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Web Copy: Working with a Consultant

Client: Forbes Educational Consulting, Fall 2012

Educational consultant Alison Forbes, was in search of an editorial overhaul for her outdated website. She wanted copy that reflected her style, copy that captured her voice. She wanted copy that would set her apart. Three samples follow.

[1] The client’s original “About” page was simply a resume list of accomplishments. I interviewed her, listening carefully to how she talked about her work, and then wrote new copy for the page.

OUR APPROACH: Discover the Difference
“What, exactly, do you do?” The role of an educational consultant isn’t always easy to explain. To help clients better understand my approach, here are a few other titles I’ve considered adding to my business card.

  • Cheerleader: There’s nothing I like better than watching the transformation that takes place as students embark on the rite of passage known as “the college application process.” You’ll discover new strengths, overcome hurdles, and celebrate accomplishments—before you even set foot on campus. I’ll be there through it all, cheering you on.
  • Researcher: I’m a gal on the go. Each year, I spend nearly 20 percent of my time on the road. I visit schools, talk to admissions staff, meet students—and then report back to you on my findings. Working with Forbes gives you an inside look at the academics, the sports, the community culture and, especially the vibe—that intangible sense of spirit that permeates every campus.
  • Taskmaster: Let’s face it. Sometimes we need someone to force us to get things done, to push us in the right direction just when we feel like procrastinating. That’s where I come in! You can count on me to be a relentless taskmaster, keeping you on schedule and on time. The process is demanding and so am I. You may find yourself working harder than you’ve ever worked before. But the reward is worth it.
  • Coach: Choosing a college is your project, your challenge—and the result will be your accomplishment. You need to take the initiative, define what needs doing—and get it done. But I’m here to help. Be prepared for good advice and plenty of encouragement along the way.


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[2] The original description of the college application essay-writing process lacked an explanation of “the Forbes approach.” We repackaged the text to give it shape and added voice.



The application essay is your chance to tell your story, to highlight your individual voice, your unique spirit and character. It’s your chance to shine. It is also—ask just about any college-bound high school student—one of the most daunting and dreaded tasks of the application process.

The Approach: At Forbes Educational Consulting, our approach to the essay is designed to tackle both the dread and the procrastination that comes along with it. In a day-long workshop we help you jump-start the writing process, offering guidance on topics, one-on-one attention, idea development, draft reviews and more. When you leave, you’ll be well on your way to a final draft. Subsequent emails, revision and editing sessions help refine the text—until you arrive at a polished final product.

The Experts: Alison Forbes, together with essay coach Martha Solomon, bring decades of teaching experience and writing expertise to the process. They know what admissions officers are looking for. They know what makes a strong essay. They know how to help you find the subject that best reflects your personal strengths.

Some of our clients admit that, in the end, writing the application essay was not only satisfying but, well, fun. And their acceptance letters, of course, prove that their time, effort and commitment were worth it.

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[3] The original “How it Works” page was a dense and uninviting block of copy. We repackaged the text to give it shape, added subheads, and reworked the copy as needed to clarify and simplify—and create a more inviting and useful reading experience for potential clients.


HOW IT WORKS: Designed for Success
At first glance, the application process can be overwhelming. Here’s a quick look at how it works—and how Forbes Educational Consulting can make your experience a success.

* TAKING STOCK: My goal when we first meet during sophomore or junior year is to provide guidance and understanding about the admissions process.

Background Review: We start by reviewing your transcripts, discussing interests and providing information about our services. To help me get to know you, we also review the Forbes Educational Consulting questionnaire.

Understanding Each Step: We help to clarify the specifics of the process: timeline, terminology, testing requirements and more.

Aptitude Testing: We do some testing to help identify your natural strengths and gifts, as well as your learning and work styles.

Remember:This is just the beginning of our work together. Now is the ideal time to ask questions and clarify concerns. We’re here to help!


* CREATING MATCHES: My goal is “to find the right match,” to identify the best possible fit between student and college.

Student Profile:Subsequent meetings help to clarify what you want in a school setting, including social and academic characteristics.

The List: Combining first-hand knowledge of the many schools I’ve visited with what I learn about you as we work together, I compile a list of options specifically targeted to your needs and interests. We continue to revise and refine this list, creating a customized group of schools that offer the best fit, both academically and socially.

Remember:Not everyone is suited for the Ivy League, nor do top rankings in guidebooks and magazine surveys mean that a college is right for you. Often, the best college options are those less widely known.


* MAXIMIZING OPPORTUNITY: With insight gleaned from more than 15 years of college counseling, I pinpoint strengths and strategize how best to present these strengths in applications, essays and self profiles.

Meeting Deadlines: Establishing a timetable and breaking down the application process into manageable parts helps with deadlines.

Advising: I help students make the most of campus visits, college fairs, interviews, and standardized test preparation.

Strategizing: I advise students about applying “early decision,” “early action,” or “regular decision.”

Editing:Each member of our team edits each essay and critiques each application.

Remember:Although I can’t guarantee admission to every school on your list, I can guarantee growth. I can help you gain a better sense of yourself, build confidence, and present well. Working together, we’ll find a college that’s a good match!

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