How a Tango-Dancing Concert Pianist Found Copywriting Success Using This Simple Secret

Want the secret to landing a new client in the next 60 days?

It’s drop-dead easy.

It’s not motivation. Persistence. Or even developing a “Clayton Makepeace” level of copywriting skill.

Better yet, this secret was responsible for landing AWAI member Jef Anderson a regular client, quickly.

Today I’m going to reveal Jef’s secret … and show you, step-by-step, how YOU can use it to land a new client in 60 days or less.

(One caveat though: You will have to take action!)

Jef’s a pretty amazing guy. He’s a concert pianist. And, he’s been a professional tango dancer. Even a playwright.

Copywriting was a way for him to get a part-time income stream coming in, doing something he enjoys — writing.

Like most of us, he went through AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

But afterwards, here’s what Jef did differently than most (and it’s something I wish I did when I first started) …

Instead of getting caught up in just perfecting his skills … he took decisive action. He targeted a small list of companies he wanted to work for (less than 20, in fact).

Then, he crafted a personalized letter to each, explaining why HE was the best person for the job.

Fast-forward 60 days and Jef landed a regular, major client — The Teaching Company!

But, here’s his secret.

He focused only on companies in industries he already KNEW something about.

Instead of taking the generalist approach that seems to provide a lot of options, he hand-picked companies he KNEW he could write intelligently and passionately for.

“Focusing on the subjects and industries I was already familiar with gave me the confidence to go out and let potential clients know that I absolutely could help them,” says Jef.

And, as an aspiring (or even working!) copywriter, you’d do well to follow his advice.

Think about it: If you already know a TON about construction and the real estate industry, why target folks in the health or self-help niches?

It only makes sense to go after highly-targeted companies who deal in industries that match up perfectly to your knowledge and experience … and that you naturally enjoy learning/writing about.

For Jef, The Teaching Company was a perfect fit. (In case you’re not familiar, The Teaching Company sells college lectures on DVD and Audio from renowned professors in a variety of different subjects.)

Today he’s responsible for writing catalog copy for their numerous teaching programs … including lectures on subjects like classical music, philosophy, art history, and more.

Jef’s vast existing knowledge of the arts allows him to write confidently for The Teaching Company, knowing that very few people could be as good a match for them as he is.

And, you know what? He’s right. The Teaching Company is thrilled to have him. They’ve been pleased to see that the programs he’s written copy for have been selling very well.

Not surprising. Because going after clients in subject areas you’re already familiar with not only helps you land the clients — it helps you write great copy!

Says Jef, “Intimately knowing the subjects I’m writing about helps me craft powerful, big ideas that connect in a meaningful way with my prospects.”

When you know your subject matter well, your copy will naturally sing — and sell!

In fact, there’s no doubt it’ll be more powerful than the copy a copywriter who has to research the subject turns in.

So, what action steps can you take right now to follow in Jef’s footsteps (and land a new client in the next 60 days)?


  1. Take inventory of your knowledge and passions. What subjects do you know a lot about or enjoy learning about in your free time? Write these down. Don’t censor yourself or think that you shouldn’t write one down because you think you’ll never find clients in that particular area.
  2. See if any of these subjects are viable. Now go to Take your list from Step 1, and go one-by-one, searching for any companies within that subject matter/industry. Love pets? Search for companies that deal with them. Love classical literature? Search the net for companies that sell anything related to that subject.
  3. Craft a targeted letter. Once you’ve found 10-15 companies that fit the bill, get their contact info and mail them a targeted letter. This letter should explain (in no more than two pages) why you are the perfect person to help them write their marketing copy. Make sure you make each letter specific to the company in question. Don’t be afraid to talk confidently about why your knowledge and experience gives you an edge over others.
  4. Follow up. Call the companies and follow-up with them.

Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to landing a new client in just 60 days (or less!).

But remember, you must take action. Don’t just read this and think, “Oh, that won’t work for me.” Take a chance. Actually give it a try.

You may just surprise yourself.

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: December 27, 2010

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