In EP 53 of The Wild Womn Hotline, our guest expert and I dive into a deeply meaningful conversation about how to find your authentic voice. And if you are unfamiliar with the term “brand voice”, it is how “your brand’s personality gets expressed through all your communications (social media, website, blog posts, emails, advertisements)” .
Your brand voice is the unique way you present to the world. And as you begin to grow your company and outsource your voice to experts such as copywriters, social media managers, and so on, your brand voice needs to remain consistent in order to build emotional resonance with your audience.
And as today’s Guest Expert, Kelsey Formost, likes to say – “if you don’t have a “real-life voice” that feels really aligned, you can’t create a business voice. You cannot tell people who you are until you know who you are.”
Kelsey Formost is a Copywriting & Marketing Expert, Podcast Host, and Mental Health Advocate who helps entrepreneurs find their voice and write words that sell, without sounding “sales-y” or feeling gross.
She has been featured in prestigious publications like Business Insider, AdAge, Refinery29, and Glamour, and has spoken at some of the top marketing conferences in the country like Hubspot’s Inbound and SXSW. She’s even won awards like the Top 50 Influencer Marketing Expert in the World by industry leader Talking Influence.
Yes, Kelsey’s easy-to-understand teaching style and can-do attitude have helped take struggling businesses to six figures and beyond, but her real mission is helping people find their authentic voice so they feel deeply seen, heard, and empowered every time they talk about themselves or their business.
In this episode, Kelsey and I dive into topics such as the ROI for developing an authentic brand voice, and how unabashedly expressing your brand’s personality will ensure that you feel fulfilled in your business.
Tristan Thibodeau is the founder of Wild Womn Haus and is a brand strategist for entrepreneurs in the wellness, beauty, and lifestyle brand industries.
She specializes in helping companies create and maintain their image. She works with market research, industry analysis, and consumer trends to offer strategic insights for brands so that they can enhance their marketing efforts and grow their bottom line.
Follow her on Instagram @tristan.wildwomnhaus and follow the agency on Instagram @wildwomnhaus and TikTok @tristan.wildwomnhaus!
Kelsey Formost is a Copywriting & Marketing Expert, Podcast Host, and Mental Health Advocate who helps entrepreneurs find their voice and write words that sell, without sounding “sales-y” or feeling gross.
She has been featured in prestigious publications like Business Insider, AdAge, Refinery29, and Glamour, and has spoken at some of the top marketing conferences in the country like Hubspot’s Inbound and SXSW. She’s even won awards like the Top 50 Influencer Marketing Expert in the World by industry leader Talking Influence.
Connect with Kelsey:
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: [00:00:00] Kelsey.
I am dying to know your story because we have some mutual friends. It’s I mean, the entrepreneur world is just one big woven, you know, gang bang, basically. Like everybody knows everybody. So I’ve heard through the grapevine that you had a career as a Hollywood actress. That’s and now that’s home.
You work as a copywriting coach, and a marketing expert, and I’m really curious how that story panned out. So can you tell us your background story really quickly?
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Absolutely. I love starting here. Thank you for asking. Hi everybody, Kelsey Formost here. Uh, I am the founder of magic words and copywriting, and I love starting with my story because I think a huge aspect of learning to write high-converting copy that gets missed a lot is actually the entertainment value.
Mm-hmm so. As you said, I come from a background in acting. [00:01:00] So I was a super shy kid to the point where I actually had a social anxiety disorder. And my parents and their infinite wisdom thought, like, I guess, sink or swim, like, let’s see what happens. And they put me in a community theater production of the Wizard of Oz, which so they were like, let’s throw our child with social anxiety onto a literal stage.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: That was my first musical that, that, oh my, I was in theater in high school. I never did anything beyond high school, but every musical that we so I was a munchkin.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Oh my God. I was the munchkin mayor. I was like my big break. I’m dead. I love it. And that’s called synchronicity ladies and gentlemen, everybody.
I love that so much, but yeah, what theater gave me at that time, in my. Which I didn’t understand as like an introverted kid with social anxieties was it gave [00:02:00] me a container in which it was safe to express myself and relate to others. And as I grew up, theater really became the social support system that I needed to really try on different identities constantly and learn which ones.
The most comfortable mm-hmm . And as I went out into the world, I kept on that path and I spent so much time and money and emotional energy and passion. Like I loved it. I loved being an actor. I loved singing. I loved performing and I was successful on paper. Very successful. Did one of the most popular off Broadway plays.
In New York, it’s still running called sleep. No more. I did all kinds of off Broadway shows, moved to Los Angeles pretty quickly became successful on television. I was in shows like new girl and modern family. And what ended up happening was I was getting this on paper [00:03:00] success. and slowly I was realizing this ain’t it anymore.
Mm-hmm and I think a lot of people can relate to that. Mm-hmm and. The, the phenomenon that was happening was I was like, well, this isn’t it. But I also don’t really know what is it either, right. Which really inspired me to be like, well, I think I need to create my own path. I think I need to be an entrepreneur and figure out.
What is a gonna be fulfilling to me personally, because as an actor for 10 years, you get so used to doing work you’re passionate about versus work that the world, um, appreciates or deems successful. Right? Mm-hmm so that box was checked. I was like, I need to be doing work. That’s fulfilling to me, but second.
How do I support myself like do work that is actually financially a good decision. And third, [00:04:00] I know that a huge part of what’s fulfilling to me is giving back to people, helping people feel empowered. How do I bring all of the skills I already have, plus these ideas of what I need my work to be into one career mm-hmm and.
There was a big, like sobbing on the bathroom floor. Come to Jesus moment. All of us have had ’em. Oh yeah. If you say you haven’t like you’re lying. I’m sorry. Get out of the room. You’re lying. Get out, get out. Your pants are on fire. Go get the hose. um, and I was just like, I’m done. I’m done waiting for other people to say yes to me.
I’m done being in a career where. I’m no longer feeling like I’m giving the gift. I was put on this earth to give mm-hmm so cut to lots of soul searching. Lots of watching Ted talks on YouTube, lots of podcasts. Um, lots of burning Palo Santo, the whole nine. And I found so a really good friend of mine from college [00:05:00] was a copywriter and she.
Sort of was like, have you ever thought about being a freelance copywriter in the niche that you want to be in? And that’s how it all started was I started to learn, oh wow. I can use the elements of writing that I learned as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Um, as a playwright in New York. Those entertainment value pieces that instead of using it to write a comedy sketch, I can use it to write someone’s website.
Mm. And it was so cool to apply that. And be like, oh shit. Oh, sorry. Can we curse? Oh girl. great. I never,
no, you’re good. You you’re solid. We got the explicit label. You, you, people that know me know I’m like a sailor, let it rip.
Fantastic. So I was like, oh shit, not only does this like, feel way more like this person who I’ve now [00:06:00] interacted with, but it’s converting.
She’s getting. Three times more clients, which nerdy moment pushes glasses up bridge of nose, businesses that invest in copywriting, see 300% more conversions than businesses that don’t like take the time to really understand their copy mm-hmm so that alone that’s triple the profits right there. Um, just from changing your words.
So it like totally energized me. And I was like, I’m gonna build this into a business. And I started out as a full-time freelancer and my calendar was booked totally solid. And it was awesome for a year. And then it was burned out city. Right. Which I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs who are listening.
We’ll connect with, right? You’re like, well, shit, I did this huge pivot in my life and I built the thing and it’s working and now, oh, no, it’s working. now I’m so [00:07:00] tired. Yeah.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: I literally just carried the team on my back for a year and I’m ready to lay
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: down. exactly. Well, and oftentimes you are the team, right?
Mm-hmm like. So many entrepreneurs share with me and I was in the same boat where it’s like, oh, I didn’t realize I had to do the thing that I wanna do. Plus be a web designer, be my own copywriter, be my own social media, uh, team. Yeah. Like be my own publicist. You have to learn so many skills in order to really get through that first year in business.
And I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking it’s gonna be that way forever. And. Quitting mm-hmm and like, just going back to doing whatever they were doing before, or like quote unquote, giving up mm-hmm , which is really sad because the. Most beautiful thing that I learned is start outsourcing the things you don’t like to do and start investing in the things that you do [00:08:00] like to do and the things that are absolutely unequivocally going to affect your success.
Mm-hmm, one of those being copywriting, which I’m sure will get to. Yes,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: absolutely. And you have such a refreshing perspective of leaving a career that wasn. Lighting you on fire and feeling like, well, this isn’t it. So I guess it’s time to go discover what is you went into entrepreneurship with a very open mind and there’s probably a crapload of fear, but also a very open mind going into it and thinking I’m here to discover my purpose, my passion, the thing that I want to devote my time and energy to instead.
You know, me personally, starting my business was an active rebellion against the career that. Felt safe, but then sucked my soul outta my body. Yeah. Right. And burned a lot of bridges leaving that opportunity behind
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: and, you know, made the bridges. I burned like the way yes. [00:09:00]
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: just, you know, raised the little hell on my way out, but it was starting, my business was an act of independence and an act of rebellion, not so much self discovery.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Mm. I
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: wish it had. Because it would’ve made those initial couple of years of business so much easier to really get in touch with who I am, get in touch with my voice, get in touch with my perspective and the work that lights me up the most, the skill sets that I have, the talents that I have, I would’ve saved so much time.
I learned the hardest way possible how to run a business and how to be successful. So now I help people shortcut that process with their brand and with their business. But tell me about the. Journey of introspection because writing is literally sharing what’s inside of you. And then copy is sharing what’s inside of you to serve somebody, to get somebody to take action.
So you can help them in some way. Yes. Right. To cause conversion. Where is the intersection there? [00:10:00] Like where do you see the self discovery journey? And then. We can narrow it down to your brand voice. Cause that’s what you and I were talking about before we started recording. What’s the intersection there from your perspective.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: God, I love this question so much. Okay. So let’s start with a little baseline definition. Get everybody on the same page of what the hell is copywriting. Why does it matter? Mm-hmm so. Copywriting specifically to business it’s anywhere. There are words out in the world that represent you, your brand and your business.
So that means the words on your website, the words in your emails, the words on your social media, the words in your freebies, the words in your lead, magnets, your brochures, your webinars, your videos, anywhere. There are words that are representing you to the world. That’s copy. Mm-hmm copy writing. Is the art and science of using those words to get your ideal customer to take a desired action.
Mm-hmm that desired action [00:11:00] might be subscribed to an email list. Open an email, click, a link, buy a product you cannot be successful if you do not understand the value of copywriting mm-hmm and here’s the thing, it’s not some big, scary thing. Like an algorithm. Right. like you, who should not be named the algorithm.
copywriting is a magic, psychological skillset that you have. You learn it once and you have it forever. You’re essentially learning how to convince people to take the action you want them to take. And it also fun fact comes in handy in real life. My boyfriend’s in the other room. He doesn’t know this.
She just straight
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: up, looked over her over her shoulder. You guys are, you did see this
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: I a thousand percent use copywriting tricks on him to get him to do what I want. Like sure. If I wanna go out to dinner at a certain place, I will use [00:12:00] like a subject line formula that I use for emails. And guess who magically wants to go to dinner at the same place?
I. I’m telling you great investment learning how to do it. well beyond your business. So now that we’re all on the same page about what copy is and what copywriting is, let’s go back to your original nugget of a beautiful question, which is where does that soul searching that self-discovery that mental health piece come in?
Mm-hmm and this is where I get on my soapbox and I get real excited because. A lot of the kind of noise out there when it comes to copywriting and even online entrepreneurship in general, it’s so focused on sales and money and it feels gross and it feels not aligned. Mm-hmm especially with a lot of heart centered entrepreneurs.
Yeah. Who feel like they’re here to serve. Right. Mm-hmm so what I love to help people understand is you [00:13:00] cannot tell people who you are until you know, who you. Amen system. So there is an incredibly important prequel to having a successful business of understanding. Your personality, your mental health practices, um, the psychology of what makes you tick, how do you prefer to show up in the world?
How do you prefer people interact with you? Are you a more soft spoken person or are you a, like, get your ass out of bed, kind of Mel Robbins energy, like mm-hmm you need to know. Energetically spiritually, psychologically, how you feel most comfortable interacting with people before you can really step into what that personal brand is gonna look like and what your brand voice is gonna sound like.
Cause if you [00:14:00] don’t know how you talk in real life, if you don’t have a, a voice in real life that feels really aligned, you can’t create a business voice. That’s aligned and sounds like you
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: 100%. And this is something. I have really navigated in my own career and something that I support my clients in navigating.
There will be instances from a client perspective where I can literally feel in my bones. Mm-hmm that they’re not speaking as themselves. They’re speaking the way they think they need to sound based on the context of their industry. So if you are in an industry that is maybe a bit more. Sensitive or nurturing and typically compassionate.
I’ve seen people trying to adapt themselves to fit the industry standard. And in my mind, I’m thinking, but that’s what makes you stand out is when your voice is authentic and when it’s different. And when it’s unique, right? From [00:15:00] my point of view, I’ve had a lot of interesting challenges. finding my brand voice mm-hmm because in person I tend to be more blunt.
I tend to be more fiery. I tend to be pretty sarcastic and in a coaching relationship, when I’m giving somebody feedback, I’ve had my fiance, tell me, listen, you could have like, put some sugar on top of that and softened it down a little bit. Right. But I’m like, who is that? Helping by toning down what I’m trying to deliver.
It’s not like I’m being mean or aggressive. Right. But I am more of a blunt person. and some people that I’ve worked with have come back and said, you know, I appreciate that more than anything. Cause I know you’re not bullshitting me. I know you have my best interest at heart. And those are things that pushed me more than anything.
So what we’re really talking about here is this, uh, fear of vulnerability and also this fear of, from my perspective, it’s a fear of looking bad. Yes. What do you think is behind. [00:16:00] You know, withholding your natural personality from your brand voice or finding that balance between being quote unquote still authoritative and professional, but still
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: being you.
Okay. I’m gonna say something. And before I do, I want to embrace preface, things like that. Yes. Well, I wanna say I embrace, like, I know that gender is a spectrum. Um, there are, and I hold space for all of the different expressions of gender. So when I say women, um, or men. I totally, totally am also saying like on the spectrum somewhere falling into these traditional roles.
Right. Mm-hmm so I wanna just put that out there before I say this to your point. Mm-hmm women. Are told traditionally from birth that we have to be attractive. Mm-hmm we have to be, we [00:17:00] have to present in a certain way in order to attract people to us, we don’t pursue, we attract. And if we’re not attracting, we’re not doing our job.
That is what society tells us. And it’s horses shit. . Yes, it’s utter, complete horse shit. Let me tell you why. And let me tell you what to do about it. So this whole there’s so many conversations happening about the patriarchy right now, right? So this is pretty timely in business, as it relates to business.
So often, and it happens a ton, cuz I, you know, was a copywriter for two years. That’s what women came to. Traditionally. Women came to me and said, I need you to redo my website. I don’t know how to have a brand voice. And every single time I would deliver, I would have a great conversation with them. [00:18:00] I’d get a total vibe of who they were.
I would deliver V1 and without fail, they would say, I feel like you’re alienating. So many people like let’s tone this down, right? Let’s make ourselves more palatable, smaller, able to reach more people is how they would say it. Mm-hmm . That is the antithesis of how you actually. Connect with more people.
Mm-hmm, you connect with more people by nicheing down by being who you already are. And what’s amazing is by unabashedly going after the things that you want and going and being vocal about, like, this is how I am, this is how I pursue the things that I’m pursuing hilariously. That’s what attracts people.
If you try to be attractive. It’s like dating. If you try to be attractive, then it’s, it feels [00:19:00] desperate. Right. But if you’re just like, fuck all y’all, this is who I am. Get on the train or not. Then like all of a sudden everybody wants you. Right. Same thing in business. Same thing in business. So often we think if I don’t sound like a buttoned up professional, then that means people aren’t gonna take me seriously.
Another traditionally female problem people aren’t gonna take me seriously. Mm-hmm especially if you’re a younger woman, right. Mm-hmm uh, so we try to age ourselves up. Professionalize. What have you, Uhuh? The proof is in the pudding. The proof is in the numbers. Like this is data. This is not just anecdotal my opinion.
This is data. You will have a more successful business. If you are authentically who you already are, because it then attracts. People who [00:20:00] will see the most success by working with you. Mm-hmm not, everybody’s gonna see the most success with me. I’m a much more like step by step gentle BFF energy. But, you know, Tristan may have a more, like she said, like blunt I, someone who needs to get shaken up, go to Tristan, someone who needs hand holding, nurturing.
Come on over like mm-hmm and you’ll see more success with different people, but people won’t know if people are unsure when they land on your brand, when they interact with your brand for the first time, if they’re like, I don’t quite know what she’s about. They’re not gonna take the time to get to know you and try to figure it out.
They’re gonna click over to somebody who’s really, really clear in their branding. Mm-hmm
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: 100% could not have said it better. And to add something on top of that. When you, as the coach mentor, consultant person, whatever it is that you’re providing value, and this more directly applies to [00:21:00] service based than it does product based.
Cuz you interface with the client more service based businesses. Mm-hmm as a service based. Entrepreneur when you show up and you don’t feel like you can really be yourself, you’re not gonna be as effective at what you’re doing. Mm-hmm because the ideas that come through to you or the, you know, creativity that comes through to you or the thing that somebody really needs.
To hear that intuitive guidance that we have doesn’t come through as strongly when you don’t feel safe to really use your voice the way that you want to use it. Yeah. So not only is it hurting you as the business owner in terms of attracting clients, but when you convert that client and you’re now working with them, they’re not gonna get as greater results because you can’t be.
Fully present and fully free to coach and mentor and provide the way that you normally would. Right. That’s something that I’ve seen within myself. That’s something I’ve seen within my clients. And it’s wild. The second that you just give yourself permission, mm-hmm to say and speak and behave the way that you do.[00:22:00]
You enjoy your business so much more and your clients get better results, which means they’re more likely to stay around for the long term. Yes. Hello, long term revenue, right? Yes. But also refer people to you because they trust you and they build a stronger connection
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: with you. That’s exactly right.
That’s exactly right. And. You know, the best marketing is word of mouth and testimonials, and think of it like that too. If you are authentically yourself and someone is excited about how they worked with you, they’re going to go then tell their friends or their networks. This person really helped me and very, very likely.
They are gonna be in a pod of people who are also going to work in that same way. So mm-hmm, , it’s just, it’s a smart business decision, but it’s also a smart mental health decision. Like take it from a former actress. You do not wanna have to play a part all the time. Like you have to [00:23:00] build in that element of mental health to your brand.
Otherwise you will burn out. You will burn.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: And I wanna, I wanna devote like special time talking just about that, because that is an arena that I feel like people are kind of afraid to touch mm-hmm so I wanna touch it. I wanna play with it. Um, also I want to talk about a scenario. That’s probably, if somebody is feeling this struggle using their authentic voice, or even if they’re unclear what that is, mm-hmm, one of the scarier, bigger scenarios.
And again, this is from a business perspective. I’ve been successful to this point or I’ve created success to this point using the voice and the personality I’ve been using. Yeah. I’m ready to really let myself be seen. I’m afraid of losing my client base. I’m afraid of. You know, pushing away my current audience, that I’ve taken a lot of time [00:24:00] and energy to build mm-hmm , I’m afraid.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid. Mm-hmm . So what would you, how would you support somebody in navigating that scenario from a mental health perspective, but also from a business perspective? Cuz from my opinion, that’s probably one of the biggest things that stops people is all the repercussions they’re perceiving.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Right? I love this. Great. Okay. So let’s start with the fear and I’m gonna tell a little story. The highest converting email I ever have had in three years of business is had the subject line I’m burnt out by. Yeah. And it had something crazy, like a 70% open rate, which for a email list of 5,000 people, that’s a lot of people, right.
Mm-hmm um, who were like, wait, what? Because I was Susie sunshine, toxic positivity, 1 0 1 mm-hmm . And I said that [00:25:00] in this email, I said, I’m taking, I forget how long off a month, two. You’re not gonna hear from me for the next month. I am recalibrating. Um, because I want to serve you better. I’m hearing this from you.
I’m feeling this in my life. And I know that like, yes, what I’m, what I’ve already given you is really great. I’m really proud of what I’ve created. I’m really proud of this community that I’ve built and. I know I can do it better. And I sort of prepped them with this email that was like, This is why I burnt out.
And I was super honest and yeah, like you said, it is super vulnerable and it was very scary to hit send part of me. There was a not so small part of me that was like, what if we just didn’t send an email for a month and then oops. Yep. [00:26:00] Sorry, edit that out. Put on the, do not disturb, not a problem. . So there was a part of me that thought, what if I just don’t send an email for a month?
What if I just like stay small and then like, come back. And just sort of subtly have a new plan. Right? Mm-hmm but the reason that that doesn’t work is because people don’t like feeling duped, nobody likes feeling duped. They don’t like feeling like they signed up for something that they’re no longer getting, but here’s the thing.
If you’re no longer going to be giving them the same thing and you know, that. Then it’s your moral duty to tell them, like, it’s not that they’ve been duped it’s that you’re changing tactics in order to serve them better. And here’s the thing. If your new direction is not the direction they wanna go, you want those people to unsubscribe.
You want those people to leave [00:27:00] your audience because. That is gonna be backfilled pretty darn quickly by new people who are excited about the new direction. So stop worrying about losing people. Who aren’t gonna convert anyway and start and, and keep focusing on how is the, what is the thing that you wanna give?
What is the way you wanna serve people? How can you serve them the best? Right. As long as that is, what’s in the forefront of your mind, the other stuff will backfill. Don’t worry about audience, building an audience, changing the right people will stick around and. The others will naturally see themselves out, which is awesome.
And by the way, like way better for profits, way better in the long.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: So much better. And if everybody listening remembers this at the end of 20, 20, 20 20 at the end of 2020, what is times I took [00:28:00]
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: honestly, the whole,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: the last couple years is just a big blur. I just don’t even remember. I forgot my birthday this year.
If that’s an indication of kind of where we’re at mentally, um, At the end of 2020, I took about four months off of everything. Stopped. My email list stopped. My social media, stopped my podcast. Just put everything on a complete screening halt because I was made, I could feel that I was at a dead end with what I was doing and I was ready for a pivot.
Mm-hmm . And the thing about taking time off is everybody is. Terrified of it. Yeah. Everybody is terrified to put white noise out into the world. Yeah. Right? No emails, no social media, no, whatever. What if they forget about me? What if I lose my momentum? What if, what if, what if. But the thing that I’ve learned with breaks, cause I’ve taken multiple, multiple of them in my career is that the empty space is where you get the ideas.
Yes. The empty space is where you get the clarity when you’re, you’re not even, I don’t wanna say stuck, but when you’re in the wheel of [00:29:00] your normal to dos and your normal structure and the way that things run on a daily basis. Yeah. You literally don’t have the mental space. Stop and think and evaluate, right.
And that’s what those breaks allow you to do. And so, even though there’s this paradigm of consistency out in the world, I would really like people to just take a moment and give themselves permission to reframe what consistency means. Yes, this is a little bit of a side note, but honestly, consistency is a long term game, not a short term game.
And so if you need to take a month off from marketing and content creation and all of the things in order to get more clarity to come out stronger, you do that. Yeah. Fear be damned because the clarity that you get is the most powerful tool that you will ever use to grow your. That very much a tangent, but just needed to say that
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: it is.
And it isn’t, it is. And it isn’t because here’s the thing who you are, is the most consistent thing [00:30:00] mm-hmm right. So yes, we evolve. We grow our interests kind of may change course, but if your personal brand is truly based on you, the person that is consistency. It’s like the shortcut of all shortcuts.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: mm-hmm . So let’s talk more about how to get in touch with yourself. And let’s talk more about the mindset or the, the mental health, rather of all of this. Cause I people know I’m a huge advocate of mental health around depression, anxiety. Yes. And I’m really curious of your perspective around. And authenticity just doesn’t even feel like the word
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: I know we really need another word for authentic.
Same with empowerment. I’m
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: like, can we please diversify what we mean by empowerment and authenticity? So, you know, finding a voice that feels true to you, original to you, whatever that word may be. Yes. How does mental health tie into that in the first [00:31:00] place? Maybe for somebody that hasn’t. Claimed their unique
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: voice.
Oh my God. Okay. So this is a big conversation, but I’m so excited to touch on as much as I can. Yes. I feel like, um, it’s really helpful to take business out of it first. Like, don’t go in there thinking I’m gonna do this because I need a brand voice, like go in there to be like, I really wanna have a deeper understanding of myself and the first step.
That I’ve learned in my personal journey that worked best for me was to just start getting curious and to actually be mindful during the day. Do I actually enjoy this thing? Do I like seeing this person pop up in my social media feed? Do I wanna keep following them or should I unfollow them in this moment?
Um, do I like eating this meal? Uh, or is there something that’s gonna be more like fun or more satisfying to me? Do I, [00:32:00] um, wanna maybe burn a candle? Do I like this smell or do I like that smell little tiny questions? What do I like? What feels warm? What feels good? What feels safe? What feels exciting versus what feels mindless?
What feels like it numbs me. What feels that? Crackly, anxiety feeling what? What’s in my world. When, when that gets triggered, do I like baths? Do I like showers? Mm-hmm do I like beer? Do I like wine? Like little. Seemingly insignificant things. It’s such a cool place to start, cuz it’s kind of fun when you open yourself up and your daily life becomes almost this fun Cosmo quiz of like, like what makes you tick?
Like make the quiz,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: listen, bitches love quizzes. Okay. If everyone bitches love quizzes. If every. That was my slogan for when we were, we had, we used quizzes for our lead gens. I’m like, listen, [00:33:00] bitches, love quizzes. It’s gonna be great. and it was, we love them. It was great, but that’s such a fun way to look at introspection mm-hmm is it’s just a cur a constant
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: curiosity.
It’s constant curiosity. It does not have to be this super deep sobbing on a therapist’s couch, although it may get there. Sure did for me. Yep. And it’s great love therapy. And then like, constant, like do that for a little bit and then take it to the next level. Maybe the next level is okay. What kind of content am I consuming?
That’s a big one for me. Am I reading books or am I doing audio books? Am I watching something on TV? Like what’s the spread of entertainment versus learning? What am I taking in? What. Fun for me to take in what kind of content is inspiring to me versus numbing. Again, I keep coming back to numbing and then from there, start to think about people.[00:34:00]
Right. So the next level up might be people who adds to your life, whether it’s actually people in your life like relationships, friendships, family stuff, um, your yoga teacher, like whoever it is people. Um, but this could also mean like public figures, people who you look up to, who do you find yourself constantly tuning in when you see they go live on Instagram and who are you like?
Ugh. That person again, like I can’t watch another seminar start to pay attention, energetically people. What kinds of. Stuff. Are you inviting into your life? And again, just continuing to be like, what do I like? What feels warm? All of these things together. It’s like foundational building blocks. It’s like Marie coning your energy.
Right? what does this spark joy? Whether it’s the tiniest little thing, like what chocolate brand do I like? Or whether it’s is the, is my relationship with my dad. Okay. Like [00:35:00] it’s there’s it runs the gamut, right? Mm-hmm . Being curious about your life is the only way to learn who you are. Mm-hmm and actually taking action to invite more of the things that feel aligned with you.
It will naturally then progress that you’ll have a greater understanding of who you are. Mm. And naturally happen. Ask you a personal question.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Are you ready? Do this okay. Yes. Hello, welcome to the, um, coaching power, the introspective therapy hour with Kelsey and Tristan. Okay. So my question is part of why I get myself in the, I, I don’t even wanna call them holes. They’re like creative funks mm-hmm is because when I have my sight set on something, I’m like Tasmanian devil going after it. I don’t know. I’ve always been like this mm-hmm just an extremely voracious person with goals. Yeah. And what I end up doing is I [00:36:00] it’s like the definition of insanity is you keep working towards something and working towards something and working towards something.
And you realize that you’re no longer doing what you enjoy. Mm-hmm because all you care about is hitting the goal. Yeah. Right? Yep. That’s one of my strengths and weaknesses. Yeah. Extremely tenacious, but also kind of stubborn in. Far second.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Yep. said the pot to the kettle.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Yep. Thank you. Okay. Thank you. what helps you in that instance?
Since we seem to share this in common, what helps you to have that goal and have that thing that feels so good to be working towards, but still stay present enough. So that you are creating what feels good to you and what excites you and not just doing something cuz you think people need to hear it, but doing something cuz it genuinely lights you up and excites you mm-hmm yep.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Okay. Here it is. Here’s the secret of life. switch your focus from the goal to the process. Mm. [00:37:00] Switch your focus from an end goal that you will not be happy if you don’t achieve. To focusing on a process that feels like it’s moving you forward and feels like it’s aligned with you. Mm-hmm , here’s why that’s so important.
And this comes by the way from a very famous book, um, called atomic habits by James clear, everybody should read it. It’s incredible. And the best quote in there is we do not rise to the level of our goals. We fall to the level of our processes. Mm Hmm. We fall to the level of our systems and our processes.
And the reason that that is so important is if you just. White, knuckle it, dig your heels in. And it’s like this one goal or nothing, then not only are you going to burn out and probably like spend a lot of time and energy that could have been better used in other ways, trying to get to this goal. [00:38:00] Right.
But you’re also pigeonholing yourself and you are completely not allowing any room for an outcome. That’s better. Then the goal, you first envisioned right. This or something better. So have a direction. Yeah. I’m working towards creating a product. That’s gonna serve people in this way. So instead of being like, I’m gonna create this course, think I’m gonna create a product or a program.
That’s gonna serve people in this way. And here are the first few steps. This is the process I’m gonna take to get. And giving yourself that flexibility, it helps you stay inspired. It helps the magic stick around in the process, because what you’re focusing on is the day to day, instead of this thing, far in advance that you feel like burnt out, trying to get to.
Right. Mm-hmm focus on the process, [00:39:00] not the goal. Right?
Thank you for that reminder. I literally. like I said, it’s just an obsession. You just, you see where you’re trying to go. And you’re like, okay, what’s the next step for that? What’s the next step for that? And it’s almost like the actual act of creation just kind of goes into autopilot.
Mm mm-hmm and you don’t feel connected to it anymore. And it shows people don’t respond to it as well, right? Yeah. When you are not excited, when your energy’s not right. When you’re not passionate, it shows totally your audience doesn’t engage. You don’t get as many calls or emails for inquiries. It just it’s a.
it’s a direct response, right? Yeah. So, and this is a short little story about a friend of mine who’s been in, in, in an industry, a specific industry for, I wanna say three or four years and has a very specific, unique, powerful voice. But kind of withholds again, because she doesn’t wanna like ruffle the feathers of her [00:40:00] industry and is also experiencing a lot of frustration and a lot of, um, burnout and just lack of passion mm-hmm around creating content and attracting clients.
And as a result, like the bookings for discovery calls are starting to slow down. I’ve experienced this too, right? Yeah. So when somebody gets in that position and this might be a good place to kind of. Talk more specifically about the work that you do, but when somebody gets in this position outside of focusing on the process, so focus on the process first step, right?
Mm-hmm what are some other things that they can do to reignite their passion and get back in touch with their voice, their perspective. Et cetera.
Love this. Okay. So my therapist talks with me about building on ramps and off ramps. So if you think about a freeway, um, you’ve got like, you’re going, you’re going, you’re going.
And then sometimes there are these like slow off ramps, right? It’s like a gradual [00:41:00] slowing down. You take a little bit of a detour and then you ramp back up on the, on ramp. So in my life, I call it building off ramps and on ramps. And it works in my business too. When I need to build an offramp. This is a moment where I’m feeling really overwhelmed, really uninspired.
I need to take that space for creativity. Um, I need to check out for a little bit. I build an off ramp and what that looks like usually is figuring out what can I automate? What can I work ahead and automate and how can I. Predo, maybe like a month of content, like stuff that I just, you know, like my podcast or my email automation, my social media planning.
Let me just take a week and build my offramp and then set it in, forget it. Right. It’s like the bare minimum of thing. I do not take any private. Clients during that [00:42:00] time, I do not burn myself. I don’t say yes. And that’s the hardest part holding the boundary. Mm-hmm , don’t say yes to anything for that time period, whatever that looks like for you.
Right. And for that time period, truly don’t do anything like don’t don’t like immediately go to like, okay, I’m gonna journal and set new intention. Like actually don’t do anything. Like, I love that. Let yourself be bored. I’m
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: not, I’m taking a break, but I’m doing yoga for an hour and a half a day. I’m journaling for an hour.
I’m meditating for, that’s not doing
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: nothing. yeah, no, it’s not. And here’s the kicker. Like if you can actually truly do nothing. Pretty quickly, you’re gonna get bored and you’re gonna start filling your time with really cool fucking ideas. Mm-hmm and you’ll start to get excited again. Mm-hmm but if you try to force yourself to do that, it’s never gonna happen.
Mm-hmm vacuum creates like you wanna create a vacuum, [00:43:00] which your creativity can then step in and fill mm-hmm when your creativity does step in. and like kicks in and you start to get ideas. Then you start to think about how do I build my on ramp? How do I get back on the train? How do I get back on that?
Like that constant movement, right? Mm-hmm so this then looks like, how do I change? What’s automated right now. To reflecting this new idea. Is there an email sequence for a new launch that I wanna write? Um, is, do I want to put out some private emails and like do a secret, um, like mastermind group? Do I wanna do a beta?
Like whatever it is. Start to think about what your OnRamp looks like. And then once you’re back on the OnRamp, then you can like fully be in that space again. And you’re, reinspired by executing the thing that you’re doing. Genius.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Genius. I love it. And I’ve, you know, [00:44:00] I’ve heard of. On ramping your week, but not on ramping and off ramping your entire business,
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: your whole ass business girl.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: love it. I love it. Mm-hmm and on ramping your week is gently going in the way I’ve understood it is gently going into something and an off ramping is gently going out, but this is a whole new concept and I love it. So much. Yeah. Thank you for that. yeah.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Yeah. Automation is your friend and the other thing too, when it comes to building off ramp specifically for me, mm-hmm, , don’t be afraid to reuse old content from a year ago.
Mm-hmm like so many times people are like, oh, I already sent that email. Not to everybody who’s on your list right now. And not all of them were the ones who opened it in the first, but like repost the social media caption from two years ago. No one remembers I, no one promise you. You’re not that important.
Like I promise you.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Literally, no one remembers. Yeah. I love it so much. Yeah. Kelsey, this has been such a fun conversation and [00:45:00] I love that we kind of chatted before we started recording and guys behind the scenes. I was like, Kelsey, what’s something that you don’t get to talk about that you just wanna riff on that lights your heart on fire.
So this is the conversation that resulted and. Loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise in your mind with us. It’s brilliant. Thank you. Tell us more about what you do in the context of copywriting. Cause the feel that I’m getting. Is that you help people just get in tune with their voice, get really clear on it and then empower them to speak from that voice so that it converts for their business.
What is that in your own words? Tell us I’m
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: so happy that I’m so ha I feel like I did my job as a copywriter. That’s oh, should I sell you now? Yeah, right. Yeah, exactly. Leave my affiliate girl. That’s exactly it. So thank you for asking this question. So I feel like, again, when we talk about business, sometimes it can feel so intimidating.
Right? We feel like, oh God, I have to do all the things. And here’s another freaking [00:46:00] skill that I have to learn. Right. So I really encourage everybody listening. You know, take your time. If you wanna learn more about copywriting in general, visit my website. Like whether or not you end up taking a course or buying a template, whatever.
Like, I really want my website to be a resource to help people understand how adjusting, the way you speak to your audience can truly, truly help you move the needle more than anything else. Because again, it’s those psychological magic tricks that once you learn ’em, you know, ’em you speak the language.
You have that skill for life and it touches everything like you constantly have to write. Right. And a big question I get a lot is, well, why don’t I just hire a copywriter? Why don’t I offload this? And the reason I say you can’t all the time is because no one can actually be you. No one can write in your voice.
If you don’t first develop that voice yourself. Exactly. It [00:47:00] like it’s impossible. Like no one can be you. Right. And on that note, quick sidebar people ask me, well, what about like, if I have something that I really do need a professional to look at, I say, 80, 20, 80% of the time, you should be writing your copy 20% of the time.
If there’s like a big launch or a sales page or something really specific, you want someone who knows the science to look at. For 20% of the stuff you’re allowed to hire out, but 80% of the time you should be writing your emails. You should be writing your website. You should be writing your social forever and ever I’m in the end, back to what I do.
Mm-hmm so I. As I said was a freelancer for a couple of years and I heard the same thing over and over and over again. I feel like I am not connecting. I’m not converting. My open rates are super low. Like I’m spending all this time creating content. [00:48:00] No, one’s reading it. Um, my website, isn’t actually turning lurkers into clients.
Uh, my social media. Stuck it’s plateaued. I have no new followers. I don’t know what to do. Same stuff over and over. And all of it comes down to your copywriting. And I started to feel icky because. Business owners were having to hire me over and over and over again. And it was awesome for my bank account, but I was like, if you just learned like a handful of tricks, like you could do this, like you could totally do this.
So I spent six months. Taking a ton of expensive copywriting courses that were super fucking boring. I mind the gold nuggets out of them. And I took those gold nuggets and mindfully put them together into my signature course, which is called copy class copy class in its entirety is three and a half hours, but it’s broken into four [00:49:00] modules that are like the pillars of how to write for your business.
The first one. First module is copywriting 1 0 1. I give you the psychological mag tricks up front because they’re the most fun to start with once you’re like, oh my God, I can turn features into benefits. Oh my God. I understand how to mine reviews so that my audience is like, oh, I’m literally taking the words out of my outta your mouth.
Like there are these really fun, magic tricks that like, it’s, it’s very fun to start to tinker. Right? So that’s module one, module two. Kind of more, what this conversation is, understanding yourself, your brand voice, um, understanding how to talk to your ideal customer, how to identify who that is in the first place.
Um, all about. Really honing in on your niche. That’s module two, module three is taking that and applying it to writing a website module three is all like [00:50:00] literally step by step. How to write a website that converts complete with like where to put your call to action. What should your call to action be?
Why should you focus on headlines? All of that. In module three and module four is my favorite because that’s where the money gets made. And it is email marketing. It is like the easiest I hold your hand, but it’s super valuable. I’ve gotten the most, thank you. Notes about module four. Of people being like, I did not know how much I could automate income, like passive income from my email list.
Thank you. Yes. So, and it has like an actual template in there that students can then take and tweak it for their voice. And implement it immediately, like in a long, as soon as you take the course. Yeah. For,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: wow. You got, I mean, she’s already sold me. Like I, listen, I am a serial course buyer. Right. like, I have a catalog [00:51:00] of things that I’m like, okay, we’re gonna do this.
And then we’re gonna do this and then we’re gonna do this. We’re not gonna buy this yet because you have these, these, these, and these to do. I love learning. And this sounds like such an approachable, powerful, straight to the point. Fun course. Thank you. And so, is there anything else that you need, like I’m seriously, I’m looking my list right now and I’m like, Tristan, you can’t, you have like eight things that you’ve bought that you need to fit
But when those eight things are done, you best believe I’m circling back around. Cause it sounds fun. And I. What I love about copywriting more than anything is it is. So I hate the word empowering. Yeah, because it is a skill, an entrepreneurial skill of communication. That is absolutely essential. Yeah. And one of the most intimidating, because the word copyright copywriting is kind of like shrouded in strategy and complexity.
And when you learn this skill, Kelsey is 100%, right. You need to know how to do it for yourself. Yeah. Because if you can’t communicate, there’s no way that [00:52:00] you can outsource to somebody else when you do become so big and successful that you, you’re not doing all of the things anymore. Right. Right. Right, totally.
So I, a hundred percent agree with you. I actually bulldog my clients into working with a copywriting coach instead of hiring a done for you, especially for a new brand launch. I’m like, no, you’re not allowed to, you have to learn your brand voice. You have to nail this. So we are on the same page with that,
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: so true.
Well, and the other thing I’ll say about it is it saves you so much fucking time because like the here’s the thing like you can’t escape copywriting. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. you have to do it all the time and wouldn’t you rather just sit down. and like immediately understand how to verbal vomit something that’s gonna convert versus like agonizing for hours and like editing and tweaking and V4 and like, It saves so much time.
It saves so much time. Oh my God. Like just [00:53:00] saving you time, energy in dollars, Kelsey, all of the above. All of the above the above stack the deck girl. Yes.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Go, go check out. The link is gonna be in the show notes. If you’re not already there, go check out. Copy class. Like I said, it’s going on my. I, I want you to know, it’s go, I’m looking at my online courses list right now.
I’m like, oh my God, this is embarrassing, but it’s not on the list because I’m so intrigued. And is there anything else that you wanna share with everybody? So you’re gonna go check out the course, but you also have a podcast. So share about
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: I do. I have a podcast. Thank you for asking. It’s called find your magic and it’s on apple podcast.
Spotify, Google anywhere you listen. Um, and it is about the intersection of mental health and entrepreneurship. And what I do is I bring on entrepreneurs who have been successful in their niche field. And I talk to them about how they are able to do the work life [00:54:00] balance, how they’re able to have mental health processes in place so that they can better run their business.
Mm-hmm it. It’s been so eyeopening for me. And also it’s kind of like an excuse to like, make people have deep conversations with me every week.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: you’ve got some Scorpio in your chart somewhere. I can tell. Oh, sun there.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: See, look, I have so much. Scorpio in my chart, I have like five or six feel like go deep here.
Yes. Like five or six Scorpio thing. Wow. I feel called out. I feel seen right now,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: it’s kind of creepy.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Scorpio, sun Pisces, moon, and Gemini rising. Oh,
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: that makes so much sense.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Yep. that makes so much sense. Bitch is love quizzes.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: Bitch is love quizzes. OK, so everybody go check out Kelsey’s podcast. Go check out.
Copy class. Is there anything that you wanna leave the wild woman fan with any words of wisdom, motivation, love, encouragement, [00:55:00] whatever it may be.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Your brand voice is just your personality. Mm-hmm . Have some self-compassion this is not something that is like, oh shit, I’m not successful because I don’t know my brand voice.
You know what? Most people don’t like the fact that you’re even here questioning it, wanting to learn is such a huge part of the process. And you’re on your way. And there are so many resources, including myself and Tristan who are here to help you through it. So give yourself a break. Your brand voice is just your personality.
You’ll figure it out.
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: All right. Mike drop guys. Kelsey, thank you so much for coming on. This was a lot of fun and I just can’t wait to keep seeing and watching what you’re doing and eventually tap taking classes.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: I look forward to it. I look forward to having you as a
HOST: Tristan Thibodeau: student. Aw, thank you so much. Love.
GUEST EXPERT: Kelsey Formost: Take care, everybody.