A Hard Question… and an Easy Answer

GT has a problem. Last week, he sent me this email:

Hi Mark,

I’ve had another great week of work experience at the SB office!

I really enjoy writing copy, as well as the process of learning and improving at it. But I do have one question that I’m hoping you can answer…How can I combine my enjoyment of face-to-face sales with being a copywriter?

With your experience, you must’ve seen this dilemma before?

Thanks and all the best,



Here’s what I told him…

Hi GT,

Glad to hear things are going well with SB.

As to your question, I have an easy answer: Find a way to do both.

Most people that choose to become copywriters do so partly because they have an aversion of person-to-person interactions… and dread of selling that way. ( At least that’s my impression based on the hundreds of copywriters I’ve mentored.)

The fact that you like personal selling is a huge plus. It will teach you all sorts of important things about the art of persuasion that you can’t learn very well any other way. As your skill at writing persuasively grows, you’ll begin to recognize that. You’ll be thinking, “This is just like when I do this or that on the phone.”

Conversely, you will learn things from practicing copywriting that is difficult to learn with direct, one-on-one sales. Again, these important-but-subtle things will come slowly but naturally if you practice both skills.

Every really successful copywriter I know has had some experience in direct person-to-person sales.

Since you have, at least for the moment, chosen to Copywrite as your primary goal, you should focus most of your time on that. But find a way to keep honing your personal selling skills on the side. You don’t need to do two jobs at the same time. Two or three hours of selling in person or on the phone per week should be enough to keep those muscles strong.

Keep me updated. I’m sure you will be very successful one day.


P.S. Find someone at SB that’s willing to give you advice from time to time. It never hurts to have a mentor.