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Live Blog from the 2016 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp

Live Blog from the 2016 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp

September 30, 2016 | By Charlotte S Hicks | No Comments

Live Blog from the 2015 AWAI Copywriting BootcampDate: October 19-22 2016
Real-time all day!
 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp Live Blog
Top Copywriting Experts

Each year, the AWAI Fast Track to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair brings together the top copywriting and marketing experts in the world.  And we’re on the ground in Delray Beach, Florida to give you a peek inside the event with special updates and commentary just for B2B copywriters.

In this live blog, you’ll have a window into the world of Bootcamp — in real time.  You’ll get tips and strategies by master copywriters such as Joshua Boswell, Alexander Green, Brian Kurtz, Dan Kennedy, Nick Usborne, Ben Settle, Carline Anglade-Cole, Steve Slaunwhite, Ilise Benun, Clayton Makepeace, and more!

Here’s just some of what the experts will reveal:

  • How My 4 Kids Taught Me to Write Kick-Butt Copy
  • The Fundamentals of Marketing Success: Lessons from the Legends
  • The Rogue’s Secret Gallery for Writing Emails People Look Forward to Reading and Buying From
  • How We Bounce: Finding the Right Path During Times of Abundance
  • Marketing for Introverts
  • Pricing Your Services Accurately and Talking Money with Confidence
  • The Fun and Lucrative World of B2B Content
  • 41 Million-Dollar Marketing Lessons
  • The Millionaire Writer: Five Gold Keys to Income, Freedom, and Your Writer’s Life as an Independent Freelancer

The live blog kicks off Wednesday, October 19 with the evening session featuring Alexander Green of The Oxford Club.

Don’t miss this fun and fascinating live blog!

Platinum members: Be sure to log in to get your special members-only updates.

Welcome! We’re just about ready to kick off the 2016 AWAI Bootcamp. Lots of smiling faces!

Wednesday 5:33 p.m.

Joshua Boswell has taken the stage to introduce Katie Yeakle. The room is filled with excited copywriters!

Katie: Bootcamp is where careers take off.

There are so many success stories that have come out of Bootcamp. And so many people who are living a richer, fuller life thanks to copywriting.

There are 42 companies with 65 marketers attending Job Fair looking for writers this year!

The theme of this year’s Bootcamp is Better Faster Richer!

Katie introduces Alexander Green, our  Keynote speaker, a long-time friend and colleague.

Alex says he can’t get enough quality copywriters. It’s truly a valuable skill.

Think clearly, write plainly, argue persuasively in order to be a good copywriter.

There are 5 possible objections to any sale:

  1. No need
  2. No desire
  3. No urgency
  4. No trust
  5. No money

As a copywriter, you need to counter all of these objections up front. When you do, you open the door to a sale.

Alex is giving us a list of things a top copywriter must do:

  • Write! He recommends 1500 words every day.
  • Check your ego.
  • Have to get sold before you start writing
  • Strive for perfect pitch – a balance between credibility and excitement
  • Use your delete key – don’t be afraid to edit
  • Writing is really the art of rewriting
  • As you do research, collect bullet points you’ll use in your copy
  • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
  • You want to read the Elements of Style by Strunk and White
  • Get up in the morning and start writing right away
  • Uni-task – focus on your writing and nothing else when you’re writing
  • Don’t tell about the product, show them. Let the facts speak for themselves.

It’s been a fascinating presentation that surely inspired everyone here.

We’re wrapping up now and will be breaking for the networking cocktail hour and dinner. I’ll be back in the morning at 8:00 am!

Thursday 8:16 a.m.

Joshua had the attendees do an exercise to better define their ideal prospect. If you haven’t done that yet, take the time to write down exactly who your best prospect is.

Now, Carlene Anglade-Cole is talking to us about how her copywriting projects are like her pregnancies. Not to worry – this applies to the men too!

When you land a project, often it’s a bit scary – especially if it’s something you haven’t done before. That’s normal! Embrace the fear.

Next you need to research, research, research! Don’t short-cut this phase. It’s like the first trimester when you’re not showing but things are definitely happening!

Then,  you’re in your groove. You’re putting all your ideas into writing. Next, you edit your copy to make it shine.

Carline often delivers her copy before the deadline because she makes sure she commits to a time frame that will allow her to do her best and handle any unexpected demands on her time.

Name-dropping is good practice in your copy. Whenever you have a chance to add a credible source, use it!

And don’t neglect testimonials!

Special update for our Platinum members:

This article is reserved content for B2B Writing Success premium members. To continue reading this article please log in or become a member today.

Carlene sums up her writing tip: your copy should answer skepticism, tell a story, direct the prospect to the sale, and energize your copy with humor and wit.

9:17 a.m.

Jen Adams is sharing her story and her strategies for success:

  • Live according to your priorities
  • Avoid the “comparison coma” – don’t compare yourself to others
  • Embrace the twists – the road to success isn’t a straight line!

And a bonus tip: Celebrate your success!

9:40 a.m.

Next up is one of my favorite marketers – Brian Kurtz. (If you’re not getting his weekly emails you should go to and sign up – they are golden!)

His topic is Lessons from the Legends


Facebook didn’t invent everything

Picasso had a quote “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Your list is critical to the success of your promo – be sure it’s a good one!

You may have heard the 40/40/20 rule:

  • 40% list
  • 40% offer
  • 20% copy

Some now say online there’s a new rule.

The online 25/25/25/25 rule

  • 25% list
  • 25% offer
  • 25% copy
  • 25% technology

Brian thinks 25% in technology is nuts! Advertising opportunities are now infinite.

Brian has written a book with Craig Simpson, “The Advertising Solution”- get it!

He lists his “Mad Men”:

  • Gary Halbert
  • Claude Hopkins (book: Scientific Advertising)
  • Gene Schwartz (book: Breakthrough Advertising)
  • David Ogilvy (introduced the concept of the Big Idea)
  • Robert Collier
  • John Caples

Brian is reviewing the 7 characteristics of an A-list copywriter, tying them to these six legends. Here are a couple of the insights he shared:

“The number one rule of success in anything – marketing, football, chess, etc. – is work.” (Gene Schwartz)

“Success is the sum of small effects, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier

10:56 a.m.

It’s Ben Settle time. I’ve learned so much about email marketing from him. (Full disclosure: I’m a subscriber to his Email Players newsletter.)

Today, he’s telling us how to write emails people look forward to reading and buying from.

He calls it “the secret of the rogues gallery.”

The real reason Disney movies make so much money… is the VILLIAN! The more sinister the villain, the more money they make.

Having a villain turns your copywriting services into client “catnip.”

Some villains you can use:

  • The physical pain villain
  • The insecurity villain
  • The emotional pain villain

There are more of course, and Ben is telling us how to use all of them to write more powerful email copy.

Join us after lunch for Nick Usborne on finding the right path in times of abundance. (I’m curious what that means too!)

2:28 p.m.

We’re in a period of abundance  now. But with abundance comes competition.

Digital advertising has grown to $20.7 billion (a 66% increase). Social media grew 55%. That means lots of opportunity.

Today, has over 20 million freelancers registered! That’s an indication of the shift in our economy toward a freelancer model instead of an employee model.

Nick encouraged us to bounce and find our gap. You won’t find it sitting around – you have to put yourself in a disruptive state of mind to see it. When you find your gap – it’s your niche. It’s where you’ll love the work you do, and excel at it.

His advice is to:

Find your Message

Love your Message

Sell your Message

One of the things you MUST do is to create a great website. NO EXCUSES!

Nick gave us the example of the watches.

#1 is a Patek Philippe valued at $3.6 million

#2 is a Rolex Submariner valued at $8,195

#3 is a Casio valued at $9.57

Which is the best watch?

Believe it or not, it’s the Casio. But the Patik Philippe has the highest perception of value. That’s what you want to do – create a perception of high value.

Next up is Marcia Yudkin.

3:24 p.m.

Marcia Yudkin is talking on marketing for introverts.

4 tendencies of introverts that impact their marketing

  1. Large vs Small groups
  2. Small talk vs focused, purposeful conversation
  3. Spontaneous interaction vs. Designated role
  4. Everything public vs. zone of privacy

An introvert is more likely to control their environment. For example, Marcia has a sign-up sheet for people to come and talk with her 1-on-1 instead of trying to talk with someone while standing in the loud crowded hallway.

Some of the introvert-friendly marketing methods include

  • direct mail
  • YouTube videos
  • content-rich website

For a free e-book on marketing for introverts, go to:

Our next presenter is Ilise Benun on Pricing your services. Her presentation will be a special update for Platinum Members so be sure you’re logged in to see your member-only information.

This article is reserved content for B2B Writing Success premium members. To continue reading this article please log in or become a member today.

 Friday 8:42 a.m.

Good morning from the AWAI Bootcamp!

In just a few minutes, we’ll have B2B copywriter Steve Maurer in the member spotlight followed by Steve Slaunwhite giving a presentation on B2B copywriting. We’ll be all over that one!

Steve Maurer said he’s giving us a break from awesomeness. (Not really!)

He took three steps to go from making $4.95 per article to now where he’s landing clients as an industrial B2B copywriter.

  1. Decided to build a copywriting business
  2. He Defined his writer’s life – how he wanted to live
  3. Developed his niche expertise and copywriting skills

Steve encouraged anyone who set goals and missed them. He assured us it’s okay, you just move them out to a new goal. He said, “I’ve made more money missing goals than anything else!”

He also advised us to write every day. Although he didn’t enjoy doing it at first, it’s paid off for him.

As Steve said, “Don’t wait – just get it done!”

Well said!!!!

9:09 a.m.

Time for Steve Slaunwhite!

We start out with an example headline for a bookkeeping business: Bookkeeping sucks. We just make it suck less.

In B2B copywriting hype isn’t persuasive – they want facts. That doesn’t mean they don’t have emotions and that you don’t write copy that stirs their emotions – you just don’t make inflated, unbelievable statements.

B2B includes businesses that sell to other businesses, associations, non-profits, and professionals.

Some examples of the types of companies  you’ll sell to are:

  • sales training firm
  • equipment manufacturer
  • software and SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • publisher
  • association
  • and dozens of others!

You might write sell sheets, email campaigns, white papers, case studies, articles, web pages, and so much more. B2B marketers produce a LOT of marketing copy and content.

There are over 200,000 potential clients – wow!

One client can give you a LOT of business! With 4 or 5 clients, you could have all the income you need.

In the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing report three of the top four challenges B2B marketers face can be solved with writers. Nice!

If you have industry knowledge – it is golden. You have immediate credibility with companies in that niche.

Steve says we’re in a renaissance right now with B2B websites. Many companies are updating their websites to be more current, capture more leads, and attract more prospects.

Case studies are a fun B2B project where you get to tell the success story of a client.

There are some definite differences selling to business people:

  • buy for both personal reasons and business reasons
  • less hype
  • specialized knowledge
  • they are very concerned about professional embarrassment

Special member-only update:

This article is reserved content for B2B Writing Success premium members. To continue reading this article please log in or become a member today.

So, how do you get started as a B2B copywriter?

  1. Decide to become a good B2B copywriter
  2. Learn how to write the various project types
  3. Improve your ability to identify, connect with, and land good clients
  4. Leverage your industry knowledge

But most of all… Just DO it!

Next, Clayton Makepeace is up with $41 million marketing lessons he learned this year.

10:25 a.m.

Clayton recommends that you learn how to write collateral copy (order pages, shopping cart copy, etc.) before trying to compete with A-list copywriters for the sales letter.

There are nine words to add to any sales page to make response jump: “You’ll have plenty of time to review your order.” Amazon was the one to discover the power of this phrase.

A simple change you can make to a video sales letter to boost response is to move the buy button to earlier in the video. Must present the offer before you put the button on there.

A special member-only update:

This article is reserved content for B2B Writing Success premium members. To continue reading this article please log in or become a member today.

Clayton says if you do nothing else do these two things:

1. Answer the question, “What must my prospect believe to make this purchase mandatory?”

2. What do I have to say/prove to make him believe those things?

Answer those two questions and you’ll have much more success. B2B writers: this is golden for your lead-gen pieces!

Car wash company secret – on the card with 10 punches to a free wash, punch the first three so they are closer to their goal. How can you get them closer to their goal in your copy?

Remember in your copy, you can’t go down the fear road unless you have credible hope.

 Saturday 7:09 a.m.

Good morning! Coming to you early today since our niche session includes B2B’ers Casey Demchak and Steve Maurer.

Casey kicks us off talking about his Key Message Copy Platform (he’s branded them as Core Message PlatformsTM). Casey says he has stumbled into the niches he’s worked in. He likes having a bit of variety in his work, not solely focused on one niche.

Steve Maurer has branded himself as an industrial B2B copywriter. He sees lots of demand for white paper, case studies, web copy, and editorial content. He says B2B companies have deep pockets.

Pam Foster also does B2B – in the pet care market. Pam says the opportunities are endless in her niche. She explains choosing a niche doesn’t limit you – there are so many companies who need copywriting help.

How can you get started?

Casey says you can start as a staff copywriter for a business, or start on your own. Heather Robson recommends getting in front of clients face to face. Steve Maurer has had great success connecting with B2B clients on LinkedIn.

If you don’t have past clients yet, it’s okay to use something you’ve written during a copywriting program. Steve pointed out that your website and LinkedIn profile are also examples of your writing skills.

8:10 a.m.

Time for Dan Kennedy – one of the biggest influences in my life.

His topic is the Five Gold Keys to Income, Freedom,  and Your Writer’s Life.

Dan says the only point of marketing is to get a response. It’s all about making money, or it should be.

Early on, Dan learned the power of specialization. Specialists make more than generalists. Working in a niche is beneficial too.

He also talks about whale hunting – looking for the big client in a room.

Dan doesn’t do overt prospecting to get a client. Instead, he uses his expert positioning to attract clients through what he calls a “feeder system”.

Key #1: Knowing what WON’T get you to top income.

The writers he knows are motivated by the craft itself. Certainly, he has preferences and the more he knows about a topic the less time he has to spend in research. But to make the maximum amount of money, you sometime have to write about things that aren’t your passion.

As Dan talks, I realize what he loves is solving the selling problem. That’s a good passion to have.

Don’t wait until you grow your capability until you grow your income. Start positioning yourself now. If you can help a client at all – you’re helping! Be a strategic advisor in addition to your copywriting.

Ultimately, your marketing determines your income.

Save this quote: “The collection of money moves as a result of sequential commitments.”

The sooner your start the sequential commitments, the better. (Don’t work for free!) 

12:47 p.m.

I’m back! I’ve had to slip in and out to record some videos you’ll see later so I’ll fill in some of the missing spots later.

Coming up we’ll have the annual awards including spec challenge awards, the 10K challenge award winner and the Copywriter of the Year award. Stay tuned!

1:19 p.m.

Okay, we’re getting started!

First, we’re watching a tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis who passed away recently.

Pam Foster has started the fun awards:

Chris Allsop got an award for attending 10 Bootcamps!

The Best Night Owl award goes to Gary Wright.

Most enthusiasic goes to Pauline Longdon and Rae Brent from Australia.

Best dance moves award – Yolanda Allen from San Antonio

Now for the spec challenge award winners!

  • Rachel Kraft
  • Candace Lazar
  • Jeremy Rasmussen
  • Mark Schmedthorst
  • Faye Walker
  • Stephen Knox (for his B2B Writing Success submission!)

Now for our Copywriter of the Year! Steve Slaunwhite!!!!!!!

And the last award… our 10K Challenge Winner… Jon Stoltzfus, author of our Project Management Roadmap to Success!

2:02 p.m.

We’re wrapping up Bootcamp with motivation from Ted Capshaw.

He has one question we should ask ourselves after we’re home from Bootcamp:

“What would a great copywriter do?”

If you do, four things will happen:

  1. Your emotions will subside and you will make better decisions
  2. You’ll have time for your family and those who matter most to you
  3. It will reveal your weaknesses
  4. It will help you go beyond your comfort zone

Now is the time to pursue your dream.

This article is reserved content for B2B Writing Success premium members. To continue reading this article please log in or become a member today.




































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Charlotte S Hicks

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