Reading Time: About 9 minutes
The year was 1994 and I had just walked away from the last official J-O-B that I would ever work at. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working for peanuts, just to make someone else rich.
On top of that, after 2 years in the army followed by 7 years working at that sawmill; My 30 year old self was all done taking orders from idiots.
So off I went, headstrong and unsure what the future would bring, but cocksure that I could do it better on my own.
I tried MLM for a while (because someone told it was an easy way to make big money, in a short amount of time). After a little more than a year, I was beginning to suspect that my MLM recruiter wasn’t completely honest about how easy it would be. So I started a small home improvement business.
After about 2 years on my own (the time it took for me to blow through most of my savings) I began to realize that I didn’t know diddly jack squat about running a business.
I was good at face-to-face selling, and a friend was taking care of the bookkeeping for me, but without a steady flow of customers my business was like a truck with no fuel.
That meant I had to get good at advertising and marketing, in a hurry. Otherwise I’d need to choose between finding another job… or getting really drunk and driving my car over a cliff. (and both of those options had about the same appeal to me)
So I started learning everything I could about advertising and marketing. And as I implemented what I learned, my phone started ringing more and more. Pretty soon I was flush with cash, and I was hiring my first few employees.
Now as powerful as all types of marketing can be, the one thing that that drove my fascination the most, was the magic I saw happening whenever I changed a few words in my sales copy. Simply changing a few words, or shuffling them around, often made the difference between a trickle of response, or a flood of leads pouring in.
And that was it… My love affair with words was born, and I began devouring everything I could find on the topic of copywriting. My girlfriend at the time told me I was becoming borderline obsessed, but she was too late… I had already crossed over that border.
Over the years, I owned and operated a few more small businesses. And I continued to learn and test different copywriting styles, until eventually I began writing and consulting for other business owners. And that brings us to today…
OK, I know that was a pretty long introduction. And I thank you for sticking with me this far. But I imagine you’d like me to just get on with the 4 Things I Wish I Knew, when I first started writing sales copy… Like I promised in the headline of this post?
Well OK then, here we go…
(note: I did not make any of these things up on my own. I learned these lessons over the years, and as I learned them my copy got better and better. These lessons may sound familiar or obvious to some of you, but based on a lot of the sales copy I see these days, there’s many people out there who still need to learn them)