I am so excited to be joined by an amazing guest in this week’s podcast episode! Meet Danbee Shin, web designer and copywriter for online coaches.
One of Danbee’s passions, and something she’s been focusing on right now in her business, is creating a globally inclusive online business industry in the coaching space and beyond.
In this post, we’re talking about global inclusion in the online business world and ways we can be more inclusive in our businesses (particularly in our copywriting) to better represent our diverse audiences and the way we want to serve them.
If you’re an online business owner, it’s important to be aware of the fact that you are actively building a community alongside building a business. And if you truly want to show up and run a business in integrity and alignment with your values, we need to do our best to remain as inclusive as possible. We want everyone to feel valued and like they belong in our community.
Keep reading for some of Danbee and I’s top tips for implementing global inclusion in your business, as well as your copywriting.
Shifts in the industry
We both feel that right now is a really transformative time in the online space. More and more people are starting to realize that just because things have been done a certain way for a number of years does not mean they can’t be done differently — and better.
Danbee has a ton of experience in the online industry and she has noticed shifts in the awareness of ethical business practices. People in general have become more concerned and outspoken about important issues involving different companies and sales / business practices.
When Danbee left the corporate world to start her own business, she didn’t initially make the connection between running a business and growing a community. To her, she thought that she was leaving that aspect of her life when she left the corporate world.
Something she learned quickly was that it doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or a corporation; you will always have a community that you are building alongside your business. And with that comes the responsibility of being inclusive towards that community.
Danbee shares that there’s been a few situations in the online entrepreneurship world that have made her feel unappreciated and unwelcomed. One major instance that struck her was a live stream event that was put on by a well-known and trusted company.
This event was airing live in a different time zone than hers, and she had signed up thinking she could watch a replay of the event. Unfortunately, she found out that was not the case. To make matters worse, the brand ended up doing very little to rectify the situation and brushed her off.
The lack of global inclusion in the online business industry
So often we talk about how great being in the online business industry is. We praise it for its ability to connect us with people all over the world. But when we actually start looking at how we put things into practice, it’s easy to see that the way we approach online business is very American-centric.
While it’s true that there is a huge audience of online entrepreneurs in North America, if we truly care about building a worldwide community we have to be intentional about bringing global inclusion into our daily practices.
Danbee shares really insightful reasons we lack global inclusion as default:
- For starters, our human brain is always making connections and taking shortcuts. Our subconscious brain is always trying to look for people who are like us. Without us even being aware of it, we may make certain accommodations or treat people differently because we connect with them more (or less).
- Another part of our unconscious bias is stereotyping. We have all been guilty of stereotyping someone who isn’t like us. We start to assume things about them and generalize about their group, often without getting to know the actual person.
- We have also become very careful not to say what we’re thinking or what we want to say for fear of criticism. This is heightened in the “cancel culture” environment we’re in. We’ve become even more cautious to shy away from real or raw conversations with one another for fear that we’ll come across the wrong way, or “say the wrong thing”.
- We also lack the knowledge or education of the fact that the world is very West-centric. We don’t acknowledge it or think about the implications it has on our global community.
Being able to have hard conversations and discuss sensitive topics productively and respectfully is a skill that can be actively learned — and should be taught. If we stopped being so afraid of saying the wrong thing for fear of being canceled or shamed we would learn so much more from one another.
Note: Danbee and I both pointed out how ironic it is that we preach so much in the online business world to take imperfect action and stop being so afraid of potential failures. Yet we don’t do this when it comes to our values. With our values, we tend to be more hesitant to take imperfect action for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing.
What are your intentions?
Danbee explained that a great way to start working towards being more globally inclusive in your online business is to ask yourself what your intentions are.
So much of inclusion has to do with the intentions and core values that are behind your business and brand. Many times, people don’t understand the positive impacts (the “ROI”) that happen when you lead your business with strong values and inclusivity.
The bottom line? You may not see the impacts of global inclusion right away, but it does have a long-term impact on the success of your business.
What global inclusion looks like
Danbee gives a really amazing explanation and example of what global inclusion does and doesn’t look like:
“Global inclusion is when you are working with a business or community and everyone you come in contact with feels like they fit in and belong. They don’t have to modify or change who they are at all; they just show up as they are and are accepted completely.”
She also gave a really clear (and relatable) real-world example:
Think of a time when you were invited to a party by a close friend, and you went… but the close friend who invited you in the first place doesn’t show up. You’re alone at this party knowing no one. Let’s be honest — this situation would make you feel completely out of place and really uncomfortable.
This is a prime example of how not being globally inclusive can feel to a person in your community. You don’t want people to feel this way when they come in contact with your business or your brand.
Tips to bringing global inclusion to your business
We all know that there is power in the words we write. Feelings and triggers can arise from the words we use. Since we know this, we should be taking a second to really think about the copywriting we do for our online business, and how we can try to be more inclusive with our language.
Danbee provides us with some incredibly helpful tips on how we can implement small changes in our writing to create more global inclusion in our businesses and copywriting:
- Stop using complex words or sentence structures. This one is huge because not everyone that comes across your business will speak English as their first language. If you can simplify your writing, it will make everything more readable for a global audience.
- Avoid idiomatic expressions or acronyms (or at least be sure to explain them). Most of the time it’s better to just say exactly what you mean, as a reader from another culture may not understand.
- When talking about geographical locations, don’t just name a city or state. Be more specific, and don’t just assume everyone knows where the location is. Depending on where in the world they live or how much they’ve traveled, they may not be familiar with the places you’re describing.
- If you’re discussing businesses or companies, specify the industry they are in regardless of the company’s popularity or size. Just because a certain corporation may be well-known in your area of the world doesn’t mean that’s true across the board. Adding some specificity allows everyone to be on the same page and know what you are talking about.
- Acknowledging different time zones is huge! When you’re hosting an event, be sure that it is friendly to multiple time zones. If you can go above and beyond to explain the different time zones in your promotional materials, it can make a big difference for your global community.
- Be clear on the money currency. Danbee pointed out just how many countries use “the dollar”. Be clear and specific on your sales pages when describing the price of your offer to avoid any discrepancies or confusion.
- Noting measurements is another thing to be aware of. Not everyone uses the same measurement system, so you should include both for a global audience. This is particularly true if you’re selling physical products, like clothing or cosmetics.
- Make references to the different holidays that are happening around the world, and be aware that what may be a “long weekend” or “holiday Monday” for you might not be the case for your audience. This shows you’re aware of other places in the world, not just where you reside.
- Be aware of the different climates and seasons in the northern and southern hemisphere, especially in your marketing and promotions. Chances are, some members of your community aren’t witnessing the same seasonal changes as you are.
- Understand that certain pop-culture references might not work across the board. While these references can be great for showing your personality or adding a bit of brand voice to your copy, it’s important to make sure you’re not using them as a disconnecting factor.
- When you do any sort of a giveaway, make sure you say the eligibility criteria. This will go a long way in not disappointing people by not being clear with the rules.
- Don’t talk about the entire world when you’re really only talking about your corner of the world. Too often we see brands make generalizations and imply that their reality is also happening in other places around the world. The short and sweet of it? Take a second to think before you post! You don’t have to hide your experiences but just acknowledge that not everyone is going through the same things.
Danbee’s Impact & ‘Global Inclusion Basics’ Workshop
Danbee is such a driving force in the discussion around global inclusivity and someone who I think is making a huge impact. I love that she is starting these conversations so that we can come together and find ways to weave global inclusion into the foundation of business strategies that we put into practice.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can bring more global inclusion to your online business, be sure to check out Danbee’s training: Global Inclusion Basics. You’ll walk away with real, tangible action items you can put into practice right away to introduce more inclusivity to your business.
And if you don’t already, I highly recommend following Danbee on Instagram to learn more about her work (and to get super jealous of her Instagram stories of her home in Singapore!)
Global Inclusion: Why it Matters in Business and How To Implement It In Your Copywriting with Danbee Shin: The Bottomline
There are so many ways that you can help your business be more inclusive. It’s important to understand that online businesses have a global reach. The way we frame our words in our online business is what will make people feel included or not in our community.
It’s up to us to identify the values and intentions we have for our business. From there, we can take the necessary steps to make sure we are being globally inclusive in the way we communicate to the world.
Thank you for reading!
If you love what you learned, be sure to connect with me over on Instagram and share your biggest takeaways. I’d love to hear from you! See you back here in the next post — and remember, I’m rooting for you, always.
For more information about the blog, or other ways you can work with me, check out: www.megantaylor.co
Meet the Host
Welcome! I’m Megan Taylor — copywriter for online entrepreneurs, bookworm, and founder of The Copy Template Shop. I believe that anyone can write strong copy, and I’m here to teach you how to write words that sell your online offers while prioritizing real connection, serving your audience, and simply being who you are.
Grab my free Website Copy Roadmap and learn my five-step process to writing website copy that connects with & converts dream clients.
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