The End Of Feast And Famine Copywriting
Everything you've ever heard about becoming a successful working freelance copywriter is wrong.

In this (fun) mini-essay below, I unpack the truth...
Part 1: How Almost Getting Booted Out Of Uni (And Barbecued By My Indian Parents) Showed Me How Fast It Could Be To Land A $5k/Month Copywriting Retainer
Part 1: How Almost Getting Booted Out Of Uni (And Barbecued By My Indian Parents) Showed Me How Fast It Could Be To Land A $5k/Month Copywriting Retainer
I know, that might sound a touch hypey...

But all I ask is that you read my story and see the evidence for yourself.

It'll soon be obvious why A-listers and 
world-renowned copywriting educators like Derek Johanson (CopyHour)... Roy Furr (BTMS)... and John McIntyre (McIntyre Method) have all put their names and reputations behind my approach to landing high-paying retainers...
I know, that might sound a touch hypey...

But all I ask is that you read my story and see the evidence for yourself.

It'll soon be obvious why A-listers and world-renowned copywriting educators like Derek Johanson (CopyHour)... Roy Furr (BTMS)... and John McIntyre (McIntyre Method) have all put their names and reputations behind my approach to landing high-paying retainers...
“If you keep this inconsistent ‘copywriting’ thing up…

...you’ll get kicked out of uni within the week.

And then you’ll be TOTALLY screwed.”

^ My best friend’s words rang in my ears.

And as much as I hated to admit it, she was right.

See -

I was in the final year of an economics degree that I HATED.

And my worst, most horrifying nightmare scenario was that I graduated and had to work at a bank, kissing corporate ass all day.

That fear had been driving me to escape.

Now, I KNEW that freelance copywriting was my ticket ‘out’.

And after putting everything I had into it…

...I’d landed some solid clients, writing copy they were really happy with.

So on the surface, things were going well.

But there was a problem:

I was ONLY getting one-off gigs

That meant I had ZERO consistent income.

That’s bad enough on its own.

But now that I was tasting *some* success…

...I’d been bunking off my classes to focus on turning my copywriting side-hustle into a full-time thing...

...which meant I had my personal tutor… my lecturers… AND the head of student services breathing down my neck.

(Remember, this was the FINAL YEAR of my degree)

The threat soon escalated:

“Shiv… if your attendance continues to flounder, we’ll be forced to remove you from your academic course.”

Uh oh.

If I was kicked out of uni, I’d be denied my student loan.

So I’d have NO WAY to pay rent…

What’s more -

I couldn’t just up sticks and move back with my parents.

Because then I’d be COMPLETELY screwing over my housemates…

...who’d have to pay WAY MORE in rent to make up for the fact that I wasn’t there.

(Not to mention the fact that my parents would be LIVID)

The cherry on the cake?

I was in too deep to put copywriting on hold and go back to uni.

I mean…

I’d missed WAY too much of my degree already…

...AND I had paying clients who expected me to deliver! 

The bottom line?

I was caught between a rock and a hard place, with only a week or so of breathing room before my life imploded.

There was only ONE way out:

Land a copywriting RETAINER that was large enough and long-term enough for me to drop out, pay rent, and live off the income.

...and land it FAST.

But to land a retainer, I needed something RELIABLE.

After all, the future of my entire life was at stake here!

So I couldn’t roll the dice on the hit-and-hope ‘usual suspect’ client-getting strategies.

You know, things like:

👉 Applications on job boards that get buried in the pile...

👉 Templated cold email blasts to random businesses who get the same pitch every day...

👉 Spammy or fake relationship-building DMs (like “how’s business going”) that get ignored and spurned...

What’s more -

I simply didn’t have TIME to set it up so that high-paying clients (who could afford to have me on retainer) came to me…

...by doing things like list building and ‘authority content’ posts.

I was at a loss.

But I had one more card left to play...

I thought to myself:

“Self, let’s do something that NO ONE else is doing. 

Let’s create our own retainer-getting path.

It needs to be bold... and it needs to REALLY make me stand out from the crowd and distance myself from the ‘average Joe’ nametag.

And let’s go one step further - 

Let’s create and map out just ONE core PROCESS, a proven recipe of sorts, that’ll land me high-paying retainers on demand.

That way, ‘luck’ is taken out of the equation”

Well, that’s exactly what I did!

I started by using what had ALREADY been working in my copy career to land the one-off gigs…
 
...then I cherry-picked my favourite client-getting approaches…

...added in my own unique twists…

...optimised it for retainers...

...and fleshed the whole thing out into a coherent, reliable, PROCESS.

The result?

A $5k/month retainer 
with a 7-figure client
just a few weeks later

And after executing it a few more times?

I found myself fully booked up with work

...with mere DAYS left on the clock before disaster.

Phew.

I immediately dropped out of uni.

And for the rest of the year, I continued to live in my student accommodation...

...happy as Larry...

...with all the bills taken care of (and then some) and my parents appeased now that I was earning.

Meanwhile, I was surrounded by students who were living off of baked beans and working grotty, minimum wage bar jobs between cramming for exams.

But here I am living like a king as a dropout.

Here’s the best part:

I happened to connect with John McIntyre...

(One of the world’s best and highest paid email copywriters)

...and once he heard about my process and the results I’d gotten with it…

...he was blown away.

(I know that sounds SUPER arrogant, but I promise I’m not blowing smoke up my own arse here! I’ll share John’s verbatim endorsement in a sec.)

John asked if my process was repeatable, so I could teach it to other copywriters.

And when I said ‘yes’... he said:

“Mate - you’ve done in weeks what most copywriters take YEARS to do.

I’ve got people on my list who would KILL to learn large retainers using your method”

I hadn’t even considered teaching my process… 

...but when John explained why I should, it made a TON of sense.

And so throughout 2019, I took a small ‘test group’ of copywriters through my process, to help them follow in my footsteps and enter a whole new level of play… FAST. 

Copywriters like Michael:
(That's a $25m/year Australian supplement company...)
Michael Diggins
Freelance copywriter
"Nothing has got me an opportunity this big, this quickly, as the Flaming Camel"
"Sent out my first Flaming Camel to a large sports supplement company and their CEO has asked me to do a one-month trial.

Suffice to say, I'm bloody excited (and quietly shitting it, but hey I asked for this...).

I followed Shiv's methods to the letter and it got my foot in the door. 

That NEVER would have happened with the previous old methods of cold, boring emails and LinkedIn messaging.

Point is, the Flaming Camel strategy works if you put total faith in the system and take on Shiv's advice along the way. 

I've tried a bunch of different things and nothing has got me an opportunity this big, this quickly, as the Flaming Camel.

The way I see it, Shiv's method and guidance along the way got the door open for me, now it's up to me to get the retainer deal over the line.

Massive shout out to Shiv too. He's always been super quick in getting back to me and bang on with his advice on how I can improve things or how to manage certain things. The guy puts a tonne of work and heart in to helping us succeed!"

"Nothing has got me an opportunity this big, this quickly"
Michael Diggins
Freelance copywriter
"Sent out my first Flaming Camel to a large sports supplement company and their CEO has asked me to do a one-month trial.

Suffice to say, I'm bloody excited (and quietly shitting it, but hey I asked for this...).

I followed Shiv's methods to the letter and it got my foot in the door. 

That NEVER would have happened with the previous old methods of cold, boring emails and LinkedIn messaging.

Point is, the Flaming Camel strategy works if you put total faith in the system and take on Shiv's advice along the way. 

I've tried a bunch of different things and nothing has got me an opportunity this big, this quickly, as the Flaming Camel.

The way I see it, Shiv's method and guidance along the way got the door open for me, now it's up to me to get the retainer deal over the line.

Massive shout out to Shiv too. He's always been super quick in getting back to me and bang on with his advice on how I can improve things or how to manage certain things. The guy puts a tonne of work and heart in to helping us succeed!"

(That 'large sports supplement company' is an 
8-figure giant doing a $25m/year in revenue...)
Before I taught Michael my process for landing high-paying retainers…

...he was going in circles with his copy career.

He'd tried cold emailing.

He'd tried LinkedIn messages.

But they were dead-ends.

His only main source of work was an agency who overworked and underpaid him.

To top if off:  

He was SICK TO DEATH of getting duped by over-hyped client-getting courses that gave him the same rehashed, generic advice that wasn’t getting him the breakthrough he desperately wanted. 

Then I introduced him to my retainer-getting process... 

And before long, he’d swapped the feast and famine cycle for a $3k/month retainer with a 7-figure LinkedIn sales coach...

(Who’s regularly ranked next to the likes of Gary Vee and Grant Cardone in terms of social selling)

...as well as generated a whole heap of new retainer opportunities with 7 and 8-figure clients, like a $25m/year fitness supplement company.

Then there’s Amanda:
"I really didn't expect such a fast reply... just wanna thank Shiv for his awesome strategy!"
"Woohoo! 🎉🎉🎉

Guess what?

[Company name removed for privacy] CEO just invited me to get on a call with him next week 🙌

They’re one of the fastest growing businesses in the online education / make money online ish space...

So I really didn’t expect such a fast reply from the CEO (after just the 2nd follow-up).

Most likely gonna start with a project or a trial month! Mainly just need to work out the details at this point 🙂 

Woohoo Super stoked even though it’s like 3.30am in Singapore now 😉

Just wanna thank Shiv too for his awesome strategy! 🔥🐫"
(I removed the company name 
for privacy, but it's an 8-figure giant doing close to $12m/year in revenue...)
Amanda Ong
Freelance copywriter
"I really didn't expect such a fast reply... just wanna thank Shiv for his awesome strategy!"
Amanda Ong
Freelance copywriter
"Woohoo! 🎉🎉🎉

Guess what?

[Company name removed for privacy] CEO just invited me to get on a call with him next week 🙌

They’re one of the fastest growing businesses in the online education / make money online ish space...

So I really didn’t expect such a fast reply from the CEO (after just the 2nd follow-up).

Most likely gonna start with a project or a trial month! Mainly just need to work out the details at this point 🙂 

Woohoo Super stoked even though it’s like 3.30am in Singapore now 😉

Just wanna thank Shiv too for his awesome strategy! 🔥🐫"
(I removed the company name 
for privacy, but they're doing 8-figures bringing in close to $12m/year in revenue...)
Before coming to me, she had already landed a solid retainer.

The problem?

It was pure luck.

And now, she was jumping around aimlessly from client-getting strategy to client-getting strategy, unable to repeat the success she’d had

But after learning and applying my process…

...she’d quickly secured a long-term position at one of the fastest-growing companies in the biz-opp space, who are pulling in close to $12m/year.

Then you’ve got Ericson:
Ericson Ay Mires
Freelance Copywriter
"Working with Shiv = $4.5k/month retainer. I finally feel like I'm on the right path... the one I've wanted for a long time now"
"Me working on my own without Shiv's help for months = a one-off project and a few 'not-interested at the moment' folks.

Me working with Shiv and following his process consistently, with him 
double-checking everything = a $2,000 retainer with a big-fish client in just under two weeks...

...which he helped me turn into a $4.5k/month retainer 30 days later.

I'm done with my rat race bank job, and I'm now moving somewhere affordable. I'm shooting for 6-figures in 2020, at a minimum.

I finally feel like I'm on the right path - the one I've wanted for a long time now. And I've got Shiv and the Flaming Camel to thank for that!"
You Need Just ONE Proven Strategy
Working with Shiv = $4.5k/month retainer. I finally feel like I'm on the right path... the one I've wanted for a long time now"
Ericson Ay Mires
Freelance Copywriter
"Me working on my own without Shiv's help for months = 

a one-off project and a few 'not-interested at the moment' folks.

Me working with Shiv and following his process consistently, with him double-checking everything = 

A $2,000 retainer fee with a big-fish client in just under two weeks, which he helped me turn into a $4.5k/month retainer 30 days later.

I'm done with my rat race bank job, and I'm now moving somewhere affordable.

I'm shooting for 6-figures in 2020, at a minimum.

I finally feel like I'm on the right path - the one I've wanted for a long time now. And I've got Shiv and the Flaming Camel to thank for that"
Ericson who was doing the usual dance of generic cold outreach and content posting, and even went so far as to purchase a list and mail it… 

...but nothing was sticking.

He’d landed a few decent projects here and there, but it was a far cry from the 6, 7, and 8-figure clients and $10k/month income he was after.

But after I taught him my process…

...he’d secured a $4.5k/month retainer, which allowed him to quit his 9-to-5 at a bank and become a full-time freelance copywriter. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To be honest?

I was SUPER skeptical that OTHER copywriters would get insane results with my process.

But they did.

(And then some haha)

Before I knew it, teaching my process to struggling, stagnating copywriters had become my new obsession.

I loved watching them enter a whole new level of play in no time at all.

And now, I want YOU to be next!

So - wanna learn how my process works? 😉
Ericson who was doing the usual dance of generic cold outreach and content posting, and even went so far as to purchase a list and mail it… 

...but nothing was sticking. 

He’d landed a few decent projects here and there, but it was a far cry from the 6, 7, and 8-figure clients and $10k/month income he was after.

But after I taught him my process…

...he’d secured a $4.5k/month retainer, which allowed him to quit his 9-to-5 at a bank and become a full-time freelance copywriter. 

---------------------------------------------------------------

To be honest?

I was SUPER skeptical that OTHER copywriters would get insane results with my process.

But they did.

(And then some haha)

Before I knew it, teaching my process to struggling, stagnating copywriters had become my new obsession.

I loved watching them enter a whole new level of play in no time at all.

And now, I want YOU to be next!

So - wanna learn how my process works? 😉