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The Twenty Two dollar omelette August 8, 2012

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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To be a professional writer, and an author, one hat that you need to wear is the Marketing Hat. As you may already know, I own a Writing Hat, but now I am sizing myself with this new hat.

I have written and published a book, and if you click on the book cover there you can find a place to purchase the book. Marketing for this book includes getting involved on Goodreads, which has had mild success . I am still learning how to get more involved with this community. I would love to ask people to read and review, but posting such requests seems like I would be whispering into a room with white noise.

Other forms of marketing include shouting out on Facebook, which has got me a few sales. But I have discovered if I speak one-on-one with people, then they go buy my book. So this means I will need to speak to hundreds of thousands of people, make friends, talk about writing, and then encourage them to read my book. Easy! 🙂

So, this talk about marketing as a role of a writer, I am trying to ramp up my professional writing side of my life. A lot of work comes through to me in referrals. I am a member of the Business Networkers International group. As a member, if my profession is not represented in another chapter, I am entitled to visit, give a 60 second presentation about me, and hopefully reap some referrals from their members, and be memorable enough that they will remember me when speaking to people THEY know.

This involved a 5.30am start for me, a long drive to a nice little restaurant, and a $22 omelet. I spoke to around 12 people, some members being away, and I collected all their business cards. I had one person wanting to speak with me more, and another asking about some work I might do for them. So, the time in the morning, and the price of the breakfast, may have landed me a good job.

Later in the day I sat with a business coach who was teaching me all about marketing and tracking dollars and cents in my writing business. How much do I spend on marketing compared to how much comes back in as revenue. What things can I do to improve my marketing, increase my brand footprint in the wider world.

One thing I have done is launch a Facebook page for my professional writing side. Rather than have one page for me as a writer, both the creative and copy writing, I am now distinguishing between the two. Go and like my page, where I will give copy writing tips, and post images and links to projects I have contributed in. Click on the image below.

I am doing a lot of work on my professional writing side of me. This means my novel writing is quiet for the time being, but rest assured I have started plotting and planning for the next book. I have a vague story line, with heists, intrigue, more dragons, dinosaurs, minotaurs and possibly a baby.

Good bye for now!





Less is more… July 31, 2012

Posted by mattfarmer in Copy writing.
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In the past week I have had two copy writing jobs which required me to write, or edit, a load of text down to less words while keeping the message. And this post is also to show that while a lot of what I blog about is my novel & creative writing, I do have a professional writing side to myself as well.
The first job required me to take a company whose website I had been writing, and boil down who they are and their unique selling point into a 40 word blurb. This is a case of finding one or two points, and just writing about that. Getting that one point of difference is a selection process in itself! It came down to the fact this company would slip in and become a part of your business, taking away that pesky work you don’t want to do, so you can get back to running your business – working on your business, not in your business, as they say.

My first effort came out at 60 words. The second just under 50. And then I nailed the word count. Looking at the words on-screen, it was about 2 and a half lines of text, depending on the size of the words. This was a good visual cue to work with, so when I was near the second line of text I knew I had to wind it up.

I gave the clients 4 examples of 40 words or less. And then a week later I followed up with 8 more examples. All were slightly different, and I was quite happy with what I produced.

And recently a girl came to me saying she is trying to get into a course with the RSPCA about animal welfare and caring for animals etc, but she said – I can’t write. I hear that a lot. She had written something, which obviously meant she could write, but she couldn’t focus on the important parts of what she wanted to say, and get it within the word count limit of 200 words.

I had her dot-point the main reasons she wanted to study and work with the RSPCA. I then matched those dot points with the text she had given me (close to 600 words). I then used very economical word choices, cut out a lot of fluff, and still said exactly what she had said, but I managed 199 words. And yes, I did go back and see where I could add just one more word, but thought the better of it.

She was very happy with the result 🙂
These two jobs highlight what it is I like about copy writing. Being creative in a tiny little box. You still have to use all your skills as a creator and a writer, but you have these hard rules defining what and how to use your creativity, and still produce something which makes sense, and fits all the checks and balances of the creative brief.

So, while it was a quiet week in regards to volume, it was good to exercise those parts of my brain, just to know I can still do it if I need to.