Writers Expect More Than a Contract

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Writers Expect More Than a Contract

You’re diving head-on into a project.

Details have been ironed out and it’s time to get to work. Whether you’re the writer or the content strategist who offered the assignment, a little guidance goes a long way.

Freelance Writing Project Checklist

Over the years I’ve collaborated with dozens of brands and publishers and each approaches the onboarding process a bit differently. If I could mix all the good parts together and create a super client, this is what would be coming my way after we agree to a partnership.

1. Contract
Do not go into any agreement without a legal document behind you that details the project expectations, final deliverables, publication rights and payment process. I’ve been stiffed for my work a few times in the past because I didn’t contracts. My new rule is no contract, no service.

2. Timeline
All projects should be presented with clear timelines including due dates for outlines (on large collaborative projects), rough drafts, final drafts and edits, if needed. It’s also nice to include anticipated publication dates and social promotion schedules.

3. Contact Details
How should everyone on the project communicate? Are you working through a platform, Google Docs or email? Outline how team members should contact one another, whether it’s by email, a platform messaging system or text messaging.

4. Writer’s Guidelines
Finally, all projects should come with specifics that detail what type of writing style (AP, Chicago, etc.) should be used and information about the publication. Who is the audience? What is the word count? What sources should be used? How does the client like to be referenced in the piece? What tone is preferred?

Once all of these documents have been shared, the process is collaborative. Both parties should feel comfortable asking follow-up questions or brainstorming ideas during the content creation process. In my experience, open communication leads to fewer revisions and questions during the editing process.

Are there other pieces of information you like to see accompany a new writing project? Comment below or on this post on Facebook!

Does your agency need guidance setting up freelancer guidelines and partnerships? I’d be happy to chat with you. I offer a limited number of consulting sessions each week by phone. Click HERE to learn more.

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