From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Marketing Yourself

Hi, everyone! This week, I have emails from two "Kevins" to share with you – one with a question, and one who got a paying assignment before he even finished the program.

Which reminds me of something important that I want to mention …

Marketing yourself is an integral part of being a successful copywriter. When a member gets a paying assignment before he even finishes the program, it isn’t a matter of luck. To get jobs, you have to get your name out there.

Last weekend at our very first "Selling Yourself Workshop," Bob Bly, Ilise Benun, Joan D’amico, Chris Marlowe, and Peter Bowerman taught 25 very sharp copywriters to be experts in self marketing. I was very impressed with the progress that everyone made. In fact, the whole affair felt like the beginning of something big. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were 25 new heavyweight copywriters in the industry within the next few months.

To all of you who attended the Workshop: Don’t forget to send me a link to your e-letter once the first issue is ready. I’ll put it in the Mailbag. And don’t forget about your deadlines for your lead-generating letter and bait piece. They’re coming up fast!!

Now, on to Kevin #1’s question …

"Scott, I’m relatively new at copywriting. I write sales letters for my company that are typically 6 to 12 pages long. How long should it take me to write the average sales letter of this length?"

– Kevin F.

Kevin, this may not be what you want to hear, but the answer to that question is "It depends." First of all, 6 to 12 pages is a pretty wide range. The difference in writing time between those two page lengths could be significant. It also depends on what type of product or service you’re selling and how much it costs. It takes a lot less research and salesmanship to sell a $29.95 teleconference call than a $995 program.

Of course, the good news is that it takes less time each time you do it. This is one reason why most copywriters specialize. If you spend your time writing for a specific niche market, your experience compounds. Copywriters also specialize because it’s easier for them to market themselves when they become known as an "authority" in one particular area.

The best way for you to understand how long it should take to write a sales letter for your company is to keep writing.

And before I close this edition of the Mailbag, here’s Kevin #2’s good news …

"Hi, Scott: Had my first direct-mail success recently. I took some of your freelance advice and pitched some local companies via the spec-assignment approach. I only sent out about 10 letters, and a financial B2B publisher bit. I did a self-mailer for them and it was accepted! Now I’m pursuing other leads within this company. (They have quite a few marketing divisions and do quite a bit of this sort of thing.)

"I owe it all to your terrific ‘Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting’ – and a bit of salesmanship on my part. Having worked as a ‘traditional copywriter’ (prior to my direct-mail conversion), I always knew your program was a winner. But the proof is in the pudding, right? And now I’ve proven it and am excited to get more assignments.

"Thanks again for a great program and the inspiration behind it – both are so important. I’m on my way!"

– Kevin S.

Congratulations, Kevin! Keep up the good work

And thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: June 20, 2005

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