Starting Off On The Right Foot
I think you’ll agree it’s always a good idea. I believe in making that happen by keeping the lines of communication open before, during, and after I complete a project.
Part of that equation is letting you know, up front, how I do business. Please review the following information so we can avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.
As always, my goal is your complete satisfaction. If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office at 818-280-5600.
“Your Satisfaction is always 100% Guaranteed!”
After your discuss your project with me, I’ll provide you with a free, no-obligation written estimate. This estimate will include research, development time, and all specified revisions—provided, of course, that they are not submitted after the final project files have been approved. Any changes made after final approval will incur a reasonable per-revision charge.
All of my written estimates include:
- Revisions as specified in the project agreement;
- All required telephone, email, and instant messaging consultation;
- All required research;
- All creative work;
- An accurate delivery window for your project;
- Final deliverables (files) delivered to you via email or on a flash drive by optional, registered surface mail (an additional charge will be incurred for this service); and
- Any applicable taxes.
I Charge By The Project – Never By The Hour
My competitors will frequently offer absurdly low hourly rates for projects with an “estimate” of, for example, four or eight hours included. But when the bill finally arrives, the client is hit with charges for two or three times that number of hours.
I hear stories like this often. The most common ones concern low-cost, overseas contractors who wind up costing my clients tremendous amounts of money and lost productivity. All too often, these cheaply-outsourced projects, from places like India and Bangladesh, are a complete loss for my client.
As stated throughout this website, I charge only by the project—never by the hour. Unless you insist, or you’ve retained me for consulting work. Why? Because I believe you should know upfront what you’re getting and how much it will cost. Period.
There are never any hidden charges when you work with me!
Let’s Get Acquainted
Before we begin on a project I need to understand a few things about your company and the product or service you’re trying to market. So what do I want to know?
Here are a few key things, although not necessarily all of them:
- Some information about your company or the products or services you want to market;
- Facts about your target customer (also known as a “prospect”) and the overall base (or “target market” as it’s known in our industry) for your product or service;
- What the unique selling point is of your product or service;
- The overall objective of your marketing effort; and
- What the “message” is, i.e. what you want your prospects to know about your company, your product, or your service.
Bringing Your Concepts To Life
After I consult with you and have a clear understanding of your project, I’ll present you with a few ideas. If you already have concepts, I’ll work with you to figure out why they aren’t getting results and then offer solutions to correct the problem or come at it from a fresh angle.
I’ll also include:
- Rough designs in mocked-up form when appropriate or as needed; and
- All necessary conference calls and chat sessions to ensure that we are all on the same page with the project.
This saves everyone a lot of work (and a lot of stress!) down the road!
Developing The Project
When I work on your project:
- I go through all but the “final” revisions and failed starts (in short, all the really hard work) before I approach you, the client, to present my work.
- You see only the “completed” drafts of your project, unless I have pertinent questions that affect the direction of the project or if we have previously agreed to work together incrementally as we move forward.
- I may or may not provide you with several versions of the same concept, depending on the objectives, complexity, and specifications of the project.
Revising The Project
I’d be thrilled if every project I tackled went perfectly the first time around. However, it doesn’t always happen that way. Therefore I’ll work with you to iron out any problems or snags that may arise during the development of your project.
Just for the record, I never, ever:
- Bill you for any additional work beyond the scope of our initial written agreement unless changes are requested after the final project deliverables have been approved and accepted.
- Bail out on a project and leave you hanging with deadlines nipping at your heels. In fact, my specialty is being brought in to finish what other creative agencies and freelancers can’t!
- Ask for a percentage of the sales my work generates for your product or service. Yes, some agencies and even freelancers do this! I consider this business model unethical at best.
Our Payment Policies
PLEASE NOTE: Unless other arrangements have been made, full payment on projects under $1,000 or for Non-U.S. clients is due in advance. Domestic (U.S.) projects over $1,000 are subject to the following terms:
Fifty-percent (50%) on deposit when the project begins with the remaining balance spread out across pre-determined milestones.
Milestones are determined on a case-by-case basis, but a simple example would be a two-sided tri-fold brochure with six panels. When three panels have been finished, the remaining balance would be due and then the project would be completed and the deliverables sent to the client.
This system became necessary after more than one client accepted finished project files and then simply refused by pay, ceasing all communications and forcing me to pursue legal remedies to recover unpaid fees.
While I believe 90% of people are honest, the loss of thousands of dollars each year has left me with little choice in the matter. It doesn’t help that many of my clients are not in Los Angeles, where my office is located, making it that much more difficult to take them to court.
Make no mistake, I’m always very easy to work with. But in this type of situation, I have no choice but to do what is necessary to keep Success Copywriting open and growing. Creative work is, after all, how I pay my bills and support my family!
Kill Fees are standard in the advertising, marketing, and public relations fields. In the unfortunate event that a client is unable to complete a project, I require a Kill Fee equivalent to 50% of the outstanding project fee. This amount helps us to alleviate my losses from other work that I would have accepted had I not agreed to take on the canceled project.
For your convenience, I primarily accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover through PayPal® or Square®. You do not need a PayPal® account to pay me using this method.
In some cases—approved in advance only—I will accept Cashier’s Checks, Personal Checks, and Corporate Checks. These must be sent by Messenger Service or Next Day/Second Day delivery via UPS, FedEx, USPS, or other comparable services, and include tracking. In the rare instance that I agree to accept a check or money order, it should be made out to “Richard Dean Starr” and not Success Copywriting.
Please note that I cannot accept standard mail delivery. My scheduling is carefully arranged in advance in order to accommodate the many client projects I consider. Thank you for your understanding!