Great copy — the kind of copy that earns money and generates buzz from your customers — isn’t an accident. An undisciplined approach to writing can cause copy to fail or deadlines to be missed.
That’s why I follow a concrete process. Copywriting is my job, not a hobby. I treat it accordingly.
When you work with me, here’s what you can expect:
PHASE 1: Preliminaries
Step 1: Determine The Objective And Scope
To best serve you and to provide an accurate quote, I’ll need to know a bit about you and your company, your product or service, your target market, and about the copy you need me to write.
I’ll send you a questionnaire to complete. We can do this by phone, if preferred.
Step 2: Set A Date
Next, I’ll need to know your deadline for the completed copy.
Turnaround depends upon how much background material you send me, your approval process, and the amount of copy you need written. I try to factor all of that in when I make a proposal.
If I take on your project, I will deliver it on time, excepting major illness or an act of God. If I don’t believe I can meet a deadline, I may not accept the project. However, I do my best to accommodate.
Step 3: Agreement And Deposit
I will send you a written proposal. It will outline project details and include my formal quote. The Copywriting Agreement will include all terms and conditions of the project. I will also send you materials in preparation for Phase 2.
Before I can begin work, I will need a few things from you:
- A signed Purchase Order or Letter of Agreement
- A 50% up-front deposit
- Background Materials and Phase 2 Questionnaires
Once I’ve received those items, I can begin work on your copy.
Note: My ability to guarantee delivery and reserve time for your project depends upon receiving ALL of those items.
PHASE 2: Research
Step 4: Organize Background Materials
I will send you a list of items I’d like you to provide, if available. Previous sales letters and brochures, data cards, websites, memos, marketing plans, customer surveys, keywords — whatever can offer insights about your offer and customers.
I will then organize all those materials and assign each a name corresponding to my personal Citation Guide. I then index each item for Steps 5 and 6.
Note: The more completely you fill out the questionnaires, the better. It will help me get your copy to you sooner.
And there’s no need to spend too much time typing. If you know I can find the answer to a question on page 4 of a brochure you’re sending me, just write “page 4, brochure” and I’ll gather the information. We can also do this by phone.
Step 5: Understand The Prospect And The Offer
Step 5 is simple: study, study, study. I’ll learn your offer inside and out, and I dig deep and try to get in the mind of your customers. The more I understand them, the better (and more persuasively) I’ll be able to write about your product or service.
Step 6: Understand The Objective Of The Copy
In Step 6, I revisit the objective in light of the insights I’ve gained about your offer and customers. I also make sure I know what metrics and KPIs are important for the project you’ve assigned. If any questions or concerns arise, I make sure they are resolved before moving on to Phase 3.
PHASE 3: Concept Design
Step 7: Note Consolidation
In this step, I take all of the information gathered in Phase 2 and turn it into a single document. Not only does this organize the information, it helps generate ideas for the copy by immersing me in your offer and target market. It also serves as a handy checklist so nothing important is left out of the final copy.
Step 8: Concept Design and Outlining
Here, I plan my approach to the assignment and consider what may be the clearest and most persuasive way to communicate with your customers.
For larger projects, I’ll typically come up with several ideas and make a formal copy platform. I’ll send those to you for feedback and approval before beginning work.
For smaller projects, I’ll make a short, informal memo, just to check in and make sure we’re on the same page before I begin writing.
PHASE 4: The First Draft
Step 9: Write the Copy
This step is all about getting the ideas out on paper.
At this point, I will be focused on writing, so you may not hear from me unless I have a question, or unless we have made other arrangements.
PHASE 5: Editing and Review
Step 10: Copy Evaluation
When evaluating copy, I use a checklist to ensure that all the information that should be in the copy has been included. I also identify any errors.
Step 11: Compare the Draft to Other Examples
Next, I compare the copy to similar projects to make sure I haven’t missed any opportunities or ideas to make your copy more effective. I also check that the tone is appropriate for your target market.
Step 12: Rewrite the Copy
In step 12, I rewrite the copy using all of the insights I’ve gathered since writing the first draft. I will repeat Steps 10, 11, and 12 until I am satisfied with the copy.
Step 13: Get a Second Opinion
Last, I always get someone I trust to proofread the copy. If needed, I will then write another draft.
Note: I have great respect for your intellectual property rights. If a non-disclosure agreement is required for a project, I will carefully abide by all provisions.
PHASE 6: Delivery and Revisions
Step 14: Delivery Of The Finished Copy
At this point, I will deliver your copy to you by email. If I don’t hear from you within 30 calendar days, I assume the copy is acceptable as delivered, and the project will be considered complete. Otherwise, I will revise the copy according to your specific recommendations under the terms of my Copywriting Agreement.