Writing & Content Performance Portfolio

The WordWoven Performance Portfolio shows the data-driven, profit-driving results of our founder’s writing-first framework as it’s been implemented across a variety of branded contexts and business functions. 

Go Solar Group Summary of Achievements

Ideated and wrote compelling content for each portion of the sales funnel, from 9 Rooftop Failures that Make Solar Panels Seem Beautiful to the world’s first Periodic Table of Solar Panel Elements. 

Led remote inside sales and marketing teams to a 1,287.7% increase in sales-qualified website opportunities (92 to 1,181)

Increased organic website form completions 50,400% (3 to 1,515) via content writer training and management

Boosted new website users 2,531% (7,944 to 209,000) via data-driven inbound marketing strategies 

Generated 6,263 total organic keywords in top 3 Google positions via SEO strategy and website buildout

Raised sales by volume 1,784.6% on website-generated leads (13 to 232)

Improved sales by revenue 2,033.3% from website-generated leads ($290,105 to $5,898,563)

Generated a 1,599% increase in total organic inbound leads generated (379 to 6,060)

Earned promotion to new Director-level role, managed 18 employees in marketing, inside sales & D2D depts.

Created viability coefficient formulas for prospective market entrances via stochastic marketing research

Increased Google Ads lead volume 3,216% and decreased platform’s cost per conversion 323% (Before) (After)

Increased Facebook leads 35,660% while reducing cost per lead 470%, and CPC 55.67% (Before) (After)

Created and implemented company-wide, data-oriented rebranding initiative for new market scalability

Wrote and trained the inside sales department on 101 pages of persuasion, CRM, and new-hire material

Profitably led company into 3 new markets in 2 years while reaching quota in established Utah market

Wrote and enforced brand guidelines for Tesla and Goal Zero partnerships and giveaway campaigns

Maintained growth throughout complex, unexpected need for COVID-proofed change-management initiatives

Spearheaded company-wide, customer-facing communication law and compliance initiatives in an increasingly de-subsidized, competitive solar industry with rapidly-changing incentives, tax credits, and rebates

Profitably grew single-member marketing dept. to 5 employees by Feb. 2018

Interviewed, hired, and managed part-time system administrator, web designer, content writer, and PPC specialist

Go Solar Group Achievements Drill Down

Please visit gsg.wordwoven.com for the most recent unformatted backup of the website from July 2022 (organization appears defunct as of the aforementioned date).

James worked with Go Solar Group from December 2017 until April 2022. Hired as the organization’s content marketing manager & Head Writer, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Writing in March 2018 and, ultimately, Chief Content Officer in December 2021 before setting out to found WordWoven in April 2022. 

Content Writing and Creative Direction – Work Samples

From witty and raucous to incisive and newsworthy, the basis of nearly all of Go Solar Group’s marketing progress over James’s 5-year tenure with the company rests in the writing and his managing of the company’s writers as the cornerstone of content development. For a more comprehensive view of the content created either by James or managed by James’s team of writers at Go Solar Group, please visit the most recent, semi-formatted backup of website at the following link. https://gsg.wordwoven.com/

Business Insider: Go Solar Group Releases Periodic Table of Solar Panel Elements

 

Business Insider: Go Solar Group Releases Periodic Table of Solar Panel Elements

With the help of our graphic designer, James was able to create what James had only up until that point been able to dream about in some sort of celluloid in the recesses of his mind – a creative content idea that conveyed our technical aptitude, creative acumen, and ability to explain the essential components of solar panels – all the while outlining the bulk of the content on the very product we sell itself. 

 

9 Rooftop Failures that Make Solar Panels Seem Pretty

 

Sometimes the best way to win over a future customer is to admit that your product lacks something, even if it’s solar panels’ horrible rooftop aesthetic. If executed with tactful humor at the top of the sales funnel, leads generated from this sort of content are more willing to trust you when you position your brand in a favorable light. 

The Indyour House 500

5 Movie Disasters Solar Panels Would’ve Prevented in the Real World

 

If only Zoolander Had an EV fueled by solar panels on that fateful ‘orange-mocha-Frappuccino’ day…

 

Inc.com Solar Article CEO Quote & Placement

 

Repositioning a Product Losing Value in Wake of Solar-prohibitive Legislation (the 201 Trade Case)

Written into law by President Trump, the 201 Trade Case, which increased COGS (cost of goods sold) for many US solar suppliers relying on imported modules from Europe and China, put many residential solar companies out of business. However, this article became the framework by which Go Solar Group could speak truthfully to prospective customers about the upside of the tariff for customers, despite it making business harder for domestic installers like us. 

 

How Solar Will Save Lives in the Intermountain West

Wrote this article under CEO’s byline, which a Salt Lake Tribune reporter picked up and posted without any apparent developmental or line edits made to the final draft I submitted. This captivating lede segues into a true point about solar’s role in emergency preparedness versatility in the event of natural disasters like an earthquake. This article helped the company become comfortable as an authority to help usher existing and prospective customers through the crisis of COVID, which began not too long after this article hit the wire.  

2020 Go Solar Group Rebrand Strategy and Documentation

This 11-page presentation details a full rebrand strategy for Go Solar Group, making a case for how we could improve our performance in our 3 existing markets and possible future markets, including steps for successful implementation of branding and positioning concepts that would help us overcome consumers’ negative misconceptions about the residential solar market, which had plagued the industry since its inception at the beginning of the last decade. 

Stochastic Market Research Documentation & Selection Criteria: Academic & Technical Writing

Stochastic Marketing Research Formulae - Created by James F O'Connor

2019 Market Research Methodologies Documentation

As Director of Marketing and Writing at Go Solar Group, one of James’s most exciting and important responsibilities is conducting research that helps the owners successfully pick the next market to enter. This 16-page report, which James completed independently at the request of the owners, contains an in-depth analysis between two markets. The objective of the assignment was to pick which market would be best, as we did not want to enter 2 new markets at the same time. New Mexico won the comparison by a nose, and we have decided to enter that solar market in Q2 of 2020.

2020 Digital Affiliate Marketing Model Roadmap & Documentation

This project demonstrated the need for the owners to invest in an inbound digital affiliate marketing strategy, including strategic steps and how to implement the process. While it has been put on hold due to other more pressing projects, we still plan to implement it once we staff up our marketing department even further. 

Native CRM Lead Vendor Return Portal Architecting

Built this model for the CRM and our inside sales coordinator to reduce the amount of money spent each month on wasted leads from lead partners. 

Instructional CRM Handbook for Inside Sales Reps & Training Process

Directed our quality assurance manager through the process of drafting this document as training material for the inside sales department’s use of Zoho CRM. 

Instructional Handbook on Persuasion Tactics for Inside Sales

Wrote and enforced the use of this document as ongoing training material for inside sales reps, and trained new reps on mastering the concepts therein. 

Inside Sales Training Manual Procedure Documentation

James wrote this step-by-step guide for the training process so James could hand the responsibility off to the new Inside Sales Manager. This signified the completion of the company’s first formal training program for inside sales reps. 

STIR/SHAKEN Telephony Network Adaptation Documentation

Many businesses were hit with the policy changes imposed by this compliance change in the telephony network. The above link shows a solution James formed for the problem. Once implemented, our contact rates returned to normal after having declined by nearly 20%. James investigated our contact rate one evening and saw it had declined sharply despite the improved lead quality and feedback from outside solar consultants. After some research, James determined that STIR SHAKEN was the culprit. 

This policy is a huge wave of consumer-empowered and phone carrier-based contact center legislation that cracks down on legitimate fraudulent activity but oftentimes and wrongfully also businesses not engaging in fraudulent activity, which has harmed many compliant well-intentioned businesses, us being one of them. STIR SHAKEN embodies a set of technologies and standards with which contact centers are scrambling to build into their ecosystems, but the steps are nebulous. 

The carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) were the first to be ordered to comply with the telephone network changes, and these changes are reducing our ability to contact prospective leads. This legislation has a three-level system to categorize the essential information about the caller into levels of “attestation” for the call, and this directive clarifies what’s needed to overcome the issue. We found the solution was to change our phone numbers to reverse wrongful blacklisting on the telephony network as “neighbor spoofing.”

 

What the Writing, Sales Scripts and Creative Direction Achieved

This is where we prove that it all really does boil down to writing. But don’t take our word for it. Keep scrolling. 

1. Digital Marketing and SEO KPIs

Google Analytics Performance Increase at Go Solar Group

 

SEMRush competitor performance: organic keywords 

With the exception of Vivint, we were able to improve the keywords we ranked for organically better than all other major market competitors, and with what appears to be a comparatively small budget. 

Increased targeted, organic keywords ranked for on the first page of major search engines from 22 keywords to 245 keywords

 

1,113.636% Increase in Volume of 1st Page Organic Keywords (22 to 245)

 

Google Analytics visitors by traffic channel

 

= 185.32% Increase in Direct Traffic Sessions (6,940 to 19,801)

 

= 1,571.81% Increase in Social Media Traffic Sessions (777 to 12,990)

 

= 301.64% Increase in Website Sessions from Organic Search (7,200 to 28,918)

Increased organic website form completions from 3 to 1,515

= 50,400% Increase

Increased new website users from 7,944 to 209,000

= 2,531% Increase

SEO Increases for Go Solar 1

 

Generated 6,263 new organic keywords in 1-3 slots of first page on Google

James O'Connor Digital Marketing and Writing Achievements

Increased referring domains from 0 to 1k 

Increased referring pages from 0 to 2.5k

1,869.7% increase in conversion rate – 38,400% increase in conversions

180 new organic keywords in 1-3 slots in U.S. and 500+ domain results in the 4-10 slots

 

2. Organic Website Leads Generated 

*These statistics reflect the volume of leads with phone numbers, email addresses, first names, and last names. Partial form fills are excluded in the tabulation.*

379 organic leads generated prior to Oct. 1 2017

6,060 organic website leads generated after Oct. 1 2017

 

= 1,599% Increase

 

3. Website-Generated Sales Qualified Opportunities (SQOs)

 

92 prior to Oct. 1 2017

1,181 after Oct. 1 2017

= 1,283.7% Increase

 

4. Sales from Organic Website Leads

13 sales and $290,105 in revenue prior to Oct. 1 2017

232 sales and $5,898,563 in revenue after Oct. 1 2017

= 1,784.6% Increase in Sales by Volume and 2,033.3% Increase in Sales by Revenue

5. PPC (Pay-Per-Click): Facebook

Facebook cost per lead before hire date:$173.27

Facebook leads generated by volume before hire: 20

Facebook cost per click before hire: $3.16

Facebook cost per lead after hire: $36.87

Facebook leads generated by volume after hire: 7,132

Facebook cost per click after hire: $2.03

Facebook Cost Per Lead Reduction

 

= 470% Decrease in Facebook Cost Per Lead

= 35,660 % Increase in Facebook Paid Lead Volume

= 55.67% Decrease in Facebook Cost Per Click

6. PPC (Pay-Per-Click): Google Ads

Google Ads Conversion rate, total conversions, click-through rate, and cost per conversion before taking over the platform: Cost per conversion = $318 | click through rate (CTR) = 0.62% | 37 total conversions | 0.94% conversion rate

Google Ads Conversion rate, total conversions, click-through rate, and cost per conversion after taking over the platform: Cost per conversion = $98.37 | CTR = 0.72% | 1,190 total conversions | 1.08% conversion rate

Google Ads Performance Increases

 

= 3,216.21% Increase in Leads Generated with Google Ads

 

= 323.27% Decrease in Google Ads Cost Per Conversion

 

= 16.13% Google Ads CTR Increase

 

6. Inside Sales and Sales Management

 

Inside Sales GSG Performance Metrics

Hours per appointment (opportunity) and total opportunity volume improvement

30.63% Reduction in Hours Per Sales Qualified Opportunity (from 5.8 to 4.44)

 

Cost Per Appointment and Opportunity Count

 

195.56% Increase in Appointment Volume (1,510 to 2,953)

 

Calls per hour improvement

This is not always as simple a metric to influence as it may appear. Motivation is a difficult thing to coach, but it can work wonders for any department’s performance. James achieved the below statistic with only 1 new hire on a team of 7 reps. 

Brought outbound dials from 90,232 calls to 262,347 calls during the time James directly managed the Inside Sales team (290.74% increase) 

Forbes Communication Council Summary of Achievements

 

Selected for Forbes’ invitation-only council to publish marketing and thought leadership articles, while also peer-advising fellow senior communication executives through contemporary business landscapes.

3 Marketing Lessons from a 19th-century Horse
3 Reasons Marketers Should Have More Responsibility in Cross-functional Management (CFM)
AI Still Thinks More than it Knows: Marketing Missteps to Avoid
5 Key Content Marketing Principles for Startups

Revver (Previously eFileCabinet) Achievements Summary

Boosted email open rate and CTR 8% and 1.5% respectively for 1.2-million prospect email list

Helped take organic search desktop traffic from 2k in Oct. 2015 to 7.2k in April 2017 (360% increase)

Received Best 2016 Marketing Communications Award from K2 Enterprises

Wrote digital PR articles placed in Forbes and Entrepreneur under contributor and CEO’s bylines

Helped increase SEO-generated lead volume by more than 30% in 2016 and during the first 7 months of 2017

Managed content production for outsourced PR team; wrote press releases, compiled quotes

Devised data-driven content writing strategies based on SEO analytics, keyword research, and competitor analysis

Facilitated company’s SMB product-line extension to home-office software via the eFileCabinet SideKick

Created personas for 5 key B2B verticals: insurance, finance, healthcare, accounting, and human resources

Trained new writers and interns on products and marketing processes; led weekly marketing content meetings

Wrote 70-page manuals on document management software (DMS) and enterprise content management (ECM)

Wrote technical content for new product releases, software updates and integrations

Revver Docs (Previously eFileCabinet) Achievements Drill Down

eFileCabinet, now Revver Docs, was a document management software company helping organizations in the healthcare, insurance, finance, and accounting industries go paperless securely, and with robust features increasing all file-related forms of efficiency. 

The Writing and Creative Direction Behind the Numbers

‘Turn Your Filing Cabinet Into a Meat Smoker’

As a company selling document management software that helps businesses go paperless, this top-of-the funnel gem capitalizes on the office hysteria that inevitably ensues from the inefficiencies of paper-based business processes. The utter irreverence, and execution of the idea are each examples of why our marketing department won the Best Marketing Communications award from K2 Enterprises near the time of this campaign’s release. 

 

‘Why Use Software that Manages Records When You Can Use Software that Breaks World Records?’

One of James’s foremost skills as a direct response copywriter is taking debatably boring products and services, and turning them into something world-class exciting. Besides, everyone wants more fun in the office anyway. While some of these records are a creative stretch, they certainly are in alignment with the product’s value proposition to help workers complete document-related tasks faster across a range of functions, departments, and industries. 

 

Forbes Placement with Backlink and Quote for Company CEO

James wrote this piece and we pitched it to Forbes. Roger Aitken agreed to publish, adding some great content to the original piece. 

Entrepreneur Article

James wrote and edited this article from start to finish, and had it placed in Entrepreneur.com, published under the eFileCabinet CEO’s byline. 

Additional Entrepreneur.com Article for eFileCabinet CEO

Another Entrpreneur.com piece James wrote from start to finish, which was successfully published under the eFileCabinet CEO’s byline. 

Can Document Management Software Restore Consumer Trust in Enterprises?

Wrote this piece for eFileCabinet’s document management software, under the CEO’s byline. The article taps into the power of the technology to not just benefit businesses themselves, but the extent to which consumers can trust them with their sensitive data. 

What the Writing and Creative Direction Helped Achieve

Best 2016 Marketing Communications Award, K2 Enterprises

eFileCabinet’s marketing department received this award for its exemplary work in marketing communications throughout the business-to-business cloud-based software industry. 

 

‘All that the young Western man strives to hunt and obtain is insignificant compared to what he lets hunt him. His hunter has been silenced, neglected – literally sitting right beneath his nose. Now you can hear the blood and sinew forming its beat.’

His Heart The Crucible Summary of Achievements 

"This book introduces an important new voice in young men's fiction. O'Connor writes with a crystalline rigor, as if his heart is pouring out on the page."
"A wonderful collection of thought provoking and insightful short stories rarely seen in the writing world today. Will give this as a gift for others to enjoy."
"This book is just an incredible read. Emotional, philosophical, inspiring and painful, this book takes a dive into the ideology and reality of this talented author."

James published his first collection of fictional short stories the summer after graduating from the University of Utah. In addition to persuading a co-writer of 3 New York Times Best Selling books (Teresa Barker) to write the foreword, His Heart The Crucible garnered positive reviews on Amazon.com and received mention as a recommended read the following summer on National Public Radio (NPR).

Foreword by Teresa Barker: co-author of New York Times Best Seller Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
Authored 154-page book of National Public Radio (NPR)-recognized short stories

Book reviews      
Selected for NPR listener call-in list recommendations

2-Minute-Read Teasers

Trained physician schedulers and healthcare recruiters on writing in company-wide seminars

Wrote the style guide for the world’s 4th largest healthcare staffing company (circa 2015)

Wrote jobsite ads, press releases, trade show content, brochures, and customer-facing emails

Voluntarily resigned to finish writing and publish fiction book, His Heart the Crucible

Fusion 360 Agency Summary of Achievements

Named and Concepted the Mettis Trainer, Which Won the 2016 CES Innovation Award 

When James worked at Fusion 360, a Utah-based marketing agency, an entrepreneur came to us with a product that helped runners, golfers, and other kinds of athletes improve their footwork for their sport of choice in real time via Bluetooth and application-integrated technology in numerous ways, from improving efficiency in movement to reducing injury, without the expensive help of a coach. James named this product the Mettis Trainer, deriving the name from the Greek God of good counsel and planning, Metis. The naming of this product oriented the company’s branding objectives around providing athletes with godly technological counsel for enhancing athletic performance via their patented devices. 2 years later, the product won the 2016 CES Innovation Award. 

Selected as one of only two interns to receive a full-time position upon graduating from a 12-intern pool
Met with key client accounts alongside the marketing agency’s executive team to discuss strategies and creative
Wrote as many as twenty 400-word articles per week and edited as many as thirty-five 400-800-word articles per week (long before ChatGPT existed), and did so without any typos, editing omissions, or careless errors

Managed as many as 18 client social media accounts per week in fast-paced marketing agency

Interviewed, trained, and edited the work of content writing interns

 

GreenSmartLiving Summary of Achievements

Blog: The Many TV Mishaps and Political Gaffes of Traditional Cigarettes

Sometimes repositioning your competitor in a negative light (if done ethically and truthfully) is the smartest branding strategy there is. This piece, written in 2013, does this. GreenSmartLiving is an electronic cigarette company, and this piece reveals with a humorous twist just how illogical analog cigarettes truly are, not just in popular media, but also everyday life.

Wrote important press releases for the company even as a new intern, including press release for campaign allocating 10% of sales to Colorado wildfires relief efforts, and because of how many wildfires are caused by improper disposal of analog cigarettes
Wrote press release picked up in the prestigious Addiction Professional Magazine

What the Writing and Marketing Content Achieved

Boosted organic Google rank to 3rd slot of 1st page for 2/3 major nationally targeted keywords in just 6 months

Daily Utah Chronicle Summary of Achievements

Led 8-writer team on University’s Student-ran newspaper with 16 front-page featured articles in 20 weeks
Developed interviewing, research, content writing, publishing, journalism, and public relations skills
Received offer for Opinion Editor position in Jan. 2012, but declined to explore marketing-based writing work

Defining the Performance Terms Used Throughout this Portfolio

Below are definitions for the terms used throughout the performance portfolio. 

Leads

No, by “leads” we don’t mean lame website form submissions with just an email address: we mean form submissions with a first name, last name, valid phone number, and valid email address.

Organic Leads

“Organic leads” refers to leads generated by marketing staff labor (primarily via the company’s website), instead of leads paid for and received from third-party lead vendors and paid platforms. 

Self-generated Leads

Self-generated leads include organic leads, but also include leads generated from platforms managed directly by marketing staff labor: e.g., leads generated from Facebook Ads Manager or Google Ads. 

Opportunities

An opportunity is a lead that has been pushed through a sales development representative (SDR) to the next stage of closing for a sale. E.g., a lead can become an opportunity if the prospective customer involved wants to meet with a sales person and has scheduled a time to do so. 

Sales Qualified Opportunities (SQO’s)

A sales qualified opportunity (SQO) is defined exactly as an opportunity, except that it has been verified correctly by the SDR or salesperson as an opportunity who is qualified and able to purchase the product once an appointment has been scheduled. E.g., in the solar industry, this means a requisite credit score, verified homeownership, and the minimum level of electricity usage necessary to justify selling the product for the purpose of saving the prospective customer money. 

For more samples of James’s work, please visit his older writing portfolio and LinkedIn publications links. 

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