Let Loose The Dogs Of Freelance Wealth

Wednesday, 9:07pm
Reno, NV
“You can’t handle the truth!” Col. Jessup, blowing it

Howdy.

I’d like some feedback on this, if you got a minute.

We have — just tonight, less than an hour ago — finally pulled the trigger on the new website offering the sought-after “Freelance Course” I’ve been teasing people about for months.

If you’re uninterested in the freelance life, you can skip this small favor I’m asking.

However…

… if your heart beats just a little faster when you consider the freedom, big bucks and glory of a successful freelance writing career…

… then you’re gonna want to check this out.

Here’s what I want you to do: Just hop over to this new site…

… read it with your normal jaded, stubborn reluctance to believe anything anyone says about anything…

… and see if the copy here meets the test of overcoming the outrageous level of stubborness of the average wannabe freelancer.

Here’s the site:

http://www.carlton-freelance-course.com

I’m doing this, because… if I can’t get the point of this opportunity across to the readers of this blog (who are easily the most worthy candidates for this information)…

… then I’ve got some work to do re-jiggering the pitch.

C’mon. Be brutal. Here’s your chance to shake-down some Carlton copy.

And, yeah, sure…

… you’re at some small risk of succumbing to the offer.

But I’m sure a strong, confidant, filthy rich marketer like you can survive such a simple, straight-forward appeal.

I mean, the whole sales angle is as uncluttered as possible: If you’ve ever wanted to make the Big Bucks with your writing skills…

… or if you’re a freelancer who is struggling because no one is watching your back (or sharing the inside secrets of the game)…

… then a slight twinge of desire may ripple through your veins when you see what’s available.

I mean, I sure wish a simple shortcut like this was available back when I started my career as a freelance copywriter.

It would have shortened my search for wealth, fame and respect by…

… oh, around ten years. At least.

Look, I’m sure you’re doing fine. More clients than you can handle, rave reviews on everything you do, results up the yin-yang.

I’d still like to hear your thoughts about the site.

A lot of people’s lives have been changed, dramatically and quickly, by what you’re about to see.

But, I dunno… the “noise” level of the Web is so loud these days, it’s hard to be heard.

No matter how legit or how critical the message is.

So please do me the honor of looking the site over, will ya?

Thanks.

Stay frosty,

John Carlton
www.carlton-freelance-course.com

P.S. Quick story: Back during my first mid-life crisis, I quit the business world, and decided to try writing some fiction for a year or so.

I attended a couple of hard-to-get-into writer’s conferences (including the very prestigous Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference in Tahoe)…

… and I had a series of nasty reality checks that brought me rather quickly back into the game of marketing.

See, whenever any of the writers at these gatherings discovered that I routinely earned more from writing a single ad… than the best of them could earn in a year writing an entire novel (which required months and months and months of grueling research, writing, editing, and sweating over)…

… well, they were flabbergasted.

And these were the BEST of the group. The ones who had actually made ANY money at all with fiction. (And most of those novels took longer than a year to write. Average time to create a novel that gets published: 5 years. Whoa.)

The majority — easily 99 of every 100 in attendance — had never made Dime One from anything they’d written.

They were skilled writers.

They just had never figured out how to turn that skill into cash.

I realized two things:

1. Fiction really was only gonna be a hobby for me. (I didn’t fit in too well with most of the wannabe-novelists — they were too freaking idealistic, and naive about the world.) (Give me a street-wise salesman any day — the stories are better, the insight more profound.)

2. And — most important — I got back in touch with that feeling I had back when I recieved my first check for writing some copy for a client.

It was pure, raw euphoria. I was getting PAID — a LOT — to do something I loved: Write.

Freelance copywriting saved my life. It gave me an important, critical position in the world — business owners desperately needed me.

It offered me the independence and freedom to be myself. However weird, eccentric and lazy I was… as a freelancer, I could create my own damn lifestyle.

And, eventually, I attained something else I’d craved since becoming an adult: Respect.

I could do something crucial, something essential… that most of the business world feared, could not understand, and considered voodoo.

I was free… I had mounting fame that I earned… and I was the master of my ship.

It’s a great gig.

For the right person, freelance copywriting is the ONLY profession worth striving to get really, really, really fookin’ good at.

If you’re one of us, this “Freelance Course” may be exactly what you need to get a fresh start on living the life you want. On your terms.

Or not.

The gig isn’t for everyone.

Read the site we just put up.

See if, just perhaps, you’re actually one of us. And all you need is a little inside help to get moving.

Here’s the site again:

http://www.carlton-freelance-course.com

Big Damn Update: Thursday night, late…

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

And a bigger thanks to all the folks who came aboard. We’re way past expectations for sales, and fresh momentum seems to be building all on its own.

Cool.

I love providing the fuel for someone’s new adventure in life… and, again, there is NO other career like freelancing for writers who crave maximum freedom, treasure and fame.

(After the first few comments that came in, savvy writers who know the power of this stuff started piling on with personal stories of success and happiness. It’s worth a quick read to see how the writing world regards this kind of opportunity, both good and bad…)

John

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  • Bernardo says:

    You’re close, but you still haven’t hooked me
    yet, John.

    I just bought your Kick-Ass Course a few months
    ago…

    make the deal a little sweeter for Kick-Ass owners…

    and I’m in.

    I’ve got a few pieces for my swipe file from this
    blog post though:

    “… and see if the copy here meets the test of overcoming the outrageous level of stubborness of the average wannabe freelancer.”

    and

    “I’m doing this, because… if I can’t get the point of this opportunity across to the readers of this blog (who are easily the most worthy candidates for this information)…”

    Very reminiscent of the One-Legged Golfer sales letter:
    “Besides – if you’ve stayed with me this far, you aren’t
    like other golfers anyway.”

    John Carlton replies:

    I hear you, Bernardo.

    But we agonized over the price of the package for ages, and we can’t squeeze it any further down.

    I’m happy you found some nuggets, though. You’ve got a keen eye.

    John

  • Dave Doolin says:

    I checked it out. Looks very good. Price is right… but I’m really, really busy for the next 3-4 months.

    You see, the Prince of Print put me to work: I have a lot of little white cards to write… some of which will be filled, one bullet point a piece, with that wonderful copy from your new sales page.

    But don’t worry!

    I won’t steal!

    It turns out—after _only_ a couple hundred cards—that it’s *much* faster to whip out my own copy than go hunting around for someone else’s copy (even yours, superb as it is), buried who-knows-where in my notes.

    Just so you’ll know, I’m more-or-less pre-sold. If I had the time, I would probably buy, but if I bought right now, it would sit on my shelf until I got through my current program!

    Here’s a little fact: when Eben Pagan launched the Altitude DVDs in 2007, I didn’t even read the copy (It’s in my swipe file now, lemme tell ya!), I just scrolled down to see if the price was right. It was and I purchased without reading the copy. Didn’t even know about the bonuses until I opened the box.

    By the way, I won’t mind if you delete this comment. That tells me you read it, so it’s a win-win for me!

    John Carlton replies:

    Why would I delete it?

    But you’re talking apples and oranges here — learning how to write good copy is a small part of being a freelancer. It’s the rest of the game that runs most writers off the rails.

    This course is about taking your writing skills… and making money with ’em.

    No worries, Dave. You seem to see the path stretching out ahead of you, and good luck.

    John

  • Sorry John. You missed with me and I have been buying copywriting and persuasion stuff in the last couple of months.

    Guess that I’ve reached the limit where I am looking at the boxes and thinking “I must work through those before I buy anything else.”

    John Carlton replies:

    That’s THE most common complaint from writers I hear from — the sense of being overwhelmed with “other stuff”.

    You paid for that stuff, and it seems logical that you’d want to “go through it” first, before going deeper with anything else.

    I totally understand the feeling. I have it myself all the time. My pal Rich Schefren made a freakin’ fortune helping biz owners deal with it.

    Nevertheless, I would suggest that — if a freelance career was on your wish list — the other stuff can wait. A pro career is an ongoing thing — you learn as you go, and everything you read gets a real-world “testing ground” for you to try it out. It’s “Life, In Action”.

    Thanks for the feedback, though, Paul. The freelance life appeals only to a certain part of the population. Many dream of it, but when the actual opportunity arrives, many also have second thoughts.

    And what are you doing UP so early, anyway? Isn’t it, like, 6am there right now?

    John

  • Hi John,
    the copy is good but it doesn’t press my greed glands. ( in fact it’s excellent copy….of course ).
    There’s something missing and I think it’s the primary emotional driver, as Clayton calls it.
    Somehow you’re not pressing my buttons….?
    Have a look at the hook as I think it could be made stronger. Maybe you could mention just how much this course can make for folks…( money is a big issue at the moment for people and so is security in our current meltdown world…)

    “How To Turn Your Copywriting Skills Into A Successful Freelance Career” could maybe be turned into something like

    Never again will you have to be worried about being laid off/ going bust/Losing your home/ respect etc etc etc

    If I figure out what it is I’ll come right back and put it up here on the blog….

    Mike

    PS is the kick ass secrets of a marketing rebel available ?

    PPS You’re still the best in the biz for me and what I’ve said is written with that in mind ..hope it helps

    PPPS this is also a smart piece of marketing John by using your Blog etc for getting involvement from us..Thanks

    John Carlton replies:

    Hey, Mike. Good to hear from you again.

    The headline is straight-forward, without a hook, because of the product. You’re ahead of the game here — I was gonna blog about this later on.

    Here’s the deal: I don’t WANT to attract a whole bunch of people with this course. It’s a very specific package, aimed at a very specific target market… and the lifestyle appeal is MINOR, as far as I’m concerned.

    There are other copywriting courses out there that come at you from the “be your own boss” angle, and I think it brings in a lot of the wrong types to the career.

    You gotta already want a freelance career to “get” what I’ve done in this piece. I’m not trying to convince anyone — I’m just laying out the case for it.

    Thanks for bringing this point up, Mike. I might have to explore it in more depth later.

    John

  • I don’t don’t know a whole lot about copy writing, but I did spot a typo in the PPS; ‘Seccrets’

    Regards

  • Douglas says:

    My 2 cents worth – I buy because I was looking for a freelance sales course, and you throw in your copy course as well (+other goodies).

    My clincher – I have seen you on your sweatshop dvd’s, and they convince me. Offer a video download extract or link to an extract on youtube?

    The copy leaves me with 2 unanswered questions:
    1 – Is all the computer advice for Macs and Windows, or just Windows?
    Been caught out before, where the (reputable and honest) seller had not made it clear that some material was Windows only.

    2 – How pertinent is the course to non-usa copywriters?
    I am sure that there’ll be lots of relevance, but would like to see it clearly delineated – and how much you go into obtaining work internationally online.

    Now off to buy:-)

    John Carlton replies:

    Hi Douglas. I’ve got freelancers all over the globe who’ve used this course (when it was previously available) to start their careers. Japan, Europe… things are a bit different, yes, but the basics are the same. It’s about getting good, dealing with clients, and pricing yourself correctly.

    Thanks for giving it a look-see.

    John

  • Dave Doolin says:

    John,

    Thanks for the encouragement! I appreciate it.

    BTW, I see this little index card exercise as akin to practicing scales on the guitar I desperately wanted to play as a teenager, but never had the real discipline to practice. I still get the urge after 25 years… and I have a Guitar Center 3 blocks from me (El Cerrito in fact). I refuse to go in there because I *know* I’ll drop $1000 — without even thinking about it. Soon, though.

    Now, I’m finding joy in the simple pleasure of just copying. Sometimes, I even read out loud as I copy. Now that doesn’t pay the bills, mastering the basics rarely does.

    But I’ve gotten compliments out of the blue since I started this exercise a month ago. I was even asked to write copy for everyone to use for a volunteer event… twitter copy… 125 characters so it can be retweeted. Feels good.

    Man it’s getting late. Back to the salt mine.
    Thanks again.
    -dave d

    John Carlton replies:

    You’re welcome, Dave. I have the same problem with guitar stores, BTW… I used to practically live in a little one in Hermosa Beach when I lived there, and I could lose myself for hours in the Guitar Center on Sunset…

  • otto says:

    Hmmm,

    It’s interesting..but..leaves a big one unanswered for me:

    “Including PERSONAL ATTENTION from me and my staff through my exclusive coaching program”

    Because it’s a coaching program – I would want to see this explained. It isn’t.

    And no..3 months access to a forum is not what I consider an exclusive coaching program. (plus that was a bonus and no core element)

    This is the difference that would make me consider paying 1995 like for SWS in stead of 595…

    Plus – having read some of your copy before, some expressions and examples have become stale for me. Examples: the bag of tricks, being snuck in the backdoor and a few more.

    It might be great for people who are new to your stuff – but to people who have seen it before…

    Otto

    John Carlton replies:

    And Otto, we all loved having you in the Simple Writing System. You had a very unique product, and you’re in a very unique marketing situation.

    The coaching club really does offer everything we’ve outlined here. A lot of writers think “Naw, that can’t be right — it sounds too good to be true”. But it’s not. I offer personal critiques of copy and websites, and we answer every question posted twice a month in long, exciting shows.

    Thanks for the input, Otto. Keep us in the loop on how you’re doing.

    John

  • "Yin Yang" Yann says:

    I agree with Mike the Thai Guy.

    In fact, the one sentence that jumped at me is burried in the first paragraph but is much more appealing to me than the “successful freelance career” in the headline: “A world of independence, confidence, and financial freedom”.

    That and the “eventually, I attained something else I’d craved since becoming an adult: Respect” in your PS above.

    Oh, and my brain always shuts off when it sees something that looks like forced continuity – even if I’m sold by the rest of the copy. (Can’t blame you though – good model!)

    Just my 2 cents…

    “Yin Yang” Yann

    PS: Don’t know what’s up with the wall of testimonials. On my screen, it only shows right after the end of the sales letter. (Well, it could be my tiny old screen too.)

    John Carlton replies:

    Yeah, I replied to Mike just now.

    It’s an important point — I really do not want people buying this because they think it’s a great lifestyle. It IS great, but that’s not a good reason to start a career like this. The biz world needs professionals who are dedicated, and who love writing.

    This is not just another biz op offering. It’s the real thing: An insider’s shortcut to putting a real career together.

    Thanks for the input, Yin. Cool handle.

    John

  • "Yin Yang" Yann says:

    I agree with Mike the Thai Guy.

    In fact, the one sentence that jumped at me is burried in the first paragraph but is much more appealing to me than the “successful freelance career” in the headline: “A world of independence, confidence, and financial freedom”.

    That and the “eventually, I attained something else I’d craved since becoming an adult: Respect” in your PS above.

    Oh, and my brain always shuts off when it sees something that looks like forced continuity – even if I’m sold by the rest of the copy. (Can’t blame you though – good model!)

    Just my 2 cents…

    “Yin Yang” Yann

    PS: Don’t know what’s up with the wall of testimonials. On my screen, it only shows right after the end of the sales letter. (Well, it could be my tiny old screen too.)

    John Carlton replies:

    Yeah, I replied to Mike just now.

    It’s an important point — I really do not want people buying this because they think it’s a great lifestyle. It IS great, but that’s not a good reason to start a career like this. The biz world needs professionals who are dedicated, and who love writing.

    This is not just another biz op offering. It’s the real thing: An insider’s shortcut to putting a real career together.

    Thanks for the input, Yin. Cool handle.

    John

  • "Yin Yang" Yann says:

    I agree with Mike the Thai Guy.

    In fact, the one sentence that jumped at me is burried in the first paragraph but is much more appealing to me than the “successful freelance career” in the headline: “A world of independence, confidence, and financial freedom”.

    That and the “eventually, I attained something else I’d craved since becoming an adult: Respect” in your PS above.

    Oh, and my brain always shuts off when it sees something that looks like forced continuity – even if I’m sold by the rest of the copy. (Can’t blame you though – good model!)

    Just my 2 cents…

    “Yin Yang” Yann

    PS: Don’t know what’s up with the wall of testimonials. On my screen, it only shows right after the end of the sales letter. (Well, it could be my tiny old screen too.)

    John Carlton replies:

    Yeah, I replied to Mike just now.

    It’s an important point — I really do not want people buying this because they think it’s a great lifestyle. It IS great, but that’s not a good reason to start a career like this. The biz world needs professionals who are dedicated, and who love writing.

    This is not just another biz op offering. It’s the real thing: An insider’s shortcut to putting a real career together.

    Thanks for the input, Yin. Cool handle.

    John

  • Shaun says:

    I’ll take a stab at it here . . .

    (for some reason I misadded the above numbers and the original reply was deleted)

    I feel the copy has too many power words stuffed in. Some of the wording feels forced. It doesn’t seem to roll along as smoothly as it I feel it should.

    And finally, here are a few of my nitpicks:

    In the header you mention you are the baddest ass alive.

    Then in the headline your just an “a-list” world class copywriter. Not the most bad ass.. did that make sense?

    Next, at the end of the sales letter you talk about closing down the club after you reach critical mass because you are chocked full of copy critiques, answering questions etc. Is this special hand holding you didn’t tell me about earlier in the copy?

    Thats all for now,

    Shaun

    John Carlton replies:

    Good input, Shaun. Thanks.

  • Yoda says:

    Shit didnt pass the math test, not going to write it all over, sorry

  • Yoda says:

    Ok, I mixed up another Capt. Morgan and I’ll try to add it up right this time dammit.

    Seems totally bass-ackwards, not the letter, but YOU asking ME to critique YOUR stuff!

    I’m the guy that “won” the Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets contest. Sooo, I owe you ALOT more than this amateur critique!

    One thing though…you have to promise me you won’t raise the price or sabatoge the Sales Letter I am nearly ready to send you for Critiqueing! Fair enough? (How much lead time do you need?)

    Ok, here goes; Even though I don’t have any intention of becoming a freelancer. Maybe an “outsiders” look at it would be helpful. Thought I’d see if you follow your own advice, and maybe swipe some goodies. 🙂

    My impression; It has all the elements of a good story, beginning, middle, end, but it didn’t “excite” me enough to want to jump on it! Doesn’t seem to build excitement start to end.

    Somehow it seemed Uhhh “bland”. Maybe I’m too accustomed to reading all that over-hyped deletable crap I get everyday that promises something way better than life after death.

    Possibly there is too much about you and what you’ve done, rather than what it will DO for the prospect. Plenty of buzz statements and phrases but they don’t seem to hit the point. Ouch.

    I love all the testimonials, real powerful stuff! Actually 9 of them are on my new site! I also really liked the 4 call to action buttons and multiple PS, PPS, etc. that’s should really work!

    Now I feel guilty….what the hell do I know about successful sales letter writing? I’m just a regular guy consumer. Just my impressions.

    Denny Lauritsen (Yoda)

    P.S. To those who haven’t yet got Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets I say to you…..WHY THE HELL NOT? Get it!

    P.P.S. Hope I didn’t doom my future with you 🙂

  • Man – I am so upset.

    That 325G the first year is so old.

    No, John can’t update it to write that now I haul in more than a million smackeroos a year because of your course.

    OK, let people dream of 325G.

    Just want to let you know it’s a lot more fun to make 7 Figures.

    And if you are a copywriter and don’t get this course – you are so missing out.

    I didn’t check out the price but what ever it is – you’ll earn your money back – probably on the first job.

    Just do it.

  • Tony says:

    Jeeze, I’m tearing my eyeballs out just reading some of the feedback of total cr**.

    This letter is “pitch specific”, specific to people who love to write and want to get paid handsomely for it as freelancers.

    I was salivating as I read the letter. I was sold straight of… the headline was good…the offer was good… the credibility was good (never assume everybody know who you are)…. and the price was perfect.

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when someone in the crowd even mentioned “hey, you got the spelling wrong”. For crying out loud this is selling.

    It’s a sales pitch not a writing pitch. How many of this so call “helpful” two piece here’s my comment can put pen to paper and craft something equally as good.

    Everybody is a critic the saying goes.

    But seriously, unless you can boast an off –the- chart copy success, and I mean real copywriting success of your own. It’s better to keep your very cool observation and opinion under wrap.

    If you don’t want to buy this package for whatever reason that’s okay, move on. Me, I can’t wait to get my greedy hands on all the goodies promised.

    I’m staying right here by the window package watching, and ready to rip the bugger off the postman immediately he steps foot on my drive and devour it whole like a hungry wolf.

  • Michael says:

    John,

    So here I am with my finger hovering over the “order” button.

    What’s stopping me?

    A really nagging question.

    ” Do I really have the talent to do this?”

    It would be naive to think you could write copy that brings in the folding stuff without some talent to begin with. Even the late Gary Halbert admitted this.

    I know this would be horrendously difficult, but some guidance on this would really help make sure that you get even more sacks of testimonials through the door.

    Maybe worth another blog post!

    Regards Mike

  • Tom Stannard says:

    Tony>Poor spelling is an instant turn-off for same people, no matter how good the rest of the copy is.

    As for calling some of the other feedback cr*p, it would pay you to remember that reviews were asked for.

    There is no right or wrong here – just opinion.

    That said, if being rude and arrogant makes you a good copywriter then I am sure you will do very well for yourself.

    As for the rest of it, it is too long, I think long form sales letters are well past their sell-by date. (which is probably why the error was pointed out as people generally just skip to the bottom a long drawn out pitch)

  • Kevin Rogers says:

    Hey John,

    You definitely don’t get any free passes around here, eh? That’s what makes this tiny piece of cyberspace a real community rec center and not just an ass kissing festival.

    Refreshing… to say the least.

    But, I also have a problem with your letter…

    See, when I was struggling to get “over the hump” in my freelance career, I finally realized that I wasn’t getting as good as I wanted as fast as I could for one reason:

    I was trying too hard!

    I was subscribed to every copywriter’s list… I owned more marketing books than I could read… and every time I came across what seemed to be a hot new tactic, I’d scrap everything I’d written on my current project and start over to include the new weapon.

    The result was a jumbled mess of patchwork copy pranks that destroyed any chance of a linear, greased slide effect for the reader.

    The letters did “good enough” for the markets they were in, but let’s be honest: Give any monkey a Red Bull and a laptop and he can slam out copy that converts decent numbers to a targeted list of hungry buyers.

    I didn’t want to be a “good enough” copywriter, I wanted to kick royal ass!

    So, about a year ago I made a decision that changed everything… in my writing, my career, and my life.

    I walked over to the big red button marked “Stop The Presses!” and gave it a good smash. Then I cleaned the slate entirely.

    All the books, all the blogs, all the forums… all the noise that kept me from planting my feet firmly when I wrote…Gone!

    Except for one…

    I took my copy of Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets and sat it next to my computer…

    I downloaded the audio version of the book to my iPod along with selected interviews…

    I bought your “License To Steal” DVDs…

    …and I read ONLY this blog. (And when you took too long between posts, I’d go back and raid the archives… pure gold in them hills.)

    All the noise had gotten my copy chops nowhere fast… I was like the pot dealer’s dog chasing his own tail; the living room was amused, but I was frustrated as hell.

    So I decided to laser-focus my learning by immersing myself in nothing but John Carlton.

    I read Kick-Ass Secrets front to back 7 times… I listened to the interviews on walks, in the car, at the gym… I watched you analyze every line of copy in 5 of your best controls on the DVDs… and I copied your letters by hand to infuse the rhythm into my bones.

    My goal was to get so deep in your psyche that whenever I came upon a mysterious crossroads in my copy, I could instinctively answer the question: What would Carlton do?

    I wasn’t looking to write LIKE you do, I was looking to write HOW you do.

    And after about 2 or 3 months of relentless, fanatical pursuit (my wife instituted a “No Carlton Talk” rule at the dinner table), it began paying off…

    The writing process became easier, my letters got better, my clients grew happier, my price went higher…

    I finally felt like I knew what the hell I was doing.

    I was in control of my writing, and from there everything else fell into place…

    Once I got good, I began to get connected, and then I had the confidence to GET PAID.

    So, now I read this letter…

    …and find out that all the crucial information I slowly cobbled together (and paid handsomely for) through this obsessive pursuit of everything you teach… had already been cohesively assembled… in one convenient book… and spelled out for me with paint-by-numbers ease…

    But you just didn’t feel like selling it anymore!

    Wow, dude! Can you say SELFISH?!

    (Then you rub it in by pricing it dirt cheap and piling on Kick-Ass Secrets and the coaching club for free? Freakin’ RUDE is what that is.)

    Also, that shade of blue on the subheads kinda bugged my eyes.

    Hope that helps,

    Kevin

  • Barnabas Ng says:

    John

    I am interested…I am sold but the 1 time payment for USD599 will be stop me from taking action.

    Why?

    From where I am, with the currency exchange rate factor in, I will be paying 1.5 times the price. Big sum. I will consider, think about it and procrastinate to buy. Maybe I might end up not buying.

    But I am sure you will tell me it is the information that I will learn for the price. I agree.

    Why don’t you include a 2 payments or 3 payments plan? Your guarantee runs concurrently with the payment plan. The product/bonuses will be release in stages following payment plan. That will be the trade off.

    With payment plan, the sum looks smaller when it is deducted in stages (although I agree I will end up paying more for it).

    I am sure you will have readers and subcribers from around the world who will have a higher exchange rate than me.

    Another suggestion….

    Why don’t you add a video of your most successful freelance student into your salesletter? A brief video about how he benefited from you and why people should get this product.

    Regards
    Barnabas

  • Barnabas Ng says:

    John

    Pardon me…I only saw the 3 easy payment after I click the “click here now” button.

    Another point , you could make the 3 easy payment button/link more visible on your salesletter for the USD599 price. (With a prominent button you will be making extra $58 from it – i guess you should promote more of the easy payment plan)

    If I didn’t click the “click here now” button, you could have lost me.

    regards
    barnabas

  • Ian says:

    John,

    I’ll tell you my reaction to the pitch. You might find it useful to know where I’m at in my career, so you can see if I’m the kind of guy your pitch was aimed at.

    I’m 26 years old. Turned down a safe engineering career to get into something where I could call my own shots…make a lot of money…and dance around the world on adventures in my plentiful spare my time.

    When I really think about it…I want to be a knight in cool armor that slays the dragon no one else can and the reap the rewards of gold, respect and sex with princesses.

    That’s my ultimate selfish reason.

    I actually followed exactly what Halbert told people to do if they want to get really good at copywriting. And I got good. (Except I was selling free things I found on craigslist for money).

    In 2008 I said I’m going to be a freelancer for the next little while in my life. Figuring it would be a fun way to spend my mid to late twenties.

    My marketing system was this: I wrote some software to scan craigslist for copywriting gigs. And then I’d write a pitch letter to the person who wrote the ad. I got damn good at getting interviews! With just a portfolio of ads that sold free shit.

    For instance one client I took on had over 300 replies and I was the only person he talked to. (I did get that job).

    They were mostly hack markters who wrote an ebook and had no idea of how to sell it.

    The VP of marketing at a huge internet marketing company, gave me an interview for an open copywriting position. My portfolio of (couches, old trombones and microwaves) wasn’t enough to impress him.

    All the jobs I took were low paying to get some skills under my belt and most recently a pure commission deal which might make me half a million dollars.

    Over breakfast a few days ago my client told me, “I can’t believe we found you…you’re a diamond in the rough…your copy is unbelievable”. The campaign is being launched and I’ll get some commission. I got a much needed confidence boost from someone who knows what good copy is.

    That’s where I am in my copywriting career and your pitch did strike home with me. I read through it all, I was picturing my new life and when I got to the price…the beautiful picture I formed in my head dissolved because the price made me think…this isn’t expensive enough to justify this pretty picture I just made.

    I have “Kick Ass Copywriting Secrets”. I was hoping the simple writing system was going to be thrown in.

    I’m going to buy this. I just need to build up the funds first.

    Hope this helps.

    John Carlton replies:

    Thanks for the input, Ian.

    Just for the record, the SWS is (and will remain for some time) our Flagship opportunity. It’s a huge undertaking for us when we offer the classroom mentoring, and this service will never be “included” in any other offer.

  • Shaun says:

    I noticed a few more things . . .

    It seems like in order to be A freelance success I need to live in my cave-office. Not sure if this is image you are wanting to portray or not.

    I didn’t notice any salutation.

    next, the part from “the business world” until the first bullet point seems to be repeating the same thing over and over.

    The word “secret” seems over used.

    correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see where you mention why you want to give all this away. Why are you wanting to help me?

    looks like bonus report #1 is repeated. you wrote

    “Bonus Report #1”: (then) “The first report” (which includes both the CD and the transcript) is called, simply enough, “How To Find Clients”.

    Was this repeated on purpose?

    you also have 4 bullets. why not 3 or 5?

    second bullet point of #3 goodie:

    Your “voice” (the way your copy “sounds” in your prospect’s head as he reads — also important for video and phone scripts).

    what is he reading?

    I’m confused how can YOU buy me 3 months into your club? is it not owned by you?

    In goodie #3 you tell me your club costs $69/mnth. then you tell me later on you tell me “regular clients” pay thousands to have access.

    Where’s the proof the previous course was offered at $3999?

    and why would you drop the price so much?

    That wraps up what I think about the sales letter other than . . . the overall voice of the letter seems to be more like a whisper, almost like someone is tapping me on the shoulder gently.

    I personally might look at culling more people by adding more volume to the parts where you talk about who this course is not for.

    Signing off Carlton style:

    Stay Frosty

    Is he talking to a beer mug?

  • otto says:

    On second thought…

    This is a steal.

    Just bought it.

    Now, I have 2 kick ass secrets courses ;-))

    Otto

    John Carlton replies:

    You da man, Otto. Glad to have you aboard…

  • Dave Moore says:

    Holy Shit!

    I had know idea you actually had people like this on your list too..

    I thought I was the only guy that attracted all the critics and skeptics..

    I always say if you are the type that nit picks everything to death you’re not my market anyway…

    Chances are if you are O.C.D. you won’t make it because it will never be good enough for you.

    Now on the other hand if you’re A.D.D. you’ve found you’re lot in life.

    I LOVE to misspell words and throw all kinds of chaos in the mix just to see who reads it..

    If you’re here just to be promised you’ll make a crap load of money I want to ask you one thing… Are you happy with your life now? If you answered “no” then I have some terrible news for you… All the money in the world won’t change that. Yeah it’s great to make a crap load of money and lots of other marketers Rant and Rave about that, but that’s really not the best part…

    The TRUTH is I have done very well in this industry and HATED the people I was selling too. So I quit and changed directions.

    yeah, I make a lot less money at this point, but this biz is about FREEDOM and having some peace in your life. Not putting up with the corporate idiots then being crammed into a very small box and programmed like a robot.

    Don’t get me wrong here I still make twice what I pay out every month and it is constantly growing.

    As far as the target market I thought it wasn’t for the complete NOOB anyway it seemed as if it was written for the guys and gals that have a little experience and realize that clients are all like children and you really do need to know how to stroke them..

    I’ll tell ya, I’m know expert, but they still pay me every month…

    No doubt, I will be picking this up …

    John is the only guy I’ve learned from that has ever been able to get it out of my head and on a sheet of paper.

    You guessed it I’m not a fist time buyer…

    I’m a proud owner of S.W.S. and have put my first sales letter together as well as improved the copy in the videos I produce every month.

    Seems to be working my client just hired 6 more people to cover the influx of leads.

    …Thanks John!

    The “Kick Ass Copy Writing Secrets” alone is worth a mint. It’s always open on my desk and gets referred to on a daily basis. It’s way beyond just how to write copy, but had a lot of great life lessons you should be implementing.

    Makes me sound like I’m 19 huh? But really damn near 40.

    So I really don’t have anything horrible to say about your letter seems like you knew exactly who you wanted to sell to and there is no doubt in my mind that will happen.

    Keep up the Great work !!

    Cincinnati Dave

    “It’s not the end of the world but you can see it from here…”

  • Craig Woolven says:

    John,

    I am in. Everything I have purchased from you has been pure gold.

    As for the copy, I am already sold, but if I had to pick on something, it would be it sounds a bit all or nothing. Go from learner to pro in the jungle in one jump.

    Perhaps I need to hear some reasurance……..

    “Feel your not ready yet? Well don’t fret, I’ll show you the sure path to the launching pad and push that big green button on the main engine thrusters.”

    Keep up the great work!

    Craig

  • swans says:

    Dear John:

    I got a question.

    I quickly read your sales letter a few days ago.

    When you say, “Critiques” do you mean that I can send you a piece I wrote and you’d give me your feedback. And does it also mean that the crit will be “for my eyes” only?

    I am interested in your proposition.

    Please let me know.

    Sincerely,
    Swans G Paul

    John Carlton replies:

    Good question, Swans.

    The critiques are part of the coaching club privileges — and they are posted for members to see. That’s semi-private, but not “For Your Eyes Only”. Twice a month, I choose pieces of copy (or websites) from what has been submitted by members and do a video critique of several.

    There are other writers (many of them, in fact) among the membership, and they often also review what you submit.

    We cannot guarantee that every piece you submit will be video critiqued, but in the 2 years the coaching club has been operating, every submission has been video-critiqued. Once you get into our world, you’ll see how much we bend over backward to deliver.

    And freelancers have a special place in my heart, anyway.

    There are lots of working writers looking to help out in this club.

    Hope this helps.

    John

  • David Franklin says:

    John,

    Been writing ads for 25 years (and getting paid to do so)
    Read it, bought it. Nuf said.
    David

    John Carlton replies:

    Thanks, David.

    John

  • John Posey says:

    John:

    Been a writer for 20 years. Screenplays, TV, stage, radio, speeches, self-help, new product, old school advertising. Journalism degree. Made money with all, but not so recently. Entertainment market is getting younger and I cannot control much. I’m very good at what I do, still love fiction, but looking for something new that I can embrace.

    Bought your package as soon as I read it! Can’t wait to get into it. I’ve designed and will soon launch my own (entertainment bus.)consulting website. Will begin by using your expertise to market it properly. Then looking forward to freelance copywriting! Feel as though I am almost coming full cycle.

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