The Success Secret Writers Can
Learn from Attorneys

On Monday we discussed how to boost your confidence, project a more successful image, and bump yourself up to the next level.

Yesterday I showed you how to shorten your path to success by passing through the Exclusive Checkpoint.

Today's checkpoint provides a partial solution to the question, "Why do some copywriters struggle with low-level projects and fees while others get the fees they deserve?"

It's more than skill and experience. Like the Image Checkpoint, I believe it's a matter of how we see ourselves.

Let me ask you. If you walked into an attorney's office, what's one of the first things you'd see?

You'd probably see their law school diploma and a certificate of their Bar Association membership next to it. It gives them instant credibility, shows they're qualified, and justifies the fees they're charging.

Doctors do the same thing with their medical school credentials and professional associations.

Like doctors and attorneys, you've invested a lot of time and money learning your craft. And you may belong to an association, like the Professional Writers' Alliance.

I'm going to suggest that you get bold and demonstrate your true value to your clients. I'll call this the Credentials Checkpoint.

Take stock of everything you've put into your copywriting business so far. Add up the hours you've spent writing, studying programs, listening to webinars, and reading books. Even if you're a new copywriter, it's probably more than you realize.

Then consider your past professional experiences. Any writing or sales experience for sure, but even things like customer service or retail experience where you learned to read and understand people.

Now condense that into a short statement about your credentials. Give yourself an honorary title and a fictitious school name. Go ahead, you're a copywriter. No one is going to see it except you.

It could go something like this:

"In recognition of four years of diligence and over 7,000 hours of study, The School of Hard Knocks grants the degree of Master Wordsmith to Steve Roller this 23rd day of May, 2013."

Sounds goofy, but it shows you what you've invested in your education and training.

Once you recognize that, you're more apt to align your fees with the experienced package you bring to the table. Then deliver excellent value that justifies those fees. It starts with perceiving yourself in the right way.

Take it a step further, too. Edit this into something serious and use it as a self-promotion piece or as new copy on your website.

Ready to step into the world of high-paid professionals? Take stock of your education, life experience, and training, and put a proper price tag on your fees.

What else are you including in your qualifications? Why do you deserve the fees you're charging? I'd love to hear about it. Share your thoughts in the comments here.

Stay tuned tomorrow when we tackle the one question that could hold you back or thrust you forward, depending on the answer.

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: May 8, 2013

8 Responses to “The Success Secret Writers Can Learn from Attorneys”

  1. Thanks for this article Steve. I was thinking I "wasted" a lot of time, energy and study on copywriting but this gave me a confidence boost. I'm going off now to take stock and edit to "something serious."

    Shawn MausMay 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm

  2. Love the idea of adding a "credentials" section to my website and can see how doing so will demonstrate value before the client and I have even talked. Thank you!

    Teri Weber - Enchanted CopyMay 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm

  3. I really appreciate this article, Steve. It's amazing how your perspective can change when you see it from someone else's eyes. Thanks so much for this!

    Lee Smith May 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

  4. Oh, Steve.... you always seem to have the answer to some of my business concerns. As someone just starting out, and therefore wondering how to enhance my meagre profile, you have definitely given me food for thought. Thank you, again... for your contribution to The Writer's Life. I look forward to future contributions from you.

    ShellyMoreauMay 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm

  5. I'm loving your articles this week, Steve. I have a "copywriting and social media credentials" area above my desk and have also added them to my website (where there are icons/emblems available).

    I will lift my head and read my certificates - out loud! And then I will revisit my website as a potential client and remind myself of what I have accomplished.

    I also strongly identify with your story about dress code - you are right on about the differences - despite what many others espouse.

    Thank you.

    Ann Jordan-MillsMay 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm


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