A marketing copywriter for more than twenty years,
consultant, one-man creative resource.
I am richard. I wrote this.
I write stuff.
Of course, you probably surmised this on your own. In fact, that’s why you are here!
While I do other things, the core of my professional life has involved pushing words around until they make exactly the right kind of sense. Sometimes, they compel, sometimes inform. Or motivate. Or sell.
Always, they tell a story.
It’s genetic. I come from a family of story tellers–mostly funny, often exaggerated, and sometimes true. My family is Irish, part of that generation of hungry farmers that wandered west when the potatoes ran out. We landed in Canada, wandered to New York, then a century-and-a-half later, I meandered further south.
Stories are a basic component of the human experience. We are hard-wired to follow a narrative. If a narrative doesn’t present itself, we tend to create one on our own. That’s the incubator that hatches myths. And conspiracy theories.
What is my niche?
Despite what all the YouTube “experts” tell writers to do, I don’t specialize in just one niche topic. As a marketing consultant, I spent a couple of decades working with startups and established businesses in a wide range of industries. I learned how to learn–and fast!–about a new market or industry. While it may be in style, I don’t feel I need to niche down in a single topic area when I have worked intimately in many, and have the capacity to become fluent in others at lightning speed. And, to be honest, if a copywriter can write an ad about an electric wok he can also write one about a car or a cell phone. This is born out by the fact that large ad agencies have copywriters not “phone copywriters.”
Types of writing
If I do narrow the writing field down, it is in the types of work I do. Most of my work falls in the following categories (in no particular order): blogs and web content, marketing and advertising pieces (ads, brochures, collateral), video scripts, press releases, and long-form projects (white papers, case studies, ghostwriting, books). I also do slogans, infographics, speeches, emails, advertorials…but, I do other things, so, ask.
Who are my clients?
I write for individuals, big and small companies, not-for-profits. I do a lot of brand messaging, web content, ads, video and webinar scripts, blogs, and long-form pieces like case studies and white papers. I even ghostwrite biographies or memoirs. I have a heap of experience as a senior marketing executive, so I sometimes do strategy and marketing consulting and planning.
Let’s start a project, shall we? Click here to get started!
years as a professional writer
words typed in 2020
Cups of Coffee
“There are apps and online tools for most of the marketing functions, like making logos, animations, websites, infographics.
But, if you want the right words, you have one option: call a writer.”
Why writing? Why not astrophysics?
Because I know a lot more about writing than astrophysics.
I’ve been a lot of things–artist, bike racer, marketing executive, reality television actor, cop, dad, lacrosse coach, improv comedian, speed skater, and member of a bomb squad. Despite these things–or maybe because of them–he’s also always been a writer.
When I was in high school, I planned to be an artist. I painted all day. I moped around the Albright-Knox Art Gallery collection on weekends. I went to the NYS Summer School of the Arts and moped around a college campus. A lot of art. Even more moping.
Just as I was about to buy a beret and fully, completely deep dive into Bohemian life, my senior-year English teacher, Miss Tracy–whose best friend growing up was Joyce Carol Oates!–pulled me aside one day and said, “I know you like this whole art thing, but you are going to be a writer.”
No way, I thought.
But, dang it, ol’ Miss Tracy was right.
Thirty or so years later, here I am, writing. I think she may have felt I would be a novelist. I am not. While I do help other people write novels and write other long-form pieces, I am a marketing writer.
In my first college (there were a few after that), I double majored in Advertising and Graphic Design. It was in Writing for Advertising: Print and Commercial Copy that I was first exposed to professional writing. And I was hooked!
After a few more colleges in a several states and another country, I ended up with a dual major in Fine Art and English, with a concentration in creative writing. Leaving college with a semi-pointless arts degree required I do some professional acrobatics to maneuver myself out of my job as a waiter and into a position as a customer service rep in the newfangled cellular telephone industry.
Fueled in part by a natural understandin of the complex ecosystem of marketing, sales, customer perception, and messaging and in part by some form of youthful arrogance that
I crafted customer communications programs and designed and administered complex direct/database marketing systems.
No, I had no experience or qualifications for that job. But I was turbocharged by a genuine fear of being a waiter for the rest of my life and the youthful belief that I simply could do anything I set my mind to doing. , but I was packing an unflagging work ethic and the undaunted determination to not be a waiter the rest of my life.
I worked my way up in marketing from analyst to manager, sidestepped into public relations an advertising, and then found myself as a Chief Marketing Officer. I am over-simplifying, obviously, but the take-away is that I know marketing inside and out.
But, back to writing. In all of those positions, I held the role of editor-in-chief and lead writer. I also maintained a pretty robust freelance business at the same time. I am a fan of freelancing at all professional levels. Keeping your head in the game is the only way to stay sharp.
Along the way, I’ve won a fairly big stack of awards for writing, marketing, and graphic design. Local, regional and national awards from my peers is, to be honest, pretty cool. But, more importantly, having clients that keep calling me to do work for them is even better. Most of my clients stick around, some for decades! That has a lot to do with my broad experience in so many aspects of marketing, advertising, digital media and design. I started out looking for an artsy beret and ended up wearing lots of hats.
If you need a writer, I have that hat on right now!
My writing portfolio contains a large variety of work in a range of industries. You will find examples of digital and traditional marketing, web content, emails, press releases, blogs. You name it, I’ve done it.
Ready to take the next step?
Sometimes, my job is to put words in other people’s mouths.