I have been writing for decades, including sales strategies, proposals for products, web content, multi-million-dollar, global PR budgets, and a few books along the way. And as a long- time marketing and sales writer and communicator, I work as a marketing consultant to help my clients achieve their business and personal objectives.
But when you have been at something so long it’s easy to feel that you have the last word on quality writing. That’s why I love it when our clients burst my bubble. These experts provide me with input I never could have arrived at on my own power. Because our clients are the experts on their products, customers and services. We get up to speed, but they live and breathe it every day.
In a recent blog post, (or email blast, depending on which of his lists you’re subscribed to) one of my favorite copywriters, Bob Bly reminds us why our clients are often “the smartest people in the room”. Here are three great points that Bly makes and my additional commentary.
- You may know more about copywriting than your client. But he
may know more about his market than you — and almost certainly
knows more about his product than you. When I am crafting lead-to-revenue (L2R) messages, I know the “buckets” of information I need to fill and which items need to be included at every stage of the buyer’s journey. While this is vital stuff, the addition of the client’s expertise about their customer’s pain points, benefits, features, competition, etc. can make the difference between good writing and writing that is compelling and spot-on.
If you want to hear more about how to craft B2B content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, be sure to attend the presentation by Fusion Marketing Partners Chris Ryan (and many others including Bob Bly) at the Summit on Content Marketing.
“2–You will have some clients who know as much or even more about
copywriting than you do. You know who they are. Writing for these
clients takes your skills to the next level.”
I had to work on a SaaS manufacturing client. I was challenged each day by concepts such as “The Internet of Things” and “Lean Manufacturing for the Future.” I worked hard to immerse myself in these concepts—in effect, becoming a thought leader on the client’s behalf in a very short time.
Fortunately, the client contact was also an excellent writer. She was adept at providing the kind of information invaluable to me on my quest to become a thought leader in a very complex industry. A match made in heaven for copywriters.
“3–We don’t always write as well as we would like to. But we must
always write as well as we can.”
Every blog, every data sheet, every chance I have to write, I write knowing that my client’s numbers depend on it. When I coach writers working on my staff, I tell them: It’s not just another blog post. It’s a new conversation with a customer that could make or break our clients’ revenue goals. It’s not just “content” – it’s context for a relationship. And as such, an expert client can serve as an opportunity to gain unparalleled wisdom from an expert. As Longfellow said: “A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.”