Supporting Aussie Olympian Peter Bol

Let me tell you quickly about an inspiring lad (I am allowed to call him a lad because he is 14 years younger than me – gulp!) called Peter Bol.  He is a refugee, an Australian Olympian, and just the sort of guy that keen amateur runners like myself pretend are actually super-human – because that makes us feel better about being absolutely smashed and humiliated, even before they’ve warmed up or tied up their laces.

I’m proud to be supporting him over the next period of time with his website content.

All over Australia and the world, coronavirus is ruining plans, shattering dreams – and worse.  But spare a thought or two at least for inspiring Olympians like Peter, who have been told that the global pandemic has forced the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

And there’s hardly an Olympian with a more inspirational story than Peter.

Born in Sudan, and spending four years at an Egyptian refugee camp after his family fled the civil war, Bol’s family finally stepped off a plane in Toowoomba at the age of 8.  “It was just a feeling pretty much the same feeling if you just made it to the Olympics,” he recalls.

“We came to Australia for the obvious reason – Australia is one of the best countries in the world.  I’ve been around a few countries and Australia is the best country to be in so my family definitely made the right choice.”

They sure did.  In 2016, he wore our national colours his national colours for the immensely difficult and competitive 800 metres at the Rio Olympics.  And in 2021, this talented middle-distance Olympian will reach for the stars yet again at the rescheduled Tokyo games.

But not yet.  Just like the rest of us, he’s currently staying home in order to stay safe and keep his fellow Aussies safe.  In the meantime, he’s going to keep his fans satiated with some cool, compelling content from Peter’s own mouth, pen, keyboard and mind – it will be a fascinating insight into his journey, his achievements, and his highest of high dreams.

I couldn’t be prouder to support him.  Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…

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A favourite client named George

Don’t get me wrong – I love you all!  But every now and then, you come across a client who really is an instant favourite.  His name is George, and being legitimately inspired by a subject is always the best possible way to bring out my best as a writer.  So I wanted to share what I came up with after catching up with him.  Without further ado…

GIORGOS: The future of new home design is already here

When you talk to George Giannakakis, you just smile.  It’s impossible to do otherwise.  Confidence without boastfulness, unbridled enthusiasm about his own passions, and still the best listener in the room.

But it’s when you watch him instinctively crafting an iPad sketch of your magnificent dream home masterplan that you share something truly emotional.  It’s suddenly clear that he’s one of the very few people who get to do the exact thing they were put on this planet to do … every single day.

“Many people think of design as problem solving,” he says.  “But it’s not that to me.  To me, design is emotion-creation.  It’s that emotional change that you feel when you walk through a new space.”

George talks about design with a sparkling-eyed passion that is akin to the way people talk about art, love or spirituality.  And there’s a good reason for that: for George, design truly *is* all of those things and more.

Take his new business name: GIORGOS.  It’s not just a cool twist on his name.  George tells me that Georgius of Cappadocia was a soldier, saint, martyr and defender.  But much more than that, GIORGOS is George’s way of taking the audacity of his proud Greek ancestors, and his love of the construction industry, and propelling them audaciously into the future, with a bold new way to totally reinvent the building sales process.

“Business is just people,” he says.  “Homes don’t sell homes.  People sell homes.

“My core mission with GIORGOS is to vastly simplify the new home buying process for South Australians,” Giannakakis tells me.  “How are you going to do that?” I ask him.

George answers succinctly: “It’s about bridging the gap between beautiful design and the cost.”

The implication is that truly beautiful design has hitherto been the reserve of those with beautiful bank balances.  But Giannakakis tells me he has cracked the code for attainable design beauty by honing in on a single keyword: lifestyle.

“Normally, you get the budget and you go from there,” he explains.  “But I want to get the lifestyle and make that the starting point.

“Let’s say it’s not your last home, it’s your first home.  You’re planning on being there for five years and you won’t have kids in that timeframe.  Do you need five bedrooms?  Do you need a second living area, or can you use that space better and smarter and cheaper?”

The questions that only a skilled, in-house, design professional or consultant would ask keep on coming: “What about the fancy finishes?  You can change a tap whenever you want to,” Giannakakis says.

It begs the obvious question: has George found a gap in the market because people are currently being badly advised?  In truth, that’s probably an unfair question to ask.  Why?  Because the people giving that advice are generally operating in the world of sales, profits, and big budgets.

“We’re in sales but technically we are consultants.  Typically, you tailor the design to suit the budget.  But with us, it’s the opposite.  We start with the aim of a beautiful custom design and make it work for the budget.  That’s what I mean by bridging the gap.”

Give me another example, I ask.

“Take the facade,” George answers without a pause.  “You might rule out the cost of the render, or you might go for it and you’ve taken a big bite out of your budget.  But can you do it all?  Can you achieve a nearly identical result by using similar-coloured brickwork, for example, and maybe adding a little bit of render to finish it?”

It all sounds smart, but to the lay person, surely this can’t be an all-new business idea?

George answers: “It’s new because …”

For the first time, he hesitates – and it’s clear why.  George not only operates in the construction industry, he loves it.  It’s why he has forged strong and impressive relationships with major builders, real estate agents, and even finance brokers.  Many of them – most, truth be told – are names that even I have heard of.  They’re some of the biggest company names in Australia.

“They’re businesses we trust, because they trust us,” he explains.  In other words, he doesn’t want to sound overly critical.  But his core message is in fact not critical.  Architects, for instance, are by nature people who like to design beautiful things.  And true beauty mixed with a tight budget can be like oil and water.

“That’s why we bridge the gap,” Giannakakis says again.  “Our vision is for property to be hand-crafted and for people to think that is achievable.  I want people to live in really beautiful homes.  Simple as that.”

And it’s just a fact of life, and of business, that where there is that deep desire for a beautiful home, there are often some very deep pockets.  George is driven by his desire to make the necessary pockets a lot shallower.

“I’m in sales, yes, but I don’t really think in a sales-driven way.  I think in terms of wanting to help a client.”

George’s bio has all the usuals, including a Masters in Architecture and 12 years in the industry.  But when you ask him about his past, those eyes light up again.

“I went to uni because my father wanted me to.  It was his dream, not mine.  From the earliest age, I was fascinated by design.  I loved the process.  A home coming to life.  It fascinated me.”

You can see it in his sketches, which he delights his clients with as he puts flesh and skin on the bones of your vision.  And that he does them on an iPad is no mistake, either.  “I’ve always loved technology, too,” says George.  “It’s a technology-driven business.

“But I knew that I didn’t want to be stuck in front of a computer.  Sitting in those architect offices, I thought: ‘Is this it?’.  I was much happier designing and selling verandas because I got to talk to a lot of people.  I thought: ‘This is awesome’.  I love to design and I love to talk.”

I tell him that, as a writer who feels most comfortable at a computer, I’m the exact opposite.  Talking to new people is usually a bit of a struggle.

“Smile,” he says, instantly offering sage advice.  “It changes the dynamic of the room.”

George’s face is a lot younger than his experience and obvious confidence and wisdom would suggest.  His industry knowledge spans several firms and roles, but what he got to know in most detail was a deep understanding of what clients actually want from their new home.

“I really evolved when the emotional side became a lot clearer to me.  It was truly eye-opening,” he says.

“I learned so much about the process, but what I really learned about was the people.  I talk a lot but I listen even more.  If you don’t really listen to what people want and then apply that to what they don’t know but I do, it’s no surprise that the gap is there.  You don’t just ask them what they want or what their budget is.  You want to know the person.  The people.  Who are they?  How do they live life?  How do they want to live life?

“It’s like buying something because it’s on special.  No.  Find out exactly what they want.  Then tell them that they can have it – on special!

“No one does it the way I do it.  It’s not a new product, it’s a new process.  And I’m proud of it.”

For the future, George is already thinking even bigger, better and bolder, but we’ll save that for another day.  For now, GIORGOS is already the future.

The 5 best things about perfecting documents

I’m still here.  Now, I’m not talking about the mockumentary starring the raggedly-bearded stoned rapper Joaquin Phoenix.  I’m talking about me, and the terribly negligent fact that I haven’t written a blog on documentperfection.com for almost two years!  But rest assured: I’m still here.  And by here, I mean in this very chair, at this very desk, where every day is another opportunity to make your documents perfect.

Why haven’t I written anything on the website for over 20 months?  It’s pretty simple: I’m busier than a dehydrated mosquito at a nudist colony.  Every single day, I write website pages, edit & proofread academic work for students, SEO-up a storm for small businesses, publish press releases, write blogs, dream up slogans and posh product descriptions, and SO. MUCH. MORE (mind the dramatic and oh-so-incorrect punctuation, because I’m not being paid for this one).

But do you know what?  I love what I do.

The 5 best things about my job

  1. I get to read.  A lot.

    Some people love to read for fun.  Others have to read for work.  I’m lucky enough to fit into both categories.

  2. My laptop.

    How many people can say “ugh, I need to work” IMMEDIATELY after ordering a chai latte and caramel slice in a trendy cafe?

  3. My… er…. bottom.

    I love to write, and I love to proofread/edit just as much.  But I also love running … almost as much as I love cycling.  So I don’t particularly mind parking my tired ar** in my comfortable chair for every other minute of the day.

  4. My boss (me)

    Now, there’s nothing terribly wrong with human beings.  But go on: admit it.  You’re jealous that my day is more like I Am Legend (minus the zombies) than I’m Still Here, aren’t you?

  5. My mind

    Although confined by the complex conventions of the glorious English language, not to mention some pretty strict and specific briefs, I’m truly lucky that I get to exercise my creativity, freedom and imagination every day of my life.  As I get older, I find myself more knowledgeable, more inquisitive, and (dare I say it?) more switched on than my non-writer counterparts.  There.  I said it.

But I’m not going to lie.  What I’ve listed above are 5 pretty good things about being a copywriter and editor/proofreader.  But none of them can compete with the absolute, standout, no-doubt-about-it best thing about my work.  What’s that?  It’s those most addictive of words from the mouth of a client: “Thank you so much.  That’s perfect.”

My name is Andrew Maitland, and I’ve been freelancing in the media, writing and entrepreneurial game for almost 20 years now.  I can help with your:

  • Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Academic/business/personal proofreading
  • Professional editing
  • and much more.

Want to know more?  Check out my website links for proofreading/editing and copywriting, drop me a line at editor@gmmf1.net, or give me a call or text on 0439 475 116.  Until I hear from you, I’ll be riiiiiight here…

My growing list of clients

With an ever-growing list of repeat clients, there is almost never an idle moment in the Document Perfection office.

Well, today I found one of these rare idle moments and put it to good use.  Although not exhaustive, I’ve put together a page that showcases the logos of some of my favourite repeat copywriting clients.  The only issue is that I KNOW I’ve left many, many valuable clients out, so to them I pass on my apologies and vow to keep updating the list in real time … so long as I get an idle moment or two here and there.

Want to add your business’ logo to my list?  All you need is a blog, article, page, press release or some other document for me to whip up or perfect.

Click here to see the new clients page (preview below) for real.

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Closing down for Christmas

Phew … what a year it’s been!

Many of you may not know this, but while I have been hard at work every day this year establishing dp.com as a destination for perfect copywriting and proofreading, I have also been keeping my other entity – a now almost 18-year-old online sports news service – in daily operation.

People who know me understand that while I like to play hard on my bike and on the running trails every single day, I also hardly ever take a day off from work – for any reason.

This year, I’m having a few days off.  I’m locking the door on my office today, and I don’t imagine that I’ll unlock it again until the New Year.

Still, don’t hesitate to get in touch to check if I’m ready to pop my head back over the parapet.

To all of my clients and friends, have a peaceful Christmas, a happy New Year, and a truly prosperous 2018!

See you soon!

Andrew

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Blogging because I (don’t) have time

I blog whenever I get time – and that’s not often.  And it’s not really now.

It’s a bit of a habit to pretty much never turn down work, but as my tally of regular clients increases, it’s sometimes hard to schedule lunch let alone a reflective piece about the day’s achievements.

So what did I churn out or complete today?

  1. Two pieces for a new client – an investing app targeted for Millennials.  The first was about how young people can give back to their community this Christmas, and the second was an appeal to these Millennials to capitalise on their most valuable asset: time.
  2. I completed a 3-day job for another new client – a well-known comparison website.  This 1000 word page was all about what the bustling Aussie market of hatchback cars looks like.
  3. I then made plans for the next 6 days (including the weekend).  I have 5 blogs and 1 landing page to complete for regular clients, as well as my 2 weekly news items for an Australian cruise company.

Worried you’re going to jam up my diary if you get in touch and place an order?  Don’t be.  I’ll slot you in somewhere.

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Writey, writey, writey…

It’s a good job copywriters regard their job as a special brand of fun.  Otherwise, helping businesses get the copy they need would seem like actual work.

Yesterday, a digital marketing agency asked me to write about the effectiveness of landing pages – those internet-ty places you ‘land’ on after clicking on an ad or a Google link.

And today, I crammed in 2 important copywriting tasks alongside my usual grind.  First (and don’t you dare snigger) I became an expert about stylish and practical dresses for beach weddings.  Because, yanno, good male copywriters know all about that sort of girly stuff.  Or, more accurately, we know how to find out how to know all about that sort of girly stuff.

Finally, with an hour to spare in the day, I finished with a job for a regular client – a specialist company in corporate intelligence.  Specifically, I was writing all about the exciting awesomeness *insert bemused-faced emoji here* of Big Data.  Not sure what it is?  Think of something REALLY boring instead.  Multiple it by 10.  You’ve got it!

Luckily, a good copywriter will absolutely LOVE the challenge of writing all about your borin …er… FASCINATING topics.  Nothing is too hard, too technical or too mundane.  Every opportunity to write is another opportunity to perfect our craft.

Get in touch about my same-day, affordable copywriting services 24/7.