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DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING: GRAB CAPITALISM BY THE BALLS
(YSK there are lots of other ways to escape the 9-5 life if you look around. This is just what worked for me)
One of the skills a capitalist system can't function without is sales. Someone needs to bridge the gap between the customer and the product. This is why salespeople get commission on sales they make. Without them, the machine of capitalism comes to a grinding halt.
And where salespeople sell in-person - a direct response marketer, AKA sales copywriter, is a salesperson who sells from a typewriter (or word processor).
The problem with in-person sales is you can only sell to 1 person at a time.
But a sales copywriter?
Just 1 of us can sell to millions of people all over the world.
So if you have the ability to write copy that sells, companies are willing to pay you a lot of money for your time.
This post is for anyone who doesn't mind escaping the 9-5 lifestyle by taking advantage of the system. And even if you're not - being aware of this kind of mind fuckery will dramatically enhance your quality of life.
At the moment, I make $3,000 a month ($3,500 before COVID) as a retainer writing sales copy and emails for a single company. Most days I only have 1-2 short emails to write, which is 1-2 hours of work. 3-4 max if things are busy and we're launching a new promo, but not for long.
If I need to take a few days off - which I do frequently since I'm recovering from health issues - the company I'm on retainer for is more than happy to let me do it because of how much money my writing is making them.
Plus even if there's a recession going on (like right now) I never have to worry about finding work, even if my retainer goes out of business or fires me. In fact, sales copywriting is so integral to the sales process that whatever businesses are surviving in a bad economy will need someone with that skill more than ever.
The reason for this is because the kind of sales copywriting I do is incredibly lucrative and powerfully effective.
This style of writing is based on a very specific, scientifically-proven form of marketing that trips specific psychological and emotional triggers in the lizard brain of target customers to drive them to take immediate action.
And it's not just non-profits and companies using this. The basic psychological principles at play here have been widely used by people in positions of power all over the world for as long as humans have been able to communicate. Only in the last 100 years have companies started using it for monetary gain.
It's called "Direct Response Marketing"... and without this crucial step to the sales process, most business have a near-zero chance of making money due to the Yin-Yang of capitalism and consumerism.
Politics is pretty much nothing but direct response marketing. Appeal to your voter base's pain points, blame it on someone else, explain how they're holding you back from your dreams, & ask for money to fix it. I've used the same sequence to write emails and sales letters for health supplements and hi-tech garden hoses more times than I can count.
This is why companies like Amazon and Apple and Google are bending over backwards to steal everyone's private data through their products and services. The secret, most private thoughts of your target customers is the kind of information that can easily be spun into billions and billions of dollars, even with a barebones advertising campaign.
Because of that fact, companies will pay you substantially more for your time if you know how to relate to their target customers. So much so you'll eventually learn to stop charging based on time and start charging based on how much money your client estimates to make from your work (AKA your value).
That makes it insanely easy to hit a 6 figure income once you know how to market yourself. Even if you're just a so-so copywriter. Your skill is in so much demand it simply doesn't matter.
So if you're looking for a way out of the 9-5 hellhole or just need a way to make more money, this is probably one of the most efficient ways:
By learning the skill that functions as the lynchpin to the capitalist-consumerist sales cycle.
Best thing is anyone can do this and no one cares about your resume. Only your ability to bring them results.
I had only 5 months of part-time experience working for clients (all remote) before I was fired from my last actual job. I decided to try freelancing as a sales copywriter full time. It was a little bumpy at first but I'm now stable enough that I don't have to look for work unless I want to make extra money. I'm even learning how to charge companies high-ticket prices for my services, like $5,000 for a short sales letter.
IS THIS TRUE? IS THIS A SCAM? ARE YOU GONNA ASK FOR MONEY?
Yes, no, and no. Businesses have been using direct response marketing for over 100 years. Before the internet, sales letters and ads were sent through snail mail to entice potential customers to send back some sort of response. If you're older you probably have memories of getting an ad in the mail telling you to mail back a single nickel, or some other token of response.
There are also plenty of well-established "gurus and greats." Some famous names are Dan Kennedy, Eugene Schwartz, and Gary Halbert.
Almost every successful business on the face of the planet uses some form of direct response marketing. Some hire single contractors, others hire direct response agencies, and others have entire teams of writers trained in this skill.
If the existence of this field is upsetting to you, you're not alone. To think we can be so easily swayed without knowing it is alarming. But as you'll come to understand the more you follow this rabbit hole, corporate overreach in daily life is rampant.
Don't let it stress you out. Instead, use this knowledge to arm yourself and others. Maybe make a good living while you're at it. And hopefully contribute back to the world in a positive way after it's made you more money than you need.
"THIS SOUNDS LIKE MIND CONTROL"
It does, but it's not. The psychological principles of direct response don't work on anyone who isn't already predisposed to the message of the sales copy. It's just the science of tapping into the ideas and opinions that already exist in your customer base. It's more "scientific influence" than mind control.
So for example, selling a facial wash to someone with acne is a lot easier than selling it to someone who already has perfect skin. That means tapping into the pain points and desires associated with having bad skin is going to have little effect - if any - on people with good skin, and they won't buy.
Some people might argue that such detailed influence still constitutes mind control, and that's a fair criticism.
"I DON'T WANT TO PROFIT BY MAKING THE WORLD WORSE"
Fair point. Like I said, I'm not pretending this is a morally pure path.
FWIW, my $.02:
If it's not me it's just gonna be someone else. The damage gets done regardless of what I do.
But if I make a ton of money by doing it, I'm not just taking care of my own needs.
With this kind of money I suddenly have the power to take care of anything and everything friends and family and even strangers need.
I have the power to create immediate positive change on a widespread, even global scale. I can invest in start-ups to combat climate change. I can support politicians dedicated to getting corporate money out of politics or fighting for civil rights. I can found research centers for medical science.
Money = power. And I think a lot of people forget that power can be used for good, too.
While money over-prioritizing money is the root of all evil, capitalism isn't going anyway any time soon... so I might as well take advantage of it to help destroy it
Also I'm not gonna lie... I also like being able to wake up at noon during the week in my 30s cause I was up til 3am watching Brooklyn 99.
FACEBOOK GROUPS (tons of great content here, check their group files, media, and pinned posts. I used to get almost all my work from CoC jobs board alone. The only downside is you're competing against other copywriters on a job board, so you don't get paid as much as if you found the client on your own):
Cult of Copy beginner training wheels
Cult of Copy
Cult of Copy jobs board
Cult of copy collosseum
Copywriting unleashed job board
OTHER FREE RESOURCES Anything related to "the greats" of direct response... look up Eugene Schwartz, Dan Kennedy, and Gary Halbert to get yourself introduced. Just typing their names into google or youtube or facebook will bring up tons of results
Also if you follow established copywriters on social media, they regularly put out informative and valuable content for free. A lot of them offer free webinars with info on copywriting and building your business that can be incredibly valuable. A couple successful copywriters I follow are Colin Theriot and Carlos Reidlich. You can find others in the Facebook groups I mentioned above
Scroll through the Top Posts of All Time for r/Entrepreneur and r/copywriting. Why the first one? Because by following this path, you are effectively taking the path of the entrepreneur. You are starting your own business. So it is absolutely vital to your success that you understand how to run it.
Link to my resource folder I sometimes update. Check back on the Swipe File doc from time to time as that's what I'll be updating the most. I've just been slacking up til recently:
This video is the first in a series of that does a truly amazing job of spelling out copywriting and how to make money with it (not mine, they've just been very helpful to me). Up until this year these videos were part of a course that cost several thousand dollars (last I checked). Be warned - some of the sales concepts are a bit involved, so if you find yourself struggling to follow what he's talking about (like I did at first) then I suggest revisiting this after you've gotten your copywriter's feet wet:
The Holy Bible of copywriting. Also just a mind-blowing read in general. If you're serious about this, do not skip this book. That's kinda overselling it but this book was written almost 100 years ago, is maybe 80 pages, and new copies are $125 minimum. Older copies retail for several hundreds and thousands of dollars. Fortunately, you should easily be able to find an eBook version for $10. If I can find my own copy I'll stick it in my resources folder I linked you to.
AWAI.com... if you have $500 or so to invest in your education, their "6 figure beginner copywriter course" is the best way to go. It de-mystifies the whole sales copywriting thing and makes a complex psychological process easy to understand. They also give you detailed feedback on practice work at the end. It's simplified enough that despite massive brain fog I was able to understand and finish the whole thing in 3 months (while studying 24/7).
I haven't looked into any equivalents to AWAI so I can't comment on them. Others may have better pricing or content, but I felt I got way more than $500 worth out of it. (And I was right)
This is probably the most cost- and time-efficient way if you have the extra dough. I don't get anything if you sign up, this is just my own recommendation.
GET A MENTOR... this is the most expensive option, but that's not an issue then it's easily the fastest way to start making enough to support yourself on your own. And then moving on to pull in 6+ figures (if that's something you want). The most cost-effective way to do this is to find an established copywriter on social media who offers a mentorship or beginner's course (usually comes with personal mentoring/feedback). A good mentorship from these kinds of copywriters will run you a couple thousand dollars. I wouldn't pay any more than $5k. Most of them are happy to offer payment plans of some sort (50% now, 50% after your first paying client, etc.)
PASS IT ON
This is not part of a funnel. I do not make money off of anything you do here. Just an inflated ego from helping people out. Really I know what it's like to fail out of the system. To be in a position where you can't support yourself and where everyone thinks you're lazy or faking it. Copywriting helped me when I had no other options, and I know other people in similar situations could use it.
If this strikes your interest, I hope you see it through. It's far from impossible. Hell I did it and I was half-dead most of the time. Which is not to suggest it's easy - it's attainable.
If you know someone you think might benefit from it, share or copy + paste this post. allowed me a level of freedom with both my time and money it would have taken 20+ years to "earn" in a corporate setting.
Every goddamn day. Get in there.
-- Finish recovery
-- Land first major client
-- Ship first game
-- Join one-comma club
Bro, you really are the man. I just got shitcanned from my job as a project manager where I worked my ass off for the past 3 years. Times are hard in this economy and your post came at the right time. The day I lost my job (only a few days ago), I called around my contacts and got a freelance project (only 2 days a week) for a CEO who I'm close to, and decided I would use the rest of my time to get a skillset where I don't get shitcanned like this every 3 or so years. I'm a hard worker and often in organisations when there are budget issues projects are the first thing to be cut....
So listen, I am going to spend 10 hours a day to learn digital marketing over the next 7 days. I've learned that PPC is a good way to get a role in the industry pretty quick. After those 7 days I will then take action to learn copywriting.
Idea is to get a PPC job and exit my current industry, and do freelance copywriting work. I'm 29 and am really am dedicated to getting my finances to where I want them.
You have helped me a lot here man thank you. I'll keep you posted on progress - I'll check back in with you in 7 days if that's cool bro?
I've been sold on the whole copywriting thing for a while now. I am knee-deep in it now with a venture I'm involved with. A new world has been opened up delving into this sales wizardry. I am reading Robert Bly's copywriting handbook right now. Very easy to read and hyper informative.
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I didn't think the "Get Hung" guide would have girls eyeing my bulge. It did.
I didn't think that your exercise and diet advice would have girls checking me out. It did.
I DEFINITELY didn't think that your hair-loss prevention would fix my hairline. Not in a billion years. It mother fucking did. You saved me a crazy amount of time, a ton of money, unnecessary pain, and destroyed my #1 source of anxiety. DESTROYED IT.
Kratom is next!
To anyone reading this, follow through, read this material, APPLY this material, and enjoy life.