About Bill Knight... Freelance Direct Response Copywriter
I've been in business for more than 30 years and the main reason I've been involved in business is because of the freedom it offers. Every day I make decisions, some of them are right and some of them can be wrong, but at least they are my decisions and I'm in complete control of my life.
I like to be able to work on my own terms and I'm not the kind of person who would easily take to having a boss. I did once but I didn't like it so I started my own Landscape Design and Construction business.
That was way back in 1982. I started the design business and then employed a crew of construction specialists to bring my designs to life. The business was very successful but after almost 10 years the recession bit deep and unfortunately many of my clients went bust or lost their jobs.
So it seemed like a good time to sell up and get out, which I did. I was also looking for new challenges and even a change in direction had crossed my mind. And I soon found exactly what I was looking for.
Just out of the blue I decided to write a marketing manual based on my own marketing experiences. I had dealt with many people over the years including my clients, my suppliers and my staff.
I realised I had a "gift" for communicating with people and I was almost always able to up-sell my services to my clients. I knew then that I was pretty good at marketing.
My first book sold over 14,000 copies and that was the beginning of my new career. For the next couple of years I read just about every marketing and advertising book I could get my hands on. I wrote a lot too.
I set up a small publishing business and called it Anglox Publications. I wrote business reports and articles, and published some of my own business manuals by direct mail. I was of course writing all the sales copy.
Computers and especially word processors were just becoming more commonplace so I decided to go on a course. I enjoyed the course so much I went on a whole series of them in my spare time, and even became a part-time IT College lecturer.
So now I was writing about business, advertising and marketing, and teaching small business owners about how to use new information technology in their businesses. I also picked up many copywriting clients.
It was inevitable that I was going to become an internet marketer, and after building my first website in 1995, I began selling my services online.
It was about this time I met copywriter Stuart Goldsmith, who had already made his first million by selling his own business writings by direct mail. Stuart inspired me to expand my copywriting business and get involved in Direct Response marketing, which I did without any hesitation.
Only... my plan was to concentrate on writing sales letters for websites, which I still do to this day... among many other things.
Since 1992 I have written hundreds of sales letters, over a thousand articles, endless press releases, numerous telesales scripts, ads and advertorials, what seems like millions of marketing emails and trillions of product descriptions and... well it seems like it anyway.
I'm sure you get the picture. I have worked for clients from all over the world and I'm not kidding. I've even had enquiries from Russia, Venezuela and China!
These days I much prefer to write for UK, US, Canadian and Australian clients. Language and communication issues are the obvious reasons but then so is culture. Understanding culture is just so important in international copywriting.
Today most of my clients are individual entrepreneurs or small business owners looking to market their products or services both online and offline. Among them are Waverley Media (Tim Lowe), Streetwise Publications, and many of Andrew Reynolds' students. I have worked for countless small businesses and entrepreneurs up and down the country.
I've seen many changes in marketing methodology over the years, and it never surprises me when someone comes up with a completely new idea for marketing products and services. I absolutely love innovation!
At this point I would have to say that I think the days of the direct mail sales letter are just about over. Along with the mail system itself, which has obviously lost out to email and social media communications.
The internet and email have proved to be far cheaper, much more convenient and much more accessible. You know what's funny? I was telling small business owners twenty years ago that the internet was going to be really BIG, and some just refused to believe me!
On guy even said it was a just passing fad and would eventually disappear. (You know who your are!) Well, far from it. As the internet and social media make a tighter grip on modern society there will be many more casualties in its wake.
Many high street names are feeling the heat right now and if they don't quickly adapt they'll simply die. So where do we go from here? Well, in terms of where do we go with online marketing...
It seems we also have to adapt or die. For example, the web page sales letter has only been around for a few short years and already it's under threat from social media marketing.
Both Facebook and Twitter are digging out its final resting place but the one thing that will ensure its complete demise is... Video!
Video marketing is as good as it gets, and I'm glad to be on the inside. I saw this coming a few years ago and so I set up BusyVids, which is a small video production and marketing company. (I'm so glad I did this).
We now create videos for all kind of small businesses, and these videos get ranked in the Google search pages. Our videos are better than Adwords, better than banner ads, and better than online sales pages.
I've tried just about every type of online marketing technique, strategy and formula, and in my opinion video is by far the most effective. I'm still busy copywriting though, and will be for many more years to come... hopefully.
So, now you know almost as much about me as I do.
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