Qui Ckon CEO Ver.

January 6, 2014 at 9:17 am | Posted in copywriting | 8 Comments
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Almost white

Does this look all white to you?

Sorry about that title; only had time for a ‘quick once over’.

All the letters are there: the caps and spacing didn’t confuse, did they?

As a copywriter, I sometimes get quick-once-over requests. I wonder if you do too.

The request has three variations:

1.  Just give it 15 minutes.

Some clients assess my work by what I keep, not discard.

Thus, if I spend an hour rendering two pages of crud into one perfect paragraph, they see 50 words and think Bargain!

If I were a surgeon, they’d say:

Look at that jar: it’s tiny! Why bill me for operating on my whole body when you only took out that little, bitty gallstone?!

2.  Just focus on the howlers.

An intelligent client may spend weeks crafting a pitch for a huge piece of business. She’s happy with her content and only wants me to flag the one or two bad errors I might find.

Though I invariably find dozens of small to medium errors that I know will undermine her brand, pitch (and even viability) she isn’t interested. She knows her writing is good. She gave it to me at the eleventh hour, as an afterthought.

If I were a crèche, she’d say:

We’re entering Emily in a national baby contest in four hours. I’m going home to change. Just keep her alive until I return. Only call if she goes blue or black; don’t worry about the peanut thing. I know my daughter.

3.  There’s only two hours in the budget.

I perfect communications via multiple processes. Spelling, punctuation, tone, cadence, readability and jargon are just the tip.

Numbers, fact accuracy, logical flow, legal compliance, audience suitability and consistency with branding and prior communications form the next level. Then there’s the optional humour, irony, academic and cultural references etc.

This deep thinking takes time.

So, if I get two hours to optimise 6000 not-very-good words, I must cut corners. Yet like a Rubik’s cube, my corners intertwine. Lose one, no cube.

If I were a builder, they’d say:

We need a safe, certified, 25-square home for $50K. Don’t forget the plumbing, wiring, plaster, painting, insulation, termite proofing and hurricane roofing. We’re in Darwin.

Time is money: I need it and I know clients aren’t made of it. I promise perfect communications: too-small budgets make this impossible. Yet I genuinely like my clients and want them to prosper.

I can’t let flawed work leave my desk. So I do three or four hours for the price of two. Just like the fairies.

How about you? Do you mow three hectares for the price of two? Install five workstations for the cost of three? Teach eight people for the fee of five?

If so, what’s your motivation?

  1. Pride.
  2. Love.
  3. Money.
  4. Other (please state _________ ).
  5. All of the above.

Idlo VETOK Now!

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Fanatics rule

May 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Posted in copywriting, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Special work needs special people.

Every now and then I realise what a fanatic I’ve become.

As with this email to a client today:

Dear Sybil,

With regard to compass directions, very few dictionaries use a space (i.e. north east).

The Oxford (and 12 other dictionaries) use hyphens (i.e. north-east).

24 (mainly US) dictionaries use no space (i.e. northeast).

As the module I’m working on makes significant use of these terms, I wanted to get direction (tee hee) from you.

I’d like to use hyphens.

Would that be OK with you?

Best regards,

P.

Yet proofreading demands fanatical attention to detail.

It’s the only way to get things 100% right.

So I’m happy to be nuts about this stuff.

🙂

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.


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