Sometimes, I totally suck…

During almost every big creative project I do, I reach a point where the Resistance is super-high, and it’s hard for me to make progress on the work.

If I don’t catch it, it’s easy to turn into a downward spiral.

It starts with not making as much progress on my work as I want.

Then, that makes me embarrassed for my lack of productivity.

From there, I’d rather not speak with the client, for fear of admitting my failure.

And then the silence grows ever-more awkward, the longer it goes.

The only way to break through and get back on track is to keep communication consistent, and step up and take responsibility for moving your part of the project forward.

I was getting sick of it, so I just came up with…

A process for creating better accountability, consistent project progress,  and great creative-client communications…

This most definitely works for copywriters.  But really, it works for anyone who does bigger creative work projects.  Or, anyone who works with clients or their employer on a project basis at all.  It works for freelancers, and it works for in-house employees.

(If I were running a team of in-house creatives, I would also use this…  Effective immediately!)

It’s designed specifically for projects that span multiple weeks.   But it could easily be adapted as a quick daily check-up.  It’s very versatile, once you have the bare-bones concept and process structure in place.

I started using this with my primary client on my only current active copywriting project.  (I’m only doing 4 major client projects this year.)

And while it doesn’t always show the best side of me, that just means it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing.

I’ll go through the questions one-by-one, then tell you how I’m using tech to implement the process and keep me on track…

Use these 6 questions weekly to consistently move creative projects forward…

Where am I at with the project?

This is where you’ll probably spend the most time.  It’s a bird’s-eye view of the project status and your work on it.  Some of what you say here will lead to redundancy below, but this gives the client an update based on where you’re at.  It’s the tl/dr (too long, didn’t read) version of the weekly update.

What notable progress was made in the last week?

It’s great to celebrate your wins, and let the client know where things are moving forward.  This is the spot to do it.

Where has progress been slower than expected and why?

Many weeks, you’ll have things that didn’t move as far forward as you’d hoped.  Getting open and honest and vulnerable about it will be appreciated by any good client.  Better to have it out in the open than to hide it — even if it’s not fun to put it out there.

What do I need from you?

Many projects require a lot of back and forth.  If you’re waiting on anything from the client to move the project forward, this is a great place to either tell them or remind them of it.  If necessary, draw extra attention to this area with asterisks, etc., if it’s urgent, or make a note of it at the top of the email, to make sure they don’t miss it.

What tasks are still outstanding on the project?

Here you give a quick rundown of any project elements that still need to be completed.  This is to give the client reassurance that you know what’s coming.  It also gives them the opportunity for feedback if there’s anything missing.

What do I plan to get done this week?

Here’s where the rubber meets the road.  A project is a series of actions to be taken, and here you tell them what actions you intend to get done.  Be careful about over promising and under delivering (which I think most of us are prone to and often guilty of when it comes to work output on complex or difficult projects).  But also use this as a way to set goals on a regular basis that will move the project forward.

Now here are some tips on how to implement this process for yourself…

I’m a big-time Google Calendar user.  I use Google Calendar to send me email reminders of things that need to be done, and I have a TON of recurring email reminders that go out on a weekly or monthly basis.

What I did for this was simply create an event in Google Calendar that repeats weekly every Monday.  I set up an email notification for the event.  And in the description, I put this exact text:

INSTRUCTIONS:

Send the following Q&A check-in on all active client projects, every Monday.

 

Q&A:

Where am I at with the project?

 

What notable progress was made in the last week?

 

Where has progress been slower than expected and why?

 

What do I need from you?

 

What tasks are still outstanding on the project?

 

What do I plan to get done this week?

 

Then every Monday, it’s one of my inviolable priorities for the day for the day to make sure it goes out.  I copy and paste the list of questions from my reminder email, into an email to the client, and answer each.

Done with thought and intention, it can take as little as 10 minutes and as much as 20, but it’s a really good way to get back on track, stay accountable, keep moving the project forward, and just make sure that everyone is on the same page and there’s not a communication gap.

Which ultimately will clear the way so you can focus on creating big breakthroughs!

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Like This? Get More...

Get daily marketing tips by email... Enter your info below!

Your Privacy is SAFE! We won't sell or share your email.