Will Work For Food?

The Client Letter
May 21, 2013
The Northland
More Rain, More Wind 39 Degrees

“Will work for food” is not a compelling thing to say to get a client to hire you.

When you’re selling in print (web pages, emails etc.), it all comes to focusing the conversation on the right things. And what you need or want doesn’t really qualify as one of those things.

With the internet and email and websites, learning how to sell yourself in print is a smart move. Otherwise, you have to go out and pound the pavement looking for clients. Or worse… go to a networking event 🙂

Unfortunately, I think most people have no idea that selling in print (aka copywriting) is way more about the selling than it is about the print.

In other words, you don’t have to be a great “writer.” Instead, you have to be a good thinker, a good “feeler” and a savvy seller.

It is about structuring the right ideas based on the person you are trying to attract. Most importantly, it is about understanding who you are speaking to on a very deep level.

From there, you have to work. According to legendary copywriter (and that’s legendary with a capital “L”) Eugene Schwartz, success is about hard work.

Work harder than anyone else and you increase your chances of winning.

Not really a silver bullet solution there now is it? And what exactly does hard work mean? Does that mean you’re working 27 hours a day?

Here’s a video/audio of Eugene Schwartz talking to a group of copywriters where he explains what “hard work” looks like in his life. (Hint: His hard work lasted about 3 hours a day.) There’s an intro and then he starts in at the 2:15 mark.

What he reveals in his talk is deliberate, careful and very methodical. I believe that’s the big secret to getting anywhere that’s worth going. Get there slowly.

It’s not the flash in the pan success, it’s the slow and steady progress over YEARS that does it.

The funny part is, as Schwartz says, literally anyone can work hard. There’s no talent required for hard work.

I used to think that working hard sounded like a drag. But when you do it for a while and then look back at the journey you’ve walked, you get to feel a nice sense of inner satisfaction and joy. It makes the work totally worth it.

As for writing copy to sell you, here’s a shortcut to getting that skill under your belt.