One of the biggest benefits for our Aviation Marketing Master Class is the opportunity to network with aviation professionals. Our Facebook Group Facilitator, Bert Botta, is interviewing one member a week to help us get to know one another better, make better referrals to each other, and generally learn more about the smartest people in the industry.
Want to be featured?
- Become a member of the Master Class!
- Contact Bert Botta and get on his interview schedule!
We’re looking forward to learning more about smart aviation professionals!
This interview is with Bert Botta, Aviation Copywriter.
How would I spot the ideal customer for Bert Botta?
My ideal customer is someone who needs a copywriter with many years of commercial and corporate aviation experience. Not just as a pilot but someone who knows the language, the habits, the idiosyncrasies, the stresses and challenges that people in our industry encounter on an everyday basis.
They would need someone who has personal, in-depth experience dealing with the personal issues and problems that our industry encounters and has the background to write copy with that in mind and can address the aviation mindset.
They’re looking for someone who has an extensive, professional background as a writer, who also has an already established audience in the aviation community and is recognized as an expert within that industry.
How would you best describe your company’s approach, products and services, and value propositions?
My approach is to engage my aviation community audience in a way that they’re probably not used to. By that, I mean speaking to them in terms that convey a sincerity and professionalism, not just as an aviator, but as a person who has been a licensed professional counselor, involved in enhancing personal interaction, resolving conflict, and building trust in the aviation community.
I was an ALPA (Air Line Pilots) representative as a first officer. As a captain, I was also the ALPA professional safety committee chairman. So I had to address personal problems in a way that enhanced safety in the cockpit and communication as well.
I have experience not just in copywriting and attracting people to a company’s product or service, but I also bring a variety of expertise that is not normally seen in an aviation copywriter.
As a licensed professional counselor I needed to be able to get “inside my clients heads” as well as tap into the emotional part of them and their insecurities.
This makes it possible for me to write to the emotional part of my clients, the part that makes the decision to buy or not buy.
My writing conveys a feeling that “Hey, I think I can trust this guy.” By establishing that trust I’m able to convey a message to the emotional side of my clients that a person without my background would not as easily be able to convey.
What might prospects say to trigger me to refer them to you?
They might say something like,
- “I don’t know what to do with my website, I don’t know how to speak to my clients or my audience, I need help. I’m overwhelmed, I don’t have time to do my own copywriting. “
- “I really need someone who I can trust with my customers to come in and take charge, not just to write copy but to help me take my business to another level by engaging my existing clients as well as also attracting new clients.”
- “Man, I’ve been in business for a long time but I feel like my business is stagnant. I’ve got a good product or service, but I don’t know how to talk to my audience in a way that will inspire them to buy more product or use me for my service.”
- “I don’t just want to grow my business, I want my customers to be excited about having me work for them and be able to pass that excitement on to others.”
- “The copy on my website looks like corporate-speak.”
- “The text on my site looks like it could be on anyone else’s website.”
- “The text in my marketing materials doesn’t seem authentic, unique or inspiring in any way.”
- “I need someone who’s got a really great background in aviation who knows what they’re talking about and be able to do that when they write for me. That’s not easy to find in this industry, so if you know someone who has those skills, I could sure use their help.”
- “I need someone who can take technical jargon and translate it into everyday language so that my customers can understand what I’m talking about and then be able to make a buying decision.”
- “I need someone who knows this industry and can convey a message accurately and succinctly to my customers while at the same time engaging them and motivating them to take action.”
- “In addition, this guy has to be unique in aviation in bringing a personal approach to an industry that traditionally focuses on technology and how-to-do information.”
- “I need someone who can put a personal face on my business, someone who can talk to my customers like I do but I can’t express that in writing.”
- “I need someone who can write in a friendly tone but simultaneously get to the heart of an issue in a way that makes it not only safe for my clients to hear but is in every day style language.”
- “This guy has to come across as sincere, authentic and credible while he’s making my customers feel like he’s talking and writing to them as if he had just met them on the street. This kind of communication is hard to find in business conversations.
- “I haven’t been able to find anybody who has the background and experience to write like this.”
What is your marketing process once you receive a referral?
I prefer following up with a phone call since that’s more personal.
I will also call the person who made the referral and find out more about why they made the referral and why they think I’m the right guy to do the job for their friend.
To me, it’s all about building the relationship, and both relationships are important to me – with people who refer business to me as well as people who are referred. That personal touch and the importance I place on relationships is appreciated by potential clients.
Anything to decrease distance between people is the method that I use. We live in such a disconnected world, one of my talents is being able to close that personal gap. The more personal the communication, the better it is.
Of course that often depends on who I’m talking to. If they’re more of an analytical type then I don’t emphasize the personal as much until I get to know them. Then I can see how far I can go with building the personal side of the relationship.
If I find someone who doesn’t like the personal touch and I feel it’s not a good match, I won’t work with them.
If I’m not able to make personal contact, then obviously I will follow up with an email.
How did you get where you are in your professional life?
I’ve been writing all my life. As I mention on my website, I started devouring what we called “funny books” (comics) as a kid while eating breakfast. I’ve written and self published a book. It’s sold on Amazon and at all the major bookstores.
For most of my flying career I’ve been writing in journals. A few years ago, I realized I had the makings of a book. When I met my wife, I told her that I was a writer and was writing a book. So she asked me, “Where is it?”
So then I had to get busy and finish it. That led me in the direction of realizing that I’m a pretty good writer. But I wasn’t serious about building a writing business until I realized, “Hey, I’ve always loved aviation, been doing it most of my life, I know it really well, and I’m a good writer, so why not combine the two!”
That’s how my Aviation Copywriting business got started.
For some time I chased some “get rich quick” scams. After working hard at trying to be someone I wasn’t, I realized what I’m good at and what I wanted to combine: my love of writing and aviation into one business, Aviation Copywriting.
A couple of years ago, I went to an AWAI (American Writers and Artists) Copywriters Bootcamp in Florida and I won a couple of informal creative writing contests. It was then that I realized, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this; why not pursue it?”
But it took me a few years to get on board with that idea and to do anything with what I learned down in Florida. It wasn’t until I retired from Netjets and had the time and passion to devote to writing that I got serious about my career.
I’ve always had a strange, innovative, and humorous way of looking at and writing about things so copywriting was a perfect match for my style.
I’ve been published in aviation industry magazines, so I have credibility there that I haven’t really built on. Now I’m beginning to realize that I have the background, the credibility and the contacts that I can build on to maximize my copywriting business going forward.