The #1 key to success in copywriting is... growing a pair

29 replies
I call this the Big Hairy Balls Philosophy...

It's helped me, so maybe it'll help you...

Just get out there and make it happen.

Stop overthinking it.

Learn as you go.

Put your butt on the line.

Learn from your mistakes and swallow your pride.

Be reckless.

Gain confidence by doing what you're not confident in.

Others will have confidence in your confidence.

When you fall off your horse, get back up and brush yourself off... slap on some bandages and keep going.

Put your work before yourself... in fact, just shoot your ego with a sawed off shot gun.

It doesn't matter how many times you failed in the past... it doesn't matter if you've been too gutless to do anything up until this point... Take the internet by the horns and go make it happen...

Just go sell some units.

Having bad copy will make you more money than being a walking encyclopedia of copywriting knowledge and never applying it...

They can go around coining whatever copywriting master they want all day while you're making money...

The bad salesman is already better than the walking encyclopedia of copywriting, but doesn't know it yet.

I guarantee there are so many people who haven't even sold 10 units before who know several times more tactics and methods than I do about copywriting.

But I really don't care...

Because you know what's worth a million times more than knowing about copywriting?

What you get from actually writing it, testing it, and studying actual copy... Experience.

Applying past Experience and testing is what really sells units.

And Experience can only come from getting off your ass, growing a set of big hairy balls, and just doing it.

Grant yourself confidence for ONE DAY... just ONE DAY... (how about today?)... do things you'd be scared to do before like maybe get someone on the phone and try to close them on a deal or your service... no matter how afraid you are, don't pussy-foot around... hold out your hand and say, "That'll be $X."

If you get turned down... so what?

I guarantee you just gained some real experience in the field that you can use to do better next time.

And gaining experience won't sting if you kill your ego.

Grow some big hairy balls...

I'm not saying this philosophy is Law... Nothing is Law in my book...

Just thought it might help a few people out... because what I see more than anything is people who know a lot about the subject from books and courses but they refuse to put their tender little ego aside and just go for it.
#copywriting #growing #key #pair #success
  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    Well, that explains why I suck at sales copy.

    Tina
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

      Well, that explains why I suck at sales copy.

      Tina
      hahaha...

      Sorry... didn't mean to leave you ladies out by trying to drive home my point.

      ...Ya know what I mean.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        And if you are a natural introvert, who is put off by the thought you need to be loud, brash and pushy, there is an answer.

        You can still succeed in business and in your career without doing those things which people tell you that you "have to do".

        Marcia Yudkin, who is a valued contributor here, is one that has defied "common wisdom" and has put out a valuable and free audio on the subject. Straight from the lips of an introvert.

        You will find a link to it in her signiture file...failing that, use the good ol Google.

        All the best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          And if you are a natural introvert, who is put off by the thought you need to be loud, brash and pushy, there is an answer.

          You can still succeed in business and in your career without doing those things which people tell you that you "have to do".

          Marcia Yudkin, who is a valued contributor here, is one that has defied "common wisdom" and has put out a valuable and free audio on the subject. Straight from the lips of an introvert.

          You will find a link to it in her signiture file...failing that, use the good ol Google.

          All the best,
          Ewen
          Different strokes for different folks I guess.

          I'm just saying what works for me... take it or leave it.

          That's the attitude that gets the job done in my neck of the woods.

          There's no other reason for this post but to help that one person who reads it who needs it.

          If you think you have to be pushy, brash, extroverted, and loud to act with confidence, then that's your belief... but that's not what this post is about. It's about getting the job done... just... doing it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
            Jason, are you a copywriter? (I imply no disrespect, I am just curious as you are advising them)

            I think balls are needed. It took some balls for me to meet my wife. It took balls the first time I laced on a pair of roller skates. It took balls for me to quit my job.

            Balls are good but it takes more than balls to succeed.

            I am not sure how this relates to a copywriter. Having bad copy does not mean more profits than 'still learning'. I can show you a host of gung ho people not making a dime.

            Some of that is bad copy and some of that is an unwanted or poorly matched up product to niche.

            From what I read the real balls (as it pertains to copywriters) is asking for more money. Real confidence comes from success. (on whatever personal scale that may be)

            My balls are responsible for more bad events than good in my life.
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            • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
              Originally Posted by IM Viper View Post

              Jason, are you a copywriter? (I imply no disrespect, I am just curious as you are advising them)

              I think balls are needed. It took some balls for me to meet my wife. It took balls the first time I laced on a pair of roller skates. It took balls for me to quit my job.

              Balls are good but it takes more than balls to succeed.

              I am not sure how this relates to a copywriter. Having bad copy does not mean more profits than 'still learning'. I can show you a host of gung ho people not making a dime.

              Some of that is bad copy and some of that is an unwanted or poorly matched up product to niche.

              From what I read the real balls (as it pertains to copywriters) is asking for more money. Real confidence comes from success. (on whatever personal scale that may be)

              My balls are responsible for more bad events than good in my life.
              Copywriter. Yes.

              I agree... takes more than balls.

              Here's what this is about...

              For those who study like crazy... and that's all they do... they're addicted to copywriting info... they've read every book and taken every course under the sun... but they have no real experience... they worry too much about hurting their little egos so they don't put themselves out there...

              So what I'm saying is... at some point you've gotta step it up and start getting some experience. Not just feed your addiction to learning copywriting rules.
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              • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                Copywriter. Yes.

                I agree... takes more than balls.

                Here's what this is about...

                For those who study like crazy... and that's all they do... they're addicted to copywriting info... they've read every book and taken every course under the sun... but they have no real experience... they worry too much about hurting their little egos so they don't put themselves out there...

                So what I'm saying is... at some point you've gotta step it up and start getting some experience. Not just feed your addiction to learning copywriting rules.
                Wow!

                For a second it sounded as if you were speaking directly to me.

                I've studied and invested a good chunk of my money towards my copywriting education.

                I recently purchased my 'last' copywriting 'text book' from John Carlton.

                I now feel ready, but still have doubts in my ability to 'deliver'.

                I guess I need to just grow a pair!
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                • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                  Originally Posted by Anthony La Tour View Post

                  Wow!

                  For a second it sounded as if you were speaking directly to me.

                  I've studied and invested a good chunk of my money towards my copywriting education.

                  I recently purchased my 'last' copywriting 'text book' from John Carlton.

                  I now feel ready, but still have doubts in my ability to 'deliver'.

                  I guess I need to just grow a pair!
                  So get ya butt out there, don't worry about what anyone thinks, don't overthink it, and get a letter online... drive some traffic to it and learn from experience

                  WSO section of Warrior Forum is a good start.

                  Why not come up with a copywriting report or something and sell private label rights to it for $7? Get some units sold under your belt.

                  ...Success! moohoohahaha... got the one person I was after.

                  I'll shut up now

                  Go kick some a**...
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                  • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
                    Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                    So get ya butt out there, don't worry about what anyone thinks, don't overthink it, and get a letter online... drive some traffic to it and learn from experience

                    WSO section of Warrior Forum is a good start.

                    Why not come up with a copywriting report or something and sell private label rights to it for $7? Get some units sold under your belt.

                    ...Success! moohoohahaha... got the one person I was after.

                    I'll shut up now

                    Go kick some a**...
                    LOL - I'm going to remember this thread for a very long time.

                    Thank You!
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              • Profile picture of the author Prosechild
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                For those who study like crazy... and that's all they do... they're addicted to copywriting info... they've read every book and taken every course under the sun... but they have no real experience... they worry too much about hurting their little egos so they don't put themselves out there...

                So what I'm saying is... at some point you've gotta step it up and start getting some experience. Not just feed your addiction to learning copywriting rules.
                That's definitely where I started to be... constantly studying and reading without any application or taking any info from what I've been studying. My 'work' became an obsession with finding the 'right' advice on how to get started copywriting, instead of just starting already. 'If I just find the right article or advice, I'll launch my copywriting biz successfully' is what I told myself...

                I was scared of what I could/couldn't charge...what if I asked for too much? Not enough? I was scared that my writing wouldn't be good... I was scared of putting up my own website and writing a sales letter about MYSELF...scared scared scared.

                Well I'm still scared but I know I gotta start somewhere. So I reached out to a friend who recently started a nonprofit and I'm currently writing her web copy. Its not a sales letter per se but its great to actually communicate with someone on a copywriter-client basis, learn how I work independently, meeting deadlines etc etc. So my balls are growing (lol) and I still feel scared... but I'm trying to make it happen anyway.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
              Originally Posted by IM Viper View Post

              From what I read the real balls (as it pertains to copywriters) is asking for more money. Real confidence comes from success. (on whatever personal scale that may be)
              Yes. Balls are required when you first set your price. Especially if you don't have Jason's "units sold" to back it up yet. But when you get results, then, believe me, you fast become unapologetic about stating the investment it's gonna take to get you on board.

              Other instances where you need to get a pair could be...

              When you are working in a niche and you want to try something relatively new/different... something that niche has never seen before.

              Or... if you want to take a different copywriting tact with a client's marketing. A tact they question, but for the betterment of their bottom-line, you feel you should champion.

              That takes some guts. Because if it doesn't work, it's on you. And carrying that load demands intestinal fortitude.

              In my experience Jason is right... bold action can seem a little reckless and scary at the time... but leaping out the plane fearing for your life soon leads to looking around you and realizing, "Wow, pretty neat view."

              --- Ross
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

            Different strokes for different folks I guess.

            I'm just saying what works for me... take it or leave it.

            That's the attitude that gets the job done in my neck of the woods.

            There's no other reason for this post but to help that one person who reads it who needs it.

            If you think you have to be pushy, brash, extroverted, and loud to act with confidence, then that's your belief... but that's not what this post is about. It's about getting the job done... just... doing it.
            Jason,

            Your message will resonate well for the more extrovert types...so that's good.

            My message will resonate well for the more introvert types...so that's good.

            All the best,
            Ewen
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            • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
              Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

              Jason,

              Your message will resonate well for the more extrovert types...so that's good.

              My message will resonate well for the more introvert types...so that's good.

              All the best,
              Ewen
              I'm sure... my message probably won't resonate with anybody actually haha...

              Probably just 1 person... if even.

              It's way easier to put out a message that's agreeable than try to fuel a shift in thinking.
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              • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                I'm sure... my message probably won't resonate with anybody actually haha...

                Probably just 1 person... if even.

                It's way easier to put out a message that's agreeable than try to fuel a shift in thinking.
                Once again it's the whole message match thing...

                A person can hear one message which was intended to take a particular action... and won't.

                Same person can hear another message to take same action and will do it.

                First message sender thinks, "what was that all about".

                And somebody said copywriting is "not complicated"...well isn't that interesting!

                This is a great discussion to learn about how things work.

                Thanks,
                Ewen
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                • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                  Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

                  Once again it's the whole message match thing...

                  A person can hear one message which was intended to take a particular action... and won't.

                  Same person can hear another message to take same action and will do it.

                  First message sender thinks, "what was that all about".

                  And somebody said copywriting is "not complicated"...well isn't that interesting!

                  This is a great discussion to learn about how things work.

                  Thanks,
                  Ewen
                  What I meant there is...

                  Let's say you're writing this letter to people who are hungry to get traffic to their websites.

                  You know that they believe traffic is the main cause of success.

                  So you should probably say something like... Let's get real... the main cause of success online is getting piles of traffic.

                  This is going to resonate perfectly... it connects... because they already believe it.

                  But if I start out a letter to the same target audience and say... You know, getting traffic isn't what it's all hyped up to be...

                  And you don't connect.

                  ...

                  My message is like saying... Heck, traffic really isn't that important.

                  It's easy as cake to swallow a message you already believe.

                  It's like taking Nyquil to swallow a message that you don't already believe.
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                  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                    Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                    What I meant there is...

                    Let's say you're writing this letter to people who are hungry to get traffic to their websites.

                    You know that they believe traffic is the main cause of success.

                    So you should probably say something like... Let's get real... the main cause of success online is getting piles of traffic.

                    This is going to resonate perfectly... it connects... because they already believe it.

                    But if I start out a letter to the same target audience and say... You know, getting traffic isn't what it's all hyped up to be...

                    And you don't connect.

                    ...

                    My message is like saying... Heck, traffic really isn't that important.

                    It's easy as cake to swallow a message you already believe.

                    It's like taking Nyquil to swallow a message that you don't already believe.
                    My original post, and secondary point was to let people be aware of this often over-looked
                    large group of people...the same people who may get sent your message.

                    Just because we aren't like them, isn't, or should I say shouldn't, be a reason to not get clued up about them...if we want to meet the challenges we may meet.

                    There may be a whole lot more of them reading your message that fly below your radar than you think.

                    Once again, I'll mention to those who want to understand this sector, people sprinkled in a wide array of markets, Marcia Yudkin has that info.

                    All the best,
                    Ewen

                    P.S. Understanding and getting clued up with peoples profiles gets you a lot of traction in markets.

                    Example 1 Rental Agency has 80% of clients that are women in their 40's who have just got divorced. Who would of thought of that group of people?

                    Example 2 Home service company is able to create an unmatched gurantee in marketplace which leads to market domination. They knew from their profiling that their best customers had been let down by contractors not turning up on time.
                    Company guranteed to pay $1000 if they didn't turn up on time.
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  • Profile picture of the author jjeeezy
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    • Profile picture of the author Jag82
      Thanks Jason. I appreciate a lot of your points.

      I remember...when I negotiated my first $1,000 sales letter,
      I wish I had more balls to ask for more (for a work
      I spent more than 2 weeks on).

      Your advice to apply the knowledge instead of leaving
      it as mere information in the brain is also very apt.

      BTW...you can have "balls" (guts)...even if you are a lady copywriter.
      Pseudo-balls at the least.

      - Jag
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      • Profile picture of the author Prosechild
        Originally Posted by Jag82 View Post

        BTW...you can have "balls" (guts)...even if you are a lady copywriter.
        Pseudo-balls at the least.

        - Jag
        I prefer to think of them as metaphorical balls, myself :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
          Originally Posted by Prosechild View Post

          I prefer to think of them as metaphorical balls, myself :rolleyes:
          haha... especially the hairy part.

          ...My mother taught me to never talk about things like Big Hairy Balls in the presence of ladies. I apologize
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  • Profile picture of the author Prosechild
    its ok Jason. Since they're not real, and you're giving us the nudge we need, I'm sure we'll all give you a pass ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author ASCW
      Originally Posted by Prosechild View Post

      its ok Jason. Since they're not real, and you're giving us the nudge we need, I'm sure we'll all give you a pass ;-)
      And if you don't there is always the slight chance that his big hairy balls will knock you right out of his way.

      -Sorry my mom didn't teach me manners, we farted at the dinner table.-

      But in all seriousness I'd like to point out that copywriting is all around us, and that you don't need to be a bookworm to notice it, splice it and learn from it.

      Ever since I was a little kid I've always been fascinated with commercials, I liked thinking about what made good commercials and bad commercials. This never stopped and now I love reading sales letters, and listening to advertisements on the radio, Geico commercials, etc. Copywriting knowledge is all around you, if you just pay attention you can learn a lot by just strolling through the mall.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    More good news for the introverts here who dread the idea of having a personality transplant to succeed at selling in print or in person.

    Past successes have proven you CAN do well as you are.

    I'm talking about guys like Fred Herman.

    Jim Camp (the world's toughest negotiator).

    Or, in direct marketing, Eugene Schwartz (who said listening was
    one of the big secrets of his copywriting success).

    Ben Settle (the copywriter Gary Bencivenga follows)

    So anyway, just something to think about.

    Carry on your with debate.

    Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Jag82
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post


      Or, in direct marketing, Eugene Schwartz (who said listening was
      one of the big secrets of his copywriting success).
      Good one.

      Anybody who do a lot of face-to-face
      selling will tell you this is true.

      Put the spotlight on the other person.
      Make him your star.

      And he will reciprocate.

      Listening is an important skill that
      is so under-rated and often over-looked.

      Thanks for the reminder, Ewen.

      - Jag
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Jag82 View Post

        Good one.

        Listening is an important skill that
        is so under-rated and often over-looked.

        Thanks for the reminder, Ewen.

        - Jag
        Dan Kennedy says the same thing too.

        He wrote a whole section about it in one of his books.

        He's not too shabby at selling either I heard.

        Anybody want to learn from some introverts..?

        All the best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author kizp
    I use dragon naturally speaking, just spit out a sales pitch, dont worry bout errors cause you can come back and fix them after. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris1203
    Well, I'm a woman so I can't see my self growing a "hairy pair of balls" lol, but I agree wholeheartedly with your points. Get out there and get your feet wet and the hell with criticism!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike W
    I understand the jist of the thread is about taking action in writing copy, instead of getting it "perfect" in your mind before you can even start.

    Seems like one point to throw into the mix is the boring, arduous task of...testing.

    Yes, having any sales letter, is better than not having one. And having a sales letter/process that makes money is definitely better...

    But in terms of pricing a product, determining the best pitch/angle/sales letter, or even colors and font, how could you possibly know which was most effective unless you run at least a split test to compare a couple alternatives.

    It may turn out something new and outrageous for a given niche turns the trick...or not. Instead of making it a big gamble for yourself, or your client, run a comparison on a small scale.

    Just don't use "learning how to test" as an excuse for not writing copy... : )
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac Deyak
    Great post, I completely agree, indeed great hairy balls are a must in copywriting and sales...

    One of the greatest things I learned when I was doing door-to-door sales in my teens, was that it all came to the point when you were quoting the price, and whether or not you could keep a straight face.
    Fast forwarding a few years to now, when I do any coaching, consulting, any in person work, the deal maker or breaker is the close, when you say your price. When you have to gather up the courage to imply 'take it or leave it'. All you gotta do is take the courage and not be afraid to fail... Just my two cents.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      How interesting that I didn't even bother to read this thread until alerted to it by PM because the philosophy and the language in the subject line were so abhorrent to me.

      Thanks to Ewen Mack who pointed out not just once, but twice in this thread, that there is another way to approach the copywriting business - and business in general.

      It's not necessary to act like a bull in a china shop to get attention.

      The world needs all kinds, so those who want to follow the "the Big Hairy Balls Philosophy" are welcome to it.

      Others can follow their own path. That works too, and I'm living proof.

      Marcia Yudkin
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