If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer, or someone that makes your living eating what you kill, you get kicked in the pants every day.
As long as you’re eating, that’s not completely terrible—you have the potential for more freedom, which is more than most people can say—but it can be a grind.
And that grind can turn into a business-style NASCAR track: you can only turn left, and you’re always going in circles.
Enter The Copywriting Academy Live this past weekend in Franklin, TN.
For fans of Uncle Ray, it’s been a
The last academy was in 2017.
If you’re not familiar with Uncle Ray, he’s one of the good guys of the internet marketing world, and his copy has made millions of dollars for people like Tony Robbins, Jeff Walker, Michael Hyatt, Frank Kern, and others.
But don’t let Ray’s tread-softly demeanor fool you: this event is a luchador-packed punch of knowledge and mindset breakthroughs.
While copywriting was the overall theme of the three-day event, there were presenters covering technology, self-improvement, mindset, and of course the nuts-and-bolts of marketing, copywriting, and sales.
As my son would say, there was a mess of speakers, and I’ve pulled a few highlights from each as I review my notes from the past few days.
So if you weren’t able to join us, have no fear—not only will there be a slightly modified version next year (also at The Factory in Franklin, TN), here are the main points as I remember them…
As you’d expect, Ray set the tone with some mindset bombs for anybody running their own business:
- Emotions are habits
- Habits run the program that runs you
- Copywriting is first for the writer (you’ve gotta believe it first)
- Copy is influence
Ray was raw. There was no filter between his emotions, his thoughts, and what he communicated to us.
This openness set the stage for what would be a raw event for everybody who was there (and paying attention).
He didn’t just tell us to be ourselves, he showed us how powerful vulnerability and grace can be.
If you were an attendee who thought this would be three days of pure writing, you quickly realized this event would be very different.
I’ve never heard Jeff speak and his speech was hilarious—and full of gold.
- “More” isn’t a goal. Simple, but almost nobody defines their direction
- Run your own race
- Lean in to your limitations, don’t run away from them
- Create a category of one
- If you find yourself losing, change the rules
I got to know Ana at the last TCA Live, and since then her coaching business has gone bananas. Here’s some of what she shared:
- Give thanks in and through hardship
- Walk in your purpose today
- Sell abundantly, serve abundantly.
Ana took Ray’s theme of openness and laid everything bare.
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen somebody go for it like she did, and Ana pulled it off in spades.
Plus, I learned she’s got some pipes and enjoys rapping in front of crowds. Who knew?
Cliff’s talk focused on mindset, and helping you realize that you may not be achieving the mission you were put on earth to achieve all due to an upper limit problem. Live in your zone of genius, not your zones of competence, or even your zone of excellence.
- In general, your life is lived on autopilot—you must change your self-think to change your story
- Each of us has an invisible “upper limit”, which is all about keeping your results in line with your self image. If your trajectory goes higher than your upper limit, you’ll subconsciously sabotage yourself until you’re back in your comfort zone
- Use affirmations to reprogram your upper limit
Mike is always an entertaining speaker, and his session didn’t disappoint.
An excellent copywriter, and the host of the number one personal branding podcast on iTunes, he brought the heat with actionable steps you can take to stand out in a crowded market.
- Marketing isn’t about closing a sale, it’s about opening a relationship
- Mike gave us a fantastic list of ways to open sales messages, especially when it means you can zig when your audience expects you to zag
- Remember that people only buy three things:
Pat’s presentation was all about effective communication from the stage. Some of what he shared…
- Speaking techniques
- How to get on stages (and get paid)
- Different speaking styles
Watching Pat speak was a masterclass in how to communicate and engage with an audience from the stage.
Doug’s presentation was a musical, emotional ode to creators who use pain to fuel their “fury”, as he puts it.
- Beautiful presentation tying struggle into a motivator that can create genius
- Some of the greatest work in human endeavor has come after tremendous struggle and tragedy
- Don’t stop pursuing your mission, even if pain/loss/tragedy crosses your path
Your best work could lie just beyond your current hardship.
Andy is the founder of Heaven and Business, and if you ever get a chance to see him speak, do it. The connections he can help you make between your purpose and your vocation are incredible to watch.
This time Andy talked about some miraculous situations he found himself in this year, and also touched on:
- What story are you telling yourself?
- Do you give up right at the point where everything seems like it’s falling apart around you? That’s usually the point where pushing through will mean accomplishing your goals
- You get what you repeat
Rusty Ryal + Ray
The best way to describe this segment is live copywriting without a tightrope.
This session was one of the highlights in TCA Live 2017, and this year’s version didn’t disappoint.
Rusty is a former MLB baseball player turned copywriter who walked onstage to get his copy critiqued by Ray (and the audience).
If you don’t know Rusty, he’s a direct, no-bullshit kinda guy—exactly who you want in a coach who’s working to help you up-level your game.
Rusty is starting a high-end mastermind, and he offered up his sales copy to get feedback, and to demonstrate how Ray approaches writing and editing persuasive copy.
Lessons from this high-wire act?
Plenty, and here are a few that I jotted down:
- You are not your audience: put yourself in their shoes and write to your idea prospect
- Your job isn’t to say no for your prospect, your job is to communicate the benefits and transformation of your offer
- Don’t overlay your own mental hang-ups on your prospects; what might keep you from buying may have no impact on your best clients
This was a tremendous session, and I think more than a few people will end up in Rusty’s mastermind as a result.
For me, this segment was a highlight: not just because Juliana is my partner, but because her talk revealed some easy ways for traditionally offline businesses to expand into the online space using technology.
- Find a business in your niche with an offer that works
- Model that offer using your own products/services
- Send traffic and monitor, test, and adjust
Using technology, any business can expand their universe of prospects and create additional streams of leads—they just have to model what works.
Get an online sales funnel working using the modeling method. Get creative later.
Juliana made an amazing offer to the group, which was only available at TCA Live. But you can get a sliver of the offer here.
Jody closed out the event with an easy way to incorporate story into all your marketing efforts.
CUB Method – Jody walked us through how to make sure the words and stories you use really pop
- Is the copy Confusing?
- Is the copy Unbelievable?
- Is the copy Boring?
Then Jody tied the 3-days together to send us on our way, pumped to up our copy game and throw jet-fuel on our businesses.
Yes, this event was named The Copywriting Academy Live, but copywriting wasn’t my biggest takeaway.
What I realized is the power of being near like-minded entrepreneurs, being open-minded about new ideas, and not letting unexpected content and situations throw me off my game.
As a coach at the event, I saw even more (which I’ll cover on a future post).
You can’t see the label of the jar you’re in, and events like TCA Live help you get a very real account of your “state of being”.
And as always, if you need help seeing the business opportunities you’re leaving unclaimed—click here to find out more about working with me.