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How To Put More You In Your Business (And Writing) With Laura Belgray


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED [00:00:00] Diane: Hey, Hey, today's guest has been named checked multiple times on the show by previous guests, and she's finally here to speak for herself. Laura Belgray or the talking shrimp helps entrepreneurs get paid to be themselves. And we've spent a lot of time together on a couple of Italian rooftops at several in-person events. So I can confirm that she is 100%. What you see is what you get. Laura freaking Belgrade. Welcome to the show. [00:00:23] Laura: Thank you so much. I am freaking mayor. I am so happy to be here. [00:00:27] Diane: I, as I said, multiple people have dropped your name as influential on my business. So I'm really excited for everyone to meet you in person. And in case people haven't met you before, I'd love you to start with like a little, how did we get to the talking shrimp kind of the highlights of your career? Because I think it's such a fun. [00:00:47] Laura: Oh, gosh, a little one. I never know how to make this short, but let's give it a shot. So, well you've heard it before. Do you want me to start with where I started in copywriting? Like Where do I begin? [00:00:59] Diane: I mean, I want you to talk about your TV career. [00:01:02] Laura: Let's not pretend that the online copywriting world or the online space in general is nearly as cool as TV. You know, I can't fake it. I'm very happy to be here and I have segwayed out of TV, but TV really was a cool place to be. So with all those limitations, so I started my copywriting career really in magazines. I worked at spy magazine. A couple of years out of college, this was in the early nineties. Spy magazine was this cool downtown, a New York city magazine, like a hip satirical place where I happened to get an internship and I blew it at my internship. I just sucked at it. I didn't have any ideas. I realized I don't want to be a journalist that I was supposed to come up with ideas for the magazine, with stories and go around with a reporter's notebook. You know, things that reporters do. And I didn't come up with anything. And the managing editor took me out to lunch and said, you know, you can take initiative. And I was like, oh, thanks for letting me know. Yeah, I don't have any of that, but luckily they liked me enough on the ad side of the magazine. We were all on one floor that they hired me when my six month internship was up just to, to do stuff over on that side. And they gave me a copywriting assignment. And this was for an, an advertorial that was, for those of you who don't know what an advertorial is, it's a part of the magazine like that page in the magazine, or that spread the pages that look like part of the magazine, but actually say promotion in tiny letters at the top. And so I wrote one for doers and it had. A quiz on it called do you party like your uncle Marty? And the whole point of the, of that whole spread was to keep you from being an old fart. And if it turned out you were an old fart, then the answer was to drink Dewar's scotch. So that was my first foray into copywriting. And I realized, oh my gosh, there is a job. Okay. Writing little things fun little things, and they don't have to, you don't have to be a journalist and it doesn't have to be a screenplay or a novel or anything like that. So, that, that little, little bit of a spark in me. And then I, a friend of mine from spy who had lunch with me one day told me that he, his new job was at VH1 writing program. And I said, what are promos? And he said, well, I write these, you know, those little spots during the commercials in between the shows that tell you to watch the show. Basically I, I write those, I write, I watch a whole lot of TV and then I write these little spots because like, oh my God, that's a job. Like it, a job that involves writing lots of TV and then writing little things about the TV. I want that job. And my timing was just right. I told them I wanted that job and he hooked me up with the creative director there who needed other people to do that job. And I got my first gig writing spots for TV. I started writing promo promos for VH1, and then segwayed from there into writing promos for what was then the ultimate place to write promo. Which was Nick at night and Nickelodeon and then TV land. And so I was there for many years and also started getting after a decade or so started getting. Other clients. I was a PERMA Lancer. So I started getting clients from other networks, work from other networks and other production companies who work for those networks. Writing spots for networks like Bravo, and I got to write spots for real Housewives. And one of my favorite spots that I ever wrote was for real Housewives of Beverly. And let's just say towards I'd say around 2009 or so I was starting to get into a creative rut You know, you know, when you feel like you've had your last good idea, do you ever feel that way? Yeah, so I felt that way constantly there. And actually this wasn't as a remedy for that, but to get more TV clients and I started wanting to get TV clients from other networks I put up a website. And started, I started a company called talking, which I didn't. I had no intention of making an actual business. The only reason I started talking was because my husband, Steven and I had gotten married in 2007 and got re. In our first year of taxes and our accountant said, you know, what made you think that your taxes would be any better after you got married? Of course, they're worse. What you should do is incorporate. Just find a name for a business, hopefully one with a free URL and I'll incorporate you. And then you will file as a corporation. So. Naturally I picked talking Yeah, of course. Honestly, we went a week, tried to come up with that. We CA we brainstormed a bunch of names. It didn't really matter. It could be, we just wanted something that applied to either of us. He's in restaurants, I'm in writing or neither of us and could mean anything or nothing. And would you believe it talking was available? [00:06:33] Diane: And was born [00:06:35] Laura: and the legend was born and I was just gonna, I was just going to use the website, you know, I was like, well, I might as well build a website and I was just going to use it to get more TV clients and. You know, I didn't know what else to do with it. That was all, it was just going to be a place to host my real so that I didn't have to send it via like on DVD to different prospective clients. I was like, oh my gosh, you can now put videos up on the web. So that's, that's what it was going to be for. And my friend Marie Forleo said, you're going to have a blog. Right. And. I was like, well, isn't it too late to have a blog. And she's like, cause it was 2009. It seemed like everyone by then had a blog. And she was like, no, of course you should have a blog. Also. You love to write like you, you of all people should have a blog. And so I was like, okay, I'll put up a blog. And she said, and what's going to be your off. And I said my what in? And she said, here's what an opt-in is. And she explained the whole thing about a freebie and then an automated email confirmation email. And she diagrammed it all on a yellow pad for me. And I was able to do it. I signed up for a Weber and put up an opt-in and a blog. And then. That was the beginning of talking shrimp. People started not a lot, but a few people started signing up for my freebie, which was five secrets to non sucky copy. And it had nothing to do with anything. That TV companies were looking for, but entrepreneurs, I was starting to get into the entrepreneur world, just through my friend Marie. And they started signing up for my freebie and people started reading my blog posts. I would post them on Facebook and then also send them to people. Email list. And now I had no idea to what end, I didn't know what I was building a list for, but Maria said the money is in the list. You have to build an email list. And I started doing that. And then I guess the rest is of, you know, came together in some sort of the rest is history. [00:08:47] Diane: Yeah, I love that your whole story is like, this is kind of what I like, and this is who I am like, oh, you want me to be a journalist and take initiative on stories? Yeah. That's not me. I want to do a bit more TV. I quite like Bravo. I want to watch a bit more Bravo. So I'm going to go freelance. I go, I like to write, I'll throw up a blog. I feel like you were like, be a thing typically you and your business before, like it was. Right to be authentically you and solve board, do whatever it was that you were going to do on the gram. But I also want people to understand what that authentically Laura Belgray looks like behind the scenes of kind of a working day for you, because even as you grew your business and it became the successful copywriting business, when you were working doing one-to-one work for people, you have a very. I don't want to say rigid, but it's rigidly, relaxed. Yes. [00:09:39] Laura: Perfectly put that is exactly what it is because I have all kinds of boundaries. We love the word boundaries and like, I can not, I will not and cannot and cannot and will not do any kind of appointments before. Especially not, you know, interviews or clients. I don't, I, I don't take clients anymore. All these things that I found, unreal, axing, I have managed to cut out or rule out and I need my leisurely morning and I don't love doing videos. I will, when I have to I do live things more than I do recorded videos just cause they, they make me nervous and they take up all. The like the whole damn day I have to. If someone tells me just slap up a video, just do a one minute video, just do one, take it. Doesn't have to be perfect. It will take me three hours to do the one minute video because I will have a hundred do a hundred takes. And you know, if you look at my, look through my iPhone, you'll see a sections of the photos that are. Like a million different videos where I look exactly the same. That's me doing take after take after. Of the same one minute casual video. So that's all the say I won't do that. I like doing things where I can sit on the couch with my hair uncombed and not worry about the angle of the camera or the laptop and just right. So I've set up my business so that I am mostly paid to write emails, which is the more relaxing thing of all. Business tasks I could do. [00:11:17] Diane: I can almost hear the skeptics in the audience thinking, well, you know, it's Laura freakin Belgray and she has all her entrepreneur, Liberty friends and this like TV reputation and her established business. So she can put up like all of those boundaries and decide on all of those things. when do you feel like in your business? Since the birth of talking shrimp, you really started to hone in on like, this is what I'm prepared to do, and this is what I'm not prepared to do. [00:11:45] Laura: I think that has been over time. I've always been a little bit of a. Rebel. and not done things the way they're supposed to be done. So I probably should have done it all, but like built my business and built my reputation by, I don't know, doing webinars and all the things that one does to build it and, and gotten on Instagram early and all that stuff. But from, I think from the beginning, I've always done things the way I wanted to mostly because. I had, I didn't know that it wasn't the way you do things. So I kind of, I jumped in and built it kind of by by accident. I mean, I started getting clients, but I spoke at an event I spoke at Marie's event which was just 50 people in a room. It was in 2009 on copywriting. She said, can you do a presentation on copywriting? And I said, sure. And. Although I had, I didn't know that the kind of copywriting I did for TV was not the same kind of copywriting people were doing in their business. Really. So I did my five secrets to non sucky, copy the talk. And it wasn't really about like, I don't know how to write your button copy and things like that it was more broad about creative writing and having a point of view. And I think had I been more aware of the audience and their expectations, I would have frozen up and spent so much more time. I think it was stressing over it and doing something totally different. And I was able to be me and do what I wanted to do. Like what I talk about, what I like to talk about and the way I wanted to talk about it, because I didn't know. So I think that ignorance, like just going into it, that. Had always freed me up to be more myself. And so it started there really when, right when I wandered into it, I also didn't know what a big world that was, what a big pond I was getting into. It was way smaller than, but I'm still a big, but I was still a little fish and I didn't realize that. And honestly, you're like what you refer to as my TV crew. Wasn't real CRA it was cred with marae enough that she asked me to speak. [00:14:04] Diane: I think what you touched on there with it's almost an ignorance is bliss. And I think what happens in the online space is we go chase it. So much knowledge that ultimately becomes this cage. And what happens is we see people who are being authentically. You. People like Maria, who will flick on a camera and just, she's fine. And so that's what you see out in the world and what people don't see, because you're not flicking on a camera to document every second of your life. Right. They don't see that there's a different way to do things. [00:14:36] Laura: Yes. And I'm speaking of Marie and other people who flick on their camera, You know, talk right to it at any time of day. And are very good at being themselves on camera and are sassy and and all that, we get the idea from them. We get the impression from them that that's what being yourself is that that's what being authentic is that it is maybe being good at hip hop and playing the right song. And I don't know. Yeah, tick tock, Tik Tok dances, and drinking a certain kind of whatever drink it is from Starbucks. And like, or it declaring that you love pumpkin spice, you know, all those things, which I hate. So we, we think that it's, that it equals that being yourself. Is defined by someone else being themselves like, oh, to be myself, I have to be like Marie to be myself. I have to be like, I don't know you name it. Who else is? [00:15:36] Diane: I always think of like the really big personalities, like a Stu McLaren kind of personality in the membership space. Right. So outgoing. So happy like in the spotlights. But I do think what happens is people go into those people's programs, then try to emulate that person when actually. They would rather be on the sofa, drinking their iced coffee, writing an email to their list, but they feel like they can't be because the people who are doing that are doing it quietly because they're just getting on with it. Right. So we only see this real one section of the. Industry being themselves. And then if that's not, you, you're kind of almost frozen in like, okay, now how do I be myself? [00:16:18] Laura: Right. We think that being yourself means being sassy good in front of the camera. Good at reels or like, oh, you're so good at being yourself. [00:16:27] Diane: Yeah, for sure. So if someone's listening to us talk about that and they're like, okay, great. So I don't have to flick on my camera to be my most authentic selves. I don't have to have like every second of my life documented or break down in tears over something to be authentic in my business. How do they get their toe in that water? Like, what's the easiest way to put more you into your business for the beginner? [00:16:51] Laura: I do think it has to do with being honest. It doesn't have to, it, you don't have to be vulnerable in every post. You don't have to be like my most vulnerable post ever. And then come up with something that you hate about yourself to share with the world. It doesn't have to be that. And I think. First of all being conversational in your copy, whether it is on Instagram or on your website. A lot of people shift from, you know, like Instagram. Being pretty conversational there. They seem to naturally do it there too. Like on their website writing in a very formal tone of voice. Hello. I am so glad that you are here. Welcome to my website, where my mission is to where our mission and they get very into values and mission and all those things that they consider deep. Profound rather than being themselves there too, meaning writing in a conversational tone of voice sharing details, very specific concrete details of their life. I think a lot of authenticity comes from those concrete details that you share, whether you're You know, telling a story about yourself, say in an email, a story about your life or making an observation or, you know, writing a sales page, those authentic, authentic details. Meaning if you said like here's something without specificity, that sounds like everybody else. And it's not going to sound like you You know, I, if you feel this way, you are not alone. Years ago, I too was in a very dark place, a place so dark that it was rock bottom. And then I had a turning point. And so none of that sounds like any kind of person, you know? Right. It's like, that could be anybody, but what does, if you put concrete details into it, like what do what does being in a dark place mean to you? Does it mean you were. You know, sitting in the corner, like rocking yourself and crying with the window open and the curtains blowing like Demi Moore in St. Elmo's fire. Does it mean that you were sitting in your dirty sweats all week stalking your ex on Facebook and either. Doritos from the bag or what does it mean? Does it mean you couldn't move? Does it mean that you were you know, going about your life, walking down the street with a smile on your face, with the same terrified repeating thoughts going through your head all day. So, and what were those thoughts? So being bringing in those really concrete, specific details, Brings life to your copy and personality and makes it more you, what is true for you and again, being conversational. I know that sounds easier said than done, but one thing that can really help is using the apostrophe on your keyboard. Like just all it takes is your right pinky it's one key stroke. To me. Those compound words known as contractions instead of hello. I am so glad that you are here. Hi, I'm so glad you're here. I am. Instead of you, are, you are. And most of us don't realize that we write, we've been trained to write really formal. Especially by our English teachers, maybe an eighth grade, maybe by our college professors or maybe working in a corporate setting where somebody took a big red pencil and crossed out anything with a contraction and made it a full, full on you are I am et cetera. And made us feel bad about that. Or about sentence fragments. Like. I mean, you know, that's a sentence fragment, but also something you would say out loud and never would, you're a boss or a college professor allow it, but here in your copy in the things that you write and. [00:20:58] Diane: I think that was one of the hardest transitions for me into entrepreneurs from like that corporate career. Like the businessy stuff was really easy for me. It was easy for me to pick it up and understand it and see a final and Joel workflow. But. I definitely found that almost every time I sat down to write my email, it felt like it came across as like to whom it may concern the offer of the 2nd of October will be, you know, and it just became this. Like, I didn't see it at the time, but then what happened is I started to go to events because as we know, I'm a bit of an event host, I do like an in-person event and people would say to me like, whoa, you're completely different from what I expected. And. I think it must've been, I was at the, maybe it was the first retreat I did with you. I'm in Italy and we worked on my about page. Sure. I didn't even know how many drafts it took to write that about page to just try and like almost slap the formal out of me. And I think you said to me, well, can you just talk it. Like instead of actually sitting down with almost like a blank sheet in front of you, which automatically turns on all of your correct grammar and your formal language, that's not how you speak. And so for me, a lot of my stuff. Yeah, that comes on the podcast where I am talking and then I turn it into something. Or if I'm trying to write a sales page, I will actually record it rather than write it as my starting point. [00:22:26] Laura: Genius. That's one that I should have included just now. And I forgot about it is right. Like you talk. And if that's hard to do, actually talk and then write it down and that's exactly what you did it the exact right way, especially because you find yourself being more natural when you're speaking. And then also think about what would you, how would you say this to your friends? How would you say it to a best friend? So I call it the it's the BFF test. Like you can even say if you're writing an email and it's coming out with, here are two, four and forth with, you can write a draft, like actually put a friend's name in that top and. Say. Yeah. And here's what I, here's what I need to tell you. Or however, you would start it with them or real quick and write it out to that friend the way you would write it to that friend. And it will come out way more naturally with talking it out is a great way to do it. And I wanted to point out that you said I'm a total event, so , but that sounded so. And I think a lot of people would think what, this is a podcast. I can't say it like that, you know? And they'll say I am passionate about events and go to them whenever I have the chance, even when it takes me out of my comfort zone. And you know what shut up. Like that's just hate when people talk like that lacks into that kind of preachy, you know, what they think is authentic speak and it's not at all. Yeah. [00:23:55] Diane: I think it's just, like you said, we're so trained in it that you think people are going to be outraged, but you forget, like, if somebody is offended by me saying that. That person is probably never going to work with me that's a really good indication of what it's going to feel like to be on a call with me. But I will say like, if wants to stand beginning, this is so hard. I D I can't do this. I was exactly in that situation. It has taken so much for me to be able to relax those formal boundaries. And it is just, I guess, practice. I hate to say it, but it is practice [00:24:26] Laura: it's practice and it's permission. I mean, when I go back and look, if I, sometimes I think, oh, I was always good at writing like myself. And then I go back and look at my college papers and. Who knows. I don't think I ever even attempted to write like myself in them. It's there. My language is so overwrought and academic and. Dry. And I don't know, I feel so bad now for teachers and professors who have to Wade through that shit. And they do so well to say, right, please write this. Like you write it conversationally. I don't want your big words. Maybe that's their job to train us, to write with big words, but, and for, with formal construction. And it's good to know how to do that. But my writing was terrible. So overwritten and didn't sound at all, like a person . [00:25:17] Diane: That one thing that you said, like the extra word. That was almost like the first I managed to sound a bit more like me, but then every time, like a copywriter would look at my work, like, you know, to critique it or something that would just be like red lines through words. Like we need 17 adjectives for this particular scenario. So my kind of thing that I work on at the moment is how can I say this shorter? [00:25:42] Laura: Yes. That's not easy for most of us. I can't like, I tend to use a lot of words and I'm not super succinct at all. In fact, I would, if I were, I would have just said I'm not succinct. So I have to go through with the, you know, the delete button. And one trick I learned pretty recently is taking out the word VAT. So I just found out that I could cut out this. Versus I just found out I could cut out this word. You can take that fat from right. There are so many. If you go through your writing and look for the word bat, I think there are so many places where you can take it out and it shortens the sentence and does not compromise it at all. So any words that you can take out without compromising what you're saying, take them out, fire them, and it makes your writing. [00:26:36] Diane: And I think it also will probably stop you doing that super formal in-depth sentence. Like how can I, instead of using this 18 word sentence to convey something, if you're trying to say it in six words, you have to say it like you would say it in a conversation. No, one's listening to you and that 18 word sentence. [00:26:55] Laura: And you can tell that we're trained somehow our culture must think that more words equals more professional because whenever you're on with customer service, they will say over and over. Thank you very much. I definitely do apologize for the inconvenience instead of just saying, sorry about that. Just an indication that we. The more words, the more professional and it's not true. [00:27:20] Diane: We're taught that, right, because you're expected to write an X number of word. If that was always really frustrating to me, if I could get my point across in a hundred words, why do I need to find a thousand? And I think it just builds from there, right? And then you go into corporate and it's all about covering your ass and making sure that you've covered every single eventuality. And then your comments entrepreneur world. And everyone's like, I need you to say less. I need you to be more entertaining. I need you to do all of these things. Just be more, yeah. [00:27:47] Laura: Right. Just be more you, it really, it is a tough and mysterious assignment. So I'm glad we're unpacking what that. [00:27:56] Diane: Yes. So I always like to start with a shim testic Tim, little to for when I'm writing things for my website or headlines, what can people grab from you to start putting a bit more of them into their copy as their first foray into. Putting a bit more payments today, [00:28:12] Laura: business. Oh yeah. Well, so that talk that I mentioned five secrets to non sucky copy became my opt-in and that helps a lot that, so that is there on my and then so is, and this is really you like templatey stuff. My non sucky subject lines. Okay. That will help. So that gives you my 33 most open subject lines and for that tanked, and I'll tell you why or take a guess at why, and then I give you templates or frameworks to write your own. I'm not into formal subject lines. I think they're way less effective. So formal the ones that look like titles, the ones that scream newsletter, I think the art of a great subject line is obviously in making it curiosity, inducing, and compelling, but also making it look like it came from a. When we see something that looks like it came from a business, we ignore it. But if it looks like it came from a friend, we're more inclined to open it. So my structures will help you. [00:29:12] Diane: I do like that template one. I use it still as well. Oh, it's been so good. Okay. To finish up. I always have two questions that I ask all of them. The first one I think is going to be kind of tough for you. What is your number one lifestyle boundary for your business? [00:29:27] Laura: Well, then I think it's the one I mentioned before, which is w has to be after 1:00 PM. So I'm by nature, a late sleeper though, that changed a bit during COVID. Now I don't sleep as late. It used to be a miracle. Like I call, I would call it a miracle morning. If I got up before nine, I get up earlier. Now I usually get up before eight, but I still have a super long morning that I need all to myself. I need. Not to be looking at the time for the entire morning. I need to go out and do what I call my rounds. Like the first thing I do in the morning is I go out and I, if I'm here in New York city, I will go, like, I have this route that I walk up, like down to 23rd street and then back up university. And then. Down eighth street. And I ran the corner at Cinderella and go into Cinderella, which is a grocery store and I buy my watermelon chunks. And then I stop at my coffee shop. Oh, cafe and I get my iced coffee. And who knows, maybe I'll go into CVS and get something there. I just like, it all would be leisurely and that's about two miles. And then I come home and then I sit down and write my seven 50 word. At seven 50 That is what, that is one of my daily rituals. I make fun of other people's morning routines, but that, I would say if I have a morning routine that is mine like journaling, that's the, that's the one cliche part of my morning routine is writing seven 50 words. And then, you know, who knows what I'll do, I'll do something work-wise, but I need all that time to do my own thing. And not beyond anybody else's clock, if that makes sense, it just takes me a lot of hours to be able to get in gear with some. [00:31:20] Diane: Yeah, I love that your morning routine is as rigidly, relaxed as like your business approach. Right? I think it's a great kind of contrast to hear all the people being like, just be you, but get up at 5:00 AM to do it. Just be you, but make sure you work at 15 hours a day, just be you, but, work till you drop kind of thing. It's I think it's important for people to hear that. That's an effective morning routine because it works for you. [00:31:45] Laura: Yes, exactly. And so like, we're, we're going on a trip with friends this week and we've traveled with them before and I'm like, I do not want an itinerary. I just like. I need my, to my morning time, I need my time to go for my walks. I don't want to be having to get anywhere at any time. And then someone just sent out a spreadsheet with the itinerary. I was like, I thought we discussed just fucking against it already and stressing about it. I am rigidly relaxed. Yeah. Perfect description. Thank you. [00:32:20] Diane: Okay. Finally, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you've been given in your journey as an entrepreneur? [00:32:27] Laura: Oh I think it is what is probably the worst advice for me, because I was unable to do it is prove yourself, earn your cred, pay your dues, work your way up. I have never been good at that. I am a terrible assistant. You know, I think people I've seen a lot of people work their way up to top positions by starting off. Great at anticipating someone else's needs. I mean, if you've watched, like the devil wears Prada you have to be somebody who runs through the street with a, a tray of cappuccinos or when somebody says, where's, my you're like right here, you know, and who am I meeting? You know, so-and-so at one o'clock like, you know, their needs before they can even expect. That has never been me. I am a Decker under meaning. I like to duck under the ropes. I don't do lines very well. I don't do dues, paying it's worked out. Although sometimes have been very envious of people with a straight path but not. [00:33:30] Diane: I do think though, some people are trapped by their straight path because it's like, oh, you must do this amounts of one-to-one. And then when you get to capacity, then you can think about group. And then when you can teach a group, then you should have a course. And then when you have a course and you have the cons, then you can have a membership. And actually some people are just one to one people and they need to learn how to find capacity in the one-to-one. And some people are. Group people or membership people, and that's really where they should start. When I came into the entrepreneur space, I was like, these are the things that I miss do, but I love one-to-one. I'm so nosy that I need to be able to ask all of the questions. So I think that the straight line, while it works for some people, it's just a roadblock for some people. [00:34:13] Laura: Yeah. I remember meeting a friend's girlfriend. We went to dinner with another couple and the girlfriend came and she was 20 something working in Conde Nast and she like arrived with her, you know, her workout gear and her sneakers sticking out of her bag and her hair was wet. And she had just gone from her job to gym, like just spin class and then dinner, and then said no to the bread. And then she was telling us about herself and she's like, all I do in my job is move up and up and up. Like, I guess I'm probably going to be published publisher next or something. And I remember thinking I have never moved. Up and up and up, That has never been me. And I felt really behind when she was talking about it. And the end of the story is that she is now quit the corporate world and moved in with her mom. And is starting a career as a life coach. [00:35:04] Diane: Yeah, we always joke that when you start in corporates, you wish you were in all the meetings. Like, it's very glamorous to be in all the meetings. And then you get invited to the meetings and like, this is so exciting. I'm in all the meetings. And then you realize that 90% of those meetings should have been an email and then you can't get out so, and that's exactly what happened. The corporate is you've reached this point where you're like, not just the meetings, but everything feels like. Wait, hang on. This is not what I expected. Like I've climbed this Mary letter and then you bail, You just saw the light before the rest of [00:35:36] Laura: us. I remember this moment towards the end there, and this might've been part of what got me hosted was a meeting or. Called for, I was the writer on the project and the meeting was actually, it was literally a meeting about upcoming meetings. And and I, I said, why are we having this meeting? And I didn't realize till later, like, you don't say that, [00:36:03] Diane: I would have to have a meeting with my team to prepare for the meeting, with my boss, to prepare for the meeting, with his boss, to prepare for the meeting, with the front office, to prepare for the meeting, with the head of front office. And then people would be like, Diane, I don't know how you know these numbers so well. And you were like, well, if you had also presented them about 14 times already, you would also know them off by heart. Right? But again, not the thing that you mean to say, maybe that's also why my corporate career came into the screeching halt. [00:36:29] Laura: Exactly. Well, you know, Seth Godin, whenever he is asked, like, what are his too? I can maybe it's his rules for success. And he names two. Usually I think he says I don't watch TV and I don't do meetings. I never have meetings. I can only live with one of those, but I'm pretty I'm firmly with him. Yeah. [00:36:50] Diane: I mean, I could get behind the meetings, but you're not taking real Housewives away from me. Uh, This has been so fun it to chat with you and catch up with you and let people like really get to know you behind the business. Where is the best place for them to find you on social? Cause I know people will want to say hi and tell you they're amusing. I shouldn't have been in this meeting conversations. [00:37:13] Laura: Yeah, please. I'm on social. Please come find me at Instagram. I'm at talking shrimp NYC and then find me in my, my true digital home is talking and combine up, sign up for my emails. I'm not going to be the one to say it. Other people have said for me that they are a masterclass in copywriting and also a masterclass in being oneself in writing. [00:37:40] Diane: I think it will encourage people to see just how far they can go. I [00:37:44] Laura: think so too. Sometimes they go. [00:37:47] Diane: Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes they do, but they're always entertaining and always amusing. So I recommend them as well. Laura Belgray this has been amazing. Thank you so much. [00:38:00] Laura: Thank you so much, Diane. This was fantastic.

If your business ever feels a bit boring, formal, or suffocating, it probably just needs a giant shot of YOU. 

Laura Belgray walks you through how to be more you in your business without overthinking if you’re being authentic enough or forcing vulnerability.

Key Takeaway

Getting more specific beats “doing it for the ‘gram” when you want to invite your audience and prospects in.

We talk about

  • How the Real Housewives lead to the Talking Shrimp
  • Laura’s rigidly relaxed approach to business
  • How to dip your toe in the water of adding more you (no emotional skiing dipping required)
  • Easy tips to bring you out in your writing
  • Laura’s lifestyle boundary for her business
  • The worst cookie-cutter advice Laura’s been given

About Laura

Laura Belgray, founder of Talking Shrimp and co-creator of The Copy Cure, is a copywriting expert who helps entrepreneurs find the perfect words to express and sell what they do in a way that gets them paid to be themselves. Through her work with hundreds of clients (including online biggies like Marie Forleo and Amy Porterfield) she’s seen firsthand that putting “you” into your copy and all through your business is pure magic for getting people to love you up, share your ideas, and happily click your Buy button.

In addition to online types, Laura’s list of clients and credits include NBC, Bravo, HBO, TBS, Fandango, and many, many more. So if you watch TV — and don’t skip the commercials — you've probably seen her words on air.



This page may contain affiliate links. I earn a commission or reward on all qualified purchases made when you use these links. 


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.