As we’ve seen in previous posts in this “Process” series, our collaboration begins with an initial contact, over the phone, via WhatsApp, email, or the contact form here on the site.
That leads to a free 15-minute chat, which is enough for us to map out in broad terms what it is you want to say about yourself, if it’s a portrait, a LinkedIn profile or a personal story, or about your service or product if it’s an About page.
I then send you a quote for the writing you want, and it’s up to you whether you go for it. If you do, we’re in business!
My first step is then to research your field — what people are saying online, or in Amazon reviews (in the case of products), getting a feel for the vocabulary, the buzzwords, the main issues and preoccupations. All that enables me to write better questions to find out more about who you are and what you do, leading up to our extended interview.
If it’s for a portrait, LinkedIn Profile, the questions will focus on who you are, what you’ve achieved so far, what drives you, and your vision for where you want to get to next. They’ll be detailed and may even raise issues you haven’t had much time to reflect on — but are essential if I’m to write about you in detail, and create an in-depth portrait. For a personal story, then obviously the questions will focus in on the event you want to recount, filling in the detail as to what happened and why you want to share it with the world.
If on the other hand, it’s for a service or product, we’ll start from the point of view of your client. As we’ve seen in previous weeks in this series, we’ll explore what keeps them awake, how your service or product helps, and how you stand out from the competition. All of these are questions any good service provider or business person needs to be asking anyway, even if the answers evolve over time, as they surely will.
The best approach is for you to make notes on the form I send you, and you can either simply use them as the basis for our conversation, or send them to me in advance, so that I can refine further.
The interview is set up at a time convenient to you, always giving you plenty of space to reflect on the questions at leisure before we start. And it’s all very informal — most likely on Skype or a Google Hangout, so no need to be nervous — it’s nothing like a job interview: it’s sole purpose is not to test you but to build a fuller picture, all of which will feed into what I write.
The most difficult part for me used to be recording faithfully everything you said, and making sure no detail was left out. But not any more, because I’ve discovered a Magic Gizmo to end all magic gizmos.
As an interviewer and a writer, it’s changed my life. And I’ll tell you all about it…