Can you walk me through the steps for a copywriting, proofreading and voice-over project?

I sure can. If you’ve never engaged these services before, you might be wondering how it all works. So I’ve chunked it down into these easy step-by-step guides.

8-step guide to your copywriting project

1. The brief: tell me about your project
Once you’ve contacted me by phone or the project enquiry form, you’ll want to know how much I charge. To quote accurately, I’ll need to know:

  • If you need a website, how many pages do you need written and how roughly many words per page? Do you need SEO copy?
  • If it’s a brochure, what size and how many pages?
  • If it’s a blog post, how many words and do you want me to source images?
  • Whatever your writing project, can you supply all the background information (including any SEO keywords) or will I need to do some research? (That adds to the time and cost.)
  • Your budget – if you have one
  • Your timeframe/deadline

I’ll also need to know about your business, brand personality, target market, competitors and what you want the content to achieve. You get to tell me more about these in a briefing questionnaire I’ll send.

You can also send any relevant background info – existing brochures, links to your current websites, blogs and competitor websites… whatever you think will help me learn more about your business in order to write about it. Then I can also see if I need to do any research and how much time to allow for that.

If you need copy for a website, it’s helpful to get wireframes or screenshots of the design, so I can see where the copy goes, and how much I need to write.

I’ll confirm I understand the scope so I can accurately quote a timeframe and fixed rate.

What about meetings?
I find I can get all the information I need via phone, Skype or email check-ins. Face-to-face meetings take too much time away from working on your project. But if you really do want me to come meet you, I’ll need to charge for travel time and for the meeting time itself – which is charged at my hourly rate.

2. I send you a proposal and quote
Once I’m sure I understand the job scope, I’ll email you an estimate and proposal, which includes my T&Cs. Please read the document carefully. Once you’re happy with the proposal, please sign it, scan and email the signed pages to me. Proposals and quotes are valid for 30 days from date sent.

3. 50% deposit to kick things off
I require a deposit, via direct deposit, to book your job into my schedule and start work. Payment details are on the invoice I’ll send.

4. The briefing session – now the fun begins!
Here’s when we chat, by phone or Skype, to dig deeper into your project. Talking with you really helps me get a sense of your personality too, which then makes writing about you and your business so much easier! But just so you know, I can be a little shy at first…

5. I write and deliver Draft 1!
Based on the material you’ve provided, and any research I’ve done, I’ll write your copy and send you a 1st draft in MS Word to check over. I will also invoice for the remaining project fee at this point, as per my Terms & Conditions.

6. Making changes
If you want any changes made to the copy, my rates include 2 free rounds of revisions – to be done within 14 days. We can negotiate a longer timeframe for you to review the copy and request changes, but your project may be delayed, as I’d have to fit it around other clients’ work. Basically, the better the brief, the less chance that revisions are needed. And I’ve found that most of my clients are happy with the 1st draft! However, if you require more than 2 lots of revisions, they will be charged at my hourly rate, as they fall outside the scope of the initial quote.

7. Approval and proofreading
Once you’re happy with the copy, you let me know and I’ll proofread the content.

8. Final draft – it’s all yours!
When you’ve paid the final invoice, I’ll send you a clean Word doc so then you have the copy – and copyright – to use it however you wish. If, within 5 working days, you haven’t provided feedback or closed the job, I’ll assume  you have accepted the work and the project will be marked completed, unless you have previously indicated any expected delays.

And if you’re happy with my work, I’d love to get a testimonial!


5-step guide to your proofreading project

The proofreading process is pretty straightforward. But I’ll break it down into some steps here.

1. Project scope
The time I need to turn around a proofreading job really depends on the word or page count, if the document has graphs, tables, bulleted lists, lots of images or a contents page. It also depends if you want a basic or detailed proofread. But here are some estimates:

Document                                         Approximate turnaround
20-page booklet                                   1.5 – 2 hours (based on 20 x A4 pages of text only)
30-page corporate magazine            4 – 5 hours (detailed proofread incl. cross-checking Contents table with pages, checking consistency of layout)
30,000-word book manuscript         8 hours (or 2 – 3 days depending on my availability)

2. Estimate
Based on the elements above, I’ll provide an estimated cost and turnaround time so you know what to expect. I usually charge an hourly rate.

3. 50% deposit to kick things off
I require a deposit, via direct deposit, to start work. Payment details are on the invoice I’ll send. If your job is fast turnaround, just email me a bank receipt screen grab, so I know your payment is pending and I can start earlier.

4. I start reading!
I usually proofread Word documents, using Track Changes, or pdfs using the Comments tool. If you prefer me to mark up a hard copy, that’s fine too. When I make a change, I’ll usually explain my reason in the comments, unless it’s an obvious change.

5. Approval and final payment
Once you’re happy with the proof-read document, you let me know and I’ll send you an invoice for the balance. My payment terms are 7 days.


10-step guide to your voice-over project

Voice-over jobs often require a faster turnaround, so it works a little differently. Depending on my current workload, I can usually turn a job around in 1-2 days.

1. You tell me the project scope
To quote accurately, I’ll need to know:

  • What you need the voiceover for, e.g.: explainer video, or other web-based promo video; radio/TV/cinema ad; eLearning project; phone-on-hold messaging.
  • Is it for broadcast or internal company use? Broadcast pieces (including those on the internet) are priced higher because they potentially reach a larger audience.
  • Number of words in your script. This helps me calculate the final run time of the audio, which is what I quote on, instead of an hourly rate.

 2. The brief: I ask you for more details about your script
It’s important to me to deliver you a stellar voice-over. To do that, I need to know:

  • The main message/purpose of your presentation
  • Your audience – who is the script talking to?
  • Who’s talking: a company representative? An expert? Someone recommending your product/service to a friend? This helps me decide on the voice delivery style.
  • Tone, pace and pitch: do you want the read to sound authoritative, warm and friendly, conversational? Do you want a fast or slower read? A higher or lower pitched voice. All these things can affect the impact of your message.
  • How to pronounce any uncommon words.

If your job isn’t urgent, I’ll send you a voice-over briefing form to answer these questions. It includes some tips on writing better scripts too

3. 50% deposit to kick things off
I require a deposit, via direct deposit, to start work. Payment details are on the invoice I’ll send. My payment terms are 7 days. If your job is fast turnaround, just email me a bank receipt screen grab, so I know your payment is pending and I can start earlier.

4. I get familiar with your script
I’ll read through your script and get back to you with any questions I may have. If I notice any grammatical glitches or sections that don’t flow well, I’ll let you know. Sometimes what might read well doesn’t sound so good when read out loud.

5. I hit “record”
When I record your script, I might include a couple of takes of certain lines, with different vocal inflections so you can choose which works best. Most of my clients appreciate this extra detail.

6. Editing and de-breathing
I do a basic edit of the voice track. This includes removing bad takes and breath sounds. Please bear in mind editing is the most time-intensive part. A track with a finished run time of 2 minutes can take around 1 hour to edit. If you need the master file separated into individual files, I can do this for an extra $30/hour. I don’t offer music or sound effects services.

7. I send you the audio
I supply the raw voice-only audio initially as an mp3. I will also invoice for the remaining project fee at this point, as per my Terms & Conditions.

8. Revisions and changes to script wording
One round of revisions is included in my rate. Further changes, and any changes to script wording after initial recording, are charged depending on how much needs to be re-recorded.

9. Approval – and it’s all yours!
Once you’re happy with the audio, and have paid the final invoice, I’ll send a final WAV or AIFF file via DropBox. Now you have the audio – and copyright – to use it however you wish. I’d love to hear or see the finished product too, so feel free to let me know when it’s ready!


Want to get the ball rolling?

That’s great – I look forward to working with you! Just fill out the Project Enquiry Form and tell me more about your project requirements.