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Meet Pat Kramer of Writer For Hire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pat Kramer.

Pat, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always enjoyed telling stories. In elementary school, I loved writing and presenting book reports and later, I served as editor of my high school yearbook. For a college, I chose Boston’s Emerson College where I got “on the ground” experience working at my college newspaper as well as the opportunity to intern at one of the top radio stations in New England. At Emerson, I shared a dorm with actor Denis Leary (Rescue Me, Ice Age) and followed in the footsteps of actor Henry Winkler (“The Fonz” in Happy Days) and director Norman Lear (All in the Family).

Following college, I got my first job working at a small station in Newport, Rhode Island writing, reporting and broadcasting the news. It was a great learning experience for me covering city council meetings, police stories and eventually, celebrity visits to the island. My first big interview was with actor/dancer Ginger Rogers. Shortly after that, I interviewed the King of Sweden Carl Gustaf who was vacationing there to watch his country’s team compete in the America’s Cup yacht races!

After nearly 10 years of covering news for radio stations all over New England, I decided to move to Los Angeles to see if I could take my career up a notch. I found out that I had to start all over to prove myself in this big news market. I began writing for some of the entertainment magazines – Music Connection, HITS and Entertainment Today, then I got a break when I was hired by Boxoffice Magazine to become a film reviewer and staff writer. That led to a regular writing job with Variety and the Los Angeles Business Journal as well as its sister paper, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. During those hard years, I worked 10 – 12 hours a day and was often up until the wee hours, writing on deadline. This taught me dedication to my craft and it challenged me to be a better writer with each new assignment.

In 1990, I decided to take the next step – to name my business “Writer For Hire” and then to get the copyright for that name. It’s now been almost 30 years since I made that important decision to hang my shingle as a writer. Despite the up’s and down’s of being a small business person, I have enjoyed writing 1,000’s of stories about my clients for hundreds of thousands of readers!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are always struggles in business when you run a startup. I remember the problems I had with some of my early clients because I thought I didn’t need a signed contract – that people’s “promise to pay” was enough!

Well after taking a few clients to Small Claims Court (and winning, I might add) I learned that I needed a proper contract. Initially, I used a friend’s contract which I modified, but later I hired a business attorney to draft one that was right for my business. That contract has kept me out of court for over 20 years!

Another learning curve I had was in deciding what to charge for my writing services. In the beginning, I charged a very low fee, believing that it would bring me lots of customers. But I later learned that people judge you by, not only the quality of your work, but also by what you charge. After I had been in business for about 10 years, I increased my rates and have made small adjustments since then to cover my time in business.
One of the factors that has never been a problem for me, surprisingly, has been self discipline. As a writer, I can take my laptop wherever I want to write but I don’t do that very often because I like the structure of being in my own space where I can focus without distraction. You won’t find me on the beach with my laptop or in a Starbucks. I prefer to be in my home office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, just like I would in any other job!

Please tell us about Writer For Hire®.
My company, Writer For Hire®, produces a variety of marketing, informational and promotional materials for business uses. This might include ad copy, biographies, website and blog content, promotional One Sheets and brochures or press releases. I do the entire campaign from writing the release to pitching it to the media for interviews and then set it up with the newswire service to have it distributed, locally or nationally. I also ghostwrite articles for trade journals, help authors write books, and one of the things I love the most is writing memoirs for business professionals (or their elder family members) as a testament to their life experiences.

What Are you Most Proud Of?

The quality of work that I do comes from my strong background in writing for the news media, for public relations firms and ad agencies, and for every level of business from small and mid-size to corporate and government agencies. I keep my rates affordable for everyone and I am reliable and deadline-oriented, so my clients never have to worry about whether their project will be finished on time. With my experience, I have the ability to produce a higher level of work than most “writers.”

What Sets You Apart from Other Writers?

I would say it’s my history of speaking to professional associations. For almost 20 years, I have been offering my expertise as a speaker to business and trade associations. Two years ago, I also began doing outreach to high schools to help prepare young people for the career I have chosen. I love meeting people and answering their questions about what it’s like to be a ghostwriter/journalist. It’s been a very exciting life!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory would be of sitting on my grandfather’s lap by his garden where my grandmother lovingly tended beautiful flowers. My grandparents were immigrants from Russia who taught me good values and most of all, who loved me through thick and thin.

Pricing:

  • On many projects, I work on a retainer of 5 ($500.00) or 10 hours ($950.00). This is helpful when there are multiple pages to write for a website or when a client needs ongoing blogs, editing for a book or wants me to work on a variety of content.
  • I can also quote a price or a project rate for specific projects when I know what is involved.
  • I set up LinkedIn profiles and write professional content for $195.00
  • My press release rate can either include the writing, media pitching and distribution to the wire service (or just the writing and distribution). Ask me about my press release rates.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Kresse Armour

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