Copywriting Project Process

Initial Contact

Please contact me to let me know you are interested in discussing a project (or projects).

This section describes how we can expect to work together to achieve your goals.

As we work together, quick and clear communication will be critical. The best way to contact me is via email, at taylor@softwarecopywriting.com. I respond to these emails within 24 hours.

Although email is best for most purposes, I can be reached +1-575-347-1599, weekdays from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM Eastern Time, unless I am in a meeting or if talking on a phone would be dangerous. If I do not answer, please do leave a voicemail with your name and phone number. I will return your call as soon as I can. For longer scheduled calls, we can arrange a voice or video call, through Skype or other platform.

Discovery Questionnaire

Once I learn of interest in work, I will send, via email, an appropriate Discovery Questionnaire, to collect information that we will need to share in order to make sure a project is a success.

Answers to questions on that questionnaire will help us define the scope of your project, and to help me know more about you and your company. This will set us on the right track to achieving your business goals.

Please answer the questions and return it to me as quickly as possible.

It shouldn’t take too long to complete; most clients return the form within one to three business days.

Launch Call

Once I receive the answered questionnaire, I will review it and build a short Project Plan, to help clarify requirements to all involved.

We will schedule a no-cost, fifteen or twenty minute Launch Call three to ten days after I have received the questionnaire. The agenda of the Launch Consultation will be the questionnaire and the project plan, and I will particularly listen to additional direction and insight you have about the project.

Investment and Start of Work

After the call, I will draft and send you a Services Agreement.

If your company or organization has a preferred agreement, we can use that. This agreement will contain the specifics of your project, outline exactly what I will be delivering, project deadlines. The agreement will also list your investment for the project, and terms of payment. I require 50% of the project total before starting project work. Most clients prefer to pay via bank transfer.

I will begin work on your project as soon as we have both signed the agreement and 50% payment has cleared.

If the project is canceled after we sign the agreement and a deposit has been paid, but work has not been completed, the deposit will be retained as a “kill fee”. If the project is canceled after delivery of the first draft, the deposit is not refundable and all outstanding fees are due and payable.

Retainer agreements require monthly payment to be made in full and in advance of any work being done for your project in that month.

Project Research

Project research will help me understand your product, your voice, and, as relevant, your customer’s core emotional purchase drivers. I will also work to discover your customer’s buying process and identify their core needs and perspectives, so that you will be positioned as the best solution to those requirements.

Research will begin with a review of your website, material provided by you, and other materials relevant to your project.

If required (as for case studies and white papers or special reports), I will interview key members of your team, and perhaps one or more of your customers.

As needed, I will reach out to you for any additional details, and other resources.

I will treat your information with appropriate care.

Collaboration

During the project, communication will be key. I appreciate that you will likely be very busy. Some clients like to have me work on their project and wait until I have completed the first draft, with very little communication until then. Others prefer a more hands-on approach, dealing with me on a daily or bi-weekly basis. I am happy either way.

Which would you prefer?

Let me know

  • how often you would like to communicate, and

  • the best way for me to reach you.

To prevent confusion, I must have a single point of contact in your organization. I will normally communicate directly with that person, and they should then coordinate with other team members as needed to obtain required access, information and approvals.

Let me know who will be my single point of contact during the project(s).

I usually use Google Docs to collaborate on editing. This will allow us to track changes to documents, make comments, and collaborate in real time. Drafts will also be able to be shared with team members, and the working document will always be current, eliminating worry of confusion from different versions.

Review of First Draft and any Revisions

Typically, I deliver a first draft in ten to fourteen business days, depending on the size and scope of the project. Please review it carefully, and also have any relevant members of your team review it. At this stage, making sure the tone, message (and any offer) are right. During your review of the first draft you will be able to make changes, or make suggestions using the Google Docs comment feature. I will review all of your suggested changes within 24 hours of receipt and make adjustments within two to four business days, depending on the complexity of the changes.

I clearly recognize that you know your target audience best, and I will defer to you as much as possible. However, sometimes my clients make suggestions that I know will detract from the success of the copy in fulfilling its purposes.

You’re hiring me as an expert in copywriting techniques. In those cases, I may push back (and explain why). If we do not reach an agreement, I may recommend an A/B split test, to listen to the market.

After the second draft, additional fine tuning might be needed. One or two revisions will be made on a complimentary basis, provided these revisions are requested within thirty days of receipt of the project. Additional revisions, or revisions requested after thirty days, might incur additional charges.

I’ll happily work with you until you are delighted with the copy. In most cases, my clients find one review cycle is sufficient. If one or two additional reviews are needed the process will go quickly. We should be able to agree on final copy within one to three business days of the second draft.

My goal is not to minimize or maximize revisions, but rather to contribute work that will earn a glowing testimonial.

Final Approval

Once revision is complete, I will submit a final draft to you. At that point, you will approve the copy by sending an email stating everything is ready for distribution. When I receive the final approval from you, I will invoice you for the remaining 50% of the project investment. This invoice will be due upon receipt. I will make every effort to be prompt in responding to your requests and will assume you, as a professional will do the same with my invoices.

In many cases, you may want to send the final copy to a designer for formatting. I will be happy to check final versions after any graphical elements have been added. I also will be happy to work with your design team to make any changes needed to ensure the final piece will be as effective as possible.

Further Projects

Once a project is complete, I offer a complimentary “hot wash-up” consultation. In these we spend a few minutes discussing what went well, and where improvements could be made. We also can review the Discovery Questionnaire and discuss additional ways to work toward goals.

Where appropriate, I am happy to map out new project plans to ensure my client continues to have high-quality, consistent copy to achieve goals and grow business.