Masters Student Rich Silver Reports on AWAI's FastTrack to Success 2001 Copywriting Bootcamp

From September 19th to the 22nd, Delray Beach, Florida once again showed why it is the Mecca for aspiring copywriters. Over 40 people from around the world attended the latest AWAI bootcamp.

Those who came with questions found answers – and we all learned and practiced many new skills.

During one very informative session, AWAI board members Bob Bly and Don Mahoney promised us: "We will not leave this room tonight until every question on copywriting and marketing your services is answered." And, yes, they did answer every single question. (For example, anyone there who wondered how to get clients now knows exactly how to do it.)

Jen Stevens demonstrated "10 Keys to Power-Packed Writing" with examples (that had actually been published!) of sentences made up of tangled, confusing blobs of words. Those of us who intend to go the distance and earn six figures as copywriters know that we had better learn to write plain, simple, readable English or we won't get far. And Jen's workshop was invaluable.

Justin Ford shared his "Three Rules of Selling" and also guided us through the creation of a winning sales letter. His discussion on subheads and leads was particularly useful.

John Forde presented an excellent session titled "Making 'Yes' Irresistible: How to Turn Objections Into Opportunity." Focusing on the six objections that most buyers have, John showed us, step by step, how to identify and eliminate them one by one. As John explained, "You're not forcing customers to say 'yes'. You're taking away their reasons to say 'no'."

And I can tell you from my personal experience that it's not until you hear Michael Masterson speak at a bootcamp, that you begin to understand and internalize what copywriting really is. Because it isn't only about learning how to put words on a page. Copywriting is caring deeply about people and taking the time to think as they think and feel what they feel. It's about sharing a product or service with them that you're proud of, believe in, and can get excited about.

For two days, Michael Masterson pulled us, prodded us, and implored us to dig deep and discover the beliefs, feelings, and desires of the human beings we're writing to. He even gave us his No.1 secret to copywriting success: Open up your heart and write from a state of intimacy, vulnerability, and raw emotion.

If you've never been to one of AWAI's bootcamps, you might not realize how valuable this kind of in-person, hands-on sharing of information is. Well … think of it this way: You can read all about the Grand Canyon and look at hundreds of pictures, but you'll never fully comprehend its grandeur until you stand along its edge.

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Published: October 10, 2001

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