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Archive for April 4th, 2010

Ah, the things a Charleston copywriter does these days to keep the checks coming!

This tale is about “these times” and the strength of professional relationships. First, these times. What can we say? By every objective economic measure, these times suck. It is all around us – people out of work, underworked or underpaid. And yet, as I said a while back, I keep chugging along. Not setting the world on fire by any means, but staying busy – and staying Thankful.

Then, a regular client comes to me with a proposition. A relative of his is a Realtor here in Charleston. He is representing a seller with about 500 acres of land in Manning SC. This is a large hunting property with many improvements where you can annihilate deer, doves, ducks and turkeys by day, while enjoying the amenities of a handsome new 4-bed, 2-bath cabin by night. If you know anything about hunting properties (and I do not,) you know that this is a rarity.

Of course, times being what they are, the sellers can’t sell as quickly as they would like. They want to sell, the Realtor wants his commission, so what do they do? Well, the Realtor turns to his cousin/uncle/whatever who runs a website development firm here in Charleston. This property needs a well-designed, well-written and well- optimized website – better designed, written and optimized than is currently affordable. The proposal is as follows: if we sell, I will pay you double. If we do not, it’s free.

The web dude agrees, but only if he can get his trusted designer – and his trusted writer (me) – to go along with it. So, I have a choice. It’s not like I need any more practice writing Real Estate. Since I moved to Charleston, I have done plenty. And, will this property ultimately sell? Who knows?

For me, it all turned on the professional relationship with the web dude. I asked myself, what would make me comfortable with the possibility of not being paid for my work? And the beginning, middle and end of the story is that I trust the guy. Of all my clients, I have precisely two that I would trust with this sort of arrangement.

I guess the point is that, despite the economic conditions, you ALWAYS have a choice who you work with. And it isn’t always about money. I have clients I have known for 20 years who take their sweet-ass time paying me, and I have clients I have known for about a minute who are my fastest pays.

I don’t want this to seem like a tortured decision process that took days…I trusted the guy, and I agreed. And I agreed to do my best work, fully aware that I may not get paid.

So I invite you to check out the site, and judge for yourself. Does this look like a guy doing a favor for his nephew, and dragging his begrudging web buddies along for the ride? Deep Creek Land for Sale.

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