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5 Copywriting lessons from a 14-year old rock star

By 11/09/2013August 12th, 20222 Comments

Solomon on guitar

Okay, he’s not a rock star (yet).

But my son Solomon is an up-and-coming local star in Madison, Wisconsin.

Are you a rising player in the copywriting world? Solomon’s most recent gig will give you five tips you can apply to your copywriting career.

1. Connect with your audience

Solomon used good stage banter, insightful questions, and relevant stories. He had people on his side from the beginning. All this in between songs, unrehearsed, and without a proper introduction from anyone else.

The other three solo performers, who were all older and much more experienced, didn’t do this as well. Solomon even had the entire crowd of 120 people singing along and waving their arms to “Hey Jude” at the end.

Copywriter takeaway: The better you connect with your audience right off the bat, the more likely they’ll stay with you until the end when you ask them to do something.

2. Make your audience feel good

Whether it’s the audience at an intimate concert or each individual reader of your email marketing message, realize that you are creating an experience. You have the ability to impact your audience’s emotional response.

Solomon is a charismatic kid. He has a way of making people feel comfortable and feel good about themselves. He had people laughing. You can do the same thing with carefully crafted copy. Envision your reader actually reading your message. Picture the response you want them to have, and write to that emotion.

Copywriter takeaway: Make your reader feel good. You can target a negative emotion like fear, confusion, or anger (like some of the singer songwriters did), but put a positive spin on it. Solomon did that.

3. Don’t apologize in any way

As each of the other three musicians started their set, they apologized for something. For just learning a song, for not being sure if the audience was going to like their first song, or for having the wrong guitar. It’s like they were apologizing for taking up space.

Solomon sat down with confidence, introduced himself with a quick story, and said, “I think you’re going to like this first song. It’s a cover of Wonderwall by Oasis.”

Copywriter takeaway: On your website and in any marketing materials, be bold and confident. Never apologize for anything.

4. Value trumps experience

Here’s what I mean. Solomon is 14 years old, the other three performers were 18-25 years old, with a lot more experience. Yet Solomon knew what the audience wanted – a fun experience and a lively, engaging set that left them wanting more.

The other musicians? Their experience didn’t matter. In fact, they might have been relying on that, and weren’t in tune with the crowd.

Do you ever feel like you can’t compete for the good clients and higher-paying projects because there are so many “experienced” copywriters out there? The only thing that matters is what you can do for the client now.

Copywriter takeaway: Continue to stretch yourself toward bigger and better clients, as long as you have the copywriting chops to deliver. Don’t let a lack of top-tier clients prevent you from going after them.

5. The one who sets up the gig dictates the terms

This is the one lesson Solomon learned the hard way, and you may already have, too. There was a packed house of 120 people who paid $8 each to get in. Solomon got paid a little bit, but he wasn’t the one who organized the show.

If he had booked the venue, secured the musicians, and made all the arrangements, he would have been able to set most of the terms.

Same thing with your copywriting business. If you’re waiting for marketers to “give you an assignment,” most likely they’ll tell you the terms of the project. They’ll tell you what they’d like done, when it’s due, and how much they’re going to pay you.

Now, it’s different if you’re positioned as an authority in your niche. If you connect with a potential client, ask them questions, offer them ideas to grow their business, and suggest a fresh marketing or copy angle, you will be in control of the project from the start. And that means a higher fee, of course.

Copywriter takeaway: Position yourself as a solution to your client’s problem, not as a freelancer who needs a gig.

There you go. Incorporate these five ideas, and you’ll be on your way to selling out packed concert halls, or at least building your copywriting business.

Either way, rock on.




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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