Why? Because success is 1% theory and 99% execution, and you sell execution.You charge people to help them execute, which means that theory = easy money for you.
You can afford to teach it all. Go deep. Show case studies and numbers. Use examples. Hold nothing back. Because you’re not selling information...you’re selling execution. And the more information you put out, the more someone will trust you to help them execute.
Doesn’t matter if they’ve read for 57 point checklist on landing page optimization...they’d rather have you write it for $500.Doesn’t matter that they saw your multi-million dollar VSL breakdown...they’ll want you to write their’s for them.
That’s why content marketing as a copywriter can be so effective. But you MUST commit to the process. Because it’s not instantaneous. It’s not overnight. It’s not even a month long sprint. It’s every day, every week, for the forseable future...and that’s the only way to do it.
So, without further fanfair...here are the 4 steps.
Step 1 - Become a perfect student of success in your industry
There are 3 main components to becoming the perfect student.#1 - Staying up to date with all relevant information
#2 - Doing your own experiments and work
#3 - Learning the history and principles behind your industry
By now, you should know what your industry is. If you don’t...shame on you. Figure it out. Commit to it.
If you’re second guessing yourself, pick a huge niche and then marvel at how dumb you were to not niche down further. For example, if you want to be a “health” copywriter instead of a “supplement” or “Fat loss information” copywriter...congrats. You just picked the biggest, most competitive niche in the Big 3: Health, Wealth, and Relationships.In order to be a perfect student in the “health” space, you’ll need to know about ALL the competitors in that space.
So start googling. Last I checked, there are about 45 million businesses that relate specifically to health. That doesn’t count the ones that float around the edges, which probably doubles that number.Point is: pick an industry and commit to it. Don’t pussy-foot around.Now, let me break down the HOW on “becoming the perfect student”#1 - Stay up to date with all relevant information You’ll need to set up a Google Alert system. If you don’t know how, check out this article: https://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-to-set-up-a-google-alert-and-why-its-a-good-idea/
Once you’ve figured it out, you’ll want the following topics (and I’d recommend sorting the alerts by topic in your inbox)
- Competitors and Industry Players These include your Dream 100, but also every competitor who’s worth tracking.
- Research and Data Follow the main publishers for your industry AND any universities, think-tanks, newspapers and magazines. You’re looking for original data and first hand accounts.
- Influencers and Thought Leaders Use hashtags and searches to find the most influential people in your industry. Another good tool to find influencers and trending topics is www.buzzsumo.com
- Books and articles By searching Amazon for influential authors and other publishing avenues, keep an alert out for new books on that same topic and make a point to do at LEAST a monthly review of the “Best Seller” lists for your category on Amazon.
*Note: all these alerts are going to flood your inbox with information. Create a system to manage it that works for you, don’t waste time reading stuff all day if you’re not going to use it. I like the tool “Unroll.me” if you want to keep all these alerts in one place to read later.
Once you’ve started to get a steady flow of new industry information, you’ll realize something...you can use this content.But here’s the catch:To do this right, you can’t just “curate” the information you find.You need to add your own insight, or even rewrite the stuff to fit your own ideas. You’ll need to showcase YOUR expertise, not someone else’s. So use the information, but don’t copy it.Another thing…It can pay to be controversial, if you’ve got a good idea about it. So if you find a popular piece of content that you disagree with, writing a rebuttal or “open letter” is a great way to hijack some of the traffic from that article.
#2 - Doing your own experiments and work
All the jobs you do in your industry are fodder for content. Depending on your contracts and agreements, that work might be anonymous or “theoretical”, or a specific case study. But what if you don’t have much client work to go off?Idea
#1 - Test Tube BusinessesThat’s where you implement what I call “TestTube Businesses”This is a lean operation to test new theories on. You’ll be running a very small version of whatever kind of business your ideal clients run, and you’ll use it to experiment on.Andre Chaperon calls this concept “Tiny Little Businesses” and uses them to build small affiliate marketing businesses...but you can do whatever you want.The simplest is an email list with an optin, perhaps a cheap cold traffic budget, and some affiliate offers that you write copy for via sales letter, webinar, or VSL.Traditional internet marketing stuff, but instead of trying to build an empire, you’re using it to test things.If your industry is heavily using Facebook Groups...you should start one of your own in your niche.If you’re a webinar expert...consider running your own webinars and offering affiliate products at the end.
The point here is NOT for you to run off down a rabbit hole of affiliate marketing and list building.It’s to practice new ideas on a small scale that you can leverage into content or results of your own.As a copywriter who’s proficient in your niche, you should be able to put up a landing page with a lead magnet you copy/pasted and start collecting emails in your niche within an hour. I can prove it to you if you don’t believe me.Remember to structure the “TestTube Business” in the way that benefits your industry. IE: don’t run Youtube traffic if your primary marketplace uses Direct Mail. Don’t hold a local event if you’re selling a $17 ebook. This will require some creative thinking and some foresight, but having your TestTube Business on hand will give you legitimacy that almost no other copywriters have.
Idea #2 - Reverse Engineering Live Funnels
Instead of (or...in addition to, if you’re a badass) running your TestTube Business, you can also reverse engineer the funnels of successful businesses in your niche.This does a couple things…
A) It allows you to spy on your competition AND potentially find things you can help them fix, for money.
B) It gives you an inside look into their marketing so you can take that knowledge and publish it to your audience.MANY copywriters have made a name for themselves very quickly by doing a professional and insightful breakdown of a live funnel and publishing it.
Consider it, because it’s easy and fast to do.
#3 - Learning the history and principles of your nicheThis one is easy. You just need to see what all the current content is referencing, and go read/watch/listen to that original content.For copywriting, that’s books like Breakthrough Advertising, Scientific Advertising, and How To Write A Good Advertisement.For your niche, it could be an old guru or set of videos. Maybe some old books or courses.Figure out what the defining principles of your industry are is actually a lot easier than most people think. By doing this after you’ve seen the current state of your industry, you should be able to pick up on the stuff everyone references pretty easily.
Alright, on to…Step 2 - Publish Content Constantly, Consistently, and With Quality The first rule of content publishing...is that you never stop content publishing.That’s the shitty part.Here’s the good part:People are information consumers. They care about real, new, relevant content CONSTANTLY...and they give their full, undivided attention to it. Plus, you get to test different things constantly to them, to see what they like more. It gives you more context about your marketing by testing things.Here’s how to do it:First, you need to own your primary medium and excel at it.Are you great on video? Engaging? Funny? Don’t stumble over your words? Look right at the camera? Nice smile?
Good. Then do video. And start doing it REALLY well by studying other people who are doing well on video.Are you a good writer? (You better be, if you’re reading this...but some are better than others and like it more)Are you a good talker, but not on video?
The three primary mediums are Visual, Audio, and Written.In our world, that means Video, Podcasting, and BloggingPick the one you’re best at, and then commit to getting REALLY good at it.
Second, you need to publish regularly, but with good quality.
There’s two pieces to this part.The first is called Pillar Content. This is the content that takes you the most time, but it’s also your best content. Production quality is higher, the insight is better, and the value is deeper.You’ll need to commit to publishing 1 piece of Pillar Content every week. I’d imagine that between research, production, and post-production, it will take you 10 hours per piece.Pillar content can be anything: a webinar, a blog, a live show, a video, an epic newsletter via email...whichever is the best application of your chosen medium.What’s important is the Quality and the Frequency. Both are equally important. Keeping the quality high while posting once per week. This is where you want to put your biggest effort.The second part of publishing regularly is called 180’s.
The 180’s concept is where you produce micro-content that doesn’t take more than 3 minutes to consume. (hence the “180 second” concept)These can take the form of Tips, Tricks, Hacks, Ideas, Insights, etc. It’s intended to be quick and easy to consume, but still valuable and not annoying.Your Pillar Content for the week feeds your 180’s. When you’re doing research or producing the content, you might find a piece of info or great tip that you can use. So keep on the lookout for it. You’ll want to post your 180 content 1-2x per day. Often enough that you stay top of mind, but not so often that people tune out.
Remember, all of this occurs in your chosen medium, but don’t be afraid to occasionally branch out. If you’re a Video person, doing a few Audio options can be a great idea. Sometimes a blog post is better read than a video.
The point here is Consistency and Reacting To Your Audience.
That moves us to…
Step 3 - Greasing The Slide
You’re not publishing content for your health.You’re publishing it to start conversations and get people to contact you about your services.So...how do you do that?Most people try to start at the bottom...driving free viewers or readers into a capture page for their email address or some other small thing.That’s stupid.If you’re going to put the time into producing great content consistently, then you only want to talk to highly qualified people as a result.That’s why “Greasing The Slide” starts at the TOP of the food chain, and only works down as you expand your reach and influence.So, here’s how to do it.
Phase 1 - Time Scheduler
You should already have one of these, but if you don’t...get one.I use www.scheduleonce.com
Make sure that you block out times that you’ll always be available to take calls, even if that’s only a few hours a week. You never know when someone will book a call, so you want to be open during those times.At first, all you need to do is put a simple Call To Action under all your content (180’s and Pillar Content)You can say something like, “If you liked what you just read/saw/heard, we may be a fit to work together. To schedule a time to discuss your project, go here: [Link]”The wording is specific...you only want people interested in working with you. You don’t want looky-lous or time vampires, and your Call To Action needs to reflect that it’s a business call, not a “strategy session” or some other stupid shit.
Phase 2 -
The Application Process Once you’ve got some calls scheduled, and you’ve gone through some stupid conversations with unqualified people, you’ll want to put an application process in between you and the phone call.You can get this done for free with Google Forms, but if you want it to look good and work on mobile, you should look at www.typeform.comJust put the link to the application in your CTA instead of the scheduler.Here are some awesome Power Disqualifiers that you can massage into application questions:
1) Do They Have Money? (Ask for things like monthly revenue or what they spend every month on advertising)
2) Do They Have A Bleeding Neck? (Ask questions like, “When would you want to start this project?” and then don’t get on the phone with anyone who says 6+ months)
3) Do They Buy Into Your USP? (Ask questions that pertain to your specialty, like, “how is your current webinar converting”
4) Do They Have The Ability To Say Yes? (Ask this question, “If we decide to move forward with the project on the call, do you have the ability to put a deposit down immediately?”)
5) Do You Fit Into Their Overall Plan? (If they qualify above, you’ll want to make sure that they actually need a copywriter, and not a technical person or a therapist.)
Phase 3 - Expanding The Funnel Downward Once you’ve eaten up the Level 1 awareness crowd, you can start driving some of your content to things like webinars, auto-webinars, video series, or pdfs. The intent here is to capture potential clients in a more broad manner, so you can market to them more intimately. It’s not essential at the beginning, but it’s a good thing to look for as you progress.
Phase 4 - Insert smaller conversion events
This is where you start to sell smaller stuff. Things like Group coaching, workshops, live events, and info products.Buyers of your products will sometimes become buyers of your services, and it means you get paid to qualify people.Case in point: a student of the Mentorship just hired me and one of the other students for a big job with a 5 figure bonus. It happens. And finally, on to…
Step 4 - Measure Everything Just because you’re publishing content doesn’t mean you don’t get to look at metrics and measure your performance.Here’s a good place to start: # of posts you made / number of clients you took on (or prospects you talked to) # of comments on content (also measure reactions, views, etc) # of leads per week. Measure down to the specific content piece, if you can. # of calls you had. # of clients you close.
That’s the bare minimum.The measurement should basically be:“I posted 10 times, had 45 total comments, got 4 leads, had 2 calls, and closed 1 client.”You can work your way up from there. Posts, Leads, Calls, and Clients are your metric. Research “UTM” codes and Google Analytics if you want to get fancy...but don’t get fancy until you get rich.That’s it. Go forth. Do great things.