Ghost in the VSL

Sometimes being a copywriter means taking a swing and missing. Two weeks ago I wrote a sample for someone. It took two long afternoons. To my disappointment, it didn't get me the work I wanted.​ Perhaps it's not in my best interests to admit this, but that's what happened. If you want to read the VSL and take stab at guessing who I wrote it for, I've posted it below. I edited out anything that would make it too obvious. But maybe you'll work it out.

I have grown a YouTube following of over 2 million. I have commanded a quarter of a billion video views and I have generated $2.1 million dollars. I quit my job, retired my parents, and have taken care of my family by hiring them for my growing team.

I am, by all measures, a top 1% man. 

In finance . . .

In physique and

In mindset . . .

99 out of 100 men are not my competition. 

On a day-to-day basis, I am competing primarily with myself. 

The rest of my energy goes into taking care of my family and guiding others.  

But 3 years ago I was crying myself to sleep in a cold bedroom praying my girlfriend wouldn’t hear me boo-hooing because I was so depressed about getting up in the dark the next morning to go to my shitty job.

I can joke about it now but it wasn’t funny then and I want you to know that if you are experiencing something remotely similar then I hear you. 

Today I am here to tell you what made the difference. 

I am going to tell you about the one realisation I had that separated me – forever – from all the others and set me on the path I’m on now. 

This realisation . . .

This understanding of the world and its power dynamics . . .

Is how I was able to grow my YouTube channel so quickly. 

That’s the beauty. 

You can apply it to business.

You can apply it to your body.

And you can apply it to your relationships. 

And I promise you this . . .

If you can stay tuned for the next 20 seconds . . .

This video will change your life. 

So listen carefully to what I am about to say.

“YOU can become a top 1% man.”

Now when 99 out of 100 people hear that statement their minds clamp shut. 

Like a steel trap. 

Their eyes are open and their ears are listening but their minds are shut.

And that’s fine.

That’s okay. 

I haven’t made this video for them.

I have made this video for the person who is open-minded enough to say, “Show me.”

Let me show you an interesting statistic:

There are over 475,000 search queries on Google each MONTH for self improvement. 

And yet . . .

The estimated average completion rate for an online course is as low as 3%.

How can that be?

What is happening?

I’ll tell you. 

There are two categories of people . . .

Two “camps” of character who offer you self-development advice.

In one camp are guys like Tai Lopez and Dan Lok who promise you answers but then hide it behind a paywall.

When you buy the course the answers turn out to be nothing but lame, generic soundbites you could have got from any $12 business book on Amazon. 

When you experience this letdown, you reach what I call the “breaking point” of self development. 

You have spent time and energy and money pulling the trigger and trying to get from where you are to where you want to be and yet all you get is a slap in the face.

You feel ashamed. 

You feel embarrassed. 

You feel exhausted. 

In trying to build yourself into something more you have broken yourself into something less. 

If this sounds familiar, I have some good news. 

I, [REDACTED] am the other camp. 

I stand against the Tai Lopezs and Dan Loks of this world. 

I have a different proposition.

Instead of mouthing off about secrets I offer you only 2 things.

1/ The truth and

2/ The opportunity to put in the work

Are you ready for the truth?

Are you ready to hear the one realisation that changed the course of my life and led me to this very moment, looking down the camera at you?


The reason people pay money for courses and don’t consume them is when you attach yourself to another person’s formula you give away your power.

When you attach yourself to another person’s formula you give away your power. 

Your desire disappears. 

You get the information, but not the inspiration. 

Don’t get me wrong. 

I have secrets.

I have systems. 

I have frameworks. 

But I am going to give them all to you today ONLY on the understanding that you will not bow down to a false god and expect a formula you bought from some dude on the internet to dictate your every step like a child. 

You have to change the way you look at the world and your role in it. 

Because the truth is you don’t have problems. 

Yes, you might have shit going on in your life. 

You might not like school or college or you have girl trouble or family issues. 

You might hate your job. 

You might hate not having a job.

But these problems exist OUTSIDE of you. 

They are not problems WITH you.

They are problems FOR you. 

They are tests. 

They are challenges. 

You, my friend, are more powerful than you know. 

We all have an ancient belief that there’s something wrong with us. 

It’s a survival mechanism designed to keep us alive. 

“Don’t climb the mountain,” it says.

“You might not come back.” 

You may not be entirely conscious of it. 

But it’s there. 

It’s affecting you right now. 

It’s the voice that wants to reject what I am telling you. 

For most people, the voice will win. 

But I am telling you you are already powerful. 

And there goes that voice!

What it’s saying to you is the same thing it used to say to me. 

It’s saying:

“How can I be powerful when I don’t have any money?

That’s why inside [REDACTED] we get your money up first. 

It’s why we prioritise the 90-day “[REDACTED].”

It’s an important psychological hurdle to break your limiting beliefs. 

We get you your first payday as soon as possible. 

You get that first “ca-ching!” notification on your phone. 

Then we get you respectable pocket money. 

Then we get you an online salary. 

Then we move onto the more luxurious things in life. 

Rump steak for dinner whenever you like. 

Choosing between the black or burgundy leather inside your dream car. 

Splashing in the ocean with your girl before cocktails and a sunset dinner. 

But best of all, the look on the faces of people who know you, but don’t recognize you.

I know this sounds amazing but it’s just the beginning. 

You will soon see money is not what you know it as today. 

Right now you look at cash and cars and bank accounts, the things you can buy, the costs.

You see the latest M2 Macbook and fine dining and exotic travel in private jets. 

You see big numbers on your phone. 

As you grow, we will guide you to look instead at the value within you and within the people around you. 

You will learn to look at money as the flowing and exchanging of this value within your network.

You will see that you need not worry about ever reaching your limit of generating wealth.  

When you attack life with the twin mindsets of authenticity and abundance, money appears automatically. 

And here we get to the meat and potatoes of life. 

The truth is humans thrive when we connect with each other and open ourselves to someone else’s wisdom. 

This was my realisation. 

I spent more money than I care to admit on self-development.

I bought all the courses from the big names but I never made the progress I wanted.  

It was only when I made a deliberate decision to do things my way that the journey began. 

Because there’s a cosmic difference between learning from someone and abdicating your power to another person’s formula.

It’s an energy shift. 

Yes, inside the [REDACTED]we give you the 90-day, 5-phase “[REDACTED]” for making $3,000 a month in 6 months or less guaranteed. 

We stand behind this protocol.

We know it works. 

It’s how we guarantee results. 

We also know it’s not the only path in this world. 

You can follow it to the letter or you can operate more like Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee said:

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

But we also give you brotherhood and accountability. 

I know from personal experience that the hardest part of the journey is finding someone you can talk to every day who has the same desire and vision as you. 

We provide a brotherhood of other strong-minded men to network and be friends with. 

A place where no one will mock you and everyone wants you to win. 

You get DMs, calls and everyday support from other strong, masculine, successful men. 

We will be your second family. 

But first you have to say yes. 

This opportunity resonates with you if you are someone who refuses to be led astray by another [REDACTED]. 

It clicks with you if you care about the process of sharpening your skills and growing your knowledge. 

It lines up with someone who cares about building something that serves people and provides for your family. 

If you look for a sense or purpose in your work, you are a candidate for [REDACTED]

[REDACTED]l also resonates with someone curious about how the world really works:

Why are we moving away from tradition?

Why is society failing men?

How can you protect yourself and your loved ones from degeneracy?

We show you what’s going on. 

If you’re a reasonable thinker, you see your life as something precious and powerful and you’re at all curious about what life is like as a top 1% male, you are in the right place.

A reminder of how simple our offer is:

Inside [REDACTED]we give you the 90-day, 5-phase “[REDACTED]” for making $3,000 a month in 6 months or less guaranteed. 

It’s the same protocol that’s already gotten results for all the young men just like you you can read about on the page below. 

And yes, I am 100’% the first person to tell you that you have it within yourself to make this happen on your own. 

But I have also come to understand that the universe responds to action. 

If you want to get there faster, the right way to shorten time is to raise your certainty. 

The right way to raise you certainty is to set specific goals. 

The right way to set specific goals is to work with us. 

We design the vision. 

Then we build the vision. 

And we delete anything that gets in the way.

I’ve already given you our guarantee. 

Now I give you my promise. 

The same rule I have for YouTube is the same rule I have for you:

I will always guide you to stay as true to yourself as you can.  

Now I want you to check out the bonuses below. 

Then click the link to join and we will speak inside [REDACTED] soon.


I’m the guy who tells you [REDACTED]. 

Especially when [REDACTED].

How to Position Yourself as a Copywriter

When I started out as a copywriter I didn’t digest how important this was. The result? I hooked clients but collected headaches. It was chaos.

I do not recommend skipping positioning. It allows you to compete not on price but in a category of your own choosing and in doing so, bump yourself into a different pay bracket.

You set the rules.

I’m going to show you how to position yourself as a copywriter.

By the way . . .

What’s your positioning?
What’s your USP?

These are almost the same question.

Positioning can be broad but USPs require more precision.

Now . . .

First, let’s talk about what not to do.

(This is the awkward bit.)

The following examples I plucked from Twitter are not intended to poke fun at anyone. I could have made these up, but I wanted them to be REAL. And if you do recognize yourself below? Consider it a free pep talk.

“DR Marketer & Copywriter | I write about marketing and copywriting”

“Struggling || Learning || Copywriting”

“Tweets about online business, copywriting, marketing”

“Copywriter. Tweets about writing, marketing and self development. Documenting my journey into copywriting.”

These are great examples of bad positioning. Or worse, no positioning. No differentiation whatsoever. No unique selling proposition. It doesn’t need much explaining why these are not going to help you attract clients. I am sorry if you were chosen here. Sometimes it just helps to be slapped in the face.

3 Ways to Position Yourself as a Copywriter

Option 1: Position by Vertical/Service

This is the quickest way to position yourself because you only have to make one decision. If you position by vertical you choose between writing for the three main markets: health, wealth, and relationships. Pick one and you’re done. If you position by service, you pick one THING to do and you do it very well. For example, instead of calling yourself a run-of-the-mill copywriter, you can follow my friend Logan “Landing Pages” Storti’s lead and focus on writing Landing Pages. You become known for doing one thing.

Option 2: Position by BIG IDEA

This rules on Twitter (I wrote a whole report on it.) Positioning yourself by BIG IDEA boils down to there being something NEW and SEXY about you and the way you work. New and Sexy. NEXY. The most important word in copywriting and I only just made it up. Please see How to Teleport Through Twitter for more.

Option 3: Position by Problem

My favorite. Rare but oh-so-powerful. One of the smartest examples of positioning I’m aware of is from Taylor Welch. When Taylor started freelance copywriting, he dubbed himself:

“The Infusionsoft Copywriter”


In Taylor’s words:

“Infusionsoft was a certain (expensive) software tool that I noticed my best clients all used. If someone used Infusionsoft, it meant they probably had some money, and it meant they took their business seriously. Also, there was a tremendous learning curve involved in learning how to use the tool, so I had another good niche attribute: PAIN.

There are 3 key words here…


This has less to do with the literal number of people you can help and more – much more – to do with whether or not they are easily and precisely targetable. You need to know where they hang out online.


Is your niche already spending money on marketing? You should instinctively be able to tell from their social media, website and other online cues whether or not they are equipped to wire you your fee without blinking.


Someone in PAIN will not only happily pay you to solve their problem, but they will do so with URGENCY. Your offer sells itself.

For example, I have written copy for startups in the healthcare, travel, online learning, and crypto industries.

The problem all startups have is that they’re in a hurry TO NOT DIE.

Specific Group.

Deep Pockets.

In Pain.

This is how you get paid for positioning by problem.

P.S.P. French

Looking for the meat and potatoes?

🔑Freelance Copywriting Master Key: If you can follow instructions, this step-by-step guide shows you how to find a niche, sign copywriting clients and secure them on retainers. It’s called the good life and people no smarter than you are living it already. The only difference? They took action. Join 153 others already inside.

How to Get Copywriting Clients

It helps to start with the end in mind. Maybe you NEED a client tomorrow. Maybe you’re not in a massive rush and would be happy to wait a bit, find the right fit and work with someone long-term. Maybe you want a whizzy full-stack paid ads to VSL autopilot system to get loads of clients on demand.

Maybe you also want a calendar full of calls with timewasters, a psyche riddled with anxiety and a debilitating relationship with Adderall. What I’m optimizing for with a one-person writing business are things like long-term cash flow, spontaneous travel, mid-week massages, no alarm clock and lunch in the sun.

Here are 4 ways to get clients.

There is a “chicken and egg” element to this. Testimonials, references and recommendations are the most powerful ways to hook clients. But in the beginning you need to acquire a client without any of this to back you up. If this is you I would focus on two things: risk reversal and samples. Risk reversal is when you say to someone, “I will ghostwrite for you and guarantee 10% month-on-month follower growth or you don’t pay me a thing.” Samples are when you do the work upfront and offer it to them. Ads, emails, landing pages, tweets, whatever it may be. Remember: people don’t care about credentials. They care about ONE thing: can you show them a piece of copy similar to what they need?

My first cold email campaign made me $13,840. You see people pitching “Build a 6-Figure Copywriting Business . . . Without Sending any Cold Outreach!” or “Inside! Why Cold Email Doesn’t Work (and what to do instead)”— but these are positioning tricks. Sleights of hand. You don’t hate cold email. You hate sucking at cold email. If you’re good at it, it’s the quickest and most direct way to get clients. But DO NOT write them one-by-one if this is your first move. Precision comes later. Technology exists to be leveraged and volume is your friend. I wrote a 4-email sequence that I plugged into Mailshake with the email addresses of 500 health business owners that I bought for $25 from a Fiverr gig. I expected a few people to bite on email 3 or 4, but a chiropractor booked themselves into my calendar for a call after the first email. We ended up working together for nearly a year. It was only 53 words long, but that email did the trick. Things that make you good: leverage tech, make them curious and include links to your calendar and LinkedIn profile in your emails. Being good is a powerful feeling.

Deals happen in the DMs, but you need game. My first client? Someone I was following announced he wanted to hire a copywriter. Anyone interested should DM him. I was in a hammock in Costa Rica when I saw the message, so I was fairly – perhaps literally – detached from the outcome. I had to stand out. I sent him a message. He was either going to block me or hire me. The reason I got it was I didn’t care if I didn’t. That was my first direct response copywriting client. The key with DMs is you have to tailor your approach and you have to be bold. Study their business. Look for flaws in the marketing. Think about what’s in it for them. “Have you considered doing this?” Fifteen minutes a day researching a perfect client will serve you much better than spamming people with, “I like the value you’re putting out there, and I’m willing to write 3 emails for you. And all I want you to do is update me on the results they get you. Sound good?” This is a DM I received last week. Less of an offer, more of a cack-handed insult. I am asking you to be better.

You can attract perfect-fit clients with competence-proving content. I call this “Hot Authority.” The antithesis to cold email. Post 3-5 tweets a day about general copywriting tidbits you’ve studied, insights, and results you’ve achieved for your clients. Check Twitter analytics. Re-post any tweet with an engagement rate > 3% on Facebook and LinkedIn. Join a couple of groups on Facebook where your vertical hangs out. Like and comment on their posts. When they like or comment on your posts, add them as friends. Make sure your calendar link is front and centre in your profile. If you do this consistently, people will start to book calls with you.

Something to think about: Most of you would be familiar with Naval Ravikant’s famous Twitter thread, How to Get Rich (without getting lucky.) The final tweet reads:

“When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize that it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place.”

I feel the same about client work.

Unless your goal is to build an agency, you don’t want to be dripping in clients.

You want to build long-term relationships with people you like and to be able to sleep at night.

Once you’ve settled on an acquisition method that suits you, the hardest part is not getting clients, it’s keeping them.

But that’s for another day.

P.S.P. French

Ready for more?

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The Non-Obvious Alchemy of Success

Back in 1 FM, I laid out the “Golden Triangle” for anyone starting a career writing online. The APEX of that triangle is a service offer. Now, to make a service offer successful, you need to get comfortable charging good money. The problem is most writers are WAY OFF when it comes to pricing.

Wait, let me be more precise:

They price themselves fairly for the work they do in the market. But they are WAY OFF in estimating the size and value of the problems they are capable of solving with good writing. And there’s another reason writers struggle as freelancers.

First, some context:

In the 2014 movie The Gambler, John Goodman’s character Frank is dishing out some hard-earned wisdom to degenerate dicer Mark Bennett:

“You get up two and a half million dollars, any a**hole in the world knows what to do. You get a house with a 25-year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of f***ing solitude.”

I like that phrase, fortress of solitude.

As a writer, your service offer is your fortress of solitude.

But – and this may surprise you – it’s not all about the money.

It’s about honing your skills, growing a reputation and getting a look under the hood of bigger business. It’s about accumulating experience, collecting testimonials and nurturing confidence. It’s about rubbing shoulders with knowledge and intellect, finding mentors and absorbing wisdom.

Yes, your personal brand matters in the long term.

But . . .

If your only aim is to grow a Twitter audience, you’ll soon learn the difference between attention and transformation.

The way you are going to make your first $10,000 writing online is not selling 400 ebooks. It’s providing a service.

Use your service skill as a discovery mechanism for your first product.

The PROCESS of providing a service forces you to work out what problems people are struggling with.

The EXPERIENCE of solving these problems smooths the way for you to create a product that can scale.

This is the difference between hypothesis and reality. This is the difference between “Will it sell?” and “This will sell.” It also gives you two things money can’t buy:


Ironically, the reason people want to skip straight to selling ebooks is they’re scared of selling in real life.

And here’s an even DEEPER reason . . .

This is the important bit:

The “meat and potatoes” . . .

Copywriting and Sales are complimentary – but different – skillsets.

Copywriter and Salesman are two different characters.

Two DIVERGENT psychological profiles.

Copywriter: introverted, likes tinkering and editing, researching and drafting, going for wild and wistful stomps under the sky and coming back to his desk clutching the words he needs to uncork the matrix.

Salesman: extroverted, always hunting, sharking and closing, upfront, competitive, confident, resilient, performance and commission driven. The beating heart of all business, whether you appreciate the stereotype or not.

These are two different people, but to thrive as a freelancer?

You have to get in bed with them both.

P.S.P. French

P.S.P. If you’re enjoying these memos, please take a moment to get your name up in lights on my website by leaving a quick review. Also, I’ve turned ON Gumroad’s PPP (purchasing power parity) option for my products. This offers customers in lower-cost-of-living areas the same product for a lower price.

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The One Mega-Valuable Thing

There aren’t that many real grown-ups.

There are people building rockets, editing DNA sequences with Raspberry Pi enabled iPads, commercialising supersonic flight, building holographic brain-machine interfaces and decentralizing large parts of civilization.

But that’s a very small slice of business.

Mostly, the business world isn’t run by geniuses.

Mostly, it isn’t even run by adults…

… mostly, it’s a chaotic cohort of well-intentioned but ill-informed idiots, sociopathic sycophants, CERTIFIED LOONS, risky-frisky adrenaline junkies, bums, winos and crack addicts with exceptional work ethics.

Even Steve Jobs, who it is generally but sometimes reluctantly agreed was a genius, admitted this. “Everything around you that you call ‘life’” he said, “was made up by people who were no smarter than you. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.”

What does this have to do with you and freelance copywriting?

Well, those people taking the plunge and running businesses who are no smarter than you can’t and won’t survive long without decent copywriting and advertising.

And mostly, their stuff needs some work.

Good copy is the SPLENDID SOUL of any successful business.

You only have to read a couple of the right books and practise just enough for your interest in persuasion to develop into an ability.

And that ability, once packaged into an offer that solves an immediate and painful problem with little or no risk, will have you up and running as a freelance copywriter.

Dive in, ignore fear and learn your lessons as you go.

P.S.P. French