A week ago I got a potential new client who wanted to interview me on the phone. We set up a call he asked me why am I writing financial copy. So I told him a story about how my background is in technology and financial copy is very technical which helps to understand and sell financial copy.
Then he asked me how I was able to produce so many promos (6 of them) in less than six months. So I told him my secret weapon is a researcher who helps me collect information so I can concentrate on writing. She’s also my wife and serves as an editor who gives me feedback on my writing.
Then he asked me to do a spec assignment. Argh. Not a spec assignment… again. But then I realized, it’s just like in a financial promo – on a front end you lose money so you can make tenfold on the back end.
And copywriting also has a front end and back end. The good news is – you only need a couple of good clients to have an infinite amount of back end work.
So I went full-on big idea generation. Full force for about a week. I read and I re-read. I searched high and low. Went through magazines and newspapers. Internet and radio. Thought about it day and night nonstop. And… generated more than a dozen big ideas.
And realized something – idea generation has to be done continuously and not like a hit and run… only when needed.
Ideas have to come all the time. Perhaps that’s why Agora teaches to come up with an idea a day. It forces your mind to be creative all the time. And that’s how you can come up with really big ideas.
The process is simple but not easy. You can take a look at other big ideas and admire them. And then go ahead and stress out about not being able to generate ideas as big yourself.
But then… when you’re losing all hope, your mind suddenly springs into action and you get idea after idea of your own.
And your ideas are just as big if not bigger than the ones you’ve seen other top copywriters do. I’ve got about 116 of them in my list. The list that’s potentially worth millions.
And all you need is one per promo. Of course an idea is just that – a start. You need to go and develop it into something useful – a lead. And then think how you’ll develop a story. How you’ll make it interesting and exciting to read. And most importantly – how can someone make a lot of money using it.
So here is how I’m able to come up with these ideas.
First, I need to go and read the latest news and see what’s current in the market. So I go to a library and take stacks of magazines and go through a table of contents… looking for something that will catch my attention.
At first nothing jumps out at me. But then, in a day or two, I start remembering what I read and my mind starts connecting what I read with what I can use as a big idea.
Then I go read more magazines. I start with “Popular Mechanics”, “Bloomberg Businessweek”, “Scientific American”, “Wired” and any other tech or business magazine I can find.
I write down if I find something that could be useful. That’s a first step.
Then I start reading my swipe file and see what’s already done and how others do it. I analyze how they develop an idea into a promo. How they make a promise in the headline and lead. I look at the narrative and try to think of a way how I could do something similar.
Usually, in a week or so, I get a flow of ideas and have at least two or three big ideas I could develop into a sales letter.
A big idea is the most important part. It will either make or break a promo. An idea is a USP – a unique selling proposition. It tells a reader why what they’re reading is new and exciting.
Many million-dollar products and businesses were launched from one simple idea. Now you look at them and realize how big those discoveries were. Case in point – Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula.
There’s nothing revolutionary about – it’s just plain old direct response marketing that is split into pieces and delivered bit by bit… day by day.
But the most important part – the name. PLF – it’s a product launch formula. It’s a formula for launching a product. Any product. Internet product, physical product, virtual product. Any product. If you want to launch it, there’s a formula for that. And Jeff can help you with that.
Even though there is no formula. For every product can be a different marketing. But in your mind, you think you need a formula. And Jeff convinces you he can help. Even though he can’t. He’s not a opywriter.
And you need one. But he convinces you need a formula. Not the copywriting. But there’s a secret. He’ll help you. He’ll get you moving… in circles until you discover that you need copywriting and you… either learn how to do it yourself or hire a professional.
Which you should have started within the first place. Because if you know marketing, and you become an expert at it, you can launch any product for anybody. All you need is to become an expert at direct response copywriting and marketing.
And to be an expert copywriter you have to be able to come up with big ideas. Because big ideas make people stop and pay attention. It piques their curiosity and they want to know more. Before they know it, they’ll get hooked on the big idea and you’ll convince them to buy.
And you don’t need formulas. Although I suppose you can call it a formula – a big idea formula. Sounds abstract, isn’t it?
Product Launch formula sounds much clearer. And simple to understand. Because that is a big idea for smart marketing. And that’s why a legendary Jeff Walker is so successful.
The biggest problem with idea generation is that many times you are too close to your business and you can’t detach yourself. Which makes it hard to look at everything from the side and come up with a fascinating big idea.
This is where an experienced copywriter and marketer can take a look at your business, ask you a couple of questions and immediately see a way how you can stand out from others, what makes you unique and how that can be used for marketing.
Contact me today and I will brainstorm a million-dollar marketing idea you can use to bring a rush of new customers through the door.