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Being a Celebrity Copywriter with Gio Marcus

Gio Marcus is a celebrity copywriter. We were so intrigued with this, we just had to have her on the show to find out how she helps celebrities make money. Born in New York, Gio moved to the West Coast some 20 years and she is a convert. She came for college and fell in love with the state. Her life in California is ‘pretty dreamy”. See Gio’s Instagram photo below with roller skates!

Celebrity Copywriter, Gio Marcus, The Next 100 Days Podcast

What was it like working with Celebrities?

Gio’s clients hang out with Oprah and Richard Branson and are New York Times Best Selling Authors. For a girl brought up in New York, landing a NYT best selling author was quite a thrill.

Gio At Lunchtime!

California is Dreamy, Gio Marcus, The Next 100 Days Podcast

There is so much natural beauty in California. Right outside her door she can go hiking in the mountains or get to the ocean within 30 minutes, plus the desert is not too far away, so you really have a full spectrum of nature very close by.

Celebrity Copywriter

Gio is a celebrity copywriter. That means she is addressing the desires of celebrities for copy that makes them money. Listen hard to how Gio explains story and non-traditional copywriting.

How does Gio get into the minds of her celebrity clients? She says, research is my friend. Her clients have podcasts, blogs, books. There are lots of different places Gio can go to learn what their voice is and what kinds of things they talk about.

Clients who are doctors does not mean Gio needs to be an expert medical practitioner. The game is to take the technical information and translate it into a broader audience. A lot of times it can be quite difficult for an expert to translate their in-depth knowledge to a wider audience. After all, they know all the technicalities, their industry lingo, and that can make their copy too jargon rich.

So, Gio’s genius is to take their expertise and shape and shift it to a wider audience, who are then able to receive and hear it and get excited about it.

Not Hiring Gio Would Have Been a $3m Mistake!

This was from one of Gio’s testimonials, Carli Davidson. See the add at the foot of these notes.

If you get copy wrong, it can hurt the brand.

Who Inspired Gio?

David Ogilvy – one of the Godfathers of copy and brilliant in terms of understanding the psychology of marketing. She claims David Ogilvy influenced the way she interacts with people. Another inspiration is Dan Kennedy, a direct response copywriter. Graham mentioned Eugene Schwartz and Drayton Bird – the latter who was on this podcast 3 years ago in 2018. The man that released the 2 books by Eugene Schwartz, which had gone out of print, but not demand, was Brian Kurtz – another podcast guest.

Eugene Schwartz, The Next 100 Days Podcast, Bran Kurtz, Gio Marcus, Celebrity Copywriter

Will Gio Marcus Still Create Copy in Her 80s? (Like Drayton Bird)

Gio will always be a writer. Whether it is poetry on the beach of for clients. She feels fulfilled and naturally gets into the brands she selects to work with.

How does Gio repel people? Does she have a technique. Gio recommends them to someone who may be a better fit. The one thing that stood out was when Gio said:

I don’t feel a sense of scarcity. I love recommending other copywriters.

Gio specialises in sales pages. Not websites, nor pamphlets. The topic is also a bar for some clients. If it is not a good fit, she’ll recommend the prospect to another copywriter. By letting them down gently. A large percentage of her clients are female. And she writes to a female audience. That audience is typically older than herself, such as 50s, 60s and 70s.

Celebrity Copywriter Style Differences

There are style differences between writing to older and younger audiences:

Younger – more slang, punchier copy.
Older – a slightly more mature voice, they are thinking about difference things, they understand health questions.
Affluent – they are motivated by different drivers, the things they talk about to take action is different.

Why do her clients come to her?

One of her recent clients were in fact good writers. The CEO had a best selling book. He’d built a multiple million dollar company. She freed up his time and de-jargonise their copy. “Optimise” is a word that is clunky. You wouldn’t say I want to optimise my life. Gio looked for words more suited in a research paper and purges copy that is not fit for purpose.

What copywriting technique can we all learn from? Don’t forget the TRANSFORMATIONS! The transformations are super benefits. These are the things people actually care about.

No matter what you are selling, use mystery. What that means, create some curiosity. They are so compelled that they have to take the next step. Planting an idea, like “don’t turn the page”. Ogilvy said that 80% of the value of a sales piece is the headline.

So, make a subject line feel like it’s coming from a friend. Gio mentioned Refinery 29.

Refinery29, Gio Marcus, The Next 100 Days Podcast

You can see what Gio is taking from Refinery29 – some great curiosity headlines. Ideal for Millennials. They appeal to the curiosity gap.

People love learning things. Set up a subject line that gives them INSIDER INFORMATION. The first words carry more weight too. Even put their names in the subject line. “Gio, Dry Skin?”

Discover More About Gio Marcus

Her website:

Carli Davidson, Gio Marcus, The Next 100 Days Podcast


Get in touch with The Next 100 Days hosts…

Want to know more about Graham Arrowsmith?

Graham Arrowsmith, Managing Director Finely Fettled Limited, Meet ProfessionalsFinely Fettled – If you want more affluent and high net worth customers, investors or patients, Finely Fettled can help you. Who you attract as customers matters a lot. Why not deliberately get higher value customers? You’ll be able to access a comprehensive set of specialisms to achieve your goals and stand out in your field.

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Finely Fettled is a West Yorkshire based Marketing Consultancy. I work with a number of categories, including financial advisers, professional services, investment and care companies. If you would like my help, are friendly and co-operative, know what you want and when you want it, get in touch.

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Ever wondered what Kevin Appleby does?

Kevin Appleby, Consulting, GrowCFO

Kevin is a Chartered Accountant who has worked as a management consultant for a number of years specialising in finance transformation and implementing business change. Currently he is COO of GrowCFO.

GrowCFO is Where Finance Leaders Grow Together. Becoming a successful CFO requires commitment and dedication towards delivering your full potential. GrowCFO provides both a community and CPD accredited training designed to grow the next generation of finance leaders.

You can find Kevin on linkedin