The publisher of an info-product on making money in a niche market hired a copywriter. The publisher was very good at making money in his market, but had never sold information over the Web. He was brand new to info-marketing.
The copywriter, my mentoring client, worked closely with him for three weeks. Long nights, rewrites, poured his heart and soul into the copy. Blood, sweat, and tears. He truly gave it everything he had.
Come launch day, the publisher looked at it and condescendingly scolded the copywriter. "I thought you were really going to work on the copy," he said. "It looks to me like you wrote this in your spare time. I can see I wasted my money with you."
The copywriter was outraged, and told the client he was mistaken.
The client wrote his own sales letter. One thouand two hundred fifty seven visitors to his site, and three sales. Less than 1/4 percent conversion.
In a panic, the client called the copywriter and asked what he should do.
"You're not going to like what I'm about to tell you," the copywriter said, holding his tongue and not saying what was really on his mind.
"Say it anyway," spat out the client.
"Run the copy I gave you," the copywriter said, and politely hung up the phone.
The copy was already paid for, so, in desperation, the client did what he knew wouldn't work. He ran the copywriter's copy, as submitted. He didn't have anything else to do.
So far, 11.3% response. Roughly 37 times more than what the client was able to do on his own.
The copywriter is currently on a long Caribbean cruise, cooling his jets. He told me this story just before he left. Fortunately most of his other clients aren't as stubborn, and so far, he's had a very good year.
But he knows that once in a while, the Client From Hell shows up.
Rather than give you some hokey moral to this story which I would have to make up, I'm going to ask you:
- If you're a copywriter, has this happened to you? What did you do about it? What do you do now to prevent it?
- If you're a client, what's your side of the story? I'll publish comments from people on both sides of this issue. I'd really like to know.
Publisher, World Copywriting Newsletter