Many of you have heard my story and how I startedmy business with a classified ad. But you probably dont know how I made the move from marketing consultant to copywriter.
Its not pretty. In fact, Ive kept it underground until now.
Well, heres how it all happened.
I started out as a marketing consultant out of desperation. I had enjoyed some success marketing my hairdressing salon (which nevertheless ended up failing due to poor cash-flow, staffing problems and inexperience) and had no money so figured Id place a classified ad on credit.
I received a handful of calls and was in business.
I figured everyone would love to know how to grow their business. And if I guided business owners to do it, they would just follow along, make money and everyones a winner.
Firstly, because I was running small classified ads without any follow up sales letters, etc. to qualify, I wasnt really attracting qualified clients.
So while I may have convinced them to come on board, I was always in the position of advising my customers to do something.
Id recommend a strategy and say do that. A week later I would ask them if that job had been done. The answer was often no.
A week after that the same story and so on.
It goes without saying that its very difficult to build a level of proof in your business if hardly anyone follows through on what you say.
Thats the problem I found with marketing consulting. Some business owners did follow through on my recommendations, but most didnt. Its the same problem with seminars and events across the board getting people to apply new concepts and change their approach can be very, very difficult.
By chance, I found myself doing more and more copywriting. And I was getting some results such as this testimonial from Jim Howes from Australian Technical Cleaning
Scott, I believe that conservatively, the advertisement you wrote will double my domestic turnover. It is attracting a better class clientele, in the 45 & over age group the ones that dont quibble over the price and just want a good job done. Its not attracting the price shoppers. My conversion rate has also increased and I am getting a lot less price resistance. Thank You.”
But I continued to struggle and scrape by. I even took a job for a couple of weeks for another marketing company to get me by. That was until my wife saw an advertisement in the newspaper from Readers Digest offering a copywriting position. My wife who has an amazing gut feeling and intuition about things told me I MUST reply to that ad.
I reluctantly wrote a letter, met with their HR department and the copywriting manager, Janet Maddock, who later wrote this testimonial for me
Over the years, I have seen hundreds of copywriters. Scott is without a doubt one of the best in Australia. Hes one of the rare breeds of classic, results oriented direct-mail copywriters that focuses on bringing the benefits off the page to elicit a response from his readers. His copywriting is such a joy to read, because its the sort of copy that gets a huge response. It goes straight to the heart of what the customer wants and delivers results and huge profits for your clients.”
Janet Maddock, Promotions Manager, Readers Digest Australia, NSW
Now I was starting to gain some confidence. And in my experience, confidence is money in the bank. But I still had a fear about giving away marketing consulting and focusing on consulting.
Anyway, I phoned Brett McFall for some advice (who is an awesome and very generous guy) and told him about my experience. He thought I was better off working for myself, recommended I talk to a few people and also put me onto a copywriting course which gave me the foundation I needed to take my skills to the next level.
Its probably one of the most thorough programs youre ever likely to come across. And if you are serious about writing copy for your business or becoming a copywriter yourself (and potentially earning several hundred dollars an hour, like I do), I urge you to go and check it out.
Anyway, thats the story of how I went from marketing consultant to copywriter. Interestingly enough, as soon as I made that decision I had a 7-week run where I made about four times my average income I was making at the time.
Needless to say, Ive never looked back.