A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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AC (Additional Charges) Form

A form for recording/submitting to clients additional charges, required by client-requested changes in the scope of a consulting project.

GotoMedia (2004). Resources>Consulting


Academic Training for Independent Contractors and Consultants   (PDF)

We need academic, along with, professional training, defining 'academic training' as conceptual and theoretical, future-oriented and speculative.

Farkas, David K. STC Orange County (1998). Presentations>Education>Consulting


The Art of Selling: Your Sales Techniques Must Fit the Product and the Times  (link broken)

A successful marketing representative shares her secrets on proven ways to sell writing consulting services.

Olive, Jo-Anne. Writer's Block (1996). Careers>Consulting>Marketing


Association of Professional Communication Consultants

APCC is a professional community where communication consultants: increase their knowledge; grow their businesses; achieve high standards of professional practice. APCC's mission is to support members as they help clients reach goals through better communication.

APCC. Organizations>Business Communication>Consulting


Avoiding Client/Contractor Nightmares: Best Practices for Contractor Management   (PDF)

You've secured the budget to produce some badly needed, high visibility deliverables. Part of that budget includes funding for contractors. To help manage and guide the communications between your contractors, your staff, and your management, you want to use your company's best practices. The best practices of the contractor or provider firm you employ should closely match your own company's best practices. Beginning on the "same page" will eliminate headaches and expenses during the lifecycle of the project. A quick comparison of practices and procedures enables you to proceed with the project confident that you are using competent outside resources.

Michaels, Sherry, Maggie Haenel, Ann Backhaus. STC Proceedings (2004). Careers>Project Management>Consulting


Avoiding the Pitfalls of Independent Contracting   (PDF)

With the decline of employer loyalty to employees and the move to outsource peripheral functions, many technical communicators are exploring the possibility of becoming an independent contractor. Although much emphasis has been given to marketing and negotiation skills, there are pitfalls awaiting the entrepreneur who leaps before looking. Among these pitfalls for former corporate employees are structuring time and dealing with isolation. Success as an independent is measured by how well he/she deals with these intangible issues.

Smith, Gem. STC Proceedings (1997). Careers>Consulting>Contracts


Becoming Your Own Corporation: Boon or Bust?

Writers today are being advised to stop thinking in terms of building a life-long career with one employer, and instead view themselves as a one-person corporation offering specialized services to whomever is willing to pay the highest price.

Zvalo, Peter. Writer's Block (2000). Careers>Freelance>Consulting


The Best Ways to Bill Clients

Every industry veteran has his or her preferred billing method. Some prefer fixed pricing arrangements while others prefer straight hourly billing. Regardless of individual preference, each billing method has its perks, and the decision should be based on which method is in the best interest of your firm, yourself and your client.

Richmond, Jessica. .Net Magazine (2011). Careers>Consulting>Pricing


Breaking into Government IT Contracting   (members only)

When I was preparing my transition from employment in Belgium to employment in northern Virginia, friends encouraged me to look at opportunities as an information technology (IT) contractor for the federal government, which relies on contractors to design and deliver IT solutions. For this reason, many companies that build and sell IT systems have entered the lucrative market of outsourcing employees. Since May 2005, I have been employed by four contracting companies and worked at several government agencies. When I started working as a contractor, I discovered that very little is written about the ins and outs of contracting. What I learned came from friends and associates, and their advice helped me understand how to be successful.

Dick, David J. Intercom (2010). Careers>Freelance>Government>Consulting


Breaking into the Mobile Market: Joe Welinski at the STC Summit in Dallas

In this video, I talk with Joe Welinski from WritersUA about strategies for entering the mobile market, particularly in landing contracts for iPhone and iPad application help and user interface design. Joe runs the WritersUA conference each year.

Johnson, Tom H. and Joe Welinski. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Interviews>Mobile>Consulting


Breaking the News

How to tell your client the truth even when a project isn't working out as planned.

Holland, Anton. Writer's Block (1995). Careers>Freelance>Consulting


Breaking the Rules: Teaching Grammar "Wrong" for the Right Results in Technical Communication Consulting for Engineers   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Technical communication consultants steeped in conventional academic notions of writing pedagogy may encounter different assumptions about the nature of writing and the significance of grammar in writing instruction when they consult with professional engineers. This paper examines historical, theoretical, and practical reasons for these sometimes contradictory beliefs and traces the authors' efforts to reconcile these differences while planning and conducting a writing seminar for an engineering firm. A strong emphasis on grammar and mechanics can lead to numerous benefits, including a stronger sense of shared purpose between consultants and engineers and a point of entry into additional conversations about institutional writing practices and writing environments.

Knievel, Michael, April Heaney and Meg Van Baalen-Wood. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication (2010). Articles>Consulting>Education>Engineering


A Breath of Fresh Air

It takes research, humility, and skill to truly understand your customers well enough to serve them better than your competitors.

Cooper, Alan. Cooper Interaction Design (2002). Design>Web Design>Consulting>User Centered Design


Budget Tracker

A spreadsheet to calculate consulting/design costs.

GotoMedia (2004). Resources>Consulting


The Business of Writing: How Do I Set My Rates?  (link broken)

Do you know how much what you do is worth? Very likely a lot more than you think. But how do you figure out how much to charge for a given job?

Knowles, Michael. Write Thinking (2001). Careers>Consulting>Pricing


Can You Say That in English? Explaining UX Research to Clients

It's hard for clients to understand the true value of user experience research. As much as you'd like to tell your clients to go read The Elements of User Experience and call you back when they’re done, that won’t cut it in a professional services environment. David Sherwin creates a cheat sheet to help you pitch UX research using plain, client-friendly language that focuses on the business value of each exercise.

Sherwin, David. List Apart, A (2009). Articles>Consulting>User Experience>Research


Cheaper Over Better: Why Web Clients Settle for Less

Schumacher explains why clients hire bad web designers (and what good web designers can do about it).

Schumacher, Adam. List Apart, A (2000). Design>Web Design>Consulting


Client Buy-In

It's not about what software you use, or how you organize your document, or how big the document is; but about whether the expectations the client has set, have been met. The question is, then, how do we assure we're meeting all the client's expectations? The answer is client buy-in.

Mink, Don. BA Collective (2007). Careers>Consulting>Business Communication>Collaboration


The Client Did It: A WWW Whodunit

Why is it that we allow ourselves to be put in a compromising position where the client tells us how to be web designers? Maybe it's because the perception among the wider public is that 'anyone' can make a website. And they're right. Anyone can make a website--but not everyone can make an emotionally engaging interactive experience that will live in the visitor's memory. (Similarly, anyone with access to a photocopier and a stapler can 'make a book,' but good books are scarce.)

Shepherd, Robbie. List Apart, A (2000). Careers>Consulting>Web Design


The Client Survey

Client input is the foundation upon which successful web sites are built. This survey will help you articulate and identify the overall goals of your site redesign, including specific questions regarding message, audience, content, look and feel, and functionality.

GotoMedia (2004). Resources>Consulting>User Centered Design


The Client-Consultant Link   (PDF)

This panel brings together three consultants to discuss the link between the client and consultant. Their individual papers provide the background; 'Create Your Consultant Image,' 'SmartStart Guides,' and 'Managing Client Relationships.'

Woods, Joyce F., Nancee E. Master and Karen Steele. STC Proceedings (1997). Careers>Consulting>Communication


Client-Friendly Atmosphere: The Polish and The Lubricants

During the last few years in projects, I interacted with a lot of clients. All these projects were based offshore, where client interaction was mainly through emails or teleconferences. When you do not work face-to-face with clients, communication is key to win your clients' confidence.

Nafde, Yamini. Indus (2006). Careers>Consulting>Collaboration


Client’s Needs, Client’s Wants and Finding the Balance

Since a healthy percentage of Reencoded readers deal directly with clents, it’s time we take a closer look at how to deal with them. It’s not uncommon for a client’s wants and a client’s needs to head in completely different directions. Hopefully these tips will help you draw the two back together and provide the client with a product or service that they’re happy with and that suits their requirements.

Praschan, Mark. ReEncoded (2008). Careers>Consulting>Web Design


Clients From Hell

A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers.

Clients From Hell. Humor>Consulting>Web Design


Confessions of an IT Contractor

Since May 2005 I have been employed by four contracting companies and worked at several government agencies. When I entered the contracting profession, I discovered that very little is written about contracting. What I learned came from friends and associates; their advice has helped me to understand how to be successful.

Dick, David J. Carolina Communique (2010). Careers>Consulting>Freelance



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