Today I’ve got something good for you: how to make more money…
It’s Monday, which means I’m diggin’ in the ol’ mailbox for your questions.
Every Mailbox Monday I answer your questions on marketing, selling, copywriting, business, life, whatever. Simply send in YOUR QUESTION to [email protected] to have yours answered in a coming issue.
On to today’s question…
I’ve been meaning to ask you this question for awhile now, and your email today reminded me of it.
I’ve noticed that you emphasize your knowledge as a full-stack marketer, and use that to command higher rates and position yourself above the pack.
You learned a lot of that stuff from an in-house marketing job, but I’m wondering if you know any good resources that teach you those skills? I would love to learn about funnels, testing strategies, positioning angles, etc. so I can market myself more as a consultant and less as a copywriter.
I hope this doesn’t seem like a lazy question. I’m fine with digging around the trenches to find the info myself, I just figured you might know a good place to start.
Anyways, keep on rockin’ dude.
Great question! And this points to a huge opportunity for copywriters — and really, anyone hanging their shingle out as marketing “help” including consultants and others…
You see, a lot of people get into this copywriting game because they’re “writers” and the writing part of the job appeals to them.
“Can You Write A Letter Like This One?” — the famous letter from AWAI — played a big part in that for many writers.
For me, the first intro was through, The Well-Fed Writer.
Others, perhaps other channels introduced them to the opportunity: get paid to write.
The common refrain here is that this is an opportunity for writers to get paid for writing.
What’s the big problem with that?
Well, it’s because even though when you watch a copywriter during the course of a normal day, they are “writing,” that’s hardly the most important part of the job.
Copywriting — along with every other marketing function — is, first and foremost, a sales job.
“Selling multiplied,” to paraphrase the great Claude Hopkins, and John E. Kennedy before him.
If you’re involved in the marketing, advertising, or copywriting process, what you’re doing is selling. You may pretend like you’re not. You may wish you weren’t. Or, you may embrace it. No matter what though, the goal of marketing and advertising and copywriting is to generate business results. Leads. Sales. Customers. Profits.
In that respect, to call it writing is a vast underrepresentation of what the job is. And if you focus on writing to the exclusion of all the other aspects of selling, your results won’t be as good…
And if your selling results aren’t good, you’re not worth as much! Period.
So… In order to provide maximum value and justify the highest possible fees for your work, it helps to understand the “full-stack” role that every part of marketing plays in generating business results: leads, sales, customers, profits.
Which means learning headlines and bullets and guarantees and yes, even story selling, is most valuable in the context of learning lead generation and nurturing, value ladders and funnels, back-end marketing, customer acquisition and retention, ascension, lifetime value, and so on. The more you understand ALL of it, the more opportunities you’ll see in every direction, the better results you’ll generate, and the more you can earn as a copywriter or other marketing staff or consultant.
I have two BIG recommendations to understand marketing and selling inside-out…
First, I say get a marketing job, at a place where you will be expected to drive sales and the other business results. Working inside a business (especially a small one, where your work is closely tied to the business profits and — hopefully not — losses) is the best “school” for this stuff you could ever hope for. But, I’m going to assume that you’re probably to stubbornly independent (as I now am) to go get a marketing job, so you’re going to want something else. Which leads me to…
Second, if you’re not going to get a marketing job, do what I did around January 2007, and create a little side project.
I sold a video on how to cut foam wings for model airplanes, with my dad. You can sell whatever you want (as long as it’s something there’s a market for, that people want to buy).
The point is, setup an online business selling something. Get an email service provider, such as Aweber and setup a website.
Create an offer. Put it out into the marketplace. Build whatever you think is the best marketing, telling the story of the offer, and asking for action.
Then, build an email sequence to go out to prospects, after they sign up on your website.
This is a bare minimum. It’s what worked in 2007, and it still works now. If you have a good offer, that people want, and you educate them about it, some percentage will take you up on it.
Also, learn how to send traffic to it — preferably paid traffic. It ups the stakes dramatically, and forces you to learn (or lose money).
I could tell you all sorts of books to read, but there’s nothing that beats going out there and learning from real-world experience…
Even if you never really make much money from this side project, it’ll be worth it for the education. I only made a few thousand from the foam wing cutting project — it’s a very small market. And yet, the education from actually doing it has been extremely valuable in my copywriting career.
It gives new context and depth to all your book learnin’ — context you can’t get from the books alone.
It helps you seek out what will be most relevant to learn next.
It gives you applied knowledge, and the ability to actually test your ideas without first having to run them through the filters of copy chiefs, peer reviews, and so on.
It gives you the opportunity to prove for yourself your marketing chops — which will also give you confidence.
The benefits pile on.
Again, getting a marketing job and/or running a side project are, by far, bigger learning opportunities than any books or programs you might go through.
Here’s a few books to help you on your way…
I do have a few recommendations for a set of books that I believe will specifically be helpful, to learn marketing strategy, not just copywriting…
I’ll start by recommending one that I don’t think I’ve recommended yet, that I know I first bought because of a Clayton Makepeace recommendation…
Successful Direct Marketing Methods, by Bob Stone. This is a classic, now in its 8th Edition. And even that is a little outdated, in that it was published in 2007, around the time I think MySpace was still popular. That said, even the best, newest, most innovative internet marketing is often only an iteration on what came before. This lays the foundation for a lifetime of successful results-accountable marketing.
Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got, by Jay Abraham. Jay’s first book laid out the foundation of his thinking that’s now generated about $9 billion worth of sales increases for clients. If you’re talking strategy and not content, few rival Jay’s brilliance. I literally have this one on my bedside table right now, for a re-read. It’s worth reading, and reading again a few times.
Then, I’ll conclude by pointing you to a list of far newer, more up-to-date books on internet marketing, highlighting Russell Brunson’s for its very on-point tactical recommendations on funnel building, and creating a business from scratch. And Ryan Levesque’s, for making sure you understand your market before you spend a lot of time, energy, and resources trying to sell to them.
This was first published in my post Massive Online Marketing Education for Just $66.63 (in 4+1 Books) and I’ve copied-and-pasted it here.
Ask, by Ryan Levesque — $11.69
Ryan has perfected using a unique and proprietary methodology to figure out what your target market will BUY.
And not just the first product — following his step-by-step method will continue to show you, for as long as you apply it, what your customers want next, and next, and next.
One of the best ways to make money is to figure out what people want (and will pay for) and give it to them. This makes sure you check off that box.
DotCom Secrets, by Russell Brunson — $11.15
There’s something about Russell Brunson that I don’t want to like. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s that he’s at least on the edge of some of the more questionable “Internet Marketing” crowd.
And yet, I’d heard so much good about this book, that I had to pick it up. Turns out all the good things people are saying about the book are true. This is one of the best books for a combination of strategy and actionable tactics to grow an online business today.
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes, Brian Todd — $15.25
I believe that you MUST understand how to buy paid traffic if you really want to build and scale an online business. Free traffic is nice, but it’s unpredictable, uncontrollable, and only scalable under the best of conditions.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay for traffic, you can almost instantly start sending traffic to any page on your site that you want. Plus, paid traffic gives you predictability, control, and scalability well beyond that of free traffic.
Perry is the world’s most-quoted expert on Google AdWords. This book is where I learned it — and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales for the IT Training company I worked for in Oregon.
Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, Perry Marshall, Keith Krance, Thomas Meloche — $18.26
Again, I turn to Perry, because he knows what he’s doing and has put together a tremendous resource here.
I actually recommended this book OR the previous one to Art, depending on where he wanted to start buying traffic. In the beginning, it’s smart to get good at one traffic source. In the long run, your business will benefit from diversifying, and this is a great second step.
Buy traffic, buy traffic, buy traffic. If you want to learn fast, and build a business fast, this is REQUIRED.
BONUS: Launch by Jeff Walker — $10.28
Jeff is an interesting character. He definitely runs with the “Internet Marketing” crowd. But like Russell Brunson, he’s really sharp on strategy and actionable tactics.
While the “launch” model is not right for all businesses, it can be HUGE when used in the right way.
(My upcoming Story Selling Master Class will go through a launch — more details coming very soon. Nailing down the official launch date as I write this!)
On a deeper level though, Jeff’s campaign thinking that’s integrated into the launch model can serve you well, even if you’re not doing the Product Launch Formula style of launches.
Get these books with the intention of APPLYING them, and your skill and value when working with clients will go up 2X, 5X, even 10X or more.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,