• Kim Funk

Wayne's Widgets

A sweet short story of a business who hired a copywriter. And changed their trajectory for the better.


Five years ago Wayne, a vice president at Mission Machinery, took his knowledge of manufacturing and hung his own shingle - Wayne's Widgets. Oddly, Mission Machinery never asked him to sign a non-compete. Perhaps it was because Wayne's former employer lead the market so they weren't worried about competition.


Wayne began his career at Mission Machinery right out of college and worked his way up the corporate ladder - learning everything about their products and services, business model and target market. He was a smart guy. His resume included nearly every department at Mission Machinery. When he reached his ceiling and Mission Machinery, he knew it was time to strike out on his own.


And when he opened Wayne's Widgets, he employed everything he learned at Mission Machinery. After all, Mission Machinery was so successful, Wayne felt that Wayne's Widgets was destined for success too.


But five years in, with stagnant sales, and low employee morale, Wayne found himself at an impasse. Where had he gone wrong? Wayne's Widgets provided excellent customer service and a quick turnaround. They were small and nimble which meant that they could give customers the personalized service Mission Machinery lacked.


Yet, Mission Machinery remained the leader by leaps and bounds.


Wayne reviewed his marketing plan. He had meetings with his team. They strategized.


The company spent thousands on web design and SEO. And they were not seeing the promised return on investment.


Then the phone rang.


"May I speak to Wayne, please." said the clear lyric soprano on the other end.


"This is Wayne," he replied, irritated. He didn't have time. And how did she get past his secretary?


"Hi Wayne. I'm Kim Funk from Kim Funk Creative. I'm a freelance copywriter and I'd like to chat with you about your website. I write content, blogs, landing pages - stuff like that." she sang into his ear. Very chipper. He rolled is eyes and shook his head.


"I have an in-house marketing team that does that."


"Yes," she observed, "I've been looking at your website. I can tell you've spent a lot of money and you've put a lot into it. But, it looks a lot like your competitor, Mission Machinery. That's why I called."


Wayne was concerned. She said, "copywriter, right?" She talked about "writing, right?" Had he misunderstood?


A hard knot formed in his stomach. He glanced around the room - searching for his antacid tablets. It had been five years since he had opened his doors. Why now? He hoped that she wasn't an attorney calling about some sort of copyright violation.


"Here's the thing," she went on. "You look exactly like Mission Machinery. Which means your customers probably don't know whether they're buying their product from you or Mission Machinery. And that's where I come in. I think I could rework all of your content so it sets you apart without alienating your customer. Your product isn't that hard to sell, you just need to wrap some creativity around it to differentiate yourself. To be honest, I don't think Mission Machinery is doing anything like that. Why don't we set a time when I can come talk to you about what I have in mind."


Wayne reluctantly agreed to the meeting. And after Kim pitched a few ideas for a few of Wayne's Widgets, he was sold.


The work began. Kim reviewed the market research. She studied the products. She asked all the right questions. And she found a new angle.


And once the content was published, the magic happened.


Wayne's Widgets continued to sell the exact same widgets as Mission Machinery. But sales started to increase.


Six months later, sales continue to increase - closing the gap between the two companies. Wayne's biggest problem now is hiring enough people to produce all the widgets to fill the orders that come in day after day.


And here's what customers are saying,


"Wayne understands what's right for my business. He gets me." - John D.


"I feel like the folks at Wayne's Widgets have a solution for me before I know I have a problem." - Mary J.


"Everything about Wayne's Widgets is so personal. Who knew a widget could do that?" - Billy J.


"I'll keep coming back to Wayne's Widgets, where I feel like more than a number." - Tom D.


The only thing Wayne did differently was to hire a talented professional copywriter to tell his story. The marketing stayed the same. The SEO stayed the same. The products stayed the same. The original staff stayed the same.


The copywriter made the difference.


And a copywriter can make the difference for your business too. Businesses are just starting to figure this out. You don't want to be late to the party on this one. Because freelance copywriters only have a finite amount of time.


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A copywriter's an essential cog in the business wheel.



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