When you begin publishing content on the internet, you start to get an influx of feedback, messages and requests from the people who follow you.
I love this feedback.
I love the questions.
Every message I get from someone helps me pivot slightly so I can steer this ship in the right direction, towards the “true North” for where my business should be going. Or, some shit like that. Whatever.
After you get enough messages, you begin to notice patterns developing. Questions that get asked over and over again.
Like this one:
“Chris, I really like the kind of copywriting business you’ve built. I want to do the same thing. I’d like to work for you for free in exchange for mentorship/apprenticeship/guidance.”
On average, I get this “proposal” about twice a week.
One boisterous young lad even tried “power framing” me and asserted his way to the front of the line the minute I open up a spot for a copy cub.
Which was… kind of funny.
BECAUSE NO ONE POWER FRAMES ME. YOU GOT THAT?!?
After receiving this question dozens of times and typing out a similar answer each time, I’m going to just send any inquiries to this article.
I Would Love To Mentor You And Help You For Free. Seriously, I Would. But I Can’t…
It’s fucking hard when you decide to completely switch gears and begin a whole new career.
It’s hard as shit.
And anyone who tells you otherwise is an asshole.
I know what this is like.
I had to switch careers myself. I literally spent 6 years in college and got my masters… and then worked in a job for four years in my field of study.
And after 10 years of hard work, I decided “Eh, this was kind of a mistake. Should have probably not spent the last decade doing what I was doing. I’m gonna do something else now.”
Luckily, I began my copywriting journey at the outset of my professional career. So I was kind of already building my lifeboat as the ship was leaving port.
Now, like most people… I had no idea what I was doing when I started out.
And I really wished I had someone show me the way.
But… I didn’t.
All I had were copywriting books, products and courses.
Sure, I had opportunities to hire a mentor. But mentors/coaches were expensive. And I wasn’t confident enough in myself that I would be able to get an ROI from the experience.
That wasn’t my potential coach’s fault… that was my own fault.
What would have really been awesome – at that time – was a free mentorship… or some way I could apprentice under a master copywriter for a while and learn the ins and outs.
I didn’t really understand why most “master writers” wouldn’t jump at an opportunity to have a cub or mentee… who could take work off their plate and do stuff in their business for them in return.
A few years passed.
I became a great copywriter.
I started an email list. I started selling products and doing consulting. I started traveling a bit and speaking on stage. And I even started coaching a few writers who reached out, with cash in hand, who were willing to pay to take the elevator to the next level.
It wasn’t until I walked a mile in my prospect’s shoes… that I finally understood their motivations.
If you’re a newer writer who’s looking for a mentor and you’re offering your services for free… I bet you probably haven’t tried to see things from your mentor’s perspective.
I Still Might Have To Step In And Re-do Your Work If It’s Not Up To Par So We Can Hit Out Deadlines.
That’s the real tough part about all this.
In this business, there are writers… and there are agencies.
When you hire a writer, it’s kind of assumed that the person you hire will be doing the work.
That’s part of the whole allure of hiring that person specifically.
There are a million email copywriters out there.
But there is only one Chris Orzechowski.
And people want Chris Orzechowski to write their shit.
And guess what? If you got the money to pay Chris Orzechowski’s fees… he will write you stuff for you. And it will kick ass.
And you will rest easy at night knowing Chris Orzechowski worked on your shit.
Where things get a bit sticky is if you were to hire Chris Orzechowski and your project bombs. And you realize the writing was shit. And then you find out it wasn’t even him writing… it was some newbie writer he’s training.
(RELAX… I have never hired out any of my client work, ever. I’m writing this for the sake of a hypothetical example.)
Now, on the other hand…
If Chris Orzechowski decides he wants to grow bigger than himself and launches his agency, Orzy Media, and you hire his agency, and thus hire his team… then, of course, it’s fair to assume he probably won’t be doing the complete project himself.
It’s kind of assumed at that point. And if Chris ever does launch this agency, Chris will obviously set those expectations with his clients from the get-go.
The other important thing to remember here is that Chris Orzechowski will obviously want to charge atronomical fees… so that he can hire the best writers – the ones who he knows will already do a good job.
Chris Orzechowski will NOT be staffing Orzy Media with new writers who are working for free.
It’s nothing personal, it’s just a business decision. And Chris knows he’s not going to build an effective agency off the back of free work.
Because things that are free aren’t usually very valuable.
Am I making this clear?
I hope so.
Some people have asked if I can outsource some projects under the table.
And the answer is always no.
Because what if you suck?
That’s my name that’s on that project.
I’ve been working my ass off fox six years, working 7 days a week for most of that time.
And I’m going to place my reputation that I’ve worked thousands of hours for in the hands of an untested, unproven writer?
I’m not trying to be a dickhead and I hope my tone isn’t coming across that way. Because that’s not my intention at all.
But you have to look at things from my perspective here.
I am not going to put my reputation on the line for your work if you’ve never done this before.
I mean… that’s kind of crazy, right?
If You Get Mentored For Free, You Won’t Value It… Or Even Use It. And You Know I’m Right.
People don’t value what they get for free.
It’s just the truth.
People who pay, pay attention.
And people who pay the most, pay the best attention.
People committ with their credit cards.
And I know from experience that clients (coaching OR copywriting) always tend to listen better when their money is in my pocket.
And you know what?
It’s for their own damn good.
If I were to mentor you and you didn’t have any skin in the game… what are the chances you’d actually follow through?
Slim to none.
Do you want to know why I’ve been able to do the things I’ve done in my career?
Because I buy everything I need.
Need a network?
Buy my way into Copy Chief and just like that… I now have a network of hundreds and hundreds of business owners and writers.
Need a mentor, guidance and connections?
I hired Kevin Rogers to take me to the next level. And investing in his coaching was the best money I’ve ever spent in my business, hands down. And guess what? I’m gonna keep paying him because I get a crazy return from the advice and guidance he’s given me in my career.
I needed more time.
Know what I did?
I bought myself a team.
I hired a VA. And as a result, my top line revenue has grown 42% in the first 6 months of us working together. She is worth every single penny and hiring her and her team has literally paid for itself so many times over. I will continue to pay her forever.
I needed a better lead magnet.
Wanna know what I did?
I paid people to help me write a book.
(It’ll be released soon and if you’re on my list, you’ll get a free copy. So make sure you opt-in TODAY.)
As I’m starting to do more consulting and build out an agency, wanna know how I’m going to generate leads?
I’m gonna buy traffic.
I’m gonna buy a shit ton of it. Because I wanna be able to trade $X for a customer and do it over and over again.
And guess what.
I don’t know how to do the ads, so I’m gonna hire someone to help me with that.
Right now, I’m doing my own books.
But that’s something I should have a professional handle.
So, I’m hiring a bookkeeper.
Because she can do it better than I can. And I’d gladly pay for that because I know it’ll help give me back time and mental bandwidth that I can use to keep growing my business.
If I Need Help With Something, I’m Going To Buy It. Because That’s What Entrepreneurs Do.
I’m not going to try to find some free work.
Sure, some business owners do that.
They look to get the cheapest option or find someone to do something for free.
But that’s not me. At all.
If I need help, I’m buying it. And I’m gonna spend my money with someone who’s the best.
And now, we’re coming back full circle to why I cant mentor you for free.
Where Is The ROI For Me If I Mentor You For Free?
I really could have answered this question with the 12 words in this subhead.^^^
What’s in it for me?
If I take a few hours each week out of my time to mentor you for free… what do I get out of it?
Help with my projects?
I’m a better writer than you are… and that’s why people are hiring me and not you. I’m not going to “give them you” if they wanna hire me.
Will you take tasks off my plate?
I have a team who does that now. And they do an incredible job. And I am a very high priority in their eyes because I pay them on time every single month, without any questions.
Tell me this…
If you all of a sudden get a paying client, who’s work are you going to focus on first?
Are you really going to make your paying client wait while you’re finishing the stuff I asked you to do in exchange for a free barter arrangement with me?
I think you’d focus on the person who’s paying you. As you SHOULD.
But… ya see what I mean?
This really doesn’t make any sense at all for me. And I’m not sure it makes sense for you, either.
Nothing In Life Is Free. So Be Thankful You Live In A World Where Almost Everything Is For Sale.
It’s a bit of a mindset shift, but get in the habit of paying for things.
You can buy almost anything you can imagine nowadays.
You can literally pay someone money to send your enemies shit in the mail. No joke, look it up.
Everything is for sale.
But people want everything for free.
Free shit sucks most of the time.
Have you ever met a really successful entrepreneur who’s never made an investment in themselves?
I challenge you to find one for me. I really do.
Why beg for charity when you can just pay that person you want to learn from… and they will take an extreme interest in making sure you succeed?
I just don’t understand it.
Ok, let’s wrap this up. One last important point…
If You’re New, You Probably Don’t Need A Coach Or Mentor. Most Of What You Need To Know Can Be Learned Through Courses Or Through Getting Your Hands Dirty.
I created a “virtual training program” called Email Copy Academy.
A lot of people on my list wanted to learn how I create these wildly successful email campaigns that have sold millions of dollars of product in all kinds of industries.
So you wanna know what I did?
I sat down and listed out every single step of my “system” and then I turned it into a home study course with over 20 hours of instruction, examples, case studies, critiques and copy analysis.
I did this for a reason.
I created this course so people who want to learn what I know have a way to do so without needing me to directly speak this information into their ears.
Most newbies have the same set of problems.
This is why one-on-one coaching is always more expensive than courses.
Courses are designed to take you from zero to about 80% proficiency in a subject. That last 20% of your knowledge gap can then be filled by courses or by in the trenches experience.
Some people who have reached out for coaching have never bought my courses.
What good will my high-level coaching do if you don’t even know how to write a simple email sequence yet?
I mean… am I right?
Do I really need to spend dozens of hours teaching you something in a free barter arrangement that you could just learn in one of my courses?
And will I really have to do that for you for FREE, when I already have a course that does the same thing?
Here’s A Great Way To Get Help From Me Without Having To Work For Free
I have offers and programs if you’re looking for help.
If you’re new around here and haven’t been on my email list very long… then you might not be familiar with some of my offerings.
My flagship offer is a home-study course called Email Copy Academy.
It’s a course that’s designed to turn you into a world-class email copywriter in six weeks flat.
It goes deep into my system for writing hyper-profitable email campaigns that sell…
I even include two full bonus modules that teach you how to sell your services and market yourself as an email copywriter. You learn how to get clients to write for, how to close deals, how to price yourself and how to deliver a complete project from beginning to end.
I just added a payment plan option so you can get started with the course today and pay it off as you go through it.
It’s super affordable to get started… and you can learn at your own pace and download a ton of knowledge from my brain directly into yours.
Doesn’t that sound a lot better than working like a dog for free and having me yell at you because I’m not happy with the work you turned into me?
I think so.
If you want my help and want to become an in-demand email copywriter, then join Email Copy Academy today…
Click here to join Email Copy Academy
7 thoughts on “Dear Newer Copywriters: I can’t mentor you for free, but I will mentor you for money. Here’s why it has to be this way…”
Loved every point you made in the post…
Speaking as someone who has gotten a lot of free help and paid help…
I’ve always always paid more attention to stuff I had to pay for.
You’re my new favorite email copywriter ever – keep up the ridiculously awesome work!
LOL….It’s the truth and unfortunately it’s gonna hurt people…
Totally agree with every point you made, Chris!
“Free” always makes me nervous. Professionals speak with money. Money makes me confident I’ll be taken care of.
Hard…but well-meaning truths