Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pronounce your last name?

Believe it or not, this isn’t a question I often get asked but I always appreciate it when I do. My last name is pronounced “Key-vin.” We believe the origin to be Scots-Irish.

Why is your company called RipCord Communications?

A ripcord is a cord that when pulled opens a parachute from its pack. Not only does it save lives, it uplifts one as it performs its job. I like the symbolism of the ripcord and the story behind the parachute packing tagline (follow the link to learn about Charles Plumb).

What are the benefits I can expect from working with you?

When you hire me, you’re actually hiring four specialists for the price of one.

  • Strategist: As a former corporate communications executive, I know the importance of creating a workable strategy and being able to effectively implement it. There’s no use in building a plan no one understands, especially one that falls flat with your intended audience.
  • Writer: I have worked in the trenches as a copywriter, writer, and content specialist. I know writing secrets to draw your ideal prospects in and help you build “know, like, and trust” relationships with them.
  • Editor: To have materials properly edited is, when one considers the whole process of publishing materials and the impact that the client wishes to make, a minor expense. Sloppiness loses clients, loses customers.
  • Coach: My change management experience helps me read cultural landscapes. I unite people by creating, collaborating, and communicating in a way that fosters teamwork.

My four-for-one approach saves you time and money. You and your staff can rest assured knowing you’ve hired a professional self-starter. As our relationship matures, the benefits of working together will only increase.

What is Content Marketing?

According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), “Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

The key terms here are “strategic marketing approach” and “a clearly-defined audience” (also known as an ideal client avatar), important tools in marketing research.

Digital Marketer (DM) takes a more explicit approach. Their slogan is “Forget Theory….This Stuff Actually Works.” In its own business, DM racks up millions of dollars of profits and it teaches its methods to over a 140,000 students (including me). Content can be used to:

  • Attract traffic: This is the starting point. If no one can find you on the web, you can have the best product, the most competitive price, incredible service, and still have limited sales.
  • Increase engagement: There are many ways to measure customer engagement, but how long one stays on your website increases the likelihood of purchase. Internet shoppers are like heat-seeking missiles. If they don’t find what they’re searching for within two-to-six seconds, they’re likely to zoom off, never to return.
  • Build brand awareness: Content is the most practical way to help your ideal clients “know, like, and trust” you. And we all like to do business with those we “know, like, and trust.”
  • Grow a proprietary list of email addresses: Building your own list of self-qualified leads if your own pot of gold at the rainbows end and this is always preferable to renting or purchasing a list for the purposes of cold-calling.
  • Increase conversions: A conversion occurs when an ideal client obeys a call-to-action, such as providing an email address in exchange for an irresistible free offer or lead magnet. Obtaining an email address adds this self-qualified lead to your sales funnel, which moves the customer from awareness to evaluation to purchase.

What are your qualifications as a copywriter?

The best writers are usually the best readers and I’m a voracious reader of literature, nonfiction, and business information. After years of working with corporate communications, I attended Stanford University’s creative writing program and wrote a novel. I learned to hone my own craft under some of the best professors and writers.

As a professional, I’ve worked as both a staff employee and as a freelance copywriter. Here is a subset of my varied experiences:

  • I am the online editor for Little Patuxent Review, a nationally recognized journal of literature and arts.
  • I’ve redesigned and written copy for many websites, for example: Laura Shovan, Hugs From Lucie, Ann Bracken (Author), and Dovetail Acupuncture.
  • For the documentary film “365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley,” I was the director of public relations, writing all original web copy and press documents.
  • While at Constellation Energy, I wrote, recorded, and edited the weekly Radio 2020 podcast.

What kind of professional copywriting training do you have?

I love to learn and consider myself a “forever student” because I want to stay abreast of new trends and techniques.

  • AWAI: I’m a member of the American Writers & Artists, Inc., the country’s premier copywriting development organization, where I took courses in Accelerated Copywriting and Web Copywriting.
  • Digital Marketer: I’m a member of Digital Marketer, where I weekly participate in learning opportunities to stay abreast of content marketing trends and social marketing methodology.

To what professional writing organizations do you belong?

I belong to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP); AWAI; The Writers’ Center; Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA); Association of Personal Historians (APH), and the Digital Marketer. In addition, I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a founding member of the Stanford Writers’ Group.

Do you provide design and illustrations?

I focus on writing, but because visualization is important to sales, I can provide wireframes or mock-ups. I work with a variety of designers, photo editors, and graphic artists, who fulfill more visual aspects of our web work.

What kinds of projects do you handle?

I offer a comprehensive set of website content and marketing services:

  • Site audit to review an existing site and identify opportunities to increase traffic, leads, and sales
  • Website content that gives a prospect an opportunity to “know, like, and trust” you
  • Blogs and newsletters that increase prospect touches
  • Website copywriting to persuade prospects to a call-to-action
  • Auto-responders and email campaigns

Do you offer consulting services?

Yes, I offer to work with clients on marketing content, strategy, and planning. This service is highly recommended if you are new to building a conversion funnel to your website. Strategy sessions are important if you’re developing a new site for your company or a new campaign for an existing product or service. Once a plan is in place, the content is more compelling.

What does it cost to hire you for a project?

With RipCord Communications writing and editing packages, you receive priceless confidence and pride in having your words attract your ideal clients. Our goal is not only to increase your professionalism, but to keep your thoughts and ideas fresh, allowing you to serve in a bigger way. We’re here to transform your thoughts and drafts into sparkling jewels. We have several package options available. Contact us to schedule a get-acquainted call so we can discuss your needs and our programs to see if we’re a good match.

How long does it take to complete a project?

The scope of your project depends on many factors, including the amount of research needed, the availability of subject matter experts, the materials you provide, and the other projects to which RipCord Communications is already committed. That’s why we begin the process with an initial consultation, a copywriting questionnaire, and a proposal to ensure we can set a mutually-agreeable deadline to ensure a successful outcome.

Do you have a process for working with me?

Yes! I follow a copyrighted five-step process that is compatible with all businesses. Because process will be an integral part of our working relationship.

What if we need to revise the final draft?

My fee always includes two rounds of revisions, provided they are requested within 30 days after you receive your final draft and do not materially change the initial assignment.

What can I expect when I work with you?

You can expect professionalism, a respect for your time, courtesy, and a teamwork relationship dedicated to showing current and potential customers how your services and/or products can improve their lives. My style of working with others has won me praise and appreciation throughout my career.

Our Testimonials

She helped me define and create the look, feel, and message I wanted to communicate…

Before my first children's novel was published, I needed to establish my author platform online. Deborah Kevin helped me look at the big picture. Not only was she a great project manager for my new author website, she helped me define and create the look, feel, and message I wanted to communicate through my online presence. Deborah has a gift for matching the right resources and platforms to her clients' specific needs.

Laura Shovan,
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary,