Writing Process

Contact and Communications Policies

As we work together, we must have fast and easy communication.

My office hours are 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Central Standard Time, during our project.

By far, the best way to reach me during these times is by phone at 901-206-7566, however, during these hours should you choose email, I’ll respond immediately – michael@mpjwritesfreelance.com.

Discussing the Project and Questionnaire

To get started with a potential project, I will send you a complete Discovery Questionnaire or Creative Brief. Doing so will help both of us clearly define the scope of the project and ensure maximum results.

I will send you a link to the Questionnaire or Creative Brief through Google Docs (or an MS Word file via email if you prefer). Please return it to me as quickly as possible — for most clients, that is between 1 and 3 business days.

After receiving the Discovery Questionnaire, I review and study your answers, plus any other applicable initial research needed. From there, I will outline a short Project Roadmap. It’ll save you time and help you see that I fully understand the project. It will also be the basis for our Launch Call.

3 to 10 days after I receive the Discovery answers, we will schedule a 20-minute Launch Call. During this call, we will discuss the Project Roadmap. I will listen to any additional directions and insights 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 all the specifics on what exactly I will deliver, including project deadlines. It will also list your investment for the project and terms of payment. (Note: I require 50% of the project total to begin.)

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

Research

My research process is very comprehensive. I begin with a complete review of your website and any other materials you send me. From there, I will research the market, including your competitors. I may ask to visit with past clients/customers along with different department heads in some cases.

As needed, I will 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, voice, and customer’s needs and what drives them to purchase.

Collaboration

As we work on this project together, communication is critical. Some clients are very busy and prefer to hand off the project to me and review the first draft, with minimal contact in between, and others like dealing with me daily and being involved at just about every step of the process.

Which are you?

Please send me an email and let me know how often you’d like to communicate and the best way to reach out to you (i.e., email, phone, social media, text, etc.).

One other point: 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 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. The document can then be shared with whoever needs to see it.

Review of first drafts

Typically, you’ll receive the first draft in 10 to 14 business days, depending on the project size and scope, sometimes less, sometimes more.

When you get the first draft, please review it carefully. Also, have any applicable team members check it. The most important thing at this stage of the game is making sure that the tone, message, and offer 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 some things changed. 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 will review all your suggested changes within 24 hours of you submitting them to me. I will make my adjustments within 2 to 4 business days, depending on your proposed changes’ breadth and complexity.

Additional Reviews

After the first round of changes, there may be some additional fine-tuning needed. You can be confident that I’ll gladly work with you until you are delighted with the copy. In most cases, clients will find that one review is enough. When more is needed, it is usually just one or two, and the process goes quickly. Typically, we can get to a final copy within 1 to 3 business days.

Final Approval

I will submit a final draft to you once it’s finished. At this point, you approve the copy by sending me an email stating that everything is ready for distribution.

Once I receive this final approval from you, I will invoice you for the remaining 50% of the project investment. The invoice is due upon receipt. I will make every effort to be prompt in responding to your requests and assume that you will do the same with my invoices as a professional.

Transition to Other Projects

Once the project is done, I provide all clients with a complimentary follow-up consultation. We spend a few minutes on the phone and discuss what went well and where improvements can be made.

We review the Discovery Questionnaire and discuss additional ways to uncover new profits. Where appropriate, we map out a new project to ensure that you continue to have an excellent copy that meets your goals and grows your business.