Ray Edwards

I’d like to tell you that it was very carefully and strategically thought out. But what happened was I wrote the copy for an event. It’s this is kind of a chain of things that happened that led to this. Me joining this group. I wrote the copy for an event that happened in Atlanta, and I got so excited about writing that copy. I’ve never been to one of these kind of start your own business sort of seminar. You

Jeremy Weisz

sold yourself right?

Ray Edwards

I bought the upgrade. You can pay $100 extra and have the privilege of eating a meal with the speakers. And they had this room set up where they had like 10 or 12 different tables and the different speakers sitting at the different tables, and Armand Morin at that time was probably one of the most well known guys in the online marketing world. And he was sitting at a table by himself. And I thought, why paid 100 bucks. So I’m gonna go sit next to that guy. And I did, and he was very other people came and joined us, but he was very communicative and very talkative, very friendly. He were great friends. Now he’s a super guy. And but he turned to me at one point, he says, You know, I have a seminar. And I said, Yes, I know. And I didn’t really know at the time, I was just I want to be polite. And he said, Are you coming? And I said, Yes, absolutely. So at that night, I go back up to my hotel room, and I get on my computer and I look at my seminar and I realize, Oh, my gosh, it’s a $2,000 ticket to go to the seminar. But I told him, I’m going so I bought the ticket. I go to that seminar and he offered at that seminar, this mastermind group And I just felt such a connection with him. And I felt like well, this guy knows what he’s doing. He’s got at that point, there was like 400 people or 500 people showing up for those seminars. He got all these people to show up and pay $2,000 each, he must know what he’s doing. So I’m gonna join this group, because I want to get to know that guy. That’s how I ended up joining my group.

Jeremy Weisz

Wow. That’s a

Ray Edwards

big lesson number three, the best way to rationally serve your own self interest. This was a big turning point for me because I was a big fan of Ayn Rand, I still am. Atlas Shrugged. And she’s a proponent of rational self interest. But I learned that the best way to irrationally serve your own self interest is by serving others. And that was a that was a corner that I turned it had amazing ramifications for me there’s a story in the Bible people know about the book of Job, and they usually use it as a way to excuse their suffering. Well, I’m just I’m having the sufferings of job. Well, if that’s what you get out of the book of Job you missed The whole point, and most people haven’t even read it. They just kind of know the story vaguely. They don’t really understand what happened. But there’s a point in the book of Job where job is healed of all of his afflictions. And the point when that happens is when he prays for the healing of his friends. He prays for them first, and then he’s healed. And I take that to heart I am. A couple years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, really? Which, yeah, which was a kind of a big event in my life. It was like, Well, I didn’t see that coming. And it’s a for those who don’t know, it’s a progressive neurological disorder. The general medical consensus is it only gets worse and you don’t, you don’t get better. You just get worse. Michael J. Fox, right? Parkinson’s disease. Muhammad Ali has Parkinson’s disease. And so that was a point where I I went through a brief period of introspection where I felt really kind of shut down by that. And I I became consumed with my own victimhood, right. And the moment that I stepped through that and began to sew into other people’s lives and serve other people like before that. The irony is I had been involved in a ministry where we prayed for people’s divine healing and we saw people get healed from cancer and heart disease and deafness and glaucoma and arthritis. I mean, miraculous, spontaneous healings. And I, of course, went and immediately got prayed for and nothing happened. Now, I don’t actually believe that’s true. Now. I think something always happens. It’s a matter of timing. God’s delays are not God’s denials. But I had to work through all of that and the transformational moment for me came when I realized the way to serve myself interest here to get my joy back, my vitality, my health. Just keep serving other people. big lesson. big lesson number four,

Jeremy Weisz

hold on. So tell me to talk about that for a second. So serving other people. So what do you do that?

Ray Edwards

Okay, so God has the greatest sense of humor of anybody. Everywhere I go, every time I speak at a conference, every it seems like every airplane I get on now I run into somebody who has Parkinson’s disease. And the first few times it happened, I was like, really got this. What are you doing here? Because this is not funny. It may be funny to you, but it’s not funny to me. But I realized that, in fact, okay, one day, I’m walking on my daily walk for exercise. One of the things I do to help preserve my health and improve it. I’m walking along the street about a mile and a half from where I’m sitting right now from my home, and I hear a voice say Please help me sir. And I look and in the ditch is an old man. And he’s just lying face down in the in the dirt in the ditch and I go over and I help him get up. And he’s, he’s shaking like crazy. And I said, Are you okay? What happened and he said, I, I have Parkinson’s disease, and I fell, and people have been walking by and they couldn’t even hear me. But you stopped and I brushed him off. And I just felt the Lord saying to me, after I walked him back to the place where he lived, and I prayed for him, and I felt the Lord saying to me, just because you have a problem, doesn’t mean that I don’t intend for you, to help other people up out of the ditch literally and brush them off. Put them in a place of safety and serve them. And so over and over again, I’ve run into people who have this same affliction that I never knew anybody who had it before. And now I can’t escape. I was on a plane yesterday. And there was a gentleman on the plane who had Parkinson’s disease. And so, it’s not just that I went back to work in the business of, it’s not a business in the ministry of praying for people and ministering to people’s needs. And I got it for a while I stopped speaking publicly, because I felt like oh, people are gonna see we tremble. There’s something in here. That’s important. It’s been it’s just such a journey of discovery for me. And learning that, you know, I still, here’s, here’s what it’s like. It’s like God handed me an alarm clock. And he wound it up. And he said, this is going to go off and you don’t know when. Because I don’t know whether this will get a lot worse or Whether it will get a lot worse quickly or never get a lot worse, or I’ll be completely instantly, I don’t know. And I don’t By the way, I just want to be clear, I don’t think God gave me Parkinson’s disease. I think some people think that trials come into their lives, you know, to teach them to be better people. We do learn from trials, but I have a fairly simple theological formula for figuring out where things come from. God is good, and good things come from God. And the other guy is bad and bad for him. And it doesn’t matter how bad this guy makes things. God can take whatever happens, and turn it into a blessing for us, if we allow it if we take that perspective. Yeah, so that’s how I see serving other people as being in our own rational self interest and you don’t have to have a disease or some dramatic thing that’s happened to you because I have news for you. You do have a terminal condition. It’s called life, right.

Jeremy Weisz

That’s a powerful story. I appreciate you. Sharing It and what I have found with reading your blog posts is, I was gonna say this question for later because I’m really interested in, you really are vulnerable with yourself and you talk about a lot of personal things and that can’t be easy to do. But I think it’s something people can relate to. How do you How did you get past that, in the beginning to be vulnerable and to talk personal without kind of I think people are afraid or afraid of what people are gonna think or, you know,

Ray Edwards

sure. And I was I think

Jeremy Weisz

that’s like a power of some of your copy or stories or whatever you want to call it is you just kind of your very personal

Ray Edwards

that for me, it was a real conviction that God wanted that from me that I reached a point where I, I gave over everything to him. I said this, you know, my life is yours. My business is yours. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. If you want me to go and be a pastor in a church for six people in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, where nobody will ever hear my name again, except those six people, and they can all be at five years old. I’ll do that. If that’s what you want me to do. I know we were probably going to talk about this later, but it just seems like the right go ahead. Yeah, I am. A couple years ago, I felt that my wife and I needed to go to ministry school. So we put the business on hold, we went part time with the business and I just said to God, you know, I’m gonna have to trust you for the income because now I have to stop doing all the things that generate the income in order to make the go to school.

Jeremy Weisz

big leap.

Ray Edwards

Yeah, it was a it was a hugely we had our most profitable year in our business ever. Um, I don’t, I don’t encourage anybody to think of that as a formula. God is not a vending machine. Like, you know, you Put it I’ll do what Ray did and God will make me have my most profitable year ever probably won’t work that way. You’ve got to work out your own. As Paulo Coelho calls it your own personal legend, you got to figure out what that is. But I thought I would shut the business down to become a pastor as a result of that. And I really understood from God during the process of going through that year that that’s not what he wanted from me, that he wanted me to continue in, in the place in the marketplace where I was with, where people could go out into the world and and be liked and love people and show people what love is really like and what what God is like and, and so that that process led me to the point where he said so if I if if you really are giving me everything, then you’ve got to stop hiding me in the closet. So I tell people,

Jeremy Weisz

that can be controversial too, right? I mean, talking about religion in general, you could either put some One off, or you can draw them in.

Ray Edwards

I was in a mastermind group at the time with some pretty high level marketing people. And I told them what I was going to do and they said, you cannot do that. That’s crazy. Do not do that. Whatever you did go ahead and you know, do your go to ministry school and your pastor thing or whatever it is you want to do, but do not do what you’re talking about. And so two decisions got made because of that feedback that I got from it. Number one, I was absolutely certain that I was going to do it. And number two, I left the mastermind I love those people. It’s nothing against them. So if any of them are watching this right now going, Oh, I didn’t realize that. I love you. It’s okay.

Jeremy Weisz

It’s your fault. No, I’m just kidding.

Ray Edwards

You helped me on my path. So for me, there was no choice and when I wrote that post, when I call my you know, I tell people it was my coming out post and I always get funny looks like well read it. You’ll understand. When I wrote that post, I thought, well, this this might be God says keep the business, but this might make the business a lot harder to sustain. That’s not what happened. The reverse happened, there were apparently people waiting for that kind of message from somebody. And that’s why I encourage everybody just be who you are. Because first of all, everybody else has already taken. And secondly, you are who you are for a reason. It’s not an accident.

Jeremy Weisz

So how did you Ray when you went to the ministery school, how did your business thrive and do as good as it’s ever done?

Ray Edwards

I don’t know. I

Jeremy Weisz

mean, you must have put like, you know, you’re a smart guy, or there are certain systems that were in place that you knew you had to put in before you kind of stepped away or what did you do because I mean, anyone would, wants to step away, whether it’s just a weekend vacation. Sometimes people can’t even do that and without their business kind of dropping, you know,

Ray Edwards

almost I tied up a lot of loose ends. I shut down a lot of projects, I stopped doing a lot of what I was doing. And all I really had available to me was the blog and posting to the blog and communicating with my audience in that way. And I just the phone rang and people would say, I have a project I heard from your other client that you were good at this would you be willing to work on this for us and that’s what happened. I would love to tell you that I had a brilliant plan that anybody could duplicate they could take my blueprint for going to 10 hours a week and having their most profitable year ever. But that’s not how it happened.

Jeremy Weisz

I thought you were gonna have some because I have read one of your blog posts I know you’ve mentioned Sam Carpenter and he’s big on systems and I know you’ve

Ray Edwards

and hey I’m I’m a big proponent of all that and you can read about that on my blog and you know better yet get his book Work the System and you can get it for free at workthesystem.com. It’s a download PDF. If you Wanna check it out, but those things are all valid. And I encourage people to do that. And I encourage people to, there’s another book called The 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall, which I highly recommend for this same purpose. So you know, yes, eliminate the 80% of stuff that you’re doing. That is not yielding results, because 80% of the results that we get the money that we make, the sales that we make, the success that we have comes from 20% of our activities, which means to me, I look at that, and I say that means out of a 10 hour day, eight of those hours were wasted. Right, I could have gotten the same result in two hours. So definitely do that. But during that ministry, school time, I didn’t really have that insight. It was really just a leap of faith and God’s providence. You know,

Jeremy Weisz

in Ray, I want to get to the question about one thing the audience can do to get a quick win to get results right now, but before I ask it, if I’m curious about what’s it been a post or a podcast that’s made you the most uncomfortable to write or put out there?

Ray Edwards

Oh, it was the Parkinson’s post. It was definitely because I I struggled with when to do that. Because number one, I thought, well, when I post this people are going to look at me differently, they’re never going to look at me the same again. It’s always gonna be an evaluative process, like, watching this interview right now, someone is looking at me going, I can’t tell if he has it. And you know, and they’re evaluating it. And when I go, I went to a mastermind meeting in Nashville. Just yesterday, I got back. And you know, people I could see it, they were like, they look at me carefully. They say How you doing? I knew that was gonna happen. So number two, I thought, Well, some people are going to write me off. They’re going to say, Well, he’s got this disease now. So forget about him. I’m going to move on to somebody who is not a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. And let me underscore something for those who don’t know, Parkinson’s is not fatal. So I don’t Life is it all we all die? It’s no good or not but it’s gonna happen. But you don’t you don’t die from Parkinson’s you die with it. So sometimes I get you know, people are like, Oh my god, I’m so sorry. How long do you have

Jeremy Weisz

that I’ll leave?

Ray Edwards

Like, I don’t know. How long do you have? How does

Jeremy Weisz

it affect you now? I mean, is there any part of it that manifests?

Ray Edwards

Oh yes. I have I have tremor and I have some some random movement and stiffness and I can’t type anymore. I couldn’t type very good to start with so that wasn’t really a huge loss. Dig dictation is how I do almost all my writing these days. So yeah, I definitely am affected by it, but not it’s very mild. You know, a lot of people tell me why I can’t even tell if some of my more honest friends will say, Yeah, I can tell but it’s not very, you know, they’re not trying to be nice. They’re just trying to be real. I can sort of see what’s going on with you, but it’s not really that big a deal. So I was worried about being written off. And then I was also worried about I didn’t want people to think I was trying to play on sympathies, or, you know, call attention to me that this was a real struggle for me about when to do it. And I did a lot of praying and thinking about it. And when I finally got to a point where I felt like, Okay, I know where I stand on this, I had to settle all the issues that I had, like, Am I angry at God? Because he hasn’t healed me? Or that he let this happen to me or am I discouraged by this to a point that I can’t go forward and to work through all that stuff myself before I was able and ready to share it with anybody else? Yeah. And so that was definitely the scariest

Jeremy Weisz

I asked that because I know sometimes the most important powerful thing that we do makes us the most uncomfortable. And

Ray Edwards

guess what, that has been the most important and powerful thing that I’ve done? Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz

So now to the the audience, what’s the one quick win to get they can get results right now? What’s something you did in your business that really made a difference?

Ray Edwards

Okay, So, this will sound vague, but Well, let me just tell you the story of how I did this first. There was a lot of people who were hanging out their shingle on the internet as copywriters and they had they written big, long sales letters about how fabulous they were. And I had written one of those two, and mine was pretty good. But I figured, you know, this is not where most people are starting. And I had read over and over again, this rule of copywriting that said, You’ve got to join the conversation that’s already taking place in the mind of the reader. In other words, you got to put yourself in their shoes. Like Atticus Finch says in To Kill a Mockingbird. You can never really understand the man unless you walked a mile in the shoes. To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my two favorite novels of all time, read it often. And so I thought, well, what is it people want? Well, they want to sell more of their stuff. So I started offering instead of writing a big long sales letter I just went where people were posting in online forums about their, their, their website, not making a lot of sales. And I would go and take a look at their website, and I would write up a short critique, and just post it. I met people where they work. I talked to them about what they were thinking about and talking about already. And I said, Hey, I looked at your website. And here’s five things you could do right now that would improve it, you know, write a better headline, tell the story here in this part of your copy is very specific. And then I would say, if you want a full critique, just send me an email, let me know I’ll do it for free. I wrote up a free critique, and I told them exactly what to do to fix their coffee. And then at the end of it, I was again, I was following the conversation that I knew was taking place in their mind, because what most of them were thinking was, well, this is great, but I do not want to do this. This looks like

Jeremy Weisz

it’s gonna ask how many people actually follow through with your advice.

Ray Edwards

So I said, if you want somebody to do this for you, I’ll do it. Here’s what I would charge Here’s an invoice and here’s how to pay me. And for every 10 of those I sent out I got three back with money through my paypal account that’s good. So it’s it’s a matter of find the fastest path. This is this is so counterintuitive to people they want to have big fancy advertising copy or write a brilliant headline, no, find the fastest path to helping people. That’s what they don’t they don’t want your course or your software or your thing, whatever it is that you’re selling. They want help they want their whatever is bugging them or hurting them. They want it to stop. Yeah, that’s that’s the quick way and

Jeremy Weisz

it goes back to big lesson number three. All of them probably fit under one of your big four lessons. So I know you were in radio to start off what made you transition to copywriting? How’d you get into copywriting?

Ray Edwards

Um, I started studying copywriting when I was in radio as a way to preserve my job really because I figured out disk jockeys were pretty disposable. Depending on what the ratings were like, or the budgets were like sales people stuck around longer and drove nicer cars. And so I figured if I could help them help their clients, if I could write better ads for the clients, that would give me job security. And it happened because the disc jockey get fired, and they’d be like, we can’t get fire rate because the Ford guy loves you. Because he writes those ads. And then I started using direct response copy to market our stations to listeners, so we get better ratings. And then along about around about 2000 2001, I realized that the radio businesses huge trouble, because there’s these things called mp3 players and satellite radio and streaming and broadcast Comm. And nobody in our industry was taking it seriously and I figured out I need an exit plan. And I discovered that people would pay a lot of money if you would write copy for them. And in radio, anybody who knows anything about radio understands, you don’t get paid to write copy and radio. There’s so much you get paid right copy of radio zero. And so my first copywriting paid copywriting gig was $400. Now, I was overjoyed. I was like, really this person who I have never met, got my critique. I’ve just told you about that technique. She’s she was a doctor in the UK. She got my critique. She got my invoice she sent me $400 I wrote some copy, and she’s happy. This has possibilities. So that’s how I got started.

Jeremy Weisz

So Ray, tell me some of the most successful campaigns and why were they so effective.

Ray Edwards

Um, there’s been a lot that have done really well but to that spring to mind when I saw this question where there was one for a guy named Jack Bosch, and he had written or well hitting written, he was creating a course teaching people how to invest in real estate and it’s kind of a weird way because unlike everybody else, jack recommended going in by Tax sale tax lien properties that we’re going to be foreclosed on. Other people have taught that. But his his technique was to do it for very small amounts of money and always do it for cash and never borrow money to do it. And you did lots of these little transactions and that you kind of snowball your way up to bigger money. And he was unique because he was an immigrant. He came here from Germany, he didn’t speak the language. And he showed up with just a few bucks in his pocket, or a suitcase. And he had this tremendous success story. And he contacted me and said, I want I want you to write my copyright. And I told him how much it would cost and I thought that would be the end of it because I was charging a lot $30,000 that time and he’s like, Okay, no problem. And he was the most to this day. The most methodical client I’ve ever worked with. Every date that he put on the calendar for promotion happened, like, with machine like precision, which I believe because he’s German, German engineering. He’s like, BMW guy. And he was just like clockwork. And so, when we launched this product, it was 2008. September. The very day our launch started, was the day the banks collapsed. Well, because of bad real estate loans. And Jack called me he’s in panic. He’s like, we have to stop the launch because nobody wants to hear about real estate. And I said, No. everybody’s thinking about it right now. And they’re thinking about debt and how the banks have collapsed and your whole system is on not going the

Jeremy Weisz

opposite. Yeah.

Ray Edwards

So we sent out an email with the subject line. See, I told you boom. $1.7 million in a week. Wow. So that that one I really love that story. And then another success story was a it was a progressive story. client who is now a friend of mine Dr. Andrew Jones was a veterinary doctor still is in Canada. And he wanted to sell ebooks online, telling people how to treat their dogs and cats at home with homeopathic remedies. And when I first heard that I was like, that’s kind of crazy. First of all, it’s weird. Second of all, and third, aren’t you put yourself out of business? And he told me Well, that’s what I want to do. I don’t like having clinic and staff and all this expensive. So I wrote the copy. And he started making money. And he called me one day, he said, so we’re making like 1500 dollars a month on this ebook. What’s next? Now what do we do? And I said, Well, you build a how to course and just have somebody follow you around with a video camera through your clinic and show people how to do the stuff that you taught in the book. So he did. And he said, he called me he said, Well, we shot all the videos now what do I do? Mike? Well, now you sell them and you charge like $300 for him, and everybody else that he was learning from at that time he because he bought courses of And advice from different people. They told him, nobody will pay $300 for that, well, they were wrong because he got Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. And I told him, I said, this is what you do. You go get this guy’s product, and you just follow the instructions. So he did it. And he did a launch. And he made $45,000, in his first week, set up a $7,000, seven or $8,000 a month income stream out of that. And he and we work together progressively over the years since that time to build this. He sold his practice. He travels the world. He’s just got back from Europe. Not long ago, he snowboards and skis and in fact, he’s coming into town next week, and we’re going to talk about doing some other projects together. And I just love that I look at that guy’s life. And I think, you know, it’s not that I’m like some wizard. It’s just I got the privilege of connecting him to the right resources and ideas at the right time and serving Him. And by virtue of doing that, I benefited as well. So

Jeremy Weisz

what were some of the components in the copy that really helped because obviously, you know, you put out, not great copy and you’re not going to be selling $45,000 worth of stuff.

Ray Edwards

Well, it was him telling his story of his own dog that he loved, that died of cancer. And that died horribly because of the medicines that he gave the dog, which is what you’ve been taught to do, right? And he’s like, I don’t want this to ever happen to anybody else’s pet. There’s got to be a better way. And so, you know, other veterinary doctors in his area, hated what he was saying, because he was saying, don’t do this to your animals, you know, there’s natural ways to treat them. That will not only make them healthier and save their life, but we’ll put them through these horrible side effects and, and so when we told that story in the copy, people connected you know, it’s one thing to say, if you give your dog the medicines that your veterinary doctors recommending and you give them all the all the chemicals and so forth. They’re going to suffer, they’re not going to be healthy. It’s another thing to say, my dog that I loved dearly. It was a companion for life, got cancer and suffered. And I saw him struggle to breathe as his lungs filled up with fluid and, and eventually we had to, I had to administer the drug that took his life to pull him out of his suffering. And I cried, you tell that story. I mean, look at both of us right now are like, Whoa, I don’t want to have to go through something like that. And that’s just the power of story. It’s why stories are the greatest teachers in history taught by telling stories, Jesus taught primarily by telling stories.

Jeremy Weisz

And you know, you kind of guide him through that and brought him to that, but not everyone listens, right? What’s advice that you give to clients where they maybe don’t listen? What are some big mistakes that people are making right now?

Ray Edwards

Not telling their true story. I had I had a client come to me. He had a I have to be careful. Cuz I don’t want to unveil somebody, I don’t I don’t edit

Jeremy Weisz

these at all. So,

Ray Edwards

right. So that’s good to know. Um, I had a client come to me and he, he, he had a product that he wanted to sell. And he was through talking with him. And I do lots of background research on people before I write for them, like you did for this interview, by the way, tremendous research that you did. You found out things about me, I’d forgotten that. I knew I was like, Wow, really?

Jeremy Weisz

I like when people tell me that. Yeah.

Ray Edwards

This so this guy, I found out through our conversations that he was a marine. He had retired from the Marine Corps. And so I wrote this copy around the strength in the honor and the power and the struggles of becoming a marine and what that meant and what that meant for his company and going forward. And when he saw the copy, he totally freaked out and said, Oh, I don’t want I don’t want to tell that story. I don’t want to use that. That makes me uncomfortable. I want something more generic and like that’s not powerful. And he said, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to tell him anything. put his foot down. So we took it out of the copy and it didn’t do well. That’s a big mistake not telling your true story. The second is focusing on features instead of benefits. So I had another client who had produced this big course on how to make information products, how to take your expertise and turn it into a product. And what he wanted was I had begun writing this copy that told the story of how turning your your knowledge into information that can benefit other people can give you freedom, I was telling the story of you breaking free. What he wanted to focus on was the thud factor is what he called it. How big is the thud that this thing makes when it lands on your front doorstep from ups? It’s got thud factor Ray I want you to talk about I’ve got 18 CDs and there’s 72 hours worth of audio and there’s 37 hours worth of video. There’s 575 pages and there’s 29 chapters. Well, those are all things Teachers, and nobody cares. Nobody wants your 18 CD or your 537 pages. They want freedom, right? Joy, they want connection and love and a good point

Jeremy Weisz

of evidence. And

Ray Edwards

so that’s a huge mistake. people focus on features instead of the ultimate benefits. And then the third, this probably is the biggest mistake, actually should have been number one, thinking that you are your audience. And I hear this all the time from clients. Well, I’m I am my audience, I am the market. I know exactly what they want. No, you are not and No, you don’t. By the virtue of the fact that you have a market or an audience. You are weird. But most people don’t have that. And the fact that you have a thought in your head that I have something that I’m going to offer to this group, and they’re going to buy it is weird. So you’re out. You’re out of the equation, when it comes to knowing what they want.

Jeremy Weisz

You’ve got ever thought of it That’s interesting.

Ray Edwards

You got to have somebody go and study those people. And if you do it yourself, it’s hard. You’ve got to study them and know their language and understand what magazines they read what TV shows they watch what neighborhoods they live in, what does their life smell like when they get up in the morning? What does their house smell like? What do they see first thing in the morning? when they wake up? What do they think about all day long? What are their fears, their frustrations, their anxieties, and the only way to do that is to get into life with them and and know that stuff? And then tell that story from their perspective. Nancy Duarte who is the creation genius, amazing.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah,

Ray Edwards

she she created for those who don’t know, she created Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth presentation.

Jeremy Weisz

I interviewed I had the pleasure of interviewing her as well. Yeah,

Ray Edwards

really? Yeah. Wow. Okay, now, now you’re my hero. She talks about how you know you’re not the hero of the story. We think that we’re Luke Skywalker, but we’re not. We’re Yoda. The audience your prospect is Luke Skywalker. And you’ve got to remember that they’re the hero of the story. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz

yeah. I have a we have to keep remembering that. What you know, Ray, you’ve had a lot of successful campaigns. What’s one that didn’t do well? And why do you think?

Ray Edwards

Um, okay, so I had this client who came to me very famous guy. And he wanted me to write copy for this product that he was offering and I was very excited to work for him. I admired him. I got a copy of that product, which I was thrilled about. I went through with a fine tooth comb, I took hundreds of notes. I wrote some copy that I was proud of. And he ripped it to shreds we got on the phone, he just second guessed everyone and that bad guy could take that I have a thick skin. But then it became I would do a revision and he would want to revise my revision. He the copy became such a Frankenstein mess. Yes, and I didn’t have the, at that time, I didn’t understand that I needed to be the powerful person that I am the same powerful person that you are and that everybody is and and know what you know and say to this guy, look, you need to take the copy that I gave you and run it the way I gave it to, instead of screwing with it because this is not going to work. And guess what it didn’t it. It fell flat. Right? And it was just a horrible mess. And I felt so bad about it. I was I had to deal with this guy to get a percentage of the sales, he paid me a big check up front was gonna give me a percentage of sales going forward. And I called him one day and I said, Look, I feel bad about how this turned out. And this is what I should have told you run my copy the way I wrote it, and I didn’t. But I don’t want there to be any bad blood between us. So I said don’t you don’t owe me anything else. Just don’t ever tell anybody that I wrote that copy. Because I didn’t write we’re friends to this day. And but that was a That was a big mess. And the lesson I learned was, know what you know, and own that and be true to that because I had this nine feeling in the pit of my stomach the whole time saying, This is not

Jeremy Weisz

right. Listen our intuition. I didn’t listen. I should have listened. So Ray, what are your some of your favorite headlines?

Ray Edwards

I wrote a headline for a campaign that came from a movie title. And it was called There Will Be Blood. And it was there was a one of my clients had had some of his own students rip off his course they took his course, kind of rewrote it but very thinly, wow. Anybody could look at it and see that, oh, you took product x and you just made it, called it product y and kind of rewrote it a little bit and said it was your own. Yeah. And so my, my client and friend called me and said, I don’t know what to do. And I said, I know what to do. Let’s What if you get gave it away for free. And you kind of issued your sales letter as a throw down, you threw down the gauntlet, you said I’m giving it away for free. And I got a brand new thing and I’m going to teach people how to do and you copycat guys now figure out what to do with that. So this was the headline for that campaign, There Will be Blood. And I just wrote this emotional I mean, this this sales copy that I wrote did $3 million in less than a month. Wow. And it was written in 45 minutes in a coffee shop in Sedona, Arizona. Amazing

Jeremy Weisz

there’s so much more I want to dig into but I know we have limited time so I’m gonna I want to know how you craft a story what are some things people can do? Because I know you you know the power of stories.

Ray Edwards

Um, you know, I think through the journey that that people are that the story goes through I love the the Joseph Campbell The Hero’s Journey. I won’t go into all that because we don’t have a lot of time. Look it up if you don’t know it already. So I I beyond that fall looking for that storyline, which I think is there and every story that we tell. It’s the story. Read Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

Jeremy Weisz

I just saw that you you finish that.

Ray Edwards

I read it once before, but I just read it again. And I just up until now my favorite novel of all time was Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, but now it’s been displaced by The Alchemist. So anyway, beyond that, just technique stuff. I use short words, short sentences, short paragraphs, lots of dialogue. When I can, when I’m allowed to do that, sometimes clients are like, I don’t want this, like a book or a story or something. And and my feeling is Yes, exactly. But not everybody gets that and then lots of cliffhangers if you will. Section two section two little bits of curiosity little loops that you leave open that you pull people through the story and the tie off one loop and you open up another one, and you move them progressively through the story to keep their interest.

Jeremy Weisz

So Ray, I have two more questions in two minutes. Okay, one is Who are some of your mentors? And who do you want to meet that you haven’t met yet?

Ray Edwards

So mentors. First, there’s the dead guys. Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, John caples Eugene Schwartz, the great copywriting mentors and I’m focusing just on copywriting because that’s mostly what we’re talking about. Gary Halbert, whom I had the pleasure of meeting once briefly, and I wish I’d been able to spend more time with him because what a genius writer he was living living mentors from afar. I don’t know. Gary Bencivenga. we’ve exchanged a couple of emails but he is in my opinion, the greatest Living copywriter on planet Earth. Currently, I could be wrong, but maybe I just don’t know who the other guy is. John Carlton is a mentor that I know a little we, again, we’ve met a few times and exchanged a few emails, but I went to a seminar one time with $5,000 in my pocket just to buy all of his products. Well, I learned from him and my current close, like personal mentors are Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller. Ken Davis. Dave Ramsey is a mentor of mine. I know him a little I’ve met him once, but I don’t really don’t very well. So I can’t claim a personal relationship. And who do I want to meet?

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, we have one minute. I don’t know who you want to meet. I want you to tell people where they can find you too.

Ray Edwards

Okay. So, business wise, I would love to meet Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates. Every one of those guys scares me. I would be intimidated to meet them, but that’s one of the reasons why I would want to meet you On a personal level, I’d love to meet Rick Warren. Billy Graham, and I admitted I was Star Trek geek. I would love to meet William Shatner. And then, what was the question when people

Jeremy Weisz

find you find out more information, your wealth of knowledge that we can only boil down in the short period of time.

Ray Edwards

RayEdwards.com is really the one place to find me and I would really encourage you to listen to my podcast, you can subscribe to it. It’s free. It’s a one hour show. I’ve done it every week for 119 weeks running and I plan to keep doing it as long as I’m breathing. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz

Ray, I appreciate it. I know you have to go. It’s been an absolute pleasure and thank you so much.

Ray Edwards

pleasures, all mine. God bless. Thanks for