Trying to help your clients compete with top-notch content?
Helping your clients get better content on their website isn’t just about hiring the right writer.
It’s also about setting expectations, and helping clients understand things they can do to help any content writer you hire produce content that isn’t just unique or decent, but which is actually engaging and insightful.
Here are 4 things you can discuss with them.
#1) Provide a Blast from the Past
Chances are your clients have some interesting stuff floating around their offices, stuff they can pass on to your writer to help him or her produce things they wouldn’t be able to produce otherwise. Examples include:
- Old white papers and reports.
- Old proposals (with confidential information removed, of course).
- Manuals or user documentation produced for their product.
- Old annual reports.
- Copies of any speeches or seminars any company executive has given at recent conferences.
All clients will not have these things, but if they do, ask for them so you can pass them on to your content writer.
#2) Schedule a Monthly Phone Call
Every business puts its own unique twist and philosophy behind what they do. Every business generates day-to-day stories. Case studies on how they’ve helped clients. Weird stuff that has happened on the job.
The only place any writer can get this stuff is straight from the source.
Getting your client to commit to a one hour phone call every month is all a good writer needs to generate a solid series of weekly blog posts that literally do not look, sound, or feel like any other blog post out there.
There’s no substitute for Ted, perilously perched on an icy glass roof.
#3) Give the Writer a Peek at the Trades
Most industries come with trade magazines and associations which generate newsletters. They tend to be full of juicy stuff that can help an outsider to the industry see the inside a bit more clearly. They can point to the kinds of things competitor websites just aren’t taking the time to talk about.
Many of the trades require subscriptions though, or association dues writers can’t and won’t pay unless that’s one of the only industries they write for. Getting your clients to share login information can be massively helpful.
Bonus points if the client has ever written for one of these publications, since seeing those articles will give the writer even more insight into how your client thinks.
#4) A Bigger Budget (When Appropriate)
I charge $50 for a piece of content that’s between 450 to 1000 words. I’ve found this is a friendly enough price for most digital marketers. That content will be the best content I can produce with the resources at hand and my own Google follow up.
But it will be content that I can indeed produce with those resources alone, which includes anything from the list above I can get.
Given a bigger budget I’d be able to devote time to producing journalism-quality pieces. Stuff which includes interviews, stuff which you might find in a magazine. I won’t do this for $50 because the amount of time it would take me to generate those ideas, find sources for them, interview those sources and put it all together would make that untenable for me.
Magazine-level content is not a great investment for all businesses, to be sure…the local gutter guy probably doesn’t need pieces like this. That high-tech RFID company you just landed might, however. Use your best judgment, but keep the possibility at the back of your mind.
Why is all this necessary?
Great research skills go a long way. But research will never turn an outsider into an insider. It will never help your writer divine the unique perspective your client brings to his or her business. The approach that makes that business such a solid choice. It won’t reveal the silly things customers do your client advises against all day long. It won’t reveal your client’s dragon slaying stories.
Which means a lot of topics get left on the table. It means generic-sounding content instead of content that sparkles. It means content that can lack real depth and which may even fail to appeal to the target audience because it’s just too basic to convey real expertise. Taking a few extra steps to develop these resources can make all the difference.