You probably have questions; I’ve answered some of the most common below. But if you’d like to discuss something different, or have a follow up question or two, or just want to chat for a bit, e-mail me at email@example.com. I’ll get back to you straight away.
Is writing for a nonprofit or a political candidate any different from writing for a business?
Short answer: Yes. Of course nonprofit messaging and marketing should be handled differently from “regular” marketing, because you’re not selling a service or a widget. Your entire focus is different because you’re not asking someone to buy something; you’re asking someone to believe in you and what you do. That takes a different skill set than what most copywriters bring to the table.
In nonprofit copywriter speak, your message should be “donor-centric” – which is a fancy way of saying that it should be interesting and engaging to your supporters and potential fans. I’ll go out of my way to know your audience inside and out, and I’ll use what I learn to craft copy that speaks to them … and motivates them to support your nonprofit. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how I can do that for you.
For political candidates and campaigns, successful writing engages and motivates your current fans, while helping make new ones. To really hit the ball out of the park (which is what you need to do to win), the writer you’re working with needs to have a sophisticated understanding of the intended audience, the nominee, the campaign and the purpose of the particular piece of copy (whether it’s an e-mail, a mailer, or a website).
Let me be brutally honest: if a copywriter or a consultant is pitching services to you and hasn’t asked about your campaign’s themes or your district’s composition, you’re not talking to the right person.
But make no mistake – you can and should turn a “blah” About Me page into an inspiring introduction. And if your website is a voter’s first impression of your campaign, don’t you want it to be welcoming, inspiring and informative?
Of course you do. I can help you make that happen. Start up the conversation by e-mailing me a email@example.com.
Can’t any copywriter handle nonprofit messaging? And can’t my digital strategist handle my website copy and my e-mails?
Technically, yes – but you’ll spend more time on redrafts, and you’ll probably never know why your e-mails aren’t converting as successfully as you think they should. There are lots of people in the world who can write, and some of them write well. But if you were just looking for someone who could put sentences on a page you wouldn’t be looking for someone like me.
Working with a copywriter who understands the unique needs of nonprofits means you get copy that doesn’t just sound good to you. You get copy that speaks to your audience. At the end of the day, those are the people that you need to inspire and engage, so those are the people that I write to.
In the political world, many folks use their digital strategy team for messaging and copy creation. I’ll be frank: that’s a big mistake. Does your digital team have experience writing, or do they just create fundraising e-mails that sound like the DCCC’s? Do they know how to weave the story of your candidate and campaign’s major themes into every e-mail (fundraising or otherwise)? Do they understand why that’s important?
Listen, I’ve seen campaigns expend hard-fought-for money to hire talented digital teams that send out e-mails exactly like every other campaign in the region. Your candidate or campaign is not like every other campaign in the region. So why let them treat you that way?
When someone comes to your website or opens your e-mail, they’re opening their electronic door. You need to take full advantage of that opportunity. So your e-mails and web copy should reflect what’s unique about who you are and what you stand for, rather than looking like a cut-and-paste job from the latest D.C. digital superfirm.
And yes, you can inspire, engage, motivate and fundraise – all at the same time.
Let’s talk about how I can help you do just that. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you like writing for nonprofits and candidates?
I love helping good people do great things. And let’s face it – nonprofits often don’t have the time or resources to have a fully-staffed marketing or communications team. I can provide the content that you need to continue engaging your supporters on a regular basis.
And I love working with candidates that are trying to change the world. I don’t take on every candidate or nominee. But the campaigns that I do take on mean a lot to me. I believe in what they’re doing, in who they are, and that they’ll make a difference. If you want to see if we’re a good fit I’d love to chat. You can reach me here or by e-mailing me at email@example.com.
How do I hire you?
Start the ball rolling by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Copywriting Services” in the subject line. I’ll get back to you straight away, and we’ll set up an initial call where we’ll talk about your project and what you need. I’ll answer any questions that you have, and then I’ll send you a follow up proposal that lays out pricing and timelines. And voila! You get to sit tight and sip coffee while I take care of business.
I’m looking forward to our conversation already.
Who are you, anyway?
My name is Michele Hornish. (You can see my LinkedIn profile by clicking the link here.) I practiced law for over a decade in Chicago and have published a nationally-renown weekly political pep talk/action list since November 2016. I’m a political analyst and commentator, action-list-creator, and writer.
What action list did you create?
After the 2016 presidential election I started an action list/pep talk at www.smalldeedsdone.com. Small Deeds is a weekly pep talk for the patriotic that also provides a few action items for politically motivated citizens to take. I’m part of the national action alliance (www.actionalliance.net).
What kind of law did you practice?
All kinds. During my career I was a judicial clerk, a big firm defense attorney, a government lawyer and a plaintiff’s attorney at a small firm. I loved the research and the writing; I did not enjoy the constant fighting.
Do you really like writing?
I do. I really, really do. I take a look at a lily white page and a flashing cursor and think to myself challenge accepted. The only thing I like more than writing is inspiring people. When I can mash the two together I’m in heaven.
What are your favorite things?
My son, my husband, my cats, coffee and gardening. Probably in that order.