When are you ready to launch a copywriting career?

43 replies
To clarify, how much training is enough to begin marketing yourself as a copywriter?

I was first introduced to copywriting 4 years ago when I made the decision to become a resume writer. I stumbled upon AWAI's resume course and their other offerings and decided to set up shop. I figured I would reach out to my social circle for tips on a good copywriter for my sales page/website copy and a friend recommended a mutual acquaintance - Carline Cole.

I knew Carline and her family personally, but not well enough to ask her to write my copy and, as a startup, didn't have the $10,000 she required at the time to get one written, so I struck out on my own and did the best I could.

I was intrigued, however, because I knew Carline had what seemed to be an abundance of free time and full control of her schedule, but when I asked what she did, she only mentioned that she was a "writer". Hmmm...

Well, since she wouldn't say much else, I did what any other curious snoop with too much time on their hands would do, I Googled her. And boy was I impressed! And fascinated. I wanted in!

I voraciously read all that I could and set out to set up my own copy shop. But there was just one problem... I was too nervous and shy to do anything else but read and practice writing. I didn't have the bold personality to assert myself as a copywriter, as Carline did.

Deflated, I sulked back into my corner and became a resume writer. It's okay, but I'd really like to pursue copywriting and give it one more shot. I wonder about how much progress I could have made, if I would have mucked up the courage to start 4 years ago.

I've studied, practiced, and read, but I never feel like it's enough. What if my copy bombs? What if I can't get any clients? What if...?

What has been your experience? How much time did you devote to studying before taking the plunge? How long did it take you to start making money?

Your thoughts greatly appreciated. :confused:
#career #copywriting #launch #ready
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    You're suffering from JUSGOTTA SYNDROME.

    "I've JUS-GOTTA learn one more thing, and then..."
    "I've JUS-GOTTA do this one more thing, and then..."

    Copywriters are never finished learning. There's always new ideas, new perspectives, new thoughts to take in.

    On the other hand, the PRINCIPLES of copywriting are basically the same, and will always be the same... as long as human beings remain basically the same.

    So now you've just got to DO IT.

    Look, it costs nothing (in $$$ terms) to at least write a sales letter for your own copywriting service.

    So DO IT.

    That way you've at least taken the NEXT step.

    Also, stop thinking one dimensionally, as if you only ever get "one shot" at something in life.

    Says who?

    If that were true, you'd be saying "WHO?" when I mention the name Donald Trump.

    If the human race gave up after one shot, we'd never have got past inventing the wheel, let alone allegedly putting a man on the moon
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Michaels
    - "What if my copy bombs? What if I can't get any clients? What if...?"

    Sometimes it will bomb... and sometimes you won't get clients...

    But it's all about that third 'what if', right? What if it turned out to be a blast..?

    The fact that you want to find out is a good start.

    And speaking as another relative newbie, I'd say get out there... get writing... get a good mentor... and build on the progress you made with all that study in those 4 years.

    Go get 'em,
    Pete
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    • Profile picture of the author videolover7
      Talk to Carline again and tell her what you've told us. Then ask her if she'd be interested in taking on a copy cub.

      She learned from Clayton Makepeace. If you could learn from her, your chances of success would be greatly multiplied.

      VL
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      • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
        Thanks for the nudge guys! I wrote a little piece to promote my services here in the Warriors For Hire thread, but was too darned chicken to post it. I didn't want to start off by pissing off all the experienced copywriters, so it's a bit of a risk.

        The letter is quick and I KNOW I'll get some honest feedback. So here goes...gulp.

        Thread Title: Need Sales Copy? Short on Cash?

        High-Priced Copywriters Hope You Hit the Back Button Now!

        Yep. I'm the dreaded newbie. The established copywriter's worst nightmare.

        They don't want you talking to me.

        You see, they are afraid...

        They're afraid that just maybe I'll write the same high-converting copy that they will - at a fraction of their exorbitant prices.

        They're afraid that my talented wordsmithing may just explode your sales and earn you some money - without waiting weeks to get the copy.

        They're afraid that once you see the results you may not want to pay a hefty fee for stale, cliched copy when you can get a better ROI for less.

        And they're absolutely right.

        I know some folks will take one look at my shiny new profile and run for the hills. And that's okay. My service is not a match for everyone. I get it.

        So if you're a million-dollar marketer who can afford to spend $2,000+ on a sales letter from a 40-year industry vet, then this may not be for you.

        But if you're the new or struggling internet marketer with a bootstrap budget looking to get your foot in the door and make some cash, then you're in luck.

        Here's what you get:

        1. Ultra-magnetic sales copy to convert your visitors into buyers and finally line your pockets with some serious moolah.

        2. A professional, native-speaking American writer who is available to personally respond and guarantee your satisfaction.

        3. Turn around times of a week or less (depending on workload) so you can start making money immediately.

        4. Familiarity with Internet Marketing, Beauty, Healthcare, and a host of other niches. I know why your market can't live without your product.

        5. Powerful, persuasive copy for landing pages, squeeze pages, and sales letters that delivers clicks, conversions, and sales.

        With a well-written sales letter you've got a license to print money. That’s the easy part. The hard part is finding the best writer for the job.

        Fortunately, you don't have to suffer through the trial, error, and frustration of craptastic writers or pay a mint for quality writing.

        The solution to your copywriting woes is staring you in the face RIGHT NOW.


        Ok. How much is this gonna cost me?

        So what's the catch? Just how much am I going to charge you for this deliciously provocative sales copy?

        Would you believe only a measly $50? That's right. Just $50 bucks. If that doesn't get your heart pounding -- you're dead.


        (Oh, and if you're happy with my work, I would appreciate a testimonial, but that's all.)

        There is some bad news, however...

        To preserve the high quality and personal attention my clients deserve, I'll only be taking on a few clients at a time. Once I'm at capacity, this offer will be closed.


        So act fast before I'm overbooked.

        Sincerely,

        Shanen Smith

        P.S. And, oh yes. Get ready to mop the floor with your competition.


        ---------

        Ok. There it is.

        Note: I don't personally feel this way about experienced copywriters, but I imagine this is what a potential customer new to internet marketing might think without much knowledge of the industry.

        Thoughts?

        P.S. Oh, and videolover7, Carline said that she isn't taking copy cubs at the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I'd highly recommend that you read the book
    The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.

    I doubt that your problem has anything to do with
    your copywriting ability per se.

    When you read the book you'll see what I mean.

    -Ray Edwards
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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    • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
      @debml: I received your PM. Thanks! I just can't respond via PM due to post count, but your advice was warmly received.

      I have no problem discussing the pricing structure because I anticipated getting feedback on that very point. And I'm glad you offered.

      I wanted to be fair since I was just starting out and was hoping (perhaps erroneously) that it would solidify the decision to purchase -- since I lack testimonials or hard results.

      If you or any other experienced copywriters have additional suggestions for me, I'm all ears! And feel free to PM me with any sensitive information you'd prefer not to share openly.

      @RayDal: Thanks for the book recommendation. I will order from Amazon tonight! I saw from your signature that you are also a mentor. Any initial thoughts on the copy?
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      • Hi Shanen,

        The sales letter needs some work - but it'll do for now.

        (but take out the "dreaded newbie" bit - and "everybody is afraid of you" stuff. It's never a good idea to take a pop at other copywriters. Truth is none of us are afraid of anyone else.

        There is nothing wrong with being "new" - turn it into your biggest advantage. A massive USP. You're fully trained, all the technique are fresh in your mind. You are utterly determined to impress clients with incredible response boosting copy...)


        ONE thing that just won't do is your $50.00 price tag.


        After all your study and practice you're worth much more than this.

        And when you "condition" clients that you only charge 50 bucks.

        It'll be hellishly difficult to increase it.

        You don't want a career where you're constantly struggling to make a living.


        Steve


        P.S. If it's a "confidence" problem and you feel you are only worth $50.00.

        Try this - find clients you like and can trust (as best you can).

        Charge a reasonable fee.

        And offer a guarantee - if your copy bombs.
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        • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
          Thanks Steve, I know I'm not really spooking anyone, but I thought it would add a bit of intrigue. I do like your angle about turning the newbie thing into a benefit, so I'll work on that tonight and see what I come up with.

          But what can I charge folks at this level without ripping either of us off??? :confused:
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          • I'm in the UK so it's difficult to give you a dollar amount.

            Have a look at the Warrior Special Offers and the For Hire section - see what others charge - then decide what you want.

            You don't have to state a "set" fee on your "pitch" letter.

            You can entice clients by saying you are extremely "cost effective"

            You're aiming to make them substantially more money than they'll ever pay you.

            Doing this and not mentioning a fee can create a high level of curiosity - which is good.

            When you discuss the "assignment" work out the time you'll spend.

            And quote your fee (based on the research, writing, editing, and what you are genuinely worth).

            You could reduce it - (but be careful - you'll soon see just how long it can take to write excellent copy).

            And say it's a "special discount"

            Because you are "new"

            But reinforce this by saying you'll always be trying harder to bring them fabulous results.

            Or don't give any discount but still say "I'll be trying so much harder to get you the best response"


            Steve


            P.S. Essentially - get the money you need. The way you feel happy about. Write bazzing copy (UK word meaning brilliant). Make the clients stacks of profits - and everybody will be delighted.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I'd highly recommend that you read the book
      The New Pshycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.

      I doubt that your problem has anything to do with
      your copywriting ability per se.

      When you read the book you'll see what I mean.

      -Ray Edwards
      I'll second Ray's recommendation.

      Shanen... Couple of points about your offer.

      Most experienced copywriters won't care about your low offer. A prospective client is willing to spend $50 for a salesletter probably will not spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to hire a more experienced or better known copywriter instead. It's two different segments of the very large pool of businesses and marketers who need copywriting help.

      A client who is willing and able to pay thousands of dollars to hire a top-notch copywriter is hiring them for their experience, expertise, and ability to give their clients the best possible chance of getting a winning promotion.

      But you definitely need to examine your pricing and your own sense of value. How much value are you delivering for your clients?

      How much is your time worth too?

      Suppose you're a really fast copywriter and can do a client project in 8 hours. That's research, writing, editing, proofing, and polishing the salesletter in a day -- even on topics that you're not already familiar with.

      At $50 per letter, you're making less than $7/hour before taxes.

      The other problem with doing $50 letters is you're relying on doing a high volume of work in order to meet your overhead (whatever it might be).

      If your monthly overhead (rent, utilities, etc) is a mere $2K/month then you'd need to do more than 40 projects per month to meet your expenses -- especially after paying taxes.

      Best of luck,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
        Originally Posted by JPRoss View Post

        BTW, it's you're dead, not your dead. That mistake drives me crazy. My daughter does it all the time.

        The other mistake is $50 bucks. It should be either $50 or 50 bucks. Not fifty dollars bucks.
        Ahhh man! I thought I caught all of those! Dangit! Thanks for clarifying, I did waffle on whether to include the dollar sign or not.


        Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

        The problem with selling your work cheap is you start to belive that's all you're worth. Don't do it! Dammit! Don't!

        Your little sales page there is actually decent. You certainly understand something about syntax, formatting and flow. I was kinda impressed until I saw the ridiculous $50 price. Then I went to the bathroom and puked. That's how silly a $50 price is. It's pukeable. There are complete, English-Is-My-4th-Language morons who are able to sell single articles and reviews for $50.

        You aren't trying to appeal to bottom feeders, you're trying to appeal to the freakin' microbes they feed off.

        Starting tomorrow, stand in front of the mirror for 10 minutes twice a day and repeat this to yourself with a big smile:

        I'm an excellent copywriter and I get better every day. I charge $197 for WSO copy and that's a freakin' bargin! With every gig I land the price on the next gig goes up $50. I'm an excellent copywriter and I get better every day... You'll witness miracles. No kidding.

        Good luck!
        LMAO!!! Thanks. I will be sure to do those daily affirmations!

        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        I'll second Ray's recommendation.

        Shanen... Couple of points about your offer.

        Most experienced copywriters won't care about your low offer. A prospective client is willing to spend $50 for a salesletter probably will not spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to hire a more experienced or better known copywriter instead. It's two different segments of the very large pool of businesses and marketers who need copywriting help.

        A client who is willing and able to pay thousands of dollars to hire a top-notch copywriter is hiring them for their experience, expertise, and ability to give their clients the best possible chance of getting a winning promotion.

        But you definitely need to examine your pricing and your own sense of value. How much value are you delivering for your clients?

        How much is your time worth too?

        Suppose you're a really fast copywriter and can do a client project in 8 hours. That's research, writing, editing, proofing, and polishing the salesletter in a day -- even on topics that you're not already familiar with.

        At $50 per letter, you're making less than $7/hour before taxes.

        The other problem with doing $50 letters is you're relying on doing a high volume of work in order to meet your overhead (whatever it might be).

        If your monthly overhead (rent, utilities, etc) is a mere $2K/month then you'd need to do more than 40 projects per month to meet your expenses -- especially after paying taxes.

        Best of luck,

        Mike
        Excellent point Mike! I reviewed your website last night and will (obviously) have to engage your services.

        Entering a relatively new field is exciting for me, but also incredibly daunting and it appears that (yes, through negative self-talk) I am inventing reasons why I shouldn't move forward instead of focusing on reasons why I should.

        Really, thank you all for your invaluable advice. It's helped me to have a more realistic view of what starting out in this business actually entails.

        My next version of the sales letter will be more focused on bottom-line benefits to the customer and less about the vomit-inducing price. (Hands tissue to travelinguy.)
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        • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
          Banned
          Too many people focus on their fears Shanen rather than a world of opportunity which is constantly around them.

          Please don't think, in fact put a stop to it right now with expressions kicking off in your mind such as... What if this goes wrong? What if this goes belly up? Stop it. Full stop. This is just plain old negative thinking raising it's ugly head.

          You're not alone though. Most people to one extent or another have this 'little voice in the back of their heads' saying... Who do you think you are, don't be so silly, get your feet on the ground - your head out of the clouds. Learn to walk before you can run. And fair enough, there might be a shred of truth in some of these thought patterns but...

          ...don't ever allow them to convince you you're not good enough.

          All the copywriters on this forum, no matter whether we've been in the game for decades or just a few years, we're all constantly learning. We're never going to be perfect. We're all going to make some right royal cock ups along the way.

          You just need to keep on convincing yourself that yes you do have the ability. You do have a good skill here. You do understand what it takes to succeed in this business.

          All the change you want to make happen is right there if you can just start believing in yourself more. It's your choice entirely what you choose to believe about yourself.

          If you believe you are a copywriter - you are a copywriter.

          If you choose to believe you're going to be a failure - you will be a failure.

          If you choose to believe you can do this, just go for it, put your best foot forward and enjoy the journey. And reward yourself often on the journey for the little successes you personally bring about.

          Have faith in yourself Shanen - you can do it!

          Kindest regards,


          Mark Andrews
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          • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
            Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post


            If you believe you are a copywriter - you are a copywriter.

            If you choose to believe you're going to be a failure - you will be a failure.
            You guys are awesome. Thank you, Mark. This is spot on. I think I'm ready to go write an award-winning control!! (Where's the fist bump emoticon when you need one?)

            Why didn't I just join this forum 4 years ago? Sheesh!

            Oh, by the way, I looked through the sticky on 'Top Copywriting Books', but I wish there were a sticky for 'Top Copywriting Courses', particularly for 'internet' copywriting.

            I took a course from AWAI years ago that I was less than impressed with (similar sentiments echoed on a recent thread). Since then have read Bly, Makepeace, Kennedy, Slaunwhite, and while I'm sure sales is sales would like to get more insight on writing specifically for internet marketers.

            Have you found anything worth recommending, Mark (or others)?

            Thanks,
            Shanen
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            • Profile picture of the author Grain
              Here's a little magic dust to sprinkle over
              yourself...

              Brand yourself in a specialized niche. Label
              yourself with a unique name perhaps? It
              helps when you temporarily displace yourself
              from your real identity. What is really
              stopping you?

              Take a step back and look at yourself. You're
              not inadequate in anyway. We were born
              with the same brain. The same hands.

              Just different experiences.

              Different conditioning and knowledge.

              You just need courage to break out of
              comfort. If you're a copywriter, grab some
              guts and you'll naturally grow into one.
              Signature

              Kind Regards,
              Grain.

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            • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
              Banned
              Originally Posted by BrandNewbiate View Post

              I wish there were a sticky for 'Top Copywriting Courses', particularly for 'internet' copywriting.

              Have you found anything worth recommending, Mark (or others)?

              Thanks,
              Shanen
              http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...copy-work.html

              Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

              You have a couple of options:

              There are a number of quality copywriters on this forum who mentor others, including in no particular order Ray Edwards, Malcolm Lambe, Mike Humphreys, Vin Montello, Marcia Yudkin, Paul Hancox and Mark Andrews. You might consider approaching them.

              2) David Garfinkel & Brian Mcleod are conducting a pretty intimate copywriting training event May 5th & 6th in San Francisco.

              High-Speed Copywriting Live Workshop - May 5-6, 2012 - San Francisco | Fast Effective Copy

              - Rick Duris
              Kindest regards,


              Mark Andrews
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    It's not that your copy is bad.

    It's certainly not great by any means.

    However...

    Here's where you'll regret EVER thinking this way or potentially putting this out as a WSO or something:

    For $50 a pop, you're getting all the bottom-feeders who don't have a product they truly believe in...

    ...And that's why they're seeking the cheapest copywriter they can find.

    For you, this is gonna absolutely sucks b@lls!

    The kind of people you'll work with will zap you of your energy, creativity and confidence...

    ...which is the exact opposite of what you should do.

    This is NOT the way to break into the business.

    Also...

    At first blush, I'd assume you have money issues.

    In fact...

    I'd take it a step further and assume you have a bad relationship with money, period!

    What you write and HOW you present yourself in your own marketing copy exposes your beliefs, judgments and the way you think.

    And again, my guess is... you'll only attract like-minded people who don't have something to sell that you'll ever feel good writing about.

    I could be way off base here, but I doubt.

    Likewise...

    Focusing on stuff like being a native, English speaking writer or promising quick turnarounds is nonsense.

    After all...

    The way you write demonstrates your expertise of the English language...

    ...and how the hell do you know it'll only take you a week to write MY copy?

    HUH?

    It might take you that long just to interview me, research my market, hone in upon my brand, niche down my audience and position my product in just the right way.

    That being said...

    If your best niches are beauty and healthcare, focus on talking to those prospects.

    The less people you're trying to capture, the more you'll attract.

    But whatever you want to focus upon niche wise, brand yourself WAY better than this.

    Lastly...

    Being NEW is an asset.

    You can sell the sh!t out of that.

    But the way you've done it leaves a bad taste in this copywriter's mouth.

    Mark Pescetti

    P.S. If you aren't confident, your copy comes across feeling desperate, which yours does. Check out Mark Andrew's thread here.
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    • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
      (Ohmigod, Reflection Marketing. Tell me how you really feel. )

      Truthfully speaking, however, I do appreciate your point of view. It's obvious that I really overreached in trying to appeal to the "bottomfeeders", as you insightfully mentioned.

      I'm taking another look at my approach and definitely going back to the drawing board on this one!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    The problem with selling your work cheap is you start to belive that's all you're worth. Don't do it! Dammit! Don't!

    Your little sales page there is actually decent. You certainly understand something about syntax, formatting and flow. I was kinda impressed until I saw the ridiculous $50 price. Then I went to the bathroom and puked. That's how silly a $50 price is. It's pukeable. There are complete, English-Is-My-4th-Language morons who are able to sell single articles and reviews for $50.

    You aren't trying to appeal to bottom feeders, you're trying to appeal to the freakin' microbes they feed off.

    Starting tomorrow, stand in front of the mirror for 10 minutes twice a day and repeat this to yourself with a big smile:

    I'm an excellent copywriter and I get better every day. I charge $197 for WSO copy and that's a freakin' bargin! With every gig I land the price on the next gig goes up $50. I'm an excellent copywriter and I get better every day... You'll witness miracles. No kidding.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author JPRoss
    BTW, it's you're dead, not your dead. That mistake drives me crazy. My daughter does it all the time.

    The other mistake is $50 bucks. It should be either $50 or 50 bucks. Not fifty dollars bucks.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    They are all being too kind. Your copy is crap. Your offer is crap. Your hook is crap. Your pricepoint ...is a joke.

    Start again. Ditch the negativity. Forget the bogus "the established copywriters are afraid of me" BS.

    Tell me why I should hire you? I have a gun to your head.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      They are all being too kind. Your copy is crap. Your offer is crap. Your hook is crap. Your pricepoint ...is a joke.

      Start again. Ditch the negativity. Forget the bogus "the established copywriters are afraid of me" BS.

      Tell me why I should hire you? I have a gun to your head.
      Crap my ass! It's actually not bad. Give the lady a compliment why don't you.

      I mean, I know you have to keep up this Nazi image Mal, it's your positioning and yeah no disputing it - you are an incredible copywriter but sometimes you know...

      ...it doesn't harm to be more kind to other people and compliment them for a job well done.

      Yeah, yeah, yeah heard it all before - the inevitable comeback. Expecting it. The lamblast. The side swipe. It's inevitable like I said. It's what you do.

      For the sake of it though, sometimes I'm puzzled, why you think almost every single solitary piece of sales copy posted here is crap?

      Why not give some of these people credit for trying? Where's the harm in this?

      Do you not remember when you were a greenhorn newbie making tea at the agency, cleaning up the mess of others, point being, everyone has to start somewhere.

      Give the lass a break. Sure she's going to make mistakes. Everyone does when they're starting out. It's how we all learn in this business. But at least she's giving it her best shot for now. All credit to her I say.

      I know what you're doing Mal but the approach is wrong. There's nowt wrong lad with just being a bit more complimentary sometimes.


      Mark Andrews
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      • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
        It's okay, Mark. He kinda reminds me of my mother...hey, waitaminute! Mom?! Why the hell are you using that guy's profile to post on my thread!

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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      They are all being too kind. Your copy is crap. Your offer is crap. Your hook is crap. Your pricepoint ...is a joke.

      Start again. Ditch the negativity. Forget the bogus "the established copywriters are afraid of me" BS.

      Tell me why I should hire you? I have a gun to your head.
      It's not bad copy at all.

      Dead wrong.

      At the end of the day, copy is supposed to elicit emotion.

      It does that for this reader.

      What it lacks is awareness about the consequences for targeting this kind of emotion.

      So from that perspective, I agree with your advice, Mal, just not the wrapping of your message...

      ...I think you believe your own P.R. a little too much.

      Mark Pescetti

      P.S. This about your reputation. Sure, people have short memories, but you always want to make sure you're representing yourself in your integrity. I wrote a thread about this a while back, read it! http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ing-about.html
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      • I read Mal's book - an update on "How to lose friends and alienate people"

        Now whether you agree with him or not (and he's hellbent on playing up his "image").

        But somehow even in a twisted way his intention is to help.

        And his scathing posts are a reminder of just how tough the copywriting world can be.

        That's always worth remembering.

        Steve


        P.S. If he doesn't "thank" me for this post then he can f*** off (lol)
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        • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
          Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

          I read Mal's book - an update on "How to lose friends and alienate people"

          Now whether you agree with him or not.

          And of course he has to keep playing up his "image"

          You can always "ignore" his remarks (but somehow even in a twisted way his intention seems to want to help).

          But his scathing posts are a reminder of just how tough the copywriting world can be.

          And that's always worth remembering.

          Steve
          I haven't met him.

          Regardless...

          I believe it's not what you say, but HOW you say it.

          In other words...

          If he's coming from the sincere desire to HELP, than it's all good.

          However...

          If he's just being an egotistical know-it-all, than he's wasting his own time.

          When I worked for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), the wrestlers had a hard time separating their characters from their REAL identity.

          They'd go out to the bar after shows and still be playing their characters.

          And some of them, even the high paid ones, really got lost.

          My point?

          It's fine to play a character.

          But being sincere is a muscle that must be exercised, before it atrophies.

          Whatever.

          Mark Pescetti
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          • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
            Thanks Mark! That was such a helpful post. I've checked out your blog too. I couldn't wrap my head around all of it, but I do like your overall message about getting rid of limiting beliefs.

            P.S. I tried raw foods too, but settled on being mostly vegan. Food is pleasure for me and I like it hot!
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        • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

          I read Mal's book - an update on "How to lose friends and alienate people"
          No. My book is called "When you've finished your cry...and swallowed your pride...bang this copy out - the client's waiting".
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          • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
            Gotcha, Mal. I'm working on 'banging it out right now. Hopefully, the next version will be less 'crappy'.

            Honestly, I didn't submit my post for a standing ovation. I know it needs work and I understand that folks have different ways of communicating their suggestions.

            I'll take (and could seriously use) all the help I can get, regardless of 'packaging'.
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            • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
              Banned
              Originally Posted by BrandNewbiate View Post

              Gotcha, Mal. I'm working on 'banging it out right now. Hopefully, the next version will be less 'crappy'.

              Honestly, I didn't submit my post for a standing ovation. I know it needs work and I understand that folks have different ways of communicating their suggestions.

              I'll take (and could seriously use) all the help I can get, regardless of 'packaging'.
              That's the spirit. You don't need these other pansies looking out for you.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Reflection Marketing View Post

        At the end of the day, copy is supposed to elicit emotion.
        No. Copy is supposed to move product.



        Being on target is much more important than being facile with words
        Gary Halbert
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  • Profile picture of the author boostmg
    If you have the confidence in your abilities, then just do it now. Learn as you progress. Don't wait for a magic time. You say you have 4 years experience, go for it now and take the leap. People will believe you if you say you are a copywriter, and if your work is good, you've proved it
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Sometimes I do wonder what would happen if someone were to anonymously post for review a proven copy control crafted by a well-known professional copywriter...but one that nobody had read before?

    Baron versus Beagle - The Original "Dogfight" - YouTube
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    Learn more - earn more: Books for Copywriters
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    • Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

      Sometimes I do wonder what would happen if someone were to anonymously post for review a proven copy control crafted by a well-known professional copywriter...but one that nobody had read before?
      Not exactly what you are talking about but interesting:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...te-please.html
      Signature
      Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
      - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author jgrink
    Let me begin by thanking whatever Deity chose Shanen to speak on my behalf. I discovered the copywriter's forum a few weeks ago and in so doing found a career possibility that seems to make a lot of sense for someone who loves to write and has spent most of his adult life in sales. So Shanen, like you, I find myself teetering on the edge of the precipice anxious to leap but hesitant to do so.

    Now I'd like to thank all of you who responded to Shanen (and me). Your kind encouragement and well wishes do a lot to make the jump look easier and the anticipation of the free-fall all that more enticing.

    Jerry
    61-year-old newbie copywriter
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennie Heckel
    Hi Lady Copywriter...

    Your sales letter is a nice try but it really is NOT who you are at all. It all sounds too FAKE and full of HYPE.

    I have to admit... Even though it does have emotion -- it smacks of your low-self esteem as a copywriter. That's a huge problem that needs to be addressed.

    Think of it this way... you can't write copy to sell a product if you don't believe in yourself first. How can you write copy then???

    You sound like this...

    "If I write for you don't expect much because I'm not charging you much...". Not good at all. The price is ridiculous... $50 is for doing a simple outline of the copy they need, not a sales letter that would sell a product. That might work OK for a 500 word Press Release but not a sales letter. You are worth WAY more than that even if you are a newbie!

    You are selling from your heels as Clayton Makepeace would say.

    Please email me, I might be able to work with you and get you going with some reference materials and suggestions for how to get started as a copywriter.

    But to be honest in your sales letter it is all hype. And...It does not sound honest enough for me to want to hire you. Like Mal noted, you need to believe in yourself first. Because if you don't believe you can write a sales letter that sells, how do you sell a client you can?

    That is one of the hardest things to overcome as a copywriter when you launch your career...

    Catch you later,

    Jennie
    Signature
    ******* WSO & JV ZOO COPYWRITER -- VLS & SALES LETTERS PROVEN TO CONVERT ******* Get Higher Profits From Launches That SELL! Proven Copywriter with 17 Years of Copywriting Experience. Contact Me Via Skype: seoexpertconsulting Copywriting Website: http://www.VideoScriptCopywriter.com

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  • Profile picture of the author NickN
    You're ready to launch a copywriting career when Mal completely butt rapes your copy on a public forum.

    Well, at least that's how I got started.
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    • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
      Awesome! LOL!
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      • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
        Excuse my naivete, but do internet marketing copywriters collect royalties for their copy as is the case sometimes in direct mail?

        I love internet marketing, but would like to develop in the most profitable niche I can. Definitely want to tap into an in-demand niche where royalties are common.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jennie Heckel
          Hi Brand Newiate,

          Yes, you can get a percentage.

          Just depends on your "rep." If you have proven yourself with successful launches that make money you can command a higher percentage.

          I won't tell you what my rate is for my percentage, you agree on a rate with the client before you write the copy.

          There are a couple of ways to do it...

          1. You can do a flat rate for the copy only. (most newbies do this before proven.)
          2. You can do a flat rate plus a percentage.
          3. You can do a flat rate plus a percentage plus a bonus for a certain amount of sales.

          Most clients like to pay you after a launch of a product and after the first week and then after the first 30, 60, 90 days for an Internet Marketing Launch.

          So you get a percentage of the NET sales...

          Big difference between gross and NET so be careful there.

          With Clickbank launches REFUNDS can go high, from 10 to 30% or more, depending on the QUALITY of the product and if the people that buy it use it or not.

          Lots of info here if you want to check it out.

          ClickBankSuccessForum.com :: Index

          Now this is just ONE place to market your copywriting services... I do tons of Clickbank (CB) launches, in all sorts of niches, health, wellness, self-improvement and Internet Marketing. I would select a topic you love to write about for your first sales letter and then post it here for a critique.

          You may want to contact a seller on CB and if they have a poor sales letter offer to rewrite it for a percentage of increased sales.

          Lots of ways to go to get started and build a portfolio.

          Just do it!
          Signature
          ******* WSO & JV ZOO COPYWRITER -- VLS & SALES LETTERS PROVEN TO CONVERT ******* Get Higher Profits From Launches That SELL! Proven Copywriter with 17 Years of Copywriting Experience. Contact Me Via Skype: seoexpertconsulting Copywriting Website: http://www.VideoScriptCopywriter.com

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          • Profile picture of the author SMSWriter
            Thanks Jennie. You rock!

            Great information in that post! Thank you!

            Shanen
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  • Profile picture of the author thetrafficguy
    Can you write a winner for yourself?

    Do you feel confident putting up your own money on your salescopy?

    If the answer is no, then you're probably not ready.

    And if you can't write a winner for yourself when you can control everything... its doubtful you'll be able to for others when they are dictating much of the terms.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    Here's my advice to you

    It's like NOVEL WRITING _ everyone wants to write a damn book and while their are tricks of the trade to make sure its a real page turner. You won't get good by reading about books. You have to be willing to sit your ass in a chair and start tapping that keyboard. Put out your fair share of crap and I don't mean have a go for a week then think your John Carlton ( next week )

    Second, DON'T buy into the whole switch and bait technique of clients or copywriters who say you MUST if you want to be taken seriously offer to do copywriting for a percentage rate.

    The whole percentage rate came in with large AD companies who do direct mail and who ALREADY have a proven scenario to work with ( i.e magazine in circulation, X amount of targetted buyers, X amount who already purchase through their ad, and they want to increase the response by having you write a new one. In those cases YES percentage is blood awesome but only a TINY percentage fit that criteria ) for MOST, and I would say probably 99.999 of IM folk online their strategy SUCKS big ass for marketing products, and they assume a sales letter is the FIX ALL strategy. ITS NOT, its ONE of several parts of the SALES ENGINE and if you SCREW up one of the others, don't expect a sales letter even written by the best copywriter in the world to save your ass as it wont.

    Any IM with a lick of sense knows that there is MORE to generating sales than the words written on the sales page. ( Variables, supply and demand, means of traffic, targeted traffic, good product/service, pricing, credibility )

    I believe a long time copywriter said " The best copywriter in the world can't sell S*it"

    If someones product/service is S*it, or their means of marketing it is.. EXPECT poor results

    I don't have to explain it but its like this

    BUILD a NICE house that wows people and try to sell them it and stick it in the middle of the desert with no roads in or out.

    ...Now expect people to be wowed. If they can't see the damn thing.

    ...Get people to visit who don't want or like a house... again don't expect a sale

    the list goes on and on of examples...

    People have to wake up and smell the coffee, making sales requires a combination of factors to be in place not just a sales letter. Though a good sales pitch is vital ( whether that be a sales letter, email, direct mail, video etc )

    I cant begin to tell you the amount of companies and individuals I have come to me and say ' I have a product/service its not selling can you fix it '

    I then go through and ask them what they have in place, what have they done so far, what research did they do before putting it out? and what are they doing to market it.

    Most have not thought it through, they were just told ( you need a sales letter or a direct mail piece ) no one told them their product was a big pile of steamy crap or that they had no credibility, or they had priced it so high when clearly they had not researched their competitors.. and the list goes on...

    When I deal with a client, I'm not just looking to make a fast buck. I want them to get results and if that means telling them to go back to the drawing board before I write one letter of copy. So be it.. I won't bullsh*t a client. They deserve better than that.
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