The Copywriter's Ultimate Business Card

I've noticed something interesting recently that you may want to tune into as well …

There are a select group of copywriters out there who seem to have no trouble getting new clients … And getting those clients to pay them much higher fees than you or I can get. And, the truth is, they aren't necessarily better copywriters. In fact, in a head-to-head test, you or I may be able to beat these copywriters hands down when it comes to response to our copy on any given promotion.

Yet – skills aside – they just have an easier time of getting clients.

Do you know why that is?

Well, first let's look at the 20,000 foot reason.

It's because they have credibility. These copywriters have done something … Something I call “The Copywriter's Ultimate Business Card” … to build massive credibility. So much credibility, in fact, that they don't have to dicker on fees with new clients – the clients just ask them what their fee is and pay it. (And leave the copywriter to make more of the important decisions on the project that will directly affect response.)

And the good news is this is something you can do, too … And start building this credibility immediately and at a high rate of speed.

Okay, are you intrigued yet?

Good. Let's reveal the secret.

What Is “The Copywriter's Ultimate Business Card?”

It's simple what these copywriters have done to build an inordinate and almost unfair amount of credibility.

They've written and published a book.

They've done something we all can do – rather easily, too. They've taken their ideas and put them into the written word and gotten them published through either a traditional publisher or self-publishing service. Then they promote the fact that they've written a book alongside the promotion of their services.

This does a couple of things:

  1. It tells potential clients you're serious – and a knowledge leader. The first part is automatically true – you have to have some serious discipline to write a book. The second part may or may not be true, yet it's assumed by most that if you have a book published in your name then you are in fact a knowledge leader.
  2. It gives curious, yet not-quite-ready clients an entry into your world without having to hire you. Anyone can buy a book, even if they can't hire a copywriter yet. And in six months, which copywriter will they return to when they're ready to hire someone – the copywriter whose book they have sitting on their shelf, or the one whose website they visited and left six months ago?

Not only that, you can use a book as a magnificent positioning tool when you get a new client enquiry.

Here's the traditional scenario. A new client approaches you to hire you for your copywriting services. You set up a conversation and they tell you what they need. You come back with a proposal for how much it'll cost. They don't want to pay that much so they negotiate down the price, and you accept.

Here's the “The Copywriter's Ultimate Business Card” scenario. A new client approaches you to hire you and you ask, “Do you have my book yet?” If not, you FedEx them a copy (it's worth the cost). You have a brief conversation with them regarding their needs. You find at least one example from your book that they could benefit from and ask them to read it while you put your proposal together. Then you send them the proposal which includes how you'll use the tip in the book to get them better results. They're excited about hiring a thought-leader so they jump on your proposal.

And, if they have your book already? Great! You're in an even better position. If they have your book already, they're likely approaching you because they've read it (or at least enough of it to believe you know what you're talking about). You can still refer to a specific portion of the book that they should re-read as you put together the proposal – and you'll likely get an even better response!

For an example, think of Bob Bly – even just with The Copywriter's Handbook (disregarding his dozens of other books), he has no problem positioning himself as an authority on copywriting.

David Bullock – a marketing consultant and friend of mine – wrote the book Barack 2.0 about the Obama campaign's use of social media. He's experienced a surge of interest … and a willingness to pay high fees for his service even with just this book. (Without going into too many details, I can let you know there's interest in him on a national political level arising out of the publication of this book.)

And, Dan Kennedy – well, if you get to a certain point in the “potential client” process with him, he'll send a huge box with ALL his books in it to you, which sets him apart from just about any other copywriter you'd think of hiring.

By the end of this year, I'll be adding my name to this list, and I think you should, too.

How To Write A Book, Fast

I've now written a number of e-books (which, by the way, don't hold a candle to the power and credibility of a printed book someone can hold in their hands) and have found you can actually write a lot of content fast with a simple method.

First, the idea.

Come up with a “Big Idea” for your book that will be the guiding theme throughout. It can be a powerful promise, or your own proprietary system (such as my Seduction Marketing System). This should be directly related to the services you provide, and begin to position you as an authority on the subject.

Focus your entire message on this Big Idea.

Second, the outline.

Break down your Big Idea into 8 to 12 parts. This can be a step-by-step approach, or an “important things to know” listing. I prefer step-by-step because it's an easy-to-follow approach, and can result in quick writing.

Now, take each part – each step if you're going with step-by-step – and break it down into important considerations, decisions, and sub-steps.

Remember, you're just outlining here. You don't need to fill in too many blanks.

Third, the editorial “skeleton.”

This is the last step between the outline and writing the entire piece. Translate your outline into subheads and “this idea here” comments within your actual manuscript.

What you're trying to do is create the flow of the entire document before you begin writing. (Hint, I started doing this with sales letters recently, too, and have seriously sped up my copywriting.)

So, lay out your entire document, idea by idea, chapter by chapter, step by step, without worrying about wording anything specifically enough for readers.

Fourth, the bad first draft.

Your next step is to take your editorial skeleton and dive in, writing as fast as you can. Give yourself as little time as possible to write a large quantity of information.

The idea is that you're getting your ideas and words down on paper without letting your internal editor have a say in anything.

NOTE: Want to put this step on hyper-drive and get your book done in a weekend? Do this step by calling up a willing friend and talking through the entire book with them while recording the phone call. Then send the recordings off to a transcription service and … Voila! You have your bad first draft.

Do this for the entire book before you go back and do step five, which is …

Five, edit.

Now you make sure everything is written clearly, is backed up with the right facts, and would make your momma proud (or your English teacher, if you're concerned).

Here's where you clean everything up and make sure it's ready for readers.

Then, once you've completed your manuscript you'll want to worry about …

How To Get A Book Published

Keeping this brief, there are two ways to get your book published:

  1. Go through the long, tedious process of finding a traditional publisher for your book. This route gives you more credibility, though it's typically harder and you'll wind up with minimal proceeds directly from the sale of the book. To pitch a traditional publisher, I'd recommend Bob Bly's now out-of-print Getting Your Book Published: Inside Secrets Of A Successful Author if you can get your hands on it.
  2. Self-publish. This used to be looked upon with disdain, and still is by some – so it will garner you a bit less credibility. Yet, you can put a book for sale on Amazon.com (and even available to order by traditional booksellers) in a matter of days, and if you're looking to use it as a business card, it works pretty well. Plus, you get to keep most, if not all, profits from the sale of your book. The best services for this today happen to be some of the least expensive, which are Amazon's CreateSpace.com and the independent Lulu.com.

Choose your path and begin to promote your book alongside your services. Sure, it could take off as a bestseller – but even if you're the only person buying copies, you can still use it as “The Copywriter's Ultimate Business Card” to position yourself as an authority.

[Ed. Note: Writing your first book often leads to writing a second, and soon you're well on your way to building an entire self-publishing empire.

If you'd like to know how to do it right from beginning to end … and build a publishing business for yourself that gives you fun, freedom, and flexibility – even building your credibility as a copywriter – take a minute to learn more about the opportunity here.]

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: June 14, 2010

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