We don’t often have two guests join us in the studio, but this week is one of those exceptions. For this special “un-numbered’ episode, we’ve invited Rob Braddock and Conor Lynch to share how they become copywriters, what they’re doing differently in the financial niche, and how you can earn the opportunity for a paid gig ($7,500 plus royalties) to write a promo for WealthPress. You’ll want to listen to get the details. We also talked about:
• how Rob Braddock accomplished his meteoric rise from prisoner to successful copywriter
• the resources he used to learn direct response copywriter
• Rob’s daily meditation practice
• how easy it is to get your foot in the door wherever you want to work
• how Conor Lynch got his first taste of copywriting at age 13
• the boring narrative arc in the biz-op niche that drove him to finance
• how WealthPress became the fastest growing Financial publisher
• the writing and approval process that helped Conor get promotions done faster
• the importance of spectacle when it comes to getting attention
• the process of building a hot list (and how WealthPress does it differently)
• whether spectacle and video promotions will work in niches beside finance
• why WealthPress is sponsoring the cocktail party at TCCIRL
• how you can “win” an opportunity for a paid promotion with WealthPress
Don’t skip this one, especially if you’ve ever dreamed of writing in the financial niche. Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript. Or better yet, subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you never miss an episode.
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The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:WealthPress
The Gary Halbert Letters
Bencivenga’s Marketing Bullets
Contest Entries Go Here
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Rob M: This is a different kind of interview than we usually do. We usually only talk to one person at a time. Today we have both Rob Braddock and Conor Lynch as our guests today. For a couple different reasons we’re doing this a little bit differently. One, because we’ve got a contest that we’re going to talk about here in just a minute. Two, you guys worked together to create some pretty interesting financial promotions, and you do it in a different way. Before we get into all of that, maybe Rob Braddock, we can start with your story. Then maybe we can hear a little bit from Conor about his story and how he got into this business.
Rob B: Right. Well, yeah. I guess it is a pretty crazy thing to think. You could probably go back not too far just two years or so ago and find the first post I made in The Copywriter Club. I didn’t know anything about copywriting two years ago really, but I’d just discovered it. So, before I got into copywriting, I was in political fundraising. Got in a little bit of trouble. Bribery this, bribery that, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Three years in federal prison. That essentially ended that career and all of the contacts I had built up over time. It’s not something I could get back into.
So, I had to start over again. After I stumbled around and bumbled around trying to figure out what I was going to do, I knew it was going to be something in the internet space or maybe I would SEO, sales or something. I wasn’t really sure. I stumbled across copywriting, direct response copywriting and then financial direct response copywriting. Once I saw what it was, what it is and how much money can be made with it, I was like, ‘All right, I’m doing this, man. I’m going all in.’
So, I started studying and studying and studying relentlessly. It was essentially my primary focus of my life for six months at least. Then one thing led to another, and I was lucky enough to get a shot to work for Agora and went to Agora. Had a couple of hits at Agora. Then decided to leave to join up with WealthPress and see if we could make some big moves. So, that’s where I am. That’s the quick story.
Kira: That is a quick story, but we want to dig into that a little bit more. From your time in prison, is there a question that people ask you repeatedly about that time in your life that just you’re tired of it because everyone asks you the same question?
Rob B: No. Everyone just says, ‘What was it like?’ Not really a lot of specifics. The hardest part of prison is the separation and being totally disconnected from the rest of the world, and the world’s moving by and you don’t know what’s happening. You’re sort of stuck in this one place. It’s literal and metaphorical at the same time. You’re stuck in one spot while everything else is moving by.
A lot of guys decide to stay stuck in that place, again, physically or metaphorically even when they get out. The hardest part for me was when I had to do some time in the SHU, the special housing unit, commonly referred to as the hole or whatever. I was in there for four months one time.
Kira: Oh, wow.
Rob B: I did three weeks in the hole once and then four months in the hole another time. It’s very mentally difficult. It was in that time that I … I mean, you’re on lockdown for 23 hours a day in the room and 24 hours on the weekends. When you’re let out for an hour it’s at six o’clock in the morning in February when it’s freezing cold and you’re in a dog cage essentially. It’s not like you’re actually going outside. So, you’re essentially completely locked down for 24 hours a day for four months. It’s very mentally taxing.
It was in that space that I sort of … I started meditating a lot and repeating positive mantras to myself in my head for hours at a time. So, I was trying to prevent myself from going crazy, I guess. That’s the same thing I used when I got out of prison. I kept doing that, like a ritual of meditation and positive thought reinforcement so that I’d be able to achieve what I wanted to achieve. You have to think like … I set a goal of working at Agora. That’s considered the, holy shit, if you can get a job as a copywriter working at Agora, oh my god.
I didn’t even know what it was. I didn’t even know what copywriting was. So, I decided I’m going to go from not knowing what copywriting is to having Agora make me an offer. So, I went super hardcore with studying and meditating and positive mental affirmations, and it happened within six months. In six months I went from literally not have ever even seen a long form financial copy to working at Agora, and two months after that had my first hit with Agora. So, as terrible as prison was, being in that situation forced me to develop the things that I used to better my life once I got out, if that makes any sense.
Rob M: Yeah, it makes total sense. It’s an amazing transformation. I’m guessing that a lot of people who are listening are probably going to thinking to themselves, ‘Okay, in order to make a jump from zero to one of the best, being among the best writing of financial promos,’ you talked about how you were relentless in your study. What were you studying? What were you doing through those six months that helped you make that kind of a leap?
Rob B: Hey, all the stuff is out there. Everything is out there. You don’t have to invent some new copy thing or some new sales tactic that’s never been thought of before. People have been doing it for a couple hundred years now. What I say is like, the first guy ever to think, ‘Hey, I’m going to put an ad in the newspaper with a call-to-action and try to sell this thing that I’m selling,’ he put it in a newspaper 200 years ago. That guy was a genius. He had to think to do that.
Fast forward 200 years, what did I do? I read The Gary Halbert Letters online for free, which you can do. Bond Halbert and his brother, they have it up there for free. They could be selling that thing for thousands of dollars, but-
Rob M: That’s an amazing resource.
Rob B: Right. I think I’ve read every letter that’s on The Gary Halbert Letters website. I did that. I signed up for every financial newsletter to read every promotion, and I would read every ad. I would think to myself, ‘Oh wow, that’s really interesting. What are they doing here?’ Then I’d think, ‘You know what? I could do that better. That ad kind of sucks. I would do it like this.’ I did that for hours, literal hours every day.
Then at one point, I took a class. Jake Hoffberg was offering a class on how to write short form financial copy, which is emails. We call them lift letters, which are editorial emails. They’re like the salesy emails. So, those emails and the little short ads you might see, I took that course on how to do that. That was essentially it. So, just several hours a day of reading either general direct response information, and then specifically to my niche, just sort of consuming every bit of content I could.
Kira: This is getting into the weeds a little bit, but you mentioned meditation and affirmations. Can you just share, what did that actually look like at the time when you were building that into your practice when you were prison? I mean, beyond when you left. Maybe you’re still doing it today. Is that something that you do in the morning? Could you give an example of what that looks like?
Rob B: Yeah, I do it for 20 minutes each morning. It’s the first thing I do. I wake up. I have positive affirmations that I’ve had recorded. So, I put on my headphones and usually I just lay there in bed for 20 minutes. I press play and just listen to it. I have some cool music in the background. Yeah, I don’t know. That’s it. It’s 20 minutes a day. It’s like forward looking goal setting statements but also some statements that would never change, things like just being … One of them is like, ‘I am calm and in control of my emotions.’ So, I don’t ever want to be the person that loses their temper. So, that’s one of the things that I repeat to myself for 20 minutes every day.
There’s a lot of things in there, but that’s an example. I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s any scientific data to back up that this stuff works. All I really have is my personal experience. I am absolutely positive in my mind that I wouldn’t have done a fraction of what I’ve done since I got out of prison if I didn’t keep doing meditation and a positive mantra type of thing every day. It is absolutely crucial. Like I said, I don’t know if it’s something that’s provable. It’s just my own experience, but there’s a lot of things like that in life that might not be scientifically provable. People have personal experiences that say so.
Kira: So, beyond doing the mindset work and bringing in this meditation, studying for 12 hours a day, however long you were studying for each day, how did you get your in and break into Agora and break into the industry beyond doing all the right things and laying the foundation? When did you get that break?
Rob B: This is one of those things that seems contradictory, but you’d be shocked at how easy it is to get a toe in the door. I’ve had experience with this in two different things. Before Agora, before prison, I was working on US congressional races, raising money for congressmen. My family … I didn’t grow up with any connections or anything like that. My family could not conceive of the fact that I was working with congressmen. So, then that was like some impossible level to achieve like, ‘What do you mean you’re working with congressmen or this big city mayor?’, and whatever.
I would tell people all the time, ‘Dude, it is the easiest thing in the world to get onto a congressional campaign if you want.’ People just really don’t realize it. If anyone’s listening to this, I promise you. If you go down to your local congressmen or whoever’s running for congress in your area and volunteer and show up for two or three weeks in a row consistently, you’re going to meet your congressmen and hang out with them. If you’re not a total mess of a person, I wouldn’t be surprised if you get offered a job.
I’ve seen people come in and be volunteers or volunteer for a few weeks, and then the next thing you know they’re offered a job doing something on the campaign and working with a congressman. But no one does it. Most people can’t even name their congressmen. It’s like there’s this idea that it’s some unachievable level of success. It’s like, ‘No, you could walk in there. No one even knows the guy or girl’s name. You could walk in right now and maybe meet them.’
It’s almost like the same thing with Agora. It’s very difficult to actually get hired there, but if you were to … like to get your foot in the door or to get noticed … You guys have had Joe Schriefer on the show. If you mail … He’s going to hate me. If you mail Joe Schriefer something interesting in the mail, like the actual mail, he’s going to open it. He’s probably going to email you back.
So, I got into Agora because they had an open house. Agora had an open house and invited a bunch of copywriters. We went through the whole process of … it was like a six person interview. We had to go through the rounds and meet with six different people. They grilled us on direct response and any big ideas we had and stuff like that. There was no pretense associated with it. I just got my name on the list.
Anyone can do the same thing. People disqualify themselves too quickly. The great vetting occurs in the person’s mind first. The company doesn’t even have to vet people, because so many people don’t even have the guts or don’t believe that it’s possible and they screen themselves out by not even trying. So, I tried, and I got in. I wasn’t good then. I wasn’t good. The stuff I wrote back then was total garbage, but I tried. Sometimes trying is good enough to just get your foot in the door. Then once you get your foot in the door, you have to perform. That’s what I did.
Rob M: Yeah, I think there’s something to the idea that outlasting everybody else just simply by working harder and trying that one more thing is a good way to make your name in the world. So, I want to talk about what you’re doing at WealthPress and what you’re doing with Conor. Before we do that, are there just one or two takeaways from your time from learning about copywriting, working for Agora? Just one, two ideas that maybe are worth sharing with everybody who maybe wants to do something similar.
Rob B: Yeah, a couple things from working at Agora. Agora does a really job of drilling into people’s head to expect and embrace failure. Some of the greatest financial copywriters on earth right now fail more than they succeed. Statistically, they genuinely write more failing promos than they do successful promos. Evaldo Albuequeque is considered the current best financial copywriter. He far and away by order of magnitude outperforms everyone and has for the past couple years. He will tell you that he’s written more failures than anyone in the industry ever.
So, you really have to really understand that writing total failures of promos is genuinely part of the process. At Agora, you have to write, if you’re a full-time copywriter, you have to write six full promos a year. They fully expect that four of them will be complete bombs that they essentially lose money on. So, out of the six that you write, only two of them are expected to be hits. So, you’re failing twice as much as you don’t. You really have to embrace it and not let it affect you and just realize that it’s apart of a process. That’s probably the biggest takeaway.
Rob M: Okay, cool. Let’s bring in Conor, because you guys work together at WealthPress. Conor, tell us a little bit about your story and how you got into financial publishing.
Conor: Absolutely. I’m actually a copywriter as well. It’s funny, when you meet people who are professional direct response copywriters, usually you ask them, ‘How do you get into this?’ It’s usually some random story, they fell into it some way. With me, it was a little bit different. I actually grew up with my dad getting Dan Kennedy newsletters in the house, like the physical newsletters. So, at 13 I did the AWAI course. I was reading Dan Kennedy’s stuff.
Conor: Getting some of the old greats. Then I went off to university thinking, ‘Yeah, that stuff was all interesting, but I probably won’t actually do anything with it. I’ll go get a real job or whatever.’ So, graduated from university. Afterwards, I did a tech start-up, and I raised about a million dollars successfully from investors. Then subsequently blew the entire company up, because the technology worked but no one actually liked it. So, that start-up completely failed. What I realized was, I was actually good at the selling aspect. I could sell the idea. I was able to actually raise the money. I could convince people to give me vast sums of money to an early 20s kid, which seems pretty irrational in retrospect that they would do that. Hey, I guess I was able to close them.
So, I decided I would go back and try to get into copywriting again. On some Facebook group, I saw that Russell Brunson was posting asking for someone to write as many emails as they could in two weeks for a thousand dollars a week. So, I jumped on it and I said, ‘I will absolutely do that. I will work day and night from the time I rise to the time that my fingers give out to do that.’ I wrote, I think it was like 92 or 97 emails in that first week. Russell was like, ‘These are great. That’s actually all the emails I need. So, I’m not going to pay you for the second week, but I will give you a testimonial.’
Kira: Oh my god.
Rob M: Wow.
Conor: So, that happened. I got the testimonial from Russell. I used that to sort of parlay my way into writing for a lot of internet marketing gurus, make money online, biz-op type stuff. From there, broadened out to writing a little bit for health but then also for financial copy. I found that I just really enjoyed the number of narratives that you can tell in the financial space. I mean, if you look at the IM or biz-op world, when you’re writing a piece, it’s mostly a hero’s journey type of stuff and a fairly generic hero’s journey. Talking like, ‘I was broke, and then I discovered one weird trick and now I’m rich.’ That’s the narrative arc code almost every promo in that space.
So, I found it boring. Whereas in financial, you’re writing all kinds of stuff. Look at what’s going on in the news right now. The DOW went down 900 points because of coronavirus. Is there a promo in there? Probably. That’s a story that’s interesting and completely new. So, I really loved that aspect of financial. Eventually was solely a financial copywriter. Freelanced for a number of years. Wrote for … never wrote for an Agora division, but wrote for some large non-Agora divisions like Raging Bull, Angel Publishing, Trade Winds, those guys. Eventually met up with my current partners and we formed WealthPress. That was a little over two years ago.
We mailed our first promo in February of 2018. I think we made like $18,000 in total sales then. Now we’re arguably the fastest growing financial publishing outfit on earth and probably in the top ten in size. I mean, certainly within the top 15, but I would think there’s a good chance we’re actually in the top ten. So, yeah, it’s been a bit of a ride.
Rob M: Yeah, wow. What a crazy story.
Kira: Yeah, so let’s talk about the fastest … Did you say the fastest growing, one of the fastest growing publishers in the financial space?
Conor: From what I understand from talking to some people who’ve been around the space for a long time, we are the fastest to go from zero to eight figures.
Kira: Okay. All right. So, I would love to hear about from both of your perspectives and why … What is it about WealthPress? What are you doing that had kind of helped you moved to top ten and become one of the fastest growing? What are you doing differently?
Conor: I think there’s a few things. I mean, one thing that we have done a little bit different versus Agora Publishers, is that we didn’t have a full copywriting staff from the time we started. There was me, and I was also wearing a lot of other hats. I was queuing up marketing emails, doing a lot of other things. So, to get promotions turned around quicker, I would put together a webinar deck, but I wouldn’t necessarily script the thing completely, like word for word. Our editor, our [inaudible 00:24:59] the face of the product, he would go through and riff on the content and the deck and he’d record stuff that way.
So, it allowed us to turnaround promotions much quicker. Instead of taking two months to do something, we could do it in two weeks and get something turned around, turned out and launched. Our production tempo in that sense is much quicker. I think that was probably one of the bigger things.
The growth that’s happened in the last little while, and Braddock can talk about this as well, I think one of the big things we’ve been doing differently is how we approach the hot list build for our offers. I think most people are at least somewhat familiar with the Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula. The way that I see that put together, a lot of the time the presale videos, they’re very sort of presale benefits heavy but they’re not that great on narrative and they’re not that great at spectacle.
If you’ve never read Gary Bencivenga’s marketing books, he has one on headlines. I think it was titled The Secret of the Monkey’s Fist. Basically, he’s going over the idea that headline is not actually meant to sell the offer in any way. It’s meant to sell the person on reading the first line of the actual promotion. So, for us, I think part of how we look at building a hot list a little bit differently is kind of looked at in the same way as a headline. It’s the spectacle, it’s the excitement, it’s the hype that gets people to watch the promotion itself.
So, the promotion needs to have its own hook. It needs to have its own compelling sales structure and compelling offer and compelling close. With hot lists, we’re able to do stuff like get more cinematic. In one piece that’s coming out next month, we’ve got briefcases handcuffed to people’s wrists, and we’ve got car chase scenes and theft, like stuff that normally wouldn’t appear in a hot list promo.
So, I think those are the things that we do differently. We’re breaking some of the rules in terms of how you can put promotions together. We’re breaking some of the rules in terms of what a hot list can be, how cinematic you can get, how much you can embrace entertainment. Yeah, I mean, I think those sorts of things.
Rob M: So, let’s take a step back for anybody who doesn’t understand the terminology that we’re using. Hot list, Rob, walk us through that. What is the hot list? Then you’re adding spectacle to that in order to sell the big idea.
Rob B: Right. So, typically you would, for a hot list build, what you would do is drive traffic to a registration page where you’re getting the person’s email so that they’re opting into the hot list. Once they’re opted in, then the hot list begins. What I have found typically that works with us is a four-day hot list build. So, the goal is to have people be engaged and get excited for the upcoming launch essentially what you teased on the registration page.
In that, you’re doing things like letting them know how this is new and never been seen before. You’re letting them know how potentially big the returns are. You’re letting them know … You’re answering any objections that they might sort of subconsciously have. As Conor was saying, instead of doing that in a more matter of fact way, what we’ve been trying to do is do it in a more spectaclized narrative form so we have a four day story arc. It’s almost a promo within a promo. The four day story arc culminates on the fifth day with the launch of the product.
So, the entire time you’re doing the hot list, you’re just keeping the viewer engaged, answering any objections that they have subconsciously and teasing any of the things like fear of missing out and typical stuff.
Conor: Yeah, you’re still doing all the stuff that Jeff Walker would probably tell you, you must do this in the presale series that leads up to the drop of the main promotion in a launch, but you’re wrapping it around a more, I would say, cinematic narrative, like more story driven narrative. For example, one of the ones we did, we had an armored car that we rented parked outside of one of our partner’s houses. We’ve had someone go up and ask us like, ‘Hey, what’s going on with the armored car?’ ‘Well, there’s a secret inside for anyone who wants to make $25,000.’
So, that whole hot list had the narrative of thread, ‘What’s in the armored car? What’s the secret?’ The excitement levels and engagement going into when the main promotion itself dropped was off the charts and had people thinking from an emotional perspective, which is where you want people to live when they watch your promotions anyway. So, that’s kind of how it worked.
Kira: Yeah. Can we speak to the why behind it? You’ve sold me. I love movies, so you had me as soon as you said spectacle. How do you know it’s working? Can you share any results you’ve experienced? I know you’re working on one right now? So, just prove to copywriters who are thinking, ‘Well, I don’t know if that will work or if I can pitch that to my clients.’ Why is it working? What have you experienced-
Conor: I’ve got a perfect example actually. I’ve got a perfect example for that. We have one of our marketers who decided, ‘Hey, I want to put together one of these launches. I’ll put together the deck, and I’ll write a hot list series. We’ll professionally shoot the hot list series, but the launch itself will just be this webinar deck,’ that he put together in probably about a week. He’s never written a full promotion before, but the hot list, I worked with him on it, and we came up with this very narrative driven sequence that played out over two days. We pushed the thing for two days. The cart opens on the third day, and this guy who’s never written a promotion before had our second largest cart open day ever in history of the company.
Again, the hot list videos would be considered very non-traditional if you go by what people normally think of when they think launch presale videos. There was narrative to it. I was in one of the videos as the publisher talking about how I’d uncovered these secret premarket trades that one of my gurus was keeping hidden from me. There was hidden camera footage as part of it, like all kinds of stuff that we did that was … I mean, again, it felt like you were part of a story that playing out rather than a sales presentation of, ‘Hey, these are the benefits. If you’re worried about this, this is how to diffuse that objection.’
We do those things, but it was very narrative driven and resulted in a pretty massive single sales day for a guy who had never produced a promotion before, not just a promotion in financial copy but had literally never written a full promotion before.
Rob M: Wow. So, this sounds pretty amazing. I’m curious, do you guys think that the success of this kind of thing is limited to the financial space, or could anybody do it? Maybe a follow-up question to that is, is it possible to do this without a pretty big budget? What you’re producing almost sounds like video or television production.
Rob B: Yeah, I think it’s totally applicable. One thing, Conor can speak more to this, but I feel like the actual VSL promotion or the actual production of the main product is probably more expensive than the hot list build. We’ve done almost entire hot list builds just with a guy with a decent camera walking around, because we embraced the gorilla style aspect of it. So, it wasn’t like … we didn’t have to spend a ton of money on some super slickly produced stuff.
One of the hot lists that we did with Rob Booker is we’re following him in the parking lot as he walks into Bank of America. Then he walks out of Bank of America with a cashier’s check to pay off his mortgage. That’s something he genuinely did. Then we drove in his car and filmed in his car of him driving to his house to … Then he called his wife and said, ‘Hey, come outside.’ She came outside and he was like, ‘Here’s a check. I just paid off the house.’ She genuinely didn’t know he was going to do it, and it was a shock.
That ended up being one of the hot list videos for that product. For a different product, and this will speak to the applicability to other things, to other industries, one of them we did, which was the man on the street style promo where Rob Booker’s showing people how to make money, they have no experience. They can make money in the stock market on their phone in 60 seconds or something. That’s been done before, but we did is we did the cinematic specialization, and we decided that the narratives would be, in the hot list, would be the idea that Rob’s great-grandparents were immigrants and his family grew up essentially poor. We traveled to Gadsden, Alabama and stood out front of the house where his father was raised, this little tiny shack in the middle of nowhere Alabama.
The subtext to everything was that in one generation in America, you can go from this house to now a guy who’s a very successful guy who works way harder than … who doesn’t work anywhere near as hard as his dad worked, but his dad never really had any money to speak of. It was sort of like an idea of this is the real America and patriotism and things like that. That was a very successful hot list built that we had.
So, although we’re doing all the same things like the Jeff Walker stuff and answering objections and everything like that, there’s still sort of that underlying story narrative that … I think that is applicable to other industries. You could certainly use it in the health space. You could certainly use it if you wanted to niche down into other things like how, I don’t know, if you were trying to do something in the marijuana space or something, in the legalization of marijuana, something like that could work. I don’t even know. What other industries are there in the … If you’re not doing financial or health, direct response, what other stuff are people doing direct response wise?
Rob M: I’ve seen some pretty interesting things in the coaching space or in the internet space. I know James Wedmore’s done some pretty interesting things, video. It feels like he creates a bit of a spectacle. Stu McLaren does something similar with software products in communities that he does. So, there’s definitely applicability. I mean, people want to watch interesting things. So, my guess is that you could almost into any industry-
Rob B: Yes, yes. Rob, can I interrupt you there? You just sort of jogged my memory here a little bit. People want to watch interesting things. Right? What have we heard for the past, I don’t know, forever about people’s attention spans.
Rob M: Yeah, they’re-
Rob B: Their attention span is short.
Rob M: Two seconds. Yeah, goldfish.
Rob B: Two seconds, goldfish, yeah.
Kira: Four seconds.
Rob M: Not true.
Conor: But then five hours of Netflix every day.
Rob M: Exactly. Exactly.
Rob B: Yes, exactly. It’s kind of true but … exactly. People binge watch like crazy. Excuse my language. It’s the same thing. We’re just making things that people would want to binge watch. So, as long as you can do that, you’re good.
Conor: We have certainly done promotions that were very expensive to product, but for example, going back to the one that we just did with the new copywriter who had never done anything before, on that one it was pretty cheap. For the main promotion itself, it was a webinar deck and we just broadcasted it I think via Zoom. So, if you’ve got a Zoom account and a webinar deck and a decent web cam, you can do that and it costs effectively nothing. The hot list videos, for those, if you’ve got someone with basic video editing capabilities, we put those together with probably $1,500 worth of equipment in one afternoon.
You don’t have to be a huge business to be able to execute on something like that. Again, I think the importance of the production value and the more narrative cinema style stuff, that lives more in the hot list. The promotion itself doesn’t need to have that. I think it can and that can help, but it can be a fairly traditional main promotion if the hot list is doing the heavy lifting on the hype, and the energy and the excitement. That doesn’t cost that much to produce if you want to do it on a shoestring.
Rob M: Okay, cool, cool. I know we’re going to run out of time here. I want to talk about this contest that I mentioned when we first started talking. You guys have generously sponsored the cocktail party at The Copywriter Club In Real Life, TCCIRL. I think it started, Braddock, in our Facebook group where you were encouraging people to come and you wanted to buy everybody a drink for helping write your bio. It’s evolved into something bigger than that.
Rob B: Yep. Yeah. I do want to make sure that you throw Joel Klettke under the bus here, he’s a member of The Copywriter Club In Real Life. He won the contest to write my bio for you guys.
Kira: That’s right. That’s right.
Rob B: I said I would pay 300 bucks to whoever won. He won. He turned down my 300 bucks. I said, ‘All right, we’ll just use the 300 bucks towards a happy hour at TCC In Real Life. Then Joel started freaking out about how many people would show up and was worried that it would go into the multiple thousands of dollars, but it was too late. The cat was already out of the bag.
So, Conor and WealthPress were like, ‘All right, we’ll step up.’ They’re going to actually sponsor the full thing, the full happy hour. We got the contest. I just wanted to make sure we threw Joel Klettle under the bus there real quick.
Rob M: Of course. We’re happy to do that. We’re really excited to have you guys join us. So, we are going to have this contest, so we are going to announce the winners at the event. Conor, maybe you could just give us a few of the details of how people are going to participate. Then we’ll share the link in the show notes and in our Facebook page of where submissions can be made.
Conor: Absolutely. The way this works is pretty straightforward. We’ve picked a product, and everyone is going to submit … anyone who wants to participate is going to submit a 500 to 1,000 word sales letter selling that product. The product is Macallan ‘M’ Whiskey, which is a pretty legendary whiskey from Macallan’s stockpile of already fairly legendary whiskeys. You can find out a lot about it online if you do some Googling and research, which is again, big part of being a successful copywriter is willingness to get your hands dirty with the research.
We’re going to be selecting of the submissions three winners who will then write a promotion for WealthPress. That’ll be a paid gig. Those projects will earn $7,500 as a cash fee to write them. Then should we actually produce a launch based on one of those promos, there will be a two percent royalty net of refunds on all sales from that launch. Now, in addition to picking three people who we’re going to develop a promotion with, at least one, we’re guaranteeing at least one will get the full launch treatment. We’ll work to get it to the point where it’s ready to launch.
If all three of those promotions end up being good enough that we feel comfortable launching them, then it could be that all three winners get a full launch with us. I mean, the last several launches that we’ve done have all been over a million dollars in sales. So, if that gives you a sense of what the prize looks like.
Rob M: Awesome. So, just so that I make sure that I understand, we’re asking people to just do a submission, say, 500 to 1,000 words. They can choose. Promoting the Macallan ‘M’ Whiskey. This part is not paid. It’s if you want to be in the contest, you just write that. It’s just an idea to promote it, something clever, just a hook that will catch your attention. It doesn’t need to be a full blown promotion about that. Really it’s just kind of this headline hook idea and getting into it.
From that, you guys are going to pick three winners, one of whom you’re guaranteeing is going to get a full promotion and of those three winners, it’s a paid gig of over $7,000 each. So, this is a huge opportunity for somebody who maybe wants to write promotions certainly in the financial space but also the opportunity to develop a promotion that they can use for other launches and a great opportunity to work with Conor and Rob Braddock in developing this kind of a thing. Did I get that right?
Conor: That’s exactly correct.
Rob M: Okay. Awesome.
Kira: We just need to talk about the deadline. So, there is a deadline. It’s Friday, March 6th. That is the submission deadline at midnight Pacific time. So, you need to submit before Friday, March 6th if you want to qualify for this contest.
Rob M: It is open to not just people who are coming to TCCIRL. It really is open to anybody who’s interested in this. You don’t have to be in attendance to win. On the other hand, it would be awesome to see all of the winners there as we announce those names.
Kira: All right, cool. Then for the winner or winners, could they potentially work with you in the future, or do we not want to talk about that yet? Are we just focusing on the contest?
Conor: Yeah. For the winners, if we like how they work and if we like their output, we actually sit down to produce these promotions, there is absolutely a path from there to working with us long term.
Kira: All right.
Rob M: Before we recorded, you guys mentioned you also have opportunities for editorial or for content that’s maybe less sales oriented.
Conor: We do.
Rob M: So, if somebody was interested in that, they could write about the Macallan ‘M’ and on the submission form, that again we’ll share in the show notes to this podcast and also in the Facebook group, they can just make a note that they’re really interested in content opportunities and you guys could work with that as well.
Conor: Absolutely. There’s a lot of content or editorial writing opportunity at WealthPress at the moment. A big part of our business is multiple free e-letters. We’ve got eight of them currently, and we’re launching four in the next 30 days. By the end of the year, there will probably be over 20. So, there’s a lot of bandwidth for content.
Rob M: That’s awesome.
Kira: All right. For anyone listening who maybe catches this and wants to dig in and learn more about WealthPress immediately or catches this later on, where can they go to get more information about your-
Conor: They can check us out at WealthPress.com. Beyond that, they can … I mean, if anybody has any questions after this all happens, you can forward them over and I’d be happy to answer them.
Rob M: Thanks guys. We really appreciate your time, what you’ve both shared about your careers and the ways to get ahead in financial copy as well as other opportunities. Look forward to seeing you in March at TCCIRL.
Conor: Fantastic. Cheers guys.
Rob B: Thanks guys.
Kira: Thanks guys.
Rob B: Appreciate it.
You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive available on iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.