I love working with really smart clients.
Well for one thing, talking to them is like getting paid to learn.
One of the clients I am currently writing for is a coach to bigwig CEOs and a member of the Forbes Coaching Council (sounds swanky, eh?). He was also, many years ago, an Air Force engineer working on the deployment systems on B-52s bombers. The same B-52 bombers responsible for retaliating (with nuclear force) against any nation that would dare send a nuclear strike against the US.
Unfortunately that's all he could tell me, as it’s all very confidential and hush, hush (even swankier, amirite?).
But this email isn’t about that anyway.
What this email is about is something my client said that effectively allows you to “cockroach-ify” your business very quickly.
What is "cockroach-ifying" your business??
"Cockroach-ifying" your business is something I adapted from an old Parris Lampropolous sales letter that was all about:
“Warren Bufftet’s Cockroach Strategy To Getting Rich In The Stock Market”
The strategy, simply stated, is investing in companies with a proven track record of surviving even during “economic nuclear fallout” (just like cockroaches survive during real nuclear fallout).
In other words, cockroach-ifying your business means building a business that is “recession-proof”, unable to be knocked off by competitors, not sold purely on price, and is practically impossible to destroy due to any economic, social, or political upheavals.
I.E. exactly the type of business you want.
And here is how my wise client, who has built and sold multiple multi-million dollar businesses, said to do it:
“You know, there is nothing so unique where somebody can’t say ‘hell to you, I’m going to shop here, I’m going to use this other service provider'. So if you don’t do something to tie them up emotionally, you’re just a commodity.”
And there you have it. A high-ticket info-product summed up in a sentence.
To truly build a resilient “cockroach” business, that is impenetrable to the forces of time and human folly, you must (and that is a command, not a suggestion) tie up your prospects and customers emotionally.
How do you do it?
Well that’s exactly what I help my clients with.
To get me on your team, tying knots of emotional connection between you and your best prospects and customers, head here:
Yesterday I made a terrible mistake.
It had to do with the subject line I dashed off in a frenzy.
The worst part is, I realized the stupid mistake I had made less than an hour after sending the email (which proves yet again why you should never write your emails the day of).
What was the mistake?
And more importantly, how can you avoid it in your own emails?
It’s really quite simple (which makes it that much more infuriating that I made it!).
The stupid subject line mistake I made is asking a “yes or no” question.
Which in my case was:
“Is email marketing changing the world?”
Now, I’m not saying you can never ask a “yes or no” question. There are times I’ve done it where it made sense because there was enough built-in curiosity.
But 9 times out of 10?
It’s something you want to avoid.
Because it’s too easy for your reader to say “yes” or “no” and then move on without opening your email.
On the other hand, asking open-ended questions, like “how many licks does it take to get to the salesy-roll center of a sales email”... then your reader thinks “Yes… how many does it take?”
So keep this in mind next time you dash off a subject line.
For my help writing your copy, head here:
What I’m about to say might sound highfalutin or pompous or self-aggrandizing or any number of “egotistical”-like things (wouldn’t be the first time someone accused me of that).
But bear with me while I explain.
Because I REALLY do think it is true.
Here’s what I mean:
From my perspective, email marketing — specifically the ‘infotaining’, personality-driven style of email created by Matt Furey and popularized by Ben Settle — is changing the way the world gathers and exchanges information. More specifically, it’s changing who is viewed as a valuable and credible source. And that, my dear reader, is redistributing power into the hands of “the little guy”.
Before you scoff, laugh, or point your finger and ridicule me, let me explain what I mean.
Long ago, before the intahwebs was as prevalent as herpes in a whore house, there were very few (if any) platforms for “the little guy” to speak his piece. The best you were likely to find were free speech corners in parks and universities, or you could call up and argue with talk radio hosts.
But even in those situations you were mostly faceless. People might not even know your name. And they certainly wouldn’t know where to find you and follow you and “keep in touch”.
And so most of the power and authority over the years has been concentrated by the “establishment”.
Namely, by giant media corporations (remember, in the 20th and 21st centuries information = power).
So unless you could afford to start your own radio station, TV station, or newspaper, or you were willing to bed with the devil and work for one of the major media companies, you had very little recourse to build a following, spread your knowledge, and influence the collective psychology.
The closest thing I can think of was something like The Gary Halbert Letter.
But even then, you were only communicating with your followers once a month (plus, you had to understand direct-mail and invest in envelopes and postage which made it much less feasible for most people).
And while there were no doubt many benefits to these barriers (like only serious people would pay to play, and so there was generally a higher-level of sophistication), taking down these barriers effectively opened the floodgates for people to join in on the conversation and “breed” ideas. And when “breeding” increases, more “mutations” occur, and evolution happens faster.
It very much reminds me of the great podcast boom. Only email is even better for this.
Because email is much more “democratic” and based on meritocracy.
Podcasting takes a lot of equipment and knowhow. So it is much harder for someone recording from their room to compete with Gimlet media, who can fly its hosts around the world, record in state of the art studios, have a team of producers and editors, et cetera and so on…
Whereas email, it doesn’t matter whether you have 1 dollar or 1 billion dollars…
Email “levels the playing field”.
Which brings us back to my original point:
There are clearly two competing trends in the world today.
One faction is attempting to consolidate power and information into the “establishment”.
Well, freedom fighters like you and me are going the opposite way. We are following “micro-influencers” and are more interested in free and unique thinkers than we are in following “the narrative”.
Which is why I believe email marketing is changing the world.
It’s giving anyone with a computer the chance to build a following and share their knowledge and information with anyone who is willing to listen.
It reminds me of when I first started going to music festivals.
Unlike normy concerts, the crowd at a music festival isn’t just there to watch the show. At a music festival, the crowd IS the show.
Everyone is there to entertain everyone else and make them happy.
You can very much say there is a culture of responsibility. It’s not just about sitting back and saying “dance monkey, entertain me”... it’s about everyone adding something uniquely “them” to the experience.
Which is much closer to how life really works.
Now, here’s your chance to participate:
If you want to stop being part of the crowd, and want to put on your own show, so you can have some influence and say over your corner of the world, and you’d like my help doing it, click the link below:
When you do you will be brought to a new page. There, simply enter your information into the form and you will be notified when I have an opening in my schedule.
I gotta warn you... this email is boring. So if you have a hyper short attention span, are not a freelance copywriter, have no desire to be one, and/or don’t give a hoot about the advice I gave to this particular newbie (advice I believe any copywriter, newbie or established can use to get far better at writing copy and potentially land clients fairly quickly), best to tune out now.
If you are still with me for this wild (yet boring) ride, then here is the message I received from a newbie copywriter the other day:
“Hello, Mr. McCune. I hope you are doing well. I would like to be a professional email writer. I really need your help. I guess the book you promised could help me a lot. Also, if you got some sort of training, can I get some direction from you? Thank you in advance.”
The truth is, questions like this are usually ignored on arrival. Mostly because people do not listen to free advice and I don’t like wasting my time or theirs.
And really I am not the right guy to learn how to become a copywriter from. I had to struggle my way into this biz. And I really don’t know any “shortcuts” to getting clients or honing your skills.
Everything I do to get better at writing copy takes hard work.
Nonetheless, below is what I told our eager hero to do (mostly because he seemed like one of the few who would actually take action). And while it all takes hard work, there is no doubt in my mind that if our hero dedicates himself that he would (eventually) become a successful freelancer.
Here’s what I said (remember, it’s boring and completely unedited… ye be warned):
Hello Mr Erick. Here is my best advice for you:
1) Put 1 hour (minimum) into studying copywriting, sales, and marketing every day. Read great copy and take notes. Read the classic copywriting and sales books and take notes. Find training's on youtube. Listen to podcasts. Whatever you can do to get your hands on valuable copywriting resources, do it (there are plenty of free resources out there for you to find, so you can do this without spending a penny if money is tight).
2) Write every day. You can get a Linkedin or Medium account for free and begin writing posts or articles to practice. Teach the things you are learning from your study above. But more importantly, use what you are learning from above every day when you write. Focus on adding one new skill to your repertoire each day. This will also begin to build an audience for you (more on that below).
3) Set up an opt-in page and use your writing to drive traffic to that page. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just put something up with a compelling headline and an opt-in box. Begin building your list and mailing it each day. If you don't have anything to sell, simply offer free consultations. Or critiques. Or build a sub-list of interested clients. Or whatever. Just start writing and using what you are learning to persuade people to take an action.
4) Do whatever you must to get your first clients. Go on Upwork, Copyblogger, Indeed, FB groups where copywriters get hired, or wherever clients will hagn out and tell people you are available to be hired (don't beg or act needy, just share that you have some time in your calendar and how can you help them). Don't worry about getting the best and highest paying clients right off the bat. Do work for free if you have to. Just get some experience under your belt so you acn gain confidence, get samples, get testimonials / references, practice your skills, and most importantly get referrals. Every time you do get a client and they are happy with the work you did, simply say "I am so pleased you are happy. Do you know any business owners who might also be interested in my services?" And if they say yes, simply ask for them to make an email introduction right then and there before they forget.
If you are starting from scratch, it may take a lot more time and effort that you had hoped. But there's no reason you can't achieve it if you dedicate yourself. So best to start today.
Hope that helps my man.
So it was written. So it shalt be done.
If you want to be a freelance copywriter but didn’t know how to get started, consider any excuses you had hogtied, zapped, and burnt to a crisp. All you must do is follow that plan (it’s a start at least).
If you wanted to become a freelance copywriter but are now thinking “man that sounds like a lot of hard work, I thought I’d make 6-figures sitting on the beach”, then consider me the bad news bear bringing the news that you should just give up. Becoming a freelance copywriter does take hard work. So I just saved you hours of heartache and woe figuring that out (you can thank me later).
The truth is, the hard work is worth it. There are few ways to support yourself as good as this copywriting gig.
As long as it suits your personality.
And as long as you don't mind hard work.
If you are not a copywriter, but are interested in hiring me to write your copy, congrats for making it this far as this email had zero to do with anything you are interested in most likely.
So here is your reward — the chance to join my client waiting list. Which you can do by clicking that little bitty link below:
For marketers, Joe Rogan is a completely fascinating "case study".
And that is because he has been able to build one of the most valuable and responsive brands on the planet (there is even a concept called “The Rogan effect”, where people who are on his show see a boom in sales and influence, simply because he has such a large and vivacious fan base).
The best part is, Joe Rogan ain't in any one "niche". Joe Rogan is really in the business of being Joe Rogan.
It's not like he's the health guy, so people interested in health follow him. Nor is he just the UFC guy, or the comedy guy, or anything like that.
He is so influential that his fanbois and fangurls eat up whatever he says, regardless of how far out there it is.
Even when he is talking about something extremely rare (like bowhunting for example).
In fact, this phenomenon is so pervasive that I'm considering creating an investment system based around Joe Rogan podcasts, and investing in whatever company or industry he is talking about or recommending.
I will call it “The Joe Rogan Fanboi Investment Strategy”.
I bet if you did it right you'd see some gains.
But a better strategy?
Perhaps a better strategy is to build a brand like Rogan's, so you have all the power and influence and sales coming directly to you. And part of how he built his brand is by simply showing up every single day to do the work.
And showing up for years. In fact, he has over 1500 podcasts, many of which span three hours.
Talk about dedication to creating content.
Puts my humble daily email to shame.
That said, obviously most people shouldn't expect to have Joe Rogan levels of fame and influence. And the truth is, most clients I work with wouldn’t want that level of celebrity (it comes with tons of downsides, like the fact that Joe Rogan has to hide where he lives, and is apparently pretty paranoid about his wife and kids, not too mention media attention and the attention of the government when you get that rich).
But if you show up ever day in your prospect's lives, giving a valuable tip, sharing your expertise, telling a story or a joke, and focusing on building that relationship... your brand will grow over time.
And you sales will swell too.
Yes it will take work.
But it’s probably easier and more sure than my Joe Rogan Investment Strategy.
If you want to hire me to write your copy so you can — over time — build a rock solid brand where your prospects and customers buy up whatever you are selling, head over to my client waiting list here:
Once I was talking to an Amazon “specialist” (I use specialist in quotes because the guy was playing business more than being a serious business owner).
He told me a whole slew of wacky and wild things about the crusty underbelly of Amazon.
Specifically, he told me how scammers and shysters are extremely rampant on the platform (scammers and shysters which I lovingly refer to as "Scamazonians").
Now these Scamazonians aren't just scammers and shysters out to steal you, the consumer’s money. These are scammers and shysters that steal entire businesses (essentially) from Amazon store owners.
In fact, the guy I was talking to told me how he spent months and months building up his store, finding the right products, researching trends & analytics, optimizing it for SEO, and eventually starting to see a nice four figures in monthly sales, only for it vanish overnight when his biggest competitor — one with a team of workers and extremely deep pockets — figured out how to game the system (by paying for reviews or something like that).
He said it was heartbreaking.
But really it just sounded frustrating. Seeing months of hard work washed away. Stuck in a constant battle with your competitors for the top spot. Constantly learning the latest algorithms so you can game the system and keep customers flowing in.
And in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think, “Well no wonder it’s frustrating; that’s a terrible way to build a business.”
A bit later I heard another Scamazon story that was even worse.
Because this one the store owner did everything “right”.
He picked a high-quality product in a unique niche. He created his own brand that resonated with his target market. He had a back-end in place (as much as you can on Scamazon) as he was selling a handful of different products that complemented each other. And he had a nice healthy business going just selling uniquely branded BBQ equipment, like spatulas and aprons.
Then, some scammer (in China probably) copied his entire store. They copied everything down to his brand even.
And so people bought the scammers stuff thinking it was his.
To make matters worse, the scammers, not caring about the brand or customer loyalty, used cheap and low-quality substitutes which they were able to sell at a massive discount to his, stealing even more of his sales, and creating a lot of unhappy customers. So not only were they tanking his monthly revenue, they were effectively killing his brand one sale at a time.
And there was nothing the store owner could do.
When he appealed to Scamazon, they basically told him it was hopeless.
It doesn’t seem right, but thus is life when you get in bed with a tech giant devil.
Much better to build a list and contact it regularly methinks.
I can’t really help you build a list. If that's what you need, best to ask someone else.
But if you want help with contacting your list regularly, I can help you with that. To do that, click the link below and enter your information into the box. When you do, you will be added to my client waiting list and will be notified next time I have an opening in my schedule.
Here ya go www.copybymccune.com
What’s that? You’re confused why I, a prominent purveyor of daily emails, would lambast the humble art as “brave foolhardiness”...
Well I should explain.
Because the truth is, no matter how foolhardy writing daily emails may be, emailing daily is the dog's bollocks (that is a real UK phrase... lookitup). There are tons of benefits above and beyond what it seems you would get on the surface.
Daily emails will boost your sales (obviously). They can get you on the radar of legends in your industry (it is scary how fast this can happen sometimes). You may have people asking you to license your emails (at least that happened to me). They will build your brand. And daily emails will quickly position you as an “expert” (Once someone said about me “he must be the expert because he mails daily” even though they knew nothing else about me and hadn’t even read one of my emails).
All of which is why I am a big ol fan of the daily email shtick. And why I would encourage — nay, I demand that you do daily emails as well.
So then why do I call writing daily emails “foolhardy”?
Well that is simple. And it comes about because writing daily emails has a “shadow self”.
And that “shadow self” is that writing daily emails is a total pain in the ass.
There, I said it.
Even though I love writing my daily email, and I love writing emails for my clients, it is not always “fun”.
Sometimes it is a long, slow slog. And anyone who says you can write daily emails effortlessly and in just minutes probably has some ulterior motive. At least that’s been my experience.
So what’s the fix?
The fix is to write your emails ahead of time of course silly. This is something I am currently rectifying in my own daily emails, and something I demand of my clients.
1) Because when you write your emails the day of, you will almost always think of some way you could make it better mere minutes after clicking “send”. So having it percolate at least over night almost always makes the emails better.
And 2) Because that way you can plan and strategize a month’s worth of emails. This is important because it’s not one single email that does the selling job. Each email theoretically should be strong enough to sell someone. But the real “magic” happens when someone reads dozens or even hundreds of your emails. And so they get dozens or hundreds of reasons to buy. Over time, you can stuff your prospect so chock full of benefits, proof, objection handling, and curiosity that all of your emails compound on one another to finally get skeptical and procrastinating prospects “off the fence”. And this is even more powerful when you do it consciously.
Of course, if you want to get ahead on your daily emails without spending hours and hours strategizing and writing, you can always hire a copywriter.
And if you think I am right for you, my waiting list can be found here:
Simply click that link, fill out the form on the page, and you will be added to the waiting list, where you will be notified when I have an opening in my schedule.
Another segment of "What Not To Do" for your Friday fun.
Below are 7 sure ways to tank your sales. If you catch anyone guilty of them, be sure string em up and spank them in the town square.
Without further ado:
1) Ignore your customer service -- let's face it, it's way more fun to sip bubbly at the beach then service your customers (sounds dirty). But today, when nearly every industry is creaking at the bones with a glut of products and service providers, customer service can be THE thing that separates you from the mindless pack.
2) Sending incongruent offers -- nothing sucks trust faster than incongruency. Just ask Hillary (or any other politician that succumbed to a similar fate).
3) Failure to communicate -- what's more fun: Counting your Lamborghinis? Or creating lots of quality content for your fans and customers? Easy choice. But one logically follows the other.
4) Going all Trump on your customers -- I love mockery and trolling just as much as the next guy, but if you come off as an unlovable arsehool (as opposed to a lovable arsehool) no one will want to buy from you, give you referrals, or consume your stuff.
5) Being an arteest -- business ain't art. As Eugene Schwartz said, if you want to write a novel, write one. But don't write novel copy. Yes, self-expression is important and your customers want to see your unique little noggin at work. But what's more important is making lots of sales and creating lots of happy customers. And you do that by creating the right offers with the right messaging. Not by creating art.
6) Savior complex -- your prospect's aren't perfect, and you shouldn't be either. People like people like them. So be like "them"... a little unperfect.
7) Being your own worst enemy -- to repeat the above: nobody is perfect. And if you sit on your project until you've jotted every I and tittled every T, you may miss your chance to take your shot. If I waited until this email was perfect, it'd never get snet. Negative self talk happens. But sometimes, like a barking chihuahua, you just gotta ignore it.
There you have it. 7 fun and exciting ways to tank your sales.
Chances are you are guilty of at least one of these at least some of the time (I know I am). But that is ok, because now you can string yourself up in the town square of your mind and give yourself a good paddling.
If you need my help (with writing copy, not paddling your bum), head to my client waiting list here:
Enter your information into the form and you will be added to the waiting list where you will be notified when I have an opening in my schedule.
Sent Thursday, July 9, 2020
Look, I love my mom. So nothing I say henceforth should be taken as anything other than CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
Constructive criticism plus a warning of what not to do.
And that is whether you're telling stories in your emails, sales copy, interviews, at parties, or whatever really.
Here is what I mean:
My mom, bless her soul, is a notoriously bad storyteller.
Why is she such a bad storyteller?
Well it's not just because she tells stories at the wrong time (when you are focused on something else). Nor is it because she tells stories you don't care about (though she does that too). And it's not just because she gets so excited telling stories that she jumps ahead of herself and struggles to find the right words (though that is quite common as well).
The real reason she's an abysmal storyteller is a far more grievous storytelling sin.
And the truth is, she can be forgiven for this sin. As she's never needed to get good at telling compelling stories. Nor has she ever put any practice into the matter to my knowledge.
But still, this "sin" of which I speak makes it all but impossible to listen to her tell stories of any length.
And if you commit this sin, you make it all but impossible for your readers to read your stories too.
So what is this "sin"?
Put simply, it is:
Spending too long to get to the point.
You see, in an attempt to fill you in all the details, she, like so many others out there, gives you far too much of the backstory.
It's like, sorry mom, I did not need to know that your friend once competed in a sack race competition in 1982 to hear the story of how she stubbed her toe (yes that's a made up example... but it's not far off).
And thus it is with your stories.
You must know which details are necessary for the reader and how to give those details succinctly.
And the "trick" to doing that is learning how to say more with less. So that any requisite details seep into the "action". So that the backstory and the plot seamlessly flow into one.
Speaking of requisite details...
If you'd like me on your team, spinning your yarns and spanking up your sales, head to my client waiting list here:
On that page, enter your information into the box and you will be notified when I next have an opening in my schedule.
I once heard the late, great Clayton Makepeace give a "2-step formula" for selling anything to anyone (he didn't call it that, but that is effectively what it is).
Now this "formula" isn't a plug and play template.
Nor is it a sales letter format.
Nor is it something that takes zero work or brain power.
So if you are the "just gimme the answer as thinking hurts" type, this probably won't help you (nor will anything else I share in this newsletter).
Because even though this formula can be used to sell virtually anything to anyone, it takes an incredible amount of research and a deep understanding of your market to do so (which is why copywriting is less about writing and more about all the things you do before you start writing).
So what is the "formula"?
The "formula" is simply asking yourself the following questions:
1) What must my prospect believe to make this purchase utterly mandatory?
2) What must I say, do, or show them to make that belief strong enough to carry the sale?
I know that might sound boring or simple or too mundane.
If so, fine.
Just know that the boring, simple, and mundane things are what separates the pretty good copywriters from the really great copywriters.
What's that? You don't want to do boring and mundane tasks but you still want great copy?
In that case, head to my client waiting list here, where you will be notified the next time I have an opening in my schedule: