How I Work

Each project is really unique. So what I describe here is only a guideline and an overall view of how a typical project proceeds.

  1. Initial Exploration. We get on the phone, skype, and/or correspond over email and discuss your needs. This helps to narrow down the scope of the project we are considering.
  2. Proposal. I put together a proposal to clearly define what is included in the project. Sometimes the proposal may also include what is not included. This is to set both our expectations right, an essential part of a successful project.
    The proposal will include, among other items, a timeline for the project and also the cost.
  3. Acceptance. You can look through the proposal and ask me about any aspect of it that is not clear to you. We may refine the project details in this step based on our discussion in this step and a new proposal may be on the table as a result.
    Once you are happy with all the terms of the proposal, you will accept the proposal. In addition to a written OK, a standard project will require payment of 50% of the project fee up front, signalling your acceptance. I will start work on receiving this payment.
  4. Discovery. The first phase of any project is the gathering of all available information. This information is, in broad strokes, of three types:
    1. Product/Service Data. Information in any form such as brochures, previous ads, catalogs, articles, technical papers, internal memos, emails or any other type of already written piece should be made available to me.
      Once I have this set of materials to study, I will call you to ask specific questions about the product or service that I feel I need to write the copy. The objective is to nail down the complete set of the product features.
    2. I will also talk to you, in detail, about your target audience. Who are you trying to reach in this promotion? Determining this precisely will go a long way in producing an effective copy.
    3. I also need to find out what exactly your goal for the project is. What do you want to achieve by sending the copy about your product or service to your target audience?
  5. Copy platform. After poring through all the materials gathered and keeping in mind the objective of the promotion and the target audience, I will write a copy platform describing the promotion I intend to write. This may be a brief communication, but can be more formal if I feel it will make the approach clear.
    Once you approve the copy platform, I will start the actual writing of the copy.
  6. First draft. As I write the copy for the promotion, I go through multiple versions and revisions before I show it to you.
    At times, if the topic is somewhat technical, I may write some snippets that make specific statements about the product or service as I understand it. I would send these to you just to make sure my understanding is correct. You will look at each snippet and respond with any corrections or your OK. This is not the draft of the promotion copy, however.
    Depending on the nature of the project, I will send you the headline and lead ahead of the complete first draft, just to make sure things are progressing the way you envisioned.
    At the end of this process, I will send you the complete first draft for your review. In most cases, this will be a Microsoft Word document.
    You will look at the copy carefully and mark all of your comments and suggested changes preferably using the 'Track Changes' feature of Word.
    When you need the copy changed, it is important for you to specify what needs to change and what it should be changed to. Without that level of specificity, I am unable to produce a copy to your satisfaction.
  7. Payment of 25% of the fee.
  8. Second draft. Once you make all the comments and write in all your suggestions, I will review your feedback. Before making all the changes, if I feel some changes that you want to see will adversely affect the effectiveness of the copy, I will mention it to you. If you still want the changes made after hearing my response, I will make the changes as you request.
    I will submit to you the resulting copy, making it the second draft.
  9. Payment of the last 25% of the fee.
  10. Third and final draft. Similar to the second draft, but revision requests must be very specific and completely indicated.
  11. Final copy/layout review.

Kill Fee. Once a project proposal is approved and I start to work on the project, if you change your mind and cancel the project, a kill fee equal to 50% of the proposed fee for the project applies. If the project is cancelled after the first draft is submitted for your review, the kill fee rises to 75%.

Guarantee. I guarantee that I will create a copy to your 100% satisfaction before you send it out on the promotion. However, I can only meet this commitment if you provide specific requests for change during your review of my first and second drafts. For example, if your comment for some section in my copy is limited to saying that you are not happy with it, I am unable to know what will be satisfactory to you.
Note that I cannot guarantee results of the promotion. My copy is only one of several factors affecting the success of the campaign, and the other factors are beyond my control. So, it is inappropriate for me to guarantee the results.