“Kowai mono nante nai … bokura wa mou hitori janaiiiiiiiii!!!”
I dropped the microphone from my mouth … then bowed my head and threw my hands up in the air.
The audience burst into applause.
… polite applause.
My rendition of “RPG” by Sekai No Owari — a Japanese band — was terrible.
I knew it.
They knew it.
But hey, it was a karaoke party.
Hosted by the mums from the Japanese mother’s group I take my kids to.
And I was the only foreigner there — and they liked me — so they were cutting me a break.
(Or maybe it was that I actually am awesome, but I don’t think that was it.)
Anyway, last night was fun.
Lotsa pizza, Japanese snacks and laughs.
But over dinner, yet again, I faced one of the most common questions I get from those mums:
“How did you get so good at Japanese if you’ve never lived there?”
I mean, I’ve passed the top level of the JLPT (the official Japanese proficiency test), which qualifies me to work in Japan.
I can hold my own in Japanese pretty easily.
And I’m even raising my kids to speak it.
For the past 5 years …
I have lived as much of my life as possible in Japanese.
I started only listening to Japanese music.
I only watch Japanese TV shows.
I played Japanese conversations from YouTube in the background as I did other tasks.
I made Japanese friends and messaged them all the time.
My phone and Mac OS are in Japanese (and they were long before I could understand it all … there were some stressful error messages in the early days).
And I’ve spent an average of 30-60 minutes a day for the past five years doing flashcards.
Unfortunately, there was no sexy hack.
It just required a lot of consistency and effort.
And one of my business dreams has long been to start “Japanese in One Year”, which would teach how I did it.
(I own the domain name and even have a cool logo and a sales page … but the idea itself is on the backburner for now.)
But I just gave you the gist of it there:
Show up … put in the hours … and don’t get discouraged.
The best part is, you can apply that same philosophy to whatever you want …
Including writing copy.
How do you get good at that?
You do it a lot.
Just like anything else.
That’s why I’m here, very tired from a late night at karaoke, writing you an email on my Sunday morning.
People ask how I got good.
What training did I take?
What books did I read?
Yes, that stuff is important.
But so is just putting in the work … and doing it more than anyone else.
No amount of training makes up for the hours at the keyboard, actually writing copy.
So, that is my simple tip if you want to get good at copywriting.
What if you don’t want to put in that time?
Simple: you just hire a copywriter who has, to do it for you.
That’s the point of freelance copywriters, after all.
If you’d like to apply to work with someone who’s done their time writing copy, and keeps showing up day after day to get better …
(Come on, you know what that says by now.)