Today I’m here to talk with Samantha Pollack of Cult of Personality to talk about feminist copywriting.

“That’s a real thing?”

Yep. In this episode, Sam will share with us how she helps feminist businesses owners to align their marketing efforts with their values. No one likes feeling like they’re just another number on an email list – and that’s exactly what Samantha helps to tackle – she helps businesses treat their readers like HUMANS. 

If you’re struggling with your email marketing or you want to learn how to create relatable effective email copy, then this episode is for you.

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Hello, fam, I am so excited to have you here on the social slowdown podcast. And I’m so excited that we get to talk about ethical marketing and how to set boundaries and protect your own mental health when it comes to entrepreneurship. So thank you so much for being here today.

Samantha Pollack 1:06
Yeah, I’m super happy to be here.

Meg Casebolt 1:08
I am really excited because I think you and I align in our values a lot in terms of trying to figure out what works for your business and your personality and, and making sure that you’re not just following these kinds of formulaic rules of what you’re supposed to be doing. And one of the things that I love about what you do is you really focus on copywriting in a way that feels really respectful. So how did you come to that when it comes to your approach to copywriting?

Samantha Pollack 1:36
Yeah, um, well, ever since I started writing professionally, like the first kind of like trainings and workshops, and everything that I was learning about, like, quote, unquote, how to write copy, really always felt gross to me. And I really didn’t start speaking out about that for a couple years, you know, because like, those are the experts. And that’s how you do it. And I was just like a wide eyed ingenue. Like, you know, learning and keeping quiet and I’m highly sensitive. So that’s a, I take my time to observe, get the lay of the land before I start pushing any buttons or trying to stir belly. Yeah, before I start fucking shit up. Like, watching, I’m watching. Um, so yeah, I mean, I didn’t know I say that I write copy within a feminist framework. But I used to just kind of vaguely say, like, let’s treat people like human beings. And let’s not blow up their inboxes with a million emails a day. And let’s not shout at them in our email copy. And, like, let’s not there was this, there’s this trend. I’m a little like, I have so many different like things that I have to say about this. But the things that I noticed, this is just a little thing is that several years ago, this trend started happening in email marketing, where the tone and the voice got really like snarky. I don’t know if you, like saw this or not, or if it was just like, who I was looking at, but there’s like a snappy tone. Like someone figured out that quote, unquote edginess was okay. And then everybody started like swearing in their copy and like, being more like sarcastic and sort of brittle. And like, I think it was meant to be like, funny and pushing the boundaries. But it’s kind of just like, mean and shitty a lot. Read, just like, then if everybody’s doing it, then that’s not edgy anymore. You know. And it’s like, if you’re just speaking to people in a way that is like super cocksure and swagger free. I don’t know. It’s just bad writing, basically, like, the first thing that stood out to me is that the writing was really bad to read. And I’m a storyteller at heart. I like to say I’m a writers writer, like I, I come to copywriting, because I love writing, not necessarily because I love selling. And I think that’s a big difference in your, like, fundamental motivation for why you do something. So I, long story short, came to the spring, like, things evolve, you know, synchronicity, et cetera, et cetera. I was always sort of more grounded. And like, I don’t want to do it this way. But I didn’t really have the language for like, I am doing it this way. Like, I have my own framework. So when you hire me, this is how we’re doing it. I didn’t really have the tools to like, push back on what clients were expecting. And the like, PLF formulas that they were like, we’re doing this and I was always like, man, do we have to like that? It’s so much content. And from from the consumer side. It’s so much but from the creation side, it’s like cruel, like it’s,

Meg Casebolt 4:48
yeah, so for people who don’t know PLF is the Product Launch Formula for Jeff Walker, which is a three part video series and then a seven email sequence after it right and it’s like it’s a very formulaic “This is how we do it.” This is actually exactly what we send on every day of this email sequence. And it gets like more and more aggressive and pushy as it goes on. Yeah. And maybe I’m using my my words here, but it’s like, right. And you can soften it and you can pull it back. But the templates that are given to you in this formula are very much like, if you don’t find that now, you’re missing out and very, like, aggressive in there and assertive in a way that doesn’t align with your kind of feminist principles that you now are talking about. So I just wanted to get some context of what that is. Yes, thank you.

Samantha Pollack 5:34
And if you I will say, if you’ve ever been on a launch cycle of B School, Marie Forleo. School, you have been at the receiving end of a PLF formula. She she I don’t know if she still does, but she used to follow it pretty much exactly. And that’s a great example of someone who is not a man, who is using a approach to marketing that I would say is not grounded in true, like feminist principles or ethical principles, they really are kind of the same. That’s a linguistics issue that we could talk about on another podcast. But yeah, like you, I’m starting my spin off linguistics podcasts. I actually want to be like, let’s talk semantics. I don’t like that word. That sounds too much like my name. It’s true semantics, Amanda like not? What Oh, no.

Meg Casebolt 6:29
So tell me about the feminist/ethical principles that you’re following now that, you know, the alternatives to them felt icky, but you didn’t have the the framework or the terminology when you were starting to be like, here’s what I do. You just knew the other stuff didn’t feel right.

Samantha Pollack 6:45
Right, to really advocate for myself the way I like to work. So yeah, it’s, um, it sounds very common sense and almost like, not that earth shattering when you put it this way. But it’s basically just literally treating people with respect and autonomy. So if I were to boil down what a feminist framework looks like for marketing, for copywriting. It’s rooted in informed consent, and every step of the way. So like, if I only had two words to describe it, that those are the two words that I would use. But the way that that plays out is in little tangible things like this, this ever since the data rules change in the EU, like, this is not so much done anymore. But like when you have a lead magnet, and that’s how people get on your email list, but you’re not telling them that by signing up for your lead magnet, they’re going to be on your email list, and then you’re going to start marketing the hell out of them. That’s not consent. They’re not, they’re not informed about what they’re actually consenting to, when they download that lead magnet, even if it’s a great like product that you’re giving away for free, the language around, getting them to opt in for that used to be a little more shady, like the idea was to not tell them that you were going to be like bombing their inbox after that, because people wouldn’t really consent to that. If they knew maybe they wouldn’t, maybe they wouldn’t. But if you’re not giving them the choice, then you’re overriding their consent, then there are other more. That’s just an example. Then there are other more subtle things. So there’s a lot of copywriters that were really into neuro linguistic programming, and probably still are, I just don’t like talk to them anymore. But Neuro Linguistic Programming is a psychological language tool that that originated in, like therapy. And if you’re familiar with any of the Nexium documentaries, it’s also quite popular with that. I know, I know, you love your called documentary. It’s the overlap, man, it’s overlap. So somebody figured out so it’s normally like a therapeutic setting. I don’t know that it’s super ethical there, but at least a therapy like consenting to be treated by somebody who’s going to use this. I don’t know what the good version of it is the therapeutic use of it. I don’t want to like pretend like I do. But the way that it’s been used in copywriting is that there are linguistic cues that you can use, that basically override somebody’s ability to make a calm, like, rational decision. And you use these like linguistic tricks to basically convince them to buy quickly and like without, without really thinking it through, basically taking away their ability to make an informed decision. So that’s another big thing. And then there are other things like traditional copywriting really focuses on pain points. Like it starts with pain points, it hits the pain points harder, really like twist the knife on those heard the word digitate use is like you really are getting in there and poking at the things that bother people before you get to like thing else. I mean, that’s like a shitty thing to do. I think just a general doesn’t sound very nice. You know, it doesn’t sound like someone would feel very good after reading a sales page. Basically it was rooted in pain points, but there’s another way to connect with people, and it starts with shared values. So for like an ideal, like, you can thrive in your business without using social media, that could be like not, I would write it maybe better than that. But that could be like the header of a sales page. If you were like teaching how to market without using social media, for example, you could just start by being like, this is possible, or this is what it should be, right? Let’s

Meg Casebolt 10:26
share the dream instead of always going like, Wow, it really sucks that you’re spending so much time online and you’re not making him clients, you can just be like, Hey, you don’t need to do that. We’ve already you know what I’m gonna say here. Maybe I need to go through my sales pages. And you can definitely speak to like, what’s getting in the way of that and like, what, what the frustrations are. And you’re, you’re showing empathy by doing those things, but you’re not introducing any shame into the equation. You’re not making the customer the problem, you are not making your offer the like, authority expert, revered figure that has all the knowledge that you must pay to be in my presence. And like, yes, you must pay to get access to my work that I’ve worked really hard on. But there’s another element of marketing where it’s like the hierarchy. And there’s a bunch of other stuff like rags to riches stories, I mean, could go on and on, or false income claims? Totally. Yeah. And like, that’s not to say that any one of those things is like a bad thing you should never do period in a vacuum. Of course, there’s nuance to everything. Like we’ve recently had a lot of discussions about countdown timers, and like 997 pricing like those are charm charm pricing. Yeah, like those are like, Yeah, but there’s worse things. Like, you know, like, there’s a lot worse things like a punitive payment plan is a lot more predatory than pricing something at $999 instead of $1,000. Yeah, it’s kind of like the paper paper straws situation where it’s like, yeah, I mean, paper straws, or you know, plastic straws get thrown out. But also there are people who need them. And in the greater scheme of things like climate change is not going to be fixed by paper straws. Same idea here of like, you know, this isn’t changing pricing from 997 to 1000, is not going to change all the unethical things that are happening in the marketplace, we really need to have a more holistic conversation about it not just trying to identify specific little things along the way. Yeah. And I mean, if you really want to go there, what’s really going to do? What’s really going to change it is for all of our expectations to change around what conversion percentages are, should we be expecting? What income revenue each month, should we be expecting all these things, you can’t change how we do things without changing the outcome of it. So I have a theory that are like, internalized goals of what success looks like, are really wack, right, because we’ve heard all these rags to riches stories of people going, I left my job. And within, you know, six months, I was making $200,000 a year. And it’s certainly possible, but it’s not common. And it’s not, you know, those people were probably already starting at a very high level of income and had a very large network and they had some money to fall back on, or they were married to somebody with a stable income, and they don’t share the privileges that go along with the claims. Because that makes it less sexy, that makes it less desirable, it makes their successes seem less important or valuable, or achievable by somebody who doesn’t have those privileges, and those experiences and those connections that that person has, and the money to spend on the Facebook ads for them to interrupt your scroll anyway, and tell you about those rags to riches stories, they don’t have that platform or that budget line item. So you can’t replicate their success, but they’re positioning it as if it is normal, as opposed to positioning themselves as an outlier of the situation, which is dangerous. Yeah, for sure. And I also would say that like the biggest argument against changing your marketing methods to a more ethical framework, more feminist framework is that they won’t work as well. They won’t convert as well. And sometimes I think, I think in my head, I think yeah, probably not.

Samantha Pollack 14:27
Like, maybe they won’t, but then I also think like my email open rates are like, way above it above like, quote unquote, industry average and I have a really tiny little list but like, I don’t plan on my open rates really going down significantly as I grow my email list because I have actual human beings on my mailing list who actually joined because they want my emails and so is it going to take longer for me to get 500 subscribers? 1000 subscribers? Yeah, I don’t even know how much longer however, if I’m basing it on the current, you know, sort of Average expectations where people say like, oh, well, you can expect like a, you know, 20% open rate and then a 1% conversion rate from that. And so that means that you need X amount of people on your email list in order to make your, your financial goals based on those percentages, I kind of think, when you are marketing in an honest and transparent way, yes, the total quantity of people you’re engaging with might not be as high, but I gotta say, but the engagement would go up. So like, maybe the 1% conversion rate is too low. Maybe that’s based on the fact that you’re marketing to a shit ton of people who don’t actually want to be marketed to. So that’s why only 1% of them are converting, but maybe if they had already been informed of what they were agreeing to and signing up for from the get, they might be more open to your offers, they might already know that you have offers like, it’s a whole, like cycle, everything. It’s a ripple effect. That’s what I’m trying to say. And so I think when people you can’t fix one point and be like, these are the numbers that we need. Therefore, if you want to change how we market that we still have to hit these numbers, and that and that means that your way doesn’t work. Like to me, I’m like, No, the whole thing, we need to throw out the whole thing, right. And I think you’re so right. It’s like what I think Seth Godin calls it the minimum viable audience, which is like, you don’t need to have 1000 10,000 100,000 people on your email list to make one sale, you need a minimum number of people that some of them shouldn’t buy from you. And some of them will talk about you to others and share the information. And I think you’re also totally on point that like the 20% industry, open rate is going to be that low, because people are getting bombarded with too many emails that don’t have any value to them. I have specific people flagged in my inbox that I know their emails are awesome. And I either like know that I’m going to open them, or I have a filter set up to a specific place that I go through those emails at, you know, when I have time to actually sit down and read them, they’re not interrupting me, they are value to me that I will go out of my way to find and read. But if people are sending me three emails a day that just say like carts closing now, you got to join now you’re gonna miss out like that is not value that is scarcity. That is pressure. And I’m not going to open 20 emails a week from that person, I’m going to open one email from someone that I trust, who has shown me that I’m going to get something out of it. So you’re going to have a higher open rate from those people, even if you have a smaller audience here. And potentially, depending on how all the numbers play out, you could be making the same amount of money from, you know, a 500 person list or somebody from a 50,000 person list. Because you have higher open rates, higher click through rates, higher conversion rates, it’s not always more is better. And then when you have that situation that you’re referencing, that means you have to you don’t have to create a fuck ton of content. Because you’re when you have those big numbers, this 500,000 person list and the, you know, 20% open rate and whatever thing I’m not a mathematician, that means that you have to, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because I am a service provider. And I have been very burned out by many, many launch cycles in my career. And it’s very, it’s almost like exploitive to your service providers to your creative staff. Because that is so much content to create. And I think that if you have not personally written that many emails, and you just have somebody that you pay to do that for you. Like, it is so much work, it is so taxing, it is so stressful. Especially, I mean, maybe not for everybody, maybe if you’re like a just a there. I don’t know, I can’t speak for every copywriter in the world. I know there are plenty of like fast copywriters who get conversions and stuff. But I don’t think their writing is that good. But I guess they’re getting results. I don’t know, I’m just saying, I think

Meg Casebolt 18:56
if you have to be fast, then you have to use a formula and maybe have a template. And while the template can be high converting, it also probably sounds the same every time you’re launching it because you don’t have the time and the capacity to think through every launch differently. And it’s okay to reuse things. It’s okay to optimize things. But also I think that you’re totally right. And as the people who are leading the launches, sometimes it can be hard to remember that other people have lives too. And they have a creative capacity. That is that does have a finite amount of resources behind it. And I mean, I definitely am aware that I have like copyright or special snowflake syndrome where I’m like, my job is the hardest out of everyone. But like I kind of think it is sometimes like I have been involved with like launches where there’s a team and there’s a bunch of people and they’re all doing different stuff. And I can tell anyone who wants to know the copy is not the make or break factor in whether your launch is successful. Whether your nurture emails are doing what you want them to do. There’s so many other things. Like it’s just one piece. If the copy is bad, it’s definitely going to fail. But if like the copies great and your ads are bad, then it’s still gonna fail. So anyway, I don’t want to take, I don’t want to take a sports metaphor too far. But the way you just said that makes me think like the copywriter is sort of the pitcher of the team. You know, if they’re not throwing it over home plate, the no amount of defense is going to make it work. But also, like the other team members have to defend the ball, like the copywriter can throw a no hitter, and then somebody can let it ride through, you know, like, it has to be a team work thing. But I think a lot of it really does start from copy. A lot of it really does start from what are the ways that we are going to engage people, convince people and grow rich people? And if you don’t, you know, if the emails go out at the wrong times, it’s still good, yeah, be it. Or if the Facebook ads are targeted incorrectly, but it’s still good copy, there are ways your team can let you down. But if you’re, if you’re throwing all balls, then it’s not gonna no matter what the team does. I will say I have actually a tangible non sports metaphor for you. That would probably be an actual email marketing example.

Samantha Pollack 21:12
I have, one of the things I have a really hard time convincing certain clients of is the importance of nurturing. Because nurturing doesn’t really have an ROI, or financial ROI, or does but it’s, it’s a tangible, it’s not trackable. Yeah, I call it a lagging indicator in the biz. Because, you know, I’m all about the bids, terminology. Obviously, I can tell that. So, like, you can have amazing copy. But if you are not nurturing your list, and you are not segmenting your list properly, you a don’t know who’s opening your emails, what they want, compared to the people who are not opening your emails, why they’re not opening them. You if you aren’t tracking things, like who’s been engaging with this offer, who engaged with it and didn’t buy it? What’s their you’re not talking to them? And then be like, Why didn’t you buy it? You know, or if you like, check in with your list, and you’re like, Hey, am I talking about the shit you want me to talk about? If not, what do you want me to talk about. And if you’re creating more and more opportunities for them to feel like you actually care about them, you’re listening to them. And then you’re responding to what they’re saying. Like, even if you have a super valuable offer, and you think the most valuable thing you can possibly do for these people is like get them in your program, that’s great. But there still has to be more like you still have to give even more than that, even if you like worked really hard on the thing that you’re offering. And like you feel like you’ve poured your heart and soul into it. And all these things like you still, marketing isn’t about taking, like it’s about giving, I think, is that’s what it should be. And so especially when it comes to your email list, like those people gave you access to their inbox, that’s a really big deal. And I don’t think that we are treating it as a big deal. I think that we’re treating it as a taken for granted, just, you know, throwaway thing. And we’re not really taking it seriously and honoring what a what an act of trust and faith that is. And maybe I’m overthinking it, because I am an over thinker. But maybe people throw their email addresses around willy nilly, and then maybe I’m wrong, but

Meg Casebolt 23:23
are they like me, they have multiple email addresses that they use, because they know that there are going to be those people who take advantage of that responsibility to provide value where, you know, you sign up for something in a bundle or in a summit and you’re like, oh, i There were 20 people in the summit, and two of them will not stop emailing me and I want to be able to filter them out, you know, and, and protect the space that I have, and protect the time and the energy that I’m putting into the management of that inbox so that the things that are valuable are still things that I can find in the midst of all the white noise.

Samantha Pollack 23:56
Yes. Yeah. And I mean, I think to entrepreneurs think like entrepreneurs, they think about people’s inboxes like they think about their own inbox. And like real talk, like people who don’t have their own businesses, they have a real different relationship with their email. I just, I guess my anecdotal observation, but like my friends who are just I would say, just like normal people that like don’t have to do what we do with with the kinds of like networking and the culture of entrepreneurial on social media. And like, how we, like everyone is like so into email marketing, that like I have no idea what it’s like to just like, have an email address. That’s just not I mean, everyone gets marketed to, you know, like, I’m, I’m glad that I’m gonna get 30% off my girlfriend leggings in a couple of weeks, but like, I was just, I remember actually having time to open those sales emails from Taylor love. So working a full time job I was born at so that was it’s also a time and resources piece that goes into play here. But my inbox is like updates from the New York Times sailed on leggings and raus and like, emails from my therapist. She emails me a lot. I think that’s a really like solid dark time. Therapy. Yeah, that’s all you need. And I delete I still always like discount food. Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, my cat, my my set and save cat litter. And I seriously, I go in there and there’s 20 new emails, I delete them all without reading them. I don’t even like look at them. And so then my business inboxes just, I don’t know, I don’t have like a ton of emails. I don’t have like a stressful relationship with my inbox as much as other people do. But I also set a lot of boundaries around that for myself. So what are your boundaries? So I want to hear how you how you keep it from taking over your life. Whoo, well, sometimes successful in others, I will be honest about that. I am now just coming off of a several week period of like, intense burnout. Like, I will fully disclose to your audience that I was in like a hoodie earlier and I texted you and was like, are we on video for this? Have my comfy pants on underneath this pretty sweater? The business mullet of like party on top and or no business on top and party on the bottom? 100% I mean, this is this business with my pink hair and my my sweater. That’s that’s been my purple hair. That’s fine. Yeah, it’s working. So um, yeah, boundaries, sometimes better than others. I think that it’s really important whenever we start talking about this, and I will answer your question. But it’s really important just to point out that like, nobody has this figured out. Nobody knows what they’re doing. Nobody has the answers. I am literally running a program for highly sensitive business owners right now. And I’m not act I’m like, emphatically telling them every week, like I’m not your teacher. Why? Why are you here? I don’t know, we’re gonna figure it out. I’m not here to be like I have I have figured out the mystery of this. And here is the answer. And if you just follow these simple steps, then your life’s gonna be great. Like, that’s just not a thing. I really, it’s not a thing in any program. It’s like, it’s what human brains want. And it’s what we’ve been conditioned to believe we are going to get because we went to school for so long. But as adults, like the answers will not be given to us from high, they will come from our own self evaluation. And I mean, you teach SEO, surely you have like standardized things that you tell everyone or I could teach someone a copywriting framework that you could plug in and use like a guide to write a homepage or sales page or emails or whatever. But like in terms of like how to live your life, it’s just it’s too individual. So anyway, boundaries. Here are here are a few of mine. The biggest one that I have, that I’m really adamant about sticking to is that a weeks and B weeks. So I am a person who gets very drained by having a lot of zoom meetings, especially but just like phone calls communication, Slack messaging, like I just get communication fatigue, like very quickly, very easily. I get really I can tell because I feel like I look at my phone, and my whole body would just be like,

like, reading books are you at all times of day? Well, I so there’s a boundary. So for things like Voxer, where I really want to be involved and what those conversations are in our little fun mastermind and I want to you know, participate in that. I really only use it on my laptop. So I try not to I have it on my phone, I thought about getting it off my phone, like I don’t have slack on my phone. So like I can’t slack from my phone. So I mean, I guess I could if I’m like traveling and I really need to like check on something, I can add it to my phone and then take it off again. But I only use it on my laptop. I try to only use boxer on my laptop. So it’s like my working hours when I’m already sitting here. And I also I have like boomerang for my inbox where it pauses your inbox but like real talk I’m always looking at. I’m always looking at it. But I also I timed myself I have a timer on everything. Like just people use harvest, I use something called NoCo that used to be called freckle. So I tracked my time and I started doing that because of like way back when my very first client from hell, I was like it would be really awesome if I could tell this person like look at all the minutes that I’ve spent on your shit. I and I used to only track my client time. Because I used to have this weird like imposter syndrome false belief that like only client work was work. And then like everything else was kind of just procrastinating. But like that’s not true. checking your email that’s work like doing your books, that’s work, writing emails to your list. That’s work. All the things are work. So now I literally I’m not tracking this but that’s only because I just forgot but like I tracked when I have networking like one on ones I track that time. When I’m like planning my week next week. I’m tracking that time. So because I’m tracking it, I’m like, I’m not trying to be in my inbox. Like if I look at my timers at 30 minutes I’m like That’s fine. That’s enough for today. And I use the on my phone. I use the screen time. I don’t know if Android has that I’m sure they do. iPhone has like a screen time setting and you can you can set a limit for particular apps. But you can also set a limit for like, like I have a limit for like Chrome, Gmail, Boxer WhatsApp. Oh, there’s like a business. Yeah, 30 minutes before my phone is like you’re done, combined with all of those combined. And so it doesn’t mean that I like can’t look at my email anymore, but it’s just an interruption. Yeah, and just having the phone turn black. And it’s like you reached your limit is enough for me to be like, it’s just enough for me to be like, do I really need to keep doing this? And then if I do, yes, like sometimes I’m like actually making something on Instagram, and I get the limit. And I like keep it going. Because I’m like, in the middle of making sense. I gotta finish it.

Meg Casebolt 30:51
I wish I was the snooze button on that instead of like a yes or no, if there’s like, you know, are you still watching this on Netflix? Really? Just one more episode. Okay. Yeah. So like, I think my ADHD is such that I see that. And I’m like, No, you don’t tell me what to do. And then I just ignore it. But at least it’s there as a prompt to be like, Hey, you have done too much of this.

Samantha Pollack 31:09
Yeah. And I could, I’m like, Am I really? What am I really doing right now? You know, that’s helpful. But yeah, so the eight weeks of the B weeks, on my B weeks, I have no phone calls, whatsoever. And I even have started, like, I just switched my therapy to every other week. So now I have no therapy on my B week, like, I want nothing, I want nothing, a little recovery or go into a cave and work, like work time. Yeah, that’s what I have to do. And then there has to be a boundary around my eight weeks, because I have had weeks where it’s just like a ton of calls and it’s still too much. Ah, you know, and then and then like, it takes time for the workflow to kind of settle in to where, like these last few weeks have just been so insane that I’ve been doing big projects and launches and like, so much stuff. And having phone calls. And like, that’s why I set these weeks up in the first place. Because I just like doing it all at the same time. It’s just very exhausting. And I just don’t feel good at the end of every day. So that’s a big thing for me. So now, when someone wants to have a phone call, I tell them I can’t. And when and I have my whole acuity set up so that when you go on there, like it’s only available every other week. So that’s huge.

Meg Casebolt 32:24
So are these the kinds of things that you’re also talking about in your highly sensitive business owner group where it’s like how to set these boundaries? How to know how to manage your energy and to recognize the things that are hardest for you?

Samantha Pollack 32:36
Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s definitely part of it. There’s a whole module that’s just about work. So about like your working environment, how you work when you work lamp, that’s like what we were just talking about, then there’s like a lot to do with like how you interact with other people.

Both your team members, and your clients and your like networking colleague people that can be and so the thing about high sensitivity, sensory processing sensitivity, neuro divergence, ADHD, it’s not the same for everyone. There are definitely some commonalities. But even just with sensory processing sensitivity, it’s not a that by the way, SPS is not a like, neuro. It’s not a disorder of any kind. It’s not like a syndrome. It’s just a trait. It’s just a dinette genetic trait that exists within 15 to 20% of the population. It’s not like, wow, it’s 15 to 20%. Wow, Mm hmm. Yeah. Of all mammals. FYI, not just even, that’s really interesting. So we’re talking about things like, you know, touch, taste, smell, but also like the movement of your body can feel sensitive, or the way your joints can be sensitive. It’s like, it’s not just the five senses that we think about as you know, what you learn in preschool. Right. So it is it is the senses, but it’s also okay, there are actually four sort of common properties. And there’s a little anagram is that the right word? an anagram?

Meg Casebolt 34:07
No, I think an anagram is when the letters move around, I think we’re looking for is an acronym, is an acronym. Maybe it’s an acronym.

Samantha Pollack 34:15
It’s called D OES, whatever it’s called. I’m going to tell you what they are. Okay, if you want to know, I mean, is that I do? Yeah. So I’m scrolling through my actual like, module one, because I know I just looked at it and I know they’re there. Here we go. Okay. depth of processing. So this is a big trait of high sensitivity. So it’s the time that you need to take to put here I’ll just read to you. processing information more deeply than others is pretty much the core of high sensitivity, finding relationships and patterns, comparing data, like going down rabbit holes thinking through all the possible scenarios. So like an example of this that I would say is like when we’re planning I’m on a call with a client. And we’re planning a series of emails, let’s say we’re planning a launch. I am thinking about all of the things that I’m going to need to know to write an email. I’m thinking about what’s the price of the offer? What are the bonuses? What’s included in the bonuses? How much are the bonuses costs? Like, what? When is the offer going to expire? What about this? What about that? What link? Do you have to click when you read the email? And then you’re going to go to the sales page, but what if the sales page is it done? And then what are they going to do from there? Like, I think not all that stuff. At the same time, as I’m also trying to listen to this person trying to have this conversation. And oftentimes, in those types of planning conversations, I get really overwhelmed, because I’m thinking of every single detail, like an equal priority. And it’s really hard for me to focus on like the first one that needs to be figured out. And the next one, and what I need to do is like, get off of the phone, and think about it all. Like I just need time to think, you know, it doesn’t mean that I’m like, slower than other people or whatever. Like I’m incredibly intelligent, and I can execute really quickly. But like, I gotta have time without anybody talking to me to like, think through everything, then I can come back and ask questions. I can even like plan and I could probably work as like a project manager.

Meg Casebolt 36:12
Yeah, I was gonna say the detail here is incredible. Because yeah, figure out how all the pieces fit together and the patterns between them and the connections and wow.

Samantha Pollack 36:21
Right. So like, that is like a huge thing. It’s just like needing time to process. And so it maybe takes longer to make a decision or like respond to a request. And then feeling like everything has to happen, like so fast and right away. It’s like makes it more stressful. And then it takes even longer. The pressure of responding quickly makes things take longer. Right. And so then you’re like also just processing everything like your environment, the air is too cold. Like the guys are outside mowing the lawn that could see the curtain flickering, because the the heating vent is like all that stuff is like in my awareness anyway. And it’s not like in my conscious awareness, but it’s all kind of like pulling on my nervous system just a little bit. So it’s just sort of constant all day. So that’s the processing piece. Then there’s overstimulation. That’s the oh, here’s what Elaine Aaron said she’s the person who sort of started coining the phrase high sensitivity. If you’re going to notice every little thing in a situation and if the situation is complicated, many things to remember. Intense, noisy, cluttered, etc. Or goes on too long to our train commute. Seems obvious that you would wear out sooner from having to process so much. Others not noticing much or any of what you have noticed would not tire as quickly. Hmm. So yeah, like, it’s hard to explain overstimulation and one of the issues. This is something we can talk about on our linguistics podcast.

One of the issues is that the language around high sensitivity is just loaded, like everything has like a negative connotation to it. So if I say I’m overstimulated, it sounds like I had a bad time. But I could, like go to my friend’s birthday party have a great time. And be overstimulated and like need to chill. But that doesn’t mean that the experience was a negative one. So it’s just hard to explain it to people that aren’t like experiencing it also. But then it’s also like, people who are highly sensitive also have negative beliefs about it, because of like the way they were raised and the way our culture treats, sensitivity and wellness. So like people think they will speak about their own experiences in a negative way. So there’s just like a lot of preconceived notions to get around. Then there’s empathy slash emotional reactivity, there’s a whole emotional component to this. And then the S is sensitivity to subtleties, which is like super vague, but anyway, it’s not just like eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and touch it. I’m like, What’s the other one? All right, we have to take a quick break there to let our pets into the room for the rest of this recording. So those of you who are watching on YouTube get a chance to see Henry who is the cutest I am pro cat in a situation but my dog was also awesome whining at the door, now he’s sitting under my feet. So when it comes to these sensitivities, one of the words that I’ve heard about social media is that overstimulation piece and and maybe there are some other pieces in here about sensitivities to subtlety and and how you need to process what’s on social but can you just kind of talk to your experience of being a marketer in this environment where we’re getting hit with different messages all the time and they’re all equally important and how does that impact you as a person? Well, it really wears me out. The longest short of it is really wears the out. It is just a combination of like, bright colors. I think I’ve told you how much I hate reals. Like I hate just no shade to anybody who’s like using that as a tool for creation and like I just recently signed up for Tik Tok just for fun, like I have no business or like feminism or political anything on Tik Tok. It’s just like abandoned We places and like creepy shit and doll houses and. And so like, that’s amazing like that’s so creative I love it. But when it interrupts my scroll, like it’s like the canned audio like the lip sync audio feels really weird to me like, I don’t know how to describe it, but like, I just don’t want to look at it. I don’t want to listen to it. I that like people use like the same. I do watch a lot of cat videos, which is like so nerdy because my holding my cat like, like petting him gently. I do watch a lot of cat videos with Henry here. Plot The world’s demise. He’s like, he’s like lifeless right now. Yeah, he kind of is he okay, kind of zoned out. He’s just like, snuggly, maybe it’ll sit in my lap. But he won’t want to.

Meg Casebolt 40:50
But that feeling of like, you don’t get to control the narrative of what other people are putting out to you. And when you’re doing this scroll and trying to connect with people for business purposes. And then these things that are just like, let me lip sync and point and like, be kind of aggressive. And it can be fun. They can be fun.

Samantha Pollack 41:09
But it can also be a lot. I think it’s like this. It’s like I think about input a lot. And I think about how much input I have, like I have podcasts I listened to, no matter how many podcasts I listened to, someone’s always telling me about another podcast I listen to, I listen to audio books, I read real books, very big fan of the real book, by the way. And a good book, I watch TV shows that I like I am working and having like communicating with people all day. Like it’s just non stop input. You know, all the minute you wake up, somebody go to bed, and you can do things to manage it. But like it’s pretty hard. And then like there’s a sensory input anyway. Like, that’s why I think nature is so important because like, that’s good sensory input. That’s like, chill. But like, yeah, it’s just like, or like having a cat or having a pet, you know, just something that is like not human. But, um, but yeah, so I think the input is so concentrated, like, if you spend 10 minutes scrolling Instagram, it’s not just, I mean, it’s like, and then too, I guess it depends on who you follow. But like, I follow a lot of like, like, anti capitalist stuff. And I’m looking through like memes and like screenshots of text ads of people quitting their jobs, or I’m like, constantly looking at stuff that pisses me off, like, not in like a not in like, I’m pissed at what they’re saying. It’s like I’m pissed on their behalf or like about what they’re talking about at the system that they are trying to adjust it Yeah, wild up

in an activism way. And then I’m also like, you know, there’s like comparison syndrome or imposter syndrome, where I’m like, looking at other. There’s other like business owners that seem like they’re more successful than me. And then I’m like, feeling shitty about that. And then I realized people probably think that about me, because like, my Instagram accounts, pretty awesome. And you wouldn’t know maybe that I like, need some new clients kind of soon, or that I like, you know, that my launch that I just finished for my highly sensitive person. entrepreneur or whatever program was, like, such a intense experience for me. I mean, I’m not trying to hide that stuff. It’s just like, you don’t need to come out and be vulnerable about it on this platform, either. Well, it’s just like, it’s a lot. And like, even right now, for example, I’ve been posting a little series lately, where I’m going through each module of the program and just pull it pulling a snippet and putting it in my feed of like, what kind of stuff we’re going to be talking about. That was your idea, just full disclosure. So you’re doing it, so I’m not gonna take credit for it, acting like this really cool thing that you told me to do. But like, you know, my original idea was, like, I’ll do you know, there’s six of them. So I’ll do one a day for six days, but I, you know, haven’t done in a couple days. My social media manager, I have some stuff on in the queue. And she’s like, you know, let’s post this. And I’m kind of like, I kind of feel like I need a model taking a break. Like, I don’t have bandwidth for Instagram right now. I really am getting clear on like, where Instagram fits into my business. It’s a networking tool for me, like, will I get clients from it or people who want to be in my highly sensitive business owner program? Yeah, maybe but what I’m really getting from it is like I’m meeting awesome people who are then like, referral partners for me or like friends or, you know, somebody that I can refer somebody else to, like, that’s happening a lot more that’s like, more of the quote ROI from Instagram that I’m like, more connected with and I just like, I taking aside the input, I like it as an output. Like, I like that mode of creation. I like that medium. I like to 2200 character limit. Like I like fucking around with making images in Canva. Like I’m into it as like an art project. So like to see it as a way of being creative and a way of getting to know people As opposed to like a lead generation tool that has to have an immediate ROI, probably also take some of the like, it’s like a pressure release valve to adjust your framework around it. And that’s why I really pushing back like I’ve had advisors tell me that like, Instagram is not like the greatest place like spend your energy because there’s no ROI. And I’m like, Yeah, but I like it. And there’s something to it, like you want to have some, you don’t just need to be focused on only the ROI. But like, what is the value that you’re getting out of this, both tangibly and kind of eating tangible there is value to those relationships. And in this like space of being away from a lot of people, right now, it’s nice to have a place to connect, even if it is a little bit superficial, and we’re just like, hey, here’s my dog, here’s your, it’s still important to have those cubic connections. I’m actually having like, good connections there. Like I mean, yes, I also have been DMing people about the great British baking show, like every week, but that’s just important. But, you know, like, I have, like, legitimate friends, they’re good friends, that are doing cool work that I’m really glad that I know about. Um, yeah.

Meg Casebolt 46:06
And I think one of the big things I want to take away from this podcast is like, you can still be on social media, as long as you figure out what the goal of it is, and the intention and how you want to engage with which platforms, and you know, maybe choose one that feels like a good creative outlet, or a good networking space, but not feeling like you need to be everywhere, all the time, or your business is going to fail. That pressure, I think is very common in our space. And it’s, it’s damaging.

Samantha Pollack 46:35
Yeah, I agree. I think that, like, it’s very important to me to create what I want to create, and do what I want to do and say what I want to say, and that’s more important to me than like anything else. So like, I you know, I’ve had a lot of people like up my ass about LinkedIn lately. And like, I don’t know, if someone wants to, like, go set it up for me and like, try it out. That’s fine. But like, I don’t want to. And so I’m not going to like,

Meg Casebolt 47:02
I don’t have to I do what I want. That’s why I started my business. I don’t have to do what anyone else tells me to do.

Samantha Pollack 47:08
Like, I don’t want to do social media. And I’m like, good, don’t do it. I won’t do it. So I’m doing it. And there’s like reasons why. Sorry about that another time. There’s reasons why, but like, I’m also doing it on the platform that I want to do it on. Mm hmm. You get to make your own intentional decisions about how you anti Zuckerberg and I wish that Facebook didn’t own it. Why did they have to sell the hub? Yeah, yeah, choose our battles. You know? That’s true. All right. Well, Sam, how can people find you and connect with you and find out more about your copywriting services and

the highly sensitive business owner program? It’s a lot. So ironically, if you go to my Instagram, I’m at cult of personality CO is my instagram handle. Also the name of my website? Cult of not calm. And pretty much between those two places. That’s, that’s, that’s me. That’s everything. Hang out. Yeah.

Meg Casebolt 48:01
All right. Sounds good. Well, it was such such a pleasure to have you on today. Thank you so much for your time and your explanations and your generosity. This was great. Thanks so much. Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slow and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown comm slash review or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then

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