Don't Piss Off a Copywriter

22 replies
I'm a fan of Kelly Felix, and a member of his Bring the Fresh site.

Kelly posted on his Facebook about getting into an altercation at a pet store in Temecula, CA regarding their "puppy mill" operation. The owner locked the doors and called the police. It ended peacefully but it ain't over.

As Kelly pointed out in Facebook, they pissed off someone who's pretty good at SEO. I've no idea what he has in store for the pet shop, but I wouldn't want to be him. I've already seen him get slammed with negative comments on google places and facebook.

Anyway, I digress. I was talking about copywriters.

We're not exactly powerless either. And when you have a copywriter with over 50 sites sitting on the first page of google (yours truly), it's safe to say I know a little SEO too.

So let's talk hypothetical for a minute...

You recruit my services. I've written in your niche before and know the market very well. You send me your product, testimonial and latest research as well as your observations about what works in your particular niche.

I break my ass writing you a letter on "spec" because you're a known guy, a real baller.

Then you stiff me and don't even use my letter. All the while, you were planning something completely different. So you knowingly let me waste a week of my time developing something you'd never use.

Well, here comes the clue train.

I AM going to use it, just not for your product. For my own product. And I'll use everything I learned in your product as well as other research I did. I mean seriously, I've already gotten a sales letter and know the market, why the hell not?

Will you feel the sting? Seriously, probably not. But I'll get my money one way or another and the fact is, if it's going in my pocket, it ain't going in yours.
#copywriter #piss
  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    Kelly posted on his Facebook about getting into an altercation at a pet store in Temecula, CA regarding their "puppy mill" operation. The owner locked the doors and called the police. It ended peacefully but it ain't over.
    If you don't mind me asking, what actually happened?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      We also have long bloody memories.

      And especially at the lower end of the copywriting fee scale, believe you me, I've seen it all.

      From supplying the copy to being chargedback several times and winning pretty much every single case with Paypal to outright blackmail... 'you pay me all my money back by such and such a date or I'll use the SEO software against you to ruin your name for good'... to people who flat out have never paid their balance outstanding owed.

      Yes, I remember all of you and I'm just biding my time.

      Don't think for a second that my knowledge isn't vast on a large range of Internet marketing subjects, I too know some pretty nifty 'tricks of the trade'. Including SEO. Inside out.

      Catch me in a bad enough mood one of these days and I might just think it's time for you to pay back one way or another the money you still owe to me. You know who you are.

      Play with me and you play with fire.

      Mess me around, waste my time, order my services with no intention of paying and I might just come back and bite you in the ass.

      And the one guy who still owes me $750, I've still got your eBook here, all of it - complete.

      I never did sell it to make up for the outstanding balance you owed me after supplying your copy to you but I've certainly not forgotten the experience even if this was 3 years ago.

      Sue me all you like if one day I use the material but I will make you pay one way or another the money you owe to me.


      Blame the copywriter, blame the copywriter, yeah, yeah, yeah - whatever.

      Next time try and send some actual targeted traffic to your offer page rather than the cold stone traffic you were obviously buying via some stupid bot program. Some of you seriously need your heads examining.

      There's a reason why I demand 100% upfront payment these days because I'm fed up to the back teeth of a lot of you lying, backstabbing business cheats out there who'll do anything to stamp on everyone else just to get yourself the money you think you deserve.

      Smooth talking white washed graves on the outside but on the inside a nestful of vipers.

      Remember two can play your game.


      Mark Andrews
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      • Now I am stunned.

        Are you saying the good people on the internet are sometimes lacking in integrity?


        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

          Now I am stunned.

          Are you saying the good people on the internet are sometimes lacking in integrity?


          Steve
          What I am saying is that everyone who comes into your 'shop' doesn't always come through the door with good intentions.

          Just as it is on the High Street... a few of the people coming through the door are outright thiefs and shoplifters who have no intention of paying you for wasting your time.

          Naively, I used to believe the best in everyone. These days... I'm a lot more suspicious and take a lot more steps to weed out anyone who I believe will cause my business trouble but inevitably one or two will still slip through the net.

          Newbie copywriters coming into this business, eyes open wide in wonder often have little or no idea at all what some people will try on to get away without paying the money that they owe.

          As I said, I think by now I must have seen every trick in the book pulled on me at one time or another.

          Since essentially it's a digital service we're offering (not tangible physical goods (which can be sent through the post with proof of postage)) it's very easy often for people to try and pull one over on the unsuspecting greenhorn copywriter.

          My advice? Save all your work in every instance into a PDF document and definitely keep all of your email communications.

          If someone does a chargeback via Paypal as long as you've got everything to hand, you can dispute the chargeback with Paypal and send them everything you've got including proof of the original agreement and contract to pay you once the copy has been sent to the client.

          The money they paid you will be instantly deleted often from your Paypal balance once a chargeback has been initiated.

          If you've already sent this money to your bank account quite often your Paypal balance will go into the red.

          Not to worry, just go the Resolution Center where you can claim the money initially paid as rightfully belonging to you for digital services and consulting time rendered to the client in question.

          Make sure you mention to them that copywriting also involves naturally research time and consultative marketing advice - time which has to be paid for.

          Do this and Paypal will very often understand your situation and refund you although it may take some time to sort out. They often deal with situations such as this and understand the score.

          Just be reasonable with them. Explain yourself clearly and succinctly and stick to the facts. Often you'll find they will sympathize with you if you handle this professionally.

          When they do refund you the money owed to you it will be deposited back into your Paypal account.

          Other ways you can get around this problem is to insist on a cleared cheque / check as a form of payment in advance or of course a direct bank wire transfer if you're at all concerned about using Paypal as a payment processor.

          Another option use Escrow.

          Warmest regards,


          Mark Andrews
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          • Well, in all my years in the wonderful world of copywriting.

            I've learned essential things about clients.

            Choose them carefully.

            The vast majority are good.

            It greatly helps if your writing is good. If you short change a client - expect them to short change you.

            If you can do breathtakingly brilliant writing you can even turn a "crook" into a willing payer.

            But...

            If someone is hell bent on ripping you off.

            They will. It was always their intention to do it.


            Somehow they slipped through the safety net (make it stronger).

            I don't have the time for fights, disputes, revenge, battles or all out war.

            It costs way too much. And zaps you of your energy.

            It's so much easier just to get new decent, honest and truthful clients.

            Thankfully it's very rare - but when I get robbed. I just take the hit.


            Yes, of course tell the perpetrator how "disappointed" you are - after all your hard work and the stunning results it produced.

            Sometimes it can jolt their conscience. If not...

            Just move on.


            Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
              Banned
              True. At the end of the day your time is valuable.

              If you can make more profit taking the hit and moving on, don't dwell on it and just move on to a more profitable use of your time.

              And learn from the experience.

              Thanks Steve.


              Mark Andrews
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            • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
              Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

              I don't have the time for fights, disputes, revenge, battles or all out war.

              It costs way too much. And zaps you of your energy.

              It's so much easier just to get new decent, honest and truthful clients.

              Thankfully it's very rare - but when I get robbed. I just take the hit.

              Just move on.
              I'm not in a fight, Steve. I'm just going to make lemonade from the lemon I have been given.

              My point isn't really revenge, my point is, I've done some serious work, why throw it away. I've got a half dozen clickbank products already. With the letter I wrote, I can have another one in a few days. And then, I'll start getting paid for my effort.
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              • Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

                I'm not in a fight, Steve. I'm just going to make lemonade from the lemon I have been given.

                My point isn't really revenge, my point is, I've done some serious work, why throw it away. I've got a half dozen clickbank products already. With the letter I wrote, I can have another one in a few days. And then, I'll start getting paid for my effort.

                Bruce,

                I know - although it was a bloody miserable thing to happen.

                You did what I would do - move on.

                And you quite rightly have an excellent piece of copy which you are completely free to use.

                And as you said get fully paid (and hopefully much more) for all the effort.


                Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
              Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

              I don't have the time for fights, disputes, revenge, battles or all out war.

              It costs way too much. And zaps you of your energy.

              It's so much easier just to get new decent, honest and truthful clients.

              Thankfully it's very rare - but when I get robbed. I just take the hit.
              I'm not a Copywriter (as such) however if I were that would pretty much be my philosophy too. Good post. : )
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              "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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  • Profile picture of the author engulf
    People will be people. They'll always have their own purposes and agendas, not much to do about that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    I'm a fan of Kelly Felix, and a member of his Bring the Fresh site.

    Kelly posted on his Facebook about getting into an altercation at a pet store in Temecula, CA regarding their "puppy mill" operation. The owner locked the doors and called the police. It ended peacefully but it ain't over.

    As Kelly pointed out in Facebook, they pissed off someone who's pretty good at SEO. I've no idea what he has in store for the pet shop, but I wouldn't want to be him. I've already seen him get slammed with negative comments on google places and facebook.

    Anyway, I digress. I was talking about copywriters.

    We're not exactly powerless either. And when you have a copywriter with over 50 sites sitting on the first page of google (yours truly), it's safe to say I know a little SEO too.

    So let's talk hypothetical for a minute...

    You recruit my services. I've written in your niche before and know the market very well. You send me your product, testimonial and latest research as well as your observations about what works in your particular niche.

    I break my ass writing you a letter on "spec" because you're a known guy, a real baller.

    Then you stiff me and don't even use my letter. All the while, you were planning something completely different. So you knowingly let me waste a week of my time developing something you'd never use.

    Well, here comes the clue train.

    I AM going to use it, just not for your product. For my own product. And I'll use everything I learned in your product as well as other research I did. I mean seriously, I've already gotten a sales letter and know the market, why the hell not?

    Will you feel the sting? Seriously, probably not. But I'll get my money one way or another and the fact is, if it's going in my pocket, it ain't going in yours.
    Hey man,

    Definitely feel your pain, had something very similar happen. Ignored my own rule of no money upfront and putting myself in a position to potentially work for free. Guru friend, huge list, wanted a partnership ...etc. I figured it was ok because I knew the guy and he's always talking about integrity ...etc.

    I could have easily become angry and resentful but I chose to use it as a lesson. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way people don't value what's free. Money = commitment.

    Anyways, kudos to you for looking to make a positive out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    So let's talk hypothetical for a minute...

    You recruit my services. I've written in your niche before and know the market very well. You send me your product, testimonial and latest research as well as your observations about what works in your particular niche.

    I break my ass writing you a letter on "spec" because you're a known guy, a real baller.

    Then you stiff me and don't even use my letter. All the while, you were planning something completely different. So you knowingly let me waste a week of my time developing something you'd never use.

    Well, here comes the clue train.

    I AM going to use it, just not for your product. For my own product. And I'll use everything I learned in your product as well as other research I did. I mean seriously, I've already gotten a sales letter and know the market, why the hell not?

    Will you feel the sting? Seriously, probably not. But I'll get my money one way or another and the fact is, if it's going in my pocket, it ain't going in yours.
    You claim this to be a hypothetical situation and would stay in
    that world for me. If I wrote on spec then I deserve that kind
    of treatment.

    And I can't see myself using a client information to get back
    at them. My confidentiality agreement would prevent me
    from doing such--two wrongs wouldn't make a right.

    I've refunded a $10,000 job because the client was rude
    and I had all the information about the business and never
    used it for my advantage.

    If you write on spec you are saying that you expect to
    get nothing as one of the outcomes. Even if you're
    deceived in the process take the high road.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Capitalist_Pig
    Not copywriting, but I had a guy on WF stiff me $50 for some web development work he needed done. It was pretty small, so I did it on spec over lunch and sent it to him before getting paid so he could make his launch that day.

    The guy immediately stopped answering my calls, and has ignored me since.

    Two months later, the report I filed with ICANN got looked at, and they tried to contact the guy. Ooops, looks like his domain registrant info was incorrect! He ended up losing his domain over the deal, and the 2k or so per day organic hits he was getting from Google. His whole launch and 2 months of SEO, gone, over $50.
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Bruce, you took a shot and it didn't turn out. There was always that possibility. Lost some time. No harm done. It's a live and learn scenario.

      Frankly, you should be admired. At least I admire you for going for it. Few (compared the many who saw the opportunity) did.

      I say all this with a frame of reference as a copywriter who works on contingency as a preference.

      - Rick Duris
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  • Profile picture of the author dancaron
    Bruce,

    If you're referring to my contest, then you should know that your copy is being tested.

    Over the last few weeks, we've been working with a few major publishers to get about 100k worth of additional media lined up for the contest. When you buy media, there is a review process. We needed to get approvals first, before moving forward with the test.

    Regardless, the test is running and collecting data. Something else you should be aware of is that the split-test also cookies your machine and will not show variations, unless you know how to disable cookies in your browser.

    I've been in touch with several of the copywriters that wrote copy for my contest, and all of them have been very patient and professional. If you are indeed referring to my contest, then by all means, feel free to shoot me an email anytime.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Why does everyone assume to know what I'm talking about? I'm just venting and not looking to point any fingers, which is why I kept it anonymous.

    Dan, glad to hear things are being tested. I did assume you cookie your visitors in the split test. It does seem that many people are seeing the hand scribed site, as I am. I'm not sure testing video slides vs that is a fair fight.

    I've recently enlisted a great cartoonist here in Cancun. Because I'm getting her cheap, I'm going to be offering video scribed copy at a much lower rate than currently found on the net. Working on a few promo videos for my own products at the moment.
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    • Profile picture of the author videolover7
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      Why does everyone assume to know what I'm talking about? I'm just venting and not looking to point any fingers, which is why I kept it anonymous.
      What is equally perplexing is why a copywriter of your caliber, who knows human nature the way you do, would expect the opposite.

      VL
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  • Profile picture of the author markpocock
    Dan has always responded promptly to my inquiries about
    his contest.
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    And have the secrets A-List Copywriters - David Garfinkel & Parris Lampropoulos
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Personally I've never had any problems.

    Probably because I ask for whole the fee upfront. And I get it.

    If someone disagrees with that, I don't take the job on. It's that simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Hmm.

    Mu post just got deleted. And I don't know why.
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