This is part 2 of a 4-part series in which we share the challenges we’re posing for ourselves in 2015. Join us by challenging yourself to the same things. (See Challenge 1)
In late December, we quietly added this link to our nav: Snap
Within minutes, we saw these tweets:
— Robert Williams (@letsworkshop) December 18, 2014
We hadn’t made any sort of effort to spread the word about Snap.
Just posted a link.
So to see those tweets so quickly, we were like, Oh, cool, Snap might be a good idea.
It finished at over 140 upvotes.
So we were like, Oh, cool, Snap might be a good idea.
Then our waiting list for Snap starting filling up. And someone on the waitlist managed to find a way to buy early, before the checkout was even QAed – evidently, he wanted what Snap has to offer, and he didn’t wanna wait.
So we were like, Oh, cool, Snap might be a good idea.
Now, you might be saying, “Joanna, great, ‘good idea’ or whatever, but what the hell is Snap and what does it dooo?”
Well, here’s our value prop:
Snap Makes Your Copy Waaay Better
in 48 Hours or Less
Almost since the launch of Copy Hackers three years ago, Lance and I have had this idea for a productized copywriting service.
We’d been calling it “Copy on Call” internally.
The idea was that a business could pay a monthly fee in exchange for super-quick access to copy help. We liked the idea – seemed like the solution to a real problem, based on all the can-you-help-me-quickly emails we’ve received – yet the timing never seemed right to build the service and launch it.
More recently, we’ve found ourselves addicted to Dan Norris’s work over at WP Curve.
If you’re not familiar with Dan, you should be. Allow me to introduce you. I’ve been on Dan’s list since before WP Curve… before Informly… all the way back to Web Control Room. I’d first heard of him thanks to a guest post he’d written for Corbett Barr in 2012 (back in Corbett’s ThinkTraffic days – holy cow, does anyone still have the biz they had 2 years ago??). In that post, he described exactly what he did in just 3 hours of experimenting with 12 traffic-gen strategies:
Clearly, Dan’s one of those people who’s thoroughly transparent about his business goings-on.
What works. What doesn’t.
And, as a small biz owner, I dig that.
I’ve always thought it’s better to learn from someone else’s battle scars than to earn your own. That’s, like, the whole point of books and courses and mentors, isn’t it?
So, anyway, it’s the beginning of December 2014, and Lance shouts at me from across the hall. He’s just read Dan’s November report, and he’s raving about how cool the WP Curve biz model is and how much it reminds him of Copy on Call. Our eyes meet. Significant silence follows. That leads to the beginning of a very, very long convo in which we wheel our chairs closer, pour coffee, drink coffee (I do), pour wine, drink wine, realize it’s dark out, make dinner, eat dinner, and – all the while – list off the many things that have kept us from creating Copy on Call…
I won’t bore you with the list.
It’s a long one.
Anyway, after that talk, we took our list of worries and objections – the things keeping us from building this business – and we called Dan. Yes, Dan was nice enough to take our call. Even though he’s crazy busy.
For nearly an hour, we picked Dan’s brain.
More accurately: we attacked Dan’s brain.
Sparked new ideas. Stomped down old ideas. Took pages of notes – the kind where the phone line goes quiet ‘cos we’re so busy scratching pen on paper.
By the time we ended the chat…
…we knew the time was right. We knew our biz wasn’t going to be quite like Dan’s, but we could borrow a lot from him. And we knew that, like Dan and the WP Curve team, we were about to solve a real problem for people we knew.
The Copy Problem Plaguing Startups and Marketing Departments
We are living in a content marketing and conversion-rate optimization world, and I am a content marketing and conversion-rate optimization girl.
(Sorry, that was a stretch.)
All digital marketing requires words – it just does.
You wanna write an AdWords ad? It might look like a small, easy little bit of copy to jot off – until you try to do it. Suddenly, it’s not so easy. Not so much jotting going on. You might be able to write the ad fast… but how does it perform? Hmm… And then you’ve got your blog post headlines. If Upworthy and Buzzfeed have taught us anything, it’s that the headlines you tack onto your posts may be more important than the posts themselves. Oh, and let’s not forget our websites. And landing pages. And all those product descriptions. The drip campaigns. The newsletters. The follow-up emails after a webinar. And the triggered emails – those receipts you keep meaning to optimize. Hell, even the PPTs you’re posting to Slideshare.
It’s. All. Words.
Copy Hackers has helped turn some marketers and micropreneurs into confident writers. And that’s awesome…
…But here’s what I’ve seen: a copy hacker writes an email, reads it over thirty-two times, but still hesitates to hit ‘send’ or ‘publish’. A lot of people are able to take their copy to 80%… but then they email me and ask for a second set of eyes. “Some quick feedback.” They want help getting it to 99% or, dare they hope, 100%.
Even if you have an internal or retained copywriter, you rarely have a large team of copywriting specialists at your disposal. You probably don’t have an email specialist writing this email and an AdWords specialist writing that ad and a landing page specialist writing this landing page and a copy director looking over all those elements to make sure they work. And that’s fine. If you’re okay with your copy being at 80%. By which I mean, if you’re okay with your online salesperson operating at an energy level around 80%…
That’s where Snap comes in.
Snap is Copy on Call. It’s just called Snap. 🙂
Now, to be sure, Snap isn’t for everyone.
If you don’t have recurring needs… if you’re not actively marketing… if you don’t want to build a long-term relationship and you don’t want to turn Snap into your outsourced, on-demand copywriting team, then it’s not for you. Snap will best serve:
- Marketing teams at fast-growing online and tech businesses
- Active SaaS marketers
- Information marketers and online educators
We’ll put not 1 but 2 copy pros on your job. We turn small jobs around in as few as 48 hours. You don’t need to fuss with proposals. You can rate our work. And your first 2 credits are free.
When I write that out, I feel a little flutter of excitement. Because we’re really building something of immediate value for the people we know and love.
What I Want Snap to Be
Naturally I have no idea what tomorrow holds. But here’s my small list of big hopes for Snap, if you’ll allow me to put myself out there for a second…
I want to build a business. I do not want to make a cash machine.
I want to build a happy team filled with people who feel good about the living they’re making.
I want to put everything I’ve used to help other businesses to work for this business.
I want our clients to say, “Send it to Snap” and to make Snap part of every project they’ve got.
I want our clients to get their copy back and think, Holy shit we’re getting a good deal with these guys.
I want to have company off-sites. And have team t-shirts. And send my team to training.
I want to build a business the way some people in their 30s want to nest.
Copy Hackers is a business, of course. It’s a great business.
Copy Hackers is like my husband: It makes me want to be better. We’ve got a ton of mutual friends. It happily provides for our family. I’m committed to it for the long run. I love it.
Snap is like our child: I’ll make myself uncomfortable to see it succeed (more about that in Challenge 4, coming this Friday). I’ll give it far more than I’ll take from it. It’ll take a village – or about a dozen copywriters – to raise it. I can’t wait to see what it turns into, and I’ll have to try not to push it to be something it’s not.
Today, We Launch Snap
And to ‘quote’ our account director Liston Witherill:
Yesterday, we opened up 5 spots to our waitlist. They sold out in about 4 minutes.
Today, we open 6 spots.
If we’re sold out by the time you read this, please be sure to add yourself to the queue. If you’re closer to the start of the queue, you’ll hear about our availability before others further down the queue will. You may not have work for us right now, but if you think you’ll want us to help out with your, say, product launch this spring, get in the queue, buy your credits, and then use them this spring. All credits are good for 12 months.
So that’s our second challenge. It’d be cool to work with you this year, and I hope we get a chance to.
Either way, please check out the Snap blog, too, where we’ll be posting about our wins, losses and facepalms as we work toward our goal of building something that solves a problem for people we know.