In 5th grade I joined an after school chess club. (Yes, I was that type of nerd.)
And there is one lesson I learned from the “chess master” (probably just some random dude but seemed like a master at the time) that has stuck with me to this very day.
It’s something I’ve used in all aspects of my life.
And it’s something you can use to write better copy, craft better offers, think up big ideas, and overall just be a happier person.
And it has to do with sitting on your hands.
Well let’s let the chess master explain:
On the first day of chess club, the chess master told us before making any move, we should sit on our hands. We should do so, to give ourselves time to think, instead of moving pieces around.
In chess, this is important because you must think many moves ahead.
But it’s not so different in marketing.
You can’t just think up an offer. You have to think up an offer that is congruent with your upsell, your funnel, and your brand.
Same with emails.
You can’t just run to the keyboard and type furiously.
First you need an idea.
And the best way to come up with ideas, is to sit on your hand and do nothing.
Stare at a wall.
Go for a walk.
Watch a pretty sunset.
In fact, I joke my neighbors think I’m an insane unemployed person, because I pace back and forth in my backyard a ton thinking through copywriting projects and such.
On the outside it looks like I’m dicking around.
On the inside, I’m “sitting on my hands”.
It’s also the reason why copywriting fees (mine included) can seem high to people who have never worked with copywriters before and have never written a lot of copy.
They don’t realize how much mental energy is taken up.
The factory workers in my mind area always tinkering away, trying to find the next good angle, thinking of the next objefction to overcome, pondering a creative way to explain the same boring idea.
So when you hire me (or any good copywriter really) it’s not just another body typing words on a page.
It’s an extra 86 billion neurons helping you solve your business challenges.
To get all 86 billion of my neurons working for you, go here:
A while back I “stumbled” upon a copywriting secret you can use to write better titles for your books, videos, or any other offers.
It’s not something I’ve heard taught anywhere.
It's just something I noticed after viewing a lot of offers thinking a lot about it.
And the weirdest part is, you can find this copywriting secret in your garden shed.
I’m going to tell you the secret of course. But first, a quick sidetrack:
The reason this was on my mind this morning is because I’ve grown fed up with people bugging me about not having any offers so I have committed to have a book locked, loaded, and ready to fire by November 1st (if that interests you, keep your eyes peeled).
With that out of the way, here’s the secret:
In my dad’s garden shed he has a product called “Spray N’ Grow”.
This product is completely non-unique and boring. All it is is micro-nutrients which is essentially a plant multi-vitamin.
So what does plant vitamins have to do with copywriting?
Everything my Dear Watson.
Because this completely mundane product is transformed by a stellar product name:
“Spray N’ Grow”
Not only is the main benefit / transformation baked-into the name, but they do so with an image.
More, they imply a mechanism with “spray”.
In just three tiny words, the product conveys to the prospect exactly what they will get.
If you look around, you’ll notice a lot of successful offers do the same:
“ClickFunnels” (i.e. create a funnel with a few clicks)
“Make Him Worship You” (Chris Haddad’s new dating offer for women)
“The 30-Day Diabetes Cure” (an old Boardroom Inc. book)
“Oprah’s Big Book Of Happiness (a promo written by A-List copywriter Carline Cole)
In all these examples, there’s no room for “hmmm what will I get”.
It’s all spelled out.
Anyway, I hope this helps you think through your offer.
For help with your copy, head here:
In 2020, relying on opt-ins to grow your business is like an oil tycoon taking a shovel to the desert hoping to strike it rich.
And that goes double for free traffic.
“Buh, buh, Tyler…” You say, “But you use opt-ins and free traffic.”
True my Dear Watson. But I don’t *rely* on it.
In fact, I don’t rely on my Copy By McCune list at all. I could stop sending emails tomorrow and financially be a-ok serving the clients I currently have.
If I absolutely had to earn money through my list, it’d be buyer leads and paid traffic all the way.
Think of it like this:
If I stuck a gun to your head and told you you had to build a profitable business in the next month, what would you do?
Would you put up an opt-in page and drive traffic to it with podcast appearances and guest posts?
Unless you were ok attracting freebie-seeking mooches who only took their credit cards out to buy new Fortnite skins.
Instead, you’d make an irresistible offer solving your markets #1 hot-button pain-point. Sell it via incredibly enticing copy. And drive as much “bleeding-neck” traffic as inhumanly possible to it.
Because marketing isn’t about attracting everyone.
It’s about qualifying those who will be your very best buyers and put the most dough in your breadbasket.
Anyway, if you currently rely on free traffic and opt-ins, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to hire me as my fees would be too high. (Unless you are getting a ton of high-quality traffic. If so, hit me up and tell me your secrets.)
If you have lots of buyer leads and you want my help converting them into repeat customers to boost your LTV and give you even more green men you can use to buy more traffic, go here:
It’s funny how many rhetorical twists copywriters use to make trivial info seem important.
For example, everytime I write an affiliate campaign for a client, I try to find something interesting about the affiliates past.
Recently we had an affiliate who had the title “Dr.”
So every time I talked about him, I said “Dr. _________.” Even though it had nothing to do with what we were selling, it was interesting, humanizing, and added some credibility. (“Well he’s a Dr, so he’s gotta be smart.”)
Another affiliate flew F-16 fighter pilots.
So I used that to the hilt.
Now, I’m writing about a guy who went from working 18 hour days in a steel mill to growing a multi-million dollar online “lifestyle business”.
Truthfully, that one’s almost too easy.
There’s story appeal. Humanizing elements. Intrigue. Drama. And lots of credibility.
(“If a steel mill worker can do it, I can too.”)
But again it’s almost entirely a rhetorical flourish.
Does it really matter if the guy was a Dr?
Or flew F-16s?
Or worked in a steel mill?
Not really. It won’t really change the info they would learn by purchasing the offer.
But it does create an attractive “lead character”.
It gives the market a person to bond with.
And it keeps everything more interesting.
If you’re thinking:
“I don't have anything interesting like that to talk about.”
Then you’re just not looking hard enough.
And if you want my help, here’s the link:
See what awaits you in Grendel’s copywriting cave of horrors…
What can a centuries old poem teach you about copywriting?
Because, strangely enough, ancient stories deal with the same “currency” as copywriters do. That “currency” of course is human nature.
In many ways, copywriters are the modern day myth-makers of our world.
Take Beowulf for example.
Beowulf is about envy, revenge, family, being an outcast from society, reputation, fear of the unknown, establishing identity, and so on.
All major “themes” that are successfully used in copy each day.
But there’s something else—something far more useful and practical—that Beowulf teaches us about copy as well.
And that is where to find the best and truest market research.
What do I mean?
Well to explain, let’s set the scene:
In the climax of the story, Beowulf dives into a swamp and swims into Grendel’s cave to kill the monster’s mother. He swims down through the muck and mire, conquers the monster, and comes home bequeathing the “treasure” to the people in the town.
Which, curiously enough, is no different from what copywriters do.
We dive into the symbolic ‘swamp’ of our minds, find the caves of our hidden fears and desires, kill our own inner monster, and bring back the treasure to our prospects.
You see, to really dig out the emotions that make people buy, it’s not enough to look at a list survey and a few forum posts.
To dig out the emotions that make people buy, you have to feel those emotions.
You have to embody the suffering of having joint pain and not being able to play with your grandkids or enjoy the retirement you worked so hard for or live life like you have for the last 70 years.
You have to imagine the fear and embarrassment of being flat broke and trying to run a failing business and having no idea where your next paycheck will come from.
You have to wear the shoes of a recently-divorced middle-aged women who feels like she can’t compete with all the younger ladies out there.
If you’re selling in those markets, it’s not enough to do market research online.
You have to do market research "inside".
Which is why I say a copywriter’s most powerful tool is their own emotions. Their own failure. Their own fears. Their own feeling of brokenness.
Because you may not be a middle-aged recently divorced-women...
But you sure have the same human emotions.
To find them, you just have to dive into your own Grendel's cave of copywriting horrors.
It’s not easy.
But it can be the difference between a base hit and a home run.
Speaking of which…
If you’d like to get me writing copy and consulting for your business so I can swim into the deepest dankest caves, defeat the ugliest monsters, and bring back the treasure for the people of your kingdom, head here:
Word just came in from a client that I helped boost their membership site subscription revenue 20% by sending just 12 emails.
Which means tens of thousands of extra dollars in recurring revenue for them over the next few months. (Depending on their stick rate and who chooses to upgrade to the more expensive package, could be much more.)
The crazy part is, almost none of the emails sold the membership site.
In most of them, it was two-thirds through the email before I even brought the membership site up. And when I did bring it up, I would barely even mention a benefit at all.
So yes, I was not selling the membership site.
I was selling something else entirely.
So what was it that I was “selling”?
And more importantly, how can you use this to boost your sales too?
Well, what I was selling had little to do with the benefit... or the content... or even the "prestige" of joining a group.
What I was really selling, is how the prospects view my client.
I was “selling” my client as someone worth listening too.
And to me, that’s the whole game.
Because people buy you first. And your offer second.
And on that note...
Unlock my daily email tips here:
P.S. I almost forgot to pay off that subject line about using toilet humor to boost sales.
One of the emails that added a lot of new people (something like 20% of the total new members came from that email) had the subject line:
“Do this on the toilet to make extra dough”
And the whole email was about how you can spend your toilet time reading or studying. And then I simply tied that into the trainings inside the membership site. (AKA, they could watch / listen to those trainings while — uhhh — taking care of business.)
Worked like crazy.
Mostly, I'd guess, because it stood out in the inbox and got attention.
In fact, if we changed the CTA, that email could be used to sell nearly any of their offers.
Food for thought.
Now I’m off to take Roo on a walk on the beach.
If you want more tips, click the link:
I recently helped a client spank an affiliate contest for a biz-opp offer they promoted.
And just the other day, someone posted in their facebook group saying how their 12-year old was using the offer to land recurring revenue clients.
To make matters even cuter, the little entrepreneur said he would use his earnings to buy a new computer so he could “work more efficiently”. Only later to tell his dad that he should buy him the computer for him as a “company asset”.
And seems like he has a bright future ahead of him.
The weird thing is, the biz-opp market can get a pretty bad rap.
Which I get.
A lot of the copy is hypey. And some of the marketing practices are unpalatable to say the least.
But a lot of people killing it in that market are salt-of-the-earth types just trying to help others throw off the yoke of 9-5 life and build a business they enjoy.
Nothing wrong with that if you ask me.
There’s another lesson here too. Which is how to craft a really strong offer.
I mean, the kid is using a system he paid $50 for to land recurring revenue deals amounting to a few hundred dollars a month per client.
You don’t see that kinda immediate gain even out of high-priced info products by the best of the best.
And remember, he’s 12.
Doesn’t mean every market and every brand should make offers easy enough for a 12-year old to use.
But if it is easy enough for a 12-year old to use, it’s that much more likely your customers will consume it, implement it, and benefit from it.
Which makes them much more likely to come back and buy from you again.
Anyway, if you want to get me on your team writing copy, you can sign up for my client waiting list here:
So no one seems to know whether coroney has caused 9k deaths or 180k deaths (in the US at least).
Which to me brings up two interesting problems (and neither problem is coroney).
Problem 1—People have no clue how to understand statistics.
I saw this from the get go. Because people kept saying “fifty and up is the most at-risk group”.
But the risk difference between a 50 year old and a 80 year old is huge.
You could just as easily say “20 and up” is the most at-risk group.
That’s 100% accurate.
But obviously 20 year olds have much lower risk compared to other age groups.
Which is why statistics are so easily weaponized for any aim.
Problem 2—Americans (and I won’t speak for the rest of the world) are way too fat and unhealthy. In fact, up to 50% of Americans have a pre-existing condition that makes them “at-risk” for coroney complications.
That’s like a farmer getting blight on his crops and claiming the blight is the problem.
It’s mono-cropping and unhealthy soils.
That's what creates conditions for blight to spread.
I’m not saying coroney isn’t a problem. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t use statistics.
My point is, don’t blame the water pouring into the ship.
Blame the holes.
That way, you can do something about it.
I doubt this added anything to your business life. But that’s ok. Because the way I can most help your business is as a hired-gun copywriter / consultant.
If you’d like to get me on your team, head here:
November is the earliest I’ll be able to take you on as a client. But if you sign up using the link above, you’ll be notified.
P.S. The whole 9,000 deaths thing is that 9,000 people have died solely due to coroney. All the other deaths had other "comorbidities". Which again shows the point that we don't understand statistics. Which is ok. Humans aren't wired to think in statistics. At least not most of us. We're wired to think in story, image, sense, and feeling. Which is why I love what I do. Because that's what good copy is all about. Ok, enough out of me. The waitlist link waits above.
Most people think of Youtube as a purveyor of fine (and not so fine) videos.
In other words, they think of the video as the product.
According to the insiders at Youtube…
Tis not so.
The real “product” is the algorithm. It’s the ability to get the right video in front of the right person at the right time.
And this has caused a boatload of problems for Youtube. And even more problems for society at large.
Because at a ceratin point, Youtube’s #1 KPI was hours watched.
In fact, their goal was to hit 1 Billion hours per day.
(Which, btw, is over a hundred thousand years.)
To hit this goal (which they did in 2017) every decision they made had to maximize time watched.
So every design choice… every bit of programming… every PR move… was to get you and me to spend more time sitting in front of teh computer falling down the rabbit hole.
Which got me thinking…
Maybe the algorithm isn’t the end product.
Maybe the end product is us?
Anyway, this is all very useful information to any business owner.
Because Youtube, with their 1,000+ employees… 11-figures in annual sales… some of the smartest tech and business minds… and literally the entire internet worth of data at their fingertips…
Still drilled down to one metric.
You might call it “The One Metric To Rule Them All”.
At least you might call it that if you’re a dork like me.
So if Youtube,—with all their resources—chose to focus on one measly metric… might be smart for the bootstrap entrepreneur (and freelance copywriter) to follow suit.
Food for thought at least.
Right now, what I can most help you with is converting your leads into buyers and your buyers into repeat customers.
For help with that, sign up here:
Sri Lankan wildlife artist reveals secret to not giving a F--
I have a close friend who is a middle-aged Sri Lankan dude who just so happens to be one of the premier wildlife artists in the world.
And even though he’s a mild-mannered, five foot six tall Buddhist, he gives very few F—s.
(In a good way of course.)
One story he tells is how he met his wife.
She came to his art gallery looking for a job and since he was about to go travelling (probably going to catch butterflies in the rainforest or something) he asked her to watch his gallery along with the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of paintings held inside.
Her reaction was, “Uhhhh, I’m stoked for the job. But I’m a total stranger. Aren’t you worried I’m going to steal your paintings or something?”
His response cemented his bad assness and was the moment I knew he gave nary a F—.
“Ehhh, no matter. I’ll just paint more.”
And that single response has stuck with me and guided me for years.
Because whenever his family needs to drum up some cash, he just whips up a few paintings.
For example, he once rescued an exotic pet that was riddled with health issues. They took him to the vet and the bills quickly mounted to twenty thousand blemflarks. Instead of taking money out of savings, he just traded the guy a few paintings and voila.
Without being able to do that, they probably would've been forced to let the little guy go.
And now they love him dearly and he's become a part of the family.
To me, that’s the whole game.
To master an in-demand skill you enjoy that lets you apparate money whenever you need it.
Now obviously I can’t snap my fingers and make you sales.
But if you have a good list of qualified prospects and offers they want to buy? In that case, there’s a good chance I can help.
If you’re interested in that, the first step is to go here and fill out hte form:
October or November is the next time I’ll book a new client (at the earliest). So if you’re hankering to get me on your team, best go now.
P.S. There are other benefits to mastering a skill besides more flurbos in your change purse. I just talked to my friend the other day and he told me that since coroney hit he embarked on something he’s always wanted to do. Which is paint every species of hummingbird in the world. (Fun Fact: There are over 300 species of hummingbirds and all of them live in the Western hemisphere. I’ve no idea why, but they don’t like to travel east.)
The coolest part is, he'd be the first artist ever to paint them all. So while others are scared watching the news… stuck at home bored out of their gourds… and getting fat off too much ice cream and netflix… he’s been working towards a lifelong goal.
All because he spent decades mastering a skill. And he has no boss to tell him what to do. No corporate sponsors. Nothing.
Just him, his paints, and his canvas.
Again, he’s a huge inspiration to me. And I hope he’s inspired you too.