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copywriting ain’t magic

This one might hurt some feelings. And I hope it does.

Ready… Set… Go…

Copywriting ain’t magic.

Here’s what I mean:

I’ve chit-chatted with many prospects on sales calls where they thought copywriting was magic. They thought that I could whip out my fingers, tap on some keys in a magical way, and save their dying business. Literally.

(The story the other day of the dude who was afraid to let me into Klaviyo is another ripe example of this. I suspect he wanted me to sprinkle magic copywriting dust over him to help him write better emails.)

In fact, how bout a quick lil story:

My first client thought like this. It was September or October 2019. I was fresh off the turnip truck having just quit my job with no clients lined up. And, I had a good conversation with this bloke who needed to make sales with his biz, or he’d have to waddle back into the corporate world, with his tail between his legs, and beg for another J-O-B again.

I was young, naive, and much more overconfident back then. And I convinced myself I could help him.

Well, I wrote a bunch of emails for this dude.

And. I. Didn’t. Make. One. Sale.

Not’a one.

But if you zoom out, this dude wasn’t making consistent sales at all. That’s why he wanted to work with me — to see if I could play the “defibrillator” role and shock his business back from the grave.

Well, it didn't work, and I offered him a refund. (I never thought he’d accept the refund, since I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the emails I wrote for him. But he did. So I sent the refund and vowed to never work with him again.)

So whose fault wassit?

Back then, I put a lot of the blame on him. And I had good reason too. A week later, I landed a couple more clients and my emails got them results they wouldn’t have gotten themselves.

But today?

I put a lot of blame on myself.

I should’ve never offered to work with this guy because he didn’t have a proven offer.

But back then, I needed a “win.” I had already quit my job. Only had $500 coming in for that month. And I had bills to pay. So I committed a foolish mistake that wasted a bunch of my time.

Moral of the story?

If you’re a copywriter, don’t work with people who have an unproven offer. It’s not worth it. Copywriting ain’t magic. And copywriting can’t save dying businesses.

If you’re a biz owner? Make sure you have a proven offer before working with a copywriter. It’s not worth it. Copywriting ain’t magic. And copywriting can’t save your dying business.



Let me end this ditty with an important lil math formula.

I call it the “40/40/20 Rule,” which I believe I first heard from the email goat, Mr. Ben Settle.

Here’s how the 40/40/20 Rule works. When trying to make sales,

* 40% of the battle is your OFFER.

* 40% of the battle is your LIST.

* 20% of the battle is your COPY.

If you don’t have a proven offer people want… or a list of hungry people who can afford your products and services…

Even the best copy in the world won’t help you much.

But when do you have your offer and list in order?

Copywriting can take your business from doing $436k in annual revenue to $2.5m in annual revenue in a year or two. (These are real results I’ve helped generate for a real client of mine.)

Perhaps even more.

But it’s on you to have your offer and list in place first. Don’t blame a copywriter who can’t sell your shyt offer.


I’m accepting new clients. So listen up:

If you have a proven offer (and engaged list) and want me to sprinkle some of my copywriting magic on it, book a discovery call.

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