Business-to-Business (B2B) copy with DM thinking and Consumer flair

Randall Rensch, Freelance copywriter

Marketing Communication Concepts and Copywriting • New York City • 718-577-0005

Copywriting Services --
Frequently Asked Questions (about me)


What's on this page (click or scroll down):
  • What kind of products do you write for?
  • Do you have special experience in certain fields?
  • How did you go from retail copywriter to copywriting about technical products?
  • Do you work directly with advertisers, or just their agencies?
  • Do you write short copy, or long?
  • What's been the most fun to write? (with sample)
  • Do you serve clients in other parts of the country?
  • Architect, or Fireman?
  • How do you charge?
  • How do you prefer to work?
  • Do you do copy tests or spec work?
  • Can you use our software?
  • Do you do proofreading?
  • Who did your web site?
  • Are you still in New York City?

  • Have another question? Click here to ask.


    What kind of products do you write for?

    I've helped sell everything from chocolate chips to computer chips. First, as a staff copywriter for a radio station, I wrote for almost every kind of retailer, which gave me a broad foundation. Then some banking, packaged goods, and cars along with industrial. These days, much of the work is in business-to-business. But I like to keep a hand in consumer, too. It cross-pollinates ideas.

    Do you have special experience in certain fields?

    My background includes at least a little of every broad consumer and business-to-business category. Fields where I have heavier experience include:
  • Retail
  • Financial
  • Fast food and other franchise restaurants
  • Consumer tech
  • Automotive
  • Computers and computing services
  • Industrial
  • Real estate
  • Floor coverings and fibers
  • Radio
  • Dealer/Distributor Support

  • In any one assignment I might draw on experience in several of these and other fields detailed in my resume. [to page menu]

    How did you go from retail to technical products?

    It was a logical process, really. Retail led to consumer and wholesale banking. That led to other business-to-business, which led to an agency where I also wrote on technical products. In a way, bankers and engineers have similar viewpoints: each has to deliver product benefits while working within strict limitations -- the banker is limited by government, while the engineer is limited by Mother Nature. Understanding how each has solved problems and produced user benefits takes the same set of listening skills. [to page menu]

    Do you work for advertisers, or their agencies?

    Either, or both. Who knows the product better than the advertiser? And I actually enjoy writing box copy (well, I find challenge in it), sell sheets, and whatever your agency doesn't do. If you're a company without a full production department, I can arrange to fill out your capabilities with whatever you need, when you need it. Phone 718-577-0005 or e-mail me now for more information. [to page menu]

    Most of the copy here is pretty long. Do you write short copy, too?

    Yes.       [to page menu]
    This presentation was multifunctional, benefiting from my wide range of experience. (The kit is described at left.)
     
    Rawlings presentation kit

    What piece of copy was the most fun to write?

    One of many? Writing famous baseball players' trading cards was a special moment, because it sparked some synapses I hadn't used since I was 12. The job was to introduce a new line of activewear. For the sales presentation kit, we made a custom pack of cards (with gum, of course) and an autographed ball. I wrote a comprehensive book with marketing strategy, merchandising recommendations, local promotion ideas, publicity suggestions, co-op ad samples, product photos, the works. The client quickly sold a well-known national retailer. The kit also served as a combination flip-chart/leave-behind that talked to regional and local retailers. Everything fell right into place. [to page menu]

    Do you serve clients in other parts of the country?

    Yes, in person and electronically. In fact, I have several clients I'd like very much to meet face-to-face but never have. [to page menu]

    Are you an architect, or a fireman?

    Either, or both. It depends partly on when you call. [to page menu]

    How do you charge?

    By the hour, on a pre-agreed project basis, or hourly with a cap. I'm used to tight deadlines and can work pretty quickly, so whichever arrangement you prefer, you'll find it cost-efficient. Tell me what you want to accomplish, and we'll work out the details. [to page menu]

    How do you prefer to work?

    I work any way that's practical -- on-premises or off, teamed with an art director or not, lots of ideas in a hurry, or just one really good one (or so) after some germination. As for how I prefer to work, I like variety and like contributing to the team. [to page menu]

    Do you do copy tests or spec work?

    No, but not for the reason you might think. It's because the average copywriter test won't demonstrate your prospect's best work, whether the prospect is me or anyone else. I don't have room to review Copywriting 101 here, so I'll just point out that much of the copywriting process is spent in the input stage — getting to know the client, the product and the prospects beyond the generic level. Simply rewriting a paragraph or page, while always an interesting task, might either require much more time than it seems, or give you off-target copy. Yes, I can probably improve on your example, but showing less than my best isn't the point of a test, is it?  Also, even if compensated for the time required, a pretend situation tends to stifle the creative juices. (Ask an actor the difference between an audience and an empty room.)
        And then there is the matter of commitment. I am dedicated to serving my clients well and producing excellent work together. I prefer my clients feel the same way.
        Still, never say never. If you have an extraordinary opportunity in unusual circumstances, feel free to let me know; I might do it for less than you expect. Meanwhile, see the wide range of subjects, markets and writing styles in my portfolio, and call me if you're unsure. [to page menu]

    Can you use our software?

    I work on- or off-premises, using PC or Mac, and have used a variety of word processing products. If you're a studio and all you have is QuarkXpress, I can edit on that, too. [to page menu]

    Do you do proofreading?

    Details are part of the job. I'm not a "full-time proofreader," and for maximum peace of mind you should use one. But, especially with my financial and technical copy background, I'm very experienced at checking spelling, punctuation, specs and layout, and I mark copy intelligibly. Schedule permitting, I'll even double-check your galley (or finished web page or script, etc.) at no extra charge. This gives me a chance to comment on any last-minute copy tweaks that were made after my final draft. Who wants to work months on a project, only to get samples where somebody missed a typo or inserted a run-on sentence? To take advantage of this service, you should send me the finished page (pdf, URL, script, etc.) while there's still reasonable time to check it over and make minor adjustments. Oh — it also assumes I wrote the copy in the first place, and that you'll give me some samples when done. [to page menu]
     
    Who did your Web site?

    Concept, architecture, writing, coding and art direction by me. (The first three are what I offer professionally.) It's in its third generation, and overdue for a fourth. If you're looking for Web services, please see my Web Work section, which has some URLs I've worked on. There's also an article on what Web Week has said about writers and Web sites -- we're information architects by nature -- and one on how a writer can help optimize your site for search engines and improve your search engine submissions.)
        As when writing copy, I'm very open to suggestions or comments (even criticism), and will try to make this location as useful and interesting as possible.   [to page menu]

    You're not in Manhattan anymore. Are you still in New York City?

    Yep, still in New York City. A few years ago, I moved from Manhattan to a part of Queens called Kew Gardens. It's right next to Forest Hills, just a few express subway stops from Manhattan. In fact, now my overall travel time to parts of New York, NY, is less than it was before. I'm also closer to JFK and LaGuardia, and for that matter, a few miles closer to clients in Europe.   [to page menu]


    For more details, e-mail me now.