Partnership and Royalty deals with Ross O’Lochlainn

Abbey sat down with copywriter and marketing consultant Ross O’Lochlainn to talk about the unique way he structures his client agreements. For Ross, it all started with a question, “What would you do if you only got paid when your client got results?” We talk about: [02:19] Where to find the most money in any deal…

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Better Customer Research with Allison Carpio

I have been known to say that I think customer avatars are bullshit. The reason is that most people approach it completely wrong. That’s why I was so excited to sit down and chat with Allison Carpio about her novel approach to finding and understanding your customer on the deepest level. This is a must…

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How to Quote Projects

Do you ever feel like you’re just guessing when it comes to your project fees? That’s exactly what this video is all about. I brought in Branko Mijatovic, founder of LearntoQuote.com to walk through exactly how to come up with prices that make sense and aren’t made up. We cover: [04:01] Why freelancers are usually terrible…

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GDPR Compliance Center

We’ve spent hours researching and conferring with experts (including our own legal expert Gordon Firemark) on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We’ve gathered all the resources you need in one place, including links to common software and their compliance information and a free video training from Gordon Firemark. For more regulations to…

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Payment Processors: How to get paid

One of the biggest expenses for a service-based business like copywriting is payment processing. As a result, people try some tricky stuff to avoid the fees. There are good options for payment processing that help you have control of your money while minimizing the fees. In the video below, I cover: 3 things to avoid…

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5 Keys For Working Remotely

One of the benefits of being a copywriter, is that most of us can work from wherever we want. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. How do you deal with the challenges of remote work. After nearly 7 years working from home, here’s the 5 keys I’ve found to being productive and working from…

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Is it ok if…???

Can you take off every Friday? Can you work 4 hours a day? Can you demand clients ONLY communicate with you via fax? I’d like to put these questions to rest once and for all. Check out this short video for the limitations copywriters have in their demands. (Transcript is available below) [VIDEO TRANSCRIPT] I…

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[TOOL TOUR] Canva for Graphic Design

I am not a graphic designer. But, I have a lot of needs for nice looking documents and images. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I use a freemium program called Canva to create professional looking designs quickly and without spending a lot of money. Here’s just a few things I use Canva for:…

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The anatomy of $24K proposal

The promise of Business of Copy is that as I apply new lessons and techniques to my business, you’ll get them, too. Recently, I had a $24,000 upfront fee plus royalties accepted by a client. Here’s the exact proposal I used, broken down for you.

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Health strategies for copywriters (feat. Dr. Isaac Jones)

The best productivity hack is a healthy brain and body. But, as copywriters, it’s difficult for us to create routine and systems to keep ourselves healthy. Dr. Isaac Jones sat down (rather, stood up) with us to talk about why our career makes change difficult, and how to set small things in motion for big…

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How to make your first hire

A question I get every time I present systems, is “Where do I find a project manager or assistant to do this for me?” My project manager happens to also be my husband. Unfortunately for you, to my knowledge there aren’t any other project managers hiding under the covers of my bed. So, since I’m…

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[TEMPLATE] Keep your business from leaking money

Recurring charges are tricky buggers. Sometimes you forget about them, sometimes you overpay for services you don’t even use, and sometimes you have downtime because you innocently forgot to update credit card information. Here’s a simple solution you can use with a team (or by yourself) to keep on top of all the subscriptions, dues,…

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FTC Guidelines to Know

The Federal Trade Commission is the consumer protection arm of the U.S. government. They are responsible for enforcing rules that protect customers from deceptive advertising and other violations. While we never claim to be lawyers, all copywriters should be familiar with the limits of what we can say in our copy. This especially important if…

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Legal and Contract Foundations

Setting up your legal foundations correctly means that you’ll have a lot less to worry about as you do business. This is exactly why I brought in attorney Gordon Firemark to discuss what important (and even what’s not). In this training, we’ll go beyond the templates and talk about legal basics every business owner or…

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Personal Finance Made Simple

It’s no secret that my first big client was New York Times’ Best-Selling author Ramit Sethi. One of the most powerful lessons I learned from Ramit (and there were many) is the power of automation when it comes to finances. Here’s how it works:  

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Accounting and Taxes for Freelancers

Remember in middle school when your teachers attempted to make not smoking, safe sex, and avoiding drugs cool and hip by “trying to speak the language” That’s how I feel when I write about taxes and financial accounting. “No guys, seriously, protection is cool! Your business will still feel just as good! SERIOUSLY, do you…

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How to Copy Chief (plus Rubric Template)

Transitioning from writer to chief can be a tough one. While we write, we often rely on instincts — chiefing requires us to break those instincts into repeatable processes. It’s not unlike why great players often make bad coaches. From the article: “As you get better and better at what you do, your ability to…

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[TEMPLATE] Quick-reference Services Menu for Repeat Clients

Some copywriters preach putting your prices on your website. I’m not one of those for the following reasons: Yes, each project is different. Even a funnel of the same size has different requirements depending on the team size, customer research available, previous content, etc. Too many snap judgments are made if price is the first…

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Get more referrals with a Clean Playroom

When I was 12, my momma gave me advice that made me rich (richer than your average teenager anyway). I still follow that advice today and so can you to get more (and more enthusiastic!) referrals. Thanks, mom!   And, a pretty graphic to go along with it:

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Programs to help grow your business

Positioning, Copy reviews, Mentorship – Copy Chief The mantra of Business of Copy is that you need 3 things to be successful in copywriting 1) Write good copy, 2) Find clients, and 3) Run your business. BoC is where you go for #3. For #1 and #2, there’s no better place than Copy Chief. I…

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Pricing: What $845 coffee can teach us

A different kind of pricing training today… A few months ago, we watched this video:   And we bought $64 worth of the “rarest coffee in the world.” Was it worth it? Here’s the result: So what did we learn? Turns out, quite a lot. First, I’m a sucker for scarcity and something about the…

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Get Important Shit Done (feat. Dave Ruel)

We all know we need to plan. Some of us even do it. But, most of us have trouble executing our plan — despite our best intentions. When I discovered Dave Ruel’s ProductivAction method, I knew I had to get him inside the Business of Copy. This has truly been a game changer for how…

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The Art of Follow Up (feat. Casey Stanton)

We say it at least 4 times during the interview: “NOBODY follows up!” By employing just one of the simple strategies Casey Stanton reveals in the video below, you can: Get ROI on any event you attend Form long-term friendships that are worth more than money Get more referrals, more repeat business, and happier clients.…

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Planning Big Projects

Many times as copywriters we’re also asked to be project managers. At the very least, we have to manage our own time and calendars. And during big projects like launches, this can seem like a monumentous task. In the video below, I discuss how to handle large product launches with considerations like how to: Communicateacross…

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How to structure deals (with Brian Kurtz)

Brian Kurtz, in addition to working with all of the top copywriters in the world, mailing billions (yes, with a “b”) of pieces of direct mail, and working in direct response for over 30 years…. is also one of my most influential mentors. I was so honored to have him stop by and chat with…

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7 Phrases to Use When You Mess Up

Clay Hebert and Joey Coleman call it The “Carpe Defect” moment. This is the moment in our business where we’ve messed up. Missed a deadline. Let something slip through the cracks. Pissed off the client. It’s here we have one of two results: Destroy the client relationship. OR Use the opportunity to make the relationship…

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11 Client Red Flags (Run when you hear these phrases)

Over time, I’ve learned that certain phrases signal an impending disaster. Some of them sound innocent, but can reveal serious problems with the project, the client, or the product. I reveal them all (and what they really mean) here:   And just in case you forget, here’s all the phrases to watch out for (print…

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[TOOL TOUR] Follow-up Then

Clients are funny people. After days or weeks of unanswered emails, they pick the one day you’ve decided to unplug. Or they respond at 6p.m. on a Friday about something you don’t want to answer until Monday. And then, their email gets buried. And by Tuesday they are irritated that you’re not responsive. Or… you…

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Client-getting strategies for introverts (feat. Till Gross)

Do you consider yourself shy or introverted? Do you get insanely nervous when speaking to prospective clients? Do you hate “mingling” at live events? Then for you, this could be the most valuable training on this site. Most of my clients can be traced back to a drink at a hotel bar after a conference.…

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[TOOL TOUR] Acuity Scheduling

Have you ever found yourself caught in a seemingly endless email chain trying to simply schedule a meeting with a client or colleague — particularly if they’re in a different time zone (or continent)? End the back and forth with this awesome tool. Here’s how we use it.  

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3 Ways to Talk About Your Price

There are few things that make a copywriter (or any freelancer for that matter), cringe as much as “what do you charge?” We all know it’s coming on every single call but we still get a little pit in our stomach when we have to answer. After hundreds of prospect calls, I’ve made nearly every…

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[TOOL TOUR] Harvest App

Before I grew enough to use the capabilities of a project management tool like 17Hats, the Harvest App was the software I used daily. It’s a great “starter program” for invoicing, time tracking, and planning. Benefits: You can time track, even toggling between projects (or phases of projects) really easily It’s intuitive to use Sending…

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The Dossier for pre-call research

On this site, you’ll rarely see the words “always” or “never” But this in an exception. You should never go into a prospect call blind. You should always be prepared with both questions and comments about what your prospect is up to. And it doesn’t have to take long. Here’s how to create a “one-pager”…

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[TOOL TOUR] Rev.com

Often a client will write copy for you on a call. But getting every call transcribed was prohibitively expensive for me. That is until I found Rev.com. Check it out:

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[TOOL TOUR] 17hats

17hats is the “Command Center” of my freelance business. We can create custom, automatic workflows for each client. Load up our templates and send them automatically. For example, once our contract is signed, the invoice goes out instantly (without having to touch anything). It also emails reminders when things are past due or when I…

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Get raving testimonials with great outboarding

A while back, I set a goal to get better testimonials from clients. I had very few “working” testimonials, i.e. ones that I could publish on my website. So here’s what I did: First, I just emails clients asking if they had anything they wanted to share. 0% response rate on that. Note, that during…

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[TEMPLATE] How to end the project

Copywriters live and die by the calendar. There are only so many days in a week, and only so many hours in a day. There’s nothing worse that budgeting a week for a project and spending the next month doing “just one more pass.” The way I prevent this is putting an end date and…

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Scheduling your week

I couldn’t figure out why I had so much trouble getting my shit together. I tried every calendar app, setting reminders, and even hired a project manager. What the fuck is wrong with me that I can’t stick to a simple schedule? And then I saw this article: Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule And it made…

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[TEMPLATE] Questions you need answered before you start work

There are a few basic questions I ask EVERY. SINGLE. CLIENT. Whether I’m writing short landing page copy or a 186-line-item launch sequence. This is the bridge between the admin and the creative phase. Before work starts, I need the following: Paid Invoice Signed Contract Market Research Survey This survey does a few things. First,…

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How to End Scope Creep

There’s 2 ways to end scope creep. Make sure it never happens by spelling out expectations up front in your proposal and planning documents (There are trainings on both in the Business of Copy). When it does happen, tactfully and calmly address it (before it gets out of hand). It’s important to remember that if…

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11 Ways You Blow the Gig

In addition to playing copywriter, I also occasionally play client. I hire writers for support on my projects, as well as on behalf of clients. I know what it’s like to be on the other side, and also that sinking feeling when you never hear back from a prospect. That’s why I put together this…

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All the software that runs my business

Software Programs We Use Easy landing pages Leadpages Graphic Design Canva  Automatic Password Management Lastpass Time tracking, invoicing Harvest Project management/workflow/bookkeeping 17hats  Autoscheduling Acuity Scheduling Planning Effic ProductivAction Planner Electronic Signatures Hellosign Auto-followup Followup Then Payment Processor Stripe Transcription Rev.com Meetings Zoom Voice Tools Tone Analyzer Cadence Tool Voice Book  

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Simple Status Reports That Make Everyone Happy

Things that consistently happened during projects: The client emailed asking me what I was working on (Response in my brain: “WHAT AM I WORKING ON!? About 20 different aspects of your project!” Even though we weren’t close to the deadline yet, the client seemed anxious to get the work. People on the team asked for…

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Q&A: “You cost too much”

Member question: I got the following response to a quote. It wasn’t a no, just a request for an explanation: Can you please help me understand your costs a little better by letting me know the number of days you have allocated for each option as it’s more than I was envisioning? Or have you…

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[TEMPLATE] Big Launch Proposal

One big launch can be a huge win for you. I’m talking full-service emails, landing pages, video scripts, sales letter, ads, and more… These big, gnarly projects can get out of hand quick. Preventing that starts with an effective proposal. This is our big launch copywriting proposal. Click here for other training and templates for…

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[TEMPLATE] Retainer Proposal

Retainer agreements are a great way to get predictable, recurring revenue. And to be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page so you don’t become an indentured servant. This is our retainer copywriting proposal. Click here for other training and templates for special case proposals. You’ll notice that while we *kind of* break it…

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[TEMPLATE] Consulting Agreement

Consulting agreements can be extremely lucrative and a good supplement to your creative projects. However, on the dark side they can turn into massive time sucks. Here’s the template we use for consulting agreements.

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Gift ideas for clients

A great way to close out a project on a high note is to send your client a thank you gift. This can range from a $10 gift card to dinner reservations, all the way up to a higher-end gift for large projects. In the video below, Abbey walks you through her process for discovering…

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50 Questions to Ask Prospects

“He who asks the questions controls the conversation.” This is one of those phrases that is said so much, we tend to forget its power. I once saw Jay Abraham do a live Q&A. It was incredible to me how he was able to get to the heart of the issue, oftentimes solving the problem,…

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Royalty vs. Retainer… Which one?

There’s a lot of confusion around about negotiating a royalty or an ongoing retainer for backend revenue. The truth is these are two very different asks… and in some cases, you can negotiate both for the same contract. Here’s your basic definitions. Royalty A Royalty (also called residuals or commissions) is a percentage of sales that…

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10 Must-Haves for Your Contracts

Contracts and copywriting agreements are ESSENTIAL to protecting you and your clients. Great agreements: put everyone on the same page set clear expectations prevent misunderstands prevent nonpayment, refunds, or dissatisfaction communicate how the project will work

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[TEMPLATE] Copy Review Call Instructions

Before adding someone to your calendar, get payment. This prevents booking the time and having a no show or cancellation. First send an invoice. Then, send an email with instructions. Here is a template for those instructions.  

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What to do when a prospect “ghosts” you

We’ve all had those… You know the type. It always starts amazing. A great email. Maybe even a phone call. Everyone is excited. They are a PERFECT client. You start gearing up. And even though you don’t have a check (or even an agreement), you start doing some research and brainstorming copy ideas in the…

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Getting clients from live events

Live events are my natural habitat. All of my clients can be traced back to a drink at a hotel bar somewhere. In this training, I walk through my 3-step criteria for deciding what events to attend and then what to do (and what not to do) once I get there to make an impression…

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