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Kevin Francis


From my point of view, what I find most useful are your insights and tips about what's working on the "front line" of Direct Response Marketing. Your video critiques fulfill this role very well, I think.

However, I can certainly appreciate that the critiques take up a fair amount of time. My guess is, like anything, your readers have probably started to take them a bit for granted.

So, if you discontinue the critiques, I will miss them but it won't be the end of the world.

As to my goals etc. Well, I think I've mentioned that I finally took the plunge on July 1 this year to be a "proper" full time freelance copywriter. My schedule is currently booked until mid-October, with a few other potential projects in the wings. Any insights, suggestions etc about how to run a successful business as a copywriter would always be welcome. You've shared some suggestions in the past, I know.

What's my ideal? Working from home. Making a minimum of $250,000 pa (from a combination of copywriting assignments plus a side business of my own). Working with a small group of fun, professional clients who are serious about their business. Working hard but not insanely (no 4am starts for me...that just doesn't suit!). Having the time to travel and do the fun stuff I want to.

As I said, simply having the opportunity to tap into your thoughts via this blog is of tremendous benefit and I certainly appreciate what you provide here.

Kevin Francis

Kyle Tully

Ditto everything Kevin said.


Mike Sigers

I'm with Kevin and Kyle.

Peter Stone


Thank you for responding. These informative nuggets are very helpful to me.

Kevin, I'll put some posts together involving your interests.

Please understand that some of what I post will be directed toward newbies, not you. In other words, if what seems directed toward you is too basic, you have my apology.

The crits aren't that big of a deal to put together. I don't include menus, transitions....that which requires post production work. And posting them continues to build readership.

Some of my methods for doing business are different from the methods others bring to the table. Have a little patience with me, please -- you usually do. Mine have netted me some of the biggest clients one could possibly acquire and I attribute to them negotiations that end with the request, "We have money. Name your price."

(And he continued to ramble on)

For example, the money back guarantee and half down, half on delivery policies tend to be industry standard. I think they can cause havoc to a sound business model. Certainly applying them makes sense under specific circumstances, but do they assist those who use them in their quest for an ideal business? Do I want clients who do business with me on impulse?

Anyway Kevin, I just did an all-nighter and I'm rambling. So I'll conclude with this...

If I've been remiss, allow me to say it now, I'm proud of you, Kevin.



I agree not enough attention is paid to writing. I've got "dirty little secrets" out the wazoo, and I'm choking on sales letter templates but I struggle to put together an elegant flowing piece of copy.

Peter Stone


I'm working on it. I'd love to hear any specifics you might want included in the content. Or how that content is delivered -- ipod video, Power Pointy, etc.

To include Kevin's wishes for business building information, I'm thinking about adding an indexed area of recorded phone calls with prospects and clients.

I don't want to make any promises, but the goal is to make something very cool and very useful for you, designed by 'you' to meet your specific needs...


Kevin Francis


The recorded calls sound (no pun intended!) a great idea.

Kevin Francis



I am very much a newcomer to copywriting (very new, very wet behind the ears -- the ink is barely drying on my very first sales letter.) From my perspective I'd love to see more on the actual writing and how to make the words flow well. I did, after all, get into this for the writing aspect.

I've been a little intimidated by all the emphasis on sales, marketing and building your client base that I see when I look around. Don't get me wrong, it's helped me get a firmer perspective on what copywriting is about and it's all something I need.

But at the root of this is putting words together in a way that is engaging and persuasive. I'll take anything here that I can get! Thank you



Oh -- you asked what my goals were and my ideal business day, but I didn't actually answer that.

My goals right now are to be one of the top white paper copywriters. I work in IT (as a developer) and so I'd like to transition into being a freelance copywriter in the technology niche with a special emphasis on white papers and case studies.

My ideal business day is two-tiered. Immediately I see a need to juggle this with working full time as a developer so during this phase I'm most concerned with tricks to actually make this happen when I have virtually no standard business hours available.

Once I go full-time my day would ideally be writing early in the day from a home office, from about 4 am to about 11 am, and then spending time in the afternoon on research and business building activities.

I don't know if this is at all helpful for you to know this. Good luck with your Mac products!



I spend most my day doing marketing and strategy consulting...but of course, execution most always depends on great copy - so I put on that hat.

That actually makes for a messy billing structure. Currently I do retainers that cover both the strategy and marketing consulting - and copywriting.

That model has proven good for keeping cash flow in the 6 figures - but I'm dissatisfied with it -- sometimes I end up ahead - sometimes the client ends up ahead. And its very difficult to grow predictably. Worse, it makes me a marketing hypocrite - not niched and specific, but a generalist.

I'd love to see your thoughts on structuring the delivery and pricing of your services.

Peter Stone


What great responses. Thank you so much.

Keep in mind, I don't have enough details to give you more than generalized guesses out of context.

And to give you a deserving answer, I'm going to need to do some thinking -- mostly about how to word my response.

Meanwhile, I'm at a cabin in northern Minnesota. There's a little lake right outside my door. I'll think this stuff over, while I'm out on the boat fishing, and respond in the next day or two.

Please be prepared; I might present some different from usual ways of looking at business matters. Because it's your outlook (fear) that's really the answer to your questions and such. It aint the math that stumps you, is it? 'Course not. The math is simple.

It's the story you're telling yourself.

Robert, for example (sorry to pick on you), should get paid in advance for his work and present a crystal clear understanding to the client that the charges are not final price, but best guess estimates. Discuss the what if's and contingencies, thoroughly.

Here's one example.

Someone wanted a marketing proposal. Great. I charged him $10K. Many would do it for free as a means to get more business. I did fly out to shake his hand. And to get the downstroke on consulting his organization on the implementation of the plan. That was another $100K, paid in advance in monthly installments with out clauses in the contract. He paid the vendors instead of me paying them and him reimbursing me. I avoided financial risk and he payed no mark up on the vendor's deliverables.

Is that helpful?


Peter Stone


Yes, all of what you wrote is helpful to me.

And I agree with you; at the end of the day, it's all about the copy. You can market yourself silly, to get your name out there, but it's the product client's want.




Glad to be picked on...just pick away everything that isn't a statue of David and my wife will be pleased. Actually, pick away everything that isn't a million-dollar consultant and she'll probably be just as pleased.


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