Who Are You — And What Can You Do For Me?
I’m David Pascal. I’m a writer and designer with over twenty years experience in marketing and advertising, particularly internet marketing. What can I do for you? Well — a lot.
Generally people come to me because they have something they want to sell — a product, a service, an idea, themselves. They need someone to write something about it for them, get it designed and printed, or have it developed into a presentation or a book, or put on the web. I’m one of the few people in marketing with notable experience in both the verbal and visual, and print and online worlds. I got my start in marketing as a graphic illustrator, became copywriter for a marketing firm, developed my skills to include web design and then expanded into internet marketing.
The end result is that if you need a book or document or presentation or web site, I can put it together for you and get it out there — and do it in one integrated package, without you having to deal with (or pay) six people, or an entire agency. The same for consultation: if you need marketing advice, you don’t have to go to half a dozen people, or to one person with no experience in several of the factors needed to see all the issues clearly and in balance.
Are You Good At What You Do?
Judge for yourself. If you’ve read so far, I guess my writing would seem to do the trick. But this web site more than just some of the many things I’ve written. It also includes documents and logos I’ve designed, campaigns I’ve done, web sites I’ve created, presentations I’ve put together. I think you’ll find my skills to be solid across the board.
(I should point out that often entire teams are involved in creating marketing and advertising materials. The photographer does one part, the designer does another, various writer add this and that. Sometimes you can’t quite tell afterwards who contributed what. I try not to let people take someone else’s work for my own: unless otherwise indicated, any samples you see here are my own work.)
Multi-talented, eh? Anything You Can’t Do?
Quite a lot. Don’t worry, I’m not conceited (or crazy) enough to think I can always do it all. That’s where the associates come in. Yes, I have limitations — I write English, HTML, and CSS well enough, but my Swahili, PHP, C++ and Swift is far from expert. I’ve created and uploaded YouTube videos for clients using little beyond my smartphone and a good video editor, but the bar is not high for an adequate YouTube video: that I can do, but I’m not a master photographer or videographer. If a client needs really stellar quality in areas in which I’m not expert, I do what agencies do: I find the right person and bring them in on it.
It isn’t always necessary or always cost-effective to bring in a lot of people. If I can do it solo, I generally will. It just plain cuts down on time, costs, and project management headaches. But when people are needed, I know several that are available, and all of them are good. If it takes a team, I can put one together.
Who Specifically Are Your Associates?
Well, they vary from job to job. I’ve worked with quite a few people, and the circle is always expanding. But there are professionals in the Upstate New York area whose services I would have to recommend to anyone. For work involving the Hispanic market, for instance, I call on journalist and translator Camy Sorbello. For photography, it’s John Retallack all the way — a superb award-winning photographer and RIT professor will occasionally takes commercial assignments. I like to work with The Galen Group when medical-related things are involved. Amherst-based Joel Goldberg of Joel Goldberg & Associates is the person to go to for really top-level market research and market segmentation. Lynne Perry is the incarnate goddess of web programming: she did the City of Rochester web site and working with her was an education in itself. Hamilton Ontario’s Phil Alexander is a copywriter par excellence and one of the best internet marketing consultants anywhere.
And then there are my students. I teach classes in marketing and advertising now and again, and a number of students have either come from major agencies, or gone on to work for them. They stay in touch.
Do You Do Web Programming Or E-commerce?
See above. If you want an overall web site with a programming or e-commerce component, I normally call in an expert programmer and we work together on the project. I do the design and copy and layout, and the programmer does the really complicated tech stuff. If your focus is completely on the programming or e-commerce, just go direct to Lynne Perry at www.lynneperry.com. Super programmer, fine person, great references, and as knowledgeable a programmer as they come.
I should add though that there’s e-commerce and e-commerce. Can I arrange it so someone can read about your product on your web page and then click on a link on that page and pay you with Paypal? Sure. Things that required a master professional years ago are a great deal easier to implement now. (I sometimes get called in because the bells-and-whistles approach produces results so complicated that help is called in to simplify things!)
What Size Businesses Do You Work For?
All sizes. I work for the person that hires me. That person may hire me on behalf of a large international corporation, a small private practice, or simply be a person who wants a book ghostwritten or a Powerpoint presentation created.
I admit I have preferences. I like dealing with smaller firms and professional practices. You generally get to talk to the people making decisions directly, and that saves a lot of time. But I’ve done everything from government work, to consulting for Fortune 100 corporations, to doing author sites for award-winning, nationally-honored poets.
I have a particular liking for ghostwriting. Helping people with expertise articulate their knowledge and experiences is a learning experience, and learning is a payment in itself. I’m a book lover, and designing book covers is a particular pleasure too. I almost always have a social or charitable project going.
And sometimes, in a way, I work for me: I teach classes in writing, advertising, and marketing, for instance, and have also taught classes in fiction and poetry. (Yes, I’m a published, and award-winning, author.) I’ve lectured at colleges, given talks to business audiences and conferences.
I make a point of keeping up with technical developments, and keeping my web design and internet skills sharp. But I have to admit that lately I’ve been doing a great deal more pure consulting and speaking. Content rules, and a lot of the time now I get calls to just provide it directly and in person.
If what I do has a keynote, it’s adaptability. Nowadays, in an age of continual change, there’s no other option. You have to shape your services to the client — large or small, corporate, nonprofit, or individual — and be able to use all the newest tools and information at hand.
What Do Your Clients Say About You?
A recent client said: “I can’t congratulate David Pascal enough for the work he’s done on our web site and on our direct mail packages. Our site’s drawn frequent unsolicited praise from readers and has received unsolicited high rankings and awards from professional Web critics. His writing and consultation, in my opinion and in the personal opinions of the members of our Board of Directors, have been excellent.
“The bottom line is that since hiring David Pascal, our business has had the best year we’ve had in nearly 25 years, our web traffic has more than tripled, and we’re now the fastest growing company in our entire field.”
Says journalist, novelist and poet Sarah Freligh (who received a $25,000 grant after I created sarahfreligh.com):
“After an initial consultation with David Pascal, he knew intuitively what I wanted in a Web site and how best to accomplish it. The entire project was done quickly with a mininum of fuss. Working with David has been a pleasure. I’d recommend David Pascal’s web design services to anyone.”
Writes Dr. Mark Groskin:
“I have had a professional relationship with David Pascal for over 10 years. From web design and SEO, to marketing campaigns, media ads, brochures, business cards, and postcards, David is the man. I couldn’t be happier with the consistently excellent results of his work. David has an uncanny ability to get and keep peoples’ attention. Both visually and with words, David is an artist, and a creative genius. He is accessible, proactive, and gets results. He can draw someone in, and engage them with emotion and grace. I count my lucky stars to count him as a dear friend, collaborator, and mentor.”
Says best-selling financial author Alexander Franklin:
“David Pascal and Pascal Editions helped me to take an idea — a fantasy really — and make it a reality. After several easy recorded conversations, we worked together to create an outline and develop content, till eventually it became the story in my heart and head that I wanted to be told in exactly that way. (In fact so much material was developed that a second and third book became likely, and are under development as well.) Suffice it to say, that without David’s keen writing skills and intellect, none of this would have been possible or even probable. He was able to draw from me what I did not even know existed. Thank you David!”
Writes Philip Alexander (one of the leading internet marketing specialists in Canada, and in my humble opinion, one of the finest copywriters in all North America):
“David is more than an exceptionally gifted and knowledgable copywriter. To my knowledge he’s the only writer in the field I know that is equally competent in graphic design and print and internet marketing. The rest of us all work on our own little part of the project. David can see the big picture and put together an integrated package like no one else. He’s as unique as he is good. And he’s a pleasure to work with. If you’re looking to do a book, an advertisement, a presentation, a white paper, or just plain want a consultant who’ll give you some damn sharp advice, look no further. This is the guy.”
Local business owner Eric Koesterich put it more succinctly: “I liked his stuff. My customers liked his stuff. It got me business and it made me money.”
Can’t beat recommendations like that.
My very oldest client is the Upstate New York marketing firm The Galen Group. I’ve worked with them on assignments for over fifteen years now, and its CEO, Jonathan Rich, has called me, “the ghostwriter’s ghostwriter — and finest copywriter I ever had the pleasure of working with.”
OK, he exaggerates. But I am pretty good.
How Do I Know You’re Any Good?
Read me. Look at the work I’ve done. My web site can show you ads and ad campaigns, articles I’ve written, web sites I’ve designed, graphic work I’ve done, an extensive list of clients, my resume, and so on.
If you want to find out if someone can cook — have a taste!
Do You Do Search Engine Optimization?
Of course. It’s part of the package. If you do internet marketing and you ignore SEO, you’re doomed. That said, I don’t do SEO exclusively and have learned to be wary of services that do. Good search engine rankings stem from a number of factors. I’ve seen too many services boost it artificially, then stand by and watch it crash and burn. SEO matters, and matters a lot, but the best way to sell a good product is to create a good product. People will tweet and Facebook-Like a good product naturally and spontaneously.
Are You Good?
Type “David Pascal” into Google. There’s hundreds of David Pascals the world over. I come in Page One Number One. (As I do for preferred niche keywords like ‘Rochester copywriter’ or ‘Rochester NY copywriter’ or ‘ghostwriter Rochester’)
If I can get myself to the top of page one, I can get you there too. Yes. I’m good.
Do You Do Social Media Marketing?
You mean Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or even Second Life? Yup. You can check out my own pages there at twitter.com/davidpascal, linkedin.com/in/davidpascalceo, facebook.com/pascalandassociates, and my Second Life avatar ID is Vissarion Obolensky.
And yes, I have both introduced clients to these media, and used them to market and promote clients too.
That said, I don’t generally recommend making social media the centerpiece of most marketing efforts. Socializing isn’t selling, and the considerable amount of time and subtlety needed to do a really good job marketing through social media could (in my opinion) normally be better spent in other areas. There are exceptions, and I certainly don’t recommend ignoring social media. But in my experience there are faster and more cost-effective ways of getting results.
If you consider it part of your marketing strategy, I can certainly help. If you want to make it the focus and centerpiece of your marketing — sad to say, you may want to look elsewhere.
Do You Have A Particular Focus Or Specialty?
That’s a good question. (Which is why I asked it.) If there’s one thing that appears to be absolutely unique about me, it that I do not specialize: I combine. For instance, to my knowledge I am the only ghostwriter in the business who can not only help you actually write a book, but also design the page layout and the book cover and ebook version, then take them all through the full publication and book marketing process.
My ghostwriting page goes into more detail, but suffice it to say most ghosts produce a manuscript, collect their check, and say their farewells. But getting a book out there means putting it into print and ebook formats, designing page layouts and covers, finding a publisher, getting the book onto Amazon and into book stores, publicizing it, transforming it across media into spoken-word CDs or condensing it into Powerpoint presentations, and so on. There are people who can write and design your web site, and or write and create your Powerpoint, but I don’t know of any who can carry an author through the whole book process start to finish.
I should add that, having worked as a literary and academic editor, and writing instructor, I eventually found myself creating a small independent publishing house called Pascal Editions. I should point out that it isn’t there to provide an outlet for client publications, but for — don’t laugh — serious literature.
There is also something I do that, like so much today, is so new I am not quite sure what to call it. I think of it as “Persona Management.” Sometimes I am called upon to develop the way a person — an author or business person — is publicly perceived. This isn’t quite classic PR because it’s not a matter of dealing with journalists or press releases. It principally involves the internet and it mainly has to do with how that person’s online presence is known and regarded.
Nowadays we all make two kinds of impression: a personal impression we make on those we meet in person, and an internet-mediated impression we make, via our email and Facebook page and web site and tweets, on people we never actually meet. Those people can be clients, buyers, fans, potential employers, colleagues — people critically important to us, but people with whom we interact solely through the net. Which is to say, people who react to the persona that we create through our digital practices. Social Media is only one element of this overarching trend. Managing this ‘second self’ is something I’ve increasingly found myself hired to do. It is most definitely a service, and a fascinating one, and one that is still in the process of self-creation. But I expect it has quite a future.
Why Should I Hire You And Not Some Other Writer Or Marketing Guy?
What distinguishes me from most other such professionals is that I’m not ‘just’ a writer. Or even just a marketing guy. I am a published writer, and a marketing professional with long in-house marketing experience, of course. But I also have skills and a background in graphics and design. And my academic and training credentials are in psychology — in particular, the psychology of persuasion and behavior.
If you hire me, you don’t just get someone with writing experience. You get someone with marketing experience, design skills, a performance training background, formal training in persuasion skills and psychology, and someone who can produce and deliver the goods as well as just write them. You get work that’s totally integrated. And you don’t have to pay six or seven separate people to do it.
Of course, if you have money to burn, you can always hire a team or an agency. Personally I think six for the price of one is a good deal.
What Do You Charge?
Depends on the project. I wish I could be more exact, but you really need to know the job before you can estimate it. A web site for a multi-million dollar nonprofit (which I’ve done) is going to be more work than a classified ad for a hypnotherapist. Which I’ve also done.
I do think I am generally less expensive than an agency, simply because when you pay me, you pay just me, but when you pay agencies you pay for the whole crew, the office staff, and the overhead. Whenever I quote a project I generally recommend that the client call around for agency estimates to compare prices. I have yet to hear even one tell me I’m overpriced by comparison.
Do You Charge For A Quote?
Heck no. There’s no charge at all. I’d be glad to chat about a project or an assignment. Call me at 585-434-7067. Or email me via the contact page on this web site.
One caveat: if I don’t pick up, leave a message. At times I am just plain bombarded with calls and email. I’ve also learned from experience that the only way to actually get some work done is to go off the grid and concentrate on the job and only on the job till it’s finished. Leave a message. I’ll get back to you ASAP, I promise.
What’s Your Background?
If you’d like to know more about my professional background, my resume’s on my resume page.
My personal background? I was born in Buffalo, New York, and, travels aside, seem to have spent most of my life in Rochester, mostly at my home in Brighton, not far from the celebrated Harley School.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a second bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (graduating first in my class and magnum cum laude). I’ve done some post grad study and have Practitioner Certification in neuro-linguistic programming.
I’ve also lectured at colleges, and taught writing, copywriting, and web design at various places, principally the nationally celebrated organization Writers & Books.
I’m a member of Mensa, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, as well as several other groups and charities.
Professionally, I started out as an illustrator many years ago, then joined a marketing firm called The Galen Group, where I soon turned copywriter, then Chief Copywriter, then Partner, then left to freelance. I’m an award-winning writer who’s been published in numerous publications. I have a few reprints on this site here and there.
How Can I Get In Touch?
Call me: 585-434-7067. Or drop me a note from my Contact Page. And if you’re not sure about calling me? Tour my web site. I’m afraid I can’t offer you a frappuccino, but there’s plenty of things to read, a much celebrated research links page, nice design work, links to articles and sites I’ve done and even fiction. If you’re in a rush you can even subscribe to my e-newsletter or Twitter feed and stay updated automatically.
So look around and enjoy the tour. And if you have any comments or suggestions on the site and how I can improve it? Stop by the Contact page on your way out and let me know.
Thanks for stopping by.
– David Pascal
David Pascal – Writing Marketing Design