RS031: Joanna Wiebe of CopyHackers on Overcoming your Fears as an Entrepreneur

Rogue Startups
Rogue Startups
RS031: Joanna Wiebe of CopyHackers on Overcoming your Fears as an Entrepreneur


Big announcement for anyone looking to join up with like-minded entrepreneurs for a long weekend, and enjoy some epic skiing or snow boarding.  Dave is coordinating Big Snow Tiny Conf West.  This is a 3 day combination of epic business discussions in a long term mastermind style format, and some awesome time on the slopes.  Beaver Creek, CO will be the location and it will be from Feb 8-11.  Head over to to learn more.

Today On the Show

Today on the show we welcome Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers to the show.  Joanna is a copywriting and conversion expert, who specializes in helping founders harness the power of words to grow their businesses.

Origin stories always have their own personality, and Copy Hackers is no different.  After offering a helping hand to someone on Hacker News, to later being featured in a post that pegged her as a copywriting expert, Joanna has learned to utilize the power of audience is key to growing a business.  As the business has grown being flexible to customers’ needs has served she and her co-founder Lance Jones very well.

So is it easier to be a top-rate copywriter, or an entrepreneur?  Joanna says that entrepreneurship is infinitely more difficult, but at the same time more rewarding than writing good copy.  Granted, she’s been writing words that convert for more than a decade, so it may be a bit of survivorship bias, but the point is clear:  entrepreneurship is hard, but always very rewarding.  

Joanna recommends John Capels and Gene Schwartz as the go to resources for the essence of how to write good copy.  For a great listen to how Gene Schwartz broke down complex copywriting techniques into simple, easy to understand methods, check out this video.

With the ease of A/B testing, Joanna consistently sees people making excuses, and failing to do the hard things around copywriting in their businesses.  She feels strongly that founders should write their own copy, especially at first.  As a founder you’ll know the most about your value proposition, customers’ needs, and what pain your product is solving.

Breaking down your fears and overcoming the barriers you put up are they key to growing your business.  A big one that technical founders face is admitting that their site’s purpose is actually to sell.  Don’t be altruistic about your business, and you’ll quickly see the results from being purpose driven in your sales and marketing copy.

Joanna offers 3 Quick Tips to help you design your site to optimize for conversions:

  1. Your Headline and Button need to work together
  2. Your headline should be a part of, if not all of, your own value proposition
    1. TechCrunch is a great place to see concise, well-written value props
    2. Formula:  “Brand Name” is _____ that ______.  i.e. CopyHackers is resources for startups that help them convert like mofos.
  3. Avoid 3-column layout sites.  Let the copy lead the design, don’t get caught using a template that doesn’t do anything for your site.

You can follow Joanna on Twitter @CopyHackers or head over to  Also, check out to learn more about Joanna’s new writing tool that helps content marketers write better and faster.

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