LESSON #1 of 7:
"Here's What I Discovered About Agora Financial's Secret Copywriting System... 
In My First 60 Minutes In Baltimore!"
From: Todd Brown
West Palm Beach, Florida

This was totally shocking to me...

I saw it within the first 60 minutes in the Baltimore headquarters of Agora Financial (AF)...

Even though their copywriters routinely bang-out million-dollar-plus marketing campaigns, they're all just... Average Joe's. 
None of them are gurus, marketing wizards, slick salesman, or skilled writers. 

"That's not what we look for," said Joe Schriefer, the Executive Publisher and Copy Chief, as we stood in the foyer of their office building.

"We simply look for people who have a deep sense of curiosity and enjoy reading. That's it. That's all we need to be able to turn them into folks who can create multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns."

That's it!?? 

That's all they look for, I thought to myself. Seems like there should be more.

"What about writing chops, grammar, and all that stuff," I asked.

"Nope. Despite what most marketers believe, that's the least important part of being able to write sales-pulling copy," Joe responded. 

Okay. So now I was intrigued. 

"So, why curiosity and a willingness to read? Why those two qualities?"

"It's simple," Joe said, "because to write good copy, you need to be curious enough about a product to dig into it, from lots of different angles, to find out every possible benefit, advantage, and hook.

And a willingness to read... because that's where the hook, or Big Idea, is found. The new idea or angle for the marketing is discovered thru reading. Thru research."

Now let me stop the story for a second and say this:


This is something I've known and understood for years now... 

All great marketing campaigns begin with a simple process of research or Examination as it's called in the E5 CAMP Method. (We'll talk more about Agora Financial's specific research process later.)

For now, just know...

Before you write a single word of copy you should have deep insight into three things:

1. Your Prospect
2. Your Competitors
3. Your Product

* With your prospects: You should have insight into their wants, emotions, and existing beliefs.

* With your competitors: You should have insight into what hooks, angles, and ideas they've already presented to your prospects.

* With your product: You should have insight into the benefits, advantages, and the Unique Mechanism behind the product. 

All of this... BEFORE you write a single word of copy for your marketing campaign... 

And all of this is uncovered with some simple research. (Again, more about how AF trains new copywriters to do this, later.)

Now, back to the story...


"Okay, so I get the value of curiosity, and certainly reading, but what about creativity," I asked Joe. "Don't you want people that are creative types? I mean... if they're not creative how are they coming up with these multi-million dollar marketing ideas so often?"

Shaking his head, as if I touched on another "copywriting myth", Joe responded...

"No. It's not about creativity. They don't need to be creative because the ideas don't come from inside their head. They're discovered thru the research process we teach them. Thru the reading."

"Here, let me give you two examples," he continued. "Both big winners for us."

And for the next 20 minutes we talked about the following two marketing campaigns - ironically, two of my favorites to come out of Agora Financial:
...selling a simple $49 per year financial investing newsletter subscription.

Listen to me, Joe, and the copywriter, Scott, talking about the campaign:
Did you hear that?

"The research."

And the second campaign we talked about...
...selling an olive leaf extract supplement. 

Both ideas made a bunch of money and generated thousands of new customers for AF. Both for pretty run-of-the-mill products. 

And, like all of their winning marketing ideas, both came from two ordinary copywriters doing some straightforward research.  

Here's me talking about this with David, my Apprentice, and Nate Rifkin, the copywriter behind the Spanish Army's Secret campaign:
Pretty cool, right? And pretty simple. 

So, look: 

Just in the first 60 minutes with AF's copywriting team we've learned several foundational things for you to recognize:
  •  To create million-dollar-plus marketing campaigns you don't need to worry about being some guru, marketing wizard, slick salesman, or skilled writer. 
  •  You don't need to get caught-up in grammar or writing rules, or be able to crank-out great prose. 
  •  You don't need to be wildly-creative or get flashes of marketing inspiration.
  •  You do need to have a healthy level of curiosity and enjoy reading.
  •  You do need to accept that your big-money marketing hooks and Big Ideas will not come from inside you. They'll come from following a simple research process any Average Joe can do...
All of which should be as incredibly exciting for you to hear, as it was for me (as someone constantly on the hunt for new copywriters for MFA). 

And remember.... none of that is coming from me. That's straight from Agora Financial -- the undisputed king in the world of direct response marketing.


"Alright, enough intro stuff."  I said to Joe, busting his chops."Let's get to some of the real juicy stuff. 

Take me into the copy room and let's start at the beginning of what you teach new copywriters. And how the heck you're turning average schmoes off the street into bonafide million-dollar-plus marketing producers. I need to hear this."

"Sure. Let's do it..."

And off we went... 
Let's learn from each other...
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