Forget video. Story is King.
A great story is the key to stopping the scroll and keeping the attention of your target audience. But how do we write stories people actually care about and will encourage them to turn from casual readers into loyal fans?
That’s our topic today with copywriter and storyteller, Marisa Corcoran.
In this episode, Marisa put me on the hot seat to teach listeners just how easily her signature Story Stripdown process turns your boring, informational social copy into humorous, meaningful, and memorable stories that build your audience.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:
- The brain’s attraction to story
- Sharing our slice-of-life moments
- The two things purchasing decisions are based on
- The story stripdown process
- Keeping a story at the ready
- Why the best copy can’t fix a muddy message
- Non-sexy transitions
- Creating scroll-stopping subject lines
This Episode Was Made Possible By:
Social Media Starter Kit Free Course
The Social Media Starter Kit is your chance to pull back the curtain and get insights on how to build a social media strategy that works for you, learn how to create (and implement) a simple and effective content plan, convert followers into buyers, and much more.
Register for this FREE course and gain the confidence you need to use social media as a tool to grow your business.
Savvy Social Retreat
You're officially invited to my very first in-person retreat happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, from November 3rd through 5th 2023.
This all-inclusive retreat is designed for established business owners who really need to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and are ready to work on the big picture topics and carve out enough space to make important decisions in our business.
About the Guest:
Marisa's magic lies in creating intentional icons, whether it's supporting 400+ coaches and creatives to craft their uncopyable message inside her signature program, The Copy Confidence Society. Or helping business owners create their own stage with The Signature Summit System to grow their community and build rockstar relationships.
She's also the creator of the wildly popular summit, The Copy Chat (6 seasons + counting!) which has given $100K+ to organizations like The Headstrong Project, Soul Fire Farm, and Sage USA.
When not click-clacking on her laptop in the Atlanta sun, you can find this Harvard grad analyzing a Real Housewives episode like it’s government policy and consuming inappropriate amounts of Nutrageous candy bars.
- “People are always like, you know, tell more stories in your, in your content, tell more stories. And I just think it's important for people to understand why that's so needed. So just from a history standpoint, storytelling is our oldest form of communication.” – Marisa Corcoran
- “There's studies that have shown that the brain lights up when a story is being told and people are better able to absorb a truth or a lesson when they're told in a story form as opposed to just being hit with facts and figures.” – Marisa Corcoran
- “I just wrote an email today about the squirrel we had in our attic last week, and I found the connection back to business. So sometimes it's like we have those stories and I like to just store them as they come to me.” – Marisa Corcoran
- “Step number one is what is the takeaway that you want the person to have from this email or this social post. So you're starting with that teachable moment. So you're looking back at the main things that you talk about all the time and you're picking one of those things. So like, what's the takeaway? What's the teachable moment that you wanna address today?” – Marisa Corcoran
- “I think it's so important, especially because of the nature of social media itself. You know, a lot of times, we don't log on to social media, going like, what do I wanna buy today…So to get that personality and then to be drawn in and to be basically converted into a buyer feels like a really authentic process for social media.” – Andréa Jones
- “I always talk about how social media requires practice. So some people feel like they can just show up and have an amazing post right off the bat. And I always talk about that is a skill that needs to be developed over time.” – Andréa Jones
- “It's so easy to look around at everyone else at the professional level, and we see everyone doing amazing things, and so we feel like we don't fit with that. We feel that whatever we're gonna post feels too new or too novice, and we don't wanna make that mistake very publicly.” – Andréa Jones
- “I feel like at the end of the day, what I am, number one, is a storyteller. And I think that's why I'm great to kind of help people bring out those stories in themselves. So I love this, and so I made a commitment that I'm gonna write two emails a week to my email list, and we have about three social posts that go out a week to the feed. So that's my commitment, come hell or high water.” – Marisa Corcoran
Grab your free 50+ Scroll-Stopping Subject Lines
Watch the Episode Below:
Welcome to the Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andrea Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:29):
Marisa, welcome to the show. I'm so excited to learn all about the story, strip down as the, let's just dive right in. Like why, why is stories telling so important on social media?
Marisa Corcoran (00:41):
Yeah, this is such a great question. First off, thank you so much for having me. This is like, so great. You know, this is such a great question because people are always like, you know, tell more stories in your, in your content, tell more stories. And I just think it's important for people to understand why that's so needed. So just from like a history standpoint, storytelling is our oldest form of communication. It dates back to the Chave caves, which I had to look that up to make sure I was been saying it right. All these years I'm like, am I even saying this right? Like a podcast the Chave caves like 30,000 years ago.
This is how we have been communicating. And if we think about some of the greatest leaders that throughout history or the greatest storytellers I always use, you know, I'm not a religious person, but I always use Jesus as like a great example of this. So Jesus, he didn't like, you know, instead of saying, Hey, you can mess up and God will still love you, he instead told the story of the prodigal son. So he would tell stories to often help people absorb, you know, a truth or a teachable moment instead of just kind of sand standing. Well, I would say soapbox and I guess Jesus would standing on like a mountain or like, you know, some hillside somewhere, you know, on his soapbox. He really got people to pay attention by telling these. And, and they weren't these grand stories either. They're what I call 'em my world like slice of life moments.
So telling these like small slice of life moments. And there's studies that have shown that the brain lights up when a story is being told and people are like better able to absorb a truth or a lesson when they're told in a story form as opposed to just being hit with facts and figures. So that's kind of a little history lesson to just let people understand that like storytelling works. It works. Yes. So when people are saying tell more stories, it's not just kind of like out of thin air. It really, really does do two things in, in your business. I always tell people that, you know, people make purchasing decisions based on two things. One is what you're selling something that I want. That's why your messaging or your what I do statement has to be so clear and specific. This is where we start in my signature program and the Copy Confidence Society is like, how could you talk about what you do with clarity?
And the second is, are you the person that I wanna do it with? That's why having these elements of personality, of your values, these small slice of life moments help people to connect to you as opposed again, to just getting on Instagram every day and just hitting 'em with facts and figures. It's a, it's a window into you that people, when they're going, oh my gosh, I'm trying to figure out who I wanna do this work with. Oh my gosh, well here's Andrea sharing this little slice of life moment about her family or about her dog, or about this. And now when they go to make purchasing decisions, they're like, you know what? I'm gonna go with Andrea. I feel like she gets me. I feel like there's something, there's a connection here that we can do through storytelling.
Andréa Jones (03:36):
Yeah. And you know, I recently experienced this. I went back home to Miami where I'm from originally. I always say I'm from Atlanta, but like I was born in Miami. That's where my grandparents live. Yeah. Well I didn't know that. I was talking to my, yeah, I was talking to my grandma and she was telling me all of these stories about her life growing up and especially cuz she grew up on a plantation and you know, her life is so different from my life and being a black woman back then meant a different thing than it does now. And the the powerful stories that she was telling just really stuck with me, especially this visit cuz now I have a daughter and her life is gonna be different. And so I totally hear you on the, the storytelling side. My follow up question that would be, you know, when we're thinking about these slice of life stories, how do we decide what to share?
And how to share it without just being, you know, here's a picture of my food that I ate today. You know what I mean? Like how do we, how do we use the place of life to actually promote our business instead of just sharing our life?
Marisa Corcoran (04:44):
Yeah, yeah, totally. So something that I do up this is helpful. So something that we do in the Copy Confidence Society is we have people start in, in the first module, we have you kind of choose what we call your copy star, which is base cuz I was an actor in my former life. So we really base it on a lot of like the archetypes of acting. So it helps you like uncover like your personality in your copy. Like are you leaving parts of yourself on the table? So there's five to choose from. It can be a combo, you can be a triplet, there's like the hooker with the heart of gold, a nerd leader and how do you find yourself?
Cuz a lot of times online we're just seeing like kind of bigger or b more bombastic personalities and it's like, well if that's not you, then you're like, gosh, what do I share? How do I stand out? So the copy stars kind of help you uncover that. And then something that goes with that is, we call it your motifs, like these different themes that you want to talk about that you can connect back to your business in some way. So we wanna kind of start off with those motifs. But then sometimes, so, and I'll give you my, the example of me, I might use those motifs like in my feed on Instagram, like the, you know, I'll always say, you know, the best copy you know, can't fix a, a muddied message. And I'll, I'll, I'll go through that, that motif like over and over again like in my feed and I'll connect that back to like certain stories of like my time as an actor of like certain people who stood out versus who didn't, you know.
And I'll always use like little stories from my actor life to do that. So in the feed I'm like connecting it back to like a teachable moment. But then in my stories sometimes I am just sharing like the straight up, there's no connection back. It's just my personal. So like on Friday nights my husband thank God for him cuz I really don't know how to cook. I'm Italian, which is like, this is like heartbreaking for anybody. Like what do you even mean? So he'll cook and I'll do like these Friday night dance parties where I'm just dancing to music to stuff that I love. It doesn't connect back to my business at all on like a, you know, overt level. But it does, cuz again it goes back to that second purchasing decision of like, I've had people message me and be like, oh my gosh, this is so fun to watch.
I, I had somebody join that copy Confidence Society because one night I realized that that song Cotton Eye Joe, I really, I always thought it was like Gibber. I never knew what the first part was. I just always knew Cotton Eye Joe. So one night I looked up the lyrics and I realized what Cotton Eye Joe, I was like, oh my God, the beginning part is if it hadn't have been for Cotton Eye Joe, I would've been married a long time ago. Like Cotton Eye Joe took this person's like partner from them. But this is a really messed up song. We've been listening to it at baseball games like our whole life. So I did this like breakdown of my stories one night, nothing to do with copying, nothing to do with business. I had somebody who ended up joining the Copy Confidence Society. They were like, I laughed so hard.
I was like, if this is any indication of what it's gonna be like to learn from you, I knew the next time you were opening the doors I was in and that person became part of the society. So we talk about like what, what of those motifs can we connect back? What are those like slice of life moments that we can connect back to your business? Like if somebody like loves to garden, like let's, can we find a connection back to your niche or your what you do really well? And then sometimes there's just what we call like those fun kind of what, what might seem like totally like boring or mundane to you that sometimes we can like share that again lets people a little glimpse into your personality. So sometimes sharing the food, you never know where it may lead. You don't have to do it every single day, but sometimes you like you never know where stuff like that may lead to, if that makes sense.
Andréa Jones (08:18):
Yeah. And I think it's so important, especially because of the nature of social media itself. You know, a lot of times we don't log on to social media going like, what do I wanna buy today <laugh>, you know, like right. Definitely don't really go looking for some of those things. So to get that personality and then to be drawn in and and to be basically converted into a buyer customer feels like a really authentic process for social media. So with all of this in mind why did you create the story stripped down process? Because it feels like there's some sort of connection here between the slice of life, the storytelling, and then this whole process. Like obviously we wanna use it to get customers at the end of the day.
Marisa Corcoran (09:04):
Right. So even then we go back to, Andréa, what we're saying in the beginning is like people are telling you tell more stories.
Even now it's like, okay, how do we know which story should I share about my food? Should I not? Like how do I know? And so sometimes we have a story at the ready, you know, I always joke with my friends or I have people like, I don't, it's not fancy, it's not like sexy, I just have the, you know, the notes app on my phone. And so at any time people know I'll be like, hold please. That could be a story that'll be having a conversation. And I'm like, hold and I have the weirdest things in this. No, in this no app. I'm like squirrel in the attic. I just wrote an email today about the squirrel we had in our attic last week, <laugh> and I found the connection back to business. So sometimes it's like we have those stories and I like to just store them as they come to me.
It, I may not use it for months, but I'm just kind of keeping track. I'm always looking in my life like what could be a story. But very often if that's not like your creation style or how you work best and then you're staring in front of the Google doc, you're like, okay well they're telling me new stories. I don't have one of these stories to pull from. What do I do? So that's why I created this story stripdown to reverse engineer storytelling, to help people draw out more of these slice of life moments so that you always have a story at the ready. Even if when you sit down you may not exactly, usually you don't know what the story's gonna be.
Andréa Jones (10:22):
Yeah, I know so many of our listeners are right there where they're staring at their blank Google Doc and they're like, how do I even start with this?
I'm so curious like what all the steps are because I know that this is gonna be exactly what they need to hear today.
Marisa Corcoran (10:36):
Oh cool. Okay. Yeah, I love this cuz even when it's like, okay, what stories, like I can, I, I'm happy like to go over what I do, but I know for the different in doing this for as long as I have, I know that we still have people like race. I'm just not thinking of stories in the way that you are, you know, and I'm like, all right, this is what we do. So I'll give you kind of the steps to the process and then I know Andrea, we're gonna go through this using like you as like our example, which is so cool. Okay, <laugh>. So the very first thing when you're sitting, sitting down, this can be for an email or a social post.
It can be for wherever you wanna think about and anyone who's listening, just kinda like it could be any anywhere. So the first thing that you wanna step number one is what is the takeaway that you want the person to have from this email or this social post. So you're starting with that teachable moment. So you're looking back at like the main things that you talk about all the time and you're picking one of those things. So like what's the takeaway? What's the teachable moment that you wanna address today? The second step is like, okay, what's stopping people from just doing the, the takeaway or the teachable moment that you want them to get? Like what's in the way of them doing that? Like, what's the underlying feeling that's stopping them from you sharing whatever that teachable moment is? And then this is where usually I tell people, you gotta take off your marketing hat and you gotta put on your creative hat for a few minutes.
And so then this is where you're gonna look at it and you're gonna go, when have I ever felt that feeling in my life? And very, it, it may be in the same in your business, but most of the time it's gonna be outside of your niche. It's gonna be something from your personal life or someone that you know even. And it's gonna be a time when you felt that or someone that you know have felt that. And then that becomes the story. So that's becomes like what the story is. So we can use you as an example if you want to go through this.
Andréa Jones (12:38):
Yes. Oh I'm so excited for this. Okay, we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back, we're gonna use my example. Myself as the example for the story stripdown. Here we go.
[Podcast Ad break] I'm so excited to officially invite you to my very first in-person retreat happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, November 3rd through 5th. So this retreat was designed for established business owners who really need to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You're tired of sitting on Zoom for yet another meeting with your kid crying and hollering in the background. And you're ready to work on the big picture topics like we talk about in this podcast episode. You know, these topics are so important and sometimes we do not carve out enough space to make important decisions in our business. And if that's you, this retreat is designed to help support you. So come join me November 3rd through fifth in Niagara on the Lake Ontario, Canada. This Hallmark picturesque town is perfect for hosting this retreat. It is all inclusive, your room is included, all your food is included. We are gonna have some amazing conversations, some facilitators, and it's just one of those places where you gotta be in the room. So check it firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll see you there. [Podcast Ad break]
Right, we're back. I'm so excited. I'm the, I'm the Guinea pig here. I, or is that a, wait, is that pc? Can I say that? I don't know if I'm allowed, like if that's appropriate. <Laugh>,
Marisa Corcoran (14:20):
I don't know. I'm like, are we testing an animal? I don't know, but you're gonna be awesome, Andréa, on the hot seat.
Andréa Jones (14:26):
I will be the example. So where do we start? With our end goal, right?
Marisa Corcoran (14:30):
Right. So yeah, so Andréa, you're sitting down to do a social post. You know, when you think about the different themes that you always go back to that calls in the right people, like what is those kind of one of those like main like myths that, you know, you need to, you know, bust for somebody or a, a teachable moment? Like what might be one of those takeaways that you go back to again and again?
Like I always tell people the best copy can't fix a money message. I say it over and over again, you know, talking about the importance of messaging as opposed to just copy. So like what's a an example of that for you?
Andréa Jones (15:01):
Yeah, so mine probably isn't as crispy and clear as yours is, but I always talk about how social media requires practice. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. So some people feel like they can just show up and like have an amazing post right off the bat. And I always talk about like that is a skill that needs to be developed over time.
Marisa Corcoran (15:20):
Got it. So yeah, you can first of all, I love this cuz I think sometimes we always hate being beginners, right? Yeah. We're like, gosh, I just wanna nail this and, and takes prac. We want the first post we ever do to be like, you know, we're viral, we have, you know, we're on Glennon Doyle's podcast.
It's like our whole life has changed, you know? So. Totally. Totally. So what do you think is like the feeling that stops people from just being like, yeah, Andréa, you know, social media requires practice, I'm just gonna hop in there and keep doing it. Like, what stops them from, you know, honing in on this skill?
Andréa Jones (15:53):
I think I'd have to say it the comparison game. So it's so easy to look around at everyone else at like the professional level and we see everyone doing amazing things and so we feel like we don't fit with that. We feel like at whatever we're gonna post feels too new or too novice and we don't wanna, we don't wanna make that mistake very publicly.
Marisa Corcoran (16:17):
We don't wanna make that mistake publicly or we feel too novice. Totally. I always say this like, I hate like starting something I don't, I'm like, can I just skip to where I knew all the steps?
You know, like I, I'll always finish something like, I hate being like the beginner, you know, which is like so much of running your business, right? So, okay. Can you think of a time in your own life where you either like had to make that mistake publicly or were afraid to be new or be novice?
Andréa Jones (16:49):
Yeah. I feel like I've done this a lot recently with my daughter. It is, it is a change to become a mom and especially when we're out in public. Actually last night we went out to dinner and she was just, she's loving food all the time, then suddenly we're in public, she's like, mm-hmm don't want it. And I'm sitting over here like, I promise she eats food, but today she doesn't wanna eat it. So we ended up pulling out the iPad and she ended up watching her little show, which again, also I feel like that mom guilt of like, am I doing the right thing?
Everyone looking at me while I'm like my eight month old is watching Ms. Rachel on YouTube <laugh>.
Marisa Corcoran (17:34):
Great, great. Oh this is such a great story. So this could be like how this email or this social post starts. Hmm. Okay. Talking about like, you know there, and, and I can also walk you through this other part of how we like the, what, what they call a micro moment. Cuz once people have the story they're like, well this could be like a total story level story. This could be like, you know, pages upon pages, so how do we like create the micro moment? But essentially it's telling the story of you being out to eat and you know, nor at home your daughter's like always eating this up and now it's nothing. And it's like, do I stop like taking my daughter out to eat, like all this mom guilt, all that.
And then I always say there's like a non-sexy transition where sometimes I don't even have a perfectly like crisp transition. I could, you could transition. Why am I telling you this? Right? Because maybe you feel this way when it comes to being a newbie with social media. You know? And just like you're not gonna hit reply and tell me like, you know, I'm a bad mom, you'd hit reply and tell me you're doing the best you can. Keep going. Keep prac is the same thing you need to do to be successful on social media.
Andréa Jones (18:42):
Marisa Corcoran (18:43):
So we like tell that story at the top and link it back.
Andréa Jones (18:48):
I love this so much and after this podcast recording you, I'm gonna go write it. You'll see it in my newsletter. Maybe I'll time it for when this episode goes live.
Marisa Corcoran (18:57):
Oh my gosh. I love it.
Andréa Jones (18:58):
That is great.
Marisa Corcoran (18:59):
Yes. And so many people can relate like, again that slice of life moment, it's like so many people can relate. Either they're a parent or we've been around parents or we've been that person and you know, we feel for that. And no one would ever hit reply or, or say to you and that you weren't being a good mom. So why do we put the same kind of pressure on ourselves and when it comes to social media and then yeah, carving that story at the top. I think this is something else that's really helpful. So this is taken from my actor world. So when I was an actor we were all taught this method from Uda Hagan called Sense Memory. So Uda Hagan would give you this exercise in this book where she would be like, go wait for the subway.
Cause like everyone looked in New York Mark, she was writing this. And it's like, okay. And just really feel what it's like to wait for the subway. Like, okay, look to the left, look to the right. So if you had to recreate this moment on stage, you can recreate it authentically. So it's, it's really incorporating the senses. So you wanna ask yourself in that moment, in that memory that I'm conjuring, what did I see? What did I hear? What did I smell? How did it feel? Now when you're retelling this in the email or the social post, you likely won't, you don't need to hit all of the senses. I tell people if we can hit two of them, you're great. Okay. So yours might open up, you know, there we were, my daughter watching Miss Rachel on YouTube, I'm cringing in the corner booth.
She liked peas yesterday. Right? That's what did I see? How did I feel? You know what I mean? Like you're just picking two of the, she liked peas yesterday. So you know, in here my husband and I are like, what? You know, and then you can tell a little bit more of the story but you like dropped them into that moment by picking like one or two of the senses as opposed to being like, let me tell you this story that happened the other night at a restaurant. We drop 'em right in, there's my daughter watching Miss Rachel on YouTube, we're cringing in the corner booth. And I'm thinking, I say out loud, she liked peas yesterday. You know, like whatever. Then you tell a little bit more of the story and say, you know, why am I telling you this? Because it's likely you feel this way when you're a newbie.
And those are kind of those non-sexy transitions that I tell people. You can say like, why am I telling you this? Or when this happened to me it made me think about you. Or have you ever felt like this when it comes to insert the, the niche. So there's lots and sometimes I don't even use those sometimes. Most of the time anyone who reads my emails is literally me telling a story that you're like, where is she going with this? And that's just how my brain works. And then I literally go, why am I telling you this? That's the non-sexy transition I use all the time. And now you give them that teachable moment about, hey, social media takes practice, it's a learnable good news. Just like me being a mother, it is a learnable skill.
Andréa Jones (21:34):
Marisa Corcoran (21:34):
And then there might be a call to action wherever you know, the next step that you want them to take from there.
Andréa Jones (21:40):
Yeah. Oh that's so good. I feel like I do that a lot in my writing currently where I do start from the beginning and there is that powerful switch that you just identified there of starting in, in the middle of the story. Like I, I'm a huge reader and I hate wood books start like that. Like when they start like, and then this happened and then this, and then this. I wanna get right to the action, like tell me what's good. And so I feel like you're doing that exactly that with this writing. Oh this is so good.
So I'm curious, you know, you talked a little bit about your approach to this and the story stripped down in your own work. One of the things I love to get nosy about with my guests is like, how does this show up for you and how much time do you spend on all of this? Because you could very easily write stories like this all day, every day.
Marisa Corcoran (22:36):
Yeah. Okay. So for me, like full transparency, this is what I love to do. I feel like at the end of the day what I am, number one is a storyteller. And I think that's why I'm great to kind of help people bring out those stories in themselves. So I love this and so I made a commitment that I'm gonna write two emails a week to my email list and we have about three social posts that go out a week to the feed. So that's my commitment, come hell or high water, whatever, you know. Now that's not, you know, sometimes I think we gotta take a break if we're feeling, you know, certain things. But that's the commitment that I've made. Yeah. So on Mondays I will sit down to do those things.
I just recently started batching my social, those feed posts for the month because I've done this so much now that a lot of times I can repurpose and like pull a new story out or here's the cool part, the chances of somebody remembering that story even from seven months ago is slim. So a lot of times once you get going on this, I tell people once you've been doing this for like a few months, you have more than enough that you can repurpose in a new way. So I've been practicing what I preach and doing that, but I still do my emails in real time every Monday for the week. Okay. That's just like my happy place and I never wanted to give that up. I, I still wanted to feel like that creative person, but I'll tell you so many times I'll sit down, I'll have the story, but I use the story stripped down every Monday cuz I'm like, oh, okay.
I try to make it a little bit like what's going on in social media is the same. So if, you know, some of my themes are like, I already said this a billion times on this podcast, the best copy can't fix a muddied message. I'll also talk about the importance of personality in your copy. So I kind of have these themes that I rotate through. So if I'm like, okay, we're talking about the best copy, can't fix some per, you know a muddied message this week, oh my god, I've told so many stories about this. So I have to run myself through the story strip down and I use it all the time. And so something that we say about the story strip down in the society, we actually had this, one of our rock stars, Sheila shared that I used to take her over a like a week to like write one email.
And after going through our module that's all about the story, strip down a little bit of what we talked about today with the, the sense memory, how to craft the email. Like we give you all the ti everything. She cut it down to about 45 minutes. Yeah, that's great. I thought was just stellar. I was like, this is, this is great. So for somebody like her who's not a writer who's not that all the time, she has now consistently said it's about like she writes about an email to her list a week and it takes her about like about 30 to 45 minutes now and gets out, gets out the door.
Andréa Jones (25:09):
There we go.
Marisa Corcoran (25:10):
Yeah. And that's really my goal is to get you to be able to do this in about like that half hour or 40 minute space so that you can, and and, and it's always gonna feel at first, but that's why I think the story stripdown can be so helpful.
And then once I tell people once you've done this for a couple of months, as I've just said, you have more than enough now content to go back and repurpose in some way because people you think that they remember or that they saw it but they don't or new people. So I always tell people if there's a story that really lands every year I try to redo my, or not redo, but look at my welcome sequence just to make sure it's like still relevant and I'm still speaking to the right people. And a lot of times I'll pull like the best of emails from that year, something that people really responded to or loved and that will now go into the welcome sequence.
Andréa Jones (25:59):
Marisa Corcoran (25:59):
So like new people that are coming in are like seeing that story gets to kind of live on.
Andréa Jones (26:04):
Yeah, yeah. You know too. So as a fan I know that you have the Facebook group and then you also do social posts. I'm curious about the repurposing strategy there. So you write the emails first and then repurpose them to the group and to social or like what, what's the, what's the plan?
Marisa Corcoran (26:25):
Yeah, that's so great. I wish. Okay, so the non-sexy answer is sometimes it's like whatever I'm kind of like feeling in terms of what leads the way. But like on a perfect kind of time, yes I'm kind of setting up the structure of like Instagram and then I'm like, okay, this is what we're doing for the month and then I can break that down of like the emails that can kind of correlate to that. And then if I repurpose, so let's say I do a whole series on you know, how to create, you know, the best copycat fix a muddied message people like 90% of the time you don't have a copy problem.
I'll say you have a messaging problem. So how do we create a clear specific and measurable what I do statement? So let's say I've done a series of posts on that where it was like a real, a carousel post, another real, the next time I hit that theme I will likely take those same exact things, but now I'll flip flop them. What was a real becomes the carousel post and what was the carousel post becomes the real. So sometimes it's like the caption that I had like a couple months ago is now like my script for the reel. And sometimes like, what was the reel I just had? It was great. And I'm like, oh that was really good. Now I can put that into like a carousel post. So a lot of times I'm just flipping the, the way it was shown, I'm saying the same thing, but now if I was speaking it in a real, it becomes a carousel and if I was, you know, typing it in a carousel post, it becomes a reel.
Andréa Jones (27:52):
Yes. See my brain is like going in a million different directions because I talk about this all the time in that, you know, I think sometimes we make it hard for ourselves when it comes to creating social media copy. We think we always have to come up with something new.
And I think we feel that way because we see new things all the time. But we, what we don't recognize is we actually see repeats all the time. Like when Starbucks is talking about pumpkin spice latte, I guarantee you they're using the same messaging, the same ads, the same everything. Maybe they tweak it a little bit for the next year, but it's the same. So, you know, doing the same thing in your business can really alleviate so much pressure that we put on ourselves to create new content.
And I love that you turn reels into the carousels, carousels into reels and kind of like bounce around all the different topics because that really just like multiplies on a drastic level the amount of content that you can produce any given month. I love that. I love it.
Marisa Corcoran (28:49):
Yeah. And I have to be honest like, Andréa, for anyone who's listening, I was one of those people who thought you had to create something new all the time because for a long time when I created the Copy Chat, which is my signature summit in 2019, that's all I was doing. Not all I was, but I had the copy chat that brought people to the Facebook group and to my emails and that was my primary focus. I didn't have a social media strategy. I did a copy chat that would bring a, you know, a couple thousand new people into the program. We'd wait a few weeks, we'd get them really going on emails. We opened up the doors to the Copy Confidence Society and social media was something I did to add on to that for fun. But there was no real strategy around that until like Hand to God last March of 2022 when we took a break from the copy chat, it was the first year I've been doing two copy chats a year since 2019.
We took a break and I was like, okay, I had, that was where all my lead generation came from and I was like, oh, I guess I have to like figure out a social media strategy <laugh>. And I was definitely somebody that was scared of it for sure. And I was like, oh God, I'd really just rather go do a copy chat than have to sit and do. And then I realized exactly what you're saying, oh, once I got going wasn't as, wasn't as scary as I thought. Which is why everything that we've been talking about, like what are those motifs that you wanna come back to again and again? What are some of those fun things that you can repeat? Can you keep track of some of those stories? Use the story stripdown, and it was what I did to help me get going. And then by June, it's like March, April, May.
Yeah, by June I looked back and I was like, okay, that's good. We're gonna repeat now from here on out <laugh>. It's like, I'm good, we're gonna repeat. So I just want people to know, like I was definitely somebody who was like, thought that that's like what you had to do. Because I basically just had people come in through the Copy Chat and I loved, so like I loved Instagram, I thought it was fun, but I didn't necessarily have like, you know, the the strategy around it. Yeah. So it did seem scary to me at first until I kind of, you know, figured it out for myself.
Andréa Jones (30:52):
Yes, I love that. See everyone, it's approachable. I love it. And if you love this too, if you're, if you're like, I need more of Marisa in my life, I like the story stripdown, Marisa, you have this subject line freebie, tell us about it.
Marisa Corcoran (31:08):
Yeah. So this is great because we've been talking about emails and social posts and like the worst thing that can happen is you do a great story stripped down like, oh This's such a great story. But if we don't have a great like opening hook or a subject line in your email, then your email doesn't get read. So how do we make sure that like all this awesome work you're doing, like your emails actually get read. So this is where I created the 50 plus scroll stopping subject lines. It gives you three subject line formulas to take your emails from. You know, maybe I'll read that later to must read now. So there's three formulas. There's the Cosmo concept, which is a fan favorite, and that one doubles. It works really well for like those opening hooks for social media for Instagram, like what we see before the Seymour.
Then there's the Darlene and Clark method and then the International Man of Mystery. And so for each of them there's like a total of over 50 subject lines and then I pair them, a bunch of them with full length emails. So you can click and see the full length email so you can see how it all goes together.
So I think this is just a great resource as you're using the story stripdown to make sure that your opener or your subject line just helps you get more people looking at it.
Andréa Jones (32:13):
This is awesome. Y'all go grab this. I'm putting the link in the show notes right now. Onlinedrea.com/240, onlinedrea.com/240. Grab that link and make sure you follow Marisa on all of the socials, all of them. Instagram, right? The main one?
Marisa Corcoran (32:30):
Instagram, I mean, we've been talking a lot about the, you know, and you can kind of see me repurpose in in an action.
It's at mtoni, t o n i like Toni Braxton who is like my favorite growing up. So it's like I'm trying to like be my own Toni Braxton <laugh>. But it's mtoni t o n i and you can kind of see how I'll do some of this and like what I do, you know, in my stories and how I play with it. And again, I think it's good because it's really something that I started, you know, I wasn't like a a a guru on it or or an expert. I just kind of took what I loved about it and was like, okay, can I make this work? If we're gonna take a break from our main, main lead generation source, which is the Copy Chat, so they'd be great. And then DM me and let me know if you, if you notice anything that's been repeated chances are that you probably don't, you know,
Andréa Jones (33:19):
Or if you do that too. Yeah, if you do, you're a super fan at that point.
Marisa Corcoran (33:24):
Yeah. And people need to see, you know, speaking of super fan Andréa, you said something that this is helpful for people. Every October we do a thing called a spooktacular series. So every single email we send out is how scary, you know what scary ghoulish, scary movies can teach you about copy and business. And every year, it's the same movies. I only add one new movie each year and when we survey people at the end of the year, we say, what's your favorite emails that you get hands down people say this spooktacular series, it's the same emails every year.
It's Beetlejuice, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ghostbusters, and we added Casper this year. But they're the same, they're the same four emails every year since 2019 and people are like, hands down, I love the Spooktacular series.
I love reading the Beetle Juice. I read it every year now. Oh, the Addams family. The Addams family one. People love people. Like I need to read it every year. It's always a great reminder. It's a same emails. I don't change anything <laugh>. Yeah. So sometimes having cool themes like that is helpful. Like people know it's October Spooktacular series and I don't do a damn thing that October. Those same emails just go out and I'm just like drinking my pumpkin spice latte <laugh> from Bite <laugh>.
Andréa Jones (34:32):
There you go. Oh my gosh. I mean just for the sake of being on Marisa's email list, you gotta sign up for the subject lines freebie because that'll get you on the list and then come October, you'll all get this spooktacular email. I love it. Thank you so much for being on the show. This has been fantastic.
Marisa Corcoran (34:48):
Oh my gosh, thank you Andréa. I can't wait to read your email about your, your daughter and you know that social media's a learnable skill. I can't wait to read it.
Andréa Jones (34:57):
Yes, it's coming soon. It's coming soon. Okay. If I haven't, if I haven't done it already, it'll be out too. Love that. Okay. Thank you so much Marisa and thank you dear listener for another fantastic episode of the podcast. Next week I'm gonna be diving into social media and AI. It has been a highly requested topic, so stay tuned for that and I'll see you then. Bye for now.