Lara Schmoisman 0:05
This is Coffee N5. I’m your host, Lara Schmoisman. Welcome back to Coffee N5. Today, I want to talk about something that is very, very close to my heart. And it’s right. As you know, my first degree was in Screenwriting. And then over the years, I found myself feeling the need to write for different things. And first in Spanish, then transition to English, that’s a story for another day, which was really, really hard. Because I always say that people, you understand cultures when you understand what people laugh about. And it’s really hard to write for a different culture, when you really want to evoke those emotions, and you want to connect with people. So it took me many years to first get the courage to do it, and then get the skills to do it. Because also as the digital industry was growing and growing, I found out that you have to have different skills, right? And something that I started calling content by intention or with intention. And it’s something that I always tell my team that every piece of content that we write needs to be different. you have blogs, you have direct response. You have social media. Today, I invited Liz Svatek.
Liz Svatek 1:34
good job, you did a good job.
Lara Schmoisman 1:36
Liz Svatek 1:40
I asked someone how to pronounce it, and then I did it wrong. And I’m like, I need you to say it again.
Lara Schmoisman 1:45
Yes. Well, I mean, I’m gonna challenge you with my next time.
Liz Svatek 1:48
Oh my gosh, yes. Yours is challenging. Yes.
Lara Schmoisman 1:51
Well, Liz, I mean, she has an incredible career. She is a worrier, woman Coach, and we’re gonna go and take a deep dive on her career. But also Liz is one of the pioneers of writing for blogging. So How did it all start for you?
Liz Svatek 2:12
I think a lot of blogs back in the days, I’m talking about the early 90s but are not early 90s. I’m sorry, the early Well, Mom blogging anyways, the early 2000s, late 90s People were mom blogging out of necessity, frankly, we were just desperate for connection. We know we were bending. We were like, Oh my God, is anyone else doing this? This way? This is insane. So I started, my son actually was born with Arterial thrombosis. So he was born with a set of blood clots in his arm and had to be in the hospital for 52 days. So to say that was unexpected is an understatement. And he almost died. He had a stroke. They wanted to amputate his arm and cut the boys 15. He is great. His arm is you know, I wouldn’t say it’s fully functioning. But guess what? He’s got an arm. And he’s great. So back in that time, I was just bred. I mean, I was like, what’s going on? Can I talk to another mother? Jesus? Yeah.
Lara Schmoisman 3:20
that thing that doesn’t happen to someone else. They need to connect with someone that is going through the same or similar things because it’s hard and you feel lonely
Liz Svatek 3:32
Yes. Yeah. So I told my story. I went about my life day to day and you know what, after a while, you know, you get to know people in the blogging world. And some of those mom bloggers are still with me today. They still listen to my podcast. Now they follow me. You know, on lizsvatek.com, they are still on my social media cell. And if I post a picture of my kids, they just about go crazy, because they remember when Lana was born 15 years ago, so it shows you the loyalty but you know, back then it definitely was cathartic to write about what was going on and connect with other women, other moms, and it really made me understand. And that’s actually why I created the warrior moms in the beginning platform was because I realized moms were craving connection. We just needed each other. And the writing was a way to connect.
Lara Schmoisman 4:21
Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if this is something that I feel in my life that I met a lot of incredible women through motherhood, but at the same time, my life or I also have a professional life and my life was evolving. My relationship was evolving as well. Because, um, it’s okay. Yes, that happens. And they’re still in my social media. And once in a while we’ll catch up, but I cannot expect to have the same relationships always the same.
Liz Svatek 4:51
No, and things grow and change and that’s the worst thing and you know what I’ve recently just gone, you know, certifying to become a coach. I’ve met all these women in My coaching program, which is kind of exciting.
Lara Schmoisman 5:03
Of course it is. I mean, I remember my grandmother going up to the new club.
Unknown Speaker 5:09
I mean, I think in stages of your life, you want people who are doing similar things you want like minded people you want to, you know, if you’re on a new journey of learning something new, you want new people to enjoy the journey with.
Lara Schmoisman 5:23
you can relate, because, for example, now, I’m an entrepreneur, I have very dear friends, people that I love, even family members, but there are a lot of things that I cannot talk to them, because you have to go through this. Yes, yeah. There. And so it’s okay to have those friends that you can talk about all day and talk about friends or you can talk business and talk shop.
Liz Svatek 5:49
It is okay. Yeah, and it’s not safe to tell everyone your dreams. Let’s just tell you that. Okay, it’s not safe. No, I think it’s funny when people are like, let me tell my mom about this thing I’m thinking about doing I’m like, Well, if you have my mother Don’t do that. Like that’s not a place to go. My mother is gonna shoot it down. She’s too afraid. She doesn’t want me to do anything new. She’s scared. So that’s not the person I would tell out. Maybe I would tell our mutual friend Rita. Before I tell my mother.
Lara Schmoisman 6:18
Well, no, I mean, my mom would be super supportive, but have no idea what I’m talking about. Exactly. So if you’re in different stages, but my mom will understand all the parts of my fears or my dreams, where are they coming from? Because she knows me from when I was a child, and she knows how I was growing and changing as a person. Yes. So that’s great to know. But I mean, I love that we are bringing these different aspects of our life and how we are as a woman, because there are also different aspects of how we have to write as a person, and we have to write for engagement. I know that you have a blog, then you also send newsletters, and also you have a marketing agency, that you’re 40 with social media, yeah. And creating engagement. I’m an absolute believer in storytelling. And that you have to connect with people and I prefer to connect deeply with a few people that really are going to be my target audience. I don’t feel like social media needs to be a popularity contest.
Liz Svatek 7:35
I agree. And I also don’t like perfection. I don’t like perfection when people are posting Perfect pictures. I am like, I just want to move right on. i There’s nothing I want there. So I really believe in storytelling everywhere. But social media especially, I use it like a micro blog. You know, I use that as a place to tell a story. I just told a story about my daughter. It’s the one year anniversary of us spending Christmas last year in the hospital. I know I read that. Yeah, it was it. And you know, a lot of people really relate it to that because a lot of people are getting COVID right now and Christmas. A lot of people are not having the Christmas that they want to yet again. And so when I posted on my god, I’m just feeling all these feelings about one year ago, what we went through and like how hard that was, and I’m getting emotional today people really were so I had people DMing me texting me commenting, because they were like, gosh, Liz, I feel the same way. I feel like last year kind of knocked me on my butt. And this year, I’m still not kind of back. And I feel that writing, just like you said, should be intentional. And it should evoke emotion. Yeah, evoke some type of emotion.
Lara Schmoisman 8:44
It’s great. I mean, now I gotta show my age. I was remembering an episode from Sex on the city that they were talking about the beige friend, we all have those beige friends that they can wear beige, and they get never gonna get it dirty. I can’t wear beige. I can worry about my hair. So it’s gonna be a mess. I touch my eyes and my makeup is gonna go messy. So my life is not perfect. And I think that the way that people need to connect is that they need to connect with imperfection Not with perfection. The perfection is very early 2000s.That it’s very, very early 2000 that Facebook was showing that your grain your grass is greener.
Liz Svatek 9:34
Yes. And now it’s not about competition. Now we realize especially women, my God have we not realized that it is about collaboration, that it is about storytelling and also allowing another woman to tell their story. I mean, that’s what I do on my podcast and you do it to is we provide a space for another woman to tell their story to tell their feelings to tell what their experiences and there’s nothing more important than that because we learn from each other through our stories through our experiences, so that the writing and the storytelling is paramount.
Lara Schmoisman 10:05
Yeah. So can you tell me a little bit? Like, for example, I have a lot of people that come to me because I also love to write newsletters, and to connect people through newsletters, but many people come to me and say, where do you start? How do you start? How do you come up with a title that people will want to read? Yes. What’s your process?
Liz Svatek 10:28
I know, mostly, I’m a screenwriter, like you. So I, I’ve been a screenwriter, I’ve been every type of writer in the world. My god, I’ve written everything. And I’ve been writing since I was a kid. That’s not everybody. So I understand that. So writing comes naturally to me. I want to just first say that here because some people, when we talk about this, they’re like, Oh, my God, Lara, I want to die. I cannot write anything. I hate this. Like, they just want to go crazy, right? So when you have a gift, when you have something that you really have been doing since you were a child, it’s definitely easier. But the way I do it is that inspiration does not come to me. The minute I’m sitting down at the computer, that is not when it happens. It happens and you’re you’re smiling a jig your head,
Lara Schmoisman 11:08
and I gotta show you, I processing it happens
Unknown Speaker 11:12
in my car, it happens at Target, it happens in the pickup line. It happens in my kitchen, it happens when I go see other art, if I go to an art gallery, if I go to a movie or see a great movie at home, something will come to me. So I wrote my entire keynote speech on the way to pick up my kids at school, because I saw a woman driving in her car. And she was really angry. She was super pissed off. She was like cutting people off. And I thought, ooh, like I was feeling her rage and how unhappy she was. I was feeling bad for her really. And it inspired me to write this whole keynote speech about what thoughts we think and how the thoughts we think are really important because they drive our whole day. And that came to me in the car, and I wrote it in the notes section of my phone, and then I perfected it later.
Lara Schmoisman 12:06
I always say that, to write you need to have triggers. That’s what I found. So I have in my notes, actually, I have created checkmarks. And I come up with ideas on pedals, that there are triggers, then I find out I also believe in trigger words. That’s another idea that we can discuss about subject lines, because subject lines and previous are important. Yeah, everything needs to be a trigger. Yes. If you think about triggers, you think you can process a trigger and analyze it and tell the story behind it.
Liz Svatek 12:47
Absolutely. And you never know when the inspiration or where it’s going to come from. And sometimes something might seem silly to you. But it brings out a bigger idea, a more universal truth. That is true. So sometimes you just need to follow, it’s almost like, you know, you see a thread coming out, you just gotta keep pulling it because you might have a whole dress attached to it. So you got to kind of keep both on it. Yeah.
Lara Schmoisman 13:09
It’s like the onion that you need to start peeling it. And you might cry. Because at some point, it might make you cry and make you laugh. You never know where it’s gonna take that. But you need to be okay to be vulnerable. When you’re writing something personal.
Liz Svatek 13:27
when you show up like that you allow another person to show up for themselves. When you reveal, I always say you heal another person. Because truly, you know, even someone listening to this podcast, who is frustrated with writing, or maybe they had a son that was born and was in the hospital a bunch of days when they were born. They’re listening to this right now going, Oh, they understand me. You know, it just makes you feel more connected to other people when you actually tell, you know, the truth of what is really going on
Lara Schmoisman 13:54
Being honest is so important. I learned the hard way. I was pregnant with my older son, and back then apparently the tests weren’t that accurate. So they told me that there was a very, very high chance that my son had down syndrome. Oh, those were the two worst weeks of my life. I was crying permanently. I wasn’t eating which wasn’t good for my pregnancy either. But at the same time, I didn’t tell us all that I was depressed with my life. And I was hiding it. Yeah, from that moment on, if I would have shared what was going on with me I would have found out that that happened to a lot of people.
Liz Svatek 14:43
Yeah, that happened to me with my daughter. Yeah.
Lara Schmoisman 14:46
So um, so that’s for me that sounds like I learned that maybe you don’t want to share it to everyone but it’s important to find your niche or find who your audience is. Your audience doesn’t need to be 1000s of 1000s of people, they don’t have to be on a platform. But you, you always have an audience.
Liz Svatek 15:09
Absolutely and isolating, I feel like it drives people into anxiety when you isolate yourself and you don’t tell anybody the problems that you’re having. That is when I, as I like to call it, you get onto the hamster wheel of death, or you’re just over there with your thoughts spinning out of control going crazy. Because you, you, you won’t, you won’t tell anybody, you’re keeping it all in, and you’re making yourself crazy. So isolating is the worst thing you can do. And I understand why people want to, because they feel like if they say it out loud, it makes it real. But that’s not the case, saying it out loud sometimes dissipates it, if you shine the light in the dark place, guess what? That’s so dark anymore. So it really does work,
Lara Schmoisman 15:51
but also depends on your audience. And that’s something that you need to learn how to choose your audience. I always remember that my son was writing something. He’s a talented writer, my older son. And he was writing something, I think he was in fourth grade. And he got in trouble for what he wrote. I read the piece, and actually I thought it was a good piece, was it a piece for fourth graders? I don’t think so was a piece for school?. It’s debatable. But so it’s something that we had to talk about that day and say, Listen, I don’t have a problem with what you wrote. But you need to think about who your target audience is? And in this case, you had to please the school, your teacher this, right? So it’s really important that you write thinking, who’s going to be the listener?
Liz Svatek 16:46
Absolutely. You have to know your audience and know what is going to be the difference between things you shouldn’t shouldn’t be talking about and also what’s going to resonate, frankly, not that you’re going to censor yourself, but you’re going to make sure that whatever you’re doing is going to resonate.
Lara Schmoisman 17:02
So finding your audience. I mean, the audience, your blog can be different from the audience in your social media.
Liz Svatek 17:11
Absolutely. I’ve very different audiences. I have the audience of my podcast and the audience on social media. I’ve the audience of my longtime email subscribers, and it is different what I put in each different place. But there are some through lines. And I also know the patients that people have, you know, I really, as a veteran, stand up comedian from back in the day I told you, I’ve had every job in the world. Yes, um, you know, I like to be brief. I’m not going to, you know, take forever to that point. I really tell the story. But I’m brief. I get in, I get out and I’ve got a good subject line, a good tagline. You know, I know what my points are. Because I know people are busy, and they don’t have time to be right reading every little thing. So I really am cognizant of that.
Lara Schmoisman 17:58
Yeah, you have to go to the point. Yes. And also remember that using the written word, and a comma, a period, a selling semicolon can communicate different things. Yes, yes. So you need to make sure that that intention that you put in that’s why I think a lot of people use emojis, just to make sure that they’re communicating the right message.
Liz Svatek 18:23
It’s so true. It’s so true. We’ve become clued into that and to know that if I put a little like, you know, silly face, everyone knows, she’s kidding.
Lara Schmoisman 18:33
Honestly, I confess, I hate emojis, I really don’t like them. I may because I’m a veteran from the written word. And I think about communicating. And people need to just read and get the engine from you while you’re writing. But I do understand that social media goes really fast. So those expressions, those facial expressions will make you people understand or read faster.
Liz Svatek 19:03
Absolutely, absolutely. But I know what you mean, as are writers who are writers by trade think emotion. They want you to explain versus put an emoji so I understand exactly, exactly. Use your writing, don’t do an emoji.
Lara Schmoisman 19:17
I know, right? I mean, I cannot think of grading papers for my students and then writing an emoji. That won’t go well with me. So before we go late, I want to ask you that first, the same questions that I asked everyone in the podcast, I believe that women’s like you or me we fall and on we get up again, and we’ll show resilience and would fall a lot of times and we make mistakes and we own those mistakes, or we have experiences that they weren’t that great, but we’re ready to share it with the world so someone else I can learn from them. So what is that story, that experience that you think? Or that the huge mistake that you made that you can teach others from that experience?
Liz Svatek 20:17
Well, I mean, this is the way the universe works. I think the huge mistake that I made, but now I don’t think I’m sick anymore, was that I’ve skipped around in my career. I, as I told you, I was an actor, as a stand up comedian, I sold a screenplay, I had a marketing agency, I did social media, I did social media for celebrities, I did luxury marketing, I now have a podcast. And what I’ve realized now as I’ve just certified to be a coach, I realized I have taken every single thing I have learned in all of those domains, and brought it all with me to come alongside women and guide them now. So now the thing that seemed kind of like a point of shame, like, wow, I’ve done so many things, I’ve changed so much. Now I realize, oh, no, no, I’m a serial entrepreneur, which is great. And I have all these experiences, you know, and that’s, I think a lot of women have a career that’s more like a jungle gym than a straight line. You know, we’re all going all over the place. And we adapt and change. And so I think my mistake was not understanding how great that really was, and understanding that that kind of experience is valuable.
Lara Schmoisman 21:25
Totally. And I mean, I don’t think it was you, I think it’s society and the same as you. And also, being a woman our age, we had to, to self teach ourselves many things in our careers and at the time that we started. And I had a recruiter telling me to either stay at home and take care of my kids, because I will not go anywhere for having all that variety in my background.
Liz Svatek 21:54
I mean, ridiculous,
Lara Schmoisman 21:57
ridiculous. And I think it’s great that they’re women like here that they embrace that versatility and that and can teach other women’s men and any gender out there. How to be you and to get those experiences and bank on them. Because everything, every experience in your life is worth it. You don’t know what experience can take you.
Liz Svatek 22:24
Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more.
Liz, it was such a pleasure to have you on Coffee N5, thank you so much for taking the time to be with me today. And everyone else. I will see you next week. We’re so glad to have you here today. See you next time. Catch you on the flip side. Ciao ciao.