How Masters Member Beverly Huttinger Landed Her First Test Mailing – Without Soliciting Clients

Recently, copywriting member Beverly Huttinger submitted an assignment in the Masters Program to challenge an existing control for an overseas investment and retirement newsletter. Her spec assignment was so good, it will be tested online and in the mail.

We talked to Beverly to find out what this experience has been like for her.

TGT: Before we get started, tell us about your background.

BH: I grew up in Coral Gables, Florida. I graduated from the University of Florida, taught English at Broward Community College in Pompano Beach for 24 years, and retired in 1993. Although I had to learn to write a little differently when I took on the copywriting course, I already had a breezy style so the transition from writer to copywriter wasn't a problem.

TGT: What attracted you to copywriting?

BH: I've been a writer for many years, published over 40 magazine and newspaper articles. But the most I ever got paid for one was $300. Most of the time, it was more like $50 or $60. I always wanted to be a full-time writer, but couldn't make a living at it.

Now I am what I always wanted to be – a full-time writer. My book, "Florida Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the Sunshine State," was published last February. That's my first and last book. Much as I loved writing it, I'm much more excited about the prospect of being a WELL-PAID copywriter.

TGT: Tell us about the spec assignment you completed for the Masters Program. What approach did you take?

BH: I didn't take any particular approach other than applying what I had learned in the AWAI courses. One of the reasons I like the Masters Program is that it gives me the opportunity to work on real “live” assignments. I signed up for the program, finished my first four lessons and got to work on the first assignment. I wasn't even thinking of challenging a 20-year control. I was just doing an assignment. Little did I know I'd get a call from the company saying they were going to test my “assignment.”

TGT: Did you work with a mentor?

BH: Yes, I worked with AWAI coach Will Newman. I was paired with Will before I started the Masters Program and he's been great. He's always very encouraging … very positive … and very helpful. I think confidence is a big issue when it comes to writing and Will gave me the confidence I needed to make this work. It made all the difference in the world.

TGT: So the news that your assignment was selected to be tested must have been a surprise. What did you do when you found out?

BH: Began floating on Cloud 9 and haven't come down since.

TGT: What would you say has been the biggest benefit to you from this whole experience?

BH: It's a great way to start a new career. And it will be a fabulous thing to put in a portfolio. It makes the prospect of marketing myself a lot less daunting.

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Published: January 20, 2003

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