To: Anyone looking for direct response copy in finance
From: The desk of Brian Lenney
Coordinates: A few miles west of Boise, Idaho
If you want to hire the best copywriter, there are two ways to do it:
(1) ... pay a copywriter $60,000 (PLUS royalties) for a single project. Yes, really! Assuming you can get in touch with one of these living legends in the first place (there are only a few). Then, you have to get them interested in your project (you can't) and find space on their calendar (you won't)...
(2) ... you can resurrect David Ogilvy (even Gary Halbert).
If you can do one or both of those, then yes - you can find (and hire) "the best copywriter."
If not... don't fret.
Because you can still find a great one.
You're free not to of course...
But if you're okay with NOT shelling out $60k up-front (plus royalties) and you'd like to learn more about finding a great copywriter keep reading.
^^ THOSE TWO sentences employ the "BYAF" ("but you are free") copywriting technique.
They make you think the decision to go on is YOURS (e.g. "Why yes, I WOULD like to keep reading thank you very much") even though it was me nudging you forward.
Anyways, I digress.
I got started in 2014.
I hated working a normal job.
"I'm virtually unemployable, really..."
That's why in my pre-copywriting life I think I had about 30 jobs. Because I could never find something I was good at AND liked.
Enter my sibling.
One day, during an angst-ridden rant about how college is a scam and 9 to 5 jobs suck, my brother Jeff Lenney (an SEO badass) told me that since I was already a good writer, I should look into becoming a "copywriter."
I had no clue what that was.
Here's me & Jeff in Lake Tahoe enjoying the finer things in life (I'm the better looking one on the left)
So, I Googled: "How to become a copywriter..."
TONS of results.
And I quickly discovered two things:
People can get paid well to write "marketing stuff"...
Copywriting is formulaic. There are proven and tested formulas you can plug and play into almost any niche.
After more Googling, I decided to give it a shot...
... and I rose to the occasion quickly.
I gave my two weeks, quit my job (I don't recommend jumping in so brashly for most people) and got my first gig the very first day I was "on my own."
I cold emailed an agency on the East Coast and told them I'm looking to break into the industry.
The guy liked my email and hired me to do some SEO copy for them (nobody ever paid me to "just write" before).
I got paid $1,800.00 for my very first copywriting project (without a portfolio or any "official" experience)!
I was stoked.
Then... they hired me AGAIN for a similar one!
After that, I knew it could only get better.
So... I joined some masterminds and read everything I could about marketing, copy, and psychology. As I got better, I found myself landing more and more projects - mostly from the Cult of Copy Job Board (and then, referrals).
A screenshot from the good ole' days
And kind of on accident, I landed in the SaaS world.
That's where I cut my teeth.
And it paid off.
I ended up working with the founders of HubSpot and Hotjar, agencies all over the world, won a copywriting contest put on by Unbounce... and I even got certified as a "Conversion Copywriter" by Copyhackers (thanks Jo).
"Precisely what we're looking for..."
~HubSpot Founder, Dharmesh Shah
"Focused on highlighting your value..."
"Brian's a talented, passionate writer with particular gifts in long copy and content. When you're looking for a copywriter focused on highlighting your value - not selling hype - hire Brian."
-Joanna Wiebe,Co-founder of Copy Hackers & Airstory
"Wit and clarity, along with a keen ability to find leverage..."
“I’ve worked with Brian on several projects. None of them were easily understood audiences, and most of them we barely understood the business model. Brian cuts through the noise and creates copy that that converts. Wit and clarity, along with a keen ability to find leverage in a model, make Brian an indispensable resource to my growth campaigns.”
-Sam Mallikarjunan, PDP Instructor at Harvard University
Here's me talking on a money phone after a client flew me across the country on a private jet.
"But, after a few years in the SaaS copywriting game... I discovered that the biggest opportunities for copywriters are in financial copy..."
So... I switched gears.
I focused on writing about:
Anything that fit the bill.
No more writing on-boarding sequences, SEO blogs, or product copy.
It was time to go straight for the kill.
And I did.
"It's been an amazing journey..."
I've worked with Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad companies, collaborated with THE BEST financial copywriting giants, MIT professors, Harvard Business School instructors, and the world's most sought after stock trading gurus.
Since 2014 I've written 6 and 7-figure financial promos, launched courses, and written copy that's generated (and is STILL GENERATING) tens of thousands of leads.
No, I'm not "the best"...
... but I'm pretty okay (here's some social proof):
"...the unique ability to combine storytelling with conversion copywriting."
“Brian has the unique ability to combine storytelling with conversion copywriting. Not only will you get engaging content, but you’ll also be wow’d with his ability to deliver key results. If you’re looking for someone who can write full-stack copy, match your brand voice, and write for results, look no further. I’d hire him again any day!”
~ Tara Robertson, Director, Marketing Strategy & Operations, Sprout Social
The reluctant hero...
<< A TOP copywriter who's done over $30 million in direct response sales in just the past few years had this to say when I asked him for a testimony. Well played sir. Well played.
"He knows how to tell a story..."
“Brian is a passionate and incredibly creative writer. He knows how to tell a story and capture attention both in writing and in person. He’s also willing to take risks and push the limits – which is critical in a world where you have to rise above the noise.”
~ David Darmanin, Founder & CEO, Hotjar
Here's how financial publishers can generate tens of thousands of leads and open up 6 to 7-figure revenue streams...
... without onboarding a snobby copywriter, paying for an A-Lister, or rolling the dice on a new guy!
Here's what I write:
Product Launch Copy
Copy for the Entire Funnel
Long form copy
Native Ads & Advertorials
AdWords landing pages
Video sales letters (VSLs)
YouTube video ads
"I knew there was a reason I liked Brian..."
"I knew there was a reason I liked Brian from the get-go.
Not only did he have the skills to hit the ground running, but dude knew how to craft a story and turn a phrase.
These details matter. Tons of people have similar skills…hello Internet! But, if you can tell a better story, that engages people you’re talking to – playing to the “narrative bias” we all have as humans…
You’ve already won."
~ Mike Harringon, Entrepreneur
"He blew it out of the water..."
"I asked Brian to make me a few landing pages for a real estate venture and he blew it out of the water! Not only did it look sick but he busted it out super fast even though I said I was in no hurry. Bottom line, if you're looking for a copywriter, look no further!"
~ Robert Shaw, Real Estate Entrepreneur
Over to you...
If you want to talk shop, shoot me an email.
I gotta go (my kid just ate a crayon),
* The Big Thirteen *
(Or, what it's like to work with me)
(1) I've already written 6 and 7-figure copy for my clients. If you bring me on, you won't be "testing out" a new copywriter or having to educate me in the ways of direct response marketing. I've already done (and I'm doing) it."
(2) Deadlines matter. I deliver on time or early every time. No sitting around wondering - "Hey, what ever happened to that copywriter guy?"
(3) I'm part of your team. I'm not a one-off hotshot or a guy who sees himself as above or separate from you. When you bring me on board, I'm literally on board (I'll even join your Slack channel). Why? Because we're partners together with the same goal: more leads & more revenue.
(4) "Let's test it!" I’m all about testing. Maybe even annoyingly so. Headlines, bullets, images, page layout, subject lines, hooks, angles, VSL scripts. Whatever. If it's an area of interest let's test it.
(5) I don't take forever. I've been doing this full-time since 2014 so I know how to turn a project around quickly. If you do your part, I'll do mine. By the way, if I work "too quickly" it's okay. It doesn't mean I don't take the work seriously. It means that I've been doing this for a minute and know how to produce copy in a timely fashion.
(6) I'm a marketer who specializes in copy. Let me explain. I’ve written for everything from real estate house flipping to penny stocks all the way over to autoimmune disease promos, pot-farm lead gen campaigns, and health supplement "A-Pile" mailers. Sales is sales, no matter what niche it's in. This is why I'm 100% convinced that a good copywriter is a good marketer FIRST (you can't be good at copy and not understand marketing).
(7) "The No-Ghost Guarantee." I get back to you ASAP, usually in a few hours. At least same-day. I try to hit inbox zero daily, I track projects religiously, and I make sure you always know where I'm at and what I'm doing as far as your project goes.
(8) "Semper Reformanda" Yeah, I stole this phrase from the 17th-century Protestant reformers. It means "always reforming." As a copywriter and direct response marketer, I try to be in a constant state of learning. New channels, new methods, "what worked in 1997 might not work in 2020," etc. I'm always reading, studying, masterminding, and learning the craft.
(9) Stacking paper. If you're sitting on a goldmine of an offer/product and have the right audience lined up, you're already 80% (ish) of the way to big money. The copy is the last 20%. If I NAIL that you'll be laughing all the way to the bank (oh yeah, so will I).
(10) Save time. Yes, it's true! You won't need to edit, update, or revise my copy in any major way. What you get is usually damn-near close to what you'll run. Why? Because I do my homework and research BEFORE I write (Abe said it best - "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe").
(11) No snobbery. If you have traffic, a decent budget, and a great offer, we're probably a fit. I don't pretend to have a 3-month waitlist (most Copywriters don't and most who say they do aren't being honest with you).
(12) Rates. I don't charge more than a lawyer does (most copywriters aren't A-Listers but they sure act and want to charge like they are). Not me. If we can both make money together, let's do it. I'll always ask you for your budget up-front, but it's not so I can max it out. It's to get an idea of what we're working with. Your budget should be around $10k+ for a project or a month of work. If it's a promo, we're also talking likely talking royalties. For example, a recent financial promo I wrote is bringing in $10-$20k a day in revenue. With numbers like that, $10k up front plus a 3% royalty doesn't sound like such a big fee does it? BUT... there's always a but. I sometimes take on smaller projects with a subcontractor who I oversee closely. Or I could refer someone. Or, we could reduce the scope of work (which would reduce your cost). If we both want it to work usually there's a way.
(13) The internet. I live in the Boise, Idaho area, and I've worked successfully with clients from all over the world (Australia, Malta, England, China, Germany, the East Coast, West Coast, and of course - Silicon Valley).