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Writing Copy that Connects with Sara Gillis

Writing Copy that Connects with Sara Gillis | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd
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As a copywriter at What Sara Said, copy coach, and host of the Copywriter On Call podcast, Sara Gillis helps female creative business owners, especially photographers, stand out through words. After teaching writing for nearly a decade, Sara left education to help business owners show up authentically online by crafting website copy that’s word-magic for their ideal clients.

On today’s episode, Sara shares practical advice to infuse creative businesses with storytelling and heart. She loves helping creative business owners and photographers serve up word-magic and inspiration to empower them to show up as themselves online.

If you’re ready to learn how to drop-kick the tired ol’ strategies that everyone else in business is using and change the script to what makes you different so you can serve your clients better and sell to them, too, it’s time to get this episode in your ears now!

Writing Copy that Connects with Sara Gillis | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • The perfect storm that led Sara away from teaching and into building a copywriting business
  • What Sara learned in her first year of business that changed the trajectory of her business
  • Tips to niching down and the success that comes from it
  • Sara’s best tips and strategies for finding the right words to say
  • How to clarify your brand voice to make your copy sound more personal
  • The work in Sara’s own business that she surprisingly outsources and why
  • Common mistakes business owners make and tips to writing good sales pages
  • Sara’s favorite productivity hack and book

Connect with Sara


Click here to read the full episode transcript!

Sara Gillis: Business is changing, especially business ownership and solopreneurship. Or even if you have a small team, the way that you communicate with your audience is changing.

It’s not about being formal, polished, stiff. It’s about owning your personality and speaking as you generally speak in conversation.

Jade Boyd: Welcome to the show, Sarah.

Sara Gillis: Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Jade Boyd: I’m so excited to have you here, too. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted, so I’m really excited for this conversation and to catch up a little bit. So why don’t you start for those who don’t know you? Just give an introduction, tell us how you got into copywriting and what your journeys look like and what you do today.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, absolutely. So excited to be here. So excited to chat and reconnect. I am Sarah Gillis. I’m a copywriter. I write mostly for photographers and creatives, and I’m based out of Sioux Falls, but serve clients nationwide.

My background is actually in education. I was a classroom teacher for almost a decade, both at the college level, and I did a really sweet year in middle school gifted ed, which was great, but I really felt burned out after the pandemic and after teaching online for five years. I mean, there’s no off button when it comes to teaching, even though, you know, we hear all the time that you get your summers off.

Well, not really because you have to prep for the next year. So, and I was also teaching summer classes. So I was just feeling a lot of burnout and felt like I could do something different. And so after taking a job in the nonprofit sector, advocating on behalf of education, then the pandemic happened and funding died for my position there, and so I was laid off unexpectedly. And then a couple of weeks later launched my business. So it has been a really wild journey ever since, but I really love the work that I’m doing today.

Jade Boyd: So did you already have in the back of your mind, maybe I’ll start a business before you got laid off? Or was that something where, oh my gosh, this unexpected thing happened and that’s when you had the idea. What did that look like?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, so I was actually taking copywriting classes, like a big kind of comprehensive course, on the side while I was working in my nonprofit job. It was a really seasonal job, really heavy in some seasons and really light in others. And so the winter was a really light time.

And so I started, studying copywriting. I mean, I’ve been a writer for my whole life, but I was typically writing about literature, right? I was an English major and then got my master’s degree in literature and so, I was writing critically, but not writing persuasively. And so it was a different muscle to learn, but I had already I was probably about 65 to 75 percent through the course when my layoff happened.

And so it was just a matter of, I thought I would offer this on the side, just as an opportunity to bring in a little extra money, pay off student loans, things like that. And so when the layoff happened, I, I realized that if. And if I was ever going to leap now is the time,

Jade Boyd: Right. That was the time to take the chance.

And what I’ve loved about watching your business grow is that you are so strategic in how you’ve grown. And I specifically want to talk about your journey into niching down, because I do think a lot of business owners are. So hesitant to narrow down who they work for or what they do in the way that you have.

And so I would love to hear a little bit more about what your journey has looked like to niching down to serving photographers. Was that scary for you? Was that a process? And also like what results have you seen in your business as a result of doing that?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, it was terrifying. It was terrifying at first.

I started out and my first few clients were realtors, real estate professionals, and I loved working for them. They needed a lot of content. There’s something about being a realtor that Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Makes you have to sell yourself in a way that, like, I never had to explain why it was important to have a competent copywriter, right?

They knew. They got it right away. And so they were really easy to write for because they understood that the investment would pay off for them in dividends, right? But I think that When I, I reached probably a year into my business and I was just feeling like everything I was doing was transactional and I was, I was building relationships, but it didn’t feel, it didn’t fill my heart in a way that I, I wanted it to.

And so I remember talking to my business coach at the time and being like, is there something more like. I want something more out of these client relationships, like the money was great, but I wanted the opportunity to work with someone over time and build a relationship over time, but also to see their business grow over time and see them really embrace new clients really hone in on their services and it’s not to say that the real estate agents weren’t doing that it’s just it was It was very transactional.

It was okay. I finished this. I sold this house. I bought this house and now we’re moving on, and so I remember like tiptoeing into the photography world and getting a couple clients that were photographers. And I started really simply with like about me pages. And I realized that it was so much fun to write for people who are like memory keepers or really making people feel confident and beautiful in front of the camera.

And it just kind of took off from there. Slowly. I started breaking up quote unquote with, with realtor clients. Slowly I started breaking up with nonprofit clients and really started to hone in on that ideal client. And it was terrifying because initially it made me feel like I was saying no to money, but instead it, it allowed me to really sharpen my message so much more and the work came after that.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And since then, you’ve developed specific offers for photographers, right?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, that’s, that’s really the bread and butter of what I do now. I have a website copy course for photographers. I have, membership and a coaching program that are more general, but still really, prioritize photographers.

And it’s, it’s been a beautiful journey to see that come to fruition.

Jade Boyd: And I’m sure you’ve seen for yourself, but also probably for your clients, that the more specific you are on who you’re serving, the better your offers actually get, because they speak very directly to the needs of that specific person, but it can be really scary. And when you start out, nobody has clarity on their niche because sometimes you do just seem to try to work with a few different people to see who is that type of client that lights you up, but then thinking about like, okay, if I could only serve one type of client, who would it be that takes quite a bit of time to make that transition?

Like you said, you started, like dropping off clients slowly. So how long did that transition actually take you?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, it probably took me a full year, a full calendar year to really feel like the client base I had both of, you know, ongoing clients, retainer clients, but also, you know, new inquiries coming in really felt like my ideal client.

And it was a, it was a slow burn for sure. But I mean, when I started out, I was trying to pay my mortgage, right? Like I had just been laid off. And so it’s like, you want me to write for you? Cool. I’ll write anything for you. Right. But as we continued on, and as I decided to leave teaching behind for good and really, you know, step into business ownership, the desire for that bigger fulfillment and that longer client relationship that was really fruitful and had, you know, benefits to both sides, that’s what I really wanted. And niching down is the only way I found it.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And for my clients, what we see is that when you do find your niche, two things happen first. It’s so much easier to find and book clients, which everyone thinks it’s going to be so hard. This is too narrow. There’s not enough people, but it does make your job easier. And then second, as a result of that, your business starts to grow so much faster because you’re able to really systemize what you’re doing and get really good at it and become the expert in the area. So referrals come really easily.

Are those things that you’ve seen too?

Sara Gillis: Absolutely. I mean, when it comes to referrals and repeat clients, those are things that I am enjoying often. I have really great affiliates, but I have really great, like, non affiliate referral partners who just continue to send people to me, continue to send business to me.

And, I’ve been able to show up in certain memberships or masterminds and really have the opportunity to, to speak to my ideal client in those crucial moments and meet them where they are and serve them however they need to be served, which has just been really beautiful.

Jade Boyd: Like I said, it’s just been really exciting to see your business grow over the past few years that we’ve known each other.

And it is really scary, but it’s always super empowering to see people find their niche because then you just feel so much more confident about what you’re doing. And I can really see that in the way that you’ve grown your business too. So I do want to talk a little bit more about copywriting and the work that you do.

And my question for you, which you probably get a lot is writer’s block. We all get it where we’re sitting down. We know that we have to write something. We might even have a topic in mind, but the words. Just aren’t coming. And like you said, it does take a lot of practice and skill to know how to write not only well, but to write copy right persuasively.

So what are your best tips for figuring out what to say when the words are not coming?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, this is, I mean, copywriters are not immune to this, right? I face it just like everybody else, which surprises some people. It’s like, I haven’t like figured out like where the pot of gold is hidden, guys. I don’t, I don’t know exactly the, the right, you know, mixture of, activities or, you know, brainstorming activities that I could do, but I know what works best for me personally, and I’m an avid reader, and so reading and reading things that are completely different from, from what I’m writing, whether it’s fantasy fiction or reading something that’s just completely different than what I’m supposed to be writing in 20 minutes when I hit go for a client reading is something that really helps to enrich my life, but also helps me to get past that writer’s block, especially when it comes to email writing when I write emails for my list or for my clients lists, getting out of my own head and feeling creative again by reading even for 10 minutes can really help me to move beyond that writer’s block. The other thing I like to do to kind of hack my voice is if I’m in a in a situation where I am like driving in the car or I’m at a hockey practice with my kids I like to leave voice memos for myself and that can be a really great way to understand my voice, but also to come up with ideas for my own clients and just hearing yourself talk in the way that you talk. Even if you’re just saying the weather is snowy today and I’m really ready for spring to come. Like even just random things like that. Hearing the way that your voice sounds can jog ideas. And so listening back to those voice memos can be really helpful too.

Jade Boyd: So how do you get from recording the voice memos and like hearing yourself talk to turning that into content?

Because I know that you also help people clarify their brand voice, which can be really tricky. Even if we can hear ourselves speak, I do a podcast, so I have plenty of recordings of me talking the way that I normally talk, but it can be hard to describe like, what is my actual brand voice?

And getting into AI too, I think a lot of people are frustrated. I know that I’ve been frustrated. I’m using all of the prompts, but somehow it still doesn’t quite sound like me. And so what are your best tips for clarifying your brand voice? And then we can get a little bit into AI too, if you’d like.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, absolutely. I think your brand voice is, I like to tell my clients, it’s you on your very best day. Like when everything is flowing and there’s no writer’s block in sight and you’re really speaking about an offer you believe in, a service you believe in, something that you deliver to your clients and you know that they will receive it well. That’s what your brand voice should sound like.

And when it comes to AI, I like to play with chatGPT just a little bit when it comes to brand voice, like I will type in something, you know, pretty general and I’ll say make this more entertaining, make this cheeky, make this charming and I like to see what chatGPT does to change it. And think about which one of these options sounds most like me. And if the answer is none of them, that’s fine, but it’s still a good creative exercise to say, okay, why does this feel more cheeky than what I typed in? Why does this feel more, inspirational than what I typed in? And so getting close to that kind of authentic voice of you on your best day, AI can’t ever match that in my point of view. Right? Like, it takes a human, but at the same time, you can use AI as a tool to help you hack your own voice.

So, those are just some tips that I like to use when it comes to, you know, moving from voice memo into actually writing. I, I love bringing in random facts, random things, random noticings that I have throughout my day, and using that to start an email, or start a blog post, or, thinking of creative, hooks to really engage an audience. It really just depends on who I’m writing for, but when it comes to photographers, that idea of wanting to make a moment last or make a memory tangible, I write for a lot of family photographers. And so freezing time, that idea there, but trying to find a way to make it new. And I mean, everybody. And their dog can have copy on their website about freezing time, but how can I make that new? And so thinking through, you know, little exercises like that in my voice memos can really be helpful too.

Jade Boyd: I really love that. And I know that you’re a systems person too. So I would love to know either for yourself or for your clients, what are some of your tips for systemizing that capture process where you’re capturing all those ideas, but they’re not just like sitting on your camera roll or in your file somewhere.

What is your process for actually capturing those things and turning them into content?

Sara Gillis: Yeah. So when I onboard a new client, a big part of my process is analyzing every single piece of writing I can get my hands on from social media captions to reviews of, your services that clients have written.

To what your current website copy is like, I want everything. If I could find your, you know, freshman year term paper, I want that. I want all of the things that you have written so that I can understand and begin to systematize in a way your voice, but also allowing for that to organically develop throughout our working relationship together.

Right? Like again, a brand voice is something that is, is developed over time is honed over time. We aren’t coming, into business ownership or coming into this service relationship, knowing everything about ourselves, about how we want our offers to evolve. And so I feel like allowing space for growth and for further honing of that brand voice is really important too. And so, I like to really analyze everything I’ve seen before I start writing, and then when I start writing, I like to think about those systems, those constructs, those words, but in a better, refreshed, more effective way.

Jade Boyd: I, love what you said about our brand voice taking time to develop because it just makes me think back to when I first started my business and how formal I was in my writing.

I had just come out of grad school and I’m used to writing these like, marketing papers and case studies and stuff like that, where it all is very formal, none of it is personal, and then the slow transition that I’ve noticed in my own writing to becoming more and more casual, it seems, with every single year, because that’s more of who I am and more of who I’m going to be.

And so I love that you touched on that. And I know that outside of capturing voice and creating content, you also have a really solid system for your own content. And you’ve mentioned that it’s been a game changer for you outsourcing in your business and really honing in on that system so that your content creation for your own business has been seamless.

So you can focus on. Your client’s content creation. So talk to me a little bit more about that and what that journey has looked like.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, absolutely. It was a long time coming. I knew I needed help in my business, but I didn’t, it was easy to like hire the bookkeeper, right? Cause math is not my thing. It was easy to like outsource the tasks that I don’t like doing.

I don’t feel confident doing. But writing is my thing. Like that is what I do. That is, that is central to who I am as, as a business owner, as a service provider, but also as a human. And so the idea of trusting that part of my business to someone else. And to be clear, it’s my content, right? It’s not my client’s content that I’m giving away. It’s, it’s my content. So my blog posts, Allowing somebody to pour into my business the way that I pour into other businesses has been amazing for me. It has been such peace of mind knowing that my business is getting nurtured in the back end. And that allows me to better serve my clients because I’m not trying to create a blog post for me over here while also writing copy for them.

It’s been a real game changer in terms of my time management, but also just in terms of honing my marketing strategy even more being more strategic in what I’m saying, when I’m saying it, how I’m saying it, and really boosting that SEO on my own website has been really crucial.

Jade Boyd: So what does that look like for you? I know they’re writing your blog posts, but then what is your process for repurposing all that content? Are they able to do that for you too? Or what does that look like for your own business?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, so my blog writer, Natty, is fantastic. She is just, she just understands my business so beautifully, and I feel like that’s the thing about outsourcing, that people don’t talk about enough, is whether you outsource your bookkeeping, or you have a VA, or you have a blog writer, having somebody walk alongside you in your business and ask you questions like, oh, what are you launching in the next quarter? And how can I help you? How can I help support that with your content? Right? Those are beautiful questions to ask to have somebody walking alongside you the whole time is great. She definitely highlights things and says, this would be a really good social media caption, but that’s also a really fun creative process for me too, is to go in and when I’m approving blog posts to say, oh, what can I use this for? I want to pop that into an email. I want to pop that into an Instagram caption. This would be a really good hook for a real things like that. I, I really love that discovery process, but I also have help on the backend too.

Jade Boyd: Mm hmm. And I’m really curious. I know you started a podcast and I think that was after you had your blog.

And so as a podcaster, I’m curious what your decision process looks like in adding a podcast and how that kind of sits within your own content strategy.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, so the podcast is really just a fun exercise for me, a fun outlet for me to really share other ideas that I, that I have, whether it’s from serving clients or from discovering what I need and want as a business owner myself, it’s a great opportunity to have conversations.

And sometimes it’s educational, sometimes it’s reflective, sometimes it’s both. And having the freedom and the flexibility to allow the podcast to be what it is, is great. Knowing that alongside it is the blog, which is typically very educational oriented. Knowing that I have this kind of mix of content purposes rolling out is a really great strategy because people always learn differently. And I’m, I’m evidence of that, but I, I learned that when I was teaching. And so speaking to someone, on my video podcast or on my audio podcast, or, or in a blog post, they get different tidbits, but all of it is kind of marketed under, under my brand and really helps me to meet people where they are and how they like to learn.

Jade Boyd: That absolutely makes sense. And. I just love that you are such a great example of outsourcing something that you’re really good at because I do think that’s really hard for people but from what I know for myself and speaking with clients, the frustration of why is it so hard for me to do for myself what I do for other people every day is real and there’s a lot of shame and guilt that can be attached to that because we feel like we should be able to do for ourselves what we do for other people.

And it gives us this like imposter syndrome, but it makes a ton of sense because when you are in it and when you have client work, client work is always going to feel more important and is always going to have a heavier deadline than doing things for ourselves. And that’s true in business, but I think that’s true in a lot of other areas of life as women.

And so I love that you’re able to share the example and be the example of what it looks like and the benefits that you can get when you are able to, like, let go of a little bit of control and find the right person to help you to, and it helps you help your clients better in the end anyway.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, it took me a long time to understand that it took me a long time to to realize that holding on to this piece that I could or should do myself wasn’t serving anyone, it wasn’t serving me, and it wasn’t allowing me to really be that, that service provider I wanted to be for my clients, and so letting go of that has been wonderful to see not only just the personal growth for for my business, but also the way that I’m able to engage with clients. I’m no longer like straddling both. I’m no longer trying to find time to nurture my own business while working on client work because I know that , my business is growing right along with my client’s business.

And that’s a really game changing mindset to be in.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. I can relate to a lot to that because it took me a long time to hire a business coach. I took a break in between and I waited way too long because I was having that feelings of like, I’m the business coach. I don’t need a business coach, right?

And I even said before I hired my current business coach, like, I don’t really think I need you to teach me anything, but I know that I need the accountability and I can hold people accountable all day long. But at the end of the day, I need somebody else to hold me accountable and to call me on my BS when I’m being a perfectionist and taking too long to make decisions and not doing the things that I’m supposed to be doing.

We all need other people in our businesses to do for us what we do for other people.

Sara Gillis: Absolutely.

Jade Boyd: Okay. Switching gears a little bit. As a copywriter, what mistakes do you see business owners making when it comes to creating their sales pages specifically? Because when I think sales copy, sales pages are so powerful and also an area that content gets repurposed and that messaging gets repurposed all the time, all year long.

And so what mistakes do you see business owners making and what are your best tips when it comes to writing good sales pages?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, this is a big question because honestly, this is something I’m working on with a lot of different clients, particularly in the photographer space. A lot of photographers feel like they don’t need sales pages because they’re not trying to educate.

They’re not trying to be a coach. They’re not trying to launch a course, but you need a sales page feel to your services page, right? If you are a family photographer. Why should they choose you versus the family photographer two miles away, right? And so you need to have a sales page like structure or sales page like copy for your services, even if you aren’t stepping into the education space.

So that’s a, that’s a mistake I see a lot is just, well, I can just list my packages and call it good, right? Like that’s all I need on my services page.

Jade Boyd: Just my portfolio. That’s great.

Sara Gillis: Right. It’ll speak for itself, right? It’ll sell for itself. You may have beautiful photos. And you may have great packages that deliver everything a client needs and at a great price, but you have to tell them why it matters and why it matters that they choose you and your packages and your experience.

And so I think that’s the biggest mistake that I see being made throughout the photography space. When it comes to sales pages in general, people are so afraid to go long. And I feel like I’m a, as a copywriter, I love a good sales page. I’m one of those people who reads every word. And that’s not necessarily the, the, you know, the buyer type that you will always have, but there will be a buyer type who will read every word.

There will be buyer types who skim. And so you need to make it friendly to all of these different buyer types that you may be courting to. Say yes to this offer.

Jade Boyd: Yeah. And I’ve seen research that shows, especially with testimonials that it doesn’t even matter what they say. Just the fact that you have them there improves people’s ability to like, trust that you know what you’re doing and that you have experience and you’re the expert in this.

And so I’m also one of those people who will read every word of a sales page because I’m analytical like that, but it does make a difference even if they’re not reading every page just to see the headings and that that information is there shows that credibility too. So that makes a lot of sense to me.

. Do you have any other arguments for long versus short sales pages? Because I know that is a hot topic and people are very opinionated.

Sara Gillis: Yeah. I mean, I always love including like the jump to the bottom, like the jump to the bottom, the jump to the top type of navigation where you can just go to the buy button if you’re ready. That seems like a really important navigational feature that a sales page should have. But I just wanted to add on the testimonial front. My favorite type of social proof these days are like screenshots of Voxer messages or like Instagram DMs or text messages. If that’s a way you communicate with your clients, emails.

I love the actual organic, like unfiltered type of feedback that we as service providers get, love sharing that. And so, putting little screenshots throughout your sales page versus the pretty polished testimonial. I’m always going to choose the authentic stuff over the pretty and polished.

Jade Boyd: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

I think that we know that people trust people more than businesses, but then in our own businesses, it becomes hard to act like that real person. And that organic content that’s not filtered, that’s not pretty and polished up does show that these are real people. This is not you trying to look like this formal business.

It’s you being a real human who interacts with other humans. So that makes a lot of sense to me.

Sara Gillis: Yeah. That’s what resonates most with me as a buyer is seeing real unfiltered, maybe even spelling errors, types of screenshots, because that shows genuine emotion, right? Genuine excitement, genuine celebration.

And that’s what I want to see. I want to see that transformation and that evidence that comes in genuinely. Yeah,

Jade Boyd: 100%. So as we’re closing, what is one copywriting tip that you would want to leave our listeners with today?

Sara Gillis: Yeah, this is a hard question because it’s hard to boil it down to just one, but I feel like allowing yourself to be yourself in your copy is a really big key. And I’m going to use an example to kind of bring this home for you. My dad is in human resources. He has been for many decades. And when I first launched my business and told him that I was writing website copy, he’s like, well, how do you know how to do that? And how are you going to be like, do you know how to speak formally?

Especially when I was writing for the real estate professionals, he’s like, do you, you’re really like casual and conversational. Do you know how to put on that hat? And I said, dad, business is changing, especially business ownership and solopreneurship. Or even if you have a small team, the way that you communicate with your audience is changing.

It’s not about being like formal, polished, stiff. It’s about owning your personality and speaking as you generally speak in conversation, right? It might be you on your best day in conversation, versus you when you’re grumpy and have overslept, but it’s still It can be a reflection of who you are and your personality, and it doesn’t have to be this hat you wear.

It doesn’t have to be this, I’m going to wear a black blazer because I have to be really professional. I’m instead going to show up in my sneakers and just say hi. Say hi, friend. Versus the, hello, I’m excited to serve you. It doesn’t have to be so formal and icky and stiff. And that was a really big game changer for him.

Just to realize that we all are evolving as as humans, but also what is quote unquote professional is evolving and it doesn’t have to be stiff or generalized to be professional. It can be professional in other conversational ways too.

Jade Boyd: I love that you said that because I do see that in myself.

Like I said, when I first started my business, I was way too professional and not myself because I thought that’s what I had to be. But I also think I swung to the other side of the spectrum for a little while and then became like this really casual, almost overly too casual persona in my writing.

Because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t professional, but in reality, your advice of allow yourself to just be yourself, don’t overthink it, don’t try to act a certain way, just talk how you would normally talk and that’s how you come off the best. It’s so simple, but also takes a lot of practice to know how to do that well.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, and I like to think about where I’m at in my cycle, too. Like, there are times in my cycle where I can really hone in on that authentic Sarah. And there are times when I’m like, nope, hide under the couch, let’s go. But I think that allowing yourself to create content in a space where you feel most like yourself, whether that’s related to your cycle or related to nutrition or related to season or whatever it is, I feel like allowing yourself to write in times where you feel Like you are in touch with yourself is a really big bonus as well.

Jade Boyd: Do you have certain, rhythms or routines that you go through when you sit down to write?

Sara Gillis: I try to, especially when I’m writing for my clients, I try to take clients at specific times of the year, specific times of the month, the plan always is, you know, way grander and better intended than it actually rolls out to be just because clients have deadlines, but it’s a really Intentional practice that I try to fold in as much as I can.

The big exception is my kids play competitive hockey. And so whenever I have time, I have to do it during hockey season. And so that’s really the exception to the rule, but when it’s the off season, which is brief in my house, when it’s the off season, I have a little bit more control and, and can really schedule intentionally.

Jade Boyd: Cool. Are you ready for a bonus round?

Sara Gillis: Yes!

Jade Boyd: All right. Three questions. First, what is your favorite productivity hack?

Sara Gillis: Oh gosh. I think actually it’s probably the opportunity to use notepad on my computer, which is random, right? It’s, it’s a random hack, but I think that. Notepad lives rent free in our brains because nobody really saves, like, notes in Notepad as, like, text files.

So I often open up Notepad and just do brainstorming in that, and it tricks my brain in a way to, like, be like, oh, this is impermanent. I can say whatever. I can come up with crazy ideas. I can come up with hooks that I’m not sure would work. I can come up with great comparisons, great similes, great, ways to describe a service.

And it lives in my brain with free reign. And when I do save it, it’s like tricking my brain like, Ooh, I just got you to think of things that you weren’t gonna think of if you were gonna save this note. So that’s kind of a random one, but it really helps me to be productive.

Jade Boyd: That’s awesome. I’ve never heard something like that before.

Sara Gillis: Yeah, it’s fun.

Jade Boyd: What about your favorite business or productivity book to recommend? I know you’re a reader.

Sara Gillis: Yes, I’m definitely a reader. I’m more on the fiction side than on the nonfiction side, but one of the books that has made the biggest difference for me is Big Magic, which is by Elizabeth Gilbert.

It’s all about creativity and living beyond fear and allowing yourself to really embrace that authentic creator in you. And that has been really game changing for me personally.

Jade Boyd: This has been so fun, Sarah. Thank you so much for coming today. This is a super helpful episode and good to hear from you as always.

So for listeners who want to find you after the show, where’s the best place to do that?

Sara Gillis: Yes. Thanks so much for having me. This has been so fun. You can find me online at whatsarasaid.com I’m on Instagram @hellosaragillis, but those are really the places I hang out is my website and, Instagram.

So again, thanks for having me.

Jade Boyd: Yeah, we’ll link all those in the show notes. Thanks again.

Sara Gillis: Thank you.

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