The Austin One-Day Ultimate Writing Retreat™

Saturday, January 18

Hope your week is going well. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, January 18 inAustin for the first-ever one-day version of the Ultimate Writing Retreat™!

Here are a few important details, and three quick “assignments” that will help you get more out of the day.

First of all, we’ll officially start at 9:00 A.M. I had originally said 8:00 A.M., but since a lot of people are driving in that morning from out of town, I’ll give them extra time. We’ll have a social hour from 8-9 for anyone who arrives early.

As a reminder, we’ll be at the Ronald McDonald House at 1315 Barbara Jordan Boulevard in Austin, and we’ll be in the St David’s Foundation Community Meeting Room.

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(By the way, you may remember me mentioning earlier that we are getting the use of this meeting room for free. They do ask that we make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House, though, so if you could bring your check book along and make a donation of any size that day, that would be great. We’ll bundle the checks together and present them all at once. Thank you!)

We’ll have coffee and water throughout the day, and we’ll break for lunch for an hour. If you like snacking and if you prefer tea or soda, feel free to bring whatever you need.

They told me that the meeting room can get chilly, so you might want to wear something warm.

If you need to reach me on Friday or Saturday, I’ll be at the Crowne Plaza at 6121 N Interstate Hwy 35, not far from the Ronald McDonald House. My cell # is 608-628-2865. I’ll be checking Facebook messages and email ( all day Friday as well.

Here’s the outline of what I have planned:

How to Turn the Wild West of Copywriting into a Profitable Venture

  1. Introduction
  2. Stake your claim
  3. Set up shop
  4. Fill the pipeline
  5. Expand your operations
  6. Leave a legacy
  7. Next steps

Here’s what I hope to accomplish:

  •       Help you identify or more clearly articulate your USP
  •       Give you ideas for establishing your “platform”
  •       Show you ways to position yourself better in the marketplace
  •       Provide you with ideas to help you reach your ideal clients and show them how and why you can help them
  •       Help you structure a 5-step action plan to leverage these ideas quickly

I have a lot of useful, practical information that you’ll be able to quickly put into action. I want this to be your workshop, too, so I’m open to covering things you’d like to know.

Do me a favor and write down three questions or challenges you have. Either send these to me ahead of time via Facebook message or to, or bring them with you on Saturday. That’s your first assignment.

Second assignment: Your story

So, what’s your story? What made you want to become a writer? When did you write your first “real” piece? What was it?

What makes you a good writer? What do you do better than most people?

Do you have a unique style or voice?

What do you have to offer people or clients? Why would someone want to hire you to write something? Why do people read what you write? What impact do you want to have on readers? What emotions does your writing stir up?

What Big Ideas do you have for your writing? If you had three months with no financial or family responsibilities, what would you write? Where would you do it?

What crazy ideas have you had that you haven’t shared with anyone because they’re a little too “out there”?

What lasting legacy do you want to leave behind? Not to get morbid, but it’s something to think about, even when you’re first starting out (and hopefully you still have many years to go).

Okay, lots of questions here. You can answer all of these questions or just some of them. The purpose of this exercise is to then synthesize all that down to a one-page synopsis of you.

If you have time to do this before Saturday, great. If not, at least be thinking about it.

Third assignment: You on the radio 

Write a 60-second radio spot (assuming there was a radio audience made up of your target demographic – probably not the case.) Even so, it will force you to write in a creative style with a sales element.

You could also use this as an “elevator speech” at a networking event or cocktail party.

Start off with a good hook, speak to your audience in a conversational, one-on-one manner (“coffee shop copy”), tell not only what you offer, but how that’s going to benefit them, and end with a call to action, and maybe a twist.

Oh, and let’s project out 90 days. Here’s something that should definitely be a part of it: “I’m an author.” In fact, that could be your opening.

Again, if you don’t have time to do this before Saturday, no worries. Try to do at least a rough draft, it doesn’t have to be polished.

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Austin attendees 

These are the 15 people who are coming. Again, let’s keep this among us, at least until after it’s over. (I probably won’t be able to hold back from posting pictures on Facebook.)

Alexandra Shiels

Amy O’Donnel

Brenda Reyes

Cyndee Davis

David Allen

Eddie Stephens

Fernando Labastida

Jennifer Rider

Joel Childers

John Rugh

Katlynn Blakely

Kellie Craft

Melanie Garrett

Michael Massie

Nina Lewis

Special thanks to Brenda Reyes, Fernando Labastida, and John Rugh for spearheading this, securing the meeting space, and taking care of details. I appreciate you!

Any questions? Let me know.

Last thing. This isn’t a passive workshop where you’ll sit back for seven hours taking notes like crazy. You’ll take notes, for sure, but this is meant to be a small, intimate, interactive workshop.

With a small group of 15, you’ll have a chance to get to know everyone, ask questions, share your ideas and copy, and get feedback. Magic happens when you get a tight group of creative, big-thinking entrepreneurial types in a room for a day!

Want to get the most out of this workshop?

Come with an open mind. Embrace big ideas, and let them trigger new possibilities for you. Be ready to write (yes, I’m going to put you to work). Be vulnerable – be willing to share what you’re writing. Accept constructive feedback. And use this as a launching pad to expanding your business and making more money in 2014.

See you on Saturday!


P.S. I’ve had a lot of people from the Copywriter Café asking about my upcoming VIP coaching and other retreats. I’ll be giving you the first look at the VIP coaching (I won’t be promoting it in the Café until after our workshop).

Also, starting today, I’m offering a promotion on the 2014 three-day Ultimate Writing Retreat™. Through Sunday, January 19, you have the opportunity to secure a spot at the 2013 price of $687, which is a savings of $501 off the price starting January 21, 2014 (it will be going up to $1,188).

See Ultimate Writing Retreat for details.