Gary Halbert really was right… Clients Do Suck (Ok, SOME of them)

Gary Halbert

Man, I used to think one of my copywriting and direct response marketing idols Gary Halbert must have been a REAL cranky guy to work with as he used to show up to many of his seminars with baseball cap on his head that boldly proclaimed “CLIENTS SUCK”.

Wow, can you imagine if you were one of his clients sitting there… who had just probably paid a couple of grand to be there… and you see the great Gary Halbert strut into the meeting room wearing that hat?  I’d probably spit my coffee out all over myself or start choking on my dang donut.

But from everything I’ve ever heard about him, Gary Halbert was not the kind of person who really gave a rat’s rear end about anyone’s opinion. BUT… as arguably THE most successful direct response copywriter and marketer of his time in history and MAYBE of all time, he had earned the right to be as cocky and offensive as he wanted to be, knowing that there would ALWAYS be a huge line of people just begging to throw their money at him.

This was the complete opposite where I was mentally in my short lived copywriting career.

The thing is, as a relatively new to the business Freelance Copywriter, getting clients seemed to the ONLY thing that really mattered to me.

So, for MUCH longer than I wish to admit, finding and securing work from the elusive folks that would be willing to write a check for me was all that really mattered to me.

And out of sheer panic not to go bankrupt I tended to be VERY timid when talking to any potential clients and I SWEAR looking back at it now, I KNOW that they absolutely could SMELL the desperation just dripping off of me like sweat on a hot July day here in Florida.

It put me at a terrible disadvantage when it came to negotiating the terms of my deals and while most of my early clients were still very fair to me… there were a couple that smelled blood when talking to me and absolutely (in a figurative manner) went in for the kill when it came to our business negotiations.

I was what Gary Halbert’s associate and friend John Carlton calls a “Clueless Rookie” and I was FAR more dangerous to myself than to anyone else.

At times I would have made more money for myself asking “would you like fries with that?”, than in writing sales copy that was making my clients money hand over fist. I’m not bragging here, I just know that even during my “rookie phase”, I had the basics of direct response marketing down and knew how to craft a good basic sales pitch and that’ll put ANYONE world’s ahead of 99% of the population.

So, despite being super frustrated and at times on the verge of “tossing my clubs into the water” or something like that, I kept pressing on and discovered there was some truth to that UNIVERSAL law that you hear about that basically says that once you start putting something into motion, even it’s REALLY slow at first or riddled with landmines that you occasionally step right on, that if you keep pressing through you’ll eventually start building up some much needed momentum and seemingly out of nowhere you’ll be coasting along getting some taste of success.

That’s EXATLY what happened to yours truly.

I went from ZERO to SIXTY in terms of landing some real, high-paying, long term clients that allowed me to quickly go from a state of “Not So Quiet” desperation to a position of POWER when it came to negotiating new deals

What a GREAT feeling to not have to be all worried about getting hired in order to pay my bills, or you know, EAT.

I had enough money guaranteed coming in that even if I really WANTED a particular copywriting jobs… I didn’t NEED it, and man that just changes the whole ball game

So, that brings me to my point about FINALLY having that “Ah Ha” moment where I got where Gary Halbert was coming from when it came to his attitude about clients. And here’s the thing… I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty positive that with him being the genius that he was, that wearing that hat was just a great psychological tactic to let EVERYONE know that was in NO way, shape or form in NEED of anyone hiring him. And, if they wanted him to grace them with the honor of having him write for them that they were going to have to pay him EVERY PENNY that he deserved (and he deserved a heck of a lot as his copy MADE money).

Anyways, I recently was contact by a company that asked me to re-write all of the copy for their web site, sales brochures, social media, email campaigns, etc.

Now, this was a BIG job and I quoted a pretty large fee which they agreed to! I was happy to get the gig but soon started having some regrets as this was a DULL, DULL, DULL project… BUT I agreed to do it and they were paying me well so I jumped into it with everything I had.

Again, they had ALL of their materials already written. My instructions were to take what they had and “bring it to life”… make it more lively and exciting as what they had was VERY technical and boring.

So, I did exactly what I do best. I wrote some hard hitting sales copy with lots of ACTION VERBS and POWER WORDS that were colorful and added lots of character to how they were presenting themselves.

The way we had structured this deal since there were so many different parts to it was that I would write in 4 stages… I would take two elements at a time, present the work, they would pay me and I would move onto the next part of the project.

Well, when I presented my first completed work to them I was quickly told that my copy was TOO over the top and TOO direct and they were NOT going pay me for my work! And, they were firing me from the rest of our agreed deal.

If this had happened even just a few months ago I would have been VERY upset but instead I remained relatively calm… reminded them that THEY CAME TO ME… I didn’t solicit them… they came to me and hired me based off of reviewing the type of sales copy I write and wanting me to do that for them.  Which, is exactly what I did, but then I guess they got COLD FEET about having copy that a little on the “edgy” side and more ballsy compared to the VERY DRAB, technical copy they already had.

I told them that it was fine to cancel the remainder of our agreement but THEY WOULD pay me for the work I had already spent two full weeks working on… OR they would hear from my attorney.

I QUICKLY had my full pay wired to my paypal account and I calmly washed my hands of them and gladly said “Sayonara” to ever dealing with them again.

That was it… no hard feelings… no bruised ego.

You know why?  Because I KNOW that my copy does the only thing it is supposed to do… it GETS RESULTS.

I have the proof that my gets my clients more sales than they ever have gotten before and that they are making LOTS and LOTS of money… which make them HAPPY to pay ME LOTS of money!

So, while I am far from being at the level of Gary Halbert I am VERY confident that the skills I have developed from several years of studying the art of Direct Response Copywriting that I don’t have to EVER settle again for being used and abused by ANY clients as I’ll always be able to find plenty of clients based on showing the proving results I have already gotten for others.

If you want to learn these VITAL business skills yourself I will soon be launching a copywriting coaching club where I will be working with a limited number of entrepreneurs and wanna-be freelance copywriters to show them step by step my system for writing direct response sales copy that gets the ACTION you or your clients desire.

Get on my VIP Email List now to be among the first to be notified.  I’m sure Sir Gary Halbert would 🙂


Lessons from The Copywriting Legends – Mr. Ted Nicholas

Ted Nicholas

Robert (on the right) with Mr. Ted Nicholas

I recently had the incredible pleasure of spending three days with one of the most legendary copywriters in the world… Mr. Ted Nicholas.

Honestly, to call him just a copywriter really does not do him justice as he is SO much more including a multi-BILLION dollar self publisher.

Ted is one of the few persons I have ever met that has truly engineered life on HIS terms.

Since he opened his first of a chain of candy shop many decades ago…

… that led to him being named as one of the top young entrepreneur’s in the country and being invited to the White House to meet the President of The United States (I won’t say which one as I don’t want to give away his age)…

… to being among the highest paid direct response copywriters in the world he has been an extraordinary success.

For an incredible three days Mr. Ted Nicholas shared with our group in Tampa, Florida many of his secrets to writing billion dollar sales copy including many ways to make money by using your copywriting and marketing skills for YOURSELF as well as client but…

… as a Freelance Copywriter that primarily does do client work he gave some INCREDIBLE advice to writing the most powerful BULLETPROOF sales copy that is almost guaranteed to get the most impressive, profit pulling results for my clients as is possible.

Now, there’s no way I could get into everything that Mr.Nicholas taught me…

… (and I HIGHLY recommend that you buy one of his seminars and ALL of his books on copywriting and marketing which you can get HERE directly from Ted)…

… but the thing that really hit home with me the most that I think can be used to SUPERCHARGE anyone’s sales copy is the following:

Mr. Ted Nicholas said that before you write a single word of sales copy… you need to say to yourself…

“If I Had Unlimited God- Like Powers… What Is The Biggest Benefit I Could Possibly Give To My Prospect That This Product Could Provide.”

This hit home with me SO much that I have printed out that statement and have it pinned to me calendar above my writing desk.

Now, you have to be careful with this as you can’t promise something that is too unbelievable or that the product has no chance of fulfilling.

That said this is the PERFECT way to decide on the theme of the copy you are writing and the foundation to writing an INCREDIBLE headline.

I’ll write more soon on other lessons from Mr. Ted Nicholas but again I highly recommend investing in some of his products for yourself.


Robert Sean Pascoe

P.S. If you need a killer sales message written for your product or service please contact me as I may have some limited availability to help you with your project… please go to

Do You Need To Hire A Freelance Copywriter?

Freelance Copywriter

So You’ve Been Told You Need To Hire a Freelance Copywriter… What Does This Person Even Do?

A Freelance Copywriter is an expert business writer who is trained in a writing specialty like Direct Response Advertising, Online Web Writing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) writing or other type of technical writing that instead of writing for an individual company or advertising agency works as a “Hired Gun” available often at a premium price to whoever wants to hire him or her on normally a per project basis.

Here’s what says is the definition of a Freelance Copywriter:

A freelance copywriter is anyone who writes words (or ‘copy’) for commercial use on a contract basis. Freelance copywriters can work directly with clients, or through intermediaries such as agencies or online work exchanges.

Really, a Freelance Copywriter is anyone who writes text or content on demand.

A frееlаnсе copywriter іѕ аnуоnе whо produces соntеnt оr text оn dеmаnd.

Thе ‘frееlаnсе’ іndісаtеѕ thаt they ореrаtе as a frее аgеnt, uѕuаllу carrying оut сlеаrlу bоundеd соруwrіtіng рrоjесtѕ or соmmіѕѕіоnѕ оn аn аd hос bаѕіѕ and for a rаngе of сlіеntѕ.

‘Cоруwrіtеr’ іѕ a lооѕеlу defined tеrm, ѕіnсе соруwrіtіng оftеn іnсludеѕ a rаngе of tаѕkѕ thаt mау be muсh more рrесіѕеlу defined іn other іnduѕtrіеѕ (ѕuсh аѕ publishing): wrіtіng, rеwrіtіng, ѕtruсturіng, рlаnnіng, еdіtіng, copy-editing, рrооf rеаdіng and lіаіѕоn wіth a rаngе оf other professionals ѕuсh аѕ grарhіс dеѕіgnеrѕ and wеb developers.

Whеn they work wіth buѕіnеѕѕеѕ, соруwrіtеrѕ рrоvіdе ѕuрроrt tо thе mаrkеtіng funсtіоn by wrіtіng mаrkеtіng mаtеrіаlѕ ѕuсh аѕ brochures, advertisements аnd wеbѕіtеѕ.

Tурісаllу, thе frееlаnсе соруwrіtеr will dеаl wіth the marketing manager or mаrkеtіng dіrесtоr, although in a ѕmаllеr firm the MD or CEO mау аррrоасh thе frееlаnсе соруwrіtеr dіrесt.

Frееlаnсе соруwrіtеrѕ аlѕо work with agencies, where thеу ѕuрроrt thе creative wоrk оf thе аgеnсу bу аddіng a соруwrіtіng funсtіоn to thеіr ѕеrvісе роrtfоlіо.

Whіlе many аgеnсіеѕ offer wrіtіng services, they mау choose tо use a freelancer tо do thе асtuаl wоrk – either bесаuѕе thеу lack the сарасіtу fоr соруwrіtіng in-house, or because thеу nееd the skills оf a ѕресіаlіѕеd соруwrіtеr.

Frееlаnсе соруwrіtеrѕ also wоrk wіth оthеr tуреѕ оf clients – рublіс ѕесtоr оrgаnіzаtіоnѕ, сhаrіtіеѕ, academics – аnуоnе who nееdѕ ѕоmеthіng written might be іntеrеѕtеd іn thе ѕеrvісеѕ of a copywriter.

Many frееlаnсе соруwrіtеrѕ lіѕt their ѕеrvісеѕ іn trаdіtіоnаl dіrесtоrіеѕ, juѕt like аnу оthеr buѕіnеѕѕ. Hоwеvеr, fоr thе vаѕt majority, the kеу way of lіnkіng uр wіth new сlіеntѕ is thrоugh the internet.

Mоѕt copywriters now have their own web site оftеn орtіmіѕеd for ѕеаrсh еngіnеѕ ѕо thаt thеу саn attract web users who enter tеrmѕ ѕuсh аѕ ‘соруwrіtеr’ оr ‘freelance copywriter’.

To rеduсе соmреtіtіоn, they may also ѕееk to rank fоr terms ѕuсh as ‘соруwrіtеr Norwich’ оr ‘соруwrіtеr Lоndоn’.

Once contact hаѕ been made, thе frееlаnсе copywriter meets wіth the сlіеnt to dеtеrmіnе whаt kind of copywriting is rеԛuіrеd.

Thіѕ mеаnѕ соnѕіdеrіng ѕuсh important аѕресtѕ аѕ рurроѕе, tone оf voice, target format аnd (mоѕt іmроrtаntlу) thе ѕіtuаtіоn оf the reader аnd thе response that thе соруwrіtеr іѕ aiming to еlісіt from them.

Gооd copywriters wіll carefully gather аll  іnfоrmаtіоn needed before beginning their work.

Bеfоrе bеgіnnіng wоrk, the frееlаnсе copywriter wіll ѕееk to agree a рrісе wіth thеіr сlіеnt. Mоѕt соруwrіtеrѕ сhаrgе bу the dау, although some mау аgrее to сhаrgе by thе hour, оr (fоr some types оf соmmіѕѕіоn) bу thе wоrd оr thousand words.

Charging bу the wоrd carries thе risk thаt mаnу revisions will bе required іn оrdеr to gеt thе сору right, leaving thе соруwrіtеr undercharging.

Hоwеvеr, fоr ѕоmе tasks (ѕuсh аѕ thе сrеаtіоn оf lаrgе amounts оf ѕеаrсh-еngіnе friendly copy), the реr-wоrd bаѕіѕ may be аррrорrіаtе.

A realistic еѕtіmаtе оf tіmе rеԛuіrеmеntѕ іѕ essential, аnd thе сlіеnt nееdѕ tо appreciate hоw muсh work саn gо іntо a freelance copywriting commission. Fоr еxаmрlе, the creation оf a thrее-wоrd slogan mіght involve several dауѕ оf lіаіѕіng with company еxесutіvеѕ, reviewing соmреtіtоrѕ’ соntеnt, brаіnѕtоrmіng аnd evaluation.

If you are in need of a good Freelance Direct Response Copywriter that will write killer sales copy that will get you the results you need for your business then please Contact Me today!

Robert Sean Pascoe, Direct Response Copywriter

For More Great Articles On The Job of A Freelance Copywriter please Check Out The Following Sites:

How to Write Good Headlines

Here’s How To Write Good Headlines That Will Make You Money!

how to write good headlines

how to write good headlines.

You know the kind that I am talking about.  The headlines that you see lead off all really successful ads.

I know it can seem like some sort of “Voodoo Magic Secret” that is being horded by the world’s top copywriters so that they can charge boatloads of money from their clients.

The truth is…

… There IS a Secret…

… It DOES Work Like Magic…

… But I’m NOT Going to Keep It From You… The SECRET is…

If You Want To Know How To Write Good Headlines You Need To Know These Simple Tips

In sales there is a formula that goes back probably a hundred years or more and its called the AIDA formula which stands for:

A = Attention

I = Interest

D = Desire

A = Action

These are the steps to the perfect sales pitch whether you are doing in person selling or in writing a sales letter, email or any other kind of modern day communication.

These will also really help you when learning how to write good headlines.

What we want to concentrate on is the first of these which is attention as…

The Headline Is The Advertisement For Your Advertisement…

It’s Job Is To Grab The Attention Of Your Ideal Prospect And Then To Hook Them Into Reading The Rest Of Your Sales Pitch!

After you grab the attention of your reader you need to take aim at hitting all of their “hot buttons” that will keep them awake at night until they have given in and bought your product.

You accomplish this through good, old fashioned research.  John Carlton calls it being a “Sales Detective”.  You really need to dig deep into finding out everything you can, not just about the product you are writing about and why it does what it does. But everything you can about WHO you are writing to.

In other words, you need to create a 3D image of your ideal customer in your mind. Then through speaking to them directly, through a survey or by lurking in online forums you find out everything that you can that is important to them.  You find out what’s keeping them up at night.

So we’ve established that the headline’s job is to grab the attention of your prospect and then get them to read the rest of your copy so how exactly do we do that?

There is an old saying that goes something like this…

“Promise, Great Promise Is The Heart Of Advertising.”

Basically, there is a school of thinking that every advertisement and thus headline should be built around a BIG, BOLD PROMISE.

In many cases that would be true but there are actually many different ways to approach the challenge of how to write good headlines and each is worthy of studying.

Legendary Copywriter Eugene Schwartz in his book “Breakthrough Advertising” talks about the different degrees of your prospect’s awareness and how that effects the approach to writing your headline.

The more aware your prospect is of his needs, his wants and of your product and what it will do for them the more direct you can be with your headline and the promise that it will make.

The Less Aware Your Prospect Is Than The Less Direct Your Headline Should Be

It’s not just important to know what your prospect’s biggest wants, needs or desires are but you need to know what they already know about what you are offering and also how many other products similar to yours have already been presented to them.

Once you know what your prospect knows you build your headline and ad from their perspective.

If they are already aware of your product and they know it is something they want you build your headline and ad around the offer. If the price is right and they know there is no risk involved then it is easy to get them to buy.

If your prospect knows of your product but hasn’t been convinced that they want it then you want to build your headline and ad around pointing out the superiority of your product and what they will lose out on if they do not buy.

In a case where your prospect knows they have a problem, want, need or desire but they do not know about your product and that it will fulfill what they need… then you build your headline and ad around their problem and prove your product as the solution to that problem.

The hardest of situations is where your prospect is completely unaware of your product or that they even have a problem, want, need or desire that your product would fill.

Mr. Schwartz taught that in this case you must start with the market itself. You build the headline and ad around what is important to them.

Show that you “feel their pain” and then after you have connected with them on an emotional level… position your product as their savior and you will never be able to go wrong with writing any advertisement and especially with the all important task of how to write good headlines that REALLY does the heavy lifting of bringing your prospect in so you can give them the FULL sales pitch.

If you enjoyed this article please consider sharing it on your web site, blog of on social media.

Also you might enjoy this article on the Power of Direct Response Copywriting.


Robert Sean Pascoe

Direct Response Copywriter | Robert Sean Pascoe |