Everything I would tell you about copywriting on a long road trip

In Blog, Freelancing
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…(as we escaped the law!)

Let’s imagine that you and I were thrown together by some random “madcap” movie plotline…

Something really zany, like I’ve been falsely accused of a bank heist because I’m a dead ringer for the actual bank robber (played by Bryan Cranston)… who the cops don’t know just escaped through the sewer tunnel, so now they’re chasing me!

That’s when I jump into your car as you drive away from Dunkin Donuts on an otherwise normal Tuesday morning. 

There’s a hilarious exchange where your character is panicking about getting carjacked, while I’m apologizing and trying to explain that I’m innocent – even though I’m now committing a crime on you! 

Then I notice you bought crullers instead of donuts, and I’m like “Crullers”? Who gets crullers at Dunkin? It’s not called Dunkin Crullers!”

And you’re like, “Wait. You’re carjacking me and insulting my choice of donut!? What kind of scumbag are you?”

Can’t you imagine the fun? 

I mean, here we just met, in these oddest of circumstances, but already we’re forming a playfully combative chemistry as if we’ve been neighbors in a wacky sitcom for years. 

Hollywood at its finest. Makes me miss even bad movies on the big screen.

Okay. So, what’s all this got to do with copywriting?

Well, for reasons we can come up with later, in Act II of our movie, in order to prove my innocence, the carjacking has now become a road trip. We’re driving all the way from say, Wichita, KS… to Los Angeles (it’s always Los Angeles, conveniently). 

Who knows why you’re going along with it? Maybe I’m pointing my finger in the shape of a gun underneath my jacket like those cop shows from the 70’s? 

Let’s not get hung up on details here. Point is…

We’ve got a solid 20 hours of non-stop driving in the car together. 

After a few hours we let our guards down a bit and get to talking. 

Pretty soon we know each other’s story and we’re discovering each other’s “big why” (cuz that’s what road movies do).

Turns out we’re both writers. 

We’ve each been in love with writing our whole lives. 

Bonding moment.

Only there’s one big difference…

Your character assumes there’s no practical way to make a living as a writer. 

You’ve looked into journalism – yikes! Horrible pay for tedious work on hard deadlines.

You dabbled in ghostwriting blog articles and it was good to be writing, but again, the money sucked and didn’t exactly light you up creatively. 

Writing novels? Sure that’d be cool. You have some exciting ideas, but it’s hard to get motivated when your chances of getting published are about as good as landing a movie role when you’ve only acted in one show at a local theater – when you were 13. 

My character though, has found the “secret” to making a very good living with writing. 

In fact, before this crazy mistaken identity police chase slash kidnapping episode, things were really humming along nicely. 

I retired as a freelancer who was bringing in over a million per year to his agency, and now has an even more successful coaching program where I teach writers (just like you) how to get really good at this thing called direct response copywriting, and then get paid really well to do it for clients. 

So, this becomes a cool sub-plot to our adventure. 

The bad luck that had me jumping into your car, insulting your choice of corporate baked good, and is now forcing you (at finger point!) to drive me across the country… might just turn out to be the most fortuitous chain of events you could have hoped for. 

Sure, we still bicker about snack choice at truck stops, and you toy with the idea of escaping when I run into the woods to pee, but dammit, I think we’re growing to like each other. 

Plus, we’ve still got like 15 hours of stealthy backroad driving before we make it to L.A. where I’ll somehow be able to prove my innocence and end this crazy charade. 

So now we’ve developed this student/mentor relationship where I’m explaining how this whole copywriting gig works. 

You’re in the passenger seat with a notebook open and I’m driving (is it a minivan? Minivans are funny) monitoring a police scanner I lifted from the truck stop… 

… and giving you a crash course about how to take your existing writing skills, combine it with some specific persuasion techniques, and begin writing advertisements for all kinds of fascinating products. 

We start by covering exactly what copywriting is, how it’s different from any other writing, and why good copywriters make “famous novelist” money, even if nobody knows their name. 

Next we dive into how to use your natural curiosity to uncover facts about the product, the market, and the customers for the products you’re writing about. 

You realize these fun research methods are where you solve the sales puzzle and figure out exactly what your customer needs to hear in order to get excited about buying the product.

Then I’d walk you through a few frameworks for writing the ads.

How to fly through a first draft using the 10 questions (almost) every ad must answer to make the sale, a quick 4-part story formula that creates an instant bond with the prospect, and how to write short, punchy one or two line sentences that ramp up the benefits and keep the reader glued to the page.  

Then I’d show you how these simple writing formulas can be used in everything from Facebook ads, Email, Sales Pages, Video Scripts, and whatever else you need to write. 

And just as the sun peeks over the valley, shining hope on a new day as we enter California…

I’d explain which pieces of copy to write first and put inside your portfolio of samples to show clients and get hired

Ahhh, sounds kinda dreamy, actually. 

Damn, now I wish we were in a madcap movie plot together with hours of uninterrupted driving 

So we could talk all this out. 

I guess that’s not practical. 

And this movie, which will score much better with audiences than critics on Rotten Tomatoes, will be over soon. 

The cops finally believe I’m not Bryan Cranston. 

You and I both need a long shower and to get back to our lives. 

Yet, we’re both changed for the better because of our time together.

Before we part, I hand you a slip of paper and tell you to open it when you get home. 

When it’s time, you see it’s a URL to a website – copychief.com/join 

It’s the complete video trainings of every copywriting method we talked about in the car – and tons more great stuff on how to get very good, and very well paid as a copywriter. 

Okay, now this IS real.

Go look!

 



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Kevin Rogers
Kevin Rogers
Kevin Rogers is a stand up comic turned copywriter and now a copy chief. Kevin is also a best-selling author of The 60-Second Sales Hook. He created Copy Chief to bridge the gap between biz owners eager to improve their sales conversions and copywriters eager to show off their hard-won copy chops.
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