Highlights, July and August 2015

I hope you had a fun and relaxing summer. School’s in session in these parts today, and I am ready to dive in to some fall writing and editing projects. I’ve got some exciting things on my docket, including copywriting for some amazing small businesses.

Before I get ahead of myself, however, let me give you an update of what I’ve been doing during these hot and steamy months:

  • Writing articles for Healthline. Topics have included the best baby monitors, specific weeks of pregnancy, skin conditions, and, most recently, allergies.
  • Writing and editing copy for various small business owners, including bios, websites, blog posts, and newsletters.
  • Copyediting a book on metaphysics.
  • Proofreading Small Steps to Slim.
  • Compiling a glossary and journal list for a nursing textbook.

And here are a few highlights from my Facebook page (please like if you haven’t already!):

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I love to leave you with some reading for pleasure that I’ve done recently. I read Wild in August, and it gripped me from the beginning. Cheryl Strayed told her story in such a compelling way that I could not put the book down until I had finished the whole thing. It was a great summer escape!

Stay tuned for more client profiles, writing and editing tips, and other content this fall!

Client Profile: The Law Office of Heather L. Turner, LLC

HeatherTurner_Logo1.inddEarlier this summer I worked with estate attorney Heather L. Turner to create copy for her new website. As the owner of The Law Office of Heather L. Turner, LLC, Heather wanted to create a site that was approachable for individuals and families, no matter their stage of life. Heather offers many services, including an all-in-one package for those looking to create an estate plan, and she wanted copy that conveyed her uncomplicated approach to wills and trusts. Even though she has a beautiful office in Narberth, she’s willing to travel to her clients to ease their burden!

The copy-creating process with Heather was ideal. We collaborated for about a month, beginning with me listening to her presentation at a local MOMS Club meeting. After that we met to discuss her goals for the site and followed up with e-mail exchanges. Heather needed copy for her welcome page, services page, and biography (which is difficult to write yourself, as I blogged about last week). Our working relationship was open and friendly, and I was able to deliver usable copy with just a few rounds of revision. Heather tweaked what I wrote as needed and sent it to her web designer to add to the new site.

Collaborating with Heather was such a rewarding experience. I am a huge advocate for families having estate plans in place, and Heather’s magnetic personality and professional experience make her the perfect person to write and administer wills and trusts. If you are looking for a personable and knowledgable estate planning attorney in Pennsylvania, contact Heather.

And thanks to Heather for such a ringing endorsement:

Natalie listened to what I wanted to portray on my website and helped me say exactly what I wanted. Natalie is easy to work with. She is friendly and professional and treats all clients like they are her biggest.

I can’t begin to express the joy I get from working with talented and smart small business owners. Heather is the perfect example of a go-getter entrepreneur. She understands that hiring people for professional services adds time to her life, giving her more hours to work with her clients. Thanks, Heather, for letting me help you with your informative new site!

Client Profile: Small Steps

Small Steps LogoLast month I had the opportunity to work with someone who’s just taken a big, brave leap into pursuing her career dreams (just like I did a few years ago!). Elizabeth Small (hereafter Liz) decided recently that she wanted to focus all of her professional efforts on growing her small business, Small Steps. Her endeavor provides reflections, one-on-one sessions, and workshops to those who are looking to restore or grow their personal faith. She also provides programing for college campuses on spirituality and hooking up. And, the best part of all, she’s honest, funny, and self-deprecating, which gives her regular blog posts a refreshing voice and makes them must-reads.

Liz reached out to me after realizing that creating the copy for her website was too daunting a task to do alone. She had hired other professionals, including a photographer and graphic and web designers, to elevate her site’s look, and she wanted to make sure her copy delivered the Small Steps message as effectively as possible.

HeadshotDuring our collaboration, Liz and I traded many e-mails and files. She contributed the original ideas and writing to the project, and I looked through it with an editorial eye to suggest ways to be more direct and explicit. For Liz’s website, she needed to be clear about her services but also retain her distinct voice. As an editor, I wanted to achieve these objectives while also checking for other grammar, usage, and style issues. In just a few weeks, Liz and I had polished her copy and it was ready for her website’s new launch.

Liz was kind enough to supply a quote I could use for my own marketing efforts as I continue to grow my offerings for individuals and small businesses. Regarding our collaboration, Liz said: “Working with Natalie was such a treat! She’s clearly honed her trade as an editor, and I felt like all of her suggestions helped my message become clearer!”

If you are in need of reconnecting with your personal needs and spiritual life, contact Liz to set up a time to talk. She offers regular programs on self-care, something many of us could use on a regular basis. And if you are looking to refine or create a clear and effective message for your own small business, reach out to me so we can begin a meaningful collaboration.

Partnering With Caitlin Merto Designs

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Last week I mentioned a new partnership with an amazing graphic designer. For the last few months, I have collaborated with Caitlin Merto, the creative force behind Caitlin Merto Designs. Caitlin helps entrepreneurs — specifically female entrepreneurs — brand their small businesses with stunning graphics, smart web design, and helpful business tips. I am honored to work with Caitlin and her clients to create and edit dynamic copy for their brands.

Caitlin’s weekly newsletters share great tips for small business owners, so consider signing up to receive them. An insightful, driven, and talented entrepreneur herself, Caitlin has so much knowledge to share about branding and doing what you love. We are both in the process of building our own businesses and are learning so much from each other as we collaborate.

C-4Partnering with such a focused entrepreneur provides me with the opportunity to utilize my writing and editing skills for individuals and small businesses. I love the nuts and bolts of publishing in all media forms, so it’s a dream to have projects that include books, journals, websites, and more. My current workload includes all of these formats, so I am feeling great about taking on the challenge of owning a small business.

If you are interested in taking your website or other marketing materials to the next level, consider consulting with Caitlin on crafting your brand. You won’t be disappointed!

(Thanks to Leave It to Me Photography for Caitlin’s beautiful headshot!)

Editing Highlights, May and June 2015

We’ve reached the midpoint of the year and I have a variety of projects to share! May and June kept me busy with editing work and new writing opportunities. I am now splitting my time between editing and writing, which is the perfect balance for me as I grow Silver Scribe Editorial Services.

I’ll begin with my exciting new ventures, which include:

  • Writing articles for a health website,
  • Collaborating with individuals and small business owners on their website copy and other written materials, and
  • Joining forces with an extremely talented graphic designer who helps businesses create their brands.

My tried-and-true work continues to come in, and for that I am grateful. Recent work includes:

  • Compiling a glossary for a large-scale nursing textbook and
  • Copyediting two journal issues on music and music education.

I look forward to sharing more details about my recent projects and clients here. Stay tuned!

Editing Highlights, March and April 2015

We’re out of the snow and cold and into fragrant and sunny May. It’s delightful to work with my laptop out on the screened porch before the northeast humidity sets in for summer.

In the last few months, I’ve had the good fortune of expanding my business offerings by supporting small business owners in their writing endeavors as well as working with my publishing clients.

Without further ado, some highlights from the last few months include:

  • Copyediting two journals for University of Illinois Press, which included articles about animal lives in the marketplace and instrumental music teacher identity (obviously from different journals!)
  • Proofreading a trade book on entrepreneurship
  • Compiling a glossary for a nursing informatics textbook
  • Writing copy for a coach launching her new website
  • Blogging for a fitness entrepreneur
  • Reviewing business documents for an architect
  • Editing web articles on crafts and parenting

I’ll add that I finally finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I am about two years behind the zeitgeist!). What should I put on my reading list for summer?

May and June look full of interesting and challenging projects. Expect an update in hot and humid July!

Small Business Owners: Why You Need an Editor

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Hey small business owner! Yeah you! The one with the website, brochure, newsletter, and blog that you are trying to manage along with your business services, networking events, professional development, and accounting. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed?

As a small business owner myself, I bet that you have a pretty long to-do list. I started my publishing services business two years ago and have gone from “I feel overwhelmed at the thought of getting all of this going” to “I am not sure where I should be spending my time and efforts.”

Sound familiar?

Chances are, if you are running a small business, you are passionate about the services you offer. Whether it’s selling products, providing services, or being just plain awesome, you want to spend your time focusing on these activities, not on invoicing, tracking expenses, writing copy, or reviewing every marketing material for grammar, usage, and style. That’s where other professionals can help so you can focus on those all-important core activities of your business.

Here are three reasons to find and hire an editor now:

You Need a Brand and You Need to Build It

Just like so many small business owners outsource bookkeeping to keep their accounting organized and streamlined, hiring an editor and/or writer can simplify and boost your marketing plans. In this day in age of content marketing, where you send out informational content to be absorbed by the masses (think social media posts, blogs, and newsletters), your communication efforts need to be substantial and well presented. As a Harvard Business Review article, “Every Content Marketer Needs an Editor,” describes:

The editor . . . acts as a proxy for the reader, and ensures your content offers that reader real value in return for their time.  That editor also has the ability to recognize the difference between an idea that’s worth a 140-character tweet, and one that can be developed into a blog post or report—or, for that matter, a three-minute video. They have the ability to work with an author whose ideas may be terrific but who may not be a strong communicator, and develop that author’s ideas into a compelling and engaging piece of content. And yes, the ability to transform inelegant or even incoherent prose into a tight, readable argument.

So you may be an expert in fitness, in selling jewelry, or in creating beautiful interior designs, but it’s unlikely that you’ve got the time to create each piece of written communication necessary to build your brand for the masses. (If you need help developing your branding concept, check out my associate, Caitlin Merto). Let an expert navigate the world of words so you can focus on everything else.

Why not hire a person who gleefully enrolled in a grammar, usage, and style class in college and who practices editing and writing skills everyday working with a variety of clients? A trained and skilled editor can keep you on message and write eloquent prose in a fraction of the time you would spend doing it. Think of how much more precise a trained photographer is at taking pictures and editing them than an amateur. That’s what an editor can do with your written communication.

You Need Someone to Put Thoughts to Paper

I recently worked with a client whose vision was clear but who had no idea how to articulate her concepts through words, delaying her from launching a new business. She called me one day with trepidation and excitement, unsure if I could help her but excited at the possibility of getting her thoughts on paper.

During our initial phone consultation, the client and I spoke about her concept, her audience, and her needs. Later, we met at a coffee shop and just talked. She told me about herself and her ideas for the business, and I wrote down key phrases and themes that kept appearing in the conversation. She gave me some handouts she had used for workshops that might help craft her message. After our meeting, I went home, compiled my notes and, in just a handful of hours, created web copy that conveyed her vision.

Imagine how long it would take you to create polished copy for a five-page website and think about whether it’s worth your time.

You Need Polished, Professional Prose

Not only can an editor make your thoughts and ideas come to life through words, he or she can also review your prose and correct grammar, usage, and style mistakes as a copy editor. A copy editor looks at the nuts and bolts of your writing and fixes it for obvious errors, grammar mistakes, and overall clarity, among other things.

The article “10 Reasons You Need a Copy Editor” by Whiterock Business Solutions articulates perfectly why you need a copy editor for your business:

There is nothing more embarrassing then promoting yourself or your company with materials that are riddled with typos, grammar mistakes, inconsistencies and poor sentence structure. How can a potential customer expect that you will do quality work when the materials you publish do not live up to the same level of quality.

An editor doesn’t seem like such an extraneous investment for your business now, does it?

I hope I’ve made my case for why every small business owner should utilize the services an editor provides. If you want to take your business to the next level, let’s talk about how I can make your written communication sparkle. Contact me at natalielsilver(at)yahoo(dot)com so we can start a conversation.