Classroom to Copy #14: From teaching in China to writing financial copy with Alex Perry
3:37PM Jul 13, 2023
Hey everyone, how's it going? Welcome to another episode of classroom to coffee. Today I'm with someone who is also a financial copywriter like me and has a very interesting and unusual background and teaching which you know I'm sure will give like a very unique insight into how she moved on from teaching to copywriting. She you know she has over six years of experience in direct response. She's generated over $5 million in sales in the financial publishing industry. And she's even done like Regulation A offerings for companies and raised over $10 million for them. And she's my classmate right now at Stansbury so we're, you know, writing coffee together I'm learning a lot from her. I've heard that she runs a lot through there are no hills in Baltimore, right? runs a lot yeah, there
are hills get ready.
Oh there okay. And she has a dog that might be crushing this episode. So keep a lookout for that. And she writes fantasy and science fiction on the side. So I'm very excited for today's conversation. Please welcome Alex Perry. I LX
Hello. Hello and yeah, the dog there's 100% chance she's gonna crash. So I put that out there now.
So do you want to talk about your unique teaching background because it might be a bit different from what most of the audience has?
Yeah, so I had the unique and special privilege of actually starting and direct response. Because I did my I was an English major and if you're an English major, you know, the journey of basically being told, Oh, you're going to be a teacher. So I was an English major. I did a minor in American Studies. And when I was getting ready to leave school, I got an internship offer from a company called the Palm Beach letter. Now, Palm Beach research, they're down in Delray, and I went down there and I was kind of blown away. I'm like, Wait, you guys are gonna pay me to write. That was like a new experience for me. So I was enamoured. And I fell in love. And I went on to work with the Oxford Club, which is a company in Baltimore with direct response and then a small publisher called Angel publishing. That's kind of where I got my first coffee experience. And then I got disenfranchised, which is something you do in your mid 20s, where you kind of go through like a, I guess, quarter life crisis, and I decided I was going to go teach English in a foreign country instead of lucrative copywriting. I studied for that and I went to China, Wuhan, China, which is now world famous. But um, at the time, nobody knew where Wuhan China was in the American world. And I taught 15 year olds and 18 year olds academic writing. And and that was a wonderful experience. But I did that for two years and and then I came back to direct response through a company at market wise called Investorplace. So that's kind of been my journey. And I am a huge component. I think of copywriting because it gives teachers a degree of freedom that I don't know if it's possible in the United States.
So how, what was that experience like? And how long were you in Wuhan?
I was in Wuhan for a year and a half and then I went to Hong Kong for half a year. It was during the Hong Kong protests. So that kind of got short and then also during COVID So that also kind of cut everything short. But ya know, I was a Wuhan for a year and a half teaching and it was a huge because I hadn't been a teacher and I think that that's worth saying, like I have a lot of respect for for teachers in America, because it's a lot more strenuous than teaching English as a foreign language and a lot of countries. I know there are countries with different standards, like I had a friend who was a teacher in America who went to Korea, and she was it was much different than like my experience, which was I was basically going in for like four or five hours a day. And and I had a lot of off time through like the Chinese in your holiday. So I think that my teaching experience was a little bit atypical and that it was not as full time as the teaching in America was, but it was still a really good experience when it came to how exhausting teaching was because that was something I was like, How can I walk away from a five hour day more tired than if I worked like a nine hour day direct response? So because I had that experience from direct response beforehand, I really I learned to appreciate like what I've been doing before because I realised how draining teaching was.
Um, so what was I mean, did you have to work do you already know Mandarin? Because I know we've spoken about this before or did you learn it for the job?
I learned I did not have to learn it for the job. But I did not know any Mandra and I moved there very optimistic, believing that I would not need to speak Mandarin and that was a lie. I just slowly kind of picked it up as I go. And it's a little rusty but I one of my goals in life has been that if my copywriting career ever really takes off, I would love to go back to Hong Kong or China and work for a year and learn that because I think it's a language that you really can only learn in the moment because it has so many like cultural nuances and phrases that would just be completely unique to Mandarin that don't have any literal translation to English. Like I remember I learned a phrase a mama who who which basically means like horse horse Tiger Tiger, and all the other teachers would say to each other and I'm like, horse horse Tiger Tiger. What does that even mean? Like is it some kind of code? And it was basically rephrase that like meant oh well happens. And I it took me like a year and a half to figure it out. I'm just like, I thought this is like some kind of obscure reference. That's always a goal on the horizon. I'm gonna go back and learn all the things I messed up the first time.
Wow, so like wasn't a huge leap to like leave America and then transplant yourself in the middle of like, a place where you don't speak the language and a completely new job. New colleagues new environment
I think I was it was a huge leap. I think I characteristically underestimated how big of a leap it would be. Because I'm the kind of person who foolishly is like I can do I can do it like no big problem. And then I get there. I'm like, oh, no, this was a huge problem. But I think I was very enchanted. By like the nomadic lifestyle and um, I didn't travel like right out of college. So I basically had gone directly from college just like that nine to five job and I felt very suffocated. Like is this all my 20s are going to be is it just going to be working nine to five and, you know, seeing friends in the in the evening so I think I took that plunge with the hope that I would have more flexibility or the chance to kind of see a different country and and that also is what drew me back to copy over other career fields I looked at because I looked at being a journalist as well and and I just don't think I've ever found something that gives you the degree of freedom. But also just like, it feels like you're actually living opposed to you know, just like sitting in a desk from nine to five being kind of pointless. And that was probably what motivated me to make that jump to China as I'm like, well, at least you know, I'll I'll be in a new place and I'll be experiencing things Yeah.
So what made you what was like the determining factor that made you decide to leave and did you like, consider going back to direct response immediately after?
So um, oh, when I when I decided to leave China. Yeah. So I think that obviously COVID was a was a big part of it, because I was I went to the University of Hong Kong after I taught for my time in Wuhan. I kind of used the money I made there to go back and get my master's degree in journalism. And it was during the protests and it was during COVID. So my husband my now husband, is from the Netherlands. So when COVID hit, I went to the Netherlands because Hong Kong completely locked down like you would have been doing your master's degree from like a teeny box apartment because in Hong Kong like everything's the size of a box, and it also cost $900 So and so I went to the Netherlands and that kind of and I did the rest of my degree remote. And when that time was kind of coming to its natural conclusion. I was thinking, you know, do I want to go back into journalism? My experience with it had been kind of lacklustre, I think I ended up I ended up doing a project where I was working with these refugees who were ultra runners, and they had come from countries where they had escaped a lot of trauma, and had been able to kind of reclaim their life through this like running programme. And when I wrote the story there, there was this focus like they wanted to tell the story of how they had overcome adversity, but they really wanted to focus on the running and you know, the this is kind of where they see all their identities. And when I submitted that story, the feedback I got was you know, I think it'd be better to have like more trauma upfront and and that just kind of like stint sit with me well, because I'm like, Oh, well, I don't want like at the end of the day, like the you're telling these people's stories, and it doesn't make me feel good that I'm using these stories for like clickbait essentially. And that was funny because when I left direct response, that was one of the reasons I left direct response was I felt like, you know, as little click Beatty and it's maybe not always authentic. And I was like, oh, maybe this journalism thing that I've always put on this pedestal is not as you know, authentic as I thought, and it was just kind of the perfect storm because right when I was having those thoughts, a recruiter found me and asked me if I wanted to come and study copywriting with a company called Investorplace that is actually a branch of under the same umbrella as Stansbury and I really liked my boss, I just kind of got good vibes and I was like, okay, you know, let's let's take the plunge and I convinced my husband to marry me on the spot. He didn't have a choice that we had to move to America. Yeah, he that's a whole story, but he, he agreed. And we, we made the jump. So I realised too after being in China that I wanted to have that, that freedom that I had either I would have to consider to continue teaching English as a foreign language forever, or would have to go back into direct response.
That's so interesting, because you left for China in search of freedom. So what does freedom while you're in China, how does it look different from freedom that comes with copywriting?
I think the only freedom changes your perception of freedom changes like as you age, like when I was 25. And in China, my perception of freedom was sleeping on, you know, overnight trains and like going see a new place. Now that I'm in my 30s, my perception of freedom is you know, having the ability to raise children while also doing my job or having the ability to take time off and you know, be with my family. And I think that that was a freedom that copywriting gave over teaching. Because when you're when you're in teaching English foreign language is kind of I always say like a young person's game because it's chaotic and you have a lot of freedom to like see the world and experience new things. But you know, when you start getting older and your your freedom priorities changed, then suddenly copywriting kind of came in is this amazing thing because I can do something I love while also having a family life and having you know, travelling like right now we're in Canada. My husband and I are just in an air b&b. And we decided to put all our stuff in storage and we were just going to like travel around for like month to month because we're both remote and I'm like that's something I wouldn't have without without a copywriting.
So besides the freedom What do you love about the craft?
The craft I love I love the argument side of it. I think that if you are a kid who ever did mock trial, I don't know if there's any like Americans out there who suffered through mock trial. You are meant to be a copywriter. I always think there's a bunch of people who go into law that should have been copywriters, because copywriting at the end of the day is about telling a story, but also arguing your point. So it's kind of the perfect fusion between creative writing journalism and law that like but at the same time you can get paid better than you know a lot of those those different things so I think that's like what always drew me back to it is one I'm probably came into it for the creative writing side because I did my English degree, but it also appeals to that competitive side that like wants to win arguments and then it appeals to that journalistic side that wants to like research things and go into depth. So it's kind of like the perfect marriage of so many different different writing things. And that's the beautiful thing about copywriting too. Is like I think the English majors. It's funny if you don't meet a lot of English majors in this industry, which always surprised me. I'm like, Why aren't all the English majors here? So I don't know if your podcast is a good thing or a bad thing because it's like telling them that it's here. No, your your podcast is a wonderful thing. In a way like I always thought it was like the best kept secret because a lot of copywriters that I met were salespeople or negotiators or you know, they were not coming at it from the creative side. But
yeah, speaking of like, this being the best kept secret for English majors. So I mean, I didn't major in English. My degree was kind of weird. It's like a fine art degree with creative writing on the side. And speaking of that kind of background so right now we have the privilege of working with Mike Palmer who is like one of the greatest copywriters alive and wrote like end of America, which is what the best performing front end package in history right. And what in one of his trainings, he said that you know, this is the best job for like English majors and he's really because if I had just stuck to, you know what I studied, I wouldn't be making much money right now. And like he's and I was like what you said about the perfect marriage? I mean, for me, it was coming from having this weird nerdy side of me that loves numbers, and like, and that's why it appeals to me like in terms of financial copywriting, but then also everything else you said about creative writing, and telling stories. So I think it's just such a weird intersection. That you have to go deep into this world to realise it exists. Like the revelation you had when you first joined Palm Beach, right?
Yeah, and I think that there's also a lot of questions like and I've thought about this a lot over time when you're writing financial copies specifically, there is no you have an accountability to be, you know, good to the person who's reading to make sure that the information you're providing is correct, but it's in a way you don't have this like central entity like when I was whenever you're doing journalism or a lot of you know other forms of writing. If you're responsible to an individual a person, you're telling somebody's story, or somebody's trauma or somebody's you know, personal like deeply personal and in a way like to do that job. I think you have to step outside and kind of just become like the channel through which that story moves. With financial copywriting. You have so much more control over the story is more like being an author where you get to create the channel. So while you have that accountability to be, you know, correct and well researched and intelligent and direct by the investor, you get to shape that story so much more than if you were, you know, writing about somebody else's life or covering the current event and I think that's where like for me copywriting really shines is like oh, you get to have that creative freedom while still you know doing the research and stuff that that makes good stories, good stories.
Do you find that any of your like teaching experiences have transferred over to copywriting? Like in terms of skills or mindset?
People management? Yeah, I think that teaching, it also depends like what ages you're teaching. That's what I learned. Because I think the most important skill that probably has come over is content editing, like if you work with young students and you are trying to understand flow or how they write things like I would have students write essays and you know, you when you go in and edit them, you're like, Oh, well, this doesn't even there's no like logical flow. So as a teacher, I think you engage so much with content as an outsider, that you develop a really good content editing skill, and that is really important in copy. Because as a as a copywriter, it's when you're writing your own copy, it's hard to you know, see that from the outside which is why you go to other copywriters to get content editing, but um, like when when you're learning, you can take that content editing skill you learned as a teacher and apply it to, you know, reading, copy and taking away and it'll help you just like grow so much faster because I think teachers have been naturally trained to find those patterns in their students writing and now they can take that pattern finding skill, and use it to kind of develop their copywriting Arsenal
because you did do like a master's in journalism, right. Do you still use any of what you learned in copyright now?
Yeah, I think because the way that the journalism there's not many Masters in Journalism slough anymore, like when I went to Hong Kong, that programme kind of stood out to me because it's a three tier programme. So they did video, they did audio, and they did reporting and research. So I use a lot of the research skills, like a little little trick. If you guys ever have like a photo, you can reverse Google search it to like find the where it comes from and the story behind it. And that's been invaluable to me. You know, there's a lot of databases that I learned about in journalism, like the internet archives, where you can track down media sources, so I use a lot of that. And I think the other thing is I use a lot of the video and the like the way I think about my copy when you're writing copy the biggest challenge that I see a lot of copywriters struggle with is moving from the written word to the video presentation. That's like I think that's another reason copy would work well for people who are coming from screenwriting or some kind of like medium where they're interacting with television or YouTube. But that's a really a really valuable skill that I've carried over from journalism is I just kind of understand like, what the editing process looks like and how to structure copies so that the editing is not too intense or really clunky
so you've mentioned you've mentioned the, like, financial copywriting, we have this level of creative control. That's different from journalism. So you know, what would you say to someone who be thinking then why not just full on creative writing, like fiction writing or poetry?
I guess do you want to be poor?
You want to be poor. That's kind of more of like what my dad said to me. So I come from a family of doctors and I remember when I was an English major, my dad used to joke Oh, my daughter is majoring and marry rich and minoring in pre lead. I think it is like I could see the argument like I think if you're hyper passionate about writing, pursuing writing is a beautiful, like lifelong mission. But I think in a way like copywriting you'll become a better writer through copywriting because the key to being a good writer is to be able to communicate, like I think about Stephen King and Dean Koontz and like, you know, Daniel Steele, and all the best selling authors out there who have kind of perfected a formula and a medium. Like if you look at their books, they're pretty much the same book over and over again, and even James Patterson has like kind of licenced that formula and now has like younger authors go and do it. So if you're looking to be like a best selling author, I actually think copywriting is the way you learn, because copywriting teaches you about the psychology and the relationship of your reader. So like if you're if that's what you're interested in if you're pursuing writing. copywriting is a great way to hone those skills that complement like what you're doing. If you want to write like kind of obscure academic books that you know or not like mainstream read, I don't know if copywriting will help there. But it does help pay the bills which will help you you know, achieve your kind of literary stuff and that's kind of what I do. Like I like to write just like short fiction and stuff and I don't really have a lot of desire to publish anymore. It's usually like, sometimes I'll see an idea that I'm really interested in like, right now I'm learning about neuro tech, and I'm like, Oh, maybe I could tell a short story where we talk about neuro technology and what it means in the world in the future. So I think it's more I've lost that desire to publish because I get published technically all the time it was copy but it but it's still like I'm like it's nice that I can still do that and I don't have to worry about the finances of it.
Yeah, definitely. Do you want to like enlighten so before continue, I didn't know like I'm not I didn't laugh that loud and like, I'm not trying to laugh at someone's dream out there. Like you know like I like said you do you if you know that's the path you want to choose. And like, I respect you for that because I do not have the guts. To, you know, to do that myself. But for those of our readers, our listeners who might be confused about why copywriting is so much more lucrative than everything else out there in terms of the writing medium. Do you want to share more about like royalties and how they work?
Yeah, well, I guess I mean, in the in the big every financial publishing company has its own royalty structure. And I think in a lot of ways, it's definitely worth saying that copywriting can be a grind like when you start out like even if I think I were to, with the experience I have now if I were to go freelance, it would still kind of be a grind because you can collect like, you know, a bunch of clients, they usually give you like an upfront retainer, or you know, some kind of money to basically complete the promo and then you get another portion of money when you finish it, and then you will get royalties usually between like two and 5% of the sales based on the sales. But I always I always warn copywriters not to get too married to the royalties, because royalties are really dependent on the market and they're really dependent on the list. So like, if you write for a small publisher whose list is just not very good, that list being the group of people that they have on a file, all the email names they have, you know, your promo may never attract like the kind of sales you need to see like big royalties. So that is like something that I think is worth mentioning because I know a lot of people who come into copywriting and are just like, Oh, I'm gonna get $20,000 royalty checks, and I'm like, Yeah, well, yeah, maybe like eventually, probably the best way to get to that point, though, is to hone your skills enough that you can kind of get in with a big publisher because then once you get in with a big publisher, you get paid a base salary, which is nice and then you can get royalties and a bass publisher you like a big publisher, like Stansbury or Investorplace, or the Oxford club, they are they're going to have a good list because their whole business is the list so you don't have to, you know, worry so much you know what you're sending your copy to. So I think that that is copywriting can be incredibly lucrative in the long term because once you but if you do have a promo that does incredible and you're making those royalties, you know, can change your life, but it's definitely a grind up to that point. And I think that's where a lot of people kind of get disenfranchised and coffee is they grind for so long. They just feel like the royalties were a pipe dream. And, and I just prefer to be upfront with people and basically say like when you get into copywriting don't think about royalties at all until, you know, three or four years into it because that's when basically think of every retainer you get or every base salary is just your pay and that will help you I think stay mentally ready when you don't get those royalties.
So we've talked about like, I guess like emotional freedom, being able to travel and then creative freedom when it comes to being able to create a financial promo, which by the way, a promo is like a like an hour or sometimes almost two hour long video and it's basically a sales letter in video form. And the reason you're so long is because we're trying to convince a very sceptical audience to buy pretty. I mean, sometimes a pretty high ticket item or like a $49 product, but it's in the in the investing world. So there's a lot of scepticism, there's a lot of sophisticated prospects out there. And that's why I mean, the the financial publishing industry so lucrative because it does take a level of skill to be able to write to those prospects. So I'm just adding this as a side note, because I realised I never really talked about this before on the podcast, I don't want listeners to be confused. So do Would you mind sharing more about like the financial freedom that comes with copywriting because you've had such a wide breadth of like career experience, you know, you you you you'll be able to compare more than most I just have my teaching experience to compare with. Yeah.
Oh, like when it comes to, you know, feeling stable.
I would say like going back to kind of the grind. I didn't really start feeling stable and copy until I was in my fifth or sixth year. I was like 29 years old, and that's kind of when I had my first borderline hit. It was it was annoying because it did really well. I did like a million plus in sales like the first month and then another promo came and knocked it off and it will not knocked it off. It's kind of pet a stool and the marketing team started running that one so I was like, that was my first kind of taste of of like, wow, like I can sell stuff. And, but that didn't happen until five years into, into my into my career. And then it faded just as quick as it happened. But um, I think that the financial security, the base pay and copy can be good if you get in with a good big publisher. Like I would say it's comparable to being a teacher in any school in America, at least in Baltimore. Like when I talked to my teacher friends, they're either making around the same or a little bit less than like the base pay from like a lot of big pugs. But the base pay is obviously you should be trying to shoot for your royalties and for like that kind of financial freedom that comes with that. And then when that happens, it's true like you can you can have promos that you know pay for car payments, you can have promos that pay for housing payments, I can't say that's happened to me. I wish it had but it's what you shoot for in the long run. And it's the game you're always chasing. But I like to think of coffee too. And I feel like one of the one of the pieces of advice I give to people that are getting into the industry is basically if every promo is better than the last not financially, just skill wise you're getting towards your goal because the other thing is like when you like a lot of people come into copy because of the money. I think I would promote it more for the lifestyle because of if you come in for the money I think you get so disenfranchised because the learning curve is so high and then you have to invest like even now it's it was funny when when I was coming back and we're doing this boot camp, and I was like, Oh, well, you know, I've been doing it for five years, like what could I learn? I'm learning so much like I literally feel like I'm overwhelmed by learning. And I'm like, How did I How did I done this for five years and I'm just learning this. The learning curve is huge. And that's why like if you gauge your success by just getting slowly and incrementally better in your writing, and not by the finances, then I think you'll be a long term copywriter because the other annoying thing is when the market crashes, like suddenly, you know your financial returns are not as good so I think that's a lot of people right now the market is you know, a lot of people are getting shaken out of the market like a lot of copywriters are saying you know I don't want to do this because they're not making you know the money and I think that that's a dangerous time to be in if you if you are prioritising royalties.
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. As the industry I'm trying so I'm trying to backtrack and like think of anything that I might need to explain.
Well, I guess like maybe for people who are not like financial copywriters are not doing financial copy. The financial copy market aligns very closely with the stock market. So like in 2021, and 2022. A lot of these companies just like had incredible boom revenue years, I guess, halfway through 2022. And then when the stock market started going south, you know, there's not really that need for financial advice and that's kind of when you know your metal is a copywriters tested so to speak because you have to be willing to write these copy packages and just know they're probably not gonna, gonna work.
And not to mention, like the industry went through a whole series of layoffs, like last year, um, I remember the publisher at like the CEO at Banyan Hill. He was like, he looked around and he realised that most of his copywriters have only written bull market protocols. And he had to like start digging up old bear market promos, like from real bear markets, not like oh, you know, there's a pullback and things like that and yeah, I remember like some people were saying that the last few years were actually I mean, when when we had like the longest bull market in history, you know, that period of time. It was easier to write copy. And I can't imagine you know how, like, scary or discouraging it must be for for copywriters to like came up at the time. I I joined when everything was falling apart. So I'm just like, used to like the uncertainty and like, am I going to get this job? Am I going to be able to write this? Yeah, it's it's definitely a very it can be a very uncertain industry.
that? Sorry, I just say persistence like this is my other like little nugget of advice. The market will always test you. Sometimes the market will test you and that you have an amazing idea. And right before you know your your project goes out to the market that stock crashes and you have to shelve, you know, three months of work, or the market will test you and I wrote a crypto promo and four days later and FTX crashed so that was that was rough. You know, there goes like you know, four or five months of work and and that's why it's like if you measure your success and just am I getting words on paper every day, you're gonna succeed because that's like because then you don't pay so much attention to well, the market crashed and I'm you know, my promos trash and or my you know, I can't make money right now because nobody's buying like, if you just say you know, I put 500 words on paper today, you are successful. I think that's just so such a an under talked about thing in the coffee world because this industry is so ruled by the money in the big figures. And I think the quieter moments of copywriting, which is just perseverance is sometimes like lost in that in that world.
So what's the one thing that's keeping you going?
Right now? Um, I do I do genuinely love my job like I am. I've gone to tears sometimes over thinking like that this could this job could be taken for me because it gives me like, No, I was like, I gotta keep doing this. Because it gives me like, it's really the perfect lifestyle for you know, what I what I want to live, but I also like when you get into the flow, like the copy flow, and I think sometimes like I've had teachers who are like copywriting must be everything. Like if you don't love it every second of the day, it's not for you. And I don't think that's true. Like I would say, I really hate copywriting like 20% of the day. Usually when you're trying to start I'm like, Why do I do this job like it's so hard like I, I am, I don't know, I could just go and be like a copywriter for like a small company and make like $60,000 and not have to worry about all this market turbulence and all these other things. But what keeps me going is like when you get into that flow, and you have a connection with a copy and suddenly you can see it and it's all like the words are just kind of like flowing out of you I'm like that is like a magical moment and I think it's what copywriters should chase and I think it comes through discipline like you get better at like naturally finding it but um, that's really like what keeps me going when the markets crappy is I'm like, it doesn't matter. If I don't make any money. I will find flow in a promo. And that's that's a nice thing to know.
That's awesome. Do you have any advice for especially you know, we were talking about those teachers who teach English as a second language or as a foreign language might be travelling. And, you know, there's they want to start thinking about something that's lucrative and still related to teaching English like Do you have any like specific advice for them?
I think if you are teaching English as a foreign language, you're in like the perfect position to really like get better at copywriting. One of the things that I was doing is I reached out to the Motley Fool when I was teaching and I was doing I was writing editorial articles like in addition to like teaching and and that helps me a lot kind of get like a foot in the industry again. I think like you, you've just got to kind of put yourself out there like if you do want to write copy, you've got to you know, read a lot of copy you know, write some lists for promo you like send it to the publisher. You know, when I was at my old job one of our one of our junior copywriters, really talented young man, he was so persistent like he emailed me on LinkedIn and I was like, No, I'm not in the mood for this. And then he like emailed my copy chief and my copy chief was a more forgiving man then, then you know, I was still LinkedIn people. And he, he, you know, gave him an interview and he wrote, he wrote this copy package, and it was so funny. It was like about the male menstrual cycle and I just like clicked on the headline. I'm like, I must know like, I must know like, what is this manual cycle? And this kid had a psychology degree. He'd never done any direct response copy, he just kind of got into it. And I'm like, oh, yeah, you know, he kept sending us emails he kept writing for the promos. And in t he got in you know, and I think that's just like what my advice to people is who like want to get into copy is first like, just start reading a bunch. You kind of learn the style and reach out to somebody in the industry. If it's finance, you know, there's the Motley Fool, you can go into the Agora companies or it's all market wise companies. Find a promo you really like that you just like resonate with, read it multiple times. Like think about all the angles in it like okay, you know, this promo is talking about a market crash, like, well, what are some other things in this copy that I could talk about that's unique that this publisher probably hasn't thought of before? And then the other thing is like when you're writing, if you write a bunch of lists that are just about like the top of the promo, the copywriter that wrote the promo is probably has probably already thought of that. The way you really impress them. If you go deep, and you show them like I know your work, I know what you're doing. So once you read that promo, just find that copy chief on LinkedIn or find whoever is tied to that company and said, Hey, like I really liked your promo. I put together three lifts like if you wouldn't mind like taking a look at them. And that's, that's usually how I see people kind of like break in because they show that they've got the work ethic, you know, they understand the copy and they're willing to take the time to learn. And I see people in our industry be incredibly receptive to that like over and over again. So that's my advice to people.
Yeah, that's definitely my experience, too. So for reference, a lift note is an like a promotional email that gets someone to click and watch that, you know, our long promo that we mentioned. And I think you know, that specific strategy applies across industries too. You know, because you need that level of work ethic to get to know your dream client to build a portfolio of samples that's relevant to them and then send it off to them. You know, you like Alexa, you go put yourself out there. And everything she just described. would apply, you know, in any other industry. So, do you have any, like parting words of wisdom to share besides all of that, especially when you're doing coffee, like when you're teaching in China?
My first year no. And then when I was in Hong Kong, because I switched from teaching full time to part time, which was still very lucrative if teaching English as a foreign language in a lot of these countries, but I needed to pay my rent. So I was writing copy again. And that's actually how I got into the regulation. A plus stuff was just, you know, somebody reached out they want a copy, you just write it on the side and, and yeah, I think that's, I don't know, I feel like I want to, like hedge everything and true like financial style, like hedge all my statements and one person's approach won't work for everyone. But like the key things that will work for everything is perseverance words on paper and writing to you know, your skill level opposed to the finances because those to me are the three things that build the best copywriters because I know so many people in this industry, who took years to take off like five or six years to find their stride and they became like hitmakers and copy chiefs and, you know, leaders in their own field, and if you can make it through that, like pain and that pain, period, that hustle, then you know, you're gonna you're gonna see the results.
Well, thank you so much for your time. And if anyone wants to connect with you, how can they find you
LinkedIn and and if you send me coffee, I will read it because I love seeing I love seeing coffee. If you send me a message saying I'm a copywriter, I will add you but yeah, whenever whenever people send me a copy, I always try to engage. I because I think it's a really, really cool thing to like, have that relationship. And the other thing I'd recommend, like small thing is Reddit has like a bunch of really great copywriter forums, which I didn't know about, but other people have told me about that's also a really great place like when you're building these copy packages to get some feedback from people for free. And into not and to so you when you use a miss, send them to publishers, you can put your best foot forward.
Awesome, thank you so much. I'll try to access LinkedIn down below. And I'll see you guys next week for the next episode of classroom to copy