The Ultimate Plan To Break Into Financial Direct Response Copywriting

59 replies
Hey guys. I've been lurking around for a while now and I decided to make a post.

I stumbled on direct response copywriting late December last year, but it took me a while to get enough information on it. I wanted to write for the financial niche. From January till April I read books, blog posts, watched videos, studied and marked up and even hand copied sales letters.

By May, I decided it was time to go after clients. Agora was my target. I read about how going for short form copy is easier in breaking into the industry so I cold emailed all of the companies under Agora offering short form copywriting (advertorials, email lifts, etc).

I had to email most of them several times before getting a response.

Here's how it played out (to differentiate each of the Agora companies without mentioning their names, I'll just calk them divisions):

The first Agora division (the person I emailed) indicated he was no longer with them and referred me to someone else. I emailed him and got no reply.

The second declined my freelance request, indicating they only hire in house.

The third asked for a sample and after sending it, he went silent (ouch).

The fourth said he'd forward my email to the person in charge. But I am yet to hear from them, despite sending several emails.

The fifth division gave me a spec assignment to write an advertorial for one of their current promotions. It was a VSL and I couldn't get a translation so I asked for it and got no response. I eventually worked my way around it, wrote the advertorial and submitted but still got no response.

The sixth gave me a spec assignment to write a headline and lead for a big idea. This was surprising as all the emails I sent, I sold myself as a short form copywriter. After writing the spec assignment, I got a feedback. My writing was good but I totally missed the mark on the BIG IDEA.

It's interesting how you read a lot about something -- I even annotated successful promos-- and feel like you understand it. But after going out to try it yourself, you find out you don't know shit.

He pointed out my flaws and asked me to go rework it. I was really glad he didn't just say, "your writing sucks, can't hire you" or something along those lines.

I reworked it and submitted. All of the back and forth between I and the publisher of the 6th division, lasted 3 weeks.

I was really into it and I thought I was about to break into the industry. But what happened next shattered that mirage. I received this email:


"Thanks for taking the time to write this. Round 2 was much better, but still comes up a bit short for our immediate needs.
Keep on writing and reach out in a year or so when you have more copy under your belt."


It took me a few days to recover from this rejection. I also even fell sick two days after. A week later now and I'm back on my feet with a plan.

1. I will study more successful sales letters
2. I will practice writing headlines and leads
3. I will cold email more companies (not just Agora companies)


I'll send two types of cold emails. The first I will offer short form copywriting, and the second I'll offer longform copywriting. For those who I offer short form copy, if i don't get my first email replied, I'll write an email or advertorial and offer it to them to use.


Just yesterday, one of the Agora companies I cold emailed and wrote a free advertorial for replied. He thanked me for the advertorial and asked where I was based. I feel my location (the country where I am) would disqualify me as I suspect they're interested in hiring in house or something along those lines.


Anyway, I'm happy to be back grinding. My illness really killed my momentum but I'm trying to get it back. I believe this post will help make me more accountable.
#break #copywriting #direct #financial #plan #response #ultimate
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post



    Keep on writing and reach out in a year or so when you have more copy under your belt."


    It took me a few days to recover from this rejection.


    Just yesterday, one of the Agora companies I cold emailed and wrote a free advertorial for replied. He thanked me for the advertorial and asked where I was based. .


    Anyway, I'm happy to be back grinding. .
    Give you a lot of credit for sticking to it, sounds like theirs some interest in your work. Continue to hone your skills and good luck ! Spend some time reading this section. Use to be a lot of good copywriters on this forum. Some still chime in from time to time.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669338].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      Hey, thanks for your reply. I'll definitely go through this section. I must confess, I found it odd that the posts made here were infrequent. I kept refreshing but was surprised to see the latest posts were still the ones made weeks ago
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669354].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I feel my location (the country where I am) would disqualify me as I suspect they're interested in hiring in house or something along those lines.

    Don't know about 'in house' but your country could be red flag to some....why not address that right out of the gate? 'Though I now live in XXX, my experience and language skills were developed....blah blah'. Bring it up before they notice - and put it to rest.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

    Zoo Sign: WARNING! Those who throw objects at the crocodiles will be asked to retrieve them.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669345].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      Good angle. Although it's the first time anyone's asked me where I'm from. Or is there a way they could find out my location on their own? All communications have been through email.

      Also, since I've gotten no response yet, is it a good idea to send another email addressing it?

      I'd love to hear your thoughts.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669358].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post

        Good angle. Although it's the first time anyone's asked me where I'm from. Or is there a way they could find out my location on their own? All communications have been through email.

        Also, since I've gotten no response yet, is it a good idea to send another email addressing it?

        I'd love to hear your thoughts.
        Where you're from has little to do with where you're going.

        Creativity is what's important.

        You can read every book that's ever been written on copywriting and still be a failure.

        You can have never read a single book on copywriting and be a great success.

        Are you creative?

        If you are you'll go places.

        Copywriting wants people that can come up with big creative ideas.

        Constipated? Here's how to poop right everyday...

        Be creative. You'll get noticed.

        Find a product on Alibaba or another wholesale website that drop ships.

        Start a campaign.

        Tweak it until you get it right.

        Sell a million dollars worth.

        You'll get noticed and have more calls than you can handle....

        It's easy if you realize there's nobody sitting around waiting on your email unless you've got some serious stats to back you up.

        Stop waiting on a golden ticked and create your own. If you're a good copywriter you can sell anything and make any amount of money you want...

        you may get to where Agora would be a step down from what you can make as a serious copywriter
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669360].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
          Where you're from has little to do with where you're going.

          Creativity is what's important.

          You can read every book that's ever been written on copywriting and still be a failure.

          You can have never read a single book on copywriting and be a great success.

          Are you creative?

          If you are you'll go places.

          Copywriting wants people that can come up with big creative ideas.

          Constipated? Here's how to poop right everyday...

          Be creative. You'll get noticed.
          Awesome. Practice. Practice. Practice.

          Find a product on Alibaba or another wholesale website that drop ships.

          Start a campaign.

          Tweak it until you get it right.

          Sell a million dollars worth.

          You'll get noticed and have more calls than you can handle....
          I find this very interesting. My first aim was to start an internet company, but after assessing my situation and seeing how impossible it would be since I had nothing (I was struggling to afford some of the basic necessities), I decided to acquire a useful skill, make money out of it and leverage it down the line to build an internet company.

          If I'm being honest with you, I do not have the resources to venture out on my own and sell my products. So I plan on just focusing on what I have control over right now.

          Also, I have a thing for the financial niche. I wanna break into it, no matter the odds stacked against me.

          It's easy if you realize there's nobody sitting around waiting on your email unless you've got some serious stats to back you up.

          Stop waiting on a golden ticked and create your own. If you're a good copywriter you can sell anything and make any amount of money you want...

          you may get to where Agora would be a step down from what you can make as a serious copywriter
          I don't know if I'd call what I'm doing "waiting for a golden ticket". I know no one is sitting around waiting for my email. I've been cold emailing and I know how damn hard it to get a single response. But this is the only way I know.

          I did a lot of thinking after getting that rejection and I concluded I needed two things: more practice and rapid feedbacks. I need real world experience ASAP. And for this purpose, I'm no longer limiting my cold emailing to the Agora companies. Any financial publisher that's willing to hire me for a project, I'll happily accept. I just need to start somewhere.

          So my question to you is this: Is it impossible for one to break into copywriting through offering freelance services?

          Edit: I posted this before seeing your other response on the challenge to find a product to write copy for
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669370].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    A couple tips.

    First, congratulations for working at a goal, you'll get there if you keep at it.

    If you're looking to work with Agora, I'd suggest you check out AWAI and the courses they offer...as well as their job fairs and things.

    A lot (not all), of copywriters they use have come from AWAI. A co-founder of AWAI is a co-founder of Agora. It is believed by many that AWAI was developed to help supply copywriters to Agora. So, AWAI is just a suggestion...

    You would of course probably have to move to Baltimore or Delray Beach Florida. How bad is that?

    Instead of repeating a lot of things, I looked up an older article I found interesting:

    https://www.breakthroughmarketingsec...iter-dead-end/

    Best wishes on your goals
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669346].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    max5ty - great offer - would it work as a 'dual' Warrior Path thread?
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

    Zoo Sign: WARNING! Those who throw objects at the crocodiles will be asked to retrieve them.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669376].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      max5ty - great offer - would it work as a 'dual' Warrior Path thread?
      To be honest, I really haven't visited that area much...but if it works, why not...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669386].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    This is great.

    To the OP: You seem really determined but as you have
    discovered, some people don't respond to emails. There
    is a likelihood that your emails were never even read.

    Whenever I need to make an important contact I type a
    fancy letter and fax it. It gives my addressee something
    tangible they need to deal with. Even if the fax goes to
    a software, it will still get more attention than an email.
    If faxing is not an option, I telephone.

    Bear in mind that just about anything can be dropshipped;
    refrigerators, jukeboxes, all types of furniture/furnishings,
    outdoor items, I could go on and on. Your choice of a mug
    and a cardboard box demonstrates limited thinking. Sure,
    you could write copy about a coffee mug and you could
    make it interesting but the food cart is a better option.
    You have got to think big if you want big results.

    And BTW be prepared to have your writing picked apart.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669472].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      To the OP: You seem really determined but as you have
      discovered, some people don't respond to emails. There
      is a likelihood that your emails were never even read.
      Yea, it's crazy.

      Whenever I need to make an important contact I type a
      fancy letter and fax it. It gives my addressee something
      tangible they need to deal with. Even if the fax goes to
      a software, it will still get more attention than an email.
      If faxing is not an option, I telephone.
      I can imagine that being almost impossible to ignore. I'll keep this in mind.

      Bear in mind that just about anything can be dropshipped;
      refrigerators, jukeboxes, all types of furniture/furnishings,
      outdoor items, I could go on and on. Your choice of a mug
      and a cardboard box demonstrates limited thinking. Sure,
      you could write copy about a coffee mug and you could
      make it interesting but the food cart is a better option.
      You have got to think big if you want big results.
      Glad you pointed this out. I didn't realize it. I'll go check for other items and then repost.

      And BTW be prepared to have your writing picked apart.
      No problemo
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669512].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    I have some meetings today but will check these out. I'll get back with you this evening.

    Alibaba express is also a good place to look
    Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post

    Here's some more.

    Mirror

    Bedroom furniture -

    Dinning table

    Golf club

    Hair removal machine
    Easy there max5ty offered to help. Don't overwhelm with a hundred sites to visit.

    On another note, since like the Financial side. Look at Seeking Alpha. They have different types of articles you could write. Some pay some don't. A basic blog type is free and no review by SA. Then their are reviewed posts. If accepted pay about $20.00 and then Premium posts pay a $1000.00 Keep it in the back of your mind in the future.

    Looking forward to see what you and max5ty come up with.


    Seeking Alpha - https://seekingalpha.com/page/become...ha-contributor
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669547].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      Easy there max5ty offered to help. Don't overwhelm with a hundred sites to visit.
      My bad. I just wasn't sure which product is the right one. I hope 11 items isn't too much for him to go through.

      On another note, since like the Financial side. Look at Seeking Alpha. They have different types of articles you could write. Some pay some don't. A basic blog type is free and no review by SA. Then their are reviewed posts. If accepted pay about $20.00 and then Premium posts pay a $1000.00 Keep it in the back of your mind in the future.
      Noted.

      Looking forward to see what you and max5ty come up with.
      Same here.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669556].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
    I ain't no motorsickle gal, but I jus' seen sumthin' I may one day want.

    As I am tearin' out into the fyootyure all kinda REBEL ...

    but also wishin' to preserve keeness of talon for that post-ride encountah.

    Uh huh -- I seen the gloves I prolly might want.

    But they really gonna speed me on toward a fyooture fulla immaculature?

    Guess I invested the lameness of the original ad with the sparky commentary bustin' outta this (now pulsin', frankly) twixtycommuno.

    Raw finance.

    The wind in your hair once you toss the helmet off.

    The blast of freedom hooverin' up the dollahs in a world drilled down on restraint.

    Here is spray paint on a horizon looks like it grew it steada been tainted.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669553].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      Sick!

      We have ourselves a first customer, no copy even needed
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669557].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

      I ain't no motorsickle gal, but I jus' seen sumthin' I may one day want.

      As I am tearin' out into the fyootyure all kinda REBEL ...

      but also wishin' to preserve keeness of talon for that post-ride encountah.

      Uh huh -- I seen the gloves I prolly might want.

      But they really gonna speed me on toward a fyooture fulla immaculature?

      Guess I invested the lameness of the original ad with the sparky commentary bustin' outta this (now pulsin', frankly) twixtycommuno.

      Raw finance.

      The wind in your hair once you toss the helmet off.

      The blast of freedom hooverin' up the dollahs in a world drilled down on restraint.

      Here is spray paint on a horizon looks like it grew it steada been tainted.
      If you're this excited about that...

      wait till you see the whole outer space rocket ship thing we have planned...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669773].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author soltan paydar
    hey max , can you name me the best copywriting/marketing books in your opinion?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669737].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by soltan paydar View Post

      hey max , can you name me the best copywriting/marketing books in your opinion?
      Sorry, didn't see your question...

      Don't know if it's fair to say any over the other.

      I like Sugarman...Ogilvy...

      also always read about human psychology and the old time sales guys...

      love makepeace, he was one of the greatest in my opinion.

      His site isn't up anymore but if you go to the internet archive you can still read his site.

      Honestly, I've read just about everything, so it wouldn't be fair to say my favorite book.

      I'm at the point where I just like to read summaries now (probably getting old haha)...

      here's one of my favorite sites to read book summaries:

      https://www.samuelthomasdavies.com/book-summaries/
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669769].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Sorry for the delay in getting back to this...

    sometimes I get very busy and am just too tired to think. At times it may take a day, but I'll always answer back.

    So, I looked over the things you found, and have a couple comments. I was interested to see what you would come up with...

    for me, when I'm looking for something to make some some effortless money with, I'll look for something that isn't huge. Is easy to ship. Doesn't have a lot of breakable parts which can be a shipping nightmare...

    and most important, I look for something with low investment and high markup (obviously)...and something that falls between $10 and $40...which is pretty much the range for impulse buying.

    Anything much over $40 and it seems to leave the impulse range and causes the reader to have to consider their purchase more.

    First: Coffee mug. I always like to find something that is trending up and is in demand. After looking at google trends, I see coffee mugs trend way up during the holidays...and this year around the election (Biden mugs, etc.), then dropped back down.

    Bakers box...limited audience.

    Motorcycle gloves...too limited...same with helmet.

    Mirror, too many problems with shipping.

    Desk, too big...same with dining table.

    Golf clubs, too expensive.

    Hair removal, too expensive.

    Now, a couple of these items (like mugs), could be used if you're going for a charity type thing, where you have a good story and you're planning on donating some of the profits to a charity.

    Obviously, someone is selling all the items you mentioned, and is no doubt making some money at it...but, for me, I'm looking for something without a lot of headache and something that can move quickly and easily and without a lot of complaints about broken parts, etc.

    If you're set on selling one of the items you mentioned, we will work with that. I'm just telling you a couple things I've discovered that save a lot of headaches and also turns a good profit.

    In finding ideas for items I'll look at Google Trends:

    https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US

    I'll also check this Google site out which is pretty nifty:

    https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feat...ds/us/month/en

    I'll also check out this site:

    https://ehproductfinder.com/ (this site does have a free version).

    Although we'll probably focus more on the copywriting side...I think it would be more interesting to find a product to write about that you could also make some extra cash with.

    Of the items you found, the coffee mug would come the closest to what I would consider ideal (just my opinion). The others are either way too expensive, too limited of an audience, or would be a shipping nightmare with too many complaints and headaches.

    I like smaller items with the most markup...leaves room to advertise once you've tested your roll out and also moves quicker.

    These are my quick thoughts. Others may have different ideas and I hope they give their opinion also.

    So I'll leave it up to you if you want to do a little more research or go with something you've found.

    Also, I mentioned Alibaba because most hot selling items can usually be found on there.

    Hopefully I didn't rush through my thoughts too much
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669742].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      I find this interesting --getting to know your thought process. It makes a lot sense.

      I'll check out the sites you sent and try to come up with items that suit your description. I'll post them here.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669746].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post

        I find this interesting --getting to know your thought process. It makes a lot sense.

        I'll check out the sites you sent and try to come up with items that suit your description. I'll post them here.
        I'm in no way saying you can't sell high ticket items...

        most of us have no doubt sold them.

        Just trying to say it's more of a multfaceted approach.

        High ticket means you have to meet the customer where they are in the buying process. This can take multiple ads...and usually progressive in nature when it's new...or competitive in nature when it's something they've heard of. And I'm saying this in the simplest of terms...

        Too many times a new copywriter will take a million dollar sales letter that was written by a guru and fail to realize the letter was sent to a list, or someone already familiar with their products...or have already been in the market for something like they're selling.

        I'm assuming you don't have a list.

        So, we're going to approach this as though they don't know you and are an impulse buyer...which means they're not looking to spend a thousand bucks on something today.

        We want to make it easy. We want to make it intriguing. We want to make it seem like this is something that will make their life easier for a couple bucks. We want to make it painless.

        And, don't think impulse buyers can't make you wealthy.

        Research is usually the biggest part of making some extra cash...but it pays off
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669754].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
          Ooh... never thought of it this way.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669756].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author max5ty
            Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post

            Ooh... never thought of it this way.
            The fun part is when we get into the copywriting...which after 40 years is something I love to do. I actually dream about it...

            We'll make your product shine.

            Hopefully, we can all learn something from this
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669757].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
              40 years you say?

              That's a whole lot of experience.

              And yea, I can't wait to get to the writing part. Let me go find that product
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669761].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
    max5ty so there's something that stood out to me...

    When you said:

    you may get to where Agora would be a step down from what you can make as a serious copywriter
    I couldn't relate. I was thinking, "wth".

    It's like telling a guy who just started learning animation that he could get so advanced where working for Disney might be a step down. He'd think you're crazy.

    But when I found out you have 40years experience, I could then imagine how Agora might be a step down for such a person --they'd probably have business partenerships/offers and/or run their own businesses.

    But to be honest, I still can't relate. I can only imagine.

    Quite interesting, if you ask me.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669767].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
    max5ty So I did some research and came up with these items...

    Swim goggles
    https://m.alibaba.com/product/160015...t.0.uq6d79aq9s

    Pool floats
    https://m.aliexpress.com/item/100500...0Q90.jpg_.webp

    https://m.aliexpress.com/item/100500...0Q90.jpg_.webp

    Evaporative cooler
    https://m.alibaba.com/product/160025...le-AC.html?s=p

    Let me know which one you think is best. And if they're not good enough, I'll be happy to do more research to find the right one.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11669819].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    I looked over your picks...

    not too excited about any of them for a couple reasons.

    1. I think they're too limiting in their appeal to the group of people they appeal to

    2. They're not solving a big enough problem

    So, I did a quick check to find something that I thought would work.

    I found this:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3297...62040013094788

    More time and I would look a little harder...but this solves a problem for a lot of people (home safety and security). Virtually everyone has a place they live and virtually everyone is worried about their security.

    This light works off sound and motion. If someone makes a sound or is in it's area it lights up.

    Cheap home security. Imagine the ways you can promote this! You can buy them for under $2. Maybe could find something better if I took longer to research...but this will work.

    We can still go with one you picked, but as we get into the copywriting further I think you'll start to see you'll be limited to a greater degree and you'll see why I say to look for something with the widest appeal and solves a worrisome problem. The choice is yours. Either way, it's time to move on to the rest of this...

    Since you had said you were interested in Agora Financial, we'll use what they teach their new copywriters in their 9 week training.

    It's basically 9 different sections and we'll take each one and you can do them. A couple sections we won't go into detail...like section 9 that deals with legal because we won't be writing at that level for now where we will be too worried about lawsuits.

    We won't have the bell. They have a bell and if you decide they're not what you want and you may have made a bad choice in going there...you can ring the bell which signals you're walking away. They'll pay you $1000 to walk away, and wish you farewell.

    I would guess though that as we get further into this, you'll have a lot of feedback (good and bad) from others.

    As you know AF is mostly selling newsletter subscriptions. Every big promotion they do also has something else I'm sure you've heard of..."The Big Idea".

    "Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards To Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks And Slices... And Can Slash Up To 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight!"

    The above is a big idea from John Carlton. The big idea is the theme for your whole promotion. It also serves another purpose...

    if the headline were simply, "Add 50 yards to your drives, eliminate hooks and slices and you can slash up to 10 strokes from your game almost overnight", most people would be skeptical. When you throw in the big idea, "One legged golfer", you sneak past most skeptical reactions. We'll go into that more later when we get a little further.

    Also, the big idea is almost always a noun. Person, place, thing or an idea (all nouns).

    The big idea doesn't always have to be something new. Think it was Schwartz that did the beer ad where he simply talked about how they filtered their water. Every brewery did it...he was smart enough to use it as his big idea.

    When you use a big idea, you can change the big idea on the same product, and still keep promoting the product for ever almost and most will think it's a new product. Happens all the time in winning promotions.

    Where do you come up with your big idea? Research...

    some copywriters think you need to sit around and come up with something out of the blue...the truth is most big ideas come from your research.

    So, the first lesson...pick your product and do research on it. Every single thing you can imagine that has to do with the product. Everything. While you're doing your research, be open to a big idea for your product.

    Here's where a lot of new copywriters fail...they fail to research. If you've done all the research you can possible do, the rest is a lot easier.

    Next we'll get into your pitch...but for now work on your research. Any questions don't be afraid to throw them out here.

    Happy research...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670101].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    One last thing today...

    AF training is done so their copywriters pump out promotions quickly. And it should always be like that. They also focus a lot on team effort and feedback.

    Within a day or two you should have done extensive research on the product and have come up with some big ideas...

    post your big ideas and we'll give you feedback
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670106].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
    That sensor lamp seems pretty cool, I'm down with it.

    I'm quite excited we're using the AF copy style. And I can't wait to start coming up with a big idea.

    Before driving into the research, I have a few questions...

    1) Will my research only be centered on the product? what about the consumers?

    2) Any particular things I should look out for when researching? (of course I'm going to research any and everything I can on the product. But I was wondering if there are particular things you might want to point out)

    These are the questions I have for now. As I go into the research, if any questions come up I'll post them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670112].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post

      That sensor lamp seems pretty cool, I'm down with it.

      I'm quite excited we're using the AF copy style. And I can't wait to start coming up with a big idea.

      Before driving into the research, I have a few questions...

      1) Will my research only be centered on the product? what about the consumers?

      2) Any particular things I should look out for when researching? (of course I'm going to research any and everything I can on the product. But I was wondering if there are particular things you might want to point out)

      These are the questions I have for now. As I go into the research, if any questions come up I'll post them.
      Good questions...

      you'll find the best copywriters are the best researchers.

      You may find the glass is made by Wong Lee who goes into work at 3 a.m. and methodically fires up the kiln...

      or that the idea for the thing was thought up by a guy in Nebraska.

      A family in Illinois may have prevented a great calamity by using this.

      Bob Smith may have one and thinks it's great.

      The filiament may have been invented by Einstien while he was working on the light bulb.

      Research takes practice. Eventually, you'll get better at it and you'll find the little things that make the big buying points.

      Often we look at great promotions...but don't realize those great promotions were because of a lot of research.

      Usually, the little unknown things are where you'll get your big idea from.

      Often I'll think of a movie star. I'll see the glamorous life they live and all the fame they have...but then I think about all the behind the scenes work they put into getting where they are. The long hours, the tedious things they have to do for a movie...

      it's like copywriting. We usually only see the end result and don't take the time to realize a lot of research went into those results that seem so easy.

      Copywriting is a lot of behind the scenes work. A lot of research that isn't exciting.

      I've seen so many people wanting to be a copywriter...they fail to realize that research is what makes or breaks a promotion. Hours and hours and lonely nights and late nights and times when you wonder if it's all worth it...

      the more products you work on promotions for...the better you'll get at research.

      You'll be like a detective on the hunt for hidden clues...

      I'll also add this...it's the reason so many people drop out as copywriters. They see the winning side but don't realize the work and effort required. It can be a very draining process...but it's worth it in the end
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670114].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
        So I came up with the following big ideas. Let me know what you think...

        1. Edison screw - E27
        Our device is a led bulb (that lights up using motion and sound). There are different parts of a led bulb, and one is the base. Our device's base uses an E27.

        Did you know the E in E27 stands for Edison Screw?

        He invented it in 1881 as a better alternative to screwing an incandescent bulb. This was 140 years ago. No one ever thought it'll be used on something called a LED bulb or even a LED bulb used for security.

        So we could spin it as 140 years later, scientist discover an invention by Thomas Edison that can protect your home from invaders.

        2. Private home detective
        Our device uses motion sensors and sound sensors to detective intruders and then lights up to reveal them.

        Imagine a burglar breaking into a house silently, thinking his evil deeds will not be known, only for our device to spot him. No matter how sneaky and noiseless he is.

        The ability of this device to spot intruders despite their attempt to not be caught is akin to a detective catching criminals through observation and methodical investigation.

        Even if they wished to, no one can probably afford to pay a detective to watch over their homes all through the night...

        But with our device, they don't have to!

        Our device already does the job. It's their own private detective guarding their homes all through the night.

        3. First civilian approved military grade technology to protect homes.

        Our device uses PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor), a technology that detects humans and objects.

        Turns out infrared is used by the military to spot targets, launch missiles, etc.

        And, perhaps, what is most interesting is that it is used in night combat by the U.S military to see. There's a whole unit called the US Army's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate whose whole aim is to equip soldiers with night vision.

        So now, that same technology used in high tech secret military devices is now available to the normal folks to use and protect their homes.

        4. IBM

        So this one's kinda hazy as I haven't found a clear angle. But anyway...

        James R Biard and Gary Pittman discovered the infrared LED and used it to invent the first practical LED. They got a patent for it (I even have the patent number).

        The first commercial device to use infrared LED was IBM's card verifier. It helped to verify the authenticity of cards in an ATM. And IBM invented the ATM.

        IBM also invented a lot of things like the first practical Artificial Intelligence.

        I haven't got my angle yet...

        But I was thinking of how I could put it that the company that invented the first practical AI and ATM have a certain highly guarded technology (which is the infrared LED) that is now being used to create a highly effective security system aka our alarm device.

        So far, these are the ideas I've been able to come up with.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670312].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    @Charmingcapital13 - glad to see you've got some creativity! Good job so far.

    None of those are big ideas though. They are big concepts.

    A big concept relates to the product...

    a big idea relates to the buyer (in simple terms).

    This evening I'll try to post some stuff about the big idea
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670325].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
      Oh... I didn't know there was something called a big concept.

      Looking forward to the post about the big idea. I really wanna get it down
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670339].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Charmingcapital13 View Post

        Oh... I didn't know there was something called a big concept.

        Looking forward to the post about the big idea. I really wanna get it down
        It's all good...

        I've seen mentors that knockdown just about everything someone puts up...for days and weeks...and the new copywriter is frustrated.

        Won't do that to you...this is just a simple learning thing.

        I'm going to send you a couple of things by PM for you to read. Don't know if you've read them...but they're interesting.

        Look for them in about 30 minutes...
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11670340].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Charmingcapital13
    I thought I should update this thread.

    I and max5ty have been working on the sales letter for the security lamp. After doing a ton of more research, I came up with a big idea. Then I started working on turning features into benefits. I and max5ty have been having back and forths, trying to flesh things out. He made me realize the importance of research.

    Gotta admit, working on a sales promotion for this device has been pretty exciting. Any more development, I'll keep you guys posted on it.

    As for working with Agora, I haven't gotten that yet. But I got something pretty close some days ago.

    I got in the door with a big financial publisher located in Baltimore after writing an email lift for one of their promotions and sending it to the owner of the company. He loved it and said we should work together.

    A little background. The owner used to be an employee of Agora a very long time ago. I've also seen their ads run in Agora Financial's emails (which is surprising because common knowledge is that AF only runs external ads from their affiliated companies. So maybe they have a partnership or something?)

    Here's an interesting coincidence --The owner of the publishing house told me that after talking to his team he found out that they had hired someone from my country. The young man (he's 20 years) just finished his first promotion. He said he was impressed considering this guy is so young and a non-native speaker.

    I'm currently waiting for my first project. I hear it's a big holiday in America. Once the dust settles, work begins.

    I think once I work with this publisher I can leverage the experience and evidence to get into the door with Agora.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11671851].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Essers
      How's it all going now with the product? And with the financial publisher?

      I'm watching this thread super close. You're on a similar path to what I'd love to be doing.

      I started in dropshipping and had some minor success, then lost all my money (as it goes), and I've been copywriting ever since.

      Was lucky enough to land myself an internship with Drayton Bird and I just finished that up. Now I'm looking at my options to get more experience, and something within Agora would be a dream. Time to get into research and contact people.

      In the meantime I'm going to hone my skills with a product, like you are. Time to find a killer and write the best sales page I've ever done...

      Anyway, keep the updates coming! Hope it's all going well for you.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11672899].message }}
      • Hey man, sounds like you're doing well...

        How's it all going now with the product? And with the financial publisher?
        Still working on the sales letter for the product. It's probably coming up much slower than normal, but I'm a total green horn.

        This my first sales letter --excluding the spec assignment of a headline and lead I tried out for one of the Agoras-- and one of the only few real copy I've written in my life. I think I still have less than 10 copy under my belt (I wrote a few emails and an advertorial for practice before going for clients). So basically, I still have a lot to learn.

        I'm still working on the renewal letter for the finpub. I started last weekend.

        I started in dropshipping and had some minor success, then lost all my money (as it goes), and I've been copywriting ever since.
        Sounds crazy. How's copywriting going, taking on clients or just writing your own copy?

        Was lucky enough to land myself an internship with Drayton Bird and I just finished that up.
        Whoa, you worked directly under him?

        Now I'm looking at my options to get more experience, and something within Agora would be a dream. Time to get into research and contact people.
        Sounds like a plan. I'd love to hear how it goes.

        In the meantime I'm going to hone my skills with a product, like you are. Time to find a killer and write the best sales page I've ever done...
        Sounds awesome. I'd love to know how it goes. Hopefully we can have more discussions about dropshipping.

        Anyway, keep the updates coming!
        I will. But promise you'll give us updates from your end also.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11672905].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Speaking from 12-years experience as a copywriter for various Agora divisions, the only way you're going to get paid as a greenhorn is if you're willing to relocate and work in-house. Even seniors are expected to be in the office more often than not since it's better for training, brainstorming, critiquing, etc... though it's not the best environment for doing actual writing!

    (I'm talking generally here, since all divisions are run slightly different).

    So unless things have changed because of Covid, your best hope for getting a gig at Agora (other than relocating and working in-house), is to become a really good copywriter, first. But even then, with an in-house copy team full of killers, there's not always an incentive to hire freelancers.

    But by then, you might already have a long-list of high-paying clients and working for Agora might not matter so much anymore.

    Who knows... Keep at it and take advantage of Max5ty's generosity while you can! You seem to have the right attitude and work ethic, which is what matters most. Be prepared to grind for a couple of years to get good.

    Cheers,
    Colm
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11673529].message }}
    • Hey man, thanks for the insight.

      I guess Agora or not, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and keep getting better at it.

      12years is a lot. Do you still work in-house or you freelance?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11674079].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    My plan was always to just do two years at Agora, get good, get winners, then get loads of freelance clients leaning on the Agora credibility... BUT, it's a very fun company to work for and it's nice not having to prospect for clients...

    I started copywriting for FREE on here circa 2006, just for the experience, then started going after paid clients which meant learning marketing, management, etc. It was hard, at least for me, to execute all that stuff and write packages too (plus I was still working part-time to pay the bills).

    So eliminating all that is the biggest benefit of working in-house, hence me sticking around well beyond my two-year plan!

    Getting to work alongside all these copy-killers is a huge benefit, too... Happy Hour in Baltimore was lots of beers and lots of brainstorming!

    Right now I work for a division called Real Estate Trend Alert, and since a lot of my colleagues travel for work, I get to work remotely too... but like I said, that's probably an exception... In Baltimore and in Florida (where I also worked) you didn't have to be in the office all day, every day, but you were expected to show your face often...

    So currently I'm living the "copywriter life" other Agora copywriters might not be able to live... sitting in a camper van in Scotland in the pissing rain!

    Cheers,
    Colm
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11674474].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      My plan was always to just do two years at Agora, get good, get winners, then get loads of freelance clients leaning on the Agora credibility... BUT, it's a very fun company to work for and it's nice not having to prospect for clients...

      I started copywriting for FREE on here circa 2006, just for the experience, then started going after paid clients which meant learning marketing, management, etc. It was hard, at least for me, to execute all that stuff and write packages too (plus I was still working part-time to pay the bills).

      So eliminating all that is the biggest benefit of working in-house, hence me sticking around well beyond my two-year plan!

      Getting to work alongside all these copy-killers is a huge benefit, too... Happy Hour in Baltimore was lots of beers and lots of brainstorming!

      Right now I work for a division called Real Estate Trend Alert, and since a lot of my colleagues travel for work, I get to work remotely too... but like I said, that's probably an exception... In Baltimore and in Florida (where I also worked) you didn't have to be in the office all day, every day, but you were expected to show your face often...

      So currently I'm living the "copywriter life" other Agora copywriters might not be able to live... sitting in a camper van in Scotland in the pissing rain!

      Cheers,
      Colm
      Love seeing you post here...wish you would do it more often.

      You're one of the best.

      Love the swipe file in your footer. Loads of great stuff...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11674544].message }}
    • Sounds like an interesting experience. do you think you'd earn more as a freelancer with multiple clients or in house has better moneymaking chances?

      Also heard agora lost a lot of their experienced copywriters after the FTC case, hence why they aren't hiring any juniors for now.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11675463].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Hard to say about earning potential... I only know for sure what I'm earning, and have no idea what I could do as a freelancer. Generally, I wouldn't say there's going to be much difference on a pay per promo basis...

    BUT, as a freelancer you have more earning freedom. For example, maybe you get paid in equity, or do what Gene Schwartz did and get paid in list access so you can build your own business, etc. Then the sky's the limit on what you can make. Though then we're talking about wearing multiple hats again and becoming a business owner, not just a copywriter.

    I'm not based in the U.S. anymore so I don't keep up on all the goings on, but if you're losing copywriters then you don't have a choice but to hire noobs in my opinion!

    Cheers,
    Colm
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11676181].message }}
  • Wow that was a nice step and happy you are getting back on track
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11676512].message }}
  • Update on this...

    Finally clinched my first full blown financial promo. Now it isn't with any of the Agoras, but it's a big finpub based in Baltimore.

    Pretty excited! I guess it's onward and upwards from here on.

    I appreciate everyone on here who have dropped kind words of encouragement.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11677091].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Avid learner
    Congratulations!

    Been following this thread, just reading about your journey, and it's great to see how far you've come by persisting.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11677128].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Is it Angel Publishing and why are you being coy? Bunch of those guys started at Agora but split to do their own thing.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11677335].message }}
    • You not only write copy but you read minds through a computer screen? *duffs hat*

      Yup, Angel. I work directly with Brian. And yea, I've heard about their origin story.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11677350].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics