Here in the U.S., "American" football season is in full swing.
And last night's Thursday Night Football brought back a memory of one of my peak moments in high school.
Last night's game was the "Ohio Super Bowl". The Cleveland Browns were playing the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland.
Just like several decades ago when I appeared on the field at halftime.
Yes, that's right...I so wish I had a picture! I was on the field with 71 of my fellow Centerville Coeds on the high school drill team during that year's "Ohio Super Bowl" match-up between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in Cleveland.
And when I saw the football players all lined up last night at the start of the game--arm in arm with each other--I couldn't help but remember what it was like...
...All 72 of us lined up in the middle of that same field, doing our high kicks and dance routines (think Rockettes), jumping off ladders and then going into splits, all to the cheers and a standing ovation of more than 80,000 spectators in the stands.
(I don't have video of this, but this link shows my former drill team leading the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York city a few years after I graduated. Those ladies in white uniforms leading the parade are my drill team. We did the same routines and high kicks, and had been Ohio state champions for about 5 years running when I was on the team. We had a great marching band, too.)
So what does this have to do with copywriting?
One of the quickest ways to fame and success as a freelance copywriter is to do two things:
1) Do the work. Mastering how to do those dance routines and high kicks was no easy task...and making the drill team was even harder (it didn't happen for me till my second try). In order to perform at the level we did, my drill team worked hard...during the summer we worked up to doing 3 practices A DAY...a total of 8 hours in the hot Ohio sun. I've talked a lot about how you need to approach mastery of copywriting with the same diligence, commitment, and hard work...so I'm not going to focus on that as much today as I am this next point...
2) Find ways to put yourself in the spotlight. One of the quickest paths to fame and success as a copywriter is to get known. It can be as simple as getting a few "wins" under your belt and letting word-of-mouth do its thing. But a less passive approach is to take advantage of opportunities to put yourself in the spotlight...and create your own "Ohio Super Bowl" halftime show to get clients coming to YOU.
The key is to not let a common obstacle hold you back.
What is this all-too-common obstacle? FEAR.
So many of us deal with "imposter syndrome"...even those of us at the highest levels. You may wonder to yourself, "Why should anyone listen to me?"
If you're starting out as a copywriter, or only have a few years of experience, my advice is to not let this kind of self-doubt stop you from getting yourself known as an expert in a particular area of expertise.
I've seen some of my Fast Track to A-List mentees, including some you've heard from in recent issues of Copy Insiders (you can find back issues on my blog here), make huge strides in getting well-known for their expertise just in the past several months.
How can you do that as well? A big part of it is having the confidence and seizing the opportunity to step up to the plate, risk humbling failure, and come from a place of sharing and service.
One example could be simply showing up regularly in Facebook copywriting groups as someone who shares tips and knowledge with others.
Developing that expertise, of course, is part of the work you must do. The main thing is to be constantly curious and learning...finding ways to apply what you learn, and then taking that knowledge and sharing it with others.
It's also taking advantage of opportunities to speak up, ask questions, and reach out to others, even when you're too shy or afraid to do so. And, when you're able to do so, attending live and virtual events, joining masterminds, and getting a mentor.
Do these things, even if you don't know if you're ready. I see so many people hold themselves back due to FEAR. It's something so many of us have had to overcome.
But even less experienced copywriters can begin to be seen as experts, and can provide valuable support and inspiration to others.
One of my mentees, who's only been doing copywriting for less than 2 years, shared with me recently what a strange feeling it was for him at a recent event for people to come up to him and ask him for advice, say they knew about him, and treat him like an expert.
The same can be possible for you...no matter where you are now! So get out there and take some risks...get really good at what you do...and get known for it.
Don't keep yourself locked up behind closed doors as someone else's "best kept secret". And don't stay locked up as a prisoner of fear, either.
I've failed so many times, I can't even count. If I didn't take those risks in the first place, I never would have learned what I've learned, had the opportunities I've had, and be where I am right now.
So free yourself and go grab that spotlight you so richly deserve!
Yours for smarter marketing,
P.S. The doors to my "Fast Track to A-List" copy mentoring program for 2021 are now open. This is the only mentoring opportunity I plan to offer in the coming year. It's a 10-month commitment and we get rolling in January. Between now and November 1st I'm offering the chance to join at the same 2020 prices. You can get all the details here.