I have a special guest today here to discuss probably the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing, growing your business, and turning followers into dollars: compelling words. Using words to articulate ideas while creating influence and emotion is the key to persuasion, so writing is a skill we all need as entrepreneurs. That’s why I’m sitting down with Dakota Robertson this week.
Dakota is a digital nomad, he’s only 25, and he’s killing it as a social media ghostwriter, helping people grow their accounts and go viral, alongside growing his own personal brand, showing others how to become ghostwriters. He’s created a lifestyle that allows him to travel anywhere and do whatever he wants, and he’s here to share all his secrets.
It doesn’t matter how big your audience is if you can’t influence them through your words, so tune in this week to hear from Dakota Robertson on turning your followers into dollars. We’re discussing the discomfort of selling, sharing your opinions and authenticity, and why there is a ton of profit available if you take the skill of writing seriously.
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If you are ready to create your first six-figure year, your next business investment needs to be Three More. Three More is where you’ll get access to our video vault of everything I did to create a highly successful brick-and-mortar company, as well as a booming online company. It’s not luck. It’s a process. And you can have it by clicking here.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- What you gain in terms of personality by traveling and seeing the world.
- How Dakota fell in love with the freedom of entrepreneurship.
- Why, as entrepreneurs, good writing and understanding the psychology behind it is a vital skill.
- What makes the words we choose to use with ourselves more important than most people think.
- The difference in growth potential between just having a big following, versus having a small following that trusts you.
- Dakota’s advice for getting over the discomfort of selling and sharing your authentic self.
- Why small words make for big-dick energy.
- What your options are if you want to build a business as a writer and start monetizing your words.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- If you enjoyed today’s show, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Hell Yes Entrepreneur Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review!
- Dakota Robertson: Website | Twitter | Instagram
- Dan Koe
- Alex Cattoni
- Eugene Schwartz
- David Ogilvy
- Joseph Sugarman
- Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman
- $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi
- Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark
- 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost
- Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
- Opal Screen Time App
- Cold Turkey Website Blocker
Full Episode Transcript:
Hey guys, what is up? I have a special guest for you today. I am excited to sit down with him. We are going to be discussing probably the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing and growing your business and client acquisition. I’m talking today with Dakota Robertson. This is episode number 92. I am your host Becca Pike, and it is time for your weekly dose of Hell Yes Coaching. Let’s go.
Hey, guys. I’m Becca Pike and welcome to The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast, the number one show for entrepreneurs looking to create their first six-figure year. If you’ve got the drive and you know how to hustle but you’re not sure where to channel your energy, we’ve got the answers. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Becca: Hello Dakota, how are you?
Dakota: I am muy bien. I’m currently in Colombia and just enjoying the weather and the vibes here.
Becca: You’re in Colombia. Where do you live?
Dakota: Anywhere? I’m actually moving to Panama or moving my tax residency to Panama in about two weeks. The kind of schtick with that is I only have to stay there one day out of the year, and I’ll keep my residency and then I can just travel anywhere I want. But I’m originally from Canada, but I’m exiting Canada.
Becca: That’s very writer of you. Living that nomad life, just floating around with your creative brain. I love it.
Dakota: Well, why not? Like if you’re young and don’t got many responsibilities and stuff aside from yourself? Hell yeah.
Becca: Yeah. How old are you?
Dakota: I’m 25.
Becca: Yeah, 25. I did a lot of traveling in my early 20s. I used to live in Bali, Indonesia before I had a family and kids and all the travels. You get a lot of personality through traveling and seeing the world and realizing that this like first world country or this like westernized culture is not everything and just a very small sliver of humanity.
Dakota: That’s what got me really into entrepreneurship was I traveled to Southeast Asia when I was 19. I just fell in love with the freedom of it all. I wanted to create a lifestyle for myself where I could travel anywhere and do whatever I want. So it’s had a very big impact on me.
Becca: Yeah, that’s awesome. What part of Southeast Asia?
Dakota: I did a month in Thailand, a month in Vietnam, and a month in Colombia. I wanted to go to Bali, but I never did. But I’ll do that probably in the next year.
Becca: Yeah, that’s awesome. I love it. I love it. All right. Will you just take a second and introduce yourself to my audience? Who are you? What do you do?
Dakota: Yes, howdy. My name is Dakota, Dakota Robertson. I pretend to be people on the internet. What I mean by that is I am a ghostwriter. My main thing was I would write for people on social media, and I would grow their account. So just basically make people go viral. I did that alongside growing my own personal brand, but now I’m showing people okay, how do you become a ghostwriter? I’m showing people how to do that. Then also just a consultant role and just advising people instead of doing it for them.
Dakota: That’s my quick little intro.
Becca: Yeah, for sure. I love this. I love this conversation because I’m all bought in. I love writing. I’ve written since I was young. I’ve never had organized mentorship. I’ve never taken classes. I just love the idea of people who can articulate ideas and things on paper that are influential or create emotion. Like I just think words are so powerful. So I’m bought in on why we should all learn the skill of writing.
But for anyone that is listening to this, they’re in the first five minutes of this episode, and they’re like I don’t know if I want to listen about writing. In your words, because most of my audience is business owners okay. Why is it an important skill for business owners to learn how to write?
Dakota: So if you go on social media right now, what is it? It’s writing. You look at advertisements, it’s writing. Your website, it’s writing. All writing is it’s just thoughts. So if you can write and articulate yourself and you’re good at doing that, then you can persuade people, influence people to take a certain action, whether that’s to buy your product, to help them like exchange value for your product and money, or maybe you just want to genuinely give people advice on how to improve their lives.
Writing at the end of the day is just thinking and transferring one thought to another person. So if you can learn to write and learn the psychology behind writing then you can have a huge impact on the world.
Dakota: And on yourself.
Becca: Yeah, right. Absolutely. I believe that our words to ourself, and what we choose to say to ourselves is more important than most people think. Then, of course, what we choose to say to our clients or to our audience is more important than a lot of people give it credit for. It’s interesting because I teach a lot of business owners about client acquisition, and a lot of times they are looking for bigger and bigger audiences.
I’m constantly telling them I’m like listen. It doesn’t matter how big your audience is if you can’t influence them. You can have 200,000 followers, and if all you do is post pretty pictures, that isn’t necessarily going to translate into clients, right? Like you have to be able to be influential with your words. You have to be influential by showing personality through your words. Like to me , it’s so important.
Dakota: Yeah, that’s what I’m teaching people in my cohort right now. You can build a following with all the pretty pictures and the fortune cookie tweets and writing and all that, or you can build a brand. It’s a lot harder to build a brand. People think it’s synonymous of like oh he has a big following. He must have like a big brand. It’s like no, there’s a following where people just follow you, but then there’s a brand where people know, like and trust you. It’s completely different.
There’s people that have like 200,000 followers, but they’re not making any money because they don’t have a brand. They just post memes or stuff that sounds good, but when they go to sell something, they haven’t built up their authority, their trust, and people don’t want to buy from them. So there’s a huge difference. So I love that you said that. That’s a very important point.
Becca: Yeah, absolutely. I’m interested, and this is just for myself, as well, but I know a lot of people struggle with this. I have in the last couple of years been working on saying what I really want to say and not caring what people are going to think, right? Like saying that that thing that maybe is an unpopular opinion, or saying that thing that could get me in “trouble”.
What do you do or what do you advise people to do when it comes to being themselves and actually being authentic and saying the things that make them nervous to say, but they know that they hold truth in it, and they know that it is valuable to their audience?
Dakota: Yes, I don’t really have a sexy answer for this. But what I tell people is that it’s uncomfortable at first. So it’s kind of like a muscle you’ve got to build where I remember when I first started posting, I would shake. Like I would shake because I was so scared of what people would think of me before I had published. Like oh shit. Whenever I would share my story or anything vulnerable, I would get very nervous and just think oh what will people think?
But I just did it anyway because I think it’s very important to lean into discomfort and you just recognize that it’s all part of the journey. It wouldn’t make for a good story if everything was easy at the start, and you’re just super confident and all that. It’s very unsexy, but you just got to post anyway and just think about okay, what impact do I want to have on people?
Just posting fortune cookie tweets or posts, that doesn’t have any impact on people. There’s enough of that. What really impacts people is sharing your story, sharing your mistakes, your fuck ups, your screw ups, and what you learned from that and sharing the journey and the transformations you went through. Even though it might be scary as hell to expose yourself like that, you’ve just got to keep in mind okay what impact do I want to have?
I think that’s why it’s very important to have a why or form your brand from your core values. Like my core value is freedom. Freedom to live where I want, do what I want, and just basically live the lifestyle that I want. I want to empower other people to do the same because I know the pain point of feeling very unfulfilled and not having a purpose and going to a job you’ve fucking hate and just feeling dead inside.
I know what that feels like. I don’t want other people to feel that. So that reflects in my message to other people. Although it’s scary sometimes to talk about like your upbringing or where you came from, it’s very empowering for other people because you show them oh even though I was in this position, I still managed to achieve this.
When people see that story, they think to themselves oh well, if he or she did that, why can’t I? It’s very empowering for them. So you got to kind of have a higher purpose or have something that’s bigger than you and just see yourself as a vessel for getting people on board for that mission.
Becca: Yeah, I love that answer. I completely agree. I think we have to give ourselves grace because we are a tribal animal, right? Like it is important. It is ingrained in us to be accepted by the tribe no matter which way you cut it. You don’t want to be kicked out of the tribe. So we have all these mechanisms built into our biology to fit in. We have to go against that grain.
Especially right now in the era that we live in, like we have to be willing to stand up not just in front of the 10 village people that we live near. We need to stand up in front of the 500,000 people that could possibly see what we’re saying and be okay with being misunderstood.
I think that that, for me, was the biggest switch was like reminding myself that I’m safe. I no longer have to be a part of a tribe, or at least the only tribe I want to be a part of is like my husband and my kids and my mom and my bestie who drinks wine with me every night. I gotta be in her tribe. But other than those people, it’s okay to not be in a tribe anymore. It’s okay to be misunderstood. Not everyone has to understand me, and they never would have to begin with.
Like if I had put myself into any position, there’s no way you can bend yourself into a pretzel to be understood by everyone. Just finding the safety and like people are allowed to misunderstand me or misrepresent what I’m trying to represent, and that’s okay.
Dakota: Yeah, that’s why I love entrepreneurship too because it forces you to confront your own mindset challenges or your own whatever challenges you have. So I was a big people pleaser, still am in some sorts, but I was forced to confront that. Like you’re gonna be okay if you people hate on you in the comments or talk shit.
At first, it really bugged me. Like oh these people think of me in this way. They don’t even know me. But then you just kind of get used to it. You’re like fuck them. Like why do I even care? Like it’s more of a projection of what they think of themselves and what they actually think of me.
Becca: Yeah, 100%. I mean my first gut reaction when someone writes something very trollish on my thing, my first thought is like I feel bad for this person. Like guaranteed this person is like in their basement. They haven’t seen sunlight for like five days. They’re just pissed at life. They are definitely riding on carbs. They need way more protein. They are very sad. That’s always my first thought. It’s like man, I feel bad for this person. There’s going to be people out there like that all the time.
I think that becoming an entrepreneur and, like you said, like having to go through each level, you just get more calloused, more thick skinned. Like it’s just so much harder to penetrate me where I am now versus where I was just like three years ago. Because you’re forced through that uncomfort. It’s like to me being an entrepreneur, as you go through each level is like the most uncomfortable thing you can do with your life.
Dakota: Yeah, I remember hopping on sales calls. I would physically shake. I was so nervous. I just had to get over that. You do enough reps you’re like okay, that’s fine.
Becca: Yeah, the first time I did sales calls. The first time that I ever went live on camera, like the first webinar masterclass I ever did, like just straight pukey. I’ll have clients come to me, and they’re like I really want to go live, but I’m just too nervous. I’m like yeah, I’m sorry that you have to do – Like you just go through. Like you have to just go through it.
Dakota: You just force yourself. Yeah, that’s what I love about it.
Becca: Like the rest of us.
Dakota: Yeah, you’re like I’m screwed if I don’t do this. I gotta do it. Like your income kind of relies on it. So it’s like that external pressure.
Becca: Yeah. Then at the end, you’re like okay, I didn’t die. Or you’re like I died. I blacked out. I don’t even remember it. It was not okay.
Dakota: Moment of silence for those people.
Becca: Yeah, seriously, I love it. So my business brain is going a little haywire in this industry. It seems like and this is the case with any industry, but it seems like the writing industry, like you could make a lot of money doing this. Right?
Dakota: Oh yeah.
Becca: Like whether you’re ghostwriting or whether you are mentoring people to do writing, it seems like there’s a lot of profit happening in this industry.
Dakota: Yeah, that’s pretty insane. If you would find the right way to package up writing into different offers then you can make a shit ton of money. The way a lot of people struggle is they have the artistic brain, but they never develop the business brain. But if you can just form them together, you can make a shit ton of money.
Because a lot of people of the business minded people, they’re not very creative. Or they are creative, but they just don’t want to allocate the time to maybe writing or vice versa. Like people who are like oh I really like writing. I just don’t want to allocate the time to business. So if you can combine those two, there are very lucrative opportunities, especially if you build a brand, build a social media presence.
Becca: Yes. 100%. It’s so funny that you said that because so many industries have this budding head, especially if it’s a creative industry. Then to be able to get to that business side, I joke all the time that I’m the only successful massage therapist on the planet.
Because as massage therapists like I used to be a massage therapist for years. It’s a stereotype for a reason. We’re a little hippie. We’re a little floaty. We’re a little out there. We want to do our craft. We want to cure people of their ailments and all that shit. But there’s very few of us that have the business brain to go with it or will adapt to get the business brain.
So whenever I’m coaching massage therapists, it’s very like first of all getting them to even invest in themselves is hard. It’s not part of the culture. It’s very like a starving artist culture in the massage world. So to be able to have built like we have now a seven figure company with like 60 massage therapists working for us.
All the time massage therapists come and they’re like I didn’t even know that that existed. Like I didn’t know that was an option. I thought you just massage and that was what you did, and that’s how you made money. That was all that was available. Like it never even occurred to me that you could hire other massage therapists and build a business out of it. I’m like I know. It’s like part of the culture is like creative battle with the business side. So I’m so glad you said that.
Can you break down for me – Like just assume I’m a baby bird and I have no idea because I don’t. But what are the different offers in the writing industry? Like you can be a ghostwriter. You can be like a mentor of writers. You can like write books and get paid. What all is there?
Dakota: Yeah, so like the main industry is copywriting. So basically, that’s writing in a way that persuades people to take a certain action. So you can do email copywriting where you get people on a newsletter, or like someone has a list of people on the newsletter. Then the email copywriter comes in and basically writes emails that sell the product or like builds up the desire to buy something from that individual. So that’s like email marketing.
There are sales letters. So you go on the landing page or website. There’s a bunch of text. Usually it’s a copywriter writing the text in a way where it convinces the person to hand over money in exchange for a product or service. Ghostwriter. So that’s my industry. It’s basically written in a way that gets people to follow an account, get core sales, or buy a service or sign up for a newsletter.
Basically it comes down to writing persuasively. That’s like where all the money is made with writing typically if you’re doing it for someone else. Now people think oh, I have to be an author to make money. But I mean sure, you can go that route, but it’s not as easy to make money from that. Or at least from my perception. You can write scripts for people for YouTube or any other form of video. Those are the main ones that come to mind. I’m sure there’s many other ways, but it’s mainly copywriters, which is a big industry.
Becca: So if someone in my audience wanted to become a copywriter, or a ghostwriter, or just wanted to start monetizing money in some way, what would they do? What would be their first steps?
Dakota: There’s many different ways. So if you have the money, I would invest in a mentor because that’s just always the fastest and best way because you’re just gonna avoid all the mistakes that people make and save you a shit ton of time. So you can afford a mentor, they’re usually like, depending on who you get, but it can be like $3,000 to $100,000. Typically around like the $6,000 or $7,000 range. So if you can afford it, I would definitely like find a credible person who has a long standing reputation, and that you know, like, and trust.
If you can’t afford a mentor, YouTube has a ton of great resources. Alex Cattoni is amazing. She’s an amazing copywriter and has a lot of great free resources. Books. So you can read copywriting OGs like Eugene Schwartz or David Ogilvy, Joe Sugarman, Drew Whitman. Those are great copywriters that have a ton of great books to educate yourself. So they’ll kind of teach you the copywriting side. Then coming up with an offer, $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi is absolutely amazing. I think that’s pretty much the only book you need to –
Becca: Yep, I’ve got it right over there.
Dakota: Yeah, it’s like the Bible, right? Then what I would recommend is, I mean, this is from my experience so I’m biased, but build an audience on either Twitter, Instagram, some kind of social media platform. As you are learning, teach what you’re learning through your own experience on social media. Over time, you’ll start growing an audience of people that are interested in that topic. Even people that aren’t really interested in copywriting, but they want to hire a copywriter. They will reach out to you.
So it’s like you don’t even have to reach out to people in the DMS like hey, do you want my copywriting service? You’re in a way more empowered situation because you’re building this audience. So you’re also building social proof because people are following you. You are creating an asset that compounds over time because once you get a certain amount of followers, your stuff just spreads like wildfire.
Then build an audience. Like one piece of actual advice every day and then talk about whatever else you want. But as long as you’re giving one piece of actual advice every day, I think that’s a really good status quo to keep up with your content. I’d recommend Twitter if you’re gonna go the writing route because it’s such a writing heavy platform, and it’s great for growth.
Becca: Yeah, for sure. Well, I want to backtrack a little. You answered it a little bit, but we can recap and sum it up. You said like build an audience. Like it’s just going to make a turkey sandwich. Like why don’t you just build an audience? How did you build an audience? Like what were your top tips for your journey, and how did you build your audience?
Dakota: Yeah. So, for me, it was kind of a rough journey at the start. So at the beginning of my Twitter career in September 2020, I bought a course for $40. It was a course on how to grow your Twitter. It was very generic and didn’t give good advice. Basically told me to treat the fortune cookie, feel good, sound good tweets. That’s how you grow your account.
So I did that. Followed that. Only grew to 750 followers in three months. I was tweeting five times a day, commenting maybe 10 times a day, nothing crazy. I remember one day, there was this copywriting account that was just starting out. Within one month, he grew to 1,000 followers. It’s like holy shit. Like this guy just –It took me three months to get to 750 followers. What is this guy doing?
So I hopped on a call with him, and was talking to him, a really good guy. He was telling me how he was in the same position as me, tweeting just the basic content that sounded good. philosophy or whatever. He struggled to grow. Then he started studying copywriting and giving copywriting tips and advice on the timeline, and that’s when he just started growing like crazy.
So it made me reflect and think okay, I’m not growing with my current approach. What this guy is doing is he’s providing value. Because he’s providing value through actual advice and stuff that makes people money, he is valued and people are following him.
So at the time, I was studying web design, and I thought okay well, I’ve always been naturally decent at writing in school. It was my number one subject. So why don’t I just study copywriting and learn a bit more, and I can combine that with web design and make a lot more money for my services when I do offer them.
So I restarted my account February 17th of 2021, and I made it a writing account. I would just go crazy with learning about writing. So I’d read books. I would watch YouTube videos, all that jazz. As I was learning it, I would teach what I was learning. I would apply to my own experience then teach what I was learning. Every day I had an actual piece of writing advice. I was commenting 20 to 60 times a day on the accounts that have the audience that I wanted.
So basically, because I mean when you start posting on social media, you don’t have any followers. So there’s no way people are seeing your content. So you need to find a way to get people to see your content. The way I did that for free at the start was I commented on other profiles under their tweets.
If I left a good comment, people would click on my profile. They would check out my profile. Like oh this guy’s giving writing tips. These are very useful. I want to learn to write, and then they will follow me. Then that built up the base of my followers. So I got to like 3,000/4,000 followers within two months, maybe three months. Then I hired a mentor, Dan Koe, to basically help me package up my skills of writing and growing on social media, became a ghost writer, and all of that.
But the main thing is that people need two things. So you need good content, and you need distribution. So good content is stuff that gives people value. So you either improve their health, you make them wealthier, or you improve their relationships. Then the distribution is you need eyes on that content. Because you can write the best content in the world, but if no one sees it, it doesn’t matter.
So you can do that through commenting on other accounts that have the audience that you want. It’s very time consuming. I would recommend just going the other route, which is you can pay for retweets from accounts that have the audience you want, you can pay for story shares, LinkedIn comments, all that stuff. Lots of people don’t know about this. But I started doing this with around like 3,000/4,000 followers, and it was just huge because you don’t have to spend hours a day commenting. You just pay. Oh here’s 20 bucks and retweet my stuff.
Becca: Wait, how do you do that? I’ve never even heard of this.
Dakota: Yeah, so it’s kind of like a gray market where there’s no site you can go to. There’s no place you can go to. You basically just find accounts that are growing. You’d be like hey, I’m looking to grow my own account. Do you offer retweets or story shares or whatever platform? Do you offer a distribution? Usually they do. If they’re are accounts that are growing and not like some big name like I don’t know.
Becca: Justin Bieber won’t write back to me?
Dakota: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, probably not. So it’s usually like accounts that are a more personal brand, micro celebrities, or the theme pages, stuff like that. You just pay them like $20 to $100 per, depending on what they’re doing, but usually $20 to $100 per share. They’ll show your posts on their timeline or their story. That will get eyes on your stuff. If it’s good content, then people will click on your profile and they will follow you. So that’s like a huge life hack not many people know about or talk about.
Becca: Oh my gosh, are you kidding? That’s crazy. I didn’t even know. I feel like you’re like taking me in the back of the Chinatown shop to show me the purses. I’m like am I allowed to be here? I don’t really know, but I want this purse. That’s what it feels like.
Dakota: Yeah. Yeah people are always shocked when I tell them. I’m actually working on something where it’ll kind of solve this problem where there will be a marketplace because I know there’s a huge demand for it.
Becca: Are you gonna build a software? Some type of app where you just like connect people. That’s smart.
Dakota: Exactly. Yes. Part of my ghostwriting offer. It will probably include that. So.
Becca: That’s awesome. How do you feel about AI and the writing industry?
Dakota: Yeah. So at first I was like oh shit, like this stuff’s kind of crazy. I don’t know about this. But then I started actually using it and getting experience with it. I was like oh, this is definitely going to change writing. This is gonna definitely impact all the sectors. But I don’t think it’s the killing blow that everyone thinks it is. I know it is. It’s a tool that’s going to help people produce work more efficiently.
So the way I like to talk about this is the writer is going to be the composer where composers don’t actually play the music, but they are harmonizing everything and making sure everything is fitting well together. So that’s what writers are going to be there. Yes, AI is going to write a ton, but how do you know if it’s good writing? It takes a skilled writer to understand that. You have to understand persuasion and the technicalities of writing.
So sure, maybe you won’t have to write it, but you will have to think. Like oh, is this cohesive with what this person wants? Is this going to work? So I think it will replace a lot of low quality writers, 100%. But the people that actually develop the skill and have an understanding and can think, they are fine. They’re absolutely fine. It’s just going to be another tool in the tool belt.
It’s like I don’t know, a car. So back in the day, people feared cars and they feared the change of cars. They’re like oh this is bad, so bad, and all that. But what it did was it took a manual process like walking or running, and just automated it. So you just drive a car. So it’s just amplifying what you want it to do.
Becca: Yeah, it’s almost like when you’re scaling your business. You’re looking for the hands, aka the labor, so that you can stay the head. Like you just want to be the decision maker, the thinker. Of course, other people can answer your phone and your email and do all of the labor. So that’s kind of like what you’re saying, which is the writer then becomes the thinker, becomes the head, and the AI becomes the labor and the writer. I love that. I love that analogy.
Okay, so if someone is listening, and they’re like okay I’m interested, but they aren’t at the place where they want to hire a mentor necessarily, what is something tactical that they can do today? Like can they get on their Instagram or their Twitter and use certain tools to write better content?
Dakota: Yes, so I got a punch. Number one tool that helped me with my writing was Twitter. So Twitter is beautiful because it has a limit on the amount of characters you can use. The reason why I really like that is it forces you to be very precise with your language, cut fluff, and be very precise with your thinking. Even if you’re tweeting to the void, it’s very useful for okay what’s the one point I want to get across? How can I do that in one tweet? So I highly recommend that.
Books that really helped me for my understanding of writing was Cashvertising by Drew Whitman. It’s a copywriting book, but it will give you a very good understanding of the psychology of what gets attention and how people are engaged in writing. Very, very good book. Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark is a fantastic book on how to write simply and just more like the technicals of writing in a very easy to understand way.
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost is another. It’s a really short read, but it’s fantastic. Really punchy to the point, actual content. So those are three really good books. If you want to go into storytelling then Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks is another great book. But I would focus on the first three books to really form your foundation at the start.
Then when it comes to editing, these guys need to sponsor me with how much I promote them, but ProWritingAid. It’s like Grammarly, but it’s on steroids. So I really like the software because it has all these features that can improve your writing.
So, for example, one of the biggest ways to improve your writing is to lower the grade level of it. So the higher your grade level, the harder it is to understand. So if you can write out a grade three level, it’s awesome because it’s very easy to understand, low friction, very simple. So it has a built in score of grading your writing level and all these other features I won’t go into.
Becca: That’s just more enjoyable too, right? Like I can read big words, but when I want to enjoy something, I’m reading a dumbass romance novel. Just as dumb as it can get because I truly do enjoy being able to feel like I’m moving through it quickly and I’m understanding it quickly and I’m not having to think. I think there’s a lot to be said about that on social media. Like people are bombarded with really deep thoughts all day. Dumbing it down, even if it’s a deep concept, dumbing it down is so valuable.
Dakota: Yeah because you want people to focus on the idea. Not how smart you are with using these big words, not argue. You just look dumb when you do that because you’re just trying to sound smart. So if you can explain big ideas in a simple way, that’s the recipe for good writing.
Becca: So you’re saying small words make for big dick energy?
Dakota: Yes, that’s a keeper there.
Becca: All the confidence. Yes.
Dakota: Yes. 100%. Yeah.
Becca: That’s awesome. I love it. Then the last thing I want to ask before we go is what do you do when you’re like I want to write? Do you have some sort of atmosphere that you get into? Do you have certain tools around you? Does your desk look a certain way? Do you get your mindset in a certain way? What do you do?
Dakota: So I actually hired a performance coach recently to help me be a bit better. Typically I always go to a café. I like getting out of my environment. Like at home, I like to separate the environments because I just feel like I can condition myself a bit better. When you go to a coffee shop, my brain is like okay, it’s time to write. I use app blockers as well because social media is such a distraction, and it will take you out of that flow state. So I use app blockers like Opal.so and Cold Turkey. Those are great ones I recommend.
Then in terms of desk or environment, I’m pretty minimalist. So I don’t have much going on. I’ve got my laptop and then my digital notepad thing here, but that’s about it. I try not to have superstitions or stuff like that where it’s like oh, I need this, or I need that to perform at peak efficiency. It’s like okay, just eliminate distractions, get in an environment where it’s prime for work, and that’s mostly it.
Becca: So you don’t have to hang a chicken foot on your doorknob before you leave the house? Because that’s what I’ve been doing, and it hasn’t really been working very well. So.
Dakota: No, no. Not me. I’m pretty simple. Nothing too crazy.
Becca: I love that. Okay. Where can my audience find you? If they want to work with you, they want to hire you, where can they find you?
Dakota: Yeah, so my main platform’s Twitter. I just repurpose on all platforms from my Twitter, but WrongstoWrite. Then Instagram dkotarobertson. They didn’t have my username that I wanted. So I’m stuck with that.
Becca: Oh I see. I went through so many scenarios in my head. I was like maybe he doesn’t like the A. Maybe the A wasn’t available. Maybe his A key was stuck. I was just going through it, and then I was like maybe he just likes it. I don’t know.
Dakota: Yeah, yeah, unfortunately. I’m working on getting it changed, but it’s been a process. Yeah.
Becca: That’s funny. Oh man, well, thank you so much for being on here. It was just super value packed. You came with a lot of knowledge on the writing industry. So I am so thankful that you came on. I look forward to seeing you again.
Dakota: 100%. Appreciate you having me on. This was cool. I love it. So thank you.
Becca: Yeah, super fun. All right, have a good day. Bye Dakota.
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