Big IdeasCopywriting

The case against copywriting coaching

By 08/13/2013March 13th, 20142 Comments
coach or no coach?

coach or no coach?

Today at the gym I did 140 kettlebell swings, non-stop, with a 50-pound kettlebell. A new personal record (PR).

I have no idea if this is good or not because I don’t know what other people do, and I don’t really care.

See, I like working out by myself. I like being by myself, which is one reason I’m a writer.

Now, when I work out, I’m competing solely against myself. I know if I’m improving because I keep a detailed journal of my numbers. I’ve been doing it ever since I ran an unofficial 4:51 mile on Northview Road one rainy November afternoon in 1983.

In your copywriting business, you should also keep track of your numbers if you’re going to improve. A few weeks ago I wrote about the five numbers you should know in your copywriting business:

Even though I keep track of my numbers in the gym, and I’m motivated to get better, it’s hard to push myself more than a personal trainer would push me. I’ve been maintaining for about 15 years now.

Copywriting is no different. Operating completely on my own, I can maintain just fine, but it’s hard to improve. I know, because I did it for about three years straight.

You shouldn’t seek out copywriting training if:

  • You already record the important numbers in your copywriting business.
  • You’re motivated to do better based on tracking those numbers.
  • You’ve figured out a way to consistently grow your business without expert advice.
  • You’re content with modest gains in income. Generating massive income all of a sudden would be like developing Mr. Olympia biceps overnight. It wouldn’t feel right, would it?
  • You aren’t competitive, and don’t even want to know what other copywriters are earning.
  • You’re able to self-analyze and critique your own work. You’d rather not get feedback from others, especially since you’re already doing well.

I’m not being facetious. A lot of copywriters succeed wildly on their own. Kind of like doing the copywriting version of P90X at home.

In fact, I’m going to be coming out with a program in early 2014 that will essentially be a “personal copywriting trainer in a box.” Yes, you heard it here first in case anyone else decides to swipe the idea.

Until then, if you’re a lone wolf copywriter (like I was for the first two and a half years as a full-time freelancer), I have three ideas for you:

  1. Keep meticulous track of your business numbers, like the number of conversations you have with prospects, how many projects you’ve completed, amount invoiced, and average size of your projects.
  2. Find a way to reward yourself for improving those numbers.
  3. Get peers to give you feedback. Ideally you’ll find someone at a higher level than you to critique your work, but they’re often too busy to help.

Just like a top athlete doesn’t necessarily need a real live trainer or coach, a top copywriter can get by without one, too.

When it comes to copywriting or personal fitness, what’s your style? Coach/trainer or no coach?

Leave a comment, I’d really like to know.




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

  • You could say I’m a loner, self-motivated, driven entrepreneur. But I also understand there comes a time when some good, solid paid advice makes for a smart, efficient (and profitable) business decision…we’ll be talking soon…=:)

    • Steve Roller says:

      Thanks for sharing, Jerry. I think most of us are reluctant to ask for help, often because we don’t know what to ask for. You have to seek it out, even if you’re not sure what it will lead to.

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