Copywriter. A Dime a Dozen?

In one word…NO.

At least the good ones are not. In reality a good copywriter can be one of two things…or both. Hard to find and expensive. To validate this thought was the very fact that, when he was alive, Gary Halbert, the greatest copywriter to ever walk this Earth, was not only difficult to enlist for your ad copy but also typically started at $15,000 per sales copy letter. NOT CHEAP.

But experience and creativity at those levels SHOULD come at a premium price. Remember the age old saying you get what you pay for? This applies particularly well in copywriting.

Typically a copywriter has a few, and often undesirable character traits unique to only a copywriter. Natural ability. Intuition. Insatiable curiosity. Slight to over the top arrogance (on the surface at least), confidence and of course…a creative mind.

Now before you comment on that I’d like to explain a few points here.

I realize that Gary always use to say that a creative has no place being a copywriter. I disagree wholeheartedly on this one. He use to say it got in the way of the born copywriter. Very contradicting to many other quotes Gary made whereas he said that if you can’t learn to think outside the box…then you wont go far in advertising. Well which is it then Gary?

I just so happen to think that, yes it is true that many good copywriters are “naturals”. The ones that were considered the “born salesmen” or “talkers” growing up. But if you combine raw natural talent and a sharp creative mind…you’ve got yourself one fine copywriter that will produce ad copy that stands heads and tails above the rest.

We often say there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. I still believe this completely. However in this regard they are both crucial ingredients to any good copywriter. You see…and I hate doing it but here I go again…there is a quote in marketing that says, “Market yourself to the hilt. For if you don’t…no one else will.” And this is exceptionally the case as a copywriter. Enter the arrogance factor.

It is often when a copywriter is writing about themselves (marketing themselves) that one might think…hey this guy’s an arrogant prick. Well that could very well be true however I highly doubt that is the case in real life. No. Most of it is for show.

I’ve met some great copywriters through the years and in person, the persona/stigma attached to them, either on the internet or in print, just is not there. Some are amiable or quiet meek individuals and others yes…yes they are slightly arrogant, even in person. But my point is that all of these character traits are necessary for any great copywriter to succeed. For without them you will just become one of the dimes.

PS: in closing I would like to suggest the best way to “cut through the BS” is by reviewing someone’s references/testimonials. So long as they are genuine and not “compensated” reviews, then you should be alright. VALID EVERYTHING.

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