December 6, 2021
Emma speaks to Rachel Rennie of Frankly Write, a brand and copy strategy studio.
In this episode Emma speaks to Rachel Rennie of Frankly Write.
Frankly Write is a Brand + Copy Strategy Studio, created with a team of kind of funny writers. They develop creative brand personalities, incorporate marketing psychology, add data-driven copy strategy, and end it all by creating copy that sticks in your head (and makes sales).
01:32 How Frankly Write began
02:47 Branding and brand voice
16:20 Pain points and ethical marketing
21:16 Brand values
26:30 Frankly Write’s approach
29:34 How to know when to DIY with a course
32:13 Their tagline
42:43 How to know when you need help with your brand voice
44:35 Quick fire round
Find Frankly Write
Target Audience Download: https://www.franklywrite.co.nz/target-audience-download
Rachel Rennie 0:00
Everyone's like we're passionate or something, and like, what does passionate actually mean to you? What does it mean to your business? What does it mean to your long term business plan?
Emma Peacock 0:12
Welcome to the Digital Hive podcast where we talk all things digital marketing for small businesses. On this episode, I spoke with Rachel Rennie, the founder and creative director of Frankly Write a brand and copy strategy studio building a business out of dad jokes and puns. They develop creative brand personalities and corporate marketing psychology and data driven copy strategy and end it all by creating copy that sticks in your head and make sales. I hope you enjoy listening to this chat about brand voice, authenticity, and communicating the full range of your brand.
Welcome to the podcast Rachel, it's so good to have you.
Rachel Rennie 0:45
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Emma Peacock 0:48
To get us started, tell us about you and your business.
Rachel Rennie 0:52
Okay, so I run Frankly Write, which is a brand and copy strategy studio. I am in the I think it's we're in our third or fourth year of business. And we've just transitioned from just me to a studio, like I said, where it's me plus a team of really talented people. So that's where that's where we're at the moment is pretty exciting.
Emma Peacock 1:22
Awesome. So how did you land on your actual current offering? How did, did you go through a process of coming to this? Or how have you kind of figured that out over the years?
Rachel Rennie 1:32
Well, it started, I started writing $50 blogs, which I think so many people do, and just being like, completely overwhelmed that people would pay me to write. And I do have a degree in Media Arts and Communications. And I majored in PR and advertising. So it was something that was in me, but I decided to become a teacher instead for some godforsaken reason. So we did, yeah, so I did $50 blogs. Gradually started going, Hey, I know all this marketing stuff. I know about audiences and I know about branding, and bringing it more in. And then I got pregnant, and needed to structure the business in a way that fit around children a lot more. And so I started working with a business coach, and then it went from there in the sense that, hey, you can actually get paid not only to write, but to help businesses brand themselves and market themselves. And I have all this knowledge. So why not like use it? And la la here we are. Brand and copy strategy.
Emma Peacock 2:47
Amazing. So just for people who like sometimes there's a different definition of brand, and brand strategy. So maybe define that for us as to how you look at that.
Rachel Rennie 2:59
So we focus on brand voice strategy. However, because of our background, and the skill of me and the team, we we understand how branding fits into the entire digital sphere. So we have quite a holistic approach to it. So we focus on helping businesses to work from their values to their messaging. So how do you sound online? What words do you use? What messaging do you use? And all of that is branded and should be branded exactly the same as how you think of logo and colors? So you've got your visual branding, and then you've got your message branding, and we focus on this side message branding.
Emma Peacock 3:44
Perfect. So how do businesses use the brand voice once they define it? How does that kind of work into their business after they've gone through the process with you? Yeah, how do they actually like do it?
Rachel Rennie 3:58
Everywhere. They use it everywhere. So part of our brand voice strategy is we sorry, I feel like I'm sounding too salesy. But oh well, part of our brand voice strategy is we give content stra- we give you an action plan, and we give you a content strategy. And all of that is aimed to launch your brand voice into the world. So we essentially are telling you across all your touchpoints how you can brand yourself. And then obviously we love when people come back to us and they're like, can you do it for us? And we're like, absolutely, because we're also copywriting strategists. So we understand how to put it into your copy and make out that might help you make sales, sorry yes, ideally they would come back to us. But essentially, they use it everywhere. So any time you'd need to write about your business, it should have brand voice strategy behind it. So if you think about that all the way from sending an email internally if you've got a like a larger team to sending an email to a client to social media to print as well. So we've been working with a few businesses on print lately as well, which is exciting, packaging, product, packaging, everything, everything.
Emma Peacock 5:20
Perfect. I mean, it's pretty much where any, any written or even verbal content is really. And it's just that strategy that's like, behind everything. Cool. I like that. So what actually makes up a brand voice strategy once you put it down on paper?
Rachel Rennie 5:36
Oh, okay. So we start with values, that's the key component, you we also look at how those values turn into behaviors, because everybody's, you know, everyone's like, we're passionate or something. And like, what does passionate actually mean to you? What does it mean to your business? What does it mean to your long term business plan. And so we turn your values, we give them really good descriptions for what they mean to you and your business. And then we turn them into brand behaviors. So you'll actually get like a nice big strategy document that goes, these are your values, this is what it means to you. These are your brand behaviors, this is how you show your values online, then we turn those brand behaviors into your voice. And the little like metaphor I like to use is kind of like if you're walking into a party, your brand behaviors are your personality. So that's like your core. And then obviously, your brand voice is how you sound when you start talking. So that's how your personality comes out, then we look at things like tone. Because if your voice is always pretty much the same, because it's based on your personality and your values, your tone is just going to change depending on different places, and who you're talking to, and all that kind of stuff. So then we define it by tone. We do a lot of the same things that visual brand strategist do. So we determine, you know, it used to be how feminine and masculine you are. But we go with delicate and strength or something like that. How informal and formal you are, all of that kind of stuff. Then, then, we put it all into some really practical tools. So what does a word bank look like? What do copy hooks look like? What kind of buttons should you have for your your UX, copy your little bits? What kind of copy hooks can you have? What's your tagline? What's your social media caption? All of that kind of stuff gets gets developed as well. And then like I said, we do a content strategy as well. This is all in a brand voice strategy. So it's huge, because it's essentially helping you launch your business in a way that finds you the right people. So then we do a content strategy as well. So we help people figure out what their hero piece of content is. And then we develop social media prompts to help you launch it, essentially, and start feeling comfortable doing it. So it's a massive thing, but it obviously gets huge results. It's like it's exactly the same as investing with a really good designer who's going to design your whole visual aspect.
Emma Peacock 8:31
Yeah, and with, especially with online business, like you have to write in so many different places like essentially, even like this, like certain amount of it was planned to hear some of it is like you want when you talk on a podcast to sound like how your website sounds like. Like it all comes together in such a way of like, even like product descriptions for e-commerce, like, all of that has to be written. And it all needs to sound like the business. And so every day business owners are sitting down to write something. And I know what I was like before was kind of like, where do I even start? Like, I know what I'm trying to say, but how am I going to deliver this? How am I going to make sure it's consistent and there's almost like a weight on you of like, how, how am I gonna do this?
Rachel Rennie 9:19
The big words that we get back that I don't like using which is stupid, because it's just me being fussy and going oh they're too cliche I'm not going to write that in my messaging. Cause I'm an arrogant writer. But I the the big words that we always get back are clarity, it's so people feel really clear about that they're heading in the right direction with their messaging because we do so much value in business plan based work and our strategy sessions. So people always say this is amazing clarity. They always feel really confident they're like my goodness. My, like I can right now, like I feel okay, doing what I thought I wanted to do, but I wasn't sure that it was the right thing. And clarity, confidence, and there's one more that people always say, and I'm really like, fussy about using it. I can't remember, just pick a generic word empowered, passionate, I don't know one of those things that I wouldn't want to use. But it basically, it just makes people feel really good about their brand and their writing.
Emma Peacock 10:33
Yeah, I think too, like, it's the whenever I get to that point where I'm like, oh, I don't know how to write this. Everything comes to a halt. Like, it takes me three hours to write something that should have taken 20 minutes. Like it just, it's over complicated when you don't have that starting point, that list of things to go back to like the word bank is super helpful to me. Because its really helped me to define like, what I don't say, like, there are certain words that I mean, some people say, you should explain everything, so that a seven year old should understand it. But there's a certain point, especially what I do, where I'm like, no seven year old has a business. Like, unfortunately, I do need to explain things to people, assuming they have a business, and that they understand how business like money in, money out. I mean, I've spoken to a couple of seven year olds, in terms of like how income works, and how money works, it's pretty limited. So like, I'm not quite simplifying it to that point.
Rachel Rennie 11:30
You go to work, and you get a job and you get money. I'm gonna be a doctor or a vet like seven year olds know nothing.
Emma Peacock 11:38
No, they don't even understand like 40 hours or anything. It's like,
Rachel Rennie 11:42
I think a lot of a lot of people that we've worked with as well, they lean back on their brand voice strategy. Because it really is it's a it's like a brand strategy. It's just we then start narrowing down into messaging. But if you're feeling stuck, you can go back to like your rules, because we do like rules. Don't do this, don't do that, all that kind of stuff. So you can go back to your rules, or you can go back to your word bank, or you can go back to I mean, I also mess this up. It's such a huge freakin thing. And I don't think bigger is necessarily better. It's just we want this to be really actionable. So yeah, people can go back to the target audience persona, which is also in it and go hang on a minute, what am I actually solving? What are they asking? And you can create, it just gives that like, oh, I can create some content on that. And I'll go to my word bank, and I'll make it sound like this. And consistency. I think that was the other word I was trying to say before. Clarity. Yeah, whatever. Yeah, that consistency that there's the ability to be consistent in your branding, which is obviously so so important.
Emma Peacock 12:52
Yeah, for sure. I think too along that consistency line, it's like, I know, I need to sound maybe slightly like different on LinkedIn and versus TikTok, obviously, because the content like if I was talking on TikTok the way that I talked on LinkedIn, like, sure, you can make LinkedIn fun, but like, it just doesn't quite work. And in a way where any person is multifaceted. You want to have that still consistency as you're delivering content. So it's kind of like the different parts of your brand personality for the different contexts. But ultimately, like those rules and things like that are firm no matter where you are, just like it doesn't really matter what party you're at, whether you're at like your grandma's 80th, or your friend's 21st. Like, you're still the same person. But there is like some commonality there. In terms of certain things.
Rachel Rennie 13:46
You'll adjust. And that's why we look at things like tone and who you're talking to, and what you're saying because it's going to change, but your personality won't change, your values don't change, your voice doesn't change. It's just how you apply it changes.
Emma Peacock 14:01
Yeah, for sure. And I think it's interesting, like so many different people have different perspectives on how branding works, and all these things. But like, the thing that I have seen everywhere, no matter what people think a brand includes is that there has to be a target audience. And that it has to be there's the business and there's the target audience. And those are the two things that like no matter what are in there, whether it's visual branding, packaging, design, like all of those kinds of things. People still have to come back to who is the person that I'm talking to? And who am I? Essentially.
Rachel Rennie 14:32
The two things have to meet and that's what your brand does. Your brand spits out at the end it's like here's me, my business, my values. Here's the audience that I that I know will help make me sales because that's the other thing I find frustrating in the branding and marketing world is it's like you're in business to make money you ding dong like it's OK to talk about making sales and who is the person that's going to buy my stuff. So that's why we look at. I mean, we look at things like pain points, we call them customer needs. But I know a lot of people are like, Oh, we don't like focusing on pain points, and they call them pleasure points instead. But that's what you do is you figure out their pain, their need, then you decide how you're going to help that. And it's, I mean, it's the same thing. It's just language that people are using at the moment, and I'm like, Come on, we, we're here to make money. Like, that is an okay thing. Don't tell me unless you're running a charity. And then it's different that charities still need to make donations, like we've done brand voice strategies for charities, they need money, like this is this is the thing. So this is all about making you more money. Making it in a way that does feel good to you. And making it especially if you're a service, making it with people who make you feel good. And if you're a product based business, it's about making money with people who are going to be your, like, automatic brand ambassadors, because they're telling everybody about it. And then you make more money. All about money.
Emma Peacock 16:20
It's just the world we live in. And also, I feel like there's a certain thing of like, there's good money and bad money, there's happy money and sad money. As much as like, Sure you don't want to dwell on those pain points for forever, people do still need to understand that you actually know where they're at. Because if you didn't, how are you going to serve them? So there's the thing of like, you don't want your whole website to be about the pain points, but you still got to like, recognize them and understand them.
Rachel Rennie 16:45
No, I mean, they are that's the thing. And that's where the copy strategy comes into play, because you know, their pain points, but you're not wording it in a way that makes them feel bad about themselves. Your, you focus on what you deliver. So if you focus on what you actually deliver, it automatically triggers that I do have that need thing. And you can do it in a way that's not negative and not mean. And that's really important to us as well. And it's a big part of Frankly Write. However, pain points and customer needs still exist. And that's why you've got a business in the first place, because you've seen a need, and you're filling it. So to not recognize that. It just, it doesn't make any sense to me. I just feel like sometimes. Sometimes ethical marketing goes too far. I'm laughing because I'm like, it's kind of a slightly controversial statement. But I mean, I think I've even put it on socials. It's like, it's okay to make money, guys. That's fine. So yeah, that's, that's what a brand and copy strategy does, it helps you make sales. It's a great thing.
Emma Peacock 17:55
And maybe it's funny, because making money and like ethical marketing, I find really interesting too, because it's like, nobody's quite like, I mean, just maybe not nobody, somebody sitting out to make like Jeff Bezos amounts of money. But like, generally, in business, we're just wanting to have that like fear exchange. And so that brand voice, it really just helps to explain that, helps to explain how people will feel afterwards. And if they identify with that afterwards, feeling that like, I hope I'm in that space, then perfect.
Rachel Rennie 18:25
Yeah, and that's about making it's about we don't focus on negative feelings, like at all, we don't want to make people feel scared or bad. We want them to focus on the good outcome at the end. So like, I mean, we've been working with some skincare brands recently. We don't want people to be like, Oh, I'm getting old. And I've got wrinkles. It's more about like, do you want to list like, feel really good looking at your face in the bathroom? Do you want to start loving the skin that you're in like that very stereotypical kind of thing. But you don't want to focus on like, aging. And it's, again, controversial, but it can be kind of stink, to look at your face and go, I've got wrinkles, I'm getting old, you don't want that negative emotion. So branding, from a messaging point of view also helps to trigger those positive emotions, rather than dwell on the negative.
Emma Peacock 19:24
Yeah, and not creating a problem so that you can solve it like not guilting people into something just so that you can sell your thing that shouldn't really serve a purpose, like most people whose business they've started has, because they've identified a need in the market that hopefully they didn't create themselves. Yeah, it's totally totally perfect. Yeah. And it's that thing of it bridges the gap in between you and that other person in a way that's consistent because a lot of people will check you out on multiple places like they'll check out your website. Then they'll go to maybe Instagram for like some social proof. Figure out you have some followers are people commenting on your posts, all of that kind of stuff. And as much as they don't do it, like, you know, I'm gonna do a full private investigator like look around, it's just that they want to, after a certain amount of time feel like they start to know the brand. And if you didn't have that consistency,
Rachel Rennie 20:16
people get confused, and they're going to go somewhere that always looks the same. It's the same with it. It's honestly just so similar to logos and colors, it would be like, finding, you know, it would be like finding someone on social media who had like a certain logo as their profile picture. And they talked in a certain way, and then you jump on the website, and all of a sudden, it's different colors and a different logo. And the language has suddenly become 10 times more professional. And you're like, What? Am I on the same- Is this the same person? And then people make ,split second decisions to exit out of your website. And I mean, that's where most sales are happening are on website. So you want to drive them there. And then you just want to be like, Hey, we're here. And we're actually better here. Here's the real goods. And then people will click through and contact you, make a booking, make a buy.
Emma Peacock 21:16
Yeah, like sticking around and all that good stuff. Yeah, so a lot of that is business values and personal values. And often a way of setting yourself apart as a business, from different people in the market is to inject your own personality into it. And along with that, comes the big word of authenticity. So how does authenticity come into play within a brand voice?
Rachel Rennie 21:46
So I think, because we deal with the founders or the owners, because that's the way that that's the way that small businesses start, like, every all businesses start with a person who's got a dream and a vision. So that's why we look at values, obviously, because then it can be like, what actually matters to you. And then we look at, then we look at the business plan as well. So like, where do you want to be in three or five years? And it doesn't, it doesn't have to be all of you, it doesn't have to be your complete self, it just needs to be a part of you that you can tap into that branded. And then it will be authentic, because its come from the person at the top. It gets a little bit different for product based businesses. Because it's not so personal, however, everyone who's created a product has created it for a reason. But you can also have a bit of fun here, you can create a personality, which is what we do often for products is you create something, and that's based on whether the person who owns the ecomm business, do they want to have fun? Do they want to come across really seriously? Like what do they actually want from the business? And then we developed a brand strategy that or voice that suits them. So it's always authentic, because it always just comes from the heart and from the soul and from the person, I guess, in the middle of everything.
Emma Peacock 23:23
Hmm. And then going back to consistency, I guess there's a thing there of like, sometimes it gets to a point where a different member of the staff of the business is the one writing that content. And I mean, it gives them so much of a starting point. But it allows them to kind of engage in that mindset, if they review the brand voice before they write new content, say they're writing a blog post or something like that. Helping them there. I can only imagine that that is like, I mean, hopefully people have similar brand values to the business that they work for. So that they feel like they're living that aligned life but to a point everyone is different. And coming back into that can be really helpful as well.
Rachel Rennie 24:10
Yeah. And also copywriters. I mean, obviously, I'm going to say that every business at that point of growth should have a copywriter that they go to all the time for everything, because we we just don't We don't know how to do it better. Like, I'm going to design something on Canva versus I'm going to get a designer to create this for me. But you I mean, a copywriter isn't living and breathing your values. They might have similar values, but they're not the person who created the business. And so this is a way that you can get people to write, you can outsource, you can give it to your VA, you can give it to the junior you know person who's just come in and you're gonna flick them social media or whatever. They can take this and they can write and it can feel like you and it can feel really good or it can feel like the values of the business as well. Because obviously, it's not always just one person who starts a business, there's multiple, but they've come together with some joint ideas, and some joint values.
Emma Peacock 25:13
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Rachel Rennie 26:30
Yeah, basically. So a lot of copywriters work the same. So we have, Frankly Write VIPs. So once you've had either a Messaging Guide. So a Messaging Guide is a brand voice strategy, but without the tools. So it's more just your branding, it's just your your values and your audience persona, and it's still incredibly helpful. That's, it's still you can still give it to a copywriter and they can, you know, create, but you're not giving them the actual tools, you're not giving them the, the actual phrasing and the words to use. But yeah, with Frankly Write VIPs. And if they've had a Messaging Guide, or a brand voice strategy, they essentially can come back to us at any time, they get pushed to the top of the queue. And we can create for them. And it's really easy, because we're already living and breathing your brand. They usually go on an hourly, unless it's a big project, in which case we we can we saw it like a project, right? But it gives people the option to just go like, I need a sales page. And I don't like to focus on time, because we know that good copy sometimes takes longer, it all depends on the creative process. But we do tend to be able to push out that copy at a fast rate. Because we know the brand, so well. And because we've got something to go off. Yeah. So it's, it's incredibly helpful for writing copy, I'm talking like, you can get a sale, a long form landing page out in less than eight hours. And that's like something that's going to make you $1,000s and $1,000s of dollars worth of money, and you only have to pay someone like under 2k to get it done. And it's something that's evergreen. So once you've got that branding done, creating the content afterwards is a breeze. So simple.
Emma Peacock 28:31
Yeah, totally. That makes total sense. I like that, though, that it's not um, you know, we've given you the tools now go figure out like if business owners don't want to write that content. They just keep working with you.
Rachel Rennie 28:44
Yeah, so that's why we've got we do two options at Frankly Write. So you can either, like just get started with a Messaging Guide, which again, you still get the clarity and the confidence with the same strategy session, it's all the same. And it does give you a really good document, but that brand voice strategy takes it one step further. If you want to make sure that everything's going to be like extra consistent if you need the tools. Or even if you do want to go and write it yourself. You've got the ability to and you've got something in your hand that can help kickstart it, as opposed to just being like, you know what, I'm not a writer, what do I do? You've got some writing tools, and then some creative writing tools in there to help you to help you do it.
Emma Peacock 29:34
Yeah, perfect. And then you do have your course option. So sometimes business owners can DIY with some support their own brand voice. So when would you recommend that over working with you one on one?
Rachel Rennie 29:52
It's honestly it's just a matter of how long you've been in business, and what your budget for marketing is. So we I do say the course is really good for startups. Because it's, you know, under $1,000, and you're getting a full brand voice strategy. You just have to do the work yourself. But you've got this guidance to go through. And saying that, though, we have some startups who come to us and they're like, give me everything, give me web coffee, give me brand voice strategy. So it's really just like, how much money do you have? And what's your like what's your budget for this? And then we can point you to really A, B, or C, the cost of messaging guide or brand voice strategy. And it also depends how creative you are how you feel about your writing, how confident you are in your writing and whether you want to do a course or whether you're like, can someone just do it for me, I'm going to prioritize this budget wise, because I just don't want to do it. I think I have I've had a few copywriters go through the course. And I've also worked with quite a few designers, one on one who understand branding, but it's just like, I just need outside perspective, or I just need someone to like force me through the process in terms of a course so that I can just do it for myself and get it done. So this, I mean copywriters, a great, great writers, but maybe they don't have the branding knowledge. You know, yust swings and roundabouts.
Emma Peacock 31:32
Yeah, yeah, I find that too. Sometimes, it's just good to go through a process and get out of my own head.
Rachel Rennie 31:38
100%. I mean, I've had Frankly Write of like, advertisers factor laws, Frankly Write had their brand strategy done with Hollie from Maker & Moxie, previously Black & White Studios. She's fantastic. And so she comes from a visual side, she's a visual, you know, that was her background was visual brand strategy. Very similar process to Frankly Write, similar ish document at the end. But we need an outside perspective, when you can't look at your own brand the same way that someone else can. And I mean, Holly's fantastic. She's really good for creative businesses. So that's what I wanted to hold at the core of Frankly, Write. So I'm like, Okay, I'm just going to pay you to, to help guide me through it for myself. And, and look at different things like, hey, actually, you're really passionate about this why are you not doing this, Hey, actually, you're really good at this. Let's push that in your branding. So that I mean, that's why you go for a brand strategist as well, because they're just gonna look at things differently. You know, you can't see the forest through the trees. It's a saying for a reason. Yeah, so same with business.
Emma Peacock 32:51
Yeah, for sure. And there's that thing of like, when someone else almost like validates the thing you were thinking of, like, is this lame? And then they're like, No, it is definitely not lame. I really liked that. Let's look for some proof. That's not just me, like it. It just brings it into perspective for you. And then the next time you go to do that thing, it's like this is, you know, Frankly Write approved content.
Rachel Rennie 33:13
Yeah, it's just a little push. And I know when, Frankly Write, we came up with our tagline kind of funny writers. And I was so nervous about stepping into it. But that's a lot of the feedback we get everyone's like, funny or this made me laugh. And I'm like, I don't I mean, I'm not a I'm not a comedian. But we're not we're kind of funny. That's the, that's joke. We're not gonna make you laugh out loud. We're just gonna make you go ha. Um, but when I needed that push, I talked to the team. I was like, Guys, I've got a tagline. I think it sits really well. I even did an Instagram post about it and showed the conversation between me and Emily, who's our senior writer. Um, and she was like, you just need the Frankly Write girls to come and tell you that that's a good fucking idea. So it's that push. It's like, yeah, you can do it. It's fine. It's really good. Actually just lean into it. It's that support. Which, again, that's a word that I don't like. This is my own issue. I'm like, we're not coaches. We don't want to support anyone. Oh, yeah. We're not hand holders. We're just creatives. But so many people come away from the brand strategy being saying, like the strategy session going, Ah, I just feel like I have permission now to do what I wanted to do. But we can also see that it's going to have a positive flow and effect in the fact that there's strategy now and it's gonna help us make sales. So that since of permission is massive.
Emma Peacock 34:56
Yeah. I think there's one part that we didn't talk about that I really enjoyed, which is like a funny thing to enjoy. But it was the competitive part where we went through that and it was kind of like, oh, wait, hang on a minute, there is some things that I really should be getting across here in that this is like the Honey Pot Digital approach to things. But then there's a certain point of competitor where you don't want to like dwell or look too much. So there's like a staying in your own lane bit and I liked the, like the amount of time essentially, that was spent on it. And then it was kind of like, cool, that's done.
Rachel Rennie 35:36
Move on now, yeah, you've got to know what everyone else is offering, in order to know where you can set yourself apart. So but you can't dwell on it, because then you get imposter syndrome, and then you start feeling like you're copying ideas, even though you're not, it's just you're in the same industry, and you're doing the same thing. So I mean, Frankly Write, there's a number of brand strategist and copy strategists that we look at the technique, if you're going through a brand strategy you do, you look at them, you name them, you look at everything they're offering, you make sure you are offering the same with differentiators. And I know for Frankly Write, there are some I don't have them on my feed, I don't have them on my Insta feed, I don't look at them. But when we need to do some competitor research, off we go, and we know who they are. And we look maybe once every like quarter, just to make sure that we're still sitting in the ballpark. And to really focus on what our point of difference is and to feel good about our point of difference and to realize what we need to push. So yeah, look at them, figure it out, and then move on. A lot of people say to me, I don't have any competitors, community over competition. I'm like, Yeah, but you've still got competitors mate, like, you've still got people who your buyer or you know, or your customer, or your client is going to look at and go, okay, I'm choosing them or them. Who is it going to be? So to say, yeah, community over competition is a completely different- that's a completely different ballpark to being like, I've got some competitors in my industry that I need to know about. Yeah, again, making sales making money. It's okay. It's part of business.
Emma Peacock 37:26
Yeah, yeah, I think too, with marketing, and especially because like Honey Pot Digital, we work across, essentially the full landscape of digital, rather than just like, I only do Instagram or whatever. It's, I have so many friends who are in marketing, but I know that I can look at their business. And there's some of these people I talk to, like on a bi-weekly basis, like I'm we're very in each other's businesses, knowing what we're doing. And still, we all know that we don't actually offer the same thing, the process is different, the end result is different, who we're best suited for is different, what their mindset is at the start is very different. But when it all boils down to it, when someone's deciding to pick a marketer, they're not going to work with four of us. So there is a point where someone has to decide, so technically, they're they're competition. It's not like you're setting out to be like, I'm gonna step over that person, and yoink that client out from underneath them. But it's just how can I serve people differently. So that because essentially, if there's three marketing people in a room, and they all serve people differently, one of the people that walks into that room is they're only going to identify with one or none of those businesses. And so if you don't get into doing something different, they could actually be a person in the market that's actually left without an option, because you've kind of like kept it to yourself.
Rachel Rennie 38:56
Yeah, you have to tell people why you're different. Because you're going to help that person essentially, it's the whole, like, I don't want to sell myself. And it's like, why not? You're doing your audience a favor, by selling yourself and telling people what you offer and how you can help and this is how much it costs. Because you're doing them a favor, you're telling them so you can fill a need and help them and if it comes down to you and someone else you need to say we are really good at this, is that what you need? Or we can offer you this is this what you need? And then I mean, sometimes your point of difference or your brand discriminators is purely your your values as a business, that's fine, too. It might be your value is different, or it might be your approach is slightly different. Like it doesn't matter what it is. It's just about making a connection with your ideal client or your ideal customer.
Emma Peacock 39:58
Yeah, for sure I like that. and essentially too across all the different things that you offer, the end result is kind of the same, like, with the messaging, it's more around you creating the content, then the brand voice strategy is they go in and write some of the content, potentially, they still come back to you to write certain things. And then with the DIY, they're doing the work of creating the brand voice. But essentially, they will quit with the brand voice. And in a way, there's three different offerings there for three different types of people. But the core is the same. And the core is what makes you Frankly Write.
Rachel Rennie 40:34
Yeah, absolutely. It's our little, it's our take on a brand voice strategy. And it's something that we've developed, which is different. And there are other there are other brand things out there, and we're like, yeah that's fine. But it's also our approach. It's like how you feel when the email lands in your inbox, how you feel when we guide you through it. We we're very like, no nonsense, keep it simple, be creative, lean into your weirdness, lean into your, your funny bit, your funny bone, whatever. We really encourage that. And I know like, for example, there are other branding courses out there that are like, let's focus on really focus on ethics. And let's really focus on your values. And it's like, yeah, we do that. But also, we do it in a way that's just a little bit different. Because it's Frankly Write, we're gonna land in your inbox differently.
Emma Peacock 41:32
Yeah, totally. And it's just a way of like, although there's a whole bunch of different options out there, people are going to identify with one. And if you're open and honest about who you are, and who you serve, and how you serve them, the people who identify with you will be a good fit. Like to just enjoy working with the more or you'll enjoy seeing their photos more of your product, like,
Rachel Rennie 41:56
Yeah, and that's what we know as it's Frankly Write. The more that we've learned, well, we're walking, talking advertisements for what we do, because the more that we've learned into who we are, the more people are coming to us where we're really like who, who we love. Who we're like, oh my gosh, this is the coolest client ever? And it's scary. It's scary to lean into it. It was scary to make our tagline kind of funny writers. It was scary for us to realize that we liked working with products more than services because we'd work with services from day dot. But the more we lean into it, the more product people come to us. And the more people who want a little bit of weirdness come to us. And then we can shine because that's our talent. That's what we got it.
Emma Peacock 42:43
Yeah. Perfect. So if people are kind of trying to figure out if they need a brand voice strategy, maybe they've gone through a process that's slightly similar, like some of the points sound like they're kind of the same. How would you say that a business owner should decide if this is something they need to work on?
Rachel Rennie 43:06
Well, I think if you're, if you're struggling to write, if you're, if you're writing all your own content, and many of us are, that's just a reality. And if it's if it's not coming out the way that you want it to sound, because you just are like whether you're being too generic, or you're scared to do something cause you're like can I do this? Or whether you're writing and going, I have no idea if this is hitting what it needs to hit. That's when you need a brand voice strategy, because that's when we can provide all that clarity and the confidence for you to either go and do it yourself or to know that strategy lies behind everything. And that's why we're a branding, we're branding copy strategists. We look at, yes, your values, lovely, things all nice, but we also look at data. Where we look at data, we look at your Google Analytics, we set you up goals in there, we make sure that the copy that you're creating or that we're creating is actually converting so that's the strategy side of it. It's like yeah, come on, but are you making sales so that's the other I guess that's the other point is if you're not making sales, and you know you've got a really good product and it's just for some reason, not not making sales or you've got a good service, that's when it's time to nail your messaging.
Emma Peacock 44:35
Perfect. So let's move into the quickfire round. So I mean longer explanations are welcome sometimes you need to explain yourself it's all good. So where do you get the most of your website traffic from?
Rachel Rennie 44:50
We get it from Instagram at the moment. Um, however, we we've got a strategy in place at the moment where we are moving that away. So we are finally looking at, Frankly Write just because I have a team now. So we've got the bandwidth, where we're going to put in place what we do for our clients for ourselves. And we're looking at Google traffic. So we're looking at our SEO and then we're also looking at our EDM, our email marketing. So that's the goal. And I think that's really important, because I am like, yeah, we get it from Instagram. Great. But like, we all know Instagrams, not reliable. So it's changing. It's in the process of changing. And I think that's really important for people to not rely on socials for their traffic.
Emma Peacock 45:44
Yeah, totally. That makes total sense. So what is your favorite place on the internet right now?
Rachel Rennie 45:51
Oh, I read this question when you sent it through. My first reaction was, I fucking hate the internet.
Emma Peacock 46:01
I have had a few of those answers.
Rachel Rennie 46:03
Yeah, I'm like I want to put it however, it is my TikTok algorithm. Because God I bloody love that algorithm. So I will sit on TikTok. It's freaking great. And the, the, I mean, who came up with their algorithm is insanely talented and insanely intelligent because I get on TikTok. And it makes me feel so good. It is such a lovely place. It's full of like, hot Canadian men, like chopping wood. And I'm like, I don't know how this happened. But I'm not complaining. Scroll, scroll, scroll.
Emma Peacock 46:43
Yeah, is that the I mean, people are like I hate the algorithm and then I'm like, yeah but it works in your favor soo often, like when it actually works, it gives you all the content you love. And also you are as a human, you're in charge of what you see, like if you follow people that you don't like, unfollow them.
Rachel Rennie 46:58
I mean, obviously, I tend to linger on hot Canadian men chopping wood, and that's fine. It's all there's also cooking videos in there. There's really nice cooking videos, and there's stuff about working, you know, with a neurodiverse brain and all that kind of stuff. So it's tailored for me, and I love it. Like, go the algorithm. It's great.
Emma Peacock 47:22
Yeah, true, I guess too I mean, this is becoming not a quickfire comment. But like, if if you look at that data, like that's how TikTok created that algorithm was data. If you could create that data for like your own people on your website, imagine what you could do. I mean, scales, not quite there. But you know.
Rachel Rennie 47:42
I know, I would love to get into some dream client, man, Emily that out. So she's a senior writer, and brand strategist. But we always talk about when we're burning out these target audience personas, if we could get if we could spend five minutes in their TikTok algorithm. That's us, we could build it out. It just tells so much about a person.
Emma Peacock 48:02
Hmm, that's true. I like that. So what are you most looking forward to in the next year of business?
Rachel Rennie 48:10
Oh, just stepping into my new role. It's like, I'm just teetering on the edge of CEO. But I'm not there yet. Because I've got some things to work through. I don't know. Um, yeah. It's it's stepping into my new role. And just watching Frankly Write grow, because it's finally in that place. We've finally, you know, just tapped into that, where I want it to go and my dreams for it. So it's very exciting, actually, it's freaking cool to sit back and look at, look at where it is. So I'm just excited to do that really.
Emma Peacock 48:50
Yeah. I'm so excited to see it from the outside and everything that it comes to fruition and look like this. What are you looking forward to the most in the offline world?
Rachel Rennie 49:02
I think just the the new flexibility that this new role gives me work is a big part of my life. I love working, I can't not work. I've built this business around me and what I need for my mental health for my family. So because we've just finally tapped into this into this lovely new area. It's just going to give me more time with my kids. It's going to give me more money. I'm looking forward to spending some more money. I'm looking forward to being able to pick my kids up from school and not having to work in the evening. It's going to be nice. Yeah.
Emma Peacock 49:41
Amazing. I love that. So if someone is listening to this episode, and they want to grow their own online business, what is the one thing you recommend they do next?
Rachel Rennie 49:56
I mean, figure out your values and figure out who you're talking to. So, if you can, if you can nail those two things, you're going to start growing your business in a direction right from the very beginning. That feels really good to you. And it means that when you're going to be when you're making those sales, it's not going to feel sleazy. It's not going to feel inauthentic it's going to feel really good. So know your values. Know your plan for your business long term that can change that. It's okay for that to change mine has. But get those two things down and then understand your audience as well understand who you're actually talking to.
Emma Peacock 50:36
Do you by chance, have one of your freebies that are about that?
Rachel Rennie 50:41
Yeah. Yes, we do. Actually, we've got a target audience workbook, which you can download off our site for free. And it's, it follows a lot of what we do for Frankly Write for our one on one strategy sessions, but it's a really easy workbook to work through. And it gives you a really good foundation for actually understanding what you need to know about your target audience. And then also what you need to know about how they talk and how you can relate to them with your messaging as well. So there's a link in our Instagram bio, but you can also find it on our website, just on our home page. There's a link there as well. You can just go download it, get it and start building your business from the right place.
Emma Peacock 51:33
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Digital Hive podcast. I'm your host Emma Peacock. And today our guest was Rachel Rennie of Frankly Write. To find out more about brand voice and Frankly Write's offering head to franklywrite.co.nz If you're enjoying the podcast, I'd love it if you could share it with a friend or on Instagram and tag us @honeypotdigital. To find out more about Honey Pot Digital and the work we do or to find more episodes of the podcast and handy tips for small businesses marketing online head to honeypotdigital.com