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

My readership has gone global…

Well, that actually happened a long time ago.  Probably not too long after I started publishing these daily essays in April 2014 (holy cow can you believe Breakthrough Marketing Secrets is over four years old?!).  The international nature of the internet levels the playing field when it comes to access to online content.  I’ve actually had website visitors from 199 different countries, according to Google Analytics!

Of course, that’s not equal access.  But anyone with an internet connection in any one of these countries can log on and read these essays.  And they can apply them to the best of their abilities, no matter where they’re from.

Which is related to the topic of today’s essay.

It’s Mailbox Monday — the day where I answer YOUR questions.  You can have YOUR most pressing question answered.  Simply submit your question here.

On to today’s question…

Dear Roy.

My name is Jorge, I live in Mexico and I’m a full-time blog post writer. I’m giving serious consideration to buying AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

The only thing holding me back is:

I’m not sure if big direct response publishing companies such as Agora Publishing are willing to work with international freelancers. I have no intention to move to the USA.

Do you know if such companies have copywriters from other countries in their teams?

Thanks a lot, I’m an avid reader of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets and I love “The Copywriter’s Guide to Getting Paid.”

Cheers.

Jorge

Here’s the thing: copywriting is a global opportunity…

There are freelancers who work across borders and around the globe.

It is a very hard way to get started.  But you’ll find that if you develop the chops (which can be a longer process), barriers like geography start to matter less and less to clients.

I can’t speak for any specific Agora division individually.  They all have specific hiring processes, with some being very flexible for freelance arrangements, and others being very specific that they want only in-house writers (especially when it comes to newer copywriters).

Here’s the Catch-22…

As is the case with any new career or skill, it’s hard to get hired until you’ve got the track record, and it’s hard to develop the track record until you get hired.

And this applies no matter your geography, too.  You have that barrier to overcome, with direct response copy — and you’re asking about the international barrier, too.

If I’m hiring copywriters, I’m looking for anything for or against the odds of success with any given copywriter.  I’m looking to minimize risk and maximize the chance of a successful relationship.

And working with someone internationally poses additional challenges, all else being equal.

For example, there is an element of culture to all good communication — copywriting included.  How well versed are you in American culture?  Would you be able to embody the mindset of your prospect, to convey clear understanding of how they’re thinking and feeling right now?  This can be tricky enough if you’re living in the same country, working across borders makes this more difficult.

There’s also the potential language thing.  Your email is written in as clear of English as the average American, and if you hadn’t said you were from Mexico I probably wouldn’t have asked or even wondered.  However, this will cross the mind of anyone hiring you, and it will be something they wonder about before hiring you for a writing project.

And there’s a potential legal issue.  Specifically, inside the United States, it’s easy to manage any contract law.  But leave the US and it’s not so clear.  Again, not that tough of a barrier — and they do it all time time — but it adds another question to whether or not to hire any international writer.

None of these are insurmountable.  But for the average person looking at working with you as a copywriter across borders, you have to consider that these are additional objections you have to overcome, that may otherwise put you at a disadvantage to other similar candidates.

That said, let’s consider your other options…

First, consider developing your skills locally, but maintain a global vision…

What do I mean?

Let me give you a parallel.  In 2005, I decided I wanted to be a freelance copywriter.  But I’d just discovered copywriting, had little marketing or business background, and wasn’t confident I could cut it as a freelancer.

My wife had just started grad school, and I needed to earn a primary income.

So I took another marketing job with a company that did NOT do Agora-style direct marketing.  (In fact, the owner of the company pretty much hated it.)

I worked at that business developing my direct marketing skills and understanding, practicing it where I could, and being flexible as I learned more general marketing and business skills.

I took what freelance gigs I could get, but I paid for my cost of living and my my copywriting education out of that job’s income.

And in early 2008 (good timing) I started actively investing, knowing I’d eventually want to do some financial copywriting.

Even when I quit that job in early 2010, I didn’t jump straight into financial — even though that’s where I knew I wanted to end up.

Rather, I still took all the gigs I could get, and only transitioned into financial almost one year later.

Which means it was really about five-and-a-half years before I was regularly working as a freelance financial copywriter…

BUT…

I still value everything I learned all along the way.

I knew my destination.  AND I knew it’d be a journey to get there.  I embraced the journey, got everything I could out of it, and eventually reached my destination.

My recommendation to you is to study everything you can, while keeping your end goal in mind.  But don’t get hung up on whether or not to pursue it if you don’t have a clear set of steps to get there.

If we waited to go for any goal until we saw the clear steps to accomplish it, we’d NEVER get anything done.

Maybe you can’t get a job with a Baltimore-based Agora division today.  Okay, fine.

But you could make it an intention to develop your skills that they’d want to work with, you and they wouldn’t care about the distance or borders between.  And you’d do that by getting all the experience you could.

And, don’t discount local businesses.

Sure, the US has, by far, the most mature and developed direct response markets and businesses.  There’s a lot of history to it that I don’t have room to cover here, but I will tell you it’s mostly a matter of time and cooperation in the industry.

The US direct response industry is older, BUT…

The US does NOT have a monopoly on direct marketing opportunity or talent.

The same deep principles and strategies that work here can work in markets all over the world.  Yes, techniques and tactics must always be adapted to fit your market and your opportunities.  But as long as you’re selling to humans, pretty much all the DEEP truths of direct marketing will apply.

And if you look, you’ll find people all over the globe who are doing this — even if in some countries they’re much harder to find than in others.

So…  Maybe you take some time developing your chops, seeking out direct response entrepreneurs in your corner of the globe (this applies as much to Lincoln, Nebraska or Eugene, Oregon as to Mexico, Hong Kong, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil or wherever).

Get your start there…  And take the journey, with a destination in mind.

Your career path will start where you are, and will go where you take it…

Like you, I never wanted to relocate to Baltimore or South Florida.  So I haven’t worked with the Agora divisions much.  It could’ve been a great opportunity to go there full-time — and I recommend it to others — but it was never for me.

However, there has been ample opportunity for me, as a financial copywriter.

And you may find the same thing.

When you set your sights on getting good enough to get in at one of the Agora divisions, you may find alternative opportunities start to spring up.

You may find Mexico-based investment publishers who are looking for copywriters who’ve studied Agora-style copy.

You may find other companies who want a similar talent, but do things a little different.

You may find internet marketers who you can have a blast creating success with, that will give you powerful experience you can later pivot into freelance copywriting.

I don’t know — these opportunities are yours to discover.

One more thing…

I don’t know if this is for you — and it may require relocation as well — but I do know that Agora has a Global Projects division connecting ambitious marketers to their top affiliated companies around the world.  More information can be found here.

If that’s really where your sights are set, consider that as another option — although I’d be ready to bring your A-game because they, like the other Agora divisions/affiliates, are really looking for top talent.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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