So Ya Wanna Be a Copywriter? First Things First

Like soldiers in battle, all successful copywriters first struggled in the trenches.

So ya wanna be a copywriter? Really. In the next several future posts, I’m going to emphasize things you probably already know about successful copywriting, but need to have occasional reminders about and – here’s the great part – I’ll also reveal secrets and tools used by the copywriters to some billionaire business heavyweights, one of whom I know personally.

We all love secrets don’t we. Me too – telling them — to my hungry entrepreneur success sponges.

I’ve Got the Digits, the 411 on a World Renowned Copywriter

Imagine an English bloke: hair like Hemingway, demanding of himself and others like Hemingway, salty personality strangely similar to the big-H, and success in his field that could compare to that of Hemingway. In case you ditched college English your freshman year, Hemingway is an American writer. Irony anyone?

How did the U.K.’s version of Hemingway become one of the world’s most successful copywriters? How did Kent Austin land copywriting gigs with the likes of Martha Stewart, Jaguar Motors, Janet Dickinson Modeling Agency, and more world business powerhouses?

He started in the trenches. I know. I know. It seems as if the likes of Austin and other famous creatives, such as Lady Gaga enjoyed overnight success (pointy bullet-bra or Hemingway-esque authority optional), but they didn’t. It only seems that way because they don’t really exist until they emerge on your radar .

OK, so you can’t really compare Kent Austin — who likely will not become a household name to the Biff and Cara Consumer here or across the pond — to pointy brazier-donning Lady Gaga. But, they both started as little peons, praying to anyone and anything that they could stave off their eviction notice or auto repossessions.

Defy Your Pride and Get Down Low

Copywriting that captures and converts. It's a good thing.

If you aspire to write copy for people like Martha Stewart, Oprah, that Sham-Wow guy who talks way too loud, you must know you have talent. That talent, though, resembles a tiny infant with potential to change the world with his business prowess – I’m channeling Steve Jobs here. Think of your amazing potential and ancillary talents as raw, unchecked anger. Uncontrolled anger can lead to serious and lasting trouble for you and many around you. But, cloaking anger inside and keeping other strong, unpleasant emotions at bay, even when you have every right to express them, can lead to death.

Yes, death.

Unexpressed negative emotion must come out. Often it will surface in the form of an untimely heart attack or a cancer for which you have no family history and possess no risk factors.

The same goes for your unchecked talent. It can burn bright at first and then fizzle to nothing – this fizzled, spent state is difficult to re-ignite, folks, even for eagle scouts. Or, you could suppress it because mommy will love you more if you become a doctor. That results in the death of your dream and your true destiny. It will come out sometime, in some form, but probably not the moneymaking, world changing, package of awesomeness and marketing prowess your true calling – copywriting would elicit from your creative heart.

Don’t Betray Your Destiny – Even for Mom

Tell mom (or other inappropriately influential person) you’ll do your best to marry a doctor. She might cry and tell you that’s second best. Ignore this lie. Second best is becoming an amazing doctor when you could have buckled down and become the Steve Jobs of copywriting. In this case, second best represents treason to your soul. You know what they do to traitors in some places? Yep.

They Have Filthy Ways and Dirty Minds

When you finally commit to pursuing your heart – professional copywriting – you’ll get lots of pushback from well-meaning folks and, frankly, outright haters who secretly want to see you betray yourself (they probably already did this to themselves and want some company).

Really? Filthy ways and dirty minds? Yes, really, but not in that Kanye West, hip, cool sort of way you want to share with that special someone. The filthy, dirty ways in the minds of your personal troop of doomsday prophets that find their way to your ears, inbox, or sixth sense.

Go with your gut. You can learn all the secret tools, tricks, and pro tactics of the most successful copywriter ever, but you’ll fail if your dream has flat-lined.

Breathe life into your dream. Then come back for the next installment where I’ll provide you with real tools of the trade that will get that dream growing and on the path to greatness.

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About texascopywriter

Samantha Gluck works as a freelance copywriter and news journalist at her office in Spring, Texas – near Houston. She has worked as a professional freelancer since 2000, but left the corporate world in January 2010 to start All Media Freelance, LLC, and offer her services on a full-time basis.

Recently, she trained with one of the world’s most successful copywriters, Kent Austin, copywriter for Martha Stewart, Jaguar Motors worldwide, and more. Her freelance news journalism career also flourishes due to one-on-one mentoring from some of the greatest old-timers in the news media world.

Read more of her work at Balanced Living Magazine and in the Houston Chronicle

Contact Gluck directly via email [email protected]/ or by phone at 281.536.8662.

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