Editor: 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.
Editor: 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, and if you've been a regular listener, you may already know who I'm talking about because her father, the legendary Bill Glazer was a guest recently.
Editor: So let me welcome Mara Glazer to the show.
Mara Glazer: Thank you. I'm glad to be here.
Editor: 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.
Mara Glazer: 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.
Mara Glazer: And 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.
Mara Glazer: 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.
Mara Glazer: And when I asked him, he said no. So I asked him again and he said no again. And so in that moment I remembered a 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."
Mara Glazer: 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.
Mara Glazer: 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.
Mara Glazer: And 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?"
Mara Glazer: 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.
Mara Glazer: 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.
Mara Glazer: And 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."
Mara Glazer: And 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.
Editor: 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.
Mara Glazer: 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?"
And 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.
Note from the editor: This is an abridged version of the interview. The Full version is on the audio version above 🙂