How I work
I work with small and medium-sized businesses, government and other organisations to take care of their content, web design, branding and strategy and SEO research needs.
Clients can choose one or more of the above services, or package them together in a big collaborative bundle that will see us working together for 2-4 months.
In order for you to understand how to work with me, here’s a general outline of my approach, methods and expectations.
Step 1: Agreeing the scope
When we’re first starting out, we need to establish the exact project - this is called the scope of work. I’ll need to ask you a few questions and maybe have a chat on the phone to ascertain what you need and how I can deliver it.
Step 2: Quote & T&Cs
Depending on the size of the project I’ll send you a quotation or proposal outlining the details of the job with comprehensive pricing that includes rounds of amends, meetings and any incidentals. I ensure my costs are displayed in a ‘shopping list’ style, so you can pick and choose elements.
My quote will also include my Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) that covers things like payments and deposits, turnaround times, intellectual property and penalties for late payment and late response times.
Step 3: 50% payment upfront
I charge 50% upfront. This is non-negotiable. The remainder of the project can be paid in 1-2 installments, depending on the scope of work.
Step 4: The brief
I’ll send you a brief to complete before I start your copywriting, web design or branding project that asks:
Why do you want a business website?
How many copy pages are needed?
What type of pages are they? (Home, Services, About us, etc.)?
Who are your main competitors and why?
What’s your business’s point of difference?
For SEO Research, I’ll focus more on technical set up, your competitors and your chosen keywords.
For Web Design, we’ll talk about site function and aesthetics, client funnels, calls to action and related technical details.
For Branding and Strategy, we’ll knuckle down into your business objectives, style and tone of voice, ideal customer avatar and what makes your business different.
Put simply, I ask a fair few questions so I can make my proposal as accurate as possible. I prefer to do this over the phone or by email but if you’d rather meet face to face then I’ll let you know my next available meeting time.
Step 5: Timings
I’m often booked up to a month in advance, so the sooner you can brief me, sign off on my proposal and send the first 50% the better! I can, of course, squeeze in small jobs here and there. I will do my very best to meet your deadlines.
Once I provide you with a delivery date, I stick to it. Turnaround times will vary depending on the amount of material you supply, your approval times and the amount of material I’m producing but don’t worry, I’ll deliver as soon as I can.
I will provide you with a Project Timeline that highlights our individual and shared activities, deadlines and revision turnaround times.
At this stage and once I have the following, I can get started:
Signed proposal or quote
Your 50% up-front payment
Any background material or assets
Step 6: Down to work
Now I’m ready to start and write your copy, generate your SEO audit, assess your keyword competition, edit your article, review your website content, design your logo and branding, or build your website – whatever the project might be.
I use the following formats for my documents and supply everything to you in electronic format:
Copywriting – MSWord.docx or doc, or Google Drive (if both parties wish to)
SEO audits – MSWord and MSExcel
Project management - Asana
Website development – Squarespace
File sharing - Google Drive
Step 7: Drafts and amends
For copywriting/IA jobs, generally I’ll do three versions of your documents (first draft, second draft, final draft, which gives you two rounds of amends. Additional rounds will be charged at an hourly rate. All this will be set out in your quote.
With copywriting, I prefer to use track changes and comments for amends. It’s easier all round than separate amends briefs and phone discussions.
Step 8: Meetings
Generally I don’t include any meeting time in my quotes.
If you’re someone who likes to go through each stage face to face, please let me know at the outset so I can build this into costs. Meetings will be charged at an hourly rate; travel time and costs will be in addition.
Bundled packages include a certain number of 30-min phone calls with me, depending on the length and size of the project. This will be included in your quote.
Step 9: Your review
At the outset, we’ll agree how long you’re going to need to review and sign off the materials I supply. Remember it’s your project, so you set the timings (within reason!). Reviewing copy and SEO documents can take a considerable amount of time; you’ll need to go through the documents line by line to make sure they meet the brief. The more effort we both put in the better the end product will be.
Step 10: Final payment
When I have completed the final revision or job milestone, I’ll invoice you the final amount. If paying in 2 installments, I will outline the payment milestones in the project timeline. My payment terms are seven days.
Step 11: Happiness
At the end of the project, we should both be happy monkeys. I ask all my clients for testimonials to feature on my website, Google My Business listing and other social media channels, as there’s nothing like a good recommendation.