Kelsey Formost’s dissatisfaction with being an actress and screenwriter opened her eyes to the beauty of copywriting. As a copywriter, she’s able to help tons of clients and establish herself as a credible brand in the content creation space.
Get to know Kelsey as she gives more details about her humble beginnings, content creation process, and plans for the future.
What inspired you to become a business coach and a copywriting expert?
Kelsey Formost started as a successful actress and screenwriter for ten years. Some of her most popular stints include TV shows like Modern Family and New Girl, and she was also in a movie with Zach Efron.
Kelsey’s resume made it sound like her career was glamorous, but over the years, she was dissatisfied. She went through a lot of soul-searching, watched many Ted Talks on YouTube, and found her way to copywriting. She realized she wanted to be in control of the story and not just play a part in someone else’s story — something she achieved through copywriting.
It wasn’t long before she saw copywriting as a beautiful place where she could help others tell their stories and give them this incredible sense of ownership, confidence, and freedom. She adds, “Because often when you work with a professional copywriter or learn to write your own copy, it’s the first time you start to feel deeply seen and heard.”
For Kelsey, copywriting is an incredible magic wand that not a lot of people realize they can wave to and make their businesses and lives better.
What inspired you to create content on social media?
Kelsey’s experience as an actor and screenwriter made her see that people remember things better when they’re entertaining. Conversely, they won’t pay any attention if the content doesn’t provide any value to them. Her content strategy was driven by this concept. She assesses whether her content is entertaining to the people watching because she believes they’ll come back for more if she brings joy, levity, or value to their day.
Since she started, Kelsey admits seeing a very healthy shift in the industry when it comes to content creation — from creating aspirational, perfectly filtered, do it for the ‘Gram type of content to being authentic and showcasing what happens behind the scenes.
What type of content works best for you in terms of engaging with your audience?
Kelsey says that email marketing has worked wonders for her. This is something that no one ever expects her to answer, but she shares that messages are 5x likely to be seen through email than social media.
She considers social media like an appetizer that teases her audience but doesn’t ever leave them feeling that they had a satisfying meal. On the other hand, email keeps people engaged for a very long time and lets her audience know more about her. Another reason why she loves using email is that she can let her “freak flag” fly a little bit more.
The second type of content that works best for Kelsey is her podcast, as she feels her audience is taking her into their real life — whether they’re driving their kids to school, doing some grocery shopping, or cooking for their families. For Kelsey, her podcast takes a step further than emails because her audience hears her, and they can take her as they go about their daily lives.
In Instagram, what type of posts works best for you?
Instagram Reels work best for Kelsey, but she says the success of such content has to do a lot with the algorithm and the way Instagram is set up. She also credits the importance of captions and how these helped her achieve success on Instagram.
Kelsey explains, “A lot of people ignore that many people watch with the sound off. And even with the sound on, the human brain is wired to take in a written text more than just a talking head.”
By having captions in her Instagram Reels, Kelsey isn’t only taking advantage of the algorithms boosting her content and showing it to more people. She’s also using captions to help viewers absorb and remember her content better, even after watching them.
How do you decide what to post where?
Kelsey thinks about her audience first when deciding what type of content to post on different social media platforms. She tailors the type of content to post to who is most likely going to get something out of her content. For instance, people on Instagram and TikTok are there to be entertained. Because of this, she’ll post entertaining content on these platforms.
Since people on LinkedIn are using the platform for work, Kelsey posts value-driven content, like statistics, studies, or any other content that enables her to help the audience at work.
When deciding what type of topic to discuss in her Podcast, Kelsey says it’s just driven by a combination of different things. She considers the things people find valuable, the types of conversations they like, and the feedback she receives.
What are some of the challenges you face as a content creator in this niche?
Coming to new technology with a beginner’s mindset is Kelsey’s biggest struggle in her chosen niche. Because technology today opens so many possibilities, Kelsey admits it’s hard for her to keep up with the pace and consistently learn things. For example, when the algorithms change when she just went through learning through the old algorithm.
What do you think sets you apart from other creators in this niche?
“I genuinely want to help people. I’m not just sharing stuff that I think is valuable,” Kelsey says. To be able to do these, she spends time talking to her audience, researching, and validating whether the content she has in mind will help her audience and if these are the types of content her audience wants to see.
Kelsey calls her strategy 60-40. Instead of being her only sharing what she knows, 60% of her content creation process depends on what type of content would be helpful to her audience. Once she figures that out, she’ll present it in a funny and valuable way, comprising the 40%.
How do you help your clients?
When working with clients, Kelsey always begins the process by asking them about their fears and why they’re playing small. Once they’re over that and understand what type of message they want to send to the world, they start taking small, baby steps.
Ideally, she begins her content creation with something small, like a weekly email newsletter and a biweekly blog post, and then uses the content from those materials as captions for social media. They’ll work together to continually build traction online and expects that after six months to one year, the client will have three to four content channels with individuals who were nurtured from being followers to clients.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the industry?
Kelsey calls herself the Harrier or the spy of content, who is low-key subscribing and following anyone in the industry which captures her attention. She saves their content in her file and pays attention to the types of things that catch her attention. Because chances are, the things that caught her attention will also catch the attention of others.
But Kelsey doesn’t find trends an effective long-term strategy. For her, strategy is all about capturing attention and driving people to engage on social media.
Can you share some tips for aspiring content creators who want to build their personal brand?
Kelsey’s number one advice is to focus on how you want people to feel when they come across your personal brand. By starting there, everything else will follow — content creators can determine the colors and fonts to use in their captions, how long their captions should be, how they should speak, and so on.
Second, Kelsey recommends aspiring content creators to hone in on their unique value proposition, which means showcasing the number one thing they do or sell that the audience actively wants and the competition doesn’t have.
Kelsey believes that everything else will fall into place when aspiring content creators know what their audience feels and the value they’re providing.
How do you measure the results of your coaching and content creation efforts?
Although important, Kelsey admits that she struggled to measure the results of her efforts for a very long time. And she believes that the reason behind this is because, traditionally, the process was solely driven by numbers, like KPIs, the number of followers gained for a certain period, and engagement rate.
Kelsey explains that relying on numbers alone doesn’t give her an accurate picture of the impact of her efforts. Because of this, she looks at her business holistically and doesn’t solely focus on one data point only.
For example, even if the number of her social media followers is increasing, if her revenue and email subscriber count remain stagnant, her success in social media wouldn’t be that great.
She adds, “To me, the most successful businesses are the ones who look at the holistic picture.”
What’s your opinion on AI tools, like ChatGPT creating content?
Kelsey had a change of heart when it came to AI tools. Initially, she considers it lying when people use ChatGPT to write content because they’re not actually talking to their audience.
But now, she thinks ChatGPT and other AI tools are here to stay and can be helpful for very specific tasks that don’t require personality. For instance, ChatGPT can be helpful for anyone who needs help generating ideas for their blog posts or emails to send to their audiences.
As Kelsey learns more about AI, she finds the tools more interesting. Presently, she thinks of AI tools as junior copywriters or interns but doesn’t trust them to actually write an entire email or other forms of content online from start to finish.
To gain people’s trust, Kelsey is a firm believer that speaking authentically to them as a human being is the key.
What are your future goals for your business?
Kelsey will continue to improve her signature program, which is her copy class. It opens twice a year, and she considers it her baby.
In her program, Kelsey teaches entrepreneurs how to think like a copywriter so they can learn how to speak about themselves and their businesses with confidence. The program also helps entrepreneurs to learn how to sell without being too “salesy”.
Kelsey recently started a new membership called BYOB, which stands for Build Your Own Business. It aims to help entrepreneurs with the practical step-by-step process of building their personal brands. It’s a slow-building process as opposed to overpromising.
Kelsey also offers freelance copywriting services for anyone who wants help with their content or just wants to improve how they speak in general. Anyone interested can visit her site at kelseyformost.com. Her free guide, “3 Copywriter Tricks to 3X Conversions (in 30 minutes or less!),” can also be accessed from her site.