Want to crack that phenomenal piece of writing that can serve as the lead magnet for your client? Then you have got to ask questions!
If you belong to that group of professional content writers who jump onto writing content without any client briefing or research, your content will take you nowhere! Being a content writer, you are responsible for creating a piece of content that attracts, informs, and engages. And solely relying on your writing skills and ignoring the research part won’t bring in the much-needed results.
And your research should start with the client. No one knows better about the business/company better than the owner (or his subordinates). So, before you start surfing through Google, YouTube and other platforms, it is necessary that you squeeze out as much information from the client as possible. Make the most out of those Zoom calls and Google meets. Be inquisitive and ask relevant questions. The detailed answers to these questions will serve as the foundation upon which you can build your content.
Here’s a list of questions that you should ask your client before proceeding with the content!
Q1. Tell me more about your company.
Whatever you write- a blog, social media caption or website content, it will represent the ideas and voice of the company. And hence, you should know every detail about the company – years of operation, experience, journey so far, mission and vision, services offered and so on. Until and unless you understand the tone and message of the company, you cannot proceed with writing. Otherwise, your content will not match up to their expectations. And there will be multiple rounds of edits, revisions and sometimes, even rejections.
Q2. Who is your ideal target audience?
For whom are you writing the content? Who does the company address through this piece of content?
You must be well-acquainted with the target readers. In order to write a blog or ad copy that resonates with the target audience, you should be aware of their age group, gender, preferences, location, pian points, income etc. Once you have access to these details, you can craft content from scratch to which they will instantly connect.
Q3. Am I just responsible for writing, or do I have to look after the technical stuff as well?
Content writing is not just about writing. There are multiple things that go into creating a masterpiece! Content strategy, market analysis, gap analysis, keyword research, keyword incorporation, backlinking, choosing SEO-friendly topics– you can write a perfect piece of content only when you have these things in place. So, in your first Zoom call itself, ask the client if they have a full-fledged content and digital marketing team who can manage all these or if you are the one who has to handle everything. Plan your commercials as well as finalise the project delivery deadline accordingly.
Q4. Let me know about your competitors.
Again, your client will be aware of their rival companies. Ask about their top 5 competitors and get the links to their profiles or websites if possible. Know about that one thing where your client thinks that they lag behind or are ahead of the rivals. You can help your client stand out from the competition by portraying the right image through your content.
Q5. In case I come up with doubt in the middle of this project, who should I get in touch with?
You may come across multiple doubts at different stages of writing the content. You cannot organise a meeting with the client every single time. There has to be a single point of contact who represents the company and is well aware of the entire project. On the very first day, ask about this person and get their contact details. Otherwise, you may have to face unnecessary delays and confusion in the middle of the project.
Q6. What purpose will this content piece serve for your company?
Are they trying to attract engagement? Do they want to drive sales with this piece of content? Is it just an informative post that will portray the company as an authority figure? Do they simply wish to improve their social media network?
You should always know the purpose of the content which you are writing.
Next time you block the calendar for a Google Meet with a client, have these questions in mind. Better if you note them down somewhere. The brief that you get once the meeting is over is pure gold. Use the details to create a result-driven piece of content.
A traveller at heart, writer by profession, Bidisha carries 5 years of experience in content writing. Her words give wings to brands, businesses and influencers and help them notch up their work to the next level. Writing is definitely her cup of tea, and she prefers sipping it now and then. When not writing, you will find her cooking and dancing.