How Copywriters Should Conduct Client InterviewsJanuary 2nd 2014 Sally Ormond how to be a copywriter, interviewing clients, writing for clients
This post first appeared on our sister blog, Freelance Copywriter’s Blog.
As a freelance copywriter you will, at some point in your career, have to interview a client.
Ideally, you’ll be doing it a lot, as it is by far the best way to get the information you need to create winning copy.
But remember, there’s no ‘I’ in interview?
You’re conducting the interview to gather information; you need to come away knowing:
- Who your client is and what they do
- Why they do it?
- Who they do it for?
- How they help their clients
- How they want to come across in their marketplace
- What their brand image is
- How they want to sound
And that’s just for starters.
But have you noticed something about that list?
It’s all about them – your client. There is nothing in that list about you and that’s just how it should be.
Being your client
There are people out there who see copywriting as simply writing about a company and its products or services.
For starters is should be about your client’s customers and the benefits they receive as a result of dealing with your client.
But it’s also more than that; when writing for your client you have to forget about how you would phrase things or the vocabulary you would use and instead write as though you were your customer.
Obviously, you would use the techniques within your writing that you know work, because you’re a copywriter and your business is writing great copy. But every piece of work you do should be different, because every client you work with is different.
Taking on someone else’s persona is not an easy task, but if you want your copy to appear genuine, it’s what you have to do.
So don’t go into a client interview with preconceived ideas of how you’re going to write for them. Just because they’re an IT company and the last job you did was for another IT company, doesn’t mean you can get away with writing in exactly the same style because they’re different companies.
Forcing a client into a preconceived idea or template is asking for trouble. As a writer you have to be able to mould your writing style to the personality of your client and, if necessary, blend perfectly with the existing voice used on their other marketing materials.
There’s no room for egos in copywriting. It’s your job to meld perfectly with the company’s personality and brand image.