One of the joys of working as a professional writer is being invited into people’s different worlds and being invited to see life through their eyes. It’s a source of fascinating learning and challenge at the same time.
The learning takes place through a variety of means. The most important step by far is talking to you, the client. You know your own clients, what drives them, what keeps them awake at night, what the problem is that’s driving them to seek out your product or service. You may not have all these facts at your fingertips but through the questionnaire I send you and the subsequent discussion, you’ll have a much clearer idea of where you stand, maybe even stumbling across ideas you’ve never thought of before.
And then I’ll be doing my own research — finding out what your competitors are saying about their services, as well as reading client review websites or Amazon reviews to immerse myself in the kinds of things your clients are looking for, and the way they express themselves.
Why? Because if we write in the language they speak, they’ll recognise themselves and think you’re speaking directly to them.
Which is also the reason we never write “They” or “My clients”, but “you”, just as I’m doing here.
One of my clients is Babette Bischoff-Papasavvas, an interior architect — someone gifted in looking at indoor space and visualising different configurations, colours, functions, helping you transform your daily environment without the expense and hassle of moving home.
The copy on her website sort of hinted at that, but the balance of information was out of kilter. We learned a lot about the architect but there was not enough about you — what sort of pain point in your life might drive you to look for an interior architect in the first place.
One detailed questionnaire and a couple of interviews later, we’d hit on those precise pain points, from boredom to changes in family circumstances, and from a need for novelty to a lack of personal space…
From that moment on it became much easier to frame the web copy* so that it spoke directly to you, beginning with those exact problems, outlining a vision of how the future could look and then introducing the perfect person to solve the problem and create that future.
Then, by all means, let’s go into more detail about the service provider and what makes them special, but only when we’ve hooked and reeled in the reader.
Remember: the one subject that’s endlessly fascinating to your readers is them, their lives, their challenges. Start with that and you’ll never go far wrong…