"Confessions of a (Free)
Perhaps you're a bit like me.
Since 2005 I've been addicted to information. Information on copywriting, advertising, and direct marketing. I've been learning all I could.
Especially relying on as many free e-course and e-zine subscriptions as I could to get me there. (God bless the person who decided to give away as much free information as possible with product launches!)
But all along I kept falling back in the rut of not getting anywhere.
Until recently …
Recently, things have been taking off!
I'm getting more freelance projects than ever before. I have a growing money-making website around one of my passions. And I'm on the cusp of something far greater – I'm finally gaining the momentum that I'll have no trouble launching my full-time freelance copywriting career!
And I can attribute much of my recent successes to one little "switch" I've flipped in my head …
Now I could tell you what this "success switch" is up front. But I want you to really get it. And so I'm going to show it to you, with examples.
See if you can pick out the "success switch" in the examples below:
… When I first discovered copywriting I started applying for copywriting and marketing jobs. Even though I had absolutely ZERO experience or credentials in either field.
My cover letter said I was going to work my butt off to learn and do whatever it took to be successful. It explained that yes, I knew my resume showed I wasn't qualified. It acknowledged other reasons that made me a poor candidate for these positions, like the fact I was applying months ahead of my move across the country and I'd have to work remotely until then. But it promised I'd more than make up for my shortcomings with "get-your-hands-dirty" dedication and hard work.
My "bare all" cover letter landed me a marketing/copywriting job to envy!
… As I learned more about copywriting I wrote a personal "100% no-risk" offer letter to online testing and tracking guru David Bullock to write sales letters for him on a freelance basis.
He called me IMMEDIATELY and said YES, he was interested! Not only did I do that first project, we worked together on subsequent projects and I even ran a coaching program with him.
… My connection with David paid off when I approached Bob Bly to write ebooks for him. Because of the expertise I'd developed in testing and tracking through my previous relationship, he asked me to write an ebook on advanced multivariate marketing testing with him.
Not only did I successfully get published alongside "America's Top Copywriter," Bob and I have worked together again recently and he's become an important ally within the industry.
… When AWAI ran a catalog cover contest with Palm Beach Jewelry a couple years back, I saw this as an opportunity to showcase my copywriting and marketing skills to a client I'd love to work with. I worked hard to put together a couple submissions I really believed in and submitted them. Not only did I win this contest – I started the relationship I wanted with AWAI, a relationship that continues to this day!
My approach did exactly what I wanted it to – re-initiated ties and got me two new projects right away and opened the door to a lot more work. AND Rebecca even featured my approach in her article on "How to land your dream client!"
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
As far as I can tell, there have been two things that have been responsible for 99% of my success as a copywriter.
(And they AREN'T: my incredible good looks, and my absolute "Einstein-would-be-impressed" genius!)
Those two things that add up to a big "success switch" you can flip as a copywriter are:
- The power of a specific idea
- Execution, execution, execution
Let's dig deeper.
"The Power Of A Specific Idea"
Look at my examples above. Every single success was based on acting on a specific idea.
- I wrote a cover letter asking for a marketing job, despite having never worked in a marketing job before.
- I offered to rewrite a specific sales letter to get my foot in the door with a testing and tracking marketing guru.
- I offered specific ideas to Bob Bly for writing an ebook with him.
- I entered a contest with the specifically to get in the door with AWAI.
- I offered to write two specific articles for AWAI to reinitiate my working relationship with them.
In every case by presenting a specific idea – an idea that was a solution to a problem that already existed in their mind – I was able to accomplish my goals (and theirs).
(By the way … The fact that I'm writing this article right now is yet another case where I presented a specific idea – a specific solution – that made it easy to say "yes" to.)
But the specific idea alone is worth NOTHING without … .
"Execution, execution, execution"
Listen, this is the critical part of the "success switch."
I have ideas all day long. Most of them are never acted on.
But what it takes to really generate results – what's going to create the breakthroughs in your life and in your career – is execution.
I think Robert Ringer describes it well – "Nothing Happens Until Something Moves!"
And Michael Masterson's "Ready, Fire, Aim!" approach hits it right on the head.
You can have all the great ideas in the world. But until you act on them, you'll get nowhere. You'll just stew in your own brilliance – convinced that if someone would just give you an opportunity you'll show the world.
But that's not the way the world works.
If you want success in your life, nobody's going to hand it to you.
It's up to you to create it yourself.
(Sorry to be so blunt about it … But it is what it is.)
So here's what to do next
Get your plan in place as quick as possible. Then take action. Move forward. Just do it. Make the phone calls. Send the emails. Write the spec assignment. Buy the course that's going to be your roadmap to success. Do it. Do it. Do it.
- If you're on the fence about snagging one of those last spots at Bootcamp, so you can break through into your own copywriting career where you're the one calling the shots … Just do it!
- If you've been dragging your feet on starting your own Money Making Website or starting another Spare Time Business to make anywhere between a couple hundred and a couple thousand dollars extra income per month … Just do it!
- If you've been thinking about it … And you haven't done it yet … JUST DO IT!
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 »