4 Magic Words – and 5 Strategies – That Make You a Copywriter

Nan Hughes just started learning copywriting. But she is, without a doubt, a copywriter.

How does she know? Because one very important person – in fact, the most important person in the world of copywriting – told her so.

Let me explain.

Nan was one of 15 participants in a recent Accelerated Training Services Headlines & Leads Intensive in Chicago. We started the training by having the participants introduce themselves and state why they were there.

They all gave similar reasons … something like: "It's time for me to do what I need to do so I can become a copywriter."

We – Denise Ford, Scott Rempe, and I – admire those 15 people for making the commitment of their time to learn the secrets of writing compelling headlines and leads.

We admire their honesty in admitting they have let other things get in their way of attaining success in copywriting.

However, when they first stood up there in the Intensive and introduced themselves, not one of them was a copywriter. Not one.

But they all left the Intensive two and a half days later as copywriters. And not because of the Intensive … as good as it was.

What made such a big difference in such a short amount of time?

They told themselves they were copywriters.

The same goes for you. You will always and forever be in a state of "becoming a copywriter" until you tell yourself you are one … until you can convincingly say the words "I am a copywriter!"

I don't mean you can automatically transform yourself by saying those magic words while sitting in your living room watching "American Idol."

Or by saying those words simply because you bought the Accelerated Program – or any other AWAI program.

But open the materials and start reading. Study a control every single day. Pick up a pen or turn on your computer and START WRITING.

Then you can say the 4 magic words. Because at that moment, you will have made the vital commitment to your success.

Here are 5 strategies for making that commitment real … starting today.

  1. Draw up a physical schedule.

    Take a big piece of paper. Divide it into 7 columns. At the very top, label the columns with the days of the week.

    Draw horizontal lines marking 24 1-hour blocks of time for each day.

    Keeping in mind the time of day when you do your best writing (Early in the morning? Late at night?), label 8 of those spaces for sleep.

    Label slots for things you absolutely must do at a certain time – like your "day job" or driving the kids to school.

    Tentatively block out time for commitments you HAVE TO honor but that are flexible.

    Schedule 1 hour a day for exercise and 1 hour a day for fun activities.

    From the time that's left, block out a MINIMUM of 30 minutes – more if you can – for studying the secrets of compelling copywriting and practicing your writing. This is YOUR Copywriting Success Time. (If you have young children at home with you during the day, try to schedule several short work blocks interspersed with 15-minute breaks for the kids.)

  2. Hang up your schedule.

    Hang up your schedule where you and you family can see it. This serves as a reminder to everyone – especially you – of the serious commitment you are making.

  3. Stick to your schedule.

    When someone wants you to do something with them or for them during your Copywriting Success Time, point to your schedule and find another time to handle their request.

  4. Get rid of your "home office."

    It doesn't matter if your workspace is a room, a corner of a room, or a corner of the dining room table. This is NOT your home office. The first word in home office is "home."

    Instead, call your workspace your "office at home." This minor change in wording creates a huge change in perception.

    When it's Copywriting Success Time, adopt the mindset that you're commuting to work, even if that commute (like mine) is just a few feet down the hallway.

  5. Do nothing but work during Copywriting Success Time.

    Once you're in your "office at home," you have only one focus: WORK.

    • Get a phone or answering machine with Caller ID or (better) one that allows you to screen calls too. During your Copywriting Success Time, answer only those calls that are work-related.

      Ignore calls from friends and family. Call them back later and explain, "I was at work when you called."

    • Check email only once during Copywriting Success Time – at the beginning or at the end. (If you're able to schedule a full 8 hours for Copywriting Success Time, check it twice.) Read only email that is directly work-related.
    • Stay off the Internet, except for work-related research. NO EXCEPTIONS.

The moment you put these strategies in place – and seriously stick with them – you'll be able to confidently say those 4 magic words:

"I am a copywriter!"

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Published: June 18, 2007

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