Those who know copy...

24 replies
I've been working on my site for a decent amount of time now.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes I tend to overthink. I honestly think I have done what I set out to do in my homepage and my about me section.

But would like new eyes from those who are more experienced to shine any opinions on it.

Bottom line, I'm looking to start prospecting soon after I take care of some other behind the scenes tasks.

I believe in taking more action versus preparing for an extended amount of time. After-all, with copy you're never going to know how good you are until you test your skills with real clients.

As I am brand new without previous work to show off - I wrote my web copy with the purpose of proving I am capable. I also wanted to be transparent without screaming total new guy.

I believe even when unfamiliar and new to something, you still should have a level of confidence in your ability.

And that is what I am.

So as nerve wrecking as honest feedback can be, I'm throwing myself out there (as it's my business to do) and here you go.

https://michael-brian.com/

Thank you for your responses. I value your feedback and time.
#copy
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post


    So as nerve wrecking as honest feedback can be, I'm throwing myself out there (as it's my business to do) and here you go.

    https://michael-brian.com/

    Thank you for your responses. I value your feedback and time.

    Yes, it can be nerve wracking to put yourself out there and have strangers on the internet pass judgement on your creation. But that's also one way how we grow and get better. So, I'll offer you my (gentle) opinion...

    Of course, the only way to know for sure if your copy is any good, is to test it.

    If you get a good response... then it's good.
    If you don't... then it's not.

    But that said... there's a couple things I see that might lower your response rate...



    The first thing I'm curious about is the headline that says...

    "You're making it way too hard"

    It makes me ask... I'm making "what" way too hard?

    Mike, you already know how important the headline is to sales copy. So I'd recommend taking a step back and looking at it from an outside point of view.

    Does that headline really speak to your audience? (Does it call out your target market? Or touch on a problem? Or touch on a solution to a problem? Or offer any benefit?)

    At least your subhead...

    "Any business can improve sales and increase customer acquisition by improving their email marketing copy because it's powerful"

    starts to touch on a benefit.


    Other than that... The main thing I'd recommend, Mike, is getting to the point a little quicker in your copy.

    Business people are usually busy. And with B2B sales copy it's generally better to get to the point a little quicker.

    Right now, you're spending most of your real estate talking about your readers work day.

    And I get it, you're trying to build rapport by conveying that you understand their frustrations.

    But I'm 2/3 of the way down your page, and I'm still not sure exactly what it is you're going to do for me?

    Your overall concept has potential, and the bones of your page look OK.
    But I'd suggest tightening it up a bit, and presenting your solution a bit sooner in the copy.


    Hopefully you'll take this small critique with the helpful intent that it was meant.


    All the best,
    SAR
    Signature
    "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
    SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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    • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
      Thank you SAR and I have to say I agree with you.

      I had this revision done for two days and originally had the pages hidden until I felt sure about the copy.

      I figured I'd publish and keep visiting it myself throughout the day to re-read everything multiple times.

      It felt slightly too drawn out and I wasn't so excited about the headline.

      But with the thought of posting it here, I kept it.

      The headline will definitely be changing.

      The body copy does need some work. I need to chop a few areas and crunch it down more.

      I might even write a brand new draft and see if a better revision comes about.

      Do a bit of comparison.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Hi Michael,

    Well, I would not hire you from this sales page. You are way too long-winded. You are NOT focused on the reader. Instead you come across as self-conscious, preening and awkward.

    You need to learn the art of starting right away, without throat clearing, apologies or preliminaries. I see this all over your draft. For example, on the About page, you need to start with the real point, not with a warmup. Who cares what you promise about this page? Who cares that you live in Florida and are a foodie? That has no relevance whatsoever with why someone would click on this page. Start this page with a strong and meaningful sentence that has definite content and demonstrates why someone should hire you.

    I really think you need some sessions with a good editor who can teach you how to start strong, because this is essential for emails as well as for web copy. If you write emails the way you wrote here, they won't be read, because they assume that people have endless patience and curiosity. We don't. You need to learn how to XXX out everything that delays the real substance, how to eliminate all filler, so you can be punchy rather than wandering and boring.

    This is something that can definitely be learned. I remember when I was young and trying to write fiction, and a published novelist whose writing group I attended returned a story to me with red ink all over it. He said, "I haven't butchered your writing, I have shaved it." It was a lesson I have never forgotten. Cross out every paragraph, every word, every syllable that doesn't contribute to the message. Your writing then becomes stronger, clearer and more powerful.

    Without that lesson, I would not have been able to earn a living as a wordsmith. Yes, it was that valuable, and it's something I still apply every day in my work nearly 40 years later.

    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 GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

    I've been working on my site for a decent amount of time now.

    I'm a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes I tend to overthink. I honestly think I have done what I set out to do in my homepage and my about me section.

    But would like new eyes from those who are more experienced to shine any opinions on it.

    Bottom line, I'm looking to start prospecting soon after I take care of some other behind the scenes tasks.

    I believe in taking more action versus preparing for an extended amount of time. After-all, with copy you're never going to know how good you are until you test your skills with real clients.

    As I am brand new without previous work to show off - I wrote my web copy with the purpose of proving I am capable. I also wanted to be transparent without screaming total new guy.

    I believe even when unfamiliar and new to something, you still should have a level of confidence in your ability.

    And that is what I am.

    So as nerve wrecking as honest feedback can be, I'm throwing myself out there (as it's my business to do) and here you go.

    https://michael-brian.com/

    Thank you for your responses. I value your feedback and time.
    I have a couple of questions, and an observation to make. First, my observation based on your WF posts the last few weeks.

    Your intelligence and maybe even arrogance is going to be your biggest enemy. You are a quick study, have a good command of the language, have learned fast and the copy lessons you've read and studied show through your posts.

    You post from a book knowledge, and the advice you've given is fine enough, because it came from someone who did it. Your inexperience also shows through.

    The two people who have already responded are worthy of your time and study. Yet, I get the feeling, and maybe I'm wrong, you are already blowing off most of their comments because you have an idea in your mind, based upon your studies of what and how you want to do things. Hope I am wrong.

    I'm with Marcia, I would not hire you based on this copy.

    But, I'd like to know WHO you intend to get to read it and how? Where is the traffic coming from, how will you get busy business people to this site? Because as it was mentioned, you better "tell them QUICK and tell them TRUE, or they will say the hell with you"...

    If you somehow get a busy business person who is interested in doing email marketing or improving the email marketing they are already doing, then you need a throat grabber.

    A stopper. A preoccupational interrupter. And you have made the rookie mistake, as most do, your site is not about you. Or shouldn't be.

    You want people to hire you? Get your ego out of the way. You need to rewrite the site, and apply what you have learned from your copywriting mentors, and less formula, less trying to get into their shoes, because you take forever to get there, and more money in their pocket, today as opposed to next week. See?

    You could become a copy superstar, and I mean that sincerely, but based upon your posts here, and what you have shown us, you need to hold off a week or so before hanging out your "Professional" Copywriter shingle.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
    Marcia & Gordon -

    Thank you for you honest and sincere feedback.

    It was very refreshing to hear and after some evaluation, I agree with your observations.

    Tbh, I didn't realize my ego was showing as it comes off nor did I realize I come off a bit arrogant. I will definitely be more mindful of that and keep it in check.

    I'm a learner and am taking all of your opinions and feedback in.

    Marica - I enjoyed the sharing of your story and value your lessons learned. You're right about my copy being long winded. I had the same feeling after running through it.

    I know I can be concise and to the point. I need to keep that in check as well. Moving forward before writing, I need to ask myself the right questions. This will guide me better as to what point I am looking to get across.

    Gordon - Thank you for opening my eyes to my tone in response and how I come off. It definitely opened my eyes a bit in that regard.

    I certainly plan on listening to the suggestions. In fact, I have hidden both pages on my site so I can work on re-writing them.

    I'm also appreciative of your last comment as well. I feel it inside me that I can become a great copywriter and that's why always being open to learning is important to me.

    As for my plan on getting people to my site. My current idea in mind is utilizing business cards, networking, cold emailing, and learning how to use Twitter as a platform.

    I am not on social media such as FB. I've been off of sites for the last 5 years as I feel it's very distracting and not really my thing. In today's world, FB would be the last site I trust, especially with all the negative media it gets and their personal security issues regarding users.

    However I can make a connection, I plan to do so.

    I'm still very much in the planning stages of things and aware of my current ability. In my mind, I give myself at least 30-60 more days before really throwing myself out there.

    All I know is I don't want to get myself stuck in preparation mode. Taking action is the most important thing. The rest will be figured out as I go along like many do.

    My current site took me more than 2 weeks to figure out both pages. It's been a few re-writes and putting work to it. I definitely don't throw up what I put down without taking my time.

    I know that the copy on my page especially now, is the most important show of work anyone can see. I don't have any previous client work, so this is it.

    The goal is to put out my best and keep growing as I go.

    Thank you again.

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
    With consideration to some of the advice, I revised both pages on my site.

    I focused on getting straight to the point and rewrote the homepage completely.

    I chopped up the about me page to really get to the point. Kept in mind to eliminate myself as much as possible.

    Looking forward to your feedback to let me know if I'm now more on the right track.

    Pages are public again.

    Thanks again for your responses.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Michael,

    Habits are hard to break.

    I'm not sure you know yet what a headline is and what a warmup to a headline is.

    Because you are still doing what I criticized before.

    STOP! Don't write another email until you read this


    Is that a headline? No.

    Where is the real headline? Just below it.

    What do you need to do? As I said before, you need to cut everything extra, all the preliminaries. For yourself and for your clients.

    Marcia Yudkin
    Signature
    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 Copylifemike
      Thank you again Marcia.

      Yes habits are hard to break and I'm glad I found WF with some really honest people that are actually helpful.

      I'm also glad that I'm still new enough at this and these habits won't go on for much longer.

      Last night I actually wrote another copy draft. I'll paste it below.

      But yes I do need to understand better and tighten up my headlines.

      My goal would be to write headlines subheaders and bullets daily.

      My problem is picking random products or services to do that.

      I know writing daily is essential to getting much better, but the made up copy is where I struggle with that.

      I also know the editing portion is the most important.

      I know what's currently on my site would need to be edited or revised again, but wanted to see if it was setting myself on the correct track.

      This is a good learning experience and I appreciate your help.

      This is the copy I jotted down last night doing an exercise.

      I definitely don't want to practice bad habits. Your insight is very helpful.

      Even this is feel needs to chopping down, but was a practice draft just to get on paper.

      If you're too busy, frustrated, and not making enough sales from your email copy, it doesn't mean you failed.

      You just might need some guidance to refocus your customer engagement and reposition your USP.

      A new email copy strategy will help you create more engagement, attract new customers, and improve more sales.

      In just a few weeks, your emails will give you confidence, success, and more efficiency.

      Best of all more sales to increase your wealth and feeling in control of your business.
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      • Profile picture of the author SARubin
        Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

        This is the copy I jotted down last night doing an exercise.


        Even this is feel needs to chopping down, but was a practice draft just to get on paper.


        If you're too busy, frustrated, and not making enough sales from your email copy, it doesn't mean you failed.

        You just might need some guidance to refocus your customer engagement and reposition your USP.

        A new email copy strategy will help you create more engagement, attract new customers, and improve more sales.

        In just a few weeks, your emails will give you confidence, success, and more efficiency.

        Best of all more sales to increase your wealth and feeling in control of your business.

        Well Mike,

        I think your new copy is already much better than what you had up a couple days ago. So I'd say you're at least moving in the right direction. And that's a good thing (although I just checked, and now it appears you've taken the new page down again?)

        But based on what you did have up, and on your quoted draft from your latest post, one issue I see is that it appears you're still over thinking what you're trying to say.

        And it's causing your message to become a bit scattered, because you're trying to cram too many thoughts into a short space.


        This often happens when someone is too close to their own work, and it becomes difficult for them to edit, and throw away any of their written thoughts. (Heck, falling in love with my own words is still one of my biggest obstacles) It's not quite like "Sophie's Choice" but it can still be hard to kill off your babies.

        So I'm going to suggest something that has worked for a couple of my students. It may (or may not) work for you, because all I'm basing this on is the limited info from what you've been posting. But I still believe it's worth a try.

        What I'd like you to do is walk away from your own slaes page for a while, and complete an assignment for me. And here it is...



        Imagine that you are no longer an email copywriter, but instead you are a sales page copywriter.

        I'm your new client. I'm starting a business of writing email copy for other small business owners.

        I've just hired you to write my sales page for me. It needs to be a compelling sales page that gets my audience to take action (contact me).

        Now, take everything you know about sales copy (from what you've learned over the past couple months) and create me a persuasive sales page.


        You can detach yourself from it, because you're writing it for someone else's website (NOT your own)


        My only criteria is, I just want my new page to be crisp, clear, and on target. I don't want it to be full of jargon, hype, or rhetoric. I don't want you to over think it. And I don't want you to stray away from the ONE purpose of the page (the big idea is to get small business owners to contact me for my email marketing services)

        I just want my sales page to have a headline that gets the attention of my target audience... Some benefit driven copy that gets them interested, and builds desire for what I can do for them... And gets them to take the action of contacting me.

        Nothing else. (nothing fancy, no long drawn out stories or explanations... Just keep it simple and on point)



        And yes, this is just simple copy based on the most basic AIDA formula.

        The key here is that you're writing it for someone else. And hopefully this will allow you to get out of your own head, and just stay on purpose without over thinking it. And you'll be able to edit it without any attachment to any particular words or phrases.

        When you're done writing my sales page, we can take a look at it. And if it looks OK, then we'll take it from there. (and if you have any concerns that I'm just trying to get you to write my copy for me, for free... I assure you, this exercise is for your benefit... not mine)

        All the best,
        SAR
        Signature
        "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
        SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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        • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
          SAR -

          Thank you for your feedback. I placed my page public again so you can take another look.

          I actually chopped even more down this morning.

          From your points I think you are pretty spot on. This is really the first time having to write something that is mine, but not about me.

          I have printed your response and will take you up on that exercise you gave me. My feeling is that will help.

          I don't mind doing things for free, especially if it'll improve my skills or make me better.

          I've only been studying copy writing for a month. Never heard about it until I ran in to Dan Lok on YT and saw his video on it.

          Something about it just clicked with me and I feel deep down I can really help others and utilize that platform to accomplish that.

          I'm certainly not in a rush to "launch" my business and as I go about learning, I'm still figuring things out.

          I also have other aspects to work through and situate so when I'm ready to take action on finding my first clients, I will be better off.

          Throughout this thread and receiving the helpful feedback - It actually peaked my interest to consider a different direction.

          In the copy world I have seen through numerous articles that emails are challenging. That's what drew me in to it aside from the many benefits of mastering such a skill within the many forms of copy writing.

          From this, I see that sales pages (and about me pages) are challenging. Probably some of the most difficult areas that businesses write on their website.

          This challenge has made me consider shifting my focus to specialize in sales and about me pages.

          I would assume I would need to learn at least basic SEO though, correct?

          Even before the emails, a companies website and these two specific pages are everything.

          It is the foundation that intrigues people to either make contact or ignore them.

          I would safely assume that there's plenty of opportunity in this specific space and businesses would need this form of copy in particular.

          With that said, I am up to the challenge and working to get really good at my craft.

          I'd rather figure all these things out now and launch the correct way, than later down the line figure out I'm not on the correct path or creating the right service that aligns with my vision.

          The goal in mind is long term. This is a business for me after all, not a hobby.

          I'm an open book and soaking up the feedback. And yes, I do tend to overthink.

          I thank you again.

          Mike.
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          • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
            Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

            SAR -

            Thank you for your feedback. I placed my page public again so you can take another look.

            I actually chopped even more down this morning.

            From your points I think you are pretty spot on. This is really the first time having to write something that is mine, but not about me.

            I have printed your response and will take you up on that exercise you gave me. My feeling is that will help.

            I don't mind doing things for free, especially if it'll improve my skills or make me better.

            I've only been studying copy writing for a month. Never heard about it until I ran in to Dan Lok on YT and saw his video on it.

            Something about it just clicked with me and I feel deep down I can really help others and utilize that platform to accomplish that.

            I'm certainly not in a rush to "launch" my business and as I go about learning, I'm still figuring things out.

            I also have other aspects to work through and situate so when I'm ready to take action on finding my first clients, I will be better off.

            Throughout this thread and receiving the helpful feedback - It actually peaked my interest to consider a different direction.

            In the copy world I have seen through numerous articles that emails are challenging. That's what drew me in to it aside from the many benefits of mastering such a skill within the many forms of copy writing.

            From this, I see that sales pages (and about me pages) are challenging. Probably some of the most difficult areas that businesses write on their website.

            This challenge has made me consider shifting my focus to specialize in sales and about me pages.

            I would assume I would need to learn at least basic SEO though, correct?

            Even before the emails, a companies website and these two specific pages are everything.

            It is the foundation that intrigues people to either make contact or ignore them.

            I would safely assume that there's plenty of opportunity in this specific space and businesses would need this form of copy in particular.

            With that said, I am up to the challenge and working to get really good at my craft.

            I'd rather figure all these things out now and launch the correct way, than later down the line figure out I'm not on the correct path or creating the right service that aligns with my vision.

            The goal in mind is long term. This is a business for me after all, not a hobby.

            I'm an open book and soaking up the feedback. And yes, I do tend to overthink.

            I thank you again.

            Mike.
            Mike, you have a good attitude about learning. Some, in the past, have come here and have gotten very defensive, and then disappeared.

            You are receiving some quality feedback. One suggestion I have for you, and this from having dealt with thousands of small businesses over the last decades is...

            Spin in more from THEIR ego side. See, you start out with NEGATIVITY. Asking questions which, as likely as not, they don't think apply to them.

            Are you having trouble? You'll get a lot of: "this guy doesn't know MY business".

            Your five bullet points are all negative, and as they read them, they again will default to, no, no, maybe, yes, no if they even get that far.

            YOU NEED TAILORED GUIDANCE...and WHAM, you just punched their ego in the gut. Telling a business owner what they NEED, is an ouch...to them, you pinched their egos, who are you to tell me what I need, sort of a thing.


            See, small businesses, whom you've targeted are run by people who aren't good employees, they often buy a job, so they can call the shots, be the big cheese, and they equate that to FREEDOM, albeit they become 60 hour a week slaves to their business.

            Your approach, which you can certainly test, comes at them from a

            YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BUT I CAN FIX THAT.

            When copy works for you
            ....and most don't even know what copy you are talking about or what copy is.

            You attack them, albeit, unconsciously.

            Why not try a POSITIVE SPIN. Instead of asking them questions, give them some results up front.

            Businesses like yours can often get a 17% increase in profits with an email campaign.
            According to the Direct Marketing Association (*citation) email marketing brings in about 40 dollars for every dollar you spend.
            0

            SEE the difference? You are suggesting they don't know what they are doing, but the statistics, and citation to a credible source, in your headline, may get them more interested, like HOW DO I get that?

            Then you tell them, that not just any old email works, first you sell them on the benefits of email, in a positive spin, and then you tell them the right kind, the right email campaign can work,

            If IF, IF THEY HIRE the right guy for the job. Can you feel the difference in the approach?

            Keep going, we see improvement every time, just keep writing.

            GordonJ
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            • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
              Gordon -

              Thank you again. You definitely make some good points.

              After looking at your spin on it, I almost feel my original copy is sort of an insult to the reader. Not good.

              I have also copied and printed this response out to keep in mind.

              My main takeaways are:

              Create heart stopping headlines, something that will interrupt the reader.

              Get straight to the point right away, no non sense or build up. Serve it quick on a platter.

              Hit them with facts (results) not negative points that could insult the reader or get them defensive.

              Btw - The learning process is the best part of growing. It's measurable and it is what starts any journey.

              I'm embracing all these critiques and willing to adapt to anything that will get me to improve.

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

                Gordon -

                Thank you again. You definitely make some good points.

                After looking at your spin on it, I almost feel my original copy is sort of an insult to the reader. Not good.

                I have also copied and printed this response out to keep in mind.

                My main takeaways are:

                Create heart stopping headlines, something that will interrupt the reader.

                Get straight to the point right away, no non sense or build up. Serve it quick on a platter.

                Hit them with facts (results) not negative points that could insult the reader or get them defensive.

                Btw - The learning process is the best part of growing. It's measurable and it is what starts any journey.

                I'm embracing all these critiques and willing to adapt to anything that will get me to improve.

                Mike
                Mike, you have to sort and discern all this advice from everyone, not everything will apply.

                I encourage you to set a BETA test deadline, say something like Sept. 10 (whatever and whenever you want), the idea is to get some stats, some results you can look at and examine.

                Get the TARGETED eyeballs on it ASAP, and if you want, do a lead capture too, maybe a SHORT report or InfoGraphic or HOTSHEET on 10 Ways eMail can increase your profits, something to get them onto a list. So, even if you may not be ready to offer full email marketing services, yet, you have some warm leads.

                Deadlines will help you, and most of all FEEDBACK/DATA from a page which has targeted traffic looking at it, will expedite your learning curve. And of course, you may want to split test, sending half the traffic to one promotion, and the other half to the different one. Nothing beats results, all advice and opinion should be measured against the yardstick of RESULTS.

                Your copy either works or it doesn't. WHEN it does, you tweak and refine for higher %.

                But get something up quickly, set goals and deadlines and then race to them. I think you are going to do well, but keep in mind, you've BARELY scratched the surface of copywriting, especially direct response...getting people to spend money is NOT as easy as most IM and Copy Gurus make it sound.

                But a good work ethic, solving problems in the direction of your goals (RESULTS) WILL produce for you.

                ASAP, and data collection, and FULFILLMENT.

                OK, I'll leave you alone for awhile.

                GordonJ
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                • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
                  Understood -

                  So here's where I really show my newb colors. .

                  Currently I do not have a list of any sort.

                  My initial plan was to research and cold email along with handing out business cards (once they're made) and spreading them when opportunity arose.

                  I was also going to get involved with Twitter as a platform to see if I can generate that.

                  With that said, how can I accomplish this and where do I start?

                  My other question which I'd like your direct feedback on is this.

                  In my response to SAR - I began to wonder and think if my copy direction might change.

                  When first reading about freelance copy writing, many articles say to generalize when starting out (to figure out where you fit and what you enjoy writing).

                  For me - I'd rather go the harder way and specialize as I know the benefits of that long term.

                  Email seemed like an easy choice for not only the benefits of what it can do, but because the specialized market is smaller and there's plenty of opportunity.

                  I do wonder however, if I would enjoy web copy, particularly writing copy for homepages (sales pages) and About me sections.

                  Although it's probably equally as challenging, if I could get my skills down with that, it can also be lucrative and a great platform to really help business shine.

                  Like I said, I'd like to figure this part out first before it's late and I realize the copy I'm doing isn't fitting where I thought it would.

                  I see great value in both, but for web copy (although I'd have to learn some SEO) I feel I do have a slightly better understanding of it.

                  Web copy is usually the first thing prospects and customers see before ever engaging in any contact.

                  That to me makes a perfect example to really show value. It could also lead itself to landing pages which would be a good triple threat.

                  If I was to go that route, as it stands I would have 3 prospects that I could most likely do it for.

                  What are your thoughts? How can I better decipher my direction?

                  I sort of see why most suggest the generalized approach in the beginning lol.

                  But I'd rather take on the more challenging as I feel it would help accelerate my learning curve faster in to becoming the "expert" that I'd like to be.
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                  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                    Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

                    Understood -

                    So here's where I really show my newb colors. .

                    Currently I do not have a list of any sort.

                    My initial plan was to research and cold email along with handing out business cards (once they're made) and spreading them when opportunity arose.

                    I was also going to get involved with Twitter as a platform to see if I can generate that.

                    With that said, how can I accomplish this and where do I start?

                    My other question which I'd like your direct feedback on is this.

                    In my response to SAR - I began to wonder and think if my copy direction might change.

                    When first reading about freelance copy writing, many articles say to generalize when starting out (to figure out where you fit and what you enjoy writing).

                    For me - I'd rather go the harder way and specialize as I know the benefits of that long term.

                    Email seemed like an easy choice for not only the benefits of what it can do, but because the specialized market is smaller and there's plenty of opportunity.

                    I do wonder however, if I would enjoy web copy, particularly writing copy for homepages (sales pages) and About me sections.

                    Although it's probably equally as challenging, if I could get my skills down with that, it can also be lucrative and a great platform to really help business shine.

                    Like I said, I'd like to figure this part out first before it's late and I realize the copy I'm doing isn't fitting where I thought it would.

                    I see great value in both, but for web copy (although I'd have to learn some SEO) I feel I do have a slightly better understanding of it.

                    Web copy is usually the first thing prospects and customers see before ever engaging in any contact.

                    That to me makes a perfect example to really show value. It could also lead itself to landing pages which would be a good triple threat.

                    If I was to go that route, as it stands I would have 3 prospects that I could most likely do it for.

                    What are your thoughts? How can I better decipher my direction?

                    I sort of see why most suggest the generalized approach in the beginning lol.

                    But I'd rather take on the more challenging as I feel it would help accelerate my learning curve faster in to becoming the "expert" that I'd like to be.
                    Mike,

                    You're excited. Enthused. You found something RECENTLY which sparks you, resonates and you want to run up the mountain just as fast as you can. This is good.

                    It gives you drive. Motivation. A hunger. You remind me of a guy I once faced in a martial arts tourney, this was long before the free for all we have today...but his technique was the flailing windmill, both arms swinging full speed, and attacking. It was funny to see, and I guess he didn't realize he couldn't keep that up forever, because I became a track star, just waiting him out...and when he tired, one leg sweep was all it took.

                    Point? Don't wear yourself out, not just yet. You have time in your tank, use your fuel judiciously, OK? Now to address some of your thoughts.

                    First thing, you may hate Facebook and all, but it is the de facto place to find clients, until something better comes along, certainly not the only way, but one of the fastest and easiest to get up and running. Reconsider your position on this. But if you don't want to use it, try other ways.

                    Business Cards and Cold emails, well, be prepared to pass out scores of them and send countless emails to find anyone who might be interested, although, IF you can really write good emails, that might be the way to go. It is, after all, where you want (ed) to go.

                    Your thinking about writing copy, for email as being easier and a smaller market, I don't see that, thing is, if you can write good emails, which work, it is much harder than web copy.

                    And that being said, the common default of IM is, Lead Generator/Capture Page most often with a free something or other. Then either email series via autoresponder and/or a sales page.

                    A copywriter (in my opinion) shouldn't have any trouble with either assignment or fulfilling what the client has ordered.

                    See, I want you to question the want and NEED of clients. Is this really what you want to do? A better alternative, is create your own IP (Intellectual Property). Sell your own stuff.

                    Go back to Marcia Yudkin's post and hit her link in her sig file. You will see a PROFESSIONAL. From very low cost 37 dollar IP, to almost 2k, and many choices in between, this in addition to having many CLIENTS too. I think she serves as an excellent role model for someone looking at all the directions they could go signs.

                    Where do you want to be in five years? Where were you just 2 years ago? If you choose CLIENTS only route, then you need to choose what kind you want. You have several choices.

                    Mine have been very low cost IP, larger units sold, plus Lifetime Value.
                    Marcia has low end, medium, higher ticket IP and Client values.
                    There is a dating site which charges 15 thousand dollars and is booming. While dozens of other sites need to keep grinding and churning for customers.

                    This may sound like a slow down speed bump, BUT, if you take the time now and consider where you want to go and how you want to get there, you will find yourself at your destination a lot faster, and less tired out too.

                    Words are powerful. And using words to get what you want (most often, as Zig Ziglar was known as saying...by helping others get what they want)...

                    And so, you keep in mind, IF you want to help businesses become more profitable, by using your words, you need a comprehensive understanding of how, why, when and what.

                    It all begins with INTENT. Yours appears to be like about 46,695 other "copywriters" (the number recently in the copywriting section of Upwork)...you want to quickly make money from your writing.

                    Having a good command of the language, which I see you do, is NOT the same as having command of persuasive and influential language, and too many want it to be a formula, a technique, a method they can study...and unless you are selling supplements (just lie through your teeth, or walk a fine line of truth and fiction) and it is easy to sell old people in pain almost anything which they think might help with their pain. See?

                    Lots of money to be made in the swipe and HYPE world of copywriting. But that is a choice you too have to make.

                    So, stop. Take a deep breath. Do as another poster mentioned, get away for a couple of days, take a notebook and ask yourself (maybe at a park or down by the river{where you meet the Warrior in the van} ) and ask yourself what you want.

                    Put a dollar amount on it, like 100k within 2 years. Doable. Then HOW. How many clients will it take to make 100k? Maybe one? I doubt you're ready for that. 10 at 10k, 100 at 1k. How much of that can be auto pilot or sold by AUTOMATIC PRODUCT VENDING sites, like most reports can be. How much TIME to allow for each client?

                    Once you reach 100k,what do you do to get to 1M? Again, how many clients, what is working for you?

                    Only you have YOUR answers, I think it is a good deal to see someone get so much free advice at a public forum, where these professionals have been very generous of their time and experience. But in the end, YOU HAVE to choose what you want to do, and in my very best and most honest opinion, I don't think you're quite ready to make those choices. Take a cool down week. Or two.

                    Read more about copywriting, but not from those selling courses or telling you you can get rich. Study current advertising on the biggest platforms in the world, GOOGLE, AMAZON, FACEBOOK.

                    Stop, look, listen to what these giants are doing, who is ranking, who is making sales who is repeating their advertising? Then, when you've had time to catch your breath and have a clearer mind about what you want. Then you can choose which path you want to take, fair enough?

                    Good luck.

                    GordonJ
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                    • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
                      Thank you again Gordon.

                      I will definitely take a look at your suggestions.

                      A break sounds like a good idea for the time being.

                      In fact I have 2 books on the way, so I'll have some good reading to do.

                      I will however work on SAR's project he gave me and submit within the next few days.

                      This morning I already came up with 12 different headlines and a body copy draft.

                      I feel good. Not in a rush and looking to do things right.

                      Starting off on a more solid foot is the best way towards success.

                      Nothing will be perfect, but my aim is to make sure there's no question when I do get myself out there.

                      I appreciate you.

                      Mike.
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  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    I was just stopped at the first sentence.


    "Carefully crafted emails to make the difference in your business."


    You may wish to consider changing to, to that and adding will. I.E.


    Carefully crafted emails that will make the difference in your business.


    Just being honest. But the whole page is full of sentences that are hard to get past.



    Just my opinion.


    Patrick
    Signature
    Free eBook =>
    The Secret To Success In Any Business
    Yes, Any Business!
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  • Profile picture of the author ShawnDWilliams
    Hi Mike
    I am a Shawn a web designer. Here are my comments.
    Sales is sales, whether it is in person or online many of the same rules apply. We a salesman already know that customers buy based on emotions not features and benefits. We also know that to engage the emotions we need to create imagery in the prospects mind. Which is why storytelling sells so well. Your website displays none of this. Where is the imagery that will engage your prospects emotions of happiness and success? You need a good designer who understands how people buy. Your website looks as if you just throw it together in an hour.

    As far as your web copy goes, people want measurably results. Your copy is to vague. I would be more specific. Ex. Increase your open rates by 20% GUARENTEED or your money back. Or 15% increase in your conversion rates on your first email campaign.

    Recap: Use imagery to engage the emotions. Provide measurable results.
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    • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
      Thank you for your feedback Shawn.

      As I rethink my copy and revise, I will also be revising the "appeal" to my site a bit.

      It's funny how when you read on advise that says to put up a website (as having one is better to show off than none) you tend to fall in to the trap of rushing it a bit, but at the same time you end up getting in to perfection mode in all your ideas and possible ways to create it.

      In fact many times I've read for new freelancers to not even both putting up a site, just focus on taking action to get your first few free clients.

      Clearly I didn't listen to that just like I refuse to listen to generalizing versus specializing from the start.

      My vision and thoughts are long term, not rushing to get off on the wrong foot and have an even tougher time.

      After all, we do this to ultimately make money and plenty of it.

      Specializing and being that expert is what will generate that much quicker and easier. Leveraging a specific to have clients end up seeking me out as I grow.

      Thanks again!

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
    SAR -

    Here's a rough draft from the homework you gave me.

    Hopefully it shows some improvement. I kept it pretty short, 214 words.

    So here goes nothing...

    * Side note the lower half bullets are written as check marks. Doesn't show on here though.

    The 3 top components your emails need to take 'em to the bank

    Why writing a powerful subject line, lead, and offer can close more sales with your emails.

    Because it's the championship fight for the title.

    And if you're not building your messages with,

    • Show-stopper subject lines
    • Power leads
    • And a unique offer that your customers cannot resist

    Then you'll be down for the count!

    Because people respond better with subject lines that stop them in their tracks.

    Because leads guide them to feed their curiosity.

    And because presenting an offer so perfect for them, they cannot say no.

    SAR here and I'm a copywriter.

    I can not only improve your open rates by 50%, I will also increase your sales up to 25% within the first 30 days.

    I'm here to help you -

     Save time from your busy schedule
     Engage your audience with the tone of your brand
     Focus on your USP to better hook your customers


    Most importantly, increase more sales.

    Don't let your competition sneak by and grab your customers.

    My copywriting will immediately take you to the next level.

    Click contact me now and send me a brief message.

    Tell me about your company and what your current goals are for your next project.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

      SAR -

      Here's a rough draft from the homework you gave me.

      Hopefully it shows some improvement. I kept it pretty short, 214 words.

      So here goes nothing...

      * Side note the lower half bullets are written as check marks. Doesn't show on here though.

      The 3 top components your emails need to take 'em to the bank

      Why writing a powerful subject line, lead, and offer can close more sales with your emails.

      Because it's the championship fight for the title.

      And if you're not building your messages with,

      • Show-stopper subject lines
      • Power leads
      • And a unique offer that your customers cannot resist

      Then you'll be down for the count!

      Because people respond better with subject lines that stop them in their tracks.

      Because leads guide them to feed their curiosity.

      And because presenting an offer so perfect for them, they cannot say no.

      SAR here and I'm a copywriter.

      I can not only improve your open rates by 50%, I will also increase your sales up to 25% within the first 30 days.

      I'm here to help you -

       Save time from your busy schedule
       Engage your audience with the tone of your brand
       Focus on your USP to better hook your customers


      Most importantly, increase more sales.

      Don't let your competition sneak by and grab your customers.

      My copywriting will immediately take you to the next level.

      Click contact me now and send me a brief message.

      Tell me about your company and what your current goals are for your next project.
      Don't think you've ever sold anything in your life...

      You ever walk into a business and try and push this BS on a business owner?

      You ever have a face to face and say crap like:

      "Because it's the championship fight for the title"

      "Then you'll be down for the count"

      You've obviously read some BS about how words can make you rich. A little wake up call for you though...you have no clue what you're doing.

      I'm a business owner. Why do you want to use my money to practice with?

      I'm not a fan of email...but since you are...have you done anything to get people to sign up for anything?

      Have you sold a product and been successful?

      At the very least, why don't you get a product, or write an ebook, or anything and practice with that?

      Learn what it takes to make your own stuff work...then tell me how you're gonna increase my sales by 25%.

      Not trying to be down on you too hard...but you're trying to play with the big boys when you haven't even a clue what they're dealing with. You only know from what you've read.

      As a new copywriter like you are, I'd rather you post a squeeze page or something where you're trying to give away something or sell something you created...then ask for a review on that.

      Learn to sell your own product or give away before you try and beg business owners for their money to practice with.
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      • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
        Max5ty,

        First I'd like to thank you for spending your time responding to my feed.

        To answer your questions...

        I'll refer to the statement of being "down for the count" and "championship fight".

        As I was writing this draft, I was actually watching the movie Creed. I didn't like what I had previously wrote and just sort of threw it in there...

        Knowing this is a draft, I decide to push it a bit and keep it there out of curiosity when I did post for feedback.

        There's some portion that is a bit naive to certain aspects which is why I'm throwing it up here to post for feedback.

        Moving forward -

        I'm aware of your 40 years experience from your other post. Itching to help others for "free" and so on and so forth.

        Well... Although you see your response as blunt and being honest, I think it comes off a bit more insulting.

        But trust me.... I'm far from insulted by anything you just said.

        Hey, I'm born and raised in NY. I don't get insulted that fast.

        Your first question... Actually yes I have sold a service and for a good solid year.

        I was a sales PM for a freight transport company and in my division we sold trade show exhibitors on our services.

        Completely new to sales, no previous experience, never even picked up material on salesmanship, I took the leap and took the position.

        Within the first 2 months in an office with only my boss and myself... I was left alone for 3 weeks as he went on a sales trip visiting different cities to meet with customers and prospects.

        All I had was a written script for cold calling and my list of shows to attack.

        To make this short for you, not only did I manage to pull in 14 new customers for one specific show (which wasn't a strong show for us), but I also closed a deal via email with a new prospect that was $5,000 over her budget.

        You see, I didn't just sit there and hope to get better or continue trying what I knew doesn't work.

        I spent hours on end reading and watching YouTube videos from tops sales guys like Grant Cardone (which I have nearly every book from him) and I applied what I learned when I noticed the opportunity.

        In fact, I used one of his objection crushing lines to close that deal I described above with my own twist and it gave me the exact response I wanted.

        You might find that all hard to believe, but here's the main difference... I not only had industry knowledge from working in the field, but I knew exactly what the benefits were if working with us, and I knew exactly what the customer needed.

        I also knew what service they might receive if they didn't choose us.

        So what's the difference?

        Well, I only discovered copywriting a month and a half ago. Since day one, I've finished 4 books, watched countless videos, read countless blogs and articles, read countless ads from the greats and since then, I've been a student taking action.

        You're a big time business owner with 40 years under your belt.

        I commend you. But I think you forgot something most important.

        That you too have started from knowing nothing. You too have started from having to prove yourself, get rejected, and even get critiqued just like your response to me.

        Maybe after 40 years you've sort of forgotten the beginning of your own journey.

        I could be wrong...

        But, I have a feeling I'm not. Your expertise in whatever craft you do, whatever your business has been was learned the same way we all learn.

        You knew nothing, maybe had some book knowledge, and you took action anyway knowing that's the only way to gain experience necessary to become who you desired to become.

        My experience in sales although short lived before I relocated and had no choice but to find another job - I'm very proud of.

        I went in to the shark tank and made more sales with absolutely no experience than I thought I could.

        I did not have someone showing me the ropes. 70% of the time I was by myself in the office and the only questions I could ask was through email most times.

        I'm not one to ask unless I cannot answer things myself. I pride myself on being resourceful.

        As for what you'd prefer to see (as in a squeeze page), if you followed the thread than it's pretty clear that wouldn't be fitting.

        The critique was on the copy of my homepage to see where I'm at and then SAR gave me an exercise.

        Do I have a lot to learn? Of course. In life you never stop learning unless you show no interest to do so.

        But even then you will learn because life is our greatest teacher.

        As for trying to play with the big boys... That's a false statement...

        I have not reached out to one prospect to start playing on the field just yet...

        Being a student first and doing this right is my current position.

        But here's what I do know.

        Swimming with the big boys will be no different from swimming with the sharks when I took that position.

        I don't sink. I swim...

        I embrace the rejection and expect rejection... I expect it more times than the wins in the beginning.

        That's a given.

        I'm very humble and the critiques here so far have been a great learning experience for me.

        The experience will come. For as long as I continue to move forward, experience is inevitable.

        And with that experience I will grow even better. Within the next few years I will be a good copywriter and I'm confident my business will take off.

        In the many years to come, I will be a great copywriter.

        I don't play the competition game because you will lose every time,

        but I do know that within my market, my circle, with my clients,

        I will be greater than the next with my unique voice that nobody can replicate.

        Btw Max...

        Begging is not part of any bone in my body.

        Never will I beg any business owner for anything.

        But what I will do without hesitation is ASK for what I seek. And if there's a no, then I will continue following up with them down the line.

        I'm not too sure where you got the perspective of my words as begging...

        Hell I don't even know where you got the idea that I've approached any business owner with my services just yet...

        What I do know is this is not horseplay to me. It will become my life and what I do.

        My business might fail a few times...

        But I will make sure to get back up and keep pushing...

        Have a great day sir.

        Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

      SAR -

      Here's a rough draft from the homework you gave me.

      Hopefully it shows some improvement. I kept it pretty short, 214 words.

      So here goes nothing...

      * Side note the lower half bullets are written as check marks. Doesn't show on here though.

      The 3 top components your emails need to take 'em to the bank

      Why writing a powerful subject line, lead, and offer can close more sales with your emails.

      Because it's the championship fight for the title.

      And if you're not building your messages with,

      • Show-stopper subject lines
      • Power leads
      • And a unique offer that your customers cannot resist

      Then you'll be down for the count!

      Because people respond better with subject lines that stop them in their tracks.

      Because leads guide them to feed their curiosity.

      And because presenting an offer so perfect for them, they cannot say no.

      SAR here and I'm a copywriter.

      I can not only improve your open rates by 50%, I will also increase your sales up to 25% within the first 30 days.

      I'm here to help you -

       Save time from your busy schedule
       Engage your audience with the tone of your brand
       Focus on your USP to better hook your customers


      Most importantly, increase more sales.

      Don't let your competition sneak by and grab your customers.

      My copywriting will immediately take you to the next level.

      Click contact me now and send me a brief message.

      Tell me about your company and what your current goals are for your next project.

      OK Mike,
      It's looks like you're making improvements with every draft you write. Good job.

      I think you're still focusing a little too much on using "impactful words, phrases, and cliches" which is diluting the clarity and flow of your message.

      You started out by telling me I can take my emails to the bank

      But then a couple lines down, all of a sudden we're inside of a boxing ring? championship fight for the title

      It's great to sprinkle power words and active verbs throughout your copy, but it's more important to write with clarity, and make it flow smoothly, so you don't lose your reader through confusion


      Further down it starts to get good, when you introduce me and start telling the reader what I'm going to do for them. But we can get rid of the first half without losing any impact (actually, it will make the copy stronger if we eliminate the first half altogether, and start with)...

      Originally Posted by Copylifemike View Post

      SAR here and I'm a copywriter.

      I can not only improve your open rates by up to 50%, I will also increase your sales up to 25% within the first 30 days.

      I'm here to help you -

       Save time from your busy schedule
       Engage your audience with the tone of your brand
       Focus on your USP to better hook your customers


      Most importantly, increase more sales.

      Don't let your competition sneak by and grab your customers.

      My copywriting will immediately take you to the next level.

      Click contact me now and send me a brief message.

      Tell me about your company and what your current goals are for your next project.



      Finally, you're call to action is a good place to add some of those power phrases you've been wanting to use


      Click contact me now and send me a brief message.

      Would be a bit more impactful if it said something like

      Contact me now and by tomorrow you could be doubling the conversions from your email marketing .


      But overall, Mike, I'd say you're making progress. So keep moving forward. You have a lot of potential.


      But now I have a small confession to make...
      That exercise I gave you was actually a two fold lesson....

      The first part was trying to get you to step back from being emotionally attached to the copy.

      Because, while we're writing about ourselves it's often difficult to take an objective point of view. So writing the page for me was an attempt at allowing you to step back and look at it more objectively.


      The "second" lesson (and the more important lesson) from that exercise is something that took me many years to learn on my own. And you're about to learn it much quicker than I did (so you're welcome )...

      One big difference between a $50 copywriter, and a $5000 copywriter is...

      A $50 writer takes what the client gives him (or her) and gets to work writing the copy.
      A $5000 copywriter does not take what the client gives him... He takes what he needs to get the job done.

      As a direct response copywriter, our job is to write copy that brings measurable results. And while nobody writes winners every time (although there are some clowns out there who claim they do) we at least owe it to our clients, and ourselves, to give our writing the best possible chance at producing a winner.

      And the best way to do that is to know what we're dealing with as much as possible.


      I gave you some basic criteria about what I wanted for copy, and you took it and ran with it.

      And while there's a lot to be said for your enthusiasm... Next time, stop and ask some questions first.

      There's a lot of questions you could ask a potential client. And different answers will direct our copy in a different direction.

      I have my own questions that I've built up over the years. And through your own experience you'll develop your own set of questions. But you can at least start with some basic questions, like...

      • What's my business really about? (exactly what is it that I provide for my clients? And what's so good about my service, and/or my company - compared to my competition? Do I have a USP?)
      • Who's my ideal small business client? (Who specifically am I going after?)... Solopreneures? Mom and Pop business? Businesses with 3 to 5 employees that make between $500,000 and $1,000,000 a year? Someone else?
      • How aware is my ideal market about what I offer? (Do we need to convince them that email marketing is something they should be doing? Or do they already use email marketing and just need to get better results?)
      • What kind of marketing have I done in the past? (what's worked? what hasn't?)

      You'll develop your own questions over time. But basically, the more insights we can gather, the better chance we'll have to write something that resonates with our audience (or our clients audience) Again, different answers will direct our copy in a different direction.

      Also, your questions can (and should) have some qualifying aspects to them as well. If the client can't (or won't) give you answers to your questions, then they might not be a client you want to work with (you'll need to make that decision on your own)

      So the lesson here is...

      Unless you want to be a $50 copywriter, competing against all the other commodity writers on low end freelance sites, then don't just take what the client gives you... Take what you need, to get the job done properly.


      So there you go, Mike. 2 great lessons for one low price. Prepared just for you, (and conveniently wrapped up in one fun filled exercise)

      Take them to heart and they will serve you well. .. I Guarantee it ***

      Keep up the good work, Mike. You have a lot of potential. But there's also a lot to learn before you find your own voice. (honestly, the learning never really ends for some of us. I've been doing this stuff for around 20 years or so, and I'm still learning new stuff every day)


      All the best,
      SAR





      *** These lessons come with a FULL ONE YEAR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!
      If for any reason over the next 12 months you're not 100% convinced that these lessons helped accelerate your learning in ways you never thought possible, just let me know and I'll gladly refund 200% of your original purchase price. And you still get to keep both of the lessons with my compliments.
      Signature
      "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
      SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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      • Profile picture of the author Copylifemike
        SAR -

        Thank you so much for your response and feedback. The value I have gained from you and Gordon in such a small amount has be enormous.

        Your points are well taken and I certainly could've asked some questions before writing.

        I do however have 3 different sources for briefing questions handy.

        The more detailed I can get in response to specific questions, the more my copy will be written for me before I even start (or at least that's what they say).

        But yes, I'm a man that likes to be prepared. Not even in school have I ever written a report without some bullets outlined and structured.

        I have a knack for writing, but copy is definitely different and there's a clear learning curve.

        Thankfully I'm making some progress each time. That's a small win for me and feels good.

        This will be another response from you I print out and keep handy in my book of notes.

        I'll be reading it again later on and probably a few more times.

        Little by little each day I am starting to really target what I want and who my client may be etc...

        Being so new, I've come to the conclusion to expend my range in types of copy I perform versus being specialized so early.

        I have a lot to learn for sure and the only way I will truly find which copy I enjoy is by doing it and results will show me which I'm better at.

        Generalizing isn't such a bad idea in the beginning.

        With experience will come the expertise side to specializing.

        You've been awesome and I greatly appreciate you.

        Mike
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