Welcome to THE WELL-FED E-PUB!

 

Serving upfood for thought and tasty tips for the prospering FLCW*. Come on in, sitanywhere and bring your appetite!

 

*FLCW,peppered throughout the ezine, stands for "Freelance CommercialWriter" – anyone who freelances for businesses (vs. writing magazinearticles, short stories, poetry, etc.), typically earns $50-125+ an hour, andis the sole focus of this e-newsletter. 

 

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VOLUME 9,ISSUE 9 – SEPTEMBER 2010

Publishingthe first Tuesday of every month since May 2002 

Read itOnline at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/sept2010.html

 

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"THEWELL-FED WRITER" (2010 EDITION) HAS WON FOUR AWARDS!

Check outthe Awards Gallery at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/wellfedawards.shtml

To Order(FR.EE Bonus/U.S. Shipping): http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ordertwfw.shtml.

 

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NO-CHARGETELECLASS ON WRITING CASE STUDIES TOMORROW! 

Case-studymaven Casey Hibbard delivers a f.r.e.e. teleclass on Wed., 9/8 entitled:

“8 SECRETSFOR WRITING STORIES THAT SELL (MORE).” If case studies aren’t a (lucrative)part of your professional offering, you’re leaving money on the table.Details/register: http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?Clk=3890786

 

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ATTN:PHOENIX-AREA FLCW’S! I’M COMING YOUR WAY IN OCTOBER!

I’mpresenting at the Avondale Writers Conference on 10/2/10. NO CHARGE to attend,but registration required. Details: http://www.avondale.org/index.aspx?NID=1459(then scroll down).   

 

LUNCH WITH“THE WELL-FED WRITER” in PHOENIX on Thursday, 9/30/10?

Come joinme! For more details: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/seminars.shtml

 

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GROUPCOACHING SERIES #6 (OCT/NOV 2010) NOW ENROLLING!  For full

details& participant testimonials: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/groupcoaching.shtml.

 

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FACEBOOKSUCCESS SUMMIT 2010 – COMING IN OCTOBER!

UsingFacebook but not getting the business-boosting results you hoped for? Tap thecollective wisdom of 21 Facebook experts (and save 50% for a limited time!).For details and to register, visit: http://www.whitepapersource.com/cmd.php?Clk=3847543

 

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I NEED ALLUSUAL COURSES. I'm low in ALL departments and would love to get yourstrategies, tips and features. See "Coffee" for more details and wordcounts. 

 

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THISMONTH'S MENU:

 

I.APPETIZER: A CASE STUDY OF A CASE STUDY: THE SEQUEL

Yours TrulyShares Insights and Takeaways from a Current Project-in-Progress

 

II."FIELD" GREENS: FINE-TUNING A NICHE (SO PROSPECTS CAN SEE YOU!) 

CanadianFLCW Morphs From “Environmental” to “Corporate Environmental” Writer

 

III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: SUCCESS ACROSS THE POND! (Part 1 of 2)

UK FLCWBuilds Thriving Business, Including “Tone-of-Voice” Writing Specialty

 

IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

SC FLCWCarries Book Into MD’s Office, Spawning Chat and Meeting Request!

TIP: Does YourAlma Mater Offer Research Database Access? Mine Does…

 

V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- MISSED MYTELECLASS? Full 38-PAGE e-Transcript – Just $12!

- AWAICopywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get 2 Bonuses (no charge!)

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I.APPETIZER: A CASE STUDY OF A CASE STUDY (Part 2)

Yours TrulyShares Insights and Takeaways from a Current Project-in-Progress

 

In lastmonth’s Appetizer (archived at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/Aug2010.html),I shared details of a case study I’ve been working on. Hadn’t intended on afollow-up, but the project continued to yield useful information and insights,so here we go.

 

In myexperience, most case studies you’d do for a company are strictly forpromotional purposes: they’ll appear on a web site and/or get turned intoactual printed sales sheets for inclusion in marketing (or “leave-behind”)packages. And they’re quite valuable to a company even when only used asstraight promo material.

 

However,most of the ones I’ve done for this one client – a manufacturing company– including the one I’m currently working on, require that I createmultiple versions. On this project, the first one is long (3000-3500 words) andis the “sales-y” promo version: full of quotes from different third-party folkssinging the praises of the company’s products. These independent, impartialvalidations are golden, and can sell a prospect on doing business with myclient. In addition, the piece is skewed more toward discussions of thecompany’s products and less about the project details.

 

Now, theother version is shorter (2000-2500 words) and is crafted to appeal to tradepublications, for general PR and brand-awareness building. As such, it needs tobe far less promotional about the company, so as to avoid looking like an“advertorial” (and earn a quick trip to the circular file). All the gushingaccolades about the company are gone, while the project’s details become moreof a focus than the company’s products (obviously, the project needs to beunique or interesting in some way in order to warrant trade-pub placement. Thisone was).

 

Yet, simplythe mention of the products – almost as an afterthought – as theones “specified” by the client (strong validation right there) has a subtle butpowerful impact on the reader, giving those products, paradoxically, even moreweight than they might have in a more promotional piece.

 

Keep allthis in mind as you seek out case study work and discuss such projects withclients. If they’re not covering the trade publication base, why not suggestit? You’ll look savvy AND perhaps pick up another chunk of work. On that happynote, let’s eat!           

 

REMEMBER:F.r.e.e. Teleclass on Case Studies Tomorrow (9/8/10) – delivered by CaseyHibbard, THE expert on the subject, who’s literally built her entire businesson this ONE specialty. http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?Clk=3890786.

 

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II."FIELD" GREENS: FINE-TUNING A NICHE (SO PROSPECTS CAN SEE YOU!) 

CanadianFLCW Morphs From “Environmental” to “Corporate Environmental” Writer

 

Got thiscool story of professional redefinition from Vancouver, BC FLCW Heather Kent

(heatherkent@shaw.ca, www.heatherkent.com). My book was apparently a catalystfor her seeing her environmental writing specialty as more geared tocorporations than a more general audience. Intriguing stuff. From acorporation’s perspective, what’s more compelling: “I’m a general environmentalwriter,” or “I’m a corporate environmental writer and I’ll tell your company’senvironmental story”? Prospects have to see themselves in your offering, and inHeather’s case, now they do. 

 

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Peter: Istarted this career in medical/health writing, a logical place with mybackground in physical therapy. I then broadened into environmental-relatedmagazine work for publications such as Canadian Geographic and CanadianConsulting Engineer. A few years ago, I gradually began taking oncorporate work, mostly in the renewable energy field, which is my mainfocus today. I hung onto the “environmental/medical” moniker while Igradually transitioned to the corporate work, one client at a time.

 

I boughtyour book and immediately liked your “let’s get with the program” style andabundant useful content. Soon after I began reading it, a couple of light bulbswent on: 1) I really had become a “corporate environmental writer” (as opposedto a general “environmental writer”) and that’s what I needed to call myself;and 2) what I really do in my work with companies is to help them tell theirenvironmental story, whether that happens in an article, case study, report orRFP.

 

Along withthat profound insight came the tagline, “Telling your company’s environmentalstory” which, I think, perfectly describes the essence of what I do for myclients, no matter the project involved. Your book is really helping me propelmy business to a new level and without it I think I may have taken a lot longerto figure out the key steps I had to take. I revamped my website to reflectthose changes, all within a couple of days.

 

TomorrowI’m heading to a major environmental trade show (Globe 2010) and while I haveyet to gain clients through these events, I’m looking forward to givingout my new business cards and interacting with people there in the new role Ihave taken on. It’s much more than a new label and tagline; it’s a newconfidence I will be expressing.

 

PB: When Icontacted Heather to get her final OK on the piece, she sent this update:

 

“Since Iwas last in touch, I've been marketing intensively and building up adatabase of a few hundred companies. Which will continue to grow! Yoursuggestions for ‘touch points,’ frequency and styles have been very helpful.About 20% of those prospects have responded, so I’m encouraged by that initiallevel of interest. I’m about to mail out my first-ever batch of postcards,will follow up by phone afterwards, and I’m really looking forward to theresponse.”

 

PB: Noteher intention to follow up by phone after the mailing. You need to do this. Ifyou do a mailing without follow-up, don’t count on a big response. Yes, it’smore work, but it’ll pay off. There are always folks who meant to call butdidn’t and your call will be appreciated AND will be the catalyst for getting aproject moving.    

  

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III. MAIN“MEAT” COURSE: SUCCESS ACROSS THE POND! (Part 1 of 2)

UK FLCWBuilds Thriving Business, Including “Tone-of-Voice” Writing Specialty

 

Got this great success story from UK FLCW Pete Cornes(www.pilcrow.co.uk; really fun site, check it out).He’s accomplished a lot over the past five years, and definitely appears to be“living the dream”! I was quite intrigued with his discussion of“tone-of-voice” writing, so much so that I asked him to write more about it,which he graciously agreed to do, and which will appear as Part 2 in nextmonth’s issue. Get inspired!

 

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Peter: Just a quick note to say thanks for the booksyou’ve written. I first read TWFW about five years ago, and pretty muchfollowed it to the letter in Nottingham in the UK. I picked up quite a few jobsfrom cold calling and soon found myself working with writing agencies in thearea, and for a handful of design and branding agencies, too.

 

Since then I’ve been doing an increasing amount of‘tone-of-voice’ work. Also called ‘verbal identity’, it means helping companiesuse language consistently across their communications, internally andexternally. In practice, it means helping them work out how to show their brandpersonality through language. Are they relaxed and personal? Are theyauthoritative and expert? Are they full of energy?

 

Once we’ve looked at the brand personality, I’ll writetheir brand guidelines on language, and start training their communicationspeople and agency people to sharpen up their writing and hit the right tone.It’s pretty specialized, I suppose, and it’s probably only about 30% of mywork, but it’s a great opportunity for writers who can think strategically, whointuitively understand branding and who aren’t afraid of backing it up withgrammatical details and specifics.

 

Other than that I’ve done all sorts: ads, scripts, weband intranet, paper, poster and press. It’s been going really well.Self-sufficient in six months? Yep – just about. After five years I’mpicking and choosing my projects a bit more carefully and making time to builda house as well. And charging competitive rates, too!

 

Right now I’m freshening up my own brand: websiteredesign, new visual identity, some tighter and more benefit-oriented writingfor my own site and the rest. So I reread TWFW (the latest super-duper 2-in-1edition) and marvelled at the faith and commitment I put into starting up.Looking back it was hard work, but I couldn’t ever see myself on the 9-5 grindnow. (PB: Amen to that!)

 

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IV.DESSERT: Sweet Success Stories and Tips

SC FLCWCarries Book Into MD’s Office, Spawning Chat and Meeting Request!

TIP: DoesYour Alma Mater Offer Research Database Access? Mine Does…

 

Got thisfun – and “hmmmmm”-inducing – note from Mt. Pleasant, SC FLCWHeather Mueller (heather@muellerwriting.com, www.muellerwriting.com) about what can happen when youcarry a book around that shows you’re learning some new skills – skillsthat businesspeople might just need. Following that is a TIP about a killerresource I had no idea I had access to (and you might have something similar aswell). Enjoy!

 

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Hi Peter: Ihad some interesting (and unplanned) lead-generating activity happen today, andthought I’d mention it in case other readers would find it useful. 

 

I had twodoctors’ appointments today, and I simply brought along a book to read in thewaiting room. It's a big, thick book on SEO copywriting, so it didn't fit in mypurse. As soon as the doctor walked in to the room, he noticed and asked aboutit. This led to a string of questions about what I do for a living, followed bya request for a meeting to discuss how I might be able to help with local andonline marketing.

 

This sameexact thing happened twice today -- and all I did was carry around the book I'mcurrently reading. Not sure if this is unusual; it just never occurred to methat carrying around reading material could somehow be tied to marketing one'sbusiness. Maybe I should start carrying TWFW, too!

 

Update fromHeather: I actually have a meeting next week with one of these doctors (mychiropractor) to map out an official plan for several web writing projects.

 

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TIP: I waslooking through my alumni magazine from University of Virginia the other dayand came across this cool resource. Turns out they offer alumni full f.r.e.e.access to all these great library research databases of information, including:3350 academic journals, 1450 full-text business magazines, trade pubs andjournals, 700 book summaries of top business books over the past 20 years, andmore. Probably more likely to be offered through larger schools, but worthchecking with your alma mater to see what they offer. You might just have atreasure trove of info a few clicks away!   

 

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V. COFFEE,MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS

- THEWELL-FED E-PUB NEEDS ALL COURSES!

- TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

- MISSED MYTELECLASS? Full 38-PAGE e-Transcript – Just $12!

- AWAICopywriting (& Other) Courses: Register Here, Get 2 Bonuses (no charge!)

- How CanMy Mentoring Service Serve You?

 

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I'MSERIOUSLY LOW ON ALL WELL-FED E-PUB COURSES!

Got a greatstrategy, approach or specific expertise you're willing to share? Turn it intoa Feature (MAIN COURSE) for the EPUB (400-500 words; query first). ALSO, sendyour "GREENS" (200-300 words), TIPS (150-200) and SUCCESS STORIES(200-300) to peter@wellfedwriter.com.Archived issues at http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine.shtml. 

 

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TheWELL-FED WRITER BLOG is Rockin'! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/blog

Weigh in onsuch topical subjects as, “‘Niche or Die!’ (Really? You Sure About That?)” and“The Confidence Conundrum: How a Newbie Writer Builds Enough to Succeed.” 

 

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MISSED MYTELECLASS? "Thriving as a Freelance Commercial Writer"

 38-PAGE e-Transcript! $12: www.wellfedwriter.com/jan07tstranscript.shtml.

 

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AWAICOPYWRITING (& OTHER) COURSES: Register Here, Get Your Choice of Bonus CDProgram! Six-Figure Copywriting, Graphic Design, Internet Writing, Fundraising,Health Market and more! http://www.wellfedwriter.com/awai.shtml.

 

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HOW CAN MYMENTORING SERVICE SERVE YOU?

For detailsand testimonials, visit http://www.wellfedwriter.com/mentoring.shtml.

 

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