From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Ready, Fire, Aim
Elizabeth found a job she’s interested in – and asked us for advice on how to go after it…
"Scott, I’m halfway through the Six Figure Program, and I got a great score on my first assignment. I’ve been slow to finish the program, because I let life and fear get in my way – but I’m ready to jump in and get started on my new career. I’ve started looking at jobs on www.directresponsejobs.com, but I don’t have much experience. What experience I do have is writing copy for marketing flyers at my job with a weekly newspaper. I particularly like this listing for a Copywriter:
‘Technology website is looking for an individual to work on a project basis to create copy for a site redesign. Person should have ability to understand technology categories, but not be a tech writer. The focus of the project is to position and explain our content to a more general audience. Project will last between one and three months and will start immediately.’
"How do I approach them about this job?"
Elizabeth, I’m going to steal a play from Michael Masterson’s playbook and tell you this: Ready, Fire, Aim. In other words, if you are ready to "jump in" and start your new career, that’s exactly what you need to do.
There has to be something about this listing that caught your eye. Some reason you think you would be the perfect copywriter to write this promotion. Translate that reason into a major benefit for the client. Then make that benefit the focus of a 1- or 2-page query letter – making sure your headline is Unique, Useful, Ultra-specific, and Urgent.
Just take that all-important first step and apply. Worry about the particulars later. For your very first assignment, your goal should be to get your foot in the door and write the best promotion you can. Good Luck!
A quick email from Tracy R. about a little something extra her copywriting skills have gotten for her. You may remember from the basic program that we call this "Glicken"…
"My daughter just got accepted into the top private girls’ school in the nation, which was all due to her being an amazingly smart girl. But I managed to wrangle a huge financial aid package for her by writing a letter and using the copywriting skills that I learned from this program and from other websites. So, learning copywriting isn’t just applicable to getting rich clients or making tons of bucks. It can also help enrich your life or those around you in other ways, if you are so inclined.
Finally, here’s a note from Bob R. – just one of the growing number of members who came away from Bootcamp 2004 with a paid assignment…
"Hi Scott. Just wanted to let you know that due to Bootcamp 2004 … I received a paid assignment from Agora’s Financial Division earlier this year. Of course … I was thrilled to be offered the copywriting project. I’m also curious to see how many other 2004 Bootcamp attendees received paid work.
"Thanks for the opportunity to bring ‘up-and-coming’ copywriters together with the Big League direct-response marketers!"
That’s great, Bob! I hope your copy does very well. Agora Financial is a very big client to have.
To answer your query, the Job Fair at last year’s Bootcamp was hugely successful. To date, 22 attendees have received paying assignments as a result … and that number is still growing. I’ve talked to several members in the past month who are still diligently working on their spec assignments – and are fully expecting to turn their hard work into a job opportunity.
At this year’s Bootcamp, we expect even more members to leave with paying assignment. The number of companies at the Job Fair will be increased by at least 50%. I hope to see you there again, Bob!
Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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