Why static web page changes aren’t that shocking

This morning I was preparing to reshare my “Who I Am” page to my Bredemarket Facebook page and the associated Facebook groups for identity, technology, and the Inland Empire. (I need to get more active on Facebook; hold me accountable if I don’t.)

But I thought I’d better check the “Who I Am” page before resharing it to Facebook. And it’s good I did, because I realized that it required one important update.

Well, perhaps the page didn’t require the update, but I personally thought the update was necessary. I’ll let you judge for yourself.

Regardless of whether this edit was needed, static web pages certainly can change.

The “Who I Am” page before the change

If you haven’t seen my “Who I Am” page, it starts with a description of me and my writing background, then transitions into the story of how Bredemarket came to be. After describing the events that prompted me to establish Bredemarket, I concluded the section as follows:

So I formally registered Bredemarket with the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County, and with other private businesses that allowed me to offer my services.

And here we are.

From https://bredemarket.com/who-i-am/ as of January 13, 2023

The “Who I Am” page after the change

It’s a nice little story about the establishment of Bredemarket in the fall of 2020, but as originally written the “Who I Am” page doesn’t describe the changes to the company that took place in the spring of 2022.

So I just inserted some material between the two paragraphs reproduced above.

For nearly two years, Bredemarket was my primary source of income.

Then I accepted a new employment position in May 2022. While this has required me to pivot my business away from certain biometric customers, and while the time that I spend on Bredemarket is dramatically reduced, I’ve continued Bredemarket as a part-time side gig with a new emphasis on local (Inland Empire West, California) customers. (Although I’m still serving my former customers, as long as they’re not involved in finger/face/secure document identity.)

From https://bredemarket.com/who-i-am/ as of January 14, 2023

And…here we are.

Why I’m not performing a complete overhaul

Now some of you would probably argue that the “Who I Am” page needs some more extensive edits, or perhaps a wrecking ball.

Well, that would be a change in Bredemarket’s marketing persona. Sage it ain’t. From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2FRPA3Gf8

But for now, I’m sticking to incremental changes.

  1. As mentioned above, I have limited time to spend on Bredemarket, and revamping the entire website is not the best use of my time.
  2. Of course I could pay someone to do it, but Bredemarket’s revenue is also limited.
  3. There are also SEO considerations. Some time ago I knew of a company that performed a complete (and necessary) website revamp, despite the hit that it would deal to the company’s search results. And yes, search results did take a hit.

So I’m not going to chuck the existing Bredemarket website and start over.

By ericskiff/Glitch010101 – This image was originally posted to Flickr as Uprooted bonsai (just a bit cropped), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=666469

However, I am going to try to slowly refresh the existing static web pages (currently 39) as I encounter them, so that the existing search results will be improved.

And here we are.

Bredemarket’s Two Step Target Segment (Persona) Definition Process

I’ve said before that there are six critical questions that you need to ask before creating content. One of those six questions is to ask who the target audience will be for the content.

By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2786722

How do you decide who your target audience is?

And how do you decide who the target segments are within that target audience?

The professional marketer’s way to define a target segment

A few months ago, some marketers were writing eight pieces of content. At one point, they stepped back and defined personas that corresponded to these eight pieces of content.

Personas? What’s that?

Let’s use Aurora Harley’s definition:

A persona is a fictional, yet realistic, description of a typical or target user of the product. A persona is an archetype instead of an actual living human, but personas should be described as if they were real people.

From https://www.nngroup.com/articles/persona/

Harley shared an example of a persona (go to her article to see it) that incorporated a lot of detail:

  • A name (in this case, “Rosa Cho”)
  • Biographical details (job title, age, city of residence)
  • Behavioral details (what motivates her, her frustrations, her goals)

Why all the detail? Because this detail allows us to think of this abstract persona as a living person. As marketers design their product, they can reference this persona and ask themselves if Rosa Cho would like this content.

So all you have to do is build the personas.

But how do we create Rosa Cho and her persona friends? Do we need weird science to perform this feat?

Maybe.

Or maybe not.

How to create a professional persona in 9 steps, or 4 steps

When professional marketers at large companies create personas, they often use a persona creation process.

For example, Arthur McCay has defined 9 steps in persona creation, as an aid to people who are befuddled with the whole persona creation process.

  • The first of these 9 steps is to perform research to obtain reliable data (rather than mere hypotheses) about your persona. This research may be based on your own knowledge, on interviews with customers and customer-facing salespeople, or on data sources (including web analytics).
  • The remaining 8 steps use this research to segment the audience into individual archetypes, decide on the layout (what the persona will contain), and fill in the details. I’m not going to reproduce all of McCay’s content; you can see all 9 of his steps here.

If you’re someone who thinks that 9 steps is too many steps, perhaps you’ll prefer Louis Grenier’s 4 step process. Although frankly it’s pretty much the same.

  1. Choose questions for your survey
  2. Set up a survey on a popular page
  3. Analyze your data
  4. Build your persona

OK, the emphasis is slightly different, but in both cases you assemble data (McCay uses multiple sources, Grenier uses a survey), analyze it, and then create the personas.

And I’m sure there are a variety of other methods to create personas. If you want to go down the persona creation route, choose the one that works for you.

Why personas?

But why create personas?

Because marketing research emphasizes that persona creation is better than the alternative.

As every professional marketer knows, the data-driven method of persona creation is necessary to create accurate personas. As McCay states:

It is important to keep in mind that a persona is a collective image of a segment of your target audience (TA). It cannot be the face of the entire TA. Nor can it be just one person. You need somewhat of a golden middle.

From https://uxpressia.com/blog/how-to-create-persona-guide-examples

Note that you should never base your target segment on the attributes of a single person. That’s going to skew your data and perhaps overemphasize some quirk of the individual person.

  • For example, if your company were marketing to part-time consultants, and chose to market to me rather than a persona created from data, then your company would erroneously conclude that all part-time consultants have prior experience with FriendFeed and an interest in orienteering.
  • This is not accurate for other part-time consultants, 99.99999% of whom have never heard of FriendFeed and think that orienteering is some form of Japanese study. (It isn’t.)

If you aspire to be a professional marketer, don’t read this

As professional marketers will tell you, using a real person rather than a constructed persona to define your target audience (or target segment) is an absolutely terrible thing to do.

But be terrible.

For some of you, I recommend that you consider using a real person as a starting point.

Large multi-million dollar businesses can devote the resources to the surveys, interviews, analytics, and other steps necessary for thorough persona creation.

But what if you’re a small business and don’t have the time or resources to do all that?

Don’t tell anyone, but you can cheat.

Don’t read this either: two steps to define a target segment

So you’ve read the warnings above, but you’re ready to ignore them and forgo you chance at a Super Duper Marketing Research award (application fee $899, not counting the cost of the awards dinner).

Without further ado, here are Bredemarket’s two steps to define a target segment.

  1. Start with a real person.
  2. Adjust.

If you read above, you realize that this method has severe problems, especially if you skip the second step altogether. By starting your focus with a real person, you could inadvertently create marketing text that emphasizes individual eccentricities that are relatively unimportant.

Is your content true north, or magnetic north?

But if you use your smarts to adjust and generalize the original person, you have a quick and dirty way to create your persona.

Rather than collecting extensive survey results and deriving an artificial persona from those results, you start with a real person.

An example

For example, let’s say that my company Bredemarket is targeting local businesses that need content or proposal creation.

I could start with a real local person who could use Bredemarket’s services, and then adjust that real biography and behavioral attributes as necessary to remove the oddities.

Or I could start with a non-local person and adjust as necessary to make the person a local person, filling in biographical and behavioral details as needed.

Either way, the end product is a quick and dirty persona that Bredemarket can use to target local businesses.

But what do professional marketers do in reality?

But are quick and dirty personas too dirty to use? Shouldn’t we stick to professional marketing techniques and create fictitious personas?

For example, when you create your Rosa Cho persona, how do you depict the persona? Do you use an illustration, or do you use an image of a real person?

One response from a content marketing expert:

Personally prefer illustrations…

From https://www.designernews.co/stories/69356-ask-dn-do-you-use-real-peoples-photos-for-creating-user-personas-or-you-go-for-illustration-option

Another from another content marketing expert:

I prefer real photos. I think they help people empathize with the persona more than an illustration.

From https://www.designernews.co/stories/69356-ask-dn-do-you-use-real-peoples-photos-for-creating-user-personas-or-you-go-for-illustration-option

Obviously both answers are wrong, however. Right?

  • A real photo is obviously a terrible thing to use, because it is based on a real individual and ignores all of the research that you performed to create the rest of the persona.
  • And illustrations can be fallible, since chances are that they don’t incorporate all of your research either. (Does the median 34 year old freelancer from Seattle really look like the illustration? Or does the illustration more accurately depict a 35 year old from Tacoma?)

Let’s face it: persona creation is not merely a science, but also an art. And sometimes you may take artistic license. This content marketing expert gives you permission to do so.

TL;DR Do what you want

There are valid arguments for a 4 step, 9 step, or 96 step (heh) persona creation process.

And there are valid arguments for just winging it.

The important thing is to target somebody when creating content, or having someone create content for you.

Which is why Bredemarket asks customers who their target audience is in the first place. It’s all in Bredemarket’s most recent e-book; read this post to find out how to download the e-book.

Six Questions Your Content Creator Should Ask You: the e-book version

I love repurposing.

So I’ve repurposed my October 30 blog post into an e-book.

This gave me an opportunity to revisit the topic and add critical information on wildebeests, George (H.W.) Bush, and Yogi Berra.

But more importantly, it allows me to share my thoughts with a wider audience.

If you missed the October blog post, I state that there are six critical questions that your content creator must ask before creating content These questions apply whether your content creator is a consultant, an employee at your company, and you yourself.

The e-book discusses each of these six questions:

  1. Why?
  2. How?
  3. What?
  4. Goal?
  5. Benefits?
  6. Target Audience?

And as I note in the e-book, that’s just the beginning of the content creation process.

Whether you intend to use Bredemarket as your content creator, use someone else as your content creator, or create your own content, the points in this e-book are helpful. They can be applied to content creation (case studies, white papers, blog posts) or proposal work, and apply whether you are writing for Inland Empire West businesses or businesses anywhere.

And if you read the e-book, you’ll discover why I’m NOT sharing it on the Bredemarket Identity Firm Services LinkedIn page and Facebook group.

You can download the e-book here. And you can be a content marketing expert also.

Six questions your content creator should ask you

If you want a content marketing expert to write for your business, do you just say “Write this, and make it viral”?

Not THAT viral. (Too soon?) By Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant) – Own work. Scientific consultants:Nikitin N.A., Doctor of Biological Sciences, Department of Virology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University.Borisevich S.S. Candidate of Chemical Sciences, Specialist in Molecular Modeling of Viral Surface Proteins, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Chemical Physics, Ufa Institute of Chemistry RASArkhipova V.I., specialization in Fundamental and Applied chemistry, senior engineer, RNA Chemistry Laboratory, Institute of chemical biology and fundamental medicine SB RAS, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=104914011

Six words of instruction will not result in great content.

Even if you just say “Write this” and leave off the viral part, this will not work either.

You and your content creator have to have a shared understanding of what the content will be.

For example, as I indicated in a previous post, you and your content creator have to agree on the tone of voice to use in the content. The content creator could write something in a tone of voice that may not match your voice at all, which would mean that the content would sound horribly wrong to your audience.

Imagine a piece for financial executives written in the style of Crazy Eddie. Ouch.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml6S2yiuSWE

And that’s just one thing that could go wrong when you and your content creator are not on the same…um, page.

Bredemarket’s content creation process includes six questions

When Bredemarket works with you to create content, I use a content creation process. I’ve revised my original content creation process several times, and I’m sure I’ll revise it more as I work with more of you.

But as of today, Bredemarket’s kickoff meetings with clients begin with six high-level questions that set the scene for everything that follows.

Question One: Why?

As I noted in my Simon Sinek post, the “why?” question needs to be answered before any other question is asked.

Before you ask a content creator to write a case study about how your Magnificent Gizmo cures bad breath, you need to understand why you’re in the good breath business in the first place. Did you have an unpleasant childhood experience? Were you abandoned at the altar? WHY did you care enough to create the Magnificent Gizmo in the first place?

(As I write this post, I’m going to look at how each of these six questions can be answered for the post itself. After all, it’s fair to ask: Why does Bredemarket do what it does? Short answer: because I write. You can pry my keyboard out of my cold dead hands. For the longer answer, read the “Who I Am” page on the Bredemarket website.)

Question Two: How?

You also need to make sure your content creator can explain how you do what you do. Have you created your own set of algorithms that make breath good? Do you conduct extensive testing with billions of people, with their consent? How is your way of doing things superior to that of your competitors?

(Now if you’re asking the “how” of Bredemarket, my content creation process is the “how.” After these initial six questions, there are other things that I do, and things that you do. Here’s how I create content of 400 to 600 words. Here’s how I create content of 2,800 to 3,200 words.)

Question Three: What?

Once these are clear in your mind, you’re ready to talk about the “what.” As Sinek notes, many people start with the “what” and then proceed to the “how,” and may or may not even answer the “why.” But when you ask the “why” first and the “how” second, your “what” description is much better.

(Again, you may be asking what Bredemarket does. I craft the words to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences. For additional clarification, read “What I Do,” which also notes what I don’t do. Sorry, finger/face/ID document vendors.)

Question Four: Goal?

Once the Golden Circle is defined, we’re ready to dig a little deeper into the specific piece of content you want. We’re not ready to talk about page count and fonts, yet, though. There’s a few other things we need to settle.

What is the goal of the content? Simple awareness of the product or service you provide? Or are you ready for consideration? Or is it time for conversion? The goal affects the content dramatically.

(In the case of this post, the goal is primarily awareness, but if you’re ready for conversion to become a paying customer, I won’t turn you away.)

Question Five: Benefits?

I’ve written ad nauseum on the difference between benefits and features, so for this question five about benefits I’ll just briefly say that written content works best when it communicates how the solution will help (benefit) the customer. A list of features will not make a difference to a customer who has specific needs. Do you meet those needs? Maintain a customer focus.

(Bredemarket’s primary benefit is focused content that meets your needs. There are others, depending upon your industry and the content you require.)

Question Six: Target Audience?

This one is simple to understand.

  • If you’re a lollipop maker and you’re writing for kids who buy lollipops in convenience stores, you’ll write one way.
  • If you’re a lollipop maker and you’re writing to the convenience stores who could carry your lollipops, you’ll write another way.

Now sometimes content creators get fancy and create personas and all that (Jane Smith is a 54 year old single white owner of a convenience store in a rural area with an MBA and a love for Limp Bizkit), but the essential thing is that you understand who you want to read your content.

(This particular piece is targeted for business owners, executives, directors, and managers, especially in California’s Inland Empire, who have a need to create focused content that speaks to their customers. The target audience not only affects how I am writing this post, but also how I will distribute it.)

What if you use a different content creator?

I am forced to admit that not everyone chooses Bredemarket to create their content.

  • Maybe you create your content yourself.
  • Maybe you already have access to content creators.
  • Or maybe you have a limited budget and can only pay a penny a word to your content creator. Let’s face it, a five dollar blog post does sound attractive.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use these six questions. I did publish them, after all, and they’re based on questions that others have asked.

If you create your own content, ask yourself these six questions before you begin. They will focus your mind and make your final content better.

If you have someone else create your content, make sure that you provide the answers for your content creator. For example, if you seek a content creator on Upwork or Fiverr, put the answers to these questions in your request for quotes. Experienced writers will appreciate that you’re explaining the why, how, what, goal, benefits, and target audience at the very beginning, and you’ll get better quotes that way. If someone knows your target audience is crime scene examiners, then you’ll (hopefully) see some quotes that describe the writer’s experience in writing for crime scene examiners.

And if you provide the answers to those six questions and your content creator says, “That doesn’t matter. I write the same for everyone,” run away.

You’ve probably seen the film. By Wikifan75 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29042440

Maybe the resulting content will even go viral. (The good viral.)

What if you want to use Bredemarket?

Or perhaps you’ve decided that you don’t want to trust your content to someone on Upwork and Fiverr, and you want to work with me instead. After all, I can help you with white paperscase studiesblog postsproposal responses, or other written content. (Well, unless the written content involves finger, face, driver’s license, or related identity services. There’s the day job, you know.)

Ah, we’ve moved from awareness to consideration. Great.

If I can work with you to create your written content, please contact me.

And to make our meeting even smoother, start thinking about the answers to the six questions I posed above.

Donning…archetypes?

I have done a little bit of acting in my life, and have learned that acting often involves removing aspects of yourself and replacing them with aspects of your character. Just like donning a mask to cover parts of your head.

By JamesHarrison – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4873863

Perhaps the character you are playing as an actor may be dramatically different from your own self. To my knowledge, Carroll O’Connor did not insult non-white people like his character Archie Bunker did.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3gHj5LHB6s

Yet at the same time, the character necessarily acquired some traits from the actor, and the actor identified with the character.

When we spoke to (O’Connor) prior to his death, he explained to us that he constantly had to battle writers who thought they understood the character better than he did.

From https://www.hollywoodoutbreak.com/2022/09/13/carroll-oconnor-the-burdens-of-being-archie-bunker/

But this post is not about “All in the Family.” It’s about “All in the Business.”

When a business’ archetype is not your own

I’ve previously written about archetypes before, in the August 2021 post “Why is Kaye Putnam happy that I’m IGNORING her marketing advice?” That post describes how I took an online test to see which of twelve brand archetypes matched the personality of Bredemarket, and also myself. The results clearly showed that I was primarily aligned with the Sage archetype.

From https://bredemarket.com/2021/08/05/why-is-kaye-putnam-happy-that-im-ignoring-her-marketing-advice/

For those unfamiliar with the Sage archetype, Kaye Putnam explains:

Primary Goal of the Sage Brand Archetype: To understand the world and teach others what you know. To seek and share the truth.

From https://www.kayeputnam.com/brand-archetype-sage/

So when left to my own devices, I tend to get somewhat curious, investigative, and explanatory.

But we can’t always be left to our own devices, and sometimes I have to don the mask of a different archetype.

Such as a maverick.

By Warner Brothers Television – eBayfrontback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30035548

No, not that guy. THIS guy.

By Alberto Korda – Museo Che Guevara, Havana Cuba, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6816940

(Ignore the political ramifications. Stay with me here.)

So how do you doff a “Sage” mask and don a “Maverick” mask, or perform some other archetype switch?

You need to understand the brand archetype you are targeting, and consciously adapt your communication to fit that archetype rather than your own.

So perhaps I might write a sentence like this in my normal Sage mode:

Finding the perforations in the wrapper, I carefully unwrapped the ice cream sandwich.

But how would a Maverick open an ice cream sandwich?

Removing the barriers that separated me from the final product, I boldly unwrapped the ice cream sandwich.

In the past, I guess I’ve subconsciously absorbed the tone of voice for a client or employer for whom I was writing, but in most cases I never thought of this in archetype terms.

What is your archetype? And should you care?

So when Bredemarket or another content marketing expert starts to write something for you, should you fret and fuss over what your archetype is?

If you feel like it. But it’s not essential.

What is essential is that you have some concept of the tone of voice that you want to use in your communication.

And how do you know what tone you want to use? You have to answer some questions.

To be continued

Extremely targeted marketing (customer focus)

If you’ve read the Bredemarket blog for any length of time, you already know that customer focus ensures that your customers will pay attention to your message. (TL;DR Customers are happier when you talk about them than when you talk about yourself.)

Did you know that customer focus also increases your revenue?

Customer focus, personalization, and growth

Take banking, for example. Louise Coles of Diebold Nixdorf wrote an article in International Banker entitled “What is Driving Customer Centricity in Banking?” Coles said, in part:

Although personalisation differs from industry to industry the philosophical shift is occurring nonetheless.

From https://internationalbanker.com/banking/what-is-driving-customer-centricity-in-banking/

Personalization (or, for Coles and others on the other side of the pond, personalisation) potentially offers powerful benefits to banks (and other firms) who offer it.

For example, in the mortgage space there is likely to be a move away from standardised interest driven offerings, to a place where banks are considering offering mortgages which are more reflective of today’s societal makeup, for example intergenerational mortgages. This highlights how a customer centric focus is not only shifting the digitisation journey, but the underlying approach to the product offerings behind that next-generation innovation.

From https://internationalbanker.com/banking/what-is-driving-customer-centricity-in-banking/

What does personalization mean for your company?

  • It can mean a lot to an auto dealer. Not only regarding the autos offered to consumers (the days of the black-only Model T are long gone), but also regarding financing, service, and other offerings that go beyond selling or leasing the auto itself.
  • A certain company whose name rhymes with Fartrucks is well-known for the creative order customizations that its baristas receive. While there are divided opinions on some of the more extreme orders, it’s clear that some customers love this capability. Imagine if Starbucks only served “any kind of coffee, as long as it was black!”
  • If I may toot my own horn here, while I do have standard writing offerings, I can customize them as needed by increasing or decreasing review cycles or turnaround times.

Today’s acronym is ABM

Some companies choose to implement Account-based Marketing (ABM), which dictates how an entire company responds to particular customers. If Purchasing knows that a customer on “the list” needs something, Purchasing will strive to delight the customer.

Of course, ABM has a marketing component.

Account-based marketing requires you to personalize everything (e.g. content, product information, communications, and campaigns) for each account you invest your resources in. Through this personalization and customization, your relevance among these accounts is maximized.

That’s because your content and interactions are tailored in a way that shows them how your specific products, services, and other offerings are what they need to solve their challenges. Meaning, ABM allows you to angle your business in a way that makes it the most relevant and ideal option for your target accounts.

From https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/account-based-marketing-guide

How I can personalize my offering for you

Now obviously I don’t have the software to personalize this blog post for each of you. For example, everyone read my quote from HubSpot’s blog. Maybe you hate HubSpot with a passion and would prefer to read some other company’s take on ABM.

But if you would like to discuss your specific marketing needs, and how I can help you create the text to support those needs, talk to me. Maybe I can help you design a simple letter template that lets you include or omit paragraphs based upon a specific customer. If this intrigues you…

Update on the Eastvale Restaurant Franchise

Remember the Which Wich in Eastvale that I wrote about in April?

Well, I actually saw it in person this morning.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Based upon the limited hours, I am guessing that the original franchise owner hasn’t sold it yet.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Some additional pictures from Eastvale, including a city informational kiosk and one very large Amazon distribution center.

Nice kiosk.
Big building.

Reminder that if you’re an Eastvale business (or any business) of any type who can benefit from Bredemarket’s content marketing and/or proposal services:

Two companies that can provide friction ridge/face marketing and writing services, now that Bredemarket won’t

I recently announced a change in business scope for my DBA Bredemarket. Specifically, Bredemarket will no longer accept client work for solutions that identify individuals using (a) friction ridges (including fingerprints and palm prints) and/or (b) faces.

This impacts some companies that previously did business with me, and can potentially impact other companies that want to do business with me. If you are one of these companies, I am no longer available.

Fingerprint evidence
From https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.500-290e3.pdf (a/k/a “leisure reading for biometric system professionals”).

Since Bredemarket will no longer help you with your friction ridge/face marketing and writing needs, who will? Who has the expertise to help you? I have two suggestions.

Tandem Technical Writing

Do you need someon who is not only an excellent communicator, but also knows the ins and outs of AFIS and ABIS systems? Turn to Tandem Technical Writing LLC.

I first met Laurel Jew back in 1995 when I started consulting with, and then working for, Printrak. In fact, I joined Printrak when Laurel went on maternity leave. (I was one of two people who joined Printrak at that time. As I’ve previously noted, Laurel needed two people to replace her.)

Laurel worked for Printrak and its predecessor De La Rue Printrak for several years in its proposals organization.

Today, her biometric and communication experience is available to you. Tandem Technical Writing provides its clients with “15 years of proposal writing and biometrics technology background with high win %.”

Why does this matter to you? Because Laurel not only understands your biometric business, but also understands how to communicate to your biometric clients. Not many people can do both, so Laurel is a rarity in this industry.

The Tandem Technical Writing website is here.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

Applied Forensic Services

Perhaps your needs are more technical. Maybe you need someone who is a certified forensics professional, and who has also implemented many biometric systems. If that is your need, then you will want to consider Applied Forensic Services LLC.

I met Mike French in 2009 when Safran acquired Motorola’s biometric business and merged it into its U.S. subsidiary Sagem Morpho, creating MorphoTrak (“Morpho” + “Printrak”). I worked with him at MorphoTrak and IDEMIA until 2020.

Unlike me, Mike is a true forensic professional. (See his LinkedIn profile.) Back in 1994, when I was still learning to spell AFIS, Mike joined the latent print unit at the King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office, where he spent over a decade before joining Sagem Morpho. He is an IAI-certified Latent Print Examiner, an IEEE-certified Biometric Professional, and an active participant in IAI and other forensic activities. I’ve previously referenced his advice on why agencies should conduct their own AFIS benchmarks.

Why does this matter to you? Because Mike’s consultancy, Applied Forensic Services, can provide expert advice on biometric procurements and implementation, ensuring that you get the biometric system that addresses your needs.

Applied Forensic Services offers the following consulting services:

The Applied Forensic Services website is here.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

Yes, there are others

There are other companies that can help you with friction ridge and face marketing, writing, and consultation services.

I specifically mention these two because I have worked with their principals both as an employee during my Printrak-to-IDEMIA years, and as a sole proprietor during my Bredemarket years. Laurel and Mike are both knowledgeable, dedicated, and can add value to your firm or agency.

And, unlike some experienced friction ridge and face experts, Laurel and Mike are still working and have not retired. (“Where have you gone, Peter Higgins…”)

When you’re interested in everything, you’re interested in nothing

Some people know what they will do, and what they will not do.

Other people say they will do anything.

Don’t trust the second group of people.

Checking all the boxes in a Bredemarket contact submission form

As you may know, Bredemarket has an online contact page that allows people to request information from me. The form on this page includes several checkboxes (recently edited) that allow the submitter to specify if they are interested in one of Bredemarket’s standard packages.

Occasionally I’ll get a submission from someone who checked ALL of the check boxes. In 100% of those cases, it turns out that the person is NOT interested in ANY of Bredemarket’s standard packages, but in something else. (In the most recent example, someone wanted to write a guest post on the Bredemarket blog that had NOTHING to do with marketing or writing services. No thanks.)

Checking all the boxes in a proposal

It reminds me about the time, many years ago, when I wrote an RFP. This was years before I actually began responding to RFPs, by the way. The consultant that our company brought in suggested that we create a Request for Proposal for a particular service that our company wanted. The main part of the created RFP was a check list to see if the respondent provided a particular feature that we wanted. The responses that we received fell into two categories:

  • Some respondents checked every check box with no further comment. We concluded that they hadn’t actually read the RFP, so we ignored these proposals.
  • Other respondents checked most of the check boxes, but provided text for certain responses explaining that they had a different approach. Since these people read the RFP, we paid more attention to those responses.

Now I’ll grant that this filtering method doesn’t work for all proposals. Some RFPs truly demand mandatory compliance with every requirement. But in those cases, the RFPs usually require to say how they will perform each requirement. A simple “we do it” response is not sufficient.

Checking all the boxes in a business offering

The “check everything” rule also applies in one other instance: company offerings.

When a company states the products and services it will offer, the statement usually sets a boundary between what the company will do and what the company will not do.

Usually.

For example, this post from Reddit’s HireaWriter gives a clear picture of the writer’s strengths:

…I have a bachelor’s degree in screenwriting (writing for film, TV and radio), and I’m currently studying English Literature to further my skills. I’m about to be on summer holidays for a few months and I’m looking to collaborate on some writing projects.

I have freelance experience, writing YouTube scripts and some podcast work, I’m very capable of both fiction and non- fiction…

From https://www.reddit.com/r/HireaWriter/comments/u2ydhh/writer_looking_for_new_projects/

So if I need a YouTube script, I’ll consider this person. If I need an article for Foreign Affairs, maybe not.

But other company offerings are…less focused. You’ve probably seen the posts (I won’t link to them) from people who say that they write. When you ask what they write, they say that they write anything.

Now I guess that theoretically, I can write anything. (Heck, I wrote the Eastport Enquirer, which you can probably guess wasn’t high-minded business prose.) But I’m not going to make a living by writing 19th century fiction or French political positions. I’ll stick closer to content marketing and proposals if you don’t mind.

Oh, and I don’t offer editing packages any more.