It’s Labor Day 2020. I’m still up at 5 today because I’m not sure I’m sold on celebrating “Labor Day” by not working. It almost feels like celebrating your sobriety with a drink.
So today I work for me.
Here’s a pro-tip… This should be everyday.
But today at least I don’t have to shut down my personal business at 8am.
What are we going to do today?
The same thing we do every night, Pinky.
Try to work some copy!
The focus of this post is going to be doing to “copywork” of hand writing promos.
Now I can’t vouch for this myself yet because I haven’t written anything for anyone. But I have started copying promos. (How’s that for transparency…)
However, I do think it takes more than just writing out the promo mindlessly. Maybe that will let some of it seep into your subconscious.
But I am going to take a more holistic approach to this.
Here’s what I do.
A word of warning… Only do this with truly great promos. The goal here is to sear the principles of the promo onto your brain. If you pick garbage to work with and do all this work it’s like training for a marathon by eating donuts. Also – this isn’t a short process for me. This process can take me a week or more depending on the time I dedicate.
First, I read the promo to myself. Out loud if you want. But the point is to get through it. Depending on how much time I have, I may do this several more times.
In between readings, I push myself to summarize (even if just mentally) the point of the promo from memory and try to articulate some of the points in makes. This is free recall though. So no looking back to remember.
Once I’ve gotten through that part, I sit down and write out the promo by hand. Sometimes this takes me an hour or more. Ideally, I like to get through the whole promo in one sitting, but that’s rarely the case.
If I’m writing in a different session from my reading, I will re-read the promo before I start writing.
Once I’ve got it copied by hand once, I bust out my colored pens and start marking up what I wrote as a copy breakdown. Often this is in a different session. Every section should be getting some kind of label and get some understanding on why it’s there.
So now I have a promo I’ve probably read 5-10 times. I’ve written it all out by hand and made annotations on the entire promo. I am starting to get familiar.
Now I take a printed copy (single sided) of the promo that hasn’t been marked up. I cut up each section of the promo based on how I annotated it. The shorter the sections, the harder the challenge. But I cut it up and then flip all the pieces upside down on the table and mix them up. Don’t give yourself any tips here.
Then I flip all the pieces over and try to re-assemble the promo from memory. The goal here is to understand the flow. I have a manilla folder I keep these pieces in so I can go back and practice regularly (see spaced repetition).
So now I’ve read this promo several times. Written it in my own hand. Annotated the entire document. And mastered the flow of the promo.
Now I put all the pieces away and try to re-write the promo in my own words. This isn’t hard recall. This is understanding the flow and trying to build my own promo from it. Again this isn’t easy. But doing this highlights my weaknesses pretty quickly.
After I work my way through this, I’ll start writing up ads and emails for the piece… But that is for another day.
It’s the start of another week for me. Time to get to work on a promo.
If you’d like more details on this process, join the email list.
If you’d like to see the results of the promos I dissect, let me know. Perhaps it’s something I’ll look to make available to my subscribers.