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My Top 3 Takeaways from the Web Copy Intensive

My Top 3 Takeaways from the Web Copy Intensive

February 26, 2015 | By Steve Maurer | 18 Comments

My Top 3 Takeaways from the Web Copy IntensiveMy goal was to share my biggest takeaways from the Web Copy Intensive. No problem. I knew the speakers were top industry experts. I read the agenda. I studied the pre-event material. This was going to be a walk in the park. And I flew off to Austin, self-assured.

Well, that changed after the first meeting.

Starting with the session on website audits, I realized this event was different. I panicked. What if every session was this good? Well, every session was that good.

I was doomed!

It would be easy to pick three random topics — say, the top three sessions from my perspective — and write a good article. But …

I didn’t want to write a good article.

It had to be an article worth scribing digital ink onto electronic parchment. And … it had to be an article worthy of your time investment to read.

It was on the plane headed home — deprived of my beloved laptop — when the light bulb turned on and the three takeaways revealed themselves. It was then that I understood the real objective of the Web Intensive.

The outline for this article was born.

Here’s our itinerary:

  • The Mechanics — discovering all the moving parts
  • The Methodology — molding those parts into a cohesive, viable business plan
  • The Momentum — getting to “Go” and the Quantum Leap

Please place your seat backs and tray tables in the upright, locked position. It’s time for takeoff.

First stop — your service offerings.

The Mechanics

We were exposed to a different copywriting or web service in every session. While I had done some of them before, it didn’t take long to realize I was leaving money on the table.

I’ve written a lot of content marketing articles and web page copy. But email copy, website audit consultations, and SEO were somewhat mysterious. Experts Jay White, Pam Foster, and Heather Lloyd-Martin made these topics easy to understand. Other services I had dabbled in became skills I needed to hone and promote.

(It would be impossible to explain each of the services here and do them justice. To get more in-depth information, grab a copy of the Web Copy Intensive Home Study Program. I’ll be going over it time and again as a refresher.)

In all, seven different services and/or web copy formats were discussed in-depth. So the first big takeaway is that there are many services from which to choose. And many, if not all of them can be packaged into a very lucrative bundle. But even concentrating on one or two can be very profitable.

Supporting these topics was another set of instructions. Instructions that could turn these product and service offerings into a moneymaking machine.

That brings us to our next stop — your business blueprint.

The Methodology

Every successful enterprise begins with a solid, workable plan.

A prosperous web copy business is no different. Every night, Joshua Boswell gave us another piece of the puzzle until — by the end of the event — we had a workable business plan. It started with choosing a niche. He didn’t just hand us a sheet of paper with a list of top niches on it. He didn’t just tell us to look them over and choose one when we got home.

Oh, no.

It was, “Here’s a list of top niches. You have two minutes to pick one.” Now, it wasn’t that the niche couldn’t change later. But the exercise forced us to make a decision. Choosing a niche is where many writers get sidetracked. They agonize over it, never selecting one. After asking us what we thought a niche was, Joshua made an important clarification. “A niche,” he said, “is a group of people you can and will contact.”

Point taken.

Then we were given a paper with a list of services we could provide. Immediately, we circled the ones we wanted to offer. We put a check beside those we were already familiar with and a star beside those we wanted to explore further.

In a column beside those services were standard industry fee ranges. If we weren’t comfortable with the ranges, we could lower them by 20%, but no more.

By the end of the first session, we had a niche, a schedule of services to offer, and the monetary investment our clients would pay for them. The foundation of a real business plan.

In the days to follow, Joshua led us in fleshing out our plans, from getting a list to contacting our prospects and marketing our businesses.

The big takeaway here? Start and complete a workable business plan.

That brings us to our final destination — getting it done.

The Momentum

Getting to “Go” and the Quantum Leap.

That phrase was a marker in my outline to remind me of the topic. But, you know what … I think I’ll leave it there. It’s more than just a memory-jogger.

It’s a mantra.

You can learn all you want about the various services. You can pick a niche, decide on your fees, and even develop a top-notch business plan.

But if you never get to “Go,” that’s all you have — a plan. There’s no money in just having a plan. To have a viable, profitable business, you’ve got to put it in play.

To overcome inertia and gain momentum, you must take small, consistent action steps every day. Without fail. If you haven’t read the book, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, you should. Not only will it grow your business, it can transform your life as well.

So, what about this Quantum Leap thing?

We were introduced to “Quantum Leap” during the week’s sessions.

Picture a huge deflated balloon, covering your kitchen table. You pick up the nozzle end and begin to blow. At first, it seems to have little effect. But as you consistently blow small puffs of air into the balloon, it begins to expand. Before long, it takes on the familiar round shape.

That’s momentum.

Continue inflating the balloon and it expands, growing larger and larger. Finally, it reaches critical mass and explodes!

That … is Quantum Leap.

Your business may grow slowly at first, barely noticeable. But consistent action can and will make it explode.

A Fourth and Bonus Takeaway — Membership

I’ve mentioned the Home Study Program and it’s a good investment. However, there’s one final takeaway you probably won’t see, but can duplicate.

At the Farewell Toast celebration, we laughed and chatted and had a great time. But as I looked around, sipping my drink, I noticed something.

And smiled.

Here and there were little pockets of writers, talking excitedly to each other. I knew what was going on … I’d been there. They were sharing their ideas and hopes and dreams, promising to stay in touch.

As if by instinct, they were forming accountability groups.

I know this. I’m a member of a great group myself. You can work alone, in a vacuum. But you may soon “run out of air.” An accountability group keeps you inflated. Find one … quickly. We humans are social creatures. Partner up!

The Mechanics. The Methodology. The Momentum. And Membership. Take these ideas away; make them yours. Then tell me about your great success in the comments below … I can’t wait to hear about your Quantum Leap.

About the Author

Steve Maurer

Latest in B2B Copywriting

18 Comments

  • You certainly have succeeded in relaying the essence, the heart and soul of what the Web Intensive was like for you and made it real for me. I regret not being there and now even more so since you brought the message home. Thanks for sharing your insights and making an impression on this would-be copywriter.

    • Donna, so glad you enjoyed it. Don’t think of yourself as a would-be copywriter. You’re a will be copywriter. Make it happen!

  • Donna, so glad you enjoyed it. Don’t think of yourself as a would-be copywriter. You’re a will be copywriter. Make it happen!

  • Great piece, Steve. Thanks for inspiring those of us who couldn’t make it to the event. I wonder if you’d be willing to share some further thoughts on how someone may find, join, or start an accountability group? For those who weren’t in that crowd to schmooze, er, network face-to-face? 😉

    • Hi, Everett.
      Thank you, sir.
      It was actually after Boot Camp and before the WCI that I got involved with my accountability group. Find some writers that you can relate to, even if they don’t write in the same field as you.

      A group with varying niches, levels of expertise and locales can be very beneficial. Everyone learns. You’ve got some folks in the Facebook groups that could make great team members.

      We do review each other’s work, help with setting (and staying on) our goals. My greatest recommendation is that if you are going to review each other’s copywriting, please follow the peer review process outlined by Michael Masterson (Mark Ford) that is available on the AWAI website. This keeps reviews positive, making the copy stronger.
      Wishing you the very best, my friend!

  • Hi Steve!
    This is a GREAT article. You really nailed the 3 take-aways – with the bonus “Membership” one 🙂
    I came home totally exhausted… my brain climbed Mount Everest while I was sitting in that classroom for 3 days. I am still on a high from the great content that was shared and the networking opportunities and the amount of tools I am implementing now to get everything going.
    Thanks for sharing with everyone. Hopefully you will inspire others to go through the materials and benefit from it as well, and/or confirm to those who were hesitating the great value of this event for next year.

    • Thank you so much, Louise.
      It was a great experience for me as well. I totally understand your “Mount Everest” experience. Get those tools that Joshua gave us filled out, if you haven’t already (I’m sure you have, though).

      We should be getting everyone’s email address that was there very soon. Make sure that if you hit a little valley that you email a friend for support.

      Don’t forget the live Facebook chat with Joshua on March 6 at 1:00 pm Eastern. It will be fantastic!
      Success to you, Louse! Success.

  • Thank you so much for your comments. I definitely enjoyed reading them. I am a newbie to copywriting, but I have a lot of business experience. I’m hoping that I can rev myself up also. But I know persistence pays, and that’s all you need to get it done.

    • Gary,
      You have a lot going for you with your business experience. Hang around here, on our Facebook pages and if you have a LinkedIn profile, we have groups there too.

      You won’t be lacking for support. Take advantage of it!

      Persist, my friend. Persist!

  • Great article Steve! This is a good summary for an action plan. Sorry I couldn’t be at the Intensive, but I’m going to check out my home copy!

    • Thank you, Donna K.
      You’ll love the home study. It’s starting to get posted now. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re moving in the “write” direction.

      I missed my first Boot Camp. Couldn’t see how I could get there. But as time went on and I grew, as did my business, I was able to go to the events. It’s a process. Do what you can, when you can. As you grow, you’ll be able to do more and more. It’s better to take small, consistent steps than try to leap tall buildings with a single bound!

      You’re working and growing. Proud of you!

  • Hi Steve,

    Great article! Thought I’d let you know that it’s not only people named Donna who enjoyed it:)

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to write out some of your thoughts for those of us who couldn’t be there.
    Cecelia

    • Cecilia,
      So nice to see you here!
      You’re very welcome…and thanks for the kind comments.

      Looking forward to watching your business grow!
      Do keep in touch, OK?
      Steve

  • The vellum of my monitor savors every pixel of your digital ink here. Wish I could have been there 🙂 Sounds even better than the wonderful experience I had when I went — And I especially like the way you explained the Quantum Leap, which illness is slowing down for me. But you’ve encouraged me to keep putting in my tiny puff daily… I WILL keep on. Thank you for a great article!

  • OK Steve. You asked to hear about my Quantum Leap and here it is:

    I am puffing a bit of air in the large, deflated balloon which has taken over my kitchen table ALMOST
    every day. Sometimes there’s a day off ‘cuz I’m too tired from my day job!!

    What do I see? I’ve completed Steve Slaunwhite’s B2B Companion Series (where I met you) and I am
    almost finished with the flagship B2C Accelerated Program. Gearing up for Bob Bly’s “Getting Clients”
    weekend.

    It’s all a Quantum Leap for me. But I’m more of a baby stepper… Slow, steady progress.
    Really enjoyed your article and am so happy to see you moving forward in your writing. Yes, we do need
    our fellow humans for support. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Melanie

    • Melanie,
      Thank you so much for sharing! I totally understand the day off now and then. I get that way too sometimes.

      I think you have the right idea and attitude. It’s easy to want it all to happen immediately and even easier to feel dejected when it doesn’t. Your phrase – Slow, steady progress – is a great attitude. It would make a great mantra as well.

      I look at it this way. Sometimes I’m driving along the highway, immersed in my thoughts. I look around and suddenly realize I’m farther down the road than I thought! It’s kind of scary good. I’ve made progress toward my destination and didn’t even know it!

      Baby steps are good, very good. Some child development experts tell us that the little ones grow up more balanced when they complete all the steps that lead to running: the rolling over, the scooting along, the crawling on all fours. Then, the first tottering steps and finally learning to walk and jump and run.

      I am so proud to hear that one of my fellow classmates is making steady progress. One day, before you realize it, you’ll look up and find that you’re at your destination.

      Thanks for sharing! Your words are encouraging to me as well.
      Steve

  • Miss Anne, my dear friend.

    (Love your vellum comment!)

    Thank you so very much. You are a great lady! Thank you for your comment on the balloon analogy. It just “popped” into my mind while I was watching some kiddos at play.

    Keep on keeping on, M’lady. You are an inspiration to me.
    And say, is that young lady, also named Boyes, of your lineage? I’ve been reading her work and am impressed.

    I’m so glad we connected a while back. You are truly a gem.

    Steve

  • Great article Steve!

    I can’t wait to attend my first awai bootcamp, and WCI intensive. I’m about halfway through the six figure copywriting course. I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on the health and fitness industry niche, web copywriting, and B2B.

    I’m a personal trainer and part owner of a mobile marketing company. I also have experience in direct mail marketing. I’m currently working on a report that’s the second step in a sales funnel I’m putting together, using Facebook as the traffic source.

    The report will help small businesses learn how to use text message marketing and direct mail to make huge profits, without going broke in the process.

    Basically this blueprint will help small businesses take back local market share, from the huge corporations that currently dominate the local landscape.

    Anyway!

    Glad to be here learning this amazing craft.

    Keir

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