Announcer: Welcome to the geniuses of copywriting podcast, a peek into the minds and strategies of the world's greatest copywriters, marketers, and persuasion experts. And now, here's your host, Brian Cassingena.
Brian: Hey, welcome back to the geniuses of copywriting podcast. It's a privilege to introduce somebody who I considered my original mentor with copywriting. He's a guy from Queensland, Australia. It's his name is Trevor Cook, but we call him The Toecracker. So, I'd like to welcome you onto the call. Trevor, thanks for joining us. I appreciate that very much.
Trevor: Thanks for having me back on. It’s been a while, I mean since the first one. So yeah, thanks for having me.
Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cause when I did the original interview, it was for a book I did ages ago, and the podcast was (inaudible) if they had podcasts back then, but, when I, when I created a podcast called geniuses of copywriting, you know, you know, you’re a no brainer to get, to get back on and do a proper episode, so I appreciate it.
Trevor: All right, my pleasure. So, what would you like to.. it'll run through.
Brian: Well, it's really interesting that, about the, the event that's coming up in Poland. And, and while this is not a sales pitch for that, you know, you, I know you've got some really interesting stories about Drayton. Drayton bird is the, the man who's on at the event is in a 83rd birthday. Is that right?
Trevor: Yeah, it is. And, definitely I, I'd excited, I can tell you some stories, but some of them probably the most of the VIP private stuff. But yeah, I got a few stories.
Brian: We’ll keep some of those behind closed doors, that's , I, I know a lot of people know who you are, but, but Drayton Bird, I'd, if you could give a bit of background on who he is cause, cause before you started doing events with him back in the day at the end. I'd never heard it in back then either. But, he's one of the, world class copywriters that people should follow as well. So, I'm really interested here. Few of those stories.
Trevor: Well, yeah, look, I mean, like a lot of us, you know, I mean, when I first got into the copy in a, in 2001 and I was studying, you know, all the products I bought under the resale rights of Dan Kennedy's, I really saw them focus more on human and Gary Halbert and no doubt I had come across Drayton's name somewhere within the material, but it really didn't, you know, register with me. And, and I'm a dickhead for that, to be perfectly blunt. And it wasn't until 2009 that I was a, I was mentoring a client from the UK and he said to me, said, Oh dre, I was at an event recently and Drayton's bird spoke very highly of you. And I was just like, who the fuck is Drayton Bird, he started to fill me in a bit and I felt like an absolute idiot. And then of course when I did research, I was like, AH, fuck my bad, you know.
Trevor: But I mean, here's the thing, right? Drayton bird, and this comes from many, many of the greats originally. Obviously David Ogilvy right at him as the, as the top guy in direct response, right? And Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing, anyone in the world. And of course, Drayton end up being part of, of his, of his agency. But he's really shaped the copywriting world is most of it. Most of us know it, right? Guys like Gary Bencivenga, right? Books priced by him, right? A Clayton Makepeace, he said this right after spending an hour with Drayton, so Clayton saying this, you know, it's got to be bloody bloody phenomenal. He said, I feel like I've just been an hour with the pope. You triggered so many great ideas come from so many closely held beliefs of mine. Now, you know, when Drayton held his last Herrara event, which was his own blastful copywriting event in June, 2017, there was a video that, a recording of Clayton talking about Drayton and basically saying, look, if it wasn't for you, the likes of myself, Gary Bencivenga, Gary Halbert, etcetera, etcetera, we wouldn't be here.
Trevor: Pretty big statement to make. So for people who are serious students of copywriting, it's no shame to not know who Drayton is at this point in your career. But I sure as shit, suggested when you finish listening to this, you find out because he is literally, he is aliving dinosaur, the legend of direct response. I call in the dinosaur of direct response. Right. And of course he is still living, he's not done yet. So, it was recently that, I was actually go to buy a Ed Dale actually on been one of your posts or after Kevin as event. So, hey, Trey, when are we going to do this event in Europe? And because last year when I was at the Gary Halbert memorial event, as, as a guest, John Carlson, Bond Halbert, caliber down, head down who were all there and all their speaking, obviously all a grade that I've put solid went on in Europe, but I would come, right?
Trevor: And, you know, trying to find something that the dates fit for everybody was something I thought might not be possible. So after Ed having a little jab at me and me being the Australian like he is, I accepted the challenge. And so I messaged all those guys, right, as well as Matt Fury separately. So look this what I'm thinking of doing. Drayton's got 93rd birthday coming up in late August, one of the wrapping event around to celebrate, not just straightens out he third, but you know what he's done and what he's been able to achieve and the amount of people's lives he's changed in business and also copywriters with is I think about 59 years in this, in this industry. And they all agreed, they all like hell yeah, we're in, right? So, of course then I had the twist, well slash twist get him drunk Drayton's arm to get him to agree.
Trevor: And It happened to be in the UK a couple of weeks ago in London after doing an event and I'd message to him and he's like, yeah, I'm a little bit busy right now. I'm working on my autobiography. And I said, actually I'm in London, I'm going to come to Bristol. Don't you dare tell me ever got time to frigging acres. You have to eat. So I'm taking them to dinner, talking about this event and there's a lot so he was like, okay. So that's what happened. And you know, we sit down and, he first that he tells me, he tells me a story. You guys maybe a little bit hard of hearing, I'm down to one hearing aid and they telling me a story about when he went to Australia a couple of months after his last arrive at in 2017 he did a couple of events.
Trevor: I think one in Melbourne and one mark might've been in New Zealand and some way where he was tying the person's a dog chewed his, his hearing aids and he goes, this is Drayton being it and he goes bloody French, French bulldog fucking postdoc. Those right? Yes. Just kept going like it was nothing and that's Drayton and you know, he comes out with whatever wants his age in between that, there's a lot of gold in terms of, you know, copywriting and had been posting stuff. And so he agreed basically so this is sort of where it's all come about.
Trevor: And it's exciting because, and again, you know, this isn't, you know, it's not a pitch and it's letting people know. But I mean, you know, no one right as in John Carlton, Bond Hell, but Ed Kyle of et Cetera, are gonna do their usual presentation. The vole working on something completely, you know, of course there'll be some regular stuff they would normally talk about, but they're really digging into doing something that they've never done before. Right. Out of respect for Drayton. Right? And even I was chasing the boys up last week said, come on, native buyers need the bullet points. A copy is being worked on and bloody John Carlton's like, Oh, I need another week. At least, you know.
Trevor: And even on the, the, you know, some of the bonus stuff, the stuff in the VRP stock, I said, look, I want something that's either never been released before, never been seen or something that only a selection of your, your top clients of God. And they're all pretty much have agreed to that. So it's going to be quite epic. And, you know, the likes of John, he's never spoken in Europe. John Carlton, so that's sort of a fitness, get him out of the US. Matt Fury has never spoken on anything, you know, money making related in Europe either. He might did I think, Matt, you know, don't kill me if I get this wrong, but I think it might have done the event last time, 2002 more and he's wrestling and that type of thing, but nothing about, you know, email copy and stuff. So yeah, it is an interesting aspect for anyone that follows any of those guys to, to want to know about it.
Trevor: So I'm excited for putting it on stressed, but you know, that's normal. And you know, and obviously you, you know, see I invited you to speak because I, yes. You're the last a copywriter that I mentored would privately one to one before doing it all of via Skype. So I assume, and you know, the story, your story is unsolvable, beautifully. And I, you know, I enjoy sitting back and watching and looking at where you are now. And of course I don't take the credit for that. I mean I definitely mentored you but you are the one that did the work, right? You are the one that when you, you met people right?, you built relationships and, and continued on those which opened other doors. So, and then of course, you know, I've got Pauline speaking as well. Pauline ends, you know, the former former protege and doing great things and you know, youtube, youtube, it's like guys, but you choose, it deserves to be on that stage and like everybody else.
Trevor: But, you know, it's, the amount of information that will get shared. You know, a lot of people I think would want to be a fly on the wall because it won't happen again. There’s just no way this event could happen again.
Brian: No, there’s never gonna be another 84th birthday event.
Trevor: No, trust me. 83rd is a push. Right.
Brian: And you're not going to do this all over again next year either?
Trevor: No, no. I mean it's, you know, this, the event being done this way and with what's being planned for the birthday bash alone. I mean, I checked the event yesterday and, you know, it's, it's, you know, you cannot, you cannot be in Poland now. You know, Polish people have been a few Polish weddings. And the first time I've, you know, I got so drunk vodka right the right toe cracking got caught in concrete.
Trevor: Just I have a six-foot Dan, I'll went on my face mask two teeth off, black eye, five stitches and the lip crack, three ribs and then two weeks later wake up from a small brain bleed. So it was a very memorable wedding, but hey, at least I bloody woke up. So I know that they like to drink, but you know, at the birthday bash alone, you know, there's open bar for eight hours, you know, it's like, it'll give you some idea and I know the food menu that's coming and it'll be, it'll be quite the party, you know. And then of course, there'll be small amount of VIP spots available for people on the, on the, on the last day.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah, the VIP day and be really special as well. Something that's always fascinated me that, that you've been really good at is building these relationships. And you just touched on that briefly then. Cause you know, something that I've really focused on like, like for me, you know, building those relationships has been just as important as, as, you know, getting a learning my copy shops, you know, knowing the right people, has opened a lot of doors. Just as much as there's any winning campaigns. So they've written, how have you done, have you gone about that? Have you gone about consciously trying to network and meet as many people or, or is it just something that's sort of evolved more naturally?
Trevor: Look, to me it's just been a awhile, been pretty much my whole life. I've always, well going back to childhood. My parents definitely don't say bashed into me, but drilled into me about having manners and all that sort of stuff. My banking days, you know, when I was a banker banker, right. You had to have relationships with your clients and you know, I had a lot of sort of networking functions in those regards. And, you know, before I change on the copywriting side of it, one of my biggest clients when I was up in Cairns that’s a part of Queensland, there was a $10 million account and there was sort of two couples, two married couples, which had hotels, hotel childcare centers, luxury apartments, you, you name it, right? And now that we're very well connected, right. And I would be frank, right?
Trevor: One of the partners, even though it was for frank, was frank was like the Godfather. He would insist that I was day every day for coffee, right. And at least three times a week for lunch. Now the two IC, second in charge of the business banking center leading my team was about nine, nine staff of lending officers blow me, right? And then, you know, we used to do about 150 to $200 million a year in loan approvals. Yet here's me, almost half the week out of the office. Right? Because I had with frank bought in so much business especially cause he generally always had some important guests that was there a friend drop in. Now one guy in particular, I mean I'm sure. Do you remember Nanda Pasta?
Trevor: Well one of the guys was a god could rough, deepest quality. Now deepest quality brothers. They stopped.
Trevor: They were the company that sold Nanda to Italy. So you know, guys like Ralph and then of course, you know, like minded people, other people that would like, Hey Trevor’s their bank manager pump on boom, and I'd get to write business that way. Right? So that was probably wearing my banking career, that, that side of a really understood it more than any other time in my life. And then in the copywriting world, I've always believed in this building a relationship and whether it's with a potential new client or to someone that you can have a relationship with where you mark out a referred business to them and vice versa, even though you might actually do business together. So you know, I call it my building the emotional bank account deposit, right? The very first time you won body and it might mean that you might never do business with him personally, right?
Trevor: But it might be, they might refer someone or vice versa. We might do business two years down the track, three years down the track, five years down the track. Who knows when it's been conscious of that. And really it was when I gave that little presentation of Mind valley last year, which is what probably April when you used, when you were still lay. One of the ladies in the room asked me about, you know, what do you think? Why do you think you've been so much success? And it was pretty simple though. I'd never really thought of it. Right. But the answer was, is you asked a question that it's all about relationships.
Trevor: And had I not had the relationship that I had with Ed Dale and you know, the other guys, you know, getting him to even agree to do this adventure I doubt what would have happened, right. And even with the eight years of sort of really knowing who we use in the copywriting world, you know, we then build a pretty good relationship. And then to the point where when he did have his last Hurrah of all the copywriters in the world, he could ask to speak. I was the only one and I was felt very honored and privileged back then. And I still do now. And I always will, but had we not built the relationship we had, right. I doubt that that would've been the case.
Trevor: You know, from what I've seen, right. And this is what I, you know, what I like watching and Pauline's the same as well, is that you are building relationships, right. And you know, it's not just, not just a relationship, right. It might be, you know, people from years ago that you go, you know what, I've neglected that relationship. You know, something. But sometimes it happens, right? So you go back and you nurture it again. But it's critical for me. Relationship is, is absolutely the number one reason on where I am today.
Brian: Yeah, it's very interesting because, it's been a focus of mine, the last, well I guess overall, but I've really focused the last few years especially, lately, as, as a, it's another way to gritty grow your business as a copywriter. I mean, as a many of the people listening to this podcast , we'll know, Manny, if you've met me at the TNC, seminar that we just had in San Diego, a TNC 2019. And one of the main things that I set out to do there was just a meet as many people that say, can, you know, I think I sat through about, about one the entire session, which I think it was Todd Brown's and, the others I hung up, hung about a bit, but, but I was mostly out meeting people, you know, I was hanging out with bond Halbert every day and, and, one of the days, it's really funny story.
Brian: Do you remember that, that picture I post or it's got me, Ed Dale, John Benson and a bond and Rich Schefren and Fernando Cruz. We turned up to the event one morning and, and and, one of the people who’s on the, Ad skills team said, Fernando Cruz is, is here. And I said, yeah, I jumped right on that, you know, definitely want to meet him because, for those who are not familiar with him, he's, he writes in one of the Gora companies and, and his webinars that he writes tend to do about $25 million in sales per webinar. So he was somebody, I definitely wanted some meat. And,, it was about 9:30 in the morning and someone said, oh, he's going to be at the bar drinking Moscow mules. And I thought, oh, my set in the morning is drinking, drinking it, a TNC.
Brian: That's that, that's, that's the life of a copywriter, you know. So we went up to the bar and, and sure enough, there he is, orange drinking hand. And, we ended up meeting and I invited him on the podcast and, and, that's how that photo came about because we ended up, or, talking, talking strategy and, and you know, it's got like me with some, some of the best copywriters of all time and in the one photo. So that was, that was a really, how would that really cool photo came about. But,but yeah, that's what I set out to do at that whole event. That's why I traveled, you know, 16 hours across the road, not to sit in the room and learn, you know,you know, how to run a Webinar. I've, I, I traveled over there, you know, to, to meet all these people in the flesh.
Trevor: Yeah, that's brilliant. Here’s the thing right? A lot of guys like, like, what's his name, Fernando?
Brian: Fernando Cruz. Yeah.
Trevor: I mean Fernando, Bond, you know, Matt Fury is a, another one is where they can smell bullshit a mile away. And if someone just gotten agenda or on something I've taught Fury about pitching in your park and ride and milky brains, right? And they can also spot genuine people, right? And so you'd just being yourself, but obviously, yes, you have, you have something to offer, right. But you've built a relationship and who knows where that relationship will go. Yeah.
Trevor: And what's interesting is, probably three, four months ago now, it was on a call with, with, right, with a client and wanting to, to pick up some, a couple of bigger media buying clients, right? And instantly I thought of two people while we were on the call. So, you know, it's like my Facebook Rolodex, basically I iMessage and I sent person be a message, right? And said boom, boom, boom. I probably got maybe buys in place, but you should talk to this guy because of x, y, z. Okay Toecracker go, so person A spends around 400,000 a month on media, person B around half a million. Both people became my clients’ clients. How was I able to do that? Relationships.
Trevor: Simple as that. Yeah.
Brian: This is a, it's really cool because it's one of the forgotten parts as being a copywriter. I mean this is why I left, Australia cause I was just working from home. I'm in that cold spare room. I didn't know that many people in Adelaide, certainly not that many people in the business. I could've moved to the east coast of Australia, but opportunities came up overseas and including mine, Zoe and another big company. So, that's what I ended up doing. But I just want to, to start networking with these people so they actually know who I am. And I mean like to continue the story from TNC, that most important parts that I didn't even cover with the fact that I picked up one big retainer client and I've picked up there for a, a bunch of smaller, gigs as well. And, and like you said, you know, who knows where the other relationships will go. So, you know, it's, it's really fascinating and profitable.
Trevor: Totally and I think, If people just got that aspect more instead of being, you know, having that sort of taker mentality. Instead of, you know, meeting someone, whether it's, you know, whether it's someone they look up to or not, because let's face it, everybody, you know, subject to the hands to working, everyone takes a shit and watch their own ass. So we’re all the same, right. In reality. Right. So there's not a lot of people are nervous to go and talk to somebody because all of, you know, they have that wall.
Trevor: He or she is up here and on Dan, he, yesterday I told themselves bulleting any sort of relationship, you know, I'm just myself, I'm the same person in the morning and the same person, at an event on the sign post and in the bar at an event or whatever, you know, and I know that like for example, when I go to any event that are speaking out, if I'm a guest speaker at someone's event, of course I'm not offering copywriting services at the event, but I always pick up copywriting projects. Why? Because the relationships I build there with people, whether it's on the speakers are audience offstage and outside of the seminar.
Brian: Yeah, true. So, yeah, and that happens whether you pitch you or not. I mean, I always get every speaking gig that I do, I just get to people asking you about copyrighting and stuff and, and, while I'm having to pretty much start an agency to keep up with the demand, you know, it's, it's, it's a really good way, even even the events where you don't pitch, yeah, you'd still get pick up work from that.
Trevor: Totally, so yeah, it's a definitely a big one. I mean, I'm old sort of. I know, you know, I'll talk more on that even at the event here in, in August because you know, it's, I'm going, going to events, your live events, you know. Yes. You go and you learn, you know, they all scenario. If you just, you know, pick up one nugget from a speaker, you know, it's worth investment align, which is true, but it's the chips. Right. And that's why, you know, like you, when the, the VIP stuff where they get that sort of one on one time with the, with the speakers and of course they'd invest small for that, you know, those people would generally get more out of it than others.
Brian: Yeah, definitely.
Trevor: But you know, you would have seen this, I mean, there wasn't Andy, Andy who song that you would've met Andy at TNC?
Brian: Yeah I met him, Yeah.
Trevor: I think Andy Might, some post after we'd got back, it's like he never attended one of the sessions. It was all about the relationships and the network.
Brian: Yeah I happened to went to like one.
Trevor: You know, so it's invaluable and if anyone listens to this and just, if they're not getting that, you know, look in the mirror and, you know, maybe smack the mirror once or twice because clearly you've got it, you've got an issue and understanding.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. And it's a, it's a good distinction to make a bat. It's not pissing in people's pockets and see the odds he sang of where someone, where you're just going out to people and trying to, you know, where, see how much you can take from them. You've got to be genuine and, and, not just take, take, take, but but it's got to be a proper relationship.
Trevor: Yeah, absolutely.
Brian: So, yeah, the event's going to be really interesting and if, and if anyone's a, like serious about learning copy, they should definitely go to, so, you're going to announce this in your Facebook group?
Trevor: Yeah. Like a wolf first that this was the copies probably not going to be live for another week and a half or so depending on when, you know, I get the rest of the Info I need, although the main draft has been written. So, yeah, in my group Beers, Bourbon and Business, is where the preannounced will go. I mean, I've already sold, I've already sold six, six St style on that six VIP has gone without a sales letter and I've done all this close to 40 or 50 people on that preannounced list, you know, which is, you know, quite a few. I know it definitely going, waiting, just waiting. So that's where a lot nets first and then the other speakers will promote the hell out of it. So
Brian: Isn't it interesting that the first six seats you sold are all been VIP?
Trevor: Yeah. Well, interesting. Yes. But in some ways, no, because, when, when Drayton had his last Hurrah event back in June, 2017. I, I worked out that the VIP offer when we were working on the sales copy for his event and you know, that was a thousand pound extra, right. For the VIP lost have, you know, with Drayton and I, and they went first. Yeah. All right. Well on snapped up. They went so quickly with so many requests that I had to come up with a drop to how not a drop down VIP or from call it the golden ticket, I'm going to 97 pounds. And guess what?
Brian: They sold out?
Trevor: They sold out and then Drayton drag kicking and screaming to do a, you know, a one day event last year. And one of his clients that said to me, he's got, he's got more comebacks in the rolling stones. He, he was telling me when we had dinner a couple of weeks ago, I said, you know, I use that again. The 10 is a thousand pounds when, so again, when we want understand the importance of really what an event is, where they want to be, why would they're really want to get the VIP stuff? I'm not surprised that they go quickly. Right. I think with this I'm going to have more people wanting VIP than I can handle the VIP.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. I was thinking the same thing. I mean, what, what I, what I really meant was, you know like the people who are early adopters and fast acting, you know, they're always going to get the VIP anyway. They're not going to just get a regular ticket. This smart enough to know the value that you're presenting there. So, yeah, very smart.
Trevor: Smarter than I look.
Brian: So the Beers, Bourbon and Business group.
Brian: I'll track a link, on the site here. If you're listening on Itunes, I'll track a link on geniusesofcopywriting.com, to the group, or you can just search on Facebook, join the group and, and that's where they pre announce will be. So, yeah, that's, that's one of the few groups on Facebook that I actually pay any attention to at all. So it's a real good one.
Trevor: Thanks Mate. Yeah. And then, you know, I'm looking forward to job everything and no, see catching up with you and teaching you how to drink because clearly when I stuck to bought screamer, but,
Brian: Well, I wouldn't say that, but, yeah, I'm nowhere near your knowing you. I'm not going to try and keep up with you again. I made, I made that mistake once before. We had some fun nights at the, at the winds and judge in, in Vancouver, which I can remember, a good portion of the night. But when I, when I tried to match pace with you, It was clearly out of my league.
Trevor: Well clearly you, you, you will now learn to quit. Why behind what your fantasies a header you capabilities and that guy. But yeah, it's going to be, it's going to be a crack house especially, I mean I'm just, I can imagine the Connie just to eight hours of an open bar of beer, wine, rum, Polish vodka, whiskey and everything we see.
Brian: This will be the last hurrah that pub as well cause they won't be able to afford to stay in business with, with after eight hours of, of having you there. So it,
Trevor: Well it is that they've got with that stuff, but I was like, okay. I was told him three, honestly, no, no, no, we eight hours. It was like, can I lock them the booze package? Thank you.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. I think I'll think about, I'll do a few hours and go home to a hotel and I have asleep for a couple of hours and come back with a second wind.
Trevor: I think once you leave that there's no reentry. That'll be real.
Brian: I was, we'll see about it though. I'll get a stamp on my hand.
Trevor: Sounds Fair.
Brian: Thanks for that Trevor. So yeah, anyone listening to this,especially if you are smart enough to want to go to this event, go join the group Beers, Bourbon and business. So I'll check a link on the, on the site, on the page at geniusesofcopywriting.com that'll be up pretty soon. And make sure you join the group. There's a few rules to, as you apply, but, but definitely pay attention to that and to watch out for the pre announcement for the event and follow the Trevor's a lot because like I said, Trevor is the person I consider to be my, first and greatest copywriting mentor for copywriting. Put a pure and simple. I've got, I've got a lot of that out of what we've worked together and studying his stuff over the years. I bought a few of his courses in that, so, yeah, definitely follow him for a copywriting. This group is, is a great read copywriting resource as well.
Trevor: Cheers for that. I can maybe even model my hairstyle.
Brian: Yeah. Eventually. Yeah,
Brian: Yeah, yeah. Ed’s on the way. I think by the, by the time the end of the event comes around, especially after eight hours in the pub, you know, we can probably get it done.
Trevor: We can probably shave his head.
Brian: Yeah, yeah. He might, he might not be conscious at the time. I don't know if he drinks. Does he drink?
Trevor: I’m not sure. He’s from Victoria. So probably not too much.
Brian: Oh, okay. Yeah. That's too bad. We won't, we were already denied bond. We'll be having, having cokes and juice and stuff. So, but, Ed, we can probably, we can probably corrupt him pretty easily.
Trevor: I'll see if I can get Mr. John Carlton to drink his gin out of the straw again like what he did in Vegas. I got his photograph anyway so I can blackmail him in the future. That's always good to sit back and watch what you do with it, which is get load.
Brian: Appreciate that. Have a good one. Thanks.
Trevor: Thanks Mate, you too.
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