How iNLP Center Helped Me Earn My First $100/Hr Copywriting Client
Want to learn how learning NLP techniques for copywriting can uplevel your career? For this story, you have to travel back in time. Not far. Just around a year and a half, maybe a little more. I’d recently closed down a 500 user digital publishing company kind of like Smashwords, and designed to compete with Amazon.com.
The company had grown really fast over a period of months, but it was expensive and I was mainly a one-man show. I spent countless hours at home behind a screen editing, designing, publishing books…and all that other stuff like customer service, author training, Q&As, and more.
The problem was the company wasn’t making any money.
My margins were too small and despite putting out a lot of content, our writers made very little. So as it grew and scaled, it ultimately became too expensive and alone I simply failed.
But the story doesn’t end there, and I definitely wasn’t through. As an entrepreneur, I vowed to never stop trying and to never stop fighting for a life of something more. Corporate jobs and slaving away to make others rich…just wasn’t for me, and in all honesty, it never will be.
After shutting down my startup, I felt a little lost. I wasn’t sure which direction to go. A friend suggested copywriting since I had some experience in NLP but no formal training. He said combined with my schooling in Psychology, and fiction experience, it would be a perfect fit.
So I gave it a shot and it turns out it was a great fit!
After a week of freelancing, I’d earned my first $300. After that, I earned $1000 by the end of week two. A lot of people have tried to replicate this small success and failed. The thing is, they didn’t know what I know and they didn’t have the same skillset, so it only makes sense they’d have a hard time.
I applied NLP to my freelance career from the start, and that was enough to earn my first clients, but this story isn’t just about getting clients, so I won’t go deeper for now. Anyone who applies to enough jobs can pick up freelance clients. This is the story about my first $100/hr client and how iNLP helped me land him.
After achieving $1000 in a week, I bumped my rates up and kept scaling, reaching for outcomes higher and higher. I went from $5/hr to $10/hr to $25/hr to $50/hr and finally set my rates to $100/hr around my fifth week. By then I’d also enrolled with iNLP to attend their NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner training.
At first, I didn’t think anyone would willingly pay me $100/hr. I had great feedback by now, but not a whole lot of proof that said I was worth that amount. If I were an employer hiring someone at that rate I’d probably dig a lot deeper. But low and behold, a client soon reached out and asked for an interview.
For some reason, it really set me on edge.
This was a BIG deal for me and despite having studied copywriting and NLP, I wasn’t sure I could deliver. Plus, when I looked at the other applicants, I saw my competition was quite adept in Milton Model (which in the industry we sometimes call word weaving) and other skills too.
Anyway, I almost didn’t respond to the client’s inquiry. I was about to delete it when I thought back to my training with iNLP. I’d set an anchor a few days before and now seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it out.
So I applied two fingers to the back of my hand, hoping to experience the warmth and light and freedom of driving into town in my Jeep on a bright sunny day with the windows down and the radio up. At the time, I had these really powerful feelings because I was working on my own while others headed off to their 9-5. So I used it to set an anchor I could hopefully use again.
But what about now?
As soon as I touched the back of my hand, a fiery glow consumed my body! A huge smile spread across my face and suddenly those worries washed away, carried by a light flowing from within. Okay, maybe it’s not as profound as I make it seem, but I did feel the feelings I’d felt days before and it was enough to propel me forward and take that next step toward my goals.
So I responded to the client just as I’d done for so many others. It was a different kind of response than other freelancers give. Most people apply to jobs and talk all about their experience and their education and all that fancy stuff. But I knew in a crowded market I had to stand out, and that meant doing things differently.
To set myself apart, I focused on the client and his needs. In all honesty, it’s the same approach any good coach would use, because nobody cares about your experience, only whether or not you can help them achieve their outcomes. So I responded to my client by carefully analyzing his message. If I wanted to stand out, I’d have to gain rapport, but how could I do that when we hadn’t even met?
You don’t have to be live to gain rapport with others. And since it was fresh in my mind from iNLP training, I knew exactly what to do. I looked at the words the client used, and how he crafted his message. Then I asked myself questions:
- Is he being vague or specific about his needs?
- Is he using big-picture words or chunking down?
- What sensory cues is he speaking from? Pictures? Sounds? etc.
- How can I write like him to show we’re similar to each other?
- What questions can I ask to help us both get clear about his needs?
After that, I responded. I asked a few targeted questions to help break down his walls and get him thinking about solutions for his problems instead of my background and experience. It worked like a charm and when he responded again, it was from a place of excitement and empowerment to schedule our first meet.
But gaining the interview was only half the battle, and I still had to meet this guy live. The thing is, someone who’s willing to pay $100/hr for writing is probably someone important, so I was still intimidated, and on the day of our chat, my world came crashing down.
Things started great. I triggered my anchor before the call and jumped in feeling alive. We opened with strong rapport and I poked fun at the client for being a few minutes late and making excuses (it was ironic because he’s a high-performance business coach who teaches people not to make excuses).
After that things got tricky…
Instead of asking questions and interviewing him (that’s how I like things to go), he probed me with questions of his own that pierced my iron veil. He asked about my copywriting experience and similar projects to what he was doing. The thing is, I didn’t have any similar projects to share, so there was nothing to pull from.
But being a smart cookie, and well-trained too, I went Milton on him and dodged his questions with vague language. And for a while, it actually worked. I gained ground and started to overcome his tactics.
In the past, this always worked, because even when I didn’t have experience, all I needed was the client’s outcome. Then I could ask questions to get clear about their needs and deliver writing that worked for them.
Unfortunately, my plan was flipped on its head this time, so I was totally off my game. The client knew it too. He could sense it, and his questions got more and more specific. Looking back, it’s no surprise…after all, he’s an executive coach and that’s pretty much his job!
So after several minutes of back and forth, he eventually asked me a question I couldn’t Milton out of. He asked, “How would you use NLP in your copywriting?” And what he was really asking was for a LIVE demonstration!
As soon as the words left his mouth, a switch flipped.
I was stuck. I’d never felt frozen like this before. I felt like a fraud and he was going to find out I wasn’t worth anything! As best I could, I tried evasive questions to buy time. I asked him to clarify what he meant and asked him if he was asking for a live demonstration. He definitely was.
The problem was, I’d mostly used NLP for writing, not for coaching or giving live demos! The only other time I’d ever felt a penetrating fear quite like this was when asked to do role-play in sales jobs. Something about being put on the spot was my roadblock and right now my road was completely blocked!!!
For about a minute and a half (which doesn’t seem that long when you’re talking), we sat in silence. He just listened… waiting for me to come up with something. And I just sat there frozen – couldn’t think of what to do. All of a sudden NLP was gone. I couldn’t remember it. I couldn’t draw from it. The words Milton and Meta and Rapport and Outcomes…all had gone from my mind.
And I could hear him getting anxious.
He wouldn’t wait much longer. He was shuffling and clearing his throat with a little scuff and I had to do something RIGHT NOW or he’d be gone for good. So I did the only thing I could think of…
I touched the back of my hand and let those warm feelings wash over me once more. The anchor worked again, and it gave me enough boost to shake off the stuck. I still didn’t have anything in mind, but there was an answer – one single chance, a “Hail Mary” if you will. The only option was to come clean and own up to my fears.
So I just told him…”I’m sorry, but I totally froze just now. I’m not used to giving live NLP demos. I mainly use NLP for writing.”
He was about to interject and end our call, but I wasn’t quite done…
“If you’re interested, I’d like to write your first document for free as a demonstration of my skills and I’ll leave comments to show you exactly how I use NLP and psychology to craft compelling copy.”
The client paused again. Back to a silence that lasted a lifetime…then he responded.
I assumed it was a wow that meant this was the most outrageous thing someone had ever pulled. Turns out it WAS outrageous, but not in the way I thought.
“That’s the most empowering thing any freelancer has ever said to me.” He continued. “I…I accept your offer, and I look forward to seeing what you can do.”
My jaw dropped. And with that, I took notes about his project and closed the call. I simply couldn’t believe I was still in the game and all thanks to my NLP training at iNLP.
The next morning I worked on the client’s project. I spent around five hours of total writing and rewriting and infusing the document with NLP techniques for copywriting and making notes to explain what they were and how they were used. I reviewed iNLP’s training to make sure my explanations made sense, then delivered the work around 8 am.
After that I didn’t get a response. I waited for days, but no emails came. I assumed the writing just wasn’t what he wanted. But then…about a day after I’d given up hope, he called.
He said he was so impressed with what I’d done in both in the interview and in the writing that he wanted to work with me and chose me over everyone else who’d applied.
He agreed to my rates, and sent over work the same day!
And, of course, I made sure to deepen my anchor with newly discovered feelings of success that have empowered my approach and fueled me to the highest echelons of copy in just over a year.
And though I’ve moved on to bigger clients and higher-paying work since, we’ve maintained our connection and relationship, and he calls me up with referrals all the time.
Since that day, I’ve improved my NLP techniques for copywriting and practiced describing it live. I’ve used other elements of iNLP training to overcome my biggest hurdles and rise my business to new heights.
I wanted to share this story to let those who may wonder if iNLP training is worth it know…for me the answer is a resounding YES!
iNLP training has allowed me to break through walls and ceilings like never before. I’ve overcome one challenge after another and now write only for 6 and 7-figure life, health, and business coaches who need powerful copy to get their message across.
So thank you iNLP, for helping me uplevel my life and my career in ways others can only imagine. I couldn’t have done it without you.