When A Copywriter Crawls From The Cave...
You crawl out of the cool darkness. Blinded by the sun… un-showered… unkempt… disheveled… but ready to prove yourself.
That’s what it looks like when you arrive at stage 3 in your Rock Star Copywriter development.
The steps required to learning to write great copy—whether you want to write copy for your own business, or be a freelance copywriter who writes for other people’s businesses—are similar to the steps a rock star takes to go from their garage to the stadium.
There are 4 big stages of development.
Over the last few days you’ve learned about Stages 1 and 2… “The Shed” … where it all begins … and “The Studio” … where you start to develop as a copywriter.
Next comes Stage 3… "The Circuit” … where you test and hone your material.
In stage 1 you learned to cut your teeth. You practiced. You learned how to play or write like the greats. You jammed with friends and did some spec work to test your sea-copy legs. You found your golden riff. Your big idea.
In stage 2 you figured out how to organize your golden riff into a hit song… or… a hit-song sales letter. You plugged in your unique material to the formula. You laid down tracks. And you went to the cutting room to get your song (sales letter) clean, clear, and as perfect as it can be.
Now it’s time to come out of your cave and hit the concert circuit. You’ve gotta play for audiences. All kinds of audiences.
These 5 phases are not in a strict order of must-do-first kind of progression. Though, it’s probably best to start with phase 1 as it’s a shorter form of copy. And, I wouldn’t recommend doing phase 5… the longest form of copy… until you’ve mastered phases 1 through 4.
Phases 2, 3, and 4 can bounce around a bit as far as their order. You might like moving to phase 4 right after phase 1 because they are pretty similar.
Check it out...
Phase 1 - Releasing a Hit Single
Like releasing your first few singles, it’s time to release some single, semi-short pieces of copy.
I’m talking about emails, Facebook ads, and Landing Pages. Or other similar short forms of copy.
By applying the “hit-song” formula you learned in stage 2, you can start pumping out song after song… email after email… Facebook ad after Facebook ad.
You need to get some results. You need to fail. Fail faster. Fall on your face. And learn each time. Get a little better each time.
Phase 2 - Making a Viral Music Video
With a good solid piece of copy, like a good hit song, it’s important to learn how to turn it into a video.
It’s not exactly the MTV generation any more… but there’s always YouTube.
As for copy, phase 2 is all about the Video Sales Letter… or… VSL.
The formula is the same as the “hit-song” formula in step 2. But VSLs are usually longer, like a piece of long form copy, but on video.
Plus, there’s the added detention of the visuals. Now it’s more than just words. There are visuals, voice inflections, audio quality, etc.
You can make an entire career out of VSLs.
Phase 3 - Playing Unplugged
With the success of your MTV video, you get invited to play a special “unplugged” concert with your band.
In the copy world, this is just like learning to write and run live webinars.
The sales process is similar, and sometimes identical (though longer form) as the “hit-song” formula, but the conditions have changed again.
Now you’re live and unplugged. There’s nothing pre-recorded. You’re live and we’re watching every detail.
Like the VSLs, you can make a whole career out of webinars.
Phase 4 - Launching an Album
Now that you’ve had a few hit singles... you’ve been playing all around town… you’ve got a couple music videos and an “unplugged” set… it’s time to release your first album.
In copywriting, you could equate an album to a few different types of copy.
I think of a really good Soap Opera Email Sequence as an album. One song (or email) leads to the next. It’s one big dramatic arc, like the season of a hit TV show with open loop after open loop.
Phase 5 - Going on the Road
Now that you’ve got your album cut and released… it’s time to take it on the road.
This is like the coming together of all your previous experience.
With short form copy, VSLs, Webinars, and long soap opera sequences all under your belt, you’ve got all the ingredients to create a full-scale product launch.
This isn’t exactly like “going on the road” in rock ’n roll, but it is definitely the accumulation of all that you’ve learned to this point.
Product launches need tons of email, cold and warm traffic ads, VSLs, Webinars, a long-form sales letter, JV email packages, and a huge follow-up email sequence.
It’s a big deal, just like going on the road with your band.
Tomorrow we’ll step to the final stage… “The Stadium” … and we’ll see where copy can really take you.
For now, keep working on your “circuit” stage. Keep trying out these different forms of copy while applying the “hit-song” sales letter structure.
You may need a band manager. Someone to point you in the right direction. Someone who can steer you clear of disaster and lead you on to “the stadium.”
If you need a little managing, give me a ring. I can help.
You can reach me at www.SymphonicCopywriting.com.
Keep up the good work. And don’t be impatient. This takes time.
May your copy ever be melodic and harmonious!