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Small Business Made Simple Podcast

Mar 4, 2020

Hey there podcast family, welcome to episode 62 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.

Thank you for lending me your ears today – I know you have lots of choices, so I sincerely appreciate me being one of them!

If you’re a first time listener, super super welcome, I am so pleased to have you here.  I am your host Jenn Donovan, and, it’s my job, via this podcast, social media and everywhere else actually, to make your business life simpler. 

Business can be lonely and hard and complicated and it’s hardly ever easy, but it should be simple or at least simpler, so that’s my commitment you to on the Small Business Made Simple podcast!

One way I help to make your life simpler is by having a group of like-minded business owners all in one stop.  To ask questions, get answers and enjoy the journey of business! If you haven’t joined the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook Group, then hope over there after this episode and join!  Simply search Like Minded Business Owners in Facebook or come to the show notes for the like.  Show notes are at

I am just a wee bit excited for this episode, but first, I just wondered, have you downloaded by ever so popular FREE eBook – 108 Social Media Content Creation Ideas?


Well, if you’re struggling with social media, and content creation and ideas, this is the eBook for you and hey it’s free!

Simply head to and download it from there.

If you get it, read it, print it out and look at it all the time, it will change your life (or at least your social thinking challenges life!)

So, it’s at

I’ve been talking copy a little lately, with friends, with colleagues, in posts, on my podcast with Brenna – go listen to ep 60 if you didn’t catch that one.

Social media is so busy. 

Our inboxes are so busy.

We are so busy and so are our clients or customers.

It does take a certain magic or certain power to stop someone in their tracks to stop, open, read, react, engage or take another action.

Why do you need good copy, well that, what I just read, to get someone to stop, read and take action?  Otherwise, we are just writing emails and captions and brochures to tick a box.

If we don’t want the reader to feel something, react somehow or take some action, it’s a question of “for what purpose” are you doing it then?

If you’re a long time listener of the podcast- you’ll know I have a love hate relationships with those 3 little words

3 of the most powerful words in my business.  FOR WHAT PURPOSE.  In life the 3 powerful words are I LOVE YOU, but in business they are FOR WHAT PURPOSE.

Such a love hate relationship it has a podcast episode all of its own – episode 37 – worth a listen –

So, it’s the power or the magic that I want to have a chat about today.

There’s really 3 steps to writing good copy, I believe.


The hook, the first bit, and its only job is to get to get the email opened or to stop the scroll on social media or to get someone to read the brochure and so forth.

Its only job is to engage the reader – grab their attention straight up.

In an email it’s the subject line. 

On Instagram, it’s the start of the caption (so important here because we can only see the first few words), in an Instagram or Facebook story it’s the words put over the video to capture those scrolling without sound on.

On twitter – it’s everything!

On Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s the start of the caption.

But the hook can have helpers – like emojis or different fonts – other tools used for the same reason – to stop the scroll.

You can use a program or app such as Lingo Jam’s Fancy Text generator (link in the show notes) or - both generate fancy text but the formatting is kept when cut and pasted into social media.

I once heard Marie Folio say on a podcast that she writes at least 30 hooks before she get to the one she wants.

She writes down 30 iterations of a hook and says it’s only then that the gold comes …

I admire that and strive for that but haven’t done that.

If you are finding it hard to write good hooks or subject lines – perhaps consider writing more to find the gold!

Ok, so some examples that I have seen that I liked

  • It’s either me or the meatballs?
  • I need a new face … or I will soon
  • A bird pooped in my hair
  • The juggle is a load of shit
  • I’m in town, can we grab a coffee

I was standing doing a presentation the other day talking about “hooks” in the rural town of Deniliquin – and I suggested a hook of “Deni is DEAD”

The room all took a breath at once in shock – but that a perfect example – if everyone in the room saw that headline – they’d read on in curiosity or in disgust!

Either way, I have their attention.

Experiment with hooks – read captions and emails differently now and see which ones got you to open or engage and note down the why and what was said – build yourself a library of hooks used on you!


Obviously, after the hook, comes the body.

Clearly once you have them with your hook – you need to back this up and stake your claim of attention.

The body can go many ways, but the two I want to talk about today are

  1. The value adding post
  2. The story post

I talk about the 3 E’s of social media – your posts on social media should always be either

  1. Educating
  2. Engaging with value or
  3. Entertaining

Again, if not – for what purpose?

So, adding value – it’s exactly as it says.

What value are you adding to the person reading this post or email or brochure or wherever the copy is?

Value can come in many forms, including

  • Giving hints or tips or tricks about something they are interested in – like this – how to write good copy!
  • Perhaps you’re telling them about a product you have that would save them time, money, energy, stress or so forth,
  • Perhaps you’re adding value telling them about your sale, offering a discount voucher or whatever

The thing to remember about “value” posts, is that it’s not actually about you – it’s more about “what’s in it for the reader”.

The story post – that’s a bit different.

It will commonly be about you, the story might be about you, but the lesson, the lesson behind the story and the reason why you are telling it, well that’s for your audience.

So basically, it’s a value post in disguise of a story!

Stories with messages are as old as the bible or as the children’s books we read or read to our children.

The story might have been able how a big wolf tried to eat 3 little pigs, but the moral is that good will triumph over evil – eventually … you just need more bricks – or something like that!

Again, watch for this posts and emails – start looking and reading things a little different – look at them as a marketer (and yes, you are a marketer – if you’re in business, you’re in the business of marketing!)


Finally, it’s all about the call to action

What’s the whole point of grabbing their attention, holding it while they read all about your value or your story only have to them scroll on when they are finished, or click out of the email for the next or put the brochure in the bin after reading it …


I am a firm believer in starting with the end in mind – so this should be where you start.

I want my client or customer to do x – how do I get them to do that, oh, I know I’ll use this hook and this story and ask them to do x afterwards …


It doesn’t have to be at the end – it just needs to be!

I have put 3 or 4 calls in action in this podcast already – and they’ll be more to come.

On Instagram it could be as simple as “double tap if you agree” or comment below if this has happened to you too or share with a friend who needs to hear this or see this.

An email might be similar – click reply and let me know x, forward to a friend, come follow me on Instagram or Facebook or join my group

Give me a call

Come visit my shop/office/business

Use this code to get x

All call’s to action.

Pinkie promise me, after listening to this, you will never ever put another post up on social media or do another piece of marketing that doesn’t have a call to action?

Pinkie promise?

You know that saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – well you freaking can – you just have to ask and ask again!

Don’t leave your fans/customers/clients hanging wondering what to do next.

Tell them!

So, there’s my 3 step formula for writing good engaging copy – engaging being the operative word.

A hook

A value or story based body

A call to action


I’d love to know what you think.  Is this how you’ve always done it, is this concept new, do you use calls to action?  Let me know inside the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group.

That’s all for episode 62!

I’ll be back next Thursday with another great episode to help you simplify your business in 2020. 

If you’re enjoying this podcast, can I ask you to do me a favour or two

  • Subscribe to this podcast – I have some exclusive content coming up for those who do! Like episode 61A – that only subscribers got to know about.
  • Could you share with this a friend? Another superstar business owner who’s doing the daily grind and would appreciate someone making their business simpler, and
  • If you’re looking to share some love in February, the love month, I’d love you to leave me a rating or even a review if possible.

See you next week on the podcast for episode 63.  But in the meantime, let’s hang out on social and get social on social – you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and my fav LinkedIn.

But whatever you do,

……..remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!