2017 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp Live Blog

2017 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp Live Blog

October 6, 2017 | By Charlotte S Hicks | 3 Comments

AWAI Copywriting BootcampDate: October 18-21 2017
Time: 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 Bob Bly, Nick Usborne, Richard Armstrong, Perry Belcher, Carline Anglade-Cole, Steve Slaunwhite, Ilise Benun, Ann Handley, Clayton Makepeace, and more!

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

  • 3 Life Principles to Get You From Dreaming to DOING
  • The 10 Stupidest Mistakes I Made in My Copywriting Career
  • How to Make Ordinary Ideas Extraordinary
  • 17 Costly Copywriting Blunders and How to Avoid Each One
  • Writing for B2B Lead Generation Campaigns
  • From Prospect to Client: What to Do (and Say) to Close a Sale
  • How to Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Avatar
  • How to Level-Up Your Writing Career

The live blog kicks off Wednesday, October 18 with the evening session featuring copywriting superstar Carline Anglade-Cole.

Don’t miss this fun and fascinating live blog!

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

Wednesday 5:36pm

We’re live!

Ted Capshaw is introducing Katie Yeakle, AWAI Executive Director. Bootcamp is off and running!

2017 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp
Katie Yeakle, AWAI Executive Director

I’ve already seen many fellow B2B copywriters. If you’re here, be sure to say hi!

Congrats to Jon Stoltzfus (author of our Product Management Roadmap) for collecting over $160,000 in royalties for his copywriting so far this year. Jon was last year’s  10K Challenge winner. Well done Jon!

Alright – here comes Carline Anglade-Cole! She’s an amazing copywriter, mom, and all-around super-nice person.

Her presentation is 3 Life Principles to Get You from Dreaming… to DOING!

Principle #1 What’s Your Story – You need to tell your story! It creates trust and connection.

Stories shape how others see you, they are tools of power, and they persuade. It’s been reported people remember stories 22 times more than facts!

To make your story effective you need to:

  1. Have a goal – why are you telling the story?
  2. Grab attention – why should I listen?
  3. Engage – why do I care?
  4. Enable action – why should I do what you’re asking me to do?

Principle #2  Keep it Simple!

  • Baby step your way to progress
  • Remember, copy is never perfect, only abandoned.

You’ll never read enough copywriting books, you’ll never attend enough events, and your copy won’t be perfect. It’s OK!

Principle #3 Don’t be boring!

Use power words that keep your copy interesting. Carline gave us a long list of power words to use.

For more of Carline, subscribe to her free CopyStar Ezine here.

We’re about to break for the Networking Dinner. I’ll be back with more from the AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp in the morning.

Thursday 8:25am

Henry Bingaman kicked us off with an encouraging story of how he showed up at the Web Copywriting Intensive, met a few people, and through his connections has built a very successful copywriting career.  (He’s a writer for Natural Health Sherpa.)

Next… Richard Armstrong, letting us in on a few of the mistakes he’s made in his career – so you can avoid the same mistakes.

Mistake #1 – Too much success too soon.

How can success be bad? Richard had a big winner right out of the gate. But, as he learned, for long-term success you need the stumbles and other natural learning experiences of a new copywriter.

Mistake #2. Thinking you’re a writer instead of a salesman

Whether you’re writing copy or content, you’re writing to persuade.

I’ve got to step out to shoot some videos… back in a bit!

For our premium 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.

Next up… Clayton Makepeace giving us tips on avoiding copywriting blunders.

Here are a few of Clayton’s tips:

Don’t leave your prospect wondering “so what?” after reading your headline. Let them know why they should keep reading!

Don’t make your copy so dense, it’s difficult to read. Even highly technical copy needs to be easy to read.

Dimensionalize the opportunity or crisis – paint a vivid picture of the problem. Engage their emotion!

And one that sinks way too much copy – not providing enough proof.

We’ll take a lunch break now, and come back with John Forde and Jen Stevens. Then later today, tune in to hear from our B2B experts Steve Slaunwhite and Ilise Benun.

Thursday 2:09 pm

We’re back from lunch!

First up is Jen Stevens  and John Forde on what you should do first to make sure you write good copy.

Ted Capshaw just revealed that Jen has spoken at every AWAI Bootcamp! John missed one – when his wife had a baby so he stayed home. Good call, John.

When writing, it’s tempting to start with what you’re selling. But it’s smarter to start with WHO you are selling to. What are they interested in? What’s bothering them? What problem do they need solved?

First, figure out what your prospect is thinking about, then draw a connection to your product.

What do they care about? What’s working for everybody else? And what isn’t working? Is there a twist that will grab their attention in a new and desirable way?

John explained the terms “frontend” and “backend”.  The frontend is the first sale – for example, an International Living subscription.  A backend sale is one to your existing customers. You write to the groups differently since your existing customers know who you are and what you do.

Time for Steve Slaunwhite!

Steve Slaunwhite at the AWAI Bootcamp

He’s going to talk about lead generation campaigns – the lifeblood of every B2B company.

One strategy for lead gen is to offer a free white paper (written by a copywriting like you, of course!)

Companies also use their websites, email, online ads and more to promote their offers.

When someone says yes to the white paper, they are taken to a landing page where they trade their contact information for the white paper.

Then, the prospect will get a series of emails (written by a copywriter like you) to nurture the lead.

72% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective method of getting and following-up on leads.

Good leads become sales – and sales are the most important thing to any company!

53% of B2B companies spend 50% or more of their marketing budgets on lead generation. WOW!

AND 58% of B2B companies increased their lead-gen budgets this year. That’s good news for B2B copywriters.

How many B2B companies are there? How about 1,100,000! And those are just the ones with 30 or more employees.

For our premium 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.

We’ll be back with Ilise Benun soon!

Great quote from Ilise: You are not at the mercy of your clients!

Success starts with your mindset – replace any negative thoughts with:

  1. Self respect
  2. Curiosity – your questions reveal what you know
  3. Generosity
  4. Gratitude

For our premium 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.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow we’ll be back with Brian Clark.

Here’s a quick picture of Gordon Graham, Steve Slaunwhite, and Ed Gandia answering questions about the B2B niche.

Gordon Graham, Steve Slaunwhite, and Ed Gandia

Friday 8:30 am

Brain Clark has taken the stage to talk about how to “pre-suade” your prospects without sales copy.

Content Marketing works best when you have a documented strategy. If you don’t you may be just wasting money.

The 3 Keys to Content Marketing:

  1. Aspiration
  2. Empowerment
  3. Unity

If you don’t tell a story, your prospect will create their own story.

There are five simple steps to follow:

  1. Why – for sales!
    You should have a strategy with a goal.
  2. Who – this is the most important step
    Whether you call them a character or avatar, specifically define them.
    Great marketing is attracting who you want AND repelling those you don’t.
    Brian introduced a method known as “empathy mapping” to put yourself in the shoes of your prospect.
  3. What – use the hero’s journey to tell your story. Remember, the prospect should be the hero, not the company!
  4. When – Whenever possible, create meaningful moments.
    Brian showed us an example of the customer journey experience map.
  5. How – as a copywriter you have the advantage here!
    How you say something is determined by your “who”.

Brian teased an upcoming program with AWAI… stay tuned!!!

Next up… Nick Usborne on adjacent possibilities.

An adjacent possibility is when you combine two things to create something even better. It’s how most entrepreneurs succeed, not by creating something brand new.

A simple example is chocolate + peanut butter gives you the peanut butter cup. Or taxi service + matchmaking gives you Uber.

For us, there are possibilities between two or more adjacent skills such as sales copywriting, storytelling, social media marketing, content writing, and email marketing.

Or, perhaps a combination of two of content writing, editing skills, presentation skills, teaching, and speaking.

When you combine skills, you don’t have to be the very best in any one skill. The combination gives you the advantage.

Now it’s time for Perry Belcher!

When a perfect offer is made, people buy. And they buy without manipulation, mind tricks, or hard selling.

For our premium 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.

Next up today is Job Fair. Everyone here is excited… a few are nervous…

Join me in the morning for Ann Handley’s presentation.

Saturday 9:48 am

Welcome back! Ann Handley has just taken the stage.

Today, she’s encouraging us to be bigger, braver, and bolder.

Ann encourages everyone to read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White for the quality of writing. She calls Charlotte the spider the world’s best marketer. Who am I to argue? 😉

As we know as B2B copywriters, the path a prospect goes through is:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Retention

Marketing is not an obligation! Marketing is an opportunity to distinguish yourself.

Use a bigger story. It will put your business in the context of what people care about.

Finish the statement: Only I _______________.

For our premium 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.

Saturday 12:38 pm

Time for the awards!!

The winner of the B2B Writing Success Spec Challenge is Ricki Linksman. Ricki won a 3-article contract with B2B Writing Success.

Three honorable mentions will get their articles published with an opportunity for future articles:

  • Nadine Morrison
  • Tammy Powell
  • Lisa Christoffel

Congratulations everyone!

Now for the spec challenge winners:









Tracy Lesch









Suzanna Fitzgerald









Jeff Kontur









Shelly Spencer

The $10K Challenge winner is…









Jake Hoffberg

And the AWAI Copywriter of the Year is…. Jedd Canty!








That’s a wrap from the 2017 AWAI Copywriting Bootcamp!

About the Author


Charlotte S Hicks

Latest in B2B Copywriting


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