How to Connect with Copywriting Greats

There’s a lot that happens at Bootcamp that isn’t talked about …

Yet, it’s stuff that turns out to be key in getting a successful writing career launched.

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of genuine connection with other writers from this world. That one goes without saying.

But here’s something you may not have considered … it’s also important to connect with all those larger-than-life, legendary, “hallowed names” of copywriting who come to Bootcamp every year to speak.

Because really, simply sitting in the audience and listing to their presentations isn’t enough.

You should also seek them out. Make it a point to talk to them. Fortunately, it’s surprisingly easy to wind up having impromptu conversations that strike up during breaks, or over lunch, or during those can’t-be-planned elevator rides that put you two feet away from some of the biggest names in the copywriting business.


Million-dollar copywriter Clayton Makepeace chats with an AWAI member at the 2014 Bootcamp.

That’s happened to me at every Bootcamp – spontaneous meetings with some of these larger-than-life writers.

One year, it was Paul Hollingshead telling me (corny) jokes at the bar. Another year, it was bumping into Mark Everett Johnson during a dinner out in Delray Beach, and having him join our table for dessert.

And then, this past year, another writer and I had a fortuitous early-morning elevator ride with Clayton Makepeace and his wife, Wendy. We joked about jet lag.

The next day, when I passed Clayton and Wendy in the hallway, I stopped to chat again. The other writer was there, too. Jet lag came up again … which led to a conversation about lifestyle writing … which led to a project opportunity for that other writer.

A similar thing happened to email-writing coach Jay White during a conference he attended early in his career. He sat down in the lobby and struck up a conversation with the other guy sitting there … who just happened to be highly respected and mega-successful Internet marketer, Alex Mandossian.

Jay walked away with an assignment to write email copy for him, and that project launched his career.

Obviously, your chances of landing projects increase dramatically when you show up at an event where experts flock and hiring companies line up to meet you. That’s why Job Fair at Bootcamp is so life-changing.

But, you know what’s even more valuable? It’s the fact that copywriting legends are really just normal people.

Sure, there’s a lot to admire about what they’ve accomplished. But, getting to connect with them as peers? That’s priceless.

Once you hear a guy whom you thought was untouchable in awesomeness talk about the hassles of weeds cropping up on his lawn … it’s like the bubble of mystique pops.

You realize these are normal people, who work hard to be talented at what they do, and who can teach you a whole lot.

But it takes actual, physical, face-to-face connections outside of formal settings to really get the benefit of this.

So, Step 2 in your “Make-It-Happen” Bootcamp plan is to visualize yourself having coffee with one of these greats. Understand that they’re a lot like you … and that, if you’re serious about making your writing career happen, you can be a lot like them.

Which copywriting superstar would you most like to have coffee with and get to know? I’d love to know – tell me here.

Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you about the eerily effective way certain copywriters have launched their careers into six-figure territory. It has to do with something they do after an annual Bootcamp tradition.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: December 30, 2014

9 Responses to “How to Connect with Copywriting Greats”

  1. I would love to have coffee and a long talk with Clayton Makepeace. To pick his brain about copywriting would make my day.

    Sandy BracceyDecember 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

  2. I would love to have coffee with all of you guys, you are all so great that any opportunity with you will be awesome!!!

    CecalliDecember 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  3. Hi Mindy, to answer your question the copywriter I would most like to meet up with is Gordon Graham. At the last boot camp I had ample opportunity to connect with Ed Gandia (whom I follow via his podcasts)and Casey Demchak (who writes B2B Medical which is where I want to be) and they were both gracious and generous with their time, tips and strategies. I would have liked to spend more time with Steve Slaunwhite but he was always surrounded whenever I saw him. Looking forward to 2015 Bootcamp!

    Joe ReynoldsDecember 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  4. I would love to have had the opportunity to meet any one of them, but especially the women copywriters the ones that have made a success of themselves. I would like to interview them and ask them what the one thing that allowed them the success they are enjoying at this time. I believe that would be one of the "Golden Nuggets" they are talking about in my class.

    Well, wish I could be there in person.

    Thanks, Carlana Brown

    Guest (Carlana Brown)December 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm

  5. Well I am laughing, I read the article and did not read the author, I wanted to share with you the one person I would like to meet and it is Mindy McHorse. LOL.

    Every since I listened to your audio about how you got started and the steps to move forward, I have thought that you have inspired me the most. Maybe by being female and a mother. I don't know but I do know, I have listened to your audio several times and have recommended it to people on the forum.

    So, maybe next year we will get to meet.

    Have a great New Year, Kathleen O'Neill

    Guest (Kathleen ONeill)December 31, 2014 at 5:50 am

  6. Hi Mindy. You are one of the people I would enjoy meeting at Bootcamp. It is motivating to read about how you transitioned out of the corporate environment, but I also enjoy your down-to-earth writing style. Maybe it's because we're both from the Great Southwest!

    Have a wonderful New Year!
    Shelli Elledge

    Shelli ElledgeJanuary 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm

  7. You Mindy , it would have to be you. I clicked on your video and I was pulled in from the very first word. In fact that was this morning, and , as you can tell, I joined today. I don't know if it was your down to earth manner of speaking, the conversational tone, the positive ideas, or all of the above, but you inspired me. Thanks a lot for leading me to AWAI, I have been looking for this for a long time.

    Donna TateJanuary 2, 2015 at 10:16 pm

  8. John Carlton.

    Started back in the day before the world wide web was a thing.
    Spent several years with Gary Halbert.
    He is the full marketing package.

    There is one thing that constantly weighs on my mind about copywriting; Am I providing the right marketing advice or angle for my client?

    I think John would provide a real-world cross section of everything marketing and copywriting.

    Not to mention some pretty cool stories.

    Max LatimerJanuary 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm

  9. Definately Dan Kennedy and Joshua Boswell they both have been poor and hungry before obtaining their successes and I feel a strong connection with them due to this. However they are both men, which I usually tend to get along better with; I would like a women mentor in the circle as well. I'm unable to decide and uncertain at this time of who that would be. One that would be strong without being overly aggressive.

    Guest (Missy-Jo Blue)January 5, 2015 at 11:38 pm


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