So what would you like to know?

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed the questions prospective clients ask about the services I provide, because paying attention to them has helped me do a better job of selling those services. I’ve included some of the most commonly asked questions here. If you have a question that doesn’t appear here, email it to me, and I’ll respond promptly.

What Do You Charge?

A fair price. Too vague? Okay, let me put it another way. I know what writers and other service providers (like ad agencies) charge for copy in markets both large and small. It’s to my advantage to keep up with information like that. My fees are extremely competitive, and less than what freelance writers with comparable experience nationwide typically charge. Why? I’m in an area with a delightfully low cost of living. As a one-man operation, I don’t have to keep employees busy. Because I focus exclusively on writing, I don’t have to deal with a lot of distractions. And most companies would kill for my overhead. So I can give my clients more value without charging higher fees. That said, if you’re reading this because you’re shopping for a writer by price, I’m not the right writer for you. We won’t be happy with each other.

How Do You Charge?

That depends on you. I prefer per-project pricing, because we both know what to expect up front without any surprises. I develop an estimate that outlines your objectives and expectations, what that will cost, and how I’ll bill for it. If the estimate meets with your approval, we’ll proceed. Some clients prefer other arrangements. I understand, and can work with you to arrive at a mutually agreeable approach. But I won’t quote a blanket rate, because there are far too many variables.

What Experience Do You Have?

I’ve helped organizations communicate for more than three decades. In 1995, after working in advertising agencies for 13 years, I started Scott Flood Writing as a way to provide better service to organizations like yours and a better life for my family. Throughout my career, I’ve used my skill and experience to add value to projects for a remarkably wide range of companies and an even wider spectrum of audiences.

What's your writing style like?

I don’t have one, at least not for my clients’ projects. When I do work for a client, I immerse myself in that company or organization’s style, so that I can ensure that everything I create on their behalf sounds like them, instead of sounding like me. After all, it has their name or logo on it, rather than mine. Read ten projects I’ve written for ten different clients, and you’ll be amazed that they were created by the same writer.

How Are You With Technical or Complex Material?

I take particular delight in translating complex and esoteric material into copy that target audiences understand, and doing it with the appropriate level of sophistication and depth for the audience. For example, I’ve written financial copy for every audience from analyst to retiree, and medical copy for practitioner, patient and everywhere in between.

Do You Do Technical Writing?

If you’re referring to documentation or manuals, that’s not an area I normally handle.

How Long Does Your Work Take?

That depends on many factors, including the complexity. Tell me when you need the copy and I’ll tell you whether I can meet your deadline. If I can’t live up to your desired deadline, I won’t take the project. There’s no point to setting us both up for disappointment. One reason clients keep coming back is that they know they’ll receive the copy when promised. That way, they can meet their deadlines, too.

Do You Subcontract to Other Writers?

No. While subcontracting is a temptation when things get busy, I believe it creates more problems than it solves, particularly in quality control. My company carries my name because you work with me and only me.

Have You Done Work in Our Industry?

After more than three decades, it’s pretty likely. Look here for a list of companies and other organizations I’ve helped over the years. Even if your industry is not represented, odds are good that I’ve done work in a similar industry or in a situation involving similar challenges.

We’re Halfway Across the Country. Is That a Problem?

Not for me. I work with clients from all over the U.S., many of whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting. I’m accustomed (and perfectly comfortable) to working by email, by phone, by fax, even by mail. If you really want to meet in person, we can arrange that, but as I tell my clients, I’m a lot more affordable when they don’t have to look at me.

Is Your Copy Guaranteed to Work Better?

Nope. There are so many factors that influence the sales cycle that it would be foolish for me to make that kind of guarantee. And I’ve seen far too many occasions when an effective ad campaign drove customers into a business, and then the service they received turned them away. What I will promise you is that I will do everything I can to make your copy as effective as possible. After all, I’d like to earn your business on an ongoing basis.

Which Awards Have You Won?

Some nice ones, along with many others you’ve never heard of. But I don’t enter award competitions, despite the conventional wisdom that writers are supposed to do that. I like the ego boost as much as anyone, but I’m far too focused on results to invest time and money in award shows. I’d rather do work that impresses clients through the results it generates than work that amuses judges. Given a choice between another plaque and another project, I’ll take the project every time. My kids don’t like to eat plaques. (So if I don’t enter, how have I won? Simple. My clients have entered work I’ve done for them.)

Do You Provide Services Like Marketing Plans and Graphic Design?

I believe in concentrating on what I do best, so I focus my energies on writing. However, I do work with many excellent individuals and firms who provide other services. (To keep my overhead low and stress levels lower, I won’t subcontract for their work, so anyone I refer you to will bill you directly for what they do.)

Are You Willing to Work With Our Designers?

If you have existing relationships with other suppliers such as graphic designers, I’ll be happy to work cooperatively with them. Many of my client relationships are the result of referrals from designers and other suppliers who worked with me on a project and realized that I could help their other clients.

Is It a Problem That We Have An Ad Agency?

Not for me. Many of my clients have existing relationships with ad agencies, PR firms and other suppliers. My goal is not to supplant them. I know from experience that there are some projects that clients are hesitant to hand them for any number of reasons, or that the outside providers really don’t want to handle. I can fill that gap for you.

I Can Write. Why Should I Hire You?

You tell me. Clearly, there’s a reason that you’re looking for a writer. Maybe it’s that you don’t have time to write. Or maybe you have a sense that your company or organization’s copy could be more effective. Fact is, I’m not the only one in the world who can write. But what I’ve learned over the years has made me a particularly effective writer. You’ll see a difference.

Be Honest. What Are You Like To Work With?

I take my work very seriously (though I tend to take myself far less seriously). I’m driven to do effective work for my clients, and can be pretty opinionated at times (but not irrational). I do warn my clients that if they ask for my honest opinion, my honest opinion is what they’re going to get. In the short term, that’s for your benefit. In the long term, it’s for mine, because it provides the kind of trust upon which long-term working relationships are built.

Can I Get a Third-Party Opinion?

I’ll be happy to connect you with both present and past clients.

What’s Your Favorite Kind of Project?

I like to solve problems. I like to deal with the kind of stuff that makes clients tear their hair out and dread Monday mornings. It’s not that I’m crazy or a masochist, but I’ve learned that solving those dreaded problems is one of the best ways I can demonstrate what I do for my clients. It’s gratifying how many of those problems have initiated client relationships measured in years.