I was there in 2007. I left a secure job and decided to start my knowledge sharing business as a speaker, coach, trainer and consultant. You may remember that in 2008 the sub-prime mortgage meltdown pretty much decimated the world economy, including South Africa.
The bottom fell out of my fledgling business and it was almost dead on the vine as companies battened down the hatches to ride out the storm. I climbed into my savings and bought a direct response copywriting course from the USA.
It was kinda my last throw of the dice and I had no Plan B. When I received the course in the mail a couple of weeks later I devoured it and learned everything I could about direct response advertising.
I then read everything I could lay my hands on by some of the top copywriters the world has ever seen: David Ogilvy, Joanna Wiebe, Drayton Bird, Joseph Sugarman, Robert Collier, Victor Schwab, John Caples, Eugene Schwartz, Gary Halbert, Claude Hopkins and many others.
That was a smart move on my part.
Smarter still was when I bought Gaffney’s Business Contacts in South Africa – chambers of commerce and industries yearbook and buyers guide.
I designed a course called How To Persuade Anybody To Do Almost Anything. I decided to aim for sales teams in small towns, nationally. I knew that most companies probably couldn’t afford to send their teams to Johannesburg where I was based.
So, going to them was a smarter option.
I physically retyped every name and email address into an Excel spreadsheet and started marketing hard via email.
For the next 5 years I took my trusty laptop, projector and screen and set up training sessions in hotels, boardrooms and guesthouses in small towns across the country. From Malmesbury to Magaliesburg. From Nelspruit to Nylstroom. Klerksdorp, George, Plettenberg Bay, East London, Port Elizabeth, Upington … you name it, I trained sales teams there.
Before I’d wiped my eyes out, more than 4000 delegates had enrolled on my seminar over the subsequent 5 years. All because of a database and one powerful email sales letter.
As a consequence I started consulting to companies and writing their direct marketing copy, landing pages, marketing scripts and telesales scripts. This created a copywriting business that is still going strong today.
It’s undeniable that I know how to write copy that converts. Perhaps this could be useful to you. I’ve put my decades of copywriting experience into a day mastermind session which I’ll be running on 1 December at the state-of-the-art Capital Hotel, Sandton. You’ll learn all the strategies, secrets and hard-won, field-tested direct response copywriting knowledge I’ve amassed over the last 20 or so years.
You’re the Job.
I’m excited to have the the Capital Hotel Group as my preferred venue partner. I’ll be holding my masterminds in Cape Town, Nelspruit, and other towns where they are represented.
About Jacques de Villiers
- As a copywriter and author, Jacques has written more than 12-million words circa 1996. He has published 973 articles; 323 on real paper BI (before Internet).
- Sales copywriting skills (initially email marketing and later, sales landing pages): He has generated in the region of R27-million for his clients.
- He has ghostwritten and edited 33 books.
- He has led nine sales teams in the past 20 years as an outsourced sales leader.
- He has presented keynotes 1567 times both locally and overseas on marketing, copywriting and sales. He has presented in Milan, Teheran, Sydney and Port Louis, amongst others.
- He has provided services for 327 clients over the last 20 years. Of those, 11 have been with him for nine years or longer (one for 17 years), and still retain his services. He is known for building deep relationships.
- He has written a small 62 000-word piece of text for his own account: What If Hollywood Doesn’t Call? A Fractured Monk’s Guide to Enlightenment.
- He qualified as a Dale Carnegie Instructor
- He has a Journalism Certificate from Intec College
- He has a National Diploma in Public Relations
- He studied under the unrivalled crisis and reputation management expert, Brian Gibson
- He was Past National President of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa
- He is a Stef du Plessis Founder’s Award recipient for services to the speaking fraternity.
- He is a Distinguished Toastmaster
- He is a Toastmaster of the Year recipient
- When he’s not helping entrepreneurs build the business they want to, you will find him bass fishing, playing chess, studying military cultures and philosophy.