Copywriting secret of the masters the next $100-million secret - john forde


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Copywriting secret of the masters the next $100-million secret - john forde

  1. 1. Copywriting Secret of the Masters: The Next $100-Million Secret by: John Forde
  2. 2. The Next $100-Million SecretHow do you solve problems?It can’t be done, said American tycoon J.P. Morgan, without reducing thechallenge to its simplest form.If you know stock market history, you know that Morgan solved a lot of bigproblems in his day.Twice, he rescued the entire U.S. economy. He helped build the railroads andBig Steel.And he managed to build, in today’s terms, one of America’s first billionairefortunes.What would Morgan have said about the three hours I spent recently, asMichael Masterson laid down the details of another simple truth?I suspect he would have approved.See, it’s been a little over a week since I got back from AWAI’s Annual FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp. I was there as both a speaker andan attendee.I got to deliver a few secrets of my own. I took away plenty more. And whatwas striking about the best of it was that one thread that ran througheverything…That the smartest things you’ll do, in a copywriting career or in anything, areoften profoundly simple. Even obvious, if you’re paying attention closely.One of the simplest was something Michael calls the ―mini-review.‖ It hasonly two steps. Three, if you’re pushing it.Yet I think I can make an educated guess when I say that, properly applied,this one new technique could easily bring in about $100 million in sales forthe company that’s already using it, under Michael’s guidance.To hit that target might take about three years. Maybe two. Or less, if it’sapplied diligently.What could I be talking about?How the Mini-Review Works
  3. 3. Let’s start with the background.Writing copy, like many things, is part nature, part nurture. That is, it’scertainly possible that you’re born with at least a little of what it takes tobecome successful. But, just as much, there’s plenty you can do to polishthose skills.And it’s the polish that makes all the difference.Trouble is, getting good enough at anything takes time. How long? AsMichael’s observed in the past, you don’t master anything without at leastapproximately 1,000 hours of practice under your belt.With a strong mentor, you might cut that time by half. But 500 hours of hardwork still aren’t small potatoes.We start. We stop. We forget to get going again. Sticking to theaccumulation of experience isn’t something that’s going to happen for youaccidentally.So what Michael simply did, as it applies to writing ground-breaking copy,was systematize the process.And that’s the secret of the ―mini-review.‖Every day, you write. You start in the morning with a single piece of copy.Just the headline and the lead. Maybe 50-100 words, tops.It shouldn’t take you long. In fact, the less time the better. Maybe 20-30minutes total.And then, here’s the key: you send it.Email it to a regular review group of five or six people who you trust –preferably those who know something about selling, marketing, and theproduct you’re talking about – to get a ―grade‖ on how they received it.That’s it. No long analysis. Just numbers, from 1 through 4, with the highernumber meaning a more powerful impact on the reader.So how on earth could something so basic be worth $100 million? It’s new,so the jury will have to wait to see.But I believe it’s going to happen for three reasons. First, because I’ve seensomething nearly like it – Michael’s ―peer review‖ – already pay off twice aslarge as what I’m estimating.
  4. 4. The ―peer review,‖ which you know if you’ve been reading The GoldenThreador following AWAI’s teachings for long, is a way to get gut-reaction feedbackand suggestions on any piece of copy.At least one of the companies using the peer review extensively happens tobe a company I also work with regularly. And so far we’ve seen, just byadding this simple tool to the copy production process, cumulative resultseasily in excess of $200 million so far. And climbing.The ―mini-review‖ process is even simpler. It takes just five minutes to dothe copy evaluations. But what it adds is a second reason to predict a bigpayoff: quantity.See, because using the ―mini-review‖ effectively means making it a dailyhabit, you and the other participants are forced to keep revisiting whatmakes great copy work. And on a regular, frequent basis.Anyone who exercises or who has tried to learn, say, how to play the guitaror a piano, knows how this works.If you were to put in 10 hours in a single day doing pushups and skippingrope… or practicing scales… what value would that have if you only did thisonce every few weeks? Not much.But do those same things for 15 minutes a day, every day, and what a talentyou’ll have. And in very little time, by comparison. Practice does makeperfect. But frequent, short bursts of practice have a lot more value thaninfrequent, long, and laborious ones.Thirdly, I predict huge success for the ―mini-review‖ process simply becauseit focuses directly and immediately on measuring quality.Every ―mini-review‖ session leaves you with an instant ―score‖ on how wellyour writing was received. A gut reaction, but quantified in a number.When we tested the process during our three-hour demonstration session,we had two writing sessions with six writers each.
  5. 5. In other words, in about an hour, we were able to create and review 12pieces of copy – each with a headline and lead.That was at my table alone. And there were approximately 300 writers in theroom, all using this tool for the first time.What was amazing was that, when we compared the scores each of these300+ writers got after just two rounds of ―mini-reviews‖… by vast majority,the scores were higher in the second round.That means just by being evaluated once, the writers had a qualitybenchmark to beat. A measure they knew they had to beat, along with someidea – and a lot of determination – on how to beat it.When you use the ―mini-review‖ daily, you get the same benefit. Each daythat you follow the process, you’re competing with yourself and the otherscores in your review group. Each day, you’ll have yesterday’s score as yourbenchmark. It’s a practically painless way to sharpen your writing instincts.Like J.P Morgan said at the start of this article, the greatest problems areoften solved simply.“The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form,‖ he oncesaid, ―is an essential element in thinking.‖
  6. 6. John Forde:A Master at WritingMore Controls More Often"If you write copy … how many chances to sell your talents to the businessesyou know and trust have you overlooked? Company websites … local salesbrochures … online ads and sales letters … print ads in local papers … evenP.R. pieces or ezine editorial.It might be the small gigs that get you started. It might be the bigopportunities that let you smack the cover off the ball at your first at bat.Either way, I’ve met plenty of people who had no grasp about what rolecopywriters play.Masterson’s [Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting] offers themost thorough and well-organized approach to the subject I’ve seenanywhere. There’s not a technique or secret in there that I haven’t foundhelpful over the years. I owe a great deal of my own success to MikeMasterson. And I tell him so regularly. As for the program, I’d recommend itto anybody – not just direct-mail copywriters, but anyone who’s trying to geta grip on what makes marketing work."— John FordeJOHN FORDE has been writing winning controls for going on two decadesnow. He’s made untold millions for clients in the financial, health, and travelindustries. John also works as a copy coach, hosting intense seminars fortwo or three hundred marketers and copywriters at a time.John Forde also writes the successful and very useful eletter, TheCopywriter’s Roundtable.