Creating content is hard for some people. At a recent Raleigh networking event, several people asked me, “How do you create content for someone else’s business?”
Answer: By having a good relationship with that client. As a former journalist, I have no trouble researching topics or an industry. Most of my work is ghostwritten, meaning I write it and allow clients to publish it under their own name. But that doesn’t mean I do all of the work. Often I speak to people who assume I can become them, write their voice, come up with blog post topics, at the snap of a finger.
Marketers are often frustrated by the client who wants it all, but refuses to respond to emails or review any reports. Content marketing requires client input. You know your business better than anyone, and I know content is just one part of your overall business plan and marketing efforts.
While you can give me the keys and tell me to drive, you still need to offer directions.
That’s why when I meet with new clients, I have a lot of questions. Here are some you might prepare for if you decide to hire a content writer:
- Tell me about your business. – Obviously you’ll need to talk to me about what you do, how you do it. But more than that. How long have you been in operation? How are things going? What are your specialities? Values? Your story is the thing that sets you apart.
- Who is your competition? – How do you differ from them? What do you like or dislike about their marketing methods or content approach?
- What do you love about what you do? – I want to bring your passion to your blog posts and other writing. As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
- What are your goals with this content? – Knowing what you want from it makes a difference in what and how I write.
- Who is your ideal client or customer? – In other words, when I write a blog post, to whom am I speaking? What does he/she earn? Where does he/he live? Age? Where is he or she in the sales funnel?
- What tone do you seek? – Many people struggle to answer this question, because in most cases, the answer is “professional.” However, it’s important to know what words you frequently use when speaking with customers so we can give your writing a unique sound. There are also certain words or terms you prefer to avoid, and it’s important to pass that along as well. The words we create should reflect who you are, why you do, and what you are like to deal with.
Although assigning your content marketing to someone else may sound like a lot of work, it’s not. Our working relationship will be like many others you are used to: some initial effort to get going, followed by a big load off your shoulders!