Clarify Your Audience

Make Your B2B Prospects Feel Seen In Your Content Marketing

I’ve recently been working on a project for a prolific millionaire client with a fast expanding personal brand. He runs two weekly podcasts, a 365-day-a-year conference call for entrepreneurs, is the president of his company, chairman of two separate investment firms, and a sought after key-note speaker. He’s grown and exited 5 different fortune 500 companies and loves to share with others his tips and strategies for success. 

I spent about 4 hours researching him, listening to his podcasts and reading what he’s written. I learned a ton about his outlook, his work ethic, his out-of-the box strategies for making money and a lot of his life story. But what I didn’t learn in all those hours, was who his clients are. I had no idea who he was speaking to, or who he intended to benefit from all this incredible advice. Which was fine for me as a listener, because I could find gems of wisdom and actionable advice to infuse into my own life and business. But for him, a B2B personal brand looking to gather a customer/client following, this approach isn’t giving him the traction he needs. 

Before he was passed on to me as a client by my boss, I’d been given an overview of his account and read about his ICP and general details about his current clients. Now my task was to create marketing copy by taking his existing content and repurposing the words to target his intended audience. It turned out his ICP very closely matched his own background, and so I was able to pull out stories from his past that both demonstrated his strategic principles and creative ideas, while also relating directly to the concerns and day-to-day life of his preferred audience. 

But a fraction of his audience will see the content I created for him. Whereas the audience for his other efforts online and his impact on the daily lives of his listeners, is much larger. He is making the mistake of focusing his own content on himself, what he’d done well, what he’d learned, and how he had succeeded, and is failing to bridge the gap between his success, and the particular experience of those he is hoping to reach and inspire. That’s a mistake B2B marketers can’t afford to make.

Instead of casting a wide net with his wealth (pun intended) of experience and expertise, he would be better suited to cast a narrow net, directly calling out his ideal audience and speaking directly to their lives, and their struggles. Then, once he’s gotten those people to self identify and connect with his message, he can afford to zoom out and share broadly about his own views and ideas. 


Whether you are a personal brand, a SaaS company, or anyone in the b2b space, it’s important to target your intended vertical in your content marketing by relating stories, advice, and calling out pain points that your ideal customers can relate to. Be explicit in who you are speaking to so that your intended audience can identify you as their go to person or brand. Rather than limiting your market, you are simply refining your market and making sure your message gets delivered to the right people. 

And the best part is, if someone else comes into contact with your content, your specificity won’t alienate them, it will give your brand context which in turn allows anyone who is interested, a clear path to enter into your world.

Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion copy and strategy that’s tailored for tech and SaaS brands, visit my website,, or shoot me an email at

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How To Post On LinkedIn as a SaaS Company

If you run a SaaS company and are not posting regularly on LinkedIn, you are missing out. That’s why I’ve put together a little how-to guide for posting as a SaaS founder and or CEO or even the head of marketing.

Step 1: Determine your main theme

The advantage of posting on LinkedIn as a personality within a brand, is that you can establish yourself as the go-to person in your area of specialty. But in order to get yourself to that level, you need to keep your message focused and clear. 

Start with one topic that you are passionate about and that relates to the service your company provides and focus your content around that topic. I will get into these specifically further down, but you want to also use hashtags and opening hooks around this same theme.

Step 2: Consider your audience

There are different objectives people use LinkedIn to accomplish, and these may change for you over time. But it’s best if you are clear on your objectives so that you can focus your strategy towards the intended audience. 

If your goal is brand awareness, you are going to cast your audience net more widely. But if your goal is lead generation, then you need to consider your audience’s awareness and readiness to interact with you. Your posts will need to address objections prospects have to following up with your brand, questions they need answered, and their readiness to expand their network. And if your objective is hiring, then you have an entirely different intended audience, and your content needs to reflect it.

Step 3: Post consistently

Once you’ve focused your message for your LinkedIn posting strategy, you need to come up with a posting schedule that you can stick to consistently. If that’s only once a week, start there. But your goal should be to eventually start posting 5-7 days a week if you really want to use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.

In addition to creating a consistent schedule, you will want to think about the types of posts you’ll be writing and if you are posting multiple posts a week, it may help to create a calendar so that certain types of posts go out on the same day of the week, every week. This will just make your life easier when you sit down to create content, and ensure variety and consistency in your posting schedule.

Step 4: Craft your posts

The most important part of a post on all social media, and LinkedIn is no exception, are the first few lines. Think of these lines like a headline in a newspaper. They are intended to grab your reader’s attention and get them to “show more” and read the length of your post and ultimately engage with you.

The first line of your post should be punchy and curiosity driven. Questions do well here, as well as statistical references and bold or slightly controversial statements. I also find starting with a story works well, as stories naturally grab curiosity from readers. But you need to make sure to start your story with a bang so that readers will be inspired to keep reading.

The next  couple lines are also important, because the first 3 lines will show on desktop, and the first 2 lines on mobile. Make sure to include plenty of white space, and pay attention to the shape of the post. Using ascending or descending sentence length looks attractive and pulls a reader in. Don’t over-use emojis if you are trying to build authority. While they are catchy, they actually discredit your words. Instead, lean on strong wording, rather than emojis, to grab attention.

The rest of the post is a little more free, but you want to still keep your language tight, use plenty of white space, and keep your message clear and focused. There are lots styles to choose from but here are a few that work well: Listicles, How-to posts, company back story posts, case study break downs, lessons you’ve learned, stories from your personal life and how they relate to your core message, and myth busting.

Don’t add links to your post as this turns an informational post into a sales message. There are times when a post naturally leads to a landing page or your website, but add these links as a comment to your own post for those those who want to follow up for more info.

Lastly, you want to leverage the power of hashtags for all of your posts. But don’t overdo it. Experts suggest no more than 3 – 5 hashtags per post. I suggest choosing at least these three: A unique hashtag that you use on almost every one of your posts, a hashtag that relates to your core message or theme and third, a popular hashtag that relates directly to the content of your specific post. 

You can check on LinkedIn in the search bar to see how many people are following different hashtags in order to determine which ones are the most popular, which ones have so large a following that yours will get lost in the ocean of posts, and which ones are not being used hardly at all.

Step 5: Get Personal

I’ve written a lot about the importance of personality, especially for SaaS companies. LinkedIn posting is an excellent place to establish the human side of your tech brand by posting with a personal angle. Don’t shy away from using the first person when sharing ideas, lessons and stories. Be as honest about who you are and what excites you as you can be. If you are sharing your human side honestly, it will come through in your posts and people will be drawn to you as a person, which will in turn reflect well on your brand. 

Step 6: Engage

The last part of any LinkedIn strategy needs to be engaging regularly in the community on LinkedIn. You won’t achieve your goals on LinkedIn if all you are ever doing there is posting amazing content, even if you start posting every single day. LinkedIn is a community, and you must treat it as such by engaging with others posts in your network, offering valuable feedback, and getting the conversation going outside your own profile. Most experts suggest commenting 3-5 times a day on LinkedIn. So if you’re serious about building a following on LinkedIn, I suggest you start now by building time into your schedule when you can check-in throughout your work day.

You also need to monitor your LinkedIn inbox and respond to messages, as well as comments on your posts, in a timely manner. As your following increases and your strategy starts to give you results, you certainly don’t want to ignore leads or leave them hanging for too long!


Building a presence and establishing authority on LinkedIn is an excellent way for SaaS companies to build a VIVID personality for your brand. But you need focus and strategy in order to succeed on LinkedIn. I encourage you to leverage this community of like-minded individuals, ideal prospects, and helpful professionals to grow your personal brand as well as engagement and trust in your SaaS company.

If you have specific questions on crafting a LinkedIn strategy for your SaaS company, reach out to me on the links below, (or on LinkedIn)  I’d love to start a conversation with you!

Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion copy and strategy that’s tailored for tech and SaaS brands, visit my website,, or shoot me an email at

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A Copywriter’s Critique of The Barbie Movie

Despite the lateness of the hour, when my daughter decided she needed to see the Barbie Movie with her cousin before the latter left town for the summer, I decided this was a movie I wanted to see alongside my impressionable teenage daughter.

I won’t give away anything important about the movie, except to say, the messages in the movie about gender, identity, feminism, aging, consumerism, death and the female ideal are spelled out very explicitly by narrators and exposition throughout the movie. What the movie’s writers want us to think and take home with us from the movie is spoon fed in tiny, easily digestible sound bites, throughout the entire movie. There is nothing left open to interpretation, nothing that makes you uncomfortable or leads you to make your own conclusions. Even the movie’s rather brilliant opening stops short of allowing it’s brilliant reference to sink in before the voice over explains exactly what you are looking at and why (at which point Kubrick rolls over in his grave I’m sure). There is one exception I guess, because the out of sync body shape of the one and only Barbie that doesn’t resemble the Hollywood and Barbie ideal (there is only one, assuming you don’t count the pregnant barbie) is not addressed. In the movie they’re ok saying Weird Barbie or Mermaid Barbie based on physical appearance, but body positive or fat Barbie, depending on your perspective, is never mentioned. I guess unattainable-by-normal-people-thinness was not something the creators thought needed to be discussed directly in a movie about Barbie?

In general the over explaining of every turning point was the main agent of plot in this movie. And this happens to be the type of movie experience I absolutely detest. If they are going to try and make a serious movie with a point, they need to ask more questions and allow the audience to search within the character’s expressions and poignant moments in the movie to find their own answers. Instead, the movie is light and funny (this they did well, and the audience of almost entirely women was roaring with laughter throughout) and yet takes itself way too seriously, without delivering any real substance for me to chew on.

Luckily, my daughter and niece didn’t take the movie seriously at all, though they went into it with expectations of non-normative gender exploration and a deep level of meaning. When it ended, they merely spoke of the parts that made them laugh. But this movie still teaches lessons no matter how you take it. 

The main lesson is, you don’t have to think too hard because we’ll show you how to be in the right way of thinking, we’ll make being feminist easy for you. There is something towards the end about how speaking out loud the cognitive dissonance of what is expected of women is enough to break the bonds of patriarchy, which is an interesting idea I suppose. But then, the climactic moments in the rest of the movie are literally narrated by one of the characters listing over and over again all of the contradictory expectations as she experiences them. She literally never stops talking for one moment for us to see and experience anything, instead we are hearing it all spelled out for us, and watching the characters respond in just the way we’ve been told they should react to such an “act.” There is not a moment to reflect and mine our own experience within the narrative of the movie. Rather the movie asks us to submit to a collective experience as described by Hollywood, and then we are supposed to feel as if we’ve achieved something crucial.

As copywriters, we don’t want to leave too much to the imagination of our readers. Spoon feeding ideas is the way we construct sales arguments and create desire for our products as we bring our audience step by step into our way of seeing things. Copywriting is a conscious, methodical, controlled form of communication. Upon reflection, the way I write copy tends to be similar to how the narrative structure in the Barbie movie unfolded. That’s why I would classify the Barbie movie more as a two hour marketing drama, otherwise known as propaganda, rather than a cultural moment of any real value. 

But as I reflect on the movie, and my own copywriting, I am struck by the possibility that what left me so empty and disappointed in the art form of the movie, also leaves me questioning my chosen career in copywriting. Do we want to always do all the thinking for our prospects, or is there possibly real value in leaving our messages open ended? If we provide questions and allow our prospects to find their own answers, are we losing out on the easy sale, but possibly gaining something more valuable? I have to think about this more on my end, and eventually come back with a part 2 of this post. But in the meantime… what do you think?

Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion copy and strategy that’s tailored for tech and SaaS brands, visit my website,, or shoot me an email at

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How To Use Stories In SaaS Emails

Lyra picked up the piece of paper and started reading. What surprised her most however, was how she couldn’t stop. 

It doesn’t matter what medium you are writing for, whether it’s an email, a LinkedIn post, a blog, or a novel, once you get past the headline (or title), the most important part is how the piece begins. Without a solid beginning, the reader may never get to the rest. In copywriting we call this the lead or the hook, in fiction writing it’s usually referred to as the opening, or simply the “first line.” Whatever you call it, this is your only chance to interest your reader in what you have to say, so nailing it is crucial.

The word “story” is thrown around internet marketing circles constantly and yet very few marketers actually understand how to use story effectively, which is to say, versatily. When it comes to email, the principles and practice of storytelling is grossly underused, and for SaaS emails, it is almost non-existent. However, the need for a good opening, or hook, in an email is just as important for SaaS companies as for any other. In fact, given the complexity and possible dryness that goes along with many SaaS products, a compelling lead may be even more important in this industry.  And hands down the most compelling way to begin an email is with a story.

Why Use Story In Email?

Our brains love stories, they are how we experience and understand the world, our internal lives, and our relationships. Stories connect you and your reader in a universal human language. Also, stories don’t feel like sales, because they aren’t, so you hurdle over any objection in your audience to being “sold to.” Stories are collaborative, they feel like a conversation between the storyteller and the reader, which is exactly the feel you want to go for in email. Emails should not be sales billboards, they actually need to be conversations, and as every good networker and life-of-the-partier knows, the best way to start a conversation is with a good story.

What Makes A Good Story?

Most people will probably tell you that a story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. But not only is that not always true of a good story, that description does nothing to set a regular thesis paper (or sales pitch) apart from an actual story. The only, and most important principle of a story is that it sets the reader in a specific time and/or a place where something is happening. An example of a story set in time sounds like, “I was walking the other day…” and a simple example of a place is, “The street was wet.” When you put those two together, it most likely makes your story even more compelling, but you only really need one of them to signal to your reader, “Story Time!”  Even a simple story, like one that is only a beginning, or just a scene, will hook your audience better than any other writing tactic out there.

But you can do so much more with story in your emails. Stories effortlessly communicate emotions and emotions are the currency of sales. So when you know what emotion you want your reader to feel, you can work backwards and tell a story that brings up that exact emotion. A good story begins with the action happening at the height of the emotion, the most compelling moment, and works along from there. 

Good stories need to relate to something your reader cares about, so choose a story that speaks to the emotions your reader is likely to have, or a concern or fear, a hope or dream, or a firmly held belief. 

How To Include A Story In SaaS Emails

I am a fan of taking generic SaaS sales emails, either from my clients or emails I find out in the wild, and re-working the opening hook into a story. I often do the same when I’m crafting a post for LinkedIn, meaning I write the post and make my point, and then I re-work the beginning into a story. This approach takes practice, but the general idea is to look at the existing opening, and figure out a way to say the same thing, with the same meaning, in the form of a small story, set in a place and/or a time. Doing it this way may not create the most emotionally compelling stories, but the approach will do a ton of good to ensure your reader keeps on reading.

The other approach I use often is to work backwards from the point I am trying to make with my sales message, and then find a story that illustrates that point. This could be a lesson you are trying to teach, a pain point you are trying to illustrate, an emotion you are trying to get your reader to feel, a belief you are trying to shift in your reader, or simply a feature or benefit of your product that you can use a story to show instead of tell the reader about it.

As I mentioned above, you always want to begin your story at the most compelling moment. One way to accomplish this is to write out the beginning to your story and then read over it to find the most compelling part. Delete everything that came before that compelling moment, and then re-work what you have left to try and make it even more emotionally charged.

Some Examples Of Story-Type SaaS Emails

Example 1: A re-worked SaaS Email from boring to story-compelling

Here was the previous opening line to a generic sales email for an influencer marketing software. 

“Influencer marketing drives significant results for your direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand, but it can also deliver program management headaches and reporting anxiety.”

And here’s how I took that opening line and turned it into a story opening:

“She only slept two hours…
Alicia was combing through Instagram and checking her DMs every three minutes. She found a compatible-ish creator... but their followers were obviously faked. Another charged 5K up front…
Her influencer marketing program was imploding.
Then Alicia found [SaaS Company]”

Example 2: A Story Used to Illustrate A Pain Point 

This is an email I wrote for a client who’s app helps HDD companies save time and money through organization. I used a story to illustrate what life was life without my client’s app.

“One stupidly hot day I show up on an HDD drill site.
I see a guy drop to his knee by the exit pit and flash a thumbs up sign.
But then suddenly he hurls something at the side of the pit, and grabs a fist full of mud to throw after it. “You a$$h*les brought the wrong thread adapter for this reamer!”

Example 3: A Story Used to Illustrate a Benefit

This is an email I re-wrote for a brand I was researching as part of an email breakdown article I wrote. This was a broadcast email featuring a case study success story with a e-commerce SMS marketing platform. 

“Kayla from marketing was in disbelief at the numbers on her computer screen. 
Sales had blown past Dolce Vita’s projected goals in just two days.
Kayla downloaded the report and sent it off to the team with the subject line, “SMS works!”


Storytelling isn’t marketing magic, because nothing is. I’m not saying that if you switch over all your emails leads to story-leads you will have 100% open rates. But I do know that story builds a human interest and a human connection, and that is what people crave when they open their laptop or their phones. Serving up a story is a great way to build trust in your brand voice, show your brand’s personality, and build a loyal following in your email audience. Stories have value in themselves, because a story, better than any other written form, communicates deep truths about what it feels like to be alive. And the more you use stories in your emails, the better you get at telling them. The better you get at telling stories, the closer you are to the success you crave. They are truly that powerful.

Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion copy and strategy that’s tailored for tech and SaaS brands, visit my website,, or shoot me an email at

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