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How to Propel Your Students to Take Action with Nicki Krawczyk

Is how and what you’re communicating getting through to your audience?

You’re crafting brilliant content, nurturing potential students, and providing value. How is your message landing? Is your audience connecting with you? 

An audience that clicks and listens is essential for generating revenue, and sometimes, as experts, we can get out of touch with the topics and language that ticks the boxes for our ideal students. 

How do you create genuine connections with your potential students?

In this episode, copywriting and marketing expert Nicki Krawczyk joins me to discuss what is encouraging audiences to listen, engage, and buy. There are simple practices that can bump your audience out of scroll mode and propel them to take action, including.  

  • Communicating with language that helps them feel seen and heard; 
  • Striking a balance between under- and over-sharing;
  • Understanding the two points you always need to highlight; and 
  • Finding the real reason your prospect does or doesn’t want to work with you.

In addition, you’ll learn the one thing that has to be right or it’s game over.


Gina Onativia: Nicki. Welcome to the Podcast so great to see you! 

Nicki Krawczyk:  Hey, Gina? Great to see you too. Thanks for having me. 

Gina Onativia: So as always we dive in here and we’re gonna start. We’re gonna talk about a lot of things today. But let’s talk about marketing and sales trends when it comes to courses. What are you seeing today that’s working?

Nicki Krawczyk: What am I seeing today that’s working? I think the things that I’m seeing today are the things that are always working. I think that authenticity is working. There’s so much there’s so much what I always say is, it’s really easy to look successful on Instagram. Right? The pretty pictures! Here I am at the beach. Here I am, and yes, that we do love seeing those pictures. But what we really want to see is what people are actually experiencing when people are actually frustrated. When people are actually celebrating, I think, more than anything else. It’s kind of funny. But what cuts through all of the stuff out there is people just being truly authentic and using their own personality in their in their ads. And I think that that’s something that everybody really needs to lean into is what makes them different, as not just a company, but as a person from all of their competitors.

Gina Onativia: Yeah, okay, I love that. So I was just on your Instagram this morning, and you have this funny real up where you’re like. Hey! I’m Nicky, you know if you know me already. Maybe skip this, especially if you were a college boyfriend right like just that humor. I was like, Okay, I gotta have this lady on. She’s so funny. What’s the balance of? Because you look beautiful, right? You still look polished, but there was a warmth to you right that I was like. Oh, I could instantly have a glass of wine with this woman. Where’s the line between polished and being authentic.

Nicki Krawczyk: You know, II think that I honestly think that that’s a personal choice for everyone, because for some people their vibe might not be polished, and I think we all know, too, that you can be super successful, and you can wear sweat pants every single day. It really comes down to the quality of what you’re actually saying to people. If you, if what you have to say is useful and it’s interesting and it’s compelling, you know. You can be doing that with your hair in a ponytail sitting on the back porch having a glass or a bottle, you know. So I think that really comes down to personal preference. 

Gina Onativia: And what about your audience, too? And knowing what your audience really wants to see right? So for some of you out there, it might not be great to have like that bottle of wine with you, right? So thinking through what their ideals are and what the values are. Right?

Nicki Krawczyk: Yeah, that is a good point. One of our students, who’s also a good friend of mine on one of our brands. Her audience is caregivers of people with dementia. So really, really important course, really, and obviously, maybe not, obviously. But her audience does not want her to be over the top. Funny, or, or, you know, absurd, or you know, they can certainly handle her drinking a glass of wine, because many of them, at the end of a very difficult day, are having a glass of wine. But I think that’s a really great point that you do have to. You have to understand who your audience is, but you also have to understand who your audience is to market to them in any capacity. What kind of information do they want from you? But what style of where on the spectrum of your personality

Are they gonna want you to be? You know. All of us, I think, can be serious sometimes, and all of us can be silly and goofy, and all that kind of thing, and your audience may be open to open to you in any of those capacities, or your audience may want you in not want you, but maybe more receptive to you in a narrower slice of that range, so that maybe you can be lighter, and you can be fun. But you can’t go into that. That would be silly or absurd part of your personality. So I think that really it’s all about getting to know your audience. 

Gina Onativia: Okay, I love this. I’m gonna go down a slight rabbit hole on this, because cause, I think you’re a good person to ask this I gotta ask. This was many years ago. When you’re going through something. So you bring up this this course about caregivers of dementia which I worked with somebody, too, who was putting together a caregiver course. How much do you show of the pain and the struggle before they get through it before they’re on the other side of it. And then there’s results. So I think there’s also this fine line. You’re walking as well, showing the authenticity of the pain without being a downer every day right and and like, I don’t know what’s your line on that Nicky.

Nicki Krawczyk:  I think a lot of it’s gonna come down to empathy, is not necessarily showing the pain, but showing that you empathize with the pain and that you understand what they’re going through and that, and there will be some days where you can understand. But maybe you can bring in like, Hey, here’s a little bit of perspective on this side, and maybe there are some days where you’re talking about something that’s a little bit more difficult, and it might get a little bit darker, so it’s it, balancing it all out, but doing it all with empathy but at the same time, too. And this is kind of the other side of that is that’s talking to your audience, or I should, you know, talking with your audience. But when it comes to the authenticity of sharing what’s going on with you. Nataile has some issues with her father that she shares openly. So, I’m not speaking out of term here that she shares, but she also does not share her entire life. Right? She might. And she also shares things after they happen. She’s not getting on in the middle of it, because our audiences are not our therapists. One of my big pet peeves, or I just I, not even pet peeve. I just find it so icky when people go on Instagram and post photos of themselves crying, you know the videos of themselves. I just had a really terrible day. It’s that just strikes me as so gross, you know, who is genuinely crying and things genuinely, feeling something right that that brings you to tears and goes. Oh, let me grab my camera and get a photo of this. Oh, that I don’t think is I. And I wish that trend would just die. If you are feeling something bad, feel something bad. That’s okay. We’re human. Don’t put it on Instagram. 

Gina Onativia: Don’t put it on camera. I 100% agree. And there might be some people who are like kinda wincing right now listening to us. But I think if you do that you’re getting, you’re after a different outcome. Your outcome is to not really mark it right or not, and I’m I don’t mean to make it sound slimy, but I think you know what I mean, like are they’re using social media as their therapist. Right? And that’s if you are a marketer, though you’re not doing that. Okay, so I think there’s a way to be authentic with our brands and represent who we are and like, I share stories on my podcast all the time. And but if I’m I agree with you, if I’m going through something, and I’m processing something I likely won’t share it.

Nicki Krawczyk: It all comes down to. What is your audience going to get out of it? What are they going to get out of you sitting there crying. Okay, maybe there’s a oh, oh, she has tough days, too. Okay, that’s that. Yeah. But you kinda know that. But if you talk to them after the fact, you get on yesterday and say, you know what I’m gonna be honest with you. I had a tough day for XYZ. Reasons. But here’s how I pulled myself out of it. And here’s if you’re having a tough day, too. Here’s how you can do the same. That’s useful to our audiences. Not the I’m gonna show myself mid-breakdown.

Gina Onativia: I 100% agree, because at the end of the day. What it? What benefits them right? What’s in it for them? And if I’m just emoting right, and I’m down in the dumps about something, then there’s nothing in it for them. But if I’ve gotten through it or I figured out, I figured out the solution, or I’m on my way to the solution. Then you can learn from it. So I love it. I love this. I know we had gotten a tangent here, but I think that’s important to recognize like, get the result, or at least figure out the solution on the other side. And you mentioned empathy spoken like a true copywriter, right? And are those some of the biggest mistakes that you’re seeing in terms of when we copyright for our courses? We don’t have a sense of that empathy or connection to our person. Like, I’m just curious about that. 

Nicki Krawczyk: Yeah, I think one of the biggest mistakes that business owners make especially course creators, group program creators. Even one-to-one service providers is that they assume they know what their target audience wants. And I think this happens a lot because a lot of us created courses based on what we needed or you know things that we II went through this and I learned it. Now I put together a course so that so that you don’t have to struggle the same way that I did, which is beautiful and wonderful and and fantastic. However we’re making a big assumption that our audience is thinking and talking the same way that we did when we were going through, we think, oh, well, I why, no, I well, I am my target audience. No, no, no, you’re not your target audience anymore. You used to be the way that you operate. The way that you operate now, and the way that you think now, and the way that you speak now is post-transformation. So don’t make the assumption that you know exactly what they’re thinking, needing, wanting all of that before the transformation. Because also you things change. Society changes the way we talk about things change the words that become popular change. And if you’re still operating from this idea of what you thought it was from before your transformation. You may not be connecting with your target audience at all. So you really need to, which, whenever I say, this, business owners are always like, oh, isn’t there any way around this? 

Gina Onativia:  Is there an easy way to do that Nicki? 

Nicki Krawczyk:  What if I didn’t? You guys just keep it now. You have to get on the phone or on Zoom, you know, with your audience, The people who have purchased. Yes. And the people who have not yet had an opportunity to purchase. You need to get it. You can’t send a survey. I know that everyone survey. Nope, you can’t send a survey, cause you’re not gonna get the real answers. And you’re also gonna get only the small subset of your group. That’s like, Oh, sure, I’ve got 2 min to do a survey. You have to get on the phone with people, cause you have to hear the words that they’re using, because when you use those words in your marketing. Then that that shows them that you understand them, that you care about where they are. 

Gina Onativia: Yeah, that’s so great. And my experience, it’s easier to get on those who have purchased obviously right to get them on the horn because they love you, they feel the transformation. What’s your best way to get on those? Because I do think it’s very important to get on those who didn’t buy to cover to get it usually right. Do you have any secrets to get those folks on the phone? 

Nicki Krawczyk: You need to bribe them. You need to find something you need to incentivize them to get them a call. Truly it’s this gets back to what’s in it for them. Right? If you say, Hey, audience, I’d love to get on a call with you for 20 min. You’re asking for 20 min of their time. So what valuable thing are you giving them in return? You know some of our students our course Creator students. They will offer coaching calls. They will offer some discounts on programs that can work. I don’t tend to like that as much cause. Then it’s like you still have to pay me in order to get. But sometimes they’ll do giveaways of some of their smaller programs. But anything you know that audience wants give it to them because it’s and you don’t need to talk to tons of people. I usually say between 5 and 10 in each of those groups, cause you’re gonna you’ll start to get hear the patterns, and you’ll start to to notice when people are saying the same things. But you have to give them something that they want in order for you to get something valuable that you want. 

Gina Onativia: Yeah, I agree with you that. Because they haven’t bought from you right? They didn’t want to put the money down for some reason. So I do love this coaching call or strategy session and showing them the value that you can add. And I agree with you about getting on. The phone

Gina Onativia: The surveys are good for some things, but for this just digging down and really knowing why, maybe like the messaging didn’t speak to them. They didn’t think it was for them. They didn’t think it was going to work for them. Right? So how often does that ring true for you? Yeah, absolutely. Well, and you know what people only give a surface-level answer when you add when you fit, when they fill out a survey. Most people only give us surface level. And even when you first started to start talking to someone, it’ll be that surface level. The example I always give is like, if you send out a survey, or maybe within the first couple of minutes, let’s say you’re a weight loss coach, right? Or something like that. And you say, Oh, you know, why? Why are you interested in in losing weight?

Everybody is gonna answer something along the lines of like, well, it just seemed like it was really time to focus on my health and focus on me like. okay, but that’s not. That’s not. It’s not a real reason. But as you get to talk to them through this conversation, okay, absolutely. And is there any particular reason why? Why now? And why? Why is that important? Hum, I understand. Okay, great. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? Can you give me the more that you talk to someone, and the more that they get comfortable with you. And the more that that 2 of you just develop that report you’re gonna get downto the real answer, which is usually gonna be several layers down. You’re gonna get down to the real answer. And you’re gonna get an answer. That’s something along the lines of well, my high school reunion is in 3 months, and my ex-husband is bringing his new wife, and if she looks better than I do, I will lose my mind. And that’s the real answer. That’s the kind of thing that people actually take out their credit cards, for. People don’t take up their credit cards to buy. Because I just you know, I’ve been thinking it’s probably a time to get healthy. No, you get your credit card because you wanna look better than your ex-husband’s new wife in 3 months at the High school reunion. That is what you’re willing to pay for. Get that answer to talk with people 

Gina Onativia:  That is so good. I call that the OS moment where people realize. And I don’t think we think about this enough, Nicki, too, because people like. Oh, I get people like we’re talking about weight loss. Right? I get the overachievers who want to lose that last 17 pounds, and it’s kind of nagging, and they don’t really have time. Okay. But what’s the moment? Right? And like that reunion is such a great moment. Right? It’s fleeting. But it’s still I don’t care. They’ll buy my $197 starter course for weight loss, right? Because of that. And we need that moment. That’s what fuels our marketing. Right? That’s what fuels, what people really? Why, they really want to buy.

Nicki Krawczyk: And then then building your whole, your whole marketing system based on what they want. You really build it based on 2 things, you base it, you build it based on what they say they want, which is, Oh, you know, I wanna lose weight. And I wanna lose. And obviously, weight loss is just one example of hundreds of thousands of things that course creators use, but it is an easy one to go to. But you know we sell them on. Yes, on what they say they want, which is, oh, I want I want weight loss, but without calorie counting and without. Okay, yes. But you also need to be selling them on that deeper transformation that feeling of maybe not these exact words, but looking better than your ex’s-new wife. But you know that feeling of excitement being able to fit into the jeans that you saved from 10 years ago. And you’re like, I love these jeans. I can’t let them go. That feeling of when you finally can get back into them the feeling of walking into a restaurant or a bar, even if it’s just to meet up with your friends, or feeling so good. That experience is also that transformation. We sell them on the surface level, certainly, but we also have to sell them on the transformation cause that transformation is the emotion. And that’s what really gets people to purchase. 

Gina Onativia: Oh, I love that I love that. Can you give me give? I love this line. Okay, can you give me another example of this, like, where maybe a surface level gives me another student or something surface level was this? But then you dug. And the deeper transformation was this?

Nicki Krawczyk:  Umhm? Exactly. Let me think. Just a little bit, because I don’t wanna give away any of our speak out of one of our students. 

Gina Onativia:  While you’re thinking, I have a friend, Megan, she’s a copywriter. I’ve had her on the podcast. Before she’s a genius. And she’s always saying so that you can. So like, that’s how to to dig deeper into the transformation and cause

Nicki Krawczyk: I was just gonna say, that’s a great way to get to the benefit. Right? You. You do this so that you can. But as you’re getting to that deeper transformation, you have to keep asking so, especially if you’re you’re talking within while we’ll come back to an example in a second. But if you’re talking with your target audience, on a call, cause we’re all gonna do calls now, right? Everybody. Yes, we’re committed to doing calls, Nicki and Gina, let’s do it. You get the saw that and the saw that is that First level of benefit. But you still need to ask, okay, great. And why is that important to you? Okay, interesting, interesting. Thank you. And can you give me more details? Okay? And why is that interesting for you? It’s going to take a couple of levels down. To give that top one is the benefit right? It will take a couple of levels down to get to that deep benefit to get to that, that emotional transformation. But actually. So here’s an example. We have. Our company has 3 brands of has 3 different brands, and the first brand that I built a very long time ago now, but is a course to become a professional copywriters. My background is in copywriting and copywriter for more than 20 years. So that was the first one that we built and we have. We passed the 10,000 students mark earlier this year. But you know it’s a at a high level. It’s oh, here’s you can learn a career in copyright writing, and make good money as a writer, and quite frankly, very good money. We have plenty of students that are earning, you know, 6 figures. Which is like this great? Oh, I can. I can make a great living and then have freedom as a copyright, which is wonderful. But as you dig down. Some of the emotions that we discover is that a lot of our students are people who’ve always loved to write. But also we’re always told that you can’t make any money as and it has, it has stymied them. It has heard them, you know. They had this dream as a child, and as soon as the dream was brought to light. Everyone’s going well, that’s great. But what are you gonna do for your real career? And so giving them this opportunity to use these skills that they love, and this passion that they have to, not just not just make money, but have an impact on their clients and to be able to tell people, oh, what do you do for a living? I’m a writer, is a major, a major transformation for them. It is such an exciting experience. And that’s kind of the balance of the 2 right, the surface level benefit, the copywriting career. You can make an excellent income, and you can, if you want to freelance, you can have a lot of freedom. But then there’s this also deeper emotional. Guess what the child and you have exactly the dream that you could be a writer. You can be a writer, and you can support your family, maybe even better than you ever have in any other career.

Gina Onativia: That’s amazing. Okay. So I think the lesson here is we need to dig. And we’re, I’m working on a sales page right now. It’s so funny like, I just, I was reading some copy before I hopped on something like, Okay, I need to dig. I’ve skimmed the surface on that dim, deeper transformation. And I need to dig a little bit. And I need to tell, you know, so it’s that. So what right? So what? So I need to dig a little bit further. And I think we all need to do that in terms of our sales, pages or emails. And before you create, like you mentioned a marketing build, your marketing system. Do you do a creative brief before you create like, say, you have a campaign or you’re gonna launch like, how do you start?

Nicki Krawczyk: Yeah, exactly. The I think one of the first things that gets people tripped up when they’re doing writing for themselves, or even when they’re hiring a copyright, although quite frankly, a good copywriter should help you do this if you hire one. Yeah. But a lot of business owners, I think. First of all, a lot of business owners leave their messaging till the end. Oh, I don’t want to do it. When it’s the most important thing in your business. Your messaging is. But I think another thing that the business owners tend to use, they tend to go. Oh, I have, for example, I have to write, and I’m not saying this is what you do, but a lot of business owners do oh, I have to write a sales page. So they go open up a word, Doc, or Google, Doc, and go. Okay, now write a sales page. You can’t. If you don’t know what you’re going to write. If you don’t have a strategy for it, then you can’t. You’re just gonna it’s like wandering into the woods or getting in your car and driving. If you don’t know that your destination is Los Angeles, and you just get in your car and drive you. You’ll never get there, or you’ll end up someplace way. You’ll end up in Canada. Which is great. But if you didn’t want to go to Canada. It’s not as great. Yeah, you have to have before you sit down to write at all. You have to come up with the tenets of what this? What’s the purpose of this? What are you trying to get people to do? Who are you talking to? What are the benefits for the benefits for them of doing what they want, doing what you want them to do? And then breaking. And obviously, there’s some more pieces to that. But once you have your creative brief, then also going through and creating an outline and saying, Okay, I think we want this is this is the main benefit. So I think we maybe wanna start with that section and then, okay. Well, then, I think it’d be good to get into, maybe who I am and why that makes it. Plan it all out before you sit down. And this is not just for not just for big projects like sales pages or landing pages or things like that. But even when even when you are writing an email, you know so many of us like, oh, I have to send an email. I haven’t sent down an email a couple of weeks. Hey, guys, this crazy thing happened yesterday. You know, whatever, plan it through. What is the purpose of this? Why are you sending out this email? What do you want people to do? And what do you want them to to think of you or your offer, or whatever, after they’ve read the email?

Gina Onativia: Yeah, that’s so great. I was just talking to a client yesterday and their newsletter. They have a newsletter, and they’re like we start. Cause II said, oh, you have a hook right here like there’s cause they’re going through a course right now, I’m like, there’s this great story this woman shared today. Which is a lesson in why the small things ended up. Here’s the lesson right. Here’s the hook. Here’s a lesson like that’s great. We’ve been like picking topics and then trying to get and then getting stuck right about, and I was like, no think about the hook and the lesson that goes with it the benefit, and then write to that, and then it’ll just flow versus like, I need to write about this.

Nicki Krawczyk: Yes, exactly. Well, that’s another mistake that we make is that business owners tend to write about what we want to write about, instead of what our audience wants or needs to hear, and what our audience is going to be interested in. There’s so many speaking of hooks, and I’m sure you see the same thing. So many subject lines that come through that you’re like. I see you just had no idea what to write, what to write here. So you wrote anything, you know, like I had this thought yesterday. Ellipses. I don’t care. I don’t care. You have to. If you’re making. If you’re creating a hook it has to be, it has to be. Yes, you can. You can have it driven by curiosity, but you can’t take out all the details, because then nobody cares at all, and it also has to be something that is genuinely interesting to your target audience. If you look. Write out a bunch of different subject lines, cause they’re so important, take a step away and then come back. And if any of. If none of them would make you go. Oh, tell me more truly, genuinely, not just like I don’t wanna write anymore. So like maybe that one would do it. No, it has to be something that if you got, or if you know your target audience, if they got it, they’d be like, oh, I need to hear more then. It’s not good enough because a subject line a hook carries everything. If someone doesn’t open. If someone is not interested in your subject line doesn’t matter. It’s in the rest of the email, because they’re going to delete it. And same thing with the hook, you know, if you are, if you’ve written A, if you are writing a post for social media and your first line, what should be your hook is not actually hooked. It’s not actually catching their attention. The rest of it doesn’t matter, cause nobody’s gonna read it. 

Gina Onativia: I love it. I love it, Nicki. We could talk all day about copywriting and magic marketing systems. Tell us where we can learn more about you and just follow up with you and your content.

Nicki Krawczyk: Yeah, absolutely. So, for course creators, group program creators. Even one-to-one people. Providers. If you are interested in learning about how to sell your program on autopilot launching can be great. But launching can also be incredibly stressful and unpredictable. So several years ago I created a program to sell that copywriting program on autopilot. It’s made us a multi-seven figure per year business thankfully. And I now teach that system to other course, creators and program creators. If you’re interested in kind of learning how that works you can go to You can follow us on circuit sales system, on Instagram. And you know Facebook, if you’re still there, and if you want to as well, you can follow me at “Nicki.Krawczyk” 

Gina, you’re gonna have to put that one in the show notes.

Gina Onativia: Well, thanks so much, Nicki, for bringing the humor and bringing some brilliant ideas today.

Nicki Krawczyk: Oh, thank you, Gina, this is so much fun.