It’s 5am on Saturday morning, and I’m stealing a few minutes to update my readers — and to reassure you there’s more to come.

These last few months have been chaotic; work is off the charts, and my lovely & talented wife and I are in the process of selling two houses and some property. In fact, we’re packing today for next weekend’s move into our new house.

I was a bit skeptical about the move, but my wife — a much better salesperson than I am — cleverly dangled the potential for my own garage in front of me.

Wow.

My bikes hanging from the wall. My float tubes and pontoon boat an arm’s length away on the ceiling. A special rack for fly rods — even a wader drying station.

The mind reels. The heart beats faster. The deal is done.

It’s a lesson even a dense copywriter can’t ignore; once you know what turns your audience on, selling is easy. Easy.

That’s today’s lesson. Or, rather, the first of them.

Work. Work. Work.

While we’ve been playing land baron, my work hasn’t stood still. At least I’ve been consistent with my readers; I foist the concept of the “Value-Added Copywriter” on you damn near every post, and I’ve been living that concept.

Here’s a sterling example; in the “good ole days” I would get a call from a client, who typically chose from a short menu: “Write us an ad (or brochure, or direct mailer, or Web site)” they’d say.

I’d write it. Ship it. Rewrite it. And collect the check.

A happy ending was had by all.

Today, things are different.

I’m not writing brochures or ads. I’m writing marketing plans. Or online marketing plans. Or mapping strategies. Or some combination thereof.

My clients are sailing out of the print harbor and into the digital ocean, and they’re typically doing so without a navigator.

For many, I’ve become that navigator, but the demands on my time have multiplied (I’m writing the plans and the content mind you).

Education, it turns out, is a time consuming thing.

How to charge for this huge time investment? How to make sure there’s still time for “creative” work? (I’m writing 30 billboard concepts as we speak).

I’m figuring it out.

Some days I figure it out better than others.

Then There’s This Other Blog…

Because life wasn’t interesting enough, my Trout Underground fly fishing blog recently became #1 in the category (sure, the former #1 decided his blog was a Web site, but in the online world, you take every victory you can get).

Realizing the potential for advertising revenue, I’m immersing myself in the one aspect of marketing I’ve learned almost nothing about the past two decades.

Media.

Think PPC and SEO are dark arts?

Try writing your own media kit, and then selling the concept of online advertising to a marketing person with little knowledge of the discipline (and even less interest).

Progress is being made, though my own shortcomings as salesperson are surfacing (uncomfortably so).

Still — like anything new in life — you apply your learning process to the subject at hand, keep chipping away, and eventually it falls before you. Or maybe it simply becomes less opaque (we fear those things we don’t understand).

Whatever.

It’s happening for me, but it’s not happening without a lot of late nights and early mornings.

So What’s Happening on the Copywriter Underground?

I’ll do better about posting here. There is even some work in progress that’s worth featuring — once it’s no longer in progress.

Sure, the headline promised to show you how to sell anything to anyone, and I only half-delivered with my house-buying story.

The other half? The digital age is upon us, and you can’t sell anything to anyone unless you’re talking to them where they’re willing to listen.

That’s why the old copywriter’s menu (ad, brochure, direct mail, Web) has grown so much longer.

You’ve got to know what turns people on. And you’ve got to pitch that to them where they’re willing to hear it.

Both clauses require constant learning.

Which — in your case — means you can’t ever stop learning, and if you wake up one morning and find you’ve been sitting in the same place long enough to realize it, you might already be in trouble.

Keep writing, Tom Chandler.

[tags]copywriting, writing, marketing, marketing consultant, value added copywriter, life[/tags]