The biggest things preventing cubs from going pro

9 replies
As some of you may know, lately I've been hiring cubs.

That means a LOT of looking at samples.

Seriously... I've probably looked at 200+ pieces of copy in the last few days (though I'll admit it's mostly skimming/half reading.)

Having seen so many, I'm starting to get a sense of where junior copywriters are at.

Here's the thing...

Most of the people I put on the books were good writers.

Some were even great writers.

(To clarify, I'm talking about the actual writing only... not the salesmanship, which is a different element.)

But almost all of them were missing the big picture.

See, everything in your promotion hangs on the big idea.

It's your hook and angle... it's the thing that separates you from everyone else.

And it's showcased in your intro (headline, lead, etc)

If you don't make that stand out from everyone else in the market... you're screwed.

That means...

NO 75-word MEGA headlines...

NO starting with tired openers...

and NO starting with just benefits.

CURIOSITY is what will get back reading.

Ironically, if you want to be a successful copywriter, you need to be a lot more than a copywriter.

You need to be a marketing strategist.

You need to know the market and come up with the unique angle/positioning that's going to take this offer to the top.

That's how you get the big winners.

And that's how you turn yourself from someone charging $500 a letter to someone charging $5,000 - $10,000 a letter plus points (or higher).

Just some thoughts while I'm on the loo (stay classy, San Diego.)

-Daniel
#biggest #cubs #preventing #pro #things
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Well put, Daniel.

    - Rick Duris

    PS: You know a copywriter's busy when he writes on the loo.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
    This deserves to be a sticky.
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    • Profile picture of the author MagneticKopy
      Originally Posted by Matt Ausin View Post

      This deserves to be a sticky.
      I second that notion.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    Wow! That was a tear jerker and it is what Gary Halbert tried to get through thick skulled writers like myself. And it is the #1 thing that will make or break your conversion rates. The second is having a good story to tell (my opinion), because stories work.

    Thanks Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Daniel... 2 simple sentences you wrote can literally help any rookie or newer copywriter here.

    In fact, after 13 years of copywriting and reading every book known to man on the subject... these 2 sentences REALLY show what's important.

    Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

    It's your hook and angle... it's the thing that separates you from everyone else.

    And it's showcased in your intro (headline, lead, etc)

    If you don't make that stand out from everyone else in the market... you're screwed.

    -Daniel
    Like you, I've hired a lot of copywriters, and for me, the only thing i need to read is their lead/intro to their samples.

    Most of your letter's success hinges on the lead... which is the headline and intro. Michael Masterson, in his book on leads says that 80% of a letter's success is due to the lead.

    Of course, that's after the list/traffic and the offer.

    A writer's lead is all I need to read to determine if I hire them.

    And the other thing you wrote about... being unique and standing out from everyone else... that's been the #1 thing that I've tried to use in my copy, and teach others.

    If you don't have a really big idea and valid/unique difference, why the hell would anyone go with you or your product/service.

    Being unique and different... and having that unique hook and angle, it's literally the one thing I'll spend most of my time on.

    Anyways, great post and Happy New Year.

    I just thought it was amazing to see, in the same post, advice on the lead of copy and also the uniqueness angle... 2 of THE most important parts of any campaign.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post


      Being unique and different... and having that unique hook and angle, it's literally the one thing I'll spend most of my time on.
      That's only part of the winning edge Shawn.
      Being different in itself isn't enough.

      The difference has to be an advantage
      to the reader.

      We saw Ross Bowring bravely post about his Frank Kern
      angle and how it bombed.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        That's only part of the winning edge Shawn.
        Being different in itself isn't enough.

        The difference has to be an advantage
        to the reader.

        We saw Ross Bowring bravely post about his Frank Kern
        angle and how it bombed.

        Best,
        Ewen
        Exactly, Ewen... I should have expanded that thought... but was in a rush.

        I often take for granted that most folks here KNOW that anything you write, really, should be to forward the prospect along... that it should be a benefit and offer an advantage.

        BUT... having seen a lot of copy from newer writers here, I shouldn't assume anything.

        but you're right... what makes you different AND how is that directly related to what the prospect wants.

        I always come back to Domino's... how they used their "30 minute guarantee" as their difference, and how it was directed at those who just wanted pizza fast.

        And FedEx... when it had to absolutely, positively be there overnight.

        That's why I said I spend my time on the uniqueness factor, because it really is the one area you can stand out... and like you said Ewen, it MUST be something the prospect wants.

        THAT is a huge mistake I used to make years ago... and see a lot of writers making now.

        They find a uniqueness about themselves... something that helps them stand out, but I'm not quite sure the market cares about that.

        Gotta line those 2 up... and if anyone wants a GREAT resource for learning how to uncover uniqueness... Google "Sean D'Souza".
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

    Ironically, if you want to be a successful copywriter, you need to be a lot more than a copywriter.

    You need to be a marketing strategist.

    You need to know the market and come up with the unique angle/positioning that's going to take this offer to the top.

    That's how you get the big winners.

    And that's how you turn yourself from someone charging $500 a letter to someone charging $5,000 - $10,000 a letter plus points (or higher).
    I see a lot of newer copywriters trying too hard to come up with a unique hook (assuming they realize they need one at all.)

    They end up churning out grandiose, hype-filled junk.

    But when there is a hook, it's very often omitted throughout the copy.

    A good hook is the glue that creates continuity, flow, and yes, curiosity throughout the copy.

    Mark
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