How to Test Your Copywriter With Tough Questions

Client got on the phone yesterday, ordered a 3-piece email series.

We had a constructive talk and he asked me to send an invoice.

In the morning, there was no money but a question instead:

Martin, since I run a charity, margins are really very thin. Every dollar really counts with us. Do you feel confident that my investment with you will get sufficient response?


I just LOVE that question.

For one thing, because this person appeals to my honesty.

He wants to be confident his money will be spent well.

And he’s looking to see whether or not that matters to me.

Dude… Of course it matters. A lot.

In fact, I wouldn’t even take a job if I don’t feel it’s going to be a worthwhile investment for my client.

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When You See a Good Thing… Grab That Sucker. No, Really

A few years ago when I ran my fancy-pantsy tailoring company, I was visiting my then-girlfriend in Poland.

One of her parents’ friends was a retired tailor, and when he heard that a young enthusiast was doing the thing he loved so much, his daughter called to say he wanted to meet me.

I don’t remember why, but we didn’t set up a meeting that week. I figured I’d be back next month, better to meet him then.

When I returned a month later, he had sadly passed away.

And I had lost the chance to meet a true nestor of my trade.

Who had reached out, wanting to meet me.

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I Bet You're Not Doing This – But Really You Ought To

Here’s something you’re probably not doing.

Which is a pity because it could get you a lot more business.

I’m talking about testimonials, and specifically: asking for them.


Doesn’t have to be.

Shouldn’t be.

Not if you time it right.

What’s the best time to ask a client for a testimonial?

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You Probably Won't Get It If You Don't Ask

If there’s one thing are scared of in business, it’s asking for the sale.

People are generally just petrified of it.

“I’ve told them the price, explained what’s in the box and how it’ll help them. Now it’s up to them to decide.”


It’s up to you to ask if they want this thing you have on offer.

Think about it: they take the time to read your stuff, or to talk to you.

They take an interest in what you do.

So much so that they are considering the price.

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The One Word That Guarantees Nothing Will Get Better

I was talking to a friend the other day about her business.

She runs it with her husband, and it’s not easy for them at the moment.

I, like several other of their friends, try to suggest solutions.

Ideas to try, in order to attract more business.

All of us meet a wall built of solid reinforced concrete: “NO”.

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Who You Know and What You Know Aren't as Important as HOW YOU are Known

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A subscriber writes in with a question:
Is it really who you know, not what you know when it comes to getting ahead? Is it a closed door policy or open? I have been at this art career professionally for 10 years (mind you, I have carried two children, did the tree change and bought a family business within those years) but I have yet to really be ‘seen’. I have finally secured 2 great solo shows in regional art galleries and we are off to Italy next year for an artist residency but I’m still feeling challenged by the Australian bourgeoisie ‘art society’. My aim is to secure a professional, commercial Sydney art gallery but I seem to be invisible.Really great question too, but unfortunately it isn’t relevant.

That is to say: it’s not in your control who you know – you can reach out all you like, but in the end it’s not up to you which influencers pay attention to you.

And what you know, well that gives you no prediction of how far you can go.

What you can control however is how people know you.
In other words: your brand, your personality, your perceived value as a provider – what you’re about, why you would matter to a buyer.

That part, you can completely control. That’s the part you own, and that’s the only thing you need to concern yourself with.

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Exactly How Smart Are You?

“I’ve got a great idea for you!”

“But of course, you’re doing it wrong. Why don’t you try abc?”

“What you should do, is (xyz)”

We all receive advice, whether we ask for it or not.

The question is, what do you do with it?

Most people just won’t take advice, no matter how good it is.

Which is why these days, I don’t bother dishing out advice.

Hardly any point in it.

Last week I was having coffee with a friend, when Elisabeth showed up.

She’s a German lady, speaks four languages and has quite some clout as a business consultant.

But she is clueless about marketing or being a freelancer.

She sat down, ordered coffee, and explained she was sending her resumé to hotels, to see if there’s a waitressing job available.

So I said: “You could also forego that, and set yourself up as an independent consultant, you know?

It’ll be hard work and it’s going to mean writing TONS of content, but if you write well you can probably pull it off.”

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How to Double, Triple or Quadruple Your Writing Speed – Today!

I had a guest post go live on Firepolemarketing last week, and it seemed to be a massive solution to quite a few people.

If you joined my list after reading that post, this message is no news for you.

But if you signed up any time before that post went live, you might have missed it.

And if you write content as part of your business, and if you want to write faster, you want to read this piece. Believe me.

Find it here:

So this email holds no salespitch – just one request: after reading, would you please share it around on social media?

Thank you.


No, But I Mean It: Specialise (If You Want to Live)

Looks like my email about specialisation the other day caused some anger.

A reader replied by writing a blog post.

It’s in dutch so I’m afraid I can’t share it with you.

The gyst of it is that this reader diversification a hallmark of being human.

Which I agree with.

It doesn’t get you your daily bread though.

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Tell Me What to Do – Don't They Know How Arrogant I Am?

Had an interesting conversation with a few smart local femtrepreneurs the other day.

They were asking me about my habit of emailing daily.

And they were trying hard to convince me that it’s a bad strategy.

“You’ll bore people”
Nope. People mail me back to say thanks.

“They flag you for spam”.
Not so. I get hardly even any unsubscribes.

“People just ignore you”.
Not true either. It gets me consistently high open rates.

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