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Have you done your NCAA brackets yet? I did – I wrote Cincinnati Reds in all the slots just to mess with the poor dude in the office pool. So far, I’ve lost $260! Aside from that, what’s on the content and copywriting menu these days? Let’s take a look at what is flowing at various stages of the ol’ pipeline…

Fancy Pig says: Somehow, it doesn’t seem like March in South Carolina!

  • Writing a direct mail piece for landscaping supplier in South Carolina
  • Writing long form brochures and trifolds for a consumer electronics firm in Upstate New York
  • Blogging and social media management for a global leader in floral chemicals
  • Blogging for an Extended Stay motel chain in the Southeast
  • Writing a series of print ads for a gun manufacturer
  • Writing a website for a digital marketing agency in the Midwest
  • Writing a website for a dry cleaner in South Carolina
  • Writing a website for a real estate attorney in South Carolina
  • Writing a website for a pressure washing service in South Carolina

And the really important stuff:

  • Trying to decide if I am going to see Reverend Horton Heat on 3/25
  • and Freaking out that there’s only 4 weeks until Better Call Saul returns!

Do any of these sound like the type of thing you’re looking for? Print writing, web writing, video scripts or social media content? Spoiler talk for Better Call Saul? Anything is possible, so give me a holler at LivelyExchange (at) Gmail (dot) com!

frost

Beater Batmobile says: I am confused, as well!

social-marketing-certificate

Social Marketing Certified (and factory sealed!)

I have an ongoing social media gig, blogging and doing daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. We use the Hootsuite platform to centralize the daily scheduling and posting. It’s a nice way to get several weeks worth of posting done in a day, and it gives you a helpful aerial view of your content. Meaning, you post on several different types of topics in your subject area, and it’s good to spread them out evenly.

Anyway, there’s much more to Hootsuite that I have never explored. It’s that curiosity that led me to discover and pursue Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification. Basically, it’s a lot of theory and best practices on social media marketing and advertising, and a lot of the technical aspects of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and so on. What works, what doesn’t, which platform will work best for YOU, constructing ad campaigns, measuring the outcomes, and on and on. Interesting stuff.

It took a lot of the summer and fall to complete the coursework. Then, as I was completing it, business picked up and I couldn’t find the time to cram for the final exam. Finally, I cleared some time and made it happen. And, voila! Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification! Springboard to meteoric success! Hey it could happen.

 

Um, that’s me

Welcome to aLivelyExchange! I am an award-winning copywriter of web, social media, print and video content. I am based in Charleston SC, but serve clients across the US.

I have many years’ experience serving clients in the health care, consumer electronics, manufacturing, retail, graphic arts, sporting goods, real estate, automotive, tourism, military, governmental and nonprofit arenas. I also have nearly 20 years of video production experience as a writer, producer, director and editor.

Please take a few minutes to check out some internal links, including:

Thanks again for stopping by. Please contact me at LivelyExchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

Yes, but it's a MOIST heat.

Like some fast, furious flying thing, summer is flying by fast and furious. Here’s how I have spent my copywriting summer so far, in feels-like-110-degrees Charleston SC :

  • I wrote a website for a Speaker’s/Talent agency. The client knows Joel McHale! Jealous.
  • Meta tagging a home improvement website. Sounds tedious – and it was – but six solid billable hours. No complaints!
  • Writing a print brochure for an animal hospital. Aww, puppies!
  • The previously-mentioned gun ad and gun cloth website (see below)
  • Maybe producing a demo reel for a standup comic. The show is in 10 days, and I haven’t heard a thing. Hilarious!
  • Moderating a closed group on Facebook regarding the Casual Dining industry
  • Working on a different, super-secret blog/Twitter/Facebook project
  • Working on a THIRD social media program for a floral-industry giant
  • Writing a new headphone website for Philips
  • Writing Philips sell sheets for a new line of Kindle cases
  • Editing a sales presentation for a financial advisory firm
  • Finishing a Real Estate website refresh
  • Getting ready to start another Real Estate website
  • Completing my Kroger alcohol trilogy: Beer, wine and, now, Liquor!

I guess the big story is how the social media thing is growing. I am reading everything I can on how to do it well. And you know how I hate to read the manual! Anyway, that’s the spillage. How’s YOUR summer?

You may not have heard of this little mom 'n' pop operation

As a companion piece to our last entry, here is a website I wrote* for Johnston Brothers Custom Imprinted Gun Cloths and Bags, a South Carolina maker of… wait, I knew it a minute ago!

This was a writing gig that was probably more fun than it should have been. First of all, it was 4 hours start to finish – including the client interview – and I received payment in under a week. What’s not to love?

Secondly, I love the client’s entrepreneurial spirit. I am always in awe of that kind of carve-a-niche energy some clients have – because I sometimes (ahem!) find it lacking in myself!  Here is a guy who saw that 90% of the little gun shops in the US do little to no advertising or marketing. They basically count on the fact that they are the only shop in the neighborhood.  So this client makes gun cloths, which every serious shooter must have and use, and personalizes them with the name of the shop and contact info.  That’s about all I can reveal, but the benefits should be obvious.

Anyway, you hear a lot of doom and gloom about small businesses. In order to survive, small business has to get creative. This is exactly the kind of quick, inexpensive yet good-looking website that can do the trick. It’s exciting for me to be involved in this kind of solution. Take that, commies!

*hat-tip to Charleston SC designer Studio 7 Design, and programmer Metatation. Thanks for the gig, fellers!

Guns and Blammo!

I wrote a print ad appearing in Soldier of Fortune in either June or July.  Won’t my artsy liberal friends in Charleston be thrilled!

Sort of like the Wild West replica ads, brochures and web content I wrote way back (and for the same client) I had to get inside the mind of someone looking to purchase a badass-looking piece like this. Of thinking like a Navy SEAL when in realtity you’ll probably use it to shoot possums by your trash cans.

All I had to go on was the word “Carbine,” which is like a rifle only shorter and less powerful.  Why would you want this and not the other? When you’re closer to the enemy, on the move, need to be ready in an instant to fire. Who might use a carbine? Special forces. And so it went.  I managed to paint the picture of kicking in the door and capping a room full of terrorists, prefaced with the clever “You may never have to…”

Anyway, here it is. BTW, my original headline was SPECIAL FORCES! The client changed it to HOMELAND SECURITY, which is also good. The callback at the end makes no sense now, but who cares? If you’re the guy this ad is intended for, you’re just drooling over the picture of the gun anyway! BLAM!

Big news this morning: our guys in Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden.  Will it change much? Who knows, but it feels good. We seem to have taken our eye off the ball in the War on Terror and, after almost 10 years, it’s almost understandable. But we owed this much to the dead and the grieving, and I hope this brings some peace for them. I thank the president (you never thought you would read THAT) and the guys on the ground that made it happen.

Now, here’s a recycled bit on 9/11 memories, from September 2008.

*     *     *     *

I spent the morning of 9/11 on the loading dock of the medical supply company where I worked at the time.  All regular business had ceased. Trailers packed with that week’s shipments were unloaded and refilled with stretchers, gurneys, IV accessories…anything from our stock that might be of use in an emergency room. By the end of the morning a convoy had blasted off for Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan.

In the end, none of it was needed. As we now know, there weren’t thousands and thousands of injured to attend to. You either made it out or you didn’t.

There is so much to recall about that day, and the days after. And a lot of nostalgia about the way things used to be…most of it misplaced. I’m convinced now that the time before seems so idyllic because we simply weren’t paying attention.

I am thankful that, seven years on, it hasn’t happened again. I’m thankful for the people, from the president to the soldiers to the lowest-paid airport security people, who have made that possible.

And I am thankful for the insight, wisdom and comfort God gave me in those following weeks. I came to a lot of conclusions about life…what and where I wanted to be, and with whom. It took time to make all of that happen, and I had to break a lot of eggs. But I made it.

So, this my unbidden advice for 9/11/08: take a moment to say a prayer for the families. Then take the rest of the day to appreciate what you have, and the One who made it possible.