Today, an old and familiar trick… And a challenge!
Whether you write copy for your own business, or for clients, there’s one thing that’s for certain…
If you write better copy, you will earn more.
(It’s why, even though a good portion of my list are business owners and marketers, I still DO NOT hesitate to talk about copywriting… A LOT!)
I heard a term recently from Clayton Makepeace that hit the nail on the head…
“The Primacy of Copy.”
That is, any direct marketer worth their salt recognizes that it’s the copy — the selling message — that brings in the big bucks.
Strong, compelling copy is what makes the sale.
No matter what format… Direct mail… Online sales letters… Video sales letters… Product descriptions… Emails… Ads… The works!
And the biggest challenge is to find copywriters who can consistently write strong, compelling copy!
It’s why the best of us earn five-, sometimes six-figures just to write a single promotion.
But there’s a huge gap between those who WANT to write good copy, and those who DO.
There are now countless copywriting courses on the market. A flood of new copywriters entering the fold.
And yet, these companies are still starved for good copywriters?
Why is this? Is it because the courses are bad?
It’s because it takes more than a book or a course or a seminar to become a truly great copywriter.
We hear about someone like Clayton who consistently makes more than a million a year writing copy, and we think, “Why not me?”
But you have to realize…
Clayton was writing for a couple decades before he broke the seven-figure mark.
Others have made the leap quicker.
And yet — the reality is it takes experience to compete at that level.
Despite all the magic pill promises selling copywriting as a business opportunity…
You’re not going to buy a copywriting course, go to bed, and wake up rich. No matter how much you imagine it to be so.
To become a great copywriter, you must write!
Over and over and over again.
Pen to paper. Fingers to keyboard. Honing your craft.
And when you think you’ve written enough, write some more!
And some more!
The more you write — and put your copy out in the marketplace, to be judged by the quantity of sales you make — the better you become.
Especially when you become a rabid student of direct response…
Hate your losers — and tear them to shreds to figure out why they didn’t work…
Love your winners — but also tear them to shreds to figure out why they did work…
And then love your losers — because they give you a better learning opportunity than your winners…
All along the way, seeking to become better and better and better…
Develop a system based on what you’ve learned to win more often, and lose less so…
And take advantage of shortcuts…
I’ve been accused of taking too long to get to the point in these emails, and I fear it’s happened yet again.
But I wanted to make it clear just how valuable it is to write better copy.
And now, I’d like to give you an old trick nearly every top copywriter I know of has used at one time or another to get really damn good at this game.
Write superstar copy out by hand…
When you get your hands on one of the great advertisements, or a piece of copy from one of the great copywriters, you have an opportunity.
An opportunity to get in their head and understand what it is they did in the copy… Why they did it… And how you can apply some of what you learn in your own copy…
And the best way to “go to school” on their copy is to copy it out, by hand. (And I’ll give you a “twist” on the method in a moment.)
Many classic copywriters insisted on pen and pad. They insist your brain handles it differently. And if that works for you, great. Do it.
I’m not 100% convinced. I think if you type, you can type. I write all my copy on my keyboard. I think it’s smart to train my typing fingers how to write good copy.
So I alternate methods. Sometimes typed. Sometimes by hand.
The trick is to simply write or type out the copy word for word.
And here’s my twist.
I like to ask myself a series of questions as I do it.
– What are they trying to do here?
– Why did they use these specific words?
– Is there anything about this copy that I think is particularly exciting, that I can use right away in my own writing?
– Is there anything that surprises me about the way this was written?
– Are there any repeated patterns or tropes being used throughout?
– How does this copy’s voice compare to mine?
– Are there story structures or other copy elements that I can adapt in a future promotion?
And so on…
I think the biggest thing about typing or writing out copy like this is that it challenges you to think about it on a much deeper level, and with far more engagement, than you would simply by reading.
And that’s the trick.
Now, let me give you a block of copy to start with, from the great Gary Bencivenga…
Widely hailed as “The World’s Best Copywriter” and the copywriter who you never wanted to compete with (because you’d always lose)…
He hasn’t written a lot of new copy recently…
But he contributed the bullets on his presentation for my promotion for The Titans of Direct Response, the Boardroom event…
And I can tell you for a fact this is the most recent copy Gary has written that’s out in the marketplace…
And well worth taking a few minutes, today, to copy out and start asking those questions above. That’s my challenge to you!
Here’s Gary’s copy:
Rather, in celebration of Marty’s life, Gary decided he would give a talk summarizing everything that he and Marty learned together. It’s entitled “How Your Life Is Going to Change in the Next 60 Minutes.”
In this extraordinary, transformative presentation, Gary will reveal:
- How you can dream bigger and achieve more in your life than you ever imagined possible—starting right now.
- How Gary used these exact principles to rise from mediocrity to success as a copywriter.
- The 8 habits of super successful marketers, copywriters, and entrepreneurs.
- The 12 most powerful secrets of High Probability Marketing. Why settle for a gambler’s odds when you can win consistently like “the house” always does? Here are Gary’s 12 simple secrets for shifting the laws of probability dramatically in your favor on every campaign.
- How to “reverse engineer” monster breakthroughs. Discover how much easier it is to create big winners when you start by focusing on the end result you want, and then work backwards to create it. This is Gary’s all-time favorite secret for hitting marketing home runs.
- The three factors Gary looks for in the perfect headline or subject line.
- Gary’s favorite online marketing gold mine. Yours for the taking—millions of dollars’ worth of actual test results from current campaigns showing which subject lines are pulling best … as well as which colors, graphic elements, website tweaks, copy points, calls to action, etc. are winning in A/B split tests.
- The #1 secret of the legendary John Caples (one of Gary’s mentors) for boosting response. This secret is almost universally overlooked, even by top marketers and copywriters. Apply it to your subject lines and headlines and watch your conversion rates soar.
- How to put your subconscious mind on “auto pilot” to write more compelling copy, create best-selling products, and expand your business geometrically.
- How to become one of the three most in-demand copywriters in your field. (Don’t aim to be “the best,” just in the top three. Here’s why.)
- The simple 9-part “preflight” checklist that will tell you whether a piece of copy is strong or weak before you run it. Instantly reveals—to expert or novice alike—where copy falls short and where you must strengthen it.
- A fascinating, totally counterintuitive new discovery in the psychology of persuasion guaranteed to increase your response.
And I sent you a link for the full promotion for the event, but if you missed it or would like to take a look again, click here. It truly will be a “once in a lifetime” event, on par with Gary’s retirement seminar, and few others in our industry.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets