Can Copywriting Help your business? Digging Deep Ep 002 with Joel Mark Harris

Updated: Mar 7



NOW ON SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7egBu0XDYHMqycMqw7WTtu


Justin Lam

You want to find your tribe of raving fans. I'm gonna help you do it. This is the digging deep podcast with Three Sixty Media, where we help you do better business.


Hey everybody, this is Justin Lam from Three Sixty Media and we're on episode two of digging deep where we help business owners build better businesses through education. Today I have with me a avid Manchester United fan. He is the author of seven books including an award winning novel 1000 bayonets that turned into a screenplay shown in Times Square, New York. He's currently launching a new venture ghost writer and co.com and I am super happy to have him here. He's been a member of my BNI chapter. And since I joined in 2018, so I'm super excited. Mr. Joel, Mark Harris, how are you? Thank you.


Joel Mark Harris

I'm super excited to be here as well.


Justin Lam

Ready. Awesome. So let me let's back up a little bit. So how, how did you get into copywriting in the first


Joel Mark Harris

place? Sure. So that's a long and very winding road. I basically I first went to linker for journalism. I want to know, right. I think that, you know, all through my different career paths. The one thing that has been constant is the writing. I've always loved it. I've always said,


Justin Lam

What is it about writing that you like so much?


Joel Mark Harris

I think it's being able to clarify my thoughts, you know, to be able to really figure out what I'm trying to say and say it and I'm able to say it in writing in a, like a clear, concise way, and I'm not kind of bound by any rules and I can go back and edit it after and that will pretty


Yeah, that will really for the most part. We really do need to edit a lot of stuff in my head. So you know, sometimes the things come out and you go, holy shit. And you should have said that. But so then if you liked writing and you went to langara for it, were you also into writing when you were really young


Absolutely ever since I can remember. I loved writing, especially fiction. But I love news and I love the way that you know, it's portrayed in in the media and I love the newspapers. It's kind of dying profession right now, but it was something I was always fascinated as a kid.


Justin Lam

Okay, and so what was life like as a kid? I mean, you know, writing isn't really a generally accepted kind of hobby as you're a kid. So when you picked on like,


Joel Mark Harris

Well, I mean, I had to, I had very two different sets of friends. I had definitely my, my writer friends, my more geeky friends, if you will, but it was also a bit of a job because I love sports. You know, as as fairly good at soccer. And so I really were able to navigate the to two types of people, if you will.


Justin Lam

And so, as you've evolved, what type of writing do you currently like to do?


Joel Mark Harris

I like everything. Honestly, I, you know, obviously still write fiction a lot. I like to write commentary about world events. I love to write about marketing. So I'd say like a very wide variety of writing.


Justin Lam

And with that, like, how important is writing and copy per se, in the business world? How do you find your words can persuade or persuade an individual one way or the other?


Joel Mark Harris

I'd say super important because, you know, with all the talk about video and podcasting, I still, I still believe that copy is still the number one way of persuading people, especially online. Because when people try to when people are thinking about clicking or viewing or listening to something, what is the thing that gets them actually interested? It's the title. It's the headline. It's what is the podcast called?


Justin Lam

So then the question is that how do you if your ghost writing ghost writing is different from copywriting in the sense? How does how does a person who is separated from that individual How are you able to distill their voice into a piece so that it doesn't sound off brand?


Joel Mark Harris

Yeah, it's a very good question. And it's really about getting into that person's head. So, you usually have to spend some time you have to interview them, you have to figure out what their point of view is and what their you know, relationship to the subject matter is


Justin Lam

What is the use for copyright or while I guess ghostwriting now in in today's market Like what is what is the advantage of having a ghostwriter? What does it What does it help?


Joel Mark Harris

Sure. So for me, it's really about thought leadership. I really believe that it's important to stand out in the marketplace, especially with you know, so many different marketing messages out there, right. You're bombarded by Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising. So really ghost writing, what it does, is it allows the person who has a distinct point of view has a distinct message to, to state to the world, it really allows him to communicate that to his audience. And usually, as a ghost writer, what you do is you talk to that person, and they're not really sure about their own messaging sometimes or a lot of the time and what they do, what the ghost writer do is able to parse that out of that person and help them convey that message.


Justin Lam

So for us in a brand Strategy sense well we try to do is we like to do that heavy lifting, try to get into the head of people through interview process to distilling their core ideals, and then being able to pass that on to somebody like yourself so that you could go and run with it. And I think from a brands perspective and from from agencies, I think that copywriting relationship, once it's forged, and it's strong, I think you get a really good feel for that. So then, tell me a little bit about your book. 1000 bayonets so how do you go from written book to screenplay?


Joel Mark Harris

Yeah. So I this film again, you know, I love stories, obviously. And sorry, I love storytelling in different methods, different genres. And so I've, you know, I've always loved film, I've always been fascinated by it. And it just happened. I met this director through playing soccer, funny enough and he was super interested Did he did a story that he wanted to tell? And I told him about, you know, I'm a published author and this is my story and he was really interested in it. And so we together crafted the, the screenplay, I did the writing and he kind of had some feedback about it. And you know, cuz I, what I did what I wrote was very novel, like, so it'd be the, the writer would sorry, the character would would say everything out loud. And what he taught me is it's really about the looks right? It's about the visuals about making things visually appealing. And you don't have to explain like, I feel sad.


Justin Lam

So you're inferring it. Yeah, exactly. Okay, cool. And so how does it get from the screen played on to the New York it was it was it was it in the theater or was it like just out in the square like how they built bleachers, summertime, and so the they had, you know, Big Red ones that are


Joel Mark Harris

Yeah, I think so I think they build I think they brought some some out and they just had like a big screen up there. And so it's pretty cool it's really really great experience because you know people they're like, you know, thousands of people walking by and moslem stopped and watch and you know some of them we continue some of them who would watch the entire thing though is it's great


Justin Lam

well that's pretty cool and so that novel in itself is on Amazon. Yeah, right. And are all all seven of your books are on Amazon. Okay, so that amazon.com if you want to find out a little bit more about that. So ghost writer and co Yeah, and that's that's your your company. It's ghost writers and Co. com. Tell me a little bit about that.


Joel Mark Harris

Sure. So, it really comes out of again, like that thought leadership. I wanted to be able to provide a unique way of marketing because I mean, ultimately, it's a marketing tool. For businesses, that's, that's my background and that's the people I specialize in helping. And so it's a way for them to, to really get that message out there and really do it in a very concise way because I mean these the people who I generally help super busy, you know, entrepreneurs, business people, and they, they want to write a book or they want to get their their message out through blogging and through various through various writing. And so they basically hired me to to tell that message and I'm able to spread that across you know, various platforms for


Justin Lam

Amazing and so for, for those people listening and for people watching. You know, one of the things as a content creator that you know, we run into is producing a mass amount of content and if you've noticed, like literally the internet with that stuff, between this podcast, that's just Starting some of our videos, Instagram TV. And of course, when you're super busy and you have all this material sometimes curating that material is really difficult, but having that available and condensed down then passed on to somebody like you, who gets to see here and like, you know, maybe be incepted with my voice, however sexy it is, you know that they're gonna be able to help me distill all that down into a book. So stay tuned, because eventually a book is going to come your way and hopefully, I'm going to bring value to some of you guys. You know, and if you're getting value out of this podcast, please follow subscribe. You know, it helps leave comments love to find more ways to introduce new content to people. So tell me a little bit about maybe giving tips on say a person who may be listening How do you quickly improve your writing? You know, if they say I'm not ready to find a ghostwriter, and or, you know, get copywriting done, you know, what's a quick way for a person to improve


Joel Mark Harris

Yeah, so there's unfortunately no magic bullet I wish there was I wish I can just snap my fingers and tell people like this is the way but it's really about reading the people that you find most inspiring for me Ryan Holliday is one of those, those people. So you know, subscribe to their email list, right? read the books, read the blogs, and then just kind of try and emulate them as much as possible. And then once you master that, you can find your own voice and so kind of use what you've learned there and make it your own.


Justin Lam

So how does an app like Grammarly effective. Is it worth it? Is it useful?


Joel Mark Harris

Yes, definitely. I mean, it's such a time saver. I definitely recommend it to everybody. You the worst editors is yourself right? Because you always miss your own mistakes. You always He's, you know, bypass those simple spelling grammar mistakes. So Grammarly really helps you with that. I would always encourage people to get other people to look at your work because you know everyone has blind spots and it's so easy just to miss those things. So get definitely get a proofreader get somebody to look it over before publishing


Justin Lam

Grammarly sucks on my phone because every time I try to type in a word, it changes the word pretending to cat and it doesn't have a way for me to just bypass the word like names home


Joel Mark Harris

well you can I mean you can program it right to automatically


Justin Lam

on the program it could down I just wanted to work like take a lease on the apple keyboard or like just like it'll show the word that I wanted just like forget it just keep going grammerly type the word doesn't have a way for me to bypass it. So


Joel Mark Harris

if it's a common word that use all the time, just go into the back end and say ignore all its Yeah, quick tip! There you go. Okay.


Justin Lam

And so tell me a little bit about how business is like, what is the industry? Like? I mean, over the last, I'd say, decade, I've seen the writing industry as a as a conglomerate really shift from journalism, you know, and, and magazines, too. You know, everything's on the web, and it seems like magazines are dying. So what's going on?


Joel Mark Harris

Well, it's a bloodbath there. Yeah, there's no mistaking that, but content marketing content is alive and wallet. I would say it's more important now than it ever was before. I would say that, you know, advertising, you know, pay per click is getting less effective. You see, you know, Google ads are more expensive these days, you know, Facebook and Instagram, you're, you're competing, you know, heavily against huge companies, right? People are dumping tons of money into them. So I would say content marketing really is it's still the future. And I think that you have to find your own voice, you have to find your niche and you have to find your audience. And there's no there's no quick way of doing it. Unfortunately, it's really about just, you know, kind of figuring out your own pathway and, and being yourself and being true to yourself into your own voice. And, and just continue and there's going to be some dark days where you're like, I got no likes no views on my posts, but you just have to keep going. And it's, it's a long strategy, long term strategy, but in the end it it's going to, it's super effective because once you kind of reach that tipping point, then you are golden because people are going to be listening to you because you are so different from your competition, because you have that unique point of view. And it's going to be what makes you stand out is going to be what makes people come to your website and hire you, whatever your industry is over other people.


Justin Lam

Yeah. And for us, like we spent a lot of time doing that trying to find the voice of the people that we serve. And content is king. But content isn't just King, good content is king. Because a lot of people putting a lot of shit out there on on the internet. They know they're not adding value. And there's a misconception about, you know, beating their chests and tell you what they do for a living and their product and services. But that's not really the full game. Is it


Joel Mark Harris

No for sure. So it's interesting. Over the last couple years, we've seen that the blog posts that do the work the best are the ones that are a little bit longer, they're a lot more in depth. Those, you know, used to be able to write 500 word blog posts and they used to do you know, okay, if not great, now you find that 500 word blog posts, they don't even make a dent. So you the sweet spot seems to be for Google is About 1000 to 1200. But you're seeing longer blog posts, I've you know, even up to 10,000 words, which you know, takes a huge amount of resources, humans, a huge amount of writing. But those really are the blog posts that are going to stay around. And,


Justin Lam

but that stuff changes all the time. You know, today's 10,000, your next week will be 500. Again, is Google X stick with you like them?


Joel Mark Harris

They do. But it all comes down to what you're saying earlier about value, are you creating value for your customer, right? And if you create that value, that value is going to be good from now and you know, 10 years from now, so the algorithms are going to change. But if you're always creating that content that people want to read, then you're always going to be good. So don't focus on the algorithm so much focus on your customers and you can never lose with that strategy.


Justin Lam

I'd only think that's the case and the thing a lot of people have this false perception that as long as they're putting out content that it's going to turn itself over and the so short term about it, and they're posting online, and, you know, they're not getting traction, they're wondering what the heck happens, but they forget that part of that game isn't the immediate response is the long tail. It's the search ability. And, you know, for us, when we're helping clients putting out content all the time, you know, in different ways, different, you know, mediums, whether it's through video, through transcribed audio, through blog posts, or you know, whatever it is that we're helping our clients do. The the curation of content is really geared so that wouldn't person types in a subject or a term that they're looking for that it's embedded in your in your stuff. And I think a lot of people, you know, kind of get stuck with content and or paralyzed because of how much work goes into the writing of right. So it's a it's really about a proliferation game. It's how much Can you push out at any given time? That's still quality content? And so for ghost writers and CO, are you solely focused on say, just book writing and like, like maybe lead gen articles? Or are you open to doing copywriting for like blogs?


Joel Mark Harris

Yeah, it's more about the client. So who we help the most, who we specialize in helping the most is that business is that entrepreneur who just doesn't have time to, to create that content, but who has great ideas and maybe needs a little help in formulating them? But who really wants to be that thought leader in that industry?


Justin Lam

Okay, so here's an interesting question. So all the rage now you go into a landing site, and they have a pop up box that says, I've got a lead gen for you. Yeah. How valuable is that lead gen and, you know, what do you think are some downfalls that you've seen Where people create content that may be not useful or self serving or you know, have other ulterior motives like how do you feel that that translates to the web?


Joel Mark Harris

I mean, these days you see everybody lead you have a landing page. Exactly subscribe now get my free ebook, right? So it's still effective it still works is which is why people are doing it obviously, it's not as effective as it once was. But again, it's it's about becoming that unique thought leader right? And so it's about finding what is different don't do just like 10 marketing tips on SEO that's not going to work right. really figure out who your audiences and what makes you different and unique.


Justin Lam

Now, you mentioned ebooks. So now you know with with Kindle, audible and all these things coming into play. How valuable is it for a person to be published via ebook or by traditional methods like, is there a difference? what what what's, what are some things that people might want to consider or look out for?


Joel Mark Harris

I think there's definitely different in perception, right. So a more traditional author has that authority. And that's important, especially if you're looking at getting on the TED stage. If you're looking for more speaking engagements for solopreneurs it's it's definitely helpful in terms of lead gen, it doesn't really matter. I think people these days, they're savvy enough to know that you can, your book quality doesn't really matter that, you know, indie authors, ebooks, they used to have this stigma that you know, always it's just, it's quality. It's not up to par. It's not as as good as a real traditional book. But I think nowadays people don't really see a difference. There's not much Advantages apart from what I just mentioned in terms of are you traditionally published? Or are you self published through Amazon? You know, there's some very high quality ebooks out there.


Justin Lam

And so what the financial outlay like is it how much and because I don't really know yeah my world like a you've published books like how much of a financial outlay Do you have to put into a published book or and how do you get picked up by a publisher? Yeah.


Joel Mark Harris

So, a traditional publisher, they would take on all the risk and all the cost, right. So they would do the editing they would do the the graphics for you, they would do all the distribution, the marketing, right? And you would take it just a small percentage, sometimes, you know, one or 2% of the entire book, right? with, with ebooks with self publishing, you are basically taking on all the rest. So you have to create the cover. You have to do all the marketing for you. And so I would say that. But of course on the on the flip side, you also get about 70% of the revenue, right? So it's I guess about risk and reward. traditional publishing obviously takes a lot longer, you have to jump through a lot more hoops.


Justin Lam

Careful more spelling mistakes.


Joel Mark Harris

Though that doesn't seem to be much difference if you look at attrition, traditionally published book these days, you can you can catch some, some spelling mistakes, they don't have as many editors as they used to it used to go through like 10 different editors. Now you have one editor if if you're lucky.


Justin Lam

And so so let's back up a little bit. So self publishing books. You mentioned getting it on Amazon. Is that a hard process? Like how do you get it up there?


Joel Mark Harris

No, super easy. It's, it's a matter of just like uploading and then click, you're done. It's, it takes maybe 10 minutes, five minutes. Yeah, the most


Justin Lam

Is there an ideal length ideal price point that like people


Joel Mark Harris

so $0.99 is popular for ebook $4.99 for sometimes, and then about 15-20 bucks for, for like actual hard copy, but what people are actually doing now, while we're doing it for a couple years now, but they've been pricing the book actually a little bit more expensive, but then giving them additional like resources like videos. So people will be like 30 - 40 bucks, even $50 and then you'd get, you know, a free course or free video series with your purchase.


Justin Lam

That's interesting with it. Yeah, okay, cool. I like to try to summarize a bunch of things. But thank you so much for for being part of it. I think. For anybody who is publishing or thinking of publishing or trying to figure out their content engine, I think that we found some real value there. What I want to leave people with is what is a favorite resource to you. You know, it could be anything. Sure. But what is a favorite resource that you like to go to?


Joel Mark Harris

Sure. Probably one of my favorite websites is copy blogger, because they have a little bit of everything on there. They have, they have, I think something crazy like 4000 articles about SEO about copywriting about publishing the whole gambit about if you so if you're interested in writing, I would start there they, they have free training, but just like anything, you know, so that's definitely a great resource. I have Yeah, that's I think that's that has everything actually awesome.


Justin Lam

So for those of you who have lots of time on your hand and willing to write, willing to read and not do the work that you need to be doing to turn a profit, go to copy blogger, because apparently that's a good resource. Yeah. But for those of you guys who are on your lunch break, want to check it out. That's a good resource for you. Thank you, buddy. Thank you so much for coming. I really appreciate it. Stay tuned because the next episode, we're going to be meeting A really interesting entrepreneur as well. But thank you so much for watching and thank you so much. If you found value, please follow subscribe. Find us on Spotify if you are finding this on YouTube. And I appreciate your time and I hope we're bringing you value. Have a great day.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


10 views