Swipe and deploy big ideas like Disney

When I first wanted to get my copywriting biz off the ground I was stalled.  

I thought it was…


The market.


What really slowed me down was my crappy beliefs.  I thought I couldn’t ‘start’ until I did something BIG and original.  

I’m not talking about a unique mechanism or niching down.  I wanted something fancy like a proprietary system that could knock your socks off.  Something no other copywriter was doing.

And then I started thinking about Walt Disney…

In 1937 Walt Disney released the animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Disney crushed it.  The success of Snow White literally saved Walt Disney from going belly up.

Was Snow White some original idea Walt had stewing in his mind for years?  No, Snow White is a Brothers Grimm story.  He took the idea from the them.

And movies like Cinderella.

The Little Mermaid.


They are all based on existing stories.  Disney just took the stories and made them their own.

The same is true for some of the marketing peeps that I like.

Dan Kennedy has tons of ‘original material’ but he credits much of his success to people like Claude Hopkins, Robert Collier.  

Perry Marshall is another fav.  What is he known for?  

The 80/20 principle (amongst other things).  Also known as the Pareto Principle.  And the kicker is Pareto’s work didn’t blow his mind, Richard Koch’s book did.

Perry took one little part of the 80/20 principle and magnified it!  

When you approach any marketing you gotta do this week, don’t make the mistake I did.   Don’t spend your energy swinging for the fences trying to hit creative home runs.  

Think about the little things that you can make bigger, expound on, and highlight.

Maybe it’s IN your industry.

Maybe it’s OUT of your industry.

Just find something small, make it bigger, and tell somebody about it.



The rarest thing in business and marketing

When I started marketing to the wedding niche I thought it was going to easy.  I didn’t need any cutting-edge ideas because my niche was spelled out for me. 

Um, people getting married…  Bam!  

I just had to find highly-interested and motivated prospects that I could email market to.

I subscribed to several marketer’s lists to learn how.  

I picked up tips here and there but I didn’t have any major epiphanies, other than.…  

How were these peeps boasting such big sales with email?  I could barely get anyone to call or email me back.

I stumbled on Eban Pagan’s work and he told me the term that changed my life.  He said he practiced direct response marketing.  Finally, I learned the term that I needed to research and study.

I was obsessed with figuring out how to send an email or mail a flyer to get people to buy.

I finally got the hang out it.  The good news is technology may change but direct response fundamentals don’t.  What Robert Collier and Claude Hopkins wrote about nearly 100 years ago are still applicable today.  

This morning I read a blog post from the great Ken McCarthy and he said something similar.  McCarthy was the marketer who created Internet marketing as we know it and his System Seminar from 20 years ago is world famous.    

He said his primary message is the same today as it was 20 years ago: “This is direct response advertising. Nothing more. Nothing less.”  

He added something else that you need to arm yourself with.  

“Original ideas”!   He called original ideas “the rarest of all things in business and marketing.”

So you can learn the the principles.  You can learn the fundamentals but if you don’t strive for good original ideas you may still struggle.  

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Fishing Out Writer’s Block

Blank screen.  What do you write?

Coming up with good ideas to talk about can be tough sometimes.  

Holidays are usually my cop out.  Especially if you use a website like Holiday Insights.  You can find all sorts of outrageous ‘days’ to talk about like Hammock Day and National Marshmallow Toasting Day.  

Bill Veeck was a baseball team owner who knew how to get butts in seats.  In 1941 he bought the cash-strapped and last-place Milwaukee Brewers and turned them around.  He invented wild new concepts like ladies night and shooting off fireworks after the team scored.  These things are normal now but back then they were revolutionary.

I’m not suggesting you need to reinvent the wheel by the way…   Look at Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.  How easy was that?  Lets take one of the most terrifying fish in the ocean and let’s talk about it for a week!  Sounds simple to me…

In picking your subject my only caveat is, talk about something you enjoy or find interesting.  Chat about it and anchor your business goals to it.

Shipwrecking Your Ideas

In copywriting groups on Facebook, someone asks daily what they need to do to be a copywriter.  Why none of them don’t type those exact words into Google I will never know… 

Most responses are about books to read and courses to take but almost all of them forget one important thing.  The path to being a good writer is by studying other writers.  NOT copywriters. WRITERS.  

You wanna study copywriters too but not as much as you think.  You want to learn how to tell stories and make copy that jumps off the page.  Who does that better than Michael Crichton, Stephen King, or Mark Twain?

All business have struggles and if you spend all your time looking at what everyone else is doing you’ll end up shipwrecked.  You need to use your imagination.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”   

Albert Einstein

I remember I wigged out when I learned Einstein wasn’t a quantum physicists, he was a theoretical physicist.  I read his biography and so many of his discoveries were sparked by him using his imagination and thinking about space or riding on a light beam.

Sound like something from Captain Marvel or Guardians of the Galaxy, right?

In your business, get best practices and model them.  Use great ideas from different industries.   But also use your imagination and chill!  

This is why ideas hit us in the shower or right before bed.  Our bodies ooze dopamine when we’re relaxed. Once settled down we’re able to make connections and get inspired. 

Researching, analyzing, and combing the Internet for ideas, rarely helps us connect the big dots.  It’s like buying a box of cake mix, mixing the ingredients, and never putting it in the oven to bake.