Nothing Else Matters …

This past March, at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, I sat in the room spellbound.

I was listening to Joshua Boswell speak.

He was talking about the number one priority critical to any copywriter’s success.

He polled the room, asking them what they thought that one thing was.

Some said it was motivation. Others said it was “A-level” copywriting skills. Yet others said it was persistence and determination.

He kept asking a few more people. Finally, the room was stumped. Although the answers given were all important parts of success, they weren’t the one critical thing every copywriter MUST do in order to achieve success.

Can you guess what that one thing is?

It’s getting in front of paying clients.

If you can’t find someone who’s willing to pay you for your services, then ultimately, nothing else matters!

Think about it: you can have the copywriting skill of a Paul Hollingshead or a Clayton Makepeace. But, if you can’t get yourself in front of clients that’ll pay for that skill, it doesn’t matter.

If you have all the motivation, persistence, and determination in the world, but you don’t find clients with check in hand, it doesn’t matter.

Everything else takes second place to this one priority.

This isn’t a new concept.

But it’s something too many copywriters don’t give as much importance to.

As copywriters, many of us tend to spend our time worrying about getting our skills up to par, learning one more copywriting secret or technique, getting our website “just right,” or attending one more seminar.

But the truth is, the first thing you should worry about (once you’ve got some skill under your belt, of course) is to find clients ASAP.

Michael Masterson talks about this in his book, “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Too many business owners focus on getting business cards, setting up the office, getting the right equipment and furniture, and anything else BUT getting that first sale.

This is completely backwards, as Michael points out. Your first priority, regardless of the business you’re in, is to get money in the door. To make that first sale. Once you’ve got some sales rolling in, THEN you can worry about the ancillary “stuff.”

And as an owner of a service business that provides copywriting services, it’s no different.

That said, here’s the strategy Joshua shared at the Web Intensive. Follow it, and you’ll get yourself in front of paying clients in no time.

Step 1: Choose 1 – 3 niches you want to focus on. Since you’re starting out, you might not know yet what niche you want to stay with. That’s okay. This is why you should pick three that interest you.

Step 2: Buy or find a list of 20-100 prospects in each niche. There are two ways you can go about this. If you have some extra cash, you can buy a list of prospects, complete with contact information. The best resource for this is the Directory of Major Mailers. It’s put out by Target Marketing, but it’ll run you a few hundred dollars to get online access. If you can’t afford it, you’ll simply have to put in a little elbow grease. Go to Google.com. Start searching for companies in your niche. If you’re in alternative health, for example, type in “alternative health companies” and go from there. This is where you need to put on your detective hat. Find the companies. Then search their webpages, or even call them directly to get the contact info of the marketing director.

Step 3: Pick out 1-3 ways that you’re going to contact the prospects on this list. This is where the rubber meets the road. You’re going to contact people on your prospect list – every day. There are a few ways you can do this. Pick up to three that you’re comfortable doing:

  • Call them directly
  • Send them an email
  • Mail them a sales letter or “bulky” package
  • Write articles in trade publication they might already be reading
  • If they’re on Twitter, follow them. Get a conversation going with them.
  • If they’re local, go meet them in person.
  • Go to an event where these prospects are likely to attend (i.e. trade shows, organization events, etc.)

Without knowing it, I followed this very plan when I first got started in copywriting.

AWAI was my “prospect” and, fortunately, I lived near their offices. I simply chose to walk in and talk to Katie directly. Sure, it was incredibly scary. But I had nothing to lose – and everything to gain.

Thankfully, it worked out. And if you simply follow this plan and take action on a daily basis, there’s no way you can’t succeed.

Remember, this is your top priority. Regardless of what niche you’re in. And, regardless of how much more “learning” you think you need.

Nothing else matters. It’s when you do this that you’ll start making your goals – and dreams – come true.

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: April 26, 2010

1 Response to “Nothing Else Matters …”

  1. Guillermo, Thank you sincerely for pointing out this basic tool for our B2B writing toolbox! This is the Vice Grip (adjustable locking Pliers) we count on when everything else fails! Joshua is amazing.

    Great information. So simple and solid! The great thing about being a newbie is you get to learn so much!
    cheers Jedi

    JEDI B2BRNTB2BJune 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm


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