1730 – The Power of Words in Business with Kelsey Formost

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the  Copywriter, Content Expert & Founder of Magic Words Copywriting, Kelsey Formost.

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Kelsey, with her years of experience working with a diverse range of clients, from small business owners to multi-million dollar companies in the tech and entertainment industries, emphasized the pivotal role of copywriting in connecting with customers and building a brand.

Copywriting, as Kelsey describes, is a blend of art and science. It's not just about crafting compelling sentences; it's about understanding the neuroscience behind what makes a message resonate with its intended audience.

Interestingly, Kelsey's background as an actress and screenwriter has significantly influenced her approach to copywriting. Her experience in the entertainment industry, including appearances in popular shows like Modern Family and New Girl, has given her a unique perspective on what makes content captivating and engaging.

Kelsey helps businesses build their brand voice, create conversion copy for their home and about pages, and develop effective call-to-actions and funnels of awareness. She also optimizes email marketing strategies to ensure readers feel excited and engaged when they see a brand's name in their inbox.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of copywriting in businesses
  • Kelsey Foremost's background as an actress and screenwriter
  • Connection between vulnerability and effective copywriting
  • Use of AI in copywriting
  • Kelsey's experience working with various clients
  • Copywriting as a combination of art and science
  • Importance of storytelling in copywriting
  • Addressing pain points of customers in copywriting
  • Kelsey's services: 1-to-1 copywriting, one-to-many programs, membership

About Kelsey Formost:

Kelsey Formost is a renowned copywriting expert, marketing educator, and mental health advocate, celebrated for guiding entrepreneurs in crafting compelling, non-salesy content.

Featured in prominent publications such as Business Insider, AdAge, and Glamour, she's a sought-after public speaker at major marketing events like Hubspot’s “Inbound” and SXSW. Recognized as a ‘Rising Star' on Talking Influence's “Influencer Top 50” list, Kelsey empowers businesses to surpass six figures through her accessible teaching style.

Beyond financial success, her core mission is to demystify online communication, instilling empowerment and inspiration in individuals when expressing their business narratives—ultimately fostering financial growth and personal confidence and connection within the digital realm.

About Magic Words Copywriting:

Magic Words Copywriting, founded by Kelsey Formost, stands as a testament to her seasoned expertise in copywriting, brand strategy, and marketing. With over 6 years of experience in B2B and B2C marketing, Kelsey's “emotion-first” approach has left an indelible mark on multi-million dollar companies spanning the tech and entertainment sectors.

As the former Director of Content and Brand at a prominent Influencer Marketing platform, Kelsey's innovative writing and content strategies have catalyzed explosive revenue, substantial growth, and lucrative partnerships, elevating brand awareness in consumer and enterprise markets.

Beyond her corporate roles, Kelsey extends her influence through Magic Words Copywriting, emphasizing content that inspires empathy and significantly impacts business outcomes. Her dedication to this mission is further reflected in her podcast, exploring the intersection of mental health and entrepreneurship.

Tweetable Moments:

06:38 – “That is the connective tissue – you have to be willing to be vulnerable to empathize with people so that you can communicate your value to those people.”

13:50 – “There are so many ways that you can optimize email to make your readers feel really excited when they see your name in their inbox when they see the company name in their inbox.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Magic Words Copywriting website at

Check out Magic Words Copywriting on LinkedIn at

Check out Kelsey Formost  on Instagram at

Check out Kelsey Formost on LinkedIn at

Check out Kelsey Formost on Facebook at

Check out Kelsey Formost on Twitter at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, it's Kelsey Formost. Kelsey, you are the founder of Magic Words Copywriting. You're found on the web at Kelsey Formost for the spelling to our friend. Listen to our conversation. Just click around in your podcast app. You're going to want to follow along. And you want to see Kelsey's face.

Josh (00:01:17) - So you can kind of put a face with the voice here, and you'll go to just look around for Kelsey's website, click on that, pull it up. But Kelsey is so great to have you here.

Kelsey (00:01:25) - Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here and nerd out about words.

Josh (00:01:29) - Yeah, I love it I love it. So maybe just start with just a quick overview of the work that you do in the impact that you have in the world today.

Kelsey (00:01:36) - Absolutely. So I'm a copywriter with years and years of experience working for everyone, from small business solopreneurs to multi-million dollar companies in tech and entertainment. And what is so amazing to me and I love, I call myself an evangelist for copy because copy is inescapable. No matter how big or robust your business is. It doesn't matter if you're brand spanking new startup trying to get seed funding. It doesn't matter if you are already an established brand with a global presence. Copy is the way that people connect with your brand and eventually your business. But it is such an overlooked piece of the puzzle of the greater overall puzzle.

Kelsey (00:02:27) - And the reason that copy is so interesting to me is it's part art, but it's part science and the science. There's actually neuroscience behind why certain copywriting things work that I love talking about.

Josh (00:02:42) - Yeah. And Kelsey, before we get into kind of nuts and bolts and kind of your view of the world of copy right now and you know, obviously some great advice. You have a very interesting background. I do and actually am on your IMDb page. I'm hoping you'll reference that as well.

Kelsey (00:02:57) - You bet. Yes. Oh, I love that this came up. Okay, so before I really fully dialed into digital content was where I really started my career, as is now. I was a successful actress and screenwriter for over ten years, and boy howdy did that cut my teeth on understanding what makes content exciting, what makes content capture attention. And I think it's something that's so overlooked in the business world. Storytelling. We hear this all the time, right? Story brand tell a story. But if you work in entertainment, in television or movies, you get immediately, oh, this script, it's going to go places or this is like, it's fine.

Kelsey (00:03:43) - So it really honed my ability to be able to say, this is interesting because someone will be able to see themselves in this, or this is going to make someone laugh, it's going to make someone feel something. But yes, I was a successful actress for ten years. I was on Modern Family, I was on New Girl, I was in a movie with Zac Efron. I was on Days of Our Lives, and it always is such a fun fact to to share with an audience.

Josh (00:04:12) - Okay, so I promised we're going to get to copywriting and so forth, but so what was the experience of working on a set for a show like, for example, Modern Family? You play tests, just give us a few. For someone who's not in that world, would a production at that level. And again, you've done other big stuff. I just Modern Family, oh, I just have such an emotional connection to that show. Oh me.

Kelsey (00:04:32) - Too. And that's exactly the point, right? That show was so successful because it connected with so many different people on a deep emotional level.

Kelsey (00:04:42) - The actual behind the scenes of being on that set, I actually just published a viral personal essay about being on that set. It's on Shonda land, if anybody wants to read it, it's called I HID My Gray Hair for Hollywood, and now I'm done. And like, talk about being in a machine like every person on that set. I mean, the caliber of talent is so high. But what was so amazing about that set in particular was the creative freedom. Everybody has this really structured job, right? They are so good at what they do. And because they're so good at what they do, there's a high level of trust in everybody who's on that set. If you're there, you're the best at what you do. So being on that set, having the camera roll and being in a scene, shooting a scene with Ty Burrell, and then the director goes, hey, Ty, do you want to improvise a couple of alt lines for this? And he'd be like, yeah. And he'd say something that was funnier and funnier and funnier.

Kelsey (00:05:44) - And then the scene that ended up on screen was not even remotely close to what was on the page when we got there that morning. So what I love about that is so often we stifle our creativity because creativity is quite vulnerable, right? Imagine somebody being like, hey, can you just like off the cuff, say a couple of things? And by the way, be super funny because we're paying you millions of dollars. That's so much pressure, right? That's so vulnerable. So if you want amazing creativity that can get you millions of dollars and millions of eyeballs, trust people who are willing to be vulnerable.

Josh (00:06:26) - So if we take the parallel, then how's this for a segue of, you know, thinking about vulnerability and risk? Where does that fit in with copywriting?

Kelsey (00:06:38) - Oh my God.

Kelsey (00:06:38) - Pain points immediately. I always tell people the place that you need to be focusing probably 80% of your attention is your ideal customer's pain points. That is as vulnerable as it gets. If you can communicate to someone that they are in good hands, that they can trust you with something that is deeply difficult or deeply embarrassing or vulnerable, or oh my God, if this problem could be solved, I would thank the heavens, right? If you can communicate that that is the connective tissue, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, to empathize with people so that you can communicate your value to those people.

Josh (00:07:27) - While you're chatting. I am actually like typing notes to my Co right now. We got to review our front page. We being empathic because I agree with you. And this is one thing I know about what marketing or the behavior of consumers and your consumers. Being your customers, right? Generally, if we think about like what they're searching for right now, most people don't search for solutions. They search for pain. They search for the pain that they're experiencing. So I identify their pain. And then I probably also talk about the consequences and the emotions around that pain. And they're like, oh my gosh, this guy gets me. He knows. And I think it's really powerful too, is when you have a story, obviously kind of a perfect world. Right. And I'll let you kind of share on this is if your own internal story matches or demonstrates that empathy with that pain point.

Kelsey (00:08:18) - Yes, yes, that's so true because so often we create the businesses that we wish we had at a point when we had that same problem.

Kelsey (00:08:26) - I'll just use myself as an example. When I was starting as a freelance copywriter, I felt so overwhelmed. I felt completely like, who am I to do this? There's so much technology. It's so intimidating. Can I even make this work? I know I'm good at the actual job, but building the business is so hard. So I went through my own pain points, and now I use that exact experience to connect with people and show them. A it's possible. B it's not as hard as you think it is and see, like we're all going to be okay, you know, we're all going to be okay. And I really think that that is the crux of why people invest money in people, places and things is we just want to feel like we're secure, we're taken care of, and we're fulfilling the purpose that we want to fulfill.

Josh (00:09:18) - I would feel remiss if I didn't ask you about the a couple of things. First off, one of the points of contention that I know that was needed to be addressed was the use of AI.

Josh (00:09:29) - You're in this world every day, and I know that a lot of business leaders have a lot of questions about it. We've been using ChatGPT and it's amazing, but it's I'm going to not tell anymore.

Kelsey (00:09:41) - I'm so glad you asked about AI, because I actually did a huge deep dive very recently on, okay, this isn't going away. I don't want it to go away, actually. And my initial reaction was ick, like ick, ick, ick. I don't want a robot representing me to my customers. ChatGPT I think it's for that is the the paid most up to date version. I just used it this morning and here is my take at this moment on AI. You have to know what good copy sounds like no matter what. Hire a human being professional copywriter who can tell you from their personal experience whether or not something is likely to convert. You cannot take AI's word for it that it's going to convert. You just can't. However, what AI is good for is idea generation. Identifying those pain points, potentially identifying markets that you may not expect to connect with initially, like out of the box sort of things.

Kelsey (00:10:52) - Building an ideal customer avatar ChatGPT is good for that when it comes to the actual words, though, that you are going to put in your marketing, the actual words that you are going to put on your website. At the very least, have a professional human copywriter edit it. Because if you just slap words that ChatGPT wrote up on your website, it absolutely is not going to be as effective.

Josh (00:11:23) - That's true. So share just a bit about who you work with today and what that generally looks like.

Kelsey (00:11:30) - Um, yes. So currently I have different services, but I do 1 to 1 copywriting work again for everybody from solopreneurs to celebrity coaches to multimillion dollar tech companies. I've done it all. And then I also have one to many programs. So I have a signature course copy class where I teach entrepreneurs how to think like a copywriter, which is great for people who hate writing. I also have a membership called BYOB, which stands for Build Your Own Business. It's meant for small businesses who are really looking for accountability and support for what do they even need to be doing? And we tackle one needle moving aspect of building a business every month.

Kelsey (00:12:16) - So that's kind of an overview of what I'm currently doing.

Josh (00:12:19) - So do you typically work long term? Do you do shorter term engagements? And also what might be some examples of where you are creating copy or co-creating copy. Where where does that end up?

Kelsey (00:12:32) - Yeah, I would say that it's pretty 5050 people's websites, company websites and email marketing. So email marketing I'm sure everybody here knows like don't sleep on it. It's so effective. It's so great. Social media is shiny. Email marketing is your stable sugar daddy like emails where it's at. And I've seen the proof in that pudding. So I spend a lot of my time really diving in with businesses on, okay, let's build your brand voice. Let's translate that to a website. Let's make it conversion copy on your home page. You're about page. What are your call to actions? Are you building a funnel of awareness? All of that. So you see work on the page on a web page. And then also I'm in the inboxes of does the brand voice on the website match the brand voice that you're speaking with in an email? Are you being cold and saying we when it should be I how often are you communicating? Are you being consistent? Is your newsletter actually news or are you just trying to sell stuff to people? There are so many ways that you can optimize email to make your readers feel really excited when they see your name in their inbox, when they see the company name in their inbox.

Kelsey (00:13:50) - And that's really what I do. The strategy behind it, and then the nitty gritty writing, if that's needed.

Josh (00:13:57) - Your website is Kelsey formost. Our friend that's been listening to our conversation. Maybe they're a year later and they they searched you in this podcast came up. Now they've heard a wonderful conversation together. And now they're like, okay, I want more Kelsey in my life. What would you recommend their next steps be?

Kelsey (00:14:16) - Definitely download my free resources. If copyrighting is something that you think you may need otherwise, follow me on Instagram. That's really where I show up the most. It's where I am, I think the most entertaining. I do a lot of short form video. I love doing mean. I was an actress and a screenwriter, right? So of course I'm going to love making entertaining video content for people. So come hang out with me on Instagram at Kelsey dot writes wri ts.

Josh (00:14:48) - All right Kelsey Formost again your website Kelsey To our friends that's been listening. Just click on the show notes.

Josh (00:14:54) - We've got that direct link right there Kelsey. It's been a joy having you wonderful conversation. And thank you for the impact that you have in the world. Thank you for joining us. Thanks for.

Kelsey (00:15:03) - Having me.

Josh (00:15:09) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed.

Josh (00:16:08) - I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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