Be the signal (not the noise)

“How can copywriters and business owners cut through the noise and stand out in a crowded marketplace.”

The internet is full of over-optimized-for-algorithms content. Too many content creators trying to be thought leaders. Hormozi captions on every clip. Goose-stepping to whatever the algorithm rewards right now. All saying the exact same thing. S*** content but it gets attention and whoever gets attention wins.

And it doesn’t only happen with short-form content. You see it with long-form too. Take two YouTube channels in the same niche. One channel  has 300,000 subscribers and gets thousands of views a video. Another channel has 30,000 subscribers and gets hundreds of views a video. Which channel has the better content? In my experience, the smaller channel. The smaller channel is Signal, the bigger channel is Noise.

By better I mean content from which you can learn real, actionable skills, not content the algorithm rewards. If we take copywriting YouTubers as an example, Copy That! and Copy Squad are Signal. I refer beginner copywriters to these channels all the time, often instead of CopySkills™. I’ll leave you to guess in the comments which channels are Noise.

So, how to be the signal and not the noise? I don’t have a good answer. The best I can do is draw from my own experience. In my case, I didn’t taste a little success then quit to become a coach. I’m a practitioner. I write copy for clients every day. So anything I teach or recommend is practical, not theoretical.

The next thing you need is experience. If you’re a practitioner this is inevitable. Careful though, time in the Game is not the same as experience. There are copywriters with as many years as me under their belt who are more experienced than I am. Perhaps he trained under experts like Parris Lampropolous or David Deutsch. Or he may have worked at hardcore direct response companies like Agora or Golden Hippo. Yuge diff between this copywriter and a  “copywriting content creator.” When he talks about copy you can hear the difference.

The final piece of the puzzle is professionalism. This is so many little things packaged into one. It’s your consistency with publishing (a daily email is a good example of this.) It’s the way you communicate over email and DM. It’s delivering work on time. It’s doing what you say you’re going to do. It’s submitting work in an organized way. It’s getting results. It’s how easy you are to work with. And so much more. We’re in the people business and reputation–how people talk about you–is everything.

What about beginners?

I used to think fake-it-till-you-make-it was the answer, but it’s not. Now I think novices should focus on mastering their craft and delivering exceptional work to their clients. I see so many copywriters trying to “teach” online who I know for a fact are rank amateurs with no client results. Several of these copywriters are former members of CopySkills™, so I know their situation.

Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom

The problem with trying to fake expertise as a copywriter is that you’re selling to people who, more often than not, are sophisticated entrepreneurs or marketers. They can smell bulls***. All a novice has is knowledge. Without experience, anything she says is specious because it’s devoid of context. So what’s a beginner to do?

First, she should keep her heads down and focus on client work. Her personal brand will take care of itself once she’s earned it. Second, if she publishes at all, she should adopt the frame of a student and not that of an expert. Think curation and analysis over lecturing. A copywriter who wants to write long-form Facebook ads might do weekly breakdowns of ads he likes. One who wants to write emails may do the same for eCommerce emails. Curation borrows credibility. Analysis demonstrates aptitude. Show, don’t tell.

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Nabeel writes a daily email to an audience of business owners, marketers and copywriters. Subscription to this newsletter is by invitation only. The only way to get on the list is by becoming a client, joining his community or buying one of his products.

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