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Your copywriting business on Magic Beans

By 07/07/2014August 12th, 20222 Comments

writing at the Magic Bean

Steve Roller here, back from a long hiatus. If you’re new to the Copywriter Café blog, I’ll be posting three times a week again, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, with occasional random additional posts.

The past two months I hosted two Ultimate Writing Retreats™, finished two big client projects, and moved my family temporarily down to Quito, Ecuador, where we’re spending the summer.

I also launched Coffee Chat with Steve & Kat, a twice a month Google Hangout on Air that’s designed to help Independent Creatives like you build your business with fun, fresh ideas.

Katlynn Blakely, a former NYC ad agency copywriter, and I are melding the worlds of direct response and ad agency copywriting. We’re creating a bit of a stir with both those camps, who tend to be antagonistic to each other.

I’m taking the Copywriter Café in exciting new directions, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride! Today I have a quick story for you, and an action step that will help you stand out in a noisy world.

Your copywriting business on Magic Beans

On Saturday we celebrated my wife’s birthday at a restaurant here in Quito called the Magic Bean. It’s an institution, and has thrived for many years, despite charging premium prices for average food in a very competitive market. There are probably hundreds of restaurants within a one-mile radius where you can get a cheaper meal that’s just as good.

How do they do it? How do they get good reviews all the time, a loyal following, and a long waiting line on Saturday and Sunday mornings for breakfast?

One big reason. They’ve positioned themselves as a great place to meet international travelers and swap stories.

This concept, this “story” that they’ve woven throughout their brand and carefully cultivated over the years, is even on the back of the waiters’ t-shirts. It’s a Shel Silverstein quote that reads:

                                                                                                                                                “If you are a dreamer, come in…

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar

A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…

If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire

For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

Come in…”

Shel Silverstein quote

The Magic Bean has built their brand around their story, their name, and something unique besides their food, which they couldn’t compete on alone.

What does this have to do with you and your business?

Well, just like the Magic Bean has hundreds of competitors within a few square miles, all doing roughly the same thing, you have hundreds of competitors offering similar services.

Think about it. How many people out there are offering copywriting, SEO copywriting, or marketing consultation services?

Become the “Magic Bean” of copywriters

So how do you charge premium prices, have people lined up at your door, and get consistently good reviews? By doing something different than your competitors that stands out.

I’m going to suggest that it starts with three things:

  1. Your business name and what you call yourself (your title)
  2. Your positioning in the marketplace (offering something unique that truly sets you apart)
  3. The image you project

If what you’re doing is working great for you, stick with it and do more of it!

On the other hand, if you’re not generating the results you want, you might want to re-think those three things.

I’m not saying to change any of them, at least not yet.

But let me ask you this. Do you have a story to tell about your business?

When people ask you what you do, do your eyes light up? Do you get animated talking about your business, how you got started, and what you do for people?

If not, let me challenge you this week to come up with a short story, a narrative about your business that ties in with what you do. Kind of like the Magic Bean and their idea of being a place for travelers to hang out and share travel stories.

Or like the Copywriter Café takeoff of being today’s version of the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris in the 1920s, a place where writers can come together to offer each other advice, feedback, ideas, and encouragement.

When you have a story to tell about your business, one you really enjoy telling over and over again, you’ll start attracting more and more clients organically.

That’s the starting point, then we’ll talk more about your business name, your positioning, and your image and style. But start with a story, and craft it now.

Let me leave you with one more Shel Silverstein quote:

“But all the magic I have known, I’ve had to make myself.”


Do you have a story to tell already? I’d love to hear it (the short version). Leave a note in the comments.

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • BOOM! Finally got around to reading this and it got me very excited! I feel as though this year, 2014, is the year that I’m realizing exactly what I have to offer to the world. This is a great post, Steve, and I can’t wait for our time together at your retreat in October!

    Meanwhile, I’ll be thinking about those three things and discovering my story…

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