Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been copying successful salesletters or ads by hand, to sharpen my copywriting skills.
If you are not familiar with copywriting, it’s persuasion by writing. One of the major reasons I got into copywriting is because I realized my existent knowledge and skills as well as the kind of things I like, such as psychology and logic, can be translated into copywriting skills. Another is, to put it simply, that copywriting has more earning potential than translation, which I do now.
Working on copywriting skills reminded me of some important lessons. I had known about them for a while, but I hadn’t made use of them fully. Now I live by them and intend to apply them to a broader context.
You’ve probably learned these lessons before… My guess is that many of you aren’t doing them even if you know how effective they can be. If you are not implementing them, it’s not too late.
Here’s 5 lessons for me and for you. I feel they are essential if you want to improve your skills and seek excellence in your life.
#1. Set a specific goal
If you don’t know where you are going, I believe one of the following is likely to happen: you can’t start moving, you will end up somewhere random, or you will simply give up at some stage.
I think a good way to set a specific goal is to choose a broad goal first and then to narrow it down as you go rather than trying to polish your goal until it’s perfect. Is there any goal you are working on right now? Is it specific in such a way that it automatically gives you some concrete action steps?
#2. Take small steps
We tend to dream of big goals while forgetting about how long it can take to get there. I do hope for big leaps and feel the desire to reach goals overnight from time to time, but I believe it’s better to take small steps, because taking small steps does move me forward and allows me to make progress on a regular basis without burning out, which can happen when you try to do a big jump towards your goals, hoping that you’ll get there sooner that way.
#3. Get quick wins first
Quick wins. In other words, sub-goals. Or even sub-sub-goals. If it takes time to achieve your goal, then it’s wise to have these quick wins or small, sub-goals, because you can achieve them quickly by taking small steps and that motivates you to keep going further and further.
#4. Do it consistently
The beauty of #2 and #3 is that this combination makes it easier for you to turn your practice into something consistent. And when you do it consistently, you will get closer to your goals consistently. Simple, right? For example, if you write 300 words a day and do it everyday, it will be 109,500 words in one yearâ€¦ that’s like the length of a few books combined together.
#5. Cultivate habits
This one is somewhat similar to 4, but when you keep doing something consistently, it will eventually become part of you. It becomes your habit. If it’s a good habit that will move you forward towards excellence or, in other words, the kind of life you want to live, that’s great, because it will take care of you on autopilot. On that note, it’s better to get rid of your bad habits as much as possible. Consider they bring you down towards the kind of life you don’t want to live.
You’d find this free, mini course by B.J. Fogg useful if you want to change your habits. If you are an iPhone user, I recommend using this app called Lift.
I had known about these lessons for a while, and I didn’t really implement them until recently. Now I feel I should have done that earlier, especially in relation to improving my skills and picking up momentum so I can raise the bar more and more. But now I’m in. Join me if you will!