Eddie Shleyner's copywriting and creative process for VeryGoodCopy

Eddie Shleyner's copywriting and creative process for VeryGoodCopy

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Eddie Shleyner, the founder of VeryGoodCopy, shares his copywriting and creative process.

Creativity—people think it hits you like lightning when a genius idea appears out of thin air.

So, when inspiration doesn’t strike, it can feel frustrating.

But is that really how creativity works?

Eddie Shleyner, Founder of VeryGoodCopy, says NO!

A better word for creativity is connectivity. The word "creativity" doesn't tell you anything about the creative process. Connectivity is a better way to think about it because it tells you exactly have to do—to put things together. Anyone can be creative when you can put disparate things together.  

You don’t have to be an Einstein, Van Gogh, or Beethoven to be a creative genius.

There is no such thing as a “creative gene.” Creativity is a muscle that you have to work out.

And today, Eddie reveals his creative and copywriting process for VeryGoodCopy.

In this Marketing Powerups episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How to come up with better creative ideas on a deadline.
  2. Why being creative does NOT mean being original.
  3. How to connect the dots to create something new.
  4. Why it’s important to work on multiple projects at once.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcast and Spotify now, or watch it on YouTube.

Thank you to the sponsor who keeps the Marketing Powerups show free for all of you!

This episode is brought to you by 42/Agency.

When you're in scale-up mode, and you have KPIs to hit, the pressure is on to deliver demos and signups.

And it's a lot to handle: demand gen, email sequences, revenue ops, and more! That’s where 42/Agency, founded by my friend Kamil Rextin, can help you.

They’re a strategic partner that’s helped B2B SaaS companies like ProfitWell, Teamwork, Sprout Social and Hubdoc.

If you’re looking for performance experts and creatives to solve your marketing problems at a fraction of the cost of in-house, look no further.

Go to www.42agency.com to talk to a strategist to learn how you can build a high-efficiency revenue engine now.

⭐️ Eddie's copywriting process for VeryGoodCopy

Today, Eddie reveals his creative and copywriting process for VeryGoodCopy.

1. Create a "well" of ideas. 💧

Eddie's creative process starts with what he calls The Well. It's a repository of Google Docs of ideas. Each idea has 4 components:

  1. A working headline or title.
  2. A narrative or anecdote.
  3. A copywriting lesson or tip.
  4. A word count.

By training himself to jot down any ideas he has, Eddie's built out a list of about 20 to 25 ideas he hasn't published yet.

2. Select an idea from the "well." 🍜

When he revisits his well to select an idea to work on, he asks himself, "Do I get the same feeling when I wrote this idea down? Am I as excited, joyful, delighted, or crazy about it?" Eddie has an intuition now about what's going to work and what's not.

Another rule of thumb is if he can't stop thinking about an idea after jotting it down many days later, it's a good indication that he should go back and work on it.

"One test I use is if I look at an idea and I'm excited about it as when I wrote it. That's usually a good indication that it's something I should work on. My mom gave me the advice when shopping that if you're looking at a piece of clothing and you can't stop thinking about it after leaving, that's a pretty good indication that you should go back and buy it."

3. Write quickly. ✍️

Once Eddie selects an idea to work on, he writes it relatively quickly compared to how much he edits it. He typically takes an hour to write 300 to 500 words.

It's important for Eddie not to take too much time editing and cutting the first draft. The goal here is to put down on paper the idea, emotion, or feeling in his head.

Parkinson's law states that if you give yourself a year to write a book, you will take a year to write that book. But if you give yourself 3 weeks, you'll finish it in 3 weeks. By writing quickly, you don't give yourself time to complicate and overthink things.

4. Incubate the writing. 🐣

From there, he incubates his writing. He'll go off, work on something else, or take a break. Then, he comes back to it the next day to chisel, model, and craft it to the way he wants it to be.

"After I get the first draft done, I take a break. I let it sit, go outside, and do something to get my mind off it. Then I come back with fresh eyes. While I was away, my brain was incubating the idea in the background. I'm letting my brain have a lightbulb moment."

5. Work on multiple projects. 🤹‍♀️

While working in the office at G2, Eddie couldn't just get up and go for a walk every time he finished the first draft of an email or landing page copy. So one way he lets his work incubate is by working on multiple projects.

"While my attention is diverted to another project, my brain is incubating the other piece of content I just wrote. When I found that I had bounced back to the first project, I came back with fresh eyes."

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    🎉 About Eddie Shleyner

    Eddie Shleyner is the founder of VeryGoodCopy and former Copy Chief at G2.com, where he owned copywriting and worked with a world-class team of marketers for ~3 years. Eddie was named “Marketing MVP of the Year” shortly before G2 announced its Series D funding at a $1.1 billion valuation. In 2022, VGC won HackerNoon’s “Email Newsletter of the Year” award. A few weeks later, Eddie was voted a LinkedIn “Top Voice” in Marketing & Advertising.

    🕰️ Timestamps and transcript

    • 01:25 - How VeryGoodCopy changed Eddie Shlyener's career trajectory
    • 04:53 - The Power of Creativity: Constraints and Connectivity
    • 10:21 - Giving yourself time constraints due to Parkinson's law
    • 12:30 - Eddie Shlyener discusses his copywriting process
    • 17:42 - My number on recommended demand gen agency - 42 Agency
    • 18:29 - Managing time and working on multiple projects
    • 20:36 - Building a repository for content ideas
    • 22:51 - How Eddie selects an idea from his repository of ideas
    • 29:31 - Eddie's inspiration from literature and direct response marketing
    • 33:11 - How connecting with people has accelerated Eddie's career
    • 35:06 - Eddie's piece of advice to his younger self: "Create things that move you."

    Episode transcript

    Ramli John: Creativity: people think it's something that hits you like lightning when a genius idea appears out of thin air. So when inspiration doesn't strike, it can feel frustrating, but is that really how creativity works? Ed Leer, founder of Very Good Copy says No, and this is what he says: 

    Eddie Shleyner: A better word for creativity is connectivity, because creativity is an empty.

    It doesn't tell you anything about the process or how to do it. Connectivity is a much more specific way to think about it because it tells you exactly what you have to do. You have to put things together. 

    Ramli John: What Eddie is saying is that you don't have to be an Einstein, Van Gogh or Beethoven to be a creative genius.

    Creativity is a muscle you have to work out. In this Marketing Powerups episode, you learn, first, how to come up with better ideas on a deadline. Second, why being creative does not mean being original. Third, how to connect the dots to create something new. And fourth, why it's important to work on multiple projects all at once.

    Before we start, I created a free powerups cheat sheet that you can download to fill in and apply Eddie's five creativity tips to improve your marketing. You can go to marketingpowerups.com right now to get it or find the link in the description or show notes. Are you ready? Let's go Marketing powerups.

    Announcer: Ready? Go. Here's your host Ramli John. 

    Ramli John: You mentioned it earlier before we actually started recording. I wish I, I started recording earlier. How very good copy change your life or you mentioned that it has. Would you say it changed the trajectory of your career, essentially by starting up a very good copy?

    Eddie Shleyner: I think so. Very good copy is a very strange thing that's happened in my life. I started very good copy as a way to teach. Myself, copywriting and teach myself marketing and creativity concepts. So very good copy started as a long Google Doc with 50 micro articles in it, that it was really just me writing through myself and writing for the pleasure of writing and also writing To teach myself.

    Like I said, every time I came into an insight, a technique, a principle from something I read or something I heard I would try to put that into writing because I thought, Hey, if I could put this into a clear and concise article and make it engaging then I'm ready to use it in my own promotions.

    So that's how V G C started. And when I put it out there and it gained traction organically, that was really surprising to me. And it's it's only been a, about maybe two and a half years or so that I've been promoting it and keeping up with it in earnest.

    And since I've done that it has certainly changed my career and my life just in, in the fact that it's. It's given me all these opportunities. So yeah, I, I recommend starting something on the side because I was working on very good copy the whole time that I was at g2 but I was very lucky that I worked with great people there, and they gave me the opportunity to to to work on this thing and to spend my energy on it, because I think they knew that even though It wasn't G2 specific, it was still adjacent.

    I was still working on a skillset that I was gonna use at g2. So they were very open to it. Thank God for that because it really did change, it really did change everything about my life and my career. Did I hear that right? That 

    Ramli John: very good copy was like your swipe file in the beginning in a Google Doc format.

    Like you were putting all your information that you were finding. That's super cool and. And then it just turned into this I don't even know how many subscribers here are, like multiple, hundreds of thousands of subscribers with courses and the book coming out. But it started off as a Google Doc swipe file essentially.

    Eddie Shleyner: It started off as a, as definitely a Google Doc and it was a swipe file, but it was like I was turning my learnings and the things that I came into these little articles and just like honing this process. Creating these articles. I b basically every article has three elements or three pillars.

    And that's like the narrative or the story, and then the lesson the takeaway, whatever technique or principle I'm trying to teach or impart. And then the word count. And if I put those three things together, if I connect the lesson, And the story in X amount of words, then one of these articles pops out.

    And so I was just trying to, I was just trying to do that over and over again, in part because I wanted to learn and teach myself in part because it was fun. I just enjoyed writing them. I just liked the the process of it. So you gave yourself 

    Ramli John: constraints. So oh, here's the lesson, here's a topic and then here's the number of words.

    And. Did you just lock yourself? There's this misconception that creative people lock themselves in a room and then lightning strikes, and then that's when the bites ideas come. But you are saying, I just came up with a lesson and that a number of words. And then did it just flow out or what was the experience like 

    Eddie Shleyner: for you?

    Yeah. I think, yes, creativity is born out of constraint. If you put borders around yourself, if you put a fence around yourself and you say, Hey, I can only work in this realm, I can only work in this space. I can't step out of it. Doing something creative becomes much. Because there's nothing scarier than a blank page.

    And like in effect, like a world of possibilities do anything is a really scary thing for a creative person or a writer or designer or anything like that because there's just too many possibilities and then becomes overwhelming. But if you say, Hey I have a story here, an anecdote of vignette, what have you, and then I have one lesson, one takeaway, and I'm gonna find a way to bridge these two.

    And I'm gonna do it in say, 300 words. Then you have these very clear parameters. You have these very clear borders and walls around you. And so it becomes much easier. And I to your question, did I lock myself in a room? Maybe at first I would lock myself in there and just get it out.

    Yeah. But then I would leave the room after I got the first version done, that first draft. I let it, I went outside, I did something with my friends I did something to take my mind off the work, whatever it was. And then, I came back and I looked at it with fresh eyes and I had new ideas because while I was away, my brain was still incubating.

    I was still thinking and processing and solving the problem in the background. I love 

    Ramli John: that. It's like marinating chicken like you you don't wanna cook the chicken right away cuz it's not gonna be as good as if you let it. With the lemon. Maybe I haven't eaten lunch yet, but Yeah.

    Eating the chicken and then it'll come out better if you wait the 24 hours and the same thing. That's right. What I'm hearing, it's the same thing. Let the incubate ideas, because sometimes the best ideas come from taking, letting it go, like you said, and then just taking a shower or going for a walk with a dog or sitting with your family or watching Netflix and then, oh, it's oh, what if you connect those two dots?

    It comes up with an even better idea from that. 

    Eddie Shleyner: Essentially, creativity is connectivity, like a better word for creativity is connectivity, because creativity is an empty word. It's. It doesn't tell you anything about the process or how to do it. Connectivity is a much more specific way to think about it because it tells you exactly what you have to do.

    You have to put things together and creativity is really just putting disparate things together in a flush way. And the beauty of incubation and the beauty of our brains is that it, they do it. If we let them if we walk away from the problem and take our mind off of it, spend time with our people, with the things that we wanna do, with the people that we wanna be around and just be in a relaxed kind of calm.

    State your brain will take that opportunity to think for you and to process things. And then when you have an epiphany or when you have a light bulb moment, that's really your brain just incubating and sending things up sending things up to your conscious mind and saying, Hey, here's a connection for you.

    What are you gonna do with it? That's so good. Like 

    Ramli John: you, you said, let your brain think for you. I think it's often something that we underestimate. How much like we do need our rest. That rest creates creativity and connectivity that you mentioned. And when we don't allow that to happen, like sometimes we don't put out our best work.

    We just hopefully what we're all trying to do is put out our best work out there into the world 

    Eddie Shleyner: essentially. That's another thing. Some people create to build an audience only and some people create to build and create things that. Love and want to see in the world, and there's gotta be some kind of middle ground if you wanna make a living at it, you have to build an audience and you have to get your work out there. So there's really no working around that. But yeah it's it's always walking this line between creating the things that move you as a person and the things that.

    Your audience, right? And then creating things that move, like the algorithm and get posts to perform. There has to be a fine line. 

    Ramli John: That's funny how you said that there's also that balance between sending, spending some time to marinate or incubator India to, I watch one of your workshop, you talk about this Parkinson's law where, you know, cutting down your.

    Timeframe. If you give yourself a year to write a book it will take two years where it's like you give yourself three weeks. How do you, how are you finding that balance? Where do you, maybe you write way in advance before the deadlines that you give yourself enough time to incubate, but also at the same time, you don't wanna give it too much time.

    Because then it would be like this never ending perfection loop. 

    Eddie Shleyner: Never ends, essentially. Sometimes incubation and Parkinson's law are mutually exclusive. Parkinson's law is really just stating that work expands to fill the time that you make available for it.

    To, to what you're saying, to your point, if you give yourself a year to write a book, you will take a year to write that book. But if you give yourself three weeks, right? 21 days like Charles Bikowski wrote post office in, in three weeks you'll finish it in three weeks, and the reason for that is because you don't give yourself the opportunity to complicate things.

    If you give yourself a year to write a book you have all that time to complicate things to add variables, to add chapters, to overthink it in a way and make the work more complicated, make the process more complicated. But if you give yourself three weeks, Then you don't necessarily have time to second guess or overthink.

    And in some cases that makes sense. Sometimes you really do need to be thoughtful and think deeply, and you just have to be realistic about is this the right time to employ a Parkinson's law? But sometimes if you're writing an email, for example, it's, I think it's better for, with like smaller scale stuff, like an email, if you give yourself two hours to write an email, you'll finish it in two hours and instead of finishing it in five hours or a day and then you save all that time.


    Ramli John: about finding the balance. Is what I'm hearing you announce to your audience, to your email is you're writing a book. Will, did you give yourself three weeks to write that book, or are you giving so much here? Obviously I can't, but you, 

    Eddie Shleyner: it hasn't been, it's not three weeks and it's not a year. So it's somewhere in the, somewhere in middle of it leaves.

    But a lot of it a lot of it is already thought out and written. It's when I released the course the landing page course, it was. So much of it was already done because the hard part was done. I thinking through it, thinking through the process, analyzing my own process and breaking it down, making it digestible, organizing the course, like all of that stuff was already done. And I feel like that was the really hard part is like figuring out how am I going to present all of this information and how am I gonna do it in a way that's really digestible and easy to follow.

    I think that was the real work of the course. And when I had that done, then that's when I started promoting it in earnest and doing the presale and everything, because then I knew it was just a matter of finishing up the writing and recording it. And that to me was more of a an easy, it was an easier lift than the real thoughtfulness of that went into the course.


    Ramli John: your process for what your known for bgc, but a lot of your LinkedIn posts usually go viral and do really. How much time do you give yourself to write a post? Do you have do you write 20 in advance and then let it incubate and then pick which ones will go just based on your feeling, which I've done myself?

    Or do you have, do you write it the day before and then because of that time crunch, but I'm curious what your process is cuz it's, you've been doing really well there. I'm. I'd love to know my, for myself exactly how you do 

    Eddie Shleyner: that. So I have a I have, I call it a well to my Google Docs. It's just a long running list of ideas and I think that this is where it all starts.

    Romley is just like having a repository of ideas and to achieve that, you really need to become draconian about writing them down. As soon as I see a connect. As soon as a connection comes to me, and again, a connection is really just a story and a lesson. And then the work is putting those together, but the connection piece is much easier.

    It's just seeing, oh, here's an anecdote here's a story. And here's. What this story reminds me of in the context of copywriting or creativity and so when I see that idea or that connection pop up, I write it down just to make sure that I don't lose it. And so I have this long running list of connections that I've made in the wild whether I'm watching a movie or talking to somebody or whatnot.

    And I've trained myself to just pull out my phone and write it down. So I think that's the first step, is just having this. This well of ideas to, to draw from. And then as far as writing goes I would say maybe every one in 20 or one in 25 of those connections or ideas, I think, Hey I I can create a compelling article out of this and so I'll start writing it and I'll finish it relatively quickly compared to how much.

    How much I edit it. Yeah, I'll finish it maybe in an hour. It's, they're only 300, 400, 500 words. That's the range. So I've done so many of them. It's already in my head put together before I start writing. So sometimes I write it out and as long as it takes me to type it it just, I just I just let it out and then I walk away from it.

    And that's where the Inc. Starts, that's where that process takes hold is I have this sense of relief that it's on paper now, and now it's like the fun part is molding it and chiseling it and making it exactly what I want it to be. That's the fun part, but it's also the time consuming part, probably the hard part.

    So I, it probably takes me a. Maybe an hour or two a day of writing and editing after it's, after that first draft is done. And then to your point about earlier about the book, I don't know if we were recording when we were talking about it, but you were like, Hey I had this book and it was, there was a deadline and that was that was one I needed to push it out.

    I have a deadline too, with very good copy. It's every Tuesday I gotta send out an article or a newsletter. So it's gotta be done by. And if it's not, if it's not perfect, if it's not a hundred percent, then that's too bad. I probably should have I probably should have planned my, my, my week out better.

    Before we 

    Ramli John: continue, I wanna thank those who made this video possible 42 Agency. Now, when you are on scale up mode and you have KPIs to hit, the pressure is on to deliver demos and signups, and it's allowed to handle the man. Email sequences, rev ops, and even more. That's where a 42 agency founded by my good friend, Camille Rexton can help.

    They're a strategic partner that's helped B2B size. Companies like ProfitWell, Teamworks, pro Social and Hubdoc build a predictable revenue engine if you're looking for performance experts and creatives to solve your marketing problems at a fraction of the cost of in-house. Look no further. Go to 42 agency.com to talk to a strategist to learn how you can build a high efficiency revenue engine.

    Now you can find that link and the description below. Let's jump back in. One of the creativity tips you did in that workshop is that you should like work on two projects at the same time. Are you working on two so that you can like. Switch context so that you can marinate or incubate in your, in the back of your mind while you're actively 

    Eddie Shleyner: working on another one.

    Yes. This is something I did a lot at work when I worked at G2 because I couldn't necessarily like just write an email and then get up and go for a walk around the city while I was at work. Like I had to be productive and I had to, you. In earnest do my best. And the way that I hacked that system, instead of getting up and playing ping pong every half an hour going for a walk or whatever I would write that email and then I would switch over to a completely different email or completely different landing page, and my attention would be on that problem.

    And then, While my attention was diverted, my brand would still be incubating and still figuring out this other problem that I was trying to solve in an email or a landing page or what have you. And then I found that when I bounced back to that first project I had the benefit of all that time away and that incubation.


    Ramli John: And that's something you do with your posts or your, the stuff that you write, are you working on two or three at the same time? Is that average or more? Are you doing 10 at same time? So that it's all in different stages of of 

    Eddie Shleyner: completeness? 10 is an aspiration for sure. I would love to do more.

    I still have to figure out I'm still very much learning how to manage my time and manage the things. That I'm working on. So whether that's podcasts like this or writing that I'm doing, or planning that I'm doing for a launch or there's a lot of different facets to the business.

    And I, yeah, full transparency. I'm still trying to figure all that out. That's challenging. That's been a hard, 

    Ramli John: you figured out a lot of stuff that people are still trying to figure out. I think that idea is such a great thing. It's interesting you have it in Google. In a Google Doc.

    Is it just all over the place? Or do you have some kindish? I'm sure people would love to see your Google Doc, but it's your personal, is it, is there like columns or structure or it's more like here's everything you have and then you have to pull it out. Figure out where places things are.

    In that doc on it 

    Eddie Shleyner: own No it's not, yeah, it's not one document. It's it's a folder and then each idea is in its own document. And usually the way that I structure it is I'll pull it out, pull out my phone, and I'll have this idea, this connection. I'll write a head. It's totally a working headline.

    Obviously it changes 100% of the time, but it's just something to keep me grounded so that I know what this article's or I know what this idea is about. So I'll write a headline and then I have three bullets, and the first bullet is the story. The second bullet is the lesson, and then the third bullet is just what.

    I think, is necessary, or I think is applicable at that point to note down just for a extra context. And then as soon as I have this format filled out, this template, basically headline, three bullets story lesson and then additional context, then I view it as like an actual idea.

    Something that. Take seriously and then yeah I just browse this folder that I have so it's not all in one running doc. That makes sense. But it'll be harder to find once. Yeah. But the truth is you could do it the process is whatever works.

    So if the process out there for somebody is having it all in one Google Doc, More power to you. That's not how I did it, but it really doesn't matter at the end of the day, as long as that core concept of having a well is there. 

    Ramli John: That's, I love, thank you for sharing that. That's I might start doing something similar.

    I'm using notion right now to contain like ideas that I found interesting. Where it's oh, that's interesting. I'll put that into a notion like workflow that I have. What I'm curious about for you is, You have all this stuff in the how do you know which one's like ready to take out from the wall to move on?

    Do you have like criteria or is it is based on like how, once again, I keep saying feel, but it's sometimes. That is the key to it, something that's resonating with you at that 

    Eddie Shleyner: moment, at that time. Yes, dude. That's exactly right. There was a feeling that I have, there's a feeling that I have when I write the idea down in the first place, and I think the trick is when I'm going back and I'm looking through the well, and I see that headline, do I still get that same feeling? I can recognize that feeling very clearly by now. And I think that any writer or designer, anybody that works in a creative capacity has something similar where they just have this kind of intuition, this gut instinct about what's gonna work and what's not, or what's moving them and what's not.

    And so I just look for that feeling. I just try to I try to be really honest with myself and I'm like, Hey, am I as excited about. Now as I was when I wrote it. And if I am, that's a pretty good indication that I'm, I should write the thing. Or if it's just, if I write it and then I leave it alone and it's still in the back of my head.

    I remember talking to my mom about this once. When I was younger, I was probably in high school. I don't know where we were, maybe at the mall somewhere. I was looking at something some article of clothing. I really don't remember what it was, but I remember what she said. She was like, listen, you don't have to get it now, but if you leave and you keep on thinking about it afterwards, that's a pretty good indication that maybe you should go back and buy this thing for yourself.

    And I think that's the same way I think about ideas. If it's in the back of your head, if it's constantly coming back up, if it's like nagging at you write me, write it, because it's telling you something 

    Ramli John: that's like my rule for buying expensive stuff, like a car or something is like if after 24 hours, like it's still a need or something pulling you then totally pull it out there. So that's super, super cool that it's more of an intuition. And I'm guessing you built this intuition over time by. Consuming great content and like reviewing and analyzing copywriting books. Is that h how would somebody build that intuition?

    Obviously, for you now you're at the stage where it's, you've developed it like a muscle, would you say intuition as a muscle and I guess if it is Sure. How do you build, how would somebody work out that intuition? Yeah, 

    Eddie Shleyner: intuition is, Yeah. It is a muscle. I think it's about developing your taste, and people say you're born with taste. I don't know. I think I think your taste develops over time as you expose yourself to things the more. Let's say you're reading an author over and over again and that author is moving you, that author is doing something for you you're naturally gonna gravitate towards that writing style or that narrative style.

    I think the same thing goes for blogs or any kind of content really. The more you consume it, if it's moving you, the more impact and influence it's gonna have over you. And then that's gonna consciously or otherwise affect the decisions that you make when you're creating something or writing something.

    So it's really just a matter of exposing yourself to to good things. And then giving yourself the grace, I think also to use that stuff in your work and not be Consumed by originality or like romanticizing originality constantly because it's such a, it's such a construct.

    There's originality. I don't know. It's a it's a farce there, there's not, there, there really aren't original things. There's connections and so give yourself the grace. Give yourself the grace to use things that that influence you that you like.

    And over time you'll see you'll start adding your own spin to these things, and they'll turn into something different and then they'll be yours over time. I don't know. I feel like I jumbled that a little bit, but No, that's good. The point is be give yourself grace.

    Give yourself grace to, to use the things that that you like in. That's so true. 

    Ramli John: I think it's understanding what other people are writing and consuming that. And I really wanna hone in and double click on what you said, that creativity doesn't mean that you necessarily have to be original.

    It goes back to what you said about creativity is about connection. I think you, when you did that workshop, that's a quote that you attributed to Eugene Schwartz that really You're connecting dots and give yourself that grace to connect the dots and not necessarily be this Van Gogh or be Beethoven or this amazing be the next set go in where they've already forged their own path for that specific 

    Eddie Shleyner: for themselves.

    And look, even those guys started somewhere even those guys had influences. And yeah, ev like creative work, especially in the beginning is derivative. You, you consume what moves you and affects you. And then if you are interested in making it It's gonna bleed into, if you're interested in making something, it's gonna bleed into whatever it is you make.

    And so you have to give yourself the grace to, to do that is my point. I think there's just so much fetishizing originality and being totally clean totally void of influence that just doesn't exist. And if you try to force that you're gonna become very frustrated, very embittered it's a process.

    You gotta, and you gotta put in the time and trust it. 

    Ramli John: What has inspired you? I know you, you mentioned you schwarzer, I know you, you have some books that you suggest and it, for people are tuning in. Like what it's what or who inspires Eddie from V G C. 

    Eddie Shleyner: Look, I I was an English major.

    I, I studied narrative in college. I wanted to write books and novels and short story anthologies. That's what I wanted to do for a living. So I was reading and the authors that really moved me were minimalist authors so Raymond Carver Charles Bikowski, Hemingway. I read these folks and I really enjoyed the imagery that they put into my.

    As I was reading, I thought that was special. And those guys inspired my writing my style I guess. And then when I found copywriting Gary Halbert and Gary Benga and John Carlton and quad Hopkins and Kimra Schwam and all of these direct response greats they inspired me in another way.

    And I think that's very good copy where that voice and tone comes from. It's just this kind of, it's this merging of literature and classic direct response. And so those were my inspirations and absolutely I used stuff from Carver and I used stuff from Schwartz and you.

    Over time I made it, I made it my own. And that's what I'd like to impart to all creative people. All all at whatever point you are in your career, but especially if you're just getting started as a junior Use use your influences to make things, and then over time those things will become your own as long as you keep adding and you're consistent.

    I think it's super 

    Ramli John: important what you said there, that often as marketers, we follow other marketers, and then we're inspired by marketers. So it's this cycle of marketers, marketing to marketers, but often the best inspiration is outside of marketing. It's in classic minimal literature or hip hop or video games or something else.

    And that is how you find your style is when when we consume stuff that is not necessarily within our field of 

    Eddie Shleyner: expertise. Yes. Oh yeah. Absolutely. It gets pretty in sensuous. I feel like you're constantly, if you're cons, if you're just, if you're regurgitating the same thing over and over.

    From the same industry. Yeah. It becomes hard to set yourself apart and create something interesting. But yeah, to your point, that, that comes from stepping outside of your discipline and getting yeah, I guess getting inspired by something totally.

    Random something totally separate from what you do every day. And finding a way to inject that into your work. That's that whole one plus one equals three thing. That's creativity, that's connection. Taking two disparate things, putting them together in a flush wet.

    Ramli John: I love that. I wanna start wrapping up and I wanna talk before I do wrap up around career power ups. You've been in, in copywriting for several years now. I'm curious, what's the power up that's helped you? With your career, something that's helped you accelerate your career, whether that's a tip or something that you've done.

    It could even be big GC itself, but what's a 

    Eddie Shleyner: career power for you? Other people? Other people that I've worked with, man when I was a g2, I worked with some of the most talented and generous people. Namely Adam Goy. Who was the VP of marketing there, who's just an excellent growth mind.

    Jesse Rowe who was also a growth marketer there. Jorge Silva the, these guys Yi Solomon, who's just a incredibly talented product marketer. These guys taught. How to think outside of the copywriting realm and taught me how to spread my work around the internet in an efficient way and taught me how to distribute.

    And that's half of all this writing the stuff and making it great. That's 50%, but then promoting it, getting it out there and using it to build a business, that's a whole nother skillset set. And so I was very lucky to work with great people who. Were kind to me and generous to me and just having the humility to, to listen to them and take their advice and that, that worked to my advantage.

    So that's the power up there is make great connections and make friends with people and help them when you can and take their advice when they give it to you and Yeah, I can't, I don't know where I'd really be without a lot of that direction. One final question. 

    Ramli John: If you can give yourself an advice, your younger self, an advice, you can travel back in time, whether that's like sending a message to your younger Eddie, somebody you might be starting out or in copywriting or still studying English le literature.

    What advice would you give 

    Eddie Shleyner: your younger self? Yeah, my, my mind just goes. Creating things that move you that's been if there's another power up that I can cite that's one of them. It's really something gray happens when you focus on creating things that move you, that make you happy, that you're proud to share with your people and your family.

    Something really cool happens there. And sometimes it's hard to think that way because it's hard to break out of this kind of comparison cycle and this kind of this vanity stats cycle. And you feel like you have to keep up with the Joneses, but really all of that will come the engagement the fanfare, the.

    All of that will come eventually as long as you commit yourself to making things that. Move you as a person, move you as a professional in your discipline, in your space. Because your people will find you eventually especially if you're taking all the steps to make sure that you're putting that stuff that you love in front of other people, that, that might love it.

    But I think that's a power up in and of itself is doing the things that and making the things that you. Your kids to see 10 years from now or 20 years from now, the things that you're proud of that's the stuff that's gonna give you energy and give you passion. And people are gonna be able to feel it.

    They say Hey, when you eat good food, homemade food, you could, you can feel the love in there. You can taste it. I think the same thing applies to writing. It's to content, to, to making art. Yeah. So that's what I'll tell young Eddie. I love this chat 

    Ramli John: with Eddie. I used to think that I'm not a creative person, but I'm glad Eddie debunked that.

    It takes a genius to be creative. How you can subscribe to Eddie's newsletter that I love. Very good copy.com and follow Eddie on LinkedIn and Twitter. You'll also find those links in the show notes and description. Thank you to Eddie for being on the show. If you enjoyed this episode, you'd love the Marketing Powerups newsletter.

    Share the actionable takeaways and break down the frameworks of Worldclass marketers. You can go to marketing powerups.com, subscribe, and you'll instantly unlock the three bests frameworks that top marketers use. Hit their KPIs, Sicily, and wow their. I wanna say thank you to you for listening and please and follow marketing popups on YouTube, apple Podcast, and Spotify.

    To feel like extra generous kind. Leave a review on Apple Podcast and Spotify and leave a comment on YouTube. Goes a long way in others finding out about Marketing Pops. Thanks to Mary, so for creating the artwork and design. And thank you to fel Tiger for editing the intro video. And of course, thank you for listening.

    It's all for. Have a powered up day. 

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      Ramli John is the founder of Marketing Powerups and author of the bestselling book Product-Led Onboarding. He's worked with companies such as Appcues, Mixpanel, and Ubisoft to accelerate their growth.

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