Archive Monthly Archives: June 2024

The Simple Secret To An Elite Copywriting Career (which you’ll never guess)


I’ve been running into copywriters (and marketers) who are still absolutely freaked out over Artificial Intelligence…

… and the “threat” of it replacing all humans in advertising and marketing.

Look — I know that at some point, in the hazy future (far beyond where we can envision right now)…

… AI will be our new overlords and masters. I’ve seen all the sci-fi flicks, read most of the books. I’m not naive.

C’mon, it’ll be fun to have a robot boss running things. What could possibly go wrong?


right now (and for the foreseeable future) (like most probably for the rest of your life)…

… human brains are gonna remain an essential element to everything.

I mean, the current high-end models of robots are sort of getting the hang of cleaning up after us, and stocking some stuff in warehouses, and even occasionally handling hands-free driving without killing too many pedestrians.

But anyone thinking that any of the essential writing, critical thinking, and decision-making in business (or most of life’s endeavors) is successfully being handed off to the ‘bots right now…

… is a loon.

It ain’t happening. It’s a fevered pipe dream in the (rather thick) skulls of a bunch of Tech Bros. in Silicon Valley and a bunch of the greedy bastards on Wall Street…

… cuz they WANT to be true. Soon. Right around the corner, they’re promising. You’ll see, and you’ll be sorry you didn’t already fire all your useless writers and marketing folks. Bow to your overlords, weakling humans!!!

Again — not actually happening.

Why not?

Cuz business in the modern world still revolves around other human beings. And all our foibles, and desires, and idiosyncrasies, and weird habits, and delusions/dreams/traumatic memories/personal histories/broken hearts and on and on and on.

You know. The stuff that makes us human.

Yeah. Machines ain’t broken that code yet.

Still, you ARE gonna have to adjust, as a copywriter (or marketer).

AI isn’t going away. And it IS good enough to handle SOME of the jobs low-level copywriters used to handle.

So rookies and lazy-ass writers actually are under a certain level of threat to their careers.

But you know who will NEVER worry about being replaced?

A-List writers.

The dudes and dudettes at the very top of the pile. The grizzled elite who have extracted extreme savvy and expertise and insight from all their time on the front lines of the advertising and marketing battles.

And, yes, their copy does sizzle at a higher heat… because their salesmanship has been tested and sharpened in the real world. (Where wannabe’s go to expire.)

But do you wanna know what REALLY cements their careers into the culture so tight a bulldozer couldn’t dislodge them?

It’s using their knowledge of advertising and marketing and salesmanship and buyer psychology and the intricate games played by prospects and customers and owners alike…

… to be the most success-0riented CONSULTANTS in the business universe.

How? Easy:

Even CEOs running gazillion-dollar companies are often experienced ONLY in boardroom politics and the bold (and often disasterous) effort to show short-term boosts in earnings to keep stockholders happy. (See: Jack Welch and the ruination of once-proud General Electric, who started all this short-term thinking bullshit.)

They can’t write anything to save their lives. And they sure as hell don’t pay attention to actual market psychology with a street-level awareness. They got “little people” who that for them.

And even the owners of moderate-sized businesses are often hobbled by trying to translate a 2-year Business Degree into real-world success… and needing serious input from consultants who actually know how leads are generated and sales consummated.

And so it goes, down through nearly every single potential client in the economy: The most experienced, most savvy, and most knowledgeable expert in bringing home the moolah…

… will often be the A-List copywriter they bring in to fix things after the MBAs and know-nothing’s have botched it beyond belief.

Here’s an easy guide to show where you want to be as a copywriter, as fast as possible in your career:

First Stage: Grunt Writer. Your client may or may not know what he wants, but he will tell you what to write…

… and you write it. No original thinking required. (This is easier with an experienced client who may actually understand what kind of copy is needed… but you’re still just a grunt.)

You want to move on from this stage quickly. AI really is handling a lot of these types of jobs, and is expected to take over the grunt work entirely sooner than you think.

Second Stage: Veteran Writer With Relevant Experience. You may specialize in a market, or specialize in a certain medium (like social media)…

… so while you’re discussing the job with your client, you might suggest stuff: marketing angles, details to email campaigns, different sales funnels, even the main pitches used.

Cuz you’ve been here before. You’ve succeeded in doing something similar already. Perhaps even in this very same market.

You have relevant experience to share.

You can actually carve out a damn good career as a veteran writer. A well-rewarded one, too. AI can’t touch your experience. You may even be the guy who spots the outrageous mistakes AI makes so often when trusted to do complete manuscripts.

However, if you’re a greedy little bastard who wants an even bigger slice of the pie…

There is Stage Three: The Consultant Who Also Can Provide The Copy.

This is what all A-Listers are. They’re SO knowledgeable (about markets in general, and your market specifically)… and SO experienced (both with success and failure) (which is critical, cuz every biz fails at a campaign sooner or later, especially when up against solid competition or changing market conditions)… and SO brimming with insight, gut instinct, and skill…

that you essentially operate as a partner in every job you take.

A-Listers tell those heathen CEOs they’re full of shit when they are — and the CEO takes the insult, cuz they know the A-Lister has the goods. The A-Lister brazenly challenges prior decisions because they KNOW they’re wrong. You can sit down and redo an entire business plan in an afteroon, cuz you’ve seen how reality works, and it’s brutal when idealists and dreamers and inexperienced biz owners try to peer into the future.

These elites are the highest paid writers in the world.

These are the writers who mold and shape entire markets, and obliterate competitors and create new market niches in their sleep.

This is the kind of writer you want to become: Someone so experienced and confident, you tell the client what’s up and become the bottom line for the important decisions.

Essentially, you become a partner in the project. Sometimes paid more than the CEO or the owner. Often the most important cog in the wheel of commerce for the time you deign to work with the client.

Ah, but you’re still a freelancer. You come and go as you please. You are beholden to no one.

Cuz you’re the one with the answers… and the skills to fix what’s wrong, quickly and efficiently.

And AI ain’t gonna come anywhere close to taking your job probably ever.

A savvy, experienced and highly skilled writer with the attitude to battle for the right move will always be top dog in the fight. No matter what tech does.

There has never been any limit on the number of A-Listers allowed to exist in the business world, either.

Still, it’s always been a very small group. Maybe two or three dozen writers in each generation.


Cuz most writers HATE the thought of consulting. It’s either too icky, cuz you gotta be confrontational (or so you believe) (it’s not true, though)… or you became a writer because you’re an introvert, and don’t like dealing with other humans if you can avoid it. Also, taking responsibility for stuff gives you a rash.

Still, the world is the way it is because that’s how reality works.

And I’m getting very interested in helping other writers get better at this consulting part of the gig.

It’s not magic. It’s not impossible for anyone with half a brain to pull off.

And really… it’s just necessary if you want to be an elite writer in this ever-morphing game of biz.

So we’re looking to find some stuff from other consultants that might help you move your lazy ass into the consulting game faster (and with more immediate success).

Watch closely in my email newsletter for some cool stuff coming up soon.

Also, I’m working on a book here about consulting. It never was so difficult that you couldn’t bust into it with just a handful of tips and advice.

But I haven’t found a book explaining it yet. At least not on the high level I’ve been practicing it for the last 30 years.

So watch for that, too. Soon.

In the meantime, watch your back to make no AI bot is sneaking up on you…

Stay frosty,