If you’re wondering about the challenges on the “Who I Work With” page and how I was able to help, read on.
These case studies are all real situations experienced by real people and organizations.
To jump to a specific case study, click on a bullet in the list that follows. Or browse the examples below to see if one of them might apply to your own situation.
- Delivering a quality proposal on a deadline
- Developing and communicating a complex business system concept, roadmap, or plan
- Updating your marketing materials for a specific target market or to attract new staff
- Identifying and developing a client case study to showcase a recent success
- Other examples
Delivering a quality proposal on a deadline
A large international IT services and technology company had multiple multi-million dollar proposals due at around the same time. When they reviewed one of the technical proposals for a large government agency things weren’t quite right. Their subject matter experts and technical staff pulled together some of the needed information, but the text still missed the mark.
When they found themselves short on staff with the right combination of writing and analytical skills to complete key sections of the proposal, they called me to help out. The first review was in less than a week, and they needed a cohesive 100-page technical volume from bullet points and boiler plate text.
I pulled together the technical information needed, wrote and/or edited an entire volume of the proposal, and managed to specific page counts and outline instructions. We worked through three major reviews over a three-week period, each time adding and improving the proposal draft.
I worked by phone and e-mail with subject matter experts throughout the company, conducted interviews with project managers, read company documentation and extracted the information relevant to the proposal’s requirements. It took a couple of “all-nighters” and many long days, but the client met its delivery deadline with an excellent product.
In the words of the proposal manager, I provided, "the best section in the proposal."
P.S. I helped this client on their Best and Final Offer for this proposal a few months later when they found themselves in another crunch. They ultimately won this project worth millions of dollars over the next ten years.
Developing and communicating a complex business system concept
A medium-sized government consulting company (recently graduated from 8(a) status) found itself short-staffed with a tight deadline approaching. They had just begun a new contract with a big client and had to produce more than 80 deliverables within the next 16 months. The first of these - a Concept of Operations for a new integrated financial management system - was due in about six weeks.
The project manager had planned to write this key deliverable herself, but ran out of time. I had been talking with this company about work on another project, when this urgent need arose.
I received a call from the project manager right before Thanksgiving and began work right after the holiday. I reviewed over 1500 pages of prior reports to get the information I needed for the deliverable. I synthesized this information into about 50 pages of executive-level summary information and created about 50 pages of new material (text and graphics) using a client-specified format for the report.
The contractor's client, a large federal agency, had an initial draft of the required deliverable in a little over five weeks, and a well-received final deliverable two weeks later!
As the project manager said when I asked her for feedback, “We could never have gotten the Concept of Operations completed on time and with any meaning without you.”
P.S. When this client needed help with those other 80 deliverables, they knew who to call. I subsequently worked with them on five of their key deliverables, including a Project Roadmap outlining the ten-year plan for the agency to move from their current operational environment to their desired vision.
Updating marketing materials
The last time you updated your website was back in the Web 1.0 days. You know you need some updates - or a complete overhaul - but the thought of it overwhelms you. Or you know what you need to do, but you’re not happy with the organization, copy, or approach.
Or your annual industry conference is coming up, and you’d like something new to give your clients and prospective customers. Your marketing collateral needs an overhaul, but something else is always more pressing.
Client case study
You’ve just done a bang-up job for a customer, and he’s ready to sing your praises. But you’re not sure how to make the most effective use of his positive feedback, and you’re uncomfortable asking for a testimonial or reference.
Or you’ve heard about the effectiveness of case studies in getting good press or selling your goods or services, but you’re not really sure what a case study is or how to write one.
Saving a Client Relationship
Client Apology Letter - Constructed after an unintentional mistake by the company caused serious problems for their client's event. Our client was certain that the relationship with their client was over, and the damage irreparable. Our letter helped their client hear the apology, gain an understanding of the contributing circumstances, and give our client a second chance resulting in several thousand dollars of additional business so far this year.
Good First Impressions - Ever get turned off by a typo in a letter or restaurant menu? Refuse to look any farther if the words don't make sense when you receive marketing materials? A small business owner and operator turned to us for help to increase response rates for his direct mail and email marketing efforts. Initial calls resulted in high levels of interest in his products and services, but he was not turning the initial interest into bookings after sending out his marketing materials. We reviewed his existing materials and gave them an overhaul. He had lots of good ideas and a strong service, but wasn't communicating clearly or effectively to his prospects.
We edited the sales letter to target specific audiences, clarify the language and concisely highlight his selling points. We rewrote his brochure to focus on the benefits of his services rather than providing a list of features that did not distinguish him from his competition. Finally, we started him on the road to branding his image with a common look and feel to his website, print, and email materials.
Put Your Best Foot Forward - Resumes of all formats are a specialty - from college students trying to turn classroom lessons into marketable work experience to stay-at-home moms looking to resume work to experienced professionals looking to make a mid-life career change. Each of these situations requires a different approach and a different resume. Most recently, we worked with a mid-life professional who had made the decision to stay at home with her children for several years. When they all reached school age, she wanted to resume a career, but she also wanted to switch fields. We worked with her to identify her relevant, transferable skills for the new career field, then developed a resume tailored to her specific situation. She is now enjoying work in her new field after her resume opened the door to prospective employers. We can't guarantee you a job, but our services can make sure you aren't cut from the initial screening because of typos, poorly written cover letters, or irrelevant content.
Occasional Needs, No Full-time Budget
Affordable Expertise - Small or large, businesses today feel the pinch. If you can't afford a full-time writer, or don't have full-time needs, a freelance writer may be just what you need. We can do anything from a one-time review and rewrite of sales materials to preparation of a multi-volume users manual. Buy just what you need when you need it. No overhead, no benefits, no tax withholding, no paperwork to hassle with. You'll know the full project cost up front. We've helped many small businesses and even individuals with a specific project.