When I was a little kid I enjoyed writing humorous fiction stories. I remember that my grandmother and mother, especially, were very encouraging. They thought I had a bit of talent.
But I didn’t know a path for authors to take??
How did John Grisham get to be John Grisham? How did Michael Crichton become Michael Crichton?
There certainly wasn’t a college degree for “How to Be a Famous Author”.
Fast forward a bit to my mid 20’s (and speaking of college, by this point I’d dropped out of a few of those) and I was on the verge of bankruptcy with a new wife and young child.
At this point I decided to start a dog training business.
Makes sense, right? When staring down bankruptcy in your mid 20’s, with no college degree, and no business experience you might as well start a business to play with dogs.
Needless to say, mom and grandma weren’t so encouraging this time around…
Just over a decade later, however, and millions and millions of dollars worth of dog training sold I’ve realized two things:
1- My mom loves me. But she was no more of an expert on career paths than I was.
2- I don’t think I’ll be too successful in convincing her of this…but I HAVE become a ‘quasi-famous’ author in my own right. I’ll explain…
In this article I’m going to talk to two groups:
1- Copywriters: You already know that you’re professional writers/authors. But I doubt you realize, in most cases, just HOW crucial your work is to everything that business is doing. If you can understand this, and internalize this, you can command a higher copywriter salary from your clients.
2- Business owners. Why should you care about a copywriter salary? Because if you’re a hands on business owner then you ALREADY ARE a professional copywriter. And the degree to which you excel at that craft will determine YOUR salary.
And if you simply don’t have it in you to be the famous author that your mom wanted you to be, then you’d better figure out how to get someone writing that copy for your company.
Because COPY is the BACKBONE of every successful company. And COPY determines everyone’s salary. Let’s look at the areas where your skill as a professional writer forms the foundation of every company:
Email Marketing/Email Newsletters/Email Promotion:
Did you know that most businesses STILL aren’t utilizing the power of email? Did you know that WAY more commerce is done through email than all of social media combined?
– If you’re a business that isn’t doing email marketing I can only guess that it’s because you hate money.
Do you hate money?
If you don’t then you need a way to nurture prospects, keep in touch with clients, and stay TOP OF MIND with those in your pipeline. Email is the easiest and cheapest way to do that.
The best email marketing is going to revolve around storytelling: telling stories of your products, of your successes and failures, telling stories of your customers, and telling stories about you.
– If you’re a copywriter did you know that many successful copywriters make all of their living through simply writing emails? It may be for their own products or products for their clients. But this ONE medium can make you a hefty copywriter salary if you’re able to maximize the skill set of killer headlines, compelling copy, and knock-you-in-the-gut offers.
I have this client. He tells me he loves my marketing and that’s why he chose my dog training company.
When he told me he works in advertising I asked him about what he does.
He works at a large agency that gets massive clients and projects.
When he tells me about projects he talks about all the work that goes into those ads. They get focus groups, they do months of research, they have in-house art directors, they look at every inch of that ad and make sure everything looks and ‘pops’ and creates an emotional response to like the ad.
That’s all well and good.
“That’s incredible,” I say. “So what kind of return did you get from your last ad you did. That sounds like it would have been expensive for your client!”
“It was,” he confirmed. “The return was great! So many people were talking about it, it even won a local award at our convention. We’ve never had so many people tell us they love an ad.”
I think you can already spoil the ending…
They had no idea how much money the ad brought in. They couldn’t measure that simple metric. They could measure how awesome and beautiful and popular it was. But they couldn’t do anything to tell whether it mean more money in the client’s pocket.
As a business owner or copywriter, can you write ads?
I mean, ads that convert people into customers?
If so, you don’t need to bother working at one of these expensive agencies where the salaries hover around $50-60k per year for their copywriters.
Instead, you can write your own salary by learning to create ads that actually make money.
Revolutionary idea, I know.
These can be written ads, video ads, radio ads, billboard ads, ads for facebook, tiny little Google AdWords ads, Amazon product descriptions, or a whole host of other types of ads.
But think about it. It’s YOUR words as a professional author/copywriter that ultimately determine the success of the money generating part of the company.
Inner Company Communication
Okay, this is one that’s often overlooked.
But your work as a copywriter here, whether as a business owner or consulting copywriter, can determine a lot of salaries.
What is copy?
Copy is nothing more than words arranged in such a way as to propel people to action.
Of course that’s important for ads, email marketing, and all other types of marketing where we’re trying to get people to pay us.
But what about communication within a company? Don’t you think that’s important as well?
- Employee manuals
- Process guides
- Templates for how to email or communicate amongst the team
- Instruction outlines
- Orientation guides for new-hires
- Much more
Who usually writes these things?
It’s typically some low-paid guy in HR or some lackey who didn’t have any other productive work to do that gets this job.
Think about that. The most important processes are being communicated by some guy who is wishing the company didn’t pee-test new hires.
Copywriters- Did you know that businesses will pay you a nice salary to write these documents. Not only to write them, but to write them in a way that they are actually entertaining and engaging to read so that their employees ACTUALLY use them.
Enormous amounts of time and resources go into creating company processes that work and then actually communicating those ideas is an afterthought.
Go fix that for businesses and make yourself a nice salary.
Business owners- What are you waiting for? Just because you’re writing a company manual doesn’t mean you can’t call yourself a professional author at the next cocktail party you attend.
It’s that company manual, done effectively or done like junk, that can help determine the salary of everyone in the company. Even yours.
In conclusion, when I go to parties and get asked what I do for a living I still tell people that I own a dog training company.
But, I swear, if one more person at one of these parties asks me for free dog training advice I’m soon going to start telling people I’m an author when they ask me what I do.
This is a guest post by Ty Brown. Ty tripled his business in two and a half years using stories and persuasive copywriting. Now he speaks, writes, coaches, and consults with other businesses on how to do the same. Ty is also the owner of Ty the Dog Guy, a Salt Lake City dog training company Find him at Ty the Speaker.