I Didn’t Think I Was Ready –
But I Took the Plunge Anyway …
and Boy, Am I Glad I Did!
(Three Amazing Days at the Beach That Changed My Life)
I’d taken AWAI’s six-figure copywriting program and read the books, but it was at the FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp in Delray Beach, Florida, where I finally made the connections and understood the actions I had to take to become a highly paid copywriter.
I am now working on my fourth copywriting job – fifth if you count the fundraising promo I did at no charge. Now I know I’m on my way and in good hands with AWAI.
This simply would not have happened if I hadn’t been at Bootcamp.
Bonus: Within a few months of attending Bootcamp, I had more than paid back the investment I made in myself.
Dear Fellow AWAI Copywriter,
My name is Pat McCord and, like many of you, I’m a relative newcomer to the craft of writing advertising copy. But I found out there’s a secret to skipping to the head of the line, where you can turn all that learning into earning – in the shortest possible time.
And I almost missed out!
After all, I told myself, I’m not the social type. I don’t really like big gatherings with strangers … and if I can’t become a copywriter through hard work and studying on my own, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this.
But my life was in transition – and I had been dreaming about all the changes I was going to make … someday. Does this sound familiar?
Maybe you’ve been in the same place I was … feeling too young to give up on my dreams, but too old to waste time.
In between a number of mini-careers in the corporate world, I had written several successful books and a handful of magazine articles.
So I’d already discovered the beauty of freelance writing – it was solitary, something I could do by myself at two in the morning, or on a Tuesday afternoon at the umbrella table out back.
What I loved was that copywriting offered some of the same perks and a whole lot more money than I’d ever earned before. Still, this kind of writing was so different from anything I’d done in the past …
Like many of you, I had started AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, but I had a ways to go before finishing it.
Then one day I looked in the mirror and it hit me: Someday was now!
I realized that if I kept putting it off and making excuses, all I was doing was getting another year older.
Signing up for AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m willing to bet it will be for you, too.
Isn’t It Time to Invest in Your Dream
and Turn Assignments Into Real Progress?
Everyone I met at Bootcamp, every panel I attended, every casual conversation I had, netted me another nugget that convinced me I was in the right place at the right time.
Thank goodness I signed up before I could talk myself out of it! And that choice has made all the difference in my career.
If your dreams are in the same place mine were – on the back burner – you’ve got to get yourself to Bootcamp this year. Sign up right now for AWAI’s 2009 FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. Do it today.
Proof That Real People Are Making It As Freelance Copywriters
The very first thing I noticed after arriving at the Marriott in beautiful Delray Beach was the sense of excitement and energy. Copywriters had all but taken over the lobby and were charged up, smiling, re-connecting with old friends.
At the “Wall of Fame” banquet that first evening, a projector flashed images of some of the most recent “Wall of Fame” inductees, as well as some words of wisdom from each of them.
These were people who had started out just like I had – with AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
And all of them had made the leap to become successful, working copywriters.
Many of them were actually there in the room, just a table or two away from me … having a ball, enjoying their annual trip to Florida for another energizing Bootcamp.
There it was – proof!
The big copywriting promise and the money it could generate were for real. Real people had made the commitment.
As a result, many had left 9-to-5 jobs or moved to a location of their dreams. All of them had transformed their lives.
I knew if they could do it, I could too.
No Such Thing As a Typical Copywriter
If you’ve ever wondered if you fit the mold of a copywriter, stop wondering. You do – because there is no mold.
“Getting to know some of my peers was quite enlightening … I met people from all walks of life and from many countries.”
– Gary W. H., Mesa, AZ
Like Gary says, there is just no such thing as a typical copywriter. They come in every description imaginable – young, old, male, female, east coasters and west – and from every previous profession including dentist, bartender, police officer, real estate investor, truck driver, and children’s book author.
What that meant to me was that everyone had an equal chance, and the only thing that mattered was, “Can you do it?”
Meeting People At Bootcamp Happens So Easily,
You Won’t Even Notice You’re Networking
Scattered around the banquet room were dozens of successful copywriters waiting to introduce themselves and answer questions from attendees.
Michael Masterson himself stopped by my table to say hello. Someone pointed out Katie Yeakle, co-founder of AWAI.
After dinner, a big surprise – almost no one rushed for the doors like at other banquets I’d attended.
Instead, the attendees stayed and talked, shared good news about jobs they’d landed, arranged for later meetings out by the pool, or exchanged business cards.
They stayed until it was obvious that the hotel staff really had to collect the dessert dishes and haul out the tables, so they could get ready for the next day’s Bootcamp events.
Tracy had this to say …
“The most lasting benefit I got from the experience (of Bootcamp) is likely to be the friendships I made there. I am part of a group of 5 really different and wonderful women who are all committed to our own and each other’s success. I could never have imagined that such a strong bond could be forged so quickly … I know we will be friends forever.”
– Tracy M., Lake Grove, NY
On the way out, I caught up with Katie Yeakle. I was a little nervous approaching her, but it turned out I didn’t have to be. She is as genuine as it gets – with a super-casual manner of talking to people that puts you at ease right away.
I had sent her a headline and lead as part of a spec challenge. I knew I was in the top 20 finalists, but I sure wasn’t expecting what she said.
“I was really impressed with what you wrote,” Katie told me. “We’d like to use you for some promotions.”
That was the gist of our conversation … I hardly remember the rest. What a boost!
I knew I had a long way to go, but getting off the launching pad the first night of Bootcamp was way beyond my expectations.
This kind of thing just doesn’t happen to ordinary people – or so I thought before I attended Bootcamp. That’s where I found out that these things do happen, and it isn’t unusual.
“I just received three phone calls today from different companies who are interested in hiring me to write copy for them. This is really getting exciting. The AWAI copywriting Bootcamp was the best thing that has happened to me.”
– John K., Telford, PA
“I’ve just landed my first paid direct-mail gig, which I landed from one of the Bootcamp spec challenges. I’ll be on pins and needles until the response numbers come in, but I’m confident that this is just the first of many such assignments.”
– Tom T., Cincinnati, OH
“I did get several paying jobs from Bootcamp, which led to more projects from those same companies. I’ve been to a couple of Bootcamps now, and found them very helpful. Because each year I made new connections and got new writing gigs … and in my case those results paid for Bootcamp several times over.”
– Kammy T., Laurel, MT
During the three days of the conference, you’ll meet writer after writer with a dramatic story about a career that took off because he or she had been at the right place at the right time – that place was AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp.
It’s easy to see how that could happen …
Learn From the Masters How to Earn a
Fabulous Income Doing What You Love
When you do “work worth doing,” it doesn’t feel like work at all. With copywriting, you know you are providing a service that makes a huge difference in a company’s bottom line.
And the need is enormous.
That’s what every copywriting master, marketing expert, and fellow writer emphasizes throughout the three days of Bootcamp sessions.
AWAI brings in top experts from every genre of copywriting – catalog, health and fitness, financial, fundraising, self-help, travel, and more.
And so many of the big names in direct marketing participate – it’s in their best interest to be there, where the copywriters are.
Companies that need copywriters like you and me.
This is why you absolutely have to be at AWAI’s 2009 FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair November 4-7. Why taking the risk is not really a risk at all.
Chances are very high that within a short period of time you will have earned back your Bootcamp fees with assignments you pick up during those 3 days.
But more important, Bootcamp is the place where so many writers get the big break they need.
“To any fence-sitters out there: If you’re debating the merits of attending AWAI’s Bootcamp, sign up right now. It was, without a doubt, the turning point of my graphics/writing career and worth every penny.”
– Cherie R., Ft Meyers, FL
When was the last time you attended a work-related or social event where you didn’t have to awkwardly find a way to fit in? No need to worry – it simply won’t happen at Bootcamp.
“I’ve been to many seminars and conferences through the years and your AWAI event (Bootcamp) is by far the cream of the crop. You and your team did everything possible to make us feel comfortable and to give us an experience I know I’ll never forget.”
– Rick D., Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Like Rick, you’ll notice that opportunities to chat with like-minded people present themselves at every turn.
Part of the reason is that panelists and speakers join in activities, from the casual breakfasts in the morning, to ample breaks out in the hallways, to planned walks on the beach.
They smile, they invite writers to sit with them … some invite writers to send them copy samples. That’s how much they care about helping aspiring writers.
An hour into the first day’s lineup of panels and presentations, you’ll realize that you’re getting far more than you’ve paid for. I know I did.
Most conferences focus on one or two personalities who immerse you in their particular point of view.
At AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair, writers and potential clients who love sharing their expertise divulge the secrets they discovered over years of trial and error.
Secrets that can land you paying jobs with clients who come back to you over and over again.
“All the speakers were great, but Herschell Gordon Lewis was my favorite, and the one I learned the most from. He pointed out obvious errors on envelopes and showed us how a subtle change in words makes a sales letter go from okay to great.”
– Laura M., Phoenix, AZ
You’ll love that they are not talking theory … they are talking real world copywriting. Because after they go home from Bootcamp, they will tackle their next project, the same way you will. Writing. Mastering a conversational tone. Building connections, and looking ahead to the next challenge. Because that’s what copywriters do.
The Best in the Business All in One Place …
and Other Copywriters You Can Relate to
During three days in November, you’ll learn in the presence of world-class pros who have helped hundreds of aspiring copywriters. And also from people who hire copywriters.
Imagine meeting them all at the same event. You’ll hear from experts like …
- Herschell Gordon Lewis, a true wordsmith, who explains why words either add or lose punch, and how important it is to know the difference (as he says “close works in horseshoes and hand grenades but not in copy”). He’s written or co-authored more than 30 books and is considered the premier direct-response copywriter in the United States.
- Michael Masterson, a highly successful copywriter, business builder and author – and a fixture at AWAI events. Ready, Fire, Aim, the title of his most recent book, addresses the wisdom of taking action and outlines a focused strategy for guiding a small business through the four stages of entrepreneurial growth. Michael will teach you the skills you need to succeed as a freelance copywriter.
- Paul Hollingshead, who produces control after control for thrilled clients from his home in Vermont. Before he met Michael Masterson and began studying copywriting, he was a stocker in a supermarket! One of Paul’s first letters netted him more than $40,000 in royalties, generating some $2 million in sales for his client. Paul is a co-founder of AWAI.
- Chris Marlow, who is a copywriter, coach, and publishing “infopreneur” specializing in helping copywriters achieve success. She’ll help you discover which copywriting niche is best for you and share her secrets for landing high-quality, high-paying clients.
- Mike Palmer, head copywriter at Baltimore-based Stansberry & Assoc. Investment Research, where he has assembled and trained a team of writers that copywriting legend Paul calls "among the best in the world."
- Jennifer Stevens, who specializes in travel and investment copywriting, was for many years the editor at International Living and before that an editor at Trade & Culture magazine. Now a freelancer, Jen brings her unique perspective in editing and writing copy to help budding writers create effective, persuasive copy.
- Don Hauptman, an award-winning independent direct-response copywriter and creative consultant for more than 30 years, specializing in the marketing of information. Don may be best known for his headline “Speak Spanish [French, German, etc.] Like a Diplomat!” This ubiquitous series of ads generated revenues in the tens of millions of dollars and became an industry classic. He is the author of The Versatile Freelancer, an e-book recently published by AWAI, that shows copywriters how to diversify their careers into speaking, training, consulting, and critiquing.
- Will Newman, a trainer, mentor and copy coach as well as a writer of direct-response copy. With 10 years of experience, he specializes in writing copy for the health, real estate and computing industries. He is also the editor of AWAI’s weekly e-letter, The Golden Thread.
No matter which genre you’re aiming for as a writer, AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair features an expert who can speak directly to your interests or concerns.
Even better, after hearing them speak, you’ll have a clearer picture of what each area of copywriting involves and which ones are the best fits for you.
As I keep saying, being there makes the difference … AWAI has made sure they’ve covered all the bases.
You’ll Learn Straight from the Experts
“I used to think the AWAI copywriting program – and a few other good books on copywriting – would be more than enough for me to get started. But now that I’ve been to Bootcamp, I’ve completely changed my perspective on this. When you make the commitment to go to Bootcamp and meet the people behind it … it becomes a truly profound experience.”
– Jason G., London, England
From the experts, you’ll learn how packages are constructed … how to promote yourself … how to increase productivity and boost your income … even how to manage your days. Nothing is left out.
You’ll gather tips from the masters on headlines and leads, crafting compelling bullet points, how to create powerful stories, tips on writing envelope copy, and topics you might not have considered … search engine optimization, anyone?
“Very insightful presentations … helped me to understand what I need to do to deliver a successful package … provide the tools to tighten, edit and improve my copy. Really got my ‘wheels’ turning … thinking of various ways to promote myself. Learning what marketers expect and need from copywriters was critical information. Thanks for sharing it!”
– Kevin A., Davenport, IA
Here are a few more experts who are lined up for this year’s Bootcamp:
Mark Everett Johnson will offer a Master Class titled “Is Direct Mail Dead?” There is some discussion—quite a lot of discussion—among copywriters and some marketers about whether in-the-mail still works or if it is all about online copy now. This promises to be a very interesting presentation.
Joshua Boswell, Pam Foster and Monica Day will team up with other AWAI working copywriters and some marketing directors and show you how to turn one client into an ongoing relationship …
Jen Stevens will join master copywriter John Forde and guide you through the challenge and importance of Offers, Premiums, and other selling tools …
Don Mahoney and Bob Bly will show you how to use your copywriting skills to increase your income, grow a thriving business and create the lifestyle of your dreams.
What this all adds up to is that you’ll get all the tools you need to launch and grow your lucrative copywriting career … and you’ll be inspired to take action.
And then there’s the Job Fair …
Scores of Bootcamp Attendees Walk Away With Paying Jobs Or Spec Assignments That Lead to Paying Jobs
A copywriter is a copywriter only if someone is willing to pay him or her for work. It’s the #1 question on every writer’s mind. How can I find clients?
At Bootcamp, the clients come to you! They each have their own booth at the Job Fair, where they wait eager to talk to writers, collect writing samples or business cards, and tell you about their companies and their writing needs.
They are there to find someone like you who can help them make money. Maybe that someone is you.
“The Job Fair was a highlight. It was great to be able to talk to the different marketers, to find out what they are really looking for. There is no way I could have gotten that kind of contact from a phone call or email.”
– Brenda C., LaSalle, Ontario, Canada
Job Fair participants are amazingly friendly and approachable, handing out spec assignments with a smile and “Good luck” to anyone who takes the time to talk to them.
It’s no secret that they are there for the express purpose of connecting with you, the copywriter who might make them their next million. And that can translate into fat paychecks for you …
“We did hire a couple of writers from your last Bootcamp and they’re doing excellent … you’ll definitely see us again at your next Job Fair.”
– Louis Hart, Best Life Herbals
Katie Yeakle, Denise Ford, Michael Masterson, Paul Hollingshead and other “luminaries” of Bootcamp mill around, too. “How are you doing?” they might ask. Or, “Be sure to talk to Agora. They’re looking for someone with your skills.” How they remember so many of us I will never know.
But does all this excitement and activity really pay off? You bet it does! Here’s what AWAI member Eric Gelb has to say about being awarded a Job Fair spec from Transperience Network LLC in 2008 …
“What an honor it is to be at this level! A lifelong dream for me! And, the knowledge you imparted and contacts you created for me at Job Fair made a lot of this possible. So many thanks!
Job Fair Is a Party With a Purpose …
This One Event Is Worth the Entire Cost of Bootcamp
Everyone who attends Job Fair comes away with a handful of spec assignments to work on or a new sense of direction. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary event!
Bootcampers from previous years are proof that spec assignments offer the quickest way to find major clients. Clients who pay well and often award second, third, and more assignments to writers they like.
Then, on the final day of Bootcamp, writers get the chance to incorporate what they’ve learned into a headline and lead for critique …
Now You’re Ready … to Write!
For some, this session alone is reason enough to attend. I’m still in contact with some of my fellow writers by email – a perfect antidote to the solitary nature of our craft. We applaud each other when we land paying jobs and critique each other’s work.
Your critique group is yet another connection to AWAI and other writers all year and beyond.
“The Peer Reviews were a great experience … very empowering … excellent feedback! Bootcamp offered great content, terrific staff, wonderful new colleagues and friends. Will I be back? Yes!”
– Mike S., Lewisville, TX
You’ll love it, because seasoned writers and copy coaches lead the Bootcamp groups. They facilitate a peer review process, developed by Michael Masterson, that ensures comments are constructive and based on copy suggestions rather than opinions.
No ego trampling here. Just feedback on how to improve.
I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first. It was one thing to read about headlines and leads … maybe spend a week crafting words for a spec assignment … but another thing to write at Bootcamp. At least, that’s what I thought before I tried it.
What I found out was that by forcing my pen to move on the paper, I didn’t have time to get writer’s block or to worry about perfection. I just put down words as they occurred to me, and then polished in the time allotted before my group was to meet.
All I could say afterward was, “Wow!” The group showed me how, by changing a few words around, I could write a much more powerful headline or lead.
“The critique session, especially, went a long way toward boosting my confidence. I spent today going through the many spec assignments I picked up at Job Fair and deciding on the ones I am going to submit. So, I am now happily beginning my copywriting career journey, or as I like to think of it, my ‘Millionaire March!’”
– Toni P., Accokeek, MD
For me, the Peer Review session was definitely a highlight, but as the intensive part of Bootcamp wound down, the fun was just beginning …
You Can Get Paid to Attend Bootcamp!
What? Why would anyone pay you to attend Bootcamp? Because like every other company out there, AWAI is always looking for new writers to promote their products. And they obviously believe serious writers should be treated like professionals … who get paid.
Here’s the deal: When you sign up for Bootcamp, you become eligible to compete for paying jobs in AWAI’s Pre-Bootcamp Spec Challenge. If your headline and lead – submitted to AWAI before the conference begins – is the winner in any one of several categories, AWAI Executive Director, Katie Yeakle, will call you onto the stage and award you $500, in front of the entire conference.
But this is just an advance. You’ll also get the chance to write the whole package with the help of an AWAI Board Member. And get paid another $500!
Last year Katie even handed out a check for $10,000 to a talented writer whose copy for AWAI had the best “results” for the year. By that I mean the promo’s sales results, profits earned, and the breakthrough nature of the copy. Last year it was me! Believe me – next year it could be you!
Imagine being handed a check for $10,000 at Bootcamp …
You’ll get all the details when you sign up for 2009 FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. These sought-after spec challenges are offered only to writers who register for the conference.
You Will Leave Bootcamp a
Different Person Than When You Arrived
It happens to everyone. You arrive a shy would-be writer who wonders if he or she is in the right place, and leave knowing you are going to make it. Christina’s comment sums it up …
“This has been an experience that will change my life. I am on a new path, and I thank AWAI for this opportunity.”
– Christina A., Essex, Ontario, Canada
You’ve made the contacts, maybe landed a job on the spot or collected enough spec assignments to create samples for your portfolio – or an assignment to write a promotion.
That’s enough to convince any writer that Bootcamp was more than worth the price. But there’s more …
At the beginning of this letter, I claimed three amazing days at the beach had changed my life. So where does the beach come in?
Delray Beach is one of most charming seaside towns I’ve ever visited. It’s the perfect place for a conference that promises to change lives, because it offers serenity, a place to contemplate the new direction you’re headed.
Early in the morning or after daily sessions, writers walk along the edge of the surf, dipping bare feet into the saltwater, looking out to sea in thoughtful review.
Place matters, and I think you’ll agree that Delray Beach feels perfect. After spending three days there, you’ll see what I mean.
Being There Makes All the Difference
Bootcamp is an experience that you cannot get from books or seminars or hearing someone else tell you about it … not even me. You have to click the sign up now button to change the course of your copywriting career.
When you do, something magical happens – you start thinking like a copywriter. And your thoughts are the first step to creating a new reality.
You’ll feel inspired, knowing that you’ve made a commitment to go the distance and become the best, highest-paid copywriter you can be.
Don’t wait until you feel ready …
The Time Is Right Now to Take the
Next Step in Your Copywriting Career
People who have been around copywriting for a while know that most experiences of this intensity and scope can be expensive – $5,000 or even $10,000. And participants gladly pay the price because future earnings more than compensate for the initial cost.
But the 2009 FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair is one of the best bargains around. If you sign up by September 1st, you can even save $200 off the regular price of $1,995 and pay just $1,795.
But even smarter, by committing to Bootcamp 2009 today, you can also spread payments out in equal monthly installments.
Flip your calendar open to November now and mark the dates – Wednesday, November 4th; starts with registration in the late afternoon; then opening remarks by Michael Masterson followed by the “Wall of Fame” Banquet. The get ready for jam-packed days on November 5, 6, and 7 – with multiple sessions to choose from!
And, when you register for the 2009 FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair, AWAI will send you 2 FREE gifts. You’ll receive for instant download …
- “The 2009 Bootcamp Primer: Everything You Need to Know to Make This Experience the Highlight of 2009 – and Help You Kick Off a Great 2010”
- “Master’s Tips for Making the Most Out of Bootcamp Job Fair”
They are great reading, even if you’ve been to Bootcamp multiple times. To tell you the truth, I wish I’d had them before I arrived the first time … so don’t miss out on getting your copies.
Saying yes is easy. All you have to do is call the AWAI offices toll free at 866-879-2924 or click here to register online and get further details.
If you’re serious about copywriting, you can’t afford NOT to be at this amazing event. It’s the quickest way to convert all you’ve learned into paying jobs.
Sign Up Right Now
Don’t talk yourself out of it like I almost did. The commitment itself gives you a psychological edge. You block out time, you make your airline reservations, you reserve your room at the Marriott .
You’re on your way!
If you’re like me, you’ll never be the same again.
Click the button below and let AWAI know … and more important, let yourself know … that you will be there.
Hope to see you in the lobby on November 4th.
AWAI Member and Copywriter
P.S. When you sign up, you’ll also have access to a special website just for Bootcampers – updated regularly – with details about your spec assignments, hotel and shuttle information, and more.
P.P.S. And as with every AWAI offer, comes a 100% satisfaction, risk-free guarantee … Register today. Come to the first day of Bootcamp. If you are not completely satisfied with what you experience during day one, simply tell any staff member at the end of the day. AWAI will prepare a refund for you for your entire registration fee (minus the $200 processing fee). No questions asked. Enjoy the rest of your time as a mini-vacation, and head home with money in your pocket.
And one more thing … Kathleen C. from Barrington, Massachusetts, expressed my thoughts exactly …
“Thank you to the entire AWAI team for a well-planned and organized, informative, generous (books, drinks, discounts!) and FUN Bootcamp (my first). The attention to detail was terrific … mints, Kleenex, Purell!!! After leaving on Saturday evening I met someone who asked me what I did. For the first time, I looked her straight in the eye and said, ‘I am a copywriter.’”
– Kathleen C., Great Barrington, MA