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Enterprise

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Copywriting for Enterprise

As an enterprise-scale company, your copywriting and content marketing requirements are anything but static: as different initiatives kick off, your internal team or existing agencies may not be able to handle the shifting, often-relentless demands.

You want copywriters and content strategists who deeply understand your business goals—and have the skills required to deliver them. Even better, you'd love if these resources could ebb and flow with your needs—which can ramp up or pull back unpredictably.

A Plug-in and Go Service

That's where MarketSmiths comes in. We're a dedicated copywriting agency equipped to plug into existing enterprise content requirements—without the headache of finding, wrangling, and editing freelance or contract writers.

We successfully service exclusive, multi-year contracts with some of the largest companies in the world. With elite quality control, the skills (and scale) to complete large projects on tight deadlines, and the know-how to satisfy multiple stakeholders, our services are a joy. With several ways to engage, you get an on-demand solution.

Benefits of Working With Us

Capacity

Functioning as an extension of your team, MarketSmiths augments your staff for growth marketing campaigns, high-volume / high-quality copywriting services, one-off projects such as website relaunches, and more. You get more done with less overhead.

Quality

Your copywriting team tosses the quality bar high against the sky—and holds it firmly there. How? By deeply getting 3 things: your brand, your audience, and your trickiest subject matter. Our process makes us that elusive breed of copywriter: a sure thing.

ROI

We work across complex industries, speedily discovering the necessary insights to hand you crisp, consistent, dazzling copy. All you have to do is give us your marching orders, lightly review draft after solid draft—and watch your numbers (traffic, leads, revenues) rise.

Opening an Account with MarketSmiths

Some clients know exactly what they want. Others want copy support, but they’re a little less clear on the what, where, and when. For the latter, we’d recommend opening an account with MarketSmiths.

Our most flexible solution gives you every possibility under the sun. If you’re not sure of your copy priorities and want the freedom to vary things up, this is the option to choose.

Together, we'll set a budget. You make requests, and your dedicated copywriting team delivers draft after polished draft. We'll simply notify you when it’s time to replenish your balance.

From the start, you can choose anything from our extensive menu of products and services. One week, you might request an ebook. The next, you might ask for a byline—and a trio of speaker submissions for an upcoming conference.

Maybe you’ll pause the pace for a week or a month...then ask us to kick in some content strategy, edit a one-pager, rewrite a sales deck, or fulfill an ad campaign. Whatever you’d like, we deliver it quickly, efficiently, and strategically—with no handholding required.

Some clients want us to follow their lead. Others are looking to us for direction. We can do both. Maybe we'll write a series of blog posts (using topics we pitch)—and then convert them into an ebook or course guide. Maybe you want to repurpose old assets into new ones, with more shine—like Aladdin’s lamp. 

Some clients take months to use up their budget; others do so in weeks. Your account never expires, there’s no rush to deplete it, and renewals only happen with your consent.

Contact MarketSmiths!

Reach out to learn more and get captivating copywriting.

Questions?

Here are the most common ones we receive:

On the Economy

Today, we’re going to talk about the economy. The economy of words. (12.)

Copywriters live in a world of word count—and so should you. (25.)

I don’t want to open a web page and see a book on the screen. I’m not going to read it. You want to cap most website pages at around 300 words. Above the fold. If I have to scroll through your website copy, I’m done. (72.)

For a blog post, see . It’s no coincidence there’s a “god” in his name. Seth gets away with 100 words, maybe 150. But the rest of us need you to get indexed, and search engines won’t index anything less than 250. For , that’s the limit. (122.)

Let’s face it. A website or blog that nobody reads isn’t going to get you business. That’s why it’s critical to tell your story cleanly, quickly, and compellingly. Tell it and let them contact you for more. (160.)

I know that digital space is free, but you simply cannot—cannot—ramble. On a web page, rambling = mumbling. No one’s listening (reading). (185. Yikes.)

Speak clearly, decisively, and get heard (read). Tell the truth. Make it interesting. Think of how you’d feel if you were them, and you needed a reason to care. No, put away that copy sledgehammer. That’s not what I’m talking about. Work on your seduction technique. Look them in the eye. Roll your hips. Walk away. (243.)

Convinced? Good. My work here is done. (250.)

How a Great LinkedIn Profile Pays Off

4 weeks ago, I mentioned that I rewrote my LinkedIn profile, maximizing our keywords and completing all sections. As a copywriter, I'm thrilled to report all the ways this has paid off.

Here are the stats:

1. As of today, I'm connected with 767 people on LinkedIn (October 2012 update: over 1,000 people). About 250 of them approached me after I rewrote my profile: that's 250 people in four weeks. Soon, I expect to be numerically on par with the 1,254 personal contacts I have on Facebook. It's not bragging: when it comes to sales and marketing, this really IS a numbers game.

2. Case in point: 3 people from my 2nd and 3rd tiers--those are people I don't know--have reached out to me to ask about our copywriting services. Two of the three have hired us, and one of those is a very big copywriting project. I've also been in touch with a few MarketSmiths copywriting leads from months past. So the visibility of the profile has produced results.

3. Best of all, if you're one of thousands in my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier of LinkedIn contacts, then punch in the search term "copywriter," and see who appears as no. 1. Me. Yes, I'm the no. 1 copywriter out of over 87,000 search results. And I'm not willing to give up that position anytime soon.

Now I'm working on producing the same result for MarketSmiths, so that my copywriters can craft great content everywhere it's needed.

And I hope to be doing the same for you, whether you're a start-up entrepreneur, or the managing director of a Fortune 500 company. Check out our LinkedIn profile services, see if your profile measures up, and if it doesn't, drop me a line at info@MarketSmiths.com!

LinkedIn Profile

I rewrote my LinkedIn profile last week. I was fresh from LinkedIn training with the wonderful Ana Quillinan, and I realized that my profile didn’t contain information which would lead people to find us. No longer...

90 million professionals, and a social media engine so active that it reaches deep into not just your address book—but also anyone you’ve ever been on an email distribution list with. That’s LinkedIn. It’s potent, it’s powerful, and like it or not, it’s sticking around.

It was crucial for me to write:

  • A headline that could be found by people who need copywriting and content strategy
  • A personal summary that conveys tangible things
  • A list of products and services that spells it out
  • A company overview that embodies MarketSmiths in all our cheeky glory—yet communicates crisply how to take advantage of our great copywriting services.

It was crucial for me to create an Amazon reading list for my contacts. To showcase all of the reasons (i.e. books: largely fiction) I devote my life in service to the written word. In service to great copywriting.

Now that I know how to craft it, I offer it to you (with Ana’s blessings). Yep. We’ll write your profile so that people can find you, learn about you, connect with you, and (most importantly) remember you. We’ll craft a story about you in our way: a story that’s compelling—but not too over-the-top for this still-fairly-buttoned-down forum.

Because without a really good LinkedIn profile, you’re blowing hot air into places no one's looking.

If you're ready to have a copywriting professional craft a LinkedIn profile that is easily found, absorbed and read, understood and felt, and acted upon, please email info@MarketSmiths.com, and get a quote on your profile today!

What Kind of Writer Are You? Part 2: “The VAST Grill of their Imagination”

In my last blog post, I talked about the pervasive problem of perspective—and why you need a copywriter to fix it.

In this post, I’m going to presume that you want something more than workhorse writing for your website, blog, book, bio, etc. I’m going to presume you want copy that will make your readers happy, draw them to you, kill them with glee.

To sum up: Most writing is what I call basic “workhorse” writing. But when you write about yourself, there’s a lack of perspective that paralyzes you, or has you saying too much (call it: mumbling on paper).

You might hire a copywriter to take care of it. But is your copywriter just another workhorse—one with an outsider’s perspective? Or is he or she truly exceptional?

An exceptional copywriter would extract and deliver only the truth of what you do. Strip away the b.s., and leave a bare-naked message that resonates with the widest possible swath of readers.

An exceptional copywriter would take that message and convert it into something urgent, something that feels like nourishment. Not for you, silly. For your market.

A really exceptional copywriter would elevate that nourishment to a place of sheer delight. A place that fires up the grill of their imaginations—but leads them exactly where you want them to go. A place that has them clamoring for more. No matter what your industry.

If you can find these skills in yourself or in a copywriter, hold onto him or her. If you can’t, then give us a call.

What Kind of Writer Are You? Part 1: “Pruning & Perspective”

I hear it from clients all the time. “I’m a good writer,” they say. I never deny it.

But then they tell me about their struggle to write website copy. They tell me they want to blog more, but they haven’t posted since April…of 2010. They confess that writing for themselves is a surefire recipe for procrastination, frustration, unhappiness. And my heart goes out to them because I know how that feels.

Here’s what I think. Being a ‘good’ writer is common. Thank goodness. For the most part, people can spell; they grasp grammar and punctuation; they understand (in theory) proper usage of “their,” “there,” and “they’re.”

Most writing gets the point across. It’s what I call basic “workhorse” writing.

What makes copywriting so challenging for workhorse writers (heck, everyone) is a failure of perspective. Most people do not know how to introduce themselves on paper. To perfect strangers. They have detailed demographics and a ready list of bullet points—but they are too close (and too emotionally invested) to intuit what will actually sell.

This failed perspective often results in two things. One: paralysis. Two: the copywriting equivalent of a tsunami. The conviction that you’ve got to mention everything—and dazzle them under the weight of your arguments.

They’re more likely to end up dazed—and squashed.

At a basic level, a copywriter ought to know how to create clean nuggets of information—and not a single word more. It shouldn’t take 600 words to convey 250.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what to look for in an exceptional copywriter.

When in Doubt: Write What You Say

Here's a Q&A that's been getting some attention.

Spring Design Partners: For many Brand professionals, writing doesn't come naturally or easily. What's the best way to produce content that gets results?

MarketSmiths: Personally, I'm glad that the marketplace insists on strong ideas, opinions, personality, and presence from Brands today: not only does it raise the bar, it puts copywriters with talent in terrific demand. But I agree: even for the most prolific Brand professionals, it's tough to keep up. So here's one trick that gets results: write what you say.

Every day, we interview at least one client who professes not to know what to write—yet knows exactly what to say. Our clients' voices are nearly always lucid and intelligent and ripe and intact. Yet—nearly without exception—they demur when it comes to written content. The presumption is that writing—even copywriting—should be formal, neutral, and structured. The counter-presumption is that it needs to accomplish miracles.

Whatever leftover hangups anyone might have about term papers or dissertations, it's time to let them go, and let your brain show its stuff on the page. If you need to, you can always hire a copywriter to turbo-charge your naked thoughts—after the fact. But what you believe is important—and your audience deserves to know about it.

And when you're thinking in terms of miracles, remember that less is more.

Of course, if you're using stale jargon and tired business clichés to describe what your brand is about, then there's work to be done. Look within—and find out what differentiates your brand. And then: talk it out.

How to Write a Blog Post

We love ghostwriting blogs for clients. It’s breezy; it’s fun; and it splits responsibilities efficiently: expertise on one side (our clients’), and delivery on the other (ours).

Of course, ghostwriting a blog post is free of baggage. When you write your own blog, you need to wrestle with a host of issues that range from lack of perspective to marathon bouts of procrastination. Haven't posted for six months? Join the club!

Still, as blog ghostwriters, we have picked up a few tips on how to write blog posts that both gain attention--and also give YOU a sense of pleasure to craft! Here they are:

1. Never blog from a place of guilt, despair, or obligation. Not only are these wellsprings of drought, they’re also imaginary (just ask your best friend!). Instead, pull on delight & triumph: like mid-rise jeans, you’ll be amazed at how comfortably they fit.

2. Relatedly, good blogs don’t rise from struggle. Who wants to read that? Take a walk; read the Times; call an associate. Clear your heart.

3. Don't make the mistake of thinking your blog is about words. It’s not. It’s about concepts. From these lovely pulpits, the words will tumble (trust us!).

4. If your brain is going in new directions, see where it takes you. If it’s running amok, see #2.

5. Don’t feel like you have to put everything in there. To paraphrase our friend Rochelle Lisner (a business coach): No one knows if you left a chunk of your speech inside your brain. Only you know what you were “supposed” to say. The rest…is happy accident.

6. Do figure out your topic first, then adorn it with your personality. Don’t start with personality, then adorn with topic. It won’t have any substance.

7. Do. Not. Ramble.

8. Don’t be literal about your message. Figure out how it will also shower the world. Be it a new idea, a nifty tool, words of wisdom: you’re not writing it for you. This is “don’t play small” for the Dexter set.

I hope these come in handy for your next blog post. By all means, post your comments, and let us know how it goes!

Good Copywriting

Attacking reality TV is nothing new. If I didn’t already detest the format, a friend I admire gives me regular fodder. As the cast member on a show I won’t name, he is consistently directed to act less amazing than he is. With each sting comes a tiny death.

As a copywriter, I take these falsehoods personally. As with copy, TV can be a medium for showcasing what’s original, fresh, clever, and true. Worthy TV is easy to find (thank goodness), but most reality TV chooses to be a juggernaut: bleak, formulaic, and murderous to mind and spirit.

Yesterday, I glimpsed a new way. At 4pm this afternoon, True Life’s I’m Getting A Second Chance premieres on MTV. I’ve been excited about this show, since my dear friend and client Elena Rubin is in it. Last night’s sneak peek blew me away.

The show focuses on Samr “Rocky” Tayeh. At 18, he weighed nearly 600 pounds. Now in his 20s, surgery has eliminated the excess weight and skin (something you don’t think about, do you?). As of last summer, he still treated food like a fat person. So they brought in life coach Laurie Gerber to reinvent his outlook.

I’m Getting A Second Chance is a made-for-TV documentary. Gone are toxic fights and ADD-inducing jump cuts. These are replaced by 1) a laser focus on Rocky, 2) a narrative arc that’s real, and 3) a positive message. It took months to film and nearly a year to make, and like everything that requires effort, it’s far more worthwhile to watch. I cried with the onscreen Rocky, as the offscreen Rocky sat 3’ to my left. I celebrated, too—and came away different.

If you know me or follow this blog, you know I like to pit good copy against bad copy (get it?). Similarly, talented producer Josh Haygood breaks through an abused medium to land on resonant turf…then rise above it. Good reality TV works harder to find the truth and bring it to light. Bad reality TV processes junk food—and leaves you wanting more of what’s bad for you.

The moral? Doing it right is worth everything. Do you agree? Please share with us your rants or raves on reality TV and the art of copywriting.

Are You A Doorknob, or a Doorway?

The other day, I was at a networking event--nothing unusual, to be sure. Three life insurance brokers were there: competing for a seat at the table. The first stood up.

"I'm a life insurance broker. I help people create security, and feed them a lifeline into their futures. They can have peace of mind for their loved ones, and cash flow, too," he said. Not bad, I thought. Generic, but eloquent.

A minute later, the second stood up, said her name, and pointed vaguely at the first. "I do what he does, only for a different company," she said, amidst laughter.

The third took his turn. "I'm the exact same person as those other two, only I work for THIS company," he said. More laughter. Now it was an in-joke. But my inner MarketSmith reeled.

Here was an opportunity to deliver a captivating pitch: to set oneself high above a visible throng. A commercial well delivered is candy for the listener...and frankly, butter for the wallet. But what had just happened?

Broker no. 2 identified herself as a commodity--no more skilled or sensible than a hammer, a fork, a doorknob.

Broker no. 3 took this further. He admitted to a factory seal--without warranty. Who's going to hire him?

Even commoditized businesses need to humanize themselves. Some of the most fun I've had all year is mesmerizing a packed room with a speech ghostwritten for an electrician. Turns out what he does isn't a commodity at all: it's intricate, precise, perfectionist.

You're not a doorknob, silly. You're the bomb. But you owe us an explanation. If it's not your forte, well then give us a ring.

Copywritten with Care,

Jean

Why Do I Need to Hire a Copywriter?

Maybe you can’t design or program your own website. But you can sure as heck write your own marketing copy.

Right?

Not so fast.

We’re not suggesting you’re not a ‘good’ writer. Much writing—copy or otherwise—is perfectly competent. It’s ‘workhorse’ writing: communicative and technically correct.

But ask yourself four questions:

  1. Do you have perspective? When it comes to their own website copy, even people who write well have a tendency to flail. Some start in the middle—and then spin rapidly into outer space. Others throw in the kitchen sink. It’s tough to choose what to hone in on…to streamline…to organize. And so you wind up choosing everything—and leaving the reader to sort it all out. Sorry to say: they won’t bother.
  2. Do you know what makes you different? Truly different? Many businesses think they do…but haven’t gotten to the bottom of it yet. Every one of our MarketSmiths copywriting interviews is an intense investigation into what sets you apart. We investigate. We probe. We immerse. We do not put a single word to paper until and unless we have captured—not just a story—but an angle on a story. As with all compelling stories, your angle has a razor sharp edge.
  3. Can you take the intangible, and make it ring clear and real? Every business has intangibles. The trick is to interpret them in a way you can see, smell, touch, and desire.  A related skill is to take what’s earthbound (read: literal, tedious)—and set it to flight. Position it to ignite the reader’s imagination—and make him/her want it. An exceptional copywriter can do both of these things, and a whole lot more.
  4. Are you capable of inciting action? In as little as 2.6 seconds? That’s all the time you get before a reader makes a value judgment on whether to explore further—or go away.  

If your answer to one or more of the above questions is no, then please email info@MarketSmiths.com, and find out how MarketSmiths can help!

All the best,

Jean Tang and the MarketSmiths Team

MarketSmiths ®

Copywriting for Humans ®

For insights on brand positioning and corporate thought leadership.

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