5 simple steps to super-fantastic
This is what my work process looks like. I spell it out here, so you know what to expect from the get-go.
Step 1: We connect
Relationships are everything, aren’t they? Ours will start with a quick call to get to know each other. Ask me whatever you want. I’ll ask about your project, budget, and goals.
You tell me what you’re looking for. I’ll tell you how I might help.
If those things align and we feel we’re a match…great! Yay, us!
If not, we’ll go our separate ways. (Even then, if I can provide an intro to someone who can help you in a way I can’t, I’m more than happy to do it.) But back to us…
We’ll move forward with a not-so-quick-call (or in-person meeting if you’re close enough). Here, we’ll go deeper into the issues and look at your needs through a strategic lens, i.e., how your project du jour relates to your business overall.
Step 2: I plan, you approve
I’ll put to paper (or Google doc) a statement of work detailing our project. It’ll include the end result we’re looking for, the steps I see between now and then, a timeline, and a quote.
You’ll sign it – after asking any questions you got, of course! – and we’re in business, literally! You’ll get a contract and provide a non-refundable 50% down payment. I’ll schedule our project based on your timeline and my earliest availability. And then, quite literally again, I’ll get to work!
Step 3: I work, you stay in the know
While the work itself comes together according to our project’s needs, you can rely on it to follow the same basic process:
- I’ll do research, delving into the project, reviewing any provided materials (possibly asking for more), and asking you questions. Think of research as the writing equivalent of thinking before speaking. It’s vital. It’s requisite. And any copywriter that tells you otherwise is…well, not worth their weight in Wite-Out®.
- I’ll provide an outline (or wireframe) covering what content will go into the deliverable. Now, how content is expressed remains to be seen and comes to fruition in the next step.
- I’ll craft a draft. This is where the rubber meets the road and the fingers meet the keyboard. You’ll get a great first draft that’s peppered with unanswered questions that arise during the writing, as well as comments that inform the copy, e.g., reasons for certain phrases, alternate ideas, etc.
- I’ll keep you informed through regular communications all throughout the process. Calls, emails…whatever works best for us both and moves our project along, that’s what we’ll do. This provides regular touchpoints for updates, Q&A (as needed), and virtual high-fives.
Step 4: I present, you provide input
I’ll share a completed draft. The comments I’ve made throughout the doc will give you an idea of why I’ve done what I’ve done. We’ll cover these together and then you’ll have time to give me your feedback.
Sure, I’ve had several clients get giddy (yes, giddy) over a first draft and call it done, but I’m looking for your input in this step. I want it, I’ll take it, and I’ll weave it into the draft, then present you with a revised draft.
Step 5: We finalize and look forward
On the final version, we’ll buff out any minor spots that need it. Look good to you? Great –you’re happy, I’m happy, and your clients/customers will be! You’ll provide the final 50% and I’ll share a clean copy of the final.
After a round of high-fives or fist-bumps – or maybe The Carlton if you’re so inclined…I won’t judge – we’ll stay connected. I’m interested in learning how your project performs, how we might iterate and elevate it as your needs change, and what other projects may come about as a result of our work together.
Side steps: Some things to keep in mind
- 1 + 1 = 3. Copy and design belong together – think “chocolate and peanut butter” – combining to make something greater than the sum of their proverbial parts. I’m happy to work with your design talent from the get-go. (We’ll sort that out in early conversations.)
- I play well with others. Having worked both at agencies and in-house, I’m adept at working with your team, whether they’re part of your organization or freelancers. Speaking of that…
- I got people if you need ‘em. Graphic designers. Social media specialists. Project managers. Web developers. Photographers. Even got an industrial designer, an art installer, and a sculptor in the mix. All professionals, all vetted, and all a call away.
- Shift happens. And scopes tend to creep. Because we’ll communicate well, this won’t be a surprise if we see it happening. And it’s no problem, as long as it doesn’t shift more than 10% beyond what we agreed to! Any more than that, in my estimation, means I’ll draw up a new agreement to reflect the new scope.