How Changing Your Story Leads to Copywriting Success

Cork board with paper showing the question What's Your Story pinned to it

I was facing a big decision.

I’d just sold my business and needed to choose between two options for my next career — speaking or copywriting.

Speaking seemed to be the natural choice. I’d just spent most of the last year presenting at business events and I knew I could be a successful speaker.

But what’s funny is that I used to be afraid of speaking …

When I was in third grade, my class put on a play for the whole school. I was terrified of being on stage. So terrified that my teacher gave me the smallest part in the play — one line in one scene.

I had to walk out, hand my “husband” an ax, and say, “Here is your ax. I heard you asking for it.”

I rehearsed it dozens of times. I was convinced I’d freeze and forget my line.

But I didn’t forget. In fact, I said the line just fine. And while I was shaking like a leaf, I lived through the whole experience.

As I got older, I realized many of the things I wanted to do like cheerleading, singing, and showing horses required me to be “on stage.”

So, I changed my story. Instead of believing I was too afraid to be in front of people, I started telling myself, “I’m an only child. Being the center of attention really isn’t a problem for me.”

And you know what? Every time I had to speak or perform, I felt more comfortable.

I’m glad I wrote a new story for myself!

Yet, when it came to weighing my decision between speaking and copywriting, speaking also involved traveling.

No time to spend with friends. No time for the beach. No time for … well, life.

On the other hand, copywriting would allow me to control where — and when — I worked.

I’d done some copywriting training and even apprenticed for another copywriter. But was I ready? Could I actually get clients on my own and be a full-time freelance copywriter?

I wasn’t sure. After all, I didn’t have a degree in writing, marketing, or anything remotely related to copywriting.

And my corporate experience was in programming, accounting, and insurance. Not exactly the background I thought a copywriter would have.

But I kept hearing the stories of others who had found success as copywriters so I decided to give it a try.

Walking into my first AWAI Bootcamp, I was amazed at how friendly everyone was!

I started talking with the other people there and discovered how many of them were like me — building a freelance copywriting business after a completely different career.

One person was a pilot looking for a way to supplement his income when he wasn’t flying.

There was a mom who had taken time off to raise her children and wanted to get back in the workforce, but on her own terms.

Another had been laid off from his manufacturing job and wanted more control of his career.

It turns out you don’t need to have a marketing degree and years in a corporate marketing job to be successful as a copywriter.

As I talked with the other people at Bootcamp, I realized every story I heard was different.

There were copywriters from small towns, others from big cities, and even a writer who lived on her boat full-time!

There was a young mom, pregnant with her second child, sitting next to a grandparent who wanted the freedom to have more time with his grandchildren.

There were people who had loved writing all of their lives and those who never thought they could be a writer.

Even though every story was different, they all had a common thread.

They all found success as copywriters.

And so can you.

It doesn’t matter what your story has been so far. You have the power to change it.

Maybe there are stories you’ve been told that have made you hesitate before pursuing your dream of writing.

“You can’t make a living writing.”

“Nobody hires freelancers.”

“There’s not enough work out there for everyone who wants to be a copywriter.”

There’s a common thread in those stories too — they’re all told by people who don’t know anything about the copywriting market!

It doesn’t matter what stories you’ve been told about copywriting or your opportunity.

It doesn’t even matter what stories you may have believed about yourself in the past.

Nothing matters except the story you want to write for your future.

What will your story for the future be?

Decide today to write your new story. Then come to Bootcamp in October and share it.

You’ll have the chance to talk with people just like you who have changed their own stories and are enjoying success as copywriters.

You’ll make friends who will support you in your journey.

And you’ll leave excited and energized.

Your new story is just beginning.

And by the way, changing my story led me to both copywriting and speaking. After hearing me speak at an event last year, one company hired me for over a dozen speaking engagements this year. Best of both worlds.

Pursue your copywriting story … you never know where it will lead!

What’s your story and what do you want it to be? Share with us in the comments below.

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Published: February 28, 2018

5 Responses to “How Changing Your Story Leads to Copywriting Success”

  1. What is your story is a great question and can echo our beliefs about who we are. I was reminded at a recent workshop for writers the power of saying "I am a writer." During introductions I mentioned other things I do and was prompted by a friend who said you are a writer and reminded me to claim my capacity as a writer. Just like the movie Field of your writers life dream and they will come.

    Jim Abbey

  2. Oh MY story! So interesting..So varied..I have worked in the travel industry (with cruise line and as an agent) also LOVE ballroom dancing (danced the tango in competition at the Luxor in Las Vegas) and I am very interested/passionate about spirituality and self-improvement..I am a COS member..and super eager! needing direction.

    Joan Rothstein

  3. I'm wondering if I am over my head, but still willing to try my darn-est. I have not read everything yet but really am interested in what I have read. I was a stand-up comedian and entertainer for 15 years, raised 6 children and then became a Travel Host for Bus companies in Iowa. I have written a few lyric songs for a few country bands.I love poetry and even would like to write for Hallmark cards, but it never happened.I am in retirement now and still want to write, but need help.


  4. Like Charolette I made my way from fear of public speaking to heightened anticipation. How? By doing it, over and over. By practicing again & again. I know I can write. I love reading and writing. No fear. The hard part was public speaking that prepared me for this. New story line, done deal. I'm a writer....

    Cynde Jackson

  5. I have been writing for over 20 years, but after a couple of rejections early on, decided I'd never be able to make a living at it.
    Then I found AWAI and began to think maybe I could do it after all.
    Now I am so close to finding my first paying client (I'm already writing a newsletter for my church), that I'm back to again fearing I'll never do it. Still, I'm looking in my chosen niche for companies and will email as many as I find and to heck with my fears.
    We CAN do it and I will.

    Guest (Hilary Green)

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