Can’t find the perfect clients to prospect to?
I have some unexpected advice for you today. And it could lead you to getting your next great client faster than you ever thought possible.
First, the obligatory reminder. My Mailbox Monday queue piled up. So I’m working through your questions on a daily basis right now, to clear it out a bit.
That’s where today’s topic comes from.
Here’s the question from a loyal reader…
First off: Breakthrough Marketing Secrets is a game changer for me. I would easily rate it the most valuable website for my personal development right now. It’s such a valuable resource.
I’ve been into direct response copywriting for a while now. I want to write long form emotional copy and I want to get started… by doing exactly that. (I know this might be hard — but I want to make it happen.)
There’s so many other avenues for copywriters, but I function much better when narrowing it down to one specific goal… And it’s the most enjoyable type of copywriting for me (along with email).
I wrote my own “irresistible offer” letter and am now serious about sending it to someone…
Problem is.. I struggle with finding the publishers or marketers that I’d want to send it to.
I’m on the lists of various financial publishers. I got these from the free entry-course of Jake Hoffberg. However… finance seems intimidating at this point. I want to start out in the self-help/health & fitness/biz opp market.
It’s not that I’m unwilling to take action… I simply can’t figure out where to find those high profile publishing companies and marketers.
I know Agora has 3 health publications, but … it’s friggin’ Agora.
I tried tons of different keywords and signed up to a bunch of newsletters that really don’t have what I’m looking for.
It would be awesome if you could give me some pointers here.
I feel the pain!
All the ambitious energy you can handle, but no clear outlet for it.
You think you can get started.
You know you can get started.
But you’re just not sure where!
The moment any of us discover copywriting, it starts to build. The more work we do to develop the skill, the more it builds. And until we start getting gigs, that energy just keeps feeding back into our bodies, increasing the pressure.
Here’s the thing: with this energy, it’s hard to think straight…
When you have a pile of ambition, it’s easy to think too big, or too small. It’s easy to get lost in the ambition instead of taking action.
When really, the best way to get going is to take action.
Try something else.
Try something else.
Fail again, worse than ever.
Then get back up, and try again.
Achieve moderate success.
… And so on.
Trying and failing a lot, succeeding some, and growing every step of the way.
If you get into direct response, you will fail and fail often!
The market is a harsh judge of copy. You can write your very best, and still fail.
You can fail when you hand it to the client, whose experience suggests it won’t work.
You can fail when the market sees it, and doesn’t respond.
Or, you can fail when you actually create a winner, and the market turns on a dime and your sure-thing breakthrough success is suddenly doing nada.
Embrace this failure.
It’s an eternal lesson of all the world’s great wisdom traditions.
Recognize that kings and beggars both die, and both rot to dirt. Premeditate on all the bad that could happen. Create contingency plans for how best to handle it. And be ready to deal with it as it comes.
Otherwise, if you assume the best, you’re destined for a life of misery.
Remember all of this, as you consider these two big takeaways I have in response to the question.
First: Go for the whales…
Don’t write off working for Agora. That’s one of the dumbest things an aspiring copywriter could do, in any of the direct response niches where they operate.
Agora’s model is built to grow copywriters from the inside.
They have a constantly-refreshing class of junior copywriters who are getting direct mentorship from the best in the business. Who are learning and growing and being given opportunities commensurate with their current skills and achievement.
Early in my copywriting career, I got a similar opportunity for a few months as a freelancer for AWAI.
Then I worked in a smaller non-Agora financial publisher who didn’t require me to move to work in-house.
Those were HUGE opportunities.
I wish I’d taken them sooner.
If my life circumstances were such that I could’ve moved to Baltimore or Florida, I would’ve done it in a heartbeat.
Don’t write off the “whale” clients because you’re not ready. In fact, they may be the BEST clients to work for when you’re still pretty new, because they’re built to handle newer copywriters and get the best finished product from you.
Second: Get any experience you can…
Early on, I took a bunch of projects that were not in line with my final goals.
They weren’t direct routes, but they were still stepping stones.
Writing for business opportunity products I didn’t love, erectile dysfunction supplements, and more all taught me things about copywriting, and about myself as a copywriter.
My first financial project was actually a series of emails to drive traffic to a promotion written by someone else.
Again, stepping stones.
Don’t get cocky and think you can only do things the way you want to do them in the end.
Get experience, and grow from it, and use a whole mix of lessons to better inform your work when you finally land those ideal projects.
If you ignore the above advice, you’re giving in to Resistance…
I just bought the audiobook of The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I’ve read it before but I want to have it read to me.
I actually disagree with his total characterization of Resistance, but I do think it’s a useful concept.
Resistance is what keeps you from doing what you know you should be doing.
It’s writer’s block, procrastination, and your dumb choice to do one thing when something else would clearly be the superior choice.
You can sit and ruminate about who the perfect prospect to approach would be. But that would be Resistance winning.
You’ll get much better results by simply approaching a dozen prospects and having conversations, and seeing what you learn.
You might even get a gig or two.
Finally: Tactical advice in response to your question…
Just getting hyper-specific to that request, if you want a handful of experience in those industries with lower-level clients than Agora and the other big ones…
Go to Clickbank. It’s pretty much a mix of all the industries you listed. And most marketers on Clickbank are pretty hardcore into direct response copy.
Plus, when something works, it can work big.
Write a bunch of Clickbank copy.
Get experience. Learn from it. And then use it to inform your next actions going forward.
And if you don’t know who to approach on Clickbank, probably — again — go for the big, successful sellers. Type “top clickbank products” or something similar into Google, and start digging.
It’s a goldmine of potential work for copywriters who are ambitious to get going in direct response.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,