Writing FAQ

Q: Ours will be a corporate website. We need help defining our voice and projecting the right image. Can you help?

A: Of course! I’ve written corporate web content for small manufacturers, email hosting providers, global business development firms, digital printing and CRM marketing firms, and more. In each case, following interviews and an initial draft, the sought-after corporate voice emerged. One of the best ways to help me find your “voice” is to point me to other web sites that have a voice you like, or to provide your existing messaging documents.

Q: I notice you don’t have experience in my particular industry. How will you be able to write my copy?

A: Great question. I’m a consummate researcher and love to learn and write about new things. Since I’ve been writing, I’ve discovered more than I could have imagined about Net Promoter, the customer reference industry, the internal workings of sales organizations, book publishing from acquisitions to production, foreclosures and the mortgage business, thermoset and thermoplastics molding, the pet product market from both the retail and distributor side, global business development and the challenges of technology firms, web design and hosting, real estate–from both the agent and consumer side, and much, much more. To answer your question, I’ll write your copy the same way I write ALL copy–I’ll learn as much as I can about your business and industry, and find out who your audience is, and what they want. Only then can I, or any copywriter, begin to write.

By the way, just because you don’t see on my site copy that represents YOUR industry doesn’t mean I haven’t written such copy. I sign many non-disclosure agreements, which prevent me from posting certain copy samples to my site.

Q: Our corporation needs additional content. If we provide you with an outline of what we’re looking for, can you develop original content?

A: Again, yes. One of my specialties is developing original content based on an outline. I’ll make sure the voice and style fits with your existing content. And naturally, I’ll make sure it’s keyword-rich and optimized for search.

Q: I need free publicity for my web site. Can you help?

A: Yes, in a number of ways. I can help you find a newsworthy angle and write a press release around that angle. I can help you come up with ideas for what are known as “evergreen” press releases, and then write those releases for you. (You can promote and people will access evergreen releases all year long; they’re not dependent on an event or happening in which the public’s interest comes and goes.) Or, I can ghostwrite an article that you can publish, give away, or sell–if your name is on the cover then you’re known as the “expert.” However, you should also know that I’m not a PR person; I don’t have media contacts. You’ll either need to develop your own media list, or hire a PR professional.

Q: Do you do brochures, flyers, and letters for direct mail?

A: Yes, but typically, I write copy only. I’m not a designer, although I do think visually and have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. If you’d like me to work directly with your designer, and to suggest layout and graphical elements, please let me know.

Q: Do you offer retainer-based services?

A: Yes. If you head a busy marketing or sales department, or if you’re an entrepreneur wearing many hats in a rapidly growing business, you may need on-going assistance for, say:

  • Blog post writing and editing
  • Proposal editing
  • PowerPoint presentation editing
  • White paper writing and editing
  • Case study writing and editing
  • Training material writing and editing
  • Press release writing and editing
  • Email writing and editing

In such cases, we can work out a retainer relationship whereby I commit to a certain number of hours per week or per month at a guaranteed hourly rate and with guaranteed priority service. Please drop me a line if you’re interested in engaging me for a retainer-based relationship with your company.

Q: We’re getting ready to create our marketing collateral but can’t afford your fees. However, we would like to get your input on how best to write the pieces, and we may even want to hire you to edit what we write. Is that possible?

A: Absolutely. I’d be glad to help you develop a solid outline for one or more pieces, advising you on what would work best, where; I can also help you conceptualize and outline a series of pieces for every step of your sales process. Should you decide to write one or more pieces yourself, I’ll be happy to edit for you.

Q: Do you think we should use testimonials in our print pieces?

A: Without hesitation! I could ramble on and on about myself. I could tell you why I’m so wonderful. I could tell you why I think you should hire me. But when you read even 100 words from my happy customers, you’ll feel more confident in me, and be more likely to believe what I say. Same goes for you and YOUR customers.

Q: Can you collect testimonials we can use in our collateral?

A: Yes. I charge $250 for each finished testimonial. How this works is that you supply me with the names and contact information of each customer you’d like to speak on your behalf. I’ll ask that you get in touch with those customers yourself first and let them know I’ll be calling. This step isn’t necessary, but it helps if your customers are expecting me. You should also find out if they’d prefer to be interviewed by email or phone. Next, I’ll prepare a short list of questions, send them to you for approval and or changes, and then get in touch with your customers according to their preferences. If the interviews take place by phone, I record the calls with your customers’ permissions.Then, I prepare the testimonials and send them back to your customers for their approval. Once your customers have signed off on the testimonials, they’ll be yours to use however you’d like!

Q: Do you do other creative stuff—like concept creation, taglines, slogans, company names and domain names?

A: Yes, I’ll help you develop business names with matching domain names; come up with taglines and concepts that communicate your messages succinctly; and anything else related to business and words. I require a four-hour minimum engagement for projects like these. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch!

Q: What if I don’t like your work?

A: If you don’t like what you’ve read on my site … if you don’t like the samples in my portfolio … then I beg of you, please, don’t hire me! It’s important that you like your writer’s “voice.” On the other hand, if you DO like what you “hear,” here and throughout this website, then I can almost guarantee that you will like what I do for you. And if for some reason I miss the mark on my first draft (which is quite rare because of the time I spend researching and asking questions beforehand), just let me know. My fee always includes a round of in-scope revisions.

Q: How long will it take you to write my copy?

A: It depends on my existing schedule—and on how much copy you need. I’m typically booked two to three weeks in advance, and I often have at least one retainer client. If you engage me today, I’d schedule you in at the end of my queue. Typical times to deliver a solid first draft follow:

  • Trifold brochure: 5-7 business days​
  • Web content (1 page): 3 business days
  • Direct mail letter (1 page): 7-10 business days
  • Ghostwritten article (1,500 words): 7-14 business days
  • Press release (1 page): 3 business days

Note that these are estimates only. Once I know the scope of your project, I’ll give you a solid delivery date. And, by the way, I ALWAYS strive to meet, or beat, my deadlines.

Q: How do we get started?

A: Send me a note through my contact form. Pick up the phone and give me a call at 828.685-7370. Or connect with me on Skype or Google Hangouts; I'm WriterRen in both places. We’ll discuss your project. I’ll give you a quote. If my fees are within your budget, then the process begins! If you prefer, fill out my online Request for Quote form by clicking the button below.


REQUEST A QUOTE

Use my Google form to send me details about your project,
and I'll get back to you with questions or a quote.


Q: How do you pronounce your last name?

A: My last name, Gregoire, sounds just like memoir. But instead of MEM-oir, it’s GREG-oire. The “e” at the end of my last name is silent. And yes, it’s French, but I married it. My maiden name is the German “Rost.” (And my first name, Renae, is pronounced like the more commonly spelled “Renee.” My mother said she didn’t want people calling me Ree-Knee, so she spelled my name RenAe.Thanks Mom!)

Q: What's something interesting or strange about you?

A: I don't know if it qualifies as "strange," but I'm a deltiologist. Don't worry; I won't make you look that up. A deltiologist is someone who collects postcards! I've been a lover of travel and cultures since my early teen years, writing away for "free" travel brochures advertised in my parent's magazines. There was no Internet back then; I had to stamp and mail actual letters! Also back then, in one of those same magazines, I discovered an ad for International Pen Friends, a company offering to connect me with "penpals," people around the world who wanted exchange letters, postcards, and perhaps even small souvenirs with me. I couldn't resist! Since then, I've jump back in and out of the penpal and postcard hobbies over the years, and it's still something I love to do -- when I have time. Oh, and I even started a postcard blog, over at www.thelaptoptraveler.com. If you visit, you'll see that it's way out of date because I've been busy serving customers and raising kids. But I haven't stopped collecting postcards.... One of these days I'll hire someone to scan my collection so I can start learning, and posting, and sharing again.