In Bangkok, we’ve all seen the embarrassingly named condos and signs with incomprehensible English that provide more humor than instruction.
Lexicon provides world-class English editing and proofreading services here in Bangkok to help Thailand to tell its stories more efficiently. As well as editing and proofreading from our central Bangkok office, the Lexicon team provides a full range of storytelling and digital marketing agency services. From copywriting and translation, through to video production, web design, social media agency services and a full range of creative agency Bangkok solutions, Lexicon can help your company tell powerfully impactful stories.
Back to editing though, it’s a topic that is often overlooked. But, especially here in Thailand, there is scarcity of talented writers and those with an eye for linguistic detail are even more rare. Today I’d like to tell you a personal story of a chat I recently had over coffee with a Bangkok-based CEO from England.
This man charges his clients 30,000 Baht per hour for his expert services. It’s a fair price. He really is one of the most knowledgeable people in his field in the whole of Bangkok; he gives his clients excellent advice, saves them millions of Baht and helps them negotiate through the complexities of Thai bureaucracy. However, until recently, he was spending many hours each day doing unprofitable work.
This is because he takes professionalism very seriously. He knows that even one spelling mistake or grammatical error can harm the professional image of his company. Therefore, he edits and proofreads every document written by his Thai management team, going through each document making corrections with his red pen. This is time that could be charged to clients at 30,000 Baht per hour.
As we drank our lattes talk turned to what we have been doing recently. I hadn’t seen him for a while, so I told him that I was no longer at KPMG and had co-founded Lexicon. I mentioned that we actually offer an editing and proofreading service on an ad hoc or retainer basis, how each of our editors is a graduate in English Literature, and that we have decades of experience between us.
He explained that the time he spends checking his staff’s grammar, punctuation and sentence structure means that he never loses a client through sloppy writing, and the many hours spent in the office past midnight are actually worth the effort to maintain the excellent professional image that clients have of his company.
I told him that I could not fault his logic, but that surely there must be a better way. I suggested hiring a full-time editor, but he insisted that there was not enough work to justify the 100,000 Baht monthly salary that a good editor would cost. I did remind him that this amount is just three of his billing hours, but it didn’t help.
Conversation then turned to the topic that Englishmen always speak about when they are together: football. My team, Manchester City, is doing well; his team, Arsenal, not so well.
I told you already how cautious he is with the work that goes out to his clients, so he was initially hesitant to outsource such important work. We spoke for a while, and I walked him through the process and how easy it is. Rather than wait for him to proofread or edit their work, his staff could just email Lexicon directly with their reports, letters or contracts, and we track any changes on the document. I also explained how we can edit in real-time in dialogue with the writer, and how we make detailed comments explaining each change, helping his staff avoid the same mistakes in the future.
Within a few hours I received an email from one of his team, which was a letter that had to go out to a client the same day. The letter was well-written, but there were a few unnatural sounding word choices, and a few grammatical errors. We replied within the hour and there was no charge.
That same night he called me back to tell me how happy he was with the work we had done, and that he would like to send all of his documents to us for review in the future.
Remember how this guy charges clients 30,000 Baht for his quality services? Well, now he’s saving 27, 500 Baht per hour as Lexicon’s fee for Proofreading is only 2,500 Baht per hour and is even lower on retainer.
He’s an intelligent man and knows a good deal when he sees one. He can now spend more time with his family and focus on profitable work, while his staff have an editor on-hand for all their queries. We are meeting again next week to discuss Lexicon ghostwriting his company’s thought leadership articles. I will let you know how that goes.
About the Author
David Norcross is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He’s the founder and CEO of Lexicon as well as the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand Digital Marketing Committee.
Lexicon is an award-winning brand storytelling agency focusing on telling impactful stories for clients based in Thailand and South East Asia.