The content writer’s job is to create language that compels others to act. No matter what medium or what purpose the content has, good content maintains that characteristic and leverages the power of words to reinforce a particular mindset or action.
However, not all copy ends up as powerful as it should be. While the writer in the process often tussles with editors, creative directors, strategists, the legal department and a bevy of others in the organization to word content just right, it seldom hits the presses (or internet) completely in tact.
On the other hand, writers are perfectly capable of guiding clients in the right direction and ending up with the content that will best represents the company or cause. Sometimes, it just takes a little creative flair in your client-content writer relationship to sharpen your language to its very best.
Here are five tactics writers can use to help clients get the very best results.
1) Encourage a push-pull relationship.
Your job as a writer or marketing consultant is to make sure clients are able to make fully informed decisions. While one decision may be superior to another, knowing the right decision in the moment isn’t always possible without an iterative process involving both sides of the fence: the experts and the creatives.
Involving clients deeply in the messaging process will not only create better results but also improve your overall client relationships.
2) Train the team to let their hands go.
Much of the push back content writers get is a result of a client balancing interests in the copy. However, a smart content writer can pave the way for approval early on by explaining the power of precision copy that takes a strong position rather than balancing opinions or voice to the point that it becomes sanitized and plain.
Teach the power of taking a sharp, clear position and staking a claim rather than balancing the message for all involved.
3) Set the expectations early.
Develop an understanding with clients regarding your process as well as what can be expected from a first draft. If you have done a good job developing your discovery process, most clients will find what you do valuable and take pleasure in getting involved in your discovery process.
An involved client is more likely to approve your copy- hands down.
4) Keep your eye on the prize.
In the end, the client and the content writer want the same thing: well-conceived copy that will get the job done. Keep in mind the harmonious, win-win nature of the task at hand and everyone will prosper.
5) Give clients homework.
Not busy work, mind you. Your clients are busy. They have a business to run.
Yet a certain degree of homework is the sign of an involved writer as well as a solid content process. Offer clients a step by step path that goes beyond the standard sit=down to indicate true commitment.
Want more tips for free lancers that go beyond the standard client assistance? Check out 50 Rules for Renegade Free Lance Writers.