Getting to know you: the art of blogging for clients
It’s 5am at Liverpool Airport on a dark, rainy October morning. We’re waiting for our flight to Portugal and I make a new friend. She was around eight or nine years old. Our first meeting was in Starbucks. I was blurry eyed and sleep deprived (I’d like to meet anyone who can sleep the night before an early flight!), taking my first sips of caffeine in an effort to stay awake long enough to reach the gate.
The girl and her mother sat opposite and we bonded over her hot bacon sandwich. It smelt amazing and made my mouth water so much I had to buy one myself! She also added ketchup, which is one of my personal preferences. She’d bought a magazine that came with free glittery nail varnish attached to the front. She was insistent she wanted to apply it there and then. Her mother did an excellent job of persuading her otherwise! We exchanged knowing glances and said our goodbyes as they gathered their belongings to board their flight.
A short while later, I look up from my seat on the plane to see the little girl and her parents boarding. We smile and the little girl waves at me. I had no idea we were on the same flight.
On landing in Faro, my husband goes to collect our case and I find a seat near the carousel (despite the bacon butty and a three-hour flight, I’m still not properly awake). And she’s there again! Sitting opposite me with her mother. We smile and pick up the conversation where we left off. The little girl compliments me on my pink suitcase and we chat about where we’re staying, how long we’re there for and how we both booked our holidays at the last minute. You might be pleased to read we weren’t staying in the same place and that was the last time our paths crossed.
The reason I’m telling you this story?
People often ask me how I’m able to write blogs for other people and pass them off as their own work. The answer is simple and it’s hidden in this story. I find it easy to chat to people, to get to know them and what makes them tick.
1. Strike up a rapport
You need to build up trust between a copywriter and client. For me, this starts with a coffee and a chat in person to see if you like one another. If you hit it off, that’s a good sign for a long-term relationship.
Once I’ve got the go-ahead to write for a client, I start to do in-depth research to really get to know you. I’ll read your existing materials, research key competitors and more general information about your area of work. It might mean further face-to-face meetings, calls or online meetings. I’ll ask lots of questions to get to the bottom of who you are, what you do and what makes you tick. I try to find common ground with the client – think bacon butty, pink suitcase and last-minute holidays! If we share values or interests in common, it’s much easier to channel someone else’s voice.
3. Agree words to use and avoid
Using the right language is crucial when you’re writing on behalf of someone else. I always ask a client what terminology they prefer to use. I’ll refer back to existing materials and check on language used. A set of style guidelines can come in useful here, so I know exactly how to write times, dates, department names, job titles and much more.
4. Planning is key
I always agree the content of the blog post with the client before I start to write. I usually provide an outline summary so they can provide pointers and know exactly what to expect from the final copy. I encourage the client to check, review and request any edits to the post before they publish. This helps with my learning as well as getting the post spot on. It’s normal practice for me to make minor amends to a post, but happily with my longer-term clients, we’ve built up such a good relationship I’ve become an extended part of their team, meaning changes are rare.
Want to know more about my blogging service? Drop me a line or give me a call. I love to chat, as long as it’s not at 5am!
If you enjoyed this post, check out ‘What’s the difference between you and a copywriter?’