The Copywriting Peer-Power Group That Started in a Hot Tub

Pam Foster

There we were … it was a warm October 2005 evening, and we were sitting in a hot tub at the Marriott Hotel in Delray Beach, Florida: me, Tom, Becky, Linda, and Jim. We were reflecting on our experiences from Day 2 of our very first AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp. We discussed the skills and concepts we were learning, and shared what inspired us from the excellent talks we had heard.

We were all new to copywriting, coming from various walks of life. I was a corporate communications professional, stuck in cubicle "hell." Tom was a firefighter, Becky was a marketing professional, Linda was a public relations pro, and Jim worked in logistics at one of the GAP company warehouses.

We had been bumping into each other at different sessions and breaks … and somehow we formed a bond while unwinding that evening in the hotel's hot tub. Now that I think back on that evening, I realize that we were all at our mid-career point, embarking on a similar mission. Each of us had a vision of becoming professional copywriters, getting out of our current ruts and living the writer's life.

The concept of being freelance direct-response copywriters was new to each of us … and we knew we had a learning curve ahead of us. So, as odd as it may sound … in that hot tub on that Thursday evening, we decided to form a committed group to help each other make serious progress in skill development (one of the 5 Phases of Copywriting Success; more on that to come this week).

I'm not sure who came up with "The Delray Motivators" as our name, but it was perfect! We had met in Delray Beach, and we were motivated to grow together as professional copywriters.

The Delray Motivators stayed in touch through email during the following years and cheered each other on as we each took on new prospects and new projects. We found strength in that group, and we each embarked on our own versions of the writer's life, knowing we had a team behind us.

At any time, one of us could say to the others, "What do you think of this headline? What sounds better … email subject line A or B? Can you take a look at my website and let me know what's working and what isn't?" It was enormously helpful to each of us.

Suddenly the solo learning pursuit became a team effort!

No more studying and working alone at home, with family members and friends who didn't understand what we were trying to do. At last – people who got it!

Now, ten years later, that single hot-tub moment stands out as a major turning point for me. With my Delray Motivators by my side, I knew I could count on support whenever I got stuck on a headline or needed help with the flow of my copywriting. I knew I could ask the others what they were doing to find high-paying clients. I found comfort and inspiration in the others' input.

If you're just starting out, making the transition to a full-time copywriter, you don't have to go it alone, the slow way.

I highly encourage you to find a peer group of your own, so you can accelerate your progress and become a professional copywriter MUCH FASTER.

You may find your peer group on one of AWAI's lively social media platforms (LinkedIn and Facebook), where you can see which fellow copywriters are helping each other or chiming in with enthusiasm … and start making connections with them.

You may also find a group at one of AWAI's live training events, such as the upcoming Web Copy Intensive, where you can meet peers in person.

Or, you may find a more formal group of peers who are in the same boat as you, ready to be part of something big that brings immense career satisfaction as quickly as possible. (This is AWAI's Circle of Success program, where I'm an instructor.)

Tomorrow, I'll review the 5 Phases of Your Copywriting Success and explain how each phase involves working with peer power to supercharge your progress.

In the meantime, let us know how peers have made a difference in your life to this point … or let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comment section.

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Published: October 19, 2015

14 Responses to “The Copywriting Peer-Power Group That Started in a Hot Tub”

  1. Thank you for this great article Pam.

    This is an aspect that has been worrying me, especially when one is in a situation where family members do not understand what one is trying to do.

    Thank you for giving me that "lift" and support when I really needed it.

    Take care

    Guest (Leon)October 19, 2015 at 12:34 pm

  2. I *met* Karen Monks through one of Joshua Boswell's programs last spring. We were paired up to be accountability partners, and our instruction was to speak every weekday for 5 or 10 minutes.

    Karen and I still exchange our to-do lists and speak every morning. We have become friends and each other's cheerleader, sounding board, and gentle critic. She has my back. Without that commitment, I would be way behind in my career progress.

    A buddy is so valuable, whether it is a group or just one.

    Donna MosherOctober 19, 2015 at 1:08 pm

  3. Thank you, Pam, for a very important message to all copywriters.

    I can attest to the effectiveness of peer review groups. I started one two years ago. It has thrived well.

    Our group members have benefited from peer reviews many times over this period.

    We have also decided to take on an accountability role. We have each participant talk about things that happened since their previous check in. This helps us make steady progress.

    Thanks again for bringing up this topic.


    Guest (Venkat Raman)October 19, 2015 at 1:15 pm

  4. Boot Camp 2014 was BC #1. I got to know several quality folks pretty well and we decided to stay in close touch. Over this past year we have formed a more formal MMG-- Master Mind Group. We have met on Skype at 1-2 x/month. We are now close and tight.
    Now, just before BC 2015 (which just concluded) We are all gathered together in Mims, Florida to work together daily for this next year.
    Now we are following up on poss. clients at Job Fair and cranking out Specs ASAP.
    YES--the team approach is THE way to go with CW at our beginning phase of this CW business. It DOES work.
    Dr. Bill William Summerlin,MD

    DrBillOctober 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm

  5. Hi Pam! Thanks for a great (and timely) article. I was wondering how I could find other newbies and form or join a new group for mutual support.

    My daughter writes yet she can't understand my reasons and explaining doesn't help.

    Thank you for giving me hope of finding someone who does understand.

    DiannePHOctober 19, 2015 at 1:25 pm

  6. Hi Pam, Thank you for your concern for me. I take it personally because much of the things you wrote about concern me. I love writing and I have published two books hoping that my writing career has started but I did not get the encouragement and the exposure that I hoped to get. It affected me. I decided to get into a writer's association, AWAI is my choice with hope to start anew. Your advice to join a group is superb. I am equally suffering the family member's concern and unconcern effects. It is depressing especially when you are writing without earning money. Sometimes, I feel like hiding away from them to refresh my brain and wade off the junky torments of not making enough money.
    Thank you once again and God bless you.

    ChinyereOctober 19, 2015 at 1:34 pm

  7. Thank you for sharing your hot tub experience. I would love to meet some copywriters in my area. If anyone is out there in my area let me know and please let's get together soon. Contact me at

    Guest (The Copywriter in Montgomery AL)October 19, 2015 at 11:19 pm

  8. I have found the forums on to be very helpful. There is a group of "newbies" who help each other with encouragement and constructive criticism. Some have even formed friendships and possibly been able to meet up in person. One group in particular help each other get through the Accelerated Program in such a way.

    John POctober 20, 2015 at 8:18 am

  9. Pam Foster, I have run into your name before, and I appreciate the read here now.

    I am "just getting started" as Bob Bly said.

    In measuring success with a peer group, their is bot a positive and a negative side.

    With NO Experience and NO peer group, I can honestly say it is not working well, so therefor With Experience and particularly with a with a peer group; I know things would be better.

    I endorse your peer group, which proves what you said, and what I need.

    Guest (Dale - NoMoHype)October 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

  10. Great advice Pam. I can still remember that hot tub experience from waaay back at bootcamp. And we're still buds today!

    Jim TurnerOctober 21, 2015 at 2:21 am

  11. I'm happy to say that I am now part of a group formed at Bootcamp this year, with people who had connected online and finally met face to face. We really clicked, and will be doing weekly peer reviews on headlines, plus more informal and constant support for each other. It sure feels great to know there are six people I can always count on with my copywriting questions, and my ups and downs on the way to success!

    Joyce HOctober 22, 2015 at 8:28 pm

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