I love working as a freelancer. My job is varied and I get to work with lots of different people from a range of industries. I’ve worked with property developers, plumbers, beauticians, marketing agencies and most recently a groundwater company. I inevitably end up learning quite a bit about the most random things.
I sometimes get asked how I can write about so many different types of industries when I don’t specialise in any of them (with the exception of marketing).
I’m naturally inquisitive (OK nosey) and this helps me. Before I even attempt to write copy for a client, I do a lot of research. I immerse myself in the subject and find out as much as I can.
I also ask a lot of questions. In order to write copy that really helps to sell and market a business, I always try to find out the answers to these vital questions:
Background Info. This information helps me to really get to grips with what the business does on a day to day basis and essentially, understand the main points of difference from competitors.
1. How old is the business?
2. Who formed the company and why?
3. How many people work for you?
4. Do you have other offices / sites? Where?
5. In plain English – What does your company actually do?
6. Who are your major competitors and how are you different?
7. What are your Unique Selling Points?
Customers and Target Audience. The main job of a marketing copywriter is to appeal to customers and get them to take action. So it is essential to understand who the customers are and how to appeal to them. This will help me understand the tone I should be using in the copy too.
8. Who exactly are your customers? What are their demographics? Are there different markets e.g. business and end user? Contractors and commercial?
9.What would you say are the biggest problems facing your audience?
10. How does your company help your customers’ problems I.E What benefit does your company bring them?
11. What are your core values that you want me to convey about your business? E.G. Professional? Friendly? Quirky?
Goals for The Project
12. What action do you want your customer to take? I.E. Do you want them to buy? Sign up to an email?
13. What are your core metrics for measuring a success of a project? E.G. Increase in sales? Increase in visitors to a website? Increase in customer interaction?
I could go on! There are more questions that I could add that freelancers need to ask that relate to payment and working conditions but ultimately these 13 questions all really help me to get under the skin of the client and help me to understand and ultimately write for their customers better.
Are you a copywriter? Are there any other vital questions that I’ve missed from my list?