When should a new copywriter get a mentor?

33 replies
I do a lot of public speaking. On another board, a brand new speaker was told he should "get a mentor." My opinion is new speakers shouldn't pay for a mentor until they are past the brand-newbie stage, have some experience, know more what they want to say, and have something the mentor can work with.

It made me wonder about copywriting. Do brand new copywriters benefit from a mentor, or do mentors prefer a copywriter who is further along? For some context, I've never had a mentor and don't plan to, so I don't have any knowledge in this area.
#copywriter #mentor
  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    Hi,

    I posted this on a different thread 2 days or so ago. So, I'll paste it here and link to the thread for reference.

    My views are a little hard core. But, at least you have that side of the isle represented.

    As far as when to get a mentor? Likely never. The real reason is a student couldn't pay me enough to cover the PITA (pain in the _____) factor. Why would a great writer let a Noob pay them $5K per month to train them and have it cost them $20K.

    So, unless the person just loves to teach (it could happen) or they write a course (which is not mentoring), why would they want to do such a thing.

    Just sayin....

    Below is truly how I recommend people learn copy. I did it without reading the books 1st, but most people would feel better that way.

    Like I said, I'm a little over the top. So, if someones a weakling they may not like my methods.

    Originally posted on another thread:

    If you really want to learn copy writing then there is no substitute for doing.

    Once you've read a few books, been on Halberts newsletter for a while etc.. Then take $200 and hone your skills in the real world.

    Here's how you do that.

    1.Get a product that sells well in any niche you want.

    2. Get an A/B split test plugin.

    3. Write 2 sales letters for this product and post them with traffic split 50/50.

    4. Get a couple Bing coupons off BHW or fiverr or just use Bing or 7 search straightaway. Get 5 cent clicks that are good converting keywords. Test the traffic on the company's sales page to make sure your traffic converts first.

    5. Run the traffic at your split test get real data on your sales.

    6. Start making adjustments to one letter at a time seeing what produces better results.

    7. Keep tweaking them until you're far better than the sales letter of the company. 100% improvements are a good goal over their letter.

    8. Call the company and sell them your winning letter with the stats as proof for $25,000 and you're now a copywriter who's also just had his 1st job and been paid.

    By the way. If you're a copy writer in need of more gigs, this will get you paid. Go take great products, follow the above steps and sell them a proven letter.

    Thank you, Patrick

    Original thread: http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...l#post10359280
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Enfusia View Post

      So, unless the person just loves to teach (it could happen) or they write a course (which is not mentoring), why would they want to do such a thing.

      Just sayin....
      You said it, at least for ME. I've ran a copywriting coaching program for
      over 8 years now and I do it because I LOVE TO TEACH. I love to
      help people. Some of my students have gone ahead of me in terms
      of income and even popularity--more well-known than I am. But that
      is the joy of a mentor/teacher.

      Could I make more money NOT teaching. Of course. But would the
      more money make me happier than the joy I get knowing I helped
      another person? No way--for ME.

      I agree with you that nobody NEEDS a mentor. And some people
      are simply do-it-yourselfers. I'm one of them--I taught myself to
      play the piano, do electronic repairs, computer repairs and a host
      of other things. But that route is not for everybody.

      My wife complains that I love to help people too much and I don't
      get enough in return, but I think every wife thinks the same about their
      husbands.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        You said it, at least for ME. I've ran a copywriting coaching program for
        over 8 years now and I do it because I LOVE TO TEACH. I love to
        help people. Some of my students have gone ahead of me in terms
        of income and even popularity--more well-known than I am. But that
        is the joy of a mentor/teacher.

        Could I make more money NOT teaching. Of course. But would the
        more money make me happier than the joy I get knowing I helped
        another person? No way--for ME.

        I agree with you that nobody NEEDS a mentor. And some people
        are simply do-it-yourselfers. I'm one of them--I taught myself to
        play the piano, do electronic repairs, computer repairs and a host
        of other things. But that route is not for everybody.

        My wife complains that I love to help people too much and I don't
        get enough in return, but I think every wife thinks the same about their
        husbands.

        -Ray Edwards
        I completely understand Ray.

        If you see my post right above this I love to teach.

        But, with copy writing I guess maybe I just see it as my work. So, if I get $5K for teaching a person but lose $20K for doing it, then my brain says "why".

        I go out of my way to help people in other areas such as nutrition, helping older people learn how to use their computers etc...

        Maybe it's just because I do it all day and it's my job and I have to deal with clients enough as is. Not sure.

        But, I am glad that you find joy in it.

        We should all do what fulfills us.

        The above is me just being honest.

        Patrick

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        • Way I see it, you gotta have confidence to throw out your feet for the ground, an' when you land, take stock of what u got before yr heels roll onto toes an' then air again.

          It's a naive plan, but it bigs up on faith, an' we been talkin' over in the chat room about the nature of passion and hittin' on this guy:

          Screw Finding Your Passion

          Sure, this naivo deal can all run into trouble, but without this spark, you're runnin' on rote an' drill.

          Besides, it's a deal reserved for your besto shot.

          Also, formin' shapes outta raw stuff too early can snuff it out.

          Problem comes when your toes hang over the edge of the world into space.

          No amount of steppin' out here gonna help ya.

          An' the line cuttin' under your toes defines clearly where you need to go lookin' next to find out how to step on without fallin' in a hole.

          There is ground under some of yr foot, then jus' air, and that is way cool info, clearer than jus' strikin' out blind.

          On this kinda cusp, ignorance kisses on the need for knowledge real succincto.

          An' even in those reckless steps flung into air, there's still space to search for all kinda lines.

          Dancin', you gotta get a fix on the horizon before you spin 360 and step on, otherwise you bundle offa your own feet.

          Takes time to find the line from a regular step, an' even when you got it, you still gotta drill down on what yr doin' with yr chin, or stickin' your butt out.

          Step reckless for scope, and refine back down for finesse.

          So I guess you hit on help when you're real stuck, or all your best twirls gonna come from someone else spinnin' yr head.

          Figure if I'm gonna crash an' burn I'd better thrash my car real fast than trash someone else's real slow.

          Latter costs more an' pays less.
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          Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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    • Profile picture of the author art72
      Originally Posted by Enfusia View Post

      Hi,

      I posted this on a different thread 2 days or so ago. So, I'll paste it here and link to the thread for reference.

      My views are a little hard core. But, at least you have that side of the isle represented.

      As far as when to get a mentor? Likely never. The real reason is a student couldn't pay me enough to cover the PITA (pain in the _____) factor. Why would a great writer let a Noob pay them $5K per month to train them and have it cost them $20K.

      So, unless the person just loves to teach (it could happen) or they write a course (which is not mentoring), why would they want to do such a thing.

      Just sayin....

      Below is truly how I recommend people learn copy. I did it without reading the books 1st, but most people would feel better that way.

      Like I said, I'm a little over the top. So, if someones a weakling they may not like my methods.

      Originally posted on another thread:

      If you really want to learn copy writing then there is no substitute for doing.

      Once you've read a few books, been on Halberts newsletter for a while etc.. Then take $200 and hone your skills in the real world.

      Here's how you do that.

      1.Get a product that sells well in any niche you want.

      2. Get an A/B split test plugin.

      3. Write 2 sales letters for this product and post them with traffic split 50/50.

      4. Get a couple Bing coupons off BHW or fiverr or just use Bing or 7 search straightaway. Get 5 cent clicks that are good converting keywords. Test the traffic on the company's sales page to make sure your traffic converts first.

      5. Run the traffic at your split test get real data on your sales.

      6. Start making adjustments to one letter at a time seeing what produces better results.

      7. Keep tweaking them until you're far better than the sales letter of the company. 100% improvements are a good goal over their letter.

      8. Call the company and sell them your winning letter with the stats as proof for $25,000 and you're now a copywriter who's also just had his 1st job and been paid.

      By the way. If you're a copy writer in need of more gigs, this will get you paid. Go take great products, follow the above steps and sell them a proven letter.

      Thank you, Patrick

      Original thread: http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...l#post10359280
      Now that's a valuable share. I am setting up for steps 1-6 anyway... but, steps 7-8 are truly ingenius!!!

      Thanks for the insight, greatly appreciated!

      Art

      PS - As opposed to adding another post, I'll just add that this thread has bridged some amazing gaps in my thinking towards seeking out a mentor.

      Truth is, I have always preferred learning from cold-hard truths, and no sugar- coated bs. It pushed me to learn several offline trades fast, and enabled me to command higher prices as a result.

      But, as all this info sinks in, I can't help but wonder; "is going this path alone, (without a mentor) similar to swiming towards the surface... dying to breathe, and still not being able to exhale?"

      I've been on/off here for 3-4 years... and what pertifies me is not my personal failure, it's failing my audience or the client as a writer/messenger/solutions provider. As Joe Golfer stated, I have never been mentored (so to speak) directly by anyone online, especially, those I maintain a huge respect for online.

      Reading Ewen's superstar post of this guy Scott, leaves me to question, could I close deals over the phone right now? - Prob not!

      Simply because as Angie states, after the first time she read Bob Bly's book, something just hasn't clicked for me to wrap my head around the "what if" my desire to write could benefit more people through copywriting?

      Alex Cohen's post really strikes a nerve, as I always assumed to even be considered by a mentor, that mentor would expect I had experience beforehand... Yet his post implies the 'exact' opposite.


      In closing, I was considering mentorship by a digital product creator... But, in my heart, I seriously think 'copywriting' is my underlying passion that fuels seeking knowledge of all things marketing!

      Hat's off to Joe Golfer for starting this thread, he asked what I dared not. And as a result, some great contributions have been made... Definitely, triggered some deep questions, and intuitive responses from some stellar copywriters.
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    • Profile picture of the author thewritestyle
      Originally Posted by Enfusia View Post

      Hi,

      I posted this on a different thread 2 days or so ago. So, I'll paste it here and link to the thread for reference.

      My views are a little hard core. But, at least you have that side of the isle represented.

      As far as when to get a mentor? Likely never. The real reason is a student couldn't pay me enough to cover the PITA (pain in the _____) factor. Why would a great writer let a Noob pay them $5K per month to train them and have it cost them $20K.

      So, unless the person just loves to teach (it could happen) or they write a course (which is not mentoring), why would they want to do such a thing.

      Just sayin....

      Below is truly how I recommend people learn copy. I did it without reading the books 1st, but most people would feel better that way.

      Like I said, I'm a little over the top. So, if someones a weakling they may not like my methods.

      Originally posted on another thread:

      If you really want to learn copy writing then there is no substitute for doing.

      Once you've read a few books, been on Halberts newsletter for a while etc.. Then take $200 and hone your skills in the real world.

      Here's how you do that.

      1.Get a product that sells well in any niche you want.

      2. Get an A/B split test plugin.

      3. Write 2 sales letters for this product and post them with traffic split 50/50.

      4. Get a couple Bing coupons off BHW or fiverr or just use Bing or 7 search straightaway. Get 5 cent clicks that are good converting keywords. Test the traffic on the company's sales page to make sure your traffic converts first.

      5. Run the traffic at your split test get real data on your sales.

      6. Start making adjustments to one letter at a time seeing what produces better results.

      7. Keep tweaking them until you're far better than the sales letter of the company. 100% improvements are a good goal over their letter.

      8. Call the company and sell them your winning letter with the stats as proof for $25,000 and you're now a copywriter who's also just had his 1st job and been paid.

      By the way. If you're a copy writer in need of more gigs, this will get you paid. Go take great products, follow the above steps and sell them a proven letter.

      Thank you, Patrick

      Original thread: http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...l#post10359280
      Hi Enfusia

      I love the directness of your method. I am currently trying to establish myself as a copywriter, but am having difficulty in figuring out how to land my first paying client - which is why your advice is so greatly appreciated.

      However - and I must apologise for my ignorance upfront - but after you write the sales letters, where do you post them. I just started a website (and when I say "just", it's no exaggeration) and, as such, it is still in it's infancy. Even if I were to post the sales letters on my own website, it wouldn't make an impact because I have not, as yet, established an audience.

      So, in my position, what would you suggest I do in order to pitch the sales letters to prospective buyers?

      Thank you for your words of wisdom and I really will appreciate any further advice you might be able to offer me.

      Regards,
      Lubaina
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    In my opinion, right at the beginning is best. The student gets off on the right foot and doesn't waste time going down rabbit holes.

    In my experience, students who come to me with a good writing ability, motivation, and creativity do best. Their level of prior knowledge is irrelevant in terms of learning the craft.

    Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Enfusia, it sounds like you should never be a mentor if you immediately bring up a "PITA" factor.

      Some people do enjoy teaching and helping others succeed. I do. And I've launched more than 100 new copywriters over the years. My baseline is that as long as someone has good writing skills already (can write grammatical sentences and make sense) and is motivated to succeed as a copywriter, then I can teach them to write good copy that clients will pay them for. They don't need to have writing experience specifically. I've trained people in copywriting ranging from sales managers who never wrote as part of their job to Pulitzer-prize winning journalists.

      My method of mentoring, however, is very hands-on and instructional and involves homework assignments. It's work, not just talk.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
        Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

        Enfusia, it sounds like you should never be a mentor if you immediately bring up a "PITA" factor.

        Some people do enjoy teaching and helping others succeed. I do. And I've launched more than 100 new copywriters over the years. My baseline is that as long as someone has good writing skills already (can write grammatical sentences and make sense) and is motivated to succeed as a copywriter, then I can teach them to write good copy that clients will pay them for. They don't need to have writing experience specifically. I've trained people in copywriting ranging from sales managers who never wrote as part of their job to Pulitzer-prize winning journalists.

        My method of mentoring, however, is very hands-on and instructional and involves homework assignments. It's work, not just talk.

        Marcia Yudkin
        Well, I taught martial arts for 8 years for free just because I love it.

        But, with copy writing (if your being real) such a small percentage are ever really going to "get it" that it just sort of becomes painful after a while.

        It's not that I shouldn't be a mentor, it's that I'm one of those guys that if you asked me what I'm allergic to, I'd have to say weak willed people and whiners.

        If your being real and not emotional about it because you're invested in it. You know that only about 3% of the people will be truly successful at it. Just like anything else. But, about 1/2 of those people who can't (or really "won't" do it) are weaklings that drain your battery.

        My main point was that; if your a truly successful copywriter, unless your doing a class where you fill a room with people who paid you $5K a pop it's not a very good monetary plan.

        So, as I mentioned, if you love to teach, cool!!!!!!!!

        I love to teach martial arts like I said, so for me it's not even work.

        Just different personalities. But, that's what makes the world interesting eh...

        Patrick
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    • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      In my opinion, right at the beginning is best. The student gets off on the right foot and doesn't waste time going down rabbit holes.

      In my experience, students who come to me with a good writing ability, motivation, and creativity do best. Their level of prior knowledge is irrelevant in terms of learning the craft.

      Alex
      I'm with Alex.

      I'm a huge Anthony Robbins fan, and he just spoke at the Joe Polish Genius Network.

      And something Tony continues to speak highly of, 30 years after he came on the scene... is to model after those who are where you want to be.

      Not model just ANYONE, mind you, but someone who is where you want to be.

      This way, you can cut out all the trial and error.

      I'm thankful to have taken that principle to heart. Ironically enough, copy was the one thing I didn't have a mentor for... since I started online back in 2001.

      I just kept buying and reading all the top copy books, and continued to study the craft.

      But outside of that and learning Google Adwords myself, I hired a mentor for every other area of business, and even outside of business.

      Success leaves clues so instead of trying to learn it all by trial and error, it's almost always faster to find someone who is where you want, and then use their experience and knowledge to bridge the gap from where you are... to where you want to be.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kieran D
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      In my opinion, right at the beginning is best. The student gets off on the right foot and doesn't waste time going down rabbit holes.

      In my experience, students who come to me with a good writing ability, motivation, and creativity do best. Their level of prior knowledge is irrelevant in terms of learning the craft.

      Alex
      I agree with Alex 100%. I think it's great to have a mentor straight out of the gate. This way the person can avoid picking up bad habits.

      It's by no means catastrophic if someone doesn't pick up a mentor straight away though. Some people are just naturally talented and hard-working and can have a lot of success.

      I would just recommend a mentor straight away to short-cut that success.

      Kieran
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    What kind of value would you expect a mentee to provide, Marcia and/or Alex?
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      What kind of value would you expect a mentee to provide, Marcia and/or Alex?
      Hi Chad,

      Are you asking about the value the mentor (not the mentoree) would provide? I'm not sure the mentoree provides value. He or she is the client in the relationship and gains value from the program.

      In terms of the value provided by the mentor, the main one I see is slashing years off the mentoree's learning curve.

      It is hard to learn a new skill by yourself. Imagine trying to learn to drive with only written instructions and without an experienced driver to tell you where you were making mistakes or miscalculations!

      What I often see in my program is people who have absorbed many of the principles of copywriting but don't have the ability to apply them in a real situation. With feedback and explanations, they progress quickly. They go from blatant amateur to reasonably competent, and then they have a solid foundation of understanding and ability to build on as they continue to learn on their own.

      Marcia Yudkin
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

      What kind of value would you expect a mentee to provide, Marcia and/or Alex?
      Don't mean to gatecrash Chad, I would like to chime in because I have a mentee
      who is in 1 to 1 outbound sales.

      He breaks sales records like tying your shoe laces.

      Brings in a deal 50 times bigger than previous biggest.

      He went from zero re-activating cancelled memberships
      to 100% now it's steadied at 90%.

      He calls up the country heads of Goldman Sacks,
      largest freight brokerage in the world, top 4 accounting firm in the world
      and closes them on the phone.

      After closing the founder of the fastest growing fashion brand
      in his country, he gets offered to go work for them.
      He gets other job offers from the people he calls because they
      have never experienced a sales guy like him.

      First time in professional sales.

      #1 sales person in his division in 2 months,
      third month co-founder wants him as sales trainer.

      Some days he hits the sales goals of 6 by himself.

      I'd like to say I had a large part in his success.

      That would be a lie.

      He came equipped with the traits of a superstar.

      I didn't pick up those traits at first.

      I started to sense he was good so I researched what the traits were
      of superstar salespeople which lead me to Chet Holmes training.

      He showed how to identify, recruit and keep superstars.

      Scott had them all.

      He is ravenous for new knowledge.

      At 23 and a commission based employee,
      he pays to learn from the best,
      including me.

      He then implements.

      He invests in himself more than most biz owners
      running million plus dollar businesses.

      He wants the deep understanding why people do things
      rather than the surface tricks and tactics.

      Superstars can have no experience, have jumped from job to job
      like fleas on dogs...it doesn't count.

      It's taking them out of environments that don't suit them and
      putting them in a place where they are supported
      so they can blossom.

      It's a massive waste to society that superstars aren't identified early
      then moved into an environment that grows their natural talent.

      Although talent in sales and ad writing is over rated because it's a learnt skill.

      Chad, I've shown Scott what a superstar is,
      what a superstar company is and whether the leader of it is a real superstar
      beyond the driving of the company.

      This knowledge allows him to make the right choices in choosing the right opportunities to grow himself.

      His present role he thought was a superstar company
      to go work for because with all their associated companies,
      they are the biggest multi media company in his country.

      However, he has discovered the co-founder creates a anti superstar culture
      which has caused him to give notice he's leaving.

      Hope this has created a new awareness Chad,
      in creating right choices in your career path.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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      • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
        I suppose, as a believer in always offering value first and foremost, I was hoping for some clarity on what an "ideal mentee" would be able to offer a good mentor in an unpaid situation.
        Sorry, Chad, I think you're on the wrong track there. It's work for the mentor.

        Marcia
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        • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
          Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

          Sorry, Chad, I think you're on the wrong track there. It's work for the mentor.

          Marcia
          I know.

          If you could only pick one mentee, and you had two promising prospects, what would drive your decision?

          What does an ideal mentee offer that a bad one doesn't?

          I'm assuming you wouldn't want to mentor a pain in the ass or a lazy *******.

          So, in your words, who WOULD you want to mentor?

          Angie answered me earlier, but I kinda feel like she's the only one who understood my question
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    Nah, I meant the mentee. The value of a good mentor is more than clear to me – I'm searching for mentorship myself!

    I suppose, as a believer in always offering value first and foremost, I was hoping for some clarity on what an "ideal mentee" would be able to offer a good mentor in an unpaid situation.

    Not that I'm looking to avoid paying for good mentorship.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Chad, your answer is in Ewen's reply.

    Hunger for knowledge.

    Desire to invest in yourself and improve.

    Being teachable. That one is perhaps the most important.

    If you know it all, I can't really teach you anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Chad, your answer is in Ewen's reply.

      Hunger for knowledge.

      Desire to invest in yourself and improve.

      Being teachable. That one is perhaps the most important.

      If you know it all, I can't really teach you anything.
      Angie, with my very limited knowledge of your past and present employment,
      can you say the right environment has made all the difference, or at least a BIG
      difference for you?

      Would you like to expand on this?

      Thank you,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Angie, with my very limited knowledge of your past and present employment,
        can you say the right environment has made all the difference, or at least a BIG
        difference for you?

        Would you like to expand on this?

        Thank you,
        Ewen
        Ewen - the right environment is definitely a factor.

        I mean, think about it. We know that a good deal of copywriting (and marketing in general) is failure.

        So someone (in a mentor role) who cannot tactfully walk someone through a failure won't wind up teaching a mentee much.

        I discovered the teachability thing when I took on my first junior copywriter-in-training.

        I'd give a book or a lesson, ask for this person to read and analyze it. We'd talk some real world applications.

        And this person was SO smart that the rules would be internalized to such a degree as to be used to defend work later.

        Not necessarily a bad thing, but when someone who's training you to think differently says, "hey, this needs attention and here's why" and you reply with, "but I thought the rule was..."

        In fact, we got past our little impasse when I mentioned that being teachable is critical. I can't teach you anything you don't want to learn. And if you're convinced this rule is everything there is, then you can't learn anything else.

        I had to be really blunt. I had to be willing to hurt feelings and, unfortunately, rip apart work someone's really proud of to show that they'd missed a critical detail.

        Being a mentor is a lot like raising kids, in my mind.

        There's a lot of laughing and joking and bonding and fun. War stories, horrible clients, good times at seminars and the like.

        But there are a lot of uncomfortable situations and growing pains too, where a mentor has to be able to clearly articulate an area of improvement and do it in such a way as to not make it feel personal.

        What we do is already so intensely personal - I know I put a piece of me into everything I create...it's rooted in Angie as a person, a creative, and a salesperson, just channeling the brand/product/market needs.

        I was lucky - I had a safe space with my boss/creative director. I had a chance to pitch fantastically ridiculous ideas, to throw out anything crazy I could think of. If it was doable, we tried to sell it to partners and get it executed.

        And because I felt safe in falling on my face as far as concepting and pitching and even results were concerned, I also felt safe in knowing that criticism was to challenge me and help me grow.

        My boss is very much interested in developing my strengths and he explicitly states as such. And I'm not about to thumb my nose at direct mentorship from someone with 20+ years of experience.

        Everything he's said and done in honing my skills has led me to where I am, what I know, how I think and process things. And I'm truly a better writer (and perhaps even a better, more patient person) because of it.

        But you have to be so invested in doing better that you don't shut down at the notion of improvement. You have to learn not to fall in love with the idea or the turn of phrase. You have to open your mind to different perspectives and the fact that there's never a one-size-fits-all approach - sometimes you have to use every weapon in your arsenal, and sometimes you know JUST the trick.

        And sometimes despite everything you know, the timing wasn't right or the offering wasn't right or the market wasn't targeted correctly. And something fails as a result.

        A good mentee? Is a lifelong student. Dedicated to constant self-improvement, even if it's sometimes painful. And knows that even experts get it wrong, so can be humble enough to take great works as credit as well as flops.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

          My boss is very much interested in developing my strengths and he explicitly states as such.
          And based on what you've said, he lives it so it becomes a realty.

          Which is unlike Scott's current environment.

          Thanks for sharing what it's like,
          because I'm honing my awareness what environment that attracts
          and supports superstars.

          One of the things I'm seeing is never say no to them.

          You can give conditions around what is to take place,
          but never a straight out no.

          That's very hard in a command control world.

          Thank you.

          Doctor E. Vile
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          • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            And based on what you've said, he lives it so it becomes a realty.

            Which is unlike Scott's current environment.

            Thanks for sharing what it's like,
            because I'm honing my awareness what environment that attracts
            and supports superstars.

            One of the things I'm seeing is never say no to them.

            You can give conditions around what is to take place,
            but never a straight out no.

            That's very hard in a command control world.

            Thank you.

            Doctor E. Vile
            That's pretty much the tack he takes with me. Nothing is too outrageous. There's only does this make sense or not?

            If he told me no a lot, I'm not sure I would have pushed as hard as I did to really be an idea generation machine.
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    • Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Hunger for knowledge.
      I guess you gotta start a synapse at a time.

      You figure on sumthin' you wanna touch on, some information you wanna process, an' you uncoil a synapse from your brain an' fling it out to wherever.

      An' — THWANG — you got sumthin', you added sumthin' new to your brain an' its style of processin'.

      So, next time you fling out a synapse, mebbe your aim will be better, mebbe you'll fling somewhere closer to what you want an' need, mebbe you'll even unleash another synapse.

      Before you know it, you'll be a ragin' octopus of sensory input, focusin' down and broadenin' out on the area you are directin' yourself toward.

      An' now the tentacles are sproutin' also, turnin' somea that synaptic input into output, only it is kinda jellyoid, kinda flailin' — but sometimes you hit a cool note, an' from here, you refine an' you refine, till you do that weird kinda swoopy thing octupi do in the water where they jus' gliiiiide along with their wobbly heads all streamlined an' their tentacles swooped up close into a single tail tip like the nib of a flexible fountain pen.

      This is how I figure it goes when you are learnin' anythin', an' it is a self-startin' process goes on all natural — or we would all be crawlin' round in giant diapers & droolin' random dipthongs between involuntary pee breaks.

      Even that Robbins guy.

      But I figure a mentor — sourcable at any stage via informed synaptic fling — can speed up the process, refine it, flip your octupoid copywritin' yumminess into more bountiful waters.

      Point about it all is that the process is fluid, an' there are no fixed points at which certain things gotta happen.

      You start where you start, you get a mentor when you get a mentor (or you don't get a mentor when you don't get a mentor), an' you proceed organically from there, bein' more or less neither wrong nor right in terms of "the perfect way".

      It is cool believe there are 'paths' an' 'ways' an' 'levels' an' alla that — some defined 'right way' to proceed — an' while it is true that evrythin' swings on some kinda narrative (for example, any mentorin' course gonna start at "the beginnin'" an' proceed, via previously plotted exercises an' advice, to "the end"), I figure we gotta learn to pluck an' process material as it is needed rather than bein' too structured, cos the world has no 'plan' for what happens next, an' you gotta be flexible in the face of its emergin' story.

      So mebbe bein' a kinda ultra feely, synaptically afro octopus, floatin' in an ocean of random swirls ain't too far from the truth of how it is most days.

      You take what you got, an' you interact with your environment au naturelle, an' you become whatever you need to be, takin' turns an' twists along the way, but always lookin' to be a better Whatever-U-Are from day to day.

      If you are a copywritin' octopus, guess that means you start out all blubbery rubbery useless an' grow up to squirt entrancin' clouds of killer ink.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    But even Angie's answer didn't go into WHY a mentor would want those things.

    Fulfilment? Idea generation (someone willing to bounce ideas back and forth)? A reignition of former passion?

    If I was writing a sales letter selling myself as a good mentee, what would a good starting angle be?

    Just went all Dr. Seuss there.

    I'm just not comfortable saying "Hey, can you mentor me? I want your time and expertise and I don't care what I could possibly give you in return."

    I want to make it hard to resist mentoring me. I want the mentor to feel like THEY are getting a good deal out of the arrangement as well.

    Ewen's response contained helpful advice, but I don't feel it addressed my question at all.

    (Still thankful for the input and I still learned something).

    EDIT:

    The question is, WHY do you mentor?

    The follow-up question is, WHAT kind of mentee fulfils that reason best?
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

      But even Angie's answer didn't go into WHY a mentor would want those things.

      Fulfilment? Idea generation (someone willing to bounce ideas back and forth)? A reignition of former passion?

      If I was writing a sales letter selling myself as a good mentee, what would a good starting angle be?

      Just went all Dr. Seuss there.

      I'm just not comfortable saying "Hey, can you mentor me? I want your time and expertise and I don't care what I could possibly give you in return."

      I want to make it hard to resist mentoring me. I want the mentor to feel like THEY are getting a good deal out of the arrangement as well.

      Ewen's response contained helpful advice, but I don't feel it addressed my question at all.

      (Still thankful for the input and I still learned something).

      EDIT:

      The question is, WHY do you mentor?

      The follow-up question is, WHAT kind of mentee fulfils that reason best?
      Granted my mentoring is limited at this point in time, but soon to pick up - take this with a grain of new-to-mentoring salt.

      1) It's pretty cool to see that a-ha moment in someone else. I geek out over this stuff. I love it when someone else geeks out on it and we can geek out together.

      2) It's pretty cool to see someone hit their first "win", whether it's a sale or an increase in opens, or even a compliment about the marketing piece itself from the target market (that happens from time to time!).

      3) It forces me to learn this stuff inside out. If I can't tell you why that editorial is falling flat, there's no way I can figure out why MY editorial is falling flat. And if I can't tell when mine is not up to stuff, I can't edit or rewrite to get it where it needs to be. Teaching someone how to improve their skills has helped me improve my own.

      As far as the mentor getting something out of it - that's RARELY the case. It's work for the mentor. There are a lot of questions and back and forth (see this thread for an example of what I mean ). There are a lot of edits and questions and herding you back onto the path if you stray.

      There is a lot of metaphor and strategic designing of problems/challenges to help someone see what you're trying to get them to see - and a lot of these lessons simply can't be learned until you're in the situation. It just doesn't make sense until you have to use that knowledge.

      Perfect example of this? The idea of being a freelancer first crossed my mind in 2007, when I was married to a Marine who was deployed overseas. I bought a Bob Bly book on freelancing. I read it. But it just didn't make sense to me in a practical, actionable way.

      I couldn't figure it out. I didn't know where to start. So I didn't.

      I eventually wound up going to grad school and trying a bunch of other things I thought I wanted. And then I got laid off and fell back into the idea of freelance writing.

      Now here it is, almost 8 years after the first time I read that book. Now, everything in it makes perfect sense.

      But ONLY because I'm at the stage where I can make sense of that info, where I can understand it because I have context and experience and a frame of reference.

      So first teachable moment, aspiring mentee:

      Understand the realism in this scenario. You're a work in progress, key word being WORK. If you want someone to help you work on yourself, you have to make it worth the effort.

      That sounds a little preachy.

      But seriously.

      If I showed you the number of emails from aspiring copywriters asking me to assign them work and take them under my wing, and they can't even reply back to a simple set of questions in a timely basis?

      Those kinds of people want to learn until they find out it's hard.

      You have to stand apart from them.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post


      Ewen's response contained helpful advice, but I don't feel it addressed my question at all.

      (Still thankful for the input and I still learned something).

      EDIT:

      The question is, WHY do you mentor?

      The follow-up question is, WHAT kind of mentee fulfils that reason best?
      Maybe it's because I don't have children,
      I don't know, that causes me to have such highs
      when he breaks records.

      I don't have the mental bandwidth to be dragging
      a dead weight of a person who isn't a superstar in the making.

      Might seem harsh, however the superstar in the making
      will create much more value in society.

      While working with a non superstar in the making,
      that space could of gone to a superstar.

      That's how I see things Chad.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile

      P.S. To give you an idea of the buzz I get out of Scott's success,
      I'll let you on a bit of my weirdness...

      It was on a Friday and Scott and and I had finished up geeking out
      on what he was doing...as in very deep psychology along with
      the breakthrough which shattered records.

      Seriosly if somebody heard me, they thought I was having an orgasm!

      It didn't stop there.

      I had to talk to somebody about it...
      no not the orgasm part!

      All my associates weren't available so I went into city bars to find a willing ear
      to chat about my experience,
      despite I'm a non-drinker.

      So I open conversations about what they are into that gets them jacked up...
      all in the ploy for them to ask the magic question,

      "what gets you jacked up"?

      Bam, I found 2 willing young ladies to pass on my buzz.

      Oh...I'm such a weirdo!

      As in full frontal naked weirdness.

      I'll leave it at that.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    If you haven't already, listen to Carlton and Kevin Rogers Psych Insights For Modern Marketers.

    Find the episode about road dogging and listen intently. Then read through this advice again.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmaster555
    Mentoring someone is raising a child.

    I was so dedicated to my first mentee that I had forgotten to call my daughter for multiple months, our relationship destroyed. A letter came in the mail last week inviting her mother -specifically her mother- to her wedding.

    You see, at the time, this mentee WAS my child. My focus. My drive. He had to grow and make me proud - he was a reflection of myself.

    Not to mention, everyone would know him as the copywriter who I mentored.

    Mentoring is a big risk to reputation and can take an emotional toll, hence the hefty fee we charge.


    It's not about the money, really, if the student has potential. You get a certain satisfaction, pride, pleasure from seeing your seed grow.


    Where is he now?

    He went on to write copy for fortune 500 companies, made 100x the money I ever made, now has a thriving blog with thousands - no, hundreds of thousands- of subscribers to his email list.

    Haven't heard from him in 3 years. He was given recognition a few months ago and thanked a bunch of people whom he was just ass kissing and my name was not mentioned.

    I emailed him addressing my concerns and his response was ,"I paid for the mentorship, I don't owe you anything."

    Heh.

    So is it worth it to grow a mango tree, you ask?

    It depends... Can you handle the fruits of your labor rolling into your neighbors yard?

    Would it bother you to hear him slurping on the juices that leak from the freshly peeled mango skin while you swat the fruit flies that stayed behind?

    Let me know..
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadHaynes
    Thanks guys.

    All I was really looking for was a way to "repay" a mentor, or show gratitude. I'm very respectful of experts who take their time and energy to help – it's this kind of attitude that has helped my career explode the way it has.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
      Originally Posted by ChadHaynes View Post

      All I was really looking for was a way to "repay" a mentor, or show gratitude.
      Show up, do the work, succeed.

      Because most people who go into teaching/mentoring aren't doing it for the money. They're doing it to help others and pass along their skills.

      So your success becomes their success.
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      Andrew Gould

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  • YOU can have a mentor at any stage in your copy career.

    I've had 3 myself. Still use one,

    they just need to be more experienced than me and being doing better.

    usually these guys are 10 years older at least.

    I would invest in one if you can afford it. will shortcut your journey.
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    "Peter Brennan is the real deal, In the first 12 hours we did $80k...and over $125k in the first week...if you want to be successful online, outsource your copywriting to Peter"
    Adam Linkenauger

    For 12 ways to sell more stuff to more people today...go to...www.peterbrennan.net
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  • Profile picture of the author niksto82
    We have all gone to school. Our teachers are used to working with kids who do not know anything and with those who are brilliant. So, this is a process which we are used to (when we are teacher or a student). In that regard, when I am teaching or being taught, I always appreciate the opportunity to help someone or to improve myself. Even if a copywriter is great, it is good having a mentor. No matter what we do in life, we always need some fresh perspective. Remember, even Albert Einstein had Mileva Maric.
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  • Profile picture of the author nsserve
    To me, having a mentor gives a direction, a track to follow, footsteps to walk on
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