Consulting 7-figure businesses, developing new ways to get reliable customer insights, and using it to come up with and write successful promotions is all part of what David Hegedus does every day, but there’s more.
David has started his marketing career as a freelance copywriter only 3 short years ago. But it didn’t take long until he went “all in” on the little-known, yet multi billion dollar industry that is online information publishing.
“Looking back, I’d love to tell you it was all part of some elaborate plan. But the truth is, I just went where I saw the best opportunities.” – he says, half-jokingly.
At 23, he has helped sell millions worth of online courses, self-improvement classes, business opportunities, and marketing programs. Coming from nowhere, he has made great connections with respected industry leaders and has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to their businesses.
This is his story…
City where he’s from: Pécs, Hungary
Hobbies: Reading, writing, business, video games, bodybuilding, traveling, adventure!
Favorite quote: “It’s not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it.” – Hunter S. Thompson
How did you end up writing copy and working on marketing for information publishers?
David Hegedus: I got into copywriting by complete accident. Few people know, but I was an accountant. Well, for a couple months while my internship lasted. I dreaded every minute of it. So I started to look for business opportunities. I found a place called The Fastlane Forum, and that’s where I found out about copywriting and online marketing. It was true love at first sight, the kind that makes you smile in your sleep at night.
What’s information publishing? What is it that you do, exactly?
David Hegedus: An information publisher sells information on topics like hobbies, health, wealth, and relationships. I’m mostly dealing with information publishers in the business and self-improvement niches.
An info publishing business educates and entertains. They help people solve their problems, and achieve their dreams through online courses, books, seminars, and more. It’s a noble pursuit. Plus, there’s a lot of profit involved because the production costs are usually pretty low. That allows us to focus more on marketing.
As for what I do, there are lots of moving parts depending on the project. Usually, my clients already have a solid offer or two out there. They need me to help them figure out what to sell next, how to sell more and to write every piece of copy to achieve that. Emails, sales pages, advertorials, all that stuff.
How is your copywriting process different? What makes your services special?
David Hegedus: I like telling good stories to sell stuff, but what I love even more is research. I’m kind of a nerd like that, but it’s amazing what you can do with the tech available nowadays.
When I take on a new client, I always start with asking for all the data they can give me. I review their Google Analytics, heat maps on previous sales pages, all customer communications, survey answers, their competition.
I want to see everything and then I extract the intel I need to develop killer campaigns. If they haven’t conducted good surveys before, I help them set it up and use the answers. I’ve come up with unique methods to do that. Some clients tell me they haven’t seen anything like it from anyone else.
Before writing a word, I’ll be able to pinpoint our customer’s hopes, dreams, desires, and pains. I’ll know the exact phrases and words they use to describe them. I’ll know the context in which their minds operate. It’s powerful stuff. And it doesn’t take a big budget or months of time.
Wow, that sounds great! Now, let’s take a step back from marketing… What’s your dream?
David Hegedus: Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently! I want to lead a cult one day. Not like a big one. Just a couple dozen freaks, on a private island. Make them think I’m god. Sorry, just kidding. Eventually, I’ll teach a couple good people my exact processes and start an agency with them. This way we can scale my services beyond my limited time. I like the idea of being able to positively affect as many people as I can. But for now, I’m happy being the self-employed consultant and copywriter that I am today.
How do you creatively advertise your services?
David Hegedus: Referrals are my main source of business, but when I need more clients I’ll send out mildly entertaining cold email campaigns, or physical mail. I do my best to stand out and instantly connect with the decision makers. It takes research, creative thinking, and good writing chops to successfully do that. What better way to demonstrate my skills to potential clients, right?
What were your biggest failure and biggest success? What did you learn from them?
David Hegedus: Early in my career I’ve worked for more than a month on a single product launch that has completely flopped. Both the client and I were anticipating a big win. Yet the results ended up being so bad we lost multiple thousands of dollars on it. I cried and swore I’ll get a job at McDonald’s the next day. Of course, when things got less melodramatic I looked back at what happened and learned a lot. I spent a lot of time writing that promo, but I didn’t spend enough time on going through data and coming up with fresh ideas. That’s where I realized just how important in-depth research is.
One thing is for sure, I’m not making that mistake ever again.
As for successes, they all seem the biggest and best when they occur. I’ve helped people make as much as $20,000+ with a single email, conducted 6-figure launches, helped completely turn around companies. It feels great when our marketing pulls in big numbers. But at the end of the day, you’re only as good as your last promotion. And we’re always left chasing that next thrill.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
David Hegedus: What I see a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is that they don’t have a clear idea in their heads on the 3 most important things: who their customers are, what they’re doing for them, and how can they communicate this in the best possible way.
I know, most people know they should have a customer avatar. They know they should talk to their customers. They know they should gather data and test things… But in my experience, few do. So that’d be my best advice. Do what you know you should be doing. Sit down with your customers, or have a phone call with them. Don’t be afraid of their criticism. Negative customer feedback is still better than a customer who silently disappears without buying.
Teach us something about creating a successful promotion that we might not know.
David Hegedus: Okay, well I’ve been writing promotions professionally for over 3 years now and still, my first ideas usually aren’t the best. What this means is that when I’m writing a sales letter, an advertorial, a landing page, or even just an email, I always brainstorm lots of ideas before I pick one. This can mean sitting down to write 20+ different headlines for the same sales letter or article. This can be developing 5 different lead ideas or concepts. You’ve got to make your brain work hard on it if you want to come up with something great.
That’s a good one! And in your opinion, what should an entrepreneur focus on?
David Hegedus: I might be biased, but I believe in selling over everything else. If they’re a new company, they should focus on selling to their first customers. If their campaigns don’t work out, they should reach out to customers personally and figure out why they’re not connecting with the company’s message.
If they’re established, they should focus on maximizing the revenue they get from their existing customers. In most cases, if someone has already bought from you, they are much more likely to buy again than the next guy. You just have to give them something new or better that’s still related to what you’ve already sold them. That’s why the ability to come up with and promote new offers that make customers salivate is so valuable.
Those are great answers, thank you! Those were all my questions, but do you have anything else you’d like to share?
David Hegedus: Yeah! My website is currently under reconstruction. But if someone’s reading this and wants me to help promote their business, or just give them a couple ideas, feel free to reach out on Facebook. I’ll write back.
Thanks for sharing your story with us David, best of luck to you in your future endeavors!