It's Monday -- that means it's time to open up the mailbox and answer YOUR questions!

It’s Thursday, not Monday — but I’m doing Mailbox Monday anyway!  That means it’s time to open up the mailbox and answer YOUR questions!

Occasionally, I get a question that I really wonder if I should answer…

This is definitely the case with today’s issue.

I’ve got a lot of friends from around the copywriting industry. Some of whom profit on teaching people copywriting. And when anybody asks about whose course is the best, simply by answering I risk offending a dear friend.

But, I’m going to do it anyway.

Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment.

But the whole premise of opening up my mailbox and offering to answer your most pressing questions is that I’m committing myself to doing that. Even the tough ones.

If YOU have a tough question you want me to answer, shoot it to me at

Normally I do these on Mondays, so your question will be answered on an upcoming Monday. (This week I’m doing them every day to kind of empty out my “full” mailbox.)

Here’s today’s question…


What is your opinion of the The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting Companion Series by AWAI? Is it the best course for learning basics of copywriting skills?

If not, what is?



Now to put this in context, AWAI and I go way back…

I owe you this, so you can decide if I’m biased in what I say next.

AWAI helped me launch my freelancing career — my first couple projects when I went full-time were with them.

At one point, Joshua Boswell accused me of taking his spot as “Poster Boy” for AWAI. Not a title I’m a fan of (I’m stubbornly independent), but the name kinda fit.

I’ve spent a lot of time, with AWAI, supporting their work and marketing. They’ve been very influential in my copywriting career, and I often tell that story for their benefit.

Also, I’ve received quarterly checks from AWAI since at least early 2010, like clockwork. Not always big, because I haven’t done a lot of work with them for long stretches of that time, and my royalty with them was relatively small compared to what I command from clients today. But they’ve given me at least tens of thousands of dollars over the years.

I’ve consistently gone to AWAI’s annual Bootcamp, only missing a couple since 2009.  I had reasons to miss the ones I did, not related to AWAI, and I always regretted it.

And, I’ve gone through a LOT of AWAI’s materials.  I’m not Circle of Success (many people are surprised when they find that out), but I have used and learned from many of their programs.

Whether this all leads to a bias in their favor or not, you’ll have to decide.  But I’m certainly familiar with most of their work, and have a lot of experience to cull my opinion from.

Here’s what you need to know about AWAI…

First, some pros:

— They are connected with the very best talent in the industry, and draw from those connections to put together world-class programs on copywriting.

— They are, as much as any organization I’ve ever come across, dedicated to their members’ success.  They truly care.  Deeply.

— They’ve been at this a long time, and that builds depth of content and resources and relationships and more to help deliver a high-class program.

Now, some cons:

— They are limited in the same way any mass teaching is, in that they can not give you really high-quality personalized feedback (though they do try).

— They are, at their core, an “opportunity” company for writers, which means their programs largely focus on entering the copywriting opportunity, and not how to reach the top.  (Side note: I don’t begrudge them this — it’s market-driven — there’s a much bigger market for discovering an opportunity than for putting in the blood, sweat, and tears to master it.  Their programs for how to master copywriting have always underperformed relative to the “retire this year” opportunity promise.)

— In line with the previous point, their programs are seen as limited in terms of how they prepare you for high-level copywriting work.

So, to the point — are they the best place to learn the basics?

Yes, and no.

And that’s my best answer.

In learning the basics, I think you’re well-served by checking out AWAI’s programs.  The Companion Series is well-structured to FORCE CONSUMPTION of their Accelerated Program.

Here’s what you need to know about opportunity product buyers (or, most people who buy any information products at all).

Half the people never take the shrink wrap off.  It sits unopened on their shelf for months or even years.

Of the other half, a good 60% start it but barely make any progress through it.

This leaves 20% of the total who actually go through a program like AWAI’s Accelerated Program.

And it doesn’t matter how good of a program they put together — this is human nature!  Just like most books that are bought are never read, most information products (even really expensive ones) and never really consumed.

But even of the 20% who really go through, the vast majority of them don’t do anything with it.  Maybe 80% read it, feel good about reading it, and then move on to the next shiny object.

That leaves about 4 out of every 100 people who buy a program like AWAI’s who really dedicate themselves to consuming it, and getting the most from it!

I’ll have something else to tell you about this top 4% in a moment, but I want to come back to the Companion Series, first.

What the Companion Series tries to do — and I think succeeds at, as much as it could — is to force you to go through and be one of the few who really consume the program and get the most out of it.

In this regard, if you have any doubt in your mind at all that you’re going to make it through the Accelerated Program on your own (including if you bought it and it’s sitting on your shelf, unopened or partially-consumed), the Companion Series is probably a great way to force yourself into it.

That is, as long as you don’t buy the Companion Series, feel accomplished just because you spent the money, and then not complete that, either.

So, in that regard, it COULD be a really smart investment.

Heck, between my coach and assistant, I’m spending a whole lot every month just to make sure I’m doing the things I need to do — and so there’s no shame in making this investment!

If this is what gets you moving in your copywriting career, it’s a smart thing to do.

Back to that 4%…

Here’s the really curious thing about the top 4%, that gives you an even better perspective on learning copywriting and success in general…

As I said, there’s only about 4% of the people who buy a program and go through AWAI’s.

But that 4% NEVER stops there.  They go on from there and buy a TON more resources to help them succeed.

They’re the ones who attend Bootcamp.

They’re the ones who have a huge shelf of copywriting, marketing, and business books in their home office.

They’re the ones who listen to marketing podcasts instead of music when they drive back and forth to work.

They’re the ones who subscribe to all sorts of paid newsletters, member sites, and more.

They’re the ones who hire coaches.

They’re the ones who are constantly trying to work with better and better clients — not just for the money they can make, but because they know that working with world-class copywriters will give them opportunities to get the kind of feedback that will send their copy a quantum leap forward.

The top 4% — and the top 4% within that — are insatiable!

And for someone like that — a category that includes me and most of my most-respected colleagues — AWAI might be a good place to start.

But I often get asked, by people who know of my background with AWAI, “You didn’t actually come up through AWAI, did you?”

And my answer is, “It’s complicated.”

Because I did, and I didn’t.

AWAI was definitely part of my journey.  The Accelerated Program, sure.  (The Companion Series didn’t exist yet.)  But also the Master’s Program.  Bootcamp.  And a dozen or more other programs that all played some role in advancing my skills and abilities.

But also, I have that bookshelf.  Every old book on copywriting that anybody ever recommended ended up on my reading list.

A whole bunch of books on business, selling, and other complimentary topics, too.

Specialized books on investing, health, and other topics relevant to my client work.

My own personal reading interests as well — because a rounded reader and thinker is a better writer.

I listen to a TON of audio materials.  Seminar recordings.  Teleseminars and webinars.  Podcasts.  And so on.

I subscribe to multiple “gurus” monthly programs, at upwards of $100 per month apiece.

I haven’t just gone to AWAI.  I went to Titans, yes, because I was the copywriter for it.  I’ve been to a bunch of other seminars on marketing since 2005.  I’ve also been to clients’ seminars on investing and other related topics.

I’ve made friends, and bounced ideas off them.

I’ve worked with A-list clients who enjoyed more financial success the better they made me, and paid very close attention to their recommendations and feedback.

I’ve hobnobbed and shared drinks with the very best — pulling invaluable insights out of war stories and anything else that came out of their mouth.

I’ve LIVED BY my fundamental teaching on the front page of the Breakthrough Marketing Secrets website — first learned from Gary Bencivenga — to improve myself 1% per week.

I don’t know the exact date that I discovered copywriting, but I know it was Spring 2005.  That means I’m right around 11 years — or 572 weeks — of getting better by an average of 1% a week.

That means that through everything I’ve learned from AWAI and everywhere else, I’m 29,343% of whatever my “base” marketing, selling, and persuasion ability was when I started.  I’ve improved my skills 293X over.  Based on compounding, in the last week my skills improved equivalent to about 300% of my original skill level — in one week alone.

You don’t get that by buying one program, and expecting it to change your life.

You get that through a dedication to the path, and to continuous incremental improvement.

That’s what clients recognize when they assume I didn’t “come up” through AWAI.  AWAI was part of that, but one book or program or even one stellar company like AWAI can’t be that journey for you.

You have to be that journey for yourself.

So…  Should you buy the AWAI program?  Maybe.  It’s a smart decision if you make it one.  But it’s not a magic pill — and NOTHING is.

And that realization is the true breakthrough.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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