Email Copy, Walnuts, and Metaphorical Sweat All Over the Factory…

How was your weekend? Mine was all right. Did a quick shopping trip, so I wasn’t able to get comics or crosswords (but I was able to check things out on a phone that someone was looking at–that they still didn’t have in at the store yet, because they’d gotten sold out).

(Note: “factory” is a home-grown euphemism I borrowed for “place” and isn’t related to machinery or anything like that, at least not how I use it).

Anyway, let’s get to it for today. In my last post for Triple F, I talked about having a client consult that day.

I’d like to jaw about that for a little bit. Oh, yeah, and because I actually tell you, if you’re dropping by for the first time, that there are times I blog about client interactions like this one.

So I should probably do that.

One of the Facebook groups I’m a part of is a jobs board for copywriters (but I think fiction writers can learn from this too). Anyway, a dude got on there who said he wanted to hire a copywriter, and to send him samples, typical price ranges for certain projects, plus the “one reason why we should choose you” stuff. So I private messaged him, then commented on his thread like he asked, and went about my business.

He got back to me last Tuesday or Wednesday, and said I could pick any time to be interviewed on Friday between noon and 7 p.m. Central (he was Eastern). So I picked my slot.

And then for some reason I started sweating over it (figuratively at least).

For like two days. This was going to be over Skype. I tested the stuff out the night before–only to discover the Skype people moved everything around (their prerogative–just a little frustrating for me). I knew I had to dress all the way too, so I didn’t have any horror stories.

I got so nervous I came close to thinking about forgetting the whole thing.

Since he had a specific formula to follow for how he wanted his FB private message, I totally flaked on questions I normally ask clients (stuff about their audience niche, size, their relationship with that list, what the product/service is and the price point, and what-have-ya–mostly because those things are important, and there are some niches that I can’t/won’t/ain’t able to write for/in).

Usually I know all that information going in (like the time I got squished like a grape interviewing for a financial copywriter job over in Ohio–should be the subject of another post, if I’ve ever told that one–can’t remember).

All right, back on track. This East Coast guy messaged me to see if I could start five minutes early (we were both on Skype at the time), and I said okay. Since he said it didn’t matter if we did audio or video, I picked audio.

Turns out this dude was Canadian (I have some good friends who are, and we talk once a week–it was just something I wasn’t expecting–until I saw his Skype thing I figured maybe Florida or New York).

And I figured he was some bigwig (or at least a medium wig). Turns out he’s the copywriter who runs the team he’s trying to expand because they’re getting too much work (sounds like a good/bad problem to have, pretty much).

He said it’d been a long day of interviewing (and he was chomping walnuts–I think it was the idea of him being able to chomp while on with me that started to calm me down a teeny bit–I don’t know why). And since I eat about 6-8 times a day, I knew the feeling (that’s also why I scheduled the call for after I was done with my own afternoon chomping).

So we went over some stuff. He said I’d made the first cut, basically, and they were doing more interviewing after me (I was mid-afternoon that day), and after all that, they’d do a paid test for all those people, and depending on who got the best response, they’d keep them on for future work.

This is what I usually suggest–starting out with a smaller project and then bankrolling into a bigger one, so to speak, if we both like the arrangement.

So all of that whole schtick lasted…

About 15 minutes.

So all that metaphorical sweating, actual pacing, and all-all that was sorta kinda for nothing. I did stumble through a few answers about email methodology (I forgot to tell him yes, you can provide value, but you need a list who really likes you to make frequent mailings work).

I think it went well. Okay, that and it was the embodiment of the saying “[Some ridiculously high percentage here] of things you worry about will never happen.”

And if you do write fiction, you may not have to go through this, unless you’re chatting with a book agent–but being grounded in your basics and doing research if you can still applies (as Ty tells himself 20 times before telling you).

Just remember when you’re meeting with anyone for a book, email copy job, editing gig, or what-have-ya–preparation is fine, but sweating all over everything is not.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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