8 Steps to An MVP Copywriting Career

MVP … Most Valuable Player … It’s a coveted title, and one that isn’t easily earned in the world of sports.

It honors the player who has been of greatest service to the team or to the league, generally in a given game or season.

To the player, it represents hard work and dedication … to the game and to himself.

So why not apply that same kind of hard work and dedication to your writer’s life?

Why not be an MVP to your clients and, more importantly, to yourself?

Here are eight steps you can take if you want to have a copywriting career of MVP distinction:

1. Take the “game” of your craft seriously.

Make your writing stronger by studying the art of copywriting and the psychology of persuasion. Read books (I suggest anything by Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, or Nick Usborne). Learn new writing techniques to utilize in your projects by attending seminars and conferences. Pay attention to what works, and what doesn’t. Build on your own strengths as a writer to become an expert … an MVP.

2. Practice, practice, and practice some more.

The more you practice something, the better you become at it. This is why professional baseball players take batting practice every day, why professional football players have specific offensive or defensive drills … why professional athletes in any sport keep practicing to improve their game. MVPs strive to be the best they can be, and that takes a lot of practice.

Writers write. So write! Every day.

3. Show up with your game face on.

Always be professional. Be open and receptive to new opportunities. Be mentally present and prepared for the job at hand. You’re not going to do MVP work if your mind is preoccupied with anything other than the task at hand. Learn to have laser focus and block out distractions.

4. Take smart risks.

A true MVP goes above and beyond what is expected, and often that means taking a calculated, intelligent risk. An MVP quarterback may throw a risky pass that wins the game; an MVP baseball player may take a risky swing at a pitch that scores the winning run. So don’t always play it safe. Train yourself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Stretch your comfort zone and gently encourage your clients to do so, too, when it makes sense. Make useful suggestions for improvement when it’s appropriate.

5. Be someone to count on.

Meet your deadlines … always. Develop a reputation of utmost reliability. An MVP can be counted on to make good things happen when they’re needed the most. When you can do this, you’re a hero to your clients … an MVP.

6. Be versatile enough to play where the team needs you.

Keep up with emerging techniques and industry trends. Adapt, and offer new ways to help your clients. You’re more valuable if you can play multiple positions and do them all well.

For example, if you can do all the pieces of a campaign — the promo, the squeeze page, the thank you, and the welcome email — that’s more helpful than if the client had to coordinate multiple writers to handle different pieces. When you can offer complete solutions to fill a need, you’re that much closer to MVP status.

7. Play with strategy.

Have a plan, and work the plan. Big flashy home runs are nice when they happen, but singles, doubles, and even bunts can score runs that win the game. Your strategic plan may evolve and change during the course of the “game” — and it should. But it’s easier to modify a plan in response to events than to work aimlessly and hope to be ahead at the end of the game.

8. Play to win.

Be serious about your business. Treat it like a business, not a hobby or even a job. Map out a marketing plan and set income goals. Determine what you want your business to look like in five years … in ten years … and figure out how you’re going to make it happen.

Develop the confidence to know what you’re worth, prove it, and your clients will be happy to pay your price. Your success is up to you. Go out and get it.

These steps may seem deceptively simple. In fact, they are simple … but not necessarily easy.

Having an MVP career takes hard work and dedication, and it’s not attained by chance.

But the good news is that anyone can be an MVP. An MVP isn’t necessarily the flashy super star. He’s often humble. He’s coachable. He just does whatever it takes to move his team forward.

Above all else, he’s someone who consistently delivers value and results.

Take these steps, and you can be that MVP.

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Published: March 27, 2013

2 Responses to “8 Steps to An MVP Copywriting Career”

  1. Michael Your article is very good, however I feel something is missing, how are you going to evaluate your performance? Why don't you include an evaluation method? Of course results will tell you what to do next time. Please include some ways to evaluate the results of our trials.
    Oscar Lopez

    OscaritoMarch 27, 2013 at 6:35 pm

  2. Great topic, Michele!

    The overarching message I got from your article was that an MVP is a master at "precision injection". In other words, doing the right thing in the right amount at exactly the right time.

    If you do too little, the job won't get done. And doing too much is wasteful. Striking the perfect balance between efficiency, timing and performance separates an average player from the MVP. It's what makes well written pieces resonate with readers - like this one. ;-) Thanks so much!

    RNin2013March 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm


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