direct response copywriting

EP 231: Freelancer’s Journey: Csaba Borzasi – Growing Your Business By Showing Your Work

   In This Episode One of the fastest ways to build a strong reputation for yourself as a freelancer is to create Authority Content by simply teaching what you’re learning. Csaba Borzasi (CH-aba Bor-za-SHE) has done an amazing job of this with his recent public challenge to break down 100 Legendary Sales Letters in 100 …

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EP 211: Coffe With Kev – The New Reality of Freelance Copywriting in 2021

   In This Episode Freelance copywriting changed in some significant ways in 2020, and if you’re prepared, those changes play perfectly into your hands. Today, in an intimate “Coffee with Kev” episode, I’m detailing how businesses are working differently with freelancers in 2021.  We’ve seen 5 major shifts in the marketplace, all spurned by the …

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David Deutsch Wisdom Tree

EP 204: CCR Wisdom Tree – A conversation with David Deutsch

   In This Episode David Deutsch is an A-List Copywriter in the truest sense… he started at Ogilvy and Mather (when Ogilvy was still leading the troops), pioneered the “magalog” style of direct mail sales letters, and has written for or consulted just about every major player in the industry for the over three decades.  …

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Copy Chief Radio

EP 201: CCR Wisdom Tree – Carline Anglade-Cole – The Copy Control Queen

   In This Episode Carline’s new book, My Life As A 50+ Year-Old White Male is a rollicking ride through her life as a Haitian immigrant in the U.S., a colorful childhood with a tough love twist, becoming an A-List copywriter known as “queen of the control”, and raising children to understand the power of …

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Ep 114: Content Marketing Gone Wild with Daniel Daines-Hutt

   In This Episode Content is an overlooked part of our job as direct response copywriters. Whether you’re using it for client research, creating it along with the copy, or guiding it through consultation, you SHOULD have a hand in your clients’ content to make sure all the messages match. It will boost the results …

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Ep 104: How To Heat Up Cold Traffic Using Story-Based Landing Pages with Rachel Mazza

   In This Episode Our ever-decreasing attention span (currently clocking at 8 seconds) means it’s critical that we’re able to move prospects from “unaware” to “aware and ready to buy”. In order to do that, we’re borrowing something newspapers used to use and adopting it for the Internet… It’s called an Advertorial. (Different industries call …

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Ep 154: Bond Halbert – Copy Secrets From A Legend In Direct Response

   In This Episode This man needs no introduction. Bond Halbert is the son of the great Gary Halbert, a man who left a giant thumbprint on the direct response industry… If Gary’s name doesn’t sound familiar, he probably the copywriter you started studying when you were starting out. In fact, Gary Halbert was one …

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[Story Sells] Boring Story? Play This Silly Kid’s Game

Now Christmas is a distant memory, how sad does winter look without the pretty lights and decoration?  At the height of the holidays, you barely notice the inclement weather. Now, without the festive cheer masking the reality, we yearn for the return of those ornaments that stir our excitement and lift our mood. You crave …

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Ep 145: Aaron DeHoog – The Invisible Force Behind A 12MM Sales Day

    In This Episode What does it take to break Agora’s single-day record for sales? Not just by a little, either. We’re talking old record: $5 million, and you kick out a TWELVE MILLION DOLLAR DAY. The answer surprised me and I think it will surprise you, too. Especially considering the cut-throat nature of …

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[Story Sells] “Ice-Breakers” in Ads: How To Gradually Introduce a Radical Idea

J.R.R. Tolkien had a big problem. He loved the ancient, epic tales. He began writing his own (see The Silmarillion). But he quickly discovered that these ancient worlds of honor and vengeance, with black and white heroes with little characterization, were almost totally inaccessible to a modern audience. All that oath-swearing. And listing of lineage. …

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[Story Sells] Beef Up Before and After Testimonials with this Story Technique

In Blake Snyder’s useful screenwriting how-to book, Save The Cat, he talks about two scenes you must have in your movie. An opening image. And a closing image. And one more thing: They should be OPPOSITES of each other. Why? To show how the character has changed and grown. This journey is the character’s “Arc.”. …

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[Story Sells] How to Name Your Products So They Stick

Han Solo. Gilderoy Lockhart. Benjamin Grimm. These names of fictional characters are easy to remember. Why? For one thing, they are all examples of “sympathetic naming”. That’s where you name a character after a trait they possess. So Han faces life pretty much “solo,” a lone-wolf. (Except for Chewbacca, who’s kind of like a dog.) …

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Ep 124: Joe Schriefer – How Agora Financial Will Generate $170M This Year (And Why Joe Wants You To Be Their New Copywriter)

   In This Episode The most important thing in marketing today is emotion. If you don’t stir enough emotion in your prospect, your message is as good as dead. One of the most powerful ways to hit the emotional hot buttons of your buyers is coming up with fresh, new, even dangerous ideas worth testing. …

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The 5 C’s of Indoctrination: Essential Website Elements To Welcome Cold Prospects And Convert The Curious

If you only sell to people who know the value of your product or service you’ll quickly run out of new customers, doomed to forever be a small fish flopping around in a shallow pool of revenue. To expand your market and increase sales you must indoctrinate new prospects. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of indoctrination …

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How to tell your story like Tolkien (and stop losing prospects to your competitors)

If you had to tell me your story right this second, would you be able to do it … or would you choke? You’d think it’s easy explaining who you are and why people should care. But if this were true, nobody would need copywriters. Bad storytelling means we risk confusing or boring people … …

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Ep 118: Roy Furr – The PAISA Framework For Writing Rock-Solid Financial Controls

   In This Episode “We talk a lot about entering the conversation already going on in your prospect’s head… but what does that really mean?” Roy said during our interview. My guest today is top copywriter Roy Furr. He has written control-busting copy for the likes of Bill Bonner and Mark Ford at Agora. Roy …

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[Story Sells] The Joy of Bob Ross: the hidden selling technique used by this mild-mannered painter in nearly every episode

When I feel stressed out at the end of the day, and I need to relax, I’ve got something better than single malt scotch. I tune in to an artist with a big ‘fro named Bob Ross, and step in his world of Happy Little Trees, in the Joy of Painting Series. (How’d he get …

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David Bowie: The Ultimate Artist-As-Entrepreneur?

June 2017 marks 50 years since David Bowie released his first album. The title of this landmark record? Somewhat unimaginatively, it was called: David Bowie. Ironic, because nothing else in Bowie’s extraordinary life was ever that predictable again… The Ultimate Artist-as-Entrepreneur As a long-time fan, I was recently struck by just how well some of …

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[Story Sells] The Harry Potter trick to easier storytelling

Got a “productivity hack” for you today. Especially for all you procrastinators out there, as you sit down in consternation at your vintage Corona-Smith typewriter. (If you’re a hipster or an oldster, that is.) If you don’t know how to start your story, use a trick from Harry Potter-author J.K. Rowling. To explain: You remember …

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How Eugene Schwartz’s Branding Secret Ignites Direct Response Sales

Before I became a copywriter, I spent 29 years working with brands. The power of those brands allowed me to create multi-million dollar businesses around the globe. That’s a nice piece of change. It worked because each brand had a clear identity that resonated with certain consumers. In fact, the product itself was often secondary. …

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[Story Sells] Establish Authority by Copying This Novelist Trick

  Can you establish credibility while lying your ass off? Yep. Novelists and other storytellers do it all the time. And when you tell true stories as a marketer, you can copy their technique to build trust. (Bonus: when you pull from real life, you don’t have to work as hard as professional liars.) Here’s …

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[Story Sells] How Bush beats Obama in your sales stories

  I loved watching SNL as a kid. My favorite player? Dana Carvey. You might remember some of his best characters … The very special Church Lady. The dependable Garth. And, of course, the fake George Herbert Walker Bush. Carvey’s impression of President Bush became so widespread, that the former president himself once did a …

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The Conscious Consumer: Who they are and why you need to know about them

  I’ve been watching this for a while and wondering if others have noticed it too. The modern-day consumer is more aware and conscious than ever before. For us as marketers, copywriters and business owners, we need to be more aware of what we do when we sell to them. You may be thinking… “what …

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The Voice Mistakes That Are Costing You Money (And How To Fix Them)

How do you measure whether your voice is a success? Here’s a quick test. Try reading this out loud: It’s impossible not to read it in Liam Neeson’s voice. If you’ve nailed voice, that’s exactly what you should be looking for when someone reads your copy. They need to hear you. On Copy Chief, we’ve …

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[Story Sells] How to Capture Drifting Attention with the Captain “Hook” Rule

You will lose sales unless you hook your customer’s attention with the very first sentence. But what do you say? Well, to figure that out, let’s look at what not to do. And then just do the opposite. Captain Hook and his pals at Jake and the Neverland Pirates hold the treasure we seek. If …

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Stephen King’s IT And The Secret To Creating Emotion-Driven Copy That Converts

It’s one of the most notorious openings to any novel… Shocking, gruesome… …and so very, very vivid. From Stephen King’s epic 1986 tale, IT: “A small boy in a yellow slicker and red galoshes ran cheerfully along beside the newspaper boat. The rain had not stopped, but it was finally slackening. It tapped on the …

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[Story Sells] The “Mother Rule” for Keeping Faith with your Prospect

Sell on emotion, justify with logic? Yes, but … Stories teach us that emotions have a logic of their own. We may be irrational, unknowable creatures … But at least in stories, emotions must make sense. If they don’t, then we the audience won’t believe what’s happening in the story. Like when characters do dumb …

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Ep 103: Marcella Allison – The Truth About Speaking Your Customer’s Language

   In This Episode Today you’re in for a treat. My guest is Marcella Allison and she’s the perfect guest to follow two epic episodes with Parris Lampropoulos. Why? Because she is one of the few writers that top-of-the-heap A-Listers including Parris, and David Deutsch look to team with first when it’s time to beat …

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Ep 102: Parris Lampropoulos – Next-Level Persuasive Copywriting Pt. 2

   In This Episode If you missed Part 1 of the rare interview with Parris Lampropoulos listen to that first for the full context of the interview and to get the backstory about the bullets (edited by Parris) that accompany these episodes. Enjoy Pt 2 right here. Can’t Miss Moments: 4:30 – Why most people …

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The #1 Way You’re Accidentally Killing Your Own Sales… And How To Fix It

As an entrepreneur in the self-improvement world, you’re pouring a ton of blood, sweat and tears into your business on a daily basis… You’re creating life-changing products and services and putting beaming smiles on people’s faces without them needing to gorge on an entire chocolate cake. You’d figure your work is done right there, and …

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[Story Sells] Sell On Emotion, Justify With This …

My nephew recently asked me how The Flash got his super-speed powers. My answer: “Barry Allen was struck by lightning while standing in front of a shelf of chemicals. The combination of the chemicals and the lightning gave him super speed. Lightning is very fast, after all.”* This story made sense my nephew. Lightning is fast, …

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[Story Sells] TESTIFY, brother: How To Tell A “Conversion Story” that turns your customers into your best promoters

A few years back I followed my buddy to a multilevel marketing event for a health supplements company. It was a big event, designed to bring curious seekers into the fold. Presenters talked up the company and the products … but what I remember most were the testimonials. And when I say testimonials, I mean ‘testimonial’ in …

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[Story Sells] How to harness the power of “Authenticity” for your sales story

You can ramp up the intensity of the stories you tell when you insert one basic theme. My friend Michael Hauge revealed this to me recently. According to him, nearly all stories in the world revolve around this central dilemma. And, so too, do our lives. When you put this theme into your stories – …

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Conterintuitive Copy – Why this company reveals how to make their product on your own

There I am innocently perusing Facebook and then…  woah! Good copy alert. Yes, I’m a nerd, buuuuuut… Check it: So I did what completely normal people do (right?)… and broke this down quick by asking 4 questions: What are they saying? Who are they speaking to? What is the voice? Does it work? 1. Why are …

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[Story Sells] Exposing the 60 Second Sales Hook: When Your Story Sucks

The 60 Second Sales Hook can ignite a timid prospect into action. Or it can freeze ‘em faster than the Ice Bucket Challenge – if you’re telling the wrong story. In a sec, I’ll give you a simple rule on how to chose which story to tell. First, a brief refresher of the Hook by way of …

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