EP: 185 - Talking Shrimp’s Laura Belgray on How to Stay in The Creative Flow
This week's episode has a special guest: Laura Belgray. Laura, the founder of Talking Shrimp and co-creator of The Copy Cure, is a copywriting expert who helps entrepreneurs find the perfect words to express and sell what they do in a way that gets them paid to be themselves. Through her work with hundreds of clients (including online biggies like Marie Forleo and Amy Porterfield) she’s seen firsthand that putting “you” into your copy and all through your business is pure magic for getting people to love you up, share your ideas, and happily click your Buy button.
In addition to online type businesses, Laura’s list of clients and credits include NBC, Bravo, HBO, TBS, Fandango, and many, many more. So if you watch TV -- and don’t skip the commercials -- you've probably seen her words on air.
Nick and Kisma
3:59 Welcome Laura Belgray
I'm just going to bring her on. Laura Belgray, welcome to Illumination Podcast with Nick and Kisma. I am so excited you're here.
I am thrilled to be here. Thank you for having me.
4:43 Getting to Know Laura
For those of you that know Laura, you know she is just an amazing wordsmith writer, communicator. We're gonna get to all of that in a bit, but let's start with, Laura lives in New York City. Just tell us, are you originally from New York? Is that home base?
I am. It is home base. It is in my bloodstream, my cellular being. I am a New Yorker from birth. Born here at Beth Israel hospital. We lived on Charlton street for the first six months of my life and then Upper West Side where I grew up. I was on the show Open to Sesame Street where they show kids running around in the park in New York City. I have never left except for four years of college, but that was close enough to drive home and do my laundry.
7:16 Laura is the Coolest
Just for our listeners to know, when I started working with Laura. I was like, what is this talking shrimp thing? What is talking shrimp? And I just became so entranced with the way you wrote in your copy, you helped me. It was probably a couple of years ago. This was so major for me. We got on zoom, I hired you for a power hour.
I think we did a couple of them, Nick and I would watch her on Google docs. I put this copy in there and she would just get in there and there'd be this magic editor changing the words, doing this thing. I would hear the New York sirens in the background. I felt like I was watching Mozart compose. It was that incredible, the swoosh of magic copy. And then, I think I saw you in person for the first time in New York City. In person, here's what happened for me, I watch a lot of big influencers and from being in the music business, I'm not easily taken in awestruck. There's a lot of people that posture a lot of things and there's a lot of amazing people. Laura walks in the room and you just know for an instant she's the coolest person in the room.
Thank you. It's so sweet, and funny because in no way do I consider myself the coolest person in the room.
13:52 What goes on in your mind?
So, what goes on in your mind when you're setting the stage, whether it's a live event or your online courses, where you want people to be entertained because you are such an entertainer?
Hmm. I don't know. I just trust that it's going to be entertaining. And I think that I try to make it organized and coherent and easy to absorb. But like the more, winging it, the more off the cuff I can bring into it, the more fun it's going to be. So that's really what I love doing the most is. I love things that are off the cuff.
19:42 Creative Process - How does this Work?
I've been thinking a lot about creativity and creative processes recently. For me, something happened and I've been in an incredibly creative phase, so it's caused me to think about it a lot, like how does this work?
How it plays a role in my life and really for me, just on a personal level, how good it feels to just be able to be in that creative flow. But one of the things that I've noticed is that the more that you rely on it, somebody like yourself, that creative process is absolutely integral to your life and your income. And I know that sometimes that can put extra pressure on it as well.
So I'm curious if you'd be willing to talk just a little bit about whatever you call a creative process or maybe beyond that, what are the things that you do that support that in you and keep you in the flow and doing such great work all the time?
First of all, I love that state of being in flow or feeling creative.
Just being in the zone is everything.
It is what I live for and sometimes it comes and sometimes it goes. But I would say, even when I'm struggling with coming up with something to say, to write in an email, because that's the thing that there is pressure to do every couple of days. I gotta send something to my list. I've made this commitment. If I have nothing, and usually I have a bank of old ideas that I can go to in Evernote, but if I have nothing I'll sit down and open up. If I have nothing, the chances are I haven't written anything that day. I haven't done my writing in 750words.com. That's sort of the app or the website that I use for journaling. So I'll open it up. It's 750words.com and just free write until it's 750 words and then I can close it up. And it's a great exercise.
Not only does it get you into a writing groove and generate ideas as you're writing, but also, I think it changes your brain. I think it gets neurons firing or something like that. Just the act of writing. So it changes your brain chemistry and gets you into a more creative state. But usually I come up with some kind of idea, “Oh yeah, I can write about that today”. That's number one. If nothing's coming to me or I'm tired, I'm just like in a funk, usually I'll take a walk or take a shower.
51:41 Where you can find Laura
Tell us a bit about where people can find you.
You can always find me at talkingshrimp.com.
54:40 On Laura’s Bucket List
Before we wrap up, I have a question that I often ask guests because we don't have guests a lot and it's been so much fun to have you here, Laura. Is there anything that is on your bucket list like secretly you really want to do in this lifetime that you haven't told anybody that you would just like to share?
Something that's scary for me to put out there, because I like to pretend I'm practicing non-attachment to outcomes, is that I want my book to be a bestseller. I want it to be on the list. I want it to be one of those books that's right in your face when you're at the airport. And it's like, Oh, that's one of their number one picks. “I'm going to take that with me on the plane.” I want it to be in everybody's hands. I want it to make people miss their subway stop when they're on the subway and make them laugh out loud on the plane to make people think they're crazy. And then I want to go on stage and talk about that and I want to be on panels. As my job from now on. I want people to just have me on Q and A panels where I don't have to prepare anything.
Well, so be it. We'll be waving our magic wands over here and anything we can do to support you, of course.
Thank you again so much for being here. It's such a treat to have someone like you on Illumination podcast and everyone, follow talking shrimp, go to her website, go to Instagram. It is such a joy to be watching and reading Laura Belgray.