From The Golden Thread Mailbag …

We’ve had lots of interesting questions and comments this week, so let’s get right to it – beginning with this email from John …

"I read the latest Golden Thread and enjoyed the testimonials from people who have made a success of copywriting. I am finishing up the first installment of Michael Masterson’s program and have just read the section on research.I shouldn’t have a problem with this aspect of copywriting, since I did a lot of it to get a chemistry degree. However, I do have a problem with cold-calling and interviewing with people.

"My problem has to do with the fact that I come from a chemistry / engineering / programming background.I’m not a business or sales professional. As far as writing a resume is concerned, I do have one, but I don’t think anybody looking for a copywriter would touch it. I have done some fiction writing in the past, and my writing abilities are not the problem. It basically has to do with ‘feeling the pulse’ of the intended public, researching to find the ‘golden nugget,’ and selling myself in a marketing milieu. Do you have any suggestions?"

– John

I do have some advice for you, John … although it may not be what you want to hear. Prospecting for new clients is the most important thing you’ll do as a copywriter. And for most copywriters, that means at least some cold-calling. It doesn’t have to be a lot. When Peter Bowerman spoke at our last mini-conference (the topic was selling yourself as a copywriter), he recommended making 10 cold calls a week. You can increase your odds of success by calling companies that you know need lots of copy, and you can follow up with them by sending a written postcard.

Remember, calling prospects out of the blue will not be the lion’s share of your marketing. It’s just another easy thing you should do to get valuable leads. It also adds to the "tipping point" of attention that your marketing efforts are really trying to create.

Dave B. wrote in with this question …

"I purchased the Resume Writing program a couple of months ago and am in the early phases of launching my business. My question is: Why is there rarely a Golden Thread article or Mailbag question on resume writing and the challenges / opportunities one encounters in that field? Just a thought, but I think folks like myself who have invested time, money, and effort in the program would like to see it discussed as a regular topic."

– Dave B.

You bring up a valid point, Dave. Feedback that we’ve received from your fellow resume writers has indicated that they feel the same way – which is to say somewhat neglected. We are going to make an effort to include more material on this subject in the Golden Thread. Thanks for the suggestion.

And for our grand finale, here’s some encouraging news from Art F.…

"About five or six times a year, my wife and I go to a seaside resort in California called Laguna Beach. While down there in June, we stopped in at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Of course, I JUST happened to have some writing samples with me. As luck would have it, I met the chairman of the organization. After our introduction, I handed her my samples and told her I was a copywriter.

"On Tuesday the 5th of July, one month later, I got a call from the marketing director. Although she told me they had a writer on staff who did that sort of thing, she also said she liked my samples – and that the next time we are in Laguna Beach I should call her.

"I am sure my handwritten note to the chairman thanking her for her valuable time have helped. Just the little things that I’ve learned from AWAI and Will Newman can go a big way. What confidence booster!"

– Art F.

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: July 18, 2005

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