My Process from Start to Finish {Part 1: Before the Project Begins}

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As I laid out in my last blog post, over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing my process so you can get an idea of what it's like to work with me. (Or, if you're especially ambitious and wanna try to DIY, you can use my process as a how-to guide for your own adventure.)  :-)

 

Today's post covers the first part of the process: THE TIME BEFORE your PROJECT BEGINS.

 

It might be a surprise to hear me say this, but my work doesn't start on the day your project starts! My client process begins when you submit an inquiry on my site. 


after submitting your inquiry

Our videoconference will be like this, minus the campfire and in-person meeting. But feel free to BYOS (bring your own s'mores).

Our videoconference will be like this, minus the campfire and in-person meeting. But feel free to BYOS (bring your own s'mores).

After I receive the inquiry, I'll contact you ASAP (usually within a business day or two) to let you know if I'm available during the timeframe you've requested, and I'll answer any questions you may have submitted with your inquiry. At that time, I'll ask you to schedule a brief meeting (videoconference) with me using my online calendar so we can get to know each other a bit. 

Once you've scheduled a meeting time, I'll send you a link to join the meeting at the scheduled time. I like to use Zoom for videoconferencing – it's like Skype but, in my experience, it's more reliable and it has the capacity to screen-share and record meetings.


GETTING TO KNOW YOU

"Why yes, I always work from my bed. Why not?" (NOTE: I do not work from my bed.)

"Why yes, I always work from my bed. Why not?" (NOTE: I do not work from my bed.)

During our first meeting, I'll ask you questions about what you're looking for, and I'll tell you a little more about how I work and what I can do for you.

If it seems like we're a good fit for each other, great! :-) We'll then move on to the next step: the proposal.

 


the money stuff and the legal stuff 

Me, anxiously awaiting your approval (NOTE: Not really me.)

Me, anxiously awaiting your approval (NOTE: Not really me.)

Because I generally work from my package offerings, there's usually not much customizing that needs to be done for a proposal – but if you have special requests or need something a little different, I will work that into the proposal for you. I'll send the proposal along with my agreement (a nicer-sounding word than "contract," I think) for you to look over.

In my agreement, I spell out everything you need to know about working with me: my office hours, how to contact me, your project timeline, what to expect, etc. It also contains the "fine print" that's legally necessary to protect us both in the very unlikely event that our partnership doesn't work out as planned. 

Finally, I'll also include an invoice for you to pay the 50% deposit to schedule your spot on my calendar. Once I receive the signed agreement and your deposit, you are officially my client! Cheers! 


YOUR HOMEWORK

You, trying to do your homework (NOTE: Not really you...probably.)

You, trying to do your homework (NOTE: Not really you...probably.)

BUT WAIT! Before your project begins, you've got homework to do! Yep, this former English teacher just can't break free of assigning homework. ;-) 

So what exactly are you expected to do? 

 

01.

The first thing I'll ask you to do is to create a mood board. (You can do this easily by setting up a mood board for your brand on Pinterest and then sharing the link with me.) A mood board is simply a visual representation of your brand identity. They're so fun to make! Check out this blog post I wrote for more info about creating a mood board.

 

02.

The second thing you'll do is complete a branding questionnaire. Your answers to these questions will further help me understand your vision for your brand, even if you can't exactly pinpoint it yet. I'll use your responses here along with the mood board to create your visual branding (logo, color palette, and font selections). 

 

03.

The last part of your pre-project homework is to complete a copywriting questionnaire. In this exercise, you'll tell me all about your ideal client or customer, what exactly you're offering them, and how it will help them out. We'll both gain clarity about the core of your business, and having you express your thoughts in your own words will help me capture your unique voice once I start working on your copy. 


STARTING YOUR PROJECT

It's finally time to start your project! Hooray!

On Day 1, we'll get together again (via Zoom) for an intro chat.

By this point, we'll be like old friends!

By this point, we'll be like old friends!

During this conversation, I'll ask you to tell me more about yourself, your business, and your audience. I'll listen closely to what you say (and especially the words and phrases you use – this will help me a LOT with copywriting later on!) and I'll ask questions when I need clarifications or want to know more. 

After this conversation, I'll be ready to start digging into your project!


First thing up: branding! 

Make sure to look for my next post on Monday to learn about my branding process!