“Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”
That was the question posed by Jerod Morris — VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media — to Demian Farnworth — Copyblogger’s Chief Copywriter.
I had just submitted my very first guest post to one of the largest, most well-respected copywriting blogs online and — as crazy as this may sound — that question was the question everything came down to.
Not, “Do you like the article?” Not, “Is it a fit for our readers?”
Not even, “What’s the payoff?”
Now, of course, all those questions weighed in. But what it finally came down to was, “Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”
I’ve written about my love of Demian before — “Build Relationships: The First of Four (Self-Revealing) Case Studies on Growth and Success.”
Today I want to pull back the curtain even more and show you exactly what happened behind the scenes — the nitty-gritty, straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth email exchanges — that lead to this amazing opportunity.
Let’s start with the back story …
Early last year, I connected with Demian Farnworth. After a few months of Twitter banter, link sharing, and emails, I finally mustered up the courage to submit a guest post to Copyblogger.
When I did that, I sent the article both through their online submission process as well as a direct email to Demian himself.
From the first — their online process — all I got back was a “Thanks for submitting … but we aren’t accepting unsolicited articles at this time.”
Door = Shut
It was the second route — the relationship route — that swung the whole thing open.
After about a week, came the response.
Actually, what came was way more than just the response.
Somehow, Demian and Jerod’s entire email chain — their whole back-and-forth about me and my article — got included in the confirmation email.
Here’s Demian’s first take.
And Jerod’s relpy.
Notice what he said:
I like it, BUT … “we’ve hit it many times” and “there isn’t really anything new in.”
So why move forward?
“I think there is value in it. Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”
Simple. Straightforward. No fluff.
“He seems standup, and he’s got a pretty good blog.”
Amazing, right? Who knew that’s what it was all gonna come down to?
Here’s the post that eventually went live: “6 Steps for Writing Simple Copy That Sells.”
Let me boil this down to two takeaways:
1. Focus on the relationship.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the difference between “yes” and “no” isn’t the pitch, the product, or the price … it’s the person. Connection, consistency, and trackrecord will make or break your career, not to mention your personal relationships as well.
2. Nonetheless, what you’re selling can’t suck.
A better way to say this might be: “Write [bleeping] amazing content.” Sure the relationship might be strong, but you still have to cover the basics: is it actually valuable?
So … my question to you is: are you a decent freakin’ person?
I’d love to hear your own anecdotes in the comments.