AWAI’s Bootcamp Live Blog

8 minute read

Date: October 24 through 26
Time: In real time
Topic: Copywriting Success

Welcome to the Bootcamp Live Blog!

Heather Robson, here, on the ground in sunny (and windy) West Palm Beach, Florida attending AWAI’s Copywriting Bootcamp.

The line-up of speakers for this three day even it fantastic… Donald Miller, Terri Trespicio, Mari Smith, Brian Clark, Nick Usborne, and more.

Topics range from how to keep your reader glued to every word to conveying the value of your offer (both the value of your services and the value of whatever you’re writing about) to taking charge of the money conversation to new markets and opporunties to explore.

During most of the sessions, I’ll be here on this page, sharing my favorite insights and takeaways with you in real time.

So, if you’re ready for a little taste of what Bootcamp can be—plus a whole lot of useful tips and tricks to use in your own career—then be sure to check back on this page often over the next three days.

It’s going to be a ton of fun!

Day 1 – October 24, 2023

9:19 am

Donald Miller is about to take the stage to talk to us about building a story brand!

9:35 am 

Can you overlay stories on marketing materials? Yes you can!

Your brain is built to focus only on the things that can help it survive and thrive. As part of that your brain ignores information that it doesn’t think with help with survival.

So your messages need to tie to your reader’s survival and they need to be packaged in simple, short, easy-to-remember sound bites. 

9:46 am

To write better copy, you need to focus on a character — your reader — and what they need specifically. You can’t make a promise that is elusive or vague. You also can’t take too make promises at once. If you make either mistake, you’ll lose your reader’s attention.

10:12 am

Position yourself (or your client) as a guide. Heroes are weak. They are ill-equipped and afraid. Guides are strong. They are experienced and confident about helping the hero get through.

10:48 am

Donald Miller did a great job helping us to boil down our messages into something simple and memorable.

Now Marcella is taking the stage to talk about the most valuable lessons she’s learned in the last 20 years.

10:54 am

Marcella talks about one of the ways to increase your success project-by-project. She recommends getting buy-in from your client early and often. Instead of saying, “This is the way I’m going,” say, “I’m looking at these seven possible themes. Which one resonates for you?”

Then you and your client are on the same page about the direction. Do the same for your headlines… your leads… and so on.

11:05 am

One of you main jobs as a copywriter is to entertain your readers. Have fun with your work!!

11:19 am

Learn to see ideas everywhere. Marcella tells a story about being at the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” which she hated, but the title inspired a winning package, “Diary of a Wimpy Trader.”

11:24 am

A great quote from Marcella: “Fall in love with the process, not the outcome.”

1:53 pm

We’re back from the lunch hour and Russ Henneberry has taken the stage to teach us how to build an offer.

2:27 pm

I got so caught up in Russ’s offer building process that, I lost track of posting. Whoops!

In addition to your core product and price, think about the bonuses you’ll offer, if you’ll provide alternative payment terms, and what your guarantee looks like. Get creative!

2:36 pm

Get into the mindset of playing with your offer… and helping your clients play with theirs. 

Test different ways of structuring offers to see what works. New bonuses… different payment structures… stronger guarantees… they can all pay off.

2:47 pm

Next up we have Lisa Mullis, and she’s going to talk to us about a favorite topic… landing better clients more easily.

2:57 pm

To reach your full business potential, you need to shift your mindset from marketing yourself feeling like a chore to something that is core to your daily activities. Think about the things you already do each day that you can turn into touch points with prospects. Are you already on LinkedIn? Comment on prospects’ posts. Do you check your email? Join your prospects’ lists and let them know the things that strike a chord with you.

3:05 pm

To land clients, start with who you know… that’s often your fastest path to a paid project. 

Don’t ask them to buy. Ask who they know who is struggling with a problem you solve.

“Who do you know who has a website that’s not giving them great results?”

“Who do you know who has a business blog they struggle to keep up with?”

3:17 pm

Start building systems now.

Document each step in your workflow. Whether it’s how you connect with and follow up with clients, write a blog post, or design a sales funnel. Create your own standard operating procedures. It will give you more confidence and a faster, smooth path to getting hired and delivering great work. 

3:23 pm

Resource tip – check out your local SBDC… Small Business Development Center. They can answer questions and provide resources to help you figure out the financial and logistical side of your business. 

That is a wrap for today! I hope these tips from the experts are helpful… and that you’ll join me again tomorrow, bright and early at 9am Eastern time. 

Day Two – October 25, 2023

Good morning, Digital Copywriters! We’re kicking off day two here at AWAI’s Copywriting Bootcamp, and the line up today is exciting. 

We’re starting off with Ilise Benun… and then Nick Usborne… followed Terri Trespicio… and then Brian Clark. Whew. It’s going to be a big day!

9:46 am

Ilise is talking confidence. She’s shared three definitions you can use for confidence:

  • Absence of fear and doubt
  • Enjoyment of surprises
  • The ability to say “Who cares?” in the face of fear and doubt

I would add that it’s a space where enjoyment and competence meet. When I’m at my most confident, it’s when I’m doing something I know how to do and have fun doing.

9:56 am 

Ilise challenges you to develop a strength mindset.

This mindset means listening carefully to what people are saying, to invest in relationships, the ability to restrain yourself (to wait and see when waiting and seeing is called for), to tolerate silence (especially in negotiations), and autonomy (not putting too much importance on “one” thing — one conversation, one project, one event, one client). 

10:06 am

You need to demonstrate your value before you talk about money. 

You show your value through your marketing materials and through the conversations you have. Specifically pay attention to what you know that can help your prospect that your prospect doesn’t know. In these gaps lie value.

10:45 am

Nick Usborne has take the stage. He’s talking about AI and how we can use it, but enhance it with our own emotional intelligence, so that we don’t fall into the sameness trap.

Being the same as the competition is death for a company… so we, as writers, need to protect them from letting AI water down their message and brand.

10:57 am

Emotional intelligence breaks into four parts:

  • Self Awareness
  • Self Regulation
  • Social Awareness (especially empathy)
  • Relationship Management

11:08 am

How does emotional intelligence improve your writing?

  • It’s more persuasive… emotionally engaged consumers buy more from the brands they feel connected with.
  • Emotional intelligence in your writing fosters trust.
  • When you connect emotionally, your readers will recall your message better.

11:29 am

We’re moving a fast pace. Nick has wrapped up and now Terri Trespicio has taken the stage.

11:34 am

Terri is talking about the difference between a job and a calling. When you have a calling, you’re more satisfied with your life and your work.

For your work to become a calling, it takes time. You have to practice, to learn, to make mistakes, to find your groove.

11:47 am

Terri is talking about the value of rules, especially rules you set for yourself. They provide boundaries, and you need boundaries to grow and thrive. But there are rules that you adhere to that no longer serve you.

Ask yourself: “What’s one rule you feel bound by?”

Write about the answer without censoring yourself. And then ask, “What if that rule didn’t exist? What would you do? What would you stop doing?”

11:57 am

Getting clear about your values and goals will help you focus on what’s truly important to you. 

Think about all the goals on your list… What goals do you wish were already done because you dread working on? What goals do you like the idea of but rarely make time for? What goals are you passion about and excited to achieve right now? Those third goals are where your focus and work should go. 

Day Three – October 26, 2023

It’s the final day of Bootcamp, and Ted Capshaw is getting us started.

9:48 am

Ted’s goals for every one of us are prosperity and fulfillment. And the first thing he wants you to think about to that end is your legacy. What is the long-term impact you want to make on people?

9:56 am

You need to have a money talk with yourself. What is your relationship with money and what beliefs do you have about money that are getting in the way of your prosperity?

And then, the other piece of your internal dialog about money needs to be what your money goals are, why you have those goals, and what your plan is for achieving your money goals.

10:07 am

One of the ways to put yourself on a surer path to fulfillment is to articulate your core three to five values… and then make decisions around those values.

10:30 am

You have insecurities that are driving self-defeating behaviors. You need to spend time exploring what those are. 

You also have suppressed power in you. You need to spend time exploring where you are holding back and why? 

10:34 am

Ted’s parting thought: What are you focused on right now that’s not important? And how can you take that energy back and put it somewhere that is important?

11:43 am

Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook, has taken the stage to talk to us about how you can use social media marketing to grow your writing business.

11:47 am

Facebook now offers you a professional mode for your personal profile. It gives you access to more analytic data and some additional features. It’s easy and free to turn on. 

11:59 am

Meta (the Facebook parent company) has a business suite where they plan to roll out AI tools similar to ChatGPT and Midjourney.

12:09 pm

The answer to the overwhelming amount of content being produced is not to produce more content at a faster pace. The answer is to think more strategically… choose the platforms you want to be on and that make sense for you. Post with the frequency that works for you. Use the media that you’re excited by.

12:14 pm

The best performing content is visual, video, or reels.

It’s compelling and relevant to your audience.

And it’s something you’d be willing to spend a little money to boost.

12:30 pm

Mari suggests setting up a Facebook business page where you post once or twice a week and then use the account to run paid ad campaigns. Use low-cost ads to test different ideas.

3:25 pm

Steve Slaunwhite it talking about the value of landing long-term clients.

3:28 pm

The best clients are the clients:

  • You enjoy working with
  • Who enjoy working with you
  • Who don’t my your professional fees
  • And who need you on a regular basis

3:44 pm

Be on the lookout for where you ideal client hangs out… and especially look for places where your client is, but where other copywriters aren’t likely to be.

Steve gives the example of professional organizations catering to your client. Join those organizations and look for ways to serve them. That will get you in front of their members, and can lead to them reaching out in need of your services.

3:52 pm

Treat prospect like helping. Help your prospect to know who you are and how you can be a resource for them. You don’t have to pitch. You can simply let people know the situations where you could help them. And then stay in touch with the connections you make.

4:07 pm

Steve just shared one of my favorite thigns to do. Make sure you send thank you notes to your clients periodically.

And that’s a wrap for the Bootcamp Live Blog. Thank you for joining me!!