FAQ

 

Frequently asked Questions ...

Frequently asked questions

Writing Style

Please describe your writing style.


“Conversational.” Talking directly to your prospects, in a conversational tone, engages them more quickly, and helps keep them engaged. Technical talk is great for engineers talking to other engineers and (to a degree) might work well in some white papers. But the “unique value proposition” of your product or service lies in solving your prospects’ problems or fulfilling their needs. The “voice” we choose for the marketing piece is determined by a number of factors: the type of marketing piece, where the piece fits into the buying process, the ‘voice’ used in prior pieces, the purpose of the piece, and so on.




How do you work? Copy first or design?


If the project is direct-mail, long-form (or something similar), I prefer to get the copy nailed down first. At that point, I can work with your designers on sidebars, graphics, placement, inserts, etc., and adding copy, or modifying it if necessary. That being said, it doesn’t always happen that way, and I’m comfortable working with your designers at any stage of the process. And while we’re on the subject of designers; I’m a firm believer that design does not “make” the marketing piece. I’m also every bit as certain that copy, no matter how good, doesn’t either. The best, most successful marketing pieces in history have always been a productive collaboration between the designer and the copywriter. It’s that sort of winning “partnership” I strive to achieve.




What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.




What kind of clients do you typically work with?


None of my clients are “typical.” Each one has a unique individuality, and different challenges, needs and interests. As such, I treat each client with that uppermost in mind, and with the respect each deserves. I work with small businesses and large ones. I write for companies that sell a product or provide a service, or both. Manufacturers, distributors, architects, builders, material suppliers, jobbers, and so on. I work with in-house marketing teams, boutique marketing firms, web designers, and ad agencies. There are only two overarching themes that my clients have in common: the construction industry and the alternative energy industry.




So how do you charge? What are your fees? How do you bill? And, do you use contracts?


Fees vary for the type of project, its length, the amount of research required and so on. When you call to discuss your copywriting project, I'll be able to give you a rough estimate at that time. Once we get off the phone, I'll sit back, do a little research on your company, its website and content to get a feel for your "voice" and style. Then I'll formalize a proposal for you on price and schedule. You will typically have this proposal in hand the following business day. There are no surprises. Your contract will stipulate the fee and terms exactly. A 50% deposit is due prior to commencing work and the balance is due once work is completed. You will be charged no more, and no less.
Should the scope of the project be changed at any time during the project, I will discuss with you what ramifications that will have on the fee and schedule (if any). If there are any changes, they will be formalized in a Change Order to the contract. No new work will be started without receiving a signed Change Order.




Do you write B2B or B2C copy, or both?


Primarily, I stick with B2B copy. However, I will (on occasion) take on B2C copy projects ... if the subject is “off-grid living,” alternative energy, or “green” building products.




What makes you stand out as a copywriter?


Other than industry experience, specialized training and an old-school work ethic? A lot of people would say that I’m very easy to work with. They’d also make note of my total COMMITMENT to a project’s success, however the client defines “success” at the beginning of each project. Creating that success is a process, and that process requires your input. Right up front, you’ll find that I ask questions. Lots of questions.The only way we can turn out a successful project is if we’re broadcasting on the same wavelength. To clearly communicate your message to your prospects, we first need to communicate clearly with each other.




What else should I know about you?


Anything you want to know. I’m always ready to answer any questions you may have about My Construction Copywriter, myself and any of our services. Just give me a call, drop me an e-mail or contact me through this website.




Do you take on long-term accounts?


Yes. And for you, that’s always the most cost-efficient way to handle a freelance relationship. Knowing a product, service or company intimately means less of my time-investment involved in basic research, learning your process and personnel, and getting the lay of the land. For the same reasons, it’s a cost savings to you and your marketing department as well. Since it’s always easier and faster to work with a client you know, and who knows you, my project quote will typically be less than it would be for a new account. We both save time and money. It’s a win-win proposition.




Why don't you have a "SAMPLES" page?


I do have a few samples of published articles. However, consider this: The Construction Specifications Institute’s “CSI MasterFormat™ Division List” is made up of 50 broad construction categories, 35 of which are currently in use. Within those 35 categories are hundreds of subcategories, each with sub-sub categories of their own. ​In short, when it comes to the construction and alternative energy industries, there are hundreds of thousands of unique, specialized, and distinctive products and services that make up those industries. Quite frankly, without knowing your company, its products and services, your current needs, where in the buying process your prospects are, and what you need your marketing piece to do, it’s impossible to write enough relevant “samples” for you to make an educated decision. Since you have read this far into my website, I’d wager that my copy has been interesting enough to keep you engaged. When you decide to contact me, you’ll know that my objective for this website has been achieved. If I can write well enough for you to take the desired action, I’m sure you’d agree that I’ll be able to motivate your prospects to do the same.




What about drafts and revisions? Are they included in your fee?


Of course, the fee for the piece includes both. As much as every copywriter would like to hit it out of the park on the first pitch, it’s not as common as we’d like. Frequently, the first draft is “close, but no cigar!” Heck, even Babe Ruth struck out twice as many times as he hit home runs. But that’s what first drafts are all about, right? They’re called “first drafts” for a reason. So, the second draft can nail down the finer details; clarify or fine tune exactly what you want to achieve with the marketing piece. More than likely, there’ll be a second draft. Perhaps even a third. The goal isn’t speed (although sooner rather than later is always helpful). The goal is conveying the right message and getting the right response. Once we have that, we’re (quite literally) “golden.” That’s when we call it the “final draft.”




Do you have an hourly rate?


Let me answer that question this way: If you’re shopping for a copywriter based on price, I’d recommend you check out Elance, or something similar. There are lots of copywriters out there who will work for less than I do. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for value, you’re the kind of client I want to work with. Here’s why: My work produces results. Positive results. Profitable results. Every advertising dollar you spend is an investment in your company’s success. A good copywriter is an integral part of that investment. And a first-tier copywriter gives you measurable value by producing higher-than-average ROI on your investment.




We're considering trying out a freelance copywriter for a few projects - what can you offer that others can't?


Simple. What I offer my clients is the best of both the copywriting and construction worlds. With four decades of experience in both industries, I have a far greater understanding of the challenges, needs and interests of my clients, and their prospects. ​And, I specialize in copywriting only for the construction and alternative energy industries. That’s something that few, if any, of my colleagues can offer. A college education in English Literature and Marketing. A stint as a stringer for a county-wide newspaper back in 1972 and 1973. And 40-plus years of experience writing, editing, and publishing books, articles, press releases, brochures, position papers, advertising, website content pages, white papers, case studies, and a host of other marketing materials. Providing for a growing family led me into the construction industry. In just over 35 years, I started as an apprentice carpenter and finished as a Vice President of Construction for a development company in Denver, CO. Along the way, I was a senior project manager, senior estimator, and senior buyer for an enormous variety of construction materials, supplies, hardware, tools, equipment, and vehicles. For 35 years, I held down two full-time jobs. I retired from the construction industry in 2008 and now write full-time.





About Tom Coalson

We're considering trying out a freelance copywriter for a few projects - what can you offer that others can't?


Simple. What I offer my clients is the best of both the copywriting and construction worlds. With four decades of experience in both industries, I have a far greater understanding of the challenges, needs and interests of my clients, and their prospects. ​And, I specialize in copywriting only for the construction and alternative energy industries. That’s something that few, if any, of my colleagues can offer. A college education in English Literature and Marketing. A stint as a stringer for a county-wide newspaper back in 1972 and 1973. And 40-plus years of experience writing, editing, and publishing books, articles, press releases, brochures, position papers, advertising, website content pages, white papers, case studies, and a host of other marketing materials. Providing for a growing family led me into the construction industry. In just over 35 years, I started as an apprentice carpenter and finished as a Vice President of Construction for a development company in Denver, CO. Along the way, I was a senior project manager, senior estimator, and senior buyer for an enormous variety of construction materials, supplies, hardware, tools, equipment, and vehicles. For 35 years, I held down two full-time jobs. I retired from the construction industry in 2008 and now write full-time.




What makes you stand out as a copywriter?


Other than industry experience, specialized training and an old-school work ethic? A lot of people would say that I’m very easy to work with. They’d also make note of my total COMMITMENT to a project’s success, however the client defines “success” at the beginning of each project. Creating that success is a process, and that process requires your input. Right up front, you’ll find that I ask questions. Lots of questions.The only way we can turn out a successful project is if we’re broadcasting on the same wavelength. To clearly communicate your message to your prospects, we first need to communicate clearly with each other.




What else should I know about you?


Anything you want to know. I’m always ready to answer any questions you may have about My Construction Copywriter, myself and any of our services. Just give me a call, drop me an e-mail or contact me through this website.





Long-Term Accounts

Do you take on long-term accounts?


Yes. And for you, that’s always the most cost-efficient way to handle a freelance relationship. Knowing a product, service or company intimately means less of my time-investment involved in basic research, learning your process and personnel, and getting the lay of the land. For the same reasons, it’s a cost savings to you and your marketing department as well. Since it’s always easier and faster to work with a client you know, and who knows you, my project quote will typically be less than it would be for a new account. We both save time and money. It’s a win-win proposition.





Samples of Your Work

Why don't you have a "SAMPLES" page?


I do have a few samples of published articles on my Home Page under " Testimonials and Samples". However, consider this: The Construction Specifications Institute’s “CSI MasterFormat™ Division List” is made up of 50 broad construction categories, 35 of which are currently in use. Within those 35 categories are hundreds of subcategories, each with sub-sub categories of their own. ​In short, when it comes to the construction and alternative energy industries, there are hundreds of thousands of unique, specialized, and distinctive products and services that make up those industries. Quite frankly, without knowing your company, its products and services, your current needs, where in the buying process your prospects are, and what you need your marketing piece to do, it’s impossible to write enough relevant “samples” for you to make an educated decision. Since you have read this far into my website, I’d wager that my copy has been interesting enough to keep you engaged. When you decide to contact me, you’ll know that my objective for this website has been achieved. If I can write well enough for you to take the desired action, I’m sure you’d agree that I’ll be able to motivate your prospects to do the same.





Fees

What about drafts and revisions? Are they included in your fee?


Of course, the fee for the piece includes both. As much as every copywriter would like to hit it out of the park on the first pitch, it’s not as common as we’d like. Frequently, the first draft is “close, but no cigar!” Heck, even Babe Ruth struck out twice as many times as he hit home runs. But that’s what first drafts are all about, right? They’re called “first drafts” for a reason. So, the second draft can nail down the finer details; clarify or fine tune exactly what you want to achieve with the marketing piece. More than likely, there’ll be a second draft. Perhaps even a third. The goal isn’t speed (although sooner rather than later is always helpful). The goal is conveying the right message and getting the right response. Once we have that, we’re (quite literally) “golden.” That’s when we call it the “final draft.”




So how do you charge? What are your fees? How do you bill? And, do you use contracts?


Fees vary for the type of project, its length, the amount of research required and so on. When you call to discuss your copywriting project, I'll be able to give you a rough estimate at that time. Once we get off the phone, I'll sit back, do a little research on your company, its website and content to get a feel for your "voice" and style. Then I'll formalize a proposal for you on price and schedule. You will typically have this proposal in hand the following business day. There are no surprises. Your contract will stipulate the fee and terms exactly. A 50% deposit is due prior to commencing work and the balance is due once work is completed. You will be charged no more, and no less.
Should the scope of the project be changed at any time during the project, I will discuss with you what ramifications that will have on the fee and schedule (if any). If there are any changes, they will be formalized in a Change Order to the contract. No new work will be started without receiving a signed Change Order.





Contracts

So how do you charge? What are your fees? How do you bill? And, do you use contracts?


Fees vary for the type of project, its length, the amount of research required and so on. When you call to discuss your copywriting project, I'll be able to give you a rough estimate at that time. Once we get off the phone, I'll sit back, do a little research on your company, its website and content to get a feel for your "voice" and style. Then I'll formalize a proposal for you on price and schedule. You will typically have this proposal in hand the following business day. There are no surprises. Your contract will stipulate the fee and terms exactly. A 50% deposit is due prior to commencing work and the balance is due once work is completed. You will be charged no more, and no less.
Should the scope of the project be changed at any time during the project, I will discuss with you what ramifications that will have on the fee and schedule (if any). If there are any changes, they will be formalized in a Change Order to the contract. No new work will be started without receiving a signed Change Order.





Billing

So how do you charge? What are your fees? How do you bill? And, do you use contracts?


Fees vary for the type of project, its length, the amount of research required and so on. When you call to discuss your copywriting project, I'll be able to give you a rough estimate at that time. Once we get off the phone, I'll sit back, do a little research on your company, its website and content to get a feel for your "voice" and style. Then I'll formalize a proposal for you on price and schedule. You will typically have this proposal in hand the following business day. There are no surprises. Your contract will stipulate the fee and terms exactly. A 50% deposit is due prior to commencing work and the balance is due once work is completed. You will be charged no more, and no less.
Should the scope of the project be changed at any time during the project, I will discuss with you what ramifications that will have on the fee and schedule (if any). If there are any changes, they will be formalized in a Change Order to the contract. No new work will be started without receiving a signed Change Order.





Charges

So how do you charge? What are your fees? How do you bill? And, do you use contracts?


Fees vary for the type of project, its length, the amount of research required and so on. When you call to discuss your copywriting project, I'll be able to give you a rough estimate at that time. Once we get off the phone, I'll sit back, do a little research on your company, its website and content to get a feel for your "voice" and style. Then I'll formalize a proposal for you on price and schedule. You will typically have this proposal in hand the following business day. There are no surprises. Your contract will stipulate the fee and terms exactly. A 50% deposit is due prior to commencing work and the balance is due once work is completed. You will be charged no more, and no less.
Should the scope of the project be changed at any time during the project, I will discuss with you what ramifications that will have on the fee and schedule (if any). If there are any changes, they will be formalized in a Change Order to the contract. No new work will be started without receiving a signed Change Order.





Change Orders

So how do you charge? What are your fees? How do you bill? And, do you use contracts?


Fees vary for the type of project, its length, the amount of research required and so on. When you call to discuss your copywriting project, I'll be able to give you a rough estimate at that time. Once we get off the phone, I'll sit back, do a little research on your company, its website and content to get a feel for your "voice" and style. Then I'll formalize a proposal for you on price and schedule. You will typically have this proposal in hand the following business day. There are no surprises. Your contract will stipulate the fee and terms exactly. A 50% deposit is due prior to commencing work and the balance is due once work is completed. You will be charged no more, and no less.
Should the scope of the project be changed at any time during the project, I will discuss with you what ramifications that will have on the fee and schedule (if any). If there are any changes, they will be formalized in a Change Order to the contract. No new work will be started without receiving a signed Change Order.





Hourly Rate

Do you have an hourly rate?


Let me answer that question this way: If you’re shopping for a copywriter based on price, I’d recommend you check out Elance, or something similar. There are lots of copywriters out there who will work for less than I do. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for value, you’re the kind of client I want to work with. Here’s why: My work produces results. Positive results. Profitable results. Every advertising dollar you spend is an investment in your company’s success. A good copywriter is an integral part of that investment. And a first-tier copywriter gives you measurable value by producing higher-than-average ROI on your investment.





The Voice

Please describe your writing style.


“Conversational.” Talking directly to your prospects, in a conversational tone, engages them more quickly, and helps keep them engaged. Technical talk is great for engineers talking to other engineers and (to a degree) might work well in some white papers. But the “unique value proposition” of your product or service lies in solving your prospects’ problems or fulfilling their needs. The “voice” we choose for the marketing piece is determined by a number of factors: the type of marketing piece, where the piece fits into the buying process, the ‘voice’ used in prior pieces, the purpose of the piece, and so on.





Do You Work with Designers

How do you work? Copy first or design?


If the project is direct-mail, long-form (or something similar), I prefer to get the copy nailed down first. At that point, I can work with your designers on sidebars, graphics, placement, inserts, etc., and adding copy, or modifying it if necessary. That being said, it doesn’t always happen that way, and I’m comfortable working with your designers at any stage of the process. And while we’re on the subject of designers; I’m a firm believer that design does not “make” the marketing piece. I’m also every bit as certain that copy, no matter how good, doesn’t either. The best, most successful marketing pieces in history have always been a productive collaboration between the designer and the copywriter. It’s that sort of winning “partnership” I strive to achieve.





B2B

Do you write B2B or B2C copy, or both?


Primarily, I stick with B2B copy. However, I will (on occasion) take on B2C copy projects ... if the subject is “off-grid living,” alternative energy, or “green” building products.





B2C

Do you write B2B or B2C copy, or both?


Primarily, I stick with B2B copy. However, I will (on occasion) take on B2C copy projects ... if the subject is “off-grid living,” alternative energy, or “green” building products.





Clients

What kind of clients do you typically work with?


None of my clients are “typical.” Each one has a unique individuality, and different challenges, needs and interests. As such, I treat each client with that uppermost in mind, and with the respect each deserves. I work with small businesses and large ones. I write for companies that sell a product or provide a service, or both. Manufacturers, distributors, architects, builders, material suppliers, jobbers, and so on. I work with in-house marketing teams, boutique marketing firms, web designers, and ad agencies. There are only two overarching themes that my clients have in common: the construction industry and the alternative energy industry.





Copywriting Formats

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





KMCP

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





Case Studies

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





Content

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





Emails / Autoresponders

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





White Papers

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





Articles

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





Newsletters

What types of copywriting formats do you produce?


I’m trained, experienced, and top-tier when it comes to producing excellent copy in any format you may need. But I excel in four distinct specialties: Key Message Copy Platforms Case Studies Content (Articles, white papers, newsletters)​ Email & Autoresponders For a complete list of the types of formats I work in, please give us a call and we'll discuss your specific project.





Drafts / Revisions

What about drafts and revisions? Are they included in your fee?


Of course, the fee for the piece includes both. As much as every copywriter would like to hit it out of the park on the first pitch, it’s not as common as we’d like. Frequently, the first draft is “close, but no cigar!” Heck, even Babe Ruth struck out twice as many times as he hit home runs. But that’s what first drafts are all about, right? They’re called “first drafts” for a reason. So, the second draft can nail down the finer details; clarify or fine tune exactly what you want to achieve with the marketing piece. More than likely, there’ll be a second draft. Perhaps even a third. The goal isn’t speed (although sooner rather than later is always helpful). The goal is conveying the right message and getting the right response. Once we have that, we’re (quite literally) “golden.” That’s when we call it the “final draft.”





Design

How do you work? Copy first or design?


If the project is direct-mail, long-form (or something similar), I prefer to get the copy nailed down first. At that point, I can work with your designers on sidebars, graphics, placement, inserts, etc., and adding copy, or modifying it if necessary. That being said, it doesn’t always happen that way, and I’m comfortable working with your designers at any stage of the process. And while we’re on the subject of designers; I’m a firm believer that design does not “make” the marketing piece. I’m also every bit as certain that copy, no matter how good, doesn’t either. The best, most successful marketing pieces in history have always been a productive collaboration between the designer and the copywriter. It’s that sort of winning “partnership” I strive to achieve.





Construction

We're considering trying out a freelance copywriter for a few projects - what can you offer that others can't?


Simple. What I offer my clients is the best of both the copywriting and construction worlds. With four decades of experience in both industries, I have a far greater understanding of the challenges, needs and interests of my clients, and their prospects. ​And, I specialize in copywriting only for the construction and alternative energy industries. That’s something that few, if any, of my colleagues can offer. A college education in English Literature and Marketing. A stint as a stringer for a county-wide newspaper back in 1972 and 1973. And 40-plus years of experience writing, editing, and publishing books, articles, press releases, brochures, position papers, advertising, website content pages, white papers, case studies, and a host of other marketing materials. Providing for a growing family led me into the construction industry. In just over 35 years, I started as an apprentice carpenter and finished as a Vice President of Construction for a development company in Denver, CO. Along the way, I was a senior project manager, senior estimator, and senior buyer for an enormous variety of construction materials, supplies, hardware, tools, equipment, and vehicles. For 35 years, I held down two full-time jobs. I retired from the construction industry in 2008 and now write full-time.





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