January 15, 2013Yesterday, I received an email from a new client (we picked her up at the beginning of the year). Her company offers executive management leadership seminars. She wanted to start an article marketing campaign and ordered a one article per week, “easy, breezy” content package. In response to the second article we wrote, she sent over a short, sweet note which said:
Love this one!!! It’s like you have met me or something.
FYI, in response to the first article, she said, “Yuwanda, this looks great.”
Of course, I was delighted, because I’m very exacting when it comes to client’s content – especially because we charge at the higher end of the scale now.
Throughout my freelance career, I’m proud to stay that most clients love the content that me/my team produce. As I’ve said here on this blog on many occasions, it took me many years to consider myself a writer. I just could never wrap my head around it and I think a big part of the reason is that I take this “knack for business writing” that I have somewhat for granted.
In the past, when I thought of “writer;” I thought of great fiction writers or poets like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Hemingway, etc.
Now though, I no longer take the skill that I have for granted, mainly for two reasons:
(i) The web has produced a lot of opportunities in freelance writing and I’ve done jobs for clients that I thought were “no big deal” that they just raved over; and
(ii) Content marketing is a client’s “face to the world” these days. And, they’re willing to pay handsomely for content that makes them “look good.”
With this being said, I thought I’d share a few things I do to produce copy that clients love – and keeps them coming back for more.
P.S.: Join me in Jamaica in April and learn how to start a high-paying career as an SEO writer. Limited enrollment, accommodations included. Get full details on registration, deadlines, etc.
I. Ask Them about Their Goals: When my writing company lands a new client, one of the first questions I ask them is what are their goals for the copy – is it to generate direct, immediate sale; generate leads; get more signups for a newsletter; etc.
Purpose: This will determine what type of call-to-action statements the content should have.
II. Visit Their Website/View Marketing Materials: This will give you a real feel for the client’s business because their marketing materials represent the face they want to present to the world.
Purpose: To keep your copy consistent with their other marketing materials. In fact, I often pull sentences, phrases, blurbs from their websites, blogs and marketing material to use in the content that we produce for them.
Writing Tip: I once read a Tony Robbins book (I forget which one). But in it, he talked about the power of “imitation.” Basically, he said if you want someone to feel like you understand them, you have to connect with them. One way to do this is to “emulate” them, ie, if you’re sitting across from them, mimic their position, eg, if their hands are in their lap, put your hands in your lap.
This is not to “openly mock” mind you, but to subliminally send the message of “I get you; we’re on the same wavelength.”
Pulling content from a client’s existing material to put in your copy is a form of “mimicking.”
III. Find the Passion: I like to peruse a client’s About Us page, or bio, or mission statement page, or startup story – in short, anything that tells you about why they do what they do.
Purpose: It will reveal their passion – why they started their business, what their mission is. Once you find this, it’s easy to write from a place of honesty.
Note: If this info isn’t readily available, ask the client directly why they started their business / why they do what they do.
IV. Tell a Story: As you’ll notice from my blog posts, I write from first-hand experience and relay a lot of real-time info. In short, I tell stories; I let you into what’s going on with me professionally (and personally to some degree).
While this isn’t always possible with client copy, it doesn’t mean you can’t tell a story.
Purpose: People connect with stories. I think it subconsciously sends us all back to childhood where we liked being tucked in and hearing a good story from mommy and daddy. I know I did!
So craft a story for your client. Make the reader (your client’s customer) connect with why they may want to buy, subscribe, attend, consult, etc.
I hear all the time from other freelance writers who struggle with writing client copy. Or, they have a difficult time feeling that they’re “good enough” as freelance writers.
Trust me – rarely is this the case.
Writing comes easily to me – and I think one of the reasons it does it that I’m a natural communicator – always have been (sometimes to my detriment). When I was in grade school, a running comment my teachers would put on my report cards was, “Talks too much.”
My mom used to say, “Wanda, why can’t you just sit quietly after you finish your work?” Thank goodness, she never punished me for it because I was a good student and to be honest, I think she knew I got my loquaciousness from her! [My dad was the quiet type].
I don’t remember what my reply was when my mom would question me, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of, “I don’t know;” or “I’ll try.” You see, I’ve never been very good at keeping my mouth shut. Thankfully though, that personality quirk translates to the pen (keyboard) – and earns me a nice living.
The bottom line is, writing is just another form of communication. By using the tips I’ve dispensed here, you should be able to break through some of the freelance writing stumbling blocks you may have.
Ever get stuck on a client project? What writing tips / techniques do you use to push through? Please share in the comments section below.
Have a great week.
Learn about the SEO writer who just signed a $24,000 contract, then register for the SEO copywriter training class. A nominal deposit reserves your spot. Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.
P.P.S.: Avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer. How? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites.
Copyright © 2013: Just a reminder — All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).