Putting Words to Work | Business with Purpose Podcast EP 217: Kaitlin Senter, Striking Conversation
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Our words matter. Especially as a business owner, an entrepreneur, as a creative. Our words really matter. Words are often how we can fundamentally ensure the success or even failure of a business. How we use words to market our businesses or communicate our message often becomes an afterthought and can cause unintended harm when it comes to how our business comes across to our customers or potential customers. My guest today is using her gift of words to help businesses have the biggest impact. Kaitlin Senter is a social media manager turned conversion copywriter and brand strategist who is obsessed with pairing social impact and targeted messaging to create industry-changing content. She’s made it her mission to teach all that she knows about cause-marketing and sales-messaging to help businesses create deeply rooted impact that drives results with connective content. I was fascinated by this conversation with Kaitlin. I was a creative writing major in college and I naturally love words. It was so impactful to hear from Kaitlin about how we use words to market our business.
4:56 – The Kaitlin 101
- Kaitlin’s journey to where she is today as a conversion copywriter and brand strategist began on an untraditional path. Kaitlin started as a virtual assistant, and more in more during that time, people started asking her for help with social media.
- Kaitlin became a social media manager but realized the actual issue most people were having using social media centered around their messaging. At the time, Kaitlin wasn’t even aware of what copywriting was!
- She dove into education and became a copywriter! Once she homed in on those skills, Kaitlin started learning about cost-marketing and the unique niche it has become. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise and people are starting to realize how much power they have as consumers. They want to spend their money with brands who are doing things the right way.
- Often there are brands that provide beautiful products at the right price point, but their message is not getting to those who would most want to know about it. That’s where conversion copyeditors like Kaitlin come in.
- There is a delicate balance for ethical brands in communicating their mission and still making a profit. Kaitlin works with brands to lead with that mission without compromising sales. Since so many ethical brands are great at focusing on their mission, Kaitlin often starts her focus working with them on business strategies.
- Kaitlin helps brands determine why people want to shop with them outside of the mission. What are the problems that a brand is solving for people outside of the mission?
9:50 – Products Pique Interest, Words Make Sales
- Often there are brands who look like they are super successful because the aesthetic of their brand is beautiful. Many people think that if they have something beautiful, it will sell itself, but it’s not true. The beauty of a product primes people and pique their interest, but the words behind them are what makes sales.
- Kaitlin realized she had a gift for turning words into an experience for people when working as a social media manager when critiquing her client’s social media marketing. She thought about what she would want to read and examples of when she’d seen it done well. What feelings do the words bring up, what thoughts do they bring up, what is the world going to look if everyone could shop this way?
- One of the brands that does this well is called Known Supply. When Kaitlin buys a t-shirt from them, instead of feeling guilt for making a purchase, she feels good knowing it goes toward providing a good job to an artisan and that she is not making a fast fashion purchase. It’s not about giving out information, it’s taking a shopper on a journey.
- It’s important that messages are genuine as well. People know when a brand is being disingenuous. Every business can be a cause-based business. Producing a great product that connects followers to the maker of the product or a story behind it creates brand loyalty with referrals and high quality, loyal brand ambassadors.
21:12 – Social Media Hiatus
- Would you believe that Kaitlin recently took 6 months off of social media?! As someone who runs an online business, it was certainly a revolutionary act! It helped her get clear about what kind of messaging people want to see that makes them feel refreshed instead of tired or uninterested.
- Without outside thoughts, opinions, and noise, Kaitlin was able to find clarity in what she wants for her own unique message.
- It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the world of social marketing as small business owners. If there is a feeling of anxiety around it, it’s time to take a break. There is a way to find a health balance between being connected and taking time for ourselves offline. It’s about creating real, meaningful connection online, rather than feeling pressure and/or anxiety to keep up with everything happening online.
25:27 – Help with Writing!
- If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of getting your copy in order, Kaitlin suggests beign mindful of who you’re writing to and why what you have to say matters to them.
- It’s going to take a lot of thought and time, but if you don’t know these answers, you will start to feel stuck or could be tempted to simply copy the methods of others. That is when you start contributing to the noise of the internet instead of sending out messages that matter.
- It’s also important to “name your customer.” Go on a deep dive about who you think this person is who would want to know about your brand, who would want to buy from you. Write to that person!
- Kaitlin uses the “Jobs to Be Done” framework. You can Google it to learn more, but it’s basically teaches you how a product connects to the better version of the customer; the person the customer wants to be. It’s how they imagine their life after they have a certain product. It’s less about the task, but the emotional feelings a product produces; the “true job” of what your customer wants to accomplish.
30:12 – Getting to Know Our Guest
- Find out what Kaitlin’s not-so-guilty pleasure is, what she’s reading right now, her favorite show to watch when she was growing up, and what it means to Kaitlin to run a business with purpose.
5:58 – “I think this cost-marketing niche is really unique because it’s on the rise and I think more and more consumers are worried about what their dollars are voting for.”
6:16 – “I think there’s this fine line that you have to walk between keeping your life on and making sales, but also educating in a way that doesn’t alienate those on the fringes of the cause who are just learning and they don’t want to feel bad for past decisions they’ve made or for not knowing about sustainable fashion or ethical ways or farming, but also in a way that still makes sales without feeling disingenuous.”
9:26 – “That’s what we really have to focus on: You meet the need of the customer and that mission where they connect, that intersection between mission and meeting the needs of the customer.”
18:46 – “Connection is one of the biggest components of successful marketing.”
About Kaitlin Senter:
Thank you to our partners of the show:
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The Lemonade Boutique
This episode is sponsored by The Lemonade Boutique, a women’s clothing with a cause store. Featuring ethically made and fair trade items from over 10 countries, every item is made by women facing extreme challenges such as trafficking, poverty, and more. Your purchase empowers women to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. Shop at THELemonadeBoutique.com. Listeners of the Business with Purpose Podcast can save 15% by using code PURPOSE15 at checkout.
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