Elizabeth is one of my Authentic Copy students. In this interview she tells me how in just 26 days from joining Authentic Copy she won her first copywriting client.
To hear Elizabeth’s story and learn just how she was able to go from zero to hero, listen to the interview below.
If you prefer, you can read the full transcript here
Tina: Hi, this is Tina Lorenz, and I’m here today with one of my Authentic Copy students, Elizabeth McGee. Hi Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Hi there.
Tina: I’m glad you could join me today. Elizabeth has been an Authentic Copy for just a few short weeks and has already had some really cool results from it, and so I asked her to join me today so we can talk about it. So thanks for joining me and…
Elizabeth: Thanks for having me.
Tina: I was looking back to see, when exactly did you join? It’s been a few weeks, but something really cool happened after a matter of days in the program, what happened for you? How long had you been in the program?
Elizabeth Wins Her Very First
Copywriting Client in Just 26 Days!
Elizabeth: Yeah, it did happen quickly. I joined just after the new year sometime in February, and I kinda got started right away. I jumped in, and I started reading the material, and I joined the Authentic Copy Facebook group really quickly. Within about three weeks, a little over three weeks, I ended up getting my first copywriting client.
Tina: Very exciting.
Elizabeth: I know! Yeah, it was, it happened pretty quickly for me.
Tina: Actually, I went back and looked at the numbers of how long you’d been in, because I knew about the client, and it was exactly 26 days. Twenty-six days from being in the program, you had your first paying copywriting client. So what I teach in Authentic Copy are these three essential components. So I teach in our writing, the opt-in, writing a sales letter, writing emails. But I also teach that you can just take part of that even, and stay three steps ahead, you can begin writing copy for clients. Did you have to write the opt-in, the sales letter and the emails, within those 26 days, is that what you were doing?
Elizabeth: No, I didn’t do that. And that’s one of the great things I think about this group, you just sort of start where you’re at and go from there. I only did the email component for the project that I worked on. I haven’t done any sales letters yet or opt-ins. But it’s totally possible to just start with one and sort of learn that and get it down and feel comfortable. The future for me is I’m feeling like, yeah, I can do this, this is working.
Tina: I think that’s really exciting because the emails are, I would say, easier to write than just writing the sales letter, so a person could even start by specializing in being an email writer. You know, one of the things that’s exciting to me in Authentic Copy, is getting new copywriters ready to meet with clients. I get asked every week now because of my colleagues and the masterminds I’m in, and now that I’m teaching copywriting again, because I haven’t had a program where I was teaching for a while, and I’m getting requests all the time for, “Do you have anybody that can do this?” Because my fees are super high and a lot of people can’t afford that yet. So I call it affordable copywriting, but still paying very well. So, without going into specific numbers, were you able to recover what you invested in Authentic Copy by writing those emails within the first three weeks?
Elizabeth Says “I Was Able to do it So Quickly!”
Elizabeth: Yeah, I was, and that was the other shocking thing to me. It just surprised me that I was able to do it so quickly! I did, I made the money back that I’d spent in the program plus some, which was awesome. It’s definitely inspired me to keep going even more.
Tina: So, the other thing that I think that happens with this, you mentioned the Facebook group and it’s called Authentic Copy Interactive. It’s a private Facebook group. And I go live every week and I critique copy, and I teach new marketing strategies. We go more deeply into the things that you’re learning in Authentic Copy like mindset, keeping that success mindset up. Did you have to write those emails all by yourself? Was it like, “Okay, good luck Elizabeth, hope you can write them.”
Elizabeth: Oh, no, no. I got started, but there are so many resources between the guidebook, and I always tune in on Tuesdays to the Q and A, which is super helpful, and seeing other people’s work get critiqued is huge because you can apply it to anything that you’re doing really.
Tina: I am actually critiquing your emails for you. So we went back and forth and really fine-tuned those emails for the client to make sure that they were really the best they could be as you are writing them. I gave you the input, and I went through and said, “here’s why.” So I think that one of the things that I really strive to do is not just say, well, just change this. While I’m going through the copy, I’m teaching why we’re changing it. How was your experience with that as you were learning and editing yourself with your emails, what was your experience with learning from me?
Elizabeth Gets all the Support She Needs from Authentic Copy
Elizabeth: I think that was the biggest part for me, it was the why. It wasn’t just like, this is what you should do just do it, but the why you should do it. It was definitely a mindset thing, and I found that intriguing because every time you critiqued a part of my copy, I could see why. I said oh that makes sense that completely makes sense. And then when I went to write the next one, I would apply that, and I learned something every single time.
Tina: Yeah. Because really the strategies, this is one of the things that I keep pressing, these strategies work for any niche market. They work whether you’re writing a sales letter, or an email, the same concepts are going to work. I think that’s what you experienced as you were changing. As you were doing some editing on the emails you were writing, it was already kind of embedding in your subconscious, why it’s important, but more than you might realize as you were writing the next one. It’s like, “Oh yeah, this is why I’m doing this.” And so there’s almost a pattern to it, to replicate, but it’s still original. And for that particular client and their particular product, it works, you know, the framework of why you’re doing that. Do you feel like, that makes sense to you? Does that sound like what happened?
Elizabeth: Absolutely. Because I think one of the things that you said in one of your videos was everything that I do in my copy, there’s a reason why something is bolded or underlined, in italics, or whatever. And I found that was happening as I was doing it. I was like, that needs to be capital letters, that should be bold. As you were critiquing it and adding more of that, it made total sense. And by the end of the sequence of emails that I wrote, I would have started in completely differently, from taking everything that I learned from that experience. So next time I can take that and apply it to the next one, and I think feel even better about it.
Tina: Well, that’s the thing, because, I’m kind of stumbling over my words here, but I think you like, it sounds like wow. You know, you went back, and you’ve edited, did it take you a really long time to write these emails?
Elizabeth:It actually didn’t take as long as I thought it was going to. Once you get going, once you start, and I think one of your tips too is to just start, just start writing because you could just sit there all day and think about it. And I did a lot of thinking when I wasn’t writing, but once I sat down to write and just got it out, I kind of went quickly.
Tina:That’s what I call the subconscious copywriting. It’s actually kind of percolating, right? You kind of think about it, so you’re actually working on it without realizing you’re working on it. It just starts happening. When you sit down and start to write, you already kind of know where you’re going. But the thing is, thinking about what you told me before, the deadline with it, I believe you had all of the emails written in about two weeks from start to finish, the edits everything, about two weeks yeah?
Tina: And I don’t think you were working 12 hour days or anything.
Elizabeth: No, no, nope. No, definitely not. I was surprised how quickly it went once I got going.
Tina: Well how many emails did you write in those two weeks?
Eight Email’s in Two Weeks
Elizabeth: In the end, it turned out to be eight emails I wrote for my first copywriting client.
Tina: That’s awesome. And then you got your first payment. Have you ever written copy before? Have you ever gotten paid to write copy before?
Tina:So this was the first, right? Your first copywriting client?
Elizabeth:This is a first for me. This is completely new for me.
Tina: So let’s just review. In 26 days, you got your first copywriting client through kind of a networking opportunity that came up from being in the group. You were able to write eight emails, and you got paid more than you invested in Authentic Copy. You delivered eight emails within two weeks and here’s the best part, what did the client say to you when you delivered the emails?
Elizabeth: Oh, she said, WOW! I think it exceeded her expectations, which of course I’m thrilled about because there’s always that, go ahead and send them, and it’d be the first one. I thought they were pretty good, and we had talked about it, and I was happy with what we were giving her, then just waiting to see what she would say. And I think she was surprised and happy.
Elizabeth’s First Client Says
“Oh My Gosh, I Can’t Even Believe What I Got!”
Tina: Great. Well I can actually testify here myself because I know this client, and I happened to have a conversation with her yesterday, she’s beyond happy. Elizabeth has been very modest, the client is like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t even believe what I got!”
She has a very successful business, and she’s not a copywriter, and like many entrepreneurs, she was feeling stuck. “I know I need this email sequence and I know I need to be doing this, but this part’s hard for me.” She’s a genius at what she does, but this part was like, (sigh) “Oh” you know that kind of a feeling? So in the past she thought, why would I pay someone to write copy? They’re not going to be able to sound like me or be me.
One of the things I did, is I helped youwithhow you would interview the client, how you would meet with them ahead of time to get the information you needed, that was the first step. And then you began to lay out the plan, and you began writing the emails, and now the client is like, “this is better than I ever would have done for myself”. I said to her, “so this is kind of like you only better.” And she said “exactly.” I mean, she’s seriously blown away, blown away by what she got. So I am like YES Elizabeth! High five!
I just love, love, when this happens for people that I’m teaching copy too. As a matter of fact, the client, I happened to know, told you that she’s probably going to want you to write some more emails and possibly a sales letter.
The thing I want people to understand with watching this, is how really achievable this is, you put in the effort, you started right away, you joined the group. You didn’t sit back in the corner and say, well, I’ll just try and kind of do this on my own. You became involved immediately, which is very important.
How Networking Gets Results
Tina: One of the things I’ve talked about for years, since I started copywriting myself, is networking, how important the networking is. I shared the story with you inside the group that I went to an event in Maine, it was a small event. I went as a brand new copywriter, I’d never written for anyone, and I had the opportunity from going to that, I wrote my first sales letter, got invited to another event, wrote another sales letter, and that’s how it all started for me. I really, really encourage people about the networking. Now there are so many ways to network online too, and you never know where those networking opportunities will come from. So for you, it came from being in Authentic Copy and being in the Authentic CopyInteractive Facebook group because you participated, that’s why this opportunity arose for you.
I just can’t emphasize that enough for people, just getting started. When new copywriters are like, “How am I going to get that first client, how am I going to get it?” I include a bonus in Authentic Copy about how to get your first client, and networking’s one of them. To me it’s right at the top of the list, it’s really at the top of the list because it’s about who you know and about people getting to know you, and being helpful, and being willing, then things can happen that might surprise you, and that’s what happened for Elizabeth.
I just want to say I’m so proud of you, really proud of you! And I’m excited about where this is going to go for you. Because I know that you were in another profession, but it was kind of like, “meah,” not really wanting to do this anymore. There are so many people that are like, “I don’t like my job. I don’t want to have to go work for someone else.”
How Copywriting Brings Freedom
Tina: I know you have children; you want to be available to them. I think they play soccer, things like that that you want to be involved with?
Elizabeth: Yeah right.
Tina: And I think you’re already beginning to see how freeing this can be to learn to write copy and what the possibilities are.
Elizabeth: Oh yeah, absolutely, definitely. I’m definitely seeing that it’s not the too good to be true kind of thing. You’re wondering as you’re looking around for opportunities, and you’re not sure which ones to spend your time pursuing. I did some research about copywriting and then when I came on the course, by that point, I just knew that if I tried to do it myself, it was going to take a million years and I would be doing a lot of guess work. I was kind of already guessing, I had so many questions and I just needed people to talk to.
Elizabeth: I just didn’t want to take the slow boat and have it take me five years to get started. And I started a little bit online with Upwork, which I think can be really great, but when you’re just starting out, and you also have all those questions, I found it to be really difficult. So this was great. I didn’t wait too long before I joined your group, which I’m really glad for, because I think I saved myself a ton of time. Immediately, I started getting stuff out of the Q and A sessions. Just having other people in the group to talk to I think is huge, and you don’t feel you’re alone. It shows you that you can do this, this can be done. I didn’t have any experience in this field at all, so yeah, it really can be done.
Tina: So you’re officially a Celestial SherpaTM now, we call ourselves Celestial Sherpa’s.
Elizabeth says “Just Do It.Jump Right In”
Tina: So, in closing, I’d just like to say for anyone that’s thinking “I think I might want to try copywriting. Is it for me?” or “What about this Authentic Copy thing Tina Lorenz does?” What would you say to someone considering joining Authentic Copy?
Elizabeth:I would say do it! I’d say, go for it, join, don’t wait any longer if you’re thinking about it. If you’ve made the decision that you want to learn about copywriting, just do it. Just make the decision; just do it. Jump right in. You do get out of it what you put in; there’s lots of material, you’ve got to take it all in, you’ve got to go back and read it again maybe. Watch Tina’s videos; I’ve watched them all. Honestly, don’t wait, you’ll get out what you put in, and it definitely is a great opportunity. I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something with some flexibility. You don’t want to be in the office all day. You want to make your own schedule, and you want to be able to make decent money doing it.
Tina: Exactly. It’s only going to go up from here. You know, as you continue to learn, and you start accumulating more clients, it just continues to get better. So thank you so much.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I can totally see that.
Tina: We’ll continue to see each other in the group every week. I’m excited to continue to see your journey as you become a freelance copywriter, which actually you already are, growing your experience. So thanks again, and I hope it will help those of you watching today and I’ll talk to you soon Elizabeth. Thank you.
Tina: This is Tina, and I’m so happy you’re joining me today. I’m here with my friend and colleague, and I’ll tell you about the other part in a minute, but Julie Anne Eason. Hi, Julie.
Tina: I’m so happy that you’ve made time for me. Julie has a publishing company called Thanet Publishing. Am I getting it right? I don’t want to mess this up.
Julie: Thanet House Publishing, pretty close.
Tina: She’s been working in the world of writing for I think over thirty years. Is it thirty?
Julie: Really long time, yeah.
Tina: So you and I both have the distinction of not being 20-year-old Millennials online, so we have tons of experience.
Julie: I have children who are 20-year-old Millennials.
Tina: And she started writing for newspapers, for small money I think, going to the meetings, school board meetings and writing articles, and Julie, you’ve been down the same road that a lot of we, as freelancers, have been on where you have the ups and downs and kind of the wobbles with how you think about what you’ll be able to get and all that and so – with freelancing. But that brought you to—shameless plug—Julie’s new book.
Julie: Yeah. I don’t even have a copy. It’s my book, and I don’t have a copy.
Tina: I had connections with Amazon, and I’ve actually started reading it, and I especially like the chapter where you talk about the difference between being an entrepreneur, being a freelancer or working remotely, and so super good book. Be sure you get it, so shameless plug. But that – and your own publishing house published this, right? Your first book that your own publishing house has published, so that’s awesome. Congratulations.
Julie: Thank you.
WHY You Should Learn Copywriting With Authentic Copy
Tina: The other thing that people may not realize, and I just call you Julie. Do you prefer to be called Julie Anne?
Julie: No, that’s a funny story. Everybody asks me that. Julie Anne – there was a Julie Anne Eason – when I was in journalism, and I was writing for magazines. There was a Julie Anne Eason who was already established. Or no, there was a Julie who was already established, and this is before there was internet. This is before – everyone went –
Tina: I remember those days.
Julie: Do you have the email, is what everyone would ask. And so – which is hilarious, but so I just put Julie Anne to differentiate myself, but Julie is fine.
Tina: Okay, cool, because I always called you Julie. So – but Julie’s other kind of secret that a lot of people may not realize is you’ve ghostwritten books for a lot, a lot, a lot of big-deal entrepreneurs and influencers, and I’m going to do another little shameless plug because you actually worked with Russell Brunson to write DotCom Secrets, Expert Secrets, and you’re working with the fabulous Alex Charfen right now to write his new book that I don’t know the name of it and will soon be revealed I’m sure.
Julie: We have actually a whole line of books he’s coming.
Tina: And that’s – so it’s just super awesome, and I’m just so proud of you because the other part of our relationship is Julie learned copywriting from me in Authentic Copy 1.0, which, oh my gosh, I think it’s been like ten years, something like that.
Julie: At least. I was trying to think how long ago it was. I’m like, I don’t even remember. It’s like a whole other –
Tina: Another life.
Julie: A whole other millennial. I don’t even know how long. It was a long time ago. Let’s just say it was 1.0.
Tina: Okay, it’s 1.0, and that was actually done as a live event in Tucson. Ironically, I now live in Tucson part-time as well, but at that point I just loved Tucson, so we had the event there. And I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about how the copywriting marketing foundation, how that led you to the fabulous level that you’ve achieved now because I think a lot of people don’t realize how foundational copywriting really is. And I didn’t even know what it was until I was past 50. I was actually past 50 years old before I even knew what copywriters did, and when I read about it online, I just read an article. It just kind of lit me up, like I can do this. I can do this.
And so I just jumped in, and I knew nothing about being online. I’d never been on the internet. I’d never been paid to write anything in my life, and on my side of the story, I went to over six figures in the first year. Now, you and I both know that that’s kind of unusual actually, but you can make a great living as a copywriter, and foundationally it can lead you to other things. It just starts to open doors, and maybe – what do you think, Julie? I think it almost was like it kind of activates a different part of your mind or your mindset about what’s possible for you when you start working in copywriting and marketing and starts opening doors to other things you could do with that skill. What do you think?
Julie Says “Everybody Should
Freaking Learn Copywriting”
Julie: Whether – so I think whether or not you ever want to be a copywriter, everybody should freaking learn copywriting because – not because you’re learning how to write, but you’re learning how to persuade. You’re learning how to be succinct and direct to the point. You’re learning – most importantly, and I have to correct people about, this all the time, and it doesn’t matter if they’re web designers or copywriters or they’re authors. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. Any time they’re putting a piece of communication out there our natural human instinct is to put out what’s about us first. So – and I just did this yesterday for one of my authors who put up a landing page for a retreat she’s doing, and she had the price right at the top. And I’m like – I said it’s about them, not about you. That is the biggest, biggest thing that you can ever take away from copywriting. I learned it’s not about you; it’s about them. Put their shit first – sorry. Put their stuff first.
Tina: It’s all right.
Julie: You have to make it about them, and you put it – and the whole thing with copywriting, and it doesn’t matter if you’re learning it to help your own business or whether you’re learning it to become a copywriter professionally or you’re learning it for – just because it’s a cool thing to learn. I mean it’s so valuable because when you’re in the mindset of who is reading this and understand the fact that they are naturally concerned about themselves first just like you are, when you understand that and you can put their needs first, their problems first, their pains first, their solutions first, and you do that, and then you say I can offer this solution or this client can offer this solution, you’re done, like sold. Sign me up. Take my money.
That’s – that is the foundation of business I think, and I think that it’s honestly like so important to learn that even if you’re – you never want to be a copywriter, but yes, being – I mean copywriting led me to a lot of different things, and it was because it was the last day of your seminar, and it literally – you said, oh, and by the way, there’s other things you can do with this. You literally said, “by the way, you can do affiliate marketing, and I had never heard that word before, and I was like, well, what’s that? And I remember Pam Marshall and Elizabeth Purvis and everybody, we were all kind of like, what’s that? And so you explained it, and we were all like, well, screw writing for clients. Let’s just do this cool thing.
And so I know that a bunch of us in that class have gone on to create businesses that have nothing to do with copywriting, but the copywriting supported it beyond our wildest dreams. I couldn’t be where I am without it, and I did – I was a professional copywriter for a very long time. That’s how I ended up writing for all of these amazing people is I was a copywriter, and all my clients were like, so can you write a book? And I’m like, yes, yes I can. I can write a book, and I had never written a book. I didn’t know if I – you always say – this is another thing that you always said, Tina, was you say yes, and then you figure it out.
Tina: Exactly. I say stay one or two steps ahead of your client.
Julie: Right, and that’s not – I mean that sounds bad. It sounds misleading and deceiving, but the truth is you do know how to do things, and you can figure it out, and if you know how to write a sales letter, then you can write a book. It’s okay. And then the next question was, well, can you write it in a week? And I’m like, yes, sure. I can write a book in a – and I did because I didn’t know that I couldn’t, and I didn’t have that in my brain.
Julie says “The First Thing
You Have to Learn is Mindset”
Tina: That’s the other thing. One of the things you’ve said to me is that when you first were learning from me, there was one aspect that you were kind of like, what? What’s this all about? So what was that? That something –
Julie: Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. So the word, mindset, is thrown around like Cheerios. Nowadays, it’s like, whatever, it’s mindset this and mindset that. I had never heard that word when I took that class, and you led with it, and that was the first. You were like, the first thing you have to learn is mindset. You have to understand that you are abundant, and you can make all this money, and you might – I was making $25 an article and spending four hours doing it including sitting in an incredibly boring meeting and taking notes and then writing it and everything. And at that time, that was good for me because all I wanted was $100 a month so I could buy diapers for my kids.
How Tina Got Julie to a 7-figure Mindset
But mindset can shift you into the next level and the next level and the next level, and you have to understand what’s possible and that you have every expectation of getting there. And so I had never heard the word mindset, and now it’s so common. There’s a million books on it, but back – I don’t – this is how long ago it was. The secret hadn’t been published. Nobody was talking about this stuff. It was all underground woo-woo stuff that – I don’t even know if the woo-woo people had figured it out yet. It was – and so we just – I took it in even though I didn’t believe in it, and I was like, eh, I don’t know what the heck this is, but Tina’s teaching it so whatever. But I still absorbed it, and it really did change and shift things in me so that I was able to have the confidence to charge more and get more and get to that six-figure level, and I’m almost to seven-figure level now, so it’s like – it’s amazing.
Tina: That light around your head right now, and you were kidding that it was a little angelic, so maybe we should have a little angelic chord because that’s how real it is. And the mindset piece really is super important, and I ask people that I’m teaching, just keep an open mind. Give it a try. It doesn’t cost anything to try this.
Julie: Right, right. You don’t have to do anything. All you’re doing is shifting your brain. Like, oh yeah, I can be a six-figure writer, no worries. Or, heck, even a – $50,000 for most writers, that’s the dream. If they could make $50,000 a year, that’s amazing. I mean that’s what I charge for one book now.
Tina: Exactly. Did everybody hear that? Julie gets $50,000 for one book, and it does not take you a year to write it, does it, Julie?
Julie: No, and it’s fun, and it’s like I get to work with the most amazing people, and I get to help them develop their ideas, and I get to get their courses for free. That was amazing!
Tina: Oh, that’s really is amazing. Well, so let’s stop here just for a second because when you went through the mindset and you were – at that point, you were still doing – you were copywriting. You were doing copywriting, so what happened to what you were charging after you went through the training with me? What happened – what you were charging for copywriting, where did you go, from where to where?
Julie: So it was an interesting time in the world because the internet was just sort of leveling out. It wasn’t the Wild West, but it was not really like passé. I mean it was just like this weird place, and so I was like, well, I could write websites, and that’s a thing, and I could – I charged a couple hundred dollars for a website, and then I started charging a couple hundred dollars for a page on a website. It just – as things have evolved, at the time, there were not as many copywriters as there are now, and so we could charge higher prices.
But I also was like, people wanted – a lot of businesses wanted offline stuff. They wanted press releases, and they wanted brochures and things like that, and I’m – nowadays, those are like, nobody even – who does that anymore? But back then, it was like, well, I can do all these things, and this is really cool. And I shifted a little bit at a time. It was not overnight. It wasn’t like I went from writing for $25 to writing for $50,000. I mean it’s been twenty years to get to that point, but that – but it was all my confidence level. It was all how much I believed in myself and how much I knew the value of what I was providing was going to bring to that client.
How Julie Made $10,000 in THREE days!
So what – the biggest shift I had, one time I – this is the first time I charged five figures for one piece of writing. I was like – and the reason I did it is because I didn’t need the work. In my head, I already had a gig I had just – I had just closed a deal with somebody literally an hour before I talked to this guy. And I was like, all right, I’m going to make great money on that project. What’s really funny is that project evaporated. I never even did that project. It just went away, but I – in my mind when I was talking to the upcoming client during that call, he had a software that he was selling for $100,000 for one shot, and so we went through, and we were talking about all kinds of things, and I was saying – I guess I was saying all the right things. And he asked me how much I charge, and I said, $10,000 to write a sales letter, which ended up being twenty-six pages, but we didn’t have a page count or anything like that. I just said $10,000, and he said, good, done. I’ll write you a check, which freaked me out because I was like, oh my God. I just sold $10,000 – and it literally took me three days to write. My husband thought I was stealing.
Tina: That’s the part –
Julie: You just spent three days writing, and you made $10,000. That’s theft. And I’m like, no, it’s not. It’s normal for copywriters. I swear to God.
Tina: And you know, someone may not do it that fast right out of the gate, but that actually is one of the things I teach in Authentic Copy 2.0 is that it’s kind of like a little bit of a secret that you can actually work part time and make a very, very good income because –
Julie: Yeah, very good money.
Tina: – as you get the skills, and I know you’re talking about a lot of different elements of copy, but basically if we start with the opt-in, which is where – the page where someone can sign up, put their email address in; the sales letter, which is the biggest part of that project; and the auto-responders, which are the email sequences that are a followup of that, you can make a full-body, marketing project out of that just learning those things.
So a person doesn’t have to come into copywriting, which I certainly didn’t, knowing all these other things about online marketing. You learn as you go. You continue to build, but you have that really solid foundation for what you start with, and today’s – even today’s pricing I think it’s very reasonable for a brand new copywriter who has that skill and has someone that can teach them that to be able to get from $3500 to $4000 for a project like that, and that’s at the low end. Would you agree with that assessment, Julie?
Julie: Absolutely, absolutely. And so here’s the thing, though. You have to have the confidence that you can do it and that you can handle a client, and so you might not charge that to start with, but you can start where you’re comfortable, where it’s just pushing your edge a little bit, but you’re comfortable, and you’re sure you can do it and everything. And then go and the next time charge a little bit more. Charge a little bit more.
But – and you’re going to bump up against a level where you’re – like I did. I was like, well, I’m going to charge $100,000 for this, and then I went – nobody was taking it, so I was like, okay, well, maybe that’s a sweet spot, and I should just bring it down a little bit. But you don’t know where your limit is, and there is no limit, but where your upper level is for that particular niche until you push up against it and try it.
Be a Freelance Copywriter
and Work From Anywhere
Tina: Well, the other awesome thing is you can do this from anywhere. So I mean I literally teach exactly what I’ve done, so I’ve lived in Mexico for two years. I have a big mobile office that’s gotten more elaborate over the years. Now, I have a 45-foot built on a Freightliner, heavy duty chassis, so it looks like a semi as my mobile office, so I have a really beautiful piece of property in Tucson. I’ve done an event in Maine as well. But you can work from anywhere. As long as you have internet, a computer, cell phone, good to go.
Julie: And I’ll tell you what, you don’t even need that. Let me show you this cool little thing. Where is it? This is the coolest thing ever and –
Tina: There she goes.
Julie: My kids learned how to type on this.
Tina: Oh my gosh. What is that?
Julie: It’s called an Alphasmart Neo. It is $35, and it runs for a year on four AA batteries, and it’s basically – it’s a word processor. There’s no distractions. There’s no internet. There’s no nothing. You just type, and it saves it, and then you can plug it in and upload it to your computer. But high-level Stephen King level fiction writers are using this because –
Tina: Oh my gosh. That’s a really good tip right there, folks.
Julie: I don’t like taking my computer on the beach or anything because it gets sand in it and everything, but this thing, you can drop this in the bottom of the ocean, and it will be fine. I mean seriously.
Tina: Awesome. That’s a great tip, Julie. Thank you.
Julie: I freaking love this thing.
Tina: Look, people, you can stick with a $35 piece of equipment.
Julie: $35. I mean you need to be able to talk to your clients. You need a phone, and you need to be able to use the internet, but you don’t even need that to write.
Tina: But that $10,000 project you spoke of, you literally went from more like – were you in the few hundred dollar range, and you went from that to $10,000?
Julie: I was in the almost $1000. Like I would – if it was a sales letter, I’d be writing $1000, but – and I think I did for that. I think I did throw in some auto-responders. It was a long time ago. The key was that in my brain I didn’t need the money, so I didn’t care whether he said yes or no, and then I started using that all the time. I was like, I do not need this client. If they want me, great. If they don’t, that’s fine, too. I am not attached to the outcome of this conversation. I’m going to tell them what it is.
Tina: That’s a mindset thing. It’s a mindset thing. And right now, people listening might go, well, I really need the money. That’s why I’m looking for a way to work from home. But if –
Julie: You can’t think that.
Tina: I call it – one of the things I say is I am a money stretcher. I’m a money stretcher, and I have a funny story like that, too. We were – another custom RV we had before this one that was going to be the mobile office, and were at the facility where they would build them, the factory, we were talking about the order. We needed a certain amount for down payment, and I was sitting there, and I said to my husband, I have a call with a potential client right now. I’m going to go out – we had another RV at the time. I’m going to go out there and have the call, and I’ll be back with the down payment. That’s exactly what happened. I had the call with the client. Yep, got the deal.
Getting Paid In Advance
I think you kind of touched on something, too, that I teach. We get paid in advance. We get paid in advance for doing this.
Julie: That was a huge that you taught me.
Tina: And all that. It’s like you really can get paid in advance for doing the work.
Julie: Get paid first, and the reason – they’re like, but why? And you were like, well, because words, once you have seen them and taken them, you have the benefit.
Tina: That’s right. That’s our commodity. We can’t go repossess them. We can’t go pull them back or anything, and I’ve been at masterminds, not the type I’m in now, but in the past I’ve been to some events that – some masterminds with some other copywriters, and there was one there, a woman who was well known at the time for copywriting, and she was sitting there at this table going, I have – I can’t get the last $500 from my client. And first of all, her fees were incredibly low, which shocked me, and she wasn’t getting paid in advance, and she did not know how to get paid.
And so this is – we completely avoid that, and if you go at it – again, mindset comes into play here because if you’re just fully confident, and this is of course how I work, there’s no apology in your voice. There’s no question mark in your voice. There’s no running to explain why or anything like that. You say this is how I work. I book – my fees are paid in advance to book my time. This is what it is. This is how you can get it to me, and I don’t even take credit cards. It’s check or bank wire. And so –
Julie: Like going to McDonald’s or to anywhere that it’s a transaction, and so the McDonald’s guys don’t go, gosh, I really hope you like this burger.
Tina: Would you like those French fries to go?
Julie: No. It’s like that will be 25 bucks for this piece-of-crap burger, but it just – when you settle into this is just how it is, this is my price, take it or leave it, it’s okay if they leave it. And they might – a couple of them might leave, and that’s okay. The higher – honestly, the higher you charge, the better people you get, and then they totally get it. Of course we’re going to pay you in advance, of course.
Tina: I agree with that, and also the fact that you release those that are not a good fit. So this isn’t a case of I’ll take anybody that comes my way. Maybe at the very beginning you might do that a little more, like you’re just so excited to get started, but as you get more selective and you really are thinking about, first of all, we’re throwing around all these numbers and having a little laugh about some of that. But it’s actually a very serious aspect of they are investing in you. They’re trusting in you, and they’re going to make more money because of what you do for them.
Julie: They’re going to make more money because of the work you do. And so if they don’t hire you, they could miss out on that money.
Julie: And the longer they wait to hire anybody, the more money they’re missing out on because time goes by, and that’s one more day that they didn’t have their sales letter up. How much money is that costing them by not hiring somebody to write that up?
Tina: And I know you feel the same way I do, that part of that then, our responsibility, is to deliver the value, that we deliver the goods, that we actually come through. And they are – I mean literally when I called my course Authentic Copy – The Ultimate Guide to Million-Dollar Copywriting it’s because that’s what my clients make as well as me making an excellent income. Of course, they make multi-million dollars, just really huge amounts of money from the copy that I’ve written.
I have a webinar out there right now for a client that’s converting consistently, an evergreen webinar at 33%, and they are making millions of dollars. And so what you’re giving is – when you learn how to do this correctly, it’s such high value for the client, and that’s the other part. That’s our responsibility that it’s not just about us; it’s about them and serving them at the highest level. And I know that that’s how you function with what you do as well.
Julie: That’s a hang-up for students, though, is that for me, when I was like, oh, well, I understand the whole value equation and that they’re going to get more value from this, but when you start talking about split testing and conversation rates and things like that that we throw around all the time, I was hung up on the fact that I didn’t have proof. I couldn’t prove that they were going to make more money. I couldn’t prove – I didn’t have – Tina had these conversion rates, and they made this much money on this. Oh, this was a six-figure launch, and I wrote the emails or whatever. I didn’t have any of that, and so I – it really hung me up for a long time, and finally, I just decided I don’t care.
I know that my writing is good, and let me tell you, the writing now out in the business world is worse than it has ever been. They – there are more copywriters now, but there are more people calling themselves writers who have no business calling themselves writers. They are awful, and a lot of them are professionals writing for really big organizations, and they are horrendous. I can’t even believe the quality of writing right now, and it’s not just writing. It’s communication. And I don’t know if it’s a function of age, and I’m just a cranky old lady, but I just – I’m like, how is this even getting out into the world? This is terrible.
Julie Says – “Learn All the Things Tina Teaches”
And so I mean – and I’m hiring – I hire writers now because I have an agency in my publishing company. I can’t – I have a waiting list of authors waiting for me to write their books, and I can’t do it anymore, so I have a bunch of writers. And just trying to find writers who can write a book who understand and are at the level that I want, that’s hard, too. And so just understanding that you need to learn the system and learn how to write and put sentences together and be succinct and put benefits first and features second and all of the things that Tina teaches.
Just taking Tina’s courseis going to put you so far ahead of all of these people who are like, oh, I can write, and I’ll charge nothing.
I mean that’s what people worry about. Oh, well, I have to go on Upwork and I have to compete against people who are in the Philippines who are writing for nothing. I’m like, you’re not competing with them. You’re competing with the people who are – you’re only competing with yourself is who you’re really competing with, but there are so many businesses out there, and they all desperately need help, and there’s more business out there than there will ever be writers. I mean you just – you have to go where the people are, and you have to learn the jargon, and you have to learn the persuasion.
Julie Says “When I Learned How to Copywrite from You
I Learned How to Sell Myself”
And when – the funny part is when I learned how to write, how to copywrite from you, I learned how to sell myself. I didn’t know how to sell myself. I didn’t know how to present what I did. My first copywriting was for me to get copywriting clients, and I mean that’s just literally what it was. I had to because I had to learn how to present my own stuff, and so even if you have your own business and you take a copywriting course, it’s going to help you because it’s going to make you a better writer for that business.
Tina: Oh, absolutely. I’m going to – I’m actually in Russell’s high-level 2CCX membership, and I help people in there. We kind of – there’s a lot of reciprocity, give and take. And so I’ll do Zoom calls with some of the people, and they’re just kind of looking at their stuff, and there’s a huge need for people to learn copywriting whether you’re a blogger, whether you’re already a high-level marketer, whether you’re just getting started, even writing a blog. What is the headline on your blog? What’s going to make people read?
I mean the whole purpose of the headline is to read the next line. Get them into what you have to say, and bring them into that and keep them in there with you. And having a call to action, what does that mean? What is it that we want them to do? And so even blogging, it’s more than just here’s what I had for breakfast. Here’s how cute my cat is, and here it’s snowing outside today. There has to be more – I call it like a marketing core that’s woven through everything, kind of this hidden core that, when you learn that foundational piece, and what you were saying about writing your own copy, that’s the toughest client ever. I always hear it.
Julie: You always think everything you do is terrible.
Tina: It’s like, oh geez. I don’t know. It’s like you have brain freeze when it comes to writing for yourself and you do it for everybody else kind of thing.
Julie: That’s – so that’s one niche that I found as I was – I literally had – I had to make a decision to stop copywriting, but I had – just before I did that, I was like, this is a sweet niche, and I really – I’m going to give it to you guys if anybody wants to grab this: writing bios for business people, 500 bucks. People paid it to me all day long. It’s like two or three paragraphs literally, but people cannot write about themselves. They have such a hard time writing about themselves. They will pay anybody to do a bio for them. They are like, please, God, just do it for me.
Tina: That’s another great tip, another great tip because like LinkedIn –
Tina: I had people in – that are already seven-and-eight-figure earners asking me to help them write their LinkedIn –
Julie: Their bio.
Tina: – profile.
Julie: Or their introductions for speaking or whatever. They don’t want to – they don’t know. They’re going to be like, oh, I went to this college, and I got this degree, and it’s boring as hell. I’m like, what do you want them to do when they’re done? Let’s put – I mean I’m thinking about it like a sales letter even though it’s a bio.
Julie: And I’m thinking like a sales letter, and they’re like, oh my gosh, this is awesome. I’m like, yes, 500 bucks, thank you. Put it away. Where’s the next one? And then – I mean LinkedIn, LinkedIn is millions and millions and millions of potential $500 bio gigs, and they’re – you can write them in an hour.
Tina: See, that’s easy math. When you say you can write them in an hour, $500 an hour.
Julie: That’s pretty good, right?
Tina: By learning copywriting, that’s what I really want people to understand that it’s like a gateway to so many other things that once your brain starts working that direction, you kind of put on that detective hat, that marketing mindset, when you start –
Julie: You’ve got to have marketing.
Hate the Hard Sell? Learn Smart Copywriting
Tina: So you really – you do have to have a connection to that and not feel like, oh, I’m afraid to sell. You don’t have to hard sell if you understand the art of copywriting and the right way. You don’t have to hard sell. It’s about relationship. It’s about a conversation. Robert Collier said that entering into the conversation that’s already going on in your prospect’s head. You’re coming into that realm with them and just talking to them, and so –
Julie: You can just talk to them.
Tina: Yeah, you have to be open to that, yeah, you actually are going to sell stuff, okay. It’s not a four-letter word, but it’s not freelance writing though either, and that’s the big difference. So many broke freelancer writers, well, I just love to write. I’ve had people say that to me. Don’t you just love to write? And sometimes it’s like, yeah, right. It’s like, uh, because there’s more to it than that if you want to actually make money with writing. So if you have an affinity for writing or feel like – I love words. I love words. I mean I do, and I love marketing, so hey, good combination, right?
Tina: But again, this is like – people talk about gateway drugs. Well, this is a gateway opportunity by learning copywriting that you can move into other realms. So for you – and that’s what’s funny about – because you like working with entrepreneurs with the books, and I’ve written sales letters that were fifty and sixty pages long.
Julie: That were books.
Tina: And it was. It was. These – it’s really writing with – again, there’s that hidden core, so it’s sort of like a really soft sales message that’s woven through the book basically. And so that skill of copywriting has taken you to getting $50,000 per book and more to the point where you have an agency and a publishing house.
Julie: And people don’t just want sales letters anymore. They want – either they want landing pages, which is a sales letter, or they want books, and most every – I have not met a single entrepreneur who didn’t either already have a book and hated it or wanted another one, or most of them have just never been able to write it themselves even when they’re good writers. Russell Brunson is a damn good writer. He’s an amazing writer, but he worked for nine years trying to write, and this is on my website.
Tina: Again, that’s when it’s your own stuff. See, when it’s your own stuff, it’s harder.
Julie: It’s not just that it was his own stuff, but he had to work through – so one of my superpowers is being able to take what you do and what you teach and distilling it into a framework and a message that actually sells what you do and makes it reading worthy. I’m not a publisher from a book – there’s publishers who are just business people, and they just want to take your money. You write the book, and it’s out there, and it’s done, and it’s fast and easy, and write a book in a box or whatever. That’s not me. I freaking love books. I collect them. I read them. I read two or three books a week. I like – I am a book person, and I always have been, and that’s why it was a natural fit for me to start writing books and then now to be publishing them because I care so much about these entrepreneurs and their messages that I want their books to be amazing.
Right now it’s – everybody has a book because it’s a business card. Your book is a business card. If you give someone a book, they’re not going to throw it away. If you give them a business card, they’re going to throw it away or they’re never going to look at it again. Even if they never read that book, that book will get passed around. It will get put on a bookshelf. People don’t – they’re trained from birth not to throw away books because they’re valuable, right? So – and everybody wants one, and they – most of them do not want what I offer, which is a whole high-level thing, like I’m going to get you into a bookstore kind of thing. They just want a book they can have on Amazon and that they can sell on their website and that they can use to give to clients or to potential clients.
So you writing that – I mean, at the – and let’s talk numbers here. At the very, very crap-ass, low-end of this, it’s $5,000. You’re writing a sales letter. You’re doing it hopefully a little more artfully than the hard-sell, direct-response sales letter, but it’s basically a sales persuasion piece, and they can figure out how to publish it, or if you’re really savvy, you can offer that as a big package and double your price. But there’s – a lot of them come to me. I had people come to me every single day going, can you just write an e-book? How much is it just to write an e-book? And they have this magic number of $5,000 in their head, and I’m like, no, that’s not what I do anymore, but there is a whole heck of a lot of writers who could do that if that was their niche.
Tina: Yeah, so somebody who is learning the copywriting can start thinking about, yeah, I’d like to do that. And when you were talking about publishing, the other thing I make clear is as the copywriter, you’re not responsible for the technology. You’re not responsible for images. You’re not building websites, any of that.
Julie: No, you’re not.
Tina: It’s all – you’re basically working with a Word document. That’s what you’re doing as a copywriter, and it’s up to the client to do the rest. Now, you said you could learn publishing and add that on, but you wouldn’t have to, and you could still –
Julie: You could partner with a publisher. Do you know how many publishers sell publishing contracts before the book is written? Russell Brunson had a publishing contract with Morgan James a really long time before he actually had a book, and I didn’t – I thought it was ridiculous, but apparently it happens all the time is for these hybrid publishers to sell a book package before the book is done, which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, but then they have to write the book, and oftentimes they find that that’s harder than they thought it was.
Tina: Well, and the other thing I wanted to make clear for people that are new to copywriting is when we talk about things called trip wires or an incentive to opt in, and so –
Julie: Lead magnets.
Tina: The lead magnet. A lot of times, these books are used specifically for that is to – is actually a client-generation kind of thing. It’s the way to get people to sign up for what you’re doing or get on your email list, and so the “book” again, and I’ve done some of these for my clients, it’s got a marketing message woven through it, but it’s giving good content and information for the person so they learn something. They get value from the book, but it’s also a marketing piece, so you can think of it like a fancy sales letter in a way, and I –
Julie: It’s easier to write long things than it is to write short things.
Keeping it Smooth
Tina: I’ve always said that short copy is harder than long copy because you don’t have the luxury of additional words. You have to fit it into a very small – the message has to have a high impact immediately. You don’t get to wander around with extra adjectives or side comments or anything, and so longer copy actually is easier to write, and it can be very conversational. That’s another little hint I give is I read everything I write aloud, and I talked to you about in the [indiscernible_00:34:18]. You hear it how – and you experience reading it. I actually still – I have a printer back here. I print everything out. And you might go, okay, but I print everything out because I want to see how it looks on the page. I read everything aloud, and if you stumble or you get messed up on the sentence, there’s something wrong, and so that’s a sign. Go back and smooth it out, and I literally do it with pen in hand. I’ll just make a mark in the margin and go back.
Julie: I’ve gotten to the point where I can do it now while I’m writing. It’s musicality.
Tina: And just stop and go back, and so I teach don’t worry about self-editing right out of the gate, but you get so that you just kind of do as you go, and sometimes I’ll have – I’ve had fifty-page sales letters. When I go back and look, I edited them something like fifty times, but it’s just small things. It might just be a word, a break in a paragraph or a sub-head, something like that. So I mean I’m sure we could talk about this all day because you and I both love this process.
Julie: I’m just a geek. I’m a word geek.
Tina: Me, too. And I also teach don’t use lazy words. Find more energized ways to say things. Don’t just fall back on how everybody else does it if you want to stand out so that it really feels compelling and makes you feel something. You need to feel something. John Carlton once told me that he would read his copy, sometimes it would bring him to tears, and I’ve actually had that experience where I read my own copy later, and I’ve got goosebumps. I’ve started to cry. And it’s like – because it could be for someone else’s product, but I’m feeling the feeling and the emotion and the momentum.
Julie: It’s empathy. It’s empathy, and you have to be able to convey empathy across the written word, across the page whether it’s a book or a brochure or a website. It doesn’t matter. You need to be able to understand what does that person – what are they feeling now, and what do they need to feel in order to move to the next step?
Tina: Exactly. Well, so the point here is copywriting is a bridge to – and it certainly has been for you. There’s someone else I talked that she has a contract where she’s not allowed to promote, but she actually became a book agent also. So I have several people that have gone kind of into the book world starting with copywriting, and so – and you’re just such a stellar example of that, and I’m so proud of what you’ve done. I feel like –
Julie: I am, too.
Authentic Copy 2.0 Can Change Your Life
Tina: I helped you get started. [laughs] And so I guess my – I’d like to conclude today with my last question for you would be anyone considering going into Authentic Copy 2.0, which now doesn’t have to be in person; it’s all online, and I’m going to be in a private Facebook group called The Authentic Copy Interactive where they can pick my brain every week. I’m going to show up live every week with them. What would you say to someone even thinking about doing that?
Julie: Just do it. Don’t think. Just do it. Look, I – when I – you said you can work from anywhere. I’ve always worked from home. I raised three kids doing this. I literally wanted to stay home with my children, drive them to school, now their friends, do all of the things that happened growing – with them growing up. I didn’t want to not be there, and this was the only thing I could do was write to make money. And so I just – I was a stay-at-home mom with three kids. My husband made okay money, but it was like I had never spent $1000 on a car let alone a freaking conference that I had to fly somewhere and stay in a resort, and it was completely outside my realm of reality to pay a crap-load of money to my brain at the time, and I think it was like 1500 or something. I don’t even remember what it was.
Tina: It was 2500.
Julie: It was a lot more than you’re charging now. That’s for damn sure.
Tina: $2500. It was 2500.
Julie: It was $2500. Like where did I come up with that money? I have no idea to this day. I was trying to think. Where did I come up with that money? It must have been a credit. I don’t know. I just decided I was going to do it, and I didn’t know how the kids were going to get taken care of because my husband worked during the day. I don’t even remember what we did with that. Probably my mom came up or something. I don’t know how I made it happen, but I did make it happen, and it’s because I was like, I can make more money doing this kind of writing than I can working for newspapers. I want to learn how to do it.
And so I didn’t worry too much about where the money came from. I just signed up, and then I figured it out. And so don’t let anything get in your way of learning this skill that can hold you in good stead for the rest of your life. You will never not know how to sell yourself. If you’re trying to get a job even, it helps you write a cover letter for a resume in a persuasive tone. You will never be stuck without the ability to take care of yourself and your family if you know how to copywrite. So learn the freaking skill.
Tina: And that is straight from Julie who is now getting $50,000 a book. So thank you so much for joining me today, Julie, and everyone can find you at thanethousepublishing.com. Is that correct?
Julie: Thanet House Publishing. Yep, and it’s in the book, and yeah, there’s – oh, and if you want to learn how to write books, there is – I have another book that they can get for free plus shipping. Actually, I don’t even know if that’s live anymore, but it’s called The Profitable Business Author, and that’s on Amazon as well, and you can go grab that. And that actually teaches you how I write a book.
Tina: Oh, awesome. I’ll take a look at that.
Julie: And so there you go.
Tina: Thanks so much for joining me today, Julie. Thank you.
I’m so excited to have Pam Marshall on the blog today!
Pam is a former Authentic Copy student who’s gone on to create an amazing life for herself. Pam swapped her career as a teacher after discovering copywriting on my Authentic Copy course, now she’s successfully built her own children’s clothing line.
You simply never know where copywriting can take you! Watch the interview video below, or if you prefer read the transcription. You’ll leave feeling inspired and motivated to take the next step to freelance freedom!
Finding A New Direction
Tina: Pam and I have known each other for a long time. I had a program called Authentic Copy that was a live event I did in Tucson some years ago, and Pam was one of my attendees and students. Pam, what were you doing when you came to that event? What had you been doing for work?
Pam: I was a teacher. I had been teaching for about fifteen years and found my way to you because I realized that eventually this was not what I wanted to do forever. Even though I loved it, I knew that I wanted to pursue something different. I enjoyed writing, and then I found you, and things took off from there.
Tina: The rest is history! So at that event, I taught you three main components. We called it autoresponders, which are the emails, the opt-in (which is when people sign up to get the emails), and the sales letter. Now you didn’t really have a big marketing foundation or anything before you came to the training with me, right?
Pam: No. I knew nothing. I knew nothing.
Tina: So you came kind of just charting out your journey. You didn’t have any experience as far as writing for other people or marketing. You had been a teacher for fifteen years, which is a heck of a job, and I’m sure you were an excellent one. But you were just looking for something different. So you went through the training, which was a three-day training. And how did you find that training as far as being able to absorb what I was teaching you and understand what we were going to do with the copy?
Pam: Well, being a teacher myself, I found that your teaching style was exactly what I needed — so easy to implement and to make it relatable to things you already experience. I really appreciated your style and the way that you gave as much of yourself as you could, one on one, group, always – I don’t want to say always, but just always accessible. You weren’t always accessible.
Tina: I do turn my phone off periodically. 😉
Pam: You do sleep. But pretty much she was there if you needed her, and I’m sure she still is. She’s still there for me.
Tina: You were still working as a teacher, and copywriting was kind of like a side hustle at the beginning, right? You were doing it after hours from teaching?
Pam: Correct. I would teach during the day and come home and work, in the beginning studying, doing lessons, and eventually working for clients part-time.
Getting Paid What You’re Worth
Tina: So I don’t know if it was your very first client, but one of your earlier clients at the beginning of your copywriting journey — I think I remember you telling me you charged something like $750 for the project. Is that right?
Pam: Yes, and I was thrilled to get it.
Tina: That’s right. I think a lot of people might say, “Yeah, that’s sounding good already because a side job, $750, that can be a car payment.” It might be someone’s mortgage payment or rent, and so it’s very good money. I was stilling speaking with you after the course through a forum, and you were talking to another client. They had that type of project that we discussed with the opt-in, sales letter, and some emails, right? And so I was thinking about this with you, and I said, “Okay, so here’s what I think you need to do for your fees.” And what did I tell you to charge?
Pam:You told me to charge $8,000.
Tina: And your eyes kind of rolled back in your head for a minute.
Pam: I said, “Okay, are you sure?” $8,000. And you went through the mindset thing with me where you have the skills, you know how to do exactly what he needs done. You really do. So we talked about it, and I gave him my fee, and he did not bat an eyelash. He said, “Okay, what’s your PayPal?”
Tina: Well, and that’s the other thing. So you told him your fee, and he’s asking how to pay you, and so did you get paid in installments? How did you get paid that $8,000 as a beginning copywriter?
Pam: No, no, no. I got paid up front. I got the $8,000 in advance, and it was not an issue at all.
Tina: Would you have thought of doing that if you hadn’t learned that from me? Would you have thought I could actually say this number and tell him it’s payable in advance before you knew the project? Would you have thought that was possible?
Pam: No, no, especially me. I would have tried to work with him every way. But you get what you’re worth up front, and you deliver. That’s what I knew that I had to do to be able to deliver. And even though I knew I had those skills, there was still this little seed of doubt in the back of my mind. Could I really do it? What if I don’t get it done the way I should? And all of those doubts that we all go through, doubting your value and your work, but Tina taught me through that as well.
Pam Says “$8,000 was DOUBLE
My Monthly Salary”
Tina: I think it’s so normal to go through that, especially if you’re used to just getting a regular paycheck or something way less as far as the fee. And speaking of that $8,000, was that a two-or-three-month-long project? How long did it take you to actually deliver the goods on that $8,000 project?
Pam: No. That took about a month to do the autoresponders, the opt-in, and the sales page, and that $8,000 was actually double what my monthly salary as a teacher was at the time. Just amazing!
Tina: So we’ve got years of college, all the expenses of college, fifteen years of teaching, and you were still making half of what you got on one project as a copywriter.
Pam: That’s correct.
Tina: Amazing! And the other thing is learning the copywriting and the marketing really have nothing to do with what your degree was in. You had already proven that you could set goals, meet them, and to have a reward at the end, which was your degree and then a job that you’re great at. I’m sure you loved your job and the children loved you. But you just came to a point that you were ready for something else.
And that was part of the journey. Then the program calledAuthentic Copyyou came to was three days long. From that training and participating in a forum with me, you were able to take that training, which was way less than a college degree as far as expense, by the way, and you were able to very shortly after get to the point of having an $8,000 project as a beginning copywriter. So I would say that was a pretty good return on your investment?
Pam: Oh my goodness, absolutely the best return. And it’s still helping me today, so it has paid for itself a hundred times, so definitely.
Tina: What happened with all that nervousness about delivering? Did you overcome it? How was it with the client when you gave them the finished project? How did it go?
Pam: He loved it. It was exactly what he wanted and he was just thrilled. He said, “I can’t wait to run this and to see the returns from this,” and then I went on to do a few more smaller jobs for him as well.
Tina: So you continued to have other copywriting projects and work with other clients with similar fees or more. One of the reasons to get paid in advance is because what we have are the words and the strategy. That’s the commodity. You can’t go get them back or retract them, and it’s also an abundance thinking that your expectation for yourself is that you will get financially rewarded for your skills. And basically you’re teaching your clients to respect you and honor the way you do business. The initial thought might be that the client won’t do that, but they will — especially if you’re coming at it from a place of integrity (which of course you are!) and making that relationship with them, that connection. That’s also part of the marketing platform of making the connection with who you serve and who their clients are.
Elevating and Expanding Your Skills into New Adventures
Tina: So one of the great things that can come out of copywriting is while you’re learning and gaining the confidence, you start to think about what else you can do with your abilities. Sometimes you have other passions or interests. And I like people that are learning copywriting from me to understand that this can also help you achieve other levels of goals you want to meet in your life or passions you want to follow. And as we are seeing with this background, something might have happened for you along those lines. Tell us what happened with your journey from copywriting and marketing into what you’re doing now.
Pam: Well, it all started when my first granddaughter was born, and of course I wanted to buy little clothes for her. I saw the most adorable things online that were so unique that I couldn’t find in a store. And I said, “Where are these coming from?” And I learned that there’s a boutique world out there for little children, so I started creating and designing my own fashions for little girls, and the name of my business is Wee Bella Boutique.
Tina: That’s a good name.
Pam: Thank you. It means “little beauties.” I make original designs. Most of them have a vintage look. I might do a few modern things mixed with vintage every now and then, but I knew I had this passion, and when my granddaughter was born, it just exploded. I knew that I had the skills to start another business.
One of Pam’s gorgeous designs
Tina: It’s such a great journey for you because you grew the confidence, and then you had the marketing chops and the copywriting ability. What I teach is that copywriting and marketing is a foundation for everything that you might want to do online or entrepreneurial, any kind of business you want to start. It’s great to be able to enjoy what you’re doing, but you also want to make a really good living from it. What do you call your customers? You have a name for your clients.
Pam: Oh, they’re my mamas. 😍
Tina: So how did you get into the vintage look? There’s a certain type of client that’s going to want that. How did you start identifying who your people were, your perfect prospect, your ideal client?
Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition
Pam: Well, in order to learn more about the business and to see what people were doing with it, obviously I had to get involved. I was looking at these boutique stores that are online, and seeing what the moms had to say about it, and that’s why I started marketing research. Although I didn’t think, “Okay, I’ve got to go do marketing research,” I had a passion for this, and I knew the mamas had a passion for this as well. So I got to know them, and I made a sincere connection with them, and I learned what they liked, what they were looking for, how I could appeal to them, how I could develop my own USP to make them want to come to me rather than go to Macy’s.
Tina: Let me just stop you right there because for someone that is new to marketing, they might not know what a USP is. Can you tell us what a USP is?
Pam:That’s your unique selling proposition. So that is what makes you different or makes you stand out from the competition.
Tina: Exactly. So you actually learn the language, the certain terminology they might use. How has that affected how you describe your garments and how you describe these beautiful dresses when you’re marketing them and you’re going to tell them what they’re getting? What’s the difference between what you might have done in the past before you knew marketing and what you do now after taking Authentic Copy?
Pam: Well, when you’re describing a dress, you want a description that is as vivid as possible so that the mama can actually see their little girl wearing this dress and feel the emotions that she would feel when she sees her daughter looking angelic and beautiful. So you want to write a description that lists not only features, but gives more information. In other words, you don’t want to say it has three buttons that button up the back. Well, okay, big deal. But you need to actually describe those buttons. Are they vintage? How does it contribute to the overall feel of the dress? Are they easy on, easy off? If you say they’re Victorian or they’re vintage, that will take you to a whole different level of emotion.
Tina: Do you feel like your copywriting and marketing flowed after taking the course? It seems like finding your ideal client became second nature to you. People respond to the way you’re describing what you have for them.
Pam: Yes, they do. They will tell me, “Oh, I have this event coming up, and the way you describe this dress, well, this is perfect for it.” You just try. Of course you don’t just list features; you list the benefits. Would this be perfect for a picnic? Yeah. You may not think of that if you’re just putting something out there, but you give them every possible situation. You learn this in copywriting as well.
Tina:It’s like telling a story and bringing them with you into that story — where they are now, where they are now in their thinking, or if they want their daughter to look this way or it’s for this special event.
It’s NEVER too Late to Start Something New
And the other thing I wanted to point out, you were not 22 years old when you started this transition from teaching into copywriting. I was past 50 when I even discovered copywriting. I honestly did not know what it was until I was past 50, and so that’s when I began online and it all went from there. And I have been doing this now for – we’ll just say over a decade. 😉 But one of my mantras you probably heard me say is it’s never too late. What would you say to someone who might be mature who’s thinking they’d like to make a change and do something different online and work from home?
Pam: This is actually my fourth career. When I started copywriting, I was not a young thing. I had been teaching for fifteen years, and then I moved on a couple of years ago and started this business. And I’m a grandmother. I have seven grandchildren. I cannot imagine not doing what I love to do. It’s never too late. Look at Tina.
Tina: But that’s the beauty of it! With copywriting, it doesn’t matter where you live, doesn’t matter how old you are, how young you are. You could be 23 and wanting to do this. It doesn’t matter what your past experience is. You don’t have to have a degree. You don’t have to have special training. You can learn enough to begin, and because one of the things that I teach is that most of the time the clients that you’re dealing with don’t know the things you already know.
And you already know more than you think you do when yougo through this kind of training, and you’re staying three steps ahead of the people you’re serving. You can get enough knowledge of the opt-in, the sales letter, and the emails to be able to start doing copywriting projects and serve them in a way that they don’t know how to do. They don’t know how to think the strategy through or how that copy should be written. They need someone else like you to do it. And so did you find this to be the case, that you could come into a project with someone, and you already knew more than they might know about how to do this online, what their message needed to be?
Pam: Exactly, and that was part of the beauty of it. You learn these basic skills, and you are already ahead of the game as far as where they are and getting this done for themselves. They think you’re magic because they don’t know how to do any of this. And I think that’s part of the mindset where understanding your worth and your value and what you’re bringing to them because you know more than they do.
No Technical Skills Required
Tina: That brings to mind one thing I want to be sure to emphasize: you don’t have to know any of the technology. You don’t build a website. You don’t do the design. You don’t figure out how those emails are getting sent. You can make recommendations, but as a copywriter, you are in charge of the strategy and the copy, the actual writing of the words. It’s not up to you to do any of those other things, so you don’t have to have any special technical skills other than receive email or write a Word document — that’s about how extensive the technical skills are with this. And did you find that to be the case?
Pam: Yes, that was the case. I already had a desktop and a laptop, and so I had everything I needed. I knew how to send an email, and that’s all I did.
Tina: You need the internet. You need a computer and a cell phone. I like using a printer. That’s basically it! I want to really emphasize for anybody thinking about this when we’re talking about these email sequences, you don’t do any of that technical work. You’re basically delivering everything as Word documents to your client, and it’s up to them to get the design done. It really is only writing the words, and you don’t have to have a degree to do it.
I’ve been on my own since I was 17. I have no college degree, didn’t know what copywriting was until I was past 50, so it’s never too late, and also never too early. Maybe you’re just out of college and you’re wondering what you’re going to do. Perfect! There are many different targets and different markets, and you could market to fellow millennials in their 20s or 30s. There’s a niche and a place for everyone that might be interested in doing this if they put the effort into it.
Wee Bella Boutique bestsellers from 2018 (I can see why!)
Tina: And I do have a new version of the course, Authentic Copy 2.0. Only now you don’t have to come all the way to Tucson. 😉 It’s all online and available 24/7. Pam is a former teacher and someone who’s been through this process and now has this beautiful business. What would you say to anyone thinking they want to try working from home and giving Authentic Copy a shot? What would you say to them?
Pam: I would say that you can definitely do this. Tina, as a former teacher, I really appreciate Tina’s teaching style. She puts everything into very manageable chunks. Even if you’ve never had any kind of background in this, everyone has been a customer. Everyone has read an advertisement. It will very quickly become something that you can wrap your head around, and Tina is so kind and so intelligent and so there for you and funny. You’ll have a good time.
Tina: Might have a laugh along the way. 😂
Pam: And she cares. She has a heart for this, and she has a heart for the people who she is trying to guide along, and I mean that with all sincerity.
Tina: Thank you, Pam.
Pam:I urge you to do this. This will open so many doors for you that you didn’t even know you wanted to be opened.
Tina: I totally agree with that. You just never know where it’s going to take you. It’s like this exciting adventure that you can move on with your life and find out there’s even other things that come after that. You just never know what doors are going to open to you when you do this. But I just want to thank you so much, Pam. I’m so proud of you and Wee Bella Boutique, and I so appreciate you taking the time to meet with us today, and I just wish you all massive success.
Anybody out there who’s got little girls in their lives especially, you can find Pam through Facebook at Wee Bella Boutique. Thanks again, Pam!