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The Big Sales Copy Tip... Who Are You? - Jimmy Curley "Street Marketing" Blog

Hey, Jimmy Curley here. Glad you could make it.

I set up this blog to provide you with some oh-so clever “Street Marketing” tips that’ll help you become a more skilled copywriter, direct marketer, and business person.

You may need this more than you think.

Because effective copy that can persuade and overcome objections means… well…

…it means MORE.

More sales, more opt-ins, more affiliates, more successful job interviews, more moola… more hot dates…

… more, more, more.

You want more, don’t you?

Good. Then this’ll be a perfect resource for you, especially if you’re a direct marketer… selling product using sales copy, (and it’s ALL sales copy) in direct mail, video letters, autoresponders, broadcast emails…

…or simply looking to tap into more persuasive methods to get people to do what you want them to do.

Alright… so who am I to teach you about all this?

Well that’s a fair question… for which I have a ready answer.

For over two decades I’ve been lurking behind the scenes writing copy for some of the biggest direct marketers on the planet…

… including “big-shots” like Brian Tracy, Dan Sullivan, John Carlton, Rich Schefren, Doc O’Leary, Bob Pierce…

… and lots and lots of “little-shots” you probably have never heard of.

While my ads may have generated millions in sales, (and continue to do so), my friends John Carlton and Kevin Rogers have lovingly tagged me as the “best copywriter you’ve NEVER heard of”.

I kinda like the sound of that.

And frankly, I was completely happy to go on hiding anonymously behind my keyboard, writing killer ads and earning fat paychecks…

…until Carlton convinced me to “give a little back” and actually DO something to help other writers, marketers and business folks… just like he had helped me.

So here I am… giving back. John’s right (damn him)… it’s been long overdue.

Which all segues neatly into my first “Street Marketing” lesson I call…

“Who the hell are YOU?”

It’s designed to get you thinking about how you’re presenting your credentials and your background “story” (or that of your client) to targeted prospects.

First, let’s clear-up some of the smoke around this subject.

With direct response copywriting, you’re always playing a little guessing game, trying to anticipate the prospects’ natural questions and objectives that crop-up as they move through the copy.

When you’re selling face-to-face, it’s two-way communication. Prospects can actually raise questions and voice objections out-loud if need be (although if your presentation is tight, that shouldn’t be necessary).

However, written copy — and that includes video scripts and emails and such — is a one-way street. Which means you must have a clear idea of the prospect’s questions and objections beforehand… and then address them head-on in your copy.

So a sales letter typically kicks off with a big promise to a specific prospect… then jumps into some quick info on what you’ve got… and why that’s important to the prospect.

And guess what happens next?

You got it… the prospect grumbles skeptically “who the hell are YOU?”

And they ask this question:

  • Not because they’re infatuated with you…
  • Or because they’re deeply interested in your life story…
  • Or because they have plenty of time on their hands.

Nope. Reality is that they’re busy people interested in THEMSELVES.

You have managed to get their attention, and now, quite suddenly, the defensive wall shoots up and they ask “who are you? Why should I listen to YOU?”

Your job is to get over that wall quickly… or have boiling oil poured on your head.

After analyzing hundreds, if not thousands of direct response letters and sales videos, this is the critical juncture where I see the wheels start to come off of so many sales pitches.

The two big mistakes are:

  1. Telling the prospect too much about yourself... or…
  2. Telling the prospect too little about yourself.

Now stay with me. This is important stuff. I’m giving you pearls here.

Let’s start with the first, telling the prospect too much. It’s really not about “too much copy” as it is about “too much unfocused copy”.

It’s critical to keep in mind that your prospect only wants to know enough to satisfy that “who the hell are you” question…

… as it pertains to what initially prompted his or her interest.

Yes, story IS important… but NOT if it drifts-off into some chatty, self-indulgent no-man’s land.

Here’s a quick example: Let’s say you’re walking down the street and you see a rumpled homeless dude shuffling along. You’re in a generous mood and so hand the guy a sawbuck (that’s a $10 bill).

He’s stunned. He looks at the bill then back to you… stares you square in the eye…

…and then thrusts the bill back into your hand.

“I don’t need this anymore,” he smiles (no teeth). “I just found out my small investment earned me over a hundred grand this morning. By the end of next week, it should be up to a half million.”

Whoa… what the…?

Let’s stop things right there for a second.

I ask you: Has this guy gained your attention? You bet he has.

But that doesn’t mean you’re about to pour your life savings into whatever “investment” he’s mumbling about… until you have some answers to a few burning questions.

The first one is, of course, who the hell is he? And here’s where the mind launches into overdrive:

  • Is he a savvy stock broker out on a wicked month-long bender?…
  • Did he sink his meager savings into some distressed real estate?…
  • Is he some misunderstood genius who stumbled upon a money-making loophole secret that nobody else figured out yet?

What’s the story here? Who the hell is this guy?

We need to know because, let’s face it, we secretly (or maybe not so secretly), hope to get in on the action. (Recall more, more, more.)

And here’s the big payoff. The place where I get to drive home my stunning point.

The guy’s personal story MUST be tied very tightly to the issue at hand.

Anything else – a rambling story about how his wife went to prison… or how his dog ran off with a worthless Collie… or his travels around the country on box cars – will simply not hold our attention, no matter HOW interesting.

He damn-well better start spilling his guts about the amazing but believable tale of how a toothless panhandler managed to scrape together a small amount of money and turn it into a fortune…

… or we’re outta there — walking away under the assumption that he’s either invented the stupid “rags to riches” story, or that he’s hammered out of his mind, or perhaps just plain nuts. Maybe all three.

It’s the same with YOUR story, (minus all the dental problems). Whatever mechanism you used to “hook” the prospect must be directly reflected in answering the oh-so critical “who are you” question.

Clear? Good.

Which brings to the second problem — telling too little.

Weirdly enough, I’ve found this to be a more common problem than “telling too much”.

Quick example: Some years back I reviewed a sales letter for an investment expert (I won’t tell you who), who wanted to mail an invitation for his new coaching program to an outside list.

I had a nice chat with him before looking over the letter, and he told me an impressive story about how he had built his company from the ground up, and then proceeded to help earn his clients a boatload of money through his hardwork and vast knowledge and in the field.

He now wanted to show others how to shortcut the investment minefield so THEY could have a shot at some serious money too… minus all the hassles.

Great story. Problem was, he never mentioned a word of it in the letter.

Instead, his copy read something like: “Here at XYZ Investment Corp…” (NOT the real name), “…we are proud to serve the investment community and are dedicated to assisting our clients achieve a better portfolio balance…”

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

My suggestion was simple. Throw away the letter. Start over.

Write one that opened with a big promise and his credentials. His REAL credentials. The ones that outside prospects actually wanted to hear about.

I suggested, for example, he could open with an invitation to coach a small group of hand-picked prospects on how to expertly navigate their way through the shark pool of xyz financing so that they could enter into an elite class of successful and powerful investors.

And who is he? Well, he’s the man who built XYZ financial company from scratch. Made a pile of money over the last 15 years and earned his clients a respectable $15.4 million last quarter alone.

While he may have learned his craft in the tough and rumble school of hard knocks… that kind of struggle would be unnecessary for the few lucky souls he’d choose to take under his wing, and to whom he’d reveal his most treasured secrets.

His response was, unfortunately, an  all-too common one.

He grinned that constipated grin, wrung his hands and said that… well… it all sounded too much like bragging.

Hell, it was almost verbatim to what he’d just told me.

Okay… I’ll stop it right there. I’m really not interested in beating this guy up.

He’s a decent man. A respectable man.

But my point is that he needed to step up and boldly spell out why people should pay attention to him.

I see this a lot. Hard working folks who’ve toiled for years building and honing serious credentials… only to kick them to the curb because they’re afraid of what friends, family, or (amazingly) what competitors will think if they happen to mention them.

Geez… gotta get over that. You can’t expect fresh prospects to just know about you through osmosis.

And with all due respect, you are NOT creating sales copy for the enjoyment of friends, family or competitors.

Of course it goes without saying that you never (never) want to lie or make up credentials you haven’t earned. THAT is definitely a bad idea.

But if you’ve got the goods, and you can honestly say you’re uniquely qualified to deliver those goods, then by all means you should be openly bragging about it.

In the words of John Lennon:

“Who the hell you think you are?

“A superstar?

“Well right you are.”

We’re all superstars at something.

For Pete’s sake don’t hide it under a basket…

… especially at that critical moment when people need to hear about it.

When it’s your time to shine.

For Better Direct Marketing…



Jimmy Curley

P.S. Hey… do me a huge favor and POST A COMMENT HERE. I want to know your thoughts, seriously.

P.P.S. Oh… and if you care to choose a subject that interests you (from the list below), I’ll go ahead and write future posts about it.

See… YOU are in control.

Tell me... what interests you most:

7 Steps to writing emails that SELL.
5 Copywriting tips that instantly boost profits.
9 Tricks to establish a cool "drumbeat" rhythm in your copy.
3 Tips to closing the deal in copy.
7 Secrets to a bigger, badder list.

70 Responses to The Big Sales Copy Tip… Who Are You?

  1. Jim, since I’ve had the golden opportunity to benefit from your wisdom and insights more than a few times over the years, I’m excited to see you’ll be blogging regularly.

    Great start. Inspiring stuff.



  2. Doberman Dan says:

    Hey Jimmy,

    As soon as I heard you were blogging, I RAN to read what you’d written.

    That’s because YEARS ago I heard about “the best copywriter you’ve NEVER heard of” and knew who you wrote for (heavy hitter players)… and the outstanding results you were getting.

    If you’re going to start sharing that stuff I wanted to be first in line to sit at your feet.

    But dammit! David Deutsch beat me here!

    Ya gotta admit… it’s pretty cool when A-list copywriters are flocking to your blog. Believe me, THOSE guys and gals have heard of you.

    Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to more great stuff from you.

    Doberman Dan

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Thanks for the kind words Dan.

      I had a couple of good long conversations with Carlton and he reinforced something that I already knew deep in my bones…

      … karma counts.

      Giving a little back is a good thing. Glad you liked it.

      Oh… and by the way, the name “Doberman Dan” rocks. Not sure how you got that, but it has me thinking about that damn boring “Jimmy Curley” name…


  3. JImmy, This is a fine art my friend. The task of cutting or adding chunks of juicy morsels to a client’s letter is a risk–but usually well worth it.

    Using Carlton’s Gun To The Head example of not including something if your life depended on it, or adding something like more proof elements (and a little bragging), because the ad HAS to work, is crucial here.

    I like your tip on keeping the story focused on the main reason why you’re telling the story in the first place-keep it grounded in what he’s got that’s so darn important.

    Keep circling the wagons back to that point-here’s why that matters to you, etc.

    Great stuff.


    P.S.-The osmosis line looks so familiar…:)

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Lawton:

      Thanks for dropping in… I always appreciate comments from copywriters who are in the trenches, paying attention to what’s happening in the industry, and making it work.

      YOU are one of those guys.

      Glad you liked the post… more to come.

      Talk soon…


  4. Dana Houser says:

    Hey Jimmy,
    Great post. I hadn’t heard of you until I heard an interview on Kevin Rogers site(I believe that’s where it was.)

    But this is great stuff. I’m still just getting my feet wet in the copywriting world, but I’m looking forward to more great info. from you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jimmy Curley says:

    Hey Dana:

    These Street Marketing tips were hard won lessons for me. So it’s really smart of you as a new copywriter to be paying attention to what grizzled old dudes in the industry are saying.

    Nice job…


  6. What the ……..heck!
    Brilliant stuff.
    I read the whole thing in one sitting
    and to keep my fractured attention for
    more that 60 seconds is a miracle.

    I’ll be rewriting some copy shortly.

    Dr. Dan

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Doc:

      Appreciate the kind words. This is indeed a craft that focuses on getting people’s attention and holding it.

      Really happy to know that it could help you improve your copy.



  7. There goes the whole neighborhood. Now we got Jim Curley out in public where people will know who we are.

    Folks, that’s the LAST thing we need.

    Frankly, I liked it better when you were behind the scenes when John would trot you our for only his highest paying clients.

    Oh but now that’s all over.

    It was too good to be true. Another copywriter out in the public view ready to show people how to make money.

    Jim, where do I come in to this picture? See as soon as people know you are out there teaching copy, they are all going to run over here.

    And how do you think that makes me feel?

    Kind of like a plate of lukewarm borscht.

    This does not make me happy.


    PS. Welcome to the big leagues ‘bro.

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Harlan, I’m thrilled to be viciously dragged through the mud by you. Really.

      Anything here that would have read along the lines of “Curley is a great guy” or “he’s just so very very good” would have deeply hurt my feelings. A slap in the face.

      I’m only thankful that this initiation is taking place here on a blog site rather than at some live seminar where you’d put me on stage and make me crawl naked through a spanking gauntlet.

      I love you, man… always good to hear from you.


  8. John Carlton says:

    Yo, Jimbo, great stuff. I bookmarked this, opted in, and hope someday I’m worthy of guest-posting. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see what’s on your fervid mind…

    Congrats on launching this blog, dude.


    • Jimmy Curley says:

      John… without sounding like I am in love with you (oh… did you get the pics I sent you from Harlen’s event above?), I am indebted to you for all the help and mentoring you’ve given me over the years.

      Thanks for popping in — YOU made it possible man.


  9. Mike Morgan says:

    Well, what a way to come out of the closet Jim. Now I don’t have to glean the good stuff from you on the all too rare occasions I see you at events. Great post.

    I’ve always found it good to go back over the basics… time and time again. Your “behind the lines” insights make it fun. Looking forward to more.


    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Mike:

      You’re absolutely spot-on about always rediscovering the “basics”.

      As a guy who’s a little thick-headed and losing his memory (I’m sorry, what was I saying), I have to continually go over the fundamentals of good salesmanship every time I sit down to write an ad.

      Good stuff. Thanks for dropping in Mike…


  10. Joe says:


    Excellent post. Your rule: Tell your story only so much (or so little) as it pertains to *what originally prompted his/her interest*…is one of the best copywriting lessons I’ve heard in awhile. Right up there with Bencivenga on proof or Collier on the conversation already taking place in their heads. Simple and powerful.

    Gonna be tough to top that post, and I look forward to getting smarter as you try.

    Very well done!

    Joe Hanley

    • Jimmy Curley says:


      I’m glad you liked it. I WILL be posting more, of course and pray that this post doesn’t stand out as my “one hit wonder”.

      It won’t… plenty more good stuff to come.

      Thanks for the comment.


  11. Awesome stuff Jimbo.

    I couldn’t agree more about connecting who the writer is with the big promise. It’s a great lead in to a “Before I was… and I went through…. and now I am” story. A story where the reader can identify with who and where the writer started and ultimately ended up, and where the reader ultimately wants to be.

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Kevin:

      Great to have you stop in. It’s an honor.

      You’re right on the mark… good salesmanship hinges on good story telling. And good story telling doesn’t ramble off in directions the reader doesn’t want to go.

      Thrilled you could make it… thanks.


  12. Impressive post, Jim. It really IS nice to have you sharing your knowledge with the masses and not just behind-the-scenes with Carlton and clients. Love your example of the homeless guy and the sawbuck. Definitely raises the level of interest and that internal dialogue we have with ourselves.

    You touched on a very important point too that is often overlooked…you don’t want to ramble on about yourself too long (because it’s all about what’s in it for ME) but you do want to give them enough info about who you are for credibility.

    Looking forward to future posts.

    Lo (the Brat)

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Lorrie:

      Glad you dropped in. Thanks.

      Yeah, I LOVE to test a story on an unsuspecting victim I’m talking with. When I see them looking around or their eyes glazing over I know I’ve gone off on a tangent (mental note to Jim… please stop talking).

      Thanks for the insight…


      • Alessandro says:

        This Standen fellow comes acsors as arogant and a self righteous So and So.He seems to be caught with his pants down and his fingers in the till.I have no qualms about him loosing his job and pension, but it must be mentioned that hes done far more good than bad over the years.If we convict every one who fell in love with a woman half his age and then got into financial difficulty by having a mid life crisis, then the prisons would be over flowing.Lets stick to the evidence he may or may not been up to no good,but just what he was up to is far from clear.You cant send some one to prison for 20 years because you think that they were up to something!You should not convict someone simply because he or she has been unfaithful.I looked at Mr Standen when his ex girlfriend was giving evidence the way she flicked he hair enjoying the attention, telling the court about all the trophies he had bought her,designer bags,diamond rings,bracelets etc etc.He must of felt a fool!for a moment Standen looked hurt just like a child who is unexpectedly smacked for no reason, he realised he was being looked at and soon recovered and pretendended to be untroubled and even slightly amused.That solitary moment explained a lot to me,hes got him self in this whole mess by bigging him self up and trying to live a lie.I dont believe he was involved in any attempt to import drugs or what ever that substance is that the Federal Police claim.When they found no drugs and realised what a fiasco this is when they should of just booted him out on his arse and left it at that.Years of man power to bring these charges is a disgraceful waste of millions of tax payers dollars.I sat through through a full day once, usually a couple of hours are my limit.I hear that the trial has cost $1,000,000 a day if so thats about $153m to date.Cant be true can it?If so I do think that somebody should get 20 years.The Bloody fools who bought this to the Courts, as for Standen, hes already a broken man,he has no job,no family,no prospects so just let sleeping dogs lye.

  13. Colin says:

    Hey Jim,

    Excellent post. The image of a homeless guy making millions really sticks with you long after reading it. I may even steal it to teach new SWS students to stop rambling about themselves. 😉

    Can’t wait to see your next blog post,

    Colin Y.J. Chung

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Colin:

      Appreciate you stopping in. I tell ya… I really enjoyed seeing you up on stage at Carlton’s Action Seminar. THAT was good stuff my man.

      Steal away… steal away (I think that’s a line out of a Led Zepplin song).

      Thanks again…


  14. JIm, time to retire while you’re on top.
    Are you trying to put us all out of work?

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Yeah… guess it’s all downhill from here.

      Reminds me of George Kastanza (Seinfeld) who learned to leave on a high note. Whenever people would laugh at his jokes, he’d just immediately rush out of the room figuring it couldn’t get any better than that.

      Not bad actually…


  15. Sunny Hills says:

    Hey There, Jim,

    Sales “is” and “always has been” 1000% about the client/prospect.

    I’m happy to see you making this pathway clear for online marketers through their copy writing.

    Well Done!
    Wishing You All The Best – Today & Always!
    ~Sunny 🙂

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Sunny:

      You got it buddy. Thanks for stopping in… I’m coming to Hawaii soon and will be dragging you and the wife to dinner with me. Talk soon.


      • Christopher says:

        HI JimmyThis is Paul, Chanya’s husband. You know who I am and that I have spent some time where you are now. Thankfully notinhg like as long as you have been forced to spend in that hell-hole. I know Chanya looks after you the best she can and that you will always be able to rely on her honesty and integrity. I hope in some ways that she has proved to you that not everythign in Thailand is as corrupt as it may at first seem. I dont really know what to say. I havent been home that long myself and it has taken me a long time to adjust to the real world again, but I still have nightmares about what happened to me and I thank god every day that i survived it. Stay strong, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know some days it doesnt feel that way, but never give up. I dont consider myself to be the strongest of men, so if i made it out of there alive then i know you can. I look forward to the day when you and and I and chanya can sit down and have a cold one together and look back and laugh at what has happened to us. If there is ever anythign I can do to help just let Chanya know.RegardsPaul (UK, formerly Dan-1)

  16. Tony Flores says:

    Killer first post Jim. I agree with you 1,000% and you made a great distinction there, because many marketers include way too many details that are not relevant to making the sale.

    Really they just need to know … Is this guy trustworthy? Is he likeable? (This is where personality that Calrton, you and others worked so well in creating the bond) Does he have a track record of delivering on such promises? How did he discover this breakthrough?

    And I hate to say it, but most copy stories revolve around a very simple formula … 1) I used to have a problem (same one the reader has) … 2) I made a discovery that solved my problem … and 3) Now I want to share that discovery with you.

    All the details of someone’s story must be relevant to one of those three points — or they are typically not necessary.

    Great job Jim, you’re making me think of things that I hadn’t pondered in a while that a priceless.

    I will definitely be following the blog regularly – much appreciated.


    • Jimmy Curley says:


      Thanks for stopping in. Your three point formula is great stuff man. (People… are you taking notes?)

      It’s great to hear from writers who’ve been around the block a few times. Appreciate your thoughts.


  17. Lina Nguyen says:

    Hi Curley 🙂

    (So, you have a blog now hey…)

    The “Who the hell are you?” question is a stumbling block, because – quite frankly – most people really don’t know who the hell they are. And even when we actually put aside all the BS to gain that level of self-awareness, it takes a lot to be true to that, get attention and then confidently go through an entire sales process based on “who you are”.

    Might seem like a basic lesson, but there’s more to it than just knowing your own credentials. Like, your investment expert client. Even he had to do some work, with your help, to work out who he is, and use that to stand out in the marketplace.

    Thanks for inviting me to your blog 🙂

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hi Lina:

      Yeah… got my blog going. It’s like “welcome to the 1990’s Jimmy”.

      Anyway, thanks for the comments. The writer’s biggest problem is that the “who are you” is simply a HUGE amount of story to sift through.

      “Let me tell you about my childhood. On my first day of life…”

      To avoid this kinda thing we must run the credential story a filter.

      Good hearing from you. Thanks again…


  18. Your post shows why business owners need to begin their marketing with a professional copywriter. We’re the ones who find what I call hidden treasure – like that story from your investment client. Pure gold!

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Cathy.

      Right on. The interview process (gotta write a blog about THAT) is absolutely important. It’s where we discover those fat diamonds of info just laying out on the surface.

      Once helped a guy who was doing rehab construction work for the elderly. A big concern for his customers was letting “scary” construction guys into their home. He didn’t know what to do.

      Turns out that, after a long interview, he was an ex police captain and his construction crew as all firefighters and cops.

      Think that was worth mentioning to elderly people afraid of opening their doors. You bet… but you gotta dig.

      Great comment… thanks.


    • Sergio says:

      is correct. Australia slhoud have simply applied the 1988 Extradition Act. The Barton Act Australia where Australians can ask any country to extradite anyone. But as with all extradition your paper work has to be fully in order and some one seems to let the side down here as it appears that Australia has not sent the original or true certified copies of the warrants and evidence.I do not see how a country even Thailand can ignore such a violation of procedure. I am amazed that Mr Kinch failed to win at the 1st court, I heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs from Thailand say, Australia was a part of the commonwealth, so where entitled to use the 1911 UK Siam treaty. Sorry that is ridiculous and the UK treaty clearly states all documents warrants need to be originals or authenticated true copies of the said form. So I do not see how Mr Kinch can lose this case.Janet Madison

  19. Den Curley says:

    Cool stuff, Jimbo. As usual, some attention-grabbing, fun-to-read pearls of wisdom from Jimmy. Gotta dig that John Lennon quote, too.

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Brother Den…

      …glad you liked it.

      Yeah… can’t help but get goosebumps when I hear that song. (“Yes… yes… YES… I am a superstar. I really, really can shine on…).

      Then the song ends and it’s back to work.

      Good to hear from you. See ya in a couple weeks.


  20. Jimmy,

    Great stuff! I am already thinking about how your pearls of wisdom will change my own pages… Keep up the good work!


    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Thanks Peter… that’s what this is all about. Giving you good solid info from over 20 years in the industry.

      Carlton’s right… shoulda started this a long time ago.


  21. Robert Gibson says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    Congratulations on your shiny new blog!
    I’m now a proud subscriber.

    Your post nailed it.

    If the investment expert won’t stand up for himself in his own copy, the prospect won’t help him out and make the sale for him.

    He is looking to get paid with money, right?
    Maybe he just likes compliments.

    Dear Shy Investment Expert,

    First let me say how refreshing it was that you didn’t brag about yourself. I hate bragging. I don’t buy anything from anyone who brags – except for my car, TV, computer and maybe a few hundred other things. Minor stuff, really.

    Of course I won’t be buying your services. After all, I don’t know the first thing about your track record.
    But don’t you worry about that.

    Because when next month’s bills arrive in your mailbox,
    you just tell them all that I liked your letter.

    That should take care of everything.

    Keep up the good work!

    Maybe his competitors will give him a job if things don’t work out.

    You did try to help him, Jimmy.
    Some people have to learn the hard way.
    I’d rather learn it from your blog.

    Your fan,
    Robert Gibson

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey… my good friend Robert Gibson.

      I was laughing outloud at this. Very funny.

      Your question “he is planning on getting paid with money, isn’t he?” reminded me of a line out of the movie “Groundhog’s Day” where Bill Murry’s love interest is expressing what she’s looking for in a husband…

      “He’s gotta be kind, gentle. He’s gotta love poetry, love animals, be sensitive…”

      Bill Murry’s puzzled response was: “We are talking about a man, aren’t we?”

      (How’s THAT for straying off on a tangent.)

      Anyway, you’re point is excellent. Which is that competitors will have no problems EATING THE LUNCH of people who refuse to use basic salesmanship.

      Robert… it’s always a pleasure. Thanks for your insights.


  22. Lisa says:

    Wow, your comments read like a who’s who of great copywriters. I’m honored to be invited to read and post. Met you in San Diego last year and admired your writing from a former classroom at SWS. Can’t seem to get my head wrapped round the basics enough to gain confidence with my own copy, so instead I work three jobs and about 75 hours a week. Maybe through the blog I will work through my mental blocks.

    You make it sound so simple… Hi, my name is Lisa and I’m an overthinker. Here’s to simplification.

    I’ll be following this blog for sure!


    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Lisa:

      You’re a very welcome guest here.

      The over-thinking part is not necessarily a bad thing. The over-complication part, on the hand, is.

      I tend to over complicate when I get nervous or worked up… which is usually a sign I didn’t do my homework.

      So I do a ton of homework on a subject, then do a ton of over-thinking, then approach my keyboard with confidence.

      Thanks for stopping in…


  23. Jimmy,

    What a treat to read that post..

    The chance to sit in this room and learn is the best investment…

    You have some kick ass friends…

    Love getting your tips so I can turn 35 years of street selling into a few good years of street marketing…

  24. Jimmy Curley says:

    John Charles:

    That 35 years of “street selling” will make you a smokin’ good copywriter and marketer my man.

    I once sold newspaper ad space to irritable business owners in a bad economy.

    THAT was a challenge… and it taught me pretty quickly that I’d better learn how to sell or I was out on the street.

    Thanks for stopping in…


  25. Kevin Rogers says:

    lookatisguy… writes one post and already has more comments than most vet’rin bloggers get in a month!

    That’s because your stuff is world class, Jimbo.

    I’m stoked that you’ve finally decided to step into the spotlight, bruthu man.

    Of course, I’m losing an important secret weapon resource here… but like you said, it’s all about giving back.

    Can’t wait to read more of what you’ve got in store. I piked this on the radio show tonight, so expect a flood of 29 people any moment now!

    Loved the post, too. Spot on as always. And it’s not only biz owners, but copywriters and comics I’ve known find their bio to be the most difficult piece they ever attempt.

    Funny how even professional extroverts clam up when it’s time to boast. Thanks for giving us all permission (and the context) to let it rip.


    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Yo Kev… stoked that you made it.

      As you know, the only reason this crowd showed up and are saying such nice things is because I still hold the pics and video of Carlton’s Action Seminar “after party”.

      Got a loooot of very nervous people here.

      Seriously though, you’re right on. Over the years I’ve shot a lot of video products and I’m always amazed what happens to the talent when that blinking “record” light comes on.

      One second they’re laughing, joking, telling great stories about their adventures… the next they can’t say their name.

      Someone’s gotta dig deeper into why this is happening. Because I’m convinced it’s the SAME reason why competent business people are afraid to brag.

      Thanks again kev… talk soon…


  26. Hey Jimbo,
    Stellar post amigo!

    By the way, Jim Curley is a wicked good copywriter who has written in every niche that matters… and makes money.

    Jim, you and I have had to deal with some zany “talents” throughout the years working on joint projects together.

    Getting a client to tell “who the hell they are” and turn it into compelling sales copy is a fine art. Throughout the years I’ve worked with you, you’ve mastered this skill and crafted terrific story-driven “control” ads.

    A true pleasure to hear your “voice” on the blog, Jimbo!

    Marky Mark

    • Jimmy Curley says:


      I was hoping you’d jump into the party.

      Glad you made it.

      Yes… he HAVE been around the block a few time together. Much of the techniques for interviewing a “talent”… to get the REAL story that would appear in the sales letter… came straight from you Mark.

      I gotta laugh sometimes thinking about the straight-up friggin dangerous people we were dealing with at “Threat Response”. Like interviewing pissed off rattlers.

      Great fun… thanks for stopping by and throwing in. Good stuff.


  27. Jane says:

    Very impressive insights. Making me think about how to approach my future business! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Jane:

      After you put together that instructional material for parents trying to get their kids into the best colleges (great idea by the way)…

      …let’s talk about how you can best present yourself as the expert to listen to.

      Thanks for stopping in. Talk soon.


  28. Kevin Dawson says:

    What a cool angle to take on the old “too much copy” by putting a finer point on it: “too much unfocused copy.”

    And you’re a thousand percent right about how tightly tied are one’s credentials to the entire sales process.

    Thanks for amplifying and exemplifying two often overlooked issues!

    Talk Soon, Jimmy.


    P.S. Can’t wait to see your amazing email tips — the first dose I got left me Jonesing for more!

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Kev:

      I once had a sales rep for a magazine tell me NOT to run a 2-page long copy ad because “nobody will read all that”.

      I asked her to simply send me the insertion order and collect her commission.

      Her response: “Okay… but remember, I warned you…”

      She failed to understand what you just pointed out… that interested prospects didn’t care about reading a lot of copy… as long as it was focused like a friggin’ laser on what they wanted.

      Oh… by the way… the ad made a small fortune.


  29. Well you certainly have set the bar high Jimmy. I’m looking forward to watching your next move!

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      James. Been jealously watching you live it up on that Australian beach.

      Your traffic building and internet marketing products are killer.

      Thanks for stopping in…


  30. Dezi Koster says:

    Hey Jim,
    Wonderful post – You’ve got some great pearls here that truly make all the difference! How to get just that right mix to capture your target audience and then getting them to take action is indeed an art and you have nailed it. Well of course you did. That’s why you are such a HOT copywriter. Thanks for sharing and making this available.
    I look forward to reading you other posts.
    Much love Dezi xxx

    • Jimmy Curley says:

      Hey Dezi:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I hear you’re setting up a new site in the next month called “REAL INCO.ME”.

      You’re a damn smart marketer fer sure… so I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

      Thanks for stopping in… and let’s talk soon about “REAL INCO.ME”.


  31. Hey Jimbo,

    I’m glad to see you’re stepping out from behind the scenes. And great first post. You covered a nearly universal problem people have when they are learning the craft.

    Actually, a lot people never learn how to hit–as John would say–the “sweet spot” when it comes to story length and relevancy.

    Anyway, good to hear from you.


  32. Jimmy Curley says:

    Scott… great to hear from you.

    Yeah… seems like a “basic” lesson, but I see even really experienced writers lose sight of this in the interest of telling an interesting story.

    These “sit back and allow me to tell you a fascinating story” kind of moments are rough on the prospect.

    Thanks for commenting…


  33. baidu censor says:

    Other countries censor content and not just rogue regimes such as the Iranian mullocracy. Poor people! http://www.baidu.com

  34. Greg Vinson says:

    First time I’ve read anything by you, and I must say, the article rocks! Kudos on a great lesson!

  35. San says:

    The post that keeps on giving!
    When the student is ready the teacher will come. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Judy says:

    So how do you “toot your own horn” when you are a beginning copywriter?
    What if I have 15 years experience is dentistry, muffins, tai chi, Jewish religion, kids. How do make myself noticed and different……


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  40. Samuel says:

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