Creating “escape velocity”
I’m not one to dwell on the negative aspects of marketing.
You could spend all day there.
And many people do.
I’d rather be creating something better, wouldn’t you?
It’s amazing that we have the power to choose exactly what we want our businesses to look and feel like to attract ONLY the people we want in our lives.
Yet, I remember when it felt like I had no choice.
Early on in my freelance copywriting career I was “brought in” to the world of Biz Op marketing, particularly Make Money Online (MMO).
I hated it.
It felt scuzzy.
The marketers were super aggressive, insincere, difficult to work with. I call them “telemarketers on laptops” because that’s essentially what they are…
Hucksters preying on people’s vulnerabilities over the internet instead of over the phone.
However, I was so eager to “prove the model” that I could write sales copy that succeeded in getting sales for clients that I wasn’t thinking about the TYPE of people I should be working with, only how to land any gig so I could put my skills to the test.
The copy did well enough, often enough, that the gigs kept coming.
Then I wrote a few breakout controls that allowed me to double, triple, and eventually quadruple my copywriting fees.
I was proving the model and eventually achieved escape velocity to go full time as a freelance copywriter.
But I never stopped hating the MMO market.
I found myself needing to achieve escape velocity again in order to steer into a new direction.
My best chance came in the form of a big name in the fitness space – Tom Venuto.
Tom’s digital product, Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle (now a best-selling book from Random House), had been a perennial top 3 seller in ClickBank Fitness niche for seven years straight.
Tom, an avid student of John Carlton’s, had written the copy himself, and with market competition increasing at intense new levels, he was ready to see what a hired gun copywriter could do to improve conversions.
I’ll save the “glory days” story behind writing the copy (with Carlton himself chiefing me!) for a raucous chat around the bar at Copy Chief Live in November, but once again…
I was able to beat Tom’s legendary control and enter the jet stream of a new market that felt like a much better fit for my style and sensibilities. (Health and fitness marketers are among the smartest and most resourceful you’ll find in the biz.)
Things kept getting better from there because I finally felt like I had a say in the type of people I worked with, the markets I wrote for, and the projects I would agree to.
You can make these choices much faster than I did.
While I don’t regret any part of my career because it was all part of the learning that fueled phase one of this epic journey…
I’m emphatic with freelancers I coach that they understand and embrace the power to choose.
We absolutely get to choose the people we work with and the niches we work in (from the very start), and doing so will accelerate our own escape velocity into a fulfilling career.
The good news, if you’re just getting started, is that you now have more choices than ever about the kinds of markets you enter, the types of people you work with, and the modalities you choose to specialize in.
And if you end up not digging the one you thought you would, it’s easier than ever to switch your focus, adjust your specialty and create brand new options for an equally hungry market.
The only “deadly mistake” you can make is waiting too long to get started.
I see a lot of freelancers putting off opportunities until some imaginary “perfect circumstance” presents itself.
It’s like buying a house, or having a baby, or getting married, or even ending a bad relationship…
There will never be an “ideal time” to do it.
And waiting can lead to stagnation, which leads to atrophy, which leads to death.
We’re made to move forward, and make mistakes, to learn and grow.
This is copywriting, not heart surgery.
You’re allowed to goof a couple of ‘em up.
Remember the big picture.
This journey will take you places you never imagined.
You always have choices.
The bad ones help you make the better ones.
Jump in and have fun.
I’m rooting for you
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