Katie Yeakle helps people enter the copywriting business.
Here's our interview with Katie on what she does and what she's learned along the way.
Katie, tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
At American Writers & Artists, Inc., we publish and market home-study programs that offer people freelance work opportunities. Our flagship program, AWAI's accelerated program for six-figure copywriting, shows people how to write winning sales letters. Plus, like all our programs, we offer insider tips and strategies for getting started and succeeding in the industry.
When did you start the business?
Where is your business located?
Delray Beach, Florida.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I was a direct mail marketer for a large international publishing company.
Where did you get the startup money?
We were very lucky in that we didn't need much money to get started. My partners and I created the program and promotion ourselves. and, we made deals with publishers to promote our product on a revenue split basis. those early sales were our intial cashflow.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
We were one of the first companies to offer the type of training we do. In the last 11 years, several established copywriters have since started marketing programs based on the experience/expertise. As far as competing...we were the first and are the most established. I think the support we offer our members is what makes us stand above the growing crowd. But, here's a secret. Competition is good in our industry. As soon as someone understands the tremendous opportunity copywriting offers ...and wants to become a copywriter ... they want to learn as much as possible.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
More people management than I care for.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
No ... the business has grown organically. Even mistakes have been useful in helping us improve our products.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Hired the best people I can find ... incentivize them ... give them plenty of room to shine.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Ready, fire, aim is the mantra we live by. My mentor, Michael Masterson, recently wrote a book on the topic. Don't wait until everything's perfect...the stars are aligned just so. Test your idea as quickly and inexpensively as possible...because you aren't in business until you make your first sale.
Good advice. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience with us, and good luck in growing your business.