EP 6: How to Speak Your Customers' Language With Katie Momo

In this episode I chat with Katie Momo, a copywriter and marketing strategist, on how to interview your customers to discover their desires, problems, language, and more.

Leah: Hey, this is Leah and
you're listening to ads with

Leah, a paid social podcast.

This podcast provides creative
first digital advertising education

for impact driven businesses and
marketers who care more about

quality than they do about quantity.

Stay tuned to learn how to make
amazing ads that help you reach

the right people and attract
and engage your ideal audience.

In today's episode, I'm interviewing
my good friend, Katie Momo.

We actually met at an active
campaign training session that

was hosted here in Montreal.

It was 2019.

I just moved to the city
and didn't know anyone here.

And she was my table mate
at the training session.

And we clicked super well and
see eye to eye on a lot of things

in business and in marketing.

I wanted to do an episode for the podcast
about customer research, because this

is something that I've mentioned in
previous episodes that is so important

and absolutely invaluable to the
process of making good ad creative.

Doing a good job of customer research,
talking to your customers, learning their

language, the way they talk about things.

All of this will make your ad creatives
so much more powerful and effective.

I immediately thought of Katie
for this episode topic, because

it's something I've heard her
talk a lot about and something

that I know she does really well.

So I knew she would bring a lot of
value, and I can't wait for you to

listen and hear the amazing tips
and strategies that she shares.

So let's listen to the interview.

Leah: Hi, Katie.

Thanks so much for being here today.

Why don't we get started with a bit
about your background and what you do.

Sounds great.

So I am a copywriter
and content specialist.

So I have been working with online
businesses for, well, well, it businesses

in marketing for like 15 years now.

It's crazy to think of that.

and then I started specializing
in online business.


Really predominantly focused on the
online course and program market

but I've done, I've worked with many
different kinds of businesses as well.

So I've done a lot of the
launch campaigns in order to

get people into their programs.

So the sales pages, the sales
emails, it was all about really

understanding the client.

Like what are they struggling with?

What is the outcome that they're
looking for and what program is

going to find them that solution.

So it's really about aligning.

What that person is looking for and
showing them how this particular

offer is going to help them.

That's awesome.

So for this episode, I really wanted
to dive into customer research because

I think that's such an important part
of making really good ad creative.

And even though you don't necessarily
specialize in advertising, I feel like

from so many of our conversations,
I've heard from you that you use

customer research and you're always
sharing examples of times that you've

used customer research in your copy.

And so I thought you'd be a perfect
person to talk about this with.


And I mean, I think the whole like
ecosystem, they all tie together.

Like, the ads needs the rest of the copy
in order for, to work, the copy needs

the ads in order to get the traffic.

So it's like all intermingled.

You can't just focus on one because it's
like, it's like, imagine you're you have

a person it's like, you need to have.

Everything in your body to have at work.

So I just think of the
whole thing together.

You know, it's like, I need you,
you need me where we all make

the whole system work together.

So it's fun to see actually, you know,
the work that I do feed the ads because

of course you can pull from the work that
I've done in to the actual ads themselves.

So it's really fun to see how
we can actually work together

and how I work with different ad
managers and organic marketers.

What, whoever else is on that particular
person, this team to make this all work.

That's so true.

It's going to be a much more
cohesive experience for the customer.

If the ad, the landing page, you
know, the, the whole funnel and the

entire experience has consistent
language and messaging in it.

So, in your opinion, why is
customer research so important?

Well, we really need to understand what
that person is looking for in order to

actually speak to what they need, because
oftentimes like us as creators, product

creators, offer creators, we see something
in a completely different way than how

our ideal clients are looking for it.


If we speak to it, just from
our perspective, we're not going

to say the things that that
person is going to realize.

especially I work with a lot of
people who can be quite technical.

So these explaining things in like
the jargon of their particular

industry, and it doesn't like
their ideal clients have no idea.

Like, like they don't even
think it applies to them.

It just goes like over their heads.

So there's no way that you can
actually connect with somebody and

have them buy something if they
just don't even understand how.

That is even for them.

So using their language and
how they described things.

It's, that is how we're able to show
people like, Hey, you know what?

You have this problem.

We have the particular solution to that.

Here's how it works.

And then that is how people actually
understand, like, you know what,

this is for me, I'm going to apply.


Do you have any examples of that,
of, of times that you've used

customer research under his landed
really well with the audience?

Yeah, actually I was just working
on a sales page and I'm going to

be working on the sales emails too.

So it's, my brain is sort of in
this one, which is kind of fun.

Um, this particular
offer is it's fantastic.

It has incredible track record of getting
like phenomenal results for their clients.

Like people who have suffered
with digestive health issues.

7 8, 9, 10 years.

They've used this program and they've
like, people are saying like, I am

a hundred percent like fixed, like,
like they never thought that their

life would be normal again, basically.

They're always so used to having
all sorts of digestive issues.

Not probably things we want to talk
about on the podcast, but you know,

lots of toilet, trouble, not very fun.

Um, so the original sales.

It was quite clinical because of course
there's so much science behind this.


Um, but the way that a medical
professional describes it and the way

that like, you know, you and I would
describe it, what we're going through.

Um, and, and the solution that we
need, like, like night and day,

So within this, going through the
testimonials that this client had,

um, that is when I started getting
some of the big aha moments of what.

These people, like what, what
was the big shift for them?

And one of the ones I'm just
getting chills, thinking about it.

One of the big ahas was that people
were saying, you know, what I realized

is I thought I was being healthy.

I was eating all healthy foods.

I can tell you what's a healthy food.

I've read all the blogs, yada, yada.

But what I realized is that healthy
eating isn't the same for everybody.


Like what is healthy for me may
not be healthy for you and may

not be healthy for someone else.

Say you need to have a customized, healthy
eating plan in order to actually feel well

and to have your body function properly.

And it's like, you know, they
were basically continuously on an

every day, every day process just
basically like poisoning themselves

with the food that they thought
was supposed to be right for them.

And when I read that,
I was like, oh my gosh.

Like, it was like a recurring theme
that kept coming up in her testimonial.

So that was a sign to me that
like, okay, like a lot of people

think this is an important point.

So it's like looking for those.

Repeated points then instead of like,
the one-offs can be really great.

But when you start seeing the
themes arise, that tells you, this

is a really powerful thing, like
multiple people are having the same

sort of realization and results.

So I was able to incorporate
that into the copy.

So like, you know, when
people have that realization.

Of like healthy eating doesn't
look the same for everyone.

I need a personalized plan
for what is right for me.

And this is how we're
actually going to do that.

It paves the way for the sale because
people understand where it's like, ah,

this, this is why this is going to work.

This is why this is different.

So you mentioned customer
testimonials, that's such a great

place to do customer research.

Where else do you like to look
when you're doing that research?

Yeah, I love so testimonials are one of
the first place that I start, because

those are people that have definitely
gotten results enough to the point

that they want to talk about it.

So they're usually a fantastic place
as like sort of my ground zero.

So there's sort of two different levels.

I know that I was talking to
you about this before, is that

there's the research that I do.

And then there's the research that I have
my clients do because I am not talking or

typically, sometimes they hired me to do.

I'm not typically talking
directly to their clients.

So I will give them recommendations
of what I think that they should

talk to their clients about and
interview them to see what are, you

know, what's coming up for them.

So I remember you were asking
like, what kind of questions.

Do you ask, so do you want
me to, to cover some of those

questions now let's get into that.


Sounds good.

This was so valuable.

Like I had people ask these
questions all the time.

I get them to record it on zoom and
then I get them to transcribe it.

And then once it's transcribed, one of
the best ways that you can do this, it

sounds so goofy, but really, really works.

Is just sort of let your eyes glaze over.

And scroll through the transcript and
you are going to see things that sort of

pop out at you, because if it is catchy
enough that it's like getting through,

you're like sort of like glazed over eye
that tells you there's something there.

Like there's something interesting there.

And that is almost always how I find it.

Some really, really great language
that I can use because it's

like, okay, it's gotten through.

Filter of where I'm glazed over.

There's going to be something
super powerful there.

So it's such a simple and goofy
way to find incredible stuff.

And here's the questions that I ask.

So first of all, um, we want
to understand what they want.


So that goes back to like, when
I was talking about, in the first

part where it's like, what, what is
the thing that they actually want?

How do they say it in their words?

So you can say something like, okay.

So in regards to.

This topic, whatever your offer is,
like, finish the sentence for me.

I just wish I could.dot, dot.

Like that is such a good indicator
of what they're actually looking for.

And sometimes you actually don't even
need to ask that, like, sometimes you

don't even, you can just find things
that they've written where they're

like, oh, I just wished I could, or it,
maybe it was on a sales call and they're

like, I just wish I could X, Y, Z.

That is such a sign for you to
be like, okay, that is the exact

thing that they're looking for.

And then you can get more specific.

You can say something like,
you know, um, what do you want?

You know, whatever your topic is, what
do you want business to look like?

For example, what are you working towards?

So that's like another way that you
can sort of get to that same answer

and with all of these questions, it's
really important to go below the surface.

So sometimes the answers that
they give you will be like.

So for example, going back to the gut
health example, someone might just

be like, I just want to feel well.

That's a good starting place, but
that doesn't tell you specifically

what they're looking for.

And then when you dive deeper, they might
be saying something like, you know what?

I want to go out for dinner with
friends and not have to be worried

the whole time that, you know, I might
have to go to the bathroom and I'm

stuck in a restaurant where there's
just like one little bathroom and this

is going to be super embarrassing.

So you might get these surface
responses first and that's good.

It's a great place to start.

It's up to you to sort of
start going deeper and be

like, tell me more about that.

Oh, that's, that's interesting.

Can you tell me of a
time when that happened?

So those, those deeper level
questions are going to start

revealing the real meat of it.

So let's go into the second
question and we want to really

understand why this matters to them.

so you can just ask them like,
Hey, why is this important to you?

Like, what is this going to mean to you?

What is the difference?

Will this make in your life?

So like, sometimes we have the, the
obvious things let's say for business.

Um, I would have a client who's like,
oh, I want to have more clients.

And it's like, okay, well what's
the purpose of more clients?

Oh, I'm going to make more money.

What's the purpose of more
money I can start doing.

More things that I want
to do with my life.

I can, if I'm making more money, I
might actually be able to step back

and spend more time with my family.

So now we start getting down
to the real important things.

It's not just like clients is just
one thing, but it's like, so that you

can so that you can so that you can.

So it's stringing all of these real
deep reasons together to find what

really, really matters to them.

I love that.


It's people often, you know,
they don't, they don't even

realize their own motivations.


And so when you're asking those questions
and digging deeper and deeper, you can

really get to the root of what they're
actually wanting with that offer.

You're so right about that, like very
often when I'm asking people these

questions, because on occasion, clients
do hire me to do this and people will be

like, Like it does take them a second.

Cause it's such a simple question,
but nobody is asking them that

in their regular daily life.

So it is it's so true.

What you said so you said sometimes
clients hire you to do this, and

then other times you have your
client do the research themselves.


And how do you recommend
that they do that?

Is that like, you know, interviewing
their customers or what are some

other ways that they can find out
these insights from their customers?

Yeah, sure.

So I almost always start with a
zoom interview seeing if I can

get somebody to do that, just
because we can get the transcript.

You can, it gives you the
space to go deeper with that.

Like, instead of the, like some people
will try and do like a form or just

like answering questions in an email.


Very often, those will yield those surface
level responses and it doesn't give you

the opportunity to like go back and forth
and massage it and find the deeper things

that really, really matter to them.

So ideally, if we can get
them on interview, that's.

I would say the best way to do it another
way that's been working quite well.

It's just having DM conversations
with your clients, just because it's

like casual, it doesn't feel like,
you know, sometimes interviews, people

feel like very like stiff and formal
and that's not what we want at all.

So sometimes when you just like throw out
a question to them over the DMs they'll

respond and a great way to do this is
let them know like, Hey, you know what?

You can respond over voice.

Because it's so much easier for
people to respond when they're

talking, versus when they're typing.

It's just like our brain works in
a very different way and speech

comes so much more naturally to us.

So you tend to get better
responses when people are speaking

versus when they're writing.


I love that.


I've never done customer research
in the DMS before, so I love that.

That's such a, it's such an
interesting way to do it.

any other websites.

Places that you look for
this kind of research.

Like what if the, what if the
client doesn't have any testimonials

or they're just getting started
and see, so they don't have that

type of, of content to look at?

Yeah, well, there's quite a few
different places that you can do.

I actually was going to mention one
that somebody mentioned on one of your

other podcast episodes, which is Reddit.

It's fantastic for customer research.

It's a mind pit.

There's some groany stuff in there.

I'm not going to lie, but my goodness,
it can be so good for customer research.

Um, another fantastic way to do it.

At the testimonials of other
people, like in a similar space.

So if you have a competitor
go look at their sales page,

what are their clients saying?


also to Google map reviews, so good, like
go find people who are doing something

similar or businesses that offer something
similar and go through those reviews.

They can be just an absolute
gold mine of information.

that's been when I've been
using a lot recently and it's.


and similarly Amazon
reviews really, really good.

Now Amazon does have a problem with fake
reviews, but after you've read a lot of

reviews, you can sort of snip them out.

You can sort of identify what
is not in, what's not a genuine

review and one thing I was doing.

Recently, which was so helpful.

Um, so going back to the sales page
that I just wrapped up about digestive

health is we were looking to describe the
process in a way that clients understand

it, because it was very, very science.

And one thing they did is I looked
up blog posts of people who've been

through a similar situation, they went
through like a similar process, not the

same, but there are parallels to it.

And it was incredible, the
amount of information that was

on there and in their words.


So it's like a regular person.

Who's just going through it, describing
everything that they went through and

I was able to sort of like match up
to be like, okay, like here is the

science bit, here are different blog
posts of how other people describe it.

So I was able to translate what
happens in that particular stage in

a way that people can describe it.

So that was such a great way to do
it as like looking up like one of

those mega blog posts where people
give like their, the full reveal of

like what happened to them and yeah.

Incredible, incredible.

Oh, yeah.

What, in your opinion, what do you feel
is the most important information to learn

about your customer from this process?

Really, I guess it depends on what
part of the copy you are working on.

So for example, in the beginning,
you do need to understand like,

Hey, what, what are their goals?

Like, what are they looking for?

And on the flip side of that, I
consider them sort of like the same.

Part of the same coin is what
are they struggling with?

What, what are, how is the
showing up in their life?


And not just being like I find so
often people would sort of default

to like explaining to the problem.

The problem is like,
oh, you're frustrated.

You're struggling right now.

And it's like with what been frustrated
with what we need to get down into

it in a way that reflects their life.

Like, we really want to like, hold
up a mirror to them and be like,

this is, this is you right now.

So that's how people can really
understand that you understand what

they're going through because they read
it and they're like, if they're nodding

while they're reading this the whole
time, it's like, oh yeah, I get it.

I get it.

I get it.

So on another client that I was
working with, who helps people with

weight loss, she had, she had done
her research and it was amazing.

So one of the things that came
up for her is that her clients

were saying, I feel like.

I never in the pictures, I'm always
the one behind the camera taking

pictures of all of my friends, but
I don't want to be in the pictures.

So there's no pictures of me.

It's like, I'm just documenting
other people's lives.

And that was just heartbreaking.

Like she's like, I want to be in
the photo and feel good about it.

Not just be in the photo, but.

Proud to be in that photo.

And that was just like, oh,
that's such a good thing because

that, that gives a glimpse into
their life, into their psyche.

It helps you experience what they're
going through for just a moment.

Um, and that person who's going
through that, they look at that

and they're like, yeah, that's me.

That's me right now.

so it's such a great way to sort
of like capture that slice of life.

Like what are they actually going
through instead of saying like,

oh, you want to lose weight?

Like, okay.

But what is the deeper problem here?

Like what are they
actually struggling with?

It really helps people connect with you.

I feel like a common theme I'm
hearing from you throughout.

This is specificity and really getting
super specific with drilling into

really like what they want, what
their, what their life is like and

having copy that really reflects
what they're struggling with and what

their desires are and their pain.


Yeah, exactly.

I swear.

I say the word specificity
every single day.


Um, is there any, any final thoughts
or tips or anything on customer

research that you'd like to share?

I think you knowing that people actually
like to talk about themselves because

people are always really nervous about
like, oh, I don't want to bother them.

And you're not gonna bother them.

It's okay.

People, first of all, like
to talk about themselves.

So you're giving them a
platform that they can do that.

And second of all, if you say like,
Hey, I remember when, like, when you.

When you came to me and like, you know,
you were really struggling with X, Y, Z.

I want to show more people who are in
that same position that I can help them.

They also want people to be healthy.

They don't want people to feel that
way or be struggling with that, or

they want people to get that amazing
outcome that you get for them.

So they have that empathy as well, right?

Like that's just internal to most people.

So it's not like your bothering them
or doing a disservice, you actually

giving them an opportunity to use their
voice, which is such an honor for them.

So it's a really beautiful
thing to be able to do that.

And you will really appreciate
your offer so much more when you

see it from their perspective.

Like very often clients will be like,
I never, I had no idea people were

using it for this or had no idea.

The really impact those makes.

So it actually raises your confidence
level and makes it easier to go out

there and sell it because you're
just like, this is really good.

This is amazing.

And that just makes it so much
easier when you feel that way.


The product itself can even evolve.

Like the offer itself can evolve as the
business learns how customers are using.

From this process.


And sometimes it opens
up a whole other market.

Like people were like, I had no idea, like
those people were using it like, whoa.

And sometimes they'll pull other
marketing, like angle as well.

So it's really, really like,
there's so many good things

about talking to your clients.

Just we could do like
10 other podcasts on it.

Yeah, totally.

And it's so true.

Like you said that most of the time
customers are excited to share their

feedback and they're excited when
you want to hear their opinions.

So it shouldn't be a nerve
wracking thing to, to want to

ask them to do this research.

Really, I was actually just looking at a
Twitter thread this morning, that Canva

had posted where they said, like, if
you had the power to, to add or change

anything to Canva, what would you do?

And there's over 300 comments already.

Cause that's just another example of
giving people the opportunities to

voice their opinions and rolling back
into your point where it's like, they

are going to make a better product
out of it, just because they're

getting that input from their clients.

That's amazing.

They're going to get so much,
so many good ideas from that.


Well, thank you so much, Katie.

Where can people find you online to
learn more about you and your work?


Well, thank you so much for having me.

This has been a pleasure.

I just love talking about this stuff.

I know how important it is.

So if anyone wants to come and
chat with me more about it, I'm

at Katie momo.com and you can find
me on Instagram @hellokatiemomo.

Thanks for listening to this episode of
the podcast and i'll see you next time

EP 6: How to Speak Your Customers' Language With Katie Momo
Broadcast by