This podcast reveals the insider secrets of advertising copy that makes money.
Insights into the highly profitable world of direct response marketing.
Hosted by the World's Greatest Copywriting Coach, David Garfinkel.
The Founding Fathers of Copywriting, with Sean Vosler
Our guest today is a copywriting historian and eight-figure practitioner of direct response copy.
His name is Sean Vosler and I’ve wanted to have him on the show ever since I saw some of his detailed, comprehensive mindmaps connecting the early pioneers of advertising to the world of today.
He’s also the founder of Increase.Academy and author of the best-selling guide “7 Figure Marketing Copy.” He specializes in helping business scale to seven and even eight figures.
We’re going to talk about a bunch of things today, including how he scales businesses with direct marketing copy. But just as important is his unique and penetrating research back into the 1880s and 1890s, where he is on a mission to find out how we got to where we are today in the world of direct response marketing.
Of course, one of the reasons Copywriters Podcast got to where we are are today is the following:
Copy is powerful. You’re responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims... and/or if you’re writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity... you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.
On today’s show, we heard some wild tales about:
-Why Sean is so eager to get to New York
- The great copywriters of the late 19th Century, and how their influence stretches from Claude Hopkins to all of us today
- How he got into becoming such a prodigious copywriting historian
- His new book, 7-Figure Marketing Copy
You can find out more about the book at: Sean.co/copywriterspodcastSean.co/copywriterspodcast
Copywriting Takeaways from Dr. Cialdini and Friends
Every marketer has their favorite books and experts. One of mine is Dr. Robert Cialdini, who wrote “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
It’s a classic and I’m sure many of you have read it and found it incredibly useful.
That’s not his only book, though. Dr. Cialdini got together with a couple of friends… a prof and consultant from the UK, Steve Martin -- no, not THAT Steve Martin -- and a prof from the UCLA biz school, Dr. Noah Goldstein. They put together a neat book called “The Small Big.”
It’s unique as far as I know because it lists tiny little things you can do, or changes you can make, that turn a no into a yes.
For some reason it was very hard to find when I got my copy a few years ago. Luckily, today it’s really easy to buy on Amazon. Even as a Kindle.
OK. So what we’re going to talk about today is a little different than what we usually talk about, or what I’ve heard anyone talk about in the area of copywriting.
This is not about hooks or bullets or storytelling., Or smart hacks to make an upsell bring in more revenue.
Now before we get into this, I want to point out that these little hacks, by themselves, are not designed to make money for you. They’re not.
Instead, these are what I would call “strategic tactics.” By that I mean, little things that can turn the tide.
What’s so appealing about them to me is that they have all been proven through research experiments AND they ring 100% true to repeated experience on my part.
These tactics were not originally developed for copywriting, but for persuasion at large — often in large organizational settings. But it’s easy to see how they can be transformed into powerful boosters for any copy that’s fundamentally sound to begin with.
Here are the tips we explore in detail, with easy ways to apply them to copy:
1. Creating Maximum Credibility for an Expert
One small thing you can do to massively increase your prospect’s confidence in the expert in your copy — or, if you’re writing the letter for yourself, boost confidence in your own expertise.
2. How to Keep ’Em Keeping On
This tip gives you a way to maximize getting other people to take action and follow through. It’s useful not only in sales copy, but also in online courses and live trainings.
3. Getting People To Join The Group of “Rebel Individualists”
This one’s pretty cool, because it takes advantage of two contradictory aspects of human nature: Going along with the crowd, since we are, after all, herd animals; and, being an individual, not a sheep.
Plus, a surprise bonus tip on one simple thing you can do to instantly increase your creativity!
The book we talk about on today’s show:
The Small BIG: small changes that spark big influence — by Steve J. Martin, Noah Goldstein, and Robert Cialdini
To The Bone Copywriting
Today we return to our Old Masters series, but this one is really different. We’re going to look at some of the best specific advice from two people who weren’t copywriters.
One was a teacher of writing who really had a big influence on playwrights and screenwriters. The other one didn’t even teach writing at all. At least not writing as we know it.
We’ll get to these people in a minute. What they had in common was, they had mastered how to create works that really reached people emotionally in a way that most writers, including most copywriters, only have at best a vague way to do.
When you apply what I learned from them to what we do, I call this “to-the-bone” copywriting. Because it reaches deeper into your prospect than even some of the most successful sales letters. And by doing so, it will make any sales letter even more successful.
You’ll have to take a leap of faith and see if you don’t agree once we get knee-deep into this “to-the-bone” stuff.
So when we get to the phrase “the art and science of copywriting,” today’s show is about the art part. Not art for art’s sake, but some modified artistic ideas and techniques for pragmatic purposes. Copy that connects better; reaches people more deeply when they’re reading it; and, converts better as a result.
We’re taking from the works of two Old Masters, and you may never have heard of them before. That’s alright. They come from fields other than copywriting.
But they had such an overwhelming influence on major art forms in the 20th century, where emotional connection and meaningful audience experience are the coin of the realm, that I was sure I could dig out some ideas and shape them usefully for copy.
Our first old master was a man by the name of Lajos Egri. Originally from Hungary, he came to the US and wrote a book for playwrights called “The Art of Dramatic Writing.” Many writers and directors in Hollywood have used his ideas for putting films together.
“The Art of Dramatic Writing” is really too heavy-duty for copywriting purposes. But Egri also wrote a book that is out of print today and very hard to find called “Your Key to Successful Writing.” This was almost a for-Dummies version of his original book. Very solid, but pared down to the basics.
I found a couple of to-the-bone secrets in there that are nearly ready-made for copywriting.
Our second Old Master is very well known to students of classical music and almost invisible to nearly everyone else. But, she is almost solely responsible for American concert music starting to be taken seriously in the rest of the world, starting in the early 20th Century. Her name was Nadia Boulanger, and she lived in Paris.
Americans including composers Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Burt Bacharach and Quincy Jones are among the people she taught, and she influenced all of American and European music tremendously. She was also a composer, conductor and performer, but most of her work was her teaching.
Now, she was a music person, not a words person. Very literate and educated, but everything was music for her, writing music, analyzing students’ music, talking about music.
The book we’re drawing from is called “Mademoiselle” and it consists of reconstructed conversations she had. This book is also out of print and hard to find.
The reason I chose Lajos Egri and Nadia Boulanger for today’s Old Masters Series show is, they helped writers and composers make a deep emotional connection with their viewers and listeners in ways few other teachers were able to. So what they have to say will be very useful to copywriters looking for their next edge.
Blazing His Own Copywriting Trail with Eddie Shleyner
Our guest today has taken copywriting knowledge over the paid-content platform Patreon, and he’s the first person I’ve heard to do this.
Eddie Shleyner started out writing copy for some large business websites. Meanwhile, he kept some notes to himself as he was figuring out copywriting in a hectic corporate environment.
One thing led to another, and there have been some pretty interesting developments, which you’ll hear about today.
Here are the questions Eddie answered:
1. You’ve taken a different approach to copywriting from anyone else I’ve come across. Could you tell us something about the results you’re getting -- in terms of clients and income?
2. You’ve told me about your career path, and it’s definitely different. Could you share the highlights of how you got to where you are today?
3. What mistakes did you make and what did you learn from them?
4. And what were the things you tried that worked out really well?
5. So you have 20,000 subscribers… which is pretty awesome for any copywriter and really, more than most online businesses have.
What would you say, from a content creation point of view, are the most important things you did that built up your subscriber base?
6. Please tell us more about your subscription service for copywriters on Patreon?
Eddie’s Patreon page: Patreon.com/VeryGoodCopy
Copywriting Takeaways from TV’s ‘Mad Men’
Among those of us who watch cable television, everyone’s favorite copywriter bad boy is Don Draper of the show ‘Mad Men.’
Along with his secretary who became a copywriter, Peggy Olson, Don Draper is the reason this is the first edition of the Fictional Old Masters Series.
Yes, they are fictional characters. But a lot of factual research went into creating these characters, And I was able to pluck out a few gems from the hours and hours of dialogue they spoke on the show.
My goal today is to make this useful as well as maybe a little entertaining.
So to talk about ‘Mad Men,’ we really have to begin with Matt Weiner. The show was his brainchild.
Now Weiner was not an ad man, much less a Mad Man. In fact, he was a cable TV drama writer. He wrote the pilot for ‘Mad Men,’ on spec, in 1999.
David Chase, who was doing ‘The Sopranos’ for HBO at the time, was so impressed with the script that he hired Weiner to write and executive produce that show. Weiner joined ‘The Sopranos’ team and had a lot of success.
Eight years later, in 2007, Weiner got his show with ‘Mad Men.’ The first episode launched six weeks after the last episode of ‘The Sopranos,’ but on a different cable network, AMC.
‘Mad Men’ won tons of awards, and continued to 2015.
I bring up all this history because it leads to an important question: Consider it was fiction, how authentic was Mad Men, compared to real Madison Avenue advertising?
To answer that question, let’s turn to the acclaimed high-drama film producer Alfred Hitchcock. Weiner has said that Hitchcock was a major influence on him.
And Hitchcock was a much stronger believer in facts that most people would expect. In the 1967 book ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut,’ Hitchcock muses, “What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out.”
So he was pretty much saying drama should be close to real life. But not like real life, because drama should never be boring.
And Weiner seems to have adopted that attitude. The scenes from ‘Mad Men’ were artistically enhanced, for sure, but they weren’t from a different universe than the one we live in.
Weiner did a lot of research, and he acknowledged in interviews that the character Don Draper was based in part on the famous Chicago copywriter Draper Daniels.
Here’s something Draper Daniels wrote:
NOW… AT LAST… THE NEW AMAZING
Gem of genius slowly blazing.
The one man who, without a doubt
Knows what this business is about.
The man who screams, when words are changed,
That all the changers are deranged.
Still, were he quieter or politer,
He wouldn’t be a copywriter.
So, finally, before we dive into the takeaways, let me introduce you to our two Fictional Old Masters.
Don Draper begins the show as a creative director and junior partner of a Madison Avenue ad agency in New York. He’s a hard drinker and a chain smoker. He has some deep secrets in his past and he has a lot of sex partners besides his wife. Not what you would call a boy scout, back in the day.
He was also what we call a genius copywriter. He had an uncanny knack for coming up with really good advertising ideas. We’ll be focusing more on his copywriter chops and less on his lifestyle.
Peggy Olson started out as Draper’s secretary and moved up to becoming a copywriter, where she got her own office with a door that closed. It may sound trite now. But I worked in a big Rockefeller Center building in New York very close to the fictional Mad Men office, and I had an office with a door that closed. Some of the other writers I worked with didn’t. Not only was it status, but it made a huge difference when you needed to concentrate and write something.
Draper was always pushing Peggy to be better. For as broken a man as he was, in that era, his behavior would be called “supportive,” at times. When he switched agencies, he aske
New Opportunities on LinkedIn, with Ted Prodromou
I am thrilled to announce our returning champion, Ted Prodromou. Ted’s known as America’s Leading LinkedIn Coach. He’s the best-selling author of The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business, and the Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business.
We had Ted on the show not too long ago, and with all the changes going on over at LinkedIn, it was time to bring him back.
He’s founder of Search Marketing Simplified, a social media marketing firm.
Besides Copywriters Podcast, Ted has also been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The New York Times, CNBC and Forbes.
I don’t see any reason to wait a minute longer, except to say this:
Here’s what we asked him:
Let’s start with you telling us what’s new on LinkedIn?
How are people using marketing on LinkedIn these days, and what kind of results are they getting?
What are some LinkedIn marketing techniques most people don’t know about, or don’t use, or are using wrong?
If someone’s brand new to LinkedIn, what are the first steps?
What are the most common problems your clients come to you with, and what can you tell us about what you advise them?
The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business
The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business
Reach out to Ted: