How many times have you visited someone’s website or Instagram page, and thought to yourself, “Wow, I love their vibe” or “They have a great personality?” What about the opposite? You’re online trying to find the perfect person to hire or buy from, and everyone you come across looks the same. Bland.
It’s really important that your online presence be truly YOU, which is exactly what today’s guest and I are talking all about. How to make your copy you.
Tracie Kendziora is the founder and creative voice of Okay, Okapi where she helps online business owners, coaches, and creatives write personality-packed copy so they can build a brand that reflects who they are—personality quirks and all.
Tune in to hear what Tracie has to say about creating different and fun copy—without going overboard.
Mentioned in This Episode
About Tracie Kendziora
Tracie is the founder of Okay, Okapi, where she helps online business owners, coaches, and creatives write personality-packed copy so they can build their brand online, create a rock-solid connection with their audience, and book more dream clients. Her sweet spot is working as a copy coach and editor to help her clients create totally unique brand voices and unboring content that connects more and converts better.
Abby Herman 0:08
Hey there, and welcome to Episode 137 of the content experiment podcast, a podcast that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever moving targets in any business. And it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it. All right all of the time, you have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content, to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience, and what grows your business, and most importantly, what feels good for you. I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and coach for online business owners who are ready to make a bigger impact online. I firmly believe that success isn’t about what big marketing brands and so called gurus think is the right thing. It’s about you and your business, your lifestyle, and, frankly, your values and beliefs, belief systems, you get to do business in a way that works for you. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I really don’t believe in competition.
Abby Herman 1:08
We all have our own way of doing things and our own personalities. I may not be for everyone, but maybe somebody else is. And how do you know if someone is for you or not? Well, a lot of times you start by following them on social media, then when you’re ready to buy you check out their website, it’s really important that your website be truly you. That sounds like you and that it reflects your unique personality. That’s exactly what today’s guest and I are talking all about how to make your copy you. But before you get started, I want to welcome you to the podcast, I think that you will find that this podcast is full of no nonsense support to help inspire you to get your message out there and give you the actionable steps that you need to make it happen so that you can get on with business your way. If you like what you hear, hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss another episode. Alright, back to our guests. I’m chatting today with Tracie Kendziora a copy coach and editor who helps clients create unique copy in their brand voice. Tracie is the founder of Okay, Okapi, where she helps online business owners coaches and creatives write personality packed copy, so they can build their brand online, create a rock solid connection with their audience and book more dream clients. Her sweet spot is working as a copy coach and editor to help her clients create totally unique brand voices and unborn content that connects more and converts better. And now here is our conversation. Hi, Tracie, thank you so much for joining me today.
Tracie Kendziora 2:52
Hey, Abby, thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to chat with you, especially as a another content creator. I’m excited to have this conversation.
Abby Herman 3:03
Before we get started though. Can you share with listeners what you do and who you do it for?
Tracie Kendziora 3:10
Yeah, sure. So I’m a copy coach and editor. And I help online business owners coaches and creatives write personality packed copy so that they can build their brand online, create a rock solid connection with their audience and book more dream clients. And I really, really love working with my clients to create these unique brand voices, and unmooring copy and content that connects more and converts better.
Abby Herman 3:40
And that is so important for everyone. How do you work with clients? Do you work with them one on one and small groups?
Tracie Kendziora 3:49
I do right now. It’s mostly one on one, but I am. You know on the slide. I like launching a group program. So I there will be an opportunity to do that very soon.
Abby Herman 4:01
I love it. And so your business? Can you share your business name? And you can you share the story behind it because it’s super unique. And I literally had to go to Google to figure out what an O copy is a copy of that. I say that right? Can you share a little bit about that? Because I and I like listeners I do not know the story. I didn’t let her tell me before we hit record so I can’t wait to hear.
Tracie Kendziora 4:29
So my business name is Okay, Okapi. And I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to name this new business that I was starting right. And I knew that I didn’t want it to just be my name because like I told Abby before we started recording. No one can really spell it or pronounce it correctly. It’s kind of a tricky one like first and last. So one day you know this was percolating in the back of my mind. I was at Animal Kingdom. And they have an Okapi exhibit there. And I started thinking about this animal and how, like, totally cool, they were with just being unique. Like, they’re kind of like, you know, they have stripes, and you know, they kind of look like a giraffe and like, kinda like a zebra. And I started thinking, wow, this dovetails really nicely into my whole mission, which is to get people to be cool being themselves and finding their own unique voice. And then of course, you know, when you hear the pronunciation of it, oh, copy, I kind of like started nerding out on the word play. It’s like, copy. Oh, copy, and then you know, better than Okay, copy. So it all just kind of wrapped in together nicely.
Abby Herman 5:49
I love that. That’s Yeah, very fun. And who knew that a trip to the zoo? Or you could Yeah, launch a business name. That’s great.
Tracie Kendziora 5:59
You find inspiration in the weirdest places, sometimes.
Abby Herman 6:02
It’s so true, so true. And also I want to talk about brand voice and having personality online. But before we do that, as a fellow content creator, I want to hear from your perspective, the importance of creating content for your audience, just in case listeners need any more convincing. I mean, they’re listening to this podcast. So I assume that they know how important content is. But can you share, from your perspective? Why do we need content for our businesses?
Tracie Kendziora 6:37
Right? And I feel like people always need more convincing just like, even if they’re, you know, oh, yeah, I should be creating content. But it never hurts to have more reasons to be doing it. So for me, I think one of the biggest things is when you’re creating and sharing content, it helps build trust with your audience, because you’re consistently showing up, you’re offering super solid advice for the specific things that they need help with. And in doing that, you’re showing people that you’re a legit person, right? Like, I always personally feel like if someone I’m interested in working with or hiring, doesn’t share content in some format, whether it’s a blog, or a podcast, or whatever it is, I find myself wondering what they know, and what value they can offer me. So I tend to think like, the more value you give your audience through your content, the more trust you’re going to build with them. I also think, you know, in creating and sharing, it helps set you apart from the competition, not because no one else is creating content, right? But it’s because it’s an opportunity to share your philosophies and your beliefs and your ideas. So that those potential clients that are interested in maybe higher you get a better sense of your approach to what you do. And when you’re sharing that process and the kind of results you get and case studies and quick wins, you’re really highlighting your expertise. And again, the more you share that and show off your knowledge, the more people will start to see you as a go to person in your field.
Abby Herman 8:23
Yes, all of those are such great reasons to create content and share your message out there. People need to know what your expertise is, what you can help them with. And yeah, sharing really valuable content is is definitely the way to do that. So, alright, so listeners know the importance of content to market their business and copy on their website so that people know what they can buy from them. And that’s why they’re listening here right now, because they know that but so many struggle with getting their ideas down on paper or on the computer screen. It’s like, you know, staring at that blank screen is really tough. They want their personality to shine through and they want to stand out from others, like you just said, but sometimes they go a little overboard and their desire to be different than their desire to stand out. They go a little overboard. And honestly, this drives me absolutely crazy. When they are trying so hard, it makes it really difficult to read the copy or the content. So in someone who’s trying to be really different and quirky, might lose their audience. Can you share a little bit about how to find your voice and to be it stand out without going overboard?
Tracie Kendziora 9:47
Yeah, so I think you made such a great point is that some people or creators are trying so hard to stand out that their message gets lost in them. Trying to do that. And I’m such a huge proponent of infusing your personality and your content. But I totally agree that there comes a point when it’s really just too much. And I think that your brand and your audience will help determine that balance, that line of how much personality you can really get away with. You know, like you said, people want to see something different. And they want to get a sense of like, who you are and what your personality is. But if your audience can’t follow along with your message, if they’re kind of bogged down, trying to understand whatever that pop culture reference was, or, like, what are those song lyrics? Like, do I need to know that song in order to get the point that they’re making? Yes, it’s, it’s, that’s what you’re starting to get a little overboard. So I think it’s really important to keep in mind who you’re trying to reach. If your content is all like gifts and memes, and your audience totally doesn’t get that you’ve either got the wrong audience, or you’re talking to them wrong. So you have to try and meet them where they’re at. And sometimes, I know, it hurts me a little bit to say this, sometimes, that means dialing back the personality a little bit. And there’s nothing wrong with showing personality and your content if it feels authentic to you. But if you’re trying superduper hard to be different, and you’re lacing your content with tons of personality, sometimes it can come across as actually kind of inauthentic and doing the exact opposite of what you want.
Abby Herman 11:35
So how do we find that balance that like, how do we know? How much is too much? Because I know that so for me, personally, I am a bit more reserved? I am i think that you know, in person face to face with close friends or people I know really well, I tend to be a little more quirky, and and out there, but with clients and with business friends, I might be a little more reserved. How do I know? Like, what to portray out there on the internet? Which way do I go?
Tracie Kendziora 12:10
Right, I think it comes back to knowing how you want people to see you and perceive you. Like what, what is your brand all about? Are you is your brand reserved? Is your brand a little more quirky? And when you understand that you have a much better direction on Okay, like, What kinds of things do I want to infuse into my content? Like if it’s quirky, I can infuse these weird, obscure pop culture references. But if it’s a little more reserved, maybe my writing is more straightforward. So just always keep in mind, how do I want my audience to see me? How do I want them to like, view me and always coming at it from that perspective, and being able to understand, I guess, like, like you said, even though you might be one way with your friends, that doesn’t mean that’s how you are as a business owner. So just being able to draw those lines and keep those things separate, sometimes really, really helps keep that balance. And I think, you know, to try and distill it a little bit, a good rule of thumb for me is that you shouldn’t get so preoccupied with infusing personality, that your message gets lost, I think, never, never, ever sacrifice readability for personality. If your content is getting so overrun with jokes, and hashtags, and, you know, unnecessary commentary that your point is buried beneath all of that, it’s time to reel it in, because you don’t want to be all style and no substance. Right?
Abby Herman 13:58
Absolutely. And yeah, I totally agree with you on, you have to decide how you want people to perceive you. And I don’t think that that is being fake at all, I think it’s just being a professional versus being, you know, a BFF. So, for example, I tend to have a little bit of a potty mouth in real life. And I, you know, I’ve been known to drop, you know, f bombs on, you know, occasions, multiple occasions. I, but I don’t do that in my business, because I want and I don’t think that that makes me inauthentic. I think it just like I have a business. And I want to be professional and personally and I know that there are people out there who include profanity on their websites and on their copy, but I don’t necessarily want to put that on my website because that’s just not the that’s not the me that I want to put out there.
Tracie Kendziora 14:58
Does that make sense totally and You know, I’m one of the people that I have a potty mouth, and I totally swear on my website and in my content, but that’s fine. It’s like, that’s me. And I work with people that they don’t swear in their contents. And it’s totally fine. Like, it’s not like I’m pushing that on them. Right? What I think it’s important to remember is that you you as a person, and you as a brand can be different. And it can still be authentic, like, your authentic personality with your friends, your authentic personality as a business owner. Yeah, they don’t have to be one in the same.
Abby Herman 15:36
Yep, I totally agree. I totally agree. Do you have any questions or exercises that you do with clients to help them to better identify what their brand voice is and how to build that personality?
Tracie Kendziora 15:51
Yeah, I, I do have one I have, I have a bunch. But like one of my favorite things. And this goes back to, you know, helping when you feel like you might be overstepping that personality balance a little bit. It’s reading your content out loud. So the point of that is to see if it feels natural. If you feel weird, or like you’re getting lost reading it, or you’re like, Oh, my God, I would never actually say it that way, then your audience is going to get lost, you’re going to come across in a way that you don’t want to be perceived. And when you’re getting those feelings, that’s usually pretty clear sign that you want haven’t found her voice yet. And it doesn’t feel good to you. And to that, you might need to tone down that personality a little bit if it’s feeling windy and weird. Yeah. And it’s, it’s totally something that I find for myself, by the way, like when I read something out loud, and I find myself like, rewording it in the process. I know that I need to go back and fine tune and I’m like, constantly like I’m like, What? How did I write that? I would, that’s not something I would ever, ever say that’s so not my voice. So I think getting comfortable doing that is a really great first step.
Abby Herman 17:14
Well, and I think it goes the other way, too. So not only might you need to tone it down, but you might need to tone it up, too. Yeah, I know that. So, you know, spoiler alert here, when I do my solo podcast episodes, I script them. And I write them all out, like as a blog post to before I actually record it. And then when I go to record, I am thinking as I’m reading through it, I’m like, this is very blonde, add in some things here and there. But I start with a script and then add in some personality as I am recording, because it doesn’t sound like me, I do have a lot of like, parents, medical phrases, and ellipses and things like that. And little, little side comments that I don’t know, they don’t necessarily come out when I’m writing, they cannot more when I’m talking because I like the sarcasm and the the added value, I guess that you quote unquote, value that you get from those little side comments.
Tracie Kendziora 18:15
Yeah, I totally agree with you. It definitely goes both ways. And that’s something that I find, I do a lot when I work with my clients, and I do editing for them. I like, Oh, no, like, I know that you’ve got more here, like, how can we make this more personality packed? Because you’re not blah, you know, not that there’s anything wrong with being like a straightforward writer, and very to the point. But I know my clients, and I know when they need to pull it out a little bit more. So that that is something for sure that people need to keep in mind.
Abby Herman 18:48
Yeah. Do you mind sharing another tip that you do with clients to help them find their voice?
Tracie Kendziora 18:54
Yeah, so this kind of goes along the same lines of reading out loud. But if you are, you know, maybe you don’t have something already written. Maybe you’re sitting down to write something. And you’re not sure you know how to start it. I think, I guess this is kind of twofold. One, like, it helps you get started for people that you know, when they sit down in front of the computer, they have trouble starting from scratch, is to start as to talk to you know, do like a voice record memo thing, whatever they call it, and and just literally start talking. And when you play it back, you’ll hear you know the phrases that you say all the time, you’ll hear the words that you repeat, often you’ll hear how you structure your sentences and where you place emphasis. And you’ll start to see these things naturally. And the more that you do that, you’ll start to see the patterns. And notice, oh, you know, whenever I’m doing this, I sound very friendly and funny. That’s part Is my brand voice? Okay, how can I bring that in more and more? So, you know, it helps you get unstuck when you’re trying to start writing, but it also helps you start finding your voice a little bit more.
Abby Herman 20:13
Yeah. Yeah, I think that talking about a lot of people say, Well, I’m not a writer, I can’t vlog because I’m not a writer. And because they have a really hard time looking at that blank screen and just getting started. So I love the idea of doing a voice recording, you could voxer yourself as you’re like driving in the car and you think, you know, driving with your, you know, hands free device, of course, using Bluetooth. But you can Yeah, record yourself talking through something I used to do. Someone recommended to me once using voice to text it a Google Doc. And so I tried that it didn’t work for me, just because I am a writer, I do really enjoy writing. And I’m super particular about making sure that when I’m creating a written something it is I’m doing it in a certain order. And so it was really hard for me to do that. But it works for some people. So try that. And I love that.
Tracie Kendziora 21:07
Yep, for sure. I’m the same same exact way. I’m a writer. And I’m like, No, no, I need to write this first.
Abby Herman 21:13
Yeah. Which is exactly why I script my podcast. So all right, well, so I know that a lot of people look for help with creating written content. And they look to templates a lot of times. So I have an I’ve actually purchased templates just to kind of see what they look like and how they work. And I have a couple of templates that like will go along with different things that I offer, like my ask your audience challenge, I have a template for an email that people can grab and use to help ask people to take a survey for them. But using a template is a lot more than just copying and pasting. Right? I know, you offer templates, you have clients who work with templates, how do we get our personality into a template into something that we’ve purchased? And like, there’s brackets, so we know or highlights and we know where to replace? Is that all we’re doing? Or should we be doing other things as well?
Tracie Kendziora 22:16
Yeah, no, templates, to me is so much more than copying and pasting. And I think that that is a huge mistake, people make that that just copy and paste fill in the bracket, because that’s not or that is how you end up with content. That sounds like everybody else that’s on original and not you, you’re basically creating a brand, that’s someone else. And when you just copy and paste, you’re not being you know, there’s that word, again, authentic, and people can kind of tell that, right? So that doesn’t mean that you can’t use templates. I love templates, I use them. They they’re amazing, because they prevent you from starting from scratch, right? They, they teach you what works, they save you a ton of time, they help you write faster and better. So I think it’s more a matter of rethinking how you use templates, and reframing them as a tool or a guide. Think of them as like a jumping off point or inspiration, not something that you copy and paste word for word.
Tracie Kendziora 23:26
So when it comes to getting your personality into a template, there’s always a few things that I suggest trying out. The first one is to spend some time looking at the template and understanding how it sounds and how it accomplishes that sound or you know, the writer lead flow, does it use a mix of sentence structures, certain language or transitions, maybe it tells a story. So if you can figure out that you can try and make your piece have the same flow as that template. I also think that borrowing the structure is a great way to use a template. So that means looking at how the template is structured or set up and seeing how you can build your content the same way. So what I like to do for that is I go through, you know the entire thing. And I make note of Okay, here’s what this paragraph is doing. Here’s what this section is doing. And then I see how I can recreate that in my content.
Abby Herman 24:31
That is such a good tip. Yes, because so do you remember back in the day, the your five paragraph essay and you have the introduction and you need to discuss the main points and then you have point 1.2 point three in the body paragraphs and then you have the summary. So I mean, we knew what was supposed to happen in each of those paragraphs. It was up to us to actually make that happen and hopefully if you’re using a copywriting tool template or something, you know, in your own business, you’re making it a little bit more interesting than if I’ve heard. Those were pretty dry.
Tracie Kendziora 25:09
Right? Oh, for sure. But But you’re right, it gave you the structure. So you knew where you were starting. And, again, having that knowledge just makes it so much easier to get started. And that’s for sure. Something that I do, like, I don’t know about you, but I have like a giant swipe file of like, his sales pages, emails, like even blog posts, I’m like, Oh, I really like the way that was set up. And I, whenever I’m ready to write something, maybe it’s a sales page, maybe it’s an email, whatever, I can go on my swipe file and be like, Alright, the opening was a question. Okay. And then the next section was all about the pain points. So I know, the structure and how I can set it up and follow it to accomplish the same thing.
Abby Herman 26:00
Yeah, yeah, it’s always easier, I find it at least always easier to look at the finished product of someone else, and or even an old finished product of my own. And then build around that versus starting from scratch, I did the same thing. And people do it all the time with email templates, or with websites, like the Here we find inspiration and other people’s work. And then we build on that or shift that grow that into something that is our own. Do you find that to be the case?
Tracie Kendziora 26:34
For sure I do that all the time. A lot of the time. I’m like, you know, when I’m working with a client, I’ll ask them, Hey, do you have any websites that you think are really inspiring, and you really love the copy? Let’s take a look at those and see what that copy is doing? How its set up? How its structured? What do you like about it? Do you like the structure? Do you like the tone? Do you like the brand voice like, let’s let’s deconstruct this and see if we can reverse engineer it?
Abby Herman 27:01
Yes, yeah, absolutely. So you have a tool for writing headlines. Can you talk a little bit about that your free tool?
Tracie Kendziora 27:11
Yeah, sure. So it’s called spicy headlines. And it’s basically 200 blog post headline templates or fill in the blanks. And they can be used beyond headlines, you know, they can be subject lines, they can be headlines for a sales page, or a social media, caption, whatever. But the idea is to give some inspiration, and not just a template, but teach people how to, there’s that word structure, their, their headline. And then also, I include a bunch of tips on how to make it their own or how to match it to their personality. Because, you know, again, I might throw an F bomb in there, but you’re not going to do that. So it’s about making it work for you. So that’s one of the things that included in there as well.
Abby Herman 28:02
Awesome. And where can people find that? It is at my website? Okay, well, copy.com slash spicy headlines. Awesome. And I’ll have a link to that in the show notes for people to Tracy, this was such a great conversation. I so appreciate your talking content and copy with me because it’s my jam. Like talking about it. Where can people find you if they want to follow you or find out more from you?
Tracie Kendziora 28:33
Yeah, sure. So obviously, always blogging on my website at OkayOkapi.com, and I’m mostly hanging out on Instagram again, @OkayOkapi.
Abby Herman 28:44
Fantastic. And again, I’ll I’ll include links to that in the show notes. So thank you so much, Tracie for being here. Thank you so much for having me. This was awesome. Alright, so remember at the beginning of the interview where Tracy shared that when someone doesn’t share any content, she starts to wonder what that person actually knows and what they can do. creating content is going to get you visibility and showcase your expertise, what you know and what you can do. So make sure you’re creating something please. I also love what Tracy said about being different and fun and why you need to be careful not to go overboard. This is such a huge pet peeve for me. Think about how your audience is receiving your message. And if they can receive it at all. If you’re trying to be too over the top and creative, they probably don’t know what you’re talking about.
Abby Herman 29:40
If you need help finding your voice or creating the content your audience needs or you’re ready to start experimenting with content and marketing in your own business without having to do all the guesswork yourself. You can join us inside content mastery lab at thecontentexperiment.com/lab and Use the coupon code podcast to get your first month for $1 Pricing starts at just $97 A month after that, if you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram stories. You can tag me @thecontentexperiment and Tracy @_OkayOkapi. It’s okay. I’ll have a link in the show notes. The more you share it the more we can get the podcast in the hands of more business owners just like you who need to hear the message that they are not alone. Until next time, take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai