This is a great example

of how I use a client's mission statement to strategically align messaging for brand consistency

 

Portfolios aren't great at highlighting process.

For this project, I had

two days to learn

a complex industry and

technical jargon

for a whitepaper.

 

Sometimes less

is more.

 

Portfolios and

personal websites

only tell part

of the story.

 

Want to know more? Contact me!

 

Sure, but does he meet our qualifications?

How many years of experience does Zak have...?

COPYWRITING

19 years, counting from my first writing-heavy role as Marketing and Publicity Director at Heyday Books (2003-2006) for whom I wrote jacket copy, catalog copy, web copy, press releases, and sales sheets under the leadership of publisher and founder Malcolm Margolin.

 

CONTENT STRATEGY

5 years, including roles as Marketing and Events Manager at the independent bookstore chain Third Place Books (2017-2018) and as senior copywriter (and ersatz content strategist) at Sands Costner, a marketing agency (2019-present).

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

19 years, including training in the GTD method. Skills include project initiation, planning, project oversight, time and resource management, collaboration, delegation, presentation, conseusus-building, and completion and follow-through. 

 

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

8 years, including experience writing internal newsletters and intranet content for Ten Speed Press (now part of Crown Publishing), Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau (now Travel Tacoma), Third Place Books, and Sands Costner. 

 

MARKETING ANALYTICS

6 years, including experience using Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Google Search Console, Google AdWords, SurveyMonkey, and Sharpsring. 

 

CONTENT MANAGEMENT

6 years, including experience with WordPress and other CMSs. Experience working collaboratively with creative directors and design teams to develop and distribute digital content. Experience managing creative staff and interns. Plus an abiding interest in content management trends, including headless CMS and data-driven content marketing.

Does he have experience in tech?

Yes, but not working in-house at a tech firm.

 

I have worked at a creative agency whose clients include a financial tech company (Orion First) that develops software to help the small business lenders it services, a military/aerospace company (Dualos) that sells avionics testing equipment, and a dental technology company (Bioclear) that develops methods and products for state-of-the-art restorations, among others. I worked for Amazon as a sales associate in their flagship brick-and-mortar bookstore, and am versed in their culture and leadership principles. 

 

Certainly it is appropriate to want a candidate who is familiar with the tools and language of your industry ... especially when that industry is as complex (and often abstract) as tech. With the costs of hiring (and let's face it: firing) so high, bringing in someone without that experience can be risky if you aren't sure precisely what skill set you're looking for.

 

If you're interested in me, and curious to see how I might be able to help you, consider inviting me to work with you on a project on a contract basis, or contract-to-hire.

What is his content strategy experience?

I have functioned as de facto content strategist in both my current role as senior copywriter at an agency of five employees, and in my previous position as events and marketing manager for a chain of independent bookstores. 

 

For these roles, I've had to take inventory of all content, assess its quality and fucntion, determine with stakeholders our marketing strategy, and decided on content needs and appropriate channels and platforms. In these roles I've written virtually all of the content needed. I've maintained content distribution calendars, and where possible automated social media scheduling. I've also overseen designers and other individual contributors, and solicited their feedback and incorporated their knowledge. 

 

More recently, for Content Workshop, I've learned how to develop pillar pages, and how to incorporate keyword clusters, core keyphrases, and subtopic keyphrases for SEO and SERP rankings. 

 

I have also read, from cover to cover, whole books on content strategy, including:

 

 

I know this doesn't make me an expert — just a geek — but it does give me a solid foundation in content strategy and the job of a content strategist. 

PORTFOLIO

Zak Nelson

Five years of agency work.

Fifteen in marketing and copywriting.

Below is mostly work from the last three years: websites and blogs; video scripts; print, digital, and outdoor ads; social media content; white papers and articles; sales sheets and internal comms. 

I enjoy building brand voice from core values, purpose, mission, vision, and position. I love the challenge of quickly creating original, compelling copy from briefs and other constraints. 

I'm skilled at content strategy, and would love an opportunity to produce more data-driven results. 

Blog Copy

Branding & brand copywriting

Print & digital ads

Email & Banner Copy

Website Copy

Long-form copy