How I work
I work with advertising agencies and small businesses to produce copy and content for their sales and marketing materials.
In order for you to understand how to work with me I’ve tried to outline a general plan explaining how I’d approach your project, whatever it may be.
Step 1: Agreeing the scope
I charge a set fee for a job, and to do this, I need to be able to agree a definite scope of work before I start, so I’ll probably ask you a few questions.
I’ll send you a brief to complete before I start your freelance copywriting project that asks:
- Is the copy for a website, brochure, speech, radio/video script or press release?
- How many copy pages are needed?
- What type of pages are they? (Home, Services, About us, etc.)?
- How much content have you prepared yourself?
- Do you have an idea about length, or are you happy to go with my recommendation?
For an SEO review I’ll focus more on technical set up, your competitors and your chosen keywords. For Information Architecture (IA) we’ll talk about user types, goals, drive to web strategies and related technical details.
Put simply, I ask a fair few questions so I can make my proposal as accurate as possible. I prefer to do this over the phone or by email, but if you’d rather meet face to face then I’ll let you know my next available meeting time.
Step 2: Proposal
Depending on the size of the project I’ll send you a quotation or proposal outlining the details of the job with comprehensive pricing that includes rounds of amends, meetings and any incidentals. I ensure my costs are displayed in a ‘shopping list’ style, so you can pick and choose elements.
Step 3: 50% payment upfront.
I charge 50% up front. This is non-negotiable. If the project value is below $1000 I charge 100% up front.
Step 4: Timings
I’m often booked up to a month in advance, so the sooner you can brief me, sign off on my proposal and send the first 50% the better! I can, of course, squeeze in small jobs here and there. I will do my very best to meet your deadlines.
Once I provide you with a delivery date, I stick to it. Turnaround times will vary depending on the amount of material you supply, your approval times, and the amount of material I’m producing, but don’t worry, having spent many years working in agencies, I’ve learnt to deliver quickly.
Step 5: Briefing
When we get to the briefing stage, I find it’s good to meet for a coffee and a bit of cake, but again, if you’d prefer to run through the briefing over the phone or via email that’s fine. I’ll then ask you some more questions about your project covering topics such as:
- Target audience – their needs and wants
- Marketing objectives
- Your brand’s personality
And we can discuss in detail your feelings and wants for the project.
At this stage and once I have the following, I can get started:
- Signed proposal or quote.
- Your 50% up-front payment.
- Any background material or assets.
Step 6: Down to work
Now I’m ready to start and write your copy, create your wireframes, sitemap or user journey, generate your SEO audit, assess your keyword competition, develop your social media strategy, draft your training plan, produce your guidelines or build your website – whatever the project might be.
I use the following formats for my documents and supply everything to you in electronic format:
- Copywriting – MSWord.docx or doc.
- SEO audits – MSWord and MSExcel.
- Wireframes and sitemaps – Omnigraffle or PowerPoint.
- Website development – WordPress.
- Strategy and Training – PowerPoint.
Step 7: Drafts and amends
For copywriting/IA jobs, generally I’ll do three versions of your documents (first draft, second draft, final draft, which gives you two rounds of amends. Additional rounds will be charged at an hourly rate. All this will be set out in your proposal.
With copywriting, I prefer to use track changes and comments for amends. It’s easier all round than separate amends briefs and phone discussions.
Step 8: Meetings
Generally I don’t include any meeting time in my quotes.
If you’re someone who likes to go through each stage face to face, please let me know at the outset so I can build this into costs. Meetings will be charged at an hourly rate; travel time and costs will be in addition.
Step 9: Your review
At the outset, we’ll agree how long you’re going to need to review and sign off the materials I supply. Remember it’s your project, so you set the timings (within reason!). Reviewing copy and SEO documents can take a considerable amount of time; you’ll need to go through the documents line by line to make sure they meet the brief. The more effort we both put in the better the end product will be.
Step 10: Final payment
When the job is complete I’ll invoice you the final amount. My payment terms are seven days.
Step 11: Happiness
At the end of the project we should both be happy monkeys. I ask all my clients for testimonials to feature on my website, as there’s nothing like a good recommendation.