TCC Podcast #112: Finding retainer clients with Chris Orzechowski | The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #112: Finding retainer clients with Chris Orzechowski

Copywriter Chris Orzechowski is our guest for the 112th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. We met Chris through our friend Kim Schwalm after they got in a bit of a fight over the best kind of clients. Needless to say, we’re all friends now, but it was touch and go there for a little while : ). Rob and Kira sat down with Chris to talk about:
•  Chris’s path from school teacher and wrestling coach to copywriter
•  how he “embraced the suck” to make things work as a marketer
•  how his teaching and coaching skills make him a better copywriter
•  landing his first “real” clients—what worked and what didn’t work
•  the moment he knew things were going to work out
•  why you need to treat copywriting like a business and outwork everyone
•  the #1 thing copywriters need to do in order to truly succeed
•  how to find good retainer clients—exactly what to look for
•  how to manage the back and forth with a retainer client
•  what Chris charges for retainers and how it’s changed <– this is good to know
•  why retainers are better than going from project to project
•  how he started (and why he ended) a fight with Kim Schwalm
•  his approach to writing emails <– Kira calls this “sexy” advice

This is a good one. As always, to listen simply click the play button below or download the episode to your favorite podcast app. If you’d rather read, scroll down for a full transcript.

The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:

Zach Evenesh
Kim Schwalm
Brian Kurtz
theemailcopywriter.com
Kira’s website
Rob’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
Intro: Content (for now)
Outro: Gravity

Full Transcript:

Rob:   This podcast is sponsored by The Copywriter Underground.

Kira:   It’s our new membership designed for you to help you attract more clients and hit 10K a month consistently.

Rob:   For more information or to sign up, go to thecopywriterunderground.com.

Kira:   What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts? Ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits. Then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work. That’s what Rob and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.

Rob:   You’re invited to join the club for episode 112 as we chat with launch specialist and email copywriter, Chris Orzechowski about what it takes to land a retainer client, his closely held secrets for writing email that customers want to read, the lessons he’s learned from creating high performing funnels and how copywriting is a bit like high school wrestling.

Kira:   Hey Chris, welcome.

Chris: Hey Kira, Rob. Thanks so much for having me.

Kira:   We’re excited to have you here. So Chris, let’s kick this off with your story. How did you get into copywriting?

Chris: So I got into copywriting a little over five years ago. I went to college to become a teacher because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was a wrestler, so I figured I guess I’ll go teach or coach wrestling and that’ll be my life. And then I got done with my first day of school, my first day of work and I went home and I said, man, I had made a huge mistake. I do not want to do this at all, let alone for the rest of my life. So I started looking around. I said, you know, there’s always people who use the internet and they make money. And I was like, I wonder how that works. And I wonder if I could figure out how to do the same thing too. And one of my mentors, this strength coach, his name was Zack Evenesh, he was one of the early strength conditioning publishers back from like 2003 is when he first started online.

He was always like selling e-books and programs and doing all this online marketing stuff. I was always following along with what he did. And I was like, man, this is really cool, maybe I can do the same kind of thing. So I started going down that rabbit hole and studying everything. I started to see blogs and websites. One actually got a little bit of traction, was about coaching wrestling because that’s what I was pretty good at. You know, I had a few articles go viral, I had like a weekly podcast. I was doing daily emails to an email list and blogging and do all these things. And I wasn’t really making much money with it. So after about eight or nine months, I said, this is really cool, but I’m taking six to eight hours a day working on this after my day job.

\I’m not really making the kind of money that I thought I would. So let me just pick one thing that I really want to focus on and go deep and, as all the things that we’re involved with kind of trying to build that online business. The copy was the part that I loved the most. I loved writing the emails. I was like, this is something that is so cool to me, like I can literally get paid thousands of dollars to hand people a Google document with words on it. And I was so enamored by that idea, I was like, this is what I’m going to learn. I’m going to get really, really good at this.

Kira:   Cool. So when during these early days, were you teaching and then figuring this out on the side? How did you have time to figure this out and have a podcast and emails and learn?

Chris:  Well, I didn’t really have a life for about four years. I was working full time as a teacher. Commuting … on my first job, I was commuting like 45 minutes to an hour each way, sometimes longer depending on traffic. So I’d wake up at 5:00 AM I’d do an hour of work. I’d go to work all day. If I had a lunch break or a prep, most of those, especially later on in my teaching career, were spent on the phone with clients or answering emails and doing all those kinds of things. And then after school I would get home at three, 4:00. If it was wrestling season, I’d get home later. I’d work until nine or 10, sometimes 11:00 at night. I’d work six to eight hours every Saturday and Sunday on the weekends. I’d get up early. So yeah, it was just a grind. It was a real, real long grind for four years. But that’s what I wanted to do and I knew that that was my only way out. I call that like embracing the suck, right? Like you just have to … it’s going to suck and you just have to get through it. It took me a lot longer than most people because I didn’t really know what I was doing. But eventually I figured it out, so.

Rob:   It’s interesting, Chris, a lot of copywriters find their way to copywriting from other careers. And we’ve certainly talked to a bunch who’ve done similar things. Would you say that there are things about being a teacher that helped you become a better copywriter or things that you learned as a wrestling coach that you apply to your job as a copywriter today?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. So I was a special education teacher and I taught math and English. I originally started in elementary school and one of the coolest things that I really hold on to today from that whole experience was when I was teaching these kids, third, fourth, fifth graders who had learning disabilities have a right. You know, it’s not like a regular classroom where you can just give kids a piece of paper and say, Hey, alright, we’re going to write an essay or we’re going to write a story. So here’s, get your big idea and just start going. What we had to do was really break everything down into like a structure. And so much of copy is structures, right? Like a sales letter has a structure, an email has a structure, a VSL, a Webinar. All these things, even a launch, they all have structures to follow.

So I think one of my advantages was when I was teaching these kids who, they can barely write their own name. I had to teach them how to write a page or two page long story or essay or whatever it was. So the way we did that was to say, okay, we want to do this huge thing, this two page story, right? What we have to do is we’ve got to break it down into little parts. And then each one of those parts has a template. So we’d give them sentence starters or we’d give them these other little pieces that they could kind of grasp onto and things to get them started. And so much of copy is like that, right? We know that we all have headline formulas and swipe files and we know, okay, we have the headline, the subhead, we have the opening sentence, we have the lead, we have the sales argument, we have the transition to the product, right?

So it’s just being able to see that before I ever got into it, it really helped me analyze what I was seeing in the marketplace and just through studying ads and people’s products and all those things. So it kind of gave me that vision. And then when I started helping other people with their writing, I had that framework to work from. It wasn’t just like, hey, you know, go do the research and start writing. It was like, no, okay, let’s fill in these blanks here. We have all these things that we need to fill in. We have the bullets over here. We have the close. We need to … it just helped me progress a lot faster and the people that I worked with, it helped them progress a lot faster.

Rob:   Cool. Let’s talk a little bit about the shift from working on your own projects to working for other clients. How did you land those first couple of clients? What were you doing?

Chris: Oh man, I tried everything. I did … I probably got like 300 no’s before I ever got a yes. You know, I kind of just went all in. So I was doing, I was reading all these books that said, oh send letters in the mail to local businesses. And that did not work very well at all. I cold called a couple places. Where I really started getting traction though was just meeting people online, like in Facebook groups, buying people’s products, buying copywriting products and getting into groups and circles where there were either other copywriters who could introduce me to someone or other business owners where they were hanging out. And once I started offering some work for free to a few people, you know, I remember the first two or three clients I ever got I offered work for free. And basically they were pretty happy with what I did. So they referred me to other people.

A lot of people are not willing to do that at first. And I totally understand. And you know, everyone’s, some people are like never work for free. But I did it and I still recommended it because you do work for free for one person. Then maybe they know one or two more people. Maybe you can get 100 bucks for that first project and then maybe they know two or three people. I kind of figured, alright, if I can build up this network of people and just if I meet one person, then I meet one more person. And then they know three people and just keep doing that over and over and over again. That was really how I started to get traction. And now I’m at the point where I have so much referral work because I have such a big network that I have to turn a lot of it away. So it’s obviously, it might be a little bit of a long game taking that angle, but that’s kind of how I got started. I don’t know if that’s the best way to do it. That’s just what I did though.

Kira:   You mentioned embracing the suck, and like you had four years of it just sucking. So I wonder what that moment was for you where you were kind of like, okay, something’s working here. Maybe you didn’t even land a client yet, but you just had that glimmer of hope to keep you going. Because I feel like the struggle when you’re in that stage is you wonder if it’s worth it or maybe you’re just not meant for this? And I think copywriters give up too soon because it sucks so bad. And how do you hang on and what was that moment for you where you’re like, I’ve got this?

Chris: Well, so I had, I worked at two different schools. So I worked at the school in Westfield, New Jersey for two years and then I ended up working back in my hometown, Old Bridge for two years. Now, when I was at Westfield, my first year I was probably working 12 hours a day. So I wasn’t able to work as much on the copy stuff. So I was getting there at seven and leaving, you know, getting home at seven. And at the end of my second year I went in for my end of the year review and they told me they were not renewing my contract. Which in other words means you’re fired. You’re no longer working here. So at that point I had just started to get my first couple clients. And I made a couple hundred bucks here, I might’ve made a couple grand that year from writing copy. And I said, crap, I just got fired from this job. What am I going to do? Like I didn’t have the skills and the confidence yet to go full time freelance. I didn’t have the connections, I didn’t have any of that stuff.

So I was like, I can’t. I don’t feel confident enough to just jump in and say, okay, I’m just going to be a full-time freelancer now. I was getting ready to propose to my now wife, then girlfriend. We were going to buy a house and I was like, man, all these things got to be put on hold now. I don’t know what to do. So I just said this is going to suck, but I’m going to have to get another job. And that’s what I did. I got another teaching job and I said to myself, alright dude, you’re not that good at this. So you need to start hauling ass and start making things happen because otherwise, you’re not going to last. You got fired from this one. The next job wasn’t … I was doing okay there, but I still just couldn’t see myself ever putting forth that effort in that job to really be able to make that long term. So for me it was almost like I had that deadline. I didn’t know when it was coming, but I was like, I probably am not going to last at this job either.

I recognize that, I’m honest with myself. I wasn’t going to say, oh, those guys suck. You know, I probably wasn’t … I was a good teacher, but to really excel, you really need to give it your all. And I know I was clearly distracted because I wanted to do this other thing. So I just said to myself, I have to make this work. I have a year, maybe two years, and it kind of worked out where at the end of that fourth year, which is my second year at the new gig, they called me in halfway through the year and they said, you know, we feel like your heart’s not in this. If you don’t pick it up, we’re going to let you go. So two weeks later I walked into my boss’ office and I said, I’m giving you my notice. And at that point I was still a little bit scared, but I had a retainer at this point for over a year.

That client had already offered me a full-time gig. So I said, okay, I’m at this point where this client, they want me full time. Like they think I’m good enough to be a full time employee doing this. That was like the vote of confidence that I needed that I said, okay, I can make this happen. I don’t know what the future’s going to look like. I don’t know if I’m going to land on my feet, but I have at least this one client. I’ve had a few other clients at that point and I know that if I had enough, if I had that extra eight hours a day, I could probably figure out the rest.

Rob:   Let’s talk about that hustle that you mentioned. You know, there are at least a few people out there who sell this dream that copywriting is not that difficult. It’s not that hard to have a successful business if you’re a good writer. But it sounds like that wasn’t your experience, like you worked your tail off and I’m assuming that you would agree that most other copywriters are going to have to do the same. Talk a little bit about that.

Chris: Yeah, it’s a business. Right? And if business was easy, then everyone would be successful and be a millionaire. Right? You know, that … for me, I always recognize that and I think that’s just my mentality. Like as a wrestler, you know, the whole mentality for that sport is just outwork everyone. That’s everyone’s mentality. So it’s a real brutal sport. But, I just kind of carried that over into business. I said, I’m probably not the most naturally gifted at this. Everyone else has a head start on me, but I know that I could work and I could outwork everyone. So that’s what I kind of decided to do. And the thing is, there’s a lot of stuff you have to do because when you’re kind of introduced to the whole idea of writing copy, you’re like, oh yeah, just get clients and write. Those are the only two things that you think you have to do.

But then there’s project management, there’s accounting, there’s marketing yourself, there’s closing deals, there’s client management to actually managing the expectations and the communications and all of those things. There’s figuring out ways to get leveraged. There’s your own business development, there’s your skill development. There’s so many different things you’ve got to do. And what really drove that point home for me was … I was in Kevin Rogers’ RFL program and still am. I’m in a super group now. And he showed us this pie chart and it was like, you think you’re getting into this, but really you’re getting into all of these things. Really only maybe 20 to 30 percent of your time is actually spent writing. So that was like a huge eyeopener for me and I was like, man, I really got to get good at this other stuff too because if I don’t I’m not going to have the opportunity to write.

If I can’t get clients, if I can’t close them. If I can’t manage them and if I can’t keep them happy, I’m not going to be able to do the writing and all the other stuff that I’d like to do. So, at first it really sucks because you have to figure out all that stuff at once. And you’re probably not good at any of it. You might be okay at the writing. You might not be. But I just said, you know what, I’m going to get good at everything. And I’ll have a few things that I’m better at. And then eventually, like now I’m at the point where I have a VA and I have people who can help me with all the stuff that I suck at. But in the beginning, it’s really getting clear on, okay, I’m going to be working really hard, I’m going to be working a lot of hours. It’s probably not going to be that fun, but eventually you will get to a point where it is a little bit more fun. It’s a little more leveraged and if you get through that period of time, which not everyone’s willing to do, but if you get through that period of time, you can get there.

Kira:   So is it fun now? Can we say safely that it’s fun?

Chris: Oh yeah.

Kira:   There’s a happy ending. So how can copywriters outwork everyone else? Because I love that lesson you pulled from wrestling and I think Rob and I are competitive people. I think this might help some newer copywriters who are just like, okay, I’m in it. I want to do well. How do I outwork everyone else? Can you give some examples other than you mentioned networking, building relationships in Facebook groups that seems to have worked well for you. What else can copywriters do?

Chris:  Yeah, I think the probably the biggest area that most copywriters can improve in is really just bending over backwards to get their client an incredible result. Because if you can do that, that takes care of so many other things. That helps, that is marketing in and of itself. Right? Because you do such an awesome job. What really drove that home for me was when I did that Filippo Loreti campaign, the Kickstarter campaign. We did $5,000,000 in 30 days and after that it got really easy to market myself. Because I had that big proof element and that was when I was still teaching when I did that and I was working the weekends. I was taking calls from my clients, they were in Lithuania and I was waking up at 5:00 AM to take an hour and a half call before I went to work. And a lot of writers they just say, oh well it’s not going to work with my schedule so I’m not going to do it.

That’s definitely…it’s your career. You could make whatever choices you want to make. But I said I’m going to bend over backwards and make sure that this project is as big of a success as I can. And even if I don’t ring that washcloth dry and get paid every single penny that I think I need to, even if they need something on the fly and I can just go in and do it and it takes 10 minutes, some writers, they’ll say, ah, you know, that’s not in the contract. I’m not going to do that. And that’s, hey, I get it. I’m at that point now where I don’t really do as much of that stuff anymore. But in the beginning, especially if you don’t have that traction, you don’t have that network and those proof elements and everything else, then that’s an opportunity for you.

You can really go above and beyond and if you know you can provide something extra to that gig and they blow it up and make it even bigger, that’s just going to make you look better in the end. And it might suck during that time. But, that’s just one of the things that I see where some writers, they’re just like, oh, well I’m just going to come in and do the project and leave. It’s like, well, I always took that mentality of I want to own this project. I want to treat this like this in my own business. Because it really is because every project that you do can either go in the good pile or the bad pile. You want more projects in the good pile that you could show to other people. You don’t want projects that fail and don’t do well.

So I think it’s just having that kind of ownership mentality in all of these projects that you do. And it’s hard because at first you’re not going to be compensated to have that ownership mentality. At first you’re going to be doing these projects and they’re going to be reaping all the rewards. And you’ll be lucky if you make one percent of what they earn. Eventually you can kind of tip the scales in your favor as you get further and further into your career and negotiate better deals and you have more leverage and those kinds of things. But I think in the beginning if you can find clients for select clients who you can find some easy wins and then really just knock it out of the park for them, that’s probably the biggest area of opportunity to really hustle a lot and go above and beyond.

Rob:   Yeah. Really solid advice. You were talking about that first client that you had as you launched your fulltime copywriting gig was a retainer client. And I know that you talk a lot about retainers, how to land them. And we certainly have a group of copywriters listening who are thinking, oh, retainers would be great. I’d love to get myself one or two, you know, as a baseline for my business. Or maybe they want to run an entire business based on retainers. Talk to us a little bit about what it takes to get retainer clients. How do you find good ones so that they really are helping to support your lifestyle and not just make it from paycheck to paycheck, but what does it take to land a great retainer client?

Chris:  So the first thing it takes is finding people who have money. And this is where a lot of copywriters shoot themselves in the foot and never get this thing off the ground. So mathematically thinking, let’s say you want to make $5,000 a month from a retainer client, that’s going to be $60,000 a year. You need to think if you’re a business owner, when to pay any one person $60,000 in a year if you’re only making 200, 300, 400. You probably wouldn’t do that. You probably wouldn’t lay off that much of your top line revenue. So right off the bat you can start identifying, ‘Okay, well what are the criteria for a client who would offer a retainer?’ Well, they’re probably making at least seven figures. It’s not always true, like, obviously you can get a lower price retainer, but if you want to make three, four, five, six, seven grand a month from a client, they’re going to have to make some money here. So if you could start looking and say, ‘Okay, I’m only going to look for people who are at least making seven figures’, and it’s not always easy to just look at a business and determine how much month they’re going to make, but that’s kind of the criteria that you have to set for yourself.

If you get on the phone with someone, and they say, ‘Oh, you know we’re kind of just starting out’, well, you know that’s probably not going to be a good deal for you. A lot of companies, what they do is they offer retainers all the time, but what they do is they disguise them as this three letter word called a ‘job’ because clients don’t speak the same language as copywriters. They don’t speak it, right? They say, ‘Hey, I need someone who is going to be here helping me out month after month with all these millions of projects that I have, so I’m going to go post a job’, and that’s what a lot to them do.

They go on Monster and they go on Indeed, and they go on Craiglist even, or they’ll send an email out to their email list or they’ll post on social and say, ‘Hey, we have a position open’, or, ‘We’re looking to hire someone to do this.’ And most copywriters don’t even notice this stuff because they’re either not looking, number one, or if they see it, they’re like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to work for that person.’ Most of the retainers that I’ve had have been disguised as jobs but I work from my home office, I work part-time and I make my own schedule and I basically get to decide what kind of projects … I’m at the point now where I’m like, ‘Hey, here’s what we should do. I think we should do these kind of projects’. It doesn’t always happen like that at first, but you start to get more and more of that autonomy and those decision making responsibilities as you get better and better.

So when you think about a traditional job versus these opportunities, a traditional job sucks but these things, they’re called jobs but that’s not really what they are. They’re just copywriting gigs and that’s kind of what I taught in my course with Kim was, ‘Hey, here’s how to look for these gigs, they’re not always going to just say, ‘Hey, we’re looking for a copywriter to put on retainer’.’ That’s not what they go out and say. Sometimes they do if they’re really, really savvy and really, really in the know and they’ve worked with a lot of copywriters before and they understand that, but most of the time these companies, they don’t advertise like that. What they do is they say, ‘Hey, we’re looking to hire someone part-time, full-time’, or whatever the case may be. That’s really the place to start.

 

Kira:   Hey. We’re just jumping into the show today to tell you a little bit more about The Copywriter Underground. Rob, what do you like best about this membership?

Rob:   So this membership community is full of copywriters that are investing in their businesses and taking what they do seriously. Everything is focused around three ideas: copywriting and getting better at the craft that we all do; marketing and getting in front of the right customers so that you can charge more and earn more; and also mindset so that you can get out of your head and focus on the things that will help you be successful at what we do.

There’s a private Facebook group for the members of the community and we also send out a monthly newsletter that’s full of advice, again, on those three areas, copywriting, marketing and mindset. Things that you can mark up and tear out, put them in your files, save them for whatever and it’s not going to get lost in your email inbox.

Kira, what do you like about The Copywriter Underground?

Kira:   So I love the monthly hot seat calls where our members have a chance to sit in the hot seat and ask a big question or get ideas or talk through a challenge in their business because we all learn from those situations. And then I also feel like the templates we include in the membership are valuable because who wants to reinvent the wheel and Rob and I end up sharing a lot of the templates and resources we use in our businesses. So I would definitely want to grab those.

Rob:   So if you were interested in joining a community of copywriters that are investing in their business and in themselves and trying to do more, get more clients, earn more money consistently, go to the copywriterunderground.com to learn more. Now back to the program.

 

Kira:   How can you make sure you’re not taken advantage of when walking into a new retainer deal and how can you make sure that you’re charging enough, especially if you’ve never worked on a retainer model before? Do you have any advice for copywriters who are new to the retainer model?

Chris:  Yes. So it’s all in the negotiation. There’s a few different ways that you can kind of structure this. Here’s the way that I started: I basically call this the ‘Buffet Model’ which I know you probably cringe when you hear this and a lot of people do, but it’s actually worked out pretty well. I call it the Buffet Model because what you do is you go to a client, and it’s very easy to close this, you say, ‘Listen, you have all this copy you need help with. I’ll help you with all of it on either a part-time or full-time basis.’ You determine how many hours you want to work per week, per month, whatever it is. And you say, ‘It’ll be ‘X’ amount.’ And it’s very easy to close that because what happens … one of the big mistakes I see with copywriters when they go to do retainer deals, is they’ll send someone a 10 page document with all these contingencies and all these different, ‘It’s this for this project’, and, ‘This for this’ and, ‘I’ll do ‘X’ amount of these per month unless you need this and we can switch it to this’, and the client looks at them like, ‘Holy crap. There’s so much going on here. I can’t even fathom all of this.’ But it’s very easy for them to be like, ‘Hey. I’m here. I’m going to write your copy, just pay me ‘X’ amount a month.’ That’s a very easy thing for a client to grasp onto.

These business owners, they don’t want to have to calculate hours or think about, ‘Oh, how many of the allotted emails did we use this month? Let me go check.’ They don’t want to do any of that stuff. So at least in the beginning, what I’ve said is, ‘Look, I’ll work ‘X’ amount of hours per week for you.’ And what’s an hour? Right? Who determines an hour? You determine an hour. You can come … I don’t sit there with a stopwatch and say, ‘Oh, I went to the bathroom and so I had to turn the clock off for two minutes’, right? There isn’t much to be thinking and some people they kind of think like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to get into some kind of an hourly arrangement or something like that because I’ll really shoot myself in the foot.’ But it’s basically saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to be available for these many hours, and you can determine whether that’s hours writing, that could be hours researching, that could be hours doing client communications. You can build all that stuff in.

How to not get taken advantage of? It’s really just about setting those terms. And even after you’ve set the terms though, it’s going to be a lot of learning because what’s going to happen is clients … It’s not a malicious thing, but what they’re going to do is they’re going to say, ‘Oh my god, we need all these things done’, they’re going to send it all to you and some writers are going to freak out and they’re going to say, ‘Oh, this is not working, this is not working and we have to end this arrangement.’ But really, all you need to do is just push back a little bit and say, ‘Hey listen, here’s what I can get done today, here’s what I can get done tomorrow. I can’t get this thing done until next week.’ And then the client will usually say, ‘Okay.’ Or they’ll say, ‘Okay, can we shift these two priorities around?’ It’s not like the work comes down the pipe and then you’re forced to do it, right? You have a say in the whole negotiation as well.

So I think it’s a little bit of setting negotiations from the beginning. I think it’s a little bit of pushing back and just training clients. Some of these clients, even if they have worked with copywriters before, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good at working with copywriters and I really think that no matter what kind of agreement you’re in, you really do have to train clients how to work with you. They don’t know how to work with you. They didn’t go to school and take a class on how to work with a copywriter, so in my mind that falls under your responsibility. If you were getting pushed around then you need to push back and stand up for yourself, which I know for a lot of writers isn’t always easy but that’s a skill that you can learn.

Rob:   Okay, I’m sold. Let’s say I want a couple of retainer clients. What is the process for getting them? What’s the pitch look like? Do I just decide who I want to work with and go after them or is there a more scientific method for figuring out who I should work with?

Chris: There’s two ways that I look at that. The first way is you go get them. The second way is they go get you. So you going and getting them is when they’re posting a job position. They say, ‘Hey, I need help. Please apply here. Please reach out to me.’ At that point, it’s kind of a 50-50 negotiation and you can go and talk to them, see what they need, see what they need help with, see if your skills match up and then start hashing out details of the deal. That process probably isn’t going to be just one conversation, it might be a few emails, it might be a few conversations. I even had one retainer job where I had to go on three interviews including an in-person interview, but it turned out to be the best retainer I’ve ever had. And I had so much freedom. You know, a lot of people, they would get freaked out about, ‘Oh, I have to go dress up and put on a nice button-down shirt and actually put pants on today and go talk to someone.’ But I view that as an awesome opportunity. It turned out really well.

The other way is to attract a retainer. So basically, if you are doing work with a client, maybe you have a one off job and you’re able to say, ‘Hey, we did your webinar, what about the rest of the emails for this funnel?’ Or, ‘What about that sales page?’ Or, ‘What about your Facebook ads? Let’s help you get more traffic.’ And if you can find more pain and demonstrate to them that, ‘Hey, we have a lot of work that we can do here to really optimize your funnel or improve your business’, then maybe they’ll say to you, ‘Okay. Hey, why don’t we just come up with an agreement?’ Or you could even pose that to them.

I guess a splinter off of this idea is basically if you’re going to be attracting clients to you, if you’re putting out content, if you’re creating e-books and lead magnets and funnels and all these things and eventually you have enough people reach out to you, some of those people will say, ‘Hey, I really like the cut of your jib, I like the stuff that you do. Maybe we could talk about having a deal.’ Or if you get someone on the phone and you see what they need, and you say to them, ‘Wow, you have a lot of stuff that you need. You have this funnel, you have this funnel, you have these launches you want to do. Why don’t we do this?’ And then you’re the one who suggests it.

Clients like that because they have so much on their plate already, they want someone who’s a subject matter expert. They want someone who can come in and basically say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go handle all these problems for you.’ Right? ‘You’re going to pay me ‘X’ amount. Here’s how it’s going to work. Here’s the result we’re going to get and here’s how we’re going, now we’re hitting our goals’, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? Clients will be impressed by that stuff. It’s just a matter of you kind of taking control.

Kira:   Are you working with retainers now?

Chris: Yeah. I have two retainer clients, well, I guess technically three, but two are bigger and one’s a little bit of a smaller deal where it’s just more consulting with not as much writing. I’m working with Jeff Walker’s team and John Assaraf’s team at Neurogym. Those are my two big retainers I got right now.

Kira:   Can you share, if you don’t mind, just how much you’re charging per retainer or even just the evolution of what you’ve charged along the way, maybe when you first got into the retainer model, what you were charging then and then how it’s changed over time, even if you just share rough numbers, it may help.

Chris:  All of my retainers have been four figures, although sometimes when I’ve done launches with certain clients that number gets bumped up into a five figure fee just because of … I’ve had clients go to me and say, ‘Hey, we have this huge launch coming up. Can we buy out more of your time?’ In which case, we’ll negotiate and bump that figure up. The first retainer I ever got was like $2500 a month. I want to say, I don’t even remember what the hours were, but it was probably like 10, 12 hours a week, but that only lasted for about six weeks and I was able to write so fast that they said, ‘Well, we kind of don’t have anything else for you to do’, so that relationship ended.

What I did with my next retainer after that was I said, ‘I want $100 an hour for 10 hours a week.’ So that was like $4,000 a month and that one lasted for a while and it worked out pretty well because I was still teaching at that time and it was nice because I almost doubled what I was making from the day job. So I couldn’t’ complain for a quarter of the work.

Kira:   So I know Rob said he’s sold. He wants a retainer tomorrow. For me, I’ve been more anti-retainer. I get some of the benefits but can you share some of the benefits and really kind of sell it to us? Like, why should I not just go project to project where I feel more in control of what I can charge and it feels like I’m charging more? And I’m probably wrong about that. What are some of the benefits of these retainers that copywriters should be aware of?

Chris:  Well, you bring up a good point because retainers are good. They’re good for certain situations for certain times in your life. Like, I don’t know if … I’m probably not going to be working retainers for the next four years of my life. It’s just, you evolve as a person, as a business owner and all of these things and as a freelancer. I know for me, bridging that gap from being an employee to being full-time copywriter, a retainer was like, hugely important. I don’t think there was any way I could have done that without a retainer. I mean, I probably could’ve been okay, but at that point I had a mortgage and I was like, ‘I want to continue to pay this mortgage so the bank doesn’t take my house, so I think I want a check coming in month after month.’

Eventually you get to a point where you say, ‘Okay, I’m ready to move on’, and you have specialties and you have repeatable, predictable and even scalable methods of client acquisition and when you have all of those pieces in place, then you can move on from those retainers. But if you don’t have all that stuff in place, it’s a little bit harder to do the going from job to job. If you’re a shark with getting clients and closing them and doing awesome deals, then yeah, you probably don’t need a retainer, but if you’re someone who just wants to put your butt in the seat and write and then be done with it at the end of the day, retainer’s probably a perfect gig for you.

I know for me personally, one of the big advantages was I’ve been able to work with a lot of different clients in a lot of different industries, e-commerce, coaching, online courses, software services, all these different kind of companies and I’ve gotten to do so many cool projects and big launches and built these crazy funnels and I don’t know if I would’ve gotten the opportunity to do that stuff unless I was on that team with a retainer. I’m sure now I probably could because I have all this experience behind me, but I know when I was starting out I don’t think I could’ve walked into one of the clients I have now and say, ‘Hey, I want to do your entire launch.’ They would have been like, ‘Who the hell are you?’ Right? And with good reason they would have said that.

I kind of think of it as like, you know how actors, they’ll toil away in obscurity doing these small parts for years and years and they finally get that one big role and then everyone knows who they are and then all these other opportunities open up? I always looked at retainers like that, where you can work for one or two or three big names in your industry and now everyone knows who are. Now it’s very easy every time you talk to a client after that and say, ‘Hey, I’ve worked with this person, this person, and here’s the launch we did, here’s the projects we did, here are the results we’ve gotten.’ At that point, these other clients are sold. It’s pretty easy to close those deals. But if you don’t have that, it’s a lot harder.

So it’s definitely not a perfect gig, and this is kind of what me and Kim had a little bit of a disagreement with because for me, I was like, ‘Hey, one of the best kind of gigs you can get is a retainer’, and when I write, I write with conviction and I don’t really stop and edit and say, ‘Oh man, I hope I’m not coming off too strong or offending anyone.’ I always write and I move on the my day and I go and write 10 emails or whatever else I have to do. So that’s kind of where she had the whole disagreement. She’s like, ‘Retainers aren’t the Holy Grail.’ And she’s right, they’re absolutely not. I mean, for me, for a large part of my life they have been because it really just changed everything for me but I don’t know if that’s everyone’s fairy tale happy ending here.

Rob:   So before we move away from money, I just sort of want to wrap my head around what’s possibly here and this isn’t going to work for everybody but with … Let’s say you have four retainer gigs, each one 10 hours a week and you’re being paid $100 an hour for each of those … I mean, this could be a six-figure business if you’ve got the right clients and if you’re really focused on helping your clients. But that’s literally writing 40 hours a week, so maybe that’s the top end. Retainers probably don’t get you to seven figures as a writer, but maybe I’m wrong about that. What do you think?

Chris:  Well, number one, I don’t know many writers who just do client work and make seven figures.

Rob:   Fair enough, yeah. And that’s maybe not even the goal for most people, for sure. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah, and that’s the one … There’s definitely people, copywriters out there who make seven figures, I just don’t think they make it all from doing client work which is totally fine. I mean, obviously at a certain point you get more leverage which is cool. But here’s the way that I look at it: when I was a teacher I was making … At my last job, I think I was making $$52 to $54,000 a year. I went in, I got that first retainer, I was making like four grand a month and I was like, ‘Man, I basically just doubled, almost doubled.’ What I make at my day job and I’m working three hours a night for this one particular client and I’m making $300 bucks and at my day job I think I made like $250-$275 working eight hours. So I was like, ‘Hmm. Okay, the math makes sense here.’

Now if you had … So a 10-hour retainer, 10 hours a week with a retainer, $100 an hour, that’s going to be $4000 a month at 40 hours a week, right? That means if you get two of those, you’re working 80 a month, 20 hours a week, and you’re making $96,000 a year. So basically you could work half time or part-time instead of full-time make $96K and you still have the 20 extra hours a week that you’re not working that you normally would be at a regular job. So that’s always the way that I looked at it. That being said, it’s kind of like that saying, ‘The skills that got you out of Egypt aren’t going to get you into the Promised Land’, right? So it’s all phases, though. It’s all, ‘Okay, we’ve accomplished one goal. We’ve broken the six-figure mark. Okay, we’ve gotten to $100,000, now how do double that end up at $200,000?’ Well, what you’re doing is going is going to have to change. You can take four retainers and then double that $96K into … what is that? $192K? I don’t know. Something like that. Yeah, almost $200K.

But you’re not going to be able to double that again and get to $400K because you’re not going to work 80 hours a week. So eventually at some point you’re going to have to say, Okay, how do we scale back and get some more leverage and close bigger deals, maybe do some one offs, maybe do an agency style thing, maybe get some royalties? It’s one of those things where it really depends on where you’re at in your career. I think it’s always good to have at least one to have steady income coming in. I would just be scared to not have any income coming in just because I like to pay my mortgage and eat and go out and not have to worry about things. Some people are okay, they can stomach going a month or two without it. Some people will never have to worry about it because they’re just so booked up that they’ve got a wait list of six months and they don’t need a retainer because they just have more and more clients who want them. It really depends.

Kira:   Yeah. And I appreciate you talking through this because I think you bring up so many great points and where this could be really valuable for copywriters. So I want to jump into … You mentioned Kim, our friend Kim Krause Schwalm … And so for anyone listening who doesn’t know the backstory, which probably most people don’t, I’d love to hear just, kind of, the conversation that took place between the two of you behind the scenes and then how that turned into working together, a partnership, and something really positive. So, if you could just kind of talk through that because I think the best part of that is, kind of, the happy ending with that story.

Rob:   Yeah, was it even a conversation? It was a cage match, right, like fight to the death?

Kira:   Yeah, tell us all the details, all the juicy detail.

Chris:  Oh man, all right, so I’ll take everyone from the beginning. So a while back, earlier this year, I said, ‘You know what? For the past five or so years I’ve just been working like a madman.’ I’ve been working; I had the day job for four years in addition to my copywriting career. So I said, ‘Okay, let me take some time.’ I could actually coast a little bit for the first time in my life. I had my retainer clients; I had a few other clients I worked with on an on-again, off-again basis. I said, ‘Let me take some time to publish some content because I’ve done some good things in these five years, and I kind of want to share what I’ve been doing.’ I’m really big on content; I’m really big on publishing articles. I’m not one of these people who likes just posting stupid stuff on Facebook because I don’t think it works very well; I know it does for some people. I just don’t particularly like it, and that’s just me. If it works for you, great. So I said, ‘I’m going to post articles and I’m going to share stuff that I’ve been doing.’

So, I started writing articles. I realized the first few of them, they might be okay or they might suck. I don’t really know. I’m just going to start writing articles until I get really, really good at them. So, I started writing articles. I said one thing I really know like the back of mind hand because I’ve done so much is all this freelancing stuff, how to get clients, how to negotiate, basically ways to get better at that. So I was like, ‘That’s easy. I’ll start writing about that stuff first.’ So, I wrote this article about how I think the whole freelance copywriting landscape is changing. What I saw is, I saw a lot of sales letters back in the day when I was getting started that said, ‘Oh, you could be a copywriter and earn $25,000 to write a sales letter, then collect five-figure royalty checks for the rest of your life, and sit on the beach in the south of France.’ I’m like, ‘Oh wow, that sounds great.’ I took that hook, line, and sinker.

Then I started getting into it, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if that’s really the case here. I don’t know if that’s really that accurate. I’ve might have got sold up the river here.’ So, I looked around more and more and just started exploring and learning a lot about the behind the scenes of a lot of these people who claim that they’re these big copywriters. They have all these big deals and life is amazing; and some of them, their lives weren’t that amazing. I was like, ‘Man, it sounds like there’s a lot of just untruth here.’ I was like, ‘I think that maybe it was that way at a certain point.’ Maybe back in the ’80s or ’90s you could have a magalog or a direct mail letter. You write it, give it to a client, mail it a million times; and then you collect royalty checks. Maybe that was the case. I don’t know. I was only born in ’89, I wasn’t writing direct mail in the ’80s. I don’t know what it’s like, you know what I mean? Maybe it was.

I have no idea, but, all I knew was my own reality. All I knew was I looked around and said, ‘Man, the people who are really crushing it.’ You know, I know I’m doing pretty well; and people that I used to look up to, I had passed. I had blew past them just putting my head down and working. I was like, ‘Man, all these people I used to look up to, they’re kind of struggling.’ I’m like, ‘Why are they struggling and I’m doing okay?’ I’m not the best in the world; I’m not saying that. I’m nowhere near, but I was just like, ‘I’m doing all right.’ I was able to leave my job and create this better life for myself, and the reason why is because I’ve gotten retainers. The more and more I looked at it is that there’s so many needs for copywriters that you need to know Facebook ads. You need to know email; you need to know how to put together a long-form piece. You need to know video scripts; you need to know YouTube ads. There’s all these different things that, really, an online business needs because people don’t just do direct mail letters. They don’t just do one thing anymore. The game has changed a little bit.

So, I saw the people who were really doing well and even from my own experience, the people who are a little more general in what they do and can do all those things. A business owner, it’s a lot more attractive for them to be like, ‘Man, I got this person that can do everything I need and via a retainer deal.’ So, I wrote about that. I wrote, you know, I think that the way the landscape is going to change is that copywriters and clients are going to work more in partnerships which is an idea that I heard from Brian Kurtz. He was the one who first kind of planted the seed. It probably wasn’t exactly the same in terms of the way that I phrased it. I will definitely admit that because he definitely phrased it a little more eloquently and has more experience than I do. In my mind, I was like, I kind of pulled on that thread a little bit. I said, ‘I think that it’s going to be a lot of retainers. Probably, the holy grail will be a retainer and a rev share.’ I said, ‘Hey, you know what? I write with conviction.’ I said, you know, I don’t know what I said. I said, ‘The holy grail of freelancing deals is retainers.’ I didn’t even think about it. I just wrote it and kind of went on with my day, and then I went on vacation.

I came back and this kid that I was coaching emailed me. He was like, ‘Oh man, you really pissed this lady off.’ I was like, ‘Oh God, what did I do now?’ So, he sends me a copy of Kim’s Copy Insiders letter. It was all screenshots of my article, and she was kind of ripping me apart. I was like, ‘Jesus Christ, what am I going to do about this.’ This A-lister, this person that I kind of looked up to, is like you know talking smack about me. I was like, ‘Man, what am I going to do?’ Then I talked to a few people about it, and they were like, ‘Just leave it. You’ve got nothing to gain,’ blah, blah, blah. I kind of looked at it and I was like, ‘I think I have everything to gain here.’ Because here’s someone who doesn’t know who I am; they’ve found something I wrote. They didn’t like it very much; they probably don’t have a very high opinion of me. This is kind of like a free roll.

When I was a wrestler, if you locked hands on top, you’re not allowed to do that, and your opponent gets points. So if you’re the guy on bottom you have a free move; we’d all yell, ‘Free move, free move.’ What that means is you’re going to get the point anyway. The ref’s going to break up the situation, but you can try to score an extra point here. So I was like, ‘This is a free move situation right here.’ Because if I do nothing, she’s still not going to think very highly of me. She’s still going to think I’m an idiot; but if I kind of punch back a little bit and show her, hey, I’m not someone to be pushed around or to mess with. I’m someone who actually knows what I’m talking about. Maybe I could flip my opinion of her.

That’s exactly what happened because I wrote an article, basically a rebuttal. I think I titled it ‘An Open Letter to the A-lister Who Just Lambasted Me,’ ‘From the Guy you Lambasted in the Last Email,’ something like that; that was the title. I didn’t even send it to her because I just knew I had enough people on my email list, enough people who knew me. I knew it would get back to her somehow. So, someone sent it to her; she shot me an email. She’s like, ‘Hey, let’s talk.’ So, I didn’t have any malice or ill will or anything. I just viewed this as, hey, I want to get this lady on the phone. Because if I wanted to get Kim Krause Schwalm on the phone, normally I’d probably have to pay a lot of money. Now, we’re talking on the phone for free. I’m not saying go start flame wars with A-listers. Please, anyone listening, don’t go out and do that.

Rob:   Yeah, great tactic.

Chris: It’s not going to work out as well. It was just kind of like the perfect storm of things, and I kind of try to think like a chess match with this stuff. So, I got her on the phone; we talked for like 75 minutes. We actually had a great talk. I was like, ‘Hey, buddy.’ She was like, ‘Hey, let’s hop on a call,’ blah, blah. So, we hopped on the call; we talked. She was like, ‘Listen, there’s just a few things I took issue with.’ I was like, ‘That’s totally fine. You let me know what you think.’ She told me, ‘I don’t think it’s the holy grail. I think you kind of exaggerate some things here.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I did. I just write these things, and I blast them out and that’s that. I move along.’ I kind of explained that to her, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I can see a few things.’ I said, ‘Yeah, you’re definitely right. I was probably wrong about a few things here. I probably embellished a few things here and there, but overall, I still think retainers are supremely important for copywriters.’ She was like, ‘Well, I think royalties are.’ She agreed. She definitely used retainers a lot in her earlier career. She doesn’t really do them anymore because of the type of deals. She’s really progressed beyond that point.

I was like, ‘Man, you know, we talked about so many good things. It’s a shame we didn’t record this.’ So I said, ‘Why don’t we do something together? Like it could be, we could do like an interview, we could do some kind of recording.’ Or I was like, ‘Maybe we could even do a product. We could just teach people how to do this stuff.’ I was like, ‘Then we’d both profit. Then all the people who, they’d get your experience; they’d get my experience.’ She works with a lot of the publishers and supplement companies and does a lot of royalty deals. I work with the entrepreneurs, e-commerce, those kind of businesses and do a lot of retainers. So, between the two of us, it’s like we have every single base covered. If you’re a freelancer and you’re not sure where you want to go, but you know you want bigger and better deals, between the two of us, we really have just an enormous wealth of experience of how to close basically any type of awesome deal as a copywriter. So we kind of joined forces, and we threw this thing together. It happened really, really quick; we wrote the sales letter in a day. We got it up. We got the text stuff; we got all hooked up. We started selling it, and that’s where we’re at. We’ve got the third call happening a little bit later today.

Rob:   Chris, we’re going to run out of time. I want to shift a little bit to talk about email, something that you’ve done a lot as part of launches and, I think, building other sequences. What are your secrets for creating email that people really want to read and that generate money for your clients?

Chris: Yeah, so my biggest secret is a very unsexy secret. I just look at every single email before I sit down to write it. I just think of two things; I think of context and objective. So, we’ll start with objective. Objective is like what are we actually trying to do with this particular email. The reason I started thinking like this was because I started working on these huge launch campaigns where we have a hundred emails, and we have ten different pages. We have all these different sequences. I started thinking, okay, we can’t sell everything in the email. We can’t sell the entire product in the email. A lot of times with email it’s kind of like playing football where you get the ball. The first thing you’re not going to do is you’re not going to chuck it down the field and throw a Hail Mary, right? Why don’t we try to run it a few yards? Why don’t we try to get a first down, right? That’s the way I look at emails.

Most of the time an email, the objective of that email is just to get them to click that link and get them to the next page. Sometimes the purpose of that email is to pre-frame them, change their mindset a little bit, so we can prepare them for what they see on the next page. But most of the time it’s get them to click, and that’s the objective. What I learned was so many of these email products that I started out with they’re stories and all this elegant copy. That’s cool and all, but then I started doing these big webinar launches. It was like, hey, that stuff’s cool; but we just need them to click the button and sign up for the webinars. So, we don’t need to write this two and a half page story to get them to do that. There definitely are cases where that’s necessary and it works. You could always test things out, different markets and all that stuff that everyone knows. But I said, ‘Okay, objective, keeping the objectives in mind is really important.’

Then context as well because a lot of times context matters. If you’re sending someone to an article you have options there, right? Based on what they’ve seen before, what they know about you, how long they’ve been on your list, all these things you determine do I need to put the whole article in the email; or do I need to just tease them and get them to click? Or same thing if it’s a webinar, or same thing if it’s a reminder email. Or same thing if it’s a hard close. If you’ve sent them 30 emails on a launch and then the carts closing in three hours, you don’t need to come up with some elegant story. You could just say ‘Okay, they’ve seen all this stuff. We just need to tell them the deadline’s in an hour, and we have three spots left. They need to click right now to join.’

Like I said, it’s very unsexy advice; but I think that when you look at sequences rather than individual emails you start to see that stuff. You start to see, okay, what is everything that’s come beforehand. Even with a basic autoresponder, if you have a ten email autoresponder, by the time you get to email nine or 10 you need to think, okay, what have they seen before. There’s three types of people who read emails. There’s people who are going to read every one of your emails. There’s people who are going to read some of your emails. And there’s going to be people who read none of your emails. So, what we do is we write emails for people who read every single one of them. Then we also include pertinent facts to the people who only read some of them, but we don’t really care about the people who will not read any of them.

Those are kind of like the lenses that I look through when I think about writing these email sequences. I know that’s kind of vague advice, and it’s not the most practical thing you can just run and use with. I kind of try to think of email sequences and campaigns from that 30,000 foot view before we get down to the nitty gritty of actually writing them out and then seeing where to put the stories and all these other things.

Kira:   I think that’s great advice. It is sexy advice because I think it’s really easy when you’re writing big sequences to get caught up in the individual emails and not think of how does this all fit together in the big puzzle. So, I love that advice. I want to ask you about your business today because I’ve been curious to know what does your business look like today? How are you making money today? I know it’s less about retainers and you’re leveraging your expertise and platform now. Can you just talk a little bit about that?

Chris: Tthe theme for this year has been like top-line revenue and diversification of income streams for me. You know it used to be just like, ‘Hey, do you want our products on retainers?’ Now we have that. We have big packages that I offer, some more product-type services. For instance, I have a lot of people come to me to do membership site launches. That’s pretty much the same project every single time, so I’m getting faster and faster at those. So, what I do is I have my retainers where I get paid month after month. I have some clients who, you know, we work every few months; we don’t necessarily do a project every single month. Then I also have an email list where I do sell some affiliate products. I only sell stuff that I’ve personally gone through. That’s just kind of like my policy. If I haven’t bought it and used it myself, I’m not going to sell it because I don’t know. That’s just the way I do things.

Then, also, I’ve done a little bit of coaching; I don’t advertise coaching. I don’t really love, necessarily, taking on coaching students; but sometimes people reach out to me. They shove money in my face, and I just take it because why would I say no, right? I’d be a bad businessman if I said no, right? I get people some pretty great results. I work on more of a one-on-one basis on them and teach them all the stuff that I did, the lessons I learned, and all that kind of stuff. So, I do that. I’m also, kind of, exploring moving into an agency model where I’m not the only person doing the work because eventually you get to a point where you just have so much work on your plate. There’s some times like right now, these past few weeks, because I’m in the middle of like four launches at a time which is absolutely insane. I know, but I’ve been working like 12 hours a day. How do you double your income from there? Well, you don’t double it by working 24 hours a day, obviously, that doesn’t make any sense.

At some point you have to figure out how to get leverage and how to bring on a team. That’s what I’ve started to do; I’ve started to bring on a team. I’ve started to surround myself with writers that I can subcontract stuff to. I’ve hired a VA who actually has a team of people. She’s more like an Operations Manager and she’s awesome, love her to death. She’s helping me kind of systematize a lot of the stuff that I’ve been doing and create these more leveraged offers. That’s kind of where my business is going right now. It’s kind of more I’m turning into an entrepreneur rather than just a freelancer which I think is something that a lot of freelancers, if you stay in the game long enough, you kind of get that itch and you want to start making yourself money. You know, you get really good at making your clients money.

Rob:   Hey, Chris, one final question for you. That is if you could go back and talk to wrestling coach Chris, school teacher Chris, who’s just trying to figure this stuff out what advice would you give him that would make this whole process easier or faster?

Chris: Good question, there’s probably so many things. One thing I would probably say is what I did wrong is I bought every book and every course. Every paycheck that I got for those first few years was going to courses, books, and every info product I could get my hands on. That was cool because now I know so many different things. No matter what a client asks me to do, I pretty much know how to do it just because I bought everything and looked at everything. But if I could start over, I would pick one specific type of project. If it’s a webinar, or if it’s a launch, or if it’s an autoresponder, or if it’s sales pages I would buy like one training. I would go through it like five to 10 times, and I would just look for clients and offer that. I would say, ‘Let me find people who need this thing.’ You know, ‘I do this thing. Let me find people who need me to do this thing and then do it for them.’ I’d do that over and over and over again until I’m ready to diversify and figure out what I want to do next.

I think that’s kind of where most people end up anyway. They start doing a lot of stuff and then they start saying, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, and I don’t want to do that anymore.’ They figure out the stuff they really like to do. Like for me, I started doing everything. I was doing VS sales, video scripts, explainers, short sales page, and just so many different kinds of projects. Then I was like, ‘I really just like writing emails.’ Then eventually, I started saying, ‘Well, people keep asking me for launches,’ so I just started doing launches. That’s kind of, just mainly, what I do now with most of my clients; and that’s probably what I’ll continue to do. I think if you can figure out something you really like or something that really speaks to you, one specific type of project, it just helps you streamline your focus and helps you get to the money a little bit quicker.

Kira:   Yeah, I love that advice. I feel like we need to bring you back for part two because I want to talk about launches, leverage, going from freelancer to entrepreneur, and kind of where you are now; So, I think we need to bring you back. In six months come back, and we’ll talk about all of that. In the meantime, if someone wants to find you, reach out to you, where can they go?

Chris: You can go to my website theemailcopywriter.com. You can sign up for my list; right now I have a course. For anyone listening to this, I have a course about how to get your first four-figure retainer. It’s a seven-day email course. That might change though; it might not be around forever. I might be testing out different lead magnets; so if you’re listening and want it, make sure you grab it right now.

Rob:   Thanks, Chris.

Kira:   All right, thank you, Chris, so much. This was great.

Chris: Thank you, guys, appreciate it.

You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for this show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive, available at iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing at iTunes and by leaving your review. For show notes, a full transcript, and links to our free Facebook community visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.

 

 

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