Client Spotlight: Steve Maurer
In this episode of Digital Marketing Done Right, Lee Kantor and David Brandon interview Steve Maurer, owner of Steve Maurer Freelance Writing. Steve talks about how he started out working in the industrial field, then transferred his skills and understanding of the industry to start writing about it. He then goes through his strategies for finding clients and what he’s learned about marketing during his time working as a freelance writer.
About Digital Marketing Done Right
Digital Marketing Done Right is a joint production of Rainmaker Digital Services and Business Radio X. It focuses on success stories from Rainmaker Platform clients, showcasing how they use technology and marketing to build their businesses.
Intro: [00:00:07] Welcome to Digital Marketing Done Right, a customer success spotlight from Rainmaker Digital Services and Business RadioX. We cover digital marketing success stories drawn from real Rainmaker Platform clients and showcase how they use the Rainmaker Platform to build their business. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:35] Lee Kantor here with David Brandon for another episode of Digital Marketing Done Right and this is going to be a good one, right David?
David Brandon: [00:00:44] Yeah, it’s going to be great.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:45] So who do we have?
David Brandon: [00:00:47] All right. Today we’ve got Steve Maurer of Maurer Copywriting. Is that correct Steve, that’s what your business is called?
Steve Maurer: [00:00:54] Steve Maurer Freelance writing, yes. Yep.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:57] So before we get too far into things, Steve, can you tell us a little bit about Maurer Copywriting, how are you serving folks?
Steve Maurer: [00:01:04] I do work mostly for the industrial manufacturing industry and I write various types of copy and content for them.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:12] Now, what was what’s your backstory? How did you get involved in this line of work?
Steve Maurer: [00:01:17] Well, actually, I had been in the industry for about 36 years in an industrial manufacturing plant, actually a food processing plant. And when we had some work slowdown and hours got cut back, I started to do some freelance writing and it continually grew from that point to where I actually retired from turning a wrench to writing about them.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:41] Were you always a writer as a young person? Did you always enjoy writing?
Steve Maurer: [00:01:45] Well, kind of. I did writing better than I did math, let’s put it that way. But I’ve always, always, as my dad put it, had a way with words. And so, yeah, writing has been one of my favorite things to do.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:57] Now. How did that first opportunity bubble up? Was it in the firm you were working with? They asked you to write something?
Steve Maurer: [00:02:04] No, they kind of laughed. Actually. My first foray into copywriting was actually in the low paying content mills, and my first dollar writing contract paid me $5 for about 350 words, which, you know, that’s not much, but it was kind of a proof of concept that I could write and people would actually pay me for it. And now my articles go for $500 and up. So there’s been a little bit of a change.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:35] So what? How did you even know to get on to those platforms? What did you do to research that and to know to jump in that way?
Steve Maurer: [00:02:43] Well, I had a friend of mine who does who works with small businesses up in Illinois, and we were talking back and forth and she said, I ought to check into some of those. And so I did. And sure enough, I actually put in a … they wanted a spec piece and I put that in and then promptly forgot about it until about a couple of weeks later. They emailed me back and said, Hey, you’re good enough, writer, you’re in. And they put me in, I think like 0.2 cents a word, something like that. It was really low.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:13] And then from there, how did you kind of keep upping your rate and finding more lucrative opportunities?
Steve Maurer: [00:03:22] Okay, well, I did that for two years, made about $2,000 a year for writing somewhere around 400 articles. I know, I know. And that’s where the full time job [indistinct]. So I started looking around obviously, to see if there was some better options. And there were a couple people that I found online. One of them was Brian Clark, another one was Bob Bly, and there were a few others, but they all led me to a training company down in Delray Beach, Florida, called American Writers and Artists Institute. And I signed up for some of those courses in July of 2012, the first one being a web copywriting program from Nick Osborne, a copywriter up in Canada. And after that I started getting better clients. They taught me how to get better clients. They taught me how to write better copy. And obviously it has worked like gangbusters.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:17] Now that at that time that was kind of the transition between direct response in print and the web, right? Yeah. Was that were you writing kind of direct response in print at that time or was this web copy I had?
Steve Maurer: [00:04:34] Everything I’ve done is web copy.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:37] So you were kind of at the forefront of that at the time, right? That was kind of early.
Steve Maurer: [00:04:42] Yes. In fact, I was taught by one of the the original copywriters on the web, Nick Osborne. Of course, Brian Clark had started content marketing way back about that time. So yeah, right at the forefront. I didn’t have to do a lot of print copy, and that’s good.
David Brandon: [00:05:01] So, Steve, what took you from kind of being freelance up by yourself, just sort of not even having your shingle out to what you have now with the website and the web presence and all that sort of thing? How’d you get into that?
Steve Maurer: [00:05:14] Well, I knew that if you wanted to get found, you had to be findable. And so I actually started my website back in 2013 on a different platform. And as soon as Rainmaker came to be, I was actually in the pilot program and have never looked back.
David Brandon: [00:05:34] What changed a lot since then?
Lee Kantor: [00:05:37] What were some of the features that excited you about getting involved with Rainmaker?
Steve Maurer: [00:05:44] The biggest feature, and I haven’t used all of it yet, but this is what I was looking for. I was using a WordPress site hosted on another platform. And if you wanted to do anything different, you had to find a plugin. And everything I’d need now and in the future to grow is actually already included on the Rainmaker platform. So I didn’t go have to go hunting around. I didn’t have to worry about compatibility with the plugins. I knew that, you know, I could just kind of run it and gun it.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:21] So you had kind of plugin fatigue at that point because they were always updating and that was always screwing up another problem somewhere else. Like it was just the Wild West at that time, right?
Steve Maurer: [00:06:31] Oh, it was. It was. And some of them, they were good plugins, but they were. Developed by a single person. So it was hard to get any support. And eventually, if that guy got tired of it or that gal got tired of it or just dropped off the face of the earth, so did the plugin and then the search was on again.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:54] Now, what was it like when you decided to, like you said, put down the wrench and go all in on the copywriting? Was that a big decision? Were you was your family involved? Were they supportive?
Steve Maurer: [00:07:07] Oh, they were supportive, but that actually happened last year. I have been now totally freelance without a full time job since July of last year. The big the big push was I was making more copywriting on the side, so to speak, than I was working a full time job. So the choice was kind of made for me and we were able to to pay down a lot of our bills. We paid off the house, all that, that kind of thing. So it was it was just a good decision to be home now instead of having to go into work four days a week for ten hours.
David Brandon: [00:07:45] Now, you mentioned earlier, Steve, about like beefing up your Web presence, trying to be more visible. It’s interesting. You’re in an interesting niche. Can you talk a little bit about that niche that you’re in and where you find your clients now through? Is it mainly through digital? Is it through people that you know in real life? Or how is how is that work for you?
Steve Maurer: [00:08:08] Okay. To be honest. The biggest way I get clients is they find me. They come to my website. If you were to Google industrial copywriter, I come up on the first page of Google because of the SEO tools that’s built into Rainmaker and have learning how to write SEO copy. I also rely heavily on LinkedIn for research, and so that’s where I research my clients. But most of them find me actually through my website. I’m getting a little lazy on my outbound marketing because they’re all coming in to me and that’s kind of a nice thing. As far as the market, mostly industrial manufacturers and safety product manufacturers that sell. I really love lighting. I concentrate a lot on electrical products and safety products because that’s a lot of what I worked with, you know, for the last 36 years as a as an industrial electrician an and a maintenance mechanic and safety trainer. So those were natural niches for me. And when I write my copy for my website, Google notices that and says, okay, this guy over here needs an industrial copywriter, let’s send him Steve’s way.
David Brandon: [00:09:26] That’s awesome.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:27] Now, what is the kind of that first project you typically get? Is it usually small and then it grows or is it kind of a, you know, what is it?
Steve Maurer: [00:09:37] Oh, gosh, it can vary. I’ll do my bread and butter is pretty much blog articles, corporate blog posts placed articles on a websites. More recently, I’ve been contacted a lot about sales enablement copy, so I’ve been writing email call scripts. I’ve been writing. I just am finishing up a one sheet project for a interpreter and translation company out of Washington State that work in the industrial markets, and they would like to get more into the safety markets. So we just finished up a one sheet flier for them. So mostly blogs and case studies. And then it kind of goes from there.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:28] Do you do any like, manuals and safety documents for internal communication?
Steve Maurer: [00:10:35] I have done some of that, and I just got an email right before this call about somebody wanting to hire an internal copywriter and was asking if I could train them. So it gets kind of crazy out here, but I have done some tech bulletins. I’ve worked with MSR safety and done some of their tech bulletins and things like that.
David Brandon: [00:11:00] I wanted to come back to something that you said earlier, Steve. You talked about LinkedIn being a place where you got a lot of you did a lot of client research and that sort of thing. Yes. Is that the primary social media platform that you use? And can you talk about how you would go about researching your potential clients on LinkedIn?
Steve Maurer: [00:11:21] Oh, gosh, yes. I’ve been on LinkedIn as long almost as long as I’ve been on my website. I think I started LinkedIn in 2013 and I have a premium account there. I always have. Some of my first clients actually found me on LinkedIn, but developing a good personal profile that speaks to your ideal client really helps. One thing I would highly recommend is to understand that the about section is not really about you. It’s about your ideal client and how you can help them. If you understand their CNI factors, their challenges, needs and interests and speak to that, they are actually drawn to you. And then using one thing that having a premium account helps me with is I can search much deeper into personal contacts than I could with a free account or with a free account. You can just go to your second level contacts. I actually can go third level and beyond, and I do connect with them. I have about 4000 connections right now and some of them find me, I find some of them. But I’m also able to look at the the company pages that are on LinkedIn. That’s what I’m most interested in, is finding out more about a particular company and then always use the people also viewed because it’ll give you some more companies to look at. And I have actually developed kind of a three part strategy over the last ten years on that. I am now teaching two new copywriters and it has led me to some amazing client possibilities.
David Brandon: [00:13:02] Can you tell us what that strategy is or is that hidden behind the paywall?
Steve Maurer: [00:13:05] Oh, no, it’s not behind the paywall yet. In fact, it it’s one of the courses that I’m starting to develop to put on my Rainmaker website. I actually have two sites for my copywriting, and then I have another website that’s still in development called Rechanneled, and it will be geared towards people like myself who are older but don’t want to get swept under the rug because there’s a lot more we can share. And so them and also for displaced workers who want to start a freelance business of some kind, I’ll be doing some training and LinkedIn will be part of that. The three part strategy. The first one was “Tag You’re It,” is what I call it. And basically I noticed that whenever somebody viewed my profile, I’d get a notification. So I’d look back at their profile and then I got a notification that somebody else viewed my profile. So I went ahead and looked back at theirs. About the third time that happened, the light bulb came on. And so I looked at their profile and sure enough, they would come back and look at mine and I was able to send a connection request. The second one I call “Raising the Hand in Class.” And in this you actually follow companies and watch for their updates to come down in your feed because when you follow a company any updates they do will show up there. When they come … when one comes down that I can make a good comment to, not the, you know, “kudos, great job, this is really neat” but something really meaty. I can make a decent comment to them and I always tag the company when I do that. That’s kind of important. 99 times out of 100, somebody within the next 24 or 48 hours would come to view my profile. And so that got my foot in the door and it was game on from there. And we would talk back and forth. It’s usually one of their digital marketers, because they want to see who actually made that real comment. It takes a little bit more time, but the rewards are worth it. The last one that I’ve done now is called “Ringing the Dinner Bell.”” When you ring the dinner bell, you basically make a comment yourself about another company on here. Recently I did one (well, it was in probably February). We had a tree fall down in their yard because of the snow storms. I have an electric chainsaw made by Ego Power Plus. And so I posted a photo in about a paragraph talking about my chainsaw and I tagged Ego in there and then just let it loose in the wild. To date, it has over 4300 views. And it has been viewed by Chervon North America, which is the parent company to Ego Power Plus. It’s been viewed by Lowes, which was the place where I bought it, and it was viewed by two of their competitors, Black and Decker and Husqvarna. They came to see that a lot of these people made comments. I made a lot of good connections, but I also found one from Tektronix and I had no idea who those people were. So I went and viewed their company page and it turns out they are the parent company to places like Milwaukee, Ryobi and a couple other brands that I’ve used for the last 36 years. And so LinkedIn actually gave me more clients to look at by ringing the dinner bell. I did another one just recently tagging DeWalt for some of the trim work that I’ve been doing around the house. So that’s my third one. And by using the three of those kind of in conjunction, it’s really built up my my potential list of clients.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:02] So how do you move from connecting to, you know, them buying something?
Steve Maurer: [00:17:09] It’s all in the conversation. And you’ve got to watch and if you’ve been on LinkedIn, you’ve probably got what I call “drive-by pitches.” Somebody will come and they want to connect with you. And the minute they do, they try to sell you something. And it’s all about relationship building. And so you can start with LinkedIn and start having a conversation. But the entire goal of that is to eventually take them off the platform and begin talking to them either on a Zoom call or get them to your website where they can connect with you there. Uh, it takes a little bit more time, but it’s a lot better quality relationship when you do it that way. You don’t need a lot of clients to be real successful as a copywriter.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:57] So are you. Once they kind of you interact with them in some way and you see if there’s a fit or not. And, you know, just like in anything, it’s a number. So the odds are it’s not going to be a fit today. Do you put them in some sort of an email automation or some sort of, you know, once you got them off platform, do you then kind of ping them and drip content to them?
Steve Maurer: [00:18:20] There are times I do that. I don’t use a lot of automation. One of the first things I do is on LinkedIn, you can actually download their profile in a PDF document, and so these all go into a potential client folder, kind of a dossier, and I know who I’ve contacted and what I will do in those instances is when I read something on the web that might be pertinent to that company, I will attach that information and say, “Hey, this, this might be interesting to you. And just thought of you. So I thought I’d send it to you.” This brings you top of mind. It’s also a good way to wake up sleeping clients. I’ve done this for some that I have done work for in the past, and I hadn’t in a while. I will send them some information that they’ll find interesting. “Oh, that reminds us, Steve, we got a project for you. Are you available?” And I have actually had clients or prospects that I had contacted one time and they said they didn’t use any in-house writers. And 2 to 3 years later they come back and say, “Hey, are you still doing that? Because we need you now.” And in fact, that just happened with this most recent client. We actually connected five years ago on LinkedIn and nothing happened. But they when they follow me or when they connect with me, they automatically follow me. They can see the content I’m posting there. And he about four weeks ago said, “Steve, we connected five years ago. I don’t know if you remember me, but we need you now.” And that’s where we’re doing some sales enablement work now.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:01] How do you kind of like how many companies do you keep in that dossier so you can kind of keep them top of mind so you can be top of mind? Because I can see, you know, what happens is, you know, in LinkedIn there’s what, a billion people on LinkedIn? So you think like there’s a billion possible clients, but it sounds like you’ve really honed this and are targeting a handful or a smaller, much smaller, manageable number. So you can really give them attention and human interaction in a very organic, authentic manner.
Steve Maurer: [00:20:36] Absolutely. The only ones that I actually will, as you say, build a dossier on are people that I think would be an ideal client. And I will look at the company size. Another thing I will look at is the kind of content that they’re putting out. If they don’t do case studies, they’re not a good case study prospect because I’m not there to educate. I’m there to help. And if they don’t see the value in case studies now, there’s no need to be contacting them for that. Uh, most everybody is doing blogging. Most of them are not doing it right. And so that’s where we can go in and help them with that. So I keep ones that I think, well, one that are in my target market, but also that I see are actually active in, in promoting themselves through various types of marketing, including social media.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:29] Now, getting back to, you know, as you were growing this practice, how did you get your arms around the pricing and how did you land on your current pricing? How did that happen? A lot of young people, especially that are getting into this, they have no frame of reference and sometimes they really undervalue what they’re doing.
Steve Maurer: [00:21:52] That’s the biggest thing I see coming up with with new people. Getting into copywriting, young and old, is they don’t understand the value of their work. Like I said, I did some training through American writers and they actually have a free pricing guide. It’s a free resource. They put one out every year. Eight pages of it is devoted to pricing. About 50 pages of it is devoted to what’s working in the market this year. And so they don’t want to read just the pricing. I think everybody does. If they would read the rest of it, they would understand how to market to marketers and businesses, how to promote their services. It gives some decent ranges in there. And the thing about pricing is, with the ranges that they have in that guide, and I have used some other guides from professional copywriters to kind of sit down and figure out my particular guide, the pricing is not based on your skills and it’s not based on your experience. It’s based on the perceived value of the product to the market. And to give you a quick example of this, I was contacted to write to 125 word space ads for smoke detectors. Thought, “oh, my gosh, I’m going back to the content mills.” So I sent a note to them and I said, “Did you have any kind of budget for this?” And they said, “Yes, we would like to keep the fee for these two space ads below $1,000.” I looked back at the smoke detectors and they were not the $35 smoke detectors you buy at the big box store. These are $4,000 smoke detectors that that integrate into industrial HVAC and other units. And so at $4,000 a piece, they could afford a better product. So that your fees are actually based around what the what the perceived value of that product is both to your client and to their customers.
Lee Kantor: [00:24:09] Now, as I understand the kind of philosophy when it comes to this, a lot of times they also put some sort of a success percentage onto copywriting. Where you can take a percentage of sales as well as get a commission, right.
Steve Maurer: [00:24:31] There’s another word for that. There are some markets that works good for, especially if you’re doing long format sales letters. Then you might get that kind of thing, a royalty or sometimes called a commission in industrial manufacturing. In most B2B copywriting, that’s not usually an option. You just make really good money on the first go round.
Lee Kantor: [00:24:56] And then when you do that for them, it usually if you’re successful, they’ll have you do it again. I mean, that’s …
Steve Maurer: [00:25:04] Absolutely. I’ve had some clients I write for, an electrical newsletter out in Connecticut that I’ve written for them for going on 6 or 7 years now. I write three articles a month for their newsletters. I have other clients that I’ve helped them start up the blog and then they turn it over to their internal people and they come back to me for the big projects. If you do a good job, you’ll get called back.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:32] Now, are there any kind of downsides of being this intimate with the industries that you’re working with, or do you get burnt out or, you know, is this like I’ve been there, done that kind of feeling after a while?
Steve Maurer: [00:25:48] That’s a good question because I’ve heard of that happening. I actually avoided this market at the beginning because I was burned out on working and I didn’t want to write for this type of market. I finally figured out that I knew that industry and I was just learning copywriting. I didn’t want to have to learn a whole new niche on top of it, so it saved me time. I’m not head over heels in love with the industrial manufacturing [industry]. I like it. They always have a new product. You know, I don’t fall asleep with visions of hard hats and safety harnesses dancing in my head. But I do know that they’re going to have it. And these clients have really deep pockets. And so good marketers, especially in today’s economy, if they can find a good copywriter, they will hang on to you.
David Brandon: [00:26:45] Now, as someone who’s also in the same industry, who came up through some some of the same stuff, maybe in a little different path, but I’m interested to hear your take on this AI stuff, ChatGPT and Bard and Jasper and all those different products that are out there. How? This is a two part question. Number one, how worried are you about that as a writer yourself? And number two, do you use them? And if and if you do, how do you would you use them in your work?
Steve Maurer: [00:27:23] Yeah, that’s … those are good questions. Uh, no, I’m not afraid of it taking my job. It hasn’t yet. I don’t think it ever will. Because there are things that ChatGPT and Jasper and all these other AI programs can’t do and don’t have. And that’s experience. They don’t have industry experience. They’re largely language learning modules. They can put one word in front of the other and it makes sense, but they can’t tell my readers that I actually had a security system, which was Fritz and Bruno, who were my two dogs in the front yard, and they patrolled the grounds. ChatGPT doesn’t have those kind of stories to lead into talking about security systems. They can’t tell you. They won’t know that Bluetooth technology was actually named after a Danish king who had a bad tooth. They can’t put those kind of stories together. And so they can tell you the wrong stuff. They are good for getting ideas. They’re great for putting out outlines. You can have them expand on a few things, but they will always need to be edited. You can’t have them write, for instance, a full page sales letter. You say, “Hey, write me a sales letter about this particular supplement.” It will do it, but it will suck. But yes, I do use it. ChatGPT, Jasper, I use both of those. I use the paid versions on both of those. They are good copy cubs. They are good writing assistants. And if I had hired a writing assistant to say, okay, here’s I need you to write a sales letter and hand that off to them, I would need to give that human copy cub instructions on how to do it right. And that’s where a lot of people who are using the AI platforms are falling down. My job is … they’re writing bad prompts and they’re trying to get too much out of a short prompt when you really got to work it.
David Brandon: [00:29:38] They think it’s magic. It’s a machine. You got to put in the right inputs.
Steve Maurer: [00:29:41] It actually … I had it write a bio about me and I have done some amazing things in my life that I didn’t even know about. [laughs] And so I may put that on my LinkedIn profile. I don’t know. It makes me sound like some kind of a rock star. But yeah, it has its limitations, it has its good uses and I think if you’re going to use it, get some training. I am actually in the … just getting ready to start a new training course with somebody who’s been using it for two years and he’s going to teach us how to use it properly. Uh, but you just can’t type in something and expect magic. It can be very, very wrong. In fact, I read an article with this today that they think the more and more that it’s being fed, the dumber and dumber it’s actually getting because of all the bad prompts probably that are being put into it.
Lee Kantor: [00:30:34] Now, can you share a story maybe of one of your clients, maybe a new client that first time working with you, what it was like, the pain that they had and how you were able to help them get to a new level and maybe now they’re a longer term client.
Steve Maurer: [00:30:51] I’m hoping that’s going to happen with this translation and service company. When they did come to me, they paid decent. I was not slack in my fees. I don’t give discounts. If you give discounts, they expect it all the time. They went with my fees. My fee requirements are having a 50% upfront fee. And then the rest of it comes after the first deliverable. Most of them have been that way. I sent the first copy of the one sheet to them and said, “okay, you know, revisions are always part of the project.” Make sure, especially if they’re a foreign client, that revisions are always part of the project. And they sent back their revisions. They needed one word change and one phrase they thought was a little too strong. Could I cut it back a little? And that was it. They will be back. In fact, we’re working on a case study now for one of their happy clients. That’s happened time and time again. If you do good work, they’re more than happy to to pay your fees. And like I said, I asked for 50% up front on on large jobs, 100% up front on smaller jobs. Anything under $1,000. And nobody seems to mind. The ones that do I don’t work with.
Lee Kantor: [00:32:18] Now, how do you … how do you charge? Do you charge by the hour or by the project?
Steve Maurer: [00:32:23] I charge by the project. For one thing, there are three ways to charge … actually a couple others that are combinations, but you can charge by the word. Which not a good idea because you have no idea how many words it’s going to take. I can’t quit writing in the middle of a sentence. You can charge by the hour. But there again. That’s kind of a bush league way of charging, to be honest with you. It’s so when I talk to my to my clients or prospects that eventually become clients, I let them know the only fair way for me to do this is by the project. I said, you can’t budget by the hour and you can’t budget by the word, but you can budget with a project. And if I say a case study is going to cost $1,500 to write, it costs $1,500 to write no matter how long it takes me. If it takes me longer than I thought, that’s on me, not on you. And that’s exactly how I’ve been working all this time. I will give them a fee for what I think will, you know, it will take me to write that project. And if I go over, that’s my fault. Bad calculation on my end. The other one that you can actually do is a package which might be, say, a blog post and a case study or four blog posts. In this case study, I’m actually doing one now that’s five sales enablement, email templates and a blog post. I’m bundling them together. I sometimes will cut back a little bit on a bundled price, but that’s usually the only discount that I give. So that’s the best way to to price them. But there are a lot of good writers who would pay by the hour. And the problem with it for the copywriter is the better you get, the less you make, because all of a sudden you’re doing it faster if you’re charging by the project. The better you get, the more you make because you’re putting in less time for the same amount of project.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:36] Now, you mentioned revisions. How do you handle those?
Steve Maurer: [00:34:40] Within 24 to 48 hours.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:42] But is it like … how many … can they keep coming back over and over? Like, how do you kind of manage that?
Steve Maurer: [00:34:49] It depends on the project, but most of the time, and it’s written into the quote that I send them, two revisions within the first 30 days. I also tell them that everything I write needs to go through their legal department to make sure that everything I said can be said. Those revisions do not count against the company revisions. Any revisions that change the scope of the project automatically kill that project. For instance. If we were talking about dog houses and all of a sudden they wanted to talk about mouse traps, that’s a whole different topic and that stops the project there. And any new work is considered a new project and will be requoted, but revisions are always part of it. I have had some, especially for long term clients, that say, okay, 30 days, however many major revisions you want. But to be honest with you, I don’t get that many revision requests. If you know your client, if you know their product or service they’re offering, you pretty much know what to write and there won’t be much.
Lee Kantor: [00:35:56] And then how do you kind of capture the tone? Like, do you have to kind of understand the culture and the personality of the firms in order to write accordingly?
Steve Maurer: [00:36:09] Yeah. The first thing a copywriter should do — in fact, you should do this before you even sign a client — is read their website, discover what kind of voice they have. My default voice is what I call business casual. It would be like a salesman and his prospects sitting at a diner talking over a cup of coffee. You know, that’s my default. I can match. I call myself on my bio sheet a chameleon copywriter because I try to match the voice of a client that I’m writing for. Some of them actually will have style guides that you can go by. But I tell them the best way to write is the tone of voice of your tribe, the people who you are selling to and understand how they talk, how they speak, how they think about things. And then the copy comes off a lot clearer to them. They don’t feel like you’re trying to sell them something. They feel like you’re trying to help them. And because I have worked in the niche and the target market that I have for 36 years, that comes across pretty easy to do.
Lee Kantor: [00:37:20] So what do you need more of? How can we help you?
Steve Maurer: [00:37:25] Oh, gosh. Well, I can always use more clients, more prospects. They come in fairly regular. I’m making a really decent income doing this. I’d like to help you guys because Rainmaker Platform has been the best thing for me as far as my website goes. It’s kind of almost like, set it and forget it. It runs on autopilot. I can add stuff easily whenever I need to. If I need to write a new article, it’s easy to to pop in or post a new article and send it out. Eventually, I will probably start cutting back on copywriting with my new website coming out and do more training helping freelancers. I’m writing a pilot program right now to kind of introduce it, and it’s basically about how to use LinkedIn effectively because that’s one of the first tools I think that a freelancer could really use is a good LinkedIn profile and knowing how to use it.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:25] And then so are you putting together kind of a wait list now or are people interested on that?
Steve Maurer: [00:38:31] I’m doing the market research on it right now, asking people what they need to know about LinkedIn. And that’s basically when you do that kind of research, you let them build the project for you. No use in creating a program that nobody cares about. And so if you find out what they are wanting to learn about how to use LinkedIn. So I’m going through phone interviews and Zoom interviews. After that, we’ll start. I’ll start building the courseware. I already have a basic outline of what I think it should be because I have taught several LinkedIn sessions. But then that pilot program be probably. Uh, maybe ten lessons on how to set up a LinkedIn profile. Too many people write a LinkedIn profile that’s lame, and it looks either like a laundry list or like their corporate bosses told them how to write it. So we need to fix that.
Lee Kantor: [00:39:31] So if somebody wants to connect with you, learn more about what you got going on. What’s the coordinates?
Steve Maurer: [00:39:36] Well, my website is maurer-copywriting.com. Or it’s easier if you just Google industrial copywriter and it’ll show up there on the first page. We do the same thing with my wife’s website or on LinkedIn. It’s linkedin.com/in/stevemaurercopywriting and that’ll get them right there.
Lee Kantor: [00:40:04] Well, congratulations on all the success. It was a pleasure talking to you and you’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Steve Maurer: [00:40:11] Well, thank you Lee and thank you, David. It was great talking to you guys. Couldn’t have done it without the Rainmaker Platform. I will say that. And that’s not brown nosing and hoping for a better price. That’s the honest fact. I actually appreciate … I have actually been able … I have gotten a lot of compliments on the website. It’s simple, it’s basic. It works. Getting found and getting people to contact you is what you have to do. And my website on Rainmaker has done that, especially with the new Andromeda upgrade. I’m looking forward to seeing how much farther I can take it.
David Brandon: [00:40:48] Sweet.
Lee Kantor: [00:40:48] All right. Well, thank you again for sharing your story. This is Lee Kantor for David Brandon. We will see you all next time on Digital Marketing Done Right.