Living the Writer's Life:
Sean Van Zant

Sean and his wife at the Springtime Tallahassee Festival in Tallahassee, Florida.Sean and his wife at the Springtime Tallahassee Festival in Tallahassee, Florida.

Sean Van Zant has that unique quality of taking action once given direction. In a world where too many of us writers fret about how and when to take that first step and next step, he’s able to do it and do it quickly. Sean’s efforts are already starting to pay off as he continues to build connections and authority in the writing world. Discover how he’s used the trinity of marketing tactics to move fast in getting started as a copywriter, modeling the concept behind Mark Ford’s Ready, Fire, Aim book.

How did you get started as a writer?

Sean and his wife at their wedding
Sean and his wife at their wedding

Oh, I’ve always wanted to be a writer and write a traditionally published book, but I changed my mind because there’s a lot more potential to make more money through copywriting. I just remember doing internet searches for business plans, stuff like that. And I stumbled upon this guy, Dan Lok, a copywriter, and I started getting interested and watched several of his videos. After that, I decided to pursue copywriting. That’s when I found AWAI and I signed up for the Six-Figure Program [now called The Accelerated Program for Seven-Figure Copywriting].

And how did you start putting yourself out there?

I began to get feedback from the AWAI forum, which is now the AWAI Copywriting Insiders Facebook group. [Editor’s note: This is also where Barefoot Writer Club members connect with working copywriters.] So I got a little bit of help there, and actually I rewrote my LinkedIn About Me page. I’ve been continuing to tweak it ever since.

I also went through The AWAI MethodTM for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter. I eventually wrote a full portfolio and am very grateful to Will Newman, because he was one of my mentors through Circle of Success [COS]. He put a lesson plan for me together, and I just worked through it. I finished The AWAI MethodTM and through the feedback of COS, which gives you unlimited feedback for life, I was able to turn it into a solid portfolio and start using it to get clients. I really like the world of financial copywriting, and especially writing emails, online sales letters, and video scripts and letters.

What client-getting strategy most appeals to you?

What I’ve learned through taking a client-getting course is that you can record little video clips of sharing, leading with value. A clip to somebody where they can see your face, and hear your voice, is a way to lead with value. Just a short little two-to-three-minute video clip or even an audio clip. And then you share something on that person’s site that you see that can be improved, not in a critical way, but in a helpful way to help that person make more money.

You’re a really active voice in the Copywriting Insiders Facebook group, which is exclusive to AWAI members. What do you feel you get from being part of that group?

I get to share with other people to help improve their writing skills or outreach as I improve mine. Great books, great deals. For example, was running a 99 cent per month, a special deal for three months. I shared that.

You also write LinkedIn articles. Can you tell us why and what you get out of that?

I think writing LinkedIn articles is a long-term strategy of building your authority and credibility. Once potential clients can see that you know enough to write about what you can do, you start building trust and being likable. And there’s that trinity right there: trust, likability, and knowability.

Let’s say you had somebody standing in front of you and they were interested in following this path to paid writing and a life of freelancing and freedom. What would be your top advice for them?

If they’re totally newbies, never heard of copywriting, I would say invest in The AWAI MethodTM and finish that program. Get your mini marketing campaign looked at. They offer two free critiques when you finish that program. And then if you want to write sales letters, a long form, or copy video scripts, go out and get the Accelerated Program for Seven Figures.

If that’s not enough, they can always move to Circle of Success. I’ve found that to be extremely helpful, especially because of the unlimited lifetime mentoring and unlimited feedback you get and access to all the AWAI programs. If your client asks you if you can do a particular type of copy and you really can’t, you can say, “Oh, I can do that.” Then you go through your AWAI COS and find that program and work through that program and write that type of copy and get paid.

Sean's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.

What help do you need to move forward with your version of the writer’s life? Let us know in the comments below so we can help guide you in the right direction.

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Published: May 25, 2024

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