This is How We Do It

By , June 22, 2009

What do Potential Clients Ask Me as their Copywriter?

  • Do you understand SEO
  • Is good SEO more important than good content
  • You get the by-line, but can you keep the company voice
  • What do you know about my company
  • How do you develop content for my site
  • Will you hear ideas from me
  • Will you get me original content
  • Can you get me noticed without black hat tricks
The right answers to these questions put you a third of the way there. A thorough writer will have questions for the client too. The documents that are presented or that you’re directed to shortens the research time if there’s information that can be used. Maybe there is none. Let your client know,  “I’ll generate copy from scratch if you need that, doing my own research, and my fees will reflect it.” Yes it’s hard word, and yes I’m smiling.

What Information will the Client Provide?

When copy is needed for a new website, there are a lot of avenues open to generating content. Once the client questionnaire is complete, then I have a lot of material to work with. Some things that I’ll ask new and established clients include:
  • How long in business before you got the website
  • Do you have any brochures or fliers
  • To know more about what you do, can you give me any companies in your field
  • What question(s) do your clients ask most often
  • Do you have repeat or unique clients most often
  • What are the qualifications of the person who takes your customers’ questions
  • What are the conditions under which you will take a phone call or query email requesting help
  • Describe the personality of your company, what is your company’s image
  • Who are your competitors
  • Who are you complimenting in business

This is Where We Collaborate

  • After reading everything I can get on your business from you and independent research, I’m going to draft a couple of documents and about fifty (50) topics that may interest you. These topics will have brief summaries to make you see where I’m going with each.
  • I’ll ask you for feedback on each one before I write them up. It can be the whole set or only some at a time.
  • I’ll ask you for any thoughts you might have on something that might be missing from the list.
  • Together we’ll work up a time-line for when each should go live

Doing the Work

“If everything meets your approval, then I’ll get started on your work. All deadlines will be met in a timely manner, either by the due date or in advance. This will allow room for major changes if for any reason you should change your focus. It’s a time-suck when people do this and if I don’t have to do other work, I don’t mind, mainly because the added work will be reflected in the bill I send you.” Yes. I am smiling again.  You want to let your clients know what to expect in extreme cases. “This all sounds great to me. If it seems a little off-putting, remember that I’ll be present to walk you through the entire process. And there may be more or fewer questions that I’ll ask, depending on who you are and what all you need. And as I gain related experiences, I do tweak this document to reflect what I learn. Consider this a jumping-off point and let’s get started.” This is a successful meeting. Have fun with your work because your foundation is laid! As copywriters, what do you ask from potential clients? Clients/employers, what do you ask writers about how they work? For a later post, contractors and clients, what makes it to your “UNACCEPTABLE” list?

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