No one likes giving the job to the wrong guy. Hiring right is a prospective client’s concern; it should be yours too.
If you are reading this, you are a content writer? Hoping to land your first client very soon?
Maybe you are even a content writer’s prospective client. No knowledge is lost.
Below are questions you should ask your client before you rush to accept the job.
What do you want to achieve?
Don’t be tempted to accept a project without knowing what the goals of your client is.
Is it for educational purpose?
Is it to generate new lead?
Is it to generate traffic?
Is it for conversion?
Understanding what your client wants to achieve with the content guides with your choice of words.
Who are your audience?
Your client’s product or service is not for everybody.
For your content to be precise, you need to know who the targets of your client are. The target you are being hired to write for. The market is largely stratified, so you need to consider certain factors like status, age, race and gender.
For example, these factors influence your choice of words as a content writer. You would be careful not to use words common with Gen Z for baby boomers.
Some clients will provide you with customer avatar template. And that helps to make your job easier.
What problem does the product or service solve?
If you are going to successfully help your client sell his product or service, you need to know what’s in it for the targets.
And it better be strong enough – competitive advantage – to make the content stand out among those online.
Ask. Ask. Ask. Knowing what problem it solves will help you to emphasise the deeper benefits of the article and not just some features.
I recall being hired by an affiliate marketer to write a presell copy for CBD Oil. We spent about two weeks on briefing. That might seem a long way, but he was a new client and it was his first time of hiring a copywriter.
What was in his brief: I want a presell copy for a diabetic health product that I want to sell.
And you would meet clients like that. They trust you to know better. After all, they are paying for your time. But you need to let them know their input is necessary.
First, we spent time understanding what his goals are. I typically took him through everything he needed to know about creating a copy that sells. And the clearer I helped him understand, the easier it was for him to answer my questions about benefits, targets and goals, among others.
How do you intend to promote the content?
“Know something about everything?”
Let that be your guiding light as a content writer if you want to succeed at helping your client create content that’s tailored to the platform it would be promoted. What you create need to be tailored to the platform it would be promoted.
You don’t want to end up writing a copy that would be disabled from running.
For example, whenever I am hired to write an ad copy, I ask if it’s for Facebook or Google. And this is important because there are varying methods of operation for promoting content.
Read: Facebook policies.
What is the Call-to-Action?
At the end of the day, there is an action that your client would want the targets to take. You don’t want to leave them asking what’s next.
Does your client want them to share?
Send in their questions?
Submit their details for newsletter subscription?
Buy his product or service?
Ask for their keywords
Your client should have keywords that matter to their business. Except they are paying you more to execute keywords research.
Keywords can’t be separated from valuable content. If you don’t believe, go ask some SEO expert.
Content writing isn’t rocket science. However, keywords make your job as a content writer easier and focused.
Fee and payment plans
Your client may have decided on the budget before even approaching you.
Now, don’t jump into asking what the budget of your client is. It’s not always a favourable way for content writing business.
And don’t be reluctant to name your price. Don’t cut yourself short. It’s either a yes or no.
This is all about knowing the value you bring to the table. Maybe a beginner, you may not have the upper hand on what your fee should be. But as you learn through the process and become better, state your price on a project. And if the bargain doesn’t make you happy, you should pass.
Congratulations if you both found a fair ground to stand on.
Now, agree on the payment plans. Request for upfront payment before starting work begins.
Decide on what works best.
Please, even if you must compromise, make sure it’s an existing client who never disappoints.
Is there a deadline?
You need to know if it’s an urgent affair or you have the luxury of time.
And this has to be considered in line with the enormity of the project. Make sure you both have an agreement on when it’d be delivered.
Once there is an agreement on the deadline, don’t go silent on your client. We usually recommend this for big projects like books ghostwriting.
They may not ask for it, but keep them updated as you progress. As a writer, if you are not careful with projects like book, you might be buried in getting it done that you miss what the clients want. So, it’d save you the stress if you keep them involved in the progress.
You don’t want to rewrite because you missed the point. Send progress report. For example, let your client go through every 2000 – 5000 words you create. Don’t move on until you get a positive nod.
Then, except it’s an old client who already tasted your expertise, don’t deliver sooner than expected. Hold on, this is more about having understood some client’s psychology. YOU DON’T HAVE TO AGREE.
We have delivered to some clients’ sooner than expected and their responses, instead of being impressed, reeked of doubt.
“I hope you spent enough time doing this well?”
Not that every first client is like that. But there some clients who would doubt your ability if you delivered sooner than agreed. Can you blame them? Some of them have been wired to believe if it comes easy, it’s not good.
What’s your experience as a content writer…copywriter? Let’s talk in the comment section.