Copywriting Freelance: Profit and Prosper Without Pants | Intro

Concepting and Copywriting, Freelancing

This is the intro to an eBook I am writing about freelance copywriting. It’s a career I love. And it’s a career I want to help other writers consider and enjoy.

“Can I thrive, even survive, as a freelance copywriter?,” you ask. Yes, you can.

You can make a difference with your writing powers.

You can move minds, heal hearts, invoke smiles, and sometimes unleash an unexpected laugh.

And you can make a real living at it. Not buy-a-small-country living, but buy a cool house living, and gosh darn it, aren’t all our homes our small countries?

Best of all, day and night, you can concentrate on the work, not the illusions and kabuki theatre of work, like, say, status meetings.

You know. “Huddles.”

You can stay home. And jam in your jammies.

It’s a little thing I like to call…

Copywriting freelance.

And I’m here to walk you through it.


I’m Walt Jaschek, AKA Walt Now.

And I’ve had a long career as a freelance copywriter, profiting and prospering without pants.

But let’s talk about you.

Perhaps you are sitting in ad agency, working already as a copywriter. Sure, you love exposed brick as much as anybody. And that glow-in-the-dark pool table is a fun distraction. But you’d actually like to write.

You know Steve in traffic? You know how he shows up at 4 p.m. and asks for the status of your copy? And then asks your to list your favorite Zombie movies in alpha order? Steve is the obstacle to Deep Work.

Steves are always the obstacles of Deep Work.

Perhaps you are already a freelance copywriter by choice.

Or perhaps you are already a freelance copywriter by circumstance.

Congratulations to the former for seeing the light and making that jump. Leap and the net will appear, I say. Or somebody said, and I agree.

And if you’re a “circumstance” freelancer, relax. You’ve got this. I promise that, with the right mindset, you will get more done at home then you could ever accomplished in a cube.

And with that higher productivity comes the ability to (1) charge more for your hours, and (2) bill for more of them.

But we’ll get to that.

Perhaps you are a student in the realms of marketing, advertising, communications, creative writing or languages, starting to define yourself as a copywriter. You wonder if freelancing might extend the life of a student into the world of work.

Ha! It so will. My home office is half dorm. Step around that rebounder.

But to you, grads and undergrads, I say do not go directly into freelance writing as a career. You must first taste the Corp Rut. I mean, corporate. You must experience the office, as in, The Office, to make the kind of human connections you will need when you go rouge.

You will also develop a sense of agency-as-absurdity that will help you when writing like a caffeinated commander at your kitchen table.

So this book, students, is for you to read when you’re already in That First Job. Or Second. Scroll it on your phone as you savor Sauce on the Side.

To existing copywriters then, this book is dedicated. Congratulations on being a keyboard wizard, for using your powers to turn letters into words, words into sentences, heads into the stratosphere, and hearts into mush. (I see you, Ms. Senior Writer at Hallmark.)

If you are curious about the perspective of a copywriter who has managed to freelance almost exclusively for more than 30 years…

Who has put a couple of kids through college, funded multiple mortgages, bought tons of comic books yet managed to save for semi-retirement…

And who now wants to find the right mix of encouragement and practical advice for you on your freelance copywriting journey…

Here we go.

Can I really do this?, you ask. To repeat my central theme:

Yes, you can.

Next: All it takes is talent. And sandals.

Walt Jaschek is a champion of great copywriting. As creative collaborator, mentor, and freelance copywriter, he pushes to craft memorable stories with humor, pizazz and verve. For his award-winning, national ad campaigns for global brands, he was inducted by the St. Louis Media History Foundation into the city’s advertising and PR Hall of Fame. A life-long freelancer, he is declaring “I’m not history yet,” and is still open to juicy writing and consulting assignments, especially for friends and family.

Radio Copywriting | Budweiser | Star-In-Your-Own Commercial

Concepting and Copywriting, Humor Writing, Radio Commercials

Guys! Have you ever wanted to star in your own beer commercial? Well, now you can, thanks to this Budweiser radio spot that will “cue” you to say *YOUR NAME* during a very romantic scenario. So open a couple of long-necks and enjoy your “date” with a woman who is, evidently, “both a neurosurgeon AND a swimwear model.” We think you’ll do very well in your first commercial! Let us know how it goes.

Here’s the version of the spot we did for men. We also did a version for women. Will find that and post soon!.

ANNOUNCER: Budweiser presents…


ANNOUNCER: …the world’s first “Star-In-Your-Own” Radio Commercial!


ANNOUNCER: Okay, guys, whenever you hear this sound…


ANNOUNCER: …insert your name.

SEXY WOMAN: Hi, there…


ANNOUNCER: Your name.

SEXY WOMAN: Sorry I’m late. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to be both a neurosurgeon AND a swimwear model! Oh, am I thirsty! How about it…


SEXY WOMAN: …got anything tall and cool?


SEXY WOMAN: Ooo! Budwesier Long-Necks! Oh…


SEXY WOMAN: You are so thoughtful.


SEXY WOMAN: But of course. Bud’s the first choice for every occasion. [SIPS] Ah, you know,, I have a confession to make. If I ever had a son, I’d want to name him…




ANNOUNCER: Your name.

SEXY WOMAN: Come here. Now! Mmmmm.


ANNOUNCER: Your name!


ANNOUNCER: Your name!


ANNOUNCER: Your name! (chuckling): Well! You did very well in first commercial! Have a Bud. You’ve earned it!

JINGLE: This Bud’s for…


ANNOUNCER: Anheuser Busch. St. Louis.

Writer: Walt Jaschek | Producer/Director: Paul Fey | Production: Bill Schulenberg

Listen to our full playlist of funny radio commercials on You Tube.
Subscribe to Walt’s YouTube channel.

“This Is Care:” Award-Winning Hospital Advertising Campaign

Award-Winning, Campaigns, Concepting and Copywriting


Winner of “Best in Show” in the National Healthcare Advertising Awards, this rebranding campaign for Central Baptist Hospital system in Lexington, Kentucky, expressed the health care brand’s combination of high-tech… and “high-touch.”

The hospital wanted to advertise its new technological advances. Writer Walt Jaschek and client agency Maring Weissman wanted to ensure those advances were communicated via their very human benefit, the one every single patient wants most: getting back home, healthy.

Walt wrote the new tagline, “This is Care,” then used the “this is” phrase as the structural basis for a series of print ads, TV spots, banner ads and outdoor boards. Here are are few of the print ads in the campaign, a series of double-page newspaper spreads. Credits below.

“Alan’s Heart”


Headlines: “This is the machine that healed Alan’s heart.” / “This is Alan’s heart.”

Donna’s Life


Headlines: “This is the CyberKnife™ that saved Donna’s life.” / “This is Donna’s life.”

“Steve’s Blood Flowing”


Headlines: “This is the stroke-preventing device that keeps Steve’s blood flowing.” / “This is Steve’s blood flowing.” 



Headlines: “This is the monitor that keeps close tabs on Nathan.” / “This is Nathan.”


Here are two more of the mounted ads from Walt’s portfolio.

Left ad: Sensitive Mom.  Headlines: “This is the highly sensitive digital mammogram that saved Mom.” “This is highly sensitive Mom.” Right ad: Ben’s Back. Headlines: “This is the procedure that fixed Ben’s back.” “This is Ben’s back.”

The integrated “This is Care” campaign was extended into all media, including radio and television. Here’s “Alan’s Heart,” as seen on TV.

Client: Central Baptist Hospital
Agency: Maring Weissman
Writer: Walt Jaschek
Designers: Paul Maring, Chuck Hart
Creative Director: Paul Maring
TV production: Arbor Group

Walt Jaschek home

How to Kill a Pitch: Video Satirizing Ad Biz

Concepting and Copywriting, Entertainment, Humor Writing, Original Content, Short Films, Videos

Oh, creatives! Don’t fall on that sword over your favorite idea. Certainly don’t pull pistols! “How to Kill a Pitch” is a cautionary comedy video Walt Jaschek wrote on this subject, directed by Angie Lawling, shot by Chris Lawling, produced by Mercury Films. All in good fun: it’s movie blood. Client not loving your latest idea? There’s another one, you know. Come up with it and live, damn it!

Spoiler: look for a cameo by Walt himself in the final scene, amid the “agency in waiting.” Full credits on IMDB.

Bonus: For those who like to read this sort of thing, here’s…

“How to Kill a Pitch”: The Shooting Script
by Walt Jaschek


Jon / Creative Director – Agency
Jeanette / Account Director – Agency
Bernard / Chief Marketing Officer – Client
Brooke / Marketing Manager – Client
Ethan / Office Assistant – Client

Extras: The next agency in line to present / 3 people, non-speaking, cameo


Fade in title: How to Kill a Pitch

Fade up sound of a small group laughing. Title fades out and the laughter bridges across the CUT TO:


Jon and Jeanette are wrapping up a presentation to clients Bernard and Brooke. It’s obviously gone well. The laughter is dying down. Jon puts the last of a series of foam core boards face down on a stack.

JON:  And with that final, funny scene, this spot serves as climax to a completely integrated, cross-platform marketing campaign that is “locked and loaded.” Let’s pull that trigger.

JEANETTE:  And from a strategy perspective, it is right on strategy. Right. On.

BERNARD:  Well, Jon, Jeanette: this is fantastic work. Wonderful. A home run. Hilarious, memorable, unforgettable, really. I was totally entertained every second.

Brooke is agreeing with her boss via a series of verbal cues:  “Right, Uh-huh, it is, yes.” The agency people are beaming. Bernard, though, has one more card to play.


Uh-oh. The agency people trade glances. It’s the “but.” The client’s demeanor changes to a concerned scowl.

BERNARD:  I worry. Is it TOO entertaining? TOO engaging? If we go on the air with something this noticeable, this excellent, will the spot wear out faster? Will people get tired of it? Will we have set a standard of being “excellent” that we’ll have to meet each time?

He gives the word “excellent” air quotes, of course.

Jon and Marcy are completely drained by this exasperating reaction, which they’ve obviously heard before.  It’s just too much.

JON (to Jeanette):  Will you just kill me now?

JEANETTE:  I’m sorry?

JON:  Will you kill me? Right now? Here? On the spot.

Jeanette considers this with sobriety.

JEANETTE: Well, hmmm, yes. Yes, I will. But only if you kill me simultaneously.

JON:  Simultaneously? 


JON:  That’s a deal.

JEANETTE: Let’s do it.

JON:  I’m in.

Jon pulls a pistol from his sock.  Jeanette pulls a pistol from a Coach handbag.

The clients seem to be bemused by this. But sure enough, the CD and AE point the guns at each other.  Creative director counts down:  “3… 2…. 1…. now.”

Reaction shot of the clients as the creative director and account executive shoot each other in the heads.  BLAM! BLAM! The clients get a little splattered blood on them. We see the bodies of the CD and AE slump to the floor.

But the clients aren’t really disturbed. Brooke turns to Bernard with a studied earnestness.

BROOKE: I don’t think he knew how to answer your question.

Bernard nods. This is the right response from his subordinate. The onus is on the agency, which obviously flaked out.

KER-CHUNK! The client assistant, Ethan, opens the door to the conference room.

ETHAN THE ASSISTANT: Shall I send in the next agency?

Bernard and Brooke straighten, gather papers.  Brooke smiles up at Ethan.

BERNARD:  Certainly.

BROOKE:  Yes, please do.


Ethan, holding the smile, turn and looks down the hallway.


A group of anxious, smiling people from the next agency, all holding their presentation materials, looking to Ethan for the “come hither” signal.

REVERSE ANGLE – Back to Ethan

With a small hand gesture, he beckons the next agency to advance.



Quick single-screen credit cuts and scroll over a lively, jaunty “Ragtime” tune.

“See?,” the music seems to say. “It was all in good fun.”


Walt Jaschek home

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull # 1 of 3

Branded Entertainment, Comic Writing, Concepting and Copywriting


Invest in an authentic, autographed Brett Hull hockey puck! Limited supply, order now on Amazon!

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull #1: “Slap Shot to Destiny.” Publisher: The Patrick Company. Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writer: Walt Jaschek and Brock Hanke. Artists: Don Secrease, Bill Lux, Rick Burchett, Bill Vann. (Full credits and backstory here.) Below are the interior spreads! Enjoy this journey back to St. Louis, 1994. “Hold on to your seats, Blues fans,” the story begins. “We’ve got some kind of hockey game here at the Kiel Center tonight…”









To be continued in Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094!” (Read it now.)

Series backstory and full credits | Walt Jaschek home

Here’s the 1994 TV spot promoting the release of these comics. Cool work by The Patrick Company.

Golden Adventures of Brett Hull: #2 of 3

Branded Entertainment, Comic Writing, Comics, Concepting and Copywriting


Invest in an authentic, autographed Brett Hull hockey puck! Limited supply, order now on Amazon!

“Golden Adventures of Brett Hull” Issue #2: “Power Play: 2094” | Continued from Issue #1 | Publisher: The Patrick Company. Agency: Hinkle & Company. Writers: Walt Jaschek and Brock Hanke. Artists: Don Secrease, Rick Burchett, Bill Lux and Bill Vann.  Read the series backstory and full credits









To be continued in Issue #3: “Sudden Death Overtime!”

Invest in an authentic, autographed Brett Hull hockey puck! Limited supply, order now on Amazon!

Go back to Issue #1 | Read the series backstory and full credits | Walt Jaschek home

These comics were unveiled in this 1994 TV commercial starring Brett Hull, produced by The Patrick Company.

Subscribe to Walt’s YouTube channel