How I’ve Stopped Worrying About Results And Started Loving Copywriting

Howdy,

In the past, as a direct response copywriter I used to worry almost every day.

  • What if my client does not like my work?
  • What if it bombs?
  • What if I’ve missed some errors there?
  • What if I could have done a better job?
  • What if I don’t get paid?

For this reason, I have grey hair. I’m 27.

For all intents and purposes, my intentions were good. I expected a lot from me. I have an A type personality and I’m not patient with other people’s mistake … especially mine.

However, eventually I’ve discovered that worrying about the results that your work produces is the most useless and soul destroying activity you can engage in. Why?

Think about it for a second. I post this. Can I force you to read it? To like it? To comment on it? No. I don’t control this. This is not Orwell’s 1984. I don’t have a mind controlling device. All I can do is do my best. Is to write, post and see what happens.

And so is with most copywriting projects.

You don’t get to control the results. Copywriting is a game of probabilities. You get to employ as many tools as you can in that moment to boost the chance of something working but you can’t force it to work.

The only thing you really have control on is the time you invest. You work harder, there’s a better chance it will work. That’s all. I can’t control my clients nor the marketplace. I can’t control trends. I can’t control the competition. Even trying to do so is futile.

The only thing I can control as a copywriter is how much effort I put in, how many hours I work. I can also control how much I study my craft and how much I refine my skills.

There are 100 factors that go into the success or failure of a promotion. There are only a few that you can touch in any way. So why should you worry about factors outside your control?

If you’re a copywriter and you’re afraid of the feedback you’re going to get, why worry? That person gives the feedback and that’s 100% independent of you. You can deliver the work and if the work is not suitable, you can invest more work to make it better.

If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re afraid that your project is not going to sell, why worry? You can test. That’s absolutely the only thing you can do. If it works, it works. If not, you try again.

Once I have finally understood this principle, my life became easy. I’ve understood that there are many strings being pulled around me and while I wish I could control them, I can not. I can only focus on what is within my own area of control and to some extent, area of influence.

I can’t determine what will be my next month’s income – but I have control over how many hours I invest. I can’t determine if I’ll be sick or healthy but I can determine how much I run in any given week. I can’t change if people buy or not, but I can definitely improve my skills by learning from the masters.

The field of copywriting can lead to neurosis with ease. This is because while programming, as an example, is more or less a science and you know there is a best way to make something happen, as a copywriter you don’t. There are many moving pieces.

Ignore them. If you focus on them, you won’t change anything. Ignore them and put that time and energy into working harder and into working smarter. One gram of tangible effort is better than a ton of potential effort that you have no control over.

The game is the same for everyone. At the end of the day, no matter the external factors, your own effort and your own skill are going to create outcomes or not.

Thanks,
Razvan

Here’s What It Really Takes To Succeed As A Copywriter …

Howdy,

I have a feeling that most glamorize the life of a copywriter or a marketing consultant. After all, how hard is it to sit at home, with a computer in front of you and write? You can do this in your underwear, you can take a break whenever you want, you can even sit with a can of beer in front of you and sip between writing headlines.

Well … it’s not really like that.

It takes a lot more effort, focus and generally, drive than you’d need in a position of employment. This is because while a boss will pay you no matter what, as a copywriter you eat what you hunt. Yes, you generally do a lot better and you have a lot more freedom in your lifestyle, but you are also required a lot more.

So if you’re considering becoming a sales copywriting, here are some rules, ideas and standards you need to keep yourself accountable to.

Rule #1 – If you’re working under 40 hours per week, that’s pure laziness.

Look, as a self employed person a lot can go wrong and a lot will. Clients won’t pay. You’ll find it hard to get work. Projects will fail. You’ll get sick. Your wife will leave you. You won’t have time to find a new one and so on.

Generally the odds are stacked against you. You can’t control the marketplace. You can’t control other people. There are few people over which you have complete control and that’s how much time you invest into this craft.

If you want to become world class, it is expected that you invest at least 60 hours per week working. That’s roughly 8.5 hours per day. In this time you’re supposed to write, do lead generation, study, create systems, build your marketing machine, etc. In other words, you’re supposed to wear many different hats and do the work of several people, at least in the beginning.

I feel that if you invest 60 hours per week for a long period of time, no matter how much you lack talent or you have circumstances against you, you’ll eventually succeed. You will grow in an accelerated rhythm and you’ll have a lot more coming in than those that take this as a part time gig.

Investing 60 hours is not easy but no matter what you do, if you are a writer or a copywriter or an entrepreneur, you can’t expect to have a 9 – 5 job. The minimum it is expected are 40 hours but don’t expect to be brilliant at this level. You really need to put in the time, at least 60 hours weekly to get world class as a copywriter.

That’s the “bad news”.

The good news is that almost nobody does this. Most copywriters I’ve met are messes when it comes to productivity. They hardly work 4 – 5 hours a day. They take weeks to complete projects that can be completed in 48 hours and they spend more time playing business than actually doing it.

So by doing this, you can get ahead in this field very fast. You don’t need to sacrifice everything to succeed here but it’s impossible to enter the top 20% of copywriters (six figure territory) unless you’re putting in the work. Some of the people that I know and are earning seven figures per year have invested up to 80 hours per week in the first years of their career.

Eventually, it adds up. You get a reputation for getting things done. You get done in one week what others do in two weeks or even four. Plus, the growth is not linear. Investing 60 hours compared to 40 hours doesn’t mean that you’ll get 50% more done. You’ll get 100% or even 150% done more as the effort compounds and your growth becomes cumulative as opposed to linear. It’s hard to explain unless you see it in practice but putting in those extra few hours pays far, far more than you’ve initially expected.

So as a rule of thumb – 40 hours if you want to do decently well.

60 hours if you are serious about this. If you want to be known as an expert in your field and people to talk about you (positively) then this is the bare minimum.

80 hours if you want to aggressively climb the ladder.

And yes, there are world class copywriters who can get the job done in 3 hours and work 10 hours per week while getting a tan somewhere in Bali. They’re not fake. What you don’t realize is that before getting to this point, they were investing almost all their waking hours getting good at this. Copywriting is something you learn and at some point, you can treat it as a part time gig and get a full time income. The thing you need to realize is that it takes years to get to that point.

Rule #2 – Constantly improve your skills.

I’ve recently realized the value of this. While I’ve read at least 50 books on the topic, the time I’ve invested in learning copywriting is minuscule compared to general self-improvement. I guess Napoleon Hill is more interesting than Dan Kennedy but Dan Kennedy gets you a lot more money.

My current approach is for 2.5 hours a day. I listen to 1.5 hours of marketing or copywriting education early in the morning while I run. I am very strict about my ritual so this always get done. It’s simply how I structure my day.

At home, I’m investing another hour into writing copy by hand. I don’t like this a lot as I find it boring but I know it is a very effective way of improving my skills, equally important as listening to an audiobook or studying. So that’s 2.5 hours per day or 500 hours in six months.

And now you may think …

“Are you crazy? I don’t have 2.5 hours daily.”

Oh, really now?

How much you think you spend on Facebook or on YouTube? Or watching a movie on TV? 2.5 hours is less than most people spend surfing Facebook without any particular goal. The average American spends over six hours daily on entertainment activities on a computer (be it YouTube or Facebook or gaming).

Lack of time is one of the most pathetic excuses one can bring. It’s impossible not to get this time unless you’re already super successful and then you know you couldn’t have gotten here without educating yourself.

But let’s say that you have two jobs and you really don’t have the time. Do this while commuting. Driving to and from work takes time. Do this before falling asleep. Do this while having breakfast.

It’s never a lack of time. It’s just that watching YouTube or playing video games is a lot more interesting and fun than improving skills like copywriting. On the other hand, how much will those activities pay you in the future?

I work eight hours a day (2.5 hours of skill improvement included), each day. I run daily and I still have time to watch my favorite TV show for about two hours a day. I’ve watched three episodes of Stargate SG 1 yesterday. There is time. It’s not a matter of this. It’s just a matter of not procrastinating and not wasting it.

Look … I’m not saying this to be a jerk but there are a lot better excuses in life than “I don’t have time”. 24 hours is enough for everyone. I know people who get a lot more done than me in the same 24 hours and I know people who get nothing done. I know a woman running a business, having two kids at home and being a businesswomen, a mother, a driver for her kids, a wife, a writer and she still has time to engage in her hobbies. So if she can do it, what’s my excuse apart from laziness?

Rule #3 – Your second job is always lead generation.

This is true for all people who offer services, no matter if you’re a copywriter or a real estate agent. In order to succeed, you need clients. This translates to either inbound or outbound leads. Inbound leads are generated through marketing (content marketing, PPC, video marketing, etc) while outbound leads are people you contact directly.

The idea here is that most copywriters fail because they don’t have clients. The biggest irony with sales copywriters is that they’re selling a service that in essence comes down to selling and yet, they can’t or they won’t sell themselves. It’s a good known fact amongst copywriters that lead generation tends to come last and that most copywriters struggle for clients.

I suggest you take some action every day to generate leads. It is better to have people willing to pay you and not take their money than to want to do something, to work and not have any project. I’ve been in both cases and the second one sucks.

In essence, these are the three main rules for success.

#1 – Put in the time. This accounts to almost everything. You become better by getting feedback but you can’t get feedback if you don’t do the work. Writers write and the more you write, the better a writer you’ll be.

Of course, it is a bit more complicated than this but everything else tends to take care of itself if only you put in the work. It is like walking a path. The more you walk, the faster you’ll get to the destination. Yes, sometimes you’ll take the wrong road but you will make mistakes and you’ll move in circles no matter if you work 20 hours a week or 60 hours.

Obstacles are a given. Errors and setbacks are a given too. They’re the cost of doing business. You’ll lose time and clients no matter what. You’ll have hardware failures in which your computer crashes after five hours of working eventually. Problems are a constant in life. The only way to beat these problems is with effort, with movement forward. So put it in.

At 20 hours per week you’ll struggle.

At 40 hours per week you’ll probably have a normal job.

At 60 hours per week you’re aiming for the big league, to be amongst the top in your industry.

At 80 hours per week, if you can keep it up, you will become world class.

This is not a science and I can’t tell you how long it takes to reach a level of “good” or “great” but you can notice a major improvement in your skills for every 1000 hours invested into something. The faster you get those 1000 hours done, the better.

#2 – Educate yourself. Make yourself better each day. One hour in education is sometimes worth more than one hour working for a client. The idea with education is to treat it as a constant. Don’t spend an entire weekend reading copywriting books but rather carve time each day to improve yourself.

You don’t need to do it for 2.5 hours but aim for at least one hour of online marketing & copywriting education. Also, it is a good idea to write copy by hand as the ROI is huge.

#3 – Do lead generation. You don’t need many clients to succeed in this field but you need to consistently work towards something. I suggest you always have a waiting list of people who are ready to work with you and one or two clients at any given time.

Keep in mind that if you rely on a single person, the opportunities will eventually dry up. There are only so many sales materials a person needs. Even working for a big organization will eventually end.

That’s about it. Now that you know what it takes – especially when it comes to time, are you willing to put in the effort?

Thank you,

Razvan Rogoz

www.razvanrogoz.com

Two Effective Ways To Become A Better Copywriter

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz,

There are basically two ways of learning something.

The first one is to take a big picture approach.

When you read ten books on the topic, you are doing this. You end up reading about the same problem from different perspectives and you make your own connections in your mind. It’s similar to working on the job. You notice the “map” of how something is done.

This is my favorite method. I read a lot but I don’t take notes. Each book teaches me something new and this generally connects with what I’ve learned before. I treat learning as a garden in which I’m throwing seeds after seeds. It’s not the most effective method but it is the most time efficient one – as I can study anywhere in almost any circumstances. I guess you can call this learning by osmosis.

The second one is to take the apprenticeship approach.

This doesn’t have anything to do with a master or a mentor (although if you have one, good for you) but rather, how these masters used to teach. Such a person would take one key skill, like melting iron and practice it with you until you master it. Then you would move to shaping iron and practice it. In the end, you would have a dozen of specific skills that when used together, would be the “production line” for the outcome you were trying to create.

The upside in this is that it is very effective. You don’t gain knowledge, you build skills. You don’t know more things but you have a specific way of achieving something. The downside is that it requires a lot more time and effort. You need to invest yourself in it.

Personally, I combine these two. When it comes to copywriting, I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I do this while I walk my 10.000 steps or while I exercise in the gym. Generally, I add a layer of education every time I can. This is how I read +52 books per year, by making the most out of downtime. However, I also have a specialized approach in which I learn specific parts of copywriting (or improve) by doing specific exercises.

For example, an exercise is to write 50 marketing bullets. This is towards mastering bullet writing. Another is to write three closes using the cross-roads theme. Yet another is to build a branded guarantee. Each of these can take one or two hours (I usually limit an exercise to a period I can do in a single session) and I’m not just gaining information, I’m building a skill, I’m building a tool that I can apply in the future.

I call this within my life organization system as “copywriting mastery”. It’s a spreadsheet with several columns.

These are:

# What is the status of this item?

It can be not started, in progress, completed.

# What area of direct response copywriting I’m improving?

The options here are research, offer development, benefits, proof, big selling idea, big picture, logical ABC process, headlines, lead copy, body copy, editing, momentum, bullets, close, guarantee, lift notes.

As you can see, I’m not dealing with sales psychology or big level concepts. These are the dozen or so skills you need to have in order to write good copy. Of course, they are held together by an understanding of human nature, but that’s kind of hard to systemize in an exercise. Headline writing is not.

# How am I’m going to accomplish this?

It’s basically a description of the exercise I’m doing. I make sure to make it a SMART goal. I don’t say “I’ll write bullets”. I’ll say “I’ll write 30 bullets using the HOW TO formula”. I need to know what’s my goal if I want to accomplish it.

# How long is this going to take me, estimatively?

For simplicity sake, I have options in one hour increments (I use macros to automate many things). So it can be 1 hour or two hours and so on.

# How do I rate myself in this particular area?

This is very important. We rarely focus our efforts where they actually matters. In a copywriting situation, while you’ll always be better in some things than others, you must have some minimum skill in everything.

So I give myself a grade, a grade that is true at the time of that exercise. This grade can be “very poor”, “poor”, “average”, “good”, “very good”. In this manner, I know on what to focus, so I can be a balanced, competent copywriter.

# Notes

This can be any observation I need to make.

This is my system for training copywriting skills. In practice, you can use it for anything as long as you identify the key competences you need to develop and you can find ways to exercise them, in a measurable, goal oriented manner.

Are you interested in discovering how I can help your business or how we can apply these concepts to your own venture? Then let’s have a talk. For a limited time, I’m giving away complementary 30 minute calls. In these sessions, we’ll discuss ways in which we can maximize your customer value, boost your conversion, achieve more sales and increase any other relevant metrics in your business.

Please use the link below to get started:

Click Here For Your Complimentary 30 Minute Call!

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz
The Business & Self-Improvement Copywriter

Click Here For Your Complimentary 30 Minute Call!

How To Become A Great Copywriter Fast.

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz,

How are you? How’s your day?

Today I’d like to answer a question that I get a lot. This is “how do I learn to be a copywriter” or “how do I learn to write as persuasive as you do?”.

As you may or may not know, I’m also a copywriting coach. I haven’t had that many students but I’ve served a few in one on one coaching, long term. My job was to help them become top copywriters in a short period, either for writing copy for their own products or to do this as freelancers.

The truth is that I don’t have a system or method that works with every person. If anything, each person’s situation is very unique and what works for me will definitely not work for you.

Why?

Because copywriting is not so much about writing as it is about understanding human nature. Some people are really good in dealing with others while others are not. Some may have worked as sales people and kicked ass there while others may be very shy and timid.

Some people tend to be very direct and straightforward, straight shooters while others are afraid to even ask for the sale. Knowing all this, I can say that each one of my copywriting students took a very different path from A to B.

So is this the end of the article? No. While it is hard to say exactly what will work for you, it’s not hard to give you some tips and advice on how to improve this area of your business in general. These tips can be used for other forms of mastery too.

Tip #1 – Read, read, read. Readers are leaders and the more you learn, the more you earn. Leaving the cliches aside, copywriting is actually about reading. This is because in order to write in a very conversational manner, you need to change probably everything you know about writing.

What’s being taught to you in high-school about writing doesn’t really apply to sales writing. You need to write in short sentences, talk directly to a single person, keep your language simple and focus on creating a dialogue.

Good books do all of this. A book like The Martian by Andy Weir is a page turner because he talks about a fascinating topic but also because he writes in a way that is very easy to gain momentum. This is why I’ve finished the entire book in just two days.

Tip #2 – Study the masters. Generally, whatever you want to achieve in this life, there has been someone before who achieved it and most likely wrote a book about this. This is very true about copywriting too.

There are many copywriting masters ranging from 50 years ago to the new gurus of Internet Marketing. You can study Claude Hopkins, you can study John Carlton, you can study Dan Kennedy or you can study some new hotshot copywriting guru that nobody heard about two years ago.

Personally I like the older personalities of copywriting simply because they have a very interesting way of presenting their information but I’m also studying 3X by Jon Benson and I really like most of the things Eben Pagan has to say about online marketing and copywriting.

Tip #3 – Write copy by hand. This is similar to the habit of reading. When you write by hand, you form mental patterns of how copy should look like. You program yourself. You learn to write like the masters by teaching your subconscious mind how they write, through repetition.

This is not true only of copywriters but of writers in general. A rite of passage for any writer is to take a great work, something they’ve always admired and write it word by word until the very end. Some say that they want to feel the same way as the author when the work was first done while others simply want to understand the patterns. In any case, it works.

Tip #4 – Write a lot of copy. If you do nothing else but this single thing, you’re still going to become a great copywriter. If you spend one or two hours a day writing copy, for spec projects, for your projects, for products that don’t exist, for free, for pay, for whatever you want (as long as you read), you’re going to improve.

It is impossible not to improve plus you’ll get in about two months the same portfolio a writer generally gets in two years. At the minimum you should be writing a sales letter per week and early in my career, I was a machine for creating copy. Most of it wasn’t brilliant but the sheer number of versions I was getting out assured me that I was getting ahead. I should probably take my own advice and start doing this again, as between entrepreneurship and marketing consultancy, I’m writing a suprisingly small amount of copy.

Tip #5 – Get a coach. Just so you understand, a coach will not teach you how to write copy, at least not directly. You are better off simply reading good books on the topic. A coach is there to give you real time feedback. This means reading your copy and telling you what you’ve done right, what you’ve done wrong and what you can do better.

I’ve used a coach and most people I know have used one at some point in this. While you still need to do most of the hard work, having the luxury of having someone correct you and keep you of course, in copywriting and in any other field will long definitely a long way. Finally, having someone to keep you accountable is important in order to stay consistent with what you’re trying to do.

Tip #6 – Don’t expect results. This may sound as a weird thing to say but let me explain. Copywriting and marketing are one of those things in which one day, you’ll wake up in a completely new different world, getting amazing results for your efforts.

You can’t make the jump from 0% to 50% but rather, with each effort, you’re growing 0.5% and while the change is not noticeable from day to day or week to week, it compounds into something amazing over a longer period of time. Again, this can be said of any type of skill development but it is particularly true in copywriting. Now you suck at this and you can barely write a very poor sales letter. Six months later, after 180 days of practice, you wake up surrounded by the fact that you’re better than most people and that your skills is quite amazing.

This is how I’ve grew both as a copywriter and as a person. This is how I’m still growing. I can’t really tell you how better my life is today compared to yesterday, but I can guarantee you there is going to be a significant difference a week from now and a major difference a month from now. So just focus on what needs to be done and don’t obsess over the results.

Tip #7 – Take a look at what others are doing. I like reading sales letter, watching video sales letter, analyzing advertorials and so on. While it is hard to actually know which one is good and which one is not, generally, if the materials come from Boardroom or any other major publisher or if it is the number one product on ClickBank, then you have a lot to learn.

My favorite MO is to sit down and take notes while I’m watching a VSL. Sometimes you can get a brilliant idea from a competitor that you can use minutes later in your own marketing.

Tip #8 – Test. You can’t really know if your copy is working or not unless you test it. If you’re a freelancer, this means that it is the job of your client to test it. Unfortunately, this rarely happens for reasons that are outside of your control and you’ll be disappointed to not even know if your copy is good or not in at least 50%. However, the other 50% is free testing so stay in the loop and understand how it works.

If you’re doing this for yourself, then simply drive traffic to it. I know that traffic costs money but the purpose of copywriting is not to have a sales letter on your site but to transform traffic into sales. Your sales letter won’t help you much if it just sits there and is not seen by anyone.

Two #9 – Be good with yourself. Any progress you make is good progress. Nobody is expecting you to be like John Carlton after 20 hours invested in copywriting. If you get 10% right and 90% wrong, then focus on what you’ve done right.

Perfectionism kills more campaigns than any other cause combined. This is because people have unrealistic expectations of themselves and they actively discourage themselves, leading to procrastination, giving up and eventually, failure. Focus on what is right, focus on what you’ve learned. As far as you’re concerned, any action that you take in the right direction like reading a book, studying a copywriting manual, writing a sales letter, anything you do is good and it helps you.

You are a winner in every step you’re taking, no matter if it is all good or only a bit good. This is because I believe that success is built on success and being self-critical or putting yourself down has no value whatsoever. It is better to get flawed copy into the world than have perfect copy hidden in your mind.

Tip #10 – Have fun doing it. I’m not a “no pain, no gain person”. I actually believe that pain will lead to mental associations that whatever you’re doing is painful and this will lead to automatic procrastination. I believe that willpower is very limited and that if you do something that you don’t want to do, eventually you’ll give up.

I know because I have an extensive track record of giving up on things that are good for me.

Yes, copywriting is a serious thing. Yes, it can change your business. Yes, it can even change your life. However, you’re not doing brain surgery. You can make as many mistakes as you want and each one of them will act as progress and feedback.

It is impossible to fail in copywriting. It is impossible to fail in this field of online marketing in general. This is because if you do something and you don’t get the results you desire, you can tweak or try a different approach. There are no real consequences to any form of failure. The only thing that can sting is you feeling like you’ve failed but if you’re having fun, if you’re actually enjoying every moment you’re putting into this, sky is the limit.

I’ve done this mistake of taking everything way too seriously most of my life. I’ve acted as a drill sarge around my clients and coaching students. I’ve tried to create mental toughness through discipline and determination. Eventually, I’ve realized that I’ve grew to hate copywriting because of how I’m treating myself and how I’m treating others.

I write copy. I hope it sells. I certainly do. But if it doesn’t sell, this means nothing. It just means I can try again or try a different approach. I’m satisfied with a major victory of it selling or a minor victory of putting something out there and seeing how it works. No matter what, any form of action that I take towards my goal is a victory. It is impossible for me to fail because the only failure that I can define is giving up and I’m not a quitter.

Neither should you.

Sincerely yours,
Razvan Rogoz

PS: Are you interested in learning more about how to write copy? Drop me an email at razvan@razvanrogoz.com and let’s start a conversation.

The Best Sales Systems Get The Best Customers.

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz,

A few weeks ago, I’ve ran an analysis over my CRM. I was doing this in order to understand what business sectors are most people with whom I’ve made contact.

The results were predictable. Most are in digital publishing, some are software developers and some are coaches, trainers and speakers. A light-bulb went off then, lighting the entire room in which I was working.

Ding. This analysis is false. These people are not trainers, speakers or digital publishers. These are only the products they are selling, the value they create to the marketplace. Every single one of the people in my CRM list with a C-level position was in the same field – sales.

Now you may tell … “Uhm, sorry Razvan, that doesn’t sound right, unless all your contacts are salespeople”. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this but the truth is – every single person I know is selling. That’s his or her business. The CEO is selling ideas to investors and partners. The manager is selling the plan to his employees. The freelancer is selling his time to potential customers.

Every single person that is self-employed or is in the leadership position of an organization is doing the same thing 90% of the time – selling. Yes, some may sell ideas while others may sell products or services but the same is true, nothing ever happens until person A persuades person B to act on something.

I’m a direct response copywriter. What is my job? For people outside of this field it may be to write. For me, it is selling. 90% of everything I’m doing involves selling something to someone. I must sell to my customers on why they must hire me and pay me quite a lot of money. I must sell them my ideas as they can be rather unorthodox and unreasonable sometimes and not easily accepted. I must sell their products through the sales pages and sales funnels I’m writing. I must sell myself on the concept of working hard, through good and bad times, in order to deliver maximum value.

Everything I do is sales. Words are a medium but as opposed to a creative writer or to the profession of a writer by default, I’m a salesman. All people who own companies are. CEOs have more in common with a door to door salesman than they have with a sophisticated economists. This is because, be it at the lowest level or the highest floor, nothing ever happens until someone sells something. Without selling, there is no money, without money, there is no company and this is the end of story.

Why am I’m telling you this?

Because you’re not a coach. You’re not an author. You’re not a trainer. You’re a salesman. Your purpose is to get people to take some form of action in their best interest. When you’re giving a speech, you’re selling the idea behind that speech. When you’re writing a book, you’re selling a philosophy of living. When you’re coaching someone, you’re selling a usually highly skeptical person on doing things that are out of his or her comfort zone, for his or her own sake.

Any business in which ideas or human interaction are exchanged is based on sales. Your success in any field of this kind is based on your ability to get people to buy into your ideas, into your leadership, into your books, products, website, videos, Facebook posts and everything else. ROI is directly tied to your ability to get engagement from someone else be it a like on your Facebook post or a purchase of a $4997 coaching program.

Now I know that sales and persuasion are not the same thing but as you can see, I’m not saying that this is about convincing your children to clean up after themselves or going to sleep. I’m making it clear of how in most service based businesses, that are either sole operated, the ability to sell and get a desired action is the life-force that makes everything else happen.

The old adage of “build a better mouse-trap and they will come” is false. This saying becomes even more inaccurate the more options your prospect has. When there is only a single option available, then he is forced to do business with you. When there are 485 competitors on a 100 kilometers radius, then you would better have a good sales process in place, otherwise, you are left with the bread crumbs.

This leads me to my next point – sitting next to the table and picking the bread crumbs is not a viable competitive strategy or a strategy at all. I know many businesses that exist only because their competitors have run out of capacity to serve the marketplace, because they are too expensive or simply because they don’t want to work with that given niche. These businesses attract what other businesses do not want and have a very low profit margin, these customers tend to be high maintenance and overall, there are not many to begin with.

Let me give you an example. Before moving to Asia, I was living in London but before London, I was living in Romania. Romania is a beautiful country and there’s more to it than vampires. One problem in Romania are taxi drivers. Most hot spots have way too few taxis for the traffic there. This means that it is almost impossible to get a taxi in the city center of Bucharest at rush hour unless you order an Uber or a BlackCab (and these tend to be over-capacity too).

Yet, you will find some cabs, cabs that look the same but cost about 2.5X more than the normal fare. These cabs stay there to take advantage of people who are really in a rush and can not find any other alternative and which are willing to pay 250% the market price in order to get to their destination. The problem with them is that while I encourage the free market, nobody in his right mind will invest in one of these cabs as long as they can get a normal priced one, as they’re not superior in any manner whatsoever. This is the breadcrumbs strategy and while it works, you can clearly see the downsides it has.

And honestly, unless you invent a product that sell itself (which is quite a difficult feat) you either learn how to sell or you must satisfy yourself with the breadcrumbs. You are in sales, no matter if you want it or not. You’re either selling yourself or you have a sales team but the process of lead generation and lead conversion is true in virtually all service based businesses.

I’ve thought that for a long time, I need to get better at writing headlines and marketing bullets. This is a false assumption. The only thing I’m judged for is how many sales I make for my customer. I’m not a branding copywriter. I don’t build brands. Nor am I am Madison Avenue copywriter. I don’t write copy with the purpose of it being descriptive. I’m writing copy because I’m selling with my copy and I’m proud to know that when I write copy, I’m helping my customers, the people who pay me while at the same time, I’m helping countless thousands or tens of thousands of people who are going to buy, by persuading them to take a good decision, in their favor. A doctor feels proud when he convinces people to give up smoking or eat healthier and he has all the reasons to be. I’m proud when I’m selling products for you because I’m convincing people to invest in themselves and in their life.

Can I do the same thing for you? At this moment, there at least five ways in which I can help you sell more. I can identify these five ways usually within the first ten minutes of a conversation. So let’s have this conversation and I’m going to tell you, for FREE, five ways in which you can sell more.

How can we do this? Please use the link below to enjoy a complimentary 30 minute needs analysis session. This session is 100% obligation free and you can book a slot in an convenient time zone.

Click Here For Your Complimentary 30 Minute Call!

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz
The Self-Improvement Copywriter

The role of self-esteem in copywriting

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
Dear friend,

You know what is the “engine” of persuasion?

It is not IQ or how many books on sales / copywriting you’ve read. It is self-esteem.

Let me explain. Persuasion involves getting someone to do something. No matter if you are writing a sales copy or if you are having an actual sales conversation, it is influencing behavior.

Now, if you don’t think you deserve that person to do that action, if you do not think yourself worthy of it, you’ve got a problem. You may have all the techniques, you may have a perfect template for persuasion but if you don’t feel like you deserve to make the sale, your entire effort will be half-heartedly at best.

I haven’t found many references to this in copywriting books / materials. There are a few people mentioning it but that’s about it. Instead, I’ve noticed this when coaching other people. Their own level of self-esteem was projected in how aggressive and direct they were in their own sales copy.

It was a projection of their own way to communicate and interact with other people in real life. Those who were shy and were having a rather bad image of themselves took a more indirect approach. Those who were more confident were a lot more direct.

Copywriting is similar to selling. Selling is similar to dating. Dating is similar to normal human interactions. Every field that involves “selling” something, no matter if it is an eBook, a car or yourself as a potential mate, carries about the same principles.

And in all of the above fields, self-esteem is 80%, technique is 20%.

Contrary to popular belief, unfortunately, not geeks are the best persuaders. If persuading was directly related to how many books about the field you read, then I would be a mind-reader by now. People who are confident enough to present and ask for the action are those who achieve success.

I think is the dating field. Let’s take the two end of the spectrum. On one side you have bad-boys who naturally attract women. On the other side you have losers who manage to shot themselves in the leg every single time. Most copywriters nowadays are the losers trying to learn everything about dating. They are faking it. They know the pick-up lines, they know the rules and in some ways, the are more sophisticated than the bad-boys.

But when the girl comes home with them, they don’t feel like they deserve this. And jumping back to the copywriting field, when they are writing copy, they don’t have the conviction that the prospect should actually buy the product.

Fortunately, self-esteem can be built. It isn’t something you can read in a book, but you can learn through experience that you deserve success and that you deserve to have your product bought by your market.

It is a bit strange but I feel like I was a better sales person when I’ve started, at least in a informal manner than now. I had tons of self-esteem. Now I am mastering or mastered the technical part of writing copy but those guts that I had when I was younger and bolder are less then they used to be.

But … there is nothing that some good habits and some upcoming lifestyle changes can’t improve :).

Best regards,
Razvan “The Copywriting Scientist”

The “Miyagi” approach to copywriting mastery.

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
Dear friend,

Do you remember this scene from Karate Kid? (From the classic one, not the modern remake).

The student practiced basic moves again and again and again. These moves were not really fitting into the bigger picture. However, sooner or later he realized that he learned everything he needed to know about fighting.

Those moves, done 1000 times each became habits. And using just a few habits, he developed a practical fighting style.

There is a saying in Karate training. This is “you don’t need to do 1000 moves once; you need to do one move 1000 times”. And this applies in copywriting too.

You see, copywriting is not about being a complex writer. It is about finding those basic building blocks that make good persuasion and doing them again and again until perfection.

You don’t need to study 1000 strategies. You need to study maybe a dozen and practice them 1000 times. This is not really a popular approach though. Why? Because it is more fun to read 100 copywriting books and have 500 ways to write a headline than to find five ways to write a headline that actually work and write 500 headlines with each.

I guess that we all go through this in skill development, in a few stages.

  1. We don’t know nothing so we suck at it.
  2. We decide to get better at it.
  3. We find 1000 ways to do it and we want to know all 1000 ways.
  4. We are mediocre at all 1000 ways and we still suck at it.
  5. We keep searching for new methods, thinking that we haven’t found the right one.
  6. We realize that there is no perfect method.
  7. We have an “a-ha” moment when we decide to find one method and actually become good at it.

This is true in copywriting, this is true at the gym, this is true everywhere. At the gym, most beginners will try the complicated machines and exercises. Once they realize they are not going anywhere with this, they start to simplify. Sooner or later, they found out that body-weight exercises and free weights exercises done right and consistently are 1000 times better than that  $5000 weight pulling machine.

This is my current approach. I’m just moving into the “Miyagi” system. Instead of reading book after book, I’ve decided to break copywriting down in functional parts. You have research, you have offer copy, you have headlines, you have bullets and so on. In total, I estimate that there are between 10 – 12 ingredients to being a very good copywriter.

And instead of trying to find 100 methods to do each, I’m building a method for each one that can be used every time with good results. I don’t want to make 50 different wheels, I want to make a good wheel that actually works.

“But wait, where’s the innovation if you want to stick to standard operating procedures?”. Well, the innovation can come only when you’ve mastered the basics. You know what is the first thing that many basketball coaches teach to their players? To tie their shoelaces. Once they can do this properly, then they can move to other more advanced stuff. But they start with the basics and they stick with the basics until they have achieved mastery.

Once you can write a headline in a way with your eyes closed and there is nothing more to add or to remove, you can learn a second method. But you must first master the first one and then move to the second. It is like in my habit building system – first, learn to wake up early and get out of bed. Then you can do other more advanced things in the morning.

Does it make sense?

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

What is the golden trait of a good copywriter?

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
Dear friend,

In every field, there is a center principle that if applied, will bring you success.

In copywriting, this is “Know your market”. This is the most important thing you can do.

Knowing how to write good headlines is good. Knowing how to write in a correct manner is again a good thing to do. However, a person that knows the market in a accurate manner will achieve superior results to someone who knows how to write technically perfect copy.

There are three “schools” of advertising.

The first one is the creative one. These are artists. They are not so much interested in the copy being accurate or technically correct as they are concerned in it being clever. They tend to win awards but not sell that much. Usually the reaction to their advertising is “that’s nice”.

The second one are the geeks. These treat copywriting and advertising like it is chess. They use statistical models, their copy is paint by numbers and it is very accurate in a mathematical like model. Their copy can be used as case-study on what should be done but in a way, it is lifeless. It feels like all the parts are there but there is no emotion, no soul to it.

The third one are the sales people. They aren’t as creative as the first group nor as technically brilliant as the second. However, they do understand one major thing. They understand why people do what they do. They accept the fact that people are insecure creatures in need of validation most of the time, that their actions make no rational sense as it is lead mostly by emotions.

And while their copy may not win any awards nor feel like a well written computer code, they sell. Some don’t even write proper English yet they sell. They sell because they simply get it.

I suggest you become the third category. The only standard in copywriting is how well it sells. Some people may appreciate your creativity and others may appreciate your amazing English writing skills but clients will pay only in front of a effective copy.

Good copywriters are those who can seduce the opposite sex, who can get an upgrade at their hotel for free, who can get a discount when buying a new iPad and who can be caught up in a really tense situation and sell himself / herself out of there.

That’s a good copywriter. A persuader that knows how the human mind works and can leverage this.

Best regards,
Razvan

How To Get Started In Copywriting In Just Four Steps

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
Dear friend,

So you have decided to learn how to write sales copy. Maybe you want to do it for your own projects or maybe you want to monetize this skill. You are now wondering, where do you get from here.

I will not get into the detail if it is a good idea or not to learn this. Any skill is a good idea. It is just not as easy as most people think. The closest equivalent I can name is learning a foreign language.

Even so, if you take it slow and if you invest time in it, you become better. Learning copywriting is done in incremental steps. You can’t jump from 20% to 50% overnight. Instead, every book you read, every copy you study, every copy you write, every feedback you get, improves your competence in copywriting.

Here are a few rules or steps that you can follow in your pursuit of selling more online:

  1. Forget everything you think you know about copywriting. Unless you have a psychology background / sales training, it is better to just go in with a fresh and empty mind. Many people think they know what good copy is and most fail to realize that they are wrong. Copywriting in a way is like politics, everyone thinks they can do it but very few can.
  2. Start reading more. If you are already a reader, this is good. I read an average of 52 books per year and reading improves my ability to write and my ability to express ideas. Not to mention that I can get an almost unlimited number of stories, hooks and concepts from those books. About 30 – 40% are copywriting books and these in turn improve my technical knowledge of copywriting.
  3. Understand that good copywriting is goal oriented copywriting. Good copywriting is not creative or interesting or funny. It is not something that you like. It is not something that makes people say “WOW”. Good copy sells and that’s the only standard. Of course, there are circumstances in which good copy won’t sell like in having bad traffic or a bad product.
  4. You do need to write copy as often as possible. There are three main parts to the learning process. Learning how to do it well, writing and then getting feedback to see how well you’ve done it. So the more you write copy, the better.
  5. You need a feedback process. Copywriting can’t be learned in theory. In sales, you know right away if your pitch is good or not. That person will either say no or yes. In copywriting, you need to test with traffic and see if it sells. This is the golden standard of getting feedback. Knowing that a simple change to the headline improved conversion by 25% is better than reading 10 books on copywriting. The second level of feedback, when the first is not possible is having a mentor. He will use his experience in the field to recognize what works and what doesn’t. For all intents and purposes, those are educated guess but if he tested his works and knows, then they are very valuable.

So how do you start?

Step 1: Buy these three books:

  • Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. 
  • Writing Copy For The Web by Maria Veloso.
  • Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples.

Two are classics, one is rather new. Web copywriting is not that different from traditional copywriting but there are some major nuances to it.

Step 2: Start a swipe file

A swipe file is a document, a folder, a collection of sales materials. You can do it in print, you can do it on Evernote on your computer, you can do it however you want, as long as they are organized. You don’t need to gather every copy under the sun there but when you see something you like, you should place it there.

Step 3: Start writing copy by hand

A few times a week, take a promotion from your swipe file (or from the Internet) and write it down. Spend 30 – 40 minutes in a session, otherwise it can become very boring. The reason why you are doing this is to internalize patterns of writing and language.

Step 4: Write spec copy. A lot of it.

In the ideal case, you have someone for whom you can write, even if that someone is yourself. If you don’t, then take products from the Internet and write copy for them or just imagine your own products. You can write one spec letter per week and you’ll see your skills improve dramatically.

One last note, once you finish the initial three books, simply buy others. Virtually all copywriting books are about the same. They carry the same concepts. Some are better than others because they were written by more important copywriters but it is hard to find a book that goes against what Caples or Ogilvy said tens of years ago.

Best regards,
Razvan “The Copy Scientist”

Why Persuasion Matters.

From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
Dear friend,

Persuasion.

This simple word will make some people feel sick in their stomach. It has a bad connotation. A really bad one. When you think of persuasion and it’s logical extension – a persuader, you think of someone evil. That salesman who is simply not leaving you alone. Wall Street brokers and so on.

But persuasion is a part of life. Virtually everything we do is persuasion.

I have a book next to my bed. It’s called “To sell is human” by Daniel Pink. And this book made me realize something. Like it or not, to succeed in life, you are in the persuasion game.

If you have children, you have to persuade them to clean their room. If you have a significant other, to be politically correct, you need to persuade that person to act in your best interest. If you are an entrepreneur, you need to persuade your employees to work hard, your investors to put in the money, your banker to give you a loan and of course … your clients to buy from me.

The thing is that … persuasion is like the air we breathe. We can’t live without it and a world without persuasion is a utopia. We are human beings. Imperfect by nature. We do not want to do what others tell us to do even if it’s in our best interest.

If we would be rational and goal oriented, like a computer, we would all be rich, good looking and happy. But we are not. We are our biggest enemy. And this is where persuasion comes in (uh, I love this word).

First we need to persuade ourselves to be our best. This means doing something productive instead of going on the path of least resistance. Second, we need to persuade those around us to act in our best interest. Without persuasion, there would be no love, no romance, no happiness, nothing. Then we need to earn our living, no matter if this means selling stocks by the phone or selling our ideas to someone else.

It’s our primary skill for surviving in this world. And it’s a skill that should be taught in elementary school next to math and English. The thing now is that persuasion is also dark and evil in nature, like everything else. It can be used for good or for bad. For happiness or for sorrow.

But that’s a choice, a choice you get to make.

Because the truth is that everything in this life is a double edged sword. Absolutely everything. And if we were to use only what is good, whatever good may mean, we would starve to death really fast.

So what’s my call to action?

Develop your persuasion skills. You can survive without cooking, without math, without even reading. But you can’t survive without persuasion. And even if you decide to go “Walden” style on everyone and spend your next two years in a cabin in the woods, you would still need to persuade yourself. And guess what?

You are the hardest sell anyone can make.