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TOC #126: This is honestly SO inappropriate...
(May 23, 2023) 3 ways to get more referrals—and a story about coochie waxes?? 🤪
I just sat here staring at my computer for 14 minutes, debating on whether or not I could use the term “coochie wax” in the subject line of this email, so, yeah…
My reputation of World's Most Aggressive Over Sharer will live to see another day, I guess.
See, I wasn't sure if I should even tell you this story. My freaking dad reads these emails. The executive director of my chamber of commerce reads these emails. I have absolutely no business talking about Brazilian waxing.
But I can't very well tell a good story and not include the details, now can I, First name / friend?! Like, I need to set the ✨SCENE✨ for you.
Plus, let's be real… we've covered a lot of ground on these Tuesday mornings together—dental bills, first dates, first dates with tattoos involved, squirrel anxiety, my first big-deal crush—what's one more over-share?!
(I mean, come on. More than half of my email list has a vagina. And the rest have probably seen one. And all y'all came from one. So, what's the big deal?!)
Anyway, here we are… talking about coochie waxes.
Now, since I told you we're talking about Brazilians because I had to set the scene for the story, let me do that real quick:
European Wax Center, circa Spring 2017.
I came home for a long weekend during my senior year of college, and was having one of those “appointment” days.
If you went away to school, you know what I'm talking about: that annoying-but-necessary day where you get a physical, get your eyes checked, fill your prescriptions…
And, in my case, pop in to get a wax.
Because I usually made my appointments for waxing down in West Hartford, where I was in school, I'd never been to this particular EWC location before.
When I walked in 10 minutes early, the receptionist asked me if I cared which esthetician I saw.
“If you don't mind someone else taking over your appointment,” she said, without looking up, “then we can take you right now.”
“Perfect!” I thought to myself. “Let's get this shit over with.”
I sat down in the waiting area, ready for a very unpleasant few minutes ahead.
When the hallway door that led to the waxing rooms swung open, I looked up from my phone and saw her:
My friend from middle school.
Who was about to have her hands all up in my 🐱 .
I looked at her. She looked at me.
“Ohmigod, haayyy!!!!” I said (probably).
“Am I really about to let one of my long lost childhood friends wax my literal vagina right now?” I thought (probably).
We said our awkward greetings, and, obviously reading the weird mix of discomfort and confusion on my face, she addressed the elephant in the room:
“I don't care if you don't care,” she said. “I see, like, 20 vaginas a day. I wax my mom, I wax my cousin… it's totally fine.”
I thought about it for a second, gave her an “ah, what the hell!” shrug, and that was that. I've been going to her for brows & Brazilians ever since.
Only, now, thank the LORD, she opened her own studio—award-winning studio, I might add!—and we don't have to use the godforsaken European Wax Center wax from Satan anymore.
SO! Now that you know how Leah and I reconnected, you're up to speed.
Let's fast forward to my last wax appointment with her.
Me: spread eagle and naked from the waist down.
Her: gloves on, hot-wax-covered popsicle stick in hand, frosting it on me like a birthday cake.
(Pause for a sec: I just absolutely cackled out loud at myself after typing that. It's 12:17am and I'm sitting at my kitchen table, writing to thousands of strangers about Brazilian wax. If you stay subscribed after this, I love you and you deserve a medal. Or a gift card to Brows By Leah.)
And, as usual, I'm blabbering on about one thing or another.
We typically spend the first few minutes catching up, gossiping about mutual people we know, recapping our respective toddlers' accomplishments, commiserating about some random struggle of being a twenty-something.
Then, the conversation drifts to business. Your girl loooves chatting about business.
So, when I mentioned something about saving for retirement as a self-employed person as Leah asked me to flip over onto my stomach, it wasn't weird at all.
“Ooh, I need to start thinking about that,” Leah said, stirring her wax pot. “I've been looking into getting a financial advisor.”
“Well, I have the perfect recommendation for one, if you want!" I said, spreading my cheeks, waiting for the piping hot pink liquid I know is coming my way any second. “I know this great financial advisor; he's the best. He's our age, too, and he's really nice. I'll e-intro you after this!”
By the time I'm pulling my pants back on, I'm already drafting up the email connecting the two of them.
(The guys may do business over golf, but the girlies do business over Brazilians.)
Moral of the story? You never know who your biggest cheerleader is gonna be, or who your next hot lead is gonna come from.
Matt definitely had no idea that I was going to be recommending his services to my beloved esthetician mid wax strip.
Marketers talk a LOT about ideal clients and customers, but I seldom hear anyone talk about the benefits of catering to ideal referral partners.
There are people on your email list and in your social media followers RIGHT NOW that might never make a purchase from you, but they'll still be your biggest advocates.
And you may be forgetting about them.
It's easy to focus all of your energy (and engagement) on the people who you *think* might make a purchase, or inquire to work with you, but the people who consume your free content are actually just as deserving of your attention.
In other words: you shouldn't ONLY creating content for the people you're hoping will pay you.
There are other people in your audience, too.
People who will tell their friends about you.
People who will share your posts on their story.
People who will refer clients to you mid-wax.
("Wait, you're looking for a website copywriter?! I follow this girl Sara; she's a little weird, and she sometimes talks about vaginal waxing in her newsletter?? But she's pretty funny and seems like she's really good at writing website copy! Here, I'll send you her website.")
It's not a waste if a follower or subscriber doesn't take your desired action, because building the AWARENESS is almost just as great.
Plus, who's to say that those members of your community won't ever make a purchase?!
Maybe it hasn't been the right time for them yet.
Maybe they're saving up.
Maybe you haven't launched the right offering for them.
Either way, it's important to create content that doesn't only feel like a sale, and to stay top of mind for ALL of the people in your community.
I'm working on a blog post (and newsletter) for you soon all about how to sell without being salesy / how to stop feeling ~annoying~ or ~awkward~ when you're selling yourself or your services—but, today, let's not worry about all that.
Instead, let's talk about how to get OTHER people to do that for you, k? 😏
3 ways to get more referrals. 👇
#1 - Create interesting content
I know, I know, you don't have to tell me: it's annoying as hell when the story-obsessed copywriter tells you to 🤪just write good content!!!🤪
But you don't have to be a copywriter to be interesting.
Hell, you don't even have to be INTERESTING to be interesting. You just have to be relatable. Write about the things that you know your audience will resonate with.
EXAMPLES: toddler tantrum / squirrel brain / missing a deadline / toilet paper stuck to your shoe / losing a file you worked hard on / the awkward 2-minute smile you have to hold at the end of a Zoom so you don't look like a bitch when the client is signing off.
It could be anything—literally anything at all—as long as you know that your audience has either gone through a similar situation or has the ability to relate to you over it, and it counts as “interesting.”
If people want to read what you write, that means they're interested in you and your content. They like you.
Then, of course, the “know” and “trust” pieces come into play, and once those are established, you're golden.
If they're not waiting for the right time to work with you or buy from you themselves, then they're telling everyone & their mother about ya.
#2 - Remind people what you offer
No one can recommend you to their friends if they have no idea what you do or sell.
I know I said I'm going to share all of my thoughts about the whole “I don't wanna sound salesy!” objection, but here's a spoiler alert: selling really IS helping. It doesn't feel salesy to someone who genuinely needs the solution you're offering.
There is someone out there who desperately wants your email marketing course.
There is someone out there pining for a designer who ‘gets it.’
There is someone out there searching high and low for a good VA.
…but if no one knows that YOU are the solution to their problem—because you didn't bother telling them, assuming they'd somehow just ???KNOW???—then no one can suggest you as that solution.
#3 - Ask them!
Seriously, though: if you don't ask, the answer's always no!
Straight up asking people is, weirdly enough, one of the most forgettable ways to get great referrals. Even though it takes one second + is SO freaking chill.
At the end of your newsletter, ask something like: “if you liked this story, and you have a friend that you think would like it, too, would you mind forwarding it to them?”
At the end of your IG post, ask something like: “know a friend who would find this funny? share it on your story so they can see!”
At the end of your blog post, ask something like: “did you find this post helpful? share it on Pinterest so I can help more people learn about [topic]!”
& that concludes today's referral tips!
Now, I know I said that the non-buyers are just as important as the buyers, but… it *would* be nice if they *did* wanna make a purchase eventually, wouldn't it?! LMK if you want me to write another newsletter about how to inspire them to take action.
DID YOU KNOW that 94% of people who visit your website for the first time AREN'T ready to make a purchase right away? 😳
I mean, think about it: how often are YOU immediately ready to take action the second you hear about something?! Probably not the majority of the time, I'd assume—so, it makes sense that your website viewers are the same way.
However, just because they're not ready to inquire (or purchase, or sign up, or download) right away, doesn't mean they're not interested - in fact, it means the opposite.
If they're on your site, they're at least a little bit interested. And trust me when I tell you: ya don't want to waste that interest!
So, you'll need to find a way to keep it:
& in my experience, the best way to continue your relationship with your readers—and keep them engaged beyond scrolling through your website—is through consistent email marketing efforts.
Email marketing lets you create real, meaningful, personal relationships with people AND gives you a ton of measurable data about how effective your efforts are.
…and all you have to do to get started is:
→ Create a free lil thing ("lead magnet") relevant to what your brand offers that'll make people want to trade you their email address for
→ Choose an email service provider (I use this one) and build an ‘opt-in form’ aka 1-4 lines of copy basically saying “hey, you, want this cool, free, valuable thing? gimme your email address & it's yours!”
→ Deliver the freebie to your new subscriber, then write a couple more emails helping them get to know you
→ Consistently email your list on a regular basis so they come to know you, like you, trust you, and, ultimately, buy from you (because your subscribers are your MOST loyal, interested, ready-to-spend audience!)
It's a piece of cake, really. 🍰 Buuuut if you need some help, I have an entire self-paced course about how to get started with email marketing, get the right subscribers on your list, and strategically send killer newsletters.
I've also got a great newsletter content planner for you, if you feel awesome about your email marketing abilities already + all you need is a little boost in the “content idea” and “organization” departments.
Thanks so much for reading today, First name / friend! I hope your day is as fulfilling as screaming the Cruel Summer bridge live with 70,000 other diehard Swifties.
(Yes, I *did* go to Taylor Swift again. No, I *didn't* write another blog post about it this time. But I reserve the right to do so in the future, thank you very much.)
Chat so soon!
P.S. I can't believe I chose THIS Tuesday to send an email about Brazilian waxes. I literally just had two speaking engagements last week, where a LOT of professional people ended up on my email list. Like, people who definitely weren't expecting to read the words “coochie wax” first thing in the morning. I'm so sorry. ☠️
P.P.S. I'm realizing right now that I could've illustrated this point without the coochie wax story by telling you about my friend Alli—who legit carries my business cards in her purse so she can tell everyone she's ever met to work with me and subscribe to my newsletter—despite having never paid me a single dollar. Oh, well, damage is already done.
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
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