Is Seth Godin’s Copy Workshop Worth It?
February 9, 2022
As a ruckus-making proponent, I’ve been following Seth Godin’s iconoclastic ideas long before I began writing in my own career. Later I found myself taking note (often) of his writing style and delivery — the man communicates prolific thoughts in ways that are more absorbable than a ShamWow towel. It’s concise, simple, and memorable. I wanted to learn his ways to be able to do the same for our clients.
Finally given the opportunity, I signed up for the Copy Workshop course, and here’s my honest review.
The workshop is designed to ‘teach you how to use words to inspire action’. It takes two and a half months to complete, and there are lessons twice a week. Let’s start with the nit-picky.
What I Thought Was ‘Fine’, But Not Great
It Isn’t Led by Seth Godin
Queue the sad trombone — *womp womp*. Instead, the curriculum is designed and led by Margo Aaron. While she is an accomplished and enthusiastic writer, her style is the opposite of Seth’s. I found this out after subscribing to her email newsletter to get a better feel for her work. After two of them, I had to hit the unsubscribe button. The takeaways were valuable and relevant, but too verbose for my attention span.
Clunky User Experience
I’m biased because I’m surrounded by people who live for creating badass user experiences, but I was surprised to find myself fumbling around the workshop portal.
At $1,200, it comes with a price tag that many might not be able to fund personally. If it’s budget that’s keeping you from this opportunity, scroll down on this workshop FAQ page to see if you meet any of the criteria for financial support.
What I Loved
Shipping the Work
Seth Godin’s infamous call-to-action is to ship the work (as often as possible, and especially when the work isn’t perfect). The course holds you accountable for staying in the habit of writing, and if you seek to master something, nothing is more valuable than repetition.
Two Levels of Difficulty
Each lesson offers two prompt variations. The first requires no prior writing experience. The second is for more seasoned copywriters who want a challenge. I usually did both since the applications of the concept were a little different.
I was often shook by my peers’ thought-provoking questions and perspectives. Sometimes you think your writing is so funny you should consider doing stand-up, and then you learn that clever doesn’t always win in copy. You have an entire community of coaches and peers who are challenging you on if your work is really effective (or not).
Was It Worth It?
After getting over my disappointment that it wasn’t led by Seth Godin himself, I can say it was definitely worth it. I was in a writing rut, and it’s exactly what I needed to stoke my fire. The lessons were refreshing, and I loved the emphasis on ethical, generous, and kind copywriting. In true Godin fashion, you won’t learn any click-baiting or marketing manipulation tactics here.
A Sneak Peek (My Favorite Lesson)
I don’t want to spoil the workshop for you, but I’d like to share my favorite lesson. In one of the prompts, you had to think about your products or services. And you had to write copy in a way that doesn’t tell someone why they should care about what you’re offering (i.e. fancy features, functionality), but why they already do (i.e. emotions, language they’d actually use).
It was about meeting your customers where they’re at, not where you want them to be. The job of the copywriter is not to convince, argue, or plead — but to meet. And only then can you take someone from disinterested to interested, and interested to taking action.
Lastly, if the Copy Workshop isn’t in your budget, I’d like to leave you with two writing resources that are inspiring, actionable, and easier on the wallet:
- Cole Schafer’s How to write words that sell like a Florida Snow Cone Vendor on the hottest day of the year. We have a review of that as well, click here.
- A 12-minute video on the Science of Persausion (free)