Daniel Levis is (IMHO) one of the great copywriters of our time. I have several of his courses and use and teach his exposition of “The Hero’s Journey” on a regular basis. If you don’t swipe ALL of his copy, you should not write any yourself … but Daniel, maybe you should just stick to copy!
Now to be fair…
As I rant this on a Saturday afternoon, it was just a few days ago that I attended a “Jam” organized by our good friends Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins to promote one of Daniel’s (very fine!) programs. I’ve known, respected, and worked with Mike since before he had hair and was privileged to work for and with Andy before he started styling his hair like Gene Simmons! 🙂 As expected, Daniel’s presentation over delivered – if you didn’t watch it, you should.
So what’s the problem you ask?
Before I rain on Daniel…
let’s reflect for a moment on the critical difference between “selling” and “marketing”.
Selling is that wonderful process of connecting with a prospects needs, wants, and desires and successfully presenting your product or service as fulfilling them. There are a small number of people in the world that can do that like Daniel does, and we should all of us study them all.
But marketing is not selling.
And that’s the real key to our disagreement.
Daniel presented his (excellent, as expected) teaching and his related offer to a live audience of 450 people. I expect it was very well worth it to him, Andy and Mike, and his new students – I’ve always been happy with Daniel’s teaching.
But one of Daniel’s supposed myths of email marketing is that “Content marketing is not a business model” and goes on at some length to deride it and paint it as a “big company” strategy with no application to “the little guy”.
Really? Let’s examine that, shall we?
Where did that audience of 450 live attendees come from? Did they pay to be on the Jam? No. So why were we there? Could it be that we were expecting CONTENT?
That’s a rhetorical question. Mike and Andy and I have the very same play book – we all provide “value in advance” and have done so for many years. It is how you know us in the first place, how you tell us apart, and why you stick around and show up for the many (free) events we all do.
Huh. Sounds kinda like content marketing doesn’t it?
Selling is one of the things you do with an audience. Marketing is how you create and grow an audience.
And Content Marketing is the one approach with the single highest ROI.
Which, by the way … Daniel intuitively knows, and even teaches in that free webinar.
In case you missed it (too bad!), one of his other (and more true!) email myths is that long emails work better than short emails. That one really spoke to me. If you’ve seen my emails, you know I do short. My takeaway? I’m going to write longer for a while and see what happens.
But why does Daniel tell us to “go long”? Because you should make the content in your longer email valuable by itself, even if the reader (your audience) does not click a single link.
I agree! And am humbled to admit that as a proponent of “content marketing” that I did not extend that thinking to my email copy as well. Thank you Daniel (once again).
But on the other hand… his “myth” about content marketing is sorta-kinda-a-little-bit true. Yes, I agree that content marketing is not – by itself – a “business model”. But neither is copywriting! Content marketing is part of the marketing that all businesses should do to build an audience. Copywriting is a core skill that every business needs to be good at to sell into that audience.
This is not an “either or” and neither content marketing nor selling of any kind is a “business model” on its own – you need both!
To learn copy, go see Daniel. To build an audience to sell to, I self-servedly recommend that you contact us. 🙂
P.S. No, those are not affiliate links. Yes, we’re bound to be affiliates of everything mentioned, but who cares? Buy it if you want it – we never link unless it’s good, money notwithstanding.