Six Degrees and Why They're Critical for Copywriting Success


Pam Foster

Is it Thursday already? Wow – this week is flying by. It's Pam Foster again, your guest writer for this week's edition of The Writer's Life.

Today I'm going to talk about a different kind of peer power.

It's about being connected with the right people at the right time in your quest to become a successful copywriter.

To begin, I have a question for you.

Are you familiar with the theory called "Six Degrees of Separation"? It was a theory published back in 1929 stating that, "everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world." In other words, a connection can be made between any two people by finding six people who are connected in some way.

To show how this theory works, a group of Pennsylvania students created the game, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" back in 1994. Prompted by a Rolling Stone article in which the actor Kevin Bacon commented that he had worked with everybody in Hollywood or people who know everybody in Hollywood — the students set about to prove that you can make any connection to Kevin Bacon with six people.

It works like this. Let's say you want to connect Kevin Bacon to your grandmother (hypothetically).

You could say something like: Kevin Bacon was in The River Wild, which also starred Benjamin Bratt. Benjamin Bratt attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he was friends with (let's say Jim). Jim's mother lives in Laguna Beach, California, which is where your grandmother lives. Jim's mother also uses the same hairdresser as your grandmother. And so, by way of that hairdresser, you have your six connections linking Kevin Bacon to your grandmother!

Now, this is a silly hypothetical example, but the point is …

EVERYONE is connected in some way, if you look hard enough. And those connections can be powerful if you're aspiring to live the writer's life.

How so, you may ask?

Well, hear me out.

Let's say you're just beginning a career change from full-time corporate employee to an independent freelance copywriter, and you want to work in the health niche.

Your #1 goal is to find your first client in the health niche. More specifically, a client that develops and sells alternative, natural health and wellness products.

So … you begin studying AWAI programs. You absorb all the information about the craft of copywriting, and you practice all the exercises. You're making progress and you're getting comfortable with your writing. And, you're even taking it a step further by writing spec assignments for health companies, so you can build your portfolio.

But then what?

How exactly do you get feedback on your work in that field, so you know it's professional, and appropriate to show as samples of your copywriting skills?

And, how do you dive into the natural health and wellness world to find the right contacts at the companies that actually HIRE freelance copywriters?

Aha! This is where the six degrees of separation come into play, with one slight modification.

In the copywriting world, everyone's connected by maybe only two, three, or four people.

This means you don't have to connect six different people to get to your goal of finding clients. You might only need to reach a couple of people who can lead you there.

Let's look at just two possible examples of who these people might be.

  • A master copywriter who can guide you on the quality of your work … and who happens to write for the health niche
  • A newer copywriting peer … someone who may have a background in the health field and "knows people"

Each of these people could be just one or two connections away from your target clients in your field of interest.

Easy, right?

Well … almost.

You actually have to meet a master copywriter who has worked in the health field … and who's willing to work with you and introduce you to potential clients.

And, you need to meet many fellow copywriters to increase the possibility of finding one who may have contacts in the health industry.

What's the best way to meet these important people?

Through AWAI, of course. Their community is HUGE, with hundreds of copywriters who fit the descriptions I outlined above.

Here are a number of ways to introduce yourself to the right connections and work with them as well:

  • AWAI social communities: Start with LinkedIn, B2B Writing Success on Facebook, and Wealthy Web Writer
  • AWAI articles and blog posts: Read through the AWAI article archives to see a variety of helpful topics, written by master copywriters. At the bottom of each article, you can post a comment to provide feedback or ask a question. It's a nice way to break the ice with someone you'd like to meet.
  • AWAI events (webinars, calls, and in-person events): Throughout the year, AWAI presents a number of events where you'll hear from experts and connect with peers. Watch your emails for details, or check out the live training events page.

These are just a few of the many ways you can meet master copywriters and peers who can help you reach your goals.

I encourage you to explore the notion of connecting with the right people, and get going on it today!

In addition, please leave a comment if you agree or disagree that the Six Degrees Theory can work for your copywriting progress.

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Published: October 22, 2015

15 Responses to “Six Degrees and Why They're Critical for Copywriting Success”

  1. Great article, Pam. I firmly believe in Six Degrees theory and have seen this happen numerous times. I am so glad that you connected this with our success as copy writers.

    I am just starting out with the Accelerated Course and as I network and reach out to others, will keep this theory in mind.

    Six Degrees of Separation theory is definitely the success behind LinkedIn.

    Thanks!

    Guest (Joan Fergus)October 22, 2015 at 12:42 pm

  2. Six Degrees and Why They're Critical for Copywriting Success

    That was a really smart and well written article Pam.
    I don't know if I'm in fact connected to Kevin Bacon, he's okay, but he wouldn't be my first choice.

    Guest (Ron)October 22, 2015 at 1:13 pm

  3. Sure glad i read this...

    I've been leaving massive money on the table.

    It's not what you know, but who you you know.

    Reach out and share...

    Guest (Brad Lloyd)October 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

  4. Mind-blowing, Pam!

    (and that's not too hard in my case...)

    I've known about the six degrees, and I've been thinking about how to expand my copywriting business, but for some reason hadn't added 2 + 2 to come up with, in this case - six, or maybe less...

    Anyway, thanks - It's now on my action list, starting with this comment! :)

    Mike ConnollyOctober 22, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  5. Great article Pam. The earlier comment that Linked In operates on this theory should motivate all of us to get our Linked In profile as complete as possible, and take full advantage of Linked In.

    It also made me think of a couple of politicians I didn't want to be connected to by only six degrees - maybe 40 or 50 would be better! Ah, but we aren't supposed to talk about politics, are we? :)

    John StagnerOctober 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm

  6. I certainly agree with the 6-degrees of separation theory. Thanks for the suggestions. As a new copywriter I also have found the need (or desire) to get feedback on my writing from people in the field. That would be an exciting opportunity to explore. Thanks for getting my thoughts moving in this direction.

    TimBOctober 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

  7. Hi Pam, This does seem very logical and a great way of connecting with others in the field. We all can use helpful comments and we all can learn from those already doing it.
    Thank you

    Guest (Kevin O)October 22, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  8. Great article, I've enjoyed reading your newsletters and love the new format and design. I'd like to connect with you. I've chosen my niche, I have a blog on word press to start and am just trying to figure out where to go from here. Any ideas? Here's the address to the blog https://teamyway.wordpress.com. Also have https://bluecrystalcontent.wordpress.com which links to the Green Tea article and briefly outlines what type or writing I'd like to do. What's your opinion?

    BJanOctober 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  9. What a great article Pam! Also, it was wonderful meeting you and chatting at the Bootcamp!

    Yes, I've done a couple of specs and I am about to do a couple more. Once you're ready, it's a great way of getting your work in front of potential clients.

    Thanks!
    Christine Hoeflich HolisticWorldCopy.com

    Guest (Christine Hoeflich)October 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  10. Great article Pam! I believe in the power of 6 degrees of separation. And it applies to many areas of life. Your article is a reminder for me to continue working on expanding my LinkedIn network. Thanks!

    Guest (Jennifer Boidy)October 23, 2015 at 9:01 am

  11. Agreed. Moreover, the six degrees of separation -- because it's thermodynamic -- renders us not in the image of God, but rather God in the retroactive image of what we long for God to be. Where time, as a two-way arrow, is the unifying FIFTH force about which the other four are ONLY compatible outside the limits of spacetime as we know it.

    Guest (Chris Morris)October 23, 2015 at 1:41 pm

  12. How wonderful it is to know that there are only six steps between you and your goal. Six is such a magical number metaphysically. But what the earlier commentator said about its thermodynamic nature. I would love to hear more elaboration on that. Thank you Pam. Its very interesting.

    Guest (Aparna Maddali)October 23, 2015 at 4:38 pm

  13. Great article Pam. And I witnessed evidence of this just last week. I was meeting with a potential client about an in-house copywriting position. And turns out my mentor in yacht brokerage and he sold boats together many years ago. The conversation changed at that instant. It really is a small world...

    David TomenOctober 24, 2015 at 9:10 am

  14. Pam, great article, I have always believed in 6 degrees of separation.

    I also agree with the Peer Group power in any effort.

    I am interested and aware of my need for a peer group, I just need to start. I am, stuck.

    Guest (Dale - NoMoHype)October 24, 2015 at 9:35 am


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