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Whatever the size, scope, and design of your project, our goal is to have a successful partnership throughout its production. Toward accomplishing that goal, my writing system allows you to understand how I do business and how I write.

 
my-system-pictureContact and Communication

As we work together, it’s important that we have fast and easy communication. During our project, I am available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Central time. The best way to reach me during this time is via email (Cindy@martindalecopywriting.com) or by phone or text at 708-910-8179. Please feel free to leave a message. If you miss me during office hours, I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can. If your message is outside of office hours, I’ll return your message during my next business day.

 

Discussing the Project and Questionnaire

To get started with your project, I will send you a complete Discovery Questionnaire. This will help both of us clearly define the scope of the project and ensure maximum results. I will send the Questionnaire to you through Google Docs [or via email as a Microsoft Word file if you prefer]. Please fill it out and return it to me as quickly as possible, ideally between 1 and 3 business days.

After I receive the Discovery Questionnaire, I review and study your answers and any other applicable initial research.

Within 3-10 days of receiving the completed questionnaire, I will outline a short Project Roadmap and send it to you. This will save you time and help you see that I fully understand the project and your needs.

After you receive the Project Roadmap, we will schedule a 20-minute Launch Call. During this call, we will discuss the Project Roadmap, and I’ll listen to any additional insights or directions you have on the project.

Following that call, I will draft and send you an Agreement. If your legal team has an Agreement, we can use that.

 

Investment and Getting Started

The Agreement will contain the parameters of your project and the specifics on what exactly I will deliver, including project deadlines. It will also list your investment for the project and terms of payment. Please note: I require 50% of the project total to begin. Most of my clients prefer to pay by bank wire or overnight payment.

Once we have both signed the Agreement, I will begin working on your copy as agreed.

 

Research

Research is the foundation of your entire project, and my process is thorough, organized, and comprehensive. I begin with an in-depth review of your website and any other materials you send me. From there, I will research your market, including your competitors. In some cases, I will ask to visit with your customer service team, past clients/customers, and different department heads.

I’ll be interested in learning about past online and print marketing efforts, what worked and what hasn’t. Depending on the project’s parameters, I may reach out to you for additional details, product samples, and other resources.

You can be confident that I’ll quickly and effectively understand your product, your voice, and your customer’s core emotional purchase drivers.

 

Collaboration

As we work on this project together, communication is a critical part of the process. Everyone’s communication style is different. Some of my clients prefer to hand off the project to me and review the first draft, with very little communication in between. Others like staying in touch on a regular basis.

Which do you prefer?

I’m flexible and willing to work with you in whatever way makes your job easier. Please send me an email and let me know how often you’d like to communicate and what the best way is to reach out to you (i.e., email, phone, text, etc.).

One other point ... To streamline communications, I require that you assign me a single point of contact on your team. I will communicate directly with that person, and they will deal with your other team members as needed to obtain information and approvals.

Finally, I STRONGLY encourage you to become familiar with Google Docs. I do all 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 various team members and it auto-updates, so the working document is always current. There’s no need to worry about confusion versions, sending wrong files, or things getting lost.

 
Review of First Drafts

Depending on the size and scope of the project, you’ll typically receive the first draft in 10-14 business days. If I anticipate your copy will take longer, you will know in advance.

When you get the first draft, please review it carefully. Also, make sure all of your team members review it and have an opportunity for input. Check for tone and voice, as well as accuracy of message and offer. If those are right. we’ll fine-tune during the second draft ... and third draft, as needed.

 

Revisions

After you review the initial draft, you’ll likely want to make some changes. I ask that you submit your requested changes within 5-7 days of receiving the copy and that all changes changes remain inside the scope of the original project.

You can make changes using the Comment feature of Google Docs. You can also suggest changes using the Edit Mode feature, which I’ll turn on for you when I send the document.

I’ll review your suggested changes within 24 hours and make my adjustments within 2-4 business days, depending on the breadth and complexity of the changes.

In all cases, I recognize that these are your customers and will defer to you as much as possible. Sometimes, there are cases where my clients make suggestions that I know will not work and will hurt profits. In those cases, you can expect me to be honest and direct in my feedback.

After the first round of changes, there may be additional fine-tuning needed. Rest assured, I’ll work with you until you’re delighted with your copy. Typically, one or two rounds of changes are enough, and we can work our way to a final copy in 2-5 business days

 

Final Approval

When all revisions are done, I’ll submit a final draft to you. You approve the copy by sending me an email stating that everything is ready for distribution.

Once I receive your final approval, I’ll invoice you for the remaining 50% of the project investment. The invoice is due upon receipt. I will make every effort to respond promptly to all of your communications and requests, and I assume that, as a professional, you will do the same with my invoices.

In most cases, the final copy is sent to a designer for formatting. I strongly encourage you to send me a PDF of the final version. I’ll double check that any formatting and graphics added by your design team serve to enhance the copy and make it more effective.

If I see something that is distracting or may interfere with the effectiveness of the copy, I’ll be direct in letting you know. If requested, I’m happy to work with your design team to ensure your project has the highest possible chance of success.

 

Transition to New Projects

Once the project is done, I provide all of my clients with a complementary follow-up consultation to review the Discovery Questionnaire. We’ll spend a few minutes on the phone and look for additional ways to uncover new profits. We’ll discuss what went well and where improvements can be made. When appropriate, we’ll map out a new project that ensures you continue to have excellent copy to meet your goals and grow your business.