It’s painful…

I feel like I have this conversation over and over and over again.

And yet, at the same time, I keep hearing from people who clearly need to hear it all over again.

If you’re selling something that people don’t want to buy, you will fail.  You won’t get clients.  Those who do somehow make the decision to hire you won’t pay you what you think you’re worth.  And your career and business will be all struggle and no success.

If you call yourself a “copywriter” I’m especially talking to you…

In fact, let me just come out and say it…


For a long time, I’ve said, over and over again, that the only person who should call themselves a copywriter is the person who sells their services directly to the A-list direct response marketing clients.

The Agoras of the world hire copywriters.

Nobody else cares about copywriting.

Seriously.  Stop calling yourself a freaking copywriter!

(And yes, this is coming from the person who wrote The Copywriter’s Guide to Getting Paid, an entire book about the profession.)

And even if you’re writing for those companies, you shouldn’t even focus on being a copywriter.

Yes, copy may be the deliverable you actually give them.

But instead of focusing on the deliverable, focus on what it does for them.  Do you help your clients get more new customers through the door, off cold traffic?  Say that!  Do you help them maximize per-customer revenue through effective marketing to their current customer base?  Embrace that!

Forget this, “I write video sales letters.”

Nobody cares about your video sales letter.  They care about what it can do for them.

And here we could just as easily insert personal training service, dental service, real estate agency, financial planner, whatever!  It’s not about what you do or what you deliver — it’s about what RESULT they end up with!

YES, I’m ranting!  Here are some more exclamation points!!!!

Seriously.  This is important to get through your head.

Stop thinking of yourself in terms of what you do.

Start thinking of yourself in terms of the value you deliver.  And that value is solving a problem or helping your clients and customers get an ideal result.

Examples?  Why yes, I’ll give you examples…

I had someone reach out to me, who is interested in growing their career as a copywriter.

They said they’d picked the dentistry niche.  And they said they wanted to write a couple specific kinds of copy for a specific subsegment of dental practices.

And they were asking if they should do that, or if they should go with “funnels.”

Frankly, I think they knew the superficial answer: focusing on the funnels is more likely to get the client the result than giving them piecemeal copy.

BUT — and here’s the big BUT…

A dentist needs funnel like I need a hole in my tooth!

(Dang, that’s a great play on words — and suggests a 100% relevant example!)

I don’t go to the dentist because I want holes drilled in my teeth.  I go to the dentist because I need my cavity gone.

A dentist that runs a bunch of ads saying “I’ll drill your teeth” is going to spend their day staring at an empty dental chair, with not a client in sight.

A dentist that says “I’ll have your cavity — and toothache — gone in under an hour” is going to be a whole lot more popular.

In both cases, they’re going to fire up that drill, and run it right into my tooth.  But that’s not what I’m really buying.  What I’m buying is the result — a tooth without a cavity.

And so if you’re selling to dentists, selling copywriting services, you’re pointing them to the freaking drill bit, and saying this is what you need.  When instead, you need to point to their chair, and say that you can fill it.

They still need you to create the marketing.  They need the copy.  Or the funnel.  Or the whatever.

But they don’t care about the copy.  They just don’t want it to hurt too much, to fill that chair!

This applies to nearly any other professional practice or service firm…

They all need better marketing.  They thought that by going into business, they’d suddenly have all the client flow they could handle.  That they could focus on doing their job well, and word would spread, and the world would beat a path to their door.

Yes, and no.

It’s critically important to be great at what you do.  Delivering an A-level result for your clients is critical to creating and maintaining momentum in your business, and can be a huge multiplier.

But if you don’t already have people coming through the door, for whatever you have to offer, you’re not going to have anybody talking about you, either.

Which is bad news for that reliance on word of mouth.

So let’s say you are targeting your copywriting services at helping small mortgage shops get new clients.

Again, you could talk about the copy.  You could talk about the tactical stuff you do.  And at some point, you should be ready to discuss it — because that is a critical part of instilling trust in your services.

BUT that’s not what’s going to get you into the conversation in the first place.

“I can help you start conversations with home buyers before they even call a Realtor — and write more loans in your mortgage lending business.”

“Want 5 mortgage refi leads a day?  It’s on their mind, and they’re on the internet — I can get them to your site, and on the phone with you.”

I’m making this up, but you get the point, right?  I hope so!  People buy what they want, not what you’re selling.  Maybe what you’re selling will get them what they want — but if you don’t manage to connect the dots for them, you sure as heck can’t expect them to do it for you.

Now, how about some self-disclosure?

How I screwed this up very recently…

Since you’re a regular reader, you’re probably well aware that I’m working on a brand new approach to online fundraising — applying the proven principles and strategies of effective commercial direct response to the nonprofit space.

As part of that, I came up with my top 10 list.  This is the list of the 10 things that I believe, if every nonprofit adopted them, would have a multi-billion dollar impact on online fundraising.

But then I got in there, and couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

YES, all of these are critical steps.  And YES, they must be implemented, just like any business that wants high-ROI conversions from their website needs good response-oriented copy to convey their message and ask for action.

But few fundraisers care about that.

What do they care about?

Well, here’s a couple they’re particularly interested in: monthly giving, and major donors.

That is, continuity, and people who give a lot.

If I start talking about the mechanisms, such as funnels and landing pages and copy and everything that goes into these…

They don’t care!

But if I can promise that result?  They say, “How?  How soon?  How much?”

That’s the difference between talking about what people care about (which is themselves, their result, their problems solved) and what you care about (which is the tasks you do, that you’ve been told are valuable).

Want more?

This is the discussion started in — and that will be continued in — The Client-Getting Blueprint.  If you’re in a client-based business, this will show you how to get more of them.

The 90-minute overview of the entire system is there, and more training to flesh it out and give you an “over the shoulder view” will be coming in the days and weeks ahead.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr