. It was like you need two to three years of experience for this entry level position. But then how do you get that experience if no one wants to give it to you because you need it? And so anyway, I one day I went out, I just sat down and I just started writing this like cover letter to apply to this job back in the bay area where the job was where I’m from. And it wasn’t like a dry cover letter where it’s like, dear sir, or Madam, these are my qualifications. It was like from the heart like a really creative piece of writing. And I sent it off and I heard back right away, and I got the job. So that’s like another piece have like I was feeling this poll to writing and being creative. And I thought I would just stick it out with his data job. And I ended up going the other direction. And so that theme just like continues and continues throughout my life, like, looking back at the pattern is so clear.

There are more and more pieces. It’s like I got a marketing job where I thought they would want to talk to me about marketing. But then what they want to talk to me about was a blog post, I wrote about redoing a guest bedroom on a $300 budget. And so it was just so now looking back, like every single pivotal moment of my career of my life that has led me to the next point. I’m realizing it’s like, it’s a God thing. And it’s like, he has made this path for me. And he’s put these like callings in my heart that have led me on this journey. But every time I’m like, I’m going to go, I’m going to go this way. And it just feels like such a struggle. Because it’s like, I’m trying to muscle my way into this path. That’s not really for me. And he’s like, making it so easy, like putting these very strong callings in my heart like, and if I just listened to that I would have saved so much time. But you know, we’re all stubborn. And I want to like do your own thing.

And so, I’ve just come into this realization, and it’s like, it’s amazing, because it’s like, now I know, I can just chill. Like, God has a plan for me. And if I just listened to what he’s telling me, I’m going to be happy, I’m gonna, I’m going to be doing the right thing. And so it’s really taking the burden off of trying to figure out what I should be doing next. And kind of like that, that rat race kind of feeling. Wow, that is so good. I can so relate to that. And I have no doubt, Sabrina, that there are ladies listening right now who have walked that walk themselves where they’re like, Well, I think the right thing to do, what maybe my parents thought I should do, or what I should do as a smart person, I need to go this way. But then you get to that amazing job, maybe and you feel like wait a minute, this doesn’t feel right. Something’s not right.

So that’s wonderful. And that’s yet another testimony that we need to, you know, look inside. But by that, you know, world when we say when we say look inside, then they’re thinking, it’s not it’s not the whole point, which is look at Jesus, like what is Jesus telling you to do? in those quiet moments as you’re reading the Bible, as you’re praying? And you say, Lord, something doesn’t seem right. Help me to know what you want me to do. And then as you said, Hey, God chose us to do it, then we know it’s gonna succeed. So that’s really awesome. Thanks. That’s really, really great. All right, so let’s jump into email marketing, because that is what flow desk is all about. And for those, like I said, that don’t know about flow desk. Why don’t you in your own words, as the marketing director, tell our listeners, what flow desk is and how it’s different than all those other email providers out there?
Yeah, great question.

This is a great exercise, because no one said, say it in your own words. Okay, so flow desk is an email marketing platform for small creative small business owners who understand the power of design and care about great design and aesthetics. We make it so easy for you to showcase your brand and have your emails be really effective, because they’re conveying your brand and your story. And they’re optimized for conversion. Yeah, that’s, that’s what I love that optimized for conversion. I know exactly what you’re saying. And I don’t want to get technical in the backend. But what that means, but, you know, it’s really it’s interesting. For those that study the open rates of emails these days, it’s like, if you have 15%, or 20%, you’re really doing very well. My guess would be that flow desk members have a heck of a lot more, a lot better open rates. And that’s what we’re talking about, right in the way of optimizing our emails and newsletters that we’re sending, right? Yeah, it’s to twofold. You’re absolutely right about the open rates. So that is really driven by your subject lines and your preview text.

So you can customize the preview text, which is if you’re looking at your email inbox, and you see the subject line, the preview text is the more faint texts right after it that kind of hints at what’s inside the email, and can really get people to open it. And then the second thing is, you’re sending this email to your audience for a reason, whether that’s to drive them to a piece of content you’ve created and spent so much time and energy creating, or you have something to sell, right you want to grow your business that way. And so you want to we help it be easy to get people to take that action that you want them to take. We want them to click on that link. To go to your shop to buy your product, click on that link your video to go watch your video. So your CTAs, your call to actions in the email itself as well. That’s excellent. And so why would I want to pick your brain on a chip? Because you mentioned subject line. And that is so important. Because if our subject line falls flat, a lot of times, people won’t open it, even if they know it’s coming from me or you. And they’re like, Oh, I like them. But if the subject line doesn’t do anything, you know, we really need to be compelling. So what are some tips you have to create a compelling subject line? Yeah, that’s a great question, I’ve got a couple of tips.

The first tip is, you can go about it a couple different ways. And I would recommend that you, you and like everyone listening, test it to see what is resonating with your audience. But a couple of things often resonate. And the first one is balancing what is inside your email, like, what’s the value that the person’s going to get.
So you want them to know what they’re going to get. But then if you just say it, like, this is what’s inside that’s kind of dry, and they might glance over it. But if you can add a layer of FOMO, like what they might be missing, you can turn it into a negative, like, here’s what not to do at your engagement session. So it’s telling you, you’re going to learn about engagement sessions in the email, but then it has that FOMO like what we what should I not do? Like the negative spin is a great one to get people to engage and to open for sure.

Or you can you can test and just do kind of more elusive, like, here’s, here’s what I didn’t do yesterday. And it’s like, it’s not really telling you what you’re gonna learn. But it’s very like, well, what was it? And so people might click through that way as well. So test both kinds of things and see what resonates with your audience. That’s awesome. That’s excellent. And anything different in the way of the preview portion of the subject line? Any, what do you what do you recommend there, along the same lines, or something different? I think it plays really nicely with your subject line. So if you’re saying something like very kind of elusive, like, here’s what I didn’t do yesterday, you can be a little bit more specific with the preview text. But without giving away the full thing, like you can say, like, make sure to open this for a special surprise. But don’t say like openness, there’s 50% inside, because then they’re not gonna open it, they already know what’s inside.

Wow, see, I really love this Sabrina, because these are subtle changes, like even just the example you just gave, but they’re powerful. And they could dramatically increase the open rates when you do that little difference. I love it. I love it. Well, one thing you mentioned about, you know, the email strategy, and you didn’t use the word strategy. But as you were talking, I was thinking, I think so many times, women write the emails, because they kind of feel like they need to send out that weekly email. But they’re not, they don’t really have the strategy behind it. Like, I always tell the ladies before you take any action, need to have a goal, like what’s the point? So it shouldn’t just be, oh, it’s Friday, I need to get out my newsletter. So then you just throw anything there, it needs to be, you know, value driven and full of value. So, you know, I’d love for you to give your input on that the importance of strategy, like, what would be the goal of these emails? I know there’s so many, but what have been the top strategies or goals of why we should be sending emails in the first place?

Yeah, I think it depends on I think, like, if we back it up to kind of like the beginning, your strategy, if you take a holistic view at it, is that you are trying to create a funnel of people trying to bring people in to the funnel so that the bottom of the funnel, you’re closing them, and you’re turning them into a sale or a client or whatever. So how do you start to bring people into your funnel? This is where I think if we look at social media, social media is terrific for helping you get discovered and helping you to connect with people you want to connect with. Because you’re creating content, and it’s there, they’re liking that content. But then when they leave your page, they’re off your profile, right. And even if they follow you on social media, they might not ever see your content, again, because of how the algorithm works. Or even if they do see your content, they might not be in a mindset when they’re mindlessly scrolling on Instagram to take action on that content. So the first step of your email marketing strategy is how can you leverage this person’s attention that you have captured on your Instagram profile and start to bring them into your funnel.

So that’s where you start to offer them your freebie. And I don’t know if I’m going to in the weeds here but this is good to read. I keep going I love that you offer them a freebie. So that’s like something of value, you know, people you want to connect with will want to know. Like, for example, if you’re a makeup artist and you hear all the time from people, how do I get really glowy luminous skin like, What’s your secret, you can turn that into a freebie, like, here are my five secret tips that makeup artist won’t share about how to get perfect skin. And you turn that into a giveaway or a freebie that people have to give you their email address to get that. So you start building your email list. And now you can reach your Instagram followers, even if they’re not on your profile. And so the next strategy is you’re thinking about your end goal. So what is your end goal you want to start if you’re a makeup artist, you want to start booking clients, where you want them to take your course. So how can you start to educate them. So first, you want to build your know, like trust factor.

So you want to be sharing content regularly that they want to know some more content, like your freebie to warm them up to show them that you’re an expert in the space. And then you want to share your thought leadership. So kind of like case studies showing up before and after that you did or behind the scenes of a shoot that you did where everyone looked for just because of your makeup skills. And then you know, once you’ve started warming them up regularly, now you can start to sell to them softly. So you can start to say, Do you want even more tips you want more one on one time with me take my my coaching session, or my code my mentorship program. And you can start to do that softly. What we’ve seen work really well is when people use that in the PS. So you’re just talking about like tips and things. And then at the end, it’s like PS want to connect even more, take my mentorship program. And then in your follow up emails, you can start to push that, that sales agenda a little bit more and make that the main piece of your email with a CTA going back to your product so that they can start to buy it.

You ladies, if you missed anything of what Sabrina just said, you’re gonna want to go back, like I know on podcast, you can go back 30 seconds, you’re gonna want to listen to this again, there were so many awesome nuggets in there and follow it to the letter. Um, you know, the PS I love it. You know, in a PS if you want to build your Instagram followers, for example, you can, if you have a quote, you can say this is this has been so inspirational, and I’ve gotten so many, so many comments from it better check it out and have a link back. Or in your example, you know, hey, do you want more information? Or do you want more? One on one? Let’s talk you know, that kind of thing. I love it. Um, I want to jump off of email specifically for just one moment, because you’re so good at writing. And for so many. It’s intimidating, right? It’s intimidating.

They’re looking at a blank page. And every week or every month, they’re like, Oh my gosh, what am I gonna say? What are some tips for those that are looking at that blank screen and get overwhelmed and really kind of dreaded? Yeah, great question. Um, a couple of tips. The first one is an I encourage anyone who gets stuck, like just me I get stuck to is say it ugly, right. So if you are stuck to like, I don’t know how to have this idea in my head. But I don’t know how to say it or how to convey it, just start somewhere, just start typing it out, or speak it out loud, like explain it to your best friend who’s may who may or may not be there, but just like explain it in words out loud to this person. And you’ll start to see when you’re speaking it that like some things you’re saying might not totally make sense or relate back to what you are the point you’re trying to make. And so it’s going to help you like get clarity on your messaging. And so that when you go to the page, it’s like you already kind of know like, this is what I want to say this is how I’m going to try to like make that point. So that’s one way it’s just kind of saying it ugly. The second way is thinking about like your target audience. You exist for a reason you have a gift for a reason. You’re here to help people, because you’ve seen that this group of people you want to help Have a problem or challenge. So how can you help them?

How can what small thing can you do if it’s answering an FAQ? A lot of times that they have or some challenge you’ve seen them struggle with what it what is it it doesn’t have to be super huge. It can just be like a small thing like the power of the PS I could write a whole email about. Have you tried this one strategy for sales and make an email about that it doesn’t have to be huge and groundbreaking to be one tip and in flow desk. It’s really nice to add in images so that your email is nice and full and engaging and compelling but you don’t need a ton and ton of text. And then my last tip is so many of us spend so much time creating our Instagram content are real or tik tok content, repurpose that content. Because remember, like 5% max of your followers are seeing your social content. So don’t be afraid, feel free if you’re doing carousels, use that content and repurpose it in your emails and share that with your list because 100% of your email list is going to get that content in their inbox. Whereas only two to 3% have seen it on social media. And again, it’s like I’ve had people where I repurpose content. And I know that they’re following me on Instagram, and they’re on my email list. And they’ll they’ll engage with it either on social on email, and no one’s ever like, you’ve already sent this content to me, I’m this is like, repetitive, like no one’s ever said that. So definitely repurpose is like your biggest friend.

And the whole batching. And, you know, gosh, I feel like I’m reinventing the wheel every week, or every month, I better come up with new content, content, but you can tweak it ever so much. Like even to me what you said the power the PS, I know that I can’t imagine any entrepreneur that wouldn’t open that and be like, at your every word saying oh my gosh, oh my gosh, and just eating it up. So that is so good. Ladies, do not be afraid to repeat. Because Sabrina makes a really good point. We think because we’re so deep in our own thing, that they’re sick of it, or that they’ve heard it. But I’d love to get your reaction to this Sabrina, as someone told me this recently, and it’s so true. And the Bible says this, too, there is nothing new under the sun. So when we’re trying to think of as you said, you know, this big thing, really, we just have to take what may have been said before, but put our twist on it. Right? Exactly. I love that. And one way you can do that is if you’re talking about a common principle is how you did it. Once your story in terms of that, like how did you use the ps? Like someone else’s using it that way? How did you use it? How did your audience react? So sharing your story around a often shared principle or strategy is great. Let’s go there for a second storytelling. That’s something that is really important in writing. And stories are better remembered than when we try to be cute and clever. And now, it’s what I love. I think it’s the best time to ever be an entrepreneur because you can let your hair down you can totally be yourself.

Authenticity is what is working. It makes sense. Right? So can you speak to that point? about storytelling? Yeah, about the I’m sorry about the power of storytelling? And how like, someone might be listening and say, What do you mean by storytelling? Like, oh, you know, a lot of times women especially, we look back at our life, and we’re like, I’m nobody special? Like, you know, why? Why does anybody care about the fact that I went through this struggle, or that I had this many jobs and that kind of thing. So I’d love you to speak to the power of storytelling, and how that would help to get the know, like, trust factor, even better between you and the people you’re trying to connect with? Yeah, I think storytelling is just a powerful way for us to connect. And it’s a vibrant way to kind of paint a picture for people. So for example, when you’re talking when you’re sharing emails that are like, showcasing your work, and like a before and after of a client you’ve worked with, you could you could just come out and be very factual about it and just say, I helped Megan like, lose 25 pounds, and this is what we did. And like, Okay, great. That’s, that’s perfectly fine. But imagine, like how much stronger that message could be if you wrote it in a story format. Like, when I first met Megan, she never left the house. She never talked about herself positively.

She wasn’t reaching her business goals, because she didn’t believe she could actually do it. She found me and she reached out. And over a course of five weeks, we uncovered you know, XYZ, but it’s like it that’s already like a storytelling process. So it’s really just the information you have How can you make it more of a story to draw people in than just presenting the facts. So I think whenever you can use storytelling, that’s the way to go. Because even as you were telling that story, I was much more intrigued and involved in what you were saying then I work with somebody she lost 25 pounds and she’s happy now. So I would love you to put you on the spot and I want to I’d love you to give one more example of that. Let’s say you are let’s say someone listening is a coach. There’s so many coaches in my group on the she’s extraordinary Facebook group. So she is a mindset coach and She specializes in, in dealing with, with stay at home moms who want to start a business, but they have literals. So can you create kind of an example of a success story a bit along those lines? Mm hmm. Okay. That’s okay.

Okay, so, you know, you could turn your you could tell your own story. So as the mindset coach,
you’re obviously helping people because you’ve been there. And you overcame that through a series of steps or strategies that you have. And so you can share that like, you know, it’s my, it’s the one year anniversary of my my business of coaching, of coaching, mindset coaching. And I remember back in 2015, I was barely scraping by, I was pregnant, I had my three year old son, and I had no idea how I was going to pay the rent next month. But then I, you know what you did, but then it’s like, it’s painting that picture again, for people and it’s helping them put themselves in your shoes, like, Yes, I was there, I’ve been there. Like, I know how that feels, this person can see me, they understand me, it just helps to build that connection. Thank you for that. And I’m sorry, I did not mean to put you on the spot. But yet, I just really wanted this idea to sink in. Ladies, your story needs to be heard. And we know that that the Lord when he made you and knitted you in your mother’s womb, he has a plan and a purpose for you. And you’ve gone through some great times, no doubt, and you’ve gone through some not so great times, right? But it’s through the muck in the mire.

When we trust in the Lord, that You know, I know, for me, I’ve come out so much better on the other side. And sometimes as you’re going through something, you’re like, oh, why and it’s painful. But just know that when you do the storytelling, that is when you become more relatable, and people more easily connect to you. And so as a result, it’s going to like all of a sudden, someone’s gonna say, you know what, I get Sabrina. And it sounds like she gets me. So I’ve got to check her out. And it just again, helps that relatability factor. So thank you so much for allowing me to put you on the spot. Well, I can’t believe we’re coming to the end. That was a quick, that was a quick, you know, almost half an hour here. But I we talked a lot about email marketing. But are there any best practices that we haven’t touched on because I would love to see if we have anything else to to give to our listeners in that regard. So they can really optimize what they’re doing in that regard. Yeah, um, so back when we talked about the funnel, and like your strategy, I just kind of want to reiterate that because I hear so many times from business owners like I’m so tiny My business is so small, like, I am not ready for email marketing. And I just want to say it is never too soon to start your email list. Because that is your community.

That’s who you’re aiming to help. And the sooner you start, the faster your list is going to grow. Like if you wait until I don’t know what people are waiting for. But if you’re waiting until I have this many clients or my businesses this far along, it’s already too late, like start building your email list now. And so the way to do that, again, is to think about what freebie you can create. And you can create that in a Canva or an InDesign. But a secret is you can even create that right within flow desk, just use one of our email templates and put your freebie advice resource into the template. And you’ve got a freebie right there. So go to flow desk and sign up for your free trial. You can use my code, just my first name Sabrina for 50% off, create your freebie and then create a form. And then when you create a form, it’s going to generate a link for you. And then share that link everywhere in your Instagram. Link in bio, then promote it, make sure you promote it, putting it in your LinkedIn tree is is fine, but it’s not enough. So you want to go into your stories, you want to make a real about it, post about it regularly about what people why people should want it, what value they’re going to get from it, what benefits, what they’re going to learn from it. And then encourage them to go sign up in my Lincoln bio for this for this resource. And you’re gonna start building your email list so that you can have a community to help and to to sell to to help your business grow.

And one thing that I found unique is it is not just an email provider, like what I love about is what you what you just alluded to, you have forms. You can embed that form into your website and it’s so user friendly. So for someone that has it experience flow desk. And again, I may be repeating this, but I really want the ladies to get it. What, what is what is flow does claim to fame, I mean, to me, its beauty, its beauty, its ease of use. And, you know, to me, those are the most important things, because some of these other email providers and I’ve used a bunch, they’re clunky, they don’t really help you get started. And there’s just so much tech in the background. So I would love you to just speak to that for a moment, if you would, yeah, it warms my heart that you said those two things. Because we love that we, we take a lot of pride in our design first kind of approach. And so that just speaks to, when you get onto flow desk, the templates are beautiful, and they’re made, they have custom fonts, you can easily use your brand, you don’t have to. For me, it’s like I know when something looks good, but I cannot create something that looks good from scratch. And so our templates make it so easy to create so fast, no matter what your skill level. So design is like completely 1%, you nailed it. And then simple and easy to use.

This is for beginners and experts alike. And then the third thing is that it’s very important to us to make it really accessible. And so we reflect that in our pricing. So with the 50% off code, it’s $19 a month. And you can send unlimited emails and unlimited people on your list. So a lot of other providers charge you more as you grow your list. And we never want to penalize any of our members for growing because we want you to grow those two things, unlimited, email, subscriber list and unlimited number of emails that said, if you’re listening, and you haven’t even begun your email marketing, because again, as Sabrina mentioned, you might think I’m too small or I’m not ready.

Oh, my goodness, you’re missing out. And I’m telling you, there’s nothing better than this. And I know that it’s a woman in company, that to me that’s near and dear to my heart as a woman’s advocate. Well, Sabrina, thank you so much for coming. I do have one final question. And that is this is called the she is extraordinary podcast. So I would love for you to tell my listeners about an extraordinary woman in your life and what makes her extraordinary. Um, I would say my sister, Sophie, she is extraordinary. She is just a really kind person. And she is really entrepreneurial. She started the Mrs. book, which is an engagement journal. And so she’s always there for me when I have ideas and we just like banter off of each other. And it’s so great to have a support system in business like that. Yeah, support the world.

Well, Sabrina, thank you so much. I have no doubt that the ladies listening have learned so so much. Where can they find you? If someone wants to reach out with a question? Yeah, feel free to reach out to me I love DMS or anything like that. You can find me on Instagram at quiet like horses. Quiet like horses. Okay, awesome. Beautiful. Alright Sabrina once again. Thank you so much. Ladies, thank you for listening. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode where you please consider taking a moment and leaving a rating and review it means so much. So thank you once again ladies and we will see you next time.

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