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DCP #5: How Joe Schriefer Turned Agora Financial Into A Copywriting Empire

On this episode of the Daily Copywriter Podcast, Matt Rizvi interviewed Joe Schriefer, Co-Founder of Agora Financial. Over his 17-year career at Agora, Joe has published hundreds of marketing campaigns, generated hundreds of millions in annual revenue, and worked with some of the biggest financial gurus out there, including James Altucher, Jim Rickards, Robert Kiyosaki, and more.

Inside the episode, you’ll hear…

** Joe’s 3 hilarious reasons for taking a job at Agora 17 years ago (it was his first job out of college and he thought it was a stroke of bad luck at the time)

** The insight that finally got him *hooked* on the direct response world and turned his 9-to-5 job into an obsession (it happened more than a year into the job)

** The 101-level class in segmentation Joe got from managing direct mail at Agora (and the only 2 selections people cared about at the time)

** The embarrassing story about Joe’s failed efforts to escape Agora when he still hadn’t realized what a golden opportunity it was

** Why it took being asked twice before Joe agreed to join Agora Financial during its inception (and how he has no regrets about taking a pay cut from his already low $25k salary)

** Joe’s pivot in priorities once he took over the day-to-day at Agora Financial (and why he couldn’t be the best copywriter in the place if he wanted it to grow)

** Why Joe still writes 3 to 4 packages a year while running the company (which means putting in his 10,000 hours while copy chief-ing hundreds of packages)

** The drastic evolution within the industry that merged the job of marketer and copywriter (and what this means for rookies who think they’re “just going write”)

** Organizational changes Joe is trying to implement at Agora Financial to reflect his need for rapid iterations on ads (online business owners come up against this every day)

** Where most media-buying agencies go wrong and the one thing Joe needs to see if he wants to sign a long-term contract with them

** The leadership and recruiting edge Joe gets from being a master copywriter (as well as the 3 big names he interviewed in his most recent promo about the 2020 election)

** The #1 skill a copywriter needs to have that James Altucher is always talking about

** 3 more sub-traits Joe looks for in interviewees (including the mysterious “Top Gun trait”)

** A mentality breakdown from Joe on the internal conversations copywriters have when a promo is a success (and the even more important conversation when it’s a failure)

** The 6-figure expense Joe incurred to develop his “Moneyball” process for finding great copywriters (spoiler: needing an organized workplace was the worst trait to have)

** The sociological study from a banned book that explains why Agora is in Baltimore when Joe hates almost everything about the place (and why working remote is a disadvantage)

** Joe generously gives his unfiltered email address for copywriters who work for him or even just listeners who want advice (and why he didn’t steal a mind trick from Gary Halbert)

** 2 paradigm-shifting books that showed Joe what it meant to be different and disruptive

Resources

Agora

Namebank

Overdeliver by Brian Kurtz

Agora Financial

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett

Joe’s email: jschriefer (AT) agorafinancial.com

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

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Matt Rizvi

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