Let’s talk about dodgy copywriters.
Once upon a time, a very well-known and respected marketer decided to hire a copywriter.
It seemed like the guy knew his stuff. He talked a good game and came across well.
So, off trundled Mr. Copywriter, $15,000 in the bank, to work on the project.
Then one day, a few weeks later, he submitted the copy to his client.
“What the hell is this?”, they asked.
You see, it was immediately obvious the writer had copied other ads word for word and patched it together.
When confronted, the copywriter burst into tears and disappeared from the face of the earth-never to be seen or heard from again.
$15,000 down the drain and nothing to show for it.
Weeks of lost time and the entire project was delayed.
Not to mention the emotional pain.
I won’t name name’s. It’s not my story to tell. But I can assure you: this was a very experienced marketer. In fact, not just experienced-a genuine pioneer of internet marketing. And he also happened to be an exceptional copywriter.
So, how do you think he felt after the fact?
I, for one, would be annoyed, embarrassed, and much, much more suspicious of copywriters in the future.
But what’s particularly eye-opening about this story is that it’s living proof of the fact that…
Anybody can be duped by a copywriter!
Or any other business or service provider, for that matter.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to mitigate this risk entirely.
Best advice I can offer:
Look for proof. Proof of results… experience… writing ability… reliability… and a money-back guarantee.
In fact, if it makes sense, go straight to the top. Find the most respected A-list copywriters in your niche. If you’re in the nutritional supplements industry, seek out Carline Cole, Kim Krause Schwalm, and Parris Lampropoulus… just for starters.
Here’s another way to sort the wheat from the chaff:
If you’re not already, invest some time in learning the fundamental principles of direct marketing and direct response advertising. The clients who get the most out of copywriters are those who can write great copy themselves, but choose to spend their time on other business activities, or have more copy needs than they can handle alone.
It also makes them slightly less susecptible to being duped by a newbie copywriter posing as a guru.
Why? I don’t know for sure. But I think it’s partly because not many marketers or copywriters take the time to learn the timeless principles of marketing. And those who do yield tremendous power in the long term.
So, here are 10 books you can use as a shield against the swords of copywriters out to steal from you:
Scientific Advertising, by Claude Hopkins
My Life in Advertising, by Claude Hopkins
The Robert Collier Letter Book, by Robert Collier
Tested Advertising Methods, by John Caples
How To Write A Good Advertisement, by Vic Schwab
The Gary Halbert Letter, by Gary Halbert
The Boron Letters, by Gary Halbert
The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches, by Joe Karbo
Breakthrough Advertising, by Eugene M. Schwartz
Kickass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel, by John Carlton
One final thought: I can’t remember who it was, but I once heard an A-list copywriter say something that has stuck with me for years:
“If I could turn back time, I would study 10 great copywriting books or courses 10 times, rather than 100 good books once.”
I’ve followed that advice, and I can tell you, it’s powerful.
Now the power is in your hands.
And if you’d like some niche-specific copywriting and marketing advice that builds on the fundamentals…
My new book, The Ultimate Guide to Nutritional Supplement Copywriting, shows you how to create breakthroughs in nutritional supplement marketing.
You can grab a paperback copy on Amazon for $14.97, or get a complimentary PDF copy here: