My Writing Process
How I Write
Clients, prospects and colleagues often ask how I go about putting together material for their marketing or fundraising projects. Here are the basic steps of the process I go through:
1. Determine Needs:
Working with the client or based on information that’s been provided, I put together a needs analysis outline. Often, in an initial exploratory session, the client learns as much as I do about the product or service I’ll be writing copy for and I urge them to do some deep thinking about what they really want from our relationship and my writing services before we even meet. Together, we figure out exactly what the project is – the goals and objectives – often, those objectives can change as we talk about it.
Find out deadlines and expectations. What is the perfect outcome for the client? What is the best timetable for them?
I gather as much background information as possible about the product or service and the market, organizing it into themes and topics as I dig into it. This material can include whatever has been published previously: ads, brochures, catalogs, articles – anything. If the product is a new idea that has not yet been marketed, there is still documentation to be gathered: memos, product specs, business or marketing plans, reports, proposals, etc.
4. Copy Platform:
I put together a rough copy platform – a broad-brush outline of the promotion I plan to write. The copy platform will include the any preliminary ideas about the audience and mainthemes or perspectives for the copy package. This platform could be an informal memo or a more formal document if that works better for the client and me. This platform will include copy elements like the USP(Unique Selling Proposition), theBig Idea(what is the promise, how is this product different/better than competition?), the audience’ s Core Complex(wants, needs, and emotions), how the promotion will reach prospects on 3 levels(Intellectual, Personal, and Emotional), the problem, solution, pitch, close and end of letter.
5. Headlines and Leads:
After learning everything I can about the product, the market, and the prospective buyers, I put together powerful headlines and leads to emphasize the most compelling benefits of the product in the way that will best draw customerinterest, attention, and results.
6.Pull Everything Together:
This is where the fun begins and the creative juices get flowing. After finding everything I can about the product and those who want it, I bury myself in the research until I find the story or core message that will appeal to the emotions of prospective customers. Working from my home or campus office in central Seoul or from a favorite quiet coffee shop surrounded by trees and mountains on the edge of the city, I pull together a rough draft for review and polishing. Although I do all my work on a PC, and I use recycled paper, at this point, I have to sacrifice a few trees, because I need to see all the copy printed out on paper to get the “big picture” and mark things up by hand as I organize the whole package.
Getting together again by phone or in person, the client and I go over what’s been put together so far in a quick review session, bouncing around more ideas if necessary, and making sure the writing is on track toward the right goal. I encourage clients to feel free to critique anything I write in terms of their vision of the product, because the best way to learn about a product and how to market it is to learn from everyone’s perspective.
As per the client’s ideas, and any new material I may have gathered through the research/writing process, it’s time to make a few changes based on review and resubmit the copy. The final revision is not ready until the client is satisfied with every word.
It’s not required, but clients often want me to look over the promotion in completed layout form. That way I can check that every piece of the package is in exactly the right place, and that the design is just right. I also have my proofreader give all copy a final look. However, the client is responsible for final checking of all copy, design and production elements.
10. Final Draft and Test:
After completing all components of the copywriting project, and going through a final review as well as any pre-release testing, the package is printed and distributed or put online.
Are you ready To get started?
Contact Jonny BH
If you have an immediate need for a copywriter, call me right now at 906.236.9228 in the USA or e-mail me the details at email@example.com. There is no charge to discuss your job with you and give you a cost estimate. And there is no obligation to buy anything.