The creator of the High Income Copywriter course has no need for introductions: he is the O.G. web entrepreneur and had influenced all those who have come after him.
The King of High-Ticket Sales has created one of the most complete copywriting courses out there and I'm going to be reviewing it for you, step by step, so you can make your own mind on whether to invest in it or not.
From his humble beginnings in Vancouver, Dan has managed to create an amazing 10 figure empire, and his estimated net worth was valued at $74.5M in 2018:
This he managed through his many skills, which have made of him a successful Entrepreneur, Mentor, Author, Business Trainer, Copywriter, Motivational Speaker, Marketer, Businessman, YouTuber and Consultant.
His HIC, or High Income Copywriter course promises to teach you a set of skills in 2 months that are going to allow you to sell yourself as one of the most competent copywriters on the market.
Doesn't sound too bad, huh?
By signing to this course, Dan Lok and his top copywriters are going to be teaching you a variety of techniques and will throw in a lot of extra material to help you shine.
You will be writing copies in the time between lessons, exchanging opinions on them with Dan's most acclaimed copies and will be forged into a competent copywriter by the end of the course.
The skills you'll learn in this course are going to help you no matter which direction you wish to take in the future.
But enough of all the praise for Dan, though: I'm going to tell you what you really want to know from this review:
Before we move to a more detailed review of the course, just a couple of words about me. After all, you if you don't know who I am and what I do, how can I expect you to take my review seriously?
Until2014, I was working in a 9 to 5 job, that was giving me nothing and was literally sucking the life out of me. I was going nowhere.
My life changed when I discovered a method to build and organically rank websites for free, generating leads for my clients.
I created that website you see above, for the tree care company, in 2015, and since then, without having to touch it in 5 years, it has brought me a passive income of $2000 a month.
That's more than $100 k up to now, guys! and it ain't stopping!
The Lead Generation business model is clearly the best way to generate passive income and escape the 9 to 5 rat-race. If you're interested in how I do it, learn more about lead gen here!
Now, as promised, back to my review of High Income Copywriter!
As Dan himself says: 'A High Income Copywriter writes for conversions, not just content. Their earning method is called “results for money.”'
It’s the best type of writing to get paid well as a writer, because clients are paying you based on results and profit generated, instead of time.
'Once you know how to write persuasively', says Dan, 'you can earn a great income. Copywriting is a high income skill that can earn you up to $10,000 or more a month.'
As with many of Dan Lok's courses, these claims sound pretty strong, and there have been people who have criticized Dan for their lack of 'guaranteed' success for making such statements.
High Income Copywriter
The course promises to turn you into a pro copywriter in the space of 8 weeks of intensive study.
You will then have the chance to be hired by high level clients that appreciate your work because you produce massive results for them.
As long as you deliver the value and get them more clients and sales, they will gladly pay you, according to Dan, and you won't be have to be treated as a commodity again and be considered a glorified Fiverr copy.
Seeing how competitive the world of copywriting is, it's hard not to be a tad skeptical about these boasts, delivered even before starting the course: I prefer down to earth knowledge of what I'm getting into, to be honest.
Here is some preliminary info on the High Income Copywriter course:
Week 1: The Mindset Secrets To Attract Massive Success As A High Income Copywriter
As usual with online courses, the first week is all about mentality and shifting gears in order to think big.
Changing your mindset is fundamental in Dan's system, as he often likes to repeat in the module, and here are some specific takeaways that are going to help you, no matter the field you work in:
Dan is very clear that he is going to change your entire view on life and has created a chart of the average student:
The major point that Dan makes in this module, is that Skillset, without Mindset results in Upset.
Struggling financially, Dan advises, comes from a lack of self esteem and a lack of financial confidence, and here I really tend to agree with him.
Only once you have mastered your Mindset, can you begin working on your Skillset and move to building the golden triangle of marketing success.
So, what did I actually think of this first week? I think Dan is correct in focusing on mindset before teaching skills.
But from week one, there are a couple of things that could irk the person buying this course: first of all, Dan swears. A lot. Like all the time.
And if for some people (I don't see it as a biggie) it's a method to pump up the students, others could be let down by this approach.
Secondly, from week one you are introduced in what Dan's critics call 'the Cult of Dan', with all of his students and associates flattering Dan and addressing him as sifu, translatable from the cantonese as 'teacher', 'tutor' or 'master'.
This attitude could pee some students off. It is definitely not a normal teacher/student relationship and could make someone feel uneasy about the whole course.
Takeaway from Week 1:
The best thing about week one is unlocking the HIC Success Roadmap: from copywriting secrets to why your copies suck, a compilation of more than 30 videos with previous lectures by Dan on the topic. 30 videos of a total time of 10 hours. The ABC of copywriting laid for you, before the course even begins.
Week 2: Copywriting And Sales Psychology Secrets - How & Why People Buy
This is where things start getting interesting: in this week you will learn about sales psychology and how to use it to your advantage.
There are quite a few sales psychology secrets that Dan shares during this module, the biggest one being:
Hand copy great ads and sales letters (for real!). Hand copying ads by hands, according to Dan, allows you to learn the art of copywriting faster, because it makes you absorb skills directly from your pen to your brain. Here's how he breaks it down:
The writing by hand is going to be a staple of your 8 week course with sifu Dan, and you're hand will be in cramps before you know it.
With the psychology of marketing, Dan is very clear, he suggests that you immerse yourself in the market and identify your client's needs before they even tell you.
There are four points that Dan focuses on, which I found particularly useful.
This total immersion into the client's mind is the number one psychological trick that Dan teaches in this module, and that he was taught by his mentor Alan Jacques.
Before you even begin to think of what you are going to write, thinking like your client will help you know exactly what they want.
Then you can help them get it.
Not sure I'm sold on handwriting, but never mind, cos it's the extras in this week, as you will see, though, that are really worth the money here..
Takeaway from Week 2:
Apart from Dan's lecture, packed with tips on sale psychology, this week you're blessed with some hot pdfs: Team Dan Lok's Complete Research Template, a Top Secret Sales Letter Checklist, but most important of all, Alan Jaques', Dan's first mentor, Original Sales Letters. Crazy content!!!
Week 3: How To Read Your Prospect’s Mind And Design Genius Marketing Strategies
In this week, you will be filling the shoes of your prospective clients: what is it they want from you? How should you pitch your copy for best results?
The module is packed with a load of tips and tricks Dan and his head-copies have accumulated over the years on how to device the best marketing strategies:
You need to become (1) a psychologist to leverage on your client's emotion; (2) a strategist, through market sophistication; (3) a researcher, checking previous campaigns and copies; (4) a wordsmith to synthesize all three previous stages in a great copy.
These are the fundamentals that Dan advises you to focus on, leaving the fancy copywriting to the end of the process.
It started with psychology in the previous week and carries on with marketing, and sifu advises to think of the market as an ocean.
You want to prefer a blue ocean, a clear space of water where there is little competition and gives you a greatest chance of success: the red ocean is full of sharks, and the competition is bloody. Find the blue ocean niche first!
In the research phase, you are learning the demographics and desires of your audience, which needs to be approached in a very thorough way:
If you've been in the world of online marketing for some years, these tools for Demographics may not seem revolutionary at all, but it's great that Dan takes the time to go through them again.
He then also focuses on the concept of Psychographics, which add a more nuanced approach to who your target audience is. Pyschographics answer questions like:
Finding an answer to this question is vital if you want your copy to work. Imagine finding some book or film that your demographic has in common.
Writing a copy for that ad would be so easy and would leverage on their love for that book or film.
Demographics and Psychographics are fundamental, and Dan doesn't hold anything back in this week's webinar.
This week focuses especially on parts 2 and 3, teaching you how to find a good hook, and a good approach from a strategic point of view, backed by research: some solid advice from Dan here, I really enjoyed this hands on lesson.
Takeaway from Week 3:
As we have seen, the job of the copy is divided into 4 aspects, and in the strategic part discussed this week, Dan talks about how to to use what he calls Exotic approach to copy: ie. a secret West African red tea to lose weight, instead of secret red tea. Unusual is the key to attract attention.
Week 4: How To Create Irresistible Offers That Sell Like Crazy
Here you will have to put together all the skills that you have learned during the first weeks of the course and put them in action.
At the end of the week you will have to pitch a copy to Dan, as if he were paying you $5k, using all the knowledge collected so far: this is your way to show you know how to create an irresistible offer!
This is a pretty interesting experiment, and a lot of people personally got a lot from it, since it was the very first time that they got to individually come up with a copy for Dan!
It's more or less a first exam of many during the course, and your pitches will have to be formed by Dan's 5-form pitching: that is Hook, Primary Promise, Price & Terms, Bonuses and Guarantee.
I liked this division, as it makes the essential parts of a pitch very clear, and can constitute a blueprint for future copies.
The Hook constitutes what grabs the initial attention, in order to bring the buyer to the Primary Promise of what your copy says it will deliver.
Once the buyer is on your landing page you will disclose your Price and Terms, but will sweeten the pill with the Bonuses that you will throw in for good measure.
To top it all up, sifu Dan really focuses on the Guarantee, which is put at the end exactly because it is designed to break the last barriers of a potential buyer.
I think all of this is not rocket science, you can definitely find this stuff in other courses or even on YouTube videos for free. But the way Dan explains it is engaging and very clear.
One thing I didn't particularly appreciate was the massive role played by Dan's ideas of the higher self and lower self, and how we should get rid of the lower self's habits of procrastination and low self-esteem. Not a big fan of spiritual mumbo jumbo.
Half of the lesson for the week is how to not identify oneself with the thoughts of his lower, or self sabotaging self.
The lower self is identified by Dan with a computer virus, which is influenced by parents' influence and society's expectations.
Takeaway from Week 4:
Dan's Week 4 surprise is his personal $250 million Swipe File, full of the best and most lucrative pitches in Dan's long history of success. Can't get enough of these bonuses!
Week 5: How To Assemble Kickass Landing Pages And Write Highly Profitable Emails
Aren't you bored of seeing landing pages created via clickfunnels that look all the same and as if they had been designed in 2003?
A new way of looking at landing pages from Dan and his copywriters really shows that you can use the skill of creating a landing page for other things too:
In this module Dan and his assistants are going to teach you how to mix things up and make them more contemporary and captivating, with a higher rate of conversion.
The three building blocks of a quality landing page, according to Dan are Headline, Bullets and Call to Action.
There are 5 qualities that Dan focuses on a successful headline, and they are pretty essential in my opinion:
It's a handy template to keep in mind, whether you want to follow Dan Lok's way of writing copy or not, and I think it has within it all the fundamental aspects of a successful headline.
Secondly Dan includes the idea of making copies with different kind of bullets or ways of captivating the people's interest. The most common bullets include:
1) 'How to' bullet: ie. 'How to lose x lbs in y months'.
2) 'Secret to' bullet: ie. 'The Secret to earning $x from your couch'.
3)'Number' bullet: ie. 'The 7 ways to make yourself irresistible to women'.
4) 'right.. WRONG' bullet: ie. 'You thought genetics affected your weight? Wrong'.
5) 'What' bullet: ie. 'What the IRS is not letting you know about your taxes'.
This is only five of more than 10 golden nuggets learned during the 5th week. Believe me, it's chock full of gold.
The Call to Action part is also very detailed: in it Dan's copies explain that there are three different calls to action and give various example to make it very clear:
A simple call to action, a second person call focusing on YOU, and a first person call focusing on the reader's sense of self: ME.
I am not sure if the technicalities of building a landing page were supposed to be discussed as I expected, but nothing is said about building one yourself, and this left me quite puzzled.
Takeaway from Week 5:
Dan's pdf Instant Subject Lines will teach you how to captivate the audience with age old copy secrets, converting more of your copies. This is a book you will be turning to over and over again throughout your 8 weeks and even after that.
Week 6: How To Write Million-Dollar ‘Scalable Copy’ Without Hyped Up Or Exaggerated Claims
In this week you'll be leaving the world of emails and old school marketing and diving into the sea of opportunities of Social Media and Scalable Copy.
Scalable Copy is very important concept when writing ads for social media: it's something not many people are aware of, and the most important aspect of this week's teaching.
Scalable Copy, in short, is writing copy that follows each social media platform's rules and allows your client to scale faster. This is really crucial for Facebook Ads, for example.
As Dan says, 'Writing for social media is the future of copywriting. It will earn you some nice paychecks. This copy is short but still gets your clients lots of new customers.'
We then move on with what I think is the fundamental part of this module: the Problem, Agitation, Solution aspect of ads.
The Problem section deals with a situation of discomfort in the reader's life, like a dead end job or an unfulfilling relationship.
The agitation part is where you leverage on the discomfort and pile on examples on examples on what upsets the reader.
Finally, you offer a solution, which only you are able to give them, that will solve the initial problem.
The whole three phases are explained in a really detailed way, and make it pretty easy to understand why an ad on Facebook or on any platform should be structured this way.
I enjoyed the real life experience examples that Dan's copies brought forth and I think it will really make this ad structure clear even to beginner sin the world of advertizing.
Takeaway from Week 6:
The use of chatbots on facebook to create a form of automated copy is the latest trend in online marketing and Dan Lok of course is on the ball and teaches the ins and outs of the process. Regardless of what you are interested in, chat bots seem to be here to stay!
Week 7: How To Turn Your High Income Copywriting Skill Into A Predictable And Sustainable 6-Figure Income
In this final module of the course, you will (hopefully) learn how to turn your skills that Dan has taught into high selling assets.
Dan's major idea here is to jump in the work market head-forward and learn while working for clients. Great advise, there is no better moment to start than now!
Another concept that really left a mark on me was finding the ideal niche where you will be able to thrive. Working as a generalist will get you money, but you really want to be working on a niche you are passionate about!
The idea is to sell your skills with what Dan considers to be a predictable and sustainable 6-figure income, and who would not like that, to start with in your new job?
Takeaway from Week 7:
This nugget of wisdom is shared every week but it is fitting to mention it at the end of the course: every week, Dan expects you to read one book on advertizing: on the list are books by Michael Masterson, Chip Heath and Dan Heath and James Scott Bell.
Week 8: 7 Deadly Mistakes Most Copywriters Make That Crumble Their Chances Of Success Before They Even Start
This module is only unblocked if a percentage of the people taking the course complete all the previous tasks assigned during the week.
Once unlocked, the bonus lecture by Dan in on the 7 biggest mistakes made by copywriters that you can avoid right off the bat:
Another great lesson learned during this bonus course is that of compound knowledge, knowledge that stacks on your previous skillset and makes you even more desirable on the market.
Also with the bonus chapter are a huge amount of pdfs that you would have a hard time finding around. Score!
Takeaway from Week 8:
The quality of the pdfs unlocked with the bonus week is incredible and would alone make the course worth doing: the 175 words that motivate people to buy and the 11 breakdowns of the most successful ads are just two of the many pdfs offered for free.
The Verdict: the Good & the Bad
Before I go on and look at the pros and cons of Dan's course, I want to reply to those early questions I'd set down, and that anyone reading a review wants to know immediately.
In the past decades, Dan Lok has consistently been one of the most sought after gurus in the world. If you have listened to his talks even once, you know we're talking about a no-nonsense guy who delivers hard always.
Ask 99% of his clients: having said this, if you're looking for a copywriting course that will not take you by the hand, will teach you gains through suffering and not conforming to the usual content of the tens of other courses online, DO IT.
The course really does deliver what it promises, and more! There are extra bonuses, swipe files, product evaluations and private chats between Dan and his team that are added on top. You're going to love it!
There has been a lot of discussion about this topic: is Dan Lok a fraud? Is he selling lies for a profit? Is it all a big Ponzi scheme, created to make you buy more Dan Lok products, like a few detractors online say?
My opinion is that Dan Lok is definitely NOT a scam. Everyone who is anyone in the online marketing business listens to his every word and buys every course or book he publishes.
Dan is as close as it gets to being a real guru, an O.G. genius who thinks out of the box, and for this I really respect him.
The cost of the course? $2497. It's a lot of money for a course, but if you want the best out there, then this is really a no brainer.
My Pros & Cons after 8 weeks of HIC
The course itself taught me a trick or two, although I am not really into copywriting and don't consider it to be a viable option for the future.
Although it is billed as a high ticket course, the videos themselves were underwhelming: just recorded webinars with slides on top to send home the basic ideas.
If I spend over 2 grand on a course, this is not the level of professionalism I expect. I want much more from the point of view of production, video design and execution.
The bonus pdfs that you get every week are probably the most important factors you are going to be taking away from the course: the rest could be disappointing for some.
So much is focused on mentality and how to overcome the lower self, that I feel more time could have been focused on teaching more about specifics, like building a landing page or learning how to construct a Facebook Ad from the roots.
I also found the whole master/teacher/sifu situation to be a bit unsettling: I am sure that Dan's copies owe him a lot, but the adulation bordering on the guru worship gets old fast.
The end of the week 8 lecture is also a big ad for an upsell to an inner circle, where Dan promises that copywriters' work is needed and that those signing up for it might well get a job within his company. See this video for an unexpected experience.
All in all, Dan's course was interesting to follow, some of the exercises recommended were fun to implement and the swipe files and pdf are absolutely mind blowing, but I cannot see someone going through this course and having all the skills necessary to start as a high ticket copywriter.
Besides, I have another favorite option when it comes to online business...
My Favorite Option and #1 Online Business Model
That Earns Me $50k+ Per Month.. Passively.
Why Lead Generation is Better Than Doing Facebook Ads.
Now don't get me wrong: I am not knocking Dan's course down. If you are looking for a copywriting course for your career in copy, I think this is the best one there is out there.
I just happen to think it is not the most cost-effective way of making money online in 2020.
Starting your own copy agency, going through Dan's High Income Copywriter course, creating funnels for the content in order to make it in a saturated market, man, it's not easy to do in 2020.
I run a $50K per month lead generation business but all of my leads are generating through free traffic or SEO. So it's pretty much passive income, I don’t have to worry about the performance of my ads or anything.
The websites I create rank on the first page of Google, in the so-called map pack, and the leads just start pouring in.
So it's pretty much passive income, I don’t have to worry about the performance of my ads or anything. Once my site ranks it generally stays ranks with very little to no maintenance.
Don’t get me wrong you can still make money via High Income Copywriter, and if you choose to buy a course for that, I'd go for Dan Lok too.
The problem with copywriting is that you are constantly looking at your at your stats and how your landing page is doing, dreading the next Google update that will mess it all up. How many people are clicking on your content, and out of those people, how many actually end up buying what you are advertising?
Lead Generation is much more chilled and stress free, and once the money starts rolling in, it won't stop. Trust me, I make more than $ 50k a month with it.
If you know how to generate leads with free traffic, you can virtually go into any niche and create amazing level results for you and your clients.
That’s how 90% of my multiple 6 figure income is generated. And I should add that it's passive income, see free traffic never stops.
In 2020, even during Covid-19, I continue to build more lead gen sites and I write at least 1 blog post for this site, because I’ve come to realize that these are the high-income producing activities because it directly increases my free traffic every month.
If you want to know how I went from a corporate job to six figures a year through lead gen, click the button below!