How I work

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Getting there from Here

Contact and Communications Policies 

When we work together, it’s important to have fast and easy communication. 

During the project, I’m available Monday through Friday during reasonable business hours  (Arizona time). By far, the easiest way to reach me is by phone at (928) 243-5665.  If I can't answer immediately, please leave a message with a phone number and I'll return your call shortly.


Discussing the Project and Questionnaire 

To get started, I’ll send you a complete Discovery Questionnaire. This will help both of us clearly define the scope of the project to get the best results. 


After I get the Discovery Questionnaire back, I’ll review your answers. From there, I’ll outline a short Project Roadmap. 


Roadmap

This roadmap saves you time and helps you see that I fully understand your project. It’ll also be the basis for our Launch Call. 


Three to ten days after I get the Discovery answers, we’ll schedule the  Launch Call. During the call, we’ll talk about a “Project Roadmap.” I’ll listen to any additional directions and insights you have on the project. 


After that call, I’ll draft and send you an Agreement. If your legal team has an Agreement, we can use that.


Investment and Getting Started 

The Agreement will have all the specifics on exactly what I’ll deliver, including project deadlines. It’ll also list your investment for the project and terms of payment. (Note: I ask for 50% of the project total for me to start the project.) Once we’ve both signed the Agreement, I’ll start working on your copy as agreed.


Research 

I research thoroughly. I start by reviewing your website and any other materials you send me. 


From there, I’ll research the market, including your competitors. In some cases, I’ll ask to talk with your customer service team, past clients/customers, or department heads. 


As needed, I’ll ask for more details, product samples, and other resources. 


You can be sure that I’ll understand your product, your voice, and your customer’s core purchase drivers.   


Collaboration 

As I mentioned earlier, communication is critical. Some clients are busy and prefer to hand the project off to me. They review the first draft, with very little communication in between. 


Others like dealing with me on an almost daily basis. They like to be involved at just about every step of the way. 


Which one are you?


Please let me know by email (ralby@frontiernet.net) how often you’d like to communicate and what's the best way to reach out to you (i.e., email, phone, social media, text, etc. …). 


One other point … I ask that you assign me one, single contact person on your team. I’ll communicate directly with that one person and they can discuss concerns with your other team members as needed for getting information and approvals. It eliminates the majority of confusion.


Finally, I encourage you to get familiar with Google Docs if you aren't already. I do most of my writing with this word processing tool. It allows us to track changes, comment, and collaborate in real time. It can be shared with team members and the working document is always the current document – no need to worry about sending wrong files or things getting lost. 


(A great reference is "Google Drive & Docs in 30 Minutes" by Ian Lamont, available on Amazon.com.


Review of First Drafts 

Typically, you’ll receive the first draft in 10 to 14 business days after we start, depending on the project size and scope. When you get the first draft, review it carefully. Also, have any appropriate team members review it. 


We'll want to be sure, at this stage, that the tone, message, and offer are right.  We’ll fine-tune things during the second draft … and third draft, as needed. 


Revisions 

After you review the initial draft, you’ll probably want to change a few things.

 

Please note those changes using the comment feature inside of Google Docs.


You can also suggest changes using the Edit Mode feature, which I’ll turn on when I share it with you. 


I’ll review all your suggested changes within 24 hours of you submitting them to me. I’ll make my adjustments within 2 to 4 business days, depending on the breadth and complexity. 


In all cases, I recognize that these are your customers and I’ll defer to you as much as possible. Sometimes, however, clients make suggestions that I know will not work and will hurt profits. 


In those cases, you can expect me to be direct with my feedback. When clients insist on changes that I feel won’t work, I always recommend a simple A/B split test. 

Let your market vote.


Additional Reviews 

After the first round of changes, there may be more fine-tuning needed. You can be comfortable that I’ll work with you until you are delighted with the copy.   


In most cases, clients find that one review is enough. When we need more, it’s usually just one or two and the process goes fast. 


Typically, we can get to a final copy within 1 to 3 business days. 


Final Approval 

Once we finish all the revisions, I’ll submit a final draft. Then, you just approve the copy by sending me an email stating that everything is ready for distribution. 


Once I receive final approval from you, I’ll invoice you for the remaining 50%. The invoice is due upon receipt. 


I’ll make every effort to be prompt in responding to your requests. I assume that, as a professional, you’ll do the same with my invoices. 


In many cases I’m asked to send final copy to a designer for formatting. No problem.

 

But I strongly encourage you to send me a PDF of the final version. 


I’ll double check that any graphical elements added by your design team enhance the copy and make it more effective.


If I see something that distracts and may hurt your response rates, I’ll be direct in letting you know. 


If asked, I’m happy to work with your design team to make any needed changes, to make the end version as effective as possible. 


Transition to New Projects 

Once we finish the project, I’ll provide a complementary follow-up consultation. 


We’ll spend a few minutes on the phone talking about what went well and where improvements can be made. 


We’ll review the Discovery Questionnaire and go over ways to uncover more new profits. 

If it’s appropriate, we’ll map out a new project to ensure you continue to have excellent copy that meets your goals and grows your business.