The best way to discuss your project is to schedule a no-obligation, 30-minute phone or Skype conversation.

I offer the following services: writing (copy, content, technical), content planning, and marketing consultation

Writing

Copywriting

At heart I’m a direct response copywriter. That might concern you, but it shouldn’t–really!

Allow me to explain.

In the copywriting world, direct response copy has always been pitted against “brand” copy. The former is ugly, the latter is beautiful.

But this assessment is wrong.

The only distinction between direct response and brand copy is action–a call to action. Direct response copy asks the reader, viewer, or listener to do something. Brand copy doesn’t. Which means direct response copy doesn’t hinge on aesthetics or word count. Contrary to perception, there’s no standard look to it either. 

Direct response copy allows you to track results, which is why marketers with limited budgets (e.g., the local ambulance-chasing lawyer) use it.

Brand copy tends to rely on personal whims, leadership consensus, and industry norms as a starting point, rather than starting with the intended audience. 

There’s nothing new in what I’m saying. Newspaper coupons, for example, were an early direct response tactic. The coupons had a code that was traceable to the paper in which they appeared. That’s still how coupons, links, and tracking software work today. What gets measured, as Peter Drucker said, gets managed.

Big consumer brands, the companies we’re most familiar with, usually employ a mix of brand and direct response copywriting. The mix depends on the campaign and the media. I suspect, though, that as the economy struggles, more resources will flow to direct response campaigns.

Take McDonald’s. A few years ago they dropped the “I’m lovin’ it” slogan because it could not stop a declining market share. Now, according to Chief Executive magazine, McDonald’s is playing hardball. They pay their agency on performance alone. The agency collects a portion of the profits they generate. No profits, no pay day.  

My prediction is that other Fortune 500 companies will follow McDonald’s into direct response copy.

Content writing

Content writing is sometimes viewed as a gentler approach to marketing than direct response copywriting (e.g., blog posts). It’s a good-enough definition as long as you remember this: content for its own sake is useless.

You shouldn’t be posting, sending, or distributing written content without a goal for it. Further, you can’t produce subpar content and expect readers, viewers, and listeners to value it simply because it’s “something.”

Typically, I’m approached to write content for clients trying to stay top-of-mind with their customers and prospects. Most often, we accomplish this goal with email broadcasts, email drip campaigns, blog posts, and articles for social sites.

Technical writing

Technical writing clients usually hire me to edit existing copy. They also hire me to create new assets from old ones.

I make technical documents more readable without neglecting important details. How? By using standard, but often neglected, copy writing techniques. I also supplement client-supplied research with my own, which sometimes leads to new marketing insight.

Technical documents don’t have to be dry and plodding. In the right hands (mine), they can prompt the reader to specific action.

Last word

To be clear, I only write the words (text) for your project. I will make suggestions for design and layout, but I am not a designer. I will gladly work with whomever you choose for design (including agencies). 

I have a $1.4K minimum for initial projects and do offer landing page packages (ask). Portfolio samples hereOther questions? Shoot me an email at mike@mikedevaney.com.

Content Planning

Content marketing is a popular idea. It sounds cheaper and more effective long term, than say, buying ad clicks. Often it is. However, companies who’ve never tried publishing content before, or are in the midst of a rebrand, can get overwhelmed. So many ideas! Where to start?

I help companies by studying their existing content assets, understanding their core products or services, and analyzing their competitor’s content. There are always opportunities with content for creating meaningful market differentiation. As an outsider, it’s generally easier for me to catch ingrained blind spots and structural problems than an insider.

Once I’ve identified a plan for content, I usually build out a publishing calendar. At that point, the content deliverables can be handed back to your team or you can hire me to do the writing (see above).

Marketing Consultation

As a marketing consultant, I study your business as it exists now and advise you on steps to move forward. It’s a longer process than most writing and content planning projects. My focus is the main drivers of your business, which I base on what I’ve learned as a sales and marketing writer. Consultation work normally stretches over several months.

I begin all consulting work with a questionnaire. That questionnaire is the starting point for my research. In addition, I will ask to interview you, employees, and happy/unhappy customers. 

Hiring me as a marketing consultant will not disrupt your work schedule. The process can be simplified into reasonable and manageable pieces. You can stop the consultation process at any point and still benefit tremendously. 

Industry Experience

I’ve written for the following industries and niches: senior care, nonprofits (including churches), perfoming arts, finance, financial consulting, continuing education, natural health, consumer goods, staffing, medical products, digital desing, software, hardware, and… what else? Lots more. Try me out by scheduling a discussion.

My Guarantee to You…

…is that you’ll be happy with the final draft of your copy. In the rare event that you’re not 100% satisfied, I’ll work round-the-clock for the next 30 days until you have copy that makes you giddy. 

I mean that.

Please be aware that I cannot guarantee the results of any project. That’s because copy and marketing advice is dependent on a lot of particulars beyond my control ( audience, offer, timing, presentation, competition, economy, etc.).

You should also know that I do not provide refunds for my services. There is some risk in hiring me. But in order to reduce the risk, our contract will stipulate agreed-upon deadlines for the first and final draft. I’m also happy to keep keep you informed about the progress of your project via reasonable checkpoints.

This will allow you to see a writing project taking shape. By handling projects this way, clients know exactly what’s coming. The end result? Clients are usually thrilled with the final draft or deliveable.