Before you ever spend a dime, you lay the foundation for our collaboration by doing some targeting thinking about your project. This important step is not easy, but it’s worth it because:
- It creates a shared vocabulary for our collaboration and fast-tracks the orientation process.
- It enables us to set a high bar for strategic impact and empowers you to own the results we achieve.
- It saves you money.
To begin your thinking process, assemble your project materials, review this website, and complete the GET STARTED form. (Please note that for a variety of reasons, I encourage you to do this step on your own. However, if you prefer to walk through the form together, I am available, at an hourly rate, to collaborate with you on this foundational step.)
Tips for Completing the Form
- Best Approach: This is not a test, and there are no objectively right answers. So, relax and enjoy the process of being creative and thoughtful. Your answers will help us get the conversation and the collaboration started. Think carefully, but employ a spirit of play and experimentation, and avoid self-censure. By creating a space of openness, you catalyze innovation.
- Project Purpose: What do you want to achieve? What is your goal? This answer explains why your project is important.
- Target Audience: This answer identifies who your project is addressed to. Be specific. e.g. “US middle income young adults who like the outdoors;” “my high tech boss who may promote me soon;” “my un-empowered creative self who fails to claim credit for my great ideas and hard work.” Feel free to identify a primary audience that must be reached, a secondary audience who is likely to be reached, and a tertiary audience who would be nice to reach. e.g. Primary = US middle income young adults who like the outdoors; Secondary = US high earning young adults who like the outdoors; Tertiary = my high tech boss, who may promote me soon.
- Project Description: This answer identifies what your project specifically is. Creating a succinct description of it here will be helpful for you generally. Whenever anyone asks you about the project, you’ll have an answer for them that is short, clear, and compelling, one that they may find themselves repeating. And voila, you’ve courted supporters who will spread the word.
- Single Lasting Impression (SLI): For an introduction to SLI, click here. To complete the form, it’s important to know that an SLI must be phrased an “I” statement from the perspective of your audience. Phrasing an SLI in this way, helps you to inhabit the audience perspective fully and to test out whether this SLI is the best one to help you achieve your purpose with your target audience. e.g. “I love this new app because it helps me to manage my email overload so that I have more time for play, and it reminds me where and when to find cool outdoor activities;” “wow, this app sounds so cool that I’m going to order it today;” “I take credit for my great ideas and hard work, which will lead me to the promotion I deserve and want,” or “This website makes me want to hire Ashley to help me realize strategic impact because she sounds awesome, and her process sounds like it will produce innovative results.”
- Project Measurement: Consider your purpose, your audience, and your SLI. Also consider our collaboration. How will you measure success of the project and our collaboration? Be specific. We will refine these measurement terms together, but it will be helpful for you to consider first what success means to and for you.
- Budgetary Considerations: I work on a sliding scale in order to make my services more broadly available, but I work to make a living, and the market value of my rates reflects my skills and experience. Thus, if you have a budget in mind, have a track record of paying particular rates for similar services, have particular budgetary restrictions, etc., it will be helpful for me to know these considerations up front so that I can do my best to craft a budget that works for both of us.
- Sample: A sample will not be relevant to all projects, but in some cases, either a sample or another type of attachment will be relevant. Please see the note that follows directly below the Get Started form for instructions about sending attachments.
- Start/Completion Dates: Include specific ideal dates. (“ASAP” is not a specific date.)
- Project Description: Please indicate as part of your project description the nature of the writing & editing services that you anticipate being most beneficial.
- Sample: In most cases, a sample will be relevant. Please do not send more than 5 pages (1250 words), but please craft your sample so that it is representative of the entire text.
Strategic & Creative Development
Strategic & Creative Development projects can seem more abstract, and certainly more unwieldy, than a finite communications effort like a brochure or an article. Nonetheless, I encourage you to be as concrete and succinct as possible in your answers. There will be plenty of room during our collaboration to spread your wings, but concrete answers now will give us solid ground from which to begin our collaboration and to which we may return when the shifting sands of the development process require a stable reference point.
Strategic & Creative Coaching
Because coaching is about your own strategic development, your answers to the form’s questions will likely be more personal than they might be for my other services. Nonetheless, I encourage you to cultivate some objectivity as you think about your “coaching project,” and to respond to the form’s questions as if you were a project just like any other. Some Coaching-specific variations to the general suggestions for completing the form follow.
- Audience: By definition, your primary audience will be yourself, but think carefully about which facet of yourself you would like to reach with this coaching project. It will also be helpful for you to identify a secondary audience, someone external to you who has motivated and/or inspired this coaching project.
- Project Description: Along with your description, please indicate which coaching option you think would be ideal.
You think. I strategize. We collaborate & review. You achieve strategic impact.
1 * 2 * 3 * GET STARTED
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