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Brenna McGowan uses stories for making connection and email marketing for personal branding.

Brenna McGowan is my guest in Episode 19. Brenna is a master story teller, email marketer and Instagram expert.

Brenna is a copywriter focusing on Instagram and email.   She loves to figure out ways to connect words for impactful meaning.

One in the Same

Copy for email and Instagram are very similar, thus Brenna helps others create content for both.

Brenna has a gift for telling stories and even uses experiences like the time when she was at Costco and God “spoke” to her through a jar of misplaced Parmesan cheese.

It’s important to realize that what seems silly to one person, may really resonate with others.   Using our stories in our copy can help our audience to relate to us.

The First Phase

After being a stay-at-home mom and then working part-time, Brenna started a social media marketing business but found that what she really loved was creating copy, not doing social media management.   That is when she pivoted to focus on email marketing.

The Second Phase

Brenna was not a journalist or English major but believes that not having a formal education can sometimes be a benefit.   Online writing is very different than other types of writing.   As an online copywriter, it is important to write very conversationally and that means formal punctuation and grammar are left to the wayside.

It’s really important to realize that you don’t have to have formal training to become an expert.  We live in a digital world, so information is at our fingertips.

Tips for Online Writing

  • You do not want to write in paragraph form when writing for online purposes. You want a lot of white space.
  • You want one, two or three sentences at the most per paragraph. People are skimming from their phones or mobile devices, so you need to keep things short and at a 6th-grade reading level.
  • Use bold font and bullet points to break up your text. This helps make the reading scannable.   In online writing, you can absolutely start a sentence with and or, but.    It’s like unlearning everything you learned in English class.
  • Reading your content out loud is a huge help to ensure that your writing is conversational. Using conjunctions is another place where the writing becomes less formal and more approachable.
  • You want online writing to be informal, but still professional. Be personable, but not unprofessional.
  • Demonstrate your expertise while being approachable.

The Soccer Mom Test

Before you publish something online, ask yourself if you would tell the story to someone you know, but don’t really know, know.

If it feels wrong to tell the story to another mom on the soccer field, then you probably shouldn’t use it in your online content.

We are in the real house-wives culture.   People want to see behind the scenes. Be able to share things that seem different or odd to be saying online, but again, don’t cross over into something too personal, meaning you wouldn’t share it with an acquaintance.

Don’t tell stories that would take away from your credibility.  When experiencing a situation, instead of telling the story right away, take a while to process it, then when you are no longer emotionally involved, tell the story.   Wait to tell it until you can unemotionally tell the story so that you can remain professional.

Think about the reader as you are writing your stories.   Don’t be the person that no one wants to sit with at dinner.  Think about what your story will do for your readers.

Email Marketing

Email is a platform that we own and should be used to grow our contact list.

When we use email marketing we are able to be front and center and a constant reminder for our audience.

When someone gives you their email address they have decided to trust you and know they want to hear from you.

We should email our audience once a week.  Even if they don’t read the messages, you are top of mind.

Be sure to provide value in each email.   If you are interested, your readers will want to hear from you.

If people unsubscribe, they weren’t your ideal audience anyway.   They weren’t going to hire you.    Don’t take the unsubscribe personally.

“The strength of your business is based on the size of your email list.”  – Amy Porterfield

Lead magnets are giveaways to entice people to sign up for your email list.  They don’t have to be super detailed.  Giveaways can be simple but need to be informative.

You can start your email list with the addresses you already have.  Provide the option to unsubscribe and if they don’t want to hear from you, they will unsubscribe.

We carry stories around with us.  Use your stories to infuse your personality into your business.

Book Recommendations

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

How to Win Friends by Dale Carnegie

Favorite Quote

“Everything is hard until it’s easy.” – unknown

The Segues Away Guide

Check out Brenna’s Segues Away Guide.   In your email, there is a transition sentence, that segues away from your story to the call to action.

The guide is rich with examples so be sure to download it.

Access the guide HERE.

Learn more about Brenna


To learn more about me, your host, click HERE.


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