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You’ll find that people will want to be around you, they’ll want to hire you, and your writing will be more persuasive and more effective than ever before.
These five characteristics are things that I’ve seen and patterns that I’ve recognized over almost two decades of working with writers, marketers, and business owners, and entrepreneurs and seeing what actually moves the needle in terms of getting hired, getting paid top dollar, and getting paid over and over again for your services.
Learn these five characteristics of frequently hired writers… and why the last one is exponentially more important than the rest.
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The way to get hired by top clients, get paid top dollar and to be hired over and over again is actually totally different than what you’ve been told and what you think.
Today, I want to kind of crush some of the ideas about what people think it really takes to get hired and to make an incredible income as a writer in this business.
My name is Joshua Boswell. I’m the founder of Copywriter Marketer and the author of the number one bestselling program for taking writing skills and turning them into an absolute incredible lifestyle.
We’re going to explore today the top five characteristics of frequently hired writers. What is the deal? Why do these guys get hired over and over and over again and get paid top dollar when so many other writers are just groveling and struggling and frustrated and wondering where all the clients are, and what do they actually have to do to find them?
I’m going to tell you what you need to do not only to find those clients, but really what those clients are looking for in a writer.
These five characteristics are things that I’ve seen and patterns that I’ve recognized over almost two decades of working with writers, and marketers, and business owners, and entrepreneurs and seeing what actually moves the needle in terms of getting hired, getting paid top dollar, and getting paid over and over again for your services.
Let’s walk through what these are.
Now, you’ll notice that there are two big blocks and then three in the middle because I believe that everything has a high leverage point. In other words, anytime you see a list of things, a list of characteristics, a list of qualifications, a list of do’s and don’ts, inside that list there are things
that actually make a bigger difference than all of the rest of them combined.
What I want to tell you here is I’ve got five characteristics of frequently hired writers, but two of them, these two right here, are actually more important than the other three combined. Now, all five of these are super powerful, high leverage, but these two, these two really make a difference. Of these two, this one right here, this is the big dog. This is the one that changes the entire equation.
Let’s start off with number one, with the big one, and dive into what that characteristic is.
Now to understand these five things, let me share with you an experience that I had a few years ago and I think it will illustrate all five of these. See if you can find what those characteristics are as I tell this story. It’ll illustrate all five of these, and then it’ll help give context for why these are so important and the value that it will bring to you as a writer as you work to develop, and all of these are developable by the way.
You can actually implement and develop every single one of these characteristics. They are learnable, they’re attainable, they’re doable.
Here’s what happened. A couple of years ago, I got contacted, I got an email. Woke up one day, I got an email from somebody that had seen, I don’t know, my Facebook profile or a speech that I had given or an article that I read. I can’t remember exactly how they found me, but they reached out to me as a company from Australia and they said, “Hey, we’re looking for a writer to do a long copy sales letter, some emails and some social media stuff and wondered if we could chat with you about potentially working together.”
So I said, “Sure, but let me ask you something. Tell me a little bit about the project. I mean, I know you said you’ve got these sales letters and emails and social media content, but can you give me some context about what that is?”
We had this exchange back and forth and I asked him a bunch of questions and they answered questions and I asked more questions and they answered the questions.
Finally, I said, “You know what, I think that I can help you and here’s what I think that we should do next”, and I gave them an outline of some key ideas, some concepts, some strategies, some structure, just some basic things that any top professional writer would do. I gave them all of those details and those insights, and then I sent them over a proposal and it was a hefty proposal. It was very expensive and they reviewed it. They looked at it. They said, “This is a little outside of the budget that we thought we were going to spend on this, but we really like you. We love these ideas that you’re presenting and we’ve seen some of the stuff you’ve done and so we’re going to go ahead and move forward with that project.”
I put that project together. We established a number of different deadlines, mile markers inside the project and every time before we got to the mile marker, a few days before, I would be sure to submit the copy over to them. I would say, “I know I’m a little ahead of schedule”, I would say it just like that. “Hey, I know I’m a little ahead of schedule, but here’s the initial draft of this milestone, this piece of content, this copy, whatever it was we were working on”, and then I would say, “Hey, I’d love to get your feedback on this. Tell me what, especially what you think about this section”, and I would point them into a specific section. They would give me the feedback and then that process would continue back and forth.
Just before we got done with the project, with the whole big thing, I sent them a note. I said, “Hey, I’m just about finished with all the last stuff, ready to submit it for your final review. As you know, we’ve been through a number of back and forth on this. I’m super excited for how this turned out, but when we first talked you mentioned that you were also working on this other project and I had some ideas about that. I took the liberty of researching that up a little bit. I’ve looked at what you’ve done there and I’ve got some ideas about how we can really make of that project substantially more profitable. Would you like a proposal on that as well?” They sent back an answer and said, “Oh, we’d love a proposal on that.” They did. They ended up hiring me for that project as well and then I submitted another project to them and we did this three or four times to the amount of tens and tens of thousands of dollars in projects. In other words, a top company hired me for top dollar and paid me repeatedly.
Now, here’s the kicker of this whole story, this whole experience. A few months after I got done working with them, I was contacted. I was in a conversation with another writer and it’s actually…. this other writer, I think this other writer is a better writer than I am. I mean, head to head, toe to toe, knee to knee, I think she is a much better writer than I am and I have a ton of respect for this person. They contacted me and she said, “Hey, have you ever heard of this company?”, and it was the company that I had done stuff for in Australia. I said, “Well, yeah I have.” She said, “Did you ever do a project for them?” I said, “Well, yes I did.” She said, “I did too.” She said, “What was your experience of working with them?” I said, “Well, it was great”, and I kind of walked through what I had just walked through and she was quiet.
She said, “Do you mind asking or mind telling me or mind if I ask you what were you paid for that first project, that long copy sales letter and some of those emails and social media content?” I wasn’t under a confidential agreement, so I told her, figuring she’d be respectful of that.
She paused for just a moment and she said, “That was twice what they paid me. They hired me and told me that they were testing me against other writers and that was twice what they paid me. That’s just weird. Why would they pay you twice as much?”, and I said, “Well, did you do any other projects with them?” She said, “No, I just did the one project with them.” I said, “Oh, that’s interesting”, and I hung up. We ended the conversation and the question lingered in my mind, why did they pay me twice as much as what they paid her and didn’t give her future projects and gave me future projects?
Well, the answer lies in these five characteristics of writers who get hired frequently.
I’m going to share these with you in hopes that you’ll use these so that you can get hired by top clients, get paid top dollar and get hired over and over and over again, and really move your business forward and create the lifestyle that you really want.
Let’s look at number one. Now, think about the story that I just told you and think as I walk you through these things, and my guess is, is that probably number three will be one that you’re like, “oh yeah, that makes sense.”
The rest of them I’m guessing you probably haven’t heard of before or probably not in this context because as I work with and talk with top writers and I asked them: “Well, what do you think marketers and entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for when they hire writers?” The answers that they give me are not on these five characteristics. Well, except maybe the exception of number three, but they tell me lots of different kinds of things.
It’s interesting when I interview top marketers and business owners, they will say these things right here, but they’ll say them in a way that they… I don’t know. They don’t really connect the dots, but I’m telling you, after working with thousands of them, I know that this is what really moves the needle.
Let me tell you what it is so you can get an idea.
Number one, the number one characteristic of writers who get hired frequently is that they have charisma.
Now, by charisma, I don’t mean outgoing, vivacious, bubbly sort of personality. That is a complete and total myth about what charisma is. Here’s what I believe charisma is.
Charisma is that quality, that skill, that attribute that people have that gets other people to want to be around them physically, listen to them and follow their lead.
For example, Bob Bly, one of my mentors and heroes, is one of those charismatic people that I know and yet he’s not bubbly and outgoing and fluffy and all wired up like me all the time. He’s super low key, but just everybody loves him. They want to spend time with them. They hang off every word that he says and literally thousands of business owners and writers gladly follow his lead and take his counsel and use his direction in their businesses. He is totally charismatic, absolutely charismatic.
There’s other writers like me and in terms of personality and being outgoing and what not, I’m just on the opposite end of the spectrum, but still, I am also charismatic. I have those same attributes. People want to be around me, they want to listen to me and they follow my lead.
Number one is having charisma. If people know, like, and trust you, they’re going to want to hire you over and over again. It’s people that don’t have any people skills and no charisma and don’t understand how to move and persuade and connect with other human beings that really struggle getting hired no matter how good their writing skills are.
Number one, you got to have a bit of charisma, and again, I’m not talking about being bubbly and outgoing and magnetic personality. I’m talking about people wanting to be around you, people wanting to listen to you and people wanting to follow your lead. That’s number one, charisma.
Let’s look at number two. Number two is a really big one, and I got to be honest with you. Number two, this is the weak spot for me sometimes, but I do just enough of it to get hired frequently. I think you can too. I hire out where I struggle with this, but the fact is that this is really, really important.
And I’m good at this in things that matter most, and this is the area of being consistent. You need to be consistent in terms of your writing. You’re writing quality consistent. Do you have one big knock-it-out-of-the-park and then dud, dud, dud, dud, dud, or are you consistently and persistently good and effective at your writing?
Are you consistent at hitting deadlines and meeting those deadlines? Are you consistent at following up? Are you consistent in your communication?
You see, these marketing directors are looking for writers and these owners and executives and entrepreneurs are looking for writers who are consistent and will be there when they need to be there. They’re putting their reputation, they’re putting their business, they’re putting their sales, they’re putting their dreams all in your hands as the writer and they got to know that they can trust you in that. They need someone who is consistent in those different categories.
Number three, and again this is the one that you’re probably going to be like, “oh well yeah, of course they want that kind of writer,” and that is a writer that’s compelling.
Being compelling, being somebody who is persuasive and can inspire people to buy things and to seeing different ways and act different ways and go on vacations in a certain place and to sign up and to opt in and to like and to do all those kinds of things. You need someone who’s compelling and you need to be compelling. You got to figure out what makes people tick and what does it take to persuade them to buy from you, to listen to you, to like and to engage socially and answer questions and to have conversations – do all the things that we are persuading people to do as writers. How do you do that, and what’s the framework of that?
Of course, this is the one where most writers focus most of the time, but notice that in the grand scheme of things, it’s one element and it’s not even the most important element, although it is very important, right?
Again, all five are super important, but charisma will get you hired faster than being amazingly astonishing and compelling writer. If you’re an amazingly astonishing, compelling writer and you’re inconsistent, you don’t have charisma, you’re probably not going to get hired frequently. That’s a major characteristic. Those three things combine. So compelling.
And there’s lots of resources. My website and other writers out there put tons of resources together to help you be more compelling in your writing, in your content, in your copy.
Number four. Number four is one that I really love and it’s one that I struggled with for so long. When I first got started I was like, “okay, I’m going to go after… These small nonprofit organizations, they really need good writing. They need a good copywriter because they’re floundering and they’re struggling and I can see that on their website and they’re really having a hard day and they just need this and so I’m going to go after and I’m going to help them.”
I went after the small fish. Why? Because I lacked personal confidence in myself and I was scared and I was nervous about doing that and I lacked a critical element and it showed up in my writing and the way that I presented an offer, in the way that I presented a pitch and the way that I made the ask.
It showed up in every area because inside I was missing this quality number four and I had to work really hard to develop that, not only in myself but then conversely in my writing and in my negotiating and my conversations with people. In every aspect of my life, I had to come up… I had to… I had to kind of step up in this category.
What is that characteristic? That characteristic is courage.
It’s courage to look people in the eye and to ask for money both in writing and face to face.
It’s courage to do things and to make offers that maybe will make you and your client a little bit nervous cause it’s really gutsy and it’s really out there.
It’s a new idea.
It’s courage to go out there and to write things that you feel passionate about, even though maybe it might not be the most popular opinion.
It’s courage to step out there and to market yourself and to put yourself on the line and to risk the rejection, risk the shunning, risk the “hey, I didn’t really like your content, your copy or your stuff. It’s not that good.” And it’s risking that rejection and having the courage to go after that again and again and again.
Courage is a major, major characteristic of writers who get hired over and over and over again and have winning copy.
Now, finally, the very last one. This last one, this trumps all the rest of them.
You want to get hired over and over again? You want to be seen as a professional? You want to have your writing just take off and knock it out of the park and be more successful than anything ever seen? You need to have this element right here.
I remember I realized that this was a major characteristic of top, top writers that get hired all the time as I had an opportunity to visit with and to interview major writers like Mark Ford, and Clayton, and Bob Bly, and John Ford, and John Carlton, and Perry Marshall, and Dan Kennedy and all these people. The one thing that I noticed about them that was super fascinating because I had these conversations with them.
Well, I’ll give you an example. I went down to Florida and I had opportunity to have lunch with Clayton Maypeace, one of my heroes. Great guy, fabulous writer. Clayton’s a good guy. He’s just solid and I think it’s Wendy that keeps him in line, but anyway, his wife. My wife keeps me in line. I think Wendy kind of keeps him in line or at least tries to.
Anyway, I was sitting there at lunch with him and I noticed that we had been at lunch for about an hour, at least an hour. We were talking back and forth and stuff. And most of the talking was done by me, and the reason was is because Clayton just kept asking questions: And what about this, and what about that, and what about this, and what about that, and have you thought of this, and did you look at this, and what about this, and did you hear where I was going here? Have you thought about this? It was just question, after question, after question, after question, after question.
It was like he was sincere and he was very interested and he got deeper and deeper and deeper. Finally, he said, “Well, have you ever thought about this idea, and he threw this idea at me, and I was like, whoa, what? I mean, I didn’t even see what is that, and he had this amazing ability to find and discover opportunities, but that ability I noticed was driven super hard by this characteristic. It was a complete and total game changer. Here’s what the characteristic was. It was curiosity.
Okay. Curiosity, meaning he was very curious. I noticed in his writing when he writes for financial companies and all of these guys, all these top, top writers, the one thing that differentiates them from writers who don’t get hired very often is they’re super curious.
When I realized that asking questions and being curious and being genuinely curious, curious about my client, who they are personally, what their business is, about the product or service that they’re asking me to write for him to sell, curiosity about the buyer and what their world is like and what they’re going through, curiosity about the general economy and what’s the global environment that’s going on and happening and that people are living in.
In other words, what’s the sea that all these people, these fish are swimming in? And what’s going on in their life on a broad scale, and then on a micro scale, what’s happening? Where are they at? What are their personality traits? What’s the ideal attributes and characteristics of the ideal buyer for this product and service? What benefits does the product and service bring and why is that important to people and what are the hopes and dreams of my clients? And on and on and on. I mean, just on it goes.
When you get super, super curious, what happens is as you find ways to put compelling stuff together, you find that you’ve got the stuff you need so you can write faster and be consistent, stay on time and have higher quality stuff. You find that this curiosity bubbles up and gives you courage to explore avenues and to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do.
Of course, when you ask questions that are genuinely sincere in interest in other people, it flows into charisma. People want to be around other people who are like that. Okay.
These five characteristics are characteristics that I have noticed over the years of writers who get hired frequently by top companies paying top dollar.
My invitation to you is to think, well, how can I develop more charisma? How can I be more consistent? How can I be more compelling? How can I have more courage? And above all, open eyes. Open your eyes, open your ears, get super excited about the world around you.
If you haven’t spent time with a five-year-old lately, now’s the time to go and just watch how curious and interested and sincere they are and how many questions they ask and what excites them and learn to be more curious and to dive into that.
Here’s my invitation. Go check out, find resources in this. You can find a bunch of resources on our site, Copywritermarketer.com, and you can check out all the stuff that we’ve got there and up your game in every one of these categories.
I’m telling you, it’s like magic. You’ll find that people will want to be around you, they’ll want to hire you, and your writing will be more persuasive and more effective than ever before. This of course will lead you to having the time and money that you want to have to live the writer’s life, to live your dream lifestyle.
Go out there and make it happen. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye now.