Often when content gets rejected by clients its quite frustrating for the content writer and the client too. Inspite of writing content that is unique and interesting, clients reject the content that you write. After putting in a lot of efforts you fail to decipher where you fell short?
Let’s dig a bit deeper into this aspect of content writing
1) Share your writing samples:
When clients approach you, they might not know anything about your writing style. Though you haven’t written something specific with regards to their market/industry/ they would still wish to hire you. It’s best to share your samples with the client- ofcourse, clients generally do ask for your writing samples. But, knowing the fact that you are an experienced writer they might not ask. But, you should insist and ask them to read your content since that gives an idea about your writing style.
Share varied types of content with them that reflects about your ability to write in different styles, innovate, research, the tone, choice of words, flow of content, etc.
Its necessary for you to explain the client that you will charge for the sample
2) Ask them to share content that they loved:
So, the next obvious progression will be asking your clients to share content they have truly loved and aspire their content to be the same. This gives you an idea of what they expect? Often its tough for clients to describe the content they expect you to write. Unearthing the client expectations is necessary and there in lies the skill of a content write
3) Time involved in the activity:
Clarify it with your client that they will have to invest some time in finalizing topics, discussing what the broad topics the content will cover and reading the content to give a constructive feedback. Many a times the content has to be improved thus, feedback is important.
Before you write content, discuss with the clients about what points they need to cover in the article/blog/website content/whitepaper/case study.
Contact person can be the business owner, brand manager, marketing head/manager or from the marketing or digital marketing team. Since they all are aware of the brand image, target customers and the purpose of the activity their insight can help you write impressive content.
These are valuable inputs that only your client can provide.
Your clients need to understand the value they can add to the content. So, convince them to invest their time too. If they think that just sharing the topics is the end of the activity, content won’t turn out as expected. They need to dedicate some time too
4) Initial discussions:
Whenever you begin discussions ask the client what do they expect from that particular activity. For example, I write blogs so, I ask clients what results or returns they expect from blogging.
Is it to spread brand visibility? Or they expect sales from blogging? Do they wish to educate customers or just establish their online presence? When you know the objective of the particular activity, it is easier to mold your content accordingly.
5) Subject/ profession specific knowledge:
Many a times some products or services need to be written in a particular manner. For example, if you are writing content for a lawyer or a Chartered Accountant though it isn’t technical content it needs some amount of knowledge about the profession or the subject.
Ask your client if they expect you to write in a specific manner.
6) Technical content:
Mostly IT companies expect their content to be technical and they wish you to use technical words. But, its not always necessary to use technical words to explain the concept of the product. It can be explained in a customer-friendly or user-friendly manner. Ofcourse, that is if the client agrees to this view.
But, its imperative to tell the clients that you don’t write technical content (if you don’t have any experience of writing technical content.
If you wish to try your hand at technical writing ask them to share a topic with some basic guidelines and you can write a sample for them.
7) List of topics:
Get a fair understanding about the topics that the client wishes to cover. You can share your suggestions as well. It always helps to understand what kind of topics the client is expecting you to write. You can gauge how much time you would be investing in research.
8) Vital aspects of content:
Understand if the client expects technical or non-technical language.
Topics or points that the content will touch.
Would the content be written in UK or U.S. English?
Understand the audiences- the age group, attitude, country, profession, etc.
Number of articles/blogs per month.
Dates of submitting and publishing the blog.
9) Won’t immediately fetch business:
Undoubtedly content is the king, but without SEO even great content cannot reach the right audience.
Brief your client that blogs, articles, white papers, case studies, and website content doesn’t fetch immediate business. It needs time till you get leads. So, ask them to be patient. It’s a slow and persistent effort in brand building. Investing in content gives returns in the long run
10) You cannot push the client too hard:
If clients aren’t convinced that blogs and articles are beneficial in increasing brand visibility or can fetch leads in the long run, you cannot push your client too hard.
Sooner or later, they will come around.
11) Share your experience:
Always request your client to share their feedback about your content – how your content benefitted their business? Share this feedback with other clients especially before you start a new assignment
12) Avoid connecting clients on chatting applications:
Always document your communication with the client on official emails and avoid chatting applications. An official communication must be done over emails. All the feedback, expectations have to be shared via email.
Rashmi Malapur is a business blogger, content strategist & poetess with over 12 years of experience. She also loves to pen book, film, and theatre reviews & interview individuals.
Her book ‘Positive Sutra: Life says, ‘Never give up’ is a combination of poems and prose that reflect her experience of combating mental health issues.