It’s widely considered to be the most lucrative niche for copywriters…
And rightly so. When you have a winner in the financial niche it can very easily cross $1 million and potentially climb into the tens of millions of dollars in sales.
Typically the most financially successful copywriters are copywriters for the investment publishing niche.
And the biggest financial publishers tend to also be the biggest companies by revenue that hire copywriters.
And of course, Agora is considered the best of the best place to go if you are willing and able to take a full-time job as a copywriter.
(I’ve been recruited, but never chosen to move to where one of their offices was located and so I’ve never had a full-time job with any of their divisions.)
That’s the topic of today’s question…
Seeing as how it’s Monday, it’s time for me to open the mailbox and answer your questions. About marketing, copywriting, selling, business building, freelancing, and more.
Click here to submit your question to be answered in the future Mailbox Monday issue.
Here’s our question…
The specific skill to focus on (as well as where to acquire it) to get good at writing financial copy. I want to write for one of the Florida-based Agora companies (not too keen on taking my wife and daughter to Baltimore), and don’t know what to focus on in order to write it.
What I’m reading is that the Gary Halbert method of hand-copying sales letters won’t work for this niche.
But I don’t know for sure.
If you have a product/course for that, I’d like to know more.
First, become an investor…
This is absolutely where you should start. The most important thing about selling to any market is not going to come in any tactical lessons you can get. It comes in truly understanding your market, and what it feels like to be a member of your market.
With every investment I make, I feel like I have a better understanding of my prospects.
When I’ve lost money in an investment I understand how that feels. When I have a big win, I also understand how that feels. And both contribute to me being able to better speak with members of my market in ways that will resonate.
I actually started investing in 2007, with the plan to become a financial copywriter. It was a terrible time to start investing, especially in the broad mutual funds that I bought at that time. And even though I lost a chunk of change when the market crashed into 2008 and 2009, I consider that one of my best investments in my copywriting career.
So start investing. Expect to lose some money. And expect to win some. Along the way, look for lessons in investor psychology.
Study long-form financial promos from the inside out…
In the long run, your goal is probably to write the long form financial promos. That’s where the biggest money is made in this niche. And so you should start right away studying them.
But I agree you don’t necessarily need to copy them word for word. Rather, try to understand what’s going on in sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph. Try to understand the logic flow. Try to understand the big idea that is driving the promotion forward. Try to figure out what they are teasing, and look at how they are doing it.
It’s this level of understanding that is most important for a copywriter.
It’s this level of understanding that will make or break your long form copy.
And then, when you read a promo and feel it appealing to you…
Buy the products…
I’m not just saying this for personal gain. I’m not just telling you to buy products I’m selling. But if you are buying products that appeal to you it will teach you on a couple different levels.
First, you will experience what it is like from your prospect’s perspective. To get excited about a sales message. To want to buy the stock being promoted. Then to actually go through the buying process, and know what that experience is like.
Second, this will help you understand the products themselves, and what the deliverables are. An investment newsletter is not like a physical item you can pick up and touch. It is an intangible product, wrapped up in a mix of deliverables. To experience all of that from a customer perspective will help you in understanding how the offers you are making are fulfilled.
What’s your experience like? What is it like to get excited about a stock, pay for the offer, download the report, get the emails that come later, and be a subscriber, including following the bigger portfolio? And how does that tie back to the experience you had in going through the marketing?
You don’t sell the features, but ultimately there has to be a connection between what you are selling and how they are delivered through the features of the offer.
Consider starting with short copy…
Zooming back out to the initial messaging…
It is very hard to write a full long promotion. Some people can do it well, from early on. Some struggle a lot in the beginning.
But there are other opportunities and ways to get in.
My friend Jake Hoffberg Teaches a course on short form financial copywriting. This course is designed to get you up to speed quickly on all the other types of copy that a financial publisher needs. This type of writing is also a great way to get in the door and get some experience.
Plus if you write a lot of it, you get experience in messages that investors are responding to without having to go through a long hard slog of writing a long promotion.
This can also be a way to get in the door at various Agora divisions. It’s how Jake got started, and he has been a fast-rising star.
When it all comes down to it though…
Do whatever you can to get experience…
Although I am happy to sell you courses and programs, I believe they can only do so much.
What works best is real experience. Writing copy. Getting feedback. Going through rounds of edits. Dealing with the give-and-take of the process.
And then, ultimately, testing your copy and letting the market decide. Learning what works and what doesn’t. Seeing something you expected to be a big winner fail. And seeing something you knocked out quickly, with barely any effort, do surprisingly well. And every other result under the sun.
That kind of learning is the most valuable learning. And the only way you can get it is by getting experience.
So knock on doors. Offer to write overflow copy. Do anything you can’t get your copy in the market. And then do it all over again, creating the momentum you want.
Repeat that process often enough, and you may just start experiencing breakthroughs.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,