Get on the Phone with the Client
Obviously, if you freelance, you have no choice but to pick up the phone and give the client a call. If you work for an Internet Marketing firm, however, it can be tempting to gloss over the correspondence that SEO specialists have had with the client and simply compile all their research. But remember… direct communication between copywriter and client is crucial if you want the end result to be mutual satisfaction. Despite existing research, always schedule a phone call with your client to introduce yourself and to get first-hand knowledge about their business and industry. Better yet, if they are located near you, schedule an appointment to actually sit down and have a chat. Face to face communication is a rarity in business today but is still nevertheless valuable…
First make sure that the client is relaxed so that they easily open up to you. An informal interview with open ended questions is the best approach. Ask your clients the right kinds of questions and, who knows, it could open up an interesting dialog about a news featured wild house party in which your client’s carpet cleaning services were called for… or an illustrious monument / floor that has used your client’s natural stone products… or maybe even a famous customer that purchased your client’s million dollar caster. Now that’s juicy.
Monitor the News and Social Media Daily
Make an effort to keep track of the daily news, and don’t forget to use free tools such as Google Trends and Google Insights for Search, both of which enable you to stay up to date with what’s currently trending around the globe. You never know, it may give you an interesting angle that you can apply to your own client’s industry. We do the same here at Optimum7. For instance, Reputation Management is one of our core services, so when Jet Blue had its unfortunate turn of events, we made sure we adapted the news story to market our services. Social Media Optimization is another one of our services, so when news broke that President Obama had joined Pinterest, we covered it. And of course, when Google released its YouTube video on Project Glass, we also made sure we responded to existing critics and offered our own opinion of the Internet giant’s latest marvel.
How To’s and Tips
Always keep in mind your client’s target audience. A lot of copywriters make the mistake of writing content that brags about the client rather than being a problem solver for the reader. Boastful copy is an immediate turn off for readers. Instead take a moment to jot down things that you believe would be genuinely helpful information for them to read and apply to real life. Take, for instance, the following four topics:
- 10 Tips to Get Rid of Pet Odor from Your Carpet
- How to Install Travertine Tile
- How to Easily Replace Caster Wheels
- How to Calibrate a Scale
Surely this kind of information will be useful to the target audiences of example clients we’ve used for the purpose of this article. Also keep in mind that while it may be boring to you, it will not be boring to your client’s niche if the articles do a great job at addressing their queries. There’s also nothing wrong with doing a bit of snooping around and seeing what kinds of articles work best and get the most social media shares for your client’s competitors.
Make it Situational
Another approach to tackling humdrum industries is to think carefully of potential situations your client’s niche may one day find themselves in and come to their rescue… Essentially what you want to do is identify your target audience’s pain and offer a prescription for that pain. Check out the below examples.
X – Cleaning
- My Dog Pooped on My Carpet. What Can I Do to Get Rid of the Stain?
- I Spilled Red Wine on My Carpet. Help!
- There’s Make-Up and Hair Dye Stains All over My Carpet. How Can I remove it?
Y – Casters
- I Need to Move My Grand Piano. How Can I Easily Do This?
- I Broke My Caster Wheel… How Can I Replace It?
- I Work in a Warehouse and Need to Move A Lot of Cargo Daily. What’s the Most Efficient Way to Do This?
Z – Stones
- I’m Thinking of Adding a Fireplace to My Living Room. Is Limestone a Good Choice?
- I’m Searching for Wholesale Marble Tile in New York. What Are My Options?
- I Need to Buy Marble in Bulk. Where Can I Do This?
We’re all aware that popular brand names often use power figures and celebrities to endorse their products. Similarly, believe it or not, you may be able to do the same for your own client – even if they aren’t a big time multinational corporation. As mentioned earlier, your client may have a famous customer who has used their products or services and has had an overall positive experience. Or, maybe they’re just very knowledgeable about the subject matter. Rather than writing about it yourself, conduct an interview with this famous client to elicit the desired reader response to your otherwise boring content. It’s always good to have a diversity of voices because after all, they may know something about the topic that you don’t… and it keeps the content fresh. And of course, more people are interested whenever an authority figure or celebrity is involved…
More White Space
- Sub headings
- Bullet points
- Bold and Italic Font
… As a copywriter, these are things you should already understand the importance of, but may forget to practice. As it stands, it’s difficult to read an article when there is none of the above let alone read an article about a dull topic or industry when it isn’t visually pleasing. A good self check is to use the Zoom feature in Microsoft Word and click on Whole Page. This will allow you to look at the page in its entirety. If you see a good amount of white space, you’re on the right track. If not, make it easy for readers to digest your content by breaking it up with unique and relevant sub headings. Underneath these sub headings should be manageable chunks containing a handful of sentences. Within these paragraphs, try to see if you can convey some of the information in a list or use bullet points. Also utilize bold and italic font for any words or sentences you feel the need to stress. Readers and Google respond well to this. Lastly, don’t forget to include some pretty pictures to further engage your readers.
Converse, Humor and Encourage
The last but not least trick in the bag is to write like you talk. Client’s sometimes worry that it isn’t a professional approach but reassure them that as long as you’re providing the reader with relevant, authoritative and credible information, a conversational tone can go a long way – especially if you’re in a boring industry. A few laughs here and there won’t hurt either, as long as they serve their purpose and spice up the content. Humor is just the right ingredient to add to an otherwise mundane soup as long as it’s done in a tasteful and appropriate manner. A conversational tone along with appropriate humor will also help encourage the reader to participate and comment on your content as well as share it across social media networks. And social media shares are exactly what you need to boost your content up the search engine ranks.