You have the best business in your category. You have the most refined product available.
And you are able to tell people why.
But—if your headline falls flat or senseless they’ll never know your good intentions.
There is a FAR better way to manage our business communications, our sales pitches, and our client communications! I call it the Red Pencil System.
The Red Pencil System is a process of matching the client with your product. But it’s more than that. Because it earns each client’s respect by matching your solution with your best prospects’ need it moves the client to action. This spark is not something you find. It is a discovery that you share about your business with everyone you can.
It makes sense to share what you do, right?
By engaging visitors with your website, readers of your letter, or people who scan your emails your odds of converting them to paying clients increase by over 80%.
Business is about getting to your client transaction. But there is a problem.
Let’s Turn Your “Possibles” into Win-Win Clients
Legendary Harvard Business School professor Ted Levitt wrote in 1993: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Alice in Wonderland knew this, too.
Levitt’s research showed that MOST business leaders do not deeply understand what business they are in. Think about that. It is as true today as it was twenty-five years ago. So much for progress.
It’s worse. What you have said about your company has twice traveled around the world while you’re reading this sentence.
Relieve backache—with Professional Copywriting !!!
Step One: Listen
I have written and edited over a hundred complete business plans. These are most informative to investors, I have found, in two ways. They show key business numbers and the tell you about the management. That is all.
Business plans reveal nothing about whether you understand who-to, when-to, and how-to sell your products. But copywriting research and thoughtful copywriting DO! Planning is nice, selling is mandatory.
In 1937, a knowledgeable copywriter—Elmer Wheeler—did some testing. He offered his findings to a store manager in Brooklyn, a friend. The copywriter suggested the countermen use a two-word question whenever someone ordered a Coca-Cola. The manager agreed to try it.
Customers ordered a Coke.
The soda jerk inquired: “Large one?”
The research identified the response. The buyer motive was simple.
One of the best services to get to this for your business is called a Key Message Platform.
Your business’ sales data, the demographic and psychographic research of your target market, titles, tags, and categories, media, headlines and calls to action… every future tool that sells is based on this document.
This document refines and emboldens and clarifies your announcements and communications to become lines around the block with people ready to buy.
Ted Levitt understood this. Most businesspeople cannot tell you who their best targets are. They are not aware of their current customers and their likes and dislikes.
Most businesses do not study their own business.
What if we examine your status quo?
Step Two: Dig
We will investigate specific challenges, problems, or objectives that your product addresses—and how it does. Think about your customer habits and behavior. We have all been grabbed by marketing like this and not recognized it. This is covered in more detail in The Writing Process.
Good copy gets readers thinking—”I never knew that!” or “I need this!” The Red Pencil approach will have cut our the distractions that MOST BUSINESSES leave in.
The headline and the corresponding subheadlines and body copy, the offer and the registration or payment must show a unified message on ONE and only one objective: Let’s do business!
Getting readership (or viewers) is how copy nurtures responses. Your business’ product-nuggets are the treasure but only if the prospect gets a deep benefit. If we tie-in your payment system my writing will move qualified individuals to your transaction.
This is like cloning yourself to double or triple your current income.
Do You Ask Ever These Questions? Q&A
If you’re getting this, your adrenaline is up! Relax. Let’s recap your objectives, then move on to how this will work for you.
You need to reach the right targets. You want sales to happen. Those goals may require web content, e-mails, and design letters and campaigns. You want messages that SELL. You need to focus on your business. So you need a professional writer. Right?
Understandably, you want the right person for the job. And,
You don’t want to risk money. You don’t want to waste time. You don’t want to become aggravated.
My goal is to get you a high return on your investment.
So—what does that look like?
How much can you expect to earn back with top-notch copy?
The trade magazine B2B analyzes direct marketing campaigns. It reports professional sales material return 7 to 36 TIMES the client investment. That is a respectable return, particularly when it can occur several times each year.
Time for truth.
Diligence and honesty in the copywriting process is the secret inside copy that grabs attention.
If we were sitting together in your office you’d have some questions for me. Let me answer a few of those questions now.
You Only Use the Copy You Want—And Pay for What You Use
First of all—who is Robert Bailey?
I am a persuasive copywriter and direct response marketer. Copywriting is persuasive writing for a commercial or non-profit business that encourages a specific and prompt response or action. Direct marketing is the structure for handling responses, feedback, and sales. All my work is custom-created.
My concentration is targeting the right audiences to communicate your financial strategy—for alternative investments, strategies, fintech and, recently, crypto-currencies. My work includes print and digital B2B writing for services and B2C writing for advisory services and financial newsletters. But, I’ve written about many non-financial client businesses, too—pretty much from A to Z.
Persuasive and direct response copywriting is all around us—from internet sites to email to catchy envelopes in your mailbox. The main outlet for these devices is direct response marketing, a $325 billion dollar a year industry in the United States alone.
DR involves a lot of players and strategies. No matter what size your business is today—we will identify sound ways to reach out, to connect with and to move your most likely prospects to the action you want. Whether that is to respond, to purchase, to subscribe, or something more complex action.
My copywriting toolbox is expansive with trackable methods (rather than expensive and vaguely useful, like advertising).
Inside it are subscription and sales letters, print and email follow-ups, email campaigns, informational content for websites, B2B white papers about technical benefits, e-newsletters, live webinar design, success-case studies, video scripts, speeches, blog posts, even website audits. Let’s be sure you’re getting the response you have already paid for.
What action should your prospect take seeing our material? Do you want to measure the responses? Just the click? Or the purchase? Just the purchase or the upsell? Just the upsell or the add-on purchases next month? You get the idea. These, too, are important in the writing. These won’t frighten you. They will inspire you.
Our effectiveness is measurable. Messages can be adjusted and the results improved, especially with digital media. A projectable, even a predictable return on the investment is possible as we work on increasing the number and quality of your responses.
Understand this—I am in business, too. In addition to the writing we’re discussing, I recently released a personal-professional-credibility product called eDigitalPersona.com. This smart-phone based inbound marketing tool builds personal and professional bonds with prospects in any market. I am also a partner in other online business-to-business products as well.
Q: What are your qualifications as a copywriter?
I have written newsletters and long-form letters. I have designed and drafted conference plans and notes from concept to sales closing and follow-up. As a journalist, I wrote television and radio news copy and articles for print. I have written business letters my whole career on corporate and smaller business to both powerful executives and owners, and everyday people.
I am a believer in always polishing skills, at any age or experience level. American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) is my primary source and the Professional Writers’ Alliance my primary copywriter affiliation. Marketing and copywriting techniques and tools are always changing. I have found that the stronger my business relationships the better and more powerful is my writing.
My copywriting overlaps my strategic investment advisory. Here copywriting skills provide my clients added value to the business, financial, strategic and process plans I develop. But copywriting is my “secret weapon” on my clients’ behalf. I become their competitive and strategic advantage. In all my decision-making and business leader-client relationships, our successes depend on great writing.
Q: Do you know about website content, email marketing, and social media?
I worked at a major advertising agency in New York City on large client business. My efforts included refining messages to increase sales for those global clients. Where it was most successful, traditional advertising had leaned on strong persuasive writing found in direct marketing.
I chose another value-adding school for my training.
I attended the Wharton School’s Finance program at the Arresty School. This is a sort of crash course in high-level planning for CFOs (and in my case, curious marketers.)
Q: Do you have experience in my field?
I’ve written blog content based on live interviews with institutional money managers. In New York City, I developed and edited several newsletter and websites, as well as the accompanying letters and collateral materials.
My book, The Plan—The Machine That Runs the World (Amazon) is a suspense novella about a violent clash between wealthy New York City families. The fictional work is based on interviews and research into the workings of real family offices, foundations and high net worth families and especially their advisors. It is an instructive guide to modern investing. [2 Spoilers: In the book, my main character, Michael Fitzhugh, DOES NOT save the day. And—some people wanted all entertainment. A portion of the book actually produces better investment results! I think that’s just a lack of personal confidence on their parts.]
Finance and money management will always present new opportunities for helping clients. My job is to help you identify and express those to begin the sales conversation.
To get and keep that conversation, clients have required many skills. Among those: Email campaign writing, website content development, long-form sales letter writing, site audits. Even whole marketing campaign audits.
Recently a few clients have become interested in developing crypto-currencies. Most often this is part of their business plan—primarily for information storage and use using blockchain. This fast-moving area includes technical writing. It has included drafting initial coin offering (ICO) whitepapers and refining strategy/objectives. I usually recommend prospecting brochures and websites for the campaigns. Inside meetings with financial innovators give me a fresh perspective on how my clients are thinking and (re)acting. My feedback is always expected to improve our copy strategies. Recently I have added several clients in the SaaS space (software as a service) the boldest coming out of Kolkata, India.
Several successful and talented personal contacts act as my advisors and resources. I track financial and transactional trends (marketing and finance) daily. This way I can understand the context of a need and motivate prospects to take action in my copy.
Q: What kinds of assignments do you handle best?
I have solid experience with leaders and leadership. I’ve spoken to leaders and managers at conferences. I’ve presented at conference tables to key wealthy players. That sort of relationship permits access to the business leader’s growth demands as part of handling any kind of writing assignment you can throw at me—with ease—from discovery to final application and followup.
My work—what I excel at—consists of developing sales letters (online and print/mailed), email support as a campaign, response-driving websites and multi-websites, magnetic social media campaigns, periodic email newsletters, interactive blog posting, optimization of existing web pages and sales programs, responsive print advertisements, video scripts, and video sales letters.
My experience in business, finance, PR, and marketing ensures that I’ll be able to understand your business. That will engage us in the development of persuasive copy development and/or solid B2B marketing. In that process best ways to integrate the writing are often refined.
Tell me your target audience, your desired outcome, and your budget. We will discuss those needs, goals, and deadlines for your project. We will also refine them.
Q: Do you offer consulting services?
I advise and consult.
If I advise, I am recommending something as more than a suggestion. If I consult I will do the work and you will pay extra for it. But it will be accomplished—and well.
I’m also an idea guy who brings them to life. I keep current on domestic (The Week) and global economic (Foreign Affairs) and business topics. (I am currently a fan of Barron’s.) With my background in consulting I can be a valuable resource for you. Marketing and sales decisions, after all, become copy positions.
Q: Your fee schedule lists a price for a “copy critique” and “web critique.”
A copy critique is an in-depth look at your copy. A web critique covers your message and how you are using the tools available to you to close business. I will make suggestions for lead or money-generating improvements. For copy and web-critiques this could include a sales letter or pitch, a brochure or page, a separate landing page, and online or print marketing funnels and email campaigns and blogs. I examine your headlines with the “4Us” system for writing effective headlines. (Ask about the “4Us” in a headline—it will change your world.)
I analyze the ideas communicated in your copy for clarity and persuasiveness. Your calls to action (CTA) are vital. (What if they aren’t? They will be after I’m through!) And your actions will be compelling.
I have a keen eye for grammar, tone, and style. No misspelled word or misplaced comma gets by me. This is why I was a go-to copyeditor throughout my career. I find ways to make copy stronger and clearer so the layout might change. Remember. My goal is to get your (well-defined) selling message across in front of genuine prospects.
Q: Have you written specifically for digital media? Social media?
Digital communications impact all my clients in some way. I draw from experience in television, radio, on-air, on-camera, production, writing and promotions. Today, media has evolved. Interactive email, video, interactive recorded webinars are important. They should be part of your consideration. You are likely to find huge advantages. These advantages could apply to your persuasive copy and to your business.
Who are your clients…and what do they say about your copy and counsel?
I have included a partial list of past clients in this information packet. You will also notice client testimonials.
Q: How long will it take you to write my copy?
Development and copy-writing time have several variables. What is the type and scope of the project? Is the client providing full and accurate responses on a timely basis? To write I need to know about you and your goals—in depth. We will discuss many areas and I may need to drill down as we progress—so your copy works.
Larger projects, such as websites and case studies, are going to take more time. These have elaborate requirements. You have no doubt heard how easy is it to place a website today. That is true. But, you are unlikely to like a site that doesn’t achieve your goals. Sites involve research, interviews, writing, automation schematics, and editing. Shorter projects such as short copy emails and blog posts will have a quicker turnaround. We can discuss a deadline that works for you when we talk.
Q: What happens if I want you to revise copy?
I offer two copy revisions on every project. The changes must be inside the scope of the original project. I will be happy to review your comments and edits. To make it easier for both of us, I often use Google Docs/Drive so we can share input as available. It’s a handy tool, for now, that I recommend to clients.
About deadlines. Deadlines are only relevant when clients honor our agreements. That includes the agreed payment schedule. If a client causes a delay, I reserve certain rights. Among those: To reschedule due-dates, cancel the agreement, or renegotiate the entire agreement. I assume we are all adult businesspeople: There are no refunds in this business relationship.
Q: What is it like to work with you?
You’ll find that working with me is easy. My client communications are proactive. I will inform you of the status of any project I’m working on, particularly as we get close to a deadline. I answer client emails within 24 hours.
There are best practices in any service business. I have seen many, as a journalist, as a broker, and as a writer. Each one demonstrated the value of maintaining high standards. That is how I work with my clients—as reciprocating professionals advancing to the same goal.
Q: I have a lot/very little experience working with a professional copywriter…
I have a proven process that works very well. There is a full description of it on this site. And we will discuss the process and your objectives in detail. I make myself available with few limitations, and with the expectation that my client is a professional seeking the best path to her results. Every assignment I accept is treated as custom.
Q: Who gets credit?
Ego has no good place in copywriting. This is work. And, it requires open and regular communication to make it effective—so it has the chance to achieve your goals. I typically retain some rights to use copy I create. You receive full lifetime use rights.
If this runs counter to your world-view, no problem. I would be happy to provide you with the names of other very good copywriters.
Q: How do I discuss my business/hire your team, Rob?
The quickest way to get in touch with me is to call 561 214-4866. We’ll discuss your project(s), goals, and business. If you’d prefer to shoot me an email, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
Is Your Headline
WORKING for you, Or
HURTING Your Business?
We can attract and engage your audience…
make your headline your most reliable employee.
I’m hoping to hear from you!
Postscript. Time flies—yours, mine, and your clients. Clients make decisions whether we make ours our not. Contact me today about your business objectives and desires.
Post Postscript. A Person-With-Professional Credibility could be just what you need. In this digital world we all save time and nurture a quality client base around the clock. Upgrade to powerful copy for blogs, websites, email campaigns, printed collateral materials, and more.