10 Marketing Questions
My article, “10 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Marketing”, has been published on the website of the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.
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Calling All Expat Aussies

Check out the "Advance Asia Update" enewsletter from the Asia office of Advance, "the leading global network for Australians overseas and graduates of Australian universities". I write/edit it.
October 2011 issue
January 2012 issue

Write Better Website Text!

Here's an article I wrote for the Tripwire Magazine website, about how to write effective website text.

Celebrating Success

An article I wrote about a successful expatriate Australian businessman in Shanghai has been published on the website of Advance, a global organisation for/about expat Aussies.
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Kay's Podcasts

Do you want to know how to get media coverage? Listen to my series of FREE audio interviews with three Hong Kong journalists, who share their insiders' tips.
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"Kay, you are such a master--I LOVE it!!"
Also: "I feel you've taken ALL my input and really captured the essence of what prospective clients need to know, in your signature style-which I love. I'm excited about having this tool to communicate more about our services."
Kristin Lowe, Organising Solutions

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A Proven Track Record

Kay's clients
Kay's assignments
So you want to see some examples of Kay's work?

I'm Kay Ross, a Hong Kong-based native-English-speaking marketing consultant/coach, copywriter and editor with nearly 30 years' experience.

I advise, coach and train my clients about their marketing strategies, and I write and edit compelling English-language corporate marketing communications material that GETS RESULTS for my clients.

Here's my CV

Kay's clients

I've worked with individuals, corporations and organisations, large and small, from a wide range of industries. A few examples:

  • A company that produces testing/measurement equipment for the telecommunications industry
  • Hong Kong's largest shopping mall
  • A global network for Australians overseas and graduates of Australian universities
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Healers, counsellors and coaches - individuals and clinics
  • Authors
  • Academics
  • Consultants - branding, smoking cessation, management, web and e-marketing, HR, usablility, corporate training, risk management, financial planning, professional organisers...
  • A trading company
  • Public speakers and trainers
  • An airline
  • Arts organisations - art and antiques galleries, theatre companies, musical groups, the Fringe Club (Hong Kong's leading alternative arts organisation), arts festivals, government arts funding/policy bodies...
  • Tourism organisations - festivals, government tourism bodies
  • Graphic design firms, advertising agencies and PR firms
  • A Big 4 accounting firm
  • University faculties: business & economics, hotel & tourism management
  • Publishers - book-publishing companies, a trade magazine about hospital management, newspapers, magazines, a publisher of business case studies for MBA students and courses around the world, a website about holiday property rentals, a website about boutique hotels, a website about life and business in Bermuda...
  • A wine appreciation school
  • A furniture and home décor store
  • An insurance company
  • A global company that sells security products and services
  • A major international conference organiser
  • A company that markets an innovative tool for transforming people's work habits and effectiveness
  • A beauty salon and school
  • Manufacturers and retailers of: diamond jewellery, all kinds of brushes, machinery and equipment for the manufacturing industry...
  • A cancer fundraising and support charity
  • An HK government promotion body for the design industry
  • An HK government trade promotion body
  • A chain of healthfood cafes
  • A chartered accountant and certified CPA
  • Non-profit business/networking organisations - the HK Women Business Owners Club, the HK Women in Publishing Society, the Council of Public Relations Firms in Hong Kong

Kay's assignments

The kinds of tasks and assignments I've worked on include:

  • Consulting with my clients about their marketing. This task includes:
    • asking lots of questions to help clients identify their target audience, the benefits of their product or service, their brand, their competition, their marketing goals and challenges...
    • reviewing the organisation's past and current marketing activities and every "touch point", including its advertising, brochures, website, customer service initiatives, admin and billing procedures, HR and training systems, referral systems, signage, shop layout, corporate social responsibility activities...
    • being an advocate for my clients' clients
    • challenging my clients' assumptions about how they do business
    • probing my clients' "marketing mindset" to challenge their misconceptions about marketing
    • spotting opportunities to reach more of the right people, more cost-effectively
    • coming up with creative, lateral-thinking marketing strategies
    • teaching them how to use twitter
    • recommending useful resources such as books, websites, articles and seminars about marketing
    • putting my clients in touch with potential customers, allies and business partners
    • being available to answer quick questions about anything to do with marketing
  • Writing and/or editing of new or existing marketing communications material for clients - ads, brochures, website text, corporate newsletters and magazines, annual reports, articles, media releases, direct mail pieces, speeches, project proposals and reports, business letters and e-mails, menus, signs, flyers, course catalogues, namecards, slogans, mission statements, video scripts, "elevator speeches", twitter bios, tweets...

This task includes:

    • doing research to identify the target audience, the benefits of the product or service, the purpose of the document, the client's brand...
    • researching competitors' brochures and websites
    • interviewing people
    • ensuring that the text is consistent with the client's or publisher's house style guide (and creating such a style guide if necessary)
    • ensuring that the text conveys the right tone and style, and effectively communicates the client's brand
    • ensuring that the text is logical and unambiguous
    • ensuring that the text is not racist or sexist
    • turning incomprehensible industry jargon into plain English
    • gathering content from various contributors and ensuring it fits a consistent style and layout
    • fixing the style, grammar, spelling and punctuation of text written by non-native speakers of English
    • diagnosing what's wrong with a word (or sentence or paragraph or document), and fixing it
    • being an advocate for the end reader of the text, by making it user-friendly
    • making the text more effective from a marketing point of view (for instance, by adding a "call to action" and appealing to the users' wants/needs/emotions)
    • writing compelling headlines, sub-headings, photo captions...
    • liaising with the client's graphic designer, website designer, printer...
    • proofreading the final artwork before it goes to print
    • being available to answer quick questions about grammar, spelling, tone, style...
  • Writing media releases; identifying the right media contacts to send them to; handling distribution; following up with media people to arrange interviews; advising about how to take effective publicity photographs; briefing photographers; coaching clients about how to deal with media people...

  • Designing and presenting entertaining and informative public and corporate training seminars, talks, lectures, workshops... (see Courses)

  • Coaching writers about how to market themselves and their books

  • Coaching clients about how to write and present their "elevator speech"

  • Identifying and recruiting speakers for corporate conferences and seminars

  • Devising and stage-managing events such as exhibition openings, product launches, conferences, seminars...

  • Acting as MC at seminars, workshops, conferences, PR events...

  • Advising clients about how to find corporate sponsors (and how to keep them happy)

  • Managing a promotional tour in Hong Kong for an internationally renowned Chinese author

  • Editing academic material such as business case studies, journal articles, conference papers, books...

So you want to see some examples of Kay's work?

Well, I hope you'll agree that everything you read on this site is proof of my writing, editing and marketing skills!

I'm happy to show you some examples of writing/editing assignments that I've worked on. Ideally, I'd like to meet you face-to-face to show you my hard-copy portfolio.

Example #1

Here's a before-and-after example of some marketing text that I edited:

Before:
This text was written and published online by a business owner named Chuck in the USA.

"My Vital Information is an application that allows you to store all your important personal, financial, property, and health information in a secured database on your computer. My Vital Information is invaluable if documents are lost or destroyed and for quick location of important account numbers, PIN numbers, etc. Once the data has been entered, reports can be produced as a backup."

I saw that text and contacted Chuck to suggest some changes. He admitted: "Marketing is not my cup of tea; creating software is."

After:
"Have you ever lost an important legal or financial document? Forgotten your bank account numbers or PINs? It's a pain in the neck and it probably cost you a lot of time and money, right? That will never happen again, thanks to My Vital Information! With this easy-to-use software application, you store all your important personal, financial, property, and health information in a secured database on your computer. Then, if you ever lose any of your valuable documents or they're destroyed in a tornado, or you need to find your account numbers and PINs in a hurry, the information's all there in a safe place for you. And once you've entered your data, it's easy to produce backup reports. No more worries, no more panic, no more stress!"

Chuck liked my "after" version and immediately put it on his website. He has given me permission to publish his original text here.

Example #2

And here's a before-and-after example of an event flyer that I edited for the Hong Kong Women Business Owners Club - I have permission to use it here. (I edited many of the Club's event flyers, as a pro bono service. Unfortunately the Club does not exist anymore.)

Example #3

"Follow that CAB" is an article I wrote for the "South China Morning Post" newspaper (May 28, 2000) about the Community Advice Bureau (CAB), an English-language information service for expatriates in Hong Kong. 

Example #4

"The Do's and Don'ts of Online Copywriting – How to Write Effective Website Content" is an article I wrote for the Tripwire Magazine website (published February 28, 2011).

Testimonials and a disclaimer

By the way, check out some Testimonials from some of my happy clients.

Unfortunately, it's not appropriate for me to send you some of the documents I've worked on, for several reasons:

  • confidentiality - my clients own the copyright on their documents, and it wouldn't be ethical for me to send the text to you (especially if the document is a book, ebook or case study that you need to pay for);
  • many of the documents I've worked on have been for clients' internal use only;
  • after I send my edited text to clients, they often make changes that I don't necessarily get to check and correct before the documents go to print, so the published documents might not be very good advertisements for my skills;
  • if I were to send you just my edited "after" version of a document, you wouldn't see how it improves on the "before" version;
  • if I were to send you just the soft-copy Word file of the text, you wouldn't see how the words, the design and the images work together to elicit the desired response in the readers;
  • with website writing/editing projects that I've worked on, clients often make significant changes to the content after I work on it, and I don't necessarily have control over the design, usability and updating of the sites. So if you were to visit those sites today, they might not necessarily be very good advertisements for my skills.

Ready to get started?

Contact me today to arrange an initial no-obligation discussion. Then I'll be happy to show you, or send you, some examples of my work.

By the way, before we meet, please read my article, "So You Want To Commission A Freelance Writer/Editor?", and my FAQ page first. That will save us both a lot of time in the briefing meeting.

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Sharing tips at the "Making the Most of the Media" seminar
September 18, 2006




I come up with
bright marketing ideas
July 2010
Photo by Kenneth Lim