by max5ty
26 replies
After almost 40 years in the copywriting/marketing business, I've discovered a couple things:

Way back when, I would buy rub off stencils and put together my own sales pages...didn't know what a copywriter was. I'd design a sales page then make copies and sit up at night and address them and ship them off the next morning.

Times have changed.

There's no reason anyone that's a copywriter can't make a fortune these days with all the simplicity we have.

A couple reasons why I think some are struggling:

Lack of creativity: If there's one skill I think every copywriter is required to have, it's creativity. It's what makes or breaks you. Doesn't matter if you have no clue how to put a headline together...or a bullet point...or connector phrases...creativity will explode your business.

Hype: I've seen so many articles and ads in my time that I've figured out if you're not hyping your product, you're only gonna be mediocre at it's success. Get excited about what you're selling and hype the crap out of it!

Lack of self confidence: There's a whole world of money right outside your door. There's no reason to advertise all over the internet when all you have to do is go door to door in your community and get business. Most won't do it because they have no self confidence in themselves and are afraid of what others will think. Grow some big ones and get out there!

That's all...
#read
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan



    This sounds like a newbie post. But I know you aren't a newbie. Anyone but you writing this and I wouldn't respond.

    Copywriters need SKILL.

    Hype will certainly take you far, but you need skill to back it up or eventually you will be found out as a fraud.

    Copywriters also need the same two things every business needs:

    Traffic

    and

    Conversion.

    Sure, they can go door to door in hopes of generating the traffic...but they still need sales skills to convert some of those prospects into clients. And if we're being honest: most have zero sales skills.

    Let's civilly discuss.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post




      This sounds like a newbie post. But I know you aren't a newbie. Anyone but you writing this and I wouldn't respond.

      Copywriters need SKILL.

      Hype will certainly take you far, but you need skill to back it up or eventually you will be found out as a fraud.

      Copywriters also need the same two things every business needs:

      Traffic

      and

      Conversion.

      Sure, they can go door to door in hopes of generating the traffic...but they still need sales skills to convert some of those prospects into clients. And if we're being honest: most have zero sales skills.

      Let's civilly discuss.
      Thanks Jason for your comment.

      I've known people with no skills that got rich...I've known people with a lot of skills that are still trying to get rich.

      Creativity Is what matters.

      I've never sold anything on here...and if you think I'm trolling, I wish you the best with what you're selling.

      I'm tired of wanna be nobodies that want to sell a load of crap to those trying to make it.

      If someone Is creative...and doesn't have a lick of knowledge on how to do anything the gurus tell you, they can be successful.

      Thanks again for you're feedback...
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        Thanks Jason for your comment.

        I've known people with no skills that got rich...I've known people with a lot of skills that are still trying to get rich.

        Creativity Is what matters.

        I've never sold anything on here...and if you think I'm trolling, I wish you the best with what you're selling.

        I'm tired of wanna be nobodies that want to sell a load of crap to those trying to make it.

        If someone Is creative...and doesn't have a lick of knowledge on how to do anything the gurus tell you, they can be successful.

        Thanks again for you're feedback...
        I don't sell on here. Not my target market, not at all. I participate to interact with a few people I've met in real life, to support Gabe...and to help out some of the newbies who are receptive. But the newbies lack the money tolerance and the ability to fulfill anything that would make me interested in working with them.

        There's truth in what we're both saying. Certainly there are rich people without skills, and the opposite.

        I don't know how you can be a copywriter without any skill. This has nothing to do with gurus: it's about how to write converting messages. I've studied copywriting since around 1995 and written a lot--one of the top revenue-producing things I can do is write. But it's intense work, so I try to do as little as possible.

        In my experience, creativity is overrated. The Clio Awards for memorable advertising were presented to me starting in Grade 10 or 11 (we're talking very early 90s). And the takeaway I remember most from that is: nearly all of the winners were gone the following year. The agencies, I mean. Their ads didn't convert.

        But what's true for me isn't necessarily true for you, and so on.

        I'm not certain what the message you're trying to share here is, beyond, "Get out there and DO IT! You Can Do It!" Could you expand on it?
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        • Hellor Jason,
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          In my experience, creativity is overrated.
          I know what max5ty is referring to.

          I was a business owner, long before a Direct Response Copywriter. Before I knew there was a word or person known as a copy writer, I use to write my own ads because I hated the Yellow Pages rep's ad suggestions.

          I'd write my ad, give it to the rep and the rep would literally fight me about placing my ad on their perceived advice. I always won. Money talks and having the number to the YP account supervisor never hurt.

          Back in those days, when I used creativity in my ads they stood out from all my competitors, and they hated it. I'd get calls of trying to sway ALL the business away from them, (which I was), and I'd tell them, write your own ads.

          They wouldn't, I did and my companies grew. Looking back some of my ads were pretty creative. And that's what I see is missing in today's marketing and advertising. Nothing is creative just re-spun.

          Chinchilla
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          SEO Content Marketing Writer
          Online Writing Portfolio
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    • Profile picture of the author Vladimir Mirnii
      An important point of view. To be a good copywriter, it's necessary to understand not just a matter of copywriting but marketing as well. Why some article generates plenty of traffic, but others don't?! Starting points are Headline and high search volume Keywords, which make your article full of traffic and comments and as a result will decrease the bounce rate dramatically. If the abovementioned metrics will be reached, the article will drive plenty of traffic. Plus the content should be of good quality and match the searchers' intent. It should be really interesting and valuable for readers. Please pay attention to the structure and complexity of the article (Readiness in the Yoast Plugin), which also matters. The subject, which you are writing about should be valuable and useful for the readers.
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Vladimir Mirnii View Post

        An important point of view. To be a good copywriter, it's necessary to understand not just a matter of copywriting but marketing as well. Why some article generates plenty of traffic, but others don't?! Starting points are Headline and high search volume Keywords, which make your article full of traffic and comments and as a result will decrease the bounce rate dramatically. If the abovementioned metrics will be reached, the article will drive plenty of traffic. Plus the content should be of good quality and match the searchers' intent. It should be really interesting and valuable for readers. Please pay attention to the structure and complexity of the article (Readiness in the Yoast Plugin), which also matters. The subject, which you are writing about should be valuable and useful for the readers.
        Thanks for your comment.

        I totally agree...a good copywriter should also be a good marketer.

        I know some disagree but I honestly think given the two choices...a good marketer Will outperform a good copywriter.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    It's this simple...you got people that can't make a lick of money on their own so they try and tell all of us how to make money by selling us some crap they came up with.

    Then they tell us they made so much money they're gonna fill us in on their secret...BS...

    The people I know making money don't have time to sell you their stuff...

    I'm not selling...I'm starting a dialogue
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Yes, I'll expand on the fact I'm a multi millionaire and own seven businesses.

    Been doing marketing for almost 40 years
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Yes, I'll expand on the fact I'm a multi millionaire and own seven businesses.

      Been doing marketing for almost 40 years
      I KNOW you know your stuff. I opened with that. It's not like I joined the forum yesterday: I've seen you post many times over the years.

      Why the chest-thumping? What I'm confused about is what you're trying to accomplish here. The Anti-Guru thing has been done to death. It's nothing new or creative.

      I'm not arguing with you: I'm trying to find out what you're expressing and why...because I think it's worthwhile to.

      Now as for your position and mentality, it's easy for you (or me) to "just do it." But for a newbie? What do you suggest they do?
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


        Now as for your position and mentality, it's easy for you (or me) to "just do it." But for a newbie? What do you suggest they do?
        Back in the 80's I had read a couple books on selling cars and thought I'd give it a whirl.

        I went to the biggest dealership that sold a load of cars every month and got a job.

        Boy was I in for a big surprise. For some reason the customers weren't saying the right things so I could come back with what I was suppose to say...the books and reality just weren't colliding in harmony.

        Luckily I had one of the best trainers in the world. I use to think the guy had nerves of steel.

        We had a policy that if we went out and talked to a customer and they left, we'd better be in the car with them if we hadn't already came in and talked to our manager about the situation.

        I'd go in and tell my manager (who also trained me) some whiny story about how these people weren't ever gonna buy and they were just looking and they didn't have any credit and their blah blah blah.

        He'd usually ignore everything I said...then he'd tell me to go out and ask them a question that he'd give me. I'd go out back first and smoke a cigarette, afraid if I did what my manager told me to do, I'd be the first salesman to be attacked on the lot.

        It didn't take long for me to get out of my comfort zone. I also discovered I could have read 10 more books and still wouldn't have made it as a salesman until I actually got out there and just did it.

        I very quickly became sales manager after breaking almost every record that had ever been set at that dealership. I then took my sales training and opened a weight loss clinic which was hugely successful and spawned many franchised locations.

        I'm not saying all the above to brag...I'm saying it all to show that the books I had read on selling, even though they were written by top sellers, did very little to make me a good salesman. I had to get out there and learn in the real world.

        I'm not saying my way is the only way. If you have a process that has made you very successful then by all means keep on keeping on.

        I'm simply saying the best teacher in the world is to get out there and just do it. Someone can be book smart about a subject and know all the lingo...and still not be successful at anything.

        Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post


        I was a business owner, long before a Direct Response Copywriter. Before I knew there was a word or person known as a copy writer, I use to write my own ads because I hated the Yellow Pages rep's ad suggestions.


        Chinchilla
        You are definitely someone who has had on the job training.

        You took a business and made it successful.

        I have no doubt it has given you a whole different perspective on the writing you do for other businesses.



        Thanks for the replies.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Lack of creativity and confidence are 2 copy killers. Get clear. Create from love. Have fun. Avoid getting addicted to outcomes. Smooth copy flows when you fall in love with practicing and serving folks. Rocking insights from 4 decades of copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Marshall
    Some great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm thinking of growing some big ones (I used to have them but I haven't had chance to get them out recently). What have you found to be the best methods for finding and approaching prospects?

    Kind regards,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author John Marshall
    Just excellent, Jason, just excellent.

    Thanks for the share and thanks for taking the time to write out the original post.

    I can't help thinking that I am going to end up offering services to offline businesses and help like you've given is invaluable.

    Kudos to you.

    Kind regards,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author ialmostcare
    Okay, this is what I'm hearing on this thread:

    People have to make the shift from accumulating knowledge to acting on the knowledge they're accumulating. Being "well-read" doesn't automatically equal being skilled in whatever it is that you're reading about.

    There is a lot of so-called "valuable, insider, expert..." content that's just someone trying to make a buck. Spending time living in inaction, soaking all THAT up is even worse than time spent accumulating knowledge from truly legit sources and never applying action to it.

    It takes practice and action to go from good to great. Get moving and Just Do It, and you'll start gaining momentum and experience. Experience is the greatest teacher.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by ialmostcare View Post



      It takes practice and action to go from good to great. Get moving and Just Do It, and you'll start gaining momentum and experience. Experience is the greatest teacher.
      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, experience has always been my best teacher.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Wow, youse guys are still here arguing?

    It's almost like I never left.

    Anyhow, a pretty successful marketer reached out to me yesterday because I had helped them on Warrior Forum like three years ago. (Weird how people remember random acts of copywriting kindness, yes?) He hunted me down to me to work on his new promo.

    So today I decided I'd stop by here and see how everyone was doing.

    Glad you all are still mixing it up.

    My two sense? People hire me because I am ultra-creative.

    For instance, someone asks for a lede? I give them three or five to try.

    Why do I do it? Well, because #1, I have no idea which one (if any) will fly. I'm stacking the deck, so to speak.

    #2, if you're going to put in the time and energy, you're going to come up with lots of ideas. It's a waste to just pick one to run with.

    #3, it's a rush that people pay you for sh*t you love to do.

    Again, glad to see you all and I hope you are doing well.

    Going back to my cave...
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    I'm writing my newsletter again. Go to CopyRanger.com and opt in. I look forward to talking with you soon.

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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Wow, youse guys are still here arguing?

      It's almost like I never left.

      Anyhow, a pretty successful marketer reached out to me yesterday because I had helped them on Warrior Forum like three years ago. (Weird how people remember random acts of copywriting kindness, yes?) He hunted me down to me to work on his new promo.

      So today I decided I'd stop by here and see how everyone was doing.

      Glad you all are still mixing it up.

      My two sense? People hire me because I am ultra-creative.

      For instance, someone asks for a lede? I give them three or five to try.

      Why do I do it? Well, because #1, I have no idea which one (if any) will fly. I'm stacking the deck, so to speak.

      #2, if you're going to put in the time and energy, you're going to come up with lots of ideas. It's a waste to just pick one to run with.

      #3, it's a rush that people pay you for sh*t you love to do.

      Again, glad to see you all and I hope you are doing well.

      Going back to my cave...
      Thanks Rick, your brief emergence from the cave has given us a few choice ideas to consider.

      A creative person never fears giving away some ideas, and oft for FREE, because he is a fount, never drys up and never worries about competition because he knows he doesn't have any.

      Your generosity here and over the net has been noted and you would certainly be on my short list if ever the need arose...and that is a short list, compared to those guys who would never get any work (if I ever or some close associates ever needed it) from some of the mouths of forums, Facebook groups and so-called Copywriting blogs.

      It does not go unnoticed.

      Lot of business lessons right there. Now, of course, some of us, could care less about public personna, more power to us.

      But to the point you make about creativity, and the idea Max50 presents,

      Most of us here, still participating are more creative than the would be, or wannabe copywriter who is under the impression it is about learning formulas on how to write copy, I think you once gave us like 27 or 36 or some such number of copy formulas...

      and all work, and NONE do, albeit when we apply our experienced and honed CREATIVITY to the game.

      Which sort of goes full circle here, and where I see an intersection...Experience and knowledge gained from the trenches, plus creativity...gives many of us, no need to be hired or concerned about "clients". A nice Catch 22 to be in. It is nice to pay ourselves for what we love to do, too.

      Good to see you thriving.

      GordonJ
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

        Your generosity here and over the net has been noted and you would certainly be on my short list if ever the need arose...and that is a short list, compared to those guys who would never get any work (if I ever or some close associates ever needed it) from some of the mouths of forums, Facebook groups and so-called Copywriting blogs.

        It does not go unnoticed.
        Gordon, actually I'm surprised anyone remembers. It seems a lifetime ago.

        So thank you for the kind words. You're awesome!
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        I'm writing my newsletter again. Go to CopyRanger.com and opt in. I look forward to talking with you soon.

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        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

          Gordon, actually I'm surprised anyone remembers. It seems a lifetime ago.

          So thank you for the kind words. You're awesome!
          Wish you posted more Rick. You always have a lot of wisdom.

          Thanks for your reply.
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post


        Most of us here, still participating are more creative than the would be, or wannabe copywriter who is under the impression it is about learning formulas on how to write copy, I think you once gave us like 27 or 36 or some such number of copy formulas...

        and all work, and NONE do, albeit when we apply our experienced and honed CREATIVITY to the game.


        GordonJ
        Thank you for your feedback.

        I have no doubt you know more about copywriting than most.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Of course you need skill to be a good copywriter. To say otherwise is ridiculous.

    You need to know how to research effectively. That's a skill.

    And you need to know how to write persuasively. That's a skill.

    Alex
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  • FFS you guys are so milk my ass.


    Thing is, you got maximally invitorial TOOBS hangin' offa yr least exotic orifi, prolly that constitoots a basic kinda offer.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ian5
    Very interesting, but it doesn't always work. In my opinion, self-cofidence, hype, creativity isn't enough to make your product better. If your product has bad quality, it's help nothing to make it good. You think like a salesman.
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    • Profile picture of the author 1Bryan
      Originally Posted by Ian5 View Post

      You think like a salesman.
      Hmm ... why would a copywriter think like a salesman?

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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    It is possible to write winning copy using a formula.

    The trick is knowing which formula, and why it works. Once you have that, then comes the creative part.

    Too many so-called copywriters will pick something they see, substitute a different product name (find/replace 'vitamin' with 'stock picks') then wonder why it doesn't work.

    I recently took a look at a piece of copy for an acquaintance. Very creative. Heck, it almost made me want to buy, even though my gender renders the product useless to me. The only drawback was that she forgot to actually make an offer. Once we added a CTA, the thing started working.

    I guess I'm saying that creativity and structure/skill are different sides of the same coin. If you have a head, you also have to have a tail. (At least with an honest coin...)
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