Friday, February 12, 2021

AM I A PROPOSAL WRITER? YOU BET I AM!

We live in a specialized, compartmentalized world where it is easy to get pigeon-holed. But I submit to you that the pandemic has leveled the playing field to a great extent. We can now work from home (and see each other's homes) as we meet via Zoom. There is less need to "dress for success" and impress each other. Women have even stopped wearing as much makeup, if at all. And we continue to chant that we're all in this together. You get the picture...

So when I was recently asked if I can write proposals, my response was, "Of course I can." Just because it is not spelled out in ALL CAPS, bold at the very top of my resume--nor do I promote this skill as my primary forte--I approach proposal writing like any other job request. And that's always with the necessary gusto, research (if needed), SME interviews, reference to a template or go-by, etc. 

My existing clients across diverse industries know and understand that I can write about virtually anything they hand me. It's not up for discussion whether my writing or editing skills are transferrable to proposals...they just are! In fact, I recently edited a technical proposal that was submitted to NASA. I also wordsmithed a batch of 10 proposals to promote the sale of technical research studies. And in the past, I worked on proposals for the Arizona Department of Transportation, as well as the FDA. Now, if that's not proposal writing, I don't know what is.

It comes down to whether I should bill myself as an official "Proposal Writer" (which usually means higher pay), or continue as more of a generalist Technical/Marketing Copywriter. I think the latter suits me, as I enjoy the mix and the variety of writing assignments. But I do offer proposal writing as part of that mix, at the same rate of any other type of writing. Such a bargain!!!

If you're planning to submit a proposal in the near future, let me know and we'll face the challenge together...it's not rocket science:-)

Be well,
Deborah
eye4content@gmail.com
Mobile 832-868-6100

Monday, January 25, 2021

WORDS HAVE POWER

We have recently seen how much power our president has just by virtue of the spoken word. As individuals, we have similar power in what we say to ourselves and each other. Taking it a step further, "You are what you say you are." Whether you're a writer, public speaker, or business leader, this concept can work for you, in every aspect of your life!

In the business realm, it can help boost confidence (internally) and let others know what you stand for (externally). If you don't step out there and openly declare who you are, it leaves room for speculation. On the other hand, when you boldly take responsibility for owning your brand, you get to control what other people think of you.

It starts early in life, when you apply for that college you wish you could go to. How you portray yourself in a 500-word essay can override any test scores; it's that powerful a tool. Follow that up with applying for your first job (and every job thereafter) with a powerful resume and cover letter, along with an in-person/Zoom interview, where you get to tell "your story." 

It's not considered bragging (and so what if it is) when you tell the truth about yourself, don't hold back, give it your all. Both the written and spoken word have equal power! So, be brave, be bold, speak up, and speak out in ways that positively and powerfully define who you are. We all need to let our voices be heard. If not now, when? 

Let me know how I can help craft your message in a blog, newsletter, video script, or whatever gets you known for who you are. Email me at eye4content@gmail.com.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Writing to Beat the Pandemic Holiday Blues

Holidays can bring on the blues, as we miss loved ones no longer with us. This is especially so for those who have lost family members or friends to COVID-19. And my heart goes out to you, as I am no stranger to loss. Then, there's the daunted expectations, when others don't show up, or act the way we want, or buy the right gift.

This year brings the added challenge of isolation, as we attempt to celebrate apart from one another. After the Zoom sessions are over (and believe me, they are great mood lifters), how can we cope with feelings of doom and gloom as we move forward to a (hopefully) brighter 2021?

I believe that writing is a great remedy and a way to find solace this time of year, or actually at any time. As a professional writer, I have writing projects I'm working on for clients, in addition to my novel writing endeavor. Both of these activities help me forget about the virus, if only for a short while. I get in the "zone" and the next time I look up, it's hours later!

You can do the same by writing in a journal, composing a letter or email to a friend you haven't seen in awhile, or something cool I've heard of lately...take the perspective of being 100 years old, and write advice to your "younger self." Besides being cathartic experiences, you will be surprised how uplifting it can be to get your thoughts down on paper (rather, into the computer).

Finally, try writing your goals for the coming year. This is more than casually making new year's resolutions that more often than not are forgotten. It means coming up with measurable actions and steps you can take to accomplish specific, attainable goals. Then refer back to your list in the months ahead. Things may change, and goals may be adapted, but the written word makes it more real.

Happy Holidays! and

Happy Writing!

Your writing partner,

Deborah

Monday, October 12, 2020

Building Blocks of Success: Quality & Integrity

In good times and bad, the basic building blocks of quality and integrity pay off immensely. It behooves all of us to apply these key factors that both drive new business and help ensure repeat business. As the economy starts to recover, it will be those individuals and companies that can be counted on for their commitment to quality and integrity, who will survive and get to bid on new projects.

High quality products and services

When you commit to delivering a high-quality product or service. you are promising your customers that no matter what, you will not skimp on quality. Even in the face of low budgets and quick turnaround times, you make it a top priority to maintain the highest quality practices that meet industry standards and/or customer requirements.

In my writing business, for example, I am known for consistently providing world-class marketing materials for Fortune 500 companies. Due to my years of experience, I can hit the ground running and meet deadlines, while staying within budget constraints. Because I write quickly, without sacrificing quality, my clients come back again and again to get dependable results and save money. 

An integrity mindset

Simply put, integrity is saying what you'll do, and then doing what you say. Also known as "walking the talk." By adopting this mindset, you are promising to listen to your customers' needs, I mean really listen, and follow through with meeting those needs. Nothing less will do when you are serious about having integrity.

In my writing business, for example, I strive to get it right, or as close to right as possible, the first time. That shows I paid attention and care about hitting the target, with the desired tone and content, for the intended audience and purpose. I cannot tell you how many times I've been called in to make things right after time and money was wasted because the mark was missed simply due to a lack of understanding.

What do you promise your clients?

It's never too late to up your quality and integrity game. This is the ideal time to do so, as you prepare for the future return to business. Whether that means business as usual, or a "new normal,"  these same key factors will impact your successful outcome. So, start now by making promises to customers, bosses, and co-workers that you stand for quality and integrity in all that you do.

Let me know how I can help.
Deborah Long
832-868-6100


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Are You Selling Yourself?

If you're not using the COVID-19 "downtime" to sell yourself, or your products/services, it's a missed opportunity. Smart companies are using this time to re-write their website content to increase SEO and grow market share, and savvy individuals are similarly re-writing their resumes/LinkedIn profiles in case their jobs don't pan out post-pandemic. 

It's kind of like cleaning out your closet. No one wants to do the heavy lifting, even though the outcome will make life easier. That's why professional closet organizers and places like Ikea and The Container Store are so popular. They take some of the hassle out of the de-cluttering chore...from planning to execution.

So, if you're not inclined to sell yourself or don't know the first thing about marketing, why not hire a professional writer to help figure it out? There, I'm selling myself via this very blog post. It's easier than you might think!

From years of experience working with small to large (Fortune 500 ) companies, I've boiled it down to a three-step process: 1) Review what you've got, 2) Talk about where you want to go, and 3) Make it happen.

Don't wait to start selling! Contact me to discuss your writing needs today (832-868-6100, or eye4content@gmail.com).


Friday, June 19, 2020

Preserve Your Legacy: Write a Memoir

Memoirs ensure you will be remembered how you want to be thought of by generations to come. It's an ideal way to document family history, people and events that will inform the future with lessons learned, wisdom gained...or just to tell some good stories for reminiscence sake. 

Last year, I completed a memoir writing project in collaboration with an elderly gentleman. He had a book signing party last Father's Day, when he proudly handed out a copy to his close family members, each inscribed with a personalized message. He also sent out approximately 300 hard copies to everyone he knew. It was a great accomplishment, as the book was written over a period of years in his 90s. I was struck how he was able to remember so many details, down to full names of childhood friends. The narrative (which reads like a biographical novel) tells a powerful story of his business empire building, his World War II adventures, his romances, his offspring, and his charitable giving back to the community. It also contains a family tree, several photos to accompany the text throughout, and a photo gallery at the end. No stone left unturned. 

When he passed away this week at 98-1/2, the memoir was in demand by extended family and friends. An electronic version was created for easy distribution. It served as a handy reference to the person who presided over his memorial service. And it will live on to educate his great grandchildren about a life well lived by their ancestor against all odds during his time on earth. It was indeed a privilege to work with this man as his biographer, and friend. I honestly believe he kept on living to see the book published.

Contact me if you or someone you know wants to work with me on a memoir (832-868-6100, or eye4content@gmail.com). It takes time to plan and execute, so let's get started!


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Re-Create Yourself

As the world is changing on so many fronts, businesses and individuals find the need to re-create themselves. We must all get ready for a new reality as we return to work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest, where human rights are front and center, along with life-threatening health concerns.

I'm seeing start-ups emerge to meet the needs of the moment, including contact-free products and services ranging from the food industry to medical testing. There are also new safety measures being employed, in the fitness world, for example, where reservations are now needed to maintain sparse distancing. And in dentists' offices where the air is being purified by ionized filtration. It's a time to think out of the box and look for innovative ways to operate, as we seek to regain trust and protect the safety of everyone. This can involve redesigning the physical workplace, instituting a deep cleaning program, or staying in the remote, work-from-home mode indefinitely...if not forever!

We are all impacted in one way or another. But rather than seeing the glass half empty, it's an opportunity to see it as half full. By choosing to be optimistic, we have a chance to start anew, with a clean slate. This is a climate for imaginative ideas to thrive, for experimentation that disrupts the status quo to be tried, fearlessly. It's actually quite exciting to envision a new world of working together, yet apart, as we support each other's success.

For some, this may require rebuilding from recent destruction that took hold in many cities. For others, it means modifying what structures still exist and seeking different ways to configure things even better than before. So, I suggest letting go of old concepts to envision a future that is cleaner, safer, and more inclusive. Let's all be mindful of each other as we step into a realm where anything is possible!

I'm here to help you re-create your brand, including website content, to communicate new business endeavors. I'm also actively helping people re-create themselves as they search for jobs and need a powerful resume to compete. Contact me to collaborate on promoting the next iteration of yourself or your company.

Email: eye4content@gmail.com
Mobile: 832-868-6100 (Pacific time zone)

Best wishes,
Deborah