A shortened version of this post was part of guest blogging at theconfidentcopyw….
You seen the ads right?
Make six figures while sitting at home – drinking lemon-aid, eating creme puffs, and writing some dazzling ad copy? All you have to do is buy this system and spend a few hundred.
It’s that old Joe Karbo ad: “The Lazy Man’s Guide to Riches” ad, appealing to our basic desire for “easy money”. And it’s an “expert” selling their knowledge, for the price of several hundred bucks. You can become a professional copywriter, Internet Marketer, enlightenment guru, etc. – just follow the ABC system to instant riches.
Don’t believe the hype!
I did in the first few months, as I journeyed to learn copywriting. Let me spend a few hundred on AWAI courses. But in the hype, lies a few pearls.
Michael Masterson is the brainchild behind AWAI. He’s good at copywriting, but even better at publishing start-ups (i.e. AWAI). But he has one great piece of advice: copy all the great ads by hand.
Remember that line? It’s from the Karate Kid movie. Daniel wants to learn to become a karate master. What did the old man do? Have him wax the car. Circle to the left. Circle to the right. Wax car. Sand floor. Paint fence. Boring as hell. Then you start to ask questions. Why is this copywriter saying this? Why are they approaching it this way?
Wouldn’t have believed it from one person. Then I went through job clubs – one was the Latter Day Saints. I got a hold of old stuff by Brian Keith Voiles (i.e. Advertising Magic) and found he was in Utah. I thought he must be Mormon (I’m not). So I tracked him down and phoned. Cool and down to earth guy. He also endorsed copying ads by hand.
Brian turned me on to http://www.makepeacetotalpackage.com, where Clayton Makepeace, Daniel Lewis, Tony White and guess speakers reside. 5 days a week. They share copywriting and marketing knowledge free. But Clayton also sells you his “secrets” on occasion – for a few hundred bucks. You don’t need that part!
Guess what? I always had this dream of being a famous writer. Someone like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling. But I took writing courses at my local junior college – very cheap.
Then you see reality. You go to writers conventions and what do you see? Full time writers hitting the road – hitting the speaking circuit. Perhaps they go to speak at libraries and they’re on the road over 60 hours a week.. Doing what you ask? Marketing themselves and their books.
Or become this lazy copywriter – as the ads say.
I would love to earn millions in royalties – not going to happen. Not unless you belong to the inner circle of business connections. Guess what? You need to work with someone already making millions.
Read the books – they’re cheaper
Here’s a secret, folks. The books contain the same info as the high priced courses – yet much cheaper. How cheap? If you visit your local public library, the cost is nothing. Don’t have it? They can get it free, through any library in the country.
If you like the book, order it at Amazon. Check the user reviews. Now on to the book types.
- Copywriting books – check out books by Bob Bly, Steve Slaunwhite, Dan Kennedy, Joseph Sugarman, Ben Hart, and others. Just go to http://www.amazon.com and put in the keyword copywriting. See what comes up and look at the overall reader review.
- Business of writing – writing’s a business. Look for books by Peter Bowerman, Steve Slaunwhite, Kelly James-Enger, and Lucy V. Parker. Heck! I once met Kelly at a local library writer’s talk. She was once a “bored” lawyer, before kicking up the writer’s circuit.
- Anything that tells a story (it’s key to ads) – what can that be? Anything and everything. Ayn Rand with her railroads and world rebuilding…Frank Herbert with his worms, spice, and sand everywhere…Franz Kafka with his weird dreams, indistinguishable from reality…J. R. R. Tolkien getting stuck in middle earth…or even some Marvel or D.C. Comics.
The Oasis in the Dessert
Lastly you find this oasis at http://www.asbdc-us.org/. They typically operate out of a university setting and contain a staff of 3 – 5 people. But here’s a secret. One member is a marketing professional. Type in your zip code and see what comes up.
My zip code is 60188 and four sources come up – all within about a 20 mile radius. I make friendships with all the marketing resources. And I discuss marketing strategies. The price? Free. I could say the value is “priceless”, but I think MasterCard would hunt me down.
They do have low cost courses. A sister organization is http://www.score.org/index.html. Yet I wouldn’t go to SCORE for advise.
Why not SCORE? Because they are more for building big businesses. Would you rather consult someone who ran a manufacturing facility or an SBDC marketing pro? They answer is easy. Yet I’ll take both SCORE and SBDC courses.