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My Three “Charlie The Plumber”​ Rules Every Copywriter Should Know

Last week, I was pitched two jobs by two different companies and I turned them both down. I don’t say this to be smug or arrogant; they simply didn’t pass my Charlie the Plumber Rules!

What, exactly, are my Charlie the Plumber Rules?

Frankly, it’s a simple test that every potential client I meet must past or I won’t work with that person. I named this test after none other than own plumber, whom I affectionately refer to as Charlie the Plumber.

Charlie, by the way, was a great guy who had been doing work for me for nearly 10 years until he passed.  He was honest guy who charged an honest price for his work and whom I trusted 100%. He never overcharged me, never tried to sell me something I didn’t need, and always bent over backward for me.

 What I loved most about Charlie (other than that he was a big talker like me) is the fact that he not only treated me like royalty but also had come to a point in his life where he picked his clients–and I was honored to be one of them. 

You see, unlike most plumbers, who have full Yellow Page ads that scream discount, Charlie didn’t advertise. He worked by referral only, and he was very choosy about whom he takes on.

 As a client, I felt blessed that I had Charlie working for me!

Are Your Clients Lucky to Have You Working for Them?

If not, maybe it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff. Because having clients who value you for your knowledge and your experience is where you want to be.

And if you don’t start picking your clients on that basis now, you could find yourself working with a demanding group of unappreciative people who see you only as a vendor at a price and not as the business builder that you are.

That’s why before you accept any new work, I highly suggest that you put your prospects through my Charlie the Plumber test.

My Three Rules for Picking Clients WhoWill Pay You What You’re Worth

1. Got to Have Fun.

As I learned from Charlie, life’s too short to work with a bunch of demanding jerks. You want to work with people who love their work and love life. When you find these people, as I have, you’ll get up every day inspired to do your best to meet deadlines and exceed expectations, because you’re having too much of a good time to do otherwise.

2. Got to Make Money.

Let’s face it, copywriting is hard work. So there has to be an upside to bleeding all over the page. That upside in our society is known as money. Why bust your butt if the person only wants to pay you peanuts? No–you want to work with people who are fun and who will pay you what you are worth and then some.

3. Got to Be Appreciated.

Believe it or not, this is actually my first rule. I never work for people who are looking for just another copywriter. If the first question they ask is what do I charge, then it is clear to me that they are looking for another copywriter and not for the special something that I bring to the table.

Anyone who wants to hire me has to want ME, Doug D’Anna, and have ME working on his or her behalf.

I say this not to be smug or arrogant, but only to drive home the point that you, too, are a unique individual worthy of the same appreciation.

When you think about it, why would you ever want to work for someone who doesn’t appreciate you?

My Fourth Rule

4. Got to Learn Something.

Over the years, I have found that only half of my successes came from me.

The other half came directly from the fine group of publishers, product managers, and business owners that I worked with–individuals whose knowledge was superior to my own and whom I could learn from.

That’s why after a new client passes my first three hurdles, I always put them to this fourth and crucial test–especially when I have two or three projects to choose from at any one time.

You’ll be surprised to know that I’ve chosen projects with far less immediate financial potential, simply because I would be working with an A-list marketer who could take my skills to the next level.

At the end of the day, this fourth rule has resulted in much greater financial success for me and my clients.   

Please Make Them Your Rules Too 

I guarantee that if you follow them, you’ll find yourself working with people who not only value and appreciate your knowledge and talent but just as important–pay you for it.

About My Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula Coaching Program

My goal is to create a legacy of copywriting knowledge that proves that anyone can use my time-proven formula to create twice as many million-dollar marketing campaigns in half the time–and more effectively than any other copywriting method on the planet. 

I hope that you will be a part of it. 

Once you sign up for the coaching, you will go to a calendar to schedule your first session. We can work out a convenient schedule after that. 

Prior to your first coaching session I will be sending you my 10 favorite swipe file pieces along with your FREE copy of my $3,500 How to Sell Yourself as a Freelance Copywriter course PDFs as a part of my coaching.

That way you will be ready to jump right in.  

Your first coaching session will begin with one of my favorite email promotions, The One Stock That Will Make You a Marijuana Millionaire. 

During this session I will: 

  • Walk you through this winning promotion 
  • Explain how I created the lead
  • Reveal how I layered the benefits and specifics 
  • Show you how I create seamless transitions 
  • Explain how you can fuse these ideas in a new way for a promotion you may be working on

I will also take you behind the scenes of my eight tested and refined principles of copywriting that have yielded exceptional results that I affectionately call:

  • The Cookie and the Dog
  • The Stairway to Heaven
  • The Beatles
  • The Jackson 5
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Trojan Horse
  • The MacGyver, and
  • My fishes-and-loaves approach to writing copy

All of which will prepare you for session two, where I will show you how you, too, can apply these principles over and over with incredible results.  

To find out more about my program, click here for all the details.

All good wishes,

Doug D’Anna, Creator and Founder of

The Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula

Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.