The latter part of last week, Nashville was overtaken by a fearless band of copywriters, marketers, and entrepreneurs.
They flew in from as far away as Australia and South Africa, and as close by as right down the road.
And the results were EPIC.
I’ve been to all 3 previous Copy Chief Live events that my friend Kevin Rogers has put on. They were all fantastic, and I honestly didn’t think they could get any better.
But then Copy Chief Live 4 came along (which originally wasn’t supposed to be “Copy Chief Live” at all… it was supposed to be an intimate mastermind gathering called “Freelancer Journey Accelerator”).
And somehow, it managed to top all of the rest. (No, I’m not selling the recordings, but if they go on sale you should definitely snap them up!)
I’m not even going to try to sum up everything that was shared on stage and, even better, behind the scenes as groups of us traveled by Uber and hung out in jazz clubs, karaoke bars (where Parris Lampropoulus, Jeremey Hunsicker, Angie Colee, and others got up on stage and sang–and sounded pretty dang good), and even a surprisingly classy burlesque club (my first time in one).
But I thought it would be valuable to share with you various notes and quotes that I scribbled down in my handy little purse-sized notebook… all of which I felt were well-worth pondering. So here goes…
The 13 BEST things people said at Copy Chief Live 4!
#1: Ryan Lee’s 4 “B’s”:
- BE YOU (it’s the only constant no matter how many times you shift and pivot);
- BALANCE (find that sweet spot between what you want to do and what you’re doing now and spend time there going off on tangents and exploring);
- BABY STEPS (start putting stuff out into the world and ask for feedback;
- BRING IT OR BOUNCE (decide whether to hit the gas or to walk away).
#2: Chris Orzechowski’s 4 “A’s” for building a moat around your copywriting business as things change due to AI: (don’t worry, they weren’t all alphabetical):
- ASK: What is the “X factor” that you have that no one else does?
- ASSETS: Build or acquire assets–i.e., write books or create a website;
- ALLIES: Don’t try to do it alone, invest in mentors, have affiliates/partners;
- AUDIENCE: Start creating content and build a tribe/fans who read your stuff.
#3: Michael Ford and Kelly Brown from investment publisher Stansberry Research:
- From Michael: Your job as a copywriter is to be creative; present ideas in a way people haven’t heard before… that gives them a new perspective they can believe in (what follows especially impressed me: by doing so, it can be more substantive and convincing than any kind of track record as proof);
- From Kelly: Develop a unique voice as a copywriter and pitch unique ideas… the best companies and clients make it a safe environment to do so.
#4: Daniel Throssell:
- Use showmanship to build your brand and build a moat around yourself;
- Engineer a stunt to get people talking about you (example: Justin Blackman’s 100 headlines a day for 100 days that put him on the map);
- Come up with a title for yourself that starts with “The”;
- Use other people’s endorsements to promote yourself;
- Your brand does not have to be who you really are (this was actually a rather poignant moment as Daniel admitted it bothered him at times that people thought he was a certain way, when it was really just a persona… and having met him in person now, I can attest he’s truly a nice guy).
#5: Justin Blackman:
- Picking fights works! (like the one Chris Orzechowski and I got into back in 2018);
- Pick something worthy to fight over; make it you against some sort of injustice; find your soapbox, your mission, and your enemy;
- People listen to experts, but they follow leaders.
Okay, there’s a LOT of great notes in my notebook, so I’m going to start wrapping this up. Let’s move this along more quickly to…
#6: Laura Belgray: “If you want to be successful, whether you’re a copywriter or a personal brand, you must be YOU.” (And clearly, that applies to writing a best-selling book–as Laura has done with her hilarious, nonstop page-turner memoir, Tough Titties.)
#7: Kevin Rogers: “You know you’re becoming a better writer when you’re craving the harsh critique”.
#8: Lukas Resheske: “Writing the words isn’t as important a skill with AI; it’s the STRATEGY that’s important.”
#9: Marcella Allison (who completely WOW’ed the room, as always): “Grit versus Quit” — “Whenever you quit something on time, it will feel like quitting too early.” And “Figure out what can go wrong in advance and develop your quit criteria for when you’re too far along and emotionally attached.”
#10: Parris Lampropoulus: Pareto principle, 80/20 rule; “If you do what everyone else is doing or following ‘best practices’, you will be mediocre.”
#11: Jeff Walker: “Create desire before availability… create value before reveal… always move to a greater state of intimacy (with your marketing).”
#12: Jesse Elder: On studying versus training; “What separates the top 20% from the rest isn’t just experience, but their willingness to TRAIN, using repetition and increasing intensity.”
#13: Ewe Nanimous: “Get Kim’s new Client Badassery Secrets book now!”
Go to the Amazon link here and get that brand-new print version into your hot little hands… or the new e-book on your Kindle.
And please reply back if anything I shared here resonated particularly strongly. There was so much more, but these highlights hit me the most (and I’m still thinking through some of them).
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over 25 years as a freelance copywriter, there are always new things to learn… or to re-learn in a new way!
Yours for smarter marketing,
P.S. My good friend Marcella Allison, who rocked the house with her talk on “Grit versus Quit” and the emotional story she shared about dealing with her son’s mental illness and drug addiction, wrote the Foreword for my new Client Badassery Secrets book.
And she shared another story where she was faced with making a decision along the lines of “Grit versus Quit”. I’m happy to say I was there with her at her time of need… and talked her down the ledge.
You’ll find that story and many others from yours truly, along with frankly honest and hard-won secrets and insights about everything from starting out as a freelancer, negotiating royalties and better-paying deals, and dealing with nightmare clients… to being the “hot girl (or guy) at the bar”, making the move to in-house or full-time 1099 employee, and much more.
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