Branding, Business

Using One Website To Run Two Businesses with Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes

Episode 095: Show Notes

Today on the podcast we have Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes. Are you multi-passionate? Well, this boss babe is and she has grown her business as both a copywriter and a calligrapher. She took her background as a corporate agent working with corporate clients and transitioned that into her current business, working with big name clients. We are so excited for you to hear how she’s been able to keep both her knowledge from her corporate days and add that onto her creative passion with calligraphy.

Today on the podcast we have Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes. Are you multi-passionate? Well, this boss babe is and she has grown her business as both a copywriter and a calligrapher. She took her background as a corporate agent working with corporate clients and transitioned that into her current business, working with big name clients. We are so excited for you to hear how she’s been able to keep both her knowledge from her corporate days and add that onto her creative passion with calligraphy.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

Do you want to have a business that serves two different people? Today we’re going through how to navigate your homepage, how to set up your services, products and offerings, and how to manage your social media and your email list if you’re talking to two different people. If that’s you, keep listening to find out more!

Transitioning Out of The Corporate Space

Ashlyn went straight into college knowing she wanted to be a journalism major. She loved it and traveled as a consultant for her sorority. Her dream was to work for an agency. She went back after interning and changed her major to PR. She went through agency life and adored her job. She originally worked on the Delta account, writing copy for their website, planning events and covering the PR side of things. She worked with numerous other corporate clients. She started to realize that her job was consuming her life and she was missing important events in her family and friends’ lives, so that was the last corporate job she had. She went on to do PR for Top Chef Ford Fry’s restaurants before starting her own venture.

Jumping Ship

Ashlyn had always struggled with anxiety and depression, being a high strung perfectionist. She loved her position and was hustling it, but around that time her husband proposed and she couldn’t manage everything. She turned to the one thing that she could manage, which was her food intake, and she developed an eating disorder of medical proportions. It went on until to her wedding day. Reality hit when a family member asked her what was more important to her, her husband or her job. Ashlyn knew it was her job and that needed to change. She went and got medical help. She also realized that her job could no longer take over her life so she made a decision to start her own business. She was convinced that between calligraphy and writing editorials for magazines she would be able to swing things.

The Start of The Calligraphy Business

Ashlyn had PTSD to some extent. It felt so good for her to just be able to be a creative. She’d been a doodler with words since a young age. The hard curveball for her was learning the processes of the business, the customer service, the client support and hacking away to get a system set up. She used a little course she found known as Trello for Business, and she’s totally obsessed with it. That’s how she made her transition into the creative world. At that point, she only thought about copy in a corporate capacity. While starting up her calligraphy business, she was doing content marketing and writing copy for various corporate industries around Atlanta, providing them with blog and email newsletter content.

Adding Copywriting To The Calligraphy

This is where Ashlyn was able to quickly land some clients which people recognize as leaders. She went out and attended a retreat while she was very new in her business. People seeing something in her and calling it out was what changed something in her. She realized there was a gap in the creative industry and she was able to fill that gap with her skills and abilities. She really connected with a girl named Jenna Kutcher, and Jenna reached out to her and asked whether she was interested in figuring out launch funnel copywriting and sequence mapping for a course. Jenna rooted out and saw something in Ashlyn that made her believe in herself again. After working on that first course, Ashlyn realized that it was what she wanted to continue doing and she decided to link it in with her calligraphy business. She’s written over 20 different courses and continues to do more.

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It takes a lot of spaghetti flung at the wall to see what sticks.
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Communicating Two Businesses on One Website

In Ashlyn’s Copywriting for Creatives course, everyone asks this question, so she’s realizing more and more that this is a thing. If you’re wanting to communicate two businesses on one website, the first thing you need to do is come up with the umbrella messaging. That’s what’s most important. Write down all of the aspects of both businesses and see where they overlap. The more you can come up with for the connective synergies, the better they will link together. As easy as that sounds, it wasn’t as clear in the beginning for Ashlyn. It may be more obvious than you think, but brainstorming with pen and paper is a really valuable exercise. So many times people get excited to create, but you need to ask yourself whether you’ve found the market gap first.

Your Closing Pitcher

Deeming what your focus and attention are when it comes to actually making a profit is important. 90% of the information that you’re consuming, you’re consuming through visuals and only 10% is words. That means that the words really, really matter. You’ve got to lean on visuals, but use your words well to support. The first thing, the homepage of your website, is like an airport terminal — it directs you where to go next. Ashlyn thinks that you should break up your services page and work with me page so that they have different price points and different audiences. Every single page on your website except for your homepage should be written to one reader with one offer and one idea in mind. Approaching your website with that in mind helps you connect messaging overall.

Tackling Your Email List

Having worked in corporate before, Ashlyn came in almost knowing too much. She could not simplify it in her head. If she were to go back, she would change one thing. Due to bandwidth and velocity, her email list talked to both audiences at first. Once she realized it wasn’t working, she halted. She knew she had to find a way to simplify things for herself and for the business. Now she has completely separate sales funnels for the two audiences. Pick one side of the business at first and get it really good, build your welcome sequence then build a newsletter funnel and get it established. Segmenting is so great and when you’re ready to add on another one, do it.

Highlights

  • The process of transitioning from working with big names and corporate companies to working with smaller creatives. [0:04:30.1]

  • After jumping ship from her agency job, hear how Ashlyn knew she’d be able to make a success out on her own business. [0:08:39.1]

  • Find out more about the start of Ashlyn’s calligraphy business and how things started to take shape. [0:12:37.1]

  • Adding the copywriting onto the calligraphy business and making both work. [0:14:24.1]

  • How Ashlyn has been able to communicate both businesses using only one website. [0:22:25.1]

  • Deeming what your focus and attention are when it comes to actually making a profit and your closing pitcher. [0:28:22.1]

  • Tackling your email list for two different groups of people and staying organized. [0:33:13.1]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:42:07.2]

  1. Dual positioning — find out what is the umbrella message of your business and your brand and start communicating that.

  2. Divvy up your “work with me” page.

  3. Start a swipe file.


Today’sGuest

Ashlyn Carter

Ashlyn Writes

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Ashlyn writes bespoke, meaningful words for creative women as a copywriter & calligrapher. She left her job as a publicist to go full-time with her calligraphy biz for brides — and realized there were lots of creative women fumbling with their message and sales copy (you can take the girl out of the PR agency ... ).

She traded clients like Delta Air Lines and Chick-fil-A to work with creative industry dreamies like Jenna Kutcher, Katelyn James, Hilary Rushford, Justin & Mary Marantz, and dozens more, crafting conversion copy and email sequences for launches. Her calligraphy has appeared in The Knot and Southern Weddings. When not writing about herself in third person, she’s usually trying to scratch the ink off her fingernails or grabbing margs and tacos with her husband.

KeyTopics

 

  • Transitioning out of the corporate space.

  • Jumping ship.

  • The start of the calligraphy business.

  • Adding copywriting to the calligraphy.

  • Your closing pitcher.

  • Tackling your email list.

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