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This time we’re chatting with a guy who pretty much owns the copywriting space. For over a decade, Mike Schauer has run Swiped.co, which is a real gold mine for anyone interested in copywriting or marketing in general. The site has an amazing amount of valuable info, which is available for free, but if you want to step it up a level, there’s also a paid membership area, which is just insane. If your focus is copywriting, which it should be, then I think you’re going to love what we have for you today. Mike, welcome. It’s a pleasure to chat with you.
Yes, amazing to be here. That was a great intro.
Oh, it’s great to have you. Now in time honoured tradition I’d love to start by asking just a little bit more about you and your background.
Yeah, definitely. So we can start at right before, or a few years before I started it, because it’s all connected. So my first love and initial skill was design. So I was a designer for a while, would help people with logos, with branding, building websites. And then naturally I started doing the writing when I was building people’s websites. And I had no idea that that was called copywriting.
So just naturally, if you’re coming from, because I would come from a conversion perspective of if I’m going to work on this person’s stuff, I want it to convert. And in my mind, just naturally I could not see that happening without the writing being good. So eventually, and thankfully not too many projects in, a friend of mine said, okay, that’s delivering way more than you’re supposed to. That’s not web design, that’s copywriting and you should be charging extra for it.
So I did, I started doing that, and I realised that I was very much into this just before I knew what copywriting was, because I was into sales and conversions. So after that, I don’t know exactly the timeline, but basically imagine as a designer that I’m visiting sites that are inspiration sites, right?
And this is so common in the design world where you have these different sites with other examples and you go there for inspiration.
So as I’m diving more into the copy world, I’m like, oh, this would be amazing if there was a site but it was for copywriting like that, because we have something called the Swipe File that so many people have been selling Swipe File stuff for a long, long time, but no one had anything like that.
And I had learned how to code at that point. I loved design, right? So I built the whole site. I was just on rocket fuel for a few weeks where I was super excited about it and this was just a side project. It was not a grand plan or anything. And from there, I think because of how I got into it, because of my excitement around it, it just, the momentum was huge and all of a sudden I’m getting unexpected messages from people saying, this is amazing.
This is so cool. And I’m just sitting there like, oh, that’s great because, I think it’s cool and I wanted to do this, but I wasn’t thinking about what other people were going to think. And I think that that mindset has actually served me a lot in my life.
There is one approach that you can take of, alright, we’ve got the problem, we’re going to solve it and we’re going to go, like, basically that perspective is more if you’re just saying, I want to start a business, right? But if you’re just going with the flow of things, it’s like, wow, I’m so excited about this.
Well, why would I be excited about it? It means that there’s other people that have to be excited about it because I know that there’s other people like me out there and it just worked out that way.
And so I just stuck with it and eventually I stopped taking clients and I was just working on it full time.
So what is the business model for that? So Swiped.co as you say, is an online repository of great copywriting, great marketing pieces.
And then you have the paid level as well for people that maybe want to dive a little bit deeper. And then does that lead into consultancy work as well?
It could. It’s funny, the way that I do consulting now, I do not advertise it. I do not seek it. It’s only if someone is truly excited to speak to me where they reach out.
Dude, I need to hear your perspective because I don’t want to write a whole sales letter just because it’s time consuming for somebody else.
But what I will do, and I’m happy to do is take a look at what they’re doing and as a part of it, I would rewrite some things or give my own ideas, but I’m not doing a whole project from scratch just because of time. But if somebody reaches out to me and they’re like, oh, [I’ll do it 00:05:10], I love your [inaudible 00:05:11], then just like anything else, just like the interview, I want to work with people that are excited to work with me.
Absolutely. Absolutely. No, it makes life so much easier and so much happier doing it that way. For anyone who perhaps is listening who hears us talking about copywriting but doesn’t understand what it is, could you maybe just explain your definition of copywriting?
So copywriting in the most basic way is you are writing with a certain intent to, you could say, get someone to take a certain action, right? In the most plain and simple words. And this is people that don’t understand it or they’re like, oh, I need to learn how to write copy. I’m like, all right, have you written something to somebody where you would like them to take a certain action? And so if you did, then in your head you were probably thinking to yourself, even if it was subconsciously, what do I say to get this person to do this?
We’re all salesmen in our own way, and so this is just in writing, and because it’s in writing, it does make a difference because you don’t have vocal tonality, you don’t have facial expressions, you don’t have all of the jazz you get today from video. So you have to approach it in a specific way, and that can make it more challenging. But that’s where the art of it comes into play.
It’s making those words leap out of the page as well, isn’t it? And connecting with the audience so that, again, they understand without, and even if they have objections, that you actually still broach those objections and talk about that in the copy to overcome those objections. So copywriting is such a nuanced thing and such a great skill that anybody can have. And again, because it is a skill, people can learn how to do this.
Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. Everyone always has their own opinions on how much you need to naturally know to become really good or whatever.
But I just think if you’re drawn to it, if you hear about it, if you’re listening to me and you’re like, oh, that sounds cool, and you just go in that direction, I don’t know, I’m simple man.
It’s like going back to what I was talking about, how I start things.
If you just have all of this momentum and energy going into something, that builds momentum and you’re going to find the answers that you need. And so my site is one way to find those answers, which I deliver knowledge and teaching in this very specific way that’s really based on reverse engineering.
And that’s how I learn. So, I learned best through reverse engineering things…
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