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TUNE IN TO HEAR ABOUT
- The importance of consistent copywriting across all touchpoints
- Why knowing your customer avatar intimately is essential for writing effective copy that will draw your audience in
- Tips and hacks on how to write compelling copy
- How to write your About Page on your website
Gemma Lumicisi is one of Australia's up and coming go-to SEO guru's as well as a recognised copywriter and media professional. She's adored being a part of the media and marketing world for her entire working career. Further to this, she loves helping others and mentoring them to be strong, and fearless in their businesses so they can grow. Gemma keeps busy and has many offerings in her business, she's a copywriter, an SEO specialist, content creator, and she offers marketing strategy training to help service businesses grow. On top of this, she's also an English teacher regularly teaching students online who live on the other side of the planet. She's an intrepid solo traveller, and she's travelled to 54 countries to date, with a goal of 100.
CONNECT WITH GEMMA
Flori Pyke [00:01:24] Hello and welcome to Episode 51. OK, so you've got Flori with you today. And I seem really excited to connect with our guest speaker today because I know you. I know you pretty well. She's one of our Mastermind students. And she also happens to be quite the copywriting ninja as well. And her name is Gemma Lumicisi. That's a surname, girlfriend.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:01:52] Well you know, we're one of a kind. [Flori asks if it's Italian]. It sure is. Italian surname. It means light, illumination.
Flori Pyke [00:02:06] Oohh.. I love it.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:02:08] It is. It's a pretty cool name.
Flori Pyke [00:02:09] It is a pretty cool name. So, it's so great to connect with you on the podi.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:02:14] Yeah. Go the podi. Thanks for having me. Awesome.
Flori Pyke [00:02:20] You know what? You're our first guest under the new Raising Her Game brand? Because Anna and I, we did one together. But you're the first guest under the new name. So there you go.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:02:36] Wonderful, all of that raising up. [both laugh] Super spesh.
Flori Pyke [00:02:40] I love it. So I'm going to give a bit of an intro to you so that everyone can understand why you're such a ninja. So, Gemma is an SEO copywriter and she's got degrees in both advertising communications and business marketing as well as a grad certificate in media planning and buying. Just because you know, you had to tick all the boxes. Seriously. All of the things. I'm so impressed. When I was reading that I was like oh wow that's a lot of years of study. [Gemma agrees] Holy moly. And she's worked. Well, you've worked across various media throughout your career, so, everything from newspaper, online radio, and TV. And, tell us a little bit around your love for the English language and how it spans beyond just copywriting. Because this was news to me when you shared a little bit around your experience. Yeah around the teaching.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:03:45] Oh that's interesting. OK. Well, I obviously I love our language. I love reading it. I love writing it. I love all the grammar stuff. And one other thing I've always wanted to do as well is to teach but one day I just put those two things together and like let's teach the English language but I don't want to do it in Australia. I want to do it overseas. And so, I'm an international English teacher and I taught in Costa Rica, Italy, Ecuador, on the Galapagos Islands and in Colombia.
Flori Pyke [00:04:17] Oh my goodness. So, there you go. And here's the question: is English your first language? Given that surname.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:04:27] It is. It's my first language.
Flori Pyke [00:04:30] All right. Awesome. And, you're here today to share some of your top-secret insights when it comes to good copywriting. So, I'm pretty excited because usually when Gemma and I connect, we're talking about her business and she's extracting all the juice from my brain. But today, I get to put her in the hot seat and well, the other way around sorry you're putting me in the hot seat. You're going to be telling me what I should be doing which I'm pretty excited about. [both laugh] So, can we just start really basically like copywriting? It's funny, right? Whenever I say the words copywriting or content, oftentimes people ask me like what exactly is that. What's content? What's copywriting? I'd love to hear kind of your insights around what is copywriting.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:05:20] Of course. Well, welcome to my world. So many people they don't know what it is - like what is a copywriter? It has something to do with the law doesn't it? It's like copyright and seeing a circle, right? [laugh]
Flori Pyke [00:05:31] Yes. Totally.
WHAT IS COPYWRITING
Gemma Lumicisi [00:05:34] So, if we bring it to base level, what I tell people is copywriting is a form of writing in which it has its own rules and things like that you know, different styles of writing. You write in different ways. The end result of copywriting is to sell something. It's to use words in a way which is going to compel the readers to make an action to get a response.
Flori Pyke [00:05:59] Right. And, for our listeners, so business owners, small, growing, scaling, starting, can you give them a bit of an insight into just how important copywriting is? [both laugh]
Gemma Lumicisi [00:06:17] Absolutely. Yes, I am a copywriter but I'm going to say it anyway. It is the most important thing in your business. It's the words of your business. It's your entire communications strategy. It's how you're speaking to people. It's how you're attracting people. It's so important. And it needs to be consistent across all channels as well.
Flori Pyke [00:06:41] It's really interesting on that note because I know that when we started out almost four years ago now, I don't think we really gave copywriting the weight that it deserved. And when we did give it the weight that it deserved, it really started to transform our business. So, I guess I wanted to give that little anecdote just to emphasise your point in terms of just how fundamental it is.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:07:09] Well absolutely it's almost the difference in selling nothing and selling something. It really, really can make such an impact. And it always has since the day of copywriting gone back in the day of what Donald Draper. [Flori agrees] It's just so important.
Flori Pyke [00:07:27] I always give this example at Academy Live in terms of like when we're talking about sales funnels and lead magnets in particular. One of the things I always harp on about is how important the title of your freebie or your opt in or your lead magnet is. And, I always give this example of how to lose weight or you could call it how to lose five kilos in 30 days in a simple and easy manner and then it's like OK well, which one is the most compelling one?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:08:00] Yeah. Absolutely. And that, come on, who wouldn't want to read that? Hello.
Flori Pyke [00:08:06] That's right. Like if that was your game, if that was your objective, right? It's like it's so much more compelling. So, I guess on that point of how do you write good copy like what makes copy good. Can you give us and our listeners some tips around things they can take away to consider when writing for their websites, for their socials, like what should we be doing?
COPYWRITING TIPS & HACKS
Gemma Lumicisi [00:08:32] Absolutely. One of my favourites and I learned this back in uni days. I learned this when I was a wee 18-year old. So, there's many formulas in copywriting but one I really like, I call this is PAS. P-A-S. So, it's a problem, and then it's aggravate the problem, and then it's solve the problem, or solution. So, you need to understand the pain points of your target audience. So, for example, everyone has problems with something. So, you can start with the ‘ever happened to you’ or ‘does this sound familiar’ or ‘are you struggling with it’. And then I don't know. As an example, does your six week old puppy, your new best friend, she can't use the litter tray. Probably a cat's a better example of that. But you know. I don't know. [both laugh] Yeah. Sounds familiar. And, you're like yup does sound familiar. How do I do that? But then you go and aggravate it. So then you sort of just keep pushing the points there and you say OK if this continues then this will happen. If you don't fix this now then this will happen. [Flori agrees] So, you're aggravating it. And then of course, we solve the problem. So, our new special secret method whatever does just this. And, everyone's going to be happy. So, in a nutshell yeah...
Flori Pyke [00:10:07] I love that kind of structural process PAS to follow. That would be quite good for like a sales page say, right? Or like writing some email copy where you're driving a call to action be it join something or buy something, right? Is that right? OK.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:10:25] Yeah absolutely. But it does work. It really does work across the board, a homepage website. It really does. I use the method across many things. Obviously, it is very salesy as well. Great for social media posts.
Flori Pyke [00:10:40] Yes. Yes. Totally. We certainly use a similar approach and one thing I was going to say as you were going through this, I think that I see what you're saying in terms of it can be salesy. However, I think that when you can make it relatable, it really does take that salesy approach out of the equation. [Gemma agrees] And I think that when you can make it relatable, genuine, authentic and you're personally connecting with that reader and you're using the word ‘you’ and you’re driving them in and you know the pain points and you understand the avatar then all of a sudden you know what, it's not that salesy, right?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:11:21] Absolutely. Yeah. And again, it's all about the words you use. You can use pushy salesy words or you can completely appeal to emotions without sounding salesy at all but you're getting right down to the point. [Flori agrees] Absolutely. Yeah. So, it really does work across the board.
HOW TO BREAK COPY UP
Flori Pyke [00:11:38] OK. Love it. And what about like do you have any hacks around, because I remember like way back in the day when I was doing my Facebook ads training for the first time, there were a lot of suggestions around you know how to structure your copy and then like Anna and I did a bit of, well, she did a copywriting mini course and I did one on sales pages. So, like along the way I've learned a few little hacks but I'd be interested in hearing from you like you know so I gave that example of like analysing two different titles for a lead magnet you know in one had numbers. What is your view on the use of numbers to break up copy? They use a specificity, senses, like can you give us some insights there?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:12:20] Yeah absolutely. So I like how you said breaking up copy. It's so important. OK. We're not writing a thesis. We're not reading an academic journal. We're not writing a book review. So, it has to be a short, snappy, short sentences and it must, must be broken up. [Flori agrees] It has to be. So, I don't know if you've heard this term ‘white spaces’. I feel as though the term’s popping up around now. It basically means let me see more space. I mean more white in between. So, you have to break it up and in copy, it doesn't follow actual grammar. So, you can have one word in between. A number is going to break it up of course. Headings. Break it up with headings. Space it out. Don't have 20 sentences. Put it on the next line. Put it on the next line. Let me see more white space so I can scroll down and read it better. And, that's because the ultimate sort of hack now I guess with copywriting is that we need to write it in a way where it's conversational. So, you tend to stop in a conversation like you and I are doing now. So, when you're reading that way, it's the same thing. So, there's a few great small sentences that I like to tell people to use. If you're telling a story you know things like mind blown. That's kind of break it up. And then this happened. You'll never guess what happened next. If you're breaking it up with short phrases like that, people are going to keep reading and it's very conversational. I bet you didn't think that would happen.
Flori Pyke [00:14:02] Yeah, yeah, no, I love it. And, also I think it goes back to that whole point about how people are consuming content today which is we want short and snappy exactly what you said, right? Like get to the point. And, we don't want to be reading paragraphs upon paragraphs upon paragraphs to digest one key idea or point and I think it totally speaks to that and then also exactly that element and layer of conversation goes back to being authentic, relatable, and how important that is.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:14:36] Absolutely. And, that again goes back to your communication strategy and why copywriting is so important. Creating you through your words.
Flori Pyke [00:14:45] I love it. And obviously over here at The Elevatory, we talk a lot around the importance of your business foundations and really getting those down pat before you start even worrying about your marketing and what not. And one of those elements that we focus around a lot is really drilling down and understanding your customer avatar in intimate detail. We've talked about this a lot in the Mastermind and getting to really understand their pain points and their pleasure points. And you talked about some of those elements as you were explaining a few of these examples when it comes to good copywriting. So, can you just explain to me a little bit around the importance of really intimately knowing that avatar and how it translates to effective copywriting?
WRITING FOR YOUR AVATAR
Gemma Lumicisi [00:15:39] Of course. So, this is the most important aspect for a copywriter. It's one hundred percent the most important and when we're speaking to clients and taking briefs and all the information, it's the main focus. What we need to understand about target audience and avatar specifically is just it's everything. If you don't understand your target audience, you're not going to find the right words to attract them. And it's as simple as that. If you don't understand them, how can you speak to them? How can you attract them?
Flori Pyke [00:16:16] Yeah. And I think it goes back to exactly like you said the word pain points and I reckon that is one of the ultimate hooks from a marketing standpoint and a copywriting standpoint. And, it's even been proven that appealing to the pain is far more effective than appealing to the pleasure points, right? People are afraid, right? I mean that's why we watch the news. It's like a car crash 20 times over but we just get drawn in by the pain. [Gemma agrees] And yeah like I think just to elaborate on that whole avatar element like we've talked about it really openly on the podcast you know when we did a lot of research and analysis into understanding our avatar really intimately, it took us a while to really get to know who she was and a lot of detail. But off the back of doing so much research, doing multiple in-depth recorded conversations, interviews, focus groups, surveys like you name it, by really starting to understand her, it enabled us to really skyrocket the business like we literally went from kind of like 10-20 thousand dollar months to 50 k plus months from one month to the next when we started to understand exactly what you have been saying like appeal to her pain points, write to her. Be conversational. Use that word you. This stuff is so important, right?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:17:44] So, so important. Another good one is to think BDF which is belief, desires and fears. So that's another really, really important one. I guess they are almost pain points as well. [Flori agrees] Think about a belief that your avatar has. So, for example, if their beliefs are good then promote them. If they're negative, then challenge them. And most people have a preconceived belief about anything, right? About an industry or a person, brand. [Flori agrees] Speak to that. So that’s one way you can do it. So, example a car salesman. Everyone hates them. They're dodgy. So then, I'll be the non dodgy one. You'll be challenging the negative. Yeah. Desires. Of course, we all desire. We're human. [laugh]
Flori Pyke [00:18:43] Yeah. I just smashed a Reese's pieces peanut butter cup with ice cream on top. So there you go. I had a big desire. I sure did. It was worth every caloric ounce. [both laugh]
Gemma Lumicisi [00:19:00] And of course as I guess, Reese's appeal to your desire Flori, right? [Flori says "Oh it sure did."] Yup, there you go. And, do you keep buying their products all the time?
Flori Pyke [00:19:11] I would say I keep their business running. Yeah. I'm that person.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:19:15] There you go. So they're speaking to your desire whether we all have even basic human desires to be liked, to be right, to make more money, to be happy, to enjoy peanut in ice cream. There's so many different desires. So, again pinpoint those and speak to them. And then of course, fear. Yeah. We all have fears. So this one intertwines with the pain point. Reassure your audience. We'll banish those fears. Call out those fears. Again, preconceived fears about going back to dodgy car salesmen - you won't tell me the truth and you won't care again. You won't sell me the right car. You just want to make a commission. Again, reassuring and banishing the fears.
WRITING THE PERFECT ABOUT PAGE
Flori Pyke [00:20:01] Yep. No I love it. OK cool. Now one thing I wanted to talk to you about which is very aligned with copywriting. This is something that I see come up time again in terms of a conversation piece be it in the personal coaching forum or in our Facebook community. There is a lot of kind of head scratching going on about how do you write the perfect About page. I'm sure you've probably heard about it. [Gemma says "Yes it seems to be the hot off the press at the moment."] It is, isn't it? It's like the hot thing in my hood. But yeah. So, can you just, like I would be really keen to understand from your standpoint what is the optimal way to break your About page up from a copywriting angle? What should people be including, not including, how to structure it, like give it to me. I'm very keen to understand.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:20:58] Of course. It's again, hot off the press, everyone wants to know. And, I think it's because everyone now, we want to tell our stories. Everyone is telling their brand stories. And, it's also the second most read web page. Home page then About. Yeah, it's second most visited page. So, it is really, really important. So, of course, you need to convey your credibility, your passion and make yourself sound trustworthy. All of that. But at the same time, you have to remember that people as selfish, right? So whilst you're talking about you, you still need to convey what's in it for the reader? So, it goes back to that age-old copywriting saying, what's in it for me? What do I get out of this? OK, so you went to uni for three years. That's cool. What's in it for me? So, a really important thing to think about and especially when writing an About page is after every sentence, say "which means that". For, example, I went to university for five years which means that I can do this for you. Which means that I'm the best person for whatever. Which means that I've worked for this industry for 10 years. That's really, really important to have. Yeah after every, not every sentence but, well, yeah, every sentence [laughs] pretty much but not saying which means that every time but saying it in your head. [Flori agrees] It's so important. Otherwise, it ends up being a long story about you. That isn't a benefit to the reader in any way. So, I'm here to help you do X Y Z. And, of course, you need to use facts, specifics. I did this for five years. And, what I think is the best way to start it, that is who you are, what you do, why you do it and why you do it better than your competitor. And then lead into your story because everyone has a story. Everyone has a reason why they're in business. Everyone has a reason why they've started this business, why they're doing the thing, and people want to read that.
Flori Pyke [00:23:12] Those are some awesome tips. So, I have a few questions just to flesh this out further. Can you be more specific around you know should this be at certain length like should we be using between these words and like thousand words three thousand words? Can you give us some insights around optimal length?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:23:31] Yeah. Absolutely. So, for SEO purposes. You should never have below 300 words. So, everything on a web page should be minimum three hundred words. Again, it's not a proven thing but if Google sees others as a more authoritative web page if there's minimum three hundred words. Anything under that looks like there's not much content there. Again, people are not going to sit there and read your story if it's three thousand words long. It's really not going to happen. [laughs] It's just not going to happen, right? [Flori agrees] Absolutely. Three to five hundred words. Again, keeping it punchy. You're not telling this long-winded story about everything. I did this which means that. I did this which made me then move into this area. Then I did this which gives me all this experience to be able to do this for you. It doesn't need to be more than 500 words, 600 at the most, because again people, they're not going to read it. [Flori agrees] Break it up. Keep it broken up. Section it. Headings. White space.
Flori Pyke [00:24:40] Yeah. OK. Love it. I love all the tips you've given around the structure and the "which means that" like all these great hacks are fantastic. But, is there something in particular that we should be writing about? Like is it your, you said the word story. I mean are we talking about you know like I've got a business degree and an MBA which means that, do we have to be conscious of our audience and what they want to get out of what we're doing and therefore structure the About copy in such a way that will resonate with that audience? If I've got an MBA but I'm selling toy cars. Maybe I would talk more around my experience in working with kids and having kids being the focus as opposed to my MBA I suppose, right?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:25:29] Well, of course. So again, use fact and specifics but they're relatable. It's great if you've got an MBA but if you're selling kids toys, who cares? Again, so what?
Flori Pyke [00:25:40] When you were giving the hacks, I would literally... I was like so what? Like you got to ask yourself, so what? But it's so true, right?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:25:53] Every good copywriter has it on a sticky note on their laptop or on the wall in front them. Everything they write, they look up and look at the ‘so what’ just to remember that this and pretty much an answer to that sentence. I found this, so what? What does that mean? So again, it has to be relatable. And it goes back to understanding you at the top. What do they want to hear? What is it that they want to hear? If you are in business and then speaking to other very business minded people then yes I have this qualification and I did this for five years and I did that. That's what they're going to want to hear. So, again, the importance of an avatar. You're going to know what they want to read and what they want to hear.
Flori Pyke [00:26:35] Yup. No, I love it. And, putting you on the spot here. Have you come. Sorry. [both laugh] But no literally I sit here and I'm like hmmm I feel like ours could probably be better. So, I would love to understand if you have any good examples or if you've come across any websites where you've thought "damn! she or he has done such a good job writing that About page." Do you have any kind of examples you might be able to point us to check out or something that's kind of stuck in your mind around someone who's done this well?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:27:15] Yes I do. I actually think yours is great.
Flori Pyke [00:27:19] Oh thanks. OK. I'll take that. I'll pop in the back pocket.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:27:25] Of course, looking at another copywriter’s site. Kate Toon copywriter and the actual copywriting website does it brilliantly. And, apart from that I can't think of anything off the top of my head. Neil Patel's too long. [Flori agrees] See you later. Yeah. They got an example of that. And he has this thing of writing two-thousand-word web pages. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind to read that.
Flori Pyke [00:28:00] No and I feel like there's a lot of focus there around SEO but an SEO from rewind five years ago. Like the strategy but it changed. But anyway.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:28:09] Yeah anyway. Definitely have a look at Kate Toon. She does it really well.
Flori Pyke [00:28:15] Awesome. OK. Thank you. No, that's a great tip. Awesome. Well, that has been a very insightful. Thank you. This is so good. The thing is though, like you just don't know what you don't know. And when it comes to copywriting, I'm the first to say and the first to put my hand up that I just didn't think it was that important. And, when we started on this journey and for all our listeners, oh gosh. It will transform your business to get this right, to understand your avatar, to exactly be able to resonate with them, to know how to write in a way that will draw them in, will hit on their emotions or pain points or pleasure points, will hook them in, all of that. Thank you so much. So, on that note, Gemma. [both laugh] Tell me where can our listeners find out more about you and your ninja-ing, your craft. Tell us more.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:29:15] My ninja-ing. That's really funny. When I worked in media many years ago, that was actually my office nickname. It was ninja.
Flori Pyke [00:29:25] Oh. There you go. I saw it from a mile away. I sniffed it. [both laugh]
Gemma Lumicisi [00:29:31] Well on all my socials, of course, so my business is Contently Driven. You can find that on Facebook Contently Driven because I am, on Instagram and I'm contentlydriven.com. That's me everywhere. Under my name on LinkedIn.
Flori Pyke [00:29:51] I love it but I love also like the play on words, though. Content-ly Driven. Just for those who the penny might not have dropped by now. [both laugh] For our listeners, do you have any like guides, freebies, any kind of like best practice, cheatsheets, like what, is there anything we can download or access, get our hands on in terms of getting some more insights from you?
Gemma Lumicisi [00:30:15] Absolutely. One I have available at the moment is my website checklist. So, that's how to have a killer-looking website, copy included of course. And I do have a shop that will be coming with templates and all sorts of things so please watch this space. Having a big website revamp, so, everything is really, really happening.
Flori Pyke [00:30:39] Yes, it is and I'm very excited to be a part of that.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:30:43] Yeah so please watch this space.
Flori Pyke [00:30:44] Yes. Please watch this space, demonstrating some awesome stuff and she's on fire. You are grabbing this by the balls, girlfriend. That's great. All right. So, for our listeners, to get your hands on the show notes and to learn more about Gemma, you can go head over to her website contentlydriven.com or head over to ours to see the show notes at theelevatory.com/podcast. And, parting thought over to you, Gemma. Again, putting you on the spot.
Gemma Lumicisi [00:31:19] Gotta love a good parting thought. Never forget OK, you're writing copy for people. OK. So, you need to tell people what's in it for them. OK. And, always remember the so what. So important. Always remember that.
Flori Pyke [00:31:35] Massive key takeaway there. OK thank you. Thank you so much, Gemma. It's been so much fun. I've really enjoyed it It was a lot of fun. OK. And, for our listeners, that is a wrap. And as always ladies, remember to elevate your business game.
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