When you get a new client you probably expect them to give you all the information you need to get the job done. Well, hopefully they do but more often than not your client is going to be extremely busy (that’s why they hired you) and they’re going to leave out important details that will help you do the very best job you can do.
That’s why it’s key to make sure you really understand your clients before taking on a job for them. This requires a higher level of thinking on your part. It requires big picture thinking. Don’t look at your client’s project as a little piece all on its own. In order to serve them fully you’ll need to understand where this fits into the full puzzle of their business and how it’s going to really serve them.
How do you do this? Here are some tips for understanding your client and their content needs:
Read Their Content
This seems like a no-brainer but it’s something that is worth mentioning. Before you type one word make sure you go look at any current content or marketing materials your client currently has out there. You want to make sure you match the tone and mood of the pieces they already have (as long as they like them) and make that fit into their business. The last thing you want to do is write up content that stands out like a sore thumb (in a bad way). You want the content to blend into the current branding while standing out for the quality information it contains.
Understand Their Readers
Do you know who your client is speaking to in the content you’re providing? It’s so much easier to picture a real person in your mind’s eye when you are writing content. You won’t know who this person is unless you research your client’s business and ask them for feedback on just who they are targeting and what their individual needs are. A good way to do this is to ask your client to fill out a brief yet concise questionnaire about their business.
Treat it Like Your Business
There’s something that happens when you decide to really invest in your client’s best interest. When a service provider takes the time to treat their client’s business like it’s her own, she becomes invaluable to that client. If you make the conscious decision to do the best for your client’s business like it were your own then you will write better, communicate better and simple BE better at what you do. Try it, just once, and you’ll be hooked on how great your client reacts to the value you provide them.
Understanding your client will take some extra time but it’s worth the effort to read their stuff, research their market and to treat their business like you would your own. Try it and you’ll be on your way to developing a great relationship that could pay off for years and years.