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Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript. Content for now Outro: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? It is going good. I do have to say one thing, because I gotta keep the record clear on this. Anyway, I just wanted to clear that.
There is no question what this is about. I actually prefer that, so I wanted to give you guys some-. A lair is- Are you guys both in there? We really want to dig into the real Ben Settle and what goes on in the background. Ben, my first question for you has to with a lot of the stuff that you talk about in your email list, and in the recent program you did with AWAI where you talk about working ten minutes a day.
I think you must work way more hours than ten minutes a day. You write the daily emails. Tell us the truth. How do you work? How much do you work? I let my dog out first because priorities. I come back in. I get a tall glass of water and I gag down a bunch of health supplements, which I have no idea if they work or not, or just give me the most expensive piss in town. I open the computer up. Now, I will go bonkers, okay? What am I supposed to do with the rest of my day, you know?
I mean, I have to do it. When I launched my villains book a few weeks ago, I wrote all those emails on a Thursday. It was 16 or 17 emails, that took me a few hours.
I did the math on that and it came out to about ten minutes per email. I stand by my ten-minute work day. It becomes a product that eventually you sell through your list, through the ten-minute emails. I have some people helping me. Because I did just recently join, and it sounds even more intriguing now. What makes it different as far as Facebook groups go? She does the introduction voice on my podcast. My audience loves her, she loves them. She does things like contests and she does these things called Misty Massacres.
I literally ban people who try to give value when they know better. We have these things that we call thread holes. And the few people who understand that are benefiting from this hugely with their copywriting, with their marketing. Now, they have to have a personality if they want to participate, or they get ignored.
This is a very new thing. I just wrote about this today, I think, actually, in my email. It has its own language; we literally have our own language, lexicon being built in there. It has its own culture, it has borders. Can we have value and personality and make it interesting and not sickening? Do you have any advice for us based on your experience so far?
I learned a lot from him. His is all about value. His is all about sharing feelings and all this stuff. So I made her my main chick in there, right? And I made this video for her dad because she asked me to: I basically told her dad in this video I plan to impregnate her and give her my demon seed. It keeps people constantly on their toes, it never gets boring. Your goal might be completely different, so it depends on your mission and purpose with this, with what your trying to do with your Facebook group.
To me, you can get value anywhere. So its a whole different thing. So it really just depends on what you guys want or are trying to achieve. Earlier, I think, this week, you wrote about your 10x rule for reading books. Will you talk a little bit about why, when you find a great copywriting book , you read it a minimum of ten times?
Why you focus so hard on that and why your not out there looking for new stuff? I read it at least ten times. So what I would do is I would make money from one client and I would reinvest that into another, what I would consider very high-quality product. Most stuff out there is just crap. I really believe it helped give me a deep foundation. Died a couple of years ago. They all call it the Burg, I call it the Burgle because it was high crime and stuff there.
TCC Podcast Daily Emails In 10 Minutes A Day With Ben Settle The Copywriter Club podcast
When I first moved there, I noticed one day a little snake came in under the front door and then the next day this little salamander did. You mentioned The Ultimate Sales Letter. What else is on that list?
Breakthrough Advertising by Gene Schwartz. Not a lot of people understand how brilliant that guy is. I wrote the ad for it. He hired me to write the ad for it, so I had to go through it several times. I think I went through it 13 or 14 times, and I just kept imbibing this stuff, and I think it made a huge difference. I got to hang out with him a couple of times. One of the few. So I guess he had the rights … this was back in He had the rights to sell just those copywriting issues, and so I bought those and I went through those well over ten times. I still go through Breakthrough Advertising once a year.
Once a year I go through it and I just keep imbibing stuff. I just go through these things over and over and over.
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There was this interview- I mentioned Jim Camp. The Boron Letters is another one. The stuff I learned about just tight writing from learning how to write press releases, the way he teaches, has been invaluable for my emails and copywriting. He writes great copy. But Ben, I want to ask you about email players. So, I just want to know more about what happens behind the scenes with the creation of that each month, and how much time goes into it, if you have anybody helping you with it?
Especially the third one, which has Parris Lampropoulos on it. That was just kind of a Christmas thing. So I purposely keep it limited to 16 pages. So that took me longer, so it kind of depends. The inserts I put in there, like I always put a sales pitch for a back-issue, for the most part. It kind of depends. I would say on average it takes me two to three hours to write an issue. That would be on average. Are you getting ahead a couple of months? You mentioned the February issue. I wish I was, kind of, sometimes. It feels like this is something that you cultivate in order to make your brand stand out.
Now, I mentioned my villains book earlier. One of the chapters is about the Joker. Well, why is that? I noticed that all these 13 things give him impact. I gotta get them lost before I can get them saved. This is just how I talk. And I ratchet it up a couple of notches in my writing.
I take the personality and I just add a couple notches of exaggeration to it. Am I saying that everyone should do that? It really … the fun is drained out of it very quickly. So, how do you keep it fun? I was just helping someone recently. But, I understand the basics of it. I think a copywriter has to realize that your client is not necessarily the person writing the check. I think the client is the market.
This is something I learned from listening to something over and over, these Eugene Schwartz- He did two talks. One to Rodale Books, and one to Philips Publishing back in the 90s. I never get tired. This is going to cause problems with the guy or girl writing the check, in some cases. It depends how well you pick your clients. I got really lucky with clients.
I make fun of client work, but the reality is I had some really good ones who just- For example, in the self-defense niche, I would write this most violent stuff. On the other hand, I had some clients who were really reserved, and they would get really nervous if I would do anything outside of what they considered normal. I would push them even harder.
So, my point is that you have to serve the market first. What do they need? Give the market what they want, and always be willing to make your case. The great Bob Bly. One of the best copywriters to walk the face of the planet. We just kind of have this banter.
He said something very brilliant once on this interview he did with my friend Michael Senoff. I cannot work with clients who are both. Those are great clients. You also have arrogant clients who are very talented. They know what they want. They will make you grow, and they will challenge you. You can just grit your teeth and do the work and cry all the way to the bank, I guess, but I would try to turn those types of clients away if I was taking clients.
Ben, I want to change directions again a little bit. You may have been in another one with Ray Edwards, if I remember. I may have heard you talking about something like that in the past. What have those kinds of groups and experiences done for you and your career? I have to admit something.
Brian Kurtz has been trying to get me in his Mastermind group for a year and a half. It was the same thing though. He had a speaker there named Victoria Labalme, who, she teaches TedX speakers how to rock the room. Yeah, he probably did. There was no pressure. I mean, unfortunately because nobody was paying to be in it, usually we never had quorum, like three of us would show up.
But that was fine. One thing I learned from that, and I think this would help copywriters, actually. It really helped me. I learned to not send them copy to critique it. I learned years ago, from that Mastermind, I would talk about other stuff with them. Business stuff and all that. But as far as critiquing my copy?
What I would do is send my copy to people who were in the market. That was something I had reinforced at the Mastermind with Ray Edwards. Any copywriters listening to this, which I assume everyone listening to this is a copywriter, take your copy to someone in the market. A couple years ago, Agora Financial flew me into Baltimore to teach three things to their editorial and copywriters that were on staff that day. They wanted me to teach email marketing, infotainment, and storytelling.
And somehow, I ended up talking to this copywriter there. Just his own privacy. But him and I got to talking. Like, I hear you guys have the best.
- Comanche Moon?
- Awakening The Actor Within: A Twelve-Week Workbook To Recover And Discover Your Acting Talents;
- The Bondage and Travels of Johann Schiltberger. A Native of Bavaria, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, 1396-1427?
Like, how can I avoid getting in trouble with the law, and all that, even on that making claims. But he was part of that. But you know, his feedback was invaluable. He was basically … he bought the product, and then he bought another product that I was selling from that product because of the copy. Guys tend to read this prostate copy and they get scared. I put some scary stuff in there. For example, I had that same prostate ad … I was talking to David Deutsch.
He was much nicer about it than he needed to be. Basically said the headline was boring, right? I mean, not in so many words.
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