First thing, shout out to Rick Duris, for his post about Black Friday profits (THANKS Rick), which triggered my chain of thinking and secondly, this is an opinion.
The number one thing wrong with the majority of Warriors, including you if you want to become a decently paid copywriter is…
SHORT SIGHTEDNESS. You make yourself suffer with your short term thinking.
One can see this in the popular post on What to do when you are desperate. Need fast money? Here is a Joe Karbo formula: A-D-S. Ask – Do – Sell. Examples? Sure, brief ones so I can get back on point:
Ask- man on corner with cardboard sign. Steve Jobs for investors in APPLE.
Do – Kids knocking on doors to shovel snow. Wayne Huizenga picking up trash, doing what others did not want to do.
Sell. TV on craigslist, sold in minutes with right price. Aristotle Onassis selling supertankers.
See? Need money, use the ADS formula.
Rick Duris shared his large chunk of change Black Friday story with us, although most of you don’t have the ability to execute it, not yet anyhow. However, if you start NOW, and plan for Black Friday 2014, almost everyone here could do it. Most won’t and the reason is you are stuck in your need to make money NOW situations and you don’t have long term thinking.
Let me share some real life with you, OK? In 1974 I was commissioned to create and acquire products for the American Bicentennial which was 2 years away. In some ways I felt very “rushed” to do this. Another example is I was asked to create and acquire products for Pope John Paul II death almost 4 years before he passed away.
This is longer term thinking, the kind of thinking which builds huge businesses and profits.
When I was writing ads for major retail chains, my Black Friday deadline was July 4th. Rarely did they go into Sept. without a full layout of their Holiday promotions although once in a while they left a slug space for some hot product.
Some people, today, right now, are working on promotions for Christmas 2015. TWO years from now. What were you doing 2 years ago? Went fast didn’t it?
Your golf promotions for Spring should be done. Your July 4th offers should be ready to go.
The Fat Season (Jan-Mar) promotion for weight loss should be ready to go, is yours?
Every week we see a supposed marketer post how he needs some FAST copy because he put it last on his to do list…when WE know it should be one of the very first things to do when selling products. Short sighted thinking. It is a disease which kills dreams.
There is a PARADE OF LIFE taking place and at the same time, there are unforeseen EVENTS (like 9/11) which brings everything to a standstill. BUT, most of the time we KNOW what is coming down the road. Political elections, a CASH cow for any competent copywriter, are clockwork events.
Sporting events. Personal milestones like graduations, marriage, babies. This is PARADE OF LIFE activity which YOU can cash in on if you change your thinking from short term to longer term thinking.
OK, here’s some practical advice to go along with this opinion; start NOW collecting ads and promotions for this holiday season and start a NEW swipe file, and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. See what retailers are clearing off the shelves and visit as many as you can.
See what goes on sale the day after Christmas and what “dogs” do they rid themselves of in Jan. clearance sales.
Collect as much “junk” mail as you can, sort it out in cardboard boxes, throw all magazines in one, all magalogs in another, letters in still another. ASK friends and family to keep it for you, and pick it up often. Ask yourself WHY is Uncle Bill receiving all those hunting and gun promotions (hint, a member NRA? Local hunting and fishing club?).
Match the promotions to the people you know with the promotions they receive and it is like an education in Direct Marketing you couldn’t even pay for. Use the real world, and not just some Warrior’s opinion (except mine, of course…HA!) on how or what to do.
So, what is your HOLIDAY 2014 strategy? I think Rick Duris gave you a great model to use, and your local mail, newspaper ads give you the real facts and figures on businesses spending money on PROMOTIONS, most all of which were written by a copywriter who probably isn’t desperate, and has longer term thinking going on.
PS. What movies are coming out? GOOD reference, I had products in development a year before the movie TITANIC came out, even we were amazed at the movie’s success and quite happy we had products ready to go. See the future and prepare for it and I guarantee, if we are around as a species, there will be BooKoo (pardon my French) bux to be made next Christmas.
PPS or PSS if you prefer... calm down East Coast... I've got products ready to go for...
The Browns winning the Superbowl, the Indians winning the Series or Cavs winning NBA title...heck, some of them have been ready for DECADES... hope springs eternal.