For Copywriters

A Personal Message to Current or Aspiring Copywriters…

Hey there,

Thanks for visiting my site. I started writing ad copy back in 1995 and I wasn’t very good at it. It all started because I was helping my little brother Joe Polish build what is now the Piranha Marketing Empire.  Back then, I wrote like a college English teacher and in most cases…that doesn’t sell S%$@! I’ll never forget the first one page sales letter I cranked out and gave to Joe thinking “man, he’s going to be really impressed by his big bro!” Not! It came back with so many comments in red ink, I thought the paper was bleeding. But Joe was dead right about what I wrote. It was stuffy, artificial and had zero emotion. It was what I call antiseptic writing. To clean to be authentic.

By early 1998, and over a 1,000 pieces of copy later, I got pretty good at it. Since then, have successfully been able to make a really good living (without having to sacrifice my integrity or having to hang out with any incestuous “rat pack” of online gurus to do it). I didn’t leave Piranha Marketing until June of 2000 and now, more than a decade later, some of the things I wrote are still being used and sold by Joe.  So, I do know most of the “gurus” past and present…and I’m not knocking you if you hang out with them.

Relationships and networking with the right people is, in many ways, better than being talented. I think the mere fact that I was one of the founding team members who built Piranha Marketing, and the fact that Joe Polish is my younger brother has opened many doors for me. At least it did 10 years ago. But an introduction or a recommendation only gets you so far, anything else you achieve has to be earned by you producing results! That is what i do today. And I’m unique because I also do more than write…I learned to think like a marketer.

Over the years I have seen guys come up through the ranks by hanging around the right people and bullshitting their way into projects. Some of them have had initial success because they study the “technique” of writing copy. Use this headline, follow this formula, end with this CTA…yada, yada, yada. That will only get you so far. I can’t tell you how many people I have written copy for who later told me something like “Man, I hired ‘so and so’ (insert name of superstar copywriter) to write me a sales letter and it just didn’t perform like yours.” The problem with these guys is they stop at technique. On this site, in my book and on my other websites, there is ample information about technique. But what you can’t mimic is the ability to understand your audience.

The real secret to success as a marketing copywriter is three fold.

1. Know the product/service as good as, or better than the creator.

2. Know your audience and what their hot buttons are, the pains, fears and desires they have.

3. Be able to extract, assemble and communicate the gold nuggets of what your clients’ product or service offers that solves the things listed in #2 above.

In my opinion, if you don’t really give a crap about your audience and you refuse to put in the time and effort to knowing your product and service, you will have a very tough time staying relevant and succeeding as a copywriter. At least…a highly paid one.

You also need to know how to charge for your services, and how to get paid over and over again so you are NOT singing for your supper week after week, year after year, decade after decade.  If you want to freelance, you need to be careful you don’t end up working a glorified JOB. It happened to me more than once in my career so far.

Writing copy and doing it at an “A” or even “B” list level is hard work.

Your clients don’t understand that. They think for us copywriters, writing is easy. And maybe compared to what they go through it is, but you’ll hear them say ignorant things like; “Can you whip me up killer headline for this product in the next 15 minutes”…or “hey, I spent a couple days writing a 20 page sales letter, do you think you could spend an hour and perfect it for me?”

It’s maddening…right!

Well, don’t let it get you down. As much as you need to educate every prospect when you write copy, you often need to educate your clients as well. Most of my work is research, not keystrokes. You may find the same to be true for yourself.

So, this site…the resources I suggest and anything I do here will be done with one thing in mind. Help you as a fellow copywriter be the best damn writer and entrepreneur (a.k.a. marketer of copy writing services) that you can be.

I hope you are empowered and edified by what you find on my site.

I wish you much success,

Tony Policci



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