Have you ever wished you could get up to speed on writing your own copy for the cost of a couple of lattes and a muffin? Check out “Breakthrough Copywriting”, the Amazon-bestselling book by David Garfinkel, who specializes in coaching copywriters and business owners to get better results with their advertising copy. As the world’s best copywriting coach, David explores how copywriting creates the true language of entrepreneurship: words that persuade people to take action. Learn about the best strategies and tactics to grow your business through the effective use of copy!
With the Business Owner’s Copywriting Mentoring Program, David mentors business owners who are already familiar and comfortable with direct response marketing. David has dedicated the last 30 years of his career to working with writers, marketers and entrepreneurs, helping them increase profits and improve skills. He believes that proficiency in copywriting is highly valuable, because nothing else gives you more freedom and control than confidence and effectiveness in direct marketing copywriting. Because when your copy works, you get the business results you want.
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Business Owner Copywriting With David Garfinkel
Have you ever wished you could get up to speed on writing your own copy for the cost of a couple of lattes and a muffin? Now, you can. Check out David’s book, Breakthrough Copywriting, on Amazon. Breakthrough Copywriting is the best of four lectures David gave at a high-end seminar in Las Vegas, but it’s yours for the price of an ordinary book and it’s good. A complete copywriting seminar in a book, that’s Breakthrough Copywriting on Amazon.com.
I have a wonderful guest for you. I have David Garfinkel with me. He is the author ofBreakthrough Copywriting and the former San Francisco Bureau Chief for McGraw-Hill World News. He has the Copywriters Podcast and it is popular among business owners and professional copywriters. I strongly suggest you tune in to Copywriters Podcast. In the direct marketing business, David is known as the world’s greatest copywriting coach. David, welcome to the show.
Thanks, Terri. It’s good to be here.
It’s good to have you. I have followed you and stalked you for a long time. I find all the time that people are very interested in copywriting, yet I’m not sure that they understand how does someone become a professional copywriter? Can we start there? Start with the explanation and then we’ll go deep.
A copywriter has a number of different meanings in the world. In my world, a copywriter is someone who writes something that induces, incitesor persuades the person to take an action. The action might be to set up an appointment for a strategy session, for an analysis or it might be to buy something. An action could be a lot of different things. My general rule of thumb is if it doesn’t ask the person to take action, then it could be great writing, it could be great content but it’s not copy. The way you become a copywriter is by reading. There are a number of old books like Scientific Advertising. It’s the copywriters’ bible though. It has all of the principles in it and books like Breakthrough Advertising, whichis very hard to read.
My book is easy to read. It’s a good place to start too, Breakthrough Copywriting, How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab. Joseph Sugarman has a great book called the Adweek Copywriting Handbook. Robert Bly has a great book too that’s called The Copywriter’s Handbook. You need to first become familiar with it and then you need some instruction. You need to be in some class too. My favorite things to recommend are Kevin Rogers’ CopyChief.com and John Carlton’s Simple Writing System.
I work with people who are a little more advanced so when people ask me how to begin, I just did my best imitation of knowing how to begin but then by doing it, by trying stuff, by writing Facebook ads, and by writing a landing page. It requires a lot of study not because it’s that tough intellectually because that’s not the issue. The issue is the way we write copy, that works, that gets the responses almost upside down from what we’re taught in school and even business in our families. You have to be proactive. You have to disturb people. You have to provoke them and in school, what does that get you? A trip to the principal’s office.
It’s getting the mindset through doing, through trying, through evaluating results, seeing what worked and what didn’t work. Also, getting through the shock levels of your comfort zone. It’s not always easy. For some very extroverted, aggressive sales-oriented people, it’s not as hard as for a lot of independent professionals. Probably a lot of people who are listening to your show are more introverted and they prefer peace as opposed to conflict. You have to get out of your comfort zone a little bit in order to be able to write copy that works.
People talk a lot about different sales letters online and offline and short copy, long copy, do you have any particular recommendations or thoughts about what’s working now?
The short answer is that shorter is working and yet it’s very often to do a complete sales pitch in a short period of time. I heard on a call with some people at the top of the industry that infomercials, which are a form of copywriting cast as a TV show, used to work at half an hour. People don’t have patience for that anymore. Now, it’s getting down to eight minutes. The answer is you probably need to have a number of short messages, one to another, maybe a tweet or a Facebook post or a Facebook ad that’s gets someone to a short page that gets them to download maybe a one-page report that gets them into a longer webinar.
In other words, there are more short steps that need to work, and yet some very long form copy, likesixteen pages on a word document, does work. It tends to work for people who have a very specific problem they haven’t been able to solve like a health problem or what I call the maniac market. People like golfers and wrestlers, people who are just obsessed with stuff and want to know the nitty-gritty details.
They want to know why you’re moving your wrist one quarter of a centimeter rather than three quarters of a centimeter with this golf instructor’s method and they’ll read three pages on that. It depends a lot on how technical and maniacal the market is as to how well long copy works, but in general, shorter is better. In order to get somebody to take an action, you need to give them enough information so that they trust you, they understand what you’re asking them to do, and they see the value in it and that’s hard to do in a few lines.
I think I’ve heard this from Joe Vitale, but I think I’ve heard it at other places, hypnotic marketing. What the heck is that compared to copywriting that isn’t hypnotic? Is there such a thing or is all copywriting hypnotic?
I’d say all copywriting is hypnotic in the sense that hypnosis is something that focuses your attention completely. If a copy is good, it’s going to do that. Joe is a good friend of mine. I have his books and we’ve talked about this. I think what Joe’s talking about with hypnotic copywriting is taking some of the techniques of hypnosis storytelling, especially like Ericksonian metaphorical storytelling and the use of hypnotic constructs. There’s a hypnotic construct,”The more, the more.” For example, “The more you listen to Terri’s radio show, the more money you’ll make.” I just used a hypnotic phrase there.It’s called the double bind. You can put that right in your copy and people tend to be influenced on that for some reason that will reach down into the deep recesses of the person’s mind.
There’s a psychology that goes into this copywriting.
A friend of mine once said that he felt copywriting should be called applied psychology. While I think that’s a little extreme, there is a tremendous amount of psychology that goes into it. If you’re an idealistic person, regardless of your political or spiritual slant, if you have an idea of the way the world should be, that’s great. Keep at it, but meanwhile with copywriting, you need to approach people the way they are and the way they behave now, not the way you would prefer they do so.
You’re the world’s greatest copywriting coach. If somebody works with you and you’re going to help them, what does that look like?
It looks like a lot of different things. It’s a customized program. I keep my client information confidential. I’m going to be a little vague here, but I had one client in another country who is a certifiable genius. He said he used to make his math professors cry in college. He says he’s a little bit on the autistic spectrum, so we’re working on some special exercises where he watches movies. He tells me in a written document what the emotions were of a character when they were in a conflict with another character and what their emotions were and what they wanted. That’s an exercise I developed just for him and he loves it because it’s opening things up in a way that he can’t necessarily and hasn’t been able to do effectively in real life. He’s doing very well as a copywriter already, but there are a few set points.
[Tweet “Everyone should learn the basics of copywriting.”]
I have another client who’s writing supplement copy to sell supplements for a company with a list of about a million people. He’s saying some things that might get him into conversation with some federal regulators that he might not want to have.We’re looking at how he can tighten up his copy and protect himself from any of those unpleasant conversations. Everything I do with individuals is very customized because usually I’m looking for blocks that are keeping them from getting to the next level. Once you find those blocks, you have to find a way that they haven’t already tried to get past those blocks.Meanwhile, they have to keep making a living and getting great results. It’s a little bit of a juggling act and since I’m not a juggler, I have to invent ways for myself to keep track of several things at once. I love doing it and my clients are usually pretty happy too.
You’ve got great reviews for years and years, decades and decades. Let’s say somebody in the audience got a website and they send out emails that got autoresponders. They’re not the best writer. Should they go hire somebody or is it better for them to get training in it? What would you recommend?
Everyone should learn the basics of copywriting. Every business owner should, even if they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being a good copywriter, because it will help them if they do hire a copywriter. It will also help them structure their own communications better simply by understanding some of the basic principles. Simply by undoing some of the fine work that the school system in the business world and our religious institutions that have already done in their brain. For a lot of people, it does make sense to hire a copywriter, but my belief is that everyone should know the basics and be fluent in them. Actually, the people they hire will appreciate it too because it won’t be like they’re speaking a foreign language anymore.
David, you have so much value. How can people connect with you? What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
If they want to work with me and this would only be a successful business owner who has some background in copywriting or a professional copywriter who’s making a living doing it, they can go to my website,GarfinkelCoaching.com. Otherwise, you can follow me on Facebook or friend me on Facebook, @DavidGarfinkelSF. Then I have a fan page,David Garfinkel Copywriting Coach. I post stuff in there. A lot of it is educational, including a link to my latest podcast. I’ll talk about some other things. We get discussions going sometimes, so I’d say Facebook and the website are probably the best ways to do it.
Those are the things that I always recommend to my clients, the two best ways to have people contact you. Where can they get your book,Breakthrough Copywriting?
That’s available on Amazon as a Kindle and we came out with a printed version. It’s available on Amazon.com.
If there’s one word of wisdom that someone can walk awaywith from this episode, who is a heart-based business owner, who came here to know about copywriting, what is that?
If you’re a heart-based business owner and you’re doing something to improve the lives of others, the best thing you can do is learn how to present your message in a way that it will reach all the right people and intrigue them enough to get in touch with you. For my money, copywriting is the best way to do that.
I can’t thank you enough for coming. I know you’ve got a crazy busy schedule. I do admire you and you are the world’s greatest copywriting coach. Thank you so much for joining me here.
Thank you, Terri. It’s my pleasure.
For our audience, thank you for tuning in. Make sure that you subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss any of them. I have more very exciting guests coming up for you. I highly recommend that you get David Garfinkel’s book, Breakthrough Copywriting, listen to his Copywriters Podcast. He’s somebody that you’re going to want to know and learn from. Thank you so much for tuning in. Don’t forget to share our show and we will see you here next time on Heartrepreneur Radio.
- Breakthrough Copywriting
- David Garfinkel
- Copywriters Podcast
- Scientific Advertising
- Breakthrough Advertising
- How to Write a Good Advertisement
- Adweek Copywriting Handbook
- The Copywriter’s Handbook
- Simple Writing System
- @DavidGarfinkelSF -Facebook
- David Garfinkel Copywriting Coach – Facebook page
About David Garfinkel
I’m David Garfinkel. I help individuals and groups make their advertising more effective.
People and organizations get the most from working with me, when they are familiar and comfortable with direct marketing methods.
I’ve helped copywriters and businesses in more than 100 industries increase profits. My book Breakthrough Copywriting is a #1 Bestseller on Amazon. Way back in 2004, I created and published the first widely used set of Copywriting Templates.
Since 1993, sales letters I’ve written have brought in as much as $40 million to one business. These days, I don’t write that often for clients, though. My main client work is coaching professional copywriters, business owners, and in-house copywriters for organizations.
Many of my professional copywriter clients have reached the top of their respective fields. Businesses I’ve worked with have added millions of dollars to their bottom lines.
Clients like my style because I personalize coaching for each person I work with, based on how they learn most easily and quickly.