1. Reads through any and all existing communication that the client is currently happy with. For instance, if the client keeps a blog, you can read through old archives to get a feel for the client’s writing voice, values, etc.
2. Brushes up on the target audience to understand what they’re most likely to respond to. Find out what’s most important to them, what problem they’re trying to solve, and relate this to what the client sells/offers and how it will work to improve their lives.
3. Keeps a swipe file of “favorite catch phrases” used by the client. Clients who already have strong branding may already be including certain key phrases that they love to use. For example, if one of their practices is to do a daily “Up and At ‘Em” blog post, then you’d want to make a note of that and mention it when appropriate.
4. Signs up for the client’s newsletter. A copywriter who cares will know what is currently being touted in the client’s marketing communication and attempt to work that into the new articles he or she writes for the client.
5. Memorizes the client’s product/service offerings. Since this will most likely be marketing communication, the copywriter will look for ways to include the client’s latest products and promotions in the new articles he or she is writing for the client.
6. Pays attention to the way the client prefers to market said products. For instance, some clients really go for a hard-hitting, in-your-face sell, i.e. “don’t miss out!” while others would prefer not to talk about the product in the articles at all, instead using strategically placed links that lead the reader to a product sales page.
7. Starts with one or two small projects “to get your feet wet.” Some clients are concerned about dumping a large volume of work on a new copywriter at once. They’re not ready to commit to a long term contract, or they just aren’t sure that the copywriter will be able to master their style. This is why it’s great to take the first couple of projects slowly, and have plenty of review with the client so the copywriter will know what areas to change or improve.
8. Paces new projects regularly. Once the client gets comfortable with the way things are going, the copywriter can continue working on his or her content at a scheduled pace. Over time, the copywriter should be able to adapt to the exact “voice” of the client. To put this into perspective, a life coach who is also deeply spiritual may require quite a different “voice” than one who prefers to focus on concrete goals.
9. Invites the client to include his or her input prior to starting each project. For example, if you’re writing a series of articles for the client, you can suggest that the client provide a brief outline of key points he or she would like to make in the articles. This of course is optional, but if the client is really concerned with getting an exact match, involving them is the best way to get this right.
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