Click. Click. Click.
That’s the sound of you doing anything OTHER than writing your copy.
Sales page needs to be written? Ummm, *after* my second cup of chai.
Emails are underperforming? Maybe I’ll skip the weekly email.
Blank page mocking you? Let me scroll other accounts on Instagram…
When you’re feeling stuck with your copy and are in avoid-or-ignore mode, copywriting can feel like a dark art practiced only by mysterious scribes in secret ways.
That’s when you either give up on your copy and pay for a template or a copywriter to take the whole damn thing off your plate.
Trouble is, you often end up sounding wooden or like someone else entirely — if you’re even putting copy out there at all.
But what to do when you don’t have a fancy writing degree and you haven’t the first clue what to write about? You know the words are important — your words are the primary way your audience gets a taste of you, after all — and you know that you need to use them more effectively so your audience can find you, hire you, and PAY you.
So what's a marketing-shy, overthinking business owner like you to DO???
That’s where I, and Cutting Chai Stories, come in. I’m Jayati Vora, a recovering journalist who brings two decades of editing chops, my love of chai, and my style of storytelling to the world of marketing and copy.
In episodes of just 15 minutes or less, I’ll walk you through the basics of writing your copy yourself, in a voice that your grandma would recognize, and how to be your own brand’s wingman without slimy marketing tactics.
Cutting Chai Stories is jam-packed with highly actionable tips on writing, editing, and storytelling, with a dash of masala, so you can sell your services and products with confidence.
Episodes air on Thursdays and feature occasional interviews with business owners who’ve learned to harness the power of copy, and the marketers and copywriters who work with them.
Start connecting with your customers in your copy with my free mini course, delivered to your inbox when you sign up for my twice-weekly email newsletter, Chai in my Inbox: www.cuttingchaistories.com/subscribe
S4 Ep 22: 15 writing prompts for email marketing and social media
Welcome to the final episode of Season 4! Have some writing prompts to tide you over till Season 5,
--including one for Halloween
--another one for Diwali (or whatever other festival speaks to you)
--plus the writing prompt that keeps on giving
You'll want to grab a pen and paper before you dive in!
If you liked these prompts but want more guidance and accountability to turn them into marketing content, sign up for my storytelling and marketing workshop on Oct 28th, where you'll actually do some writing during the session and leave with solid drafts to use right away: https://cuttingchaistories.com/product/un-bore-yourself-2/
(Seats are limited, because it'll be an intimate session, so don't wait on this)
And while I look forward to seeing you back here for Season 5, in the meantime, you can keep in touch for more writing goodness like this on my email list, subscription to which is totally free, and which doesn't take a seasonal hiatus like this show.
Sign up to get my twice-weekly email newsletter, Chai in my Inbox, here: www.cuttingchaistories.com/subscribe
S4 Episode 21: Hooking your readers with your About Me page
In today's episode, listen in on a clip of a coaching call with Judy Pavone, who came to me with this question:
"I have a really hard time talking about myself, and explaining what I do, and figuring out how much to share of myself that doesn't overwhelm people, and make them think -- 'What? Why do I need to know this?''"
She wasn't happy with her About Me page on her website, so we worked on it in real time.
Listen in for the original, and what we did to transform it.
And if you're not happy with your About Me page, here are a few things to keep in mind from this episode that might help:
1) Start with a story. Stories captivate our attention. When we listen to an engaging story, we stop daydreaming and thinking about our grocery list, and instead we are transported to that moment in time that the story is happening. So start with a story.
2) Set the scene. Imagine you're an illustrator for a children's book. Or the videographer of a film. What are you pointing your camera at? What do you draw on the page? Tell us.
3) Try to show, not tell. Telling is important too, but from what I see, most people do too much of telling and not enough telling. Give us an example.
4) Edit edit edit. What you wrote down is just the first draft. Now it's time to make it better.
5) Try to play with the order of your sentences, or words. Or the order in which you're presenting information. What would happen if you started at the end?
Before you go -- I wanted to tell you about Un-Bore Yourself 2. It's a workshop I'm holding on Friday, October 28th, and it's going to be AWESOME.
It's all about storytelling and how to use in your marketing.
We're going to first have a masterclass in how to tell a story, all the elements you need for an engaging story, how to turn a boring story interesting, AND, most importantly, how to use it in your marketing.
Stories are the best way to supercharge your marketing -- you JUST saw it in action on Judy's About page.
But most of us aren't using stories in our marketing, or we're using stories that aren't relevant, or our stories are simply boring.
So in Un-Bore Yourself 2, we're going to cover 3 strategies to link UNRELATED stories to your marketing, and best of all, just like in the call with Judy, we're going to do some actual WRITING during the workshop so you'll leave with some content you can start to put out there.
It's 3 hours, it's on Zoom, and it's from 10 am to 1 p.m. Eastern Time on October 28th. Sign up here: https://cuttingchaistories.com/product/un-bore-yourself-2/
More about Judy:
Judy Pavone spent many years serving as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist. Her greatest passion is bringing children’s literature to life, joyfully engaging kids and their families while creating life-long learners.
Follow her on Instagram @creatingajoyfulreader.
S4 Ep 20: Vanquishing the story gremlin
You may not know it, but there's a story gremlin sitting inside us, choking us when we try to turn a story into the dreaded "M" word: MARKETING.
We are all perfectly adequate, even competent or dare I say thrilling storytellers when it comes to talking about what just happened to us in swim class.
But when we need to WRITE, as opposed to TALK; or when our stories need to have a PURPOSE that's linked to our business, well, that's when the story gremlin strikes and our riveting anecdotes turn dry like charred toast.
Then what comes out the other end are—
>> Stories that are irrelevant to your marketing purpose and therefore unconvincing or unsuccessful
>> Stories that don’t really go anywhere
>> Stories that don’t really FEEL like stories at all
In today's episode of Cutting Chai Stories, I take you through the three elements of storytelling that'll help you dissolve the gremlin choking your stories, and show you some practical examples of how to use those elements to tell a compelling story.
PLUS how to turn a boring, everyday occurrence into an interesting story for marketing purposes.
MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:
Season 4 Episode 3: But Jayati, what do I write ABOUT?? -- for a storytelling based email that turns a boring anecdote into a relevant, interesting missive to the list.
AND the Friday 28th workshop,
Un-Bore Yourself: A 3-hour workshop on storytelling and generating endless marketing
Sign up here: https://cuttingchaistories.com/product/un-bore-yourself/
S4 Ep 19: "You're not a good writer"
In this clip of a coaching call with Erica, she talks about the lingering effects of someone at a long-ago job telling her that she wasn't a good writer.
What do you do when you can't get negative feedback like that out of your head?
I offer her two practical suggestions for how to deal with this kind of comment.
PLUS, this Saturday, Oct 1, I'm holding a Zoom workshop called Un-Bore Yourself. It’s all about finding new joy in your existing marketing, finding new and fresh and FUN ways to talk about your core message.
If you’re a yoga coach that works with the senior crowd, maybe YOUR core message that you need your audience to understand is that yoga isn’t just for the young and fit and that they can sign up for yoga with you and they won’t sustain injuries or be made to feel bad for all the asanas they can’t do.
If you’re a vegan caterer, maybe your core message is that vegan food doesn’t mean bad-tasting food. (As a temporary vegan I can attest to that, by the way!).
And when you have a core message you’re gonna need to repeat it again and again so that your audience absorbs what you have to say. But when you’re saying the same thing on repeat it can get boring, and that’s where Un-Bore Yourself comes in.
In the workshop, we’ll fall back in love with our own core message and discover new ways of talking about it that feel fresh and fun to us—and to our audience!
It’s at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, it’s on Zoom, and it costs $25.
Sign up for Un-Bore Yourself here: https://cuttingchaistories.com/product/un-bore-yourself/
S4 Ep 18: The Swiss Army Knife of Content
Do you ever feel like you create so much content but you still struggle to populate all the platforms you’re on?
Like you have ideas pouring out of your brain like water but somehow you still run short?
Like when you sit down to write a social media post or an email to your list, it feels as dry as my skin in winter?
I sometimes feel like that, and when I do, I sit myself down and think: Am I using the Swiss Army Knife of content?
What can I borrow from over here and put in over there?
So if the Swiss Army Knife in my analogy is ALL of your content, then the different tools that come out of it are the different ways your content can be formatted and chopped up and expanded and shared.
In today's episode of Cutting Chai Stories, I take you through three real-life examples of how to repurpose your content like a pro.
In one, I start with a longform piece of content (an episode of this podcast, actually), and show you how to chop it up for use on social media and email.
In another I show how to start with a 60-second Reel and deepen it to a longer piece of content.
Once you start looking at your own content this way, you'll find it easier to be more consistent, to get your audience's attention, and will have a TON more ideas for content because nothing goes to waste.
Also, I want to make sure you know about my new workshop, Un-Bore Yourself, which is all about how to rediscover the magic and passion behind your core message.
You know when you get bored of saying the same thing over and over? Like you know you’ve said it so many times you yourself start yawning when you need to say it again? When you’re worried your subscribers will hit unsubscribe coz THEY’RE so bored of you saying the same thing over and over again?
Well, your core message is your core message for a reason. It’s important. It forms the backbone of what you do. Your potential customers NEED to understand this so they can take the next step. So you can’t stop saying it. But you CAN stop being bored by it. Because the way that it DOESN’T turn your audience off is when YOU are so irresistibly in LOVE with your message that your enthusiasm shines right through.
And this workshop I’m hosting is gonna do just that. It’s gonna help you re-discover the deliciousness of your OWN message.
It’s called Un-Bore Yourself, it’s on Saturday, October 1st, one and a half hours on Zoom and it’s just $25, which means you have NO excuse to not fall back in love with your own message.
SIGN UP HERE: https://cuttingchaistories.com/product/un-bore-yourself/
S4 Ep 17: Jeremy Enns' unconventional recipe for a successful email newsletter
In today's episode, I interview podcast marketer and Star Wars fan Jeremy Enns, whose email newsletter, Creative Wayfinding, is one of the few I read religiously every week.
We go in-depth into the particular format he landed on, an Easter Egg hidden in there, why he'd do it for no money at all, and what a newbie email marketer can do when they're just launching out.
Some quotes from the interview:
"I always welcome new subscribers to the newsletter every week. People want to be..they want to follow something that is popular."
"One of the things I remember hearing around audience growth and engagement is…reward the behavior you want more of, essentially."
"We don’t have to have such high bars for ideas, they don’t have to be some fully formed thing."
"Even when you don’t have an idea, or your idea is, I don’t have anything to write about, you sit down to write and suddenly something interesting can come from it. "
“You *think* you don’t have anything to write about, you start writing anyway and you’ll land on something that comes out and you’re like, oh, that’s kind of an interesting thought. Your brain realizes sooner or later, oh, we’re doing this, I better come up with ideas."
“It’s way easier to stand out by being different than being better.”
"When you have something that is actually unique and original, the language doesn’t necessarily exist to describe it well."
More about Jeremy:
Jeremy Enns is the founder of Podcast Marketing Academy, the only growth-focused podcast education platform for experienced creators, brands, and marketers looking to build long-term, sustainable audience growth systems.
He loves any sport that involves a frisbee, used to co-host an explicit-rated ice cream podcast, once bicycled across Europe, and will always look back on the day he finally saved up enough money to buy the Millennium Falcon Lego set as one of his proudest achievements.
Connect with Jeremy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamjeremyenns
Sign up for his Creative Wayfinding newsletter: http://jeremyenns.com/newsletter
Check out his podcast marketing course: http://podcastmarketingacademy.com/
ALSO, I'm THRILLED to announce the "Un-Bore Yourself" workshop, where you'll fall back in love with your core messaging and ditch the boring and blah language you've gotten used to, to describe what you do.
I know, I know. You've said it a million times before, no WONDER you're bored to tears by your own message! (Also no wonder then that your LISTENERS are ALSO bored to tears by what you say!)
Rediscover your own passion and conviction in your messaging at Un-Bore Yourself, where we'll recall what we love about it, why we chose that messaging to begin with, and all the different ways you can say the same thing and NOT bore yourself (or your audience) while doing it.
It's from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST on Zoom, on Saturday, Oct 1st, and it's $25.
Register for Un-Bore Yourself here: https://cuttingchaistories.com/product/un-bore-yourself/
I am a solopreneur and this podcast is helping me communicate better
Being a solopreneur can be difficult. Well, being anything can be difficult. And a thing I have struggled with the most is communicating my story briefly and with some flair. Jayati’s stories and tips are really helpful in getting me to the place I want to be with my audience. Especially the prompts :) I highly recommend this podcast.
Jayati Vora is a gem. I feel as though she is speaking directly to my creative spirit. When I listen I feel as though we are having a conversation. Jayati is engaging and very informative, and she has such a lovely voice! She shares so many amazing techniques, and truly makes you wanting more at the end of each episode. They are short and sweet like a cup a chai! Thank you Jayati for this lovely podcast. For sharing your knowledge, and empowering your listeners to grow and blossom with our own creativity!
Smart, beautiful and a bounty of information!
As you lean in to Jayati’s messages, you’ll first be taken in by her lovely voice and her warm manner. After that you’ll connect with her easy to understand and employ suggestions to improve your writing. THEN you’ll give it a go and (not surprisingly) you’ll be better at it than you were before! Highly recommend!