But wait, there’s more! Of course there is…
When you join us in the Back Room for only $75/month, in addition to the 5-in-1 membership benefits including The Roller Report print monthly newsletter and getting me on retainer for you, you also get $1,550 in New Member bonuses:
A 1-on-1 Quick Results call with me (a $300 value)
On this Back Room introductory call, we’ll:
- Map out your next steps
- Get you some quick wins
- Start figuring out a long-term gameplan
When you join, I’ll give you time to get acclimated, receive your physical Back Room Welcome pack, and get your first print issue of The Roller Report.
We’ll schedule this introductory call for sometime after that so you get the most out of it.
The Field Guide to Getting Good Clients You Love (a $500 value)
The Field Guide to Getting Good Clients You Love is a veritable gold mine. I put a price of $500 on it, but I actually don’t sell it separately, and the real value is probably 10x or 100x that amount…IF you use it.
The only way you can get it is by being a Back Room Member.
The Field Guide gives you the best ideas culled from over 229 Cafe Confidential calls (so far), my book, and my upcoming Business Beyond Freelancing™ course, distilled down into a logical, easy-to-use, client acquisition and retention system you can use for life.
A $750 voucher for my Business Beyond Freelancing™ course or BBF Live!™ 2-day workshop ($750 off the normal $1,550)
The Business Beyond Freelancing™ course is a comprehensive, self-paced program built on a proven, evergreen methodology. I developed it and fine-tuned it in the trenches over the past two decades, and my students and I continue to use it successfully today. Available late 2023.
BBF Live™! is a 2-day, in-person, intensive workshop I host. I bring together a small group of solo practitioners in beautiful locations to put the BBF concepts and strategies into action quicker. Since 2013 I’ve hosted 15 retreats and workshops like this, and I’d love to see you at the next one in Boston, MA, May 4-6, 2023.
Your Back Room membership entitles you to $750 off either one of these (currently priced at $1,550). No expiration date on this benefit, feel free to use it whenever you’re ready.
***Please note: You’ll get a confirmation of your payment when you join. Your New Member welcome packet will be on its way in the mail (even if you live outside the U.S.). Actual set-up in the system and access to the Back Room could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 24 hours because we manually verify each new member (I run a classy community and keep miscreants out). Questions? Email email@example.com. If you’re outside the U.S. and have trouble with that Stripe link (they don’t support payments from all countries yet), I can send you a PayPal link privately. The Cafe Back Room and steveroller.com are part of Big Ideas Publishing, LLC.
Back Room Members speak up:
”Whenever you ask Steve specific questions about a business model or marketing strategy, he gives you a well thought-out answer that makes sense, often things you’ve never even thought about.
Some coaches and consultants just validate what you already know. Steve gives you new and oftentimes better ideas and ways to implement your business idea.
I would be excited for you to join the Back Room community. I’ve gotten so much value in the short months I’ve been here, and I know you will, too.Mele WilliamsAttorney, Copywriter, Founder of seejanesmile.com
”For me, Back Room membership is a no-brainer investment for my business. I love the weekly calls, the resources, and the real sense of community Steve has developed.
What stands out most for me, though, is the 1-on-1 calls with the man himself. Steve is happy to jump on a call when I need guidance on a project, proposal, retainer agreement, or anything else to help my business. I highly recommend membership. I think any freelancer will find it invaluable.Richard RowlandsPet Copywriter at richardrowlands.com
”You’ve tremendously upped the value of membership and make me feel honored to be part of an ‘inner circle.’Mark MeadorMorgan Hill, California
”Steve, I can’t believe how much consistent value you deliver. Thank you. I’m grateful I happened upon your group and your wisdom.Alison Tedfordalisontedford.com, Abbottsford, British Columbia
”I’ve already made more money in my business than the previous two years of working a W-2 job. This would not have happened without Steve’s help.Lisa NelsonJovial Creative, Middleton, Wisconsin
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to having you in the Back Room, getting to know you, and most of all, helping you transform your business (and quite possibly, your life).
Is there a minimum time commitment?
Nope. Stay as long as you like or feel free to leave at any time if you decide to go in a different direction. Most members stay for a few years, and many have been here since we started in 2015. I’d love to have you join us.
Who’s this a good fit for?
The Back Room is for freelancers, copywriters, writers, and solo business operators who want to build a more successful business. It’s not so much about a certain income level as it is about creating a profitable, sustainable, and peaceful business. We have Members who are early in their journey, and those who’ve been doing this for 15-20 years. My aim is to help you get further ahead than you would on your own.
I guarantee you’ll regularly get good ideas that will pay for your membership many times over. If at any point you decide to change course and this doesn’t fit your needs anymore, you can leave and I’ll cancel your payments immediately.
In a nutshell, what is this?
The Back Room is a private community of sharp business people who care about each other. I’ll help you figure out exactly what you should be doing, I’ll help you get good clients you love, and I’ll help you build a profitable, sustainable, and peaceful business. We have fun, we talk about business, and sometimes we talk about life. I think you’ll like the vibe, and I think it’ll be a good investment for you.
What is it NOT?
The Back Room is not another copywriting group. We don’t talk ad nauseum about the minutiae of copy (yawn), and we don’t do copy critique Zoom calls. (We do include written copy critiques inside the Back Room, I just think group copy critiques on Zoom are really boring.) It’s not a magic vault full of swipe files and templates (you can get that beginner level stuff elsewhere), and we don’t worship at the altar of copywriting gurus, dead or alive.
Oh, and we’re also not some kind of job listing or match-making service. In fact, I teach you how to get clients without ever having to cruise Job Boards, without having to hobnob with so-called A-listers, and without becoming some kind of copywriting celebrity. Copywriting “jobs” or “gigs” are the antithesis of what we do here.
The Back Room is about Business Beyond Copywriting™. I was talking about it (and doing it) back in the 90s, and I’ll be doing it ‘til the day I die.
Who shouldn’t join the Back Room?
If you’re just starting out or have never had a client of any kind, hold off for now. If you’ve never worked for yourself and you’re running away from a job you hate, skip this.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re making half a million or more a year, there’s probably not a lot you’d get here that you don’t already know.
If you’re in between, maybe making $100-250k or aiming to get there (and beyond) the next few years? You should join us. We’ll help you shorten your learning curve.
Will this help me get clients?
Yes! This is probably the biggest thing I can help you with — getting good clients you love. Not because of your writing prowess, but because you’re going to learn how to have effective Client Conversations here.
Again, you don’t have to be an A-lister, you don’t need to have a well-known personal brand, and you don’t need well-connected friends to introduce you to clients. All you need is my Hot 150™ method, a client acquisition and retention system you can use for the rest of your life. It’s an evergreen topic and main theme of the Back Room.
Why don’t you charge more?
In the near future I will be, and until then, you’re welcome to throw more money my way if you’d like. Ha. But seriously, I’ve priced it at a reasonable level because I always want to over-deliver. You’ll see from the testimonials sprinkled throughout my site that I do. When that happens, people stay, and I’m building a lucrative long-term business.
As a reminder, when you join you’re grandfathered in at that rate. When I raise the rates in the future for new Members, yours will never go up.
Do you really include 1-on-1 calls?
Yes, I do. I talk to Back Room Members 1-on-1 on a regular basis, whenever someone requests it. I enjoy talking to Members, it helps me keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on, and it’s the most effective way I know to help people.
Is this worthwhile if I can’t participate?
One of my current Members asked me this before she joined. My answer: Yes. Not everyone participates in the group discussions on Circle or hops on our weekly Zoom calls. Most don’t, actually.
A lot of people join because they want just one of the benefits I offer. Some people only read The Roller Report print monthly newsletter, others only tap into the Cafe Confidential calls and nothing else. And we have many Members who don’t participate in any group aspects of the community. They joined for one purpose only: to get 1-on-1 coaching from me. If that’s all you take advantage of with your Back Room membership, I guarantee you’ll feel like you’re getting the better end of the deal.
Do you have a physical location?
Yes. I work mostly from home, a restored farmhouse built in 1720 in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. Emida operates her mural painting business here, too. We’ve had Back Room Members visit us, and if you’re ever in our neck of the woods, we’d love to see you. My official business address is nearby: 626 School Street, Putnam, CT 06260
Is copywriting becoming a commodity?
Most definitely. That’s why we’re all about Business Beyond Copywriting™ (and I was banging that drum long before everyone else got on the bandwagon). The Back Room has always been focused on building a business, not necessarily being a freelancer-for-hire, or even a highly paid copywriter going from gig to gig. The game has changed. I wrote about it in my book, The Freelancer Manifesto, back in 2017, and I predicted it even earlier.
How do I stand out in a noisy, crowded world?
Guess what? You don’t have to. So many coaches teach that you have to create some magical magnetic brand and attract people to you, an “It” factor of sorts. Who has time (or the celebrity charisma) to pull that off? Go for it if that’s your style.
Or…follow my methods in the Back Room. They’re for anyone who’s willing to work hard, use their talents, and spend more time creating and delivering good work instead of posing and posturing on social media.
What’s your Hot 150 all about?
The Hot 150™ is a proprietary client acquisition and retention system I developed and fine-tuned in the trenches, starting in my 17-year sales career in Corporate America and continuing with my copywriting business. Without ever using paid traffic, mass marketing, or becoming any kind of “influencer” (in the parlance of 2022), I’ve built a very successful business. It’s worked well for me and I’ve taught it to many others in the Back Room.
Do you teach copywriting?
No, I don’t teach copywriting per se. I never have and never will. I’m good at it, I just don’t know how to teach the craft of copywriting. There are hundreds of copywriting courses out there to learn from, including probably a dozen or so good ones. (I am really good at critiquing copy, though, and that’s something included inside the Back Room membership.)
I teach how to get good clients and keep clients. I teach how to read people and situations and have good Client Conversations. I teach how to sell. I teach how to build a business, a solid business you can ride for the next 5-10 years or more.
I’m not good at selling. Can I do this?
Maybe, maybe not. Selling is a learned skill, so if you’re willing to learn, I’ll do everything I can to help you get good at it. I believe the missing link to becoming a successful solo business operator is getting good at talking to clients. There’s just no way around it. If you want a business that doesn’t require it, you’re back in the land of Copywriting as a Commodity. I recommend figuring out the Art of the Client Conversation. We do it better in the Back Room than any other copywriting-related group, hands down.
Will you mentor me?
If you’re looking for a free mentor, I don’t do that. This is a question I get quite often from people who aren’t Back Room Members yet. If you join the Back Room, I’ll mentor you, for sure, in any number of different ways.
I’ll hop on an occasional 1-on-1 call with you, I’ll direct you to the right resources, including other Back Room Members who might be able to help you, and I’ll help you figure out a path forward. Whether it’s with me and the Back Room or someone else, you shouldn’t try to do it alone, no matter what level you’re at.
Can we talk?
For sure. If you don’t want to join an ongoing monthly membership, I do offer one-time coaching calls (under Services) for $300. The best way for us to connect, though, and your best option price-wise, would be to join the Back Room for only $75/month.
Do you have higher-level coaching or training?
Yes, I do. In addition to the Back Room, I have a high-level year-long mastermind called the Cafe Roundtable. It’s by invitation only, but let me know if you’d like details. (It’s $8,000 and that may increase in the future.) I also offer my Business Beyond Freelancing™ (BBF) course for $1,500, and my two-day immersive live workshop, BBF Live™!, for $1,250. If you join the Back Room, you get a $750 voucher which you can apply to any of these three things.
I don’t currently offer ongoing 1-on-1 coaching outside of the Back Room or Roundtable.
Is the print newsletter available on its own?
No, it’s not. I actually thought seriously about pricing my 16-page newsletter a la carte at $75 or $97/month (the price of some other print newsletters I’m familiar with, and one that I subscribe to myself), but I decided to include it to make the Back Room the absolute best value of its kind.
I started it in April of 2022, and early feedback tells me it was a good decision. Members love it! You will, too. From Alan Steacy:
“Hey, Steve, guess what just landed in my mailbox! Yup…the inaugural issue of The Roller Report. It’s brilliant. I love it.
It’s a masterful blend of business ideas and personal reflections that inform, encourage, and challenge us, your readers, to keep moving the needle forward in our areas of expertise.
Often something long-awaited, upon arrival, leaves one disappointed. Not The Roller Report. It did not disappoint. In fact, it ticked every box from consummate content to compelling composition. Congratulations on the debut issue. Clearly, you knocked it out of the park on your first swing! Can’t wait to see what you do in your next ‘at bat.’”
What are your long-term plans?
I plan to operate the Back Room until 2030, maybe longer, but who knows? The world could end next year. We’ve had a good run since 2015 and I have no plans to stop. I love what I’m doing.
In general, I commit to things for the long haul. Before we moved from Wisconsin to Connecticut, I was a member of the same health club for 23 years. I’ve been married since 1998 and will be for life. I’ve been a full-time copywriter since 2009, head of the Copywriter Cafe since 2012, and we’re just getting warmed up with the Back Room chapter, seven years in. This is fun and I’d love for you to be a part of it.
Beyond that? Emida and I have plans to create a sustainable living compound down South, inspired by the 2018 documentary The Biggest Little Farm. Ours will have more of a creative bent, and we plan to host writers-in-residence and artists-in-residence, along with workshops and retreats.
Ultimately, I plan to write a novel series and get it picked up by Netflix or Hulu. The first book is in progress.
What are your core themes in the Back Room?
We’re focused on Business Beyond Copywriting™, getting good clients you love, bringing people into your world (not going into theirs), commodity-proofing your business, mastering the art of the Client Conversation (which includes getting good at reading people and situations), playing the long game, getting paid more for your ideas and advice than for what you actually deliver copywriting-wise, predicting and guiding the client (what I call copywriting3 or Copywriting 3.0), and building relationships.
That last one — building relationships — is paramount. Develop and nurture good relationships and the business will follow. It’s worked well for me.
When’s the best time to join?
Today! Seriously, there’s no time like the present. We can’t do this alone, and we shouldn’t. I can help you get further ahead, quicker, than trying to do it by yourself.
Also, once you join you lock into that monthly rate, and it will never go up. When I raise the price for new members (every 6-12 months or so), yours will stay the same.
Last thing — The Roller Report monthly newsletter is only available in print. I don’t put it out in any digital format and Members can’t access back issues from before they joined. So if you see me promoting an upcoming issue, the only way to get it is to join the Back Room before that issue goes to print on the 1st of each month. Occasionally I sell back issues, but only to Members.
All that being said, your best bet is to join now. You’ll get $1,550 in bonuses and you’ll get in at the lowest price you’ll ever see.
Do you ever offer discounts?
No. I never discount the Back Room, and as I mentioned in the answer above, I regularly raise the price.
I’m not big on group stuff. Can I join and not talk to anyone?
For sure. No need to interact with anyone unless you want to. In fact, I’d say the majority of Back Room Members actually don’t participate in any of the group activities. They don’t join the Cafe Confidential weekly Zoom calls and they don’t participate in the discussions in Circle. They do read my emails, read the newsletter, and connect with me once or twice a year for a 1-on-1 call. Then they put it into action and watch their business grow. As much as I like group engagement, if your preference is to soak it all up on your own, and you’re getting what you want out of it, I’m happy.
What kind of people are in the Back Room?
Sharp, fun, interesting people! I’ve never been a part of any group with so many talented, likable, and genuinely caring people. You’ll see.
Professionally, we have people of all levels, from beginners to 30-year pros. In addition to writers and copywriters, we have a lot of people who run ecommerce businesses or brick and mortar businesses. We have in-house writers and agency writers. Many published authors. We have a couple financial advisors, an attorney, a cycling coach, and some professional speakers. We’ve had an architect, a photographer, and a few psychologists. A lot of our Members have colorful backgrounds and stories from previous professions they were involved in.
About 85% of our Members are in the States, a smattering in Canada and the UK, and others scattered across the globe, everywhere from Poland to South Africa to New Zealand to Japan and places in between.
The common denominator among all of us is this — we want to build a successful solo business on our terms. We want to create something that fulfills us, does good in the world, and maybe, if we’re lucky, even leaves something behind after we’re gone.
Just curious, Steve, do YOU invest in groups, newsletters, and coaching yourself?
Yes, of course. Two things I’ve never regretted spending money on — travel and self-improvement. Early on in my copywriting journey I probably invested around $30,000 on copywriting courses, masterminds, conferences, and coaches. It was all worthwhile, and paid off for me in spades.
From 2013-2020 I was a part of Dan Kennedy’s GKIC Gold membership. Great stuff. Off and on I’ve subscribed to other paid memberships and newsletters. Currently I subscribe to Ben Settle’s Email Players newsletter for $97/month, and I’ve purchased two of his other big books so far (at $400 and $700 a pop, not his little Kindle books or Amazon paperbacks). I’m a member of another paid group right now, and I have two people who coach and mentor me.
I love going to live events, too. At the end of July 2022 I’m going to a small retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado, hosted by Erin Pheil. I’m always looking for ways to interact with sharp people outside of my own Back Room group to expand my thinking and grow my business.
Will I fit in?
If you like being around friendly, fun, generous, motivated people, you probably will. Our members are genuinely nice, too. There’s no posturing going on, no Bro Marketers or Boss Babes with attitude. We’re real, and I like that.
My main hope is that you and I will get to know each other. Whether you engage with the group a little, a lot, or not at all, I want to help you build your business, so you and I will definitely connect to whatever extent you’d like.
Where can we connect in person?
Well, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods (the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, near Putnam), Emida and I would love to have you! We’ve had two Back Room Members come to our house, and I’ve had people drive up (or down) and meet me at the Sawdust Cafe, my local hangout.
I’ll also be hosting the very first Business Beyond Freelancing workshop, BBF Live!™, a 2-day event in Newport, Rhode Island, September 29-30, 2022. I can give you details if you’re interested.
Emida and I travel a lot, too. I’ve had Back Room Meetups in New York City a number of times (we’re only a 3-hour drive away), Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Atlanta, and everywhere in between. We’ve even had get-togethers when we traveled to Ecuador, Argentina, and Israel. One of my long-term goals is to eventually meet at least half of my Back Room Members in person.
Should I join?
Most definitely, yes! I’m biased, of course, since it’s my group and you’ll be paying me. 🙂
The ball’s in your court.
”We think better in groups, I believe. That’s one of the great things about working with Steve, whether it’s virtually through regular Zoom meetings or in person at a retreat, we bounce ideas off each other. Pretty soon we come up with bigger and better ideas.Kevin RokoshCycling Coach at epicseasoncoaching.com
”The Cafe Back Room is one of the best investments I’ve made for my business. Steve goes above and beyond to get to know each member and support them in any way he can.
Whether you need someone to bounce an idea off of, are stuck in a rut and need help getting out, or want to pick up some new business strategies, Steve (and the rest of the Back Room community can definitely help.
The one-on-one support, in particular, has been transformational for me. Steve’s creativity and enthusiasm is infectious. Just chatting with him has helped inspire all kinds of ideas for my business that I never would have come up with on my own. It’s also given me the confidence to pursue even my most lofty ideas!Janine DeVaultjanineintheworld.com, Victoria, British Columbia
”I was always impressed with the value Steve gave to his Facebook group. I made up my mind that if he ever had a membership site, I’d be willing to pay whatever he charged. Steve is helping me with a business project I’m working on now, and I’m going to be a member of his groups far into the future.Carol Williamsseniorwomengolfers.com, Wenatchee, WA
”If you’re still on the fence, I want to share my experience as a member of the Back Room. First of all, I’m skeptical of most ‘thought leadership’ or online memberships. But a few months ago I figured, ‘What do I have to lose?’ I joined and I have to say: the value of this membership has been immediate.
While I haven’t ventured deep enough into the chats or resources yet, I did get access to Steve — and that has been priceless.
On our first call, he chatted with me about my business, gave me some great ideas (like the Hot 150 list), and let me know I’m (mostly) doing the right things for the vision of success I want to build.
But here’s the other value...I don’t know about you, but I have 15 new ideas each day. And maybe like you, they tend to stay ideas and not come to fruition. I had something I’d been mulling over for years, but I was dragging my feet. Simply put, I wasn’t sure if it was worth ‘quitting my day job’ to focus on this project for a few months to wrap it up.
When I told Steve about it, he gave me DOZENS of great ideas, and maybe most importantly, the assurance that I wasn’t wasting my time.
Now I’m nearly finished with it. It’s still to be seen if this was a worthwhile investment of time and resources, but what I can say is this: Steve helped move me from consideration to action. Simply executing an idea of my own is a win and Steve certainly helped that happen. I feel like this has built momentum for me.
So if you’re considering joining but still uncertain, go ahead and join the Back Room. In an internet filled with groups, courses, and thought leaders that don’t bring value or ROI, this is a rare and impressive opportunity, no matter who you are.Michael NeidertAuthor, Copywriter, Podgorica, Montenegro