"Billy, this is one of the most important lessons you'll learn from me during your year-long mentorship. So pay close attention."
I had just hired my copywriting coach, David Garfinkel, and couldn't be more excited. When I researched him, I saw he was widely regarded as the best copywriting coach in the world.
The testimonials on his website were all names I knew and respected. They're legends in the world of direct-response marketing.
People like John Carlton, Ray Edwards, and Doberman Dan.
Everyone I read and spoke with said the same thing: When it comes to teaching the craft of copywriting, there is no one better than Garf.
Which is why I sat on the edge of my seat when Garf told me he was about to teach me one of his most important lessons. When Yoda speaks, you listen.
"I call it Garfinkel's Law of Work," he said. "The law goes like this.
"He who does the work gets paid."
"Huh?" I thought to myself. "What the heck does that mean?"
He went on...
"If you, as the copywriter, do the work for the reader..... meaning, if you do the work explaining what you have to offer, what it can do for the reader, and why they should choose you over a competitor... then you get paid. You get paid in the form of the reader taking out their credit card and paying you for your product.
But, if they have to do the work...
If the reader has to do the work of figuring out what you're offering, what it can do for them, and why they should choose you over a competitor.... they get paid. They get paid in the form of them keeping the money they were about to pay you for your product."
"Make sense?" Garf asked.
"Yep, makes total sense," I responded.
It did make sense — on the surface. But looking back on it, the full power of Garf's Law of Work had barely sunk in. It's been years since he taught me that lesson, and I'm still peeling back new layers.
You're probably in the same position right now. You get it, but you don't really get it. And that's okay.
I'm going to try and explain it to you in the rest of this article. But even then, it won't fully sink in. You've got to get your reps in. You've got to put marketing material out there, following Garf's Law, and see — no, feel — it working.
When you do, you'll never look at marketing the same.
Garfinkel's Law of Work is a true game changer.
Now, let me give you some more guidance on how to incorporate Gaf's Law.
Oh! The places you'll go!
You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Ahhh, you've got to love the immortal Dr. Seuss.
The passage above is from Oh, the Places You'll Go.
Why do I bring up this Dr. Seuss book? It's because when I think of Garf's Law of Work, the title of this book rings through my mind.
"Oh, the places you'll go."
You see, one of the giant mistakes I see marketers make is not thoroughly explaining what's possible when someone uses their product.
In other words, the product creator doesn't do the work, thus violating Garf's Law. A big no no.
The product owner assumes the potential customer will do the work. The marketer says to themselves, "Oh, they'll get it. They'll understand how this product can help them."
I'm about to give you a piece of copy and I highly recommend you clip it to a folder or save it to your Second Brain.
This is from a P90X commercial:
"Results from traditional workout programs diminish over time, because the more the body adapts to a routine, the less effective it becomes, a phenomena called The Plateau Effect.
The P90X home fitness system uses the training science of muscle confusion. Over the course of 90 days, as your body change, so do the workouts. By constantly introducing new moves and routines, every stage of P90X becomes as effective as the first. That's how you achieve results like this in only 90 days."
I rarely see so much copywriting brilliance packed into so few words. We could spend a week examining every word & phrase of this passage, and maybe we will at some point.
But for now, I want you to look at it through the lens of Garfinkel's Law of Work, which we've been studying in this article.
If you remember, I told you how it's critical to not just explain (i.e. do the work) to your potential customers where you'll take them, but how you'll take them there.
This is your killer ingredient, or method, or steps, or formula, blueprint, system, etc.
In coaching clients, I usually refer to it as "your signature system."
We'll do a deeper dive into signature systems elsewhere, but for now I want to give you a brief overview.
When you start talking about your signature system, you start pulling customers away from your competitors website and towards yours.
If you're in a crowded market (and who isn't these days?), this could be the key the thing that springboards you to the next level. This works in any industry, too. Whether you're selling training programs, energy bars, or wrist watches.
Let's look at the brilliant P90X copy..
Did you spot the key phrase? Do you spot their signature system? It's the term muscle confusion.
Muscle confusion is the "how" which leads the customers to the "where." It's the method of achieving the 6-pack abs, the ripped biceps, and the toned tush (can't say I achieved that one).
Adding this type of copy will drastically increase your sales.
Also, do you notice how P90X follows Garfinkel's Law of Work with this piece of copy?
The P90X copywriters didn't get lazy. They didn't say to themselves, "Eh, they'll figure it out." Not a chance. They did the work. They went deep into the "how." Deep into explaining the science of muscle confusion. In the full length videos, they spend a full 30 minutes explaining muscle confusion. Talk about doing the work.
This copywriting technique is one of the reasons they were able to generate $500M in sales.
I hope you now have a clearer understanding of Garf's Law of Work. If you're not seeing the sales you expected in your business, and you're missing this piece, at least now you have a (possible) answer. There is more to selling, of course. But this is a biggie. And I've seen many businesses transform after implementing Garf's Law.
I'm extremely grateful for him to teaching it to me. And it's an honor to pass it on to you.
May you use it for great things.