My 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.