The opposite day, Stephen Davies of The Copywriter’s Institute referred to as to ask me a bunch of questions that starting copywriters most frequently ask me. And since they’re the identical questions a lot of you ship to our suggestions field every day, I determine the solutions will likely be useful for you too.
Stephen Davies: Clayton, how did you get began writing gross sales copy? Would you advise others to take the identical path you probably did?
Clayton: Effectively, it might be sort of exhausting for somebody to take the trail I did. I needed to drop out of highschool once I was 16, and took a job at a printing plant to assist assist the household. The printing plant did lots of fundraising unsolicited mail, so I would sit at a folding machine all evening lengthy and browse the enchantment letters I used to be folding.
After some time, I made a decision I may most likely do a greater job writing this type of factor than the extremely paid marketing consultant who was doing it on the time. So I gave it a attempt. And once they truly mailed my letter, I beat the company’s $300,000-a-year marketing consultant. That was my first indication I may change into a copywriter.
However my past love was movie and video manufacturing. I moved to LA and I used to be very lively in that for some time. Nonetheless, in 1974, the freelance movie & video business nearly died. There was virtually no work there due to the recession.
That is once I noticed an advert for a small unsolicited mail company that wanted a copywriter. I spent a number of years there, and at last, I feel it was 1979, I left and went out by myself.
So I actually simply sort of stumbled into this. I did not actually select to change into a copywriter. I used to be mainly attempting to feed a spouse, two youngsters, and the world’s dumbest Cocker Spaniel. The chance simply to work in 1974 was what drove me into copywriting on the time.
Stephen: How lengthy did you write copy earlier than you truly branched out by yourself?
Clayton: I went to work at that company, I imagine it was late ’74, and I labored with them till, if I bear in mind accurately, most likely late 1978 or early 1979.
I did not depart the nest voluntarily. There was a dispute over a bonus the company’s proprietor owed me, and once I requested cost, he fired me.
So I abruptly discovered myself with no job, no prospects. However I did have a newly acquired ability from 4 or 5 years of company work, so I instantly started contacting potential purchasers within the Los Angeles space.
We had BBD&O and several other different Huge Eight advert companies there in LA, plus Smith & Hemmings, which was solely a direct response company.
So I shaped a small company referred to as Copy Overload and despatched a letter to each promoting company within the space. The premise of the company was that even company copywriters go on trip, and everytime you want extra copy then you possibly can produce for no matter motive, we’re right here for you.
My promotion for that company mentioned, “Solely a ski masks and a loaded 45 will get you more cash faster than a Copy Overload promotion.”
I instantly began getting phone calls from inventive administrators who wanted copy accomplished that they could not get accomplished in home. And that was sort of the start of my freelance profession.
Stephen: How a lot expertise ought to an individual have within the area earlier than they change into a full-time copywriter? In different phrases, how have you learnt when you’re adequate to go full-time?
Clayton: Whenever you’re creating winners part-time.
See, lots of people may inform you the best way to get purchasers and the best way to construction your offers, and the best way to construct your copywriting enterprise. However the backside line is, are you able to produce winners?
You probably have a number of promotions in your portfolio which have mailed large numbers or generated large numbers when it comes to response, common sale and ROI, you possibly can take that portfolio and, in impact, “promote” it.
Put merely, the choice to change into a full-time copywriter should not be denominated in time. It ought to be denominated within the winners that you’ve produced.