Update #1: I’ll be out of the office until Tuesday, May 24th. Diane will be checking email and dumping water on whatever crises occur during that time, but there will be no critiques done and no personal communication with me.
Why? Glad you asked. I’m off to Noo Yawk City for the big damn Gary Bencivenga seminar, which will be a veritable “who’s who” of the upper edge of the direct response marketing world. I don’t know how he found a room big enough to hold all those ego’s… but I expect giddy fun and high levels of “wow” pizazz.
Plus, I suspect there will be some serious pissing on the walls, as a couple dozen of the best copywriters on the planet stake out their place in the hierarchy.
God, it’s gonna be a sizzling weekend. I hope there’s a fight.
Personally, I would pay to hear Gary Bencivenga mumble in his sleep. He’s been a legend among copywriters for a very long time, and the secrets he holds in his brain are worth fortunes. I haven’t shelled out good money to attend a seminar in decades… but I was the FIRST guy to mail Gary a check for five grand (mere hours after he posted his intentions for the event) just to put my butt in a seat there.
No way was I missing this gig.
I’m sacrificing to be there, too. Flying out on the Red Eye (first class, but it’s still the friggin’ Red Eye), paying ransom-like room rates at whatever gilded Upper East Side dump the seminar is being held at, and trying to figure out how to parcel out my time.
I already have enough cocktail meetings promised to give an elephant a hangover. But that’s okay. Occasionally, I enjoy being overwhelmed.
I talked my longtime buddy (and master copywriter) David Deutsch into showing me part of the town after the seminar (he started his career as a writer for Ogilvy and Mather in NYC). I haven’t been to the Big Apple in fifteen years — and when I did go, I stayed with beatnik friends near the Village, and walked everywhere. Very low-rent vacation, heavy on bars, strip clubs and late-night parties behind the scenes. I expect something much more civilized this round.
Gary Halbert, one of my oldest and closest friends, is even coming. That should give you an idea of the magnitude of the event. All the significant honchos from Rodale, Boardroom, Philllips and other top mailers will also be swarming the halls. My old agent, John Finn, a great guy and a super-smart insider, will be there with his son. My pal Harlan Kilstein is attending (one of my first freelance students to break $300,000 a year). Carl Galletti, who I haven’t talked to since the old Key West seminar days. And, jeez, I better stop here or I’ll leave someone out and get in trouble. The attendee list is, after all, a secret.
It’s the event of the year, and I’m going early and staying late (just like I used to do at college parties). I hate to leave the little lady and the dogs behind, but I gotta do it. I’ll muddle through, somehow.
New York City. What a concept.
Update #2: Big apology to everyone who missed the “Sneak Peek” at the newly-revised Freelance Course pitch. But deadlines are deadlines, and I have to respect them. (Deadlines are my life, actually.)
The site is ready to be launched. A friggin’ month late, but it’s ready. However, I don’t want to break the champagne until I get back from NYC, so I’ve told my geek to shove a sock in the domain hole for another week or so.
I’ll announce it on this blog. Just keep checking in.
And, I gotta say… this updated Freelance Course just the most amazing insider’s guide that’s ever been put together on this subject. It’s a whole new world out there, since the Web has finally come of age, and the money to be made freelancing will take your breath away. (I can no longer count the rookies now raking in $15,000-plus a month following my advice. Makes me proud.)
And all you need… are a handful of secrets to getting started. Finding clients, bending them to your will, getting paid, delivering the goods. It’s simple, once you see how it’s done.
Anyway, as long as I don’t get sucked into some black hole on the flight over and back across the country, I’ll put a rush on getting the site up when I return. Prepare to be amazed.
Update #3: As I mentioned in earlier posts, things are heating up on several other fronts, too. I’ll be speaking at some seminars, and I’m considering holding another one of my own, throughout the summer.
While the clueless marketers are taking the season off, the smart mice will continue to play all summer long. There’s just too much opportunity right now, especially on the Web, and it won’t last. So pay attention to this blog, even if you have to sneak back from the beach to check in.
Things are popping, and your fortune awaits.
You snooze this summer, and you lose big. Don’t let your biz go blank — the next six-to-eighteen months are going to make a LOT of people very, very filthy rich.
Don’t risk being one of the whiners left behind.
If I fly over your state on the trip to Yankee-Land, I’ll wave.
Keep looking up.