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Michal Eisikowitz Copywriting Expert Interview: Make it Fun!

copywriting secrets

At the beginning of my freelance career, I went from $2K to $20K a month — in 18 months. Today, I am grateful to be CEO of a large and profitable business, with several training programs and products for copywriters, as well as done-for-you copywriting services for a select group of B2B SaaS clients.

What success have you had

    • Trained nearly 200 copywriters to date via my CopyTribe foundational
      copywriting program
    • Did this while raising 4 kids (just added a 5th in 2020 : ))


How long have you been doing this

    • Been writing copy since 2007 — first as part of the marketing team at a
      publishing company, then as an agency copywriter for a New York creative
      agency specializing in lifestyle brands.
    • Launched my own business in the summer of 2017.

IDENTITY

What is your backstory?

In 2017, I was working three different jobs — journalist, agency copywriter, and speech-language pathologist. (I have a Masters in Communication Sciences.)

I also had 4 kids, including a full-time nursing baby. And a full-time working husband. To top it all off, I had very limited household help, because I wasn’t earning enough to allow myself what felt like a luxury.

Bottom line? My daily schedule was incredibly STRESSFUL.

My career satisfaction was also rock bottom LOW. I was working 3 very different jobs, so my focus was nonexistent. I had Scattered Brain Syndrome; I felt fragmented and confused.

I was working so hard in 3 different directions and mastering none. Deep down, I knew I was not “living my best life”–  I was not giving the world my unique, absolute best self —  but I felt stuck…and too scared to rock the boat.

On a practical level, my bank account was not exactly brimming: I was earning about $2,000 a month on average, working 5-6 hours a day.

I was doing good work, but the compensation was pathetic. I had hit the company’s ceiling in each of my jobs, and I started feeling resentful.

In 2017, I took The Copywriter Accelerator — a business program for copywriters who are ready to turn their “cute side gig” into a serious business. I implemented like crazy, got as many clients as I could, and here we are today

STRUGGLE

What did you struggle with when you first started learning your current skills?

  • Copy skills.

  • Business skills: marketing, sales, and client management

I’d been writing copy for years, and I was a good writer. But on the persuasion/science/sales side of things, I was winging it — I didn’t always use best practices, and I didn’t know which tried and true formulas to use each time (without having to reinvent the wheel).

For the second skill set — business and client management — I was clueless at the start; I’d been a 9-to-5-er until then. I didn’t understand brand positioning, business mindset, or the sales process. I couldn’t map out the steps you needed to take a successful freelance project from start to finish.

DISCOVERY

How did you overcome this and become an expert?

For copy skills: Hands-on experience.

The absolute best way to improve your copy skills is:

  • Get actual copywriting projects

  • Research the copy type you’re supposed to be writing — like nobody’s business

  • Write the copy

  • Submit it to an experienced copywriter for critique.

I did this again and again and again.  It worked!

It was mildly excruciating to get my copy ripped apart at the beginning (especially if it was version #5), but the learning experience was invaluable.

For business skills: being in a community of ambitious copywriters who think of themselves as business owners rather than freelancers.

There is nothing like learning by osmosis.

When I joined my first business mastermind, I was literally paying $500/month to be the dumbest person in the room. Was it worth it? YES, a million times over.

KNOW THIS: You always want to be the dumbest person in the room.

RESULT

What is your current situation?

I run a profitable business I love. I have two in-house employees and a network of trusted subcontractors. I love teaching and I’m good at it — so I’ve pivoted to spend more time on the training part of my business.

Why do you think it’s so crucial to use Copywriting today?

Messaging was always crucial — think of the serpent and Eve. (“This is how you can become smart like God!”) It’s always been and always will be about the message.

What changed today is that EVERY BUSINESS must be online to survive. Even the ones that were exclusively brick-and-mortar as of March 2020.

That means that if your online messaging is

  • Unclear

  • Snooze-worthy

  • Off-brand

you stand to lose exponentially.

What’s more, while many businesses traditionally used their websites as an online brochure, more and more of the smarter ones are realizing: if you build your website right, it can be the most effective salesperson on your team — for a TINY FRACTION of the cost.

What questions do beginners always ask you?

What should I charge for X project?

Seriously. I got asked that question so many times, I finally created a product for it — a detailed pricing guide that lists typical industry pricing for 26 common copy types, for both newbies and more experienced copywriters. I also included recommendations for strategically packaging and presenting each type.

What expert secrets have you discovered along the way that you can share with us?

  • There is no substitute for experience. Stop talking, stop buying your tenth course, go out and land some real projects.
  • Execution wins the game. I’ve trained nearly 200 copywriters by now. To my surprise, the most successful ones were NOT the most talented. The most successful ones were the most persistent. The ones who kept showing up, doing the work, and not giving up — even when it got tough. Grit matters.

What is your secret weapon/specialty that you do better than all your competitors?

1. Make it fun. I work hard to develop warm relationships with my clients that last well beyond the project end date. I try to make every meeting and interaction enjoyable and stimulating.

People are not just buying your copy — they’re buying YOU, they’re buying the experience of working with you. Like ability is one of the major emotional factors that go into the buying decision.

2. Perfectionist copy. My tagline is “The Perfectionist Copywriter” and my team produces copy that lives up to that name.

At some point in my business branding journey, I realized I was an out-and-out perfectionist — why not leverage that to my advantage and make it part of my brand?The funny thing about perfectionism is that on paper, everyone hates on it — “perfect is the enemy of good!” “perfectionism is the enemy of creation!” —  but in real life, behind all those noble sound bytes, EVERYBODY wants to hire a perfectionist.

Multiple clients have told me: “you know what sold me on you? Your perfectionist brand. The fact that you are seriously committed to an exceptional product.”

What are the biggest false beliefs people have about sales and copywriting and why they are false

“Marketers are sleazy.”
“Copywriters spend their days convincing people to spend money they don’t have  on things they don’t need.”

The truth: every industry — from fitness to insurance to healthcare —  has a dark side.

Are there unethical, Machiaveillian types in this space who capitalize on people’s deepest fears and vulnerabilities to make more money? Absolutely.

Are they the majority? No.

Most copywriters genuinely believe in the product they are helping to sell. They genuinely believe that for the right person, it will CHANGE THEIR LIFE FOR THE GOOD.

And if that’s the case, their copy is all about helping that customer take the leap and make a really good decision.

If you were to give people a checklist on how to get started, what would it be?

  • 1.

    Spend 10 hours reading all “foundational” type posts on Copyhackers.com

  • 2.

    Get your first 3 projects. Work for free if you have to — but get 3 beautiful projects you can show off.

  • 3.

    Take a course that teaches you copy AND business skills. (My completely unbiased recommendation: CopyTribe)

  • 4.

    Leverage one of your SWON strengths (speaking/writing/networking/one-on-one) and set aside at least one day a week to content creation + marketing.

  • 5.

    Consider an agency position for your first year or two — the experience you can access there is invaluable.

Is there a mentor (or colleague that you admire), a book, or a course that you would recommend to our readers?

Rob Marsh and Kira Hug were my first mentors, and they were exceptional.
Supportive, wise, empowering — and just so darned likeable.
They started me on this amazing journey from nothing.
Their “Copywriter Club” podcast is a must-listen for copywriters, and they have multiple high-value products and trainings as well.

Is there a question I didn’t ask and you wished I had?

(and what is it and what is the answer)

Where can people find you? (blog - course - article)

They can sign up for my free Pricing Crash Course here — a 12-part, highly unboring email course that shares all the pricing + packaging fundamentals I’ve learned the hard way.

My website is a fun read as well : )

And I hang out on LinkedIn a lot – love to connect with smart people!

1 Comment(s)

  1. Martin Angila
    Martin Angila
    January 27, 2021

    Awesome post Michal. You have some sure-fire tips there. Will probably be implementing them in my writing business. And by the way, your website is on another level. Loved the design and content.

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