A Make-or-Break Moment …

It’s Rae, here to introduce you to the fourth group of people who have the power to change your career:

The marketers.

I met the marketers at the Job Fair on day three of Bootcamp. And you can meet them too, whether you’re attending Bootcamp or not … as you’ll see in a moment.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve written a control-busting package … or even been paid to write before.

If you can prove you can write good copy, marketers will hire you.

Let me tell you about my Job Fair experience … and how I managed to land a “whale” of a client … one that skyrocketed my income.

I met the publisher from Newsmax Health (one of the largest independent news sites online today) almost an hour in to Job Fair. To my great surprise, he decided to thumb through my portfolio right then and there.

He was nodding and saying things like, “That’s a good headline.” He sounded interested. I was getting excited — Newsmax was no tadpole of a client.

Fast forward a month later, and I received my own Spec Assignment: a short article promoting a heart health book.

The month after that, I was paid to write a short series of video scripts and a few press releases.

Then my big break in April: a 15-page Video Sales Letter promoting their newsletter, Health Radar. With that letter, and work from a few other clients, I made $9,300 that month.

Here’s the best part: I’d never written a direct-mail package. I’d never taken on an unbeatable control. I wasn’t a superstar copywriter. I was a total newbie — maybe just like you.

But I had something to show for the training I did have: a portfolio of samples (even copy you’ve written as practice through an AWAI program counts) and a writing resume.

I think that was what mattered most. I could prove I could write. And even if you don’t have samples or a portfolio, you’ll be able to prove you can write, too. Most marketers bring Spec Assignments with them that you can work on after the event. If they like your copy, they’ll pay you to finish the package!

If you’re heading to your first Bootcamp, all of that might sound intimidating. But don’t worry, you can get all the details on Job Fair … what to wear … what to bring and what you won’t need to bring … and much more in an article I recently wrote, 6 “First-Timer” Tips for a Successful Job Fair.

Use the tips in that article to start getting ready for Job Fair today.

And if you can’t make it to Delray this year, you can still meet marketers!

The best way to get your first Spec Assignment is to ask for it. Make a list of 10 to 15

companies you’d like to write for. Then, contact the marketing director via email first, and ask if she has an opportunity for you to write on spec. Send your resume, portfolio, and contact info. Follow up with a second email the next week if you don’t hear back right away.

If your first assignment is small, don’t get discouraged. My first assignment from Newsmax was tiny! But it led to something bigger … and bigger … until I finally got what I wanted: a long copy promotion.

Tomorrow you’ll get to meet the fifth person that can change your life at Bootcamp. Stay tuned!

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 »

Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: August 29, 2013

1 Response to “A Make-or-Break Moment...”

  1. My compliments on your writing success, Rae. Your example provides hope and guidance for writers at every level.

    Although you said that you don't HAVE to bring anything to Bootcamp, I'd highly suggest bringing samples just like you did. The easiest way to prove that you can write is to show that you've already done so. Sample portfolios accelerate this process. And marketers will appreciate your preparation because it saves them time and separates you from other Bootcamp writers. Great job!


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)