By Kevin Gault
On the hit TV show “The Apprentice,” contestants slog through a harsh application process for an apprenticeship with Donald Trump, hoping they don’t hear Trump growl those dreaded words: “You’re fired!” For the 100 people who vied for an apprenticeship with white-paper guru Michael Stelzner, the application process was cordial yet demanding. Stelzner selected Apryl Parcher as the winner.
During his highly popular White Paper Success Summit in February, Stelzner advertised for an apprentice to learn his method of writing white papers and to write for one of his clients. Applicants pored over materials from the Summit and after the event went through a demanding selection process overseen by Stelzner, author of the best-selling book, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged. Apryl Parcher snared the coveted apprenticeship.
A stellar group of scribes competed for the chance to get hands-on, one-on-one training from Stelzner. “There were many talented people who attended the Summit and competed for the apprenticeship,” said Apryl, whose business, Apryl Parcher Copywriting Services , is based in Chesapeake City, Maryland. “It was quite a shock to find out that I won. It’s a great honor!”
A Challenging Process
Stelzner didn’t make the process easy. It began with a multiple-choice exam and only those who tallied 95% or higher—a group of 15 applicants—survived to move on to the second round. For round two, the applicants revisited college days by taking a comprehensive five-page written exam. Based on the results, five people proceeded to the final challenge, one-on-one phone interviews with Stelzner in which he tested their ability to communicate well.
Stelzner calls Apryl the best of the best: “All of the candidates were exceptionally well-qualified. What made Apryl unique was that she invested heavily in her personal development outside of the White Paper Success Summit. She has done a lot to develop her skill set by attending events and being coached by the gurus of the copywriting industry. She’s a good writer, but she also understands marketing and she’s a very good communicator.”
Like many copywriters, Apryl’s career began in journalism. She has also owned several retail businesses and wrote copy to promote them. After closing one of her companies, she gave promotional copywriting a whirl, writing persuasive direct-response pieces for small businesses and later developing a niche in the health-and-wellness industry. A successful copywriting career was born.
A Great Learning Experience
Apryl didn’t take the application process lightly. “I treated it like a college course that had a challenging exam at the end,” she explains. “I learned a lot from the process itself, such as the importance of thinking through what you write and keeping in mind the client’s motivation for creating a white paper.”
“The main thing I’d like to learn from the apprenticeship is how Michael deals with different personalities in interviews and how he matches the work to the client’s vision. The fun part will be learning from a master who has been working on white papers and analyzing them for many years.”
Stelzner is confident that Apryl will mesh well with his high-profile corporate clients: “I wanted an apprentice I’ll be proud to say is working for my organization. I feel very confident introducing Apryl to my clients and I’m looking forward to helping her take her career to the next level.”
Faithful readers of Stelzner’s blog will be hearing more from Apryl soon. In addition to teaming with Stelzner on white papers, she’ll be blogging about the experience.