Entrusting your marketing copywriting to an external party is a big decision – and it’s only natural to have lots of questions about how the work is going to get done, and how the relationship is going to work.
One of the most frequent questions we get asked is about our process for producing a piece of writing work from start to finish. And that’s exactly what I’m going to outline in this blog…
Getting a quote
Before you work with us, you’ll usually want to know how much the work is going to cost. To make that part easy for our clients, we have fixed price lists for frequently-requested content formats like blogs, ebooks, and video scripts. We have one price list for clients that come to us direct, and another for agencies that are looking to get us on board as part of their client work.
As senior account manager Chloe Tidy explains:
“While our price lists don’t offer an exhaustive list of everything we do, they do offer an accurate idea of the content we can produce. If there is something that a client would like us to produce that isn’t on our price lists, we can always create a bespoke quote.”
All of our quotes reflect the time we expect to spend on a project. As standard, this’ll include time for:
- A briefing call (where required)
- Any additional desk research to inform the piece
- A first draft (and, for longer-form pieces, an outline)
- Review and proofing
- Two rounds of reasonable amends
The briefing process
How do we get the information for the work we’re going to do? For the sake of narrative convenience, jump into the shoes of one of our regular clients. You’ve worked with us before – on a range of projects from ABM campaigns to web copy – and today, you need a blog for your website.
The blog, which has a working title of ‘The State of Cloud-Native Adoption in Fishmongery’, needs to be written – but to ensure we get it right, you’re going to need to brief us.
In classic ‘choose your own adventure’ style, you have two paths by which you can proceed:
- Provide a working title and a description of the desired outcome by email and/or a phone call, asking your dedicated account manager if they have the time to fit the piece into an appropriate writer’s diary. A briefing call will be arranged if there is not sufficient information provided, or the brief is particularly dense.
- Use the Radix briefing template to provide a full, written brief for a writer. When you are happy with it, you can send this to your dedicated account manager, who will assign it to the best writer for the job. A briefing call will be arranged if the writer has any questions about the project, preferably with a project lead at your end.
In cases where we are engaging with a new client, or it’s simply our first time tackling a project type, the process is a little more complex.
Senior Account Manager Sarah Gray explains:
“If it’s a complicated topic, or a new client, we’ll run the project by a senior writer to evaluate. If needed, we may also arrange a briefing call with the client before booking in time with the writer. Then, all that’s left before jumping into an outline or a first draft is to send the client a quote and confirm the timeframe for delivery.”
The first draft
So, where are we at? Let’s recap. So far, we’ve:
- Received word of your new brief
- Nailed down (figuratively) a writer for the job
- (Maybe) had a wee briefing call to make sure we have the right info
- Agreed on a quote and timeframe for delivery
Nice. Everything’s looking good. Now it’s time for our writer, depending on the outcome of the briefing, to either whip up an outline or jump right into the first draft.
With blogs, it’s likely our writer will have everything they need from the briefing (and maybe a little desk research) to begin the first draft. But with other projects – such as case studies or whitepapers – we often write an outline first.
Internal quality control
On completion of the first draft, the writer will pass their copy to a content lead or another expert peer to review. This is where the amends process begins (and, in the best-case scenario, ends).
The content lead is one of the most important roles in our entire process. Think of them as your brand guardian, the final hurdle which our writers must leap before the copy lands in your inbox. Internally, we always allocate a content lead for each client. This way, they can build up a wealth of knowledge about you and apply it to the reviewing process, ensuring everything hits the mark.
In our role-play scenario, let’s say the reviewer spotted a non sequitur in the blog’s third and final act. Nothing critical, but enough of a reason to send it back to the writer with comments on how to amend the issue. With the amends made and the reviewer happy, the account manager will send the copy off for you to review.
Reviews and approvals
If the copy hits the spot, what happens next is up to you. If you think it needs some further work, or if the scope of the project has changed, you can let us know and our account manager will arrange for the writer to return to the piece. We can also set up a call with you to clarify the changes required.
As standard, we always include up to two rounds of copy amends in the quote – this way, writer and client alike are guaranteed leeway to tweak the first draft. When it comes to the amends process, we recognise that we’re delivering a product, and as they say in retail: ‘the customer is always right’. While that’s true *most of the time*, we prefer to see our work as a collaboration in which both parties learn from each other (and in turn, get the best outcome possible: damn good copy).
Once the copy is finished and approved, our account managers will send you the finished piece. And from there, hopefully the copy can do its thing!
Working with Radix
I hope this blog has answered any questions you may have had about the way we work with our clients, but if there’s anything you’re unsure about (or you have any other questions), please do get in touch on 01326 373592.