Initial Meeting – our first meeting, whether by phone or in person, will be at no cost and with no obligation. It is simply an opportunity to discuss your project and clarify expectations. You can better prepare for our meeting by reviewing these questions.
Agreement – if we decide to work together, I’ll provide a simple letter of agreement that clearly states our expectations of one another: deadlines, scope of project, deliverables, fees, etc. I prefer to quote a fixed fee for the project. That allows you to budget accurately and to communicate with me as freely as possible without worrying about the clock! I accept one third of the fee when the letter of agreement is signed, with the balance due upon completion of the project. For new clients, and projects that exceed $2500, I accept one half of the fee in advance.
Data Gathering – before beginning the project, I will need to collect as much information about the company as possible. This will not only include interviews with the key decision-makers, but also a review of any existing materials the firm has produced. Depending upon the nature of the project, this might include such things as brochures, newsletters, direct mail pieces, print ads, articles, press releases, letters from customers, technical specifications, speeches or presentations, instruction manuals, your website, similar materials from your competitors, and testimonials. To develop a new direct mail campaign, I would also need to study your current control, mailing list information, data cards, and as much detailed information that you can provide regarding your targeted prospects. For a complete direct mail project information checklist, please click here.
Outline – once I have completed my information gathering, I will develop the overall concept for the project and generate an outline of the copy. This will ensure that we are on the same page (pun intended). You will then have a chance to fine tune or change the direction I am heading. If the project is a direct sales package, and the budget permits, I may suggest a split test on two different headlines and leads that I think are equally strong.
Project Completion – once we agree on the outline, I will complete the project. This will usually entail several drafts and rewrites to make it as strong as possible. At that point, I send the completed project to you for review - preferably via e-mail in a PDF format or Microsoft Word file, whichever you prefer.
Project Review and Revisions – once you have received the project copy, you will have 30 days to review the copy and request revisions. If working from a Microsoft Word file, you may use the “track changes” feature and make revisions right on the electronic copy itself. Of course, you may also make changes the old fashioned way – with a pen or pencil on hard copy. To ensure your complete satisfaction, I will make revisions until you are satisfied at no additional cost. Revisions, however, must be in the spirit of the original scope and direction of the project. A major change in direction or expansion of the project will require an additional fee.
Payment of Fees – the balance of copywriting fees will be due upon delivery of the project. If the project is killed after completion of the copywriting for any reason, full payment will still be expected. If the project is killed during the copywriting process, payment will be prorated based on the percentage of project completion or an hourly rate.
Report on Results – though not required, I always appreciate it when a client gives me feedback on the results of the copy – especially if it’s a direct sales package or other form of advertising copy. Of course, if compensation is partially based on royalties or results, then reporting is required.
Our Working Relationship – my goal is to have a long-term relationship with each of my clients based on mutual respect. To that end, you will find me to be reliable, dependable, flexible, and easy to work with…all at no additional cost. All I ask in return is cooperation with the process and frequent communication. And if you’re totally satisfied, more projects! Of course, a referral to others who may benefit from my services is always welcome as well!
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