So, it's come to this...

18 replies
Hey copy-boffins!

I'd like to begin by expressing enormous gratitude to everyone who contributes to this forum. Your collective knowledge and experience has been invaluable to me and many others on their journeys to success in copywriting! Thank you!

I'm hoping you guys could offer me up some help?

Here's my story...

My life was a mess, I had Aspergers as a kid, before such a diagnosis existed. My parents didn't know how to handle me and I got thrown out of home at 16. From there my life stalled for about a decade. I was a drifter, unsure I even had a place in the world.

Thanks to an extraordinary friend, I got into the rat race, got a job, a home and eventually found a woman who loved me and had a family. Awesome!

But I've never really been able to get past minimum wage. I've worked my butt off for others and have nothing really to show for it. After losing 2 jobs by the summer of this year I decided I want more for me and my family. So I looked into how to improve myself and after much research, copywriting looked to be a natural fit.

Since June, I have immersed myself in the art, saturating my brain with information daily!

Having worked in telemarketing and sales for years, a lot of the concepts are the same and so I feel I have progressed well, although I realise I still have much to learn.

Then, the wheels came off. The old laptop I was using with all my research and stuff I'd written has died and, like the rookie I am, I didn't back anything up. Hours of work, gone. Gutted.

On top of this, I can't seem to get a job, minimum wage or not.

Christmas is coming, I have 2 kids, 1 on the way, no local job opportunities and an increasingly anxious wife.

I've never been more motivated in my life to succeed at anything. I believe, with some experience
I could be really quite successful.

I would like to mention at this point that I can't work for the content mills. They represent the exact opposite of why I want to get involved in copywriting.

And almost all my studies thus far have been about crafting good copy and persuasion in print. But not the business side. I have no idea where to start?

I've rinsed the forum here and have discovered some excellent ideas, but my problem is a lack of confidence in myself. I will spend the next few months learning about the business side of the job simply to get the confidence in how to do what you guys all do. But with Christmas coming, I would really like to try monetising my new knowledge.

Which brings me here!

I'm not accustomed to asking for help. I had years of relying on others and those years were tough. I learned to take responsibility for my own life and things turned around.

For the first time in my life I have ambition and a dream of where I want to be in the future. That ambition is what has forced me to swallow my pride and ask for help.

If I could afford it I'd have picked a mentor by now and would be off in the right direction. But as my dad would say, I don't have a penny to scratch my, uh hum, bottom with.

So if you're reading this and are feeling altruistic, any and all help would be massively appreciated!

Thank you in advance for any and all advice or offers of assistance.

P.S
I've also read enough of these posts to know that I've spoken mostly about myself and not about you, which is a copywriting faux pas. I just wanted to be honest with you guys about my situation and my motivations for posting this. I'm not trying to sell anyone on the idea of helping me, just giving you an honest appraisal of my position.
Much love to you all!
#copywriting #help needed #you guys are awesome
  • Mike,

    Hopefully somebody reading your post will offer you some work.

    If not, you could try this.

    Forget the interweb (too slow if you want clients on the hurry up) and concentrate on your local bricks and mortar businesses (straight to the people who need you…as in now).

    Write the best ever Flyer (very inexpensive to print) highlighting your unique services (try and avoid the word "copywriter" not many understand what it means - use "Ad Writer" instead).

    Tell them what they want to hear - you can bring them substantially more customers, sales and profits.

    Make it FAB - Great Features - Big Advantages - Huge Benefits (both logical and emotional).

    You can use my "secret" formula (obviously don't tell anybody).

    Truly Irresistible Offer - Plus Something Valuable Free of Charge - If Booked by a Certain Date

    And knock them out to every business you would like to work for.

    There is a fair to good to excellent chance you'll get a quick response.

    Which will bring you in some fast money.

    And build up an excellent client base.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    First you need to read this thread.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...desperate.html

    Here's what's working against you:

    1. This is your first post in the forum and you have no photo avatar,
    didn't mention your name so who knows if your story is true?

    2. When you are in a desperate situation, the last thing you want
    to do is something that demands mindshare like writing. You need
    an unstressed mind to be productive. So I would suggest that you
    find another way to make some funds to get out of the hole and
    then think about copywriting.

    When I started my online business 14 years ago, I was also in
    a desperate situation--and I had 4 kids and wife to support.
    So my sympathies are with you, but the path you are thinking
    about getting out by Christmas may not be your best option,
    in my humble opinion.

    Hang in there,

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Not a Copywriter so I am going to guess.

      I have seen people here say they started by going to businesses and re-doing their newspaper Ads.

      I think this is quite feasible and easy for you to do.

      Phone your local paper and ask for the rate card. Then knock 80% off as the rate card as no one pays it.

      You can then see what a smallish Ad is costing a business for a year.

      And with that knowledge if you could knock up an Ad that follows Direct Response principles without going overboard and walk into some of the businesses that have what you consider may be a poor Ad and offer them one your way to test (they probably have no idea the local paper can even do a split run) I think you can pick up some money if you ask for something quite low. eg £100

      That will start to give you confidence and bring money in.

      Additionally if you re-did someones Tiling Ad for £100 and it improved their response then you can offer the Ad to other tilers for £500 with confidence that you aren't asking for stupid money that maybe you feel you could not justify at the moment.

      Then you can get into something of higher value.

      Anyway, that is my initial thought.

      I know the SW is pretty much minimum pay care homes and tourism so not easy finding any kind of job there.

      Good luck.

      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author M77 Mike
    Wowsers! A response already!

    Thanks guys, some awesome ideas here already!

    @Steve and Dan, 2 superb ideas, I will begin work on those this evening (feel a critique post maybe coming)
    @Ray thank you for the advice, I will be posting a picture of my ugly mug soon, though no critiques on that please! And now you mention it, I've noticed all you top guys sign off with your names so will be doing that in future!
    I completely understand your point of needing to be in the right frame of mind. However, for all the problems Aspergers can cause, intense focus isn't one of them!

    I'm genuinely touched and hugely grateful for the advice guys, thank you for taking the time to help an anonymous, faceless stranger!

    Michael Evans
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by M77 Mike View Post

      However, for all the problems Aspergers can cause, intense focus isn't one of them!
      You're right. My son's best friend in college also has Aspergers so I know
      what you mean. Stay positive.

      -Ray Edwards
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      The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author M77 Mike
    Do I need to have a certain amount of posts before being able to thank you guys for your advice?

    Michael Evans
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    If Ray hadn't posted that, I would have.

    Your first priorities are a roof over your head and food in your bellies. There are programs designed to help ease that burden.

    Having been homeless as I transitioned to life as a copywriter, I get that fear. Let that fear drown out the insecure voices that are causing you doubt. Get out there and sell - because you HAVE to.

    What is the cost of trying and potentially not succeeding? One lost gig. I promise you, no one with a successful business has time to go around black-listing newbies who are trying their hardest.

    What is the cost of not trying at all? In my (admittedly less panicked) eyes, it's far greater than trying and not doing as well as you'd hoped.
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    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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  • Yea, I suppose Raymondo and Angelina are right (that's Ray and Angie).

    With the festive season almost upon us - you may need a goose and all the trimmings.

    And presents to keep your wife and kids happy.

    So bag a job for a while (btw usually the Royal Mail need people this time of year).

    In fact keep the job and if you can fire of the Flyers (no harm in saying phone or email after 6 *).

    And start building your copywriting empire part time.

    Surely and securely.


    Steve


    * This can be a better time for business owners to call - they have less distractions and you can get their undivided attention.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      What do you say we help Mike and his family get through Christmas? If enough of us gave him, say $100, that would add up.

      Mike, if you're okay with the idea, please email me your PayPal address. Then the regulars here could PM me to get it.

      Alex
      alex@on-callcopywriting.com
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  • Profile picture of the author M77 Mike
    Oh my goodness!

    Alex, that is an insanely generous offer! I'm honestly a bit stunned.

    That is a wonderful gesture and would really help me and my family out a lot.

    Perhaps I could do something for you in exchange? I'm just starting out and most likely don't produce work of your standard (yet) but I would be happy to provide you some articles or blog posts? Or anything else I could do?

    I am a bit lost for words... Though there's 2 I can think of...

    Thank you!

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Of course, you folks can do whatever you like with your money. But why you would want to give money to an able-bodied person you met online (in effect) 10 minutes ago is totally beyond me.

      "Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime." I think that should be the operating principle here.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Hey y'all... if you want to help Mike out, just PM me. I will give you his PayPal address.

        Thanks!

        Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author M77 Mike
    I spent most of last night scouring the post you recommended Ray. Some fantastic ideas in there to go along with the ones posted here.

    I'm currently writing up the flyer as suggested by Steve and have begun reaching out to those I know through social media to offer my services.

    You guys really are awesome!

    P.S Also, thank you Angie for your advice!
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Mike, I'm going to give you $100,000 worth of personal advice.

    You should *LOVE* the situation you're in. Embrace it. Use it to your advantage.

    What you should be doing right now is writing "gun to the head" letters. Do or die letters. Making offers and seeing what sticks.

    THIS IS HOW YOU BECOME A COPYWRITER. There is no better way. Ask Gary Halbert. Ask Dan Kennedy. Ask John Carlton.

    I'll give you a for instance.

    A few years ago, I helped a friend sell his prized Rolex to pay for his daughter's college tuition. He had fallen on hard times and his back was against the wall.

    I wrote a sales letter and put it on eBay. As I recall, the watch sold in a couple hours. $7500. (All the pawn shop would pay is $2500.)

    In the moment, that $7500 saved his ass.

    I've personally been in tight jams and had to raise major cash fast. When things went sideways in real estate back in 2008? You can bet I was writing some of the best sales letters of my life.

    Why? Because I HAD to. I had no choice.

    Your strategy right now is to write your way out of your predicament.

    Write. Make offers. Write. Make more offers.

    There's no better training, there's no better learning. It sticks with you for the rest of your life.

    If you take my advice, granted you'll hate me now, but you'll thank me later. Because you'll have mastered THE ONE skill few people possess: How to pull yourself out of a jam with words alone.

    YOU CAN DO IT. Embrace the suck.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author M77 Mike
      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for the reply, yet more excellent advice!

      I'd like to begin by saying, I couldnt hate any of you if I tried! Not my style! I love pretty much love everyone!

      And you're right of course, this is my chance and as you all as my witness, I will make it!

      Your words of encouragement (all of you) have inspired me to just jump in at the deep end and go for it!

      My flyer is coming along nicely and thanks to some awesome people I can get em printed and distributed now! Once it's good enough of course.

      I'll submit it for a critique first though!

      Thank you all again, I feel I'm in the right frame of mind to move forward and bring the world of copy and marketing to my community.

      I'm embracing the suck! (never thought I'd write those words together!)

      Much love people,

      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by M77 Mike View Post

        I'm embracing the suck! (never thought I'd write those words together!)
        Who knew "suck" can be a noun?
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    • Profile picture of the author art72
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Mike, I'm going to give you $100,000 worth of personal advice.

      You should *LOVE* the situation you're in. Embrace it. Use it to your advantage.

      What you should be doing right now is writing "gun to the head" letters. Do or die letters. Making offers and seeing what sticks.

      THIS IS HOW YOU BECOME A COPYWRITER. There is no better way. Ask Gary Halbert. Ask Dan Kennedy. Ask John Carlton.

      I'll give you a for instance.

      A few years ago, I helped a friend sell his prized Rolex to pay for his daughter's college tuition. He had fallen on hard times and his back was against the wall.

      I wrote a sales letter and put it on eBay. As I recall, the watch sold in a couple hours. $7500. (All the pawn shop would pay is $2500.)

      In the moment, that $7500 saved his ass.

      I've personally been in tight jams and had to raise major cash fast. When things went sideways in real estate back in 2008? You can bet I was writing some of the best sales letters of my life.

      Why? Because I HAD to. I had no choice.

      Your strategy right now is to write your way out of your predicament.

      Write. Make offers. Write. Make more offers.

      There's no better training, there's no better learning. It sticks with you for the rest of your life.

      If you take my advice, granted you'll hate me now, but you'll thank me later. Because you'll have mastered THE ONE skill few people possess: How to pull yourself out of a jam with words alone.

      YOU CAN DO IT. Embrace the suck.

      - Rick Duris
      Thanks Rick... that advice is priceless!

      A couple of weeks ago, I read Gary Halberts letter 'Geek?' - where he writes about using his utilty money to invest in his earliest direct mail campaigns and sitting in the dark (with no electricity) awaiting the results.

      But, he fixed his mind that it was 'do or die' time and through persistence and the real threat of disaster... he knew; this has to work this time, and he pulled out all the stops to the tune of $7,300,000 in sales off that 'do or die' mindset sales letter.

      Clearly, not everyone can be so gifted as Gary Halbert was, but he damn sure proved truth to your advice. Adivice I too need to implement!

      For the record, I have fallen off the horse more than once, and like others have mentioned, I too experienced homelessness, and commend Angie's advice to ignore the voices that intrude in dark times.

      To the OP hang tough, and keep writing!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Hey Mike, Here's a simple idea that works very well to raise quick cash.

    (I'm not an affiliate of anything and although the link says affiliate marketing, that has absolutely nothing to do with the content. I swear.)

    http://www.learnaffiliatemarketing.c...nload/BCRP.pdf

    Take a look. If you have any questions, let me know.

    Best to You,
    Ron
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