#1 Copywriting lesson I learned from Chris Stapleton concert

Uncategorized Apr 10, 2024

Yo, Copy Gangsta, it’s Ning! 

Today’s lesson:  

To master the skill of copywriting (and earn all the riches)…  

You need to learn layers of writing micro-skills that compound on top of one another.  

This lightbulb moment came to me when I was at a Chris Stapleton concert 4 weeks ago.  

My wife and I were at his concert in Petco Park in San Diego.  

She had gotten me front-section tickets because she knew Chris Stapleton is one of my all-time favorite musicians.  

He’s got a country voice raised in Nashville, Tennessee that is pure bliss to listen to.  

Anyway - 2 other country bands opened for him.  

They were fine, enjoyable.  

But when Chris came on… 

It was really apparent there was a HUGE, massive skill gap.  

His music wasn’t 2X or 3X better… 

In my eyes, it was a 20X or 50X difference in musicianship.  

To me, there’s something really interesting about being the best in the world at something… 

And how to get there.  

The more I thought about it, the more I believe that it’s all about layering micro-skills. 

For example… 

With Chris Stapleton, the micro-skills include: 

  • Guitar finger-picking
  • Guitar solo-ing
  • Chords
  • Singing
  • Breath control while singing
  • Song writing
  • Writing lyrics
  • Performing on a stage
  • Music production (in a studio)
  • The business of music 

On its own… 

Mastering one microskill isn’t necessarily that impressive.  

But with all of them together, you get a sold out stadium of 42,000 people all singing your songs while you perform on stage.  

I paid about $1,250 for my ticket.  

Let’s say the average ticket is $300.  

42,000 * 300 = $12.6 million per show.  

Steph Curry is another example - one of the best basketball players in the world.  

Watch him do his warm-up routine (you can find it on Youtube) and you can learn a lot.  

His routine is all about mastering micro-skills.  

  • Dribbling
    • Crossovers
    • In-and-out dribbles
    • Behind the back dribbles
    • Spin moves
  • Shooting
    • Catch and shoot 
    • Pump fake and shoot
    • Long distance shooting
    • One dribble side step shooting
  • Lay-ups
    • Floaters
    • Finger rolls
  • Etc. etc.  

Here’s my point: 

Copywriting is no different from basketball or musical performance.  

It’s all about mastering layers of micro-skills that all compound on each other.  

The microskills of copywriting include: 

  • Writing
    • Writing with specificity
    • Imagery / writing with visual language
    • Writing with clarity
    • Writing with simplicity
    • Writing with conciseness
    • Using strong verbs
    • Using powerful sentence structure
    • Editing
    • Writing powerful hooks
  • Salesmanship
    • Doing market research
    • Understanding buyer intentions
    • Understanding the most important benefits the buyer is after
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Painting pictures of outcomes
    • Qualifying / disqualifying
  • Client Acquisition
    • Opening the conversation
    • Sending proposals
    • Demonstrating value and authority
    • Closing on Zoom
    • Constructing contracts
    • Professionalism
  • Mindset
    • Letting go of fear
    • Talking to your inner child
    • Letting go of perfectionism
    • Understanding your own limiting beliefs
    • Re-parenting your inner child
    • Radical acceptance
    • Opening up to and listening to your intuition
    • Having boundaries
  • Funnel optimization
    • Writing upsells
    • Writing traffic drivers
    • Writing sales pages
    • Writing VSLs
    • Writing ads
    • Writing emails
    • Writing headlines
  • Data
    • Acquiring data on copy performance
    • Reading data
    • Understanding data
    • Constructing new hypotheses
    • Testing new hypotheses
  • The business of copywriting
    • Negotiating pay
    • Negotiating royalties
    • Negotiating retainers
    • Maintaining high-value business relationships
    • Networking 

That’s a long list of microskills to master.  

And you DON’T want to work on it all at once.  

You want to master one small microskill at a time.  

So let me ask you this… 

Which micro-skills do you have and which do you lack? 

It’s a good time to do a self-audit.  

You’ll see where you have holes in your game.  

Patch those holes, and your inc0me will go up.  

Master all of these micro-skills, and congrats… 

You’ll be an A-list copywriter at the top of the game… 

Making so much moolah with so little work that you end up buying stupid stuff like golf carts for fun.  

That’s my lesson for you today, Copy Gangsta.  

Hope you learned a little sumtin sumtin. 

-Ning Li


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