Interviews Mason Doerr (Cardinal Mason)

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Q1. Where are you from?

Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada — just outside of Toronto. Recently moved to Miami.

Q2. How did you discover copywriting?

I discovered copywriting by accident. I was staring down the barrel at a career in journalism or policy analysis. I’ve always loved writing, but I wasn’t even aware of any vehicle to monetize it properly.

I’d read about copywriting on Twitter and I immediately took a liking to it because it was at the intersection of psychology and business. 

Over a few months, I went down the rabbit hole. Took a bunch of courses, listened to a ton of podcasts, and ended up landing my first freelance client (Every Man Jack) in June of 2020. 

Q3. What forms of copy do you write?

I like being able to use my discretion and choose between long form or short form depending on the occasion, which is what email copy is good for. 

Sales pages need to be long. 

Ads need to be short. 

Emails are a pulse check on what the campaign needs, and it’s hyper-personalized to each subscriber. Makes it so easy to give a targeted message to the exact person or demo you want to reach.

That’s just my favorite, though. 

I literally write everything. Emails, ads, SMS, sales pages, advertorials, B2B sales scripts for outreach, brand voice guides, etc. E-commerce, info-products, SaaS, B2B, whatever. But I won’t touch health or finance. That’s it. 

Q4. What are your favorite niches to write in?

I got my start doing e-commerce copy, which I absolutely loved. Copy was a light load, and it was just an opportunity to come up with cool one-liners and funny jokes that can contribute to brand. It’s mostly fluff. The copywriter for an e-commerce brand does not typically make or break if someone’s going to buy something.

Once I transitioned into personal brand/info, I realized that that was what real copywriting is. I still get to create a fun voice for the people I work with, but I also get to do some legitimate hard selling through the voice that I’m writing in. You still get to build a brand and add value, but you also get the challenge of selling a $500-5000 product to people with words alone. 

Q5. What is the #1 lesson you've learned as a copywriter?

Your ego will tank your performance. It’s so common for a newer but intermediate-level writer to develop an ego around what they think will “work”, even though they don’t know the audience well enough. I was super guilty of this in my first 6 to 8 months. I really thought that I’d be able to use my natural voice (which is very casual and pithy) for any project that came my way. Sometimes, you need to overload the copy with emojis and exclamation marks to relate to an older audience. Even if you think it’s tacky and you don’t want to do it.

You need to understand that you don’t always know best as a copywriter. You need to bounce ideas off of your client, their team, and the audience to see what will actually work in the long term. 

Q6. Who is your favorite copywriter & why?

As far as celebrity copywriters go, I love Mitch Miller and Daniel Throssell. My real favorite copywriter is mostly unknown, but she still might see this. 

I first heard of Mitch Miller on the Geniuses Of Copywriting podcast. The way he spoke was so interesting. He had some pretty cool & advanced mental reframing tactics for how a writer can really scratch the customer’s itch with the way you write — beyond just good benefit bullets. 

Daniel Throssell is hilarious, and he proved that you can really show your personality when you write. This is something that the old-school guys never really had the privilege of being able to do in long-form direct mail.

My actual favorite copywriter is Grace Morales. I worked with her at my first agency job. She’s a rare case of someone who is extremely technical, but came down to e-commerce and crushed it for all of the DTC darlings that we know and love. She’s funny, she’s timely, and she’s able to simplify very complex concepts in a way that I’ve never seen before. She’s senior-level/creative lead at a $100B company now, absolutely killing it. 

Q7. Do you have any recent wins to share?

Not exactly recent, but I’ve taken to TikTok in the last few months trying to preach the good word of copywriting (which is why I’m here, pretty sure). There are a lot of people that aren’t huge fans of me on that platform. Non-copywriters who think I’m a scammer/lying to everyone about freelancing as a business model, and legit copywriters who think I’m saturating the industry so I can make quick money. 

I talk about copywriting online because I know how much it did for me, and I want to spread that to someone else who may have been in my position. I had very few job prospects, and less than zero that had 6-figure trajectory. Copywriting is a career that has given me more than I ever thought I’d get. 

That comes through on TikTok. I’ve gained 370k followers, 4M+ likes, and 30M views in 9 months because of it. That’s a win. That’s the thing I’m most proud of so far. 

Q8. What would you say to a prospective client who wants to hire you?

I’ve just read through all of the other interviews on this page, and it’s funny how none of them are for hire. 

Here’s what I’d say:

I’m on this page. And I’m for hire. Obviously a rare and lethal combo. I’ll make you laugh and I’ll take good care of you.

Q9. What is a good email address for prospective clients to contact you?

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