HOW TINA LORENZ BECAME
THE QUEEN OF COPY
An Interview With Tina Lorenz by Jim Oliver
I was recently asked to record an interview for an entrepreneurial program with Jim Oliver, to hear my story and discover more about what I do, listen to or read the interview below.
You can read the edited transcript here:
Tina: Hi, my name is Tina Lorenz. I’m a direct response copywriter, marketing strategist, mindset shifter and coach.
Jim: So your primary superpower is you’re known, at least in my circles, as a very, very good copywriter.
Tina Lorenz Identifies Her Superpower
Tina: Yeah. I mean, direct response copywriting, freelance copywriting. But more than that, it’s not just writing the copy, it’s actually being able to dig in and really see the strategy and how to lay that out for my clients and put all the puzzle pieces together. And really seeing below the obvious, of what the obvious thing is that we’re selling. There’s always more to it than that. And so I think my superpower is getting there very quickly and understanding what their prospects need and are looking for.
Jim: So where did you come from? How did you start? How did you go from not being a copywriter to where you are now?
Tina’s Incredible Story
Tina: Where did I come from? That’s a long story. The short version is I lost everything in my 40’s because I had the great misfortune of encountering my very own psychopath, who tried to murder me on a yacht, with a .357 Magnum. I had to run for my life with my children. It was not their father. And I ended up homeless. I lost everything and was pretty traumatized actually, so that took some time.
I ended up meeting my current husband who was a good, healthy individual, thank goodness. But we had to do something, he didn’t really have any money and I didn’t either. So we started piecing together our life. I ended up doing on the road promotions for big ad agencies. So it wasn’t about money exchanging hands, it was about promoting things like Got Milk, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and being right on the front lines of really huge multimillion dollar marketing events.
My job was to attract the people by just talking to them and have them participate in an event we were doing. So it would be like the Boston Marathon, the New York Marathon, a lot of really big events that got pretty grilling.
Eventually, we started selling physical products, and we became the top sellers in the country of physical products. I was the “ShamWow” of color changing mugs and the top seller in the nation of them.
We got invited inside the Pentagon three different times to sell them face to face, and I had to demonstrate them. So I literally had my pot of hot water, my color changing mug and I would tell the story. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was doing things like future pacing and telling stories and open loops, and I knew how to focus their attention on what I was doing. I just had this kind of intuitive ability to do it, with 52 different designs by the way. I really learned a lot about what made people react and what they were looking for and how to engage with them.
By this time I was past 50, and I was kind of worn out because this was all very physical work, like setting things up. Still we didn’t have a lot of money left at the end of all this. We were living in a little mobile home in Arizona, and I was just messing around online, thinking what am I going to do? My husband’s blind and I’m really the support for our family. And I came across an article on copywriting, and I was kind of like – copywriting? I didn’t actually know what it was, I hadn’t heard of copywriting, but I literally broke out in a sweat, I jumped out of my chair, ran out to my husband, and said “this is what I’m going to do next.”
And he really trusted me because I had made the decisions “we need to do this, now we need to do that.” I just had deep intuitive feelings about what I should be doing and I think guided to, and so I began.
How Tina Lorenz Got Her First Clients
Tina: I had been doing some life coaching with someone for a few hundred dollars, and she was doing an event in Maine. We were in Arizona, and I really wanted to go to the event, but I think it was $600 and we didn’t really have the money for it. So, I told her my story because there’s quite a bit more to it of how we ended up in an RV and all these other things. And she said “If you could make it to Maine and just speak for like 15 minutes, could you? I’d love you to come. It’s free if you can make it.” I was like, “okay.” So we sold the mobile home, and my adventures in copywriting sort of came naturally.
It was just a regular old trailer house, mobile home, but it had a view of the mountains and our Saguaro cactus, the ones with the arms, you know. And I took a picture of the view and I went down the Thrifty Nickel or whatever the little free newspaper was. And I said “here’s my photo, and here’s the copy.” And they looked at the pictures and were like “don’t you want pictures of the mobile home?” And I was like “Nope, don’t want pictures of the mobile home, we’re selling the view.” And I sold it to the first person that looked at it for cash.
We got in our old RV and I drove to Maine. I got on that little stage in front of about 60 people and I did my thing. People started crying, people were surrounding me. It was mostly women in this audience. And they were saying things like, “you’re charismatic, you’re golden.” You know? And I was like, “Oh, I’ve never heard that before.”
I got my first client at that event. She was having an event in Las Vegas and she’d been trying to sell the seats for her event, but she hadn’t sold any. And she said, “could you write me a sales letter?” And I’m like “sure.” So I did and we sold out her event and then she referred me to someone else and it just grew from there. In my first year, I did a couple of hundred thousand dollars. I
Jim: That sounds amazing – WOW!
Tina: So that’s how I got started. Really seriously out of nowhere, I didn’t even have a website I think for maybe the first three or four months. I always say your worst client ever, EVER, the biggest pain in the butt ever, is yourself. And so trying to write your own copy, get your own stuff done, even for me, it’s just like, “I don’t like working with this client” ME! So I set my own deadlines and that kind of stuff.
I think one of the big turning points was when I went to the first big marketing event because networking has been very key to how I have grown my business as a copywriter.
Gary Bencivenga, who’s just like super famous, like one of the world’s greatest copywriters, he was retiring. He was the same age as I was. I was just getting started and he was retiring. But he was having an event in New York City called The Bencivenga 100. He was only going to allow a hundred people into the event. It was at the St. Regis hotel where the rooms are like $700 a night. You have a butler on each floor and it’s super high end. It was $5,000 for a ticket. This was some years back now. And he didn’t take credit cards, you know, he was taking cash. You had to literally send them a check in the mail.
I knew enough even then, to know that anyone who was anyone in copywriting was going to be there. People like John Carlton, and Gary Halbert. So I needed to be at this event in New York City. I had little post-it notes all around my computer, telling me I am at the event, I’m attending this event, and I raised my fees, that’s one of the things I did. Well, I got that money and I went to that event.
It ended up being 150, he kind of let in some extra people. It was probably the most fabulous event I’ve ever been to in my life. I mean, just first class, really beautiful. And he himself is a beautiful, beautiful person, he and his wife. He saw my husband there with his guide dog and said, “This is your husband? Well, he needs to come to the event too.” And so he invited him right into the event at no additional costs, just as his guest.
At that event, I not only met Gary Halbert, I have a whole story about that, and John Carlton and a lot of other fabulous people, but I ended up with $100,000 in work booked from that event. And Gary ended up being one of my testimonials. Actually, Gary Bencivenga and I have a long testimonial on his site because I think he’s still selling the recordings from that.
So that was another huge jump forward right there, from when I went to that event, and it just kinda grew from there, till I ended up writing for people like Frank Kern and Russell Brunson and all kinds of folks.
Jim: That’s an amazing story as far as starting a career. It’s like the world was definitely waiting for you to sit there and take your place in the world.
Why it’s Never Too Late
Tina: I believe that, and I believe that for everyone. That’s one of the things that I talk about, that it’s never too late for you to step into what you were really meant to do. That power that you have within you, that you might not know for quite a while. There might be some little flame, that obviously there was for me, that kept me going. I mean I grew up in a very dysfunctional family, there was a lot of abusive things going on. It was kind of a dangerous place and I literally went out the bedroom window when I was 17 years old and went to Seattle. I went to court to get myself emancipated. I hadn’t had immunizations, I hadn’t had dental work, things like that.
I started living in a tiny little apartment in Seattle when I was 17. I worked at Harborview Hospital, which is associated with the University of Washington, and was like the county hospital. I got a job, not for very much money, and I started taking care of myself when I was 17. It took a long time to get past the limitations and the money story I’d tell myself and all of those things. I’m probably prattling on too long here. It’s just, I have so many things to share with people about don’t give up, you know, on something that’s bigger and better for your life.
Turning Challenges into Success Stories
Jim: Well, kind of along those same lines, since your career was developing, what sort of challenges or giant stumbling events have you encountered and had to overcome?
Tina: So many, I mean we’ve discussed a little about team building, things like that. I was a solopreneur for a very long time, and I made a lot of money as a solopreneur, but I also basically started burning out because of that.
For a while, my son helped me, who was brilliant. He’s a Rhodes scholar and has multiple degrees from Yale, MIT and Oxford. But he helped me with some of the tech side. The tech side has always been a huge, huge stumbling block for me, that’s not my thing at all. So he helped me with that, and actually helped me at the first events I did. But obviously, he had a bigger calling for what he needed to go and do. For a long time I let that stop me because I thought, nobody can do it the way he did, nobody can help me the way he did, and I didn’t really know how to build a team.
Part of the reason I’m in Russell Brunson’s program now is, I knew I needed more momentum for myself to really get my message out. Because it wasn’t just about, let’s just make more money, it was about, knowing I had a deeper calling, a bigger calling, that really started becoming clear to me in the last five years or so. It was like, it’s now or never! I really need to be able to do this and I can’t do it alone.
I’ve had lots of bumpy road with the team building thing and made mistakes. I take responsibility for them and I’m just learning myself how to really start to build a more effective team. I’m working on it and it’s getting better, but it has not been easy. That part hasn’t been easy.
I think just no matter how much we work on mindset (that’s what I lead with in all my programs, I start with mindset about our beliefs about ourselves), It’s not a one off kind of a thing, it’s a journey. We constantly need to be checking in on that because it’s really easy when you start as an entrepreneur, to feel alone, to feel like you’re going down the rabbit hole of just too much isolation. We can be outgoing in other ways, a lot of us are a little more introverted? And so it’s not always so easy. You get used to being by yourself and working alone, and then, you’re having to join forces with people in a different way. I realized this for myself and knew I needed to raise the bar.
I was in Frank Kern’s mastermind way back in the day, but then I just kind of had this lull with who I was hanging out with, and I wasn’t going to as many events. I knew I needed to really give a boost to having the bar raised and being with people that were even more successful than I am, and also people that were less so, so I can help those people rise too, and just kind of mix it up more. Does that make sense? I hope that’s making sense. It’s just some of the difficulties of being a solopreneur.
Getting the Support You Need
Jim: Right. So then, when you’re like overwhelmed by doubt and aloneness and whatnot, then you just found that one thing that works for you is to go and join some group, and get surrounded by like-minded people?
Tina: Yes, that’s part of it. And just having them there, you can reach out, do the networking thing. Networking isn’t just about making money, I mean it can and it does, but it’s also about having a support system, people you can turn to and trust.
My husband is also extremely supportive of what I do in my business, so that’s helpful as well. But you need more beyond that, even if you have a really supportive spouse or partner, you need other people as well.
I think, some of the other stumbling blocks, even if you’re doing very well, there’s definitely some rollercoaster aspects to the financial part. You can have times where it gets really quiet and you start thinking, “oh my gosh, is it all just suddenly going to fall apart?” You know? And then it goes back up to “oh my gosh, can I keep up?” So many things!
I think we hold ourselves back out of fear of success. “Can I handle that next step? Can I handle rising to that level?” It’s really easy, really easy I believe for people to stop themselves thinking, well, this far and no further, you know, and then actually start, perhaps derailing oneself a little bit because of that fear of “I can’t handle that level of success.”
One of the things I’ve learned more recently in the last few years is trusting in the next step, even when you don’t know it. “You don’t need step 78 if you’re still on step 27”, right? “You’re on step 27, now look at step 28.” I kind of intuitively already had realized that for myself. I knew I had to just kind of lean into that discomfort and trust, trust in the process that you’re going to know what to do next. You’re going to learn what to do next, you’re going to understand what to do next, and not to let that stop you. Because you don’t have every single step lined up at the start.
Be Smart About the Money
Jim: So based on your experience as an entrepreneur and as a copywriter, what are three big pitfalls that entrepreneurs need to watch out for in order to become wealthy, and in order to build their business?
Tina: When you start making money to not be stupid with it. If you’ve never had a lot of money, it’s easy to not keep a lot of money. I’m not giving any kind of financial advice, but just to say, it’s can be almost like lottery winners that end up with no money because it just kind of all went away.
I’ve spoken to a lot of entrepreneurs that sound like they’re doing really well, but they don’t seem to have any money. Garrett White said something about this, at Funnel Hacking Live, and I was like, yes brother speak the truth. Because he talked about what’s in your bank account and what’s in your wallet, versus how many sales you’ve had. What is the profitability? What are you actually making? There are advantages to being a solopreneur, because you can make a lot of money without a lot of other people that you have to support financially, as far as the team. I would say, keep your eyes open and be smart about the money and don’t think the minute it comes in, it’s all going out again, because now I can go do this, or whatever.
I think working alone for too long and letting that stop you and I think the tech stuff for me was a stopping point for a long time, far too long. And I think that finding the help you need, the team building, can be just by project. I do have team members that I’ve worked with for quite a long time, that I consider part of my team, but they’re more outsourced by the project.
Jim: Right, right.
Put Yourself Out There
Tina: Not thinking you have to learn every single thing for yourself, and that you have to do everything yourself because thinking that is going to slow you down.
I think the third one is be seen and heard, you know, and that you can’t just sit in your little corner office with the door shut and the blinds down and music buds in your ears or whatever, and think “I’m just going to make a bunch of money all by myself.” If no one can see you or hear you, you’re not reaching the people that you need to reach. And a lot of people let that hold them back. I think that’s the third one, it’s just don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be who you are.
Jim: That’s great, I really appreciate that. And now what’s the greatest thing an entrepreneur can do to help speed up their success and speed up building their business?
Tina: Implement, I mean just implement. That kind of relates back to the team building because money loves speed. Money loves energy. And so for me, you know, even at the beginning when I didn’t know as much, it was like I put myself out there, I went to these events. Then I knew I went with a purpose, not, I need to get the project, but the purpose was to connect, connect with people and see how can I help them? How can I be of service? What can I offer them that might be helpful to them? Truly be interested in the people that you serve, because they can tell if you’re just in it for hit and run marketing, to just sell your stuff and outta here, people will know that. You may have temporary success, but money loves speed, so don’t say “Oh, I’m not ready”.
That’s one of the things I say as a copywriter, there’s no one arriving with the magic fairy dust, the magic wand, the anointing oil or the certificate. You have to do it for yourself. You have to claim it for yourself “I am a” whatever it is. “I am a freelance copywriter.” “I am a successful entrepreneur.” You have to claim that for yourself and then act in the same way, take the action. Because just thinking it is not enough. I do believe in manifesting and attracting and abundance, but it takes action along with it. It’s not sitting in your Lazy Boy, with a can of Pringles, on a Netflix binge, it’s all coming because I’m thinking good thoughts. You have to take action also. I hope that helps.
Serving the Needs of Your Client
Jim: That’s fantastic. That’s great. I appreciate that. A lot of people who will be listening to this will be thinking about perhaps hiring a copywriter for the first time. Could you just describe to them, they’re kind of clueless as to what’s involved. Could you describe the typical process of what’s involved in a client coming to you and using your services?
Tina: I would say first of all, what I do is probably a lot different than a lot of copywriters, entry-level copywriters, the ones you find on Upwork and Freelance and things. That might be a starting point for some. But that’s not how I work. So for me, what I do for my clients, is I know marketing, I know marketing up one side and down the other and so the copywriter is not just the short order copywriter. You should’nt think like, oh, I’ll take one sales letter, three emails, hold the fries, you know, that kind of thing? It should be more involved.
When I work with clients, I’m very involved with what their strategy is. I’m really looking at the whole picture and seeing what’s needed from start to finish. Who are their people? Who is the demographic? Who’s the psychographic? How are they thinking? What kind of words do they use? Like through surveys, what are they telling you? And what do we collect so we can say, “here’s what I’m seeing over and over again with your people. Here’s what’s missing.” I look at the whole and say, “what about this and this?” I’m looking for the gaps in their strategy. Ideally, a copywriter should be able to do that, should be able to see that. Especially if you want to work at a high level, this is what you should expect, that the copywriter sees those places, and is really a strategy person.
I expect to only answer to one person, not a whole array. I don’t do the “shiny boardroom table” with 27 people analyzing every sentence. I have one decision maker, that’s what I insist on, and that’s what I work with. So for me it might entail, interviewing my client, interviewing some of their customers, or perhaps people that we need to gather testimonials from. I look at the whole big picture of what their strategy is and what their voice is.
I may be unusual in the fact that I can write, and have for a long time, for male entrepreneurs. Some of them are very edgy, with very testosterone laden type topics. I also write for women and their marketing. So there’s different voices a lot of times for this, two different types of mindsets. Some copywriters can’t do that. I have the ability to kind of step into their shoes. I’ve written about hand to hand combat for an entire year, no one knew it was me, a woman writing for hand to hand combat.
I’ve written for Frank Kern, I wrote his last Mass Control evergreen sales letter, and other direct mails that he did. No one knew it wasn’t Frank. I even analyzed the letter for his mass control monthly. He knows, he doesn’t mind me saying this, he used to have something called Mass Control Monthly. When the last Mass Control sales letter was written by me, it needed to be analyzed and broken down into why this and why that, and I did that as Frank on Frank’s behalf. I love Frank, and he’s brilliant, so I was very honored to do that for him. But it’s being able to get into the shoes of the person. And at that level you should expect the investment’s going to be robust.
Don’t Be a “Do-it-all”
Tina: Another thing that I would stay away from is when people say, “well, I can build your marketing funnel, I can build your website, and I can write your copy.” I actually tell clients, don’t do that! I would never say to someone, I can build your website, I’ll build your funnel and I’ll write your copy, because that’s not where all my gifts are. And I think that’s the same for almost anyone, that they’re not going to be able to really excel at all of those things. It’s better to compartmentalize and have the different pieces done separately. That’s where the team comes in. I work with entrepreneurs that have that in place.
I can write the most fabulous copy in the world, but if clients don’t have a reliable traffic source it’s not going to do them a bit of good. It’s just crickets chirping. I can do awesome lead generation with 80% open rates on an email, but if they have to close it, if it’s something where they have to be on a phone call and they have to close it, I can’t control that.
That’s also why I don’t say “I guarantee you will get results” because there’s too many moving parts and pieces that, that I don’t have control over.
So you should expect, when you hire at that level, and I even hate to say the word “hiring” because it’s really a mutual event, a mutual choice, consider, is it a good fit? Does it feel right? Trust your gut.
I just turned down a huge project. Without naming what it is I felt a heaviness around it for me personally, the way they were doing their marketing, just wasn’t resonating with me. So I respectfully withdrew from it, they wanted me to do it and I just let them know that this wasn’t going to be a good fit. I wished them well and much success, but it wasn’t going to be with me. So don’t be afraid to say it’s not the right fit either.
Jim: Exactly. So you kind of touched on my next question. My next question is what are some typical mistakes that someone makes when trying to hire or engage a copywriter?
Tina: I’m trying to narrow it down to a few. I think it’s a mistake to say, this is exactly what I want, here, write it, I think that’s a mistake. You should be trying to work with someone who is bringing somebody to the table and is saying, let me see what you have.
Approaching a copywriter and saying how much for this, how much for that, I actually teach copywriters don’t even answer that question, do – not – answer – that – question. And the reason why is because you don’t know what the client actually needs.
Sometimes the client thinks they know what they need and they’re missing something or they have the wrong direction, in my opinion. And so that’s where the copywriter should be able to come in and say, I can’t serve you to the highest level if I don’t see what you have. I can’t tell you what you need until we have a conversation, and I can see what you’re trying to do and what your metrics are right now, how you’re doing , you know, what’s missing. And so I never quote a fee until I’ve had an opportunity to do that.
It’s kind of a red flag actually, if you’re looking for a really good copywriter, do not approach them by saying how much for your laundry list of stuff. You should be more open than that, more open to receiving what they can bring, as well and seeing how you feel about it. So that’s one mistake.
I think having too many people involved in the decision making. But like I said, I have one decision maker, if you have a whole group of people and you need so much reassurance about what the copy says and what each nuanced word is, you know, then, it’s going to muddy the waters.
I think it’s possible, but not as effective if you say, “I have this copy and I just want you to tweak it for me, I just want you to edit it for me.” However, I actually turn down projects like that because it’s like completely disassembling something and putting it back together. It’s actually more work, more difficult to do than just saying we’re starting fresh because you missed the point in so many places.
There’s so much of the marketing strategy, I call it the marketing core, that’s invisible. It’s woven in like a tapestry. And when I write, it’s very intentional, every word is intentional, everything I do, how I format the copy is intentional. So to try and go into existing copy and say, okay, now we’re kind of doing an overhaul, just doesn’t work. You should expect that it’s going to be a fresh start. You might have a good foundation, but if you had the right copywriter, they’re gonna look at it and say that’s pretty good, but this is going to be even better.
You should read your copy aloud. I’ve been teaching this for years, so don’t make the mistake of just taking it and saying, okay, that’s good. You should actually read it aloud when you get the copy back from your copywriter and it should make you feel something, it might give you chills, might make you cry, it might just make you feel really excited, it might put you to sleep… Bad sign! It should read so smoothly, conversationally so that you’re not stumbling over it. This is what I do before I give a copy to my clients. I read everything aloud. I just finished a 40 page sales letter, that my husband listened to me read aloud at least five different times as I was tweaking it, because he gets like some special award, the golden ear award or something because he always listens to it. I read everything I write aloud before I ever even give it to the client.
So, that’s a couple of tips, that’s what I can think of right off hand. I’m happy to go deeper.
Measuring Your Success
Jim: That’s fantastic, I really appreciate that. Kind of related to that is, you deliver the project, the project’s done, but how do you measure the success of a copywriting project?
Tina: They made a bunch of money. That’s pretty much it.
Jim: Because there’s one method.
Tina: Well, I mean that’s the most important one, really. Whatever the thing is we’re trying to accomplish actually happens. I would also say when you’re looking at copywriters, if the copywriter tells you “every single thing I’ve ever written in my entire life has been a grand slam,” then you should probably go the other way because that’s not the case. Not everything is going to be massively successful, and sometimes you have to take a revisit of it, you know. So don’t expect everything’s always going to just be super fantastic right out of the gate. I mean, its kind of a balancing act, but really the metric.
I have a webinar script for a client right now that’s converting consistently at 33%. It’s an evergreen webinar and it’s cold traffic. That’s a huge metric, that’s great success. I’ve done launches that converted right out of the gate at 37% conversion to sale.
We had 80,000 people added to an email list at 80% open rates on my emails. These are the kinds of numbers that are like, yes, these are the Grand Slams that you’re looking for.
It’s a funny thing with the numbers because I have had clients who literally were getting a 1% conversion, but because their audience was so huge their traffic source was so huge, it was making multiple millions of dollars. So while the numbers tell the tale, it can be deceiving in the sense that there’s 37% there’s 1% also made millions of dollars.
That the client’s happy, that the people they serve are happy with what they’re getting. It’s working and it’s working consistently, those are the types of metrics really that make it a success.
Why Someone Should Hire a Copywriter
Jim: That’s cool. There’s typically two questions that are in people’s minds when they’re thinking about hiring someone. One is, why should they hire a copywriter? Can you just address that in a singular sort of answer?
Tina: Yeah. Copywriting is a foundation for everything and that’s why I encourage people to learn it. Even if they are not going to write their own copy, they need to understand the elements and the components that should be there. If they’re hiring someone, it’s helpful to them to know, oh, it should be like this, I educate myself about Facebook ads to the point of understanding what we’re doing, but I’m not doing it. Okay. I have someone that runs the adds for me. So knowing enough to, to know what you’re looking for and what you’re not looking for, can you repeat the question? I just lost track of where we’re going.
Jim: Why should someone hire a copywriter?
Tina: Okay. Because sometimes the other thing that can happen is you’re actually too close to your own product. I’ve had people write to me after I wrote their copy, or call me and say, “you just finally put into words what I’ve been trying to do for 25 years and I couldn’t do it.” Sometimes you’re so close, to your own product you do not see the other elements or you can’t say it. You just can’t bring yourself to say for yourself what someone else can say for you in your voice.
I’ve had people say to me, “this sounds like me only better. You know, me at my best.” And so if you’re with the right type of copywriter they can go more deeply with you, then you can for yourself. That’s why I say being your own client is tough. It’s the toughest thing because it’s hard to get that distance or what you really are doing for people. Another set of eyes and another intuitive process may see there’s more here than you’re even saying. I can see this other element that you’re overlooking.
Also for speed, when you talk about how to get successful faster, where can you have that team that’s going to get you there faster. If you’re struggling to write your own copy, it’s going to take you like two months to write your sales letter to write an email sequence. Then accelerate it, hire the right kind of people to help you. Hiring the right copywriter, joining forces with these people that are going to do that for you and much, much faster. So you can do this thing that is your brilliance. It may not be copywriting. You may say, “well, I’m a pretty good copywriter,” but if you really want to add that spark and that extra push, then you need to get someone to help you with that. I think just for really with the marketing strategies, sometimes people don’t understand fully the strategy and what might be missing and that with the right copywriter you’re going to get that extra fuel by doing that.
Why Hire Tina Lorenz?
Jim: Right. So the second question is why should they hire you? You’ve already addressed it to a degree.
Tina: Well, because I’m pretty good at what I do (laughs).
I’ve actually gotten great results for clients. I think people that work with me find that, it’s kind of a painless process because once I have all the information I need, it’s kind of like, okay, see you later.
I almost make a game out of it. I’ll go back and look at the properties of the word document and I’ll see,I edited it 30 times, 40 times, 50 times. This last one was 20 or 30, something like that. Sometimes it’s just a tiny thing, it’s a word, it’s a comma, it’s a spacing, it’s an “Ooh, I’m going to add two more words here, that makes it a tiny bit more clear, I can see where I could clarify that more.” And so that’s what I’m doing all the way through while writing the copy.
When they get the copy from me, it is ready to go. I honestly very rarely have anyone have to have anything edited. It’s almost always, unless it’s just some small correcting point or a term, you know, a number or something like that, that might just need to be corrected, it’s just ready.
I think the biggest overhaul I ever did, and this was years ago, the client was in the UK and I’d written the whole long form sales letter that’s still online today and it’s been many years. And they said “The headline, I don’t know if I like the headline.” I was like, “oh my gosh, they don’t like the headline!” And so I just kind of looked at it and I wrote a new headline for them and they said “this is perfect.” And that was it. That was the edit.
So why they should work with me? I don’t miss deadlines. I do what I say I’m going to do. I will take my clients deeper into their own product, their own audience than they might have realized was going to happen. And I could just about guarantee I’m going to come up with things that you didn’t actually say to me that I hear, read, feel between the lines.
I end up saying things for the client they couldn’t say, or didn’t know how to say for themselves. They say to me “I didn’t tell you that. I actually didn’t tell you that.” And I say “Yeah, I know.” Because I have this process, I have kind of a spiritual process. It’s a part of how I work that I’ve never really talked about until now, but it’s always active in what I do and how I work with my clients. And it makes it pretty powerful for my clients.
Networking, Intuition and Marketing Strategy
Jim: That’s really cool. And so you’re, you’re a high end a copywriter. You use intuition, you’ve got marketing and strategy to bring to the table as well.
Tina: I’ve got stories up one side down the other way back in the day, you know, I ended up meeting Gary Halbert at that event with Gary Bencivenga. I had taken his dollar letter concept and I’d written a two page direct mail piece for a client in real estate. The guy had $400,000 to invest. He ended up needing $4 million to fulfill the contracts, and that happened within 30 days from a two page direct mail with a dollar bill attached to it. He had to get partners and he ended up making $1 million profit in 30 days from that direct mail piece.
When I went to Gary Bencivenga, just this lady from Arizona, I had the letter and when I saw him I went up and introduced myself. I didn’t ask for selfies. I wasn’t like, Woo fanning out here. I said, “Gary, I’d like to thank you for giving me the idea, of your dollar letter. You’re fantastic concept of a dollar letter. And I’d like to show you what I did with it. And it’s like, I’ll tell you what happened.” He and John Carlton was standing together. I had the letter, I handed it to him, two pages, very easy to read. And they just looked at it. They looked at each other, they looked at me, and the first thing he said was, “you need the license this, you should be licensing this letter.” And then Gary Halbert looked at it and he said, I’m doing an event in Miami like in a month or two, he said, “I’d like your permission to give this to the attendees of my seminar and I would like you to come to the seminar. Would you do that?” And I said, “YES!” And so that’s how I met Gary Halbert and John Carlton and I ended up teaching in one of John Carlton’s programs at one point. I ended up going to Gary Halbert’s event. I ended up with more clients from that as well. And I have that two page letter on my website at tinalorenz.com. It was a dollar letter, Gary Halbert’s idea and I just put it out there in a different way.
Why Tina Loves Copywriting
Jim: That’s really cool. I remember a while back I wrote some direct response letters using Dan Kennedy’s system and his idea was to write a sales letter and then crumple it all up. Right. Crumple it all up and write in red ink “Don’t throw this away again.” And then send it to the prospect. And I sent it out and I got a certain response from an attorney. This woman had asked her attorney to contact me and say stop, going into a trench you don’t understand.” It’s crazy. So, what do you love about copywriting?
Tina: Well, I love words and I love having them flow smoothly and I love making the concepts easier to understand, but yet really compelling. I love building in the persuasion and the psychology, in an ethical way, not in a manipulative way that just really makes it clear to the prospect so they’re breaking out in a sweat, they’re going, “oh my gosh, I cannot wait to do this thing”, whatever the thing is. That they just know it’s answering a need they have. I mean, I love things like word clouds and surveys.
Ryan Levesque’s “ask” method A.S.K method is, people kind of act like it’s new. But actually it goes way back to Alex Mandossian, who was doing an asking when I first came online. He had a different way he did it. It was much simpler we didn’t have the technology back then, but the same type of thing where you’re really looking at the words they tell you and crawling right in their head with them. The interesting thing about that aspect of things is that people don’t remember they actually said it. And so then when it’s reflected back at them in the copy, they’re like, “oh my gosh, it’s just like you read my mind” when really they actually told you what was going on in their mind.
I really love all the marketing. I just think marketing is fun and I think just finding those triggers and that psychology that makes people respond and that gives them the thing they needed that helps them, by serving them with the problem they wanted to solve, the thing they wanted to start doing, it’s really satisfying to me. And I love when I can read my own copy. I learned this from John Carlton actually, because he said, “you know, if I go back and read my own copy and it makes me cry, then I know I’ve really done something.”
I have actually experienced that when reading my own copy later out loud and I go, how did I do that? You know? And sometimes I actually do get a little teary or emotional reading it because it’s triggering such strong emotion. That to me is a sign of success. And that’s what I want for the prospect to feel. “I have found the thing, this person understands me, this message resonates with me. This is true for me.”
Keeping persuasion on the white hat side, keeping it not a manipulation, but a joining of forces, a joining of the soul, heart to heart. Really supporting that person through what the copy says and on the other side of that is representing my clients, so that they say things to me like “that’s me only better”, “this is my ideal me speaking.” And so capturing their voice, not mine, theirs, and their audience and making that connection between them and their audience, that’s super satisfying to me as well.
I love digging into the marketing. I love analyzing it and seeing where the gaps are and what’s needed and how I can help them have that. Filling in the spaces in their marketing with something that’s going to be very effective, I love all of that. Seeing the smooth flow from start to finish, that’s another thing, so their message is aligned and the excitement builds, you can feel it ramping up. That’s one of the things that I find when I’m reading it aloud, as I’m getting into the offer and the final push, I can feel the energy rising even as I read it, then it’s like YES! This is what I love, THAT. It’s a little addiction, a good healthy one.
How Sales Techniques Transfer to Copywriting
Jim: I want more, I want more, let’s do it again. When doing the marketing research and trying to capture the DNA of your prospect, that provides for me a good clear image of what you’re talking about, that you use that DNA to crystallize the message and they realize, the customer realizes, “WOW, you’re reading my mind” or “you’re talking my language”, because you’re looking at their DNA. So that’s sweet.
Tina: I think it was really helpful when I did all the face to face stuff. The marketing events and then selling hand painted shirts, and then we ended up selling color changing mugs. If I had known how to be online then, with the color changing mugs, I would have been a multimillionaire many times over because I really got the feeling for how to serve that person. They were looking for a gift or for something they wanted. And I knew how to tell the story. I’d literally see the crowd step towards me, you know, they start gathering and then they come closer. I learned things like when I was holding the mug I’d be tapping it with my fingernail while I was demonstrating, and their attention would go right to it, and I’d be future pacing them without knowing that’s what it was called.
That’s how we ended up in the Pentagon. I was selling these things to five-star generals, diplomats that were taking them to other countries because we had patriotic designs. We had one for every branch of the military. I just learned so much. I have a kind of a, I don’t know if we have time, a fantastic story really about one of our designs.It was the World Trade Center. The mug was called The Big Apple and it was an artistic interpretation of New York City. It was all rearranged geographically to fit the design on the mug. The way these mugs worked was the design changed when you put hot liquid into them. So I was demonstrating it with hot water. It was a white mug with a design and it would completely change to a different design when the warm liquid was inside.
We had this design called “The Big Apple” we sold a lot of them. And after September 11th when we were looking at our orders, they didn’t have this mug on the inventory anymore because it had a representation of the World Trade Center, and when the mug changed it went to nighttime and the lights all came on, the lights on the bridge came on and things, it was all compressed into one little design.
We got in touch with the company, and said, “Why can’t we get this one anymore?” They said “we can’t sell that anymore.” And we were like, “why not?” And they said, “because of what happened,” and we said, “well do you still have them?” And they said “yes.” So we said, “Please send us several cases of them. We want them.” They said, “Well, we’ve literally broken the mold. We’re not going to make them any more. So what we have is all that’s left.” And we said, “send us the cases.”
We were inside the Pentagon and you actually get like a little store. We were there for several weeks. You have your own kind of store, all glass windows, they bring all your stuff in. We had Department of Defense passes to be able to get in and all this. So they bring in our inventory and I set it up and we decided that we were going to sell this mug as a collectible. My daughter’s in the military, so is my son-in-law, so this was truly coming from a place of integrity of how we must never forget and why our country can overcome anything and that we should not forget. We should remember and celebrate who we are in the United States. We also decided we would double the price on them as they were now a collectible and because there was a limited supply. We sold them as a limited edition and told the story of the mold being broken. We said “You will not be able to get these again, when these are gone. This is why we have them as a remembrance, honoring our country.” We sold them and sold them and sold them. We sold them by the case. We ordered every single one they had. I would tell the story while demonstrating the light coming on, “it is a representative view of the World Trade Center. We must never forget, the strength of our country and our ability to overcome.”
Every once in a while I would get some joker, I could say something else, but I won’t on this. It was unfortunate, it was always a guy that did it, he would come up when we were demonstrating in other places after the Pentagon and say, “oh look, I see the plane.” And I would shut him down just like that, and the whole crowd would help me. I would just stop and look right in the persons eye and I’d say, “sir, that’s not one bit funny. I’m going to ask you to leave because this is not anything to joke about.” And the whole crowd would just be like, you know, that guy’s not going to say another word, not another word.
This was also a takeaway, “go away, this isn’t for you. These are the people that understand what this is about, these are our people, not you.” There’s so many lessons in this. The company that assumed no one would buy them, thinking there was no way to handle it with sensitivity, thinking it was going to be somehow disrespectful to sell them. People wanting them, without even realizing why they wanted them, and changing the story of why they wanted them. It wasn’t about your cup of coffee or hot chocolate, this was about a statement.
They were buying them by the case, literally five-star generals buying them by the case because they were going to various events and things and they wanted to give them as gifts. They were actually willing to pay more for them than the rest of the inventory, because they were collectible, and they truly were.
And, being afraid, being afraid to go there with the people who needed this product, that it did something for them, it helped build them. It helped affirm something to themselves. It meant something more. It was more than just a mug with a design on it. So I hope that that’s a lesson, a story that can help other people who are thinking, “I don’t know, it’s kind of a sensitive topic. I don’t know if I can solve this. Wouldn’t it be disrespectful?” Don’t be afraid to really explore what that might mean to the people that you’re serving, because we sold a lot of them to people in the military and people that were first responders, personnel from the fire departments, police. These are the people that wanted them, and it meant something to them, and we were very honored to be able to provide it.
Following Your Gut
Jim: What’s also interesting is it seems that based on what you described, was at the moment you made that decision, okay, I want all those cases, you had no assurance as to whether it would work at all. It could have been a case where people said it was too insensitive and you were wrong and you made a big bad wrong decision, but it turned out very well. But you just went with your gut and you said, let’s go for this. I think we could make it work and turn into a giant positive.
Tina: Right, exactly. So that’s the other thing I’d say for any entrepreneur. When you have that really deep conviction, that gut feeling, that intuitive hit, follow it.
The same thing happened when we were selling hand painted denim shirts. We didn’t paint them ourselves, they were denim shirts with colorful designs. And we actually did those before the mugs. We were at swap meets, flea markets, festivals and all that kind of stuff with those, and ended up selling them on military installations too. We were at events where there were a couple of other people who had the same inventory, they had the same type of shirts. We sold ours for more. We never apologized for it. And I always was able to really create the feeling, the emotion around why they would want to buy from us.
And so this is the other thing, when people say, “other people are selling this thing. How can I sell this thing?” They can’t be you. Okay. They don’t have your message. They don’t have your personality. They don’t have your reason why you’re selling them. Or how you’re creating that marketing message around what you’re selling. So if you believe in it, and are willing to go the distance with it, I mean we could actually see another booth with the shirts and yet we were outselling them.
The other thing I’d say a little marketing message for that is, the confused mind doesn’t buy. So even though we had an array of designs, and the same with the mugs. If someone is starting to really say, “Oh wow, I really like that”, then don’t go, “oh, but wait, we have this one and this one and this one and maybe you’d like this one and have you seen this one?” Because all of a sudden they go, “You know what? I’m going to have to go home and think about it” because the confused mind doesn’t buy it. A person would rather say no if you give them too many options.
This is the same thing in your copy and in your offers, if you do too many things, you start cluttering up the scene with too many choices. People will back away and not make the decision because they’re afraid to make the wrong decisions. You need to help them know they’re making the right decision. And it’s not complicated, it’s easy for them to make that right decision, I learned that way back with hand painted denim shirts.
Jim: Yeah. Same here. I learned that back in the days of Corey Rudl, do you remember Corey Rudl? I was an MLM and we had a company that had like 300 products to sell, right? And Corey Rudl said “no, just pick one.” Everyone else was there trying to sell the whole catalog and just getting no results with that. Where I would be like, okay what do you want? I’d just pick one. And I became like the Category King for the company. Focus on one thing.
Tina: Yes, when you have 299 others, that’s 299 other opportunities to sell to the person that bought one 299 more times, you know, if it’s a good fit for them. So I mean that’s where your extended strategies come in, with backend and the cost of acquisition. Then we’re going to be able to market these other products to them because they already love you. They already love that one thing they bought and they are ready. They’re already indoctrinated into what you have. They’ve been exposed to you, they’ve made that connection, and now they’re more easily able to decide that they would like more of what you have. A lot of times, and you’ve probably discovered this, they were saying, “well what else do you have? Because I love this thing so you have something else?” And that’s the other thing, not just stopping with one thing and giving people an opportunity to actually invest in you at a higher level.
Don’t Give Up. Find What Works
Jim: Exactly. I’m curious, with all your experience, your know how, do you see any trends on the horizon that maybe an entrepreneur should know about? Any trends in the field of copywriting that would be helpful to be aware of?
Tina: I think that you just lose the hype. I mean, that should already be happening, but I know that I write a lot differently now than I did when I first started. But we don’t back the Brinks truck up now to haul out the money, and all these things that people used to say. It’s like, don’t say those things, just be real. You’re going to need to really be real and authentic and have an integrity with whatever you’re saying and whatever you’re marketing and you’re going to need multiple routes. It isn’t just now I have a long form sales letter and an opt-in, it’s not as easy as it used to be for some of these things. You have to have multiple routes of how people are going to learn about you, be exposed to what you have in your marketing and have that marketing strategy in place that allows that to happen.
Don’t be afraid to have the calls to action. You need the longer email sequences, or maybe it’s going to be shorter emails instead of the long ones. You know, you’ve really got to understand what your audience is telling you and go with that. And also again, that gut feeling. If there’s just something about, even all the strategies that you’re learning, even from very, very experienced people, there might be something where you’re just like, no, I just had this feeling. I really have this feeling that if I add this other thing or I’m going to at least split test this, then you might find that you’re really onto something. Don’t be afraid to explore that also.
You need to back it up with data and metrics. And this isn’t just like, as someone telling me the other day, that they had such a powerful message from the universe that they didn’t need any marketing, that it was all suddenly just going to come together for them. I’m like, “Oh, I wish you well, I totally, honestly wish you well. But you know, I don’t think that’s going to work….”
Don’t be afraid to market. And I think just understanding the different avenues, like if you are using social media, why? How? Is it just a picture of your lunch or do you have a strategy? You need to understand why you’re doing something and have a reason for it. Maybe not every one of those things is going to be right for you in your market. You might find that you have a different channel that works better for you. So being open to that I think also.
Jim: Great. And also just keep on trying and trying to find what works. Don’t give up.
Tina: Absolutely. And that’s where the split testing comes in, you know? Don’t change too many things at once, or you won’t know which thing worked. Maybe you’re going to split test the price, that kind of thing. But don’t be afraid to tweak what you have and to say, oh, it isn’t just one and done. You might need to go back and say, “okay, I’m going to adjust this because I begin to see where I’m not meeting a need here where people are telling me, listen.” Listen to your audience, don’t be afraid to talk to them and listen to them and get the input from them and then start shaping what you’re doing to what they’re actually telling you that they want. They need solutions for their challenges. If you’ve not met those, fix it.
I think the other thing is, when we add in the offers. You know in the old days of bonuses, I mean it could be like I have 57 bonuses from how to make the best chocolate chip cookies to mow your lawn in half the time to how to write emails, you know? It was just anything and everything pile it on, pile it on, pile it on. I think those days are gone, they should be gone forever. Instead be looking at where are the gaps in what you have, or in what you know, your market is going to say, “okay, I want this, but I had this question, how do I do this one thing that’s like an extra step?” And that’s what you start building into your offers. So you’re automatically supplying the other things you know your audience are asking for. Thoes things might not be directly in your program and your product, but you know that they would love to have this other piece. And sometimes that one extra piece in your offer, to create that value, is the thing that will trip them from not buying it to buying it. They’ll trip to purchase it because they’ll be “I really want to know about that one thing and it’s one of the bonuses.” So really look at what your offer is, and that should include the support of what your product is and what your audience needs.
One Stop Shop
Jim: That’s fantastic. I just have two more questions for the time being.
Tina: We’re on the clock.
Jim: So, what question have you not been asked that you wish people would ask you?
Tina: Oh my gosh, that’s kind of a tough one. Wow. You threw me a curve ball with that one. What do they not ask me that I wish they would ask me? How many more ways can I invest in you? I mean they ask that but maybe not like that. So I mean, I think it’d be good right out of the gate to say “I want to have a long-term relationship with you and this is how many ways I want to invest in you. Can you do that?” I mean, I don’t think anybody said that directly like that, but I think that’d be an awesome thing to be asked.
Jim: My final question, which is, how can people find out more about you?
Tina: Oh awesome. I’ve got my website, TinaLorenz.com is more about copywriting for my client’s side of things, TheRenegadeBoomer.com it’s structured like a blog, but it’s actually where my funnel lives and it’s about really stepping into what you can do in your own life and creating a business for yourself, being an online presence.
Authentic-Copy.com “it’s hyphenated because that’s the only way I could get the URL even way back.” Authentic-Copy.com is my free copywriting workshop where I teach how a person can become a freelance copywriter at the entry level.
Any of those ways are ways to reach me and the program’s a really great way for people to start just learning about copywriting. I have a lot of people who are very happy with that. It’s a second version of Authentic Copy, that’s why I say I’ve had that URL for a long time. I did it live over 10 years ago at an event and this is the 2.0 online version now. So they can find me in any of those places.
Jim: So not only do you provide the copywriting services for class, you’ve also said “well fine, if you want to do it on your own, here, get up to speed and learn what I know and use these tips and tricks.”
Tina: Yep. And I’m training copywriters who can be available for more entry level type work. That’s another aspect, I’ve realized there’s a need in the market. I actually own the URL, AffordableCopywriters.com, my goal is to be able to refer entry level copywriters that have gone through my training.
I’ve had people like Mind Movies, who’ve bought my higher level training and trained their in-house copywriters with it eventually. So I work with people in that regard also, in doing marketing intensives or whatever they need in their business. There’s a lot of different ways a person can work with me, and all we have to have is a conversation to figure out what’s best for them.
Jim: I want to offer you some kudos. I went to your website to learn more about you. I got drawn in, and I just wanted to read every single word, it was so well written, it was like, oh my God, I’m trapped. These words WOW.
Tina: Come into my web with me… (laughter)
Jim: You are a wonderful writer. I must say.
Tina: Thank you so much. It’s funny, my original long-form website, back in the day. I used to get fan mail from people saying I never read long copy until I read yours and I couldn’t stop reading it. And that’s why I say it’s tough to write your own stuff, because I wrote all my own copy. I want people to understand who I am, and be drawn into my world with me. And that’s what I also do for my clients only in their voice. And when you’re looking at my website, you’re hearing my voice. So thank you for telling me that. I appreciate that. Mission accomplished!
Jim: It has been an absolute joy talking to you. I really appreciate your time and your wisdom and the knowledge you have shared with us. Thank you very very much.
Tina: It has been great. So much fun. I love talking marketing. Thank you so much for having me on today.
Jim: Alright, have a good day!
You can read more about why be a copy writer and the strategies HERE.
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