I learned a long time ago that the best way to consistently produce great work is to follow a process that is the same for every client and every job.
That’s why I’ve developed a process that I follow for everything I do. My process may take a bit of time before we get started but pays off by helping me deliver the best work I can to achieve your goals and objectives.
Step 1: Initial contact
I have to understand your problems, needs, and goals before I can get started. So we’ll need to have a conversation first, by telephone, in person, or by Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts. That will also be your time to ask any questions you may have of me.
Step 2: Proposal/Scope of Work
After our initial conversation, I’ll go away for a few days and then deliver a scope of work document to you. The scope of work will cover:
- A list of work I will complete and items I will deliver to you as part of this project.
- A list of what I will need from you so that I can make our project a success.
- A timeline that includes:
- My start date.
- Milestone delivery dates.
- Deadlines for you to complete what I need form you, such as providing information, reviewing copy, approvals, etc.
- Completion date.
- Cost estimate.
When you accept my proposal and return a signed copy, we’ll be ready to start. I require a 50 percent deposit to block your spot on my schedule.
Step 3: Learning more
We’ve already had an introductory conversation, but I’ll probably need more information. It’s important that I learn as much as I can about your organization, products and services, your market, your competition and most important, you customers.
Step 4 – Let’s strategize
Our next step will be to review your organization’s market strategy or develop a strategy if you do not already have one. That’s so we can both be sure that anything I write for you aligns with your strategy and helps you reach your business goals.
Step 5: Now the writing begins
After the upfront work, research and strategy discussions are complete; it is time for me to get to work and write.
But not so fast.
An outline comes first
Before I work on a word of copy, I’ll develop an outline that shows you what I plan to write. The outline will show you all the messages, benefits and features I plan to include. It will give you an idea of how I will organize the copy, what the headlines and subhead will be, what the calls to action will be and where they will occur in the copy. The outline will be our road map.
The outline is also your chance to let me know if I am off message in any way. The outline lets you check to make sure I understand the project, and also to let me know if there have been any changes since we last spoke. Most importantly, I won’t move forward until you review and approve my outline.
The first draft
After you approve the outline, I’ll get started on the first draft.
Though I call it a first draft, the copy I deliver to you at this stage should be ready to use.
I only call it a first draft because after I deliver it — through a telephone call, in person meeting or Skype meeting — you’ll get your opportunity to review the copy and make any edits or suggestions you may have.
My initial cost estimates always include one round of revisions. There may be additional charges if you want to deviate from the outline you approved. There may also be added costs if you want to make additional rounds of edits or change the scope of the project.
Step 6: Final Delivery
When your revisions are complete, I will send you or your design and development team the final copy and any instructions there may be for implementations. That might include layout instructions, a list of suggested photos and illustrations, web page wireframes or any other mockups that can help show my visual thinking when I wrote the copy.