I don’t really like being introduced to strangers as a copywriter. It’s been this way for a few years now, and I struggled to understand why.🤔
Originally, I assumed it was related to my ego. I thought I didn’t like being introduced as a copywriter because I’m “more” than just a copywriter. I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve been a CEO of an 8 figure company. I am a coach and mentor. I’m a writer. I’m an investor. A husband and a father.
Well, I am all of these things…😎
So I thought the reason why I didn’t like being called a copywriter is because it was reductionist.
“I’m more than a copywriter,” I would silently proclaim…
And that's true.🤷♂️
This morning though, I realized that my previous explanation was incomplete.
The truth is, there's really only one certain time when I don’t like being introduced as a copywriter…
And that’s when I’m at an industry-related mastermind or event, and I’m meeting a stranger for the first time.
It instantly creates an unequal social dynamic between myself and the stranger.⚖
In other words, when an entrepreneur’s first label for me is “copywriter,” there is an inherent assumption that I might want to get hired by them, or that I’m looking for work. That I want their money and that I'd like to “sell” them something.
And that's a fair assumption for them to make, by the way…
Because typically, copywriters are looking for more clients to hire them.
The problem for me, though, is that this unequal dynamic has very immediate consequences.
Rather than a chance at a more robust conversation with this new person, the path becomes binary.
They’re either thinking:
“Well I could use a copywriter, I wonder if this person is any good and how much they charge?”
Or they are thinking:
“I don’t need a copywriter, this person probably wants money from me, and I want to extricate myself from this conversation as soon as possible.”
Obviously, this isn’t the dynamic every single time, but it’s the dynamic a lot of the time…
And I don’t like it.😏
So, why am I sharing this?
Because it didn’t used to be this way. When I was a young up-and-comer who was looking for copy clients, you better believe I wanted to be introduced to strangers as a copywriter. I wanted those strangers to have a binary thought process upon hearing what I did – to immediately decide that either they would be interested in hiring me or that they weren't interested.
Over time though, as I’ve grown into an entrepreneur, an investor, a coach, a writer-at-large, a father, a husband, and more…
The title of “copywriter” just no longer suits me.
Copywriting is something I do, but it's not who I am.
So the positioning has changed…
Today, you can’t really hire me…
But even when you could, I didn’t want you to think of me as a copywriter.
That’s different than earlier on, when that’s the ONLY way I wanted to be thought of.
As my career and accomplishments grew though…
The label of “copywriter” started to feel too restrictive. Not just from an ego-perspective, but from a self-promotional perspective, too. Being a copywriter was limiting my income.
After I started and scaled my first successful health supplement company to $23MM, then went back to doing some client work…
I began positioning myself as a direct response expert. Someone who didn’t just write great copy, but who could show you how to have a profitable offer, too.
That meant helping you to get your AOV up and optimizing the various conversion elements in your funnel like where you show the buy button, your shopping cart, etc.
When you hired me, I could give you advice on traffic sources, how to minimize refunds and chargebacks, ways to increase LTV, and more.
So sure, I was still a copywriter…
But the real reason you were hiring me is because, quite frankly, I knew more about running a successful Direct Response offer than you did.
This is one of the big keys that allowed me to go from charging a few thousand dollars per sales letter to $50k or more.
It wasn’t just the copy I wrote – it was the expertise that I brought to the table.
And it’s likely you’re on a similar journey as I am right now.
Maybe you’re early on in your freelance career, in which case you should look at yourself as “a copywriter”. You should want to be introduced as a copywriter. As far as your work is concerned, “copywriter” should be your identity.
But then, as you become more advanced and really understand “the game”…
You may want people to stop viewing you as just a “copywriter.” You may want them to view you as a brilliant marketer, a conversion expert, the most bad-a** hired-gun there is, a secret weapon.
These are two entirely different modes of being, and they often come with dramatically different incomes as well…
The latter is, of course, financially better…🤑
But this isn't something where you can fake it. You need to really get the wins and gain the knowledge before you can become an “expert”…
Which is why, for those writers who are just starting out…
My advice is ALWAYS to worry less about money, and more about getting great at your craft.
Do that, and the money nearly always follows…
Especially if you’re smart and recognize the way you position yourself should continue to change.
P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link