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Episode #59 What Taylor Swift Can Teach You About Content Writing & Connecting With Your Audience

Whether you’re a hardcore Swiftie or maybe just enjoy one of her songs as a guilty pleasure, you probably can’t stop hearing about Taylor Swift’s recent re-release of her album, Red.

This week’s episode is no different, but we’re not talking about whether or not Jake Gyllenhaal wronged Taylor or not, we’re going to be talking about the lessons we can learn as marketers from the queen of marketing herself. She hasn’t had 10 #1 albums for no reason.

Nicole is teaching us what we can learn from Taylor when it comes to writing content that resonates with our audience and helps them to truly get to know us.


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Hello, and welcome to the limitless entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host, Nicole Laino. And I am here with a special episode. I’m here alone. But I am talking about a different type of topic this week, I am actually, this title of this episode is, here’s what Taylor Swift can teach you about content, writing, and connection with your audience. Now, I don’t normally do the celebrity hook kind of kind of episodes, but this has been on my mind, and I’m trusting my intuition that this is what we need to be talking about this week. So for those of you who are not, I promise you, this will totally resonate and and land for your business, this will be good for your business, we’re not going to be talking just about Taylor Swift the whole time. This is actually she’s just sort of the into how I want you to start looking at your content writing. And there’s a specific, there’s a specific topic and concept around marketing around content, writing around everything to do with your messaging, that I think is very difficult for people to grasp. It’s one of the hardest things for people to understand conceptually, and, and put into practice, like a lot of times people like yeah, I get that, but I don’t see how I can do it. And I hope that this helps. So for those of you who don’t know, Taylor Swift re releasing all of her old albums from her old record company to get the Masters back, so she basically owns her music, she’s taking back her art. So bravo girl on doing that. And that’s led to her re releasing all of these old albums. So she just re released read, which was an album from I think, about 10 years ago. And getting a lot of press about it. She was on SNL, she did this kind of epic performance, where she did a 10 minute version of a song from that album, she wrote new verses for it. Some of the song is the same. And then she added some bits to it. And she also filmed a movie and had it playing behind her on the on the show. It was pretty epic. It was pretty, it was pretty amazing. I’m not the hugest Taylor Swift Fan, I respect her. But after this, I was like, this girl has something special. She’s a true artist. So I was touched by it. And I wanted to share this with you. Because what kept hitting me was, as I listened to the song that she did, it’s called all too well. And if you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you know, I’m all twisted up in the game with this with this song and this whole thing. But the song all too well, what captured me what what captivated me was the level of detail of her memory of this. Now she wrote this 10 years ago, so it’s not her. But the new verses, she added, it was her way of looking back and reflecting on it. And it gave even more insight into where she was in that moment. And, and the impact that this breakup, the songs about a breakup had on her. And it’s all about how it’s called all too well. And it’s all about how she remembers the whole thing. All too well. She remembers the magic, she remembers the heartbreak, she remembers every moment in this fascinatingly beautiful detail, all too well. And you get what she’s saying in it, you get the moments, you get the subtext, you get it all just by listening to it. And I have been completely enthralled by it. And I think it’s kind of a masterpiece, as far as, as far as songs about heartbreak are concerned. And what I love about it is that level of specificity, and that is the concept that I find so difficult to teach, I find it so difficult not not to teach, but to get people to understand how they can put it into practice, what it means to be specific and why it matters. Because our our reflexes to shift into talking about higher bigger concepts. And when we are challenged with finding detail or finding specificity for the message, sometimes it feels like well, I don’t know, I don’t have a story for that. I don’t I don’t know how to get more specific. And I know this because I was there. I remember my coach telling me a few years ago, that was the feedback I always got. She was like it still feels very general. It’s not specific enough. And I was like, What do you mean by that? I couldn’t understand it. I was like, I don’t know what you mean. I’m trying to be more specific. But I don’t know how to be more specific. I don’t specify specific about what, what am I not being specific about? And it didn’t always get a great answer. It wasn’t she’s like, I don’t know, it just it just feels like there’s not enough detail in here. There’s not enough. There’s not enough specificity. It always came down to that word. And so because it mystified me for so long. And because I see it mystify so many other people, whenever I see a clue into how I can explain something and demystify a process, I bring it to you, and that’s what I’m doing here. Because I thought that this song kind of showed was a great illustration of what being general or being specific could be, it is a case study in specificity. So I understand too that a lot of times with content writing, and with marketing, we’re, we’re so used to these formatted templates and you know, have a headline here and then go into this lead line and then go into the body and add value, give three tips and then a CTA. And what that leads to is us feeling really uninspired by the content we’re creating, because it doesn’t really feel like what we want to say. And a lot of times it ends up being really boring. I mean, haven’t you seen scroll through Instagram, or scroll through Facebook and just been like, Ah, I’m so bored with this. Yeah, I know where this is going three tips, someone sends me another email about their favorite software, their three favorite software’s and tell me that Canva is one of them. Like, da, who’s not using Canva, to me just feels really boring, and just whatever. But when someone writes something from their heart, when someone writes something, where they are, they’re helping me see myself in them and their journey, and I connect with it, I pay attention to what they say, I pay attention to who they are, and suddenly I feel closer to them. So what I hope you take out of this episode is I hope, you stop trying to get it right, quote, unquote, great. It doesn’t mean that those ways are wrong. It just means that it doesn’t have to be that way. And the more you release the dogma on how we have to do everything, the more you free yourself up, and the more creativity will be able to flow from you. And the more truth you will speak. And when that happens, people will listen. So I want to float this idea with you, I want you to try this on for yourself, that as an entrepreneur, you’re an artist. What have you thought of yourself as an artist? What if you, instead of thinking about these things in such a linear fashion? You thought about it from an artistic standpoint, because what do artists do, they share their heart, they share what’s inside of them. And they just kind of trust that in that process. This is the trusting the journey part. In that process, something will be revealed. It’ll either be revealed about who they are, or that there’s something beautiful that happens when we express ourselves. And what we’re seeing right now is we’re seeing that in business, that when you express yourself, and you can connect with people on a deeper level, great things happen. It’s a byproduct of you standing in and speaking your truth. Okay. So if you think about yourself as an artist, does it open you up? Does it make you feel differently about how you’d approach your content, the things that you say, the way that you relate to your people? Now, if it closes you down, and you’re like, that’s too much, I don’t see myself as an artist, that makes me feel like everything got harder than don’t wear that. You don’t have to take that part of this. But I want you to try that on. What have you thought of yourself as an artist? Would it give you the courage and the freedom and the space to maybe mess up? Maybe to not get it perfect? Maybe to just share and make something truthful? and have that be the goal. Because in Episode 39 of this of this podcast, I did a little show called how know like and trust is killing your business. The know like and trust factor. We’ve all heard that in marketing. And you know, go back and listen to that episode. If you if you didn’t, we got a lot of great feedback on that. It’s one of our most popular episodes. And it’s a really great one for content writing and for digging into how to how to make more connection. But the gist of it is that you should be focusing on only one of those things not know not, you know, know like and trust really should just be know, ask yourself, Am I being known? And maybe known am I allowing people to know me? Because if I let them know me, then they then the right people will like me, and they will. They will naturally trust me. If I’m being truthful, they’re going to trust me whether they like me or not, that’s a different story. And that’s whether they like you will be whether they follow along with you and and keep going but guess what? You don’t want the people who don’t resonate and who aren’t your people on the journey with you. So back to Taylor Swift for a second. If you listen to her songs, you know that girl you know what she’s thinking, you know what she’s feeling you know what she does? You know what she doesn’t like, you know who she’s fighting with.

And you’re kind of captivated by it. Now. You might not like how she Does something or maybe we might be triggered by her I was in the beginning, I was triggered by her. I was like, oh, and now that I know about triggers, I was like, Oh, that was definitely what was happening at the time, that all felt very justified. I was like, I don’t like how she handles herself doesn’t have to be that way. And I was like, she, I’m just judging her and because I don’t feel like I’m that free right now to say what I’m feeling and you know, a host of other things that caused her and the way that she was being to trigger me. But you know, her, whether you like her or not really determines whether you are her people or not, and she doesn’t care. If you’re not her people then buy, that’s okay. And I know that that can be very hard for us, because we do want, we want to sell we have our livelihood attached to these businesses. So if people don’t like us, it feels like we won’t make money. That’s actually not the truth, the less you care about people liking you, and the more you care about being known and being truthful, the more people will naturally want to be a part of your world. Because being known creates connection, trying to be liked does not it actually repels people. But what she does with this song, so we’re talking about the all too well song, she did a 10 minute version of it. And what she does with the song is she puts you in the room, in the moment with her. And when your brain starts to paint a picture, and you start to see things through her eyes, then her eyes suddenly become your eyes, and you start to project your own things onto it, you start to add your own story to it. And then suddenly, her story is your story. We can’t tell the difference in our minds, what’s hers and what’s ours. And then suddenly, we feel like we know her were the same. Those are the things that kind of that go through our minds when we connect with someone through a story. And, and that comes from specificity. So in the song, she just happens to create such a vivid picture of everything that happened in this relationship as she sees it, it’s of course, her memory of it, it is her reflection of it. But you listen to the song and you feel it and you’re like I see the whole thing happen, I can, I can visualize it in my head. And if you’ve had an experience, even part of it, that was somewhat like that, or if you felt the feeling, even if the situation was different, but you felt the feeling, then you feel like you can relate and you relate in a really strong connected way. So listening to the song, I was just I was really floored by how how strong her imagery was. But how specific it was, it really just came down to that specificity. Like there’s at one point, she’s she she describes every moment throughout the relationship. And I’m not telling you that you have to be an artist like Taylor Swift, you don’t have to be, you don’t have to complete don’t compare yourself to one of the best selling artists in the world for the last like decade. Please don’t do that to yourself. That’s not what this is meant to do. But what it is meant to do is illustrate the point that that level of specificity allows you to connect. And when people can see themselves in what it is that you do and the way that you see the world. Don’t discount the way you see the world don’t discount your point of view, your point of view is everything, we put far too much emphasis on the structure, and whether we’ve got something right or wrong, and we stop connecting them to the real message. And what we’re really meant to say that is when it just gets diluted and further and further away from our heart. And the further it gets away from what we’re truly meant to deliver the message we’re truly meant to deliver. The further it gets away from landing with someone and it becomes general and it just becomes like everybody else’s stuff or something that people are able to just see and then scroll on by. But how do we stop the scroll? You stop the scroll with that connection. So the difference between being specific and being general. So an example I can give you without going into like tailors lyrics, please go back and listen to the song and you’ll get what I’m talking about. I encourage you all to listen to it if for nothing else, but research. So Taylor song is definitely a case study in being specific, but to make it to bring it a little bit more specifically into business and show you how this works. I’ll tell you a little bit of my story and how the difference I’ll show you the difference between a vague version of the same story and a detailed version, how much more that will land and what it feels like to hear it. So a lot of you know that I have a corporate background. I worked on Wall Street for almost seven years. I had a really successful career there. I was on my way up, but I didn’t love it anymore. I did for a time. I it served a purpose, but I stayed a few years too long. And when I tell that story, I could tell it in a vague way. But when I want to connect with someone who has a corporate background, or maybe who is a little bit more strategic, this is me knowing the person that I talked to, that I connect with, and I want my message to land with, that’s a really important part. But when I want to connect with that person, you know, I’ll tell a story. If I tell the story of my time at corporate, it might say a vague version of it would be, I worked there for seven, almost seven years, it was in New York City, I just, you know, the subway every day, and everything that I did, it just all felt the same. The work wasn’t inspiring to me anymore. I felt really miserable there, I felt like I lost myself. And you know, and then I actually I burned out, I became clinically depressed. And I left eventually, because I just couldn’t take it anymore. And I felt like I was really being called to do something else. Now, parts of that story might land with you and might might draw someone in and have them going, yeah, yeah, me too. Or, I hear you. But I want you to hear the difference between that and this detailed version. So what if I said to you, yeah, I worked at one of the biggest firms on Wall Street, it was, for a time actually felt a little glamorous, I felt lucky to be there, I felt like I was part of the elite. Because I was working. I’m surrounded by the most brilliant people and actually really wonderful people. But it came to a point where I just, I had peeked at what I had learned there. And I felt like, I’m not I’m not growing here, I’m not able to be creative, I’m not able to really feel useful to myself here. And I feel like my senses are being built, like I don’t even know who I am anymore. But I’ve become just sort of this shell and this reflection of this company, and of this job, and I’ve become this job and I’m no longer me anymore. And I remember it so vividly. I was on the sixth floor of our building, which is this big, glass, Florida ceiling, window glass windows, you know, huge building overlooking all of New York City, and I’m on the sixth floor, so I’m not that high. And I’m leaning against one of those Florida ceiling windows, I’m in my theory suit, and my Louboutin shoes, wearing, you know, my, my fancy title, and with lots of money in the bank, and seemingly having everything on paper. If I were to tell you that story, it sounds like a good story. It sounds at the time I remember thinking, what do you have to be? What do you have to be sad about? You have everything. But as I sat there, leaning against that window, looking down at West Street, and the bustling crowd, walking around New York City, I remember my thoughts so vividly. I felt so alone. And I looked down and I thought, wow, look at all those free people down there. And I felt that feeling in my chest. And when I say that it feel it again, because I remember that time, all too well. I remember that feeling that feeling of feeling trapped in my life. That feeling of my life no longer being mine. And the sinking feeling that I didn’t know how I was going to change it. How scary it was to make that move. Like, how could I possibly change anything now? I’m too far along. I’m too tied to this. What else would I do? Who am I? Who am I anymore? Even if I’m not here, my whole life is tied to this place. I remember that. I remember that feeling. And so hearing that version of the story versus hearing that earlier version, they both say the same thing. I will say the same thing actually told you more of the story. Back in the first one where I was like I took you all the way to clinically depressed and left the company and all of that you don’t know where the the rest of it went after the detailed version. But isn’t it so much more vivid and clear? And don’t you feel more connected to it? Because it told you about the feeling? And I didn’t just tell you about it. I painted a picture I put you there. Maybe you were looking through my eyes down at that street, seeing those people. And maybe you’ve had a feeling like that before where you’re like yeah, I have felt trapped in my life before. Suddenly it gets so much bigger, doesn’t it? It becomes bigger than just you.

The listener the reader gets to understand what makes you tick how you think how you feel And then feels a little bit more connected to you. Maybe they went through something really similar and they feel very connected to you. But that’s the difference. So I wanted to, I wanted to make that clear. And I wanted, I really do believe that artists can give us these glimpses into how we can look at our lives a little bit differently. And when you see somebody who’s out there, living their truth, you know, monetizing their genius. When we see those people, they could feel very far away from us. But the truth is, they’re giving you a little clues into how you can get your genius out in the world, how you can get a little bit closer to speaking and living your truth. And when you do, everything opens up to you. We don’t think about how it’s going to happen. Artists don’t write songs, necessarily to they’re not thinking about that person who’s going to listen completely at the moment in the moment. And I know we talked about in our marketing, we want to make sure that we’re solving problems for people. And that’s true. But that can fall very flat and feel really uninspiring at times it starts with you. It starts with you digging into the genius that you have in you that that that zone of genius, that’s yours. And then thinking about how does this How does my truth, open up somebody else? How does my truth fix a problem for somebody else? How does what I do what I’m innately good at, help and serve someone else. It starts with you, when we started on the other person, it ends up not being our truth anymore. And we become we slip into people pleasing, and start trying to do what the world wants us to do or what we think the world wants us to do. And that is what causes gridlock inside of us. And we don’t experience flow, we’re not in alignment, and everything feels a lot harder. And typically the results aren’t there, because people are picking up on the fact that it feels hard for you. And it’s not really it’s not really connected to you. So how do you expect it to connect to anyone else? Okay, so I hope this was helpful. I hope that this illustrated how the difference between being vague or being specific in your marketing and the the, how the impact that that can make, how how people when you’re giving people details, they’re able to connect to your message in a way that leads to conversion, because they’re automatically thinking if you understand my problem, maybe I’ll pay you to help me find the solution. Okay, so I hope that you enjoyed this episode. I hope you got value out of it. As always, I thank you and I’m grateful for you to for you being here. Remember, you are only limited by the limitations that you accept. And when you stop accepting those limitations. That is when you become limitless. So go out there and be limitless everybody. I’ll see you in the next one.

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