April 2017 3
From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.
A Sad Event ... And One You Can Avoid ...
Last week, I visited my former home town. I moved a year ago and I had a few loose ends to tidy up, including clearing out a storage unit. Oh joy.
I had some items to box up so I went into the hardware store to buy packing tape.
Nothing too exciting there EXCEPT … I ran into another copywriter. To protect this person, I’ll use the name Cooper.
When I moved to my former home town, Cooper was the top copywriter. Cooper won all the awards and wrote for the top agency in town. You could see Cooper’s copy in the prestigious publications like Communication Arts.
But Cooper bounced around agencies and companies, which can be normal in advertising, before becoming a freelancer.
The freelancing life, despite whopping opportunities, never worked out so Cooper had to work for a “big box” retailer. When I saw Cooper in the hardware store just last weekend, Cooper was working in the store as a sales associate.
I really looked up to Cooper when I was a young copywriter. What happened to Cooper? Cooper no longer writes copy even though Cooper is an outstanding copywriter.
So what happened?
Pay close attention to the answer because it will impact your career.
Cooper was, and is, a branding copywriter, never really embracing direct response copy because it’s not clever or witty. If Cooper had become a direct response copywriter then Cooper would not be working in a hardware store, even though it’s a wonderful hardware store and there’s nothing wrong with working in a hardware store.
A friend who hired Cooper was impressed with Cooper’s copy but not Cooper’s professionalism. Missed deadlines, poor communication, etc.
Did Cooper ever make an effort to market Cooper’s copywriting services? You know the answer to this question. What about Cooper’s website? Ummm … no such thing.
I'm not sure Cooper really ever liked copywriting. I love copywriting and to keep my fire stoked, I read books about direct marketing and direct response copywriting. I watch videos. I listen to podcasts. Did Cooper ever read about copy?
Cooper is at or near retirement age. But if Cooper reached out to me, I would help get Cooper’s career going again, provided Cooper wanted to enter the direct marketing world. Cooper helped me when I was starting out and I would help Cooper today.
This leads to a decision you have to make.
Are you going to be like Cooper, helping people find hammers, fertilizer, packing tape, and related items in a hardware store?
Are you going to be a super-successful copywriter taking advantage of all the massive opportunities in direct marketing?
I hope you make the right decision.
Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter