The Simple and Smart SEO Show

Strategic Stories, Brand Messaging, and SEO w/Emma Boshart

September 27, 2023 Brittany Herzberg, Crystal Waddell Season 2 Episode 71
The Simple and Smart SEO Show
Strategic Stories, Brand Messaging, and SEO w/Emma Boshart
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today we talk about the use of Strategic Stories and SEO for brand messaging with Emma Boshart, founder of Creative Uproar.

Connect w/ Emma:
The Brand Story Audit

1. Emma emphasized understanding the target audience and planning narratives aimed at specific business goals.

  • There is value in having fresh, updated content, (shows care for the audience and raises engagement rates).
  •  Emma  explained that messages and stories serve different purposes; messages establish a brand's value proposition and mission while stories illustrate these in a relatable context.
  • Emma Boshart pointed out that while core brand messaging should be consistent, stories used for launches or selling services should change with the audience's needs, making them more timely.

2. Emma discusse

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This transcript has been machine generated and has not been fully edited for errors.

[00:00:00] Brittany Herzberg: welcome back to the simple and smart SEO show.

I am geeking out because I am very excited about today's topic because it we're going to talk about Strategic stories and SEO and in my world, in my brain, I'm just thinking case studies. So we're going to get to deep dive on all of this stuff with Emma and Crystal. And are you guys ready?

I'm just, I'm so excited. 

[00:00:22] Crystal Waddell: Ready. Yeah, I'm ready.

I'm ready to learn because I have no idea what you guys are talking about. 

[00:00:28] Brittany Herzberg: Stories and keywords, all the cool things. All right, Emma, will you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in this big wide world? 

[00:00:38] Emma Boshart: Yes, so I help brands with distinct voices and distinct point of views, create messaging that builds an indisputable argument for why people should trust you, pay attention to you, tell their friends about you, and buy from you.

And so that includes messaging and strategic storytelling. 

[00:00:55] Brittany Herzberg: We spend so much time as copywriters and just service providers like helping other people. And so I found it really helpful to go in and just carve out time to work on my own stuff. I don't know if you felt the same. 

[00:01:04] Emma Boshart: Yeah, I feel like I always forget what that thing is, the the cobbler who has no shoes.

I think that's like the same. And I've spent so much time helping people who have. Lost control and have super chaotic messaging. 

I've worked with Hilary Weiss quite a few times . 

Every time I have a big turn In my business, I've worked with her to really bring everything back and make things cohesive and nailed down kind of my positioning and my differentiation.

But I found Marisa's program really helpful for that as well, just because, yeah. 

I spend so little time working in my own business that things get fly off the rails. 

[00:01:43] Brittany Herzberg: I know about that life. So one thing I love asking people, and sometimes I have forgotten until the end of the episode. 

But I definitely do that is what do you think of when you think of SEO or like, how would you maybe even explain that to a client, that whole concept of SEO?

[00:02:00] Emma Boshart: So I have listened to your podcast many times and I always think of like smart alecky answer.

Which is engine optimization. But what I think of it is basically when your ideal client, whatever they're typing into Google to find you is what you want to have on your website in order for them to find you.

Basically when they go looking for you, you want to be found with whatever kind of words they're using that would be my simplified answer.

[00:02:33] Brittany Herzberg: I mean, I like it. I give it double .Thumbs. 

[00:02:36] Emma Boshart: I do I think my question back to you I don't know if this is allowed but my question would be that I feel like it's a bit harder to get found in Google Right now because when you're typing in there so many ads Or so many paid ads, all of those things are coming up soon.

So I feel like SEO has gotten not necessarily more complicated. 

But a little more difficult just because the things that are coming up right away are not necessarily most search engine optimized websites. It's changed a lot since back in the day when I learned more about it. 

 Like short tail, long tail keywords and all of those different things.

So yeah. That's why I love that there's people like you out there that are so up to date on it. 

Cause I feel like it changes so rapidly. 

That you really, you need to be like on the cutting edge of it for. To know what you're doing. Yeah, 

[00:03:29] Brittany Herzberg: I have thoughts, but Crystal, do you, I feel like you have talked about that exact thing before. It's like the ad showing up?

[00:03:35] Crystal Waddell: There's a couple of comments I would have on that. 

Number one, I think many people are wise to ads. 

So it's okay, even though there are more ads because they're identified as advertisements. 

Unless they're just super spot on, with their messaging. I tend to go past them, to see what else is down there.

 The second thing is that really having targeted keywords is so important. 

Not just like broad match type keywords or like a broad umbrella topic type keywords, but like what you're saying, long tail keywords. 

The more words in the search, the more likely you are going to either find what you're looking for or be found by the person.

Who's searching for you. 

And then the third thing is, I thought this was really interesting is that there is a very like, what is there like a billion searches a day or something on Google? Or like 3 billion? There's some percentage of that, that let's just say it was 1 percent of 3 billion, but I think it's more like 10 or 15 

[00:04:38] Brittany Herzberg: percent 15 

[00:04:40] Crystal Waddell: percent of searches have never been searched before.

Like those keyword combinations. 

So, talk about being on like the cutting edge and just like the edge of change. 

That's exactly where we are. So the rules definitely are changing every day. 

But again, I think the more descriptive that you can be with your searches. 

And the more descriptive you can be with your SEO, the more likely you are to align with one or the other.

[00:05:07] Emma Boshart: Interesting. So do you think that with people turning towards AI to find their SEO? 

There's all like the rage of use chat GPT for your SEO. I just feel if you need to get that specific to get found. 

Or that's going to give you the advantage to get found.

[00:05:25] Crystal Waddell: I have a question back to you. When you say, use ChatGPT for your SEO. 

What element of SEO are we talking about here? If someone's going to use ChatGPT 

[00:05:35] Emma Boshart: for SEO? Yeah, so to look for your keywords or your long tail keywords. Or to use that as your assistant as opposed to, hiring someone to do your SEO. 

I feel like whether you're a copywriter, or you're an SEO expert, or you are a social media expert, there's all of these things that Is out in the, internet sphere that people are saying to replace. Not necessarily replace you with, but that you can use chat GPT.

To help you along the way, as opposed to hiring an expert to do that. 

And I would love to know what your opinion is on that as an SEO expert. 

Because I have so many opinions as a copywriter, and I'm just curious what you think as an SEO expert for those types of things. 

[00:06:21] Crystal Waddell: Do you mind if I go first?

[00:06:23] Brittany Herzberg: No, you go first. I'm taking notes. 

[00:06:25] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So the first thing I would say is. 

ChatGPT, Jasper, which is my copywriting AI tool of choice. 

Those are tools to help you with steps in the process. They don't replace the process. 

And I think that's where a lot of people, get tools confused in general.

No matter whether it's an AI tool or it's a calendar tool or, Whatever. It's Oh, I'm going to get this tool. And all of a sudden it's going to do my job for me. 

And it's no, you have to manage the tool. 

And you still have to manage, your processes or whatever. So that's my first thing is look, there are so many elements of SEO and let me just tick them off.

Just starting from the top. 

We've got our URL slug. We've got h1s, we've got h2s. 

We've got our main keyword, we've got secondary keywords, we've got meta descriptions, meta titles gosh, on page optimization. 

Internal linking, external linking. 

There's no way... or maybe there is, I don't know, just try it and, put all that stuff in chat GPT and tell it to spit you out something. 

For whatever you're working on and see what happens.

Maybe that's coming down the pipe. I don't know, but my point is there's so many elements of SEO that if someone wanted to use a chat GPT or a Jasper to cover the gamut, it's just not going to work. 

It's not going to make sense. And part of it will be that person probably doesn't know all of the elements of SEO.

And so therefore, doesn't know what they're not even doing. 

Because you can't do all of them at one time. So that would be my case. There for that. 

And then the second part of it with AI, I use and SurferSEO every single day. 

Like I've been blogging almost every day for the last week. 

And I write a blog a day and I do it with surfer and I do it with Jasper. 

And I use Jasper constantly to write SEO meta descriptions. 

Because that is I think one of the best use cases in my world for a Jasper or a chat GPT.

I'm guiding the software. 

And I'm optimizing what I'm writing more than anything.

And so that's, it's just a tool. So hopefully that kind of ties up some of that for my end. 

[00:08:43] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. So I. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said, and I think there's a couple of different things I want to touch on. 

With going backwards a little bit to the long tail and short tail keywords. 

And feeling like it might be more challenging to rank for certain keywords, I like thinking of, or the way that I like explaining it to people is that you could be a big fish in a little pond.

Or you could be a little fish in a big pond. 

So if you're looking at trying to rank for a keyword that's, let's just say, I'm going to throw jargon out there, has a search volume of 12, 000. 

That means that on average each month, about 12, 000 searches are being done for that keyword. That's a lot.

That's going to make you a very small fish in a very large pond, and you're going to get lost. 

But if you can have, like Crystal said, you're putting more words into that phrase, having the longer phrase be typed in. You're going to end up showing up for search volumes that again might be zero might be 10 might be 20.

That's going to make you a bigger fish in a smaller pond makes it easier for you to rank easier for you to stand out easier for someone to go. 

Oh, I like what they're saying. I let me check this out and actually go and click on the article and possibly down the line convert into a paying person. So that's one thing.

And then for the AI tools, I haven't seen anybody use AI to find keywords. If they are, that would be interesting. 

But again, like without the background knowledge of SEO and keywords and like what you need to look for and elements to look at. 

I think that's really challenging to use a tool like that to find keywords.

I find that it's easier for people to, and this is something we just talked about in the blogging with SEO email course that I put out there. 

Was showing up to those tools with keywords actually makes it easier. So I don't really utilize AI copywriting tools like everybody pretty much does. 

But when you show up with the keywords, you're able to then ask these tools to create an SEO title or create a meta description or list out 10 image title options for you.

And I wrote down a snarky thing when Crystal was like, people aren't going to know what to look for or what to create in the AI copywriting tools. 

They won't unless they download the SEO Basics Checklist where I list it all out and then they can go, make a title, better description, make an SEO title.


[00:10:55] Crystal Waddell: Sometimes you can use one of those like I use Jasper. I put in a bunch of text in there and I asked Jasper what's the main keyword of this?

So sometimes I'm just not ready to think very hard. 

And so I asked for summaries and different things like that. And that's worked well to find that keyword. 

But then when you were talking about the little fish and big ponds and all that type of stuff, it reminded me of the book blue ocean strategy.

And that's really what I encourage people to, consider. 

The blue ocean strategy is just like getting away from the sharks. 

Getting away from what everybody else is going for. And just trying to find a unique perspective of how you can position your product or service in a way that it will be found easier.

So that's what I specialize in. Just like looking at a different way that you can get found. 

That's almost like a backdoor, like B likes to say, like climbing in the window of, your business. 

[00:11:49] Brittany Herzberg: With a new analogy. 

[00:11:51] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, I know. 

[00:11:53] Brittany Herzberg: I was making notes. Does that help it make a little more sense?

[00:11:55] Emma Boshart: Yeah, 100%. Yeah. 

[00:11:57] Crystal Waddell: We could riff on that for hours, get me started on like a chat GPT or Jasper conversation. 

[00:12:01] Brittany Herzberg: And then we've lost her. 

Yeah. I'm excited to bring it back to case studies and stories. So I'm like dominating this one. I love how you talked about strategic stories. 

So will you maybe just break down that whole idea for us?

What they are? 


[00:12:17] Emma Boshart: Yeah, so strategic stories are different from just a regular personal story that you would just throw out there. 

Basically, they're crafted to achieve a specific goal, so you can think of it like a Jedi mind trick. 

So, it's where you're using words and emotions to help your dream client take action.

So whether it's to buy something. 

Support a cause, or jump on board as a fan of your brand. The key is though, it's all about knowing your audience. Planning your moves and creating a narrative that drives the outcomes that you want. 

There's two main things that you want to remember. So one you're telling stories that are specifically tailored to your brand and your audience. 

And two You're curating and crafting stories for a specific business goal.

So that's what a strategic story is. 

And then when you want to actually write a strategic story. 

It is different than just picking a story willy nilly out of the air and throwing it into your email. 

There's three steps. So first, you want to choose the topic that you want to talk about, and then you want to go to your VOC research.

So for me, I tend to create like a research roadmap for my clients. Looking at, Interviews, surveys, and any kind of research that I do looking at, Amazon, all the regular data mining. 

So you're going to go over to your VOC research and pick out whether it's a pain point, want or need, hesitation, benefit, false belief, or solution.

And once you have those two, you're going to choose a story that connects those with a purpose. 

And so your purpose could be creating a strong emotional connection, amping up brand loyalty. 

More sales, creating community, building credibility or showing off your expertise. And so it depends what that topic is or what you're creating the story for.

So it could be a prelaunch, a launch, or just a regular nurture series email. 

And then you go from there. 

[00:14:17] Brittany Herzberg: I love that. I'm really glad that you listed out some of those business goals too, because that was one of the questions I wrote down. 

[00:14:22] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So I just want to clarify really quick. You said VOC and speaking of jargon, voice of customer, right?

Voice of customer. Yeah. Okay. 

[00:14:29] Brittany Herzberg: Also known as market research. Yeah. 

[00:14:32] Crystal Waddell: So many synonyms, but we were just talking with Samantha. 

We were talking about websites. 

And her position and her suggestion was that your website should have like a goal. 

Essentially an overarching or overarching goal just for that website.

So when you're doing this and you're connecting it with that business purpose. 

Are we saying there's just one business purpose for this messaging or can it be used for multiple business purposes? 

[00:15:04] Emma Boshart: So when it comes to a strategic story, This is going to be a story is going to be just one purpose per story.

So the strategic stories that I'm talking about specifically.

There's going to be, it'll be per email. There's going to be one specific purpose. 

And then you could also have them on your website, and those are also going to be one specific purpose. 

Strategic stories are great when you're pre launching or when you're launching, because they're tied to a specific business goal.

More often than not, it's... To overcome a hesitation and objection. 

To target a pain point, a want or a need, and it's to drive sales, drive signups, that type of thing. 

And then if we want to move on and talk about what the ones are on your website, that's the ones that tie into SEO.

[00:15:58] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So you're saying that the strategic stories that are primarily created to overcome objections and pre sell something. 

[00:16:05] Emma Boshart: They're tied to within that voice of customer research. So when you're researching your audience. 

When you're doing those interviews or the surveys, or you're doing the data mining to find out things about your ideal customers. 

You're investigating the whole gamut.

So what their pain points are, what their wants and needs are. 

Their hesitations the benefits that they get from whatever your services are or what your products are. False beliefs they're holding. 

And then also how they feel about the solution that you're offering. So you're going to be tying the stories to any of that list of things depending on the topic that you're choosing for that particular email.

So you need to tie those two together. Does that make sense? 

 Here. I'll give you an example that might help. Yeah, it might make more sense. 

I'll use an example of one that I just did for one of my clients. So she has an, like a virtual book club. 

So the topic of the email was membership enrollment.

So she wanted to get people to enroll into her virtual book club. 

The target market hesitation was recurring payments. 

The people that were signing up were really hesitant that month after month, there would just be a recurring payment.

So the story that we chose was that signing up for Columbia house in the nineties was, 10 CDs for one penny seemed amazing, but you could never get out of that.

It seemed like you were stuck in that forever and ever now. The target market for her audience was people for a generation X. 

So everybody could relate to the 10 CDs for one penny. So we told that particular story and then positioned her as like the Spotify of signups. It's easy. You can get in, get out whenever you want.

So we tied that story to the topic of membership enrollment. 

Using the target market hesitation of recurring payments. Does that make sense? 

[00:18:03] Crystal Waddell: It does. I guess I'm always thinking about like how you can repurpose something. And so I'm like, okay where could we maybe use that again in the future, just because it sounds like, a heavy lift for, one email or one launch.

Is it possible to use it again 

[00:18:19] Emma Boshart: somewhere else? 

You would be able to use it for social media and for your email for that particular launch. I don't know if you'd be able to use that specifics. 

You wouldn't be able to repurpose that specific story over and over again somewhere else unless you wanted to use it the next year.

The thing with strategic stories is the idea is that it's fresh. 

And that it's going to have the highest conversion rate. And so that's the reason that not everything is repurposable if you're looking to convert at the highest rates, and the only way you can do that is if you're checking in with your audience. 

And you're filling in those missing gaps between what you're saying and what your audience is hearing.

So if you're constantly repurposing the same stories on social media, and in your launches, you are potentially missing out on a huge gap because. People's wants and needs and pain points change year over year. 

And if you're not checking in with them and you're just repurposing the same stories over and over again, it's gonna, it can potentially affect your launch. 

Because Those things are changing.

Like I've noticed over the past few years that people are still using the same launch stories from 2019, 2020. 

In 2023. But the majority of us have gone through a lot in the last three years. 

So our hesitations, our pain points, our wants and needs have changed. And so if people aren't resurveying and re interviewing their audience and, checking out to see what those things are and making those updates. 

That's a big reason that launches aren't having the same results that they might have had three years ago. 

[00:20:05] Brittany Herzberg: And I will attest to that because I've seen the same like launch webinars with the same stories. Be used over and over and over and over and over again. 

And yes, that might've been fine pre 2020, but I think now it's like life is so different than the needs that wants to miss the, even the buying behavior is very different.

I was listening to it because I wrote the show notes for it, but I was also like realistic to it. Sage Polaris was on a podcast and she was talking about. 

Giving people like a lot, basically a longer runway. So not just like in the sense of a pre launch, but like more touch point, a higher touch, longer runway.

So it's been something that I've been playing around with and it is having, I'm noticing like a big benefit to it because we are so hesitant to. 

We were even saying before we hit record, like we are so hesitant to spend money on anything because we, it's so precious right now. The market has slowed down, the economy has slowed down for many of us. Not for everyone.

But that has just like really shifted buyer behavior and because we were all home, we did, I was one of them. We took advantage of the webinars and the free trainings and the things. 

And so we were exposed to a lot of those stories. 

And I will say for anyone listening, who's Oh my gosh, I have to re do this market research and write 15 more case studies or how, whatever strategic stories.

No, honestly, I've seen it work with just one fresh new one or two fresh new ones. 

And if you have, six months, hypothetically between launches, that's plenty of time for you to go check in with people. 

And you could even have multiple check in points where it's just Hey, anyone's Hey, how's such and such performing.

And then you can take that and take all of those touch points, all of that feedback and wrap it into a nice, case study or strategic story that you're going to use for the next launch. So it doesn't have to be super complicated. And time consuming, and it does not have to be like a barrier to writing the story.

[00:21:54] Emma Boshart: And for launches specifically. Generally you only need three larger strategic stories. 

If you're say to go with a, an average 10 email launch, say. 

You need like an objection buster, you need to overcome a major hesitation and let's just say. hit a major pain point. 

For an example, three major stories.

The rest of your emails don't need to have story in them. So you need three big stories. It's not time consuming to create three new stories for every launch. 

And then you could have, five to seven smaller stories on social media. But those touch points that you have that aren't major stories, I still feel our story based in your emails. Whether that's including pop culture references, whether that's, including, little things like.

What kind of clothes people are wearing, like little touch points about yourself or the books people read. Any kind of touch points that... are just really specific to the audience. They don't have to be a story. 

But they are just references that make your ideal audience understand that you know who they are and that you share the same Ideas with them.

Those are really going to build that like and trust with them. And those don't take a lot of time, but those need to be updated. 

You can't have a reference to even like Ted Lasso in this year's launch because it's just not relevant anymore. And so those are the things that people aren't necessarily updating.

You can update your memes and your gifs, all of those different things. 

And I think that just really goes a long way to showing your audience that you care when, I follow the same people. I read the same people's emails. And when I see the exact same launches come through for year three.

It just really shows that they just, they're not putting a ton of time into it and they're expecting a lot out of it. 

[00:23:58] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, and they're just resting on their laurels a bit. 

If I were to just make a statement about it. It shows that you don't really care and that's how people are going to take it.

So by updating things, even if it's updating a meme or updating a reference or adding in like some specific element, it shows that you're paying attention and that you care and that's all we really want at the end of the day is to feel seen and heard and taken care of. 

[00:24:22] Crystal Waddell: I think this conversation is so funny because we've had other people on and it's like you need to repeat your messaging over and over again.

You know what I mean? 

For me personally, I feel like we're contradicting ourselves. Just in what we've discussed before on the podcast or like the different trains of thought or schools of thought. 

Because it's like, to some extent you're supposed to, reinforce your messaging and say the same things over and over. 

But then you're supposed to keep it fresh, so I just feel like that's business in general. Yeah. Go ahead. Address that. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

[00:24:53] Emma Boshart: This is different than your messaging. Your messaging is going to be the same. Your messaging is not changing. Your stories are part but run parallel to your messaging. So you're not going to change your core messaging pillars.

So, the core of your messaging is, your unique value proposition. Your mission. 

Like I said in the beginning, so the messaging that you're creating, that is what builds that indisputable argument of why people should trust you. 

Pay attention to you, tell their friends about you and buy from you.

They're you have five pillars of messaging that you create when you ideally first start. 

You sit down. 

You go through your mission, your unique value proposition, your differentiation, your values. Your brand personality. Your voice. What is your overarching core brand message? 

And those are the messages that you are continually putting out on social media.

That's how you create your website copy. That is ideally what you're speaking about on podcasts. That's what you're pitching to media, all of those different things. Those are the messages you are always putting out over and over and over again. 

But when you are launching or that's really the biggest thing is just when you are launching or you're selling your services.

Those stories that go alongside that really don't have a lot to do with your messaging. 

Other than they're connecting to the same audience. It's not the same as your messaging. 

I would say it's not the same because it's taking into account your ideal audience. 

The topic of the specific email and the pain point, the want, the need, the hesitation.

So it's more timely. And it can be rotating because it's a story, not a message. 

[00:26:53] Brittany Herzberg: And I, if I can summarize it into one line and we'll see if you agree with me. 

I think your stories bring your messaging to life.

So your messaging is just like over here, existing, it's going, you're repeating stuff and you're driving certain points home. 

Your stories enable you to be like, here is my brand voice. Here is my unique value proposition. Here is a complete example of like me helping someone and walking them through my framework.

Would you agree with that? 

[00:27:17] Emma Boshart: Yeah. And it's also, it's the reason that you're telling stories is to set yourself apart. 

It's to attract those dream clients and like the ride or die fans. 

It's to build trust through your values. 

It's to tap into the motivations and the hopes and the dreams specifically of those dream clients.

It's to show your audience what you stand for, what you stand against. And it's to bridge those gaps between what your brand is saying. And what your ideal client is hearing. And it's, if there's any gaps in that current messaging that you're putting out there. That's what you're filling in with those stories.

[00:27:59] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So I appreciate you differentiating because obviously I'm like messaging, launching, blah, yeah. 

I sell e commerce, like I'm selling the same products all the time. It's like a new year, different crop of clients or whatever. So I appreciate you breaking that down for me.

Cause it's a little bit different. It's a little bit the same, but a little bit different. 

So I can see the connections and I can also see the parallels, but from an SEO standpoint, I feel like where this really intersects might be more in like those themes and those founder stories or your value stories. 

Those things that you were talking about that are more the pillar type

content. So could you talk to us a little bit about that? Like themes and you've spoken about themes a little bit already, but like a founder story, like how to, 

[00:28:44] Brittany Herzberg: and I don't know that we set that out yet. So the three different types of stories. Maybe we can share those too. Yeah. 

[00:28:51] Emma Boshart: So if you are looking for what kind of stories will connect with SEO. 

It's going to be so like your founder or origin story, which is typical on your about page. 

You're going to have a smaller, more condensed version for your bio. And then also on your sales pages. 

If you have a sort of sales slash services page, you're going to have a kind of little about bio on there as well. 

And then as both you, Brittany and I love the stories that stick, Kendra Hall talks about your value story.

So that bridges the gap between your offer and the people that need it. And its purpose is to capture the attention of your ideal buyer and convince them that your offer is the solution. And so it's to transform them into believers. So that could be on your services page or on your sales page. 

And then the final one is your client stories and case studies.

So both can be on, they can have a home on your website, but it'll be told from different points of view. So your case study details your journey over the course of a project from your point of view. 

And it's usually in the most positive light. Whereas your client story is pulled from the client's point of view. 

As Kendra Hall talks about it, like normal explosion, new normal.

It's like that three point arc framework. 

But it works to your benefit to remove the rose colored glasses because it makes you more human. 

You want to put all the details in there. So any embarrassing moments or any quote unquote negative points in there. 

Because when people come to your website.

And they're looking at a client journey. If everything is, it was amazing and everything was great. 

It just, people know that's fake at this point. You want to include full journey. 

It's going to make everything seem more relatable and more human and more believable. 

So those two options for the client stories and case studies.

[00:30:41] Crystal Waddell: I really appreciate that because one of the questions I wanted to ask earlier was how should it be different now in 2023 than it was pre 2020? 

And I think you just hit on it. 

And I've noticed this a lot more even on social. 

Just people talking about, like their problems. Or not having a successful launch.

 Because you don't hear about those things, if you hear about somebody having a failed launch or whatever, Oh, that was when I started, or that was like 10 years ago or five years ago, the first time I did it now, I did it 50 times and everything's perfect. 

So I, I think that's just a really great insight to like, Hey. Things are changing in the presentation. 

[00:31:22] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. And I do think that there was, I just wanted to like make this side note. I do think that there's a difference between boohoo woe is me. Life sucks. 

And here's this very real thing that happened to me and maybe what I learned from that or how I incorporated something different into it. 

Like the next launch or into the service that I offer, there's a 

very big difference.

[00:31:46] Emma Boshart: Yeah, and I think the other thing that I have been, I was reading. A lot about when I was reading stories that stick, and then I found my way into this other thing. 

It's referenced as community storytelling, and it's a new lens because I feel like people are a little bit tired of the whole Donald Miller Storybrand, hero's journey type of storytelling.

It can be looked at as very complicated. It's a lot of different steps. And also it's very like you versus me. Black versus white. Good versus evil. 

And it's just played out. And this whole community storytelling is viewing or telling stories through the lens of how your business Or you or your clients are enacting systemic change. Or making changes in the community. And how you're living out your values. 

That type of storytelling and it's just something that's a little bit different and just like a pop culture reference to show the difference between a traditional Star Wars, which is a, a hero's journey is The Walking Dead.

Where the story isn't so much focused on, I don't know if either of you have seen The Walking Dead. 

But it plays out that all the characters are moving towards success or, triumph as a community. 

To make the world a better place for everybody and it's just a new type of storytelling. 

And you can see, That playing out in large brands like Liquid Death. Who their mission is death to plastic.

And so it's, eradicating plastic for the world, and that's the lens that they tell their stories through. 

And even, I like to use Brenna or Marisa as an example.

If you wanted to go that one step further for the VIP option. 

She was donating all of that money to the program that was helped her son through the dyslexia, I think, or the learn to read program.

And so that was benefiting a larger community.

And then with Marisa, every time she runs...

The summit, I think when you sign up for the $47, you get to hear all the summit speakers. 

It's always going towards a greater cause to benefit the larger community. So that's just like a really simple version of community storytelling. So that's just kind of one option. 

And I just think that's something that we're craving is, how are you helping the greater community?

And it doesn't have to be something huge. 

Like death to plastic. It could even be as simplified as if you have a community. 

You can tell it through the testimonials of my client is doing X, just something small like that. 

[00:34:38] Crystal Waddell: I find this interesting too, because I think B and I've connected over this. Our superpower is empathy. 

 It sounds like you're saying that the new hero of the story is empathy and nuance. 

Two things that people don't tend to really take into consideration when they're just thinking about other people. Or thinking about their own life. 

It's just, it's more like you said, me focused.

They're going to win or lose or whatever, but now there is a little bit more of a team. Mindset, which is very natural to me because, I was an athlete and a coach or whatever. 

And so that's how I approach life, but it's interesting because like, when you have that mindset already. 

And other people are just now picking it up, to me, it's not anything new.

You know what I mean?

I'm glad that people are actually thinking about each other before they make a decision. You know what I mean? But I guess that's definitely a step in the right direction. 

But to me, it's just common courtesy of humanity to have some empathy and appreciation for nuance.

And so I really like that. I think it's a interesting perspective. 

[00:35:42] Brittany Herzberg: And I would even add impact. So it's like empathy, nuance and impact. And it's like how those are all tying together. I love that. 

That's a great tagline. 

[00:35:50] Emma Boshart: Huh. I'll take that. I'll take that for my website. Thank you. 

[00:35:53] Brittany Herzberg: I'm curious, though, like, how would you actually create that community story?

Because is it just in the fact of Brenna saying that, hey, all this money is going to Learning Ally if you bump up to the VIP option? 

Or is it something more robust than that? 

[00:36:08] Emma Boshart: No, it's even just the way she told the story on that page, right? She told the story through the eyes of her son.

So that was the story. 

This is what my son experienced. This is how he got help. And this is how you can now help the community further. But this is what you're getting out of it. 

No one believes the story of I did X and now I'm making X. 


But we're still seeing that all the time.

It is this easy for you to create your digital course and you're going to have all this passive income. 

That is still being sold to us every single day. And it is not that easy 

[00:36:46] Brittany Herzberg: and it's being sold by, I think the people who are resting on their laurels.

I think that, in some capacity, and I don't like making sweeping statements like this, but in some capacity, people get to a certain point where they're very successful and they lose touch. 

If you're not open to that, if you're not staying open to that, if you're not keeping those touch points around, you're going, you're bound to lose touch with that.

[00:37:06] Emma Boshart: And I just think that it is, again. It's not you versus me at that point. 

But you're just not bringing in.

[00:37:16] Brittany Herzberg: What people want to see 

[00:37:17] Emma Boshart: right. 

Now, you've, like you said, you've really just lost touch with the majority of people. 

Because as soon as someone gets into your orbit and they see that what you've done is just not applicable to the majority of people. 

You're not living the truth at that point and people want you to be honest.

They want you to live out your values. And once you lose that, it's really hard to get it back. 

[00:37:43] Brittany Herzberg: Not impossible, just challenging. Yeah. 

[00:37:46] Emma Boshart: Yeah. 

[00:37:47] Crystal Waddell: I remember the first time I realized that, number one, an email response was not coming directly from a person.

The messaging was so good. It spoke right to my heart. 

And I'm like, that's amazing! 

And I'm like, thanks for the email. And it's Your message has landed in our inbox and, the computer will eventually tell you to whatever. You know what I mean?

I was just shocked because I was like, oh my gosh, the person's not on the other side of the computer waiting for my response? 

And it seems so silly and just naive now.

But that's the power of great messaging, if I'm using the terms correctly, because I felt so like genuinely cared about and loved.

But the fallout of that was like. Oh, I will never be duped like that again.

In that moment I grew up. And realized what was going on. And then I could recognize it from all sorts of different people who were selling things online. 

And, it's funny because I, it never occurred to me.

That people were saying I made a million dollars doing this, but they really didn't. 

Because these seem like genuine people. It wasn't like some telemarketer on TV or, late night infomercial. 

These seem like human beings with lives that you could follow on Instagram or whatever.

And it's Oh, that's interesting.

It never occurred to me that the story was made up. 

But in those moments when you realize that either it could be or that it was. 

Those are really devastating moments. It makes you wonder do I even want to have a business in this realm?

Because it just feels so gross. 

[00:39:17] Emma Boshart: I have had all of those revelations as well. And then I've been on the other side of the emails. 

Of writing those emails that really connect with someone's audience and then having them realize that the person that's sending them is not the person that you thought it was. And it was me.

And so I'm like, I think there's a fine balance. 

Between, When somebody really understands you that comes from putting in the time and the work and the research. 

And I think people are a lot, they know a lot more now. It's like when I first realized that like biographies weren't really written by those people.

They were goals written by someone else. That was devastating for me. I was like, 

[00:40:01] Brittany Herzberg: Oh yeah. Yeah. You don't know this, Emma, or you might know this. My boyfriend is a nonfiction editor and publishing coach. 

And he has told me this and I'm like, wait, what? Seriously? They didn't write that? What is what? 

[00:40:12] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, this is going to be like the most depressing podcast 

[00:40:15] Brittany Herzberg: ever. It's eye opening, shall we say? Yeah. 

[00:40:19] Emma Boshart: When you think through some of those books that come out, you're like, there's no way that person wrote that. 

But, they provided, they sat down and did all of the interviews and then somebody just shaped it. 

But yeah, for me, I think thing with social media. 

Is you just really need to like, look past the tint and the rose colored everything. 

Because otherwise it does make you feel terrible about where your business is at.

Because people just flat out lie about things. 

And they bump things up to look beautiful. And then there's all the honest people who don't do that. 

But then they also don't step forward and say look, this is what's happening inside my business. 

A lot of people aren't doing that, because there's so much risk to that as well.

[00:41:04] Brittany Herzberg: I think we're all humans craving to know that like other people are humans too. 

So when you do take that risk, it's not as scary as you think it is. 

Just like with everything, like opening the business, running the business, like people want to rally behind you and support you.

And again, as long as you're doing it in the thread of Hey, I learned this thing. 

People really do resonate with that and they want to rally around you and support you and help you. 

[00:41:25] Emma Boshart: Yeah, I think it feels risky in some aspects to be like, Oh, my business is really suffering right now.

Again, I think storytelling is a big thing. If you wrap it in a story and a lesson, those have definitely been my highest performing posts by far. 

As opposed to here's my number one tip for this. 

[00:41:44] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. And Meg Yelaney talks about that, too.

She's had that a lot in her marketing where she's been talking about using stories in social posts and emails and more so to connect. 

But it also has the added benefit of sales, too.

[00:41:58] Crystal Waddell: I'm doing this self study UX training that's offered by Google. 

And 1 of their slides talked about these sales practices that were in a word sketch. 

They didn't use the word sketch, but that's essentially what they were saying, like misleading sales practices or whatever. 

I guess the two that stood out to me were the use of scarcity. And use of urgency. 

And they actually called these practices unethical.

Yes. And it really made me push back from the computer a little bit.

Because that's what everybody does in online selling. It seems like and so it's oh gosh. How do you balance that?

[00:42:40] Emma Boshart: I think there's definitely a fine balance though. 

Because normal scarcity or normal urgency, it's a fine line. And maybe not using them all at once. 

But it can go haywire for sure. 

[00:42:53] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. And there, yeah, you'd you naturally are going to say today, I do this in my launches. Today is the last day to buy. Yeah. It's more of a matter of fact, say the buy, the price is going to close at this thing, the next time you'll see this, will be this. 

You need to know about that next time, maybe the price is going up, maybe this bonus is going away, maybe access to something is going away. 

So yeah, I agree with you that there's a fine line there. 

[00:43:15] Crystal Waddell: In terms of empathy, because our audience is a lot like us.

And B may be more advanced than I am. 

Because, I'm not like a copywriter or whatever.

I'm just saying, I don't want to lump you into this. 

And I don't want to lump our audience into this, I guess if they don't want to be with me. 

I'll be by myself. 

But this whole concept of messaging is so difficult.

And I guess just to you. I w I was doing this content editor for somebody. 

Because I can tell you exactly what to write to rank. 

Because I use surfer, it'll tell you exactly what you need to do. 

To rank for a particular keyword.

But when I was talking about it, my dad was like, yeah, but you have to have everything together first.

You need to understand what you want to rank for. 

Which is at this point now I'm taking that for granted. 

It's oh what do you want to be known for? 

You got to know what you want to be known for. 

But that's how messaging works. too. 

You can't have messaging if you don't know what you want to be known for.

And I feel like all of us are moving so quick. This whole idea of messaging just gets lost until you realize that. 

Oh crap, I'm naked without my messaging. 

You know what I mean? 

So, how do you address that? How can you, is there like a one, two, three that somebody could do to just course correct and help themselves. 

Especially if they can't afford, a copywriter to come in and overhaul their situation. 

What are some things we can do to course correct and really say, okay, if I can't do everything, I can at least do this. 

And, tighten up my messaging. 

[00:44:42] Emma Boshart: Generally what happens is your first few years of business are like you plowing ahead, changing course. 

Figuring out how you want to niche and then doing that and then Changing again. 

And figuring out how you want a niche. 

And then You start to get busier and busier you make more money. 

And then you pop your head up and you're like, awesome, I'm getting on more podcasts, I'm getting published. 

I'm getting bigger clients.

And now people are going to start coming to my website and I'm embarrassed by what they're going to see because I have patched together messaging. 

And how I show up online isn't what they're going to find on my website. Isn't what they're going to hear. 

That's not what I'm going to sound like when I show up on this podcast or when I publish on this place.

And that happens to people who are one woman shows. 

It happens to people who are million dollar brands. And that's what creates the chaos behind the scenes. 

When you have like PR people saying, okay, how do you want me to put you out there? 

What do you want to be known for? How are you different from this brand?

All of these different types of things. And also it's you get to that point in your business where you want to go get professional photos and you want to have an amazing website. 

But you need to provide copy.

And if you're not at the point in your business when you can hire someone, you need to just get back to basics. 

And There's definitely a few different questions that you can ask yourself.

So I would just start with again. 

Your brand messaging has a few important jobs. So start there. 

So you have to build that argument for why people should trust you. Why should they pay attention to you? Why should they tell their friends about you and why should they buy from you? 

So you need to build your messaging around that.

And you need to start asking yourself some straightforward questions.

I'll give you those questions to ask yourself. Who am I? What makes my brand different? Who is my brand for? What do I do? Why should my audience care? How do I help? What results do I get? And what do I stand for? And what do I stand against?

We can go deeper than that, but that is a great starting point. 

Once you've answered those questions, start building some core messages around those answers. 

And then put those messages out over and over again until you don't feel like you can hear them anymore. 

[00:47:22] Crystal Waddell: Okay. Core messages.

Is that like the pillars that you were talking about earlier? 

[00:47:27] Emma Boshart: So basically, I like to really simplify things. Like when I sit down with a client that I'm going to do brand messaging for, we're going to go through everything. 

So whether it's like your mission, your UBP, your brand champion, your values, all of those different things.

It's going to be like a really great branding document, like a messaging playbook that you're left over with. 

But if you don't have time to sit down and go through all of those things.

Answer those questions and then, create a document for yourself that says who am I? Why should my audience care about me?

How do I help? What results do I get? And what do I do? Say those five different things. 

Under those five headings, start putting together messages that answer those questions that are formulated in your voice, vibe, and, personality. 

So it really encompasses what you want to put out there into the world.

And then those core messages that are answering those questions. 

Those are the messages you're going to be putting out onto social media over and over again. 

And so you don't need to have 45 messages. You can just have, three messages under each of those questions. 

And you can just keep rotating those out. Maybe it was Shannon that put it out there. It used to be eight times people need to see your message and now it's a hundred. 

It's something ridiculous Like there's so much content out there That you could put the same message out every day and the majority of the people that follow you aren't gonna see it. 

So you're gonna get super sick of seeing it. But no one else is going to. 

So you don't need to have You know a crap ton of different messages to put out there just really needs to, again.

Build that argument for why people should trust you, pay attention to you, tell their friends about you and buy from you. As long as you've covered that, it's a really great start before you can hire somebody to put it together for you. 

[00:49:20] Brittany Herzberg: That's good to hear because there's three questions that I ask people when I start with them for SEO copywriting or strategy and it's who do you help?

How do you help them? And what do you want to be known for or as? And so it hits on a lot of the same things that you were talking about. And, that's a very clear hey, messaging and SEO are very closely related. And they help each other. 

[00:49:43] Emma Boshart: Yeah, and it also, if people are wanting to use chat GPT at all, for creating outlines for emails or outlines for social media posts.

You need to have a really solid understanding of your messaging, your voice, your personality, your target market. 

All the things that are going to be in like a brand messaging playbook. 

If you can put all of those different things into ChatGPT before you ask it to create something for you. 

You're going to get A much better outline, much closer to what you sound like and what's going to be enticing to your ideal client, if you're putting those things in first.

[00:50:25] Crystal Waddell: That's really helpful. Like really helpful. Thank you. 

[00:50:30] Emma Boshart: You're welcome. 

[00:50:31] Brittany Herzberg: Awesome. 

[00:50:32] Crystal Waddell: Those are the powerful insights for people who are just trying to find a way to be heard in this sea of voices. 

How can you leverage the technology to make it easier?

Because like you said, you have to create so much more to be heard, but it's if you're creating a lot of the wrong thing, you're not helping yourself. 

You're just frustrating yourself. And the whole experience. So I just, I think that's so incredibly helpful. 

And now that there's these tools that we can use to, Maximize and magnify and multiply like the right messages. 

That's such a gift to the small business owner. 

[00:51:13] Emma Boshart: I can tell you that from the content that I create because I don't put a ton of content out on social media just because I don't love it. 

And I'm going through a real creative block at the moment.

So I do find that storytelling makes a huge difference on social media. 

So if you are struggling with your messaging, if you just stick to story and connect that. 

To what you do and or even just the results that you're getting it's gonna make a huge difference. 

But because no matter What the algorithm is or what people are saying the latest trends are. 

Story is what connects us to each other It's what humanizes your brand and it's gonna make a huge difference. 

[00:51:53] Brittany Herzberg: Speaking of which, hey, you have a really cool. thing that you were going to give, slash, share with listeners. 

Which I'm really excited about. Okay. Yeah. You mentioned that and then like how can we find you and connect?

[00:52:04] Emma Boshart: Oh, sure. Yeah. So I have, it's called the brand story audit. 

And basically what it does, it'll walk you through your personal brand and client stories. 

And it helps you audit what you sound like on all your different platforms from like your vibe, your voice, your tone. 

The topics that you're talking about through all those three lenses. 

Which I call your story buckets, and it'll walk you through and see if you're synced up. 

Or if it's just chaotic out there.

And once you walk yourself free, you can see if you're cohesive, chaotic and how to fix that. 

And you can find me on Instagram @creative_uproar. 

My website is

Those are the two places I'm at. 

[00:52:52] Brittany Herzberg: I'm so excited that you joined us. This is really good. 

[00:52:55] Crystal Waddell: I love it because I'm so chaotic. I know how I'll end up. Yeah. I feel chaotic. All the time. 

That's why I can't put anything out there that's cohesive because I am just a tornado of chaos. 

[00:53:06] Emma Boshart: And that's what I help fix. 

[00:53:08] Crystal Waddell: Love it. I feel calmer just from having heard all of this.

So thank you for that. 

[00:53:13] Brittany Herzberg: Let's go listen to the breath work episode.

Oh, this was awesome. Cool. Thank you. 

[00:53:18] Emma Boshart: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. 

[00:53:20] Crystal Waddell: So nice to meet you, Emma. 

[00:53:21] Emma Boshart: Yeah, you too. Thanks guys. 

(Cont.) Strategic Stories, Brand Messaging, and SEO w/Emma Boshart
(Cont.) Strategic Stories, Brand Messaging, and SEO w/Emma Boshart