Interview with Mara Glazer Owner of Direct Response Copy Girl


Interview with Mara Glazer Owner of Direct Response Copy Girl

Abe Cherian:


Hello and welcome. Joining us this time is someone who I'm really excited to be talking with. She's already been called the world's best female copywriter by her industry peers, and is the founder of the highly influential business Direct Response Copy Girl.


During this interview you'll find out why she's had to fight claims of nepotism and how she managed to take a set of drunk party pictures and turn those into a seven figure business. Not only that, but our guest has also been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, The Huffington Post, and well now here.

So let me welcome Mara Glazer to the show.


Mara Glazer:

Thank you. I'm glad to be here.


Abe Cherian:

That's lovely to talk to you now. I suppose we should go right the way back to the very beginning, and ask how you got your start in marketing?



Mara Glazer:

Yeah. Thank you for asking me that question. You know, I used to be a miserable employee to a corporate job in the New York city fashion industry. And I say miserable because making $35,000 a year in the Big Apple should honestly be illegal. I had no money.


I lived in a strange city with no friends. And to top it off my boss, well if you've ever seen the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, that was my life. So then in 2003, I had had a surgery, a major surgery. I had my spine fused with two titanium rods. And then while I was living in New York, working in this miserable fashion industry job, I actually ended up tearing my spine from the stress and the pressure from my job.


So I couldn't walk for about three months. I couldn't drive, I certainly couldn't work. There was really not that much that I could do. And it was in that moment I knew that I couldn't have a nine to five job anymore and I couldn't work for somebody else anymore because I needed the freedom to take care of myself when I needed to.


So fast forward to 2009, I approached my dad, you mentioned him at the beginning of this interview, his name's Bill Glazer. And I asked him if I could move back to Baltimore and join the family business, Glazer Kennedy Insider Circle.


When I asked him, he said no. So I asked him again and he said no again. And so in that moment I remembered saying that my father used to share with me when I was growing up, which was, "Glazer's never give up." So I asked him a third time and he said, "Okay Mara, if you really want this, if we really want to move back to Baltimore and join the family business, you need to earn it."


So for the next six months, I literally did everything that my dad asked me to do, like writing marketing plans, copy, all sorts of stuff like that. Whatever he asked me to do, I would do for free because that's how bad I wanted it. And I was also doing this while I was working in my job as well.


So I was working in my full job and basically learning from my dad and working for free for my dad at the same time. So about six months of that goes by and he says, "Okay Mara, if you really want to do this, move back to Baltimore, join the family business. You need to understand two things. So one, you'll be working harder than you've ever worked in your whole entire life," which is true. My dad definitely worked me like a dog and I now work with my dad again and he still works with me like a dog, but the good thing is now that I'm older I get to work him like a dog, too.


Also my dad told me, "You'll be heading up the social and alternative media marketing department," and I didn't want to tell him at the time, but I had no idea what social media really even was. In fact, I remember showing up with my very first day of work and one of our employees coming up to me, looking down on me, big guy, tall guy. Looking down on me, putting his hand on his head. He copped a sassy ass little attitude and he said, "So Mara, what do you know about social media anyway?"


So I told him the truth. I had butterflies in my belly and I had a tight feeling in my throat but I told him the truth, which was at the time I really only knew two things about social media, which was how to invite my friends to my parties and how to post the drunk party pictures the next day. And that's all I knew how to do.

So I spent the next months inhaling everything I could get my hands on about making money with social media, implementing it, testing it, tracking it and tweaking it. And the result was an additional seven figures in sales that we were able to track back to social media alone.


Then while I was working at the company, my dad came into the office one day and said, "Mara, we need help writing copy around here. We don't have anybody else." Because he was already really busy with writing copy and our full time copywriter was also. He says, "You're up."


So I literally had to dive head first into learning how to write direct response copy. He taught me, he sat down with me and worked with me hand in hand for three years. And the way that he taught me is after I would write a piece, he would take out his big red pen and mark up my copy. Put crosses through things, circle things, tell me what I did wrong, what I did right, every day for almost three years until one day he finally told me I was good to be on my own. So, that's how I got started in marketing.





Abe Cherian:

Wow. I love the fact that you went from drunk party pictures to seven figures. So quickly. That's a great story. So how hard or easy would you say you found that transition from being employed by the boss that was like Devil Wears Prada to working in a business with your family?


Mara Glazer:

Yeah. So there was hard parts and there were easy parts. The hardest part is probably what most people would not expect, which is when I integrated into the business, there was a lot of employees that were working at the business already.


And I felt a lot of heat from them because I think they felt like, "Who is this girl coming into this business? Like I know this is my boss's daughter, like is he just kind of like giving her a job?"


So that was really hard for me and I didn't want anyone to think that I was just getting a handout. So I worked my butt off to prove that I deserved a spot there. So that was the part that was hard for me.


The part that was easy for me was actually learning the marketing. I almost feel like, to be honest with you, it's in my blood and I just pick it up really quickly and I am also really interested in it and fascinated by it. And that might be why I do pick it up so quickly.


So the parts that I thought were going to be hard were not hard, and I had this whole new dynamic of having to figure out how to coexist in an existing team that had some sort of like preconditioned thoughts about me and I had to prove them wrong. And thankfully I did.


When we started being able to track revenue and sales, it started to change and now a lot of them are, I mean honestly, our whole team is like a family to me. Definitely to my parents. We still get together once a year for Christmas dinner.


Abe Cherian:

Wow. So I mean it looks like you worked super hard to try and disprove those claims of nepotism, I guess. So I guess my next question would be how hard do you push yourself for this? I mean, obviously you really wanted it. So was that in the back of your mind all the way through?


Mara Glazer:

Yeah. I am a hard worker by nature. My father is, his father was, and you know that we joke in our family and we say "Glazer's are the hardest workers in the world."


And so some might call it pushing myself, but to me it's just how I am, to be honest with you. So like I wake up every morning with a drive and with ambition and wanting to take the steps and do what I need to do to hit my goals. So, do I push myself hard? Yes. But to me, like I don't really know any other way to be honest with you.


I think I watched my father push himself so much as I was growing up. And I think that I really just learned that that's how you do it. Like I very clearly remember my father used to own men's clothing stores. I really clearly remember him waking up very early in the morning every day leaving to go to the stores, coming back super late at night, having dinner with us, and then going to sit at the card table in our living room to continue to work on his other business, which was his consulting business, teaching retailers how to grow their businesses.


Sitting at that card, table way past the hours of when I went to sleep and doing that every single night. And so for me, it's just kind of what I know. It's just what I know.


Abe Cherian:

It's almost in the Glazer blood, I guess, is the only way you could describe it. When I spoke with your dad, he told me that one of his key principles is always to stay focused. So how do you stay focused, Mara?


Mara Glazer:

Oh gosh. Oh well. Like my father, I create long lists of things that I have to do and then I just keep working at it until I cross these things off my list. I learned that from him. He will always have a big legal pad with him with lists and lists and lists of things that he needs to do. And mine might be electronic. It's not a legal pad like his, but I'm the same exact way. And I know if something gets on that list, it has to be important and that I have to complete it for it to come off.


Abe Cherian:

That's a real key takeaway as well, isn't it? That you use checklists to ensure that you get the stuff done that you know needs to get done. That's good advice I think for anybody and Mara, apart from being involved in the business with Bill, who are your heroes? Who do you look up to? Maybe that's not a family member.



Mara Glazer: