If you're a content creator, you are no stranger to deadlines, and are most likely working on several projects at once. On average, content creators work on up to five projects simultaneously and will most likely have to manage numerous clients at once. In order to ensure effective project planning, writing a Scope of Work (SoW) is critical. The budget and timeline of your project is affected by its scope and, therefore, maintaining your project scope is crucial to project success. If done correctly, it may assist you in ensuring clear client communication, supervising your whole team, and managing the scope of your project.
Here at Indy, we want to help freelancers like us. In this article, we'll walk you through exactly what a scope of work document is, and the specific content creation divisions. Moreover, our free content creator scope of work template serves as a guide for writing your own.
What is a Project Scope of Work?
Typically written after closing a sale with a client, but before you begin the work, a scope of work is an agreement between yourself and the client detailing what must be done in order for the project to be considered successful and complete.
The typical requirements of an effective scope of work document include:
- An outline of the project goals and tasks
- A clear project management schedule that works for both parties
- A list of the project deliverables
- A list of the project's major stages
In summary, a scope of work is a formal document that clearly outlines the work you need to accomplish for a certain project.
Why You Should Use a Scope of Work for Your Next Project
Here are some of the reasons you should use a simple scope of work for your next project:
- It encourages collaboration between project members and clients on objectives, milestones, and schedules. This helps establish the project's tone from day one and guarantees openness, efficient communication, and that all partners agree.
- It helps you effectively keep track of your project's timeline. This helps you keep on top of your project's progress, and prevent backlogs and conflicts with other ongoing projects.
- Allows all parties involved an opportunity to access all the project's information and clearly understand what is required from whom and when.
Should You Use a Scope of Work Template?
No matter your industry, there are many scope of work templates available. Having a scope of work template can guide you through the process and requirements, which is helpful for writing one yourself.
By using a template, most of the work is already done for you - all you need to do is fill out the sections with your project details. We've included a simple scope of work template for content creators at the bottom of this article.
Divisions of a Scope of Work Document for Content Creators
What information you include in your scope of work is dependent on the industry you work in. However, there are several important details that must be included no matter the freelance project. These are:
- Project scope
- Adoption plan
Here, we'll go through each division separately to determine what must be included, and some examples for content creators.
As with any report, your scope of work begins with an introduction. In this section, you want to provide a general overview of the project and its purpose. You also want to identify the parties involved (such as the client, the contractor, and the project team).
Some key points you may want to address include:
- What the project is - a brief overview of what the work entails (e.g. writing SEO content for a company) and job location.
- Problem statement - this is where you want to discuss what problem the project aims to address (e.g. attracting more readers or customers to the website of the company you are writing SEO content for)
- Defining any wording and terminologies that you feel are crucial for the project (e.g. in your objectives section, you decide to include KPI (Key Performance Indicator). Anyone who works in content creation may understand this terminology, but the company you are writing for may not). This will help prevent confusion.
In summary, this section of the document aims to focus on the problem that the project is meant to address. Additionally, it should explain how the undertaking of the project will lead to the problem's execution.
Since introductions often don't last longer than a paragraph, try to be as concise as possible when writing this section.
The aim of this section is to briefly summarize the project's objective that aligns with the client's needs and expectations. The most important thing to consider when writing your project objectives is the problem statement. What will the project entail to address the problem?
Typically, this is only one line, and requires no explanation or solution - that's what the rest of the project scope is for.
This section lists all of the main tasks and activities required to deliver your project objectives. This includes milestones.
Milestones are important stages in your project's timeline, such as development, implementation, and testing (e.g. a content writer may want to include an editing stage, or videographer may include a filming stage).
Working from your project requirements, and your project goals and objectives, your main tasks should cover the most important stages of your projects development.
The second part of this section is to specify the required resources, skills, and tools for each task. You will also need to explain how the tasks will be executed, monitored, and controlled.
Some key points you may want to address include:
- Resources needed - the tools, equipment, and skills required for the project. You also want to include the estimated costs and fees with each resource.
- Methods - the procedures and strategies necessary to complete tasks and milestones (e.g. if you're writing SEO content, you may want to include your strategy for incorporating keywords into the article).
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A scope of work document should also include individual tasks. These can be for yourself or team members (if you run a team for this project). These are tasks that need to be completed in order for the project to move to the next milestone.
Essentially, these are sub-tasks for your main tasks and milestones listed in the section above. Make sure to include all individual or team tasks in this section, and assign responsibilities and deadlines for each one. You will also need to include the estimated time, cost, and effort for each task and subtask in this section.
You can use a work breakdown structure to assist with this process, here's how:
A work breakdown structure is a project management tool that takes a step-by-step approach to completing tasks and large projects. You break down the project into smaller components to organize and define the entire project scope.
This structure separates the project into levels. Level one is the totality of the project, such as the project overview. Then each level below breaks the project down into further detail.
This section is the timeline of your project, and you have to make it clear. Your schedule should include every stage of your project. Having a clear schedule and timeline helps you track the progress of your project's scope and ensure it is running smoothly.
If your milestones and individual tasks have deadlines, make sure to include them in this section also. Using project management tools such as a Gannt chart, calendar, or timeline software can be incredibly useful for this section.
Whether you provide a service or product, your scope of work document should clearly define each deliverable and the rationale behind them. Deliverables are the desired outcomes, products, or results that the project should deliver once completed.
There are two types of deliverables:
Internal: submitted to your own project team members or to a collaborating department if necessary (such as early drafts, designs, progress reports, etc.)
External: submitted to parties outside of your company, including clients (such as final article or design).
If possible, provide samples or examples of your deliverables.
Including an adoption plan isn't a requirement, but you may choose to include this information if you feel it to be helpful. An adoption plan explains how the project deliverables will be implemented or used by the clients or end-users.
The adoption plan is usually towards the end of your scope of work. You will also need to explain any training, maintenance, or support required for your deliverables, and address any potential issues, common mistakes, or challenges associated with your adoption plan in this section.
Project managers and project management
The final scope section details the roles and responsibilities of each project team member (such as project managers) and stakeholders involved (client name). Explain who handles certain administrative tasks or managerial roles, and the communication methods and frequency among project participants.
This section also details how you will monitor the project. This includes how you will resolve any issues, changes, or risks that arise during the project.
How Indy Can Help with a Scope of Work
At Indy, we aim to make freelancing simple. There are several ways Indy can help you with your scope of work:
- Our Calendar app allows you to easily schedule meetings, track time, and see your deadlines. It also syncs with your Google Calendar, so you can keep up to date with everything!
- Our Tasks app helps you easily manage all of your tasks. Filter, search, and pin your tasks on visual boards and lists that also connect with your calendar.
- Create professional project proposals with our templates in minutes.
Indy can help you manage your project all on one platform. Sign-up now and try it for yourself!
As a content creator, or any freelancer for that matter, managing a new project and maintaining steady progress through every step of the process can be challenging. A scope of work is an effective tool for project planning - from using visual tools to clearly listing a breakdown of project tasks, a scope of work is crucial to ensure project success in your freelancing business and ensures that all parties are on the same page from day one.
For more guidance and examples of a scope of work, you can check out our scope of work guide.
Scope of Work Example and Template for content creators
Project title: SEO article for TTC Fitness' website blog
Parties involved: TTC Fitness, Joe Blogs freelancer
This project should result in a 5000 word SEO article for TTC Fitness' online blog to attract more readers and potential customers to TTC Fitness' website, as written by Joe Bloggs freelancer. Joe Bloggs shall complete this work. This is a formal agreement between TTC Fitness and Joe Bloggs freelancer.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and uses specific keywords in the article to appear on search engine results.
Write 5000 word article on fitness techniques, incorporating TTC fitness' products and specific SEO keywords to attract target audience.
Scope of work:
- Plan article
- Research fitness techniques and specific keywords
- Write initial draft article
- Review article and add SEO keywords researched in section 2
- Write final draft of article
- Edit article and incorporate changes
- Make a list of all of TTC Fitness' products
- Write article overview (3 sections and dot points)
- Read other fitness articles that use SEO writing
- Make a list of all SEO keywords common with search engine results
- Write first section of article draft
- Write second section of article draft
- Write third section of article draft
- Add SEO keywords accordingly to each section
- Make edits to section one
- Make edits to section two
- Make edits to section three
- Read through article and edit any changes necessary
- Planning stage of project begins: June 5
- Article overview written: June 5
- Topic and SEO research begins: June 6
- Section one of article: June 7
- Section two of the article June 7
- Section three of the article: June 8
- SEO writing begins: June 9
- Draft article edits: June 10
- Final article written: June 10
- Article project completes: June 11
- Article delivered in Word Document format - TTC Fitness can run this format through plagiarism checker and SEO content scoring software.
- Email containing article
Emergency contact: Sarah Foudy, Owner, TTC Fitness
Project Managers: Bill Taylor, General Manager, TTC Fitness
Accounting and all financial information and payment terms: John Doe, head of finance
Contracting: Joe Bloggs, Owner, Joe Bloggs freelancer
This SEO article for TTC Fitness' blog will be ready for submission once the project completes on June 11. The article is to be published June 12, and the article is to include all information in accordance with project objectives by that day.