AWAI Interviews Wall-of-Famer Vicky Heron
Vicky Heron has been an AWAI member since 2001. She is typical of many of our members in that there is nothing typical about her … except her commitment to her copywriting.
Vicky's copywriting successes so far have brought her to a milestone in her career. In June, she was added to the AWAI Wall of Fame.
We spoke with Vicky recently to ask how she has gone about getting where she is today.
TGT: Obvious place to start: Tell us about yourself so our readers can get to know you better.
VH: I live in Denton, Texas with my husband Bob, whom I met on the Internet 10 years ago. Between us, we have nine grandchildren who are scattered all over the place. We visit them by RV, so RVing is a huge interest of ours.
My other interests include golf, sailing, and being an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
TGT: What did you do prior to copywriting – and why did you decide to become a copywriter?
VH: My pre-copywriting careers started with being a housewife and mother of three. But I've also been a waitress, attended nursing school, worked in banking, and was an administrative assistant in commercial property management and in the food industry.
In 1999, I started my own office support business and taught Microsoft Office courses and QuickBooks.
Then, in 2001, I got the "Can you write a letter like this …" promo from AWAI.
I always wanted to write, but I never knew how to get started. The thought of writing a book was intimidating. I didn't know how much money you could make doing it. However, when I read that promotion, it sounded like copywriting was something I would really enjoy doing.
TGT: Was the jump to a copywriting career difficult? Scary?
VH: Yes and no. I was already doing some promotional and advertising work in my office support business, so I had an introduction to it.
But anything new and unknown is scary … and every new job has an element of the unknown, so it can be a bit scary. But as anyone who knows me can tell you – I know how to persevere.
TGT: Tell us about the successes that brought you the Wall of Fame recognition?
VH: My first big break was working for Joe Vitale. I always liked Joe's writing. Since we both lived in Texas, I tried picking up the phone and calling him. But his line was busy, so I emailed him and made him an offer he couldn't refuse. I offered to work on spec.
Amazingly, he answered my email within an hour. Since then, I've written several Web sales letters for him. And I've ghost-written several Web letters for some of his customers.
In 2004, Joe invited me to be a guest speaker at his spiritual marketing super-summit in Austin, Texas. I put together a slideshow presentation, and made my first public appearance of that type. It was a big success.
Speaking at Joe's summit gave me greater credibility as a copywriter and brought me some pretty good clients. Now I also have a couple of local clients on monthly retainer as their marketing consultant.
TGT: To what do you attribute your success?
VH: I attribute my success to many things.
First and most important would be the skills I learned through the AWAI programs and Bootcamps.
I've been to four Bootcamps so far, and I learn more every time I go. Plus, I enjoy the camaraderie that comes from getting to know fellow copywriters. I've made many friends, and they've been a great source of support for me.
TGT: How do you market yourself?
VH: In addition to contacting prospects the way I did with Joe Vitale, I also attend Chamber of Commerce functions and mail benefit-rich letters to prospects. Frequently, I'll send them Priority Mail to make sure they get opened.
Right now, I'm revamping my website and designing a new prospecting package. It's important not to sit on what you've already done. You have to keep self-promoting and updating your self-promo materials.
TGT: Any words of encouragement for our readers?
VH: Never, never, never give up!
You know you'll have good days and bad days and so-so days.
But if you set your goals and do something every day to work toward achieving them, you'll make it. This is not an overnight process, but you can … and will … achieve success as a copywriter.
For example, this spring my husband and I bought a new 31-foot motor home. This was one of our dreams. It took a while to achieve it, but we did it because we stuck to the goal.
So don't be hard on yourself. Just set aside some time every day to work toward your goals, and you'll get there too.
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