How I Work

Clear lines of communication

So what’s it like to work with me? I’ve developed a step-by-step process that will keep both of us on track and moving smoothly down the road to the results you’re expecting. Content planning, copywriting, and editing projects require slightly different processes, but the early stages are pretty much the same.

Getting Started

Step 1: We have an online meeting to discuss your needs, your timeline and your budget.

Step 2: I build a proposal including scope of work and fees, customized to your requirements. 

Step 3: We come to terms on terms, agreement on fees and payment structure. I outline the timelines for deliverables, from start to finish. I write up a contract or letter of agreement (less formal, but binding) that both of us sign.

What goes into a standard contract or letter of agreement with Usher Ink? Here’s a brief bullet-point outline to give you an idea.

Content Planning

Here’s how it flows with content planning:

Step 1: Research & Analysis

Step 2: Content audit (what do you already have? Where are the gaps?)

Step 3: Competitive analysis (what can we do better?)

Step 4: Recommendations (editorial calendar, for starters)

Step 5: Content creation. I send you drafts, optimized for people and search engines, for your review. 

Step 6: You review and we meet online to discuss. Fees typically include up to two revisions. Between you and me, that’s usually all it takes (not my first rodeo). If there are more cooks in the kitchen requesting changes to the recipe that can’t be made internally, an additional fee will be negotiated based on time required.

Step 7: Sign off and invoice

Storytelling

Here’s how it goes with copywriting: 

Step 1: you prepare a writer’s brief, a short document that puts into writing what we discussed in our opening meeting, clearly outlining your objectives and expectations (what the end results should look like) and the agreed-upon fee. It will keep both of us on track as I use the brief to guide me to the outcome you desire. Here’s a sample of a writer’s brief if you don’t have one of your own yet. You can also download a real world example to get an idea how it’s used.

Step 2: I review the brief and let you know if I have any questions or concerns. In most cases, a formal contract is not needed – we both just sign off on the brief.

Step 3: Sidekick copywriter gets to work, sends draft(s) for your review, ahead of deadline, 99 times out of 100.

Step 4: We convene to discuss any changes or revisions. You get up to two rounds of revisions included in my fee but as mentioned, this ain’t my first rodeo and more will most likely be unnecessary.

Step 5: Sign off and invoice

Editing

On the write track with editing: 

Whether you’ve hired me to edit a series of feature articles or an-ebook, feature-length screenplay or a manuscript for your breakout novel, the process is similar.

Step 1: In our initial meeting I will have asked for  a couple of sample pages (for shorter assignments) to see how long it will take me to edit an average page, which is how I’ll build your quote. For larger projects, I will have received your draft and assessed the levels of editing necessary to make you a superhero. 

Step 2: The whole editing process can seem mysterious at the best of times. Pop over to my Just Write blog to see my take on different types of editing and then we can discuss whether you need a straight copy edit or a structural overhaul. I will always provide you with an overview of what needs to be done and why.

Step 3: Circle back to Step Two in Getting Started above—the part where I build a quote we both can live with.

Step 4: I may pester you occasionally for points of clarification. 

Step 5: If it’s The Novel, I’ll send you edited sections (chapter by chapter) with tracked changes, comments and suggestions for your review. If it’s a smaller project, I’ll send you a fully-edited document. Ditto on the review part.

Step 6: Sign off on changes and present you with clean, fully-edited copy and submit my invoice.

Budget Guidelines

I’ll ask you for a ballpark figure here to determine what value I can provide within your price range. If it’s an editing project, there are a lot of variables that go into determining the project fee. (See my blog post What Type of Editing Do I Need? for a refresher on types of editing tasks.)

​All rates depend on the scope of work needed (eg, research/interviews, fact checking). Here are some broad guidelines:

  • $600 or less for smaller projects (e.g. writing a couple of blog posts or a feature article.)
  • $600 – $1,500 medium-sized projects (e.g. marketing campaign copy.)
  • $1500 – $5,000 larger projects (e.g. involving content planning, research, and writing.)
  • $5000+ for projects requiring a combination of project management, strategy, and content production.

I’ll use your estimated budget as a basis to develop a well-thought-out project fee that keeps you on budget – no last minute surprises! However, if additional needs or opportunities arise during the course of the project, we’ll adjust the scope and fees as necessary.

You’ll get a clear proposal that shows you exactly where your investment is going.

Ready to Get Started?

When you have scoped the parameters of your project, fill in the information below to help quickly get me up to speed on what you’re looking for. If you have questions that need answers before you can fill out this form, shoot me a message on my Contact page.

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