One of biggest challenges a copywriter faces is to make future clients feel confident in his or her ability. You know you can deliver, but your clients don't know that... yet! In my own experiences as a freelancer, I've noticed that most hesitant potential clients often ask same questions. Following are answers to help allay their fears.
1. How do I know your writing style is right one for my company?
I understand where this question comes from, because I ask it myself when I need to solicit help of another writer. A good copywriter would never inject her own personality or opinion into work she does for other people. Rather, she adopts appropriate tone for their particular industry.
When it comes to writing, I consider myself something of a chameleon. If you take a look at varied samples on my website, Wordfeeder.com, you'll see that I can change my colors to suit a purpose. Am I Cybil? No, I'm just good at imitating way that people talk.
Professional copywriters will agree: language is a handy tool for manipulating emotions. If you choose your words carefully, you can make people respond in a certain way. If you know how your target audience thinks and speaks, you can communicate with them in a way that brings a favorable reaction. It's sort of like being emotionally multilingual!
How is a copywriter able to write a whimsical children's story one day and a hard-hitting marketing brochure next? Acute awareness of audience, and ability to switch "voice" that comes out through words. You do this all time without even thinking about it!
Let's say you're a lawyer by day, and a family man by night. Imagine yourself having a phone conversation with a client. What words do you choose to convey your message? What tone do you take? Later on, after you've hung up, you're tucking your little boy in for night. He asks for a bedtime story. Do you speak to him in same manner you used earlier on phone? Of course not! You instinctively change your tone, from cool and professional to tender and fatherly. This is same strategy that copywriters use to make their living. It's our job to represent YOUR company, by mastering language that your audience understands.
2. We just became acquainted. How can you write for someone you barely know?
Once you sign a writing contract with me, I make it my business to know who you are and what you stand for. If you're a corporation, then I take time to familiarize myself with your company philosophy. If you're an individual, I learn your goals and personal style. It's incredibly important for a copywriter to know what makes his clients tick... so that he can embody this in his writing and effectively drawn in a responsive audience. The process happens in steps.
1. We'll have an initial phone conversation or email correspondence.
2. I'll send you a questionnaire that you can either fill out in detail, or we can discuss over phone.
3. I research your company, industry, and target audience.
Every so often I use an icebreaker to get things flowing between me and my entrepreneur clients. This is great fun for me, and my clients really seem to enjoy it, too. I send them what I call Twenty Questions; an informal quiz that will help me get a flavor for who they are. Two sample question from quiz:
- What's thing that drives you get out of bed every morning, ready to face a new day?
- If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?
Sounds a bit off wall when placed in this context, but let me stress that I only use quiz on select clients (never for corporations). It works every time! Remember: my goal is to capture essence of who you are and what you represent. We're going to keep on trying until we hit nail on head.
3. What do you know about branding?
People ask me this all time. Branding is nothing more than a concept, but an unbelievably important one that should be basis for all of your advertising messages. Branding is gradual process by which you burn your name into mind of consumer. Some classic examples of branding at its finest? General Electric. McDonalds. Microsoft. You get an instant and distinct impression when you hear these names. That's some killer branding all right!