Listen To The Interview:
Download The Interview:
What You’ll Learn In This Interview:
- What Niche Nate Recommends For Freelance Copywriting And What’s Really Important About Specializing
- Why He Emails His List Every Day And How He Was Able To Grow His List Through Twitter
- Discover What Secret Made Nate Quit Freelance Copywriting And Focus On Dropshipping
- The One Thing That Nate Uses In His Emails And Tweets To Keep His Readers Glued To The Screen
- Why Copywriting And Dropshipping Is A Killer Combination
Find Out More About Nate Schmidt:
- Nabeel Azeez
- Neville Medhora’s – Copywriting Blog
Read The Full Transcript:
Haris Halkic: Hello and welcome to this very special interview today. I’m joined on the call by Nate Schmidt. Now, Nate is a very interesting person. He’s an email copywriter from the US. At least, he was until now, but first, let me welcome him to the call. Nate, hello and thank you for joining us.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, Haris. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
Haris Halkic: I’ll just start with the questions and, yeah, your story, basically. So, again, thanks a lot for agreeing to share your best tips on copywriting and your background and let’s just start with how you got started in copywriting and please tell us more about your story.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, man. So it all started, I would say, about a year ago. So right now, I’m 21 years old and back then, I was in college. I’m not in college anymore and we can talk more about that in second here.
Haris Halkic: Sure.
Nate Schmidt: But basically, I figured out that I was going to school for marketing and I was getting a business degree with a concentration in marketing and I kind of realized that school, college wasn’t really gonna get me to where I wanted to be. It wasn’t gonna teach me the things that I’ve needed to know to do what I wanted to do, which was, you know, start my own business, work for myself, and do that kind of thing. So I kind of realized there was a disconnect there between what I was doing and what I wanted to do.
Nate Schmidt: So, I kind of started researching and trying to figure out how to make money online basically and that’s kind of like a big buzzword for people, because it’s kind of a big thing but, you know, I didn’t really have any skills at the time, any skills that I could monetize per se. So, that’s kind of why I found copywriting and I’m not sure exactly how I found out about it because not a lot of people know about it. The people that I’ve told about copywriting that had never heard of it before, they think it has something to do with the law and copyright, like R-I-G-H-T, like what lawyers do and stuff.
I really didn’t know what it was and when I figured that out, I was like “Wow, this is pretty cool.” You know, you can get paid to write words. (Click to tweet)
You can make people money and you can make yourself money, and I always thought that was really cool, just kind of using words and switching them around and just putting them in your own style to move people to buy things or to take action of some sort. So that was kind of how I got hooked on that.
From there, I would say I really just started kind of I read a few books and then I read blog posts, kopywritingkourse.com, copywriting with a K and course with a K. I think the guy’s name is Neville Medhora and I pretty much just consumed all the content on his blog and it’s a lot of really great content. That’s one of the resources I would definitely recommend for anyone looking to break into copywriting, because he explains things very simply and in a kind of entertaining and fun way, so it’s really easy to follow along so you now consume a lot of that content very fast.
So that was one of the resources and I just started reading books and I just started researching. I got on a couple of copywriters’ email lists and just started analyzing what they were doing and kind of trying to figure out how I could reverse engineer that to work for me.
Haris Halkic: So you were basically working with clients as a freelance copywriter during the last year, you could say.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, so when I figured out about copywriting, I probably spent, I would say, somewhere between three and six months doing research and practicing and figuring out how to do copywriting effectively, and then I would say my first client was … I don’t even know if you’d consider it as a real client. My first client was my mom’s business and she owns a medical weight loss company. So I started writing emails for her and that’s where I kind of got to put some of the stuff that I had learned into practice, so that was kind of my first client.
And then, after that, I kind of just started cold emailing companies I’d thought that I’d wanted to work with and thought I would be a good fit for them, and I just started sending a bunch of cold emails, man. I’m talking, like, five or six to the same person, you know, over and over, so they would finally be like “All right, fine. Give this guy a shot so he’ll stop emailing us.”
So that was pretty much how I got started, and then the niches that I worked in, I would say, at first was probably more like the health and fitness niche and I think that’s a really good niche for copywriters because there’s a lot of money to be made there. I wouldn’t say it’s super hard to break into that because, you know, health and fitness, that’s always something that people are going to need.
People are always gonna be insecure with their bodies and want to get in better shape and, you know, people are always gonna be fat and want to lose weight and all that kind of stuff, so I would say that’s a good niche to get into if you’re just starting out. Even if you’re not, I would say that’s probably, you know, like supplements, that’s probably the most coveted niche in copywriting, just because you can make so much money and it’s really … I don’t want to say it’s easy, but it’s definitely easier than a lot of the other niches.
Haris Halkic: So, well, that’s a great tip for somebody starting out, choosing the right niche, I guess.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, yeah, and I think that’s another important thing, is that whatever niche you choose, it doesn’t really matter what niche you choose so much.
I would say you want to choose a niche you at least know something about or, you know, have some experience with or resonate with. (Click to tweet)
And then, once you figure that out, you really want to go all-in on that niche and kind of brand yourself as a, oh, copywriter in the health and fitness niche.
You really want to niche down because for example, if someone’s looking to hire you and – it’s a supplement company, let’s just say – and you used to say you’re a copywriter and you work in all these different kind of niches and they have someone else who specifically writes for supplement companies. They’re gonna go with that person, nine times out of ten, just because that person is niche-specific. They know that they have experience in that niche, so they’re gonna be a lot more likely to choose that person.
Haris Halkic: Let’s talk about … Let’s go more into the topic of email marketing and then email copywriting, because I’m on your email list and you’re one of the guys sending out daily emails, so one question would be how’s it working for you?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, man. It’s actually going fantastic. I’ve started that email list in January. It was probably … It wasn’t January 1st, but it was sometime in that first week of January. I got the advice to start my own email list from one of my mentors, Nabeel Aziz. I’m not sure if you know who he is, but I highly recommend getting on his email list as well and he was really the person that kind of catalyzed all of my copywriting stuff, because I would basically, you know, I reached out to him.
I cold emailed him, just like I do with clients, and I just asked him, you know, “Hey, man. Is there anything that I can do for you in exchange for your mentorship? You’re pretty much doing what I want to do and your guidance would be very valuable.”
So basically I started writing articles for one of his agencies and, in return, he would get on a call with me for 30 minutes or so, and then just basically give me really solid guidance on how to go about growing my email list and my business and all that kind of stuff. So, I started that email list in January and I think I’ve only missed, I want to say, only two or three days since then. I’ve emailed every day, Saturday and Sunday, every single day at least once a day.
So, to grow that email list which is … You know, writing emails isn’t hard. It’s three, four hundred, five hundred, maybe even less than that, you know, not too many words. It doesn’t take that long.
Once you get into the swing of things, you can pump emails out in 20, 30 minutes, maybe an hour at most. So that’s not the hard part. (Click to tweet)
The hard part, I would say, is growing your email list, which I’ve done almost exclusively through Twitter.
I didn’t have a following on Twitter either in January, and that’s kind of when I decided to go all-in on that. At this point, I have somewhere, like 1600 followers or something, not huge or anything, but basically I pushed my email list on Twitter almost every single day, so I’ve gotten a good amount of email subscribers just from that. And I’m also looking to branch out into other avenues, like paid traffic and guest posts and all that kind of stuff, but I would say that’s kind of how I got started with email and the results of that have been, honestly, awesome.
I’m sure you saw some of these emails, I’ve been promoting my friend, James Holt’s drop shipping course and he’s the guy that basically taught me dropshipping from the ground-up. He took me under his wing, taught me everything, and he’s really allowed me to create a source of passive income for myself. It’s been life-changing, to be quite honest with you.
So I’ve been promoting his course and I only did it for a few days, but the course was like 300 bucks, I think, and affiliate commissions are pretty high, so I ended up making a good amount off of that and I’m also in the process of developing my first product as well, which I’ll be selling to my email list when that comes out.
Haris Halkic: Okay, great, great. So, two things are very interesting to me. First is you are one of the few people who’s actually able to get traffic from Twitter that’s helps growing, growing your email list, which I failed miserably. And the second thing is you started as a freelance copywriter and then you discovered affiliate marketing and that it’s kind of maybe the better solution. Is that right?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, well, the thing is about that, man, is that when I first started that email list, I was talking about copywriting and stuff, right?
Haris Halkic: Yeah, sure.
Nate Schmidt: So, in order to do that, I had to first cultivate that skill of copywriting so that I could talk about it. If I didn’t have that skill in the first place, then I wouldn’t be able to accurately and ethically talk about it and give people advice on it because if I wasn’t doing, then it wouldn’t make any sense.
So I would say, yeah, affiliate marketing, I wouldn’t even say that I’m really doing affiliate marketing. That was just kind of I was promoting an affiliate- Or I guess it is affiliate marketing, but I didn’t set out with that goal. It just kind of happened that, you know … Just kind of … That’s just kind of how it happened.
Haris Halkic: Yeah. Can you talk more about which direction you want to go now? Is it going to develop into other affiliate offers or are you … because you told me before we started with this interview that you were actually moving away from freelance copywriting, so can you talk more about this? This sounds very interesting to me, as well.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, man, so really right now, my main source of income is from drop shipping which I guess if people want that, I’ll give kind of a quick background on that. It’s basically you find suppliers in China and then you list their products on your own website, and then you run ads. Most of the time, it’s on Facebook and Instagram, so you run ads on there. There’s other ways to do it as well, but that’s the basics of it. And then when someone purchases something from your site, then you turn around and you place the order to the supplier, and the supplier ships it directly to your customer, so there’s no inventory. You don’t have to touch any of the products. It’s basically just marketing, really, because you just have to know how to get the right people to your store and set up a store that looks good and run good ads and stuff like that.
So that is my main source of income right now. Right now, I actually only have one store, but I’m in the process of building another one and then that’s pretty much my plan for right now, man. It’s just to continue growing my Twitter following and my email list and, you know, do the stuff with that. Sell my own products and maybe do some other affiliate products in the future, but really, I’m not gonna promote any affiliate products that I haven’t used myself or, you know, really believe in, because that takes away from your credibility so much.
That’s another piece of advice too, is that…
You don’t want to just promote things just for the sake of promoting them and just for the sake of putting money in your own pocket. If you do that, people aren’t gonna trust you and if people don’t trust you, they’re not gonna buy from you. (Click to tweet)
Like, see, with me, the reason I think that that offer did so well is because this is the same guy that taught me dropshipping from the ground up and now he has a course that basically is all the information that he gave me over the course of a couple weeks and months all in one place, all very syndicated and stuff like that. So that worked out well because I was very passionate about that, man. I really believe that this is a fantastic product and that if people are willing to put in the work, it has the potential to change their lives.
It was just really authentic, I guess, when I was promoting it. It wasn’t like scamming or anything, I don’t think, or at least I hope not.
Haris Halkic: What’s, like, the next best offer that I can sell?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, like I really believe in this stuff, man, and you know, that shows your marketing stuff because I don’t think you can really fake that for the most part. I mean, maybe you can, but back to the original question.
That’s pretty much my plan is just to continue growing my Twitter following, my email list, my personal brand, branch out to maybe YouTube or some other avenues, maybe a Facebook group, and then continue with drop shipping, continue scaling up my current store, creating new ones. Eventually, down the road, hopefully building a team of people who do all the stuff for me.
Haris Halkic: Okay, great. Sounds great. Is drop shipping, is this mainly about finding the right products or would you say copywriting is also an important skill that you can really elaborate and it helps you to build your drop shipping business?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, see, that’s the thing that I see. People that have success fast – and I’d say that I did relatively fast, it was probably within a month or two that I’ve … you know, it’s probably been about a month that it took me to become profitable, and I think a big part of that was because I had copywriting experience and not even just copywriting experience, but sales experience because copywriting is just sales in the written word, right?
So having that experience already, that cut my learning curve down a whole lot because I don’t want to say that I’m some expert or anything, but I already knew how to sell to an extent, so that carries over a hundred percent. And that goes for anything, really.
That’s why I’m such a big proponent of learning copywriting, is because aside from all the benefits, all the money that you can make directly from copywriting, it is such a valuable skill that transfers into any business. (Click to tweet)
All businesses need to make more sales, so with copywriting, you kind of learn how to do that, so you can leverage that to all these different kinds of business models and use them to make more money or whatever.
But when it comes down to it, I would say, when it comes to dropshipping, copywriting is definitely not the most important part. I would say there’s three things, really, that are the most important and that is your products, the targeting – the kind of traffic that you’re getting to your website, if it’s the right kind of people, if it’s buyers, people are actually gonna give you their money – and then, three would be copywriting.
Haris Halkic: Okay. But I think your copywriting skills are also great. I really enjoy reading your emails, they’re fun, they’re entertaining which makes them different.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, man, I appreciate it. That’s kind of my goal. That’s another thing too. Another copywriting tip, I guess, is that the only thing that people really want at the end of the day is to be entertained. You could write an email with the best hard information on whatever topic that you’re into, and people would still rather read a story that was captivating than a bunch of hard information.
I think when it comes to email – I mean, really, all copywriting, but especially email – is that you kind of have to mix in the good information, the valuable information with other entertaining aspects and writing in a fun style that’s easy to read, that’s fun to read, that people hopefully look forward to reading, and stuff like that. (Click to tweet)
Haris Halkic: One of the things that was very amusing to me as well is you use very funny or interesting subject lines as well, like “Boobies in Profile Pictures”, which made me laugh from the start, so I had to open the email. Maybe you can talk a little bit about this kind of subject lines or how they worked for you?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, so honestly, I don’t really look at my open rates too much.
Because, for the most part, up until I started promoting that affiliate offer, the only things that I would, you know, the thing that I was pitching was my copywriting services and for a long time, I didn’t get any calls about that because my list, it was very small and that’s kind of what I realized and when I started to pivot away from that, is because I realized that the audience that I was building, the people on my list, they weren’t the ideal customers, or they weren’t my ideal clients. A lot of them didn’t have businesses of their own, they just wanted to learn how to do this stuff.
So that’s kind of when I starting pivoting away from that, but when it comes to the subject lines and the open rates and stuff, you just … I would say curiosity, that’s really the most powerful thing in sales and especially in subject lines, because you see “Boobies in Profile Pictures” and you don’t know what that’s about but you just have to open it. You have to figure out what it’s about. So, it’s really all about curiosity, I would say.
You don’t want to overuse curiosity subject lines because if you do that all the time and you’re really blatant about it, then people are gonna become numb to that kind of thing. (Click to tweet)
When you say something that would almost never be seen in an email subject line, how many emails have you gotten with the word “boobies” in the subject line? Probably zero. Well, I guess one, one with mine.
When people are scrolling through their inbox, they’re kind of on autopilot for the most part. They’re trying to get through their emails as fast as they can, see if there’s anything important, anything that they really need to read, or something that they really want to read or whatever. So when you say something like that, it’s kind of like a pattern interrupt, so that kind of shocks them out of their autopilot mode when they’re going through their email and they’re like, “Oh, what is this?” And then that’s when they pay attention to it and then that’s when they open it and read it and hopefully buy something if you’re selling something.
Haris Halkic: Then list building, which you talked about a bit already, is also an important topic for not only freelance copywriters, but every internet marketer I guess. Building your email list is an important part of the business, so what are the strategies you … you’re building your list and do you rely on paid traffic, do you just use Twitter and social media, do you have any tips on that?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, so honestly, I don’t really have a big expert opinion on list building because, for the most part, my list isn’t that big. I’ve only been growing it for about four months now, but I’m not using any paid traffic at the moment. I probably will at some point, once I have some good offers to promote, once I create my own product and I’m selling that, but really I’ve done it all through Twitter, man. And it comes back to curiosity as well, is that pretty much most days, before I send out an email, I’ll tweet something that says “Today’s email,” and then the subject line, and a lot of the times, the subject line is one of those curiosity subject lines, so you’re kind of getting double mileage out of that because you tweak that and then you say something like, I think most of the time I say, “Email goes out in less than an hour, get on the list in time to get it” or something like that. Do a little urgency there, make them act now as opposed to later because if they don’t get on before the email goes out, then they’re not going to get the email.
So, yeah, that’s kind of how I structure that and then sometimes I’ll also do long-form threads on Twitter and try to include some valuable information there and then, at the bottom, I’ll put a link to my email list and say something like, “For my information like this, get on my email list,” or something like that.
Haris Halkic: Is email copywriting the topic that you’re creating a product on, or is it drop shipping?
Nate Schmidt: It’s both kind of combined. It’s not necessarily email. The product is called ECom Copy Crash Course, so it’s kind of both. It’s the copywriting side of e-commerce which the reason I decided to create that product first – because I have a bunch of other ideas – but the reason I did that one first is because I haven’t found anything out there, any really good information on that and for someone that’s getting into drop shipping, that is so incredibly important to understand.
You have to understand the fundamentals of sales and of human nature and copywriting and all that stuff, and I think that’s a big reason why a lot of people fail. (Click to tweet)
They throw up these stores, they get all excited, they spend a bunch of money on ads, and then they don’t make any sales and they’re wondering what they did wrong, and I think, for most people, it’s just that they don’t know sales. They don’t know copywriting.
So that’s kind of my goal with that product, is to teach people who are getting into drop shipping and anyone that’s already in e-commerce and, really, just anyone looking to get into online business. The sales aspect is so important and I really just want to hammer that in and kind of teach the things that I’ve learned along the way.
Haris Halkic: Yeah. And will it be an e-book or on video calls or …
Nate Schmidt: It’s going to be a little combination of both. It’s gonna be kind of a PDF format and then there’s gonna be videos interspersed in there with text. I’m trying to keep it as entertaining as possible and not just one long book with a bunch of hard information, because obviously no one wants to read that. It’s gonna be kind of both.
It’s really cool because I’m learning this stuff every single day and it’s really cool to just kind of test stuff out on my own store and then kind of report back the results from that because I think a lot of people, they create products, but they’re not actually using their own experience to guide the information in there. They’re just kind of maybe regurgitating information they learned elsewhere or maybe even just making stuff up, I don’t know. But I think that’s really important, is that if you’re gonna try to teach someone how to do something, you have to be doing it first, right? Or you have to know how to do it to an extent, so that’s kind of my goal with that, because I’ve just seen there’s so many people selling products that they’re not doing that, and I just think that’s such a huge mistake and I think a lot of people are wasting money on products like that.
Haris Halkic: Yeah. So, if someone wants to already get on the email list for this product or just to … Do you have already a website?
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, yeah. It’s just my regular email list. If you go to nateschmidt.io, you’ll be able to sign up there. N-A-T-E-S-C-H-M-I-D-T, dot I-O, and you can get on my email list there. The landing page there, I literally just threw that together in maybe five minutes. That’s another thing too, is that that kind of thing isn’t really important. Making your website look really good and perfect like a professional or something, it doesn’t have to. That’s not important. You obviously want to optimize that down the road, but that’s not putting money in your pocket when you’re just starting out.
Haris Halkic: Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this interview. It was great to have you on the call.
Nate Schmidt: Yeah, man. I really appreciate you having me on. It’s been great talking to you and just hit me up if you have any other questions or want to talk or anything.