Give Yourself a First Class Upgrade

I get a huge rush of energy every time I fly.

There's something powerful and purposeful about it.

You go through security, walk to your assigned gate, and find your seat on board. Within hours you're in a new destination, ready to make things happen.

Brilliant, isn't it?

When you travel by air there are certain checkpoints between where you are and where you want to go. Approach them in the right way, and everything goes swimmingly.

Same with your copywriting journey.

There are five checkpoints that stand between where you are now and where you'd like to be. The good news? These are easier to navigate than the ones at the airport. All you have to do is recognize them, push the door, and walk on through.

Each day this week I'm going to address one common frustration copywriter’s face, and give you one action item to get to the other side.

Let's start with this one: "I've been stuck at the same level for a year or two. I know I should be making more money. When is it going to happen?"

Sounds like either a lack of experience or not enough action, right? Well, more often it's a perception and confidence issue.

I call this the Image Checkpoint. We have a hard time picturing ourselves as more successful than we currently are.

Here's what I mean. I used to dress casual when I traveled. I blended in with the crowd, and didn't look like I was traveling on business, even when I was.

Then a few months ago I decided to dress up to go on a business trip. I wore a nice suit instead of packing it. I wore a polished pair of Bostonian shoes and put on my best watch.

I felt like a million bucks and instantly increased my confidence level. Throughout the day people called me "sir" and treated me with a different level of respect. It translated to increased confidence the next day when I met with my client, and a new project as a result. Things have been rolling ever since.

Do you want to kick-start yourself to the next level?

Look and sound like the person you aspire to be. Give your business card a makeover (heavier card stock and glossy finish alone project a classier image.) Rewrite a page or two of your website. Practice the way you deliver your 30-second elevator pitch. Dress up for your next meeting.

In other words, give yourself a First Class upgrade and see what happens.

It's amazing how looking the part boosts your overall confidence. Over time you're more likely to go after better clients, land bigger projects, and get higher fees.

Have you already walked through the Image Checkpoint? What did you do? What resulted? I'd love to hear from you, and your comment here might help someone else.

Coming tomorrow … What a high-flying executive taught me about increasing productivity while avoiding the crowds (it's easier than you think.)

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Published: May 6, 2013

11 Responses to “Give Yourself a First Class Upgrade”

  1. I attended a Veterans Only Job Fair last Tuesday in my best suit. You'd be shocked at what people choose to wear at these events.

    Long story short, I landed an interview with a major insurance company as a Financial Planner. Solid 6-figure potential. And if things go well, I'll also pitch them with writing all of their copy down the road...

    I got called "Sir" all day and at lunch later. The difference? How I comported myself in my suit. The old adage is still true: Clothes DO make the man!


  2. Awesome, Steve. I know many of us relate to your message today. Thanks for the reminder!

    Oh, and I get called sir often, but I thought it had to do with getting older...not more respect...=:)

    Jerry Bures


    Guest (KARENB)

  4. Funny thing along these lines happened to me last year, Steve. As you know, I'm also a jeweler and occasionally have scrap gold to refine.

    On one trip to the refiners I wore cargo shorts and an untucked polo shirt. The guys who work there carry guns in case of incident. One look at me and I thought they were going to run me out of there at gunpoint, even tho I was legit.

    Next trip I put on slacks and a shirt/ tie/ halfzip combo. I got all the respect in the world - from the same guys!

    Ed in Minnesota

  5. Steve, you see everything from expensive tailored suits to jeans & sport shirts.

    The industry people - watch company execs, buyers, and press - are all dressed to the nines.

    It's the general public, families with kids & tow, etc., who are often dressed way down.

    Ed in Minnesota

  6. Hi Steve,

    A quick update on my Veterans Only Job Fair story.

    I interviewed today with the Regional VP for a Financial Planner position. By the way, I wore the same suit. :-)

    A 20-minute interview turned into a 2-hour conversation. He made an offer right on the spot: A personal mentorship, high 5-figs the first year, then 6-figs after that. Our family is considering a move out of state, so he even offered to call his contacts and make introductions for me. Not a bad return on a $300 suit!


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