Contact and Communications Policies
Fast and easy communication as we work together is important. During our project, I’m available Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM Central time. By far, the best way to reach me is by email at jim [at] jimzboran [dot] com. Of course, you’re welcome to contact me by telephone, toll-free, at 1-888-484-5292. If my assistant or I aren’t available to answer the phone at the moment you call, please leave a message so one of us can respond back as quickly as possible. We can also conduct business ‘face-to-face’ online using either the GoToMeeting or Zoom platforms. Or, if you have an online conference platform that you prefer to use, we can use that instead.
Discussing the Project and Questionnaire
To get started, contact me about your potential project. I’ll send a complete Discovery Questionnaire to you right away. This questionnaire will help both of us clearly define and understand the scope of the project to help ensure maximum results.
You can complete the questionnaire online via the link I send. If you prefer, I’ll be happy to send a Word file via email. Either way, please return the questionnaire to me as quickly as possible (for most clients that is between 1 and 3 business days). I’ll confirm receipt within one (1) business day.
After I receive the Discovery Questionnaire, I review and study your answers. I also consider any other applicable initial research needed. From there, I outline a short Project Plan. This will save you time and confirm to you that I fully understand your project. It will also be the basis for our Launch Call.
Three (3) to ten (10) business days after I receive your completed questionnaire I’ll contact you to schedule a 20-minute Launch Call. During this call, we’ll discuss the Project Plan I prepared for you. I’ll listen to any additional directions, clarifications, and insights you have on the project.
Following our Launch Call. I’ll draft and send you an Agreement. If you legal team has an Agreement, I’ll be happy to take a look at a copy and, assuming it’s agreeable, we can use that.
Investment and Getting Started
The Agreement will contain all the specifics as to what exactly I will deliver, including project deadlines. It will also list your investment for the project as well as terms of payment. (Please note: I require 50% of the project total to begin. Most of my clients prefer to pay by bank wire or overnight check.
Once we have both signed the Agreement and the project has begun, I’ll start working on your project as agreed.
My research process is very comprehensive. I begin with a complete review of your website and any other materials you send me. From there, I will research the market, including your competitors. In some cases, I will ask to visit with your customer service team, past clients/customers, and different department heads.
As needed, I will reach out to you for additional details, product samples, and other resources.
You can be confident that I’ll quickly and effectively understand your product, your voice, and your customer’s core emotional purchase drivers.
As we work on this project together, communication is critical. Some of my clients are very busy and prefer to hand off the project to me and review the first draft, with very little communication in between. Others like dealing with me on an almost daily basis and be involved at just about every step of the way. Which are you?
Please send me an email and let me know how often you’d like to communicate and what the best way is to reach out to you (i.e., email, phone, social media, text, etc. … ).
One other point … I require that you assign me a single point of contact on your team. I will communicate directly with that person and they will deal with your other team members as needed to obtain information and approvals.
Finally, I strongly encourage the use of Google Docs for your project. I strive to do all of my collaborative writing with this word processing tool. It allows us to track changes, comment, and collaborate in real time. It can be shared with various team members and
the working document is always the current document — no need to worry about sending wrong files or things getting lost.
Review of First Draft
Typically, you’ll receive the first draft in 10-14 business days, depending on the project size and scope.
When you get the first draft, please review it carefully. Also, have any applicable team members review it. The most important thing at this stage of the process is making sure that the tone, message, and offer are right. We’ll fine-tune during the second draft … and third draft, as needed.
After you review the initial draft, it is likely that you’ll want some things changed. Please note those changes using the comment feature inside of Google Docs. You can also suggest changes using the Edit Mode feature, which I’ll turn on when I share it with you.
I will review all your suggested changes within 24 hours of you submitting them to me. I will make my adjustments within 2-4 business days, depending on the breadth and complexity of your suggested changes.
In all cases, I recognize that these are your customers and will defer to you as much as possible.
Sometimes, there are cases where my clients make suggestions that I know will not work and will hurt profits. In those cases, you can expect me to be bold and direct in my feedback. When clients insist on changes that I feel will not work, I always recommend a simple A/B split test. Let the market vote.
After the first round of changes, there may be some additional fine-tuning needed. You can be confident that I’ll gladly work with you until you are delighted with the copy. In most cases, my clients find that one review volley is enough. When more are needed, it is usually just one or two and the process goes quickly. Typically, we can get to a final copy within a 1-3 business days.
Once all revisions are done, I will submit a final draft to you. At this point, you approve the copy by sending me an email stating that everything is ready for distribution.
Once I receive this final approval from you, I will invoice you for the remaining 50% of the project investment. The invoice is due upon receipt. I will make every effort to be prompt in responding to your requests and assume that, as a professional, you will do the same with my invoices.
In most cases, the final copy is sent to a designer for formatting. I strongly encourage you to send a PDF of the final version to me. I’ll double check that any graphical elements added by your design team enhance the copy and make it more effective.
If I see something that is distracting and may hurt your response rates, I’ll be direct in letting you know. If requested, I’m happy to work with your design team to make any changes needed to make the end version as effective as possible.
Follow Up Consultation
Once the project is done, I provide all of my clients with a complimentary follow-up consultation. We spend a few minutes on the phone and discuss what went well and where improvements can be made.
We review the Discovery Questionnaire and discuss additional ways to uncover new profits. Where appropriate, we map out a new project to ensure that you continue to have excellent copy that meets your goals and grows your business.