C L I E N T S S A Y :
"I want to compliment you on the letter and postcard that you designed for our
company. 'That's beautiful' are the first words that come out of people's
mouths when I show them your creation."
— Sheldon Lebowitz, CAL Mailing Services, Gaithersburg, MD
Full-time freelance for advertising and sales promotion of all kinds. Available on a project or daily basis. [to
Advertising • consumer brochures • business brochures (product, services,
capability, etc.) • sales leave-behinds • email • direct mail • dealer support
and sales promotion • sales letters • Internet and intranet websites
• other interactive media (online and devices) • editorial content and advertorials (articles) • detailed product profiles • merchandising materials
• catalogs • newsletters • FSIs • presentation kits • white papers • spec
sheets • simple manuals • marketing and creative platforms •
• multimedia • television and videos • radio • other media mentioned below
[to page menu]
I'm proud to have won an Effie, because it's given for marketing effectiveness.
Having marketed a broad array of product and services over the years,
I contribute experience, special perspective, and insights to help you
maximize your market potential and examine all your options. My experience
in this area includes building strategies from scratch as well as pulling
together strategic input from multiple departments into a single coherent
document. [to page menu]
I write newsletters, editorial articles, whitepapers and web content. Until recently, they've usually
been part of a comprehensive overall advertising/promotional project.
But for several years, I have written scores of articles on a wide range of subjects, confirming my
client's position as an comprehensive authority in their industry and providing unique content
that search engines like. Learn more and see Or, samples
of my editorial content writing here.[to page menu]
Maybe this should be at the top of the list. Because when it comes to UX Design, my experience encompasses everything
the job description entails. Some UX designers consider that a sacrilegious statement, because they draw a sharp distinction between
a "Copywriter" and a "UX Designer." They reason that copywriting is about the client and the client's
product or service, while UX is about the User. They say a website, app, or product should not be about selling. Rather,
it should focus on satisfying the User's wants, needs and interests.
That last statement is correct, when we're talking about
expert UX. The first statement, about copywriters, is not. It's talking about the novice or unimaginative copywriter,
and sells short the thoughtful Copywriter whose creative experience is long, deep, and diverse. Like me (ahem).
Being a good copywriter doesn't necessarily make someone a good editor of other people's writing.
An editor serves many functions, and begins by establishing with the publisher exactly what those functions are.
Basically, there's the Copy Editor, and there's the Developmental Editor. To explore some of the many issues and skills involved
involved both types of editing, click to read
What kind of Editor do you need?
If you already know the answers to these issues, great. I've had
experience with all these situations, and am ready to jump in. Or, if you need to work out your policies, I can help
with that, too.
[to page menu]
Sales and Customer Service letters and other corporate communications
Some people avoid working on letters or emails. Especially snail-mail letters.
I mean, with just text to work with, how creative can a writer be? The answer to that is VERY! Ideas. Message. Clarity. Personability.
Tone. Efficiency. These are what copywriting is really about. I've written corporate communications at all levels of companies large and small.
From routine customer service letters to putting clear, persuasive words in the mouths of management.
For example, for a Fortune 500 corporation I revised scores of customer service letters.
They had been written by professional personnel who were not necessarily professional writers,
and then had been edited, augmented, and re-used again and again, so that
many of them had become wordy, off-target,
sometimes almost unintelligible. I rewrote them so that each was clear, quick and friendly. Even the few that were, in fact,
stern warnings had to be firm yet polite.
Campaign development or extension
You set the direction and do the glory work; I'll build from there. Maybe
you already have one ad or commercial done already, and want me to do
the others. Or, I'll take your concept into other media, being sure
to take maximum advantage of each
medium's special characteristics. [to
Creative and Usability review
Are you using "copywriting best practices"?
I offer a reduced-rate, comprehensive review of your ad, brochure,
direct mail package, site, landing page, or other creative project (as well as
etc.) It's an economical way to get meaningful feedback from an uninvolved
writer who sees the project with fresh eyes – as your
customer sees it. I may confirm your confidence
in a good creative execution (and say why), but I will also
identify things that might be confusing, show how strong points could
be extended, eliminate wordiness, and suggest other potential improvements.
One thing I won't do is pan everything, in a crudely disguised
pitch for new business; that's not what this is about. (For one thing,
I can only make an educated guess about what your real marketing
objectives were, unless you tell me.) I'll be constructive,
give you sound reasons why and possibly suggest ways to do it better.
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing
See my SEO Copywriter's Checklist.
(Although it's a bit out-of-date, I am current, and the basic principles still apply.) I specialize in what's called "organic" (or
natural) Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which means relying on the content and other visible and encoded
text that should be on your website anyway. It's a natural outgrowth of copywriting. Intelligently incorporating keywords
into your pages' copy and site description is something
of an art. And it's not just a numbers game anymore. The goal is to position you as an expert on what your prospect is searching for.
You'll benefit from using a versatile interactive writer who can make
your site look better to search engines without degrading its appeal
to humans (your first priority, of course). Even if you just need to develop
click-through-inducing site and page descriptions (and snippets), it helps to
adapt them on a case-by-case
basis ... not just chopping out some words, but using a writer with a
good knowledge of your business and industry. Someone skilled at blending-in
keywords, with your larger business interests at heart. [to
Website creation is not my core business, and I prefer to work with site developers, not compete with
them. But if your need is super-simple, or if you need guidance, please ask.
In addition to writing websites, I've created some from scratch, improved some, and administer several,
including a couple of online
stores. Working closely with you (and/or with your developer), I'll deliver a site that works well and
need more advanced technology and graphic design, specialists are on call, or I will refer you to any of several very
good developers matched to your needs and budget.
Or, if you want
something really easy (and even more affordable) that you can run yourself, consider
Solo Build It!,
a comprehensive site-building and Search Engine Marketing package that automatically does
almost everything but the thinking for you. (Except for the copywriting ... and I can help you with that.)
WordPress is another valid option (which Solo Build It! also supports),
as are some other services.
Just be careful that you will have transportability, including permanent rights to the code, graphics and images used,
and that the images distinctively represent you.
Also see my thoughts here regarding User Experience (UX Design).
[to page menu]
Some people look down on "press releases." I don't. They have their place in a marketing plan. To those who think they have no value,
ask the deli owner who was threatened with closure by their landlord (a hospital), to the dismay of neighborhood residents.
I wrote up the story (pro bono), it appeared in the New York Times, an arrangement evolved and the deli stayed in business for many years.
That was real news. But, even when it's routine news (for example a recent hire), too many press releases are just
boring announcements, form letters that don't whet the appetite of a human editor, or if automatically placed online, don't draw and intrigue readers.
So before writing a press release, it's important to know why you are writing it, where it will go, how it will be used, and
what is the "story" (no matter how simple). Then, write it in a way that makes the editor's job easy, following the
time-honored rules of journalism. I majored in journalism and have lost count how how many releases I've written since.
Learn more and see samples of press releases here.[to page menu]
Live or on-screen. Any kind of screen – laptop, video, projected,
or multimedia. It needs to be fresh and interesting, but the creativity
should enhance or reinforce your message, not distract from it. The message
itself needs to be clear, succinct and persuasive. Unlike a brochure or commercial, with a presentation you don't get a
second chance. Also see my tips on proposals.[to page menu]
Before you can effectively present your message, you must identify and develop it. I help you do that. I don't write full-blown business plans
aimed at obtaining loans or investors (for that you need a specialist), but I can review your plan to enhance clarity and efficiency,
or help write a more limited one for internal purposes. Tips on How To Write a Proposal.[to page menu]
Did you know the term "information architecture" dates back to 1975?
It's not just about Web sites, but also for presentations, proposals, strategies,
business plans and other complex documents. A good writer tends to do
this by nature. By nature, I am a student of online usability in particular.
See my (now ancient) article on "Writers
and Web Sites" about why many copywriters are natural (and in my case, experienced)
information architects. Essentially it is still true today.
Copy/contact for agencies and media
I've dealt directly with clients since the beginning of my career, and
am experienced at fact-finding, determining goals, communicating strategies,
etc., with or without your presence. This isn't my standard procedure
(it's nice to have the full benefit of your account service personnel),
but when you're short on time or people, it often helps. [to
Working the phone
No, not sales calls. But I often use the phone to gather up the product
story before writing begins. For example: canvassing retailers for testimonials.
Or phoning district offices and their customers to nail down case history
details. [to page menu]
If you're located in the New York City area, call when you're short-staffed. I've filled in at every level from creative
director to junior copywriter. This helps you remain sane and fresh during
peak periods, keeps you fully capable during vacation season, and lets
you take all the time you need to find the right replacement for a departed
staffer. [to page menu]
For maximum peace of mind you should use a proofreader
Proofreading of other people's writing is among the services I offer. Click for some thoughts about proofreading
in general, and my proofreading
services in particular.
But I'll double-check your final version of my copy
at no extra charge. Who wants a sample with a mistake
that crept in during layout or last-minute changes? Send me the finished page
(pdf, URL, proof, script, etc.) while there's still reasonable time for us to do
something about it, have your regular proofreader(s) check it, too, and
give me some samples when done. [to page
If your copy is intended for an American audience, but your writer or translator speaks
British, don't go straight to print. The difference between British English and US English (even North American English) is
more than a matter of words and spelling. It involves vernacular phrases, spotting regionalisms, changing hackneyed phrases,
even differences in tone, and stuff you can't quite put your finger on.
So ask me to put my fingers on it. I'm a genuine United States copywriter, it doesn't necessarily cost much to Americanize
(if it needs nothing, I'll say so), and I've done this before.
I'm not a professional photographer, but can help with it if needed. You might have more need
for me as a retoucher. Got a bland photo that needs more impact? Are your photos properly cropped,
corrected and optimized? Need a former employee retouched out, or someone added?
Show me what you have and what you need. Let's see.
Many people moonlight as freelance copywriters. I'm already a freelance copywriter, so I moonlight as voice-over talent. I've also
written hundreds of articles on the subject.
Click for my voice-acting and narration demos and resume.
Extensively trained at Edge Studio and
elsewhere. Please inquire. Also, have no fear –
although I also write scripts and know my way around a DAW, I'm not out to change your copy, unless you ask. Nor am I going to
steal your client. That would be unprofessional in so many ways. It's one thing I do not do.
[to page menu]
Yes, I know radio is covered above, but I want to give it special attention
– something radio writing gets too little of. Earlier in my career, I
wrote a few thousand commercials, but I don't get to do as many as I'd
like these days.
Here are some radio
copy samples. If needed, I can provide finished production,
demo or voice-over capability, too. I'm an experienced radio producer and voice actor .
Whether you've already written one spot
and need two more, could use some script development, or just want to farm it
all out so you can do other stuff,
you'll find me as flexible as the medium itself. [to