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Episode 055 - The Big Idea, the Agora Financial Way

Published by: David Garfinkel on 05-06-2018

Featuring Joe Schriefer

We’ve talked about the Big Idea on the show before, but we have a report from the field today with the best expert I know or know of on this topic, Joe Schriefer. Just on the slight chance you’ve never heard of him, Joe heads up Agora Financial in Baltimore, which consists of five publishing companies, or “imprints,” as they prefer to call them.

When you put them all together, in my opinion, Agora Financial as a whole makes up the biggest, and most profitable, Big Idea production studio in the world.

Joe is a humble man, so I can see you recoiling from your microphone in Baltimore, Joe, as I’m saying this. I do need to disclose that Joe is a friend and client, so you’ll understand the relationship as we continue this podcast.

I have my habitual advisory, and then we’ll jump right into it. Here’s the advisory:

Copy is powerful. You’re responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims… and/or if you’re writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity… you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.

Joe, thanks so much for taking time to be here! And welcome to the show.

1. So let’s talk about the Big Idea. I know Ryan McGrath has this great three-step process you’ve talked about before. Could you share it here?

2. Could you talk about copywriters working at AF who have really mastered the art of coming up with the Big Idea, and how they did it?

3. You have an amazing eye for what will work, I’ve noticed. Let me tell you what I’ve figured out, but I’d like you to tell me if I’m right or wrong, and what else you’ve done and you do to keep your eyes and ears sharp.

I figure a lot of it comes from a combination of experience of things that have worked, and things that haven’t. Another big piece I imagine that contributes to your ability to “call ’em” is that you read so much copy and keep track of the market all the time.

Then, I suppose, it’s really knowing the target customer well.

Am I right? And, right or not, what am I missing?

4. So, now that we have a sense of how you’ve learned what works as a Big Idea and how you stay in touch with what’s going on in the market, can you give us a sense of what goes through your mind when you evaluate a Big Idea a copywriter is pitching you?

5. Could you go through the training folks at AF get for generating Big Ideas?

6. Maybe we should have covered this earlier, but I wanted people to get some idea of what a big deal the Big Idea really is. Could you walk us through a few of your favorites, and explain why you like them?

7. For our listeners who would like to get better at creating Big Ideas themselves,
what would you recommend?

Keywords: Financial Industry Copywriting

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