“Be All That You Can Be” with Passion; the Money will Follow

The U.S. Army’s marketing slogan and jingle, “Be all that you can be,” was created by Jim Hayman, a retired Madison Avenue copywriter who happens to be a buddy of mine.

Jim became all that he could be by leaving the city behind, moving to an island in southern Maine, and writing books, both fiction and non-fiction.

He left the cutthroat ad agency world behind so he could focus on his passion in a peaceful and inspiring setting. He’s never been happier.

That’s Jim’s version of living the writer’s life.

I did something similar this past spring, and it made all the difference to my livelihood and my life as a web copywriter.

I stopped chasing clients from “just anywhere” and turned all my attention to one passion: the pet industry.

Now I’m doing work I love, every day — living MY version of the writer’s life.

And, the rewards have certainly followed: I’m earning more money now than I’ve ever earned, and I’m working with fun clients who enjoy pets as much as I do.

When you focus your work on a passion in your life, you can expect rewards like these:

  • You’re never bored.
    You look forward to diving into projects, strengthening your craft, talking with others about it, and immersing yourself in the industry 110%. Suddenly your work is fun!
  • You’re among friends every day.
    Your clients become partners who share your enthusiasm for specific topics, and they value your input. You become an ally, not an order-taker. You’re part of a team, no longer just a “vendor.”
  • You’re inspired to do great things.
    When you’re excited about an industry or topic, you want to make a real impact; a meaningful difference. You’re motivated to find solutions, guide others, and sometimes even get up at 2 a.m. if you wish to flesh out a great idea that pops into your head. You’re that pumped up.
  • You’re growing every day.
    As you master certain aspects of your chosen industry, you become hungry to know more. You follow emerging trends. You discover exciting opportunities. You help clients get ahead. And therefore, YOU get ahead.
  • You’re paid well for your expertise.
    When you’re positioned as an excellent resource in your chosen industry, you’re considered an expert — even if you’re new or still learning! How is this possible? Well, in many cases, no one else is demonstrating a commitment to that industry and stepping up to offer knowledgeable skills. Therefore, you can command higher writing fees and easily get them. Pet industry clients have told me that they didn’t even consider other copywriters because no others have the pet-world focus I have.

So, how do you get to this place where work is fun and lucrative, and you’re living the writer’s life on your terms?

It’s much easier than you think.

Simply do what I did.

Find a niche industry that you’re passionate about, and go after it with gusto.

For example … I just read in Entrepreneur (December, 2010) that these and several other hot industries are strong, growing, and spending lots of money on marketing:

  • Boomer opportunities: 76 million+ Baby Boomers (and many soon-to-be seniors) are looking for ways to enjoy all that life has to offer, while having a more comfortable way to get around.
  • Travel and tourism: Revenue is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by the end of 2011 as people start exploring the world again by plane, train, bus, motorcycle, bike, foot, and RV.
  • Home renovation and decorating: In 2011, home improvement spending is on track to reach $133.7 billion. Need I say more?
  • Healthcare’s new life: 10 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are in healthcare, and companies are springing up or growing at a fast clip. Fitness businesses are exploding as well.
  • Green anything: The market for energy efficient, clean-tech companies is massive and growing. Companies are switching to green everything from light bulbs to construction materials and even take-out bags.

Do any of these industries spark an interest? If not, keep looking.

There are dozens of BIG, thriving industries that need great writers for part-time, full-time, or freelance help.

Thanks to the economy (believe it or not!), there’s probably never been a more promising time for writers to find profitable work they truly love doing.

There’s a niche market for that.

I’m living proof that you truly CAN follow your passion and the money will follow … if you choose a niche industry that’s on a solid foundation, chugging along a path to growth.

But, it’s not just me.

Right now, there are copywriters pursuing their passions in the following emerging or perennially-strong areas:

  • Food and wine
  • The aviation market
  • Fashion
  • Medical devices
  • Mom and baby needs
  • Green households
  • Water treatment
  • “Looking good” industry
  • Active Baby Boomers
  • Staffing and career changes

What lights you up?

With a little research, you can see if it’s a direction worth considering. There’s a good chance that you’ll find a strong market for it.

Just think: all of this opportunity is just waiting for you.

Yes, 2011 can be your year to start living the writer’s life you always imagined.

Whether you’d like to work inside a growing, innovative company, elbow-to-elbow with fresh thinkers who are inventing solutions for tomorrow …

Or you’re thinking about starting a freelance writing business where you work around your personal schedule …

Whatever the writer’s life means to you — this is a great time to go for it, with all the tools in place that show you the way.

If you’re ready to dive in, let’s recap with some action steps you can take right now.

  1. First, investigate the strength of an industry you’re passionate about. Search the Web and you’ll find a wealth of information that gives you clues about the industry’s current and projected spending, along with projected growth over the next few years.
  2. Make a list of companies you’d like to work with in that market. Is there a wide variety of businesses marketing to consumers, manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, and service professionals? If so, that’s a great sign.
  3. List your background and strengths in that industry. Whether it’s a hobby or a career path you’ve been following, list every reason why you’re a great resource in that market.
  4. If you’d like to work full-time, check out the job postings in that industry. Are there any opportunities? You should find several if the industry is hopping.
  5. If you prefer a freelance writer’s life, type “[industry] copywriter” into Google search and see what happens. You may be delighted to see that just a couple of independent writers turn up … or even NO other writers!

So, what do you think?

Ready to make the leap?

Ready to be all that you can be as a writer on YOUR terms?

If the answer is YES, simply follow your passion to an area that’s thriving, and you’ll thrive, too.

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: November 30, 2010

2 Responses to ““Be All That You Can Be” with Passion; the Money will Follow”

  1. I absolutely loved this article. The simple steps to take to find what your passion is as a copywriter through searching the internet was valuable. I have already applied the search on Google for the specific industry and have come across excellent information on copywriting for divorcees from a divorce attorney. His article and concept is the same as taught in the Accelerated Copywriting Class. Amazing!This is great! I am now on my search for another niche!

    VanessaDecember 1, 2010 at 2:42 am

  2. Having to follow your niche lead way to your passion. I indeed love your article for the great insights that every copywriter's body and soul breathe for

    Guest (Leslie)December 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm


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