Successful serial entrepreneur reveals his contrarian formula that…

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Caleb Osborne Teleseminar Transcript

Dear Friend,

The other day I interviewed the young up and coming copywriter/kitchen table entrepreneur, Caleb Osborne.

He shared a ton of hot money-making tips that any business owner or copywriter can use to make a big stack of “Benjamins”.

You can listen to it or download the MP3 here.

But I REALLY want to make sure you extract every possible money-making nugget out of that interview, so I’m also including the transcript of that call below.


All the best,

Caleb Osborne Teleseminar Transcription

Doberman Dan:    Welcome to another edition of the Doberman Dan Show.  That’s for lack of a better name.  That’s what I’m calling it.  Tonight we got a really special guest.  I’ve got Caleb Osborne with me, an up and coming copywriter and direct marketer.

I met Caleb – let me see – when did we meet?  We met at Gary Halvert’s Root Canal seminar, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah.

Doberman Dan:    Was the 2005?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; December of 2005.

Doberman Dan:    You were how old then at that seminar?

Caleb Osborne:    Let me think.  I think I was 19 at that one.  Yeah; I think that’s right.

Doberman Dan:    Nineteen years old and now just within the past few years has become a very in-demand copywriter.  One of the few copywriters that I would personally hire and not only am I just runnin’ my mouth about that, but I have hired him on numerous occasions.  So that is true.

Caleb Osborne – he’s one of the few Doberman Dan approved copywriters and I put my money where my mouth is.  So that’s my brief introduction.

Before I get started Caleb, I gotta tell ya’ somethin’.  I just wanna warn ya’ this may be an incredibly interesting interview for view because if you hear like I’m not responding or you hear me snoring, I have been having an allergy attack all day.

Then the lawn care guy showed up just a couple hours ago and that just made it ten times worse.  So I took two Benadryl and I haven’t eaten dinner yet.

So if you’re talkin’ and you finish a thought and you hear no response from me or snoring, the Benadryl has put me out and you’re just gonna have to carry this whole call for the next 55 minutes or so.

Caleb Osborne:    Alright; fair warning.

Doberman Dan:    So anyway, that’s a brief introduction and I’d like you to tell everybody a little bit about your background and the stuff like that.  Like have you actually ever had a real job or did you just get started in direct response young and then you’ve never really had to work for a living like the rest of us?

Caleb Osborne:    That’s a good question; good question.  I definitely never had a career.  I got out of high school.  I graduated when I was 17.  Let me think here.  I did a couple odd jobs.  I think I worked at Circuit City back when they were in business and only lasted a couple months.

Then I worked at a restaurant.  So I was a dishwasher and then a food chef eventually pretty quickly ‘cause that one got fired and I got to get moved up pretty quickly.  So I had to cook a little bit.

Then I really got it in my head – I think I started exploring.  Think I wanted to go to college and I saw one of the bullets – copyrighting, got me interested – one of the bullets on the back of Rich Dad Poor Dad was like how to pay for your college education with like – I don’t know — $5,000.00 or something like that.  I don’t know.  It was some interesting bullet and I don’t even remember what it was, but it was on the back of this Rich Dad Poor Dad book.  So I read that.

Then I got introduced to this whole world of business and there’s businesses that exist and these are a whole different – I just never thought to work for myself.

So, I got in my head that I wanted to work for myself and the next move I made was – well I helped out my dad for a bit.  He had a construction company so I was building decks and things like that, but during that time I was looking for a sales position, a sales job ‘cause I discovered I needed to learn how to sell things.

So I found a face-to-face selling job selling in-house water treatment systems.  They were like a couple thousand dollars and up.  So it was really good training.  I starved definitely for the first two months or so ‘cause there’s no salary.

It was just straight commission, but really, really instructive in just kind of teaching you pretty much how to deal with people and about human psychology and just the steps to making a sale and how to not be shy about asking for the money.

So that was kind of my background before I got into copyrighting I guess.  So I guess after I was a salesman and I was doing that and then always reading books and kind of with the intent to use this knowledge in my business and I didn’t know what kind of business I wanted – actually I did have an idea.  I had an idea I wanted to do a web hosting business.

I actually spent a lot of money getting like a licensing deal to have these web sites or web hosting, professional web hosting and a company down in Georgia that would do all the web design for me.  I was like oh, this’ll be great because I won’t have to do the work and all I’ll have to do is sell the stuff.

Then that’s kind of at the point when I realized I need to learn how to sell things.  So the whole time I was learning more about selling and marketing and things like that.  Then of course I stumbled onto things by Dan Kennedy and I made the connection as well at that time – I know I’m kind of rambling here, but I’ve never really thought about how the whole thing happened and some things are jumping out at me as I’ve talked about them.

Doberman Dan:    That’s good.  That’s what I wanted to happen in this call.  Just to interrupt for a second, that’s one thing I’ve discovered by doing these teleseminars and I’m really excited about doing them is ‘cause I figured out neither of us do this for a living.

We don’t teach for a living.  We don’t teach what we do for a living and I figured out that guys who do it, teach for a living or are gurus have this all organized and planned, but for guys like us, the more that we can talk about it and have somebody draw it out of us, the better it is.

We gotta bunch of stuff up in our noggin.  We just need somebody to help us draw it out.  So go ahead, please.

Caleb Osborne:    I think that’s definitely an instructive point, too, ‘cause the more I think about this stuff – it’s funny.  I’ve been a black belt for eight, nine years or something like that and when I first started teaching it was kind of like I was like oh, I don’t wanna teach.

I have no desire to teach people, but one of my instructors was like, ‘Yeah; but when you teach it you really have to think through everything and you really learn it a lot better.’  So it is kind of cool.

So I discovered Dan Kennedy I guess.  I stumbled onto him ‘cause I was starting to read more about sales and the marketing stuff and that whole group of people was kind of connected.  I made the connection that I had seen direct response marketing and stuff in action before when I was younger with Matt Fury.  He’s this guy that teaches people body weight exercises and wrestling and martial arts, conditioning information and stuff like that.

So I was like oh yeah, I kind of get this and this whole idea of copyrighting and marketing and everything started to come together.  I was like oh, that’s cool.

So I was 17 and I had just graduated.  This is all happening really fast like during about a year.  Then I turned 18 and I moved out of the house.  I was trying to get this business going.  I was still working as a salesman.

I also self-published a book on some Christianity stuff that I had also been reading and everything.  I was like, oh cool, I’ll use this direct response stuff to sell the book.  So I put up my first sales letter and Google ads and things like that and was driving a little bit of traffic to it and had some modest success.

But I didn’t really understand a lot about the whole – there’s more to it than just copyrighting when it comes to running your own direct response business like cash flow and how to manage it and how to reinvest profits and things like that.

So I was young and kind of dumb and all that stuff.  So I was still learning as I was going.  I guess about that time, so I was 18-ish.  So this went on around the same time.  I had just started working at another sales job and I was going through training.  That’s when I saw the advertisement for Gary’s – I guess it was his last seminar, wasn’t it Dan?

Doberman Dan:    I believe it was.  If it wasn’t it was pretty darn close.  He may have done one after the Root Canal seminar.  Yeah; it was one of the last.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; you’re right.  I think he did one in California that was the same one.  It was called the Root Canal seminar I think –

Doberman Dan:    Yeah; that’s right.  He did.  He did those two weekends back-to-back, which I thought he was insane for, but that’s right.  I forgot about the California one.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; so it was I guess one of his very last ones.  So I went down there and along with writin’ the sales letter for my Christian book and everything that I self-published, I wrote one for the web hosting business ‘cause I was still thinking that was gonna be my main job that I was doing.

I went to that seminar and met some fine people like yourself, Dan.  Then kind of interesting.  The pitch of the seminar was you could bring a direct response project and if Gary thought it had legs, he said he knew lots of investors and he would help you market it.  So I was like oh cool.

So I was just bound and determined that I was gonna get Gary’s attention and that he was gonna back my product and all this.  So I wrote that letter.  I think I even did a dollar bill letter in the FedEx envelope and sent it to Gary’s office trying to get his attention before this seminar because – I don’t know if I ever told you this ‘cause his secretary, the one that used to work for him – I believe her name was Teresa – yeah; Teresa.

Teresa e-mailed me back personally and gave me some advice on how to make myself stand out at the seminar to Gary.

Doberman Dan:    Yeah; Teresa rocked.  I was really disappointed when she left her employment with Gary.  That’s cool.  I had no idea.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I almost forgot about that, but I guess I can tell it now ‘cause she’s no longer working there.  But yeah; so she just gave me a couple of hints.  I think she told me to get a – she did – she told me to get a baseball cap.  She said that that way I’d stand out from the crowd a little bit and to approach Gary not when everybody else swarms around him.  Just some nice stuff for her to do.

I got the baseball cap.  That was when Caleb O’Dowd was being mentored by Gary.  So I put Caleb II on the cap.  I did it through one of the screen printing places on the internet and I got all that ready.

I went down there bound and determined to get him to back my project.  I even put it all in its own envelope and everything ‘cause it was a direct mail letter.  So it’d look just like a direct mail letter, put a live stamp on it, just like Gary had written in all his newsletters and everything.

Really up until that point ______________ mention, I never took any of the big home study courses on how to write copy or anything.  It was just put together from all the free resources like Gary’s newsletter.  Really it was just Gary’s newsletter at that point and anything I could pick up from Dan Kennedy or anybody and just from what I had seen by seeing these sales letters on the internet.

I was like oh yeah, I get it.  It made sense with what I knew about selling to people face-to-face.  There’s a process and this step does this and this step does that.

So basically, yeah, I put together the sales letter just like Gary had written his newsletters and everything and the best I thought it could be.  I think I brought four or five copies so I could give it to whoever was gonna be there and all the investors that I was expecting to be there.

So I went to this seminar and I guess we handed in our sales letters.  I don’t know, the second day there or something like that after Gary came back from lunch he called me up to the front of the room and told everybody, ‘Hey, this is a good sales letter.  Everybody should have it in their swipe file.’

I remember thinking later.  I was like, ya’ know the reason why he liked it so much is it was just pretty much a swipe of a Gary Halbert letter.

Doberman Dan:    That’s awesome.

Caleb Osborne:    Ya’ know what I mean?  ‘Cause I think I even used it was just a classic Gary Halbert, ‘If you want this benefit, then this’ and then the regular story that Gary would have it.  Just taking all his advice and everything ‘cause he was pretty much my main source of education up until that point.  So I think that’s why he liked it so much.

Not expecting it after I went up there and I was still dead set on having this business.  Then one guy approached me and he asked me if I was a copywriter or wrote copy for people.  Then I was like, ‘No.’  Then I thought about it and I remembered how much all the income claims I heard Gary and John Carlton and those guys make.  I was like, well maybe I should say yes.

So then the next person that asked me I said, ‘Sure.’  I picked up my first client there at the seminar and I followed up with him through e-mail later.  It was one of the guys actually that did a hot seat with Gary.  I thought I had a couple ideas of how he could improve his web site and I talked to him.  Then we exchanged e-mails and then later on I ended up doing a project for him.

So that’s pretty much it, man.  That’s how I got started.  I got my first and second client at that seminar.  The second client that was there turned in to be a real big repeat business for me for I guess the first couple years.  I still do a little bit of work for him now.  Not as much though ‘cause I’ve increased my prices.

Doberman Dan:    You priced yourself out of his budget, huh?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; exactly.  I think he knew what he was dealing with.  He knew I was kind of wet behind the ears.  So he was like hey.  He caught me in the low budget price range I guess, the entry price.

Doberman Dan:    First I remember this specifically ‘cause at that seminar there was three people, three panelists or whatever.  I don’t know what you wanna call it; three speakers.  It was Gary, Caleb O’Dowd and me and when Gary reads something or when Gary used to read something it was pretty – Gary would immerse himself in some – he wouldn’t just skim.

Gary would immerse himself when he read something.  If it was good I should say.  If he was reading something that was crappy he would skim it and it wouldn’t keep his attention.

So your sales letter made it up there to the front where we were.  I remember Caleb O’Dowd was talking at that point and Gary started reading that.  I’m thinkin’, he’s not gonna read this right here while we’re up front speaking.

I could tell – he used to get that look in his eye.  I could tell he was drawn in by it ‘cause he was completely oblivious to whatever was going on.  Me and Caleb had to carry that part of the seminar for awhile while he was just immersed in your letter.

That’s when he said – he held it up.  He goes, ‘Who wrote this?’  Remember that?  He’s like, ‘Who wrote this?’  He’s like, ‘This is a really good letter.  Everybody should have a copy of this for their swipe file.’  Which I think I still got.  I think I still got a copy of your letter in my swipe file.

But a couple things I was thinking about when you were talking about how you got started.  First of all, I’m really encouraged to hear that you did have some crappy jobs like the rest of us.  I think a lot of people would hate you if you graduated from high school and then all of a sudden just jumped into freelance copyrighting and had this great style making a lot of money.  I’d hate you if that were the case.  I’m glad –

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; you gotta pay your dues at least a little bit.

Doberman Dan:    I’m glad to hear you had some crappy jobs, but I find it interesting.  You said you had several sales jobs and it was all face-to-face stuff.  I find it interesting how many copywriters in some way or another had a sales background.  That really helps you hone your chops I think.  You don’t really have to be a good writer to make it as a copywriter.  You gotta be a good salesman.  Would you agree with that?

Caleb Osborne:    Oh yeah; definitely.  Heck, I’d say 80 percent of it is what you’re saying; not how you’re saying it.

Doberman Dan:    Yep; exactly.  I didn’t know that.  I didn’t know that about your sales background and stuff.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; it was kind of cool ‘cause I think Gary used to give that advice in his newsletters, too.  If you actually want to get better at copyrighting, don’t study copyrighting; go sell something door-to-door for a month or whatever.

It’s true.  You immediately get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.  I guess it just gives you that logical framework in your mind to hang stuff on.

Doberman Dan:    Right.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I guess that’s how it works.

Doberman Dan:    So 19 years old basically anointed by Gary Halbert and all of a sudden that weekend after people were hitting you up to write copy for them is when you figured out like holy smokes, I guess I can make money at this, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; exactly.  So I think I got enamored with it.  I’m still trying to turn this over in my head ‘cause I got enamored with the whole idea of just being a copywriter because every time you hear it talked about by Gary and by Carlton and Dan Kennedy and all this stuff, you think oh man, that’s a great life.  They get paid all this money just to write these letters and you get all this fame and recognition.

I’ve kind of always been somewhat competitive I guess.  I used to compete in the martial arts tournaments and everything and just always somewhat competitive.  So you want to throw your hat in the ring and get recognized and beat other copywriters and all this.

So I know of just let the whole web hosting idea business just go down the tubes.  I never really did anything with it.  I guess what I’m saying now is in retrospect I kind of – maybe not necessarily the same business, but I don’t know.  I think I should have started promoting my own products a little sooner, too.

But at the same time, all those years were so great and so much fun.  You can’t beat the lifestyle.  Even though you’re required to work to make money, it’s a pretty highly leveraged form of work.  You can’t beat the lifestyle.  You set your own hours.  You can do it from anywhere.  It’s pretty awesome.

Doberman Dan:    There’s a bunch of times when I’ve called you in the morning and it hasn’t been all that early.  Kind of like ________ early, but it has been like 9 or 10 a.m. and you’re still in bed.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I’ll admit up until this past year really I was just totally against the idea of getting up early.  I’ve always been kind of a night owl and I was just like ya’ know what?  I’m working for myself.  There’s no reason for me to get up.

So, I felt really like a slob if I slept in too much past 10 so I’d always get up, but it was never less than double digits.  I used to tell people don’t call me unless it’s double digits.

Doberman Dan:    Double digits – that’s good.  I’m gonna steal that and use that by the way.  Don’t call me unless it’s double digits.

Who was the guy from Clayton Makepeace’s office that called you one morning like it wasn’t all that early, but it was maybe 8 or 9 and you were still in bed and he got all pissed off ‘cause you were still sleepin’ and he had to be in the office at 7 or something.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; that was John Newsome.  He called me and I picked up the phone and I was all groggy, trying to act like I wasn’t sleeping.  He was like, ‘Are you just wakin’ up?’  He’s like, ‘Damn freelancers.’  He was all upset.

I had talked to Clayton later and Clayton gets up early, but he said he couldn’t make it into the office before John.  I guess John was working really hard and getting in there early.

Doberman Dan:    Speaking of Clayton Makepeace, I know I’m not going in order here, but after Gary’s seminar, correct?  You went to Clayton Makepeace’s big seminar, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; that’s chronological actually.  I think it was the very next year, 2006, I believe.

Doberman Dan:    Okay; that’s what I thought.  I knew it was shortly after Gary’s seminar.  It was shortly after you basically got started in copyrighting.  Then at Clayton’s seminar, which I didn’t make it to, which I’m still kicking myself about, he had a challenge.  There were a lot of people at that seminar by the way.  He put out a challenge to write a promotion for a supplement and you were recognized as one of the best writers at that seminar, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; it was the same type of deal.  There was just a real good reason to go.  So I guess after Gary’s thing I had really set my mind on yeah, I’m gonna become a copywriter.  Then Clayton had just started his newsletter.  Everybody was just Clayton’s the man.

This is how green I was.  Yeah; so he put out that challenge.  I guess the pitch was he had like a first, second, third or something like that and the first, second and third people got to work directly with him and were guaranteed a certain amount of fees.  So the price was like $5,000.00 for the seminar.  I guess the grand prize was guaranteed $20,000.00 in fees or something like – over time working with Clayton.

So I was like well yeah, that’s a heck of a return on investment.  I just gotta win this thing.  Of course I didn’t have $5,000.00.  I’ll tell that story ______________.  So I wrote a sales letter to my mom who had just got married to her new husband.  So I wrote a sales letter to my mom to get to borrow the $5,000.00.  I actually had to go in person and close that one ‘cause it was my mom.

Doberman Dan:    You’re kidding.  I never knew that.  This is all news to me.  Did you really?  Did you really write a sales letter to your mom?

Caleb Osborne:    I really did.  It’s funny.  Some of this stuff I don’t really want to tell or I feel weird about telling ‘cause it’s almost embarrassing.  So I was still struggling ‘cause I had clients and everything, but like I said I was living by myself and I was just hard headed about not getting roommates or anything like that.  So I was spending a lot every month.  So I wasn’t doing really good at all, but I was learning and I was doing what I wanted to do so I was like pretty much independent I guess.

But then the seminar came along.  I’m like man, I need $5,000.00; I don’t have $5,000.00.  So yeah, I wrote this sales letter.  I can’t even remember the headline.  I bet I’ve got it on my other computer.  I could probably find it, but it was pretty funny.

Of course the pitch was ‘Give me $5,000.00 and I’ll pay it back to you over time.’  Or something like that, ‘with these guaranteed fees that I know I’m gonna win.  Even if I do really poorly I’ll get third place and you’re still covered.’  So it was a pretty good sales job for a sales letter.

I went in person and her new husband actually loaned me the money to go.  So I got to go to Clayton’s event.  So I went there and I was all set on winning first place and knew I was gonna win.  The same type of just determination I had when I went to Gary’s seminar I guess and willing to go out on a limb.

I don’t know.  There’s a lot of points in my copyrighting career or business career or anything where I’m not afraid to – I don’t know.  I guess when you’ve been pretty down towards the bottom you really know that it’s nothing to really be scared of ‘cause you’re like ah, so I got no money.  Ya’ know what I mean?

Doberman Dan:    Yeah; I know exactly what you’re saying.  Yeah; when you got no money and you’re broke what’s the worst that can happen.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; what’s the down side.  When you get to a certain point and you can see the very next step is off the cliff, you’re like oh, it’s not so far down.  So you’re willing to kind of risk everything.

If you really want something too, that’s the other thing.  It’s like if you’re really driven and you know exactly what you want then that’s what you go for.

Doberman Dan:    Now there were at Clayton’s seminar there was a bunch of people there.  That was a big seminar, wasn’t it?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; that was.  All the top direct response guys were there.

Doberman Dan:    All the top guys.  Guys going to learn about direct marketing and copyrighting from Clayton Makepeace, the guys in the audience attending are guys like John Carlton, Gary Halbert.  I’m probably missing a few.  David Deutsch I imagine.  Wasn’t he there?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; Deutsch was there along with Carlton and I had just –

Doberman Dan:    Carline Anglade Cole. right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; Carline was there.  Kent Komae was there.  Let’s see.  What’s her name?  Chris – I’m pronouncing her name wrong.  Chris Schwalm?

Doberman Dan:    Schwalm; yeah Schwalm is the last name.  I’m blanking out on –

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; ______ had just written the $10 million letter for Agora.  He was one of the marketing directors or copy chiefs or something for that.  He was about to go out on his own, but he’d just put together this letter that brought in $10 million for Agora.  Greg –

Doberman Dan:    So guys at this seminar, the A list guys, the top of the top at this seminar and still in spite of that, after you’d only been doing that a little over a year or so or couple years, you still wrote one of the best letters there of all the attendees at the seminar.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I’ll qualify that by just saying that I kind of highly doubt that guys like David Deutsch or Carlton or any of those guys entered that contest ‘cause it was an optional contest.  I don’t know that they didn’t for a fact, but I doubt it just because I don’t know why they would want to ‘cause they already knew Clayton I guess.

Doberman Dan:    But just to have Clayton Makepeace – if Clayton Makepeace just patted me on the back and said, ‘Hey, that was a fairly decent letter you wrote.’  I’d be like, oh my God, Clayton Makepeace thinks I’m semi- — I’d be freakin’ out to be anointed by a guy like that, and you were after just writing copy professionally for really only a year.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I don’t even think it was a whole year.  If I’m correct and it was in 2006 it wasn’t a whole year.  I’ll say two things about that.  One was I was so green that I didn’t even know what a magalog was ‘cause the only sales letters I’d seen were Gary Halbert’s and stuff like that.

So when we got this assignment for that supplement I wrote it just like a regular punch in the face sales letter.  Then I saw the guy that won first place and the guy that won second place it was more of a magalog thing.  I remember the first time I saw a magalog it was – ‘cause I’d been hearing about Clayton.  I was reading his newsletters.  I was like man, this guy’s good and I finally got a hold of one of his promotions.  I was like what the heck is this thing.  This isn’t a sales letter.  I didn’t know what it was.

Oh, the other thing I wanna do is I wanna give a shout out to Caleb O’Dowd though because he helped me out.  I sent him that letter to critique before I sent it in ‘cause I’d stayed in touch with him after Gary’s seminar when I met him down there ‘cause he had written I guess a supplement.  He had his own supplement business so he was pretty familiar with that market, but he definitely gave me some hard hitting advice and sent me on the right path.  So he was a big help.

But yeah; I wrote the letter and got it out there and really wanted to win first place, but through that the guys that won first and second place became good friends with and Clayton encouraged all the copywriters there, the best thing you could do is to create your own little what he called a crit circle where you just critique each other’s copy that you’re working on.  Then that way you’re constantly learning from each other and seeing what everybody else is doing and you basically get twice as good twice as fast and all that.  I thought that was a great idea.

So of course I buddied up with the two guys that won first and second place and we formed our little critique circle.  Along with Tony Flores who was there.  I guess he had just started working with Clayton at that point.  So we kept in touch through e-mail that way.

Doberman Dan:    Did you wind up meeting anybody that turned into a client down the road from Clayton’s seminar?

Caleb Osborne:    Ya’ know, no.  There was a lot of big direct response companies there.  Agora was there, Health Resources, all those guys.  I followed up with pretty much all of them through e-mail and direct mail to a couple of them.  Those companies are so big they do a lot of newer copywriters.

I actually got – I forget which company it was, but it was one of the big ones.  I had sent them a sample package and followed up a couple times.  I finally got them on the phone and he was looking over my samples.  He was like, ‘Oh, this is good and what not, but let me just tell you how it works.’

He’s like, ‘A customer acquisition piece costs so much money to mail that pretty much the only people that work on the customer acquisition pieces are guys that have been in the industry for 10-20 years at least.  You’d start basically writing newsletter inserts and even that you don’t do until — you’re usually a copy cub for a couple years.’

So none of those really did turn into jobs I don’t think.  Ah, no.  I take that back.  Ralph Charlton was there; Ralph Charlton from Target Focus Training or he was working with Target Focus Training primarily as this company.  We ended up doing some work together later on down the road.

So yeah; I don’t know the kind of questions people were asking before this call, but if people are wondering about things that build your business I would definitely recommend seminars and just go and network your butt off and meet people ‘cause if someone’s searching for a copywriter, or if someone’s searching for any professional business, if you know somebody personally it’s always a huge jump ahead in line.

Doberman Dan:    Yeah; I agree.  A few years ago, I forget what seminar it was, but I was talking with Scott Haines, Mongo.  Gary always called him Mongo.  Another copywriter who mentored under Gary.  We were talking about this about seminars and both he and I did not want to travel to the seminar.  It’s just inconvenient to travel, but then he kind of gave me a slap in the head, slaps me back to reality ‘cause back then I still was taking clients.

He’s like, ‘Dan’ he goes, he starts asking me about seminars I went to and I told him.  I was listing some of the ones I’ve been to and he goes, ‘Has there been any seminar that you’ve ever gone to that somehow or another you didn’t make money from it.  It was either by making contacts with people there that turned into copy jobs or consulting jobs or you picked up some tip that you could use to make more money, has there been even one of all the seminars where you went to where you didn’t make money from it?’

I thought about it.  I thought no, not a one.  Every single seminar I’ve been to, even the crappy ones.  I’ve been to some crappy seminars which were these low priced things for like $500.00, $600.00, $800.00 that were nothin’ but pitch fests the entire weekend; hardly any content, but I still made money from them because of the contacts I made there.

So I think incredibly that’s a really valuable point you bring up is going to seminars.  You can probably send out packets or portfolios.  You can probably send out hundreds and still have more success actually goin’ to these seminars and meeting people in person.  Meeting them in person is I don’t know.  It’s always turned out to me to be the best way to go and that sounds like how it’s worked out for you, too.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; definitely.  No doubt.  Like you said, if it isn’t a direct job maybe it turns into a job in the future or just you meet somebody and it’s like our relationship.  Even if you had never hired me to do anything I’ve learned so much from you and hopefully I’ve helped you out a lot of times.  You always meet somebody that turns out to be really important later on down the road.

I’ll say that’s a good motivation to go to seminars.  Just networking in general.  I gotta say networking is probably one of the bigger keys to my success, but don’t be the guy that’s always trying to get stuff from somebody.

I’ll share this.  This is kind of embarrassing, but I got home from Clayton’s seminar and actually it was up in D.C. and I live in Virginia.  So I’d get up in the morning at like 5 or whatever I had to do to get up there, try to beat the traffic and get up there before the seminar started ‘cause I couldn’t afford the money to stay at the hotel.  It was at a really nice hotel.  The Renaissance Hotel here in D.C.

I was so broke and I was spending my money on all this stuff and my electric went out during the seminar.  So I came home and the electric was out for the two nights of the seminar.

Oh, what was I saying that for?  Yeah; because even though I was in I guess you could call a desperate situation, I definitely needed work and I was definitely driven to meet people and everything and get jobs and things like that.

Actually caring about the people you meet and just being a genuinely nice person, I don’t know, I guess maybe it came natural to me just because I’d done a lot of sales stuff and you schmooze with people, but really I think it’s just ‘cause I like to think I’m kind of a nice guy.  Normally if you something nice for somebody it normally just feels good anyways and its’ nice to help people out and everything, but I think that’s a big part of it.

People can sense when you’re not being real and if you’re just a real person and a nice person and cool about sharing whatever knowledge you have or whatever help you have, not so much just looking out for number one, looking out for yourself, then that goes a long way.

Doberman Dan:    Good advice.  There’s actually a couple lessons I think people really need to learn from how you tracked me down.  First of all, fill in the gaps.  I’ll tell the story.  You fill in the gaps, but shortly after we met at Gary’s Root Canal seminar I get an e-mail from you.  Of course I remembered you.

But I get an e-mail from you.  I was gonna say I may have saved it, but this was back before G-Mail so it wasn’t so easy to save e-mails then, but you basically e-mailed me a really complete plan of starting a membership site in one of the niches that I work in.

It was really thorough, man.  It was basically the whole business plan.  Here’s how you start.  Here’s how you can build the content.  Here’s some other businesses or sites that are doing the same.  I suggest you charge this.  You could start by promoting it to your list this way and basically gave me a complete idea to make some more money in a niche I was already in.

Then on top of that, you offered to work with me on that idea.  I blew you off for a long time, didn’t I?

Caleb Osborne:    We’ve known each other for so long it seems like that I kind of forget how it all – you’re right.  Pretty much that’s exactly how it went.

You were nice about it.  You didn’t really blow me off so much, but I think – I think it finally turned out.  You knew the type of people in your market and that was the type of product that those type of people were readily consuming.  I think you had done something like it before so we kind of scrapped the idea eventually.  I know I must have followed up with you at times.

Doberman Dan:    You did.  If I would have known you were gonna be so successful I should have saved those e-mails so I could show those to people like here.  I’d like to show you these e-mails when Caleb Osborne was a nobody.

Yeah; actually you were really persis – I did blow you off for a long time in a nice way, but I never really hired you for anything or we didn’t do any joint ventures together.  It’s just every so often I got a real nice e-mail from you, never hounding me for JVing with me or having me hire you, but every so often I’d get an e-mail or you’d forward me a web site.  ‘Hey, check out what these guys are doin’.  They’re also in your niche.’

Persistence breaks down resistance, man. After a time, I just was thinking man oh man, this guy is just not gonna give up until we do something together and I don’t remember – I honestly don’t remember the first project we worked on, but I’m assuming that’s one of your success secrets for getting clients from people you meet at the seminar.  Just maintaining contact with them and actually giving them information to help them, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I’ve never really thought through it, but I guess that’s kind of how it is.  I think my mindset at the time was like well, I guess we’re not really gonna work on anything, but I’ll stay in contact with him.  Just whenever I came across anything, like you said, that I thought could help you ‘cause I remember that.  I remember a couple times I’d see something that I thought might help you out and I forwarded it over.

I know I’ve done that with some other people, too.  Yeah; it was just be nice to people, even if it doesn’t turn out to be something.  I’m pretty spiritual so I always think that everything happens for a reason.  I don’t want to say that the wrong way.  I don’t want it to seem like you’re doing good things to try to get good things, but you never know who knows somebody or how people are going to connect in your life or throughout your life.

Doberman Dan:    Exactly ______________ there.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; we could have never done anything together, but you may have off hand mentioned it to somebody, like ‘Oh, you’re looking for a copywriter?  Well there’s this new kid that keeps hounding me.  Why don’t you go talk to him.’  Then that could have turned into something ya’ know what I mean?

Doberman Dan:    And that’s exactly what’s happened, too, as a result of you keeping in touch with me and being persistent, but not bugging me; just constantly maintaining contact.  You’ve gotten work from other people that are also in my network, too, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; definitely.  The way to think about it I guess is ya’ know how everybody tells you to build an e-mail list and send out good content and then don’t really pitch your stuff too much and build a relationship with people?

Doberman Dan:    Exactly.

Caleb Osborne:    I think that’s what it is and it’s that process gets multiplied times like a thousand when you actually personally have met somebody and talked with them.  Once you’re over 21 and you have beers with them at the bar and everything at seminars.  I think that process just gets kind of multiplied and just being nice to people and when you think of something nice for somebody ‘cause really it takes nothing to –

Once you talk to somebody and like, oh, you’re in that niche or this is what you’re doing, this is what you’re working with, if you stumble across something on the internet – I don’t know about other people, but at least for most of us copywriters and marketing minded people, you’re always looking at things in a marketing mindset.

So when you stumble across something in that niche and you’re like oh, that was that person’s niche and then like oh, well that would probably help them; oh, I’ll give them that idea.  So you just send it off then.  It’s like oh, maybe they can do something with it

So you’re just generally, whenever the idea strikes you and take that couple seconds to help somebody out and you never know really what’s going to happen with it.

Doberman Dan:    So what really basically launched your career and got you your first clients was goin’ to seminars and then just keeping in touch with those people and following up to maintain relationships.

Caleb Osborne:    Yes, sir.  Pretty much networking both through live seminars and that was back when Michel Fortin had his copywriter’s board.  I don’t think I participated a whole lot on there, but I kind of PMd some people, some guys that were already established copywriters and talked to them and eventually developed relationships with them in the same way.

Even though never meeting those people face-to-face, just trying to be a generally nice guy.  Like we had Ben Settle on the call the other day.  He reminded me, but I had sent him a bunch of stuff back when I was first starting out.  Yeah; I can still remember.  I sent him a couple things, like I remember him talking about audio for his web site.  Then I came across some free flash audio software or something and I was like oh yeah, I bet Ben could use this.  I’d send him stuff.  It was all cool.

You be nice to people and network and you never know where that stuff’s gonna go.

Doberman Dan:    That’s cool.  There’s one other thing I want to ask you about and then I’d like to get into some of these questions.  We’ve got a bunch of questions from people on the call or they’re listening in on the web cast I guess.

I’m still jealous about this.  You got featured in an article in Clayton Makepeace’s web site, the Makepeace Total Package, didn’t ya’?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I sure did.

Doberman Dan:    How did that come about?

Caleb Osborne:    The same way.  John Newsome was the guy that won first place, but he was working directly with Clayton.  He moved down there to their offices and everything.  At that time I was really still gung-ho about being a copywriter and working with those guys in any way that I could.  John just was like what’s good for me is good for you ‘cause we had stayed in contact with the crit circle and everything.

So he’s like, ‘Don’t worry.  This’ll help you out, too.’  When the time came he had a column I guess in that e-zine.  He interviewed me for it.  So that’s how that happened.

Doberman Dan:    Yeah; that’s credibility out the wazoo, man.  If I were you I’d be using that all the time.  I’d be e-mailing the link to everybody on my list to that interview that you did for Clayton Makepeace’s site.

Caleb Osborne:    No doubt.  Yeah; I put it up – once I finally put up a web site for myself and my services, I put it just on the about page.  I was like, I’m lazy one.  I don’t really want to write an about page.  Two, this is pretty much the best – ‘cause it had pretty much everything we talked about here; just not as in detail.  So there was plenty of about stuff.

Doberman Dan:    I want to talk with you in a minute about getting started in copyrighting.  I especially want to talk with you about what to charge ‘cause that’s a question I get a lot, but let’s get into some of these reader questions if you don’t mind and we can talk about other stuff after that.

John in Macon, Georgia is asking, ‘What is the quickest way to ramp up your skills?  What is the quickest way to ramp up your self-confidence in your abilities and what is the quickest way to move into making a good living as a copywriter?’

Let’s take the first one there.  What’s the quickest way to ramp up your skills?

Caleb Osborne:    Skills, definitely the quickest way would probably be to learn how to sell.  Go get a sales job part-time or something like that and just get into that visceral process of selling stuff face-to-face to people.

In addition to that, I’d say the other thing that really helped when I was first starting out, read everything that you come across; all the sales letters, study all the techniques.

Like I said, I never took a how-to copy course.  I just read a lot of sales letters, read all the free information on Gary Halbert’s site and on Clayton Makepeace’s site when his stuff started coming out, but more importantly I actually did what Gary said and that was to handwrite out some sales letters.  I did that with a couple of – I think it was a couple of Gary’s letters and I think it was one of Caleb O’Dowd’s letters that he first put out ‘cause Gary was just raving about it in his newsletter.  I was like oh, let’s get his name to start with.

So I actually hand wrote out a lot of sales letters.  I think that really helps getting that process into your memory.  So that’s one of the best ways to quickly ramp up your skills –

Doberman Dan:    I agree.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; to make it easier for people, just read a lot and do it a lot, write a lot.  You gotta be writing –

Doberman Dan:    Writers write.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; exactly.  Writers write.  If you’re not writing you’re just joking.  You’re kidding yourself.  Get started doing something.  Write fake sales letters for fake projects or like a dream project that you would want to start if you had a business or something like that or Clayton recommends that when you get a mailing in the mail how would you knock it off and try to beat it, make it better.

Find a product that really gets you fired up and write a sales letter for it.  I don’t think I did that ‘cause I had my own little projects going on so I was already writing sales letters.  So that’s the thing.  I did something.  I started writing.  I just started writing sales letters as soon as I understood halfway the concept.

You’re never gonna be good the first time you step up to the plate, ya’ know what I mean?  I’m reading a book right now.  It’s called Talent is Overrated.  Basically they’ve discovered in the last couple years that they can’t really find any scientific evidence for talent.  Most people that are considered geniuses are born geniuses.  They just have this divine spark of inspiration and stuff.

When you put it together all these people have just trained for years and then by the time they get noticed people just think it’s an overnight success and it’s really not.  They actually point out like a ten-year rule, for even like the – it’s crazy – like the Beatles.  I guess Paul McCartney and the other dude had been working together in that band for ten years before they had their really big album that was a success.

Mozart most people think was like a child genius when it came to playing music, but his father was actually like a really famous musician that specialized in teaching children, had just written a book on how to teach children music and pretty much put Mozart through intensive training since he was like three years old.

Tiger Woods was trained since he was like three years old.  So all these people that see success early in life have actually still been training.

So my point is just that if you’re not doing something you’re never gonna get better.  You gotta put to work what you’re learning as you’re learning it.

Doberman Dan:    That’s true and the serendipity of that is if you want to get started as a copywriter and you’re writing everyday – let’s say you get a direct mail promotion in the mail and you decide ya’ know what, I think I could do better than this.

So you write that promotion.  Even though it’s not a real thing, well, ya’ know what?  You’re starting a portfolio.  At least you’ve got samples of your work now, too.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; since the rest of this question is how to make money with it, I’ll put it altogether.  What I wish I had done is I wish I had started a blog as soon as I got involved in copyrighting and it’s just starting writing post after post.  Write one article a day.

If you get up in the morning, Monday through Friday, write one article a day.  If you’re a real bad ass you can do it seven days a week, but I like to take the weekends off.  Write one article a day Monday through Friday and put it up on your blog about the stuff you’re reading about.

Like as you’re learning about headlines write a blog post about what makes for a good headline.  Then when you get these promotions and you want to tear them apart or you think you could do better, you could just do a post about that.  Be like okay, I got this promotion in the mail.  Here’s what I think they did wrong, here’s why, here’s the principle that I think they could have done better on and here’s how I would have rewrote it.

If you stuff like that, number one, you’re writing.  So you’re getting better at the skill of writing.  Number two, you’re displaying your authority and like expert status to everybody in the world, anybody that might hire you.

Number three, there’s really not that many great copyrighting blogs out there that have a lot of good content, especially not updated a lot.

Number four, you could really easily within a couple months have your own book if you plan it out right.  If you make an outline about a simple book of how to write copy that sells or how to make more sales from your web site, whatever you’re specializing in or you want to specialize.  Most of the work I think now a days in online.

So you step up to the higher ranks if you choose to do that and do it with some direct mail companies and you write a post for each of the chapters.  You do a couple posts for each chapter and just kind of outline it on a piece of paper.  Then go ahead and write it in a daily format piecemeal.

Then you got a book and then you give that book away when people come to your web site in exchange for their e-mail address.  Then you follow-up with them.  Just your basic direct marketing principles and action, but if you do it this way then you’re accomplishing a ton of things.

You’re getting good at the skill that you want to get good at fast, you’re practicing, you’re displaying your expert status, you’re creating a product.  You could create a product you could sell.  That same process can work.

Then through that blog the networking principle we were talking about now, I just e-mailed people before ‘cause there was the copywriter’s board, it was a forum where a lot of the copywriters hung out on, but that’s not there anymore.  I think there’s one that got replaced.

There’s other internet marketing forums, but even if you go and participate in those forums, if you put a link back to your blog there and then you comment on other copywriters and marketers’ blog posts and things like that, you’ll pretty quickly get known around the internet.

Dan, since you converted your site over to a blog you’ve seen more traffic, right?

Doberman Dan:    Oh yeah; quite a bit more.  Google likes it a whole lot better now.

Caleb Osborne:    And you really haven’t done any cross linking or gone and commenting on people’s blog and really tried to get people back to your site either, have you?

Doberman Dan:    I’ve done none of that.  I should, but I’ve done none of it.  All I’ve done is just put – well, recently now that I’ve gotten more involved with it is start putting more content up regularly.

Caleb Osborne:    Right; so imagine if you’re just getting started and you really want to set yourself apart, just do that.  Be the guy that works harder than everybody else.  That’s what I would recommend.  You’re gonna make yourself better in the process.

Doberman Dan:    Good advice.  Another question from Bernardo in Denver.  ‘How do you get new clients that have never heard of your name before?  Do you start with a direct mail campaign?  How does your portfolio fit in and when would you show it to them?’

So, how do you get new clients, we pretty much talked about the best way to get new clients.

How does your portfolio fit in?  When do you show it?  Yeah; how important would you say is it to have a portfolio of work to present to a potential client?

Caleb Osborne:    I’d say that’s pretty important.  It’s really cool if you can get some actual results.  Once that happens it makes it a lot easier, but even still just having, like we talked about, your own little portfolio of even ‘fake sales letters’.  It would still be good.

Definitely if you do the blog route that I was telling you, your whole blog is a portfolio.  You’ve demonstrated your expert status.  Nobody’s really gonna question it at that point.

But for now and I forget to do this sometimes ‘cause I’ll get introductions made from people I’ve worked with or whatever and I just kind of forget to sell myself or whatever, but yeah, definitely before you get into any discussions about really working together – this is just part of the stuff I learned from face-to-face selling – if you’re gonna be selling your services to somebody you don’t want the objection when you’re ready to close to be, ‘Oh, do you have any work I can see that you’ve done?’

So just like in a sales letter before you ask for the order you’re gonna share some testimonials, right.  So, definitely once if someone talks to you or you call somebody or e-mailed them or whatever, from a cold approach I guess, if you talk to them and they’re like, ‘Hey, actually yeah, I have been looking for a copywriter.’  ‘Oh cool.  Well I’m available this time next week to chat, but here’s the samples that are posted here on my blog.  You can go check it out.  This is a sample page.’

I have a web site now, a ‘blog’ but I got one post on there, one article that I felt squirrely one day and I put up, but other than that I got one article and I got that about page with the interview I did for the total package and I have an opt in form.  Once you opt in there’s my samples and that’s it.

I’m not recommending that to people.  I’m just saying that’s pretty much all I do is when I talk to people I’m like, ‘Yeah, well we’ll chat about that a little bit.  Here’s my free – call me.’  Get them to call you.  That usually positions you better.  That’s just a small thing.  It’s not really that important.

Then just be like, ‘Check out my samples page before we talk and that way you get an idea of what I do or what you’re working with.’

If they’re people that understand what a copywriter is then they’re most likely gonna be able to recognize good copy from bad copy.  So that’s always good if you have some good samples.

Doberman Dan:    That’s true.  A question from Scott in Newfoundland.  Wow.  I have subscribers from all over the world that I didn’t even know about.  We kind of already covered this, but let me ask it anyway.  See if it provokes any new thoughts.  ‘What’s your best tip or two for a starting copywriter to begin making the big bucks?’

Caleb Osborne:    One, okay; I’ll give you two good tips and these are mistakes I see that I made.  One is don’t be afraid to work.  I’ve always been really kind of protective of my lifestyle.  So there’s a lot of things I could have done like for instance, the whole blog thing that I was telling you to do that I didn’t do in the beginning because I saw it as just a lot of work and extra work.  To get up every day, write an article just was something I was like aw, that’ll take awhile, but daily actions really add up quick.  It’s pretty amazing.

Gary Bencivenga wrote an article one time about that how if you just try to improve yourself one percent each week.  That’s a really easy thing to do; one percent each week.  Most people fail when they try to improve themselves because they try to get better overnight and it’s really hard to do that if at all, but if you can improve one percent a week you’re almost 100 percent better by the end of the year.  You’re 50 percent better.  So you’ve almost doubled your skills in just a year.

So the same thing goes for the working stuff.  Don’t be afraid to work.  The little things really add up like that.  One person I admire who did do this is Ben Settle really did a good job.  We’ve talked to him a couple times and he was like ‘Yeah, when I had no work I’d write like three or four articles a day and post them up on web sites and put them on my site.’  It’s like yeah, that’s what I should have done.

So that’s number one.  Don’t be afraid to work.  And what goes along with that is say yes to more opportunities than you think you can deal with.

What I mean by that is I kind of strayed away from anything where I thought I’d have a lot of commitment to do or I thought I’d be committing myself to too many different things ‘cause what happens is a lot of stuff  — Tim Ferris wrote about this in his book The Four Hour Work Week.  Your work expands to fill the time you allot for it, right.

So if you’re really super busy and you have a lot of things on your plate you’re gonna get things done before deadlines and you’re gonna pretty much easily make your deadlines and things like that.

But what I did a lot of times was I didn’t hustle and didn’t – part of me not promoting myself as much as I should have ‘cause I was like, well I’m workin’ on this right now.  I can’t really take on anything else or somebody’d be like hey, I’m not really lookin’ for a one-time shot, but can we work on a long-term basis; I’m kinda lookin’ for someone like that.  I’d be like, ‘No.’

Really those long-term contracts can be really good for you and really valuable if you embrace them.  Even though I was super committed to working with Clayton Makepeace when I first started that journey and went to his conference and everything, about a year later after that whole thing, right before they opened up in their newsletter to advertise for new writers to come down there and be a copy cub in Clayton’s crew down there, I got offered the job through e-mail through the people I knew there.  I turned it down because I was like well, it’s a salary position.  I was kind of looking for that overnight success thing still.

I was like it’s a salary position, I’d have to move and I’d really be workin’ a lot.  I wouldn’t be gettin’ up at 10 in the morning anymore.  I don’t regret that now because there’s amazing things that happened in my life around that same time so I know it was definitely the right choice that I stayed, but I know that that type of mindset of being kind of afraid of work and you kinda’ get sold – I guess I’m just bein’ honest here – a lot of people get sold on this whole idea of what’s the AWAI letter?  Like retire this year and make more money than doctors or somethin’.

Doberman Dan:    Yeah; exactly.

Caleb Osborne:    So everybody gets sold on this idea of well, you’re just gonna work a few hours a day and everything and really, the best hustle and they work hard and they’re smart about what they do.  Guys that really did well when they first started out and really hustled and worked it like it was a real business, like Ben Settle and ray Edwards did a real good job building a list and things like that and establishing themselves as experts.  That’s what I recommend to anybody.  Not to do what I did.

Doberman Dan:    No; that’s good advice.  You’ve already navigated the mine field so to speak so you can lead the way and help people avoid the same mistakes you did.

I wanna talk real quick about something kind of related to Scott’s question.  He asked what’s the best tip for starting copywriters to begin making the big bucks.

I wanna talk about fee schedules.  Your fees are a lot more than when you first started, but when you first started you weren’t commanding the big fees at all were ya’?

Caleb Osborne:    No; not at all.

Doberman Dan:    Were you doing like John Carlton said?  Just the shameless whore, just taking any work just to get the experience?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; basically, shameless whore; yeah, exactly.  And I should have been even more shameless is what I’m saying ‘cause I guess when I started out I think my first client $2,000.00 and then the second client was only $1,500.00 a letter or something like that.  I’m saying only now and I don’t know if that seems like a lot to people or it seems like very little.

But compared to I had this big concept of what a copywriter makes and how much I should charge.  So it seemed a little at the time, but again if I had hustled and really gone out of my way to get a bunch of those, even if you just whore the heck out of yourself and there’s work out there for you if you go looking for it.

At those prices, you don’t have to really worry about the whole oh, I wanna position myself as this copywriter whose got tons of work and is in demand and everything.  At those prices you can cold approach most businesses that would work with you for those prices I think are pretty reasonable.  There’s different ways you could maybe work out the fee schedule.

I would definitely say I never really wrote anything for free.  Some people talk about doing I guess spec work, but yeah, I definitely don’t agree with writing anything for free.

I’ll tell you what I did do.  The first ______ I had, how I got that $2,000.00 was he had already spent $6,000.00 on another copywriter and the copy just was horrible and it bombed and it just wasn’t good at all.  So he was really weary about hiring another writer.

What I really wanted was the $5,000.00, $10,000.00 whatever that other copywriters charge.  So I made him an offer.  It’s funny how – I forget the saying, but it’s like inexperience is – I don’t know – something to do with cockiness and inexperience, but I was like, ‘Yeah, ya’ know what?  I’ll tell ya’ what.  You pay me this amount, $2,000.00 for this letter and if it doesn’t convert it at 1 percent then I’ll pay you the money back.’  We talked about – what’s that?

Doberman Dan:    I’m sorry.  That’s pretty gutsy.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; it was really gutsy, kinda’ ballsy, but I was really confident that I could – I definitely knew I could do better than the letter he already had and I was just really confident that – he’d done a lot of research so he had a ton of research on this and knew the market really well.  I was like, ‘Yeah man, I could knock this out of the park.’

I guess we worked it out.  I think in the actual contract I would pay him back on a monthly fee if it didn’t work for so many months.  So it would be something I could actually do and it was a viable thing.  I wasn’t just talking.

If you ever make a deal like that, don’t promise specific percentage points.  Promise like profitability or something like that because that letter I wrote for him, actually it pulled, through Google Ad Words, he had like a basic and deluxe version and the copy was good enough to sell – if people read it, it sold the deluxe version which was like 100 and some bucks.  It sold enough of those that it was actually profitable.  I think it was only like half a percent or something like that.

So the actual conversion rate wasn’t where it was, but it was profitable.  It was making this guy money.  We both were really stuck on this mindset of oh, like a letter should convert at a certain percent when really I guess you can correct me if I’m wrong, Dan, but I think profitability is a more important metric than the percent of something converts that.

Doberman Dan:    I wholeheartedly agree.  I couldn’t care if it was .000000001 percent.  If I’m making money I really don’t care about percentage.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; it’s kind of embarrassing sometimes.  You’re like, ‘Oh, I’m a professional copywriter, but hey, that’s making me money, that product.’

Yeah; so if you ever do a deal like that do it on some other factor other than percentage points ‘cause that gets kind of screwy depending on sources of traffic and all that stuff.  There’s a lot of factors with that.

But anyway, so yeah, you can do a lot of things if you’re gusty and you think you can really just knock the pants off something.  You could make a risk free offer like that.

I think you can probably start at that fee schedule.  I know a lot of copywriters that start at that fee schedule.  I wouldn’t go much below that.  To really do a good job and you wanna do a great job with your first client because I’d say 80 percent of my work has been repeat clients.  If you do a good job people are gonna come back and plus, you’re gonna have results in your portfolio now.

So you definitely wanna knock it out of the park and if you’re only getting paid 500 bucks or somethin’, I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to put a lot of time into something if I’m only getting paid a couple hundred bucks for it.

So get enough for the job to where you can actually – it’s gonna make you work for it, it’s gonna make you focused and hopefully when you’re just starting out you got that really burning desire anyways where you’re really excited about your first job and all that.  So it should take care of itself, but yeah, that’s my advice for that I guess.  Did I answer that question or go off on a tangent?

Doberman Dan:    No, that’s good.  Let me ask you.  We’re a little bit over time.  Can you stick around like maybe 15-20 more minutes ‘cause a bunch of questions have come in.

Caleb Osborne:    Okay; yeah, sure.  Let’s do it.

Doberman Dan:    If anybody needs to jump off the call I understand.  We said, I believe, or maybe I didn’t.  I thought I said it’d be an hour call or maybe I didn’t put a time limit on it, but there’s so many questions that came in I’d like to cover those and I got some questions for ya’ too.  So if you don’t mind stickin’ around a little while longer.

Caleb Osborne:    Alright.

Doberman Dan:    What was I gonna say?  Oh yeah.  A lot of guys hear about Gary Halbert would charge 15 grand for a sales letter to write copy, the big guys, Clayton Makepeace, Bencivenga would charge 25, 30 grand or more plus a piece of the action.  So I think a lot of young guys think they’re gonna start in this business and start commanding those high fees, but like you said, take any work you can get at first.  Price it so it’s enough that it’s gonna make you work.

If you under price yourself, I’ve found this out too, the hard way, you almost resent the client and you resent the work and I don’t think you do your best either.  Subconsciously maybe.  It may be subconscious, but it’s like hey, this blows.

When it’s all said and done I’m only gonna make five, six bucks an hour because I charged too little.  I think subconsciously you don’t do the best job that you could, but in all honesty a guy starting out is not gonna be getting 10 or 15 grand for a sales letter.

Caleb Osborne:    No.  And I’ll tell you something about that that might help people is a lot of people think that maybe – Makepeace and Ben Zavenga, they probably got paid 25 grand or whatever to do a package, but those are still – okay; here’s the thing.

You hear about this and they’re charging all these fees and everything.  A lot of that’s for packages, like in direct mail world it’s a full package, which is the sales letters, I guess a brochure normally and an order form and the copy that goes on the outer envelope.  So it’s still a package.  So it’s more than one piece of copy.

I don’t know if people already know this or I was dumb and didn’t realize it.  And on the online world, too, when you hear about these gurus and they’re charging all this money, the way you can get your prices up is okay, so you do a package meal, right.

So the letter’s gonna cost the client a thousand bucks, plus, well let me write you a squeeze page, too.  So that’ll be another 500 bucks and then, oh, I don’t know.  Auto responder e-mails; that’s another 25 dollars an e-mail and you need at least 7 of those ‘cause studies prove you need at least 7 contacts, preferably more before somebody makes a purchase decision, right.

So you put together this package for the client and then you can present higher fees even when you’re just starting out.  Also, gives you some leveraging, too, ‘cause if you’ve ever been in sales and you’re at the close and you’re dropping the price, you don’t drop the price for no reason, right.

One of the things we used to do is you’d be like, ‘Well, we really can’t do much better than this, but I’ll tell you what.  If you let us put the sign in your yard that advertises to your neighbors that we’re doing this job for you, then we can give you our advertising discount, which is this.’

So you always take away something in order to drop price to close the deal or whatever.  So that way they can be like, ‘No, that’s too high.’  You’ll be like, ‘Okay, well I’ll tell ya’ what.  We can take away the e-mails.  If I could do this would you be willing to go ahead and get this started or would that work out for you’ whatever.  That’s another way to do it.

If you’re even hoping to see any bigger fees and if those first fees I was telling you about are really, you’re discouraged about starting out, that’s something I’ve learned is doing packages, especially now – this just came to me.

A lot of stuff I’ve done lately is like product launch stuff, right.  So Jeff Walker has this great product launch formula.  Just like sales copyrighting and sales, if you’ve seen it done to you enough times you should viscerally understand the process and how to do it.

It’s good to get a $2,000.00 course, but you don’t even need it if you’ve seen it enough times and we’ve all been through enough product launches.  You could put together a product launch with your copyrighting skills.

If you really wanna get your fees up, I’ve never done it, but you could offer to write the reports that go out with it and everything.  I know some copywriters do that as well.  Like the free giveaways they give out and then the scripts for the videos.  I’ve written a few video scripts and things like that, but that’s definitely more stuff you can put on your plate.

That goes along with the not being afraid to work type thing.  If you really hustle you can definitely make some money in this business right away right when you’re starting out.

Doberman Dan:    That’s excellent advice about bundling out the other services.  Okay, you’ll get the sales copy, but I can do the squeeze page, I can do the auto responder.  That’s excellent advice for a new copywriter.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I’ll say this too.  You and me both know when you’re running your own projects, the sales letter is what?  Like I don’t know.  I’m not gonna say.  It’s a very small percentage of the overall success of your marketing campaign, right.

So if the click starts at a Google Ad Words ad, why don’t you write the Google Ad Words ad for the client, too, because he’s gonna be judging your copy on whether it works, right, but you don’t know if he landed on one of those web sites that says 29.99 and we’ll send a million visitors to your web site by tomorrow.

Those __________ already clicked through the web site.  It’s like, ‘Oh man, your sales letter didn’t convert for nothin’.  I sent a million clicks to this web site.’   This is a way of helping somebody out while also putting more work on your plate and getting to make more money and be like, ‘I’ll do the Google Ad Words ad for ya’, I’ll do the squeeze page, auto responder, sales letter and I’ll do the follow-up e-mails, maybe even the customer e-mails for up sells or something like that.

If you study marketing then you know all the ways that you could add money to a business and profit to a business so you can offer all the different ways.  Your clients will appreciate it.  Don’t be afraid to bring it up because you’re showing them how to make more money.

You get two types of clients.  You get the guys that have no clue what they’re doing and they’re just starting out and you’ve gotta kind of lead them through everything.

Then you get the guys that are already running like million dollars businesses or couple hundred grand a year or whatever and they come to you like, ‘Alright, I know I need to be doing this, I know I need to be doing this, but my problem is time.  So can you do this for me.’  Both of those people are gonna love it when you bring up extra stuff.

Doberman Dan:    That advice is worth a lot of money to copywriters right there.  That’s extremely valuable advice.  Plus you said you’re basically kind of taking all the steps you can to ensure the success of your copy.

If you’re writing the whole process from the guy’s Google Ad Words, you’re writing everything for the whole process from them coming in the top of the funnel there at the Google Ad Words, the sales landing page, all the follow-up stuff.  That’s really good advice.

I never thought of it that way ‘cause if you just get hired to write the letter, well maybe the letter could possibly just knock it out of the ballpark, but his Google Ad Words suck and they’re bringing in crappy unqualified traffic.  So excellent advice.

Not only excellent advice for helping copywriters make more money, but also to ensure your success and maybe you can present it to the client in that exact way that ‘Look, I want this to be successful.  If I just write your landing page I can’t really 100 percent guarantee this is gonna succeed, but if I do this from the Google Ad Words to all the follow-up auto responders, we found that we get an X percent better conversion.

So yes, Mr. Prospect, I understand that it’s more than you wanted to budget for just your sales letter or your landing page, but by doing it this way and having me write all these services for you, we’re guaranteeing the success of the project.’

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; exactly.  If it’s a guy that’s already got a successful business and he’s looking for you to help make it better, then it can become an ongoing relationship, too.  You’re gonna be like, ‘Okay, well just get back to me.  We’re tracking everything.  Let’s figure out what’s breaking down in the process.’

Then at that point it’s just ‘So we’re getting people to buy it, but we’re not getting enough traffic.  Okay; maybe we need to tweak the Ad Words ad to open up the funnel a little more, get more people in there’ or ‘We’re getting so much traffic it’s converting poorly now and it’s not as profit – okay, let’s tighten up the Ad Words ad.’

So it’s different parts of the process that you could work on after the initial sale with him and he’ll appreciate it too because you care about the success of the project.

If you’re just honest about all this stuff ‘cause this is truth, like a big part of the process is everything that happens before the sale, before they land on your landing page.  So if you’re honest about all this and you’re honest about ‘Oh, I could quote you a really low price, but it’s not really gonna be worth my time and I don’t think it’s gonna give you the best measure of success or chance of success.’  They’ll be like, ‘Well that sounds pretty logical.’

Then you can just help each other out and make good money.

Doberman Dan:    That’s great advice.  That tip right there is worth a lot of money to any copywriter.  Hey, let’s go through a few more of these questions.

Byron in the UK is really late.  I think they’re like five hours ahead of us or six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.  It’s [9:21] Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.  I think he’s staying up really late.  So that’s for being on the call, Byron.

He asks, ‘Is video script about to be the new copy standard for the web?’  I know you write for a lot of really big online marketers so what’s your take on that?  You’ve written some video scripts so what’s your take on that?  Is that an up and coming thing for copywriters?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I think it’s one of those things you should get good at.  It’s never gonna replace text on the web I don’t think, at least not in the foreseeable future, like close future.  There’s a lot of reasons why, but I just don’t see it replacing text at any point soon.

I haven’t done extensive testing on it, but one time I remember I put a video on one of my landing pages and I was driving traffic to it and I was split testing it against a landing page without the video and the one without the video pulled the same.

So, sometimes it doesn’t even help.  I think it’s definitely something to get good at.  Actually I think I stumbled on a dude’s site the other day.  He presented himself solely as a video sales letter writer.  He had a little video sales letter on his home page.  Actually, no, I think he had a sales letter underneath his video.

But yeah, I think it’s important.  A lot of the gurus are using it because there’s a lot of things like with the product launch process.  A lot of times the prospects are so sold they’re not even reading the whole sales letter.  They’re going straight to the order form, but there’s many different personality types of people and certain people will read every word of a sales letter twice and print it out and think about the decision and this and that.

Then there’s other people that skim through the headline.  They’re like, ‘Okay, this is one of them sales letter things.  Let me scroll – oh, okay, there’s a price, okay.’  Then they click the button.  Or someone will just look for an order button, click it, go look at the price and like, ‘Okay, I think I’ll skim through the sales letter now.’

So you’ve got all types of different people so I think video’s good in that respect because kinesthetic people that respond to touch more and we can’t touch people through the internet yet, but we got visuals and auditories and things like that.  So it’s definitely a good component.  I don’t think it’s a cure all for anything yet, but it’s definitely something to become skilled at and add it to your repertoire.

If you’re not just another copywriter, but you’re a copywriter who also does product launches, who specializes in video scripts and things like that, then you’re gonna do better.  You have more to offer a client, just like we were talking about before, than someone that just writes sales letters.

Doberman Dan:    Yep; good point.  Just one more thing to add to your repertoire.  Somebody wants to know – Nick in Lakeville wants to know ‘Do you write in Microsoft Word or what program do you write in?’

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I do Word and then I copy everything over to Dream Weaver and design all the sales letters in there.

Doberman Dan:    When you’re submitting copy to a client is Microsoft Word pretty much the standard that everybody wants the file sent as?

Caleb Osborne:    Oh; yeah.  There’s another good question.  That’s another thing as like an additional service.  I almost always layout the sales letters in html format and upload them on my web site so that – David Ogleby talked about this or at least I heard a quote that he talked about this.  I didn’t read any of his books yet.  Although I’m gonna get to it.  I swear.  That whenever he presented an ad to the client, he didn’t just give them an ad.  He’d put it in a mock-up of the newspaper or whatever so they get the full impact of it.

So if it’s gonna be an online sales letter and you have the skills and they’re gonna lay it out on the web, in addition that’s something else you’re adding value to the sales letter so you can tack that onto the price.  Then if you’re having to sell the job or if they’re kind of iffy-washy, like ‘Okay, well I’ll take away the web design and that’ll knock such and such off your price and I can just deliver it to you in Microsoft Word format and you can get a guy off e-lance to design it or whatever.’

But Mr. Client, I do specialize in direct response design and impactful layout and this and that, if you have that skill, which isn’t hard to learn.  Sales letters are very basic html.  If you just poke around the web and see what people are doing you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

Doberman Dan:    That’s good advice.  If you don’t have that skill you could always find somebody who does.  When you include that in your price, just price that extra service of delivering the copy formatted as a web page.  Just figure in the price of what you know you’re gonna have to pay somebody to do it and add that on.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; there’s e-lance.  There’s a lot of people there.  Other than e-lance there’s people in the Philippines you can hire for – well you can hire full-time for really cheap, like under $1,000.00 a month, like 600 bucks or even like $200.00 if you do it directly with those people if you can find them.

But yeah, you could always just be like, ‘Okay, it’s $600.00 for the actual web design, but you’re paying 200 to a guy on e-lance so you profit 400.  So it’s almost like just having another product.

Doberman Dan:    Exactly.  Darrell in Spokane, Washington wants to know, ‘Where can we get a copy of Caleb’s first letter, the one Halbert said we should swipe?’  Do you still have that/

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; I think it’s still up on my samples page.

Doberman Dan:    What’s your web site?

Caleb Osborne:  Then go ahead and opt in and then that’ll bring you to the samples page.  Don’t worry.  I think I have one auto responder message to tell you the truth ‘cause that’s the one that points to the samples, but right after you confirm it’ll send you to the samples page.  It’s the one – what the heck is it.  Dollar bill letter or something like that is the title of it, but I think I put in parentheses, ‘This is the one Gary Halbert said was really good.’

When you look at it you’ll see why Gary liked it.  It was totally his type of letter.  Like just totally swiped from Gary.

Doberman Dan: and Osborne is spelled O-S-B-O-R-N-E, right?

Caleb Osborne:    Correct; yeah, there’s no U.  Me and Ozzie Osbourne differ in that respect.

Doberman Dan:    We got a bunch of questions.  We covered the main ones ‘cause a lot of them are duplicates.  One, I’ve gotten a bunch – I know this is gonna be hard to answer, but Andrew in Los Angeles.  ‘I’m just starting out.  How much should I charge for various types of copy, i.e. sales letter, brochure, web page?’  Do you have any kind of guidelines you can share with us about that?

Caleb Osborne:    I really don’t.  A sales letter is pretty in-depth so even when I was starting out I don’t think I would have done it for less than 1,000, if you’re really timid about pricing stuff.

Brochures, I don’t know.  I guess in the hundreds.  I don’t really do a lot of brochures or anything like that.  Yeah; but I mean it’s kind of just seeing what you can get I guess.  In talking to a client you can find out where they are, but don’t get timid, too.  State your price ‘cause you can always negotiate, but state what you’d like to get out of it.

That’s probably just a good guideline.  Just be confident and state what you wanna get out of it, why it’s worth that amount and then have a back-up plan about like we were talking about, ‘Okay, I can take away this or that.  Well if you can refer me to five of your friends’ or something like that.  I don’t know.  ‘Then I could give you a discount’ something like that.  I’m not sure.

Doberman Dan:    That advice would have saved me a lot of heartache when I first started taking clients that don’t just present the price of writing the sales letter.  Present all the other services, too and it gives you points to negotiate on.  ‘Well, okay, this total package price is out of your budget.  I can appreciate that.  So we’ll take off the Google Ad Word.  We’ll take off the auto responder series.’  Blah, blah, blah.

‘We’re down to this and that and now we’re within your budget, Mr. Prospect.’  I wish I would have known that when I was doing client work.

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; no doubt, right.  I just discovered it the last couple years or so, but yeah, it’s definitely good.

That goes the other way, too.  If you’ve already gotten work from somebody or you’re about to get work or maybe they’re already sold on doing a sales letter, then you can always up sell them, too.  Just like in a department store.  If you go in to buy $100.00 suit, it’s nothin’ to pick up the $20.00 pair of socks and the $50.00 tie because it seems small in comparison to the big item.  So you can always offer additional things.

Doberman Dan:    That’s right.  Hey, we’ve gone over time.  There’s just one more thing I wanna ask you about.

Caleb Osborne:    Sure.

Doberman Dan:    You aren’t just solely a freelance copywriter for clients.  You’ve taken what you’ve learned and you do your own projects, too.  Do you have any advice about that or any guidelines?

Caleb Osborne:    Yeah; let’s see.  Do it as soon as possible.  Find a niche you like or you think you could do well in or if you’re really set on being a copywriter, maybe the internet marketing education type niche, even if you’re just writing books about yourself and you sell them for like nine bucks or something like that about how to write copy and things like that.  That’s still positioning you as somebody who’s written some books and you can sell them and maybe you’ll make a couple bucks here and there.

But yeah, get started doing something, some of your own products.  It’ll help you appreciate from both sides of the equation, what you would look for if you were gonna hire a copywriter.  It’ll help you appreciate the whole process.

Maybe some of the things you read in books really doesn’t test out in the real world.  You can offer additional experiences to your client that you wouldn’t have ever known if you never were selling your own products.

I just believe overall it’s a better model.  Here’s the thing.  Okay.  Say you charge 2,000, $3,000.00 to a client and you write this letter and you put weeks into it and hours into it and so much skull sweat and it’s absolutely the best thing you got and you give it to ‘em and he’s like, ‘Oh yeah, this is awesome.’

He turns around the next week and he makes six figures with it.  You only gotta do that a couple times before you start questioning you’re making good money, but you question what side of the equation you should be on.  Ya’ know what I mean?  So it’s definitely better to be on that other side of the equation and be making yourself wealthy as well.

It’s one of the things too that copyrighting is highly leveraged out, like you’re making good money, but you still have to work.  You’re still trading dollars for hours.  So anything you can do to put yourself in a position where the work you do once pays you forever is a good thing to do.

Doberman Dan:    Excellent advice.  Hey, I really appreciate you being on the call tonight.  Got a lot of questions and a lot of positive feedback from people listening in on the webcast.  So thanks a lot.  There’s still a lot of stuff we didn’t get to cover so hopefully you’ll be up to doing another one sometime soon.

Caleb Osborne:    Okay; yeah.  Anything for you buddy.

Doberman Dan:    Appreciate it.  Give out your web site again if people wanna get more information about you or if they’re interested in hiring a copywriter.

Caleb Osborne:    Okay.  It’s Caleb, C-A-L-E-B, and Osborne, O-S-B-O-R-N-E and that’s consulting, C-O-N-S-U-L-T-I-N-G. com. Yeah; you can get all the scoop there and sign up through the little opt in form and get access to the samples.

I probably will not hit you up with the next product launch, but no problems.

Doberman Dan:    Alright.  Hey, thanks a lot.  There’s some ideas, like I said, in my promotion for the teleseminar, you’re one of my few go-to guys and somebody I always bounce ideas off of.  There’s actually an idea I do wanna bounce off of ya’, but we went a little longer than I said we would tonight so I’ll give you a ring tomorrow and we can catch up about that.

Caleb Osborne:    Okay; sounds good, man.

Doberman Dan:    Thanks again Caleb, I appreciate it.

Caleb Osborne:    You’re welcome Dan.  Goodnight everybody.

Doberman Dan:    Good night.

Caleb Osborne:    Bye.

[End of Audio]


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Successful serial entrepreneur reveals his contrarian formula that…

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… And without all the other “grunt work” that rarely – if ever – results in getting new customers and making money!

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