Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hectic and Happy!

Wow! What a weekend. I am getting ready to go to my middle son’s house to watch the Super bowl.
I finished The Sant’ Yago Illuminated Knight Parade last night. (I belong to the Krewe of The Knights of Yago and we put on this parade.) This is all part of the annual Gasparilla celebration here in Tampa. (Tampa’s unique version of Mardis Gras.)
Our Krewe members spend an entire year planning and staging this event. It is the largest illuminated parade in the southeastern United States.

According to local news sources, it was a very beautiful parade and enjoyed by all.
Here’s to another successful endeavour.

Viva Sant’ Yago!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Check Out My New Website

If you went to my old website (, you've discovered that it is no longer in use. It served me well, but...I learned to build my own sites and did exactly that.

The new site is and is live. I like being able to add content at my convenience and control all aspects of the site. I can add video, change the look of the site, add photo's and add pages.

Feedback and criticism is welcomed. Just remember that this is a work in progress.

Friday, October 5, 2007

It’s Still The Same “Old” Story

Most of us have a tendency to make certain assumptions about different groups of people.
For instance, what are your assumptions when it comes to the elderly?

I recently had an insight into the thought processes of our senior population.
An 80-year old woman is quitting her job, because they are moving the location.
She picked her last day so as not to coincide with the retirement of another 80-year old woman in the same organization.
The other woman is, in her words–“a b*tch and I don’t want to be associated with her.”

After hearing that, I realized that the emotions that drive all of us do not diminish with age.
In some cases they fester for years and become even stronger.

I belong to an organization that has several senior members in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
Their blood runs just as hot on certain topics as does the emotions of the younger members.

As marketers, we need to remember that the elderly are just as emotion driven as the rest of us.
They have the same vanities, wants, needs, and fears as all of us.
Don’t discount emotion (think of the seven deadly sins) when you target your marketing to that group.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ah…Sweet Vindication!

Do you remember my rant about dealing with wannabe writers? I mentioned a client who had majored in journalism and how they have a tendency to nitpick your copy.

It seems that he wasn’t a partner in the venture as he claimed. He was an employee and didn’t have authorization to hire me.

When I sent a follow-up invoice noting that the bill was past due, I got a call from the real owner.

The former “partner” was no longer with the company, but had left some of my work in his desk when he departed. They needed more work done (including rewriting work that he’d done) and asked if I was available.

We reached an agreement on the outstanding bill and I now have a new (legitimate, this time) client.

I shouldn’t have picked on all journalism majors. I’ve worked with some who are great writers but admit that they aren’t copywriters. Others have more work than they can handle.

I guess the lesson here is to beware of someone who spends too most of his time telling you how great he is.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Saved By The Bell.

In my last post, I commented about practicing your copywriting skills. I stated that, since it was summer, you could practice from a hammock beneath a shade tree. I fully intended to follow my own advice, but then…I made the mistake of telling my wife.

That, my friends, was not a smart move! Soon, I had an ever-growing list of “around-the-house” projects that needed to be done. To be honest, I’ve put some of them (maybe, most of them) off for quite a while. So, good husband that I am I set out to due my duty.

But…after a couple of days of being scratched, burned, bruised, and battered in 93-degree heat…it was time to take drastic action. I contacted a few clients, “just to stay in touch.”

That magic “save-me formula” kicked in. Activity breeds activity. One of my clients replied to my email asking me to call. She wanted to discuss a few projects that were coming up. I dialed her number so fast the phone was smoking.

We discussed the projects and I made some notes. Her next question was, “How soon can you get a proposal to me?” (“As soon as I put this rake away,” I thought to myself.)

I told her that it would be on her desk within three days along with an available start date. As I wheeled a cart full of tools back to the shed, I saw my wife watching from the window (in the air-conditioning). I pointed to the phone in my hand and mouthed “client call.” She shook her head and mouthed something through the window. If I were a lip-reader, I’d swear she said, “You are one lucky S.O.B.”

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Dog Days of Summer

I can’t decide if I really like this time of year…or hate it. I love the weather but the copywriting business really slows down. I’ve got a couple of regular clients that give me some work on a monthly basis, but none of the deadline driven, heart-pounding, gotta-get-it done work that you get the rest of the year.

In some ways it’s nice. Having a lot of free time to laze around and take it easy, but it also can get a bit boring. (Please don’t show my wife this blog. The honey-do list will come out faster than her credit card at a shoe sale.)

So what do you do if you’re a copywriter with time on your hands? The best thing to do is study your craft. Since it’s summer, some of that studying should be done from a hammock under a nice shade tree.

The truth is…if you want to get into the upper echelons of this business, you should always strive for improvement. Top guys like Gary Bencivenga, Dr. Joe Vitale, Clayton Makepeace, Bob Bly, and Michael Masterson didn’t get there by taking it easy. So…I guess I’ll write some practice letters.

As the man said when asked how to get to Carnegie Hall, “Practice, my friend, practice, and more practice.”

Monday, July 23, 2007

Are You Ready For The Big Leagues?

Is it time for me to take a shot at the big leagues? I’m ready.

I received an email from AWAI’s Katie Yeakle requesting my biographical information. They’ve arranged to have the top AWAI copywriters and graphic artists listed in Target Marketing magazines “Who’s Charging What?” publication. We’ll be in the prestigious company of writers like Bob Bly, Clayton Makepeace, Krista Jones, and Monica Day.

The note came with this caveat. “If you don’t feel that you’re ready to try this…then don’t. Your name will go out to the top direct marketers in the industry. If you make a bad impression, you may never get another chance.” Scary stuff! It gave me pause for a moment. I don’t want to blow my chances at the ‘big time,” but then again, when will I get another opportunity like this?

I’ve been practicing my craft for about three years and have built up a nice selection of small clients. I’ve had some successes and a few failures. Most small clients don’t have the staff or budget to run a national campaign. The only way to find out if you have “the right stuff,” is to play in the big leagues. The only way you get to play in the big leagues is to take your shot when you get the chance.

I know I’ve got what it takes. Now I may get the chance to prove it. Realistically, I probably won’t get a shot at toppling a control right out of the chute…but if I get my foot in the door, I can show ‘em what I can do. As Michael Masterson says, “Ready, Fire, Aim!”

Hey…I’ve got the training, I’ve got the tools, and I’ve got the right attitude. As someone once said, “No Guts, No Glory!”