I just popped to the year 2022 and eavesdropped on future you chatting with a friend. Here’s what I heard…
“Wow! Look at all this awesome success I’ve had.
and to think… it ALL STARTED when I clicked on that crappy, ugly sales page John Holt made.
Can you believe I ALMOST DIDN’T CHOOSE HIM?
Man… I’d hate to see THAT version of me right about now…”
“John Holt is my secret weapon. He’s a chameleon. No matter what project I throw him on at my agency, he’s able to understand the market and write incredibly persuasive (and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny) copy that sells. He sniffs out great hooks. His writing is clear and easily understood. And I always enjoy our rap sessions when we’re mapping out a campaign. I think he’s the best-kept secret in the copywriting world.” – Chris Orzechowski
You’re a sensible employer. You’ve done this before (wait… you HAVE done this before, right?).
I know you’ve probably got some questions before you email me, begging me to come work with you.
As a former magician (here’s a link to my website – all the words are my own!), I’ve used my magic powers to anticipate ALL your possible
objections questions, as well as providing nonsensical persuasive answers.
“You used to be a magician and comedian? Bloody hell… I bet you’re a bloody nightmare to work with… always mucking around… never getting any actual work done.”
Actually, no. You’re right though, I do enjoy a laugh. I find humour, sorry… “humor” to be a natural lubricant – it makes things easier.
I’m always telling my subscribers it’s vital you give customers a reason to choose you over the other guys. Humour is just one way of doing that…
… but it’s a good ‘un.
That said, copy still needs to get written AND be persuasive, right?
At both of my agency gigs, I’m given a project and have to run with it.
As soon as it’s passed to me, I own it. It’s my job to make sure it gets done.
I don’t need any hand-holding.
Just give me a task, and I’ll get it done as best I can.
I’ve been a freelancer for over 10 years now. I’m also a married father of two girls (and a very energetic dog!). I’m in the middle of a pandemic – trapped in a loud and very busy house…
I know how to get stuff done. 🙂
“Hang on… You work for TWO agencies? Why are you applying for this job? you were fired for something REALLY dodgy, weren’t you?”
Nothing so dramatic I’m afraid.
I’ve been full-time at No Pants Project since May, but they’re cutting back the amount of work given to outside writers, so I’ll still be doing the occasional project, but it will be far more sporadic, like my work with Orzy Media.
Long story short – totally NOT fired…
… things have just changed.
(Though as a former magician who got paid for lying to people, I wouldn’t blame you for doubting me!)
“Ok… well, your writing’s OK … I guess, but I’ve got a truckload of applications from people with more experience than you…”
I know other guys have more experience, better testimonials, and nicer hair than me, but…
WAIT – don’t go!
As I was saying… I know other guys have more experience, better testimonials, and nicer hair than me, but as someone who’s been a full-time copy guy for nine months in two agencies, I do have experience in:
“Wait! you’re 44 years old? Man… that’s OLD. Is every piece of copy I send gonna need to be 72pt font just so you can read it?”
You cheeky git. If my nurse was here to dress me and change my catheter bag, I’d slowly (and painfully) amble over there and shout obscenities at you. 🙂
(after I’ve limbered up with a few light stretches, obvs)
What I love about listening to stories from the “old school” copy guys is that they’re still doing it when they’re 80. Not because they HAVE to, but because they WANT to. That’s the kind of life I want – one that makes me feel alive.
I wanna be that guy that jumps out of bed in the morning. Not because he’s bursting for a pee, but because he’s had a killer idea for a new hook for an email!
“There’s a lot of back-and-forth on our projects. Are you OK with criticism?”
“What do you mean by that? No, really. Tell me right this second, or I’ll come round there and ram this sales page so far up your…”
Nah, I’m good with criticism. You can’t do card tricks for drunk people for 10 years at weddings and corporate events without being able to take “criticism”…
(“It’s up your sleeve, magic boy!” counts as “criticism”, right?)
Also, I know from my experience of doing stand up comedy that not every idea is going to be a winner, so I’m firmly in the “the only way to have good ideas, is to have lots of bad ideas first…” camp.
As I said, I REALLY want to get good at copy, and I know it’s a process.
Some days I knock it out of the park (ish)… some days… not so much. Either way, if every day I get to show up, give it my best, and learn something…
… I’m happy with that. 🙂
I know a lot of people SAY stuff like that ^^^, but, if you’ve checked out my blog, or seen my “Dear John on the John” series, you’ll know I actually do my damndest to live by it.
“What are you like working with others?”
“Er… I’m gonna need a little more than that…”
At the moment, I write for two agencies – No Pants Project and Orzy Media.
While the work differs for each, the process of hopping on the phone with the team and working out ideas is the same.
I love doing this, so even with the time difference in the UK, I’m still happy and able to make it work.
Not only that but at both agencies, we’ll have multiple writers per project, so not only is being able to work as part of a team useful…
… it’s KEY to creating a successful project.
And, so far, I remain “unfired”, so I must be doing something right.
Also, at the risk of playing the magician card again…
I spent ten years approaching cold traffic, getting their attention, winning them over, and compelling them to act.
(“Please applaud so I look good in front of the person who booked me!”)
… all this in the space of 5 minutes.
Getting on with people and winning them over with my charm and personality is a skill I’ve spent my whole life learning, and I’m VERY good at it… ya big smelly head. 😉
“How are you at crowbarring in obviously fabricated questions, solely to highlight key skills mentioned in a job advert that you haven’t been able to address up to now?”
That’s a great question. Thanks for asking.
I guess there are a few things I’d like to mention…
Firstly, my full-time copy job recently changed so that one writer would write an entire funnel run to cold traffic.
I’m given a client, and a product, and have to create every part of the funnel – the big idea, sales pages, email sequences, VSLs, and all the upsells* – in two weeks.
* Yeah, I know I’m teaching my granny to suck eggs by elaborating there, but honestly? I’d kick myself if a non-copywriting HR type person was reading this and was presently googling “what the hell is a ‘funnel?”
Creating an entire funnel in two weeks taught me two things – how to use a big idea in lots of different forms of copy…
… and the importance of being able to meet deadlines.
Before this “funnel project” arrangement, it was a “here’s what’s on your plate for today” kinda thing, where we’d have regular meetings, brainstorming sessions, and thrash out ideas.
The other agency I write for (Orzy Media) is purely email – creating automations and broadcasts for clients.
I’d be lying if I said that I was an expert in both – or either – creating funnels and email sequences, but I do think the level I’ve reached would put me on the “could… possibly… maybe have some skills we could use” side of the scale.
“OK… but…er… actually, there’s nothing else. You’re the man for me. how can I get in touch with you before someone else steals you out from under me?”
By clicking the magic green button.