The Senior Care Industry Netcast w/ Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

SCI Netcast with Jennifer Lagemann, Professional Writer

April 08, 2022 Valerie VanBooven RN BSN Season 3 Episode 170
The Senior Care Industry Netcast w/ Valerie VanBooven RN BSN
SCI Netcast with Jennifer Lagemann, Professional Writer
Show Notes Transcript


https://www.asnmarketingplan.com/jennifer-lagemann-writer-for-senior-care-businesses/


About Jennifer Lagemann

 Links

Website: https://nextjenncopy.com/

 

Email: jenniferlagemann16@gmail.com

 

Link to Podcast Episode: https://www.buzzsprout.com/33168/10405987

 

Link to youtube video: https://youtu.be/T3worslru3g

Today on the Senior Care Industry Netcast

 


Committed To Digital Content That Converts

Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home care industry native, bred to create meaningful content. My experience marries home care and digital marketing skills – designed to help your business succeed. 


I have seven years of experience in senior care in all different layers (family caregiver, family member of care recipient, administrator/care manager)


I use a PRO-AGING philosophy in all of my work


I have access to innovative tools that expedite & optimize my content-based solutions


Jennifer’s Words of Wisdom/ Tweet-ables

  • “I am the founder of NextJenn Copy, where I create storytelling and compelling content for families, clients, and consumers of home care, and just to make it more accessible to people linguistically and to really help you sell your services.”
  • “[In regards to website copy] If you are a caregiver and you are applying to a job on their careers page, would you be satisfied with the information you’re seeing?… The point of the careers page is to entice people to apply to your specific agency and what you have to offer them, and not talking about yourself more.”
  • “[With regards to her writing style.] This is really substantive content that will help move the needle. When I do a blog on dementia, it’s not just talking about the same 10 symptoms that you’ll see on the Alzheimer’s Association blog. This is talking hyper specifically to an agency’s perspective.”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care market share their advice. So let's get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Hi, everyone. I'm Jennifer Lagemann and I am based in Kansas, and I am the founder of NextJenn Copy, where I create storytelling and compelling content for families, clients, and consumers of home care, and just to make it more accessible to people linguistically and to really help you sell your services.

 

QUOTE 1: “I am the founder of NextJenn Copy, where I create storytelling and compelling content for families, clients, and consumers of home care, and just to make it more accessible to people linguistically and to really help you sell your services.”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. And we have talked. We have had a chance to get to know each other here for a few minutes. And I think one of the reasons that's really important for folks to know someone like you is because I want to stress the value of excellent content on your website, and that is what you bring to the table. So if you could give us a little background, tell us about how you started in all of this and then just bring us up to today, what you do today.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Sure. I first started as a family caregiver to my grandmother in Massachusetts, where I grew up. I took care of her for seven years at home from when she was in the beginning stages of dementia to when we enlisted VNA services and had hospice come in. And she was a feisty 95-year-old, who was a [inaudible 00:01:34] in the shower. And then after I moved away to go to college, I was a bio premed major and I was going to be a geneticist. I thought I had my whole life figured out. And then she passed away and I had lost my best friend. So it made me really rethink what I wanted to do professionally, and I started looking for jobs and I found that caregiving was a thing. I didn't know what that was before. I was just doing it.

Jennifer Lagemann:

And so I started working at a home care agency that was local and scheduled for 40 hours my first week and I physically worked six. So I really understood really quickly how hard it was to be a caregiver in the home care industry, given the wages, working with clients, mileage, everything. And after two weeks of working there, I was asked to work in the office. So I did scheduling, I did care management, [inaudible 00:02:25] caregivers at their first shift, training people on how to be a lead caregiver, doing training for caregivers and trying to find new vendors that we could do trainings with. We had a personality vendor come in, and they showed us what our personality types were and how we could better interact and give feedback to each other. And it really was an eye-opening experience even for us in the office.

Jennifer Lagemann:

But what really brought me to today was when I was looking for healthcare services for my grandmother, we were really having a hard time navigating these websites. I didn't know what half of these words were and my parents weren't native English speakers nor was my grandmother so I had to translate whenever we had people over. And I was like, "I don't want other people to have to go through this." People need really helpful and educational content. We didn't know about Meals On Wheels. We didn't know about our area sources on aging agency, and we didn't know where to go for help.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Home care could have been really helpful for us if I had known about it when I was a caregiver. It was me, my mom, my aunt, and my uncle, all four of us taking care of my grandmother and we were all burnt out. And people say that taking care of your loved one on your own is tough. And even with help, it can still be over overwhelming.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh yeah.

Jennifer Lagemann:

So I want to caution to people about that too. If you are a solo family caregiver, even having help, it may not actually help you either.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. Respite care is great, but it only lasts for so long, and you just can't do it by yourself. And kudos to you and your family for making that happen for her, because I know in the grand scheme of things, she appreciated the fact that you didn't put her in a nursing home, that you were able to do that, but it can take years off your life when you're trying to care for someone and do the right thing for them. It's a really tough job for everybody. One of the things that you mentioned to me earlier that I thought was really interesting was you mentioned that your parents were not native English speakers and that they're from Vietnam, right?

Jennifer Lagemann:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And so being a website developer and doing content ... This is a great question I think a lot of people don't think about, and I think we should all think more about. In the years that we've done website development, we've only had a handful of people ask us to put a direct translator on the actual website. And typically, it's because they serve a population that's specific to Hindi, maybe the people that speak Chinese. They're in New York city. They're in a borough or a neighborhood that is specific to that group so that makes sense for them. Would you suggest, but then I know that there's also Google Translate exists. Do you think that people should put a translator, like a plugin or whatever, on their website, or do people who need translation services, do they rely more on Google Translate now than they used to?

Jennifer Lagemann:

From my family's specific situation, Google Translate wasn't the most reliable thing to use. Even when we had a medical translator available, they didn't speak our dialect of Vietnamese. There's the northern dialect and the southern dialect, which we used, and all of them were northern. So even when they were available, we really couldn't rely on them to provide accurate translations of the information we needed. So I would definitely encourage people to have some form of a translator on their website, or if you don't want to use a translator on your website, use a lot of visual cues. Have a lot of pictures on your website and rely less on your words and verbiage.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I think like what we learned from some of these experiences is, well, for our folks that might be here from India or Pakistan or Afghanistan, or one of those countries, there's Urdu, and there's just four or five different languages that are all in that population. So just putting one of them up there wasn't going to do it. We had to have several different versions of the same theme on there in order for them to really get. And so we've had a handful of people ask us to do that, but I always wonder if, especially we have ... If you have clients in Florida, if you have clients in ... Perhaps we should just include a Spanish translation, and I know there's even a difference between Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Mexico. It's pretty much the same, but people in Spain speak a top British English, so the translation's not always exactly and, right. I don't know how to explain that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So anyway, I get what you're saying, and I think more folks should probably think about that depending on where they're located and what the typical population of who are in their services and their caregivers. There are so many caregivers that are here from Jamaica, Haiti, Africa. They've immigrated. They may be English speakers, but maybe it's not their first language either. And so having their languages available on your website to me, that seems like that would be a help to caregivers as well, especially when they're looking for things that are employment related. So I'm glad you brought that up because that is something that I don't think we take into consideration enough. Absolutely.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We do a lot for ADA. We have all the stuff that you can do on the website to make it brighter, bolder, contrast, have it read to you, have it skip the text and just look at the picture, skip the pictures and just look at the text. We have all that stuff, but translation seems to be something we don't think about.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So anyway, having said that, let's talk about some of the things that you do for clients that are really helpful for them as far as content goes. And I know there are varying ranges. It might be something that's fairly expensive and it might be something that's not as expensive, but just talk about something basic you do for clients, all the way up to something that we just talked about that I'm fascinated with that is more expensive, but definitely worth every ounce of money they're paying you because it is so good for their website. So talk away.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Sure. One of the lower end services I offer my clients is a content audit. So I'll go through their website and just go through every single page. And as tedious as it sounds, it's a super good exercise you could even do with your clients or something I'll do with the owner on the phone or on a Zoom and just go through their website.

Jennifer Lagemann:

If you are a caregiver and you are applying to a job on their careers page, would you be satisfied with the information you're seeing? Will this entice you to apply for this job? Or sometimes, people will post a job description on their careers page, and that's a huge no-no that I caution people against because they know what that's about. They're looking for a career. They're already looking for a job on your site. They know what you do. The point of the careers page is to entice people to apply to your specific agency and what you have to offer them, and not talking about yourself more.

Jennifer Lagemann:

That's something I definitely caution against on their website too, is yes, talk about yourself, but talk about yourself in the context of how you can move the needle on a consumer or referral source going from, "Okay, I'm in a position of stress and frustration and madness. How can I go from here, point A to point B where I'm calm, my loved one is taken care of, or I can get this patient referred with the peace of mind knowing that they're going to be taken care of adequately?"

 

Quote 2: “[In regards to website copy] If you are a caregiver and you are applying to a job on their careers page, would you be satisfied with the information you're seeing?... The point of the careers page is to entice people to apply to your specific agency and what you have to offer them, and not talking about yourself more.”

 

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes.

Jennifer Lagemann:

So I'll go through and do a content audit, and they're super helpful. I always give suggestions. So even if they only want the content audit and are not looking to move forward, I will give them a checklist, like what you do when you get a car inspection, and then give them a list of suggestions that they can either do themselves or enlist my help with.

Jennifer Lagemann:

On the other side of the spectrum, I do long-form blog posts. So I'll go through and put a nice outline together of a specific topic. And then I will go through and interview local subject matter experts. And I'm not talking about nationally recognized people, and maybe they could be, but I like to find people that are local or in the state or in the area of where the client is. Someone that they might have the name of, or a giant hospital system, or something like that that they can really relate to.

Jennifer Lagemann:

And what I use is I try to rely on the language of the consumers. Let's say in Kansas here, we have Winstead's is a burger place, we have Kansas City Burgers and Barbecue. I try to rely on location and the language that people are using here. Like in Massachusetts, we use soda, but over here, we use pop. 

Quote 3: “So I try to use those subtle language cues to really help consumers understand: This is meant for you. Even if it's a super subtle language shift, this content is made for you, and this information is made for you with you in mind, even though we're talking to a larger audience."

Jennifer Lagemann:

It calls out to them as personalized. People want personalized content, but we're seeing, again, with the iOS recognitions and all these other regulations, that people aren't going to be still willingly giving away their information anymore, but we still need to provide that personalization and customization of a user's experience.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Ooh. See, now we got to talk about this. First of all, you're in Kansas. Are you in Kansas City?

Jennifer Lagemann:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I'm in St. Louis.

Jennifer Lagemann:

I love that. You're not too far away.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

No. And we say soda. Now, maybe there's some people that say pop, but there must be a line down the middle of the United States right there.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Sure.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

[inaudible 00:12:40] pop, soda. Anyway no, but you're right. Even though I'm from St. Louis, I know what you're talking about, the places you're talking about. I want to illustrate the importance of this.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So when we say you need some localized content, so let's say there's an assisted living administrator or marketer or intake coordinator that you really want to get to know, and you really would love some referrals from that person. So if you're writing their article on the top senior care options in Kansas City, or whatever it is, you might call up that intake coordinator and say, "Hey, I'd love to ask you a few questions or send you over a few questions about the process for intake at ABC Assisted Living Facility," or I'm making this up totally, "And I was wondering if you'd like to contribute. This is an article that's going to be on the blah, blah, blah blog, and so and so said you might be a great reference for this." And they're probably flattered and happy to either answer your questions in an email or get on the phone with you and answer the questions, right?

Jennifer Lagemann:

Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

[crosstalk 00:13:55]. That is amazing. That's fabulous because ... And I realize that most home care agency owners, just like you realize this, are not going to take the time to do this because they wear a million hats. So when they hire someone like you to do this, what they're doing is they're solidifying that relationship with that referral source. And the next time that referral source sees your client out at the next networking event, they're going, "Oh my gosh, thank you so much for that referral. And the article, it turned out so great. Thank you so much for highlighting this. And we put it," and you were mentioning this, "We put it on our website too because it was so great."

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So you are really making an inroad with that potential referral source or maybe that current referral source by having Jennifer do the work that you don't have time to do and it does make a difference. And it does make a difference for SEO, and it makes a difference for that person reading that article. Maybe it's How Home Care can Help Kansas City Seniors Stay at Home, blah, blah, blah. I don't know. Something like that. It's amazing. See that is exactly the kind of content that people should have on their blogs. We're not writers. We're not all writers. I like to write. You obviously love it, but people that run a home care business, that's not their gig. They have too many other gigs. They're [crosstalk 00:15:33] something else. So hiring you to make that happen is amazing. And talk about the length of an article like that. You're saying maybe 2000 words?

Jennifer Lagemann:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right, and these are long-form blogs, not just word fillers. 

 

Quote 4: “[With regards to her writing style.] This is really substantive content that will help move the needle. When I do a blog on dementia, it's not just talking about the same 10 symptoms that you'll see on the Alzheimer's Association blog. This is talking hyper specifically to an agency's perspective.”

 

And I'll even ask, "Are there any specific clients you've treated that are living with dementia that have had successes with your agency?" 

"Oh, this person went from being really combative and having a lot of behaviors, to a state of empowerment and being more independent and having her dignity back by our caregivers providing compassionate care," and explaining those interventions and really talking hyper specifically. These are even like micro case studies within a blog.

Jennifer Lagemann:

And all those go to say like this isn't just putting words together because you can hire someone on Upwork to put together a $15 blog for you that's a 1000 words, enough to get on Google to some extent. But these are full of back links, full of really good information that can give someone a whole overview of a specific topic.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes. And if you want to compete with the big boys, I always tell our clients that's, "Look. You have a website that is ..." Some of our clients are franchise owners, but most of them are independent home care agency owners. "So you have a website that is awesome, but it is not like if you were visiting angels right at home, Griswold. You've got thousands and thousands and thousands of pages behind you on a mothership website and you are just one of thousands. So you have power behind you. You have backlink power behind you when you're a franchise. And that doesn't mean you don't need great content. You do." But the reason those websites or those links can come to the top of Google really fast is because they have that power and because they have all those other mini sites behind them and the mothership. I guess that's probably not a nice way to say that, but you know what I mean? They have the [crosstalk 00:18:03] entity behind them.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So your little website, no matter well written it is, needs to have a fighting chance against the folks like care.com, caring.com, the franchises and all that. You have to have 2000 word content. You have to have 1000 words, 2000 words. You have to be more interesting. You have to have more questions answered in your content then they have in their content. So that's why this is so important. This is the only way to compete online. It's one of many. Content is a huge part of it, but as you know and I know there's 100 other things that go into this, right? But having that content piece is so important, knowing how to put your headlines inside that content, your sub-headlines. What are people asking? What do people really want to know?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And you're right. They want those mini case studies. They want to know that you took care of somebody that's like their mom. And their mom kind of has that same problem too, and so now you know that this agency already has experience with that. So it's brilliant. Brilliant. So yeah. I love your strategy. And I love the fact that ... This is pretty much self-taught, right? As far as the concept of how these articles are being written, is that true? Did you teach yourself how this should look?

Jennifer Lagemann:

Yeah, absolutely. I am a self-taught marketer. I don't have any formal marketing education. I have my inbound marketing certificate from [inaudible 00:19:38]. But other than that, I have learned everything I know about marketing from reading LinkedIn posts, following people, listening to podcasts, absorbing information.

Jennifer Lagemann:

And one big takeaway of I've taken from LinkedIn posts alone was your website content, and your blogs should be a Wikipedia for your consumers. And I think that's so powerful. The Wikipedia aspect, I think, is so important because you are able to speak really hyper focused and hyper local to your audience. With Wikipedia, you can manipulate the information, good or bad, but I think that it's important because it's able to be edited. You can make it the way that you need it for your consumers.

Jennifer Lagemann:

If you're talking to people who are Hawaiian, for example, you can speak to their culture, you can speak to their language and really make it hyper focused instead of what is home care? That should not be your blog anymore. We're past that point in terms of what content should be available. You should be saying how can I help Hawaiians age in place after hospitalization? Or how can I help Hawaiians age in place after being in rehab? Being hyper specific and calling out to someone's situation like, "Oh, that blog pertains to me specifically because my mom just got out of the hospital or they just got out of rehab." You need to speak hyper specifically to your audience. It's not enough anymore.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep. You're right. You're right. We don't talk pricing on here because everybody needs are different, but I will say this. Writers need to get paid for the value that they bring to the table. And you are not going to get someone to write. First of all, let's just be clear. A 300-word blog post is okay, but is it really okay? You probably need something a little longer than that. I don't know. Some people swear it has to be at least 1100 words or 1000 words. And I'm of the opinion that you're looking at 600 probably to make it viable. Some content that is well thought is better than zero content. Yucky content that's just blah, blah, blah is not better than no content. So anyway, I'm rambling but what I want to say is you have to understand that people need to eat and people should get paid for the value that they bring.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So in having done this for 15 years, and knowing that Jennifer, you've not been doing this business for 15 years. I totally get it, that girl, you need to get paid. So yeah. If you're going to hire someone to write for you, you can definitely expect to pay a fair wage per product or per project, because the person that does this for you and all of the strategy she just mentioned, that is a wealth of knowledge that you will never be able to replace on your own. So having someone like Jennifer write your content for you is remarkable and it should be done. It should be done.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So I can't explain how much the content on your website is worth every penny that you spend. And that's how we've grown our business for the last 15 years. Content is at the heart of what we do, and that has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. It is not okay anymore to just write ... For instance, when we started in this business, 2008, you could take one blog post and put it on everybody's website that you took care of, and it didn't matter. Duplicate content wasn't a thing then. And it was what everybody did. If they had several clients, they just had one article written that week and that's what they put on their ... And shoop, just like that, that changed. So for our clients, everybody gets a unique piece of content. For Jennifer's clients, everybody gets a unique piece of content, so she's not just copying and pasting from something she wrote for someone else. It's a unique piece of content, not only location wise, but all the things you just mentioned, the dialect of pop versus soda and Kansas City Burgers and all those things that are very recognizable.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So I think things have evolved dramatically over the last 15 years and will continue to evolve. Now, they tell us to write content that is pertinent to something called LSI. You know what that is? You know what that is. LSI like linguistic something, something. It's what Alexa [crosstalk 00:24:40].

Jennifer Lagemann:

[crosstalk 00:24:40] something like that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It's what Alexa recognizes.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Okay.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I probably just made or listen. Don't listen. Anyway. Now, let's just be clear about this too, though. Nobody probably is asking Alexa what the nearest home care agency is. I'm going to say probably they're not doing that yet. It's more like what's the weather today? Some people use it to turn on and off the lights or maybe order a pizza. I don't know, but probably not for home care so much. But now they tell us, "Make sure that you're including LSI words," which is what Siri and Alexa, and probably Google, whatever she is, he is hear. It's what they hear. It's the words that they pick up on and they go, "Oh," because you know they're listening all the time, right?

Jennifer Lagemann:

Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So it goes in their little microchip brains about different keyword phrases that you say in your household, different things. So if I say, "I'm looking to buy bunk beds," and I'm not, but if I said, "I'm looking to buy bunk beds," I can guarantee you that within 24 hours, I will be looking at my phone, I'll be on Facebook and there'll be an ad from Walmart for bunk beds on there. They listen all the time.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So when we write content, there's something called LSI. And if we include some of those keyword phrases in our writing, then these machines will pick up on that and that'll ... But it's a futuristic AI kind of a thing. Everybody says, "Start now," but I think Pizza Hut should start now more than home care.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Agreed. It's more pertinent to them.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It will trickle down though. It takes a while for us to catch up in healthcare, but the things that are automatic, and you can tell your Alexa device to order you something off of Amazon or whatever, those things are going to catch up. There's going to be things that we're going to want to be able to just talk to the air and say, "I need so-and-so thing." So eventually, it'll happen. So the technology drives how, partially, how we write our content and the expectations of Google change every six months, and you've probably noticed that. There's some things that used to be great that you would do that everybody thought was right and now it's not right. So you change the way you do business. You change the way you write, but you have to pay for your content. No doubt about it. No doubt about it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, I want to thank you for sharing with us what you do, because it is hard to find a dedicated writer who is willing to take the time to do what you just said, which is interview local referral sources, and really get someone else involved in that article that benefits you as a business owner in the long run. That is not something you hear a lot, and I appreciate the fact that you know that.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Absolutely. I can blend into operations. It's not just I am taking an order to write a blog on cooking for people that are living with diabetes. You're hyper targeting your referral sources. You can target your local hospitals, where your patients are coming from. You can make it benefit multiple people, and it's not just fluff content.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. So start with the content audit. And then from there, you can move on to recommended content strategies to help that home care agency or whatever that business is, senior care. It could be assisted living. It could be anything. So I will make sure that your contact information is with this interview so that when people watch this, if they want to reach out to you and get a content audit, they can certainly do that. In fact, [crosstalk 00:28:39]-

Jennifer Lagemann:

[crosstalk 00:28:39]-

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

... we probably need one too. So yeah. I'd love for somebody else's to write my blogs for me. So yeah, we'll talk about that too. I would love to have somebody else writing besides me.

Jennifer Lagemann:

You got it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Thank you so much for doing our interview, and I appreciate it. Thank you.

Jennifer Lagemann:

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.