Meeting the copywriting greats

I was all excited for this marketing event thingy at the lake….and the conclusion:


As you may (or may not) know, I’ve become a semi-famous copywriter in the last 4 months….and this event brings together some of the top marketers (many of whom started by writing sales copy) from around the world.

Naturally I learned a lot stuff in the seminar parts of the conference, but the real value is NOT JUST GETTING TO MEET the greats in an industry….

….but getting to hang out with them in lots of different personal settings.

THAT is where the real value sets in.

I was all excited to meet Joe Sugarman again at this conference, because since I heard of him I’ve:

  • Read everything by him
  • Studied his work
  • Copied the style of some of his work
  • Used the principles he teaches to make money for myself and others
  • Watched every YouTube video about him
  • Downloaded interviews etc….

His work has actually added a major element to the way I work….and it’s exciting to meet a personal hero of yours.

HOWEVER it’s getting to sit next to him on a 45 min bus ride to a restaurant, or go boating with him, hanging out at the pool, or simply sitting next to him at meals and getting to ask stuff you don’t hear about in his work.  This is where the networking happens…..because it’s not just “networking”…it’s actually becoming friends with someone.

Allllrriiigghhttyyy… here’s some of the highlights of the conference (well….the whole thing was a blast):

Here’s Joe Sugarman up on stage giving a talk:

Me with the great Joe Sugarman (and my Kopy shirt):

The first day of the conference, all 80+ people got on a big boat and went cruising around Lake Travis…complete with full indoor seating area, lunch buffet, three full-time jet skii’s and a wake boarding boat (not a bad day at a “boring conference” right?!):

Hanging out on a boat while Joe Polish goes tubing:

Hahah….Joe had a “tubing war” with a “hefty” Brit…..and judging by this picture I’d say he’s about to win!

We got treated to Joe speaking several times through the conference:

….and of course I got my obligatory picture:

I love all these pictures….but it’s more gratifying to hang out on a personal level with some with some other industry greats (some not so publicly-well-known) like Michael Fishman:

While hanging out at a restaurant by the lake I got a random shot of John Carlton and Joe Sugarman talking…..and with a little cropping and making the picture black & white it looks like they’re total badasses (or they’re asking “Why the fuck are you taking a picture of us?“)

Later on everyone got to hear John Carlton speak.  He had a lot of cool ways to come up with a definition of your bid-nazz as well as other advice:

…and of course, the obligatory picture with one of the greats (who was good friends with Gary Halbert….another idol of mine):

The final speaker for the whole conference was Bill Phillips.  I honestly don’t know toooo much about Bill other than he’s a HUGGGEEE figure in the fitness industry.  I’ve heard this a lot in the past….and could tell everyone was genuinely excited to meet him.

Apparently he just had major surgery on both his knees, and up till last week was confined to a wheel chair.  He can now walk a bit….but only with these massive full-leg braces.  They kept calling him The Bionic Man :-)

….and what did you expect….a PICTURE with him of course :-)

I also made sure I brought my copy of “Advertising Secrets of the Written Word” by Joe Sugarman to get it signed….here it is!


Fantastic learning experience, great getting to mingle with higher-ups, lots of fun…and completely worth it :-)

I’ve scanned and posted my notes from the conference below. I dunno how much REAL value you’ll get out of them since most of it comes from BEING THERE….but here ya go, enjoy!

Blog posted on: August 4, 2011

11 comments on “Meeting the copywriting greats

  1. Thomas

    It looks like you had some fun!
    And becoming friends with the guys, now that’s just awesome. After all, you are your 5 closest friends, this is your mastermind :p

    Ouch, I would struggle to write copy in english. After all, I am from Brittany(france).

    1. Neville

      Thanks man!

      I like giving those out for two reasons:

      1.) Hopefully people will pickup at least ONE idea or concept from the notes that will help them in some area

      2.) I’m forgetful and it’s cool to see those notes every once in a while

      Glad you enjoyed :-)

      1. Dividendium

        I got 4 specific concepts/ideas from the notes that I plan to use here soon. I had a couple clarification questions…

        (p. 6) “hire a developer for your biz, not just a web master”
        – Do you remember what his reasoning was for this? Does “developer” = “programmer” or did it mean something else?

        (p. 8) “Most people live in a shallow intellectual area”
        – Do you remember what context this was in or what it was referring to?

        1. Neville

          Michael Lovitch was talking about this….he said specifically to hire a top-notch DEVELOPER…not just a “web designer” for your larger projects.

          It’s well known that a GREAT developer will pay for themselves 10X easily…where as just a decent WEB DESIGNER will cost you much more down the line in headaches and upgrade costs.

          John Carlton referred to “Most people live in a shallow intellectual area” when he was telling a story:

          He wanted to become a writer…so he read every book imaginable on the subject. When he went into a “big-ole fancy advertising agency”, he realized he not only knew AS MUCH as everyone there….but MUCH MORE simply because he dived deeper into the subject.

          He said “Most people live in a shallow intellectual area” …and if you go a little deeper, you’ll know so much more.

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  4. Jeremy

    Hi Neville

    thank you for sharing

    you are among the legends

    I love the quote you wrote down in the notes from Bill Phillips about successful people caring.

    who was your favorite speaker at the seminar?




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