Have you ever seen the show Mad Men?
It’s essentially about one man – Don Draper.
He’s a square-jawed, all-American advertising virtuoso who’s mysterious past conflicts wildly with his cool Sinatra-esque confidence.
If you’re interested in marketing and can handle the rawness of 1950’s misogyny (it tickles me) – the show is worth a watch.
The characters are both subtle, surprising, and clever enough to keep you intrigued all the way through.
My friend and follow copywriter Chris Orzechowski shared a Mad Men clip the other day that got me thinking.
It’s been niggling at me in the back of my mind like a friend’s seemingly mundane comment that your social anxiety grabs hold of and persistently feeds until it grows into a catastrophic judgment about who you are as a person.
I’ll show you the clip in just a minute, but first let me tell you why it stuck with me.
Like many freelancers who attended Copy Chief Live 2018 – I walked away from that conference with a bucket-full of new opportunities.
Some of these were offers from huge publishers for lucrative full-time copy jobs – the kind of in-house gig that most freelancers only dream of.
The opportunity to learn from some of the greatest copywriters in the world, the idea of someone else setting the strategy or direction – and let’s be honest – the big-azz paycheck …
… it’s all extremely tempting.
But as I sat wide-eyed and salivating over the offers, I couldn’t shake the hesitation clawing at the back of my mind.
Here’s why I couldn’t pull the trigger, and how you can use the same “opportunity FOMO” to get the best copywriters in the world to write for you.
I’ve spent the last year making the transition from agency owner and relaunching as a full time freelancer – and the idea of throwing away what I’ve built so far by becoming exclusive to one company kills me inside.
I know that going in-house with a major publisher like Agora is an incredible opportunity, and I have several friends who have taken a similar opportunity and I am SO FREAKING excited for them!
But I also know that this is not the RIGHT opportunity for ME. (At least not right now)
So how does this relate to Mad Men and snagging the best of the best to create your copy?
Take a look at the clip below. Don Draper’s agency, Sterling Cooper, was just bought out by another company and they’re looking to install a new CEO. They all agree that he’s the best man for the job.
This new guy wants to completely change the direction of the firm – switching from a creative client- and product-based focus to a huge conglomerate focusing completely on buying advertising and television spots.
The important part starts around 1:16 where our anti-hero and genius advertiser, Draper, cooly slides in and says: “I think it sounds like a great agency. I just don’t think I’ll be a part of it”
My favorite part of this clip – where I want to pump my fist in the air in solidarity – is where this new head honcho gets in Don’s face and tells him he can either honor his contract, and play by their rules, or walk out the door with nothing.
Don Draper smirks at the dude and says – “I don’t have a contract”
(a.k.a. – Freelancer ‘Mic Drop’)
He goes on to say that he sells products for clients, not advertising spots – and they can either leverage him as the valuable asset he truly is, or he’s happy to walk because he knows his own value and isn’t willing to settle for less.
Then he strolls out the door and lets them stew in it.
(The ultimately acquiesce to Don of course)
Here’s why this matters.
Like Don Draper, you gotta know your true value and relentlessly pursue what’s best for you.
Because your knowledge and life experience gives you a unique perspective on things unlike anyone else.
For example, my experiences create a weird package that’s uniquely “me”
– I used to make sushi at a Japanese restaurant outside of Chicago
– I’ve written large copy promos for some of the biggest publishers in the world
– I’ve trained tigers in Miami
– I’ve spent the last 7 years living in Australia, Thailand, Lisbon, the US and traveling many nook and crannies in between – much of it done as a solo female traveler.
– I started a copy agency from scratch and grew it to 6 figures in 8 months.
– I’ve navigated the tumultuous and confusing world of expat residencies and taxes – all while maintaining a US-based business.
– I’ve studied salsa dancing, paleo and keto diets, alternative health, powerlifting, and other random hobbies
Here’s why I’m telling you this.
In between all of this adventuring, I’ve gotten pretty good at copy, conversion, and persuasive marketing.
But am I the “best” storyteller?
– No way (unless you ask me after a couple glasses of wine)
Do I build the “best” sales funnels?
– Far from it
Am I the “best” copywriter?
– I’ve learned a lot but I still have a long LONG way to go
But if your business targets American expats pursuing the whole digital nomad thing…. would I be a great freaking fit to develop your sales copy for you?
Or if you sold health products to busy entrepreneurs who reject mainstream news and opinion…. do you think I might be able to speak their language?
Even if you speak to freelancers who want to get SERIOUS about building their business and skip the small stuff…. could I create copy that truly makes them feel like you “get” them?
See what I mean?
The point is, going after the most prestigious, biggest, best, richest, most whatever is NOT always the best fit for you.
The gold star label on a lot of seemingly ‘best’ opportunities was put there by someone else who has a much different perspective than you do.
So whether you’re looking for a copywriter to create persuasive copy that will make your audience feel like you’re listening in at their dinner table…
…or you’re building momentum and deciding which way to go next…
… take a hard look at the shiny opportunities before you and make sure they’re the right fit for where you’re at right now.
Then whatever you choose will be the “best” because it’s the perfect fit for you.
If you’re at a crossroads and worried about missing out on great opportunities (Opportunity FOMO) – I hope this helps.
Until next time,
P.S – If you’re a freelancer or business owner who needs help finding the right fit, then I highly recommend getting in to the Copy Chief community.
The training, support, and community is the #1 reason my business is where it’s at today, and all of my current clients found me by using the CC private members area. They’re currently accepting new members, but I just got a notification that the doors are closing soon. So click here to check it out before they start a new waiting list again.