Create a vision that’s bigger than you — for too long, I just kept saying I want “more money” and “more clients”. The minute I got specific on how many and for how much, and what that money was going to bring to my life, I showed up differently in my business.
As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing messaging strategist and copy expert, Marisa Corcoran who helps coaches and creatives fill their first group program or attract their dream 1:1 client with copy that stands out like Beyoncé at The Grammys. Marisa is a content creator and writing collaborator who lives for helping coaches and creatives craft compelling online copy that connects with readers and highlights every person’s unique vibe and voice. She’s helped 100+ entrepreneurs powerfully engage their audience and transform their creative ideas into copy that gets clicks. Marisa resides in Atlanta with an M.F.A. from Harvard University. She’s also a firm believer in using coconut creamer in her coffee and listening to Toni Braxton, whenever possible. When not click-clacking on her laptop, you can find Marisa analyzing a Real Housewives episode like it’s government policy and consuming inappropriate amounts of Nutrageous bars.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After getting my MFA in Acting from Harvard University, I started writing copy as a side gig so I could easily make any and all appointments and auditions my agent had arranged for me.
Quickly, I realized that everything that makes you a successful actor makes you a successful writer and chief communicator for your business.
I started teaching entrepreneurs an “actor’s guide to copy” and found it helped it all click together for them with clear intentions, the power of storytelling, and humor.
Shortly after, I decided to devote my life full-time to my own writing business to help entrepreneurs create kick-ass copy that attracts clients and makes money.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
When I first announced I’d be creating The Copy Chat (my online summit on creating kick-ass copy that attracts clients + makes money) and reaching out to experts I had another copywriter say to me, “You know, I always wanted to do something like that but figured talking about copy would be too boring for people.”
For almost a week, I doubted my idea but pushed ahead anyway because I already had confirmed experts/speakers.
It was just last week that this memory came back to me while being interviewed on a podcast because creating The Copy Chat has brought over 40 fellow rockstar entrepreneurs into my life which has turned some of them into clients, given me media opportunities, the gateway to a 40K launch, and sincere friendships.
Between both summits, we’ve had over 4500 listeners tune in with reviews that this is the best summit they’ve ever signed up for.
Plus, the experts have added hundreds of excited new followers and fans to their communities and gained clients all by being part of the summit.
The moral of the story: don’t go to the hardware store for milk. Even though this was another copywriter, this person didn’t have the same vision.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The first time I went live on Facebook I knocked my computer off the table. The second time, I decided to use my phone with a new stand I’d purchased on Amazon but it fell off in the middle of the live.
The third time, I forgot to put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” and someone called me and I couldn’t get back to the “live” screen.
Point is, there was a fourth time and I finally found my rhythm. I tell my students all the time that you can’t let mistakes or embarrassment stop you. Keep showing up. Keep playing big.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
It’s not just about creating compelling copy but how you can put it out into the world and use it to attract your dream clients and dream collaborations.
One of my students in The Copy Confidence Society came to me a shy financial coach with big dreams. In just 2 months, she unleashed her voice, started writing some of the funniest copy I’ve ever read that’s super-specific and emotionally connected.
Plus, using the pitch email structure I teach inside the program along with this magnetic new message, she booked 3 podcasts (the second being her dream podcast) in less than two weeks (although her business is relatively new).
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We just wrapped Copy Chat 2.0 and I’m already thinking about Copy Chat 3.0 but coming up next is another round of The Copy Confidence Society where I help online coaches and creatives fill their first group program or 1:1 client program by nailing their niche and message and implementing my 5-day summit framework.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Nothing in online business is life or death. It just isn’t.
Be sure to say that yourself when something goes wrong. Recently my assistant missed a task to send onboarding materials to a new client. What good would it have done for me to be mad at her?
We were honest with the client, got the materials to her and everyone is still alive. That’s how you lead a team that’s motivated to help you create the most successful business.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
When I was studying acting in undergrad (and at Harvard, as well) we had to dive into other areas of theater — backstage, marketing, sound, lighting — to see how it all plays a part in getting to opening night.
I suggest blocking out time to spend a set amount of time with each team member (or groups) to dive into their brain, how they approach their projects so you can see your team as a beautiful machine where every single piece is integral.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mother. She’s a real-life Atticus Finch.
When I was a child, she used to wash the blankets and clothes of a homeless man named Elmer. She would make me carry the blankets from our apartment down 2 flights of stairs to the basement where the washer/dryer lived.
It was there — watching her wash his belongings — I learned what it meant to not just have compassion for someone but empathy.
Having empathy is the key to being an excellent copywriter. It allows you to walk a mile in someone’s shoes (like Atticus talks about) and attempt to understand their experience and point of view.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Recently, I’ve started implementing that a percentage of my group program profits gives back to The Headstrong Project, which provides post-9/11 military vets with the mental healthcare, they need and deserve.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- You WILL fail —this is something Brené Brown has made popular in her recent Netflix special and I want it tattooed on my body. You can’t avoid failure; it’s like death. It’s going to happen so stop trying to play small in order to bypass it. Play big, fail, and grow from it.
- Start BEFORE you’re ready —you’ll never be 100% ready and any big decision should feel scary. (If it isn’t, see tip #1)
- Invest in yourself —the minute I stopped trying to DIY my way through my business, I doubled my income in 6 months.
- Collect social proof —don’t be afraid to ask for that testimonial, get a client on video talking about how you helped them. Start this file ASAP.
- Create a vision that’s bigger than you —for too long, I just kept saying I want “more money” and “more clients”. The minute I got specific on how many and for how much, and what that money was going to bring to my life, I showed up differently in my business.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Millennials, you can create a business you love and pay off that student loan debt (without living off popcorn or moving back in with your parents).
I’m on a mission to help Millennials eradicate their student loan debt by creating wealth in their business so they can stop waiting for politicians to save us, stop trying to consolidate or taking out another loan with a lower interest rate, or staying in the prison that is repayment plans.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Here are two quotes I live by:
“and so young women
here’s the dilemma
itself the solution:
I have always been at the same time
woman enough to be moved to tears
and man enough
to drive my car in any direction.” — Hettie Jones (“Hard Drive”)
“He who does not feel me
Is not real to me, therefore he doesn’t exist
So poof! Vamoose, son of a b*tch!” — Jay-Z (Izzo H.O.V.A.)
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Bethenny Frankel. She’s been my guiding voice since I first saw her on Real Housewives of New York City.
Her tenacity, dedication, work ethic, and humor have always inspired me. Plus, watching her put her money where her beliefs are with the BStrong has inspired me to create a vision that’s bigger than me and rooted in giving back.
I’ve been told I look and sound like her, which always puts the biggest smile on my face. No one makes me laugh harder and I hope to be able to share a Skinnygirl Margarita one day together (I’ll be sure to wear my Skinnygirl jeans).
Thank you for joining us!