Tuesday, December 9, 2008


So the other day I was reading a book called Power of Purpose and it helped motivate me to begin plans for next year.

I came to two important decisions: I'm replacing my PT job with income from teaching classes and one on one coaching/marketing assistance. My deadline to do so is by June of 2009.

Now I don't have a clue how I'll make this happen but it's what I want to do so I'm setting the intention. I will teach people about direct marketing, copywriting and how they can improve their businesses with these tools. Ideally the teaching will be in a non-traditional setting and will generate more than my PT income does now.

Beyond those specifics I am open to however these classes come about and how I work within them.

My second decision is simply to spend at least half of the month of May in Ireland - the month of my birthday. It's time to really celebrate being me and doing something I have dreamt of for years! And in recent years I've taken a spiritual/personal journey in honor of my birth. Combining a long-time dream with a personal celebration seemed perfect to me. :)

Those are my 2 intentions for 2009...at least for now. I'm sure I'll come up with more. What are your 2009 creations going to be? I'd love to hear them!

Making up for lost time

I've been pretty lax with the updates on this page. So to make it up for it I'm posting some interesting copy links. Check 'em out below.

Zig Zigler on copywriting: http://blog.onecoach.com/2008/12/09/how-to-sell-in-print-the-secret-of-writing-killer-copy/

Joe Vitale on publicity for your business: http://blog.onecoach.com/2008/12/08/how-to-get-publicity-for-your-business/

And one of my favorites: http://blog.onecoach.com/2008/04/21/why-change-is-so-difficult-and-seven-ways-to-make-it-easier/


Monday, September 1, 2008

Self Promo Package

So I have decided I have been setting my sights too close to home in terms of clients.

I've also been barking up a small fruit-bearing tree. I love my local clients and love to help them grow their businesses but few of them have the money to afford me in an on-going arrangement.

With those experiences in mind, I decided to branch out. I'm going after bigger clients and have been creating a self promotional package. Woo wee!!!

One of the greatest lessons I've learned in life is that if we're going to do anything noteworthy in life we have to tackle things that intimidate us. And this package sure does intimidate me. My ego has a nasty habit of cropping up at times like this and nagging me about my (perceived) lack of experience and my own internal doubts about whether or not I can really write.

Both of those nags are complete crap (pardon my bluntness but that's the best word: crap). I write for one of the most well-known alternative health doctors on the web! And his staff loves me and tells me so regularly.

Being in marketing it's easy to lose sight of the fact that I study this stuff almost daily (ok sometimes I like to take a break on the weekends - it's necessary) and by doing so, I know more about marketing than 85% of the population.

I lose sight of this fact because my ego likes to compare me to the greats - Clayton Makepeace, Drayton Bird, Gary Bencivenga, John Carlton and one of my all-time favorites, Carline Anglade-Cole. My ego likes to tell me I know about 1/1,000,000,000th of the info these people know.

And while that may be true (ok it's probably more like 1/1,000,000th) what is also true is that they gained their knowledge by being in the playing field. They learned by DOING - not by just studying, reading and talking.

As my favorite man in the Universe would say (James Arthur Ray): you've got to get in the water.

And he's right. It's time to get in the water. With my self-promo package it's time to get into some deeper waters. I'm aiming for deeper waters where I have no idea how to swim and I have every belief that I will learn how to jump into, how to navigate and how to gracefully swim those waters. :)

Then it will be onto the next, even deeper waters. Here's to enjoying the journey!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's Your Reality?

This is an interesting and completely accurate discussion regarding reality - how we shape it, how we change it and how we create it. Hopefully it will provide you with some additional insights:


Monday, August 11, 2008

The Underdog

I'm always a fan of Underdog-type stories - who isn't? - so I especially enjoyed Jason's quest.

You can read more about it here: http://www.jasonmoffatt.com/internet-marketing/friends-help-me-topple-the-gurus.html



Friday, July 25, 2008

Last Lecture Professor Dies

At times I post news on this site that doesn't seem directly or overtly "copywriting" in nature. Today is a day like that. But as I have expressed in the past, always remember that any sort of communication that evokes a response has a copywriting lesson in it. The nature of copy is such that it is a form of communication designed to evoke a response. So here's your lesson for today:

Randy Pausch, known by many as the "Last Lecture" professor, died in his home today after a long-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Pausch became famous for a lecture he gave called the "Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". The video is below.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sharing Without Saying a Word

The greatest expressions don't come through words but through actions. This story and video is a heart-warming example of the power of actions by just one man.

Here is your Friday story,

Be sure to watch the video at the end of this story.

Free Hugs

"Do you want a hug?" The young man asked Ginny. He held a sign in his hand, "Free Hugs." I looked around. There were other people with him. They held their hand-made signs high. The message was the same on all of them - "Free Hugs!"

"Do you want a free hug?" The young man asked Ginny again.

"Sure!" Ginny smiled and walked up to him. She reached up, wrapped her arms around his neck, pulled him down to her level, and hugged him with all the love she had in her heart.

They parted. "WOW!" He exclaimed. "That was the best hug I've had all day!"

"I'm a hugger." Ginny smiled at him.

He looked at me. "How about a hug?"

"You got it!" I walked into his open arms. We held briefly and parted.

A young lady walked up and hugged Ginny. She turned to me, opened her arms, and hugged me too.

Ginny and I stepped back and watched the "Free Huggers" work their magic with those who accepted them. They offered hugs to anyone and everyone.


Juan Mann (One Man) returned to Sydney, Australia in 2004, after living in Europe for several years. He was depressed over his parent's divorce. Most of his friends had moved on. It was just him. He sat for months. Alone and depressed, Juan Mann decided to make a difference and reach out. He made a sign that read, "Free Hugs" and stood at the Pitt Street Mall - one of the busiest streets in the center of Sydney. He put his arms around anyone who accepted his offer.

At first, he left his wallet at home, had a friend watch over him, and expected to be ridiculed. After fifteen minutes, a woman approached him. "My dog died today." She said. "It's also the first anniversary of my only daughter's death. I could use a hug."

Juan was quoted as saying, "That first woman, it was more than a hug; it meant something to her."

People joined Mann. They opened their arms to others. His message spread across the city. Afraid of lawsuits, officials banned "Free Hugs". The people revolted. More than 10,000 people signed a petition to allow him to continue his mission.

Shimon Moore, the lead singer of "The Sick Puppies" happened to see Juan. They hugged and became friends. Moore borrowed a video camera and filmed Juan giving hugs. When Mann's grandmother died, Moore put the video together with his band's song called, "All The Same" and posted the video on "YouTube" with the following caption:

"Sometimes, a hug is all we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, a man whose sole purpose mission was to reach out and hug a stranger, to brighten up their lives."

The video was a hit. It spread around the world. Juan has appeared on Oprah and several other major television shows. His idea continues to gain support and grow.

After his first day on Pitt Street, Juan wondered if others were doing the same. He found Amma - The Hugging Saint of India, Jason Hunter in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jayson Littman in New York.

Jayson started his hugging campaign the same year as Juan. They both felt a need to reach out to humanity. A financial analyst in Manhattan, Jayson believed New Yorkers could use a hug. From 2004 through to 2006, he spent one weekend afternoon a month holding his "Free Hugs" sign in his hands and opened his arms to anyone who needed human comfort.

Since then, Jayson's mission has been taken over by others who believe - hugs for all. On the last Saturday afternoon of the month, you'll find them gathered in Union Square in Lower Manhattan. They hold their signs high and offer their open arms to all who need a human touch.


The huggers worked the crowd. Most people ignored them or shook their heads to indicate they were not interested. Those who opened their arms in return, walked away with a smile on their face.

I felt a warmth - a glow - fill my heart. Ginny and I were going through rough times. Money was scarce, bill collectors called on a regular basis. We were stressed and worried, but on that afternoon, for a brief moment, it was all forgotten. It took a simple hug to make everything better.

Michael T. Smith

See Juan Mann and the song about him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O6vZTvQl4o

Ginny and I plan to join them this month. We want to hug those who don't know the power a hug can have.

Michael lives in Fort Lee New Jersey with his wonderful wife Ginny. He works as a project manager in the telecommunications industry during the day. In his spare time, Michael writes stories for a collection to be called, "From My Heart to Yours." To read more of Michael's stories, go to http://ourecho.com/biography-353-Michael-Timothy-Smith.shtml#stories To send Michael a note, email msmith4@nj.rr.com

Click here for our printable version

Sent to you as a courtesy of:

Bob Proctor
Be Coached by Bob Proctor
"If you can tell me what you want,
I''ll show you how to get it."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zap! Boom! Pow! Use Will Smith's "Magic Formula" to Ramp Up the Selling Power of Your Copy

Since it has been an eternity since I have posted on this site (must improve posting efforts!), here is a great AWAI article for you to enjoy:

By Guillermo Rubio, AWAI Staff Copywriter

Will Smith has made Hollywood history.

And his personal "magic formula" can accelerate your growth … and income … as a copywriter.

His most recent film, Hancock, has raked in $107.3 million since its release last week. This makes him the first actor to star in eight straight movies that brought in over $100 million.

Simply put, Will Smith is the industry's most "bankable" man.

How does he do it?

A recent USA Today article reveals his secret …

"I study patterns," he says. "Nine out of the top 10 biggest movies of all times have special effects; eight out of 10 have creatures in them; seven out of 10 have a love story. So if you want a hit, you might want to throw those in the mix. I just study patterns and try to stand where lightning strikes."

As a copywriter, you can use Will's "magic formula" of studying patterns. In fact, if you plan on becoming an "A"-level copywriter with the earning power to live out the life of your dreams, this might be the easiest and quickest way to get there.

Here's why:

Your biggest challenge as a copywriter is to attract and keep your prospect's attention. The better job you do of this, the higher your response rate—and the more money you and your clients make.

One way to learn how to keep your prospect engaged all the way to the order device is to study control promos that are, or have been, blockbuster hits.

But you can take it one step further by actually studying the patterns in movies like Will Smith does.

Legendary copywriter Gene Schwartz regarded watching successful movies as the best way to train a copywriter in writing persuasive, engaging copy. His reasoning was that popular movies do a masterful job of keeping an audience captivated, all the way through the credits.

In fact, Gene used to tell copywriters to watch the blockbuster film, Lethal Weapon. It keeps the audience riveted right from the start with an explosion, and every few minutes there's a new action scene.

But Gene isn't the only one who knows the value of watching a hit film.

Gary Bencivenga, considered the world's greatest living copywriter, suggests it too.

Gary says, "Watch movies, because movies are the playgrounds of human emotion. As a marketer, you want to be an expert in human emotions. As you watch, try to identify every emotion the actors are playing, and let yourself feel it intensely. It's fun and instructive.

"You'll also open up your emotional channels as never before. This will help you immensely in writing more emotionally powerful copy, because you will feel what you are writing about."

Without question, movie watching can put you on the path to crafting control-crushing copy that can earn you industry-wide respect.

So what patterns do you look for?

Structure. Part of what Gene Schwartz loved about the movie Lethal Weapon is that it has an identifiable pattern in its structure. Action scene … dialogue … action scene … dialogue, etc. This pattern creates what he called a "rhythm." When you watch a movie, notice how often an action scene comes up … how often dialogue between action scenes occurs … at what points new plot elements are introduced. You can use this same pattern, or "rhythm," in your copy.

For instance, begin with an attention-getting headline (action scene) … a compelling lead (dialogue scene) … followed by a new, and attention-grabbing piece of information (action scene), etc.

Emotions. Just as Gary Bencivenga suggests, analyze and feel the emotions in a movie. Understand how you're being set up to feel them. Did the movie give you a peek into the main character's troubled past? Was a word said in a certain way? Was it the music? Facial expressions? How many times throughout the movie are your emotions jerked?

Also, notice patterns across different hit films. Maybe 8 out of 10 focus on suspense and anxiety. And maybe only 6 out of 10 focus on happiness and hope. Knowing these patterns will clue you in to what emotions "sell" best.

Plot. What is it about the plot or story that's engaging? Do 9 out of 10 movies follow a similar plot structure? At what point does the plot climax? The answers to these questions can help you keep your copy fresh and engaging. For instance, many hit movies might seem predictable at first, and then go in a completely different direction than expected, to grab your attention.

Hit movies offer a great copywriting education. Watching them is the quickest, easiest, fun way to learn how to gain and keep your prospect's attention all the way to the sale. Plus, you'll gain a deeper understanding of human emotion.

Next time you watch one, don't just watch it. Study it. Who knows, it might lead to a string of million-dollar controls—making you the most "bankable" copywriter in the industry.

This article appears courtesy of The Golden Thread, an e-letter from AWAI that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on how to build your freelance copywriting business. For a free subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/thegoldenthread

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Interesting Post

I belong to Copywriters Board forums and this is an interesting blog post by one of my fellow forum members. She discusses the different types of writers out there including definitions for copywriters.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My class

Remember the class I'm teaching this summer? Well here's a link to sign up:


The copy got chopped a bit on their web site but I'm creating posters on
my own and I'm going to put them up in libraries, coffee shops, etc.

Fun stuff!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Harmonic Wealth

Well I'm sure you've read my other posts about my Harmonic Wealth Weekend experiences with James Ray (check here and here if you haven't).

When you'd like a taste of it for yourself, pick up James Ray's new book "Harmonic Wealth".

James discusses his book in this short video. Enjoy! :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Rock

It is a rare day when I pat myself on the back (mental note: give myself more praise, more often) but Friday was one of those days.

A few weeks ago while browsing the web site for Longmont Free University (a local community "college"...they offer classes to enrich the community but very few are for credit in the traditional college sense), I checked out their writing classes. They currently offer a few of the more creative type like how to write a villain & hero/heroine for your novel, etc.

What I didn't see was a course offering how to actually make some money as a writer. The proverbial light bulb went off in my head. :)

I decided there may be a few other people who enjoy writing and enjoy getting paid. I thought they would be interested in learning how to do just that: write and make some $$. Then I had the very bold idea that I should teach them. Well it seemed like a bold idea to me anyway. ;)

And then I took what felt like an even bigger, bolder step and put together my ideas and crafted some copy for the course.

Then I sat on it for a few days. Rewrote it, tweaked it and put together a rough course outline.

After some consultations with friends (including Mary and Rev. Keith...both of whom I ADORE), I submitted my idea to Longmont Free University.

A few hours later a very nice lady from their offices called me to discuss the class.

Naturally being me, I was worried she would have a trillion questions about my qualifications, my background and just what I expected to be teaching.

With some hesitation, I called her back and set up an appointment for the next day when we would go over the class details.

Friday morning we met and guess what? She loved the idea!

All she wanted to talk about where specific dates, prices, how I get paid, when the course is listed and what rooms I can teach in.

It was so easy! I was beside myself with giddiness after I left. Woo hoo for me! It will be so fun.

The real lesson I've already taught myself is to act on ideas as I get them, pounce on opportunities as they arise and go forward despite my ego-driven knee-quaking fear. ;) It really was a very cool experience and I'm excited to have a few more soon!

As soon as there is an online listing, I'll post it here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Do Gardeners and Potters Have in Common with Copywriters?

Most artistic expressions have similar correlations that can be drawn between them (or so I believe).

For the last few weeks, I've been gardening: I'm growing sprouts for lavender, basil, oregano, tomatoes and peppers.

And this past Tuesday I began a pottery class.

I've uncovered lessons in both practices as I believe both gardening and pottery-making are true art forms...as is copywriting.

So what are the commonalities? How are these 3 things like the other? (I can't help it a song just popped in my head- the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the other"!). Are these 3 things alike or not?

They are in several ways including learning to be present, tapping into patience and accepting and believing that something new will be transformed from the current state we are working with.

Allow me to explain...

When gardening you must present so that you are conscious of where you are planting your seeds (not too close and not too far apart - which is another beautiful metaphor for relationships but I digress), when you are planting them and how they are planted.

When throwing your pot (I have yet to call myself a potter), you must be very present with the material you are working with.

I found that when I was centering my clay (the part where you make sure the clay is centered and attached properly to the wheel), I had to stop thinking about what I was doing...and just do it! The more I learned to let go of what I thought I should do, the easier it was to actually do it.

Cool huh?!

And as I formed the clay into my bowl, allowing the present moment and the movement of the clay with the gentle touch from my hands, the clay simply transformed itself. It became the pot.

There's a very significant lesson in that. All new things come to form and fruition with simple and gentle guidance. It's the difference between power and force. Some may say that's just semantics but it's not.

Power is found inside of us, it is innate, it is our direct line from the Divine. Power simply allows something to come forth into the world.

Force is what we make happen.

I see the difference between the two as being a difference of faith. When we have faith that all things happen in due time and in due course (with appropriate levels of action), then we have tapped into the force within us, the God potential inside of ourselves.

Power is what we do when there is a lack of belief. When we think we have to steer our own ships with no outside assistance.

Force requires patience, unyielding belief and faith.

To me force is the most beautiful of the two because of that extra unseen factor, that mystical quality that faith requires.

I've taken a bit of tangent to explain how gardening, potting and copywriting are all linked! But I think they are all similar in the respect that they require faith, patience, persistence, belief in an unseen force and a willingness to tap into that force and let a new development unfurl from its current state.

There's a transformation that takes place when you plant a sprout, when you take a piece of clay and you take some words. They all start as being in one state and eventually grow and become another state (the sprout becomes a seedling which becomes plant, the piece of clay becomes a bowl, a vase, etc and words become a power within someone compelling them to act in a certain way).

And that's the beauty of art: showing us how things change states and evolve...and the life that flows through each of those changes to create a new being in the world. Fascinating!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Where's Your Gunk Coming From?

This is an interesting article by Michael Fortin. He discusses his path to copywriting (beginning as an insurance salesman and eventually hanging his own proverbial shingle as an independent freelancer and eventual business owner).

In the comments section someone asked Michael about his opinion on college education vs. real-world experience.

He makes interesting points for both sides and I've always been of the belief that college was an important part of a person's education but it is definitely not the last step...nor is an MBA or a PhD or any other advanced degree. Learning is a lifelong process.

To be a true student of your craft (whether that's copywriting or another craft), studying is a necessary part of your growth and development.

All great leaders in this world are great readers. What you fill your mind with through books, music, audio programs, movies, etc...all of those things contribute to your development (or lack thereof). It's definitely true in copywriting because it is an art. And art is an expression of your internal state or it comes from your internal state so it reflects whatever is going on inside of you. If you've got gunk in there, there'll be gunk in your copy.

I take this to heart in all areas of my life. I'm particular about what I read, what I watch on TV (the few hours I watch), what movies I see and even the people I spend time with. I've battled through enough gunk in my life which accumulated before I was old enough to fend it off. So I've decided to monitor the incoming gunk and keep it to a minimum!

What can you do to ward off the gunk? Turn off the heavy metal music and turn on a personal development audio CD instead? Maybe you can turn off the TV, skip the nightly news and read a book instead.

Try it for a week and see what happens. Notice if there's a difference in the way you feel and the way you express yourself.

It's had a substantial impact on my life and well-being, perhaps it will do the same for you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

18 Minutes to Change Your Life

I like this video quite a bit so I thought I'd share. It's Jill Bolte Taylor's recollection of her stroke. She's not just any woman though - she is a neuroanatomist. It's fascinating to hear a scientist recount an experience with "nirvana".

It's interesting and thought-provoking. Here's a link to Marie Forleo's blog entry where I originally saw this video. Hopefully I've embedded the video properly but in case it doesn't, click the link.

Monday, March 3, 2008

James Ray from The Secret in Denver

You've read my posts about the weekend I spent with James Ray last October (http://goodtogreatcopy.blogspot.com/2007/10/wow.html and http://goodtogreatcopy.blogspot.com/2007/10/breaking-board.html).

Now he's coming back to Denver to share his wisdom and teachings. I saw him last summer at this same event and he was great. :)

You can check it out here: http://jamesray.com/jet/jet.php?jid=stw03192008

Join me - I'll be there!

Friday, February 1, 2008

You've got to check this out...

For the last several weeks Clayton Makepeace has given his Total Package readers some terrific info (all for free).

Each Monday he's been sending us articles on how to freelance copywriting is dead in the water and strategic marketing partnerships are the only way to go in today's economy.

Whether or not you agree with him he always has great advice & insight.

Here are links to two of his articles. DO read the comments sections on both as there are avalanches of information.

The most recent article:


Where it all began:


It's well worth the investment of your time. Enjoy!