Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions I am frequently asked about my services. If your question is not listed here, please feel free to click the “Ask a Question” link at the bottom.

 

What is your 30 Day Guarantee?

I guarantee that my copy will produce improved results for you within 30 days of being published or broadcast. If it fails to do so, I will work with you for no further fee until we get it right! If we simply cannot achieve improved results within two re-writes, I will refund my fee in full, with no further questions. My guarantee will be spelled out in detail on our contract.

What is your writing style?

Since you’ve come this far on my website, you will have noticed that my style is conversational, professional, and informative. As my focus is on business-to-business clients, you won’t find much hype in my copy. No outrageous claims, no high-pressure tactics. I will ask for the sale/click/commitment, and depending on the nature of the offer, I may ask several times, but you won’t find any late-night, cheesy calls to action… unless you really need that.

Whether your marketing is directed at other businesses or not, we’re all people who make buying decisions. It helps to relate to the prospect in a friendly manner. You’ll often find contractions and other less formal word use for this reason. Of course, this can be scaled up or down depending on your need.

I will respect and adhere to the existing voice of your company or brand, unless a definite change is required. Reviewing your key message platform is integral. I am often required to work with a client’s in-house marketing people, and consistency is an important factor in messaging and branding.

Can you help with SEO?

Yes, I specialize in Search Engine Optimization. It is important to realize that SEO is more than just keyword stuffing, a practice that will actually hurt your search engine rankings. Professional SEO writing will combine a judicious amount of keyword use with relevancy.

The most important elements of SEO are that your visitors find you, that your content is interesting and relevant to them, and that they engage in some way – either through comments, longer times on page, or click-throughs. When the search engine bots see these things occurring, you get ranked higher. It sounds simple, but if that were true, you wouldn’t be asking this question. Good writing is a start. Often, some testing is needed. I would be pleased to help with all of that.

Why market by email?

In this ever evolving digital world, print media proves a more expensive medium all the time. Marketing by email is a much more cost effective means of reaching out to potential customers. Email is also faster, and the results are known far sooner. You get more reach, for less money, with faster sales, and quicker feedback.

Don’t people just delete junk email?

Most often, yes. With professional copywriting, the subject lines lead to more opened messages, the headlines result in more reads, and the copy produces more click-throughs by engaging the reader and convincing them that your offer is the solution they want or need.

Well written copy gets attention, presents a problem and the solution, builds trust in the reader, creates the perception that your solution to their problem is unique, persuades the reader that they want your offer, and leads the reader to take action because they genuinely want to.

There are strategies to achieve less deletions and better conversion with email marketing, many of which are well documented in a variety of books and on the internet, and if you had time to research and read them all, you could do it yourself – or you could hire a professional already trained in these techniques.

Can you help with social media?

Yes. But first you need to realize that social media advertising is different than social media marketing. The first refers to paid advertisements on social media. The second refers to unpaid, organic engagement on social media. I can help you with either.

I specialize in Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

More information on social media.

Do you do graphic design, write code, or build sites?

No. While I understand many elements of those services, I claim no mastery, and would prefer an expert is used. It always saves time and money to get it done properly and professionally.

It is usually necessary for the copywriter to coordinate and work closely with the technical and graphics people in any online production. I have no problem working with other professionals on your team.

I do work with some very talented specialists in those areas whom I can either refer, or manage their services for you, if needed.

Where do you operate?

Globally. As a freelance service, I work online to better serve you. It doesn’t matter if you’re in London, New York, Vancouver, Nassau, or Sydney. I don’t need any of your office space or equipment. Hire me only when you need me. Video-conferencing makes the world a much smaller place.

I only write copy in English, but if you need copy in Spanish, Portuguese, French, or Italian, I can refer you to or sub-contract another very talented copywriter who specializes in that language. The majority of my writing is American English (due to my own market size), but I can also follow Canadian and/or British conventions as needed by clients or as may be relevant to their audience. If you didn’t realize there was a difference, don’t worry about it, that’s what a professional writer is for!

Do you have any samples or a portfolio to review?

Sure. This website is one of my samples. Or you can view some of my other writing samples.

Depending on what you’re looking for, I can supply a sample that is appropriate to your need. Contact me for such a sample.

How much do you charge?

Once I understand your proposed project, I will determine the time required to deliver effective copy to you, my scheduling availability, assess the probability of repeat revisions, and set a fee accordingly. You will receive a written quote outlining the parameters, timelines, and price. Once you return a signed approval, I set your project on my production schedule. My fees are normally quoted in US Dollars, but I can recalculate for another currency if required.

You need to remember that copywriting is an investment, not an expense. If you have commission sales people, then you already understand this concept. Anybody can write copy, a person who understands marketing can even write good copy, but to get great copy – copy that will actually improve your sales – requires a professional. I expect my copy to be a success, and I expect to be paid well for increasing your bottom line. This is not content mill writing for pennies a word. In life and business, you get what you pay for.

As an example, let’s say your sales email currently generates $6,000 a month in sales with a 1.5% conversion rate. If my copy boosts those sales to just 2.5% conversion, that increases your sales to $10,000 a month. This example would represent a significant increase to your bottom line that would more than pay for my services in the first month of your promotion.

Are your rates negotiable?

If you wish to negotiate the price provided, that’s fine, but I generally provide my best price first, based on my project load. Sometimes I can offer a slightly reduced price if your timing is more flexible, but that is typically a question I have already asked you by that point in the process and I would have already calculated into my price.

If an upfront fee presents a cash-flow problem for you, I will consider a reduction on my basic fee in exchange for a royalty on your sales. This arrangement may not work in every situation, and the royalty I find acceptable will vary depending on your business model. However, I am confident enough in the strength of my copy that I’m willing to work for a smaller set-up fee and take royalties as your sales roll in. A royalty arrangement is a more complex negotiation, so if this is something you are interested in, a lot more discussion will be required.

When is payment due?

The majority of our projects have a set-up fee of around 50% to be paid before we start the project. This is non-refundable, and represents our kill-fee in the event you decide to terminate the project for any reason. The balance of our fee is due upon delivery of the final copy.

How do I pay?

Because there can be clearing problems with international checks, I accept payment via the safe and secure services of PayPal, where you can pay by credit card or from your PayPal account. If you have a bank account in Canada, you can also pay directly from your bank account by Interac e-Transfer. 

Is there any discount for non-profit organizations?

Yes! I happily accommodate the expense concerns of non-profit groups and charities. I will normally invoice you in full for my services, and upon receipt of payment, will make a donation back to your organization equivalent to 15% of my fee for non-profits, and 20% for bona-fide charities. I provide the discount in this way so as to minimize the effect of a terminated project. 

What about review, tweaks or edits of the copy provided?

My contract with you will include a set number of pre-publishing revisions. That contract will also require that you sign off on the copy provided prior to being published. While I make it my business to proof and re-proof my copy, and it is incumbent upon you to review and approve it, the reality is that sometimes mistakes or oversights can happen. If there is any defect in the copy provided, I will always correct this at no charge. However, if additional revisions or updates are required outside the scope of our original agreement, i.e. to bring the content current due to changing market conditions, updating, or opportunity, that would become a new service and require a new agreement.

Can I put you on retainer?

Yes. We can negotiate a retainer arrangement to ensure that your needs are met on an ongoing basis. The agreement we come to will include provisions for scope of work, frequency of analysis, communications, acceptable workload, timelines, and fees. With a retainer agreement, you get a guarantee of regularly scheduled copywriting for just one regular fee. These agreements can be monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or any other custom arrangement.

What are your qualifications?

Firstly, I can actually write complete sentences, with proper grammar. It amazes me how many alleged “marketing professionals” cannot use proper grammar. I don’t mean headlines or subheads, where the rules may not apply, but I see glaring errors in mid-paragraph. As a professional writer? Come on! I realize that may sound cynical, but professionalism matters.

I am an American Writers & Artists Inc. trained and verified copywriter. AWAI is the industry leader in training direct response copywriters.

I am a member of The Professional Writers’ Alliance. PWA is an international association for direct response copywriters, which grants me access to resources, clips, training, and other copywriting experts to obtain constructive feedback.

Freelance business consulting is the industry I’ve been in since 2004, helping other small businesses with corporate paralegal services, contracts, marketing, writing, and bookkeeping. When my clients succeed because of my services, it makes my day!

I am a voracious reader of advertising copy and marketing strategies. I study more content, SEO tips, and copywriting strategies in a week than most business people study in their whole lives. That’s not bragging, it’s simply a function of the industry I’m in.

I love this business, helping clients achieve their goals, and seeing the success it brings. You can learn more on the About page.

What about metrics (or analytics)?

Metrics (or analytics) tell you if the marketing copy is successful. Metrics tell me if you’ll be renewing or extending my services for your next project. I hope so on both accounts!

To see some examples of metrics I provide with my copy, or for more information on metrics in general, see my brief on metrics. The brief will open in a new page, so you can close it when you’re done and pick up where you left off.

 


If you have a question that is not listed here, please feel free to contact me directly.

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