December 19, 2013

Entering Day #3

By Aldric

Today (December 19th, 2013) is my third day. What is happening? After so much dragging of my feet, distractions and – above all – demotivation, I acted.

What am I acting on?

First, my dreams and goals. Until three days ago, I was floating aimlessly. Following the flow. I recently resigned from a retail pharmacy store after being on the operations team for almost two months. Recall that I joined the retail industry to learn how to sell. I wasn’t looking at promotions and all – even though it was tempting.

I’ve realigned my dreams and goals to what I wanted to do back in 2008. It was so much about being rich. Rather it was about being in control. Breaking free.

My plans in 2014 – even while I was in Guardian – involved traveling. The last time I travelled was back in 2003. Went to the United States and stayed there for two months. My recent trip to the United Kingdom reconnected me with my love for travel.

Being a freelance copywriter was a means to free me from the confines of the 8-hour per day. I wanted to see more. Do more. And be more.

Clearly working in a job – permanent or temporary – would rob me of the ability. I’m not saying that having a steady job is bad. It works for many. Just not for me. More so I have been freelancing since August 2008.

Now my goals for the next five years are simple:

  1. Travel the world: spend at least two weeks in a city or locality and write on the go. Every now and then bring along friends, family and apprentices with me – all expenses paid.
  2. Graduate with my Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology from Wawasan Open University with First Class Honours. Attend my convocation in Pulau Pinang in 2018.
  3. Graduate from the University of London with a Bachelor of Divinity. In July 2018, attend the convocation at the Barbican Centre, London.

Second, realigning my copywriting business. Reading The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau gave me a new outlook on my copywriting business. Start small. I fused that with a cornerstone principle I learnt from Built to Sell by John Warrillow.

I create a standard service offering. Customers will appreciate the consistent process for product delivery. Instead of offering a range of copywriting services, I focus only on brochure copywriting.

Departing from precedent, rather than offering a range for fees, I specify it to one: $400 per project. What this does is twofold:

  • First, I prequalify my customers automatically. My clients are those agencies and firms that find $400 per project as reasonable. In sales, different products meet different markets. Just walk through the face care range in your local store!
  • Secondly, it creates a certainty for my customer and me. My customers don’t have to worry of going over budget. $400 for brochure copywriting delivered in three days. Don’t you think you would be able to sleep better?

Why brochure copywriting?

Here are my reasons:

  1. I have been doing brochure copywriting since August 2008. I am familiar with what needs to be done.
  2. Brochure copywriting does not take much time. Sure white paper copywriting pays from $2,000 onwards per project. But to write a white paper, you must be very well versed in the topic. You need to perform detailed interviews and research. Takes too much time. I can complete a brochure en route from Singapore to Hong Kong!
  3. Brochure copywriting management is less intensive. The copy is relatively less compared to the copy needed for a sales letter, white paper, website et al. I come in at the end of the project timeline – when my customer has already finalised the visual/artwork. There is a degree of certainty. Now, using the given elements, I need to write out the persuasion.
  4. Brochure copywriting can be done in three days or less! Let’s be practical: when I’m in Bali for two weeks, I don’t want to spend three days locked up in the hotel room! Yeah, it would be romantic to write with the ambience in the background. But confining myself again is defeating the purpose!
  5. Brochure copywriting materials have relatively less sensitivity. Unlike white papers, I don’t need to know in detail the mechanism of the product or service. All I need to know are the basics: Who is the audience? What are the features? how are the features portrayed in the brochure? What is the position of the brochure in the overall campaign/marketing?

Accomplishments in Days 1 & 2

What have I accomplished? In a nutshell, they are:

  1. Integrated my PayPal, my bank accounts and my debit cards. I have been slow to act here despite having PayPal since 2008! Why? I wasn’t sure how I can retrieve the funds! Now I know better.
  2. Simplified the AdvertWriter website. I even rebranded it from “AdvertWriter” to “AdvertWriter by Aldric Tinker”. Why? There isn’t a company. There is no ‘we’. There is only one solopreneur. Stop pretending that there will be an organisation. Keep things simple.
  3. Finally wrote the landing page/microsite. There’s always a reason that holds me back. I usually blame not being able to design a nice page. I’m not a graphic designer or a web programmer. I’m a copywriter. Specifically, I write brochures. So what? I write to sell. Customers want to know if I can write.
  4. Settled my Skype issues. Skype allows you to communicate with me. Simple.
  5. Prepared a One-Page marketing plan. Still in refining stage. Then again, isn’t marketing always at “re-design stage”?
  6. Prepared a simple template which will be used to touch base with my friends, connections and prospects.
  7. Integrated PayPal into
  8. Fight with my inner demons and emotions. Let’s face it: the biggest enemy. The biggest critic. The biggest cynic. Is ourselves. We stand in our way to accomplishing whatever we want. We rationalise the fears. We rationalise our resistance.

Day 3 is Here. Action time is Now.

Today I woke up at 7am. I watched a motivating video suggested by my coach. It’s almost ten in the morning. My to do list has been sorted out. It’s time to cross them out one by one. Winking smile

There is no such thing as perfect timing. We are always on different economic cycles, even in the same geography. Inaction just kills the chances of accomplishing anything.

Let’s go!