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NOTABLE! 6-Figures In 12 Months Copywriting. Quit Job. Here's How I Did It:

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by Joe Cassandra, May 12, 2017.

  1. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I stumbled back on the Forum from some late night reading. Figured I could share my story. Even if it helps just one person.

    In no way am I some 'hot shot millionaire.' Not even close. But, this past year has been life-changing, and could help you.

    If you look at my profile, I haven't been on this forum for a couple years.

    You can browse through at past threads and failures I've tried (I put them on my Linkedin as well). I don't hide them. Because failures make you who you are.

    I'm not a manufacturer, a designer, an engineer, coder, or even an average handyman.

    I discovered, from my failures, I love writing sales copy and I'm good at it (goal: be the best).

    [You can only connect the dots looking back...]

    Growing up, I always wanted to be an accountant...yuck...Kids in middle school laughed at me when I told them.

    I imagined looking sleek in an expensive suit, pulling up in my Mercedes to a Fortune 500 office. Then, walking into my CFO office...the slowlane reeking through my white shirt.

    Well, there was I problem...

    I found out I sucked at accounting.

    My last job, working in a CPA firm in Dallas, my boss subtly mentioned multiple times it wasn't right for me. The first time was after I took "too much initiative." The firm was planning on spending 5-figures on a new Wordpress site.

    Outraged... I went home. Next, I pulled up ThemeForest, and spent the weekend creating a great, new site for just $50 with sub-par design skills.

    Monday rolled around and I got an angry call due to potential "SEC" violations that could happen as I had made the site live [didn't even know there was an 'on' button].

    That incident pushed me into finding more about myself and what I loved. After many more failures, I found my love of copywriting.

    Slow burn of getting clients:

    There's two routes you can go as a copywriter:

    1. Make your own products and promote (think Clickbank)
    2. Or, pick up clients one-by-one

    I picked door #2.

    Worst mistake I made starting: I was a 'general' copywriter. I reached out to local businesses, any company I thought interesting...etc. I made crummy YouTube videos for each prospect telling thing what their ads are doing wrong.

    Another tactic: I'd go through their site and make suggestions on things they could do to increase conversions. Great value, right?

    Terrible idea. Giving away the milk is dumb. Not good salesmanship. Learned that the hard way with lots of wasted time.

    Moving along...

    I managed to pick up a few clients from cold outreach. Not much. A few thousand bucks here and there.

    During that time, my wife and I had a child, and were wanting to move across the country back near my family in Georgia. My wife stays at home so it's my job to bring home the cake.

    After squirreling away $15,000 in savings from client work, I sat down with my wife. We picked a date...Feb 1, 2016...for me to quit my accounting job and do copywriting full-time.

    Mind you --- $15,000 is around 3-4 months of living expenses with health insurance, student loans, car payment, a baby etc.

    Still...I had toyed with entrepreneurship for years. I heard the older you get, the less risk you take. Plus, I saw the Steve Harvey video about the "Jump" and I knew it was time to fly or die.

    ----------------

    Before I go on...you might think: "Freelance writing is not fastlane!"

    If we're getting down-to-earth technical...sure, it's not.

    If I stopped writing tomorrow [minus commissions from promotions] I'd make $0.

    But, I feel this step in my life (at the age of 29) is not the last step in terms of my entrepreneurship ventures.

    On my goals list (I read everyday)...I include other income streams I'm working towards:
    • Option trading
    • Speculative stock trading
    • Real estate investing/flipping
    • Helping my wife open a bakery (she's an incredible baker)
    • Screenwriting (I believe we're entering a new 'golden age' of TV...more and more networks need great scripts. Screenwriting is my budding hobby when I'm not copywriting for work...interesting life I lead...)
    It's just the start. I'm enjoying the journey and getting to work when + where I want.

    What I've always struggled with: Not being gracious for this moment and what I have.
    It's a typical American mindset. Never having enough.

    I know some on here aren't spiritual/religious, but I find having a relationship with God helps my relationship with my wife and daughter.
    -------------

    Anyway...

    Back to juicy parts.

    For the first few months of self-employment, you feel weird. Suddenly, you don't have a boss breathing down your neck. You don't have to pretend to like your cube-mates.

    And...most of all...

    You don't have to sit in freakin' traffic 2 hours/day. Geez, what a time suck. Great time to catch up on podcasts, but that's it.

    Being self-employed frees you from that.

    But, you get new worries.
    • What if we go broke?
    • What if I really suck at this?
    • What if we have to move in with my parents? My wife would probably leave me.
    You're ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE THESE QUESTIONS. There is never a perfect time to quit your job and start working for yourself.

    It's like having a baby. You can plan until the cows come home. At some point, you just gotta bite the bullet.

    One of my first days, I was paralyzed. Laying on our bed, heart pounding, looking up at the ceiling. My wife walks in and asks, "What are you doing? "

    With short breath, I admit, "I don't know what I'm doing...I can't do this..." A moment of self-pity. It happens. We talked. Long-story-short, I pulled up my boots and kept going.

    For months, we slid by. I had a few projects here and there. Reaching out cold to companies (hundreds) and getting little back. Still being a generalist.

    Then, I had an epiphany.

    I hated accounting. But, I loved finance. Stock markets, Motley Fool, all that jazz...it's fun for me to read and watch. Money makes the world go around. Understand money, you understand what's going on in the world.

    "I'll write copy for financial companies" I claimed.

    Great, right?

    I figured: 'Financial advisors need more clients all the time. I'll write for them! Have a zillion clients! Bwhaha!'

    Well, I talked with over 50 FAs on the phone. Zero wanted to hire me! A few even said "Yes, send over the contract." We had agreed on the price and everything. Contract sent.

    Never heard from them again.

    What I found: FAs are: Conservative, money-tight, understand ZERO about marketing or its importance, and have probably been burned before.

    Okay. Panicking again with a failed niche...

    I reached out to a random gold company with a $2 bill attached to a direct mail letter. It worked!

    This gold company needed copy to opt-in for an ebook for their gold IRAs. Suddenly, a whole new door opened. Because that company introduced me to financial publishers.

    You know them: Agora, Stansberry...etc.

    They need copy ALL THE TIME...and they pay well for it + commissions.

    Before some of you start with the hate: "Oh, those financial publishers are all scammers. They say you can get rich, rich, rich. BS!"

    I'm not going to touch on this much.

    Yes, some financial publications are iffy. Some Agora copy makes some bold claims. But, Agora is a 9-figure business...and has been for awhile. They do have some unhappy campers...but, many aren't.

    I've seen behind-the-curtain of many publisher products, and many are very good. Especially if you don't know much about investing or have the time to do all the research.

    Yes, some analysts' products pick wrong stocks more often than not. Every industry has their good & bad companies.

    I digress....

    The point to take from this:
    Find an area that already pays for what you offer!!!

    I wasted months and months trying to "educate then sell..." It's a tough hill to climb my friend.
    If someone doesn't already understand why they should eat organic over pizza...it's a much tougher sell than someone who already buys organic!

    Find someone already buying what you want. Then comes the real moneymaker...

    The beauty of a 'niche'

    Sure, having a niche means you know more about the industry than others blah blah.

    But, the real riches is something else...let me tell you...

    When you work in a niche, you can leverage one client into all the others!

    If you say: "I worked with Toyota..." going up to Nissan is a much, much easier sell. Because they know you speak the language. You already understand the industry.

    Today, I work with mostly financial publications. Picked up a few other clients in other industries from referrals. But, mostly just target fin pubs.

    In the last 12 months:
    • Made over 6-figures just in copywriting fees (not commissions)
    • Written 6-figure promotions
    • Used my healthy fees to invest in our old house before selling it. Saw a 300% return on the investment [wouldn't make enough at the J.O.B. to do this]
    • Moved to GA, bought my wife her dream house
    • On track to make 6-figures again this year working from home at my own pace
    Main Lessons:
    • Accept where you are now. Put a little effort each day. I wake up excited on Mondays to work. I stay up late excited to work. Do I stress about failing still? Yes. Duh.
    • Failing is always, always, always part of the process. Every time. 100% of the time.
    • Try to leverage clients into each other. Much easier sale.
    • Sell to people already buying what you sell. Once you get that running...then, broaden
    • I started off worrying "This isn't fastlane." But, I'm building up my capital into more passive streams in the future. I'm accepting where I am now and taking strides to get where I'm going
    • You will always think you're going to fail. There will never be an absolute best time to start a new venture/work for yourself. You just have to trust yourself, God, the universe. As humans, it's funny. If you're ambitious and driven enough, you figure shit out. You just do. Yes, hard times will come. But, we're survivors. We figure out how to survive.
     
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  2. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    One word: amazing!

    Q: if you don't mind, how did you get good at copy? Did you take an online course or read several books?

    Thank you for posting this! :thumbsup:
     
  3. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Love it. Great work.

    After you get your process worked out, perhaps think about creating a productized service around your copywriting process. Check out the book "Built to Sell" to get the basic concept.
     
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  4. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    In terms of writing long copy for clients...it was all 'trial by fire.'

    I've been fired from multiple long copy projects when I first started because I was still learning. They looked at my first draft...said 'meh, not going to work out...' and fired me.

    You just get used to it...get better...

    It's very cutthroat. That's the truth when you start writing copy for companies doing millions of dollars. I wish I could say you can perfect your craft on cheap Upwork gigs, but I feel you will learn faster when the stakes are higher. But, that's just me.


    Exact steps for writing copy...that could take forever.
    I wrote a post on Quora I'll put here: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-learn-copywriting

    --------------------
    QUORA POST:
    First.

    You have to love to write. You'll be writing over and over. You'll be editing. Clients will look at a piece you spent 5 hours and in 2 minutes will put red lines through it.

    You'll feel like a failure, but that's what you deal with when you get into the "creative" world. Everyone has an opinion.

    As Don Draper says in one of my favorite interactions talking about copywriting and its process, "People think monkeys can do this"

    Does Sex Sell? (youtube)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    When talking about writing copy, "They can't do what we do, and they hate us for it."

    Point is? You need thick skin because what you do will get changed by everyone from the CFO to the janitor. Be ready to stand behind your work. Writing can be one of the most vulnerable things you do.

    How do I become a Master?

    Read and learn from the best:

    Read: Gary Halbert, John Carlton, David Ogilvy's books, Joseph Sugarman's book, Bob Bly has a great (long) book on all the tactics of copywriting.

    It doesn't stop there. Keep going.

    Reading a book is only 5% of it. Look at ads you see in magazines, newspapers, on TV. Is what is written interesting and making me want to act?

    Open your junk mail (yes all those Time Warner Cable bulk mails sent out) and read their copy.

    Typically, it's horrible. Alot of *flash* and *huzzah* without any substance. The reason for all this?

    You see what others are doing and what NOT to do (and what you should be doing).

    That's another 10% (notice we're only at 15%).

    If you don't absolutely love reading copy others do to learn from it, you're not going to enjoy this profession. Gary Halbert typically tore out ads he thought were great and kept them in a "Swipe" file. Every time he wrote copy, he pulled them all out for inspiration.

    Pick up a Pen

    For every new piece of copy, start with a brain dump. Look at the product or service, describe the benefits, what does a customer feel when using it, WHY should they buy it.

    A secret?

    Write down every reason a customer will say "NO" and then in your writing, subtly, answer those questions.

    This is the brain dump process. You aren't editing. All ideas are "good" at this point.

    Next...

    Step away. You need time for your brain to organize thoughts. Go read, go walk, go play, go have sex. Anything but thinking about what's written. It's called the Incubation period.

    What you'll find is you'll be taking a shower, walking, having sex, then EUREKA, an idea will hit that will connect different ideas together.

    You'll jump out of shower (or the bed) and go and write some more. Here you are still not editing yourself, but developing your flow.

    Write your Headline

    This is the most important piece. Have you ever caught yourself flipping through a magazine and realize you've skipped most of it?

    Sure. Want to know the reason?

    Because the headlines didn't GRAB you. They didn't reach out of the page and catch your attention to tell your brain "Hey, this is interesting."

    You'll have this same issue unless you develop a grabbing headline. Here's 38 headline ideas/templates: Professional copywriter and marketing communications expert.

    EDIT

    The last step in the process is to edit down everything. Take out words. Replace words with ones that have deeper emotion.

    Trim the fat. Read everything out loud and hear how it sounds. Normally, you'll find the awkward phrases, the weird sounding words etc.

    Mastering?

    You become a Master when you understand how to do all this over and over and over and perfecting it over and over.

    Soon, your writing gets better. Ideas come faster. Your hourly rate goes soaring.

    Mastering is simply taking something (much like a shooting movement in basketball) and repeating it until you know how to do it very well.

    1. Mindset. Know you will Fail
    2. Must love writing (and editing)
    3. Read from the greats. Read copy you see all around you (paper mail, company emails, tv and radio ads. etc.)
    4. Start with brain dumps of every idea in your head. Stretch your mind. Soon more ideas will come all the time.
    5. Incubate all the time (looks like you aren't working, but your brain is. Endure the taunting comments from the non-creatives)
    6. Put Eureka idea in action. Make each sentence compelling enough they want to read the next one.
    7. Create a headline that catches (but doesn't lie)
    8. Learn to edit yourself (I still struggle with this), but edit edit. It's tough to read your own writing. Everything sounds like crap at first. As you get better, you'll feel more confident.
    Enjoy it

    --------------------------------------------
     
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  5. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    This is excellent. Thank you for taking the time to provide the forum with this insight!

    P.S. two pics are not working.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It's just a thumbnail of the YouTube video. nothing important
     
  7. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Oh I see. Gotcha. All in all, I can't thank you enough. The next few weeks will be busy because I'm going to be learning copy, trying to understand this magical thing called copywriting. :thumbsup:
     
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  8. SquatchMan
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    SquatchMan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Love this part. This is what it's about right here.

    On top of bidding on huge jobs. You also quit your job, moved across the country, have two mouths to feed, and only three months of living expenses.

    The stakes can't be any higher.

    You either rise to the occasion... or stick your hand out and ask the government for a handout.
     
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  9. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Yeah, I've been thinking of some info product to sell..

    At the same time, I have the limiting belief I don't have enough 'know-how' yet to deliver a truly good product.

    Non-fluff stuff, ya know?

    Might be a few more years before that happens.

    Too many subpar info products out there from non-experts. I think the landscape will change in the next 5 years..it will be fun to watch.

    Sent from my SM-G928V using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Chazmania
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    Chazmania Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Awesome story!
     
  11. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    If you've done any sort of self-development, when you get thrown into the lion's den, you find a way out.

    Fight or flight.

    To many people choose flight and wait for someone to bail them out (big banks included). What you also find is you figure out how to live on what you have.

    The old adage about your expenses inflating with your income is 100% true. If you're looking to work for yourself, your best start is to learn how to live on much less.

    Trust me. You won't be any "less" happy.

    And then, yes, make the stakes big. I mentioned my new hobby is learning how to screenwrite. A big thing you learn about any successful show (drama more than sitcom) is this...

    The stakes must be high or the show sucks.

    Breaking Bad: Walt is surviving by committing felonies.
    Sopranos: Tony needs to keep his family while being head of a large organized crime ring. LOST: Will they get off the island or succomb to its dangers?

    Humans will do things they never thought they could when the stakes are high. If you start Plan A with Plans B,C,D,E in place as well...the stakes are too low. You give up wayyyyy faster.

    Learned from experience.
     
  12. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    BIG IDEAS & HOW TO GET THEM: PART I.

    I've had some peeps reach out and ask about copywriting. @SinisterLex has plenty of posts about the 'how-tos' of writing copy. Some of which I'll probably re-hash at some point. But, he's laid out a GOLD thread on how to get going copywriting.

    I'm breaking this into two parts just because my initial post was pretty lengthy. It's easier to digest smaller posts.

    When it comes to writing any sort of interesting copy, it all comes down to a BIG IDEA.

    If you're looking for a truckload of clients... come at them with BIG IDEAS and you'll nab some clients even if you've never written a lick.
    If you're looking to sell your products, a BIG IDEA for copy or a video could be the differentiator.

    I'll show you how in just a minute...

    First, let's look at the MF.
    MJ's BIG IDEA was presenting 'how to be an entrepreneur and make money' (in a very general sense) as being in the Fastlane, Slowlane or Sidewalk.

    Because, think about it...

    How many different ways can you sell a car or a bar of soap? Car? Car battery? At some point, you need to present an idea in a freakin' different way. It'll be the only way to resonate and get through to the ever-ADD consumers.

    HOW NOT TO BIG IDEAS:

    Here's the common way people think they have good ideas --- Sit and think. "The more I think about it, the more ideas I'll have."

    After an hour of bad ideas, you give up and call yourself 'not creative enough.' Another common antidote: take a shower, go for a walk, have sex...

    I admit, walking around, showering and sex have brought on some good ideas, but not consciously. I talked a bit about that above, but I'll rehash in a second.

    Most of your bad ideas will come from sitting around and shouting Eureka! They're going to be found in a very different way.
    Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course. But from someone who must come up with BIG IDEAS regularly for copy purposes, I'll share with you my process.
     
  13. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    BIG IDEAS & HOW TO GET THEM: PART II

    HOW TO HAVE BIG IDEAS:

    The secret to BIG IDEAS on a regular basis. Ones you can write eye-catching copy about. Ones to boost your commerce business or sell that sputtering listing...

    Research.

    Yes, as non-creative as it sounds. Actually, it sounds pretty boring. Research...sitting in front of Google, reading a book, talking to experts...that's where your BIG IDEAS come from. The 'creative' aspect comes from taking a BIG IDEA and growing it into a compelling sales piece.

    Wanna know the most famous big idea in advertising ever?

    [​IMG]


    This was written by ad legend David Ogilvy. Ogilvy went through over 30 ideas that were rejected before coming up with this headline. Guess where Mr. Ogilvy came up with this idea?

    He didn't. It's one of the biggest lies in the industry.

    Ogilvy found this line in one of the manuals for the car. Actually, a mechanic made up this quote. Ogilvy was reading the car manual as part of his research, and BAM BAM!

    The "Genius" comes from Ogilvy yanking this line out of a boring manual. After which, he created a compelling, informative ad that drastically increased Rolls Royce sales.

    How do I do research?

    There's no playbook for coming up with BIG IDEAS. But, here's how you can start: Let's use an example to be concrete.

    What if you have a common service. Say a painter. You paint residential homes around town. There are 10 other painting companies you compete with. You don't feel special. But, you are.
    1. Pull up Google. Google will be your best friend for the next 10-20 hours.
    2. Start researching basic questions: Why do homeowners hire a painter? How much do they spend? What are the common colors? What horror stories are out there? Any government laws about painting (or, even better, about to happen)?
    3. Watch talks given by painters (fun, huh?)...what insights do they have?
    4. Talk to your customers. Ask them simple questions like you researched
    5. Read 1-3 books about painting, residential painting
    6. Watch HGTV and listen to what homeowners say about paint, paint colors, what it does to the room
    Now, you might ask: 'Ok, WTF am I doing with all this basic information???"

    I'll tell ya.

    You're looking for a golden nugget somewhere. Keep everything you research (even if you've heard it before) in a Google doc. After digesting all this information, step away for a few days. Let your subconscious take over.

    [HINT: This is when a walk or sex might generate a BIG IDEA]

    At some point, you'll piece together an idea. You pull a bunch of data together and discover something: A house painted blue fetches 5% more in the sales price than a brown house (NOTE: MADE THIS UP).

    Suddenly, you have a BIG IDEA.

    TWO MEN SOLD THE EXACT SAME HOUSE, EXCEPT FOR ONE, SMALL DETAIL. ONE OF THEM MADE 5% MORE ON THE SALE(This 5% equated to an extra $20,000 in cash at closing because of this one, small detail)

    That headline could get cleaned up a bit, but you get the point. You have a BIG IDEA that's different than your competitors.

    Guess what? Those people selling their homes WILL ABSOLUTELY READ YOUR SALES PIECE.

    "But what about the people who aren't selling their house?" Write another frickin' letter about another BIG IDEA! You can do more than one!! After awhile, it's a ton of fun.
     
  14. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    HOW TO KEEP CLIENTS EVEN WHEN YOU $%*# UP

    I was writing some Facebook ads for a client around $500 for a batch of 5. These are like word puzzles for me...quick...punchy...fun. I wrote a couple of their top ads in a short time, and they liked it.

    They decided to bump me up to a long sales letter for their Black Friday sale which always sounds like it brought in a huge flow of customers. I was still new to writing long sales letter, but I learned as I went (HINT: You'll do this with every entrepreneur adventure).

    After 2 weeks, I turned in a letter. I beamed. It sounded awesome. Shocking headline, all that juicy stuff.

    Black Friday came and went when they'd run the letter. Crickets. I half-expected to see an email pop up saying "This is the best damn thing we've ever done..."

    Tuesday or Wednesday following, a *bing* popped up on my phone. Believing my triumphant day was coming, I opened up the email.

    "This was our worst performing letter ever."

    Instantly the day went from high to deep, dark low.

    Fast forward....2 months later, they hire me for an even longer sales letter at a higher price.

    WTF happened?

    I'll tell you...
    --------------------
    Every customer deserves A+ care. Companies are notorious for treating new customers like kings/queens and brush off their old customers. That's messed up because it's 30x as expensive to get a new customer than keep an old one.

    But, shareholders want to see "customer growth" so that's where their flippin' attention goes. (Seriously, Wells Fargo, I've had the same bank account and numbers with you for 25 years since I was 4...I get nothing for it...but new customers get presents and candy...WTF?)

    ---------------
    With this client, I met with their marketing guy in person. We chatted and meshed well.

    When I was writing the FB ads, I did well. I GOT THE WORK TO THEM ON TIME. And, I took criticism and feedback well.

    In other words, I was great to work with. I'm not the best copywriter in the world yet, but I'll get there. In the meantime, I can be sure to have the best customer service.

    Because apparently, most copywriters have horrendous customer service.

    One current client who pays me mid-5 figures per year in work told me: "We hired this A-list writer. This guy travels around giving talks at conferences and such. Well, we started a sales letter with him. 6 months later, we still don't have the first draft. This 'A-List superstar' keeps telling us he'll 'get it to us next week,' then NOTHING. On top of that, when my client gets frustrated, the effing guy pushes back with ' Hey, you can't rush creativity!'

    Are you kidding me? How do you even keep clients doing that? Treat your customers well, they'll forgive you when you screw up.

    And newsflash: You actually CAN RUSH CREATIVITY. Read my post above about BIG IDEAS.
     
  15. Scot
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    Scot Ductus Exemplo Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Damn who does this guy think he is, Don Draper?

    Good customer service always sells.
     
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  16. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    There was a thread by @JackEdwards that was popular a few years back (not sure what happened to him...perhaps some forum drama), but he started a business from scratch in an industry.

    One of the ways he got new customers was simply being an alternative to the prospects. For so long, the prospects put up with bad customer service because they had no other choice. When he came along, it was a cinch to sell them.

    Think about your phone and internet. You feel trapped using Time Warner Cable or AT&T (notorious customer service toilets)...one day...they're day of reckoning will come where someone needing as good a product with better customer service will destroy them for good.

    It's already happening.

    Google unseated all the earlier search engines because they did something better. Somewhat pseudo-customer service...their site never crashed or sputtered. They win.

    In the financial industry I write for, they're starved for good writers...not enough good ones (it takes awhile to get good at copy)...so they put up with shitty customer service just to get their copy.
     
  17. Elemental
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    Elemental New Contributor

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    Your posts are wonderful Joe and as someone who has recently started learning the trade, thank you for sharing your motivating story of success!

    Regards,
    R.
     
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  18. GMSI7D
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    GMSI7D Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    awesome story. thank you. copywriting might not be fastlane but it sounds like "freedom lane" anyway
     
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  19. Joe Cassandra
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    Joe Cassandra Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the kind words...I'm going to continue to update this thread with more helpful tips. Some peeps have DM'd me with specific questions that I felt would be best to just share here.

    I'll update more in the next few days with more help,

    My wife's been sick the past 3 days. We have a 2 year old, so it's crazy town here.

    Rather than having to 'ask off work' or 'oh $%#* I have to use vacation days for this....really??" I help my wife and daughter during the day and work in the evening at my own pace. Or, just take the day off.

    So, yes...not fastlane yet...but freedom for sure.
     
  20. GMSI7D
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    GMSI7D Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    this is the wonderful thing ! when your family needs you, you will find the time without asking an angry boss for a vacation.

    just this reason alone is worth the work you are doing. this is part of freedom

    you know, your story is so inspiring that i am thinking about doing some work like yours as a freelance

    yes it is difficult and many guys fall along the road. i know

    but i don't want to be rich in the first place. i want to use my time as i wish

    the worst thing is being a slave of a stupid boss who is telling you what to do with your precious time.

    i can't stand that anymore. this is insane.
     
  21. kytro360
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    kytro360 Contributor Speedway Pass

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    This is super inspiring! I've dedicated this summer to going back to the fundamentals and made it a goal to read all of my copywriting books a minimum of 10X. That way all of the information is permanently tattooed to my brain.

    I also want to get into freelancing so that should be fun :)
     
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  22. DB35
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    DB35 New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    That was a GREAT post Joe. Really needed to read that right about now.
     
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  23. TylerH1994
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    TylerH1994 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Or..

    You could just re-read them once, make it a goal to implement the main takeaways consistently, and take action.

    Otherwise, your whole summer is gone, and all you've done is read. That isn't adding any dollars to your bank account.
     
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  24. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Best way to remember anything is to apply it. And why wait until summer? Why not start now? Just read a page and apply the knowledge you learn--today. Hit up a restaurant or business who needs copy and offer your service for free. That way, you learn along the way and you're applying the knowledge you're learning from the book. The worse way to learn is to try and remember everything unless you're using mnemonics. Also check out @SinisterLex thread about freelancing. He shares a lot of insightful info to take action.

    The formula should be:

    Learn the basics + learn by doing + apply knowledge = tangible results

    Waiting for summer + reading all summer long = time wasted/will power diminished

    Just my .2 cents.
     
  25. kytro360
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    kytro360 Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I'm on summer break already so I've been doing this. Also, all of the top copywriters I've spoken too told me they recommend reading copywriting books a minimum of 10X so you know the fundamentals inside and out.

    I'm reading AND applying what I learned. I write the copy for two online businesses I have so I'm not just sitting around all day. I've been itching to get into freelancing and have put up a Fiverr gig and have been looking for jobs on UpWork but it's harder than I thought it'd be.
     
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