31 questions to ask your new copywriting client

Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to ask a lot of questions….

Why? Because that’s how I learn. Whether I’m chatting with a new friend or a new client, I ask a bunch of questions. Then, I shut up and let them answer (yes, I know, this is more easily said that done sometimes!)

When you’re working with a new copywriting client, asking lots of question is the key to success. Sure, that means that you’ll be spending an hour (or more) on the phone. But just as you wouldn’t enter a marriage without a pretty solid “getting to know you” process, you shouldn’t start writing without a solid customer interview under your belt.

After all, how can you write specific, action-oriented content if you don’t have any specific information?

(As a side note: If you plan to work with a copywriter, but she doesn’t ask you any of these questions before she wants to start writing – find another copywriter. This is such a foundational step that she literally will not be able to write good copy without it.)

Here are 31 of my favorite questions to ask a new copywriting client – enjoy!

Reporting questions

  1. Can I review your analytics?
  2. Do you have any customer persona documents? Can I see them?
  3. Can I see reports outlining your SEO/content marketing success, to date?
  4. How are we measuring success? Conversions? Page positions? Social media love?
  5. Can I review your per-page keyphrase strategy?
  6. How did you arrive at your keyphrase choices?

Marketing questions

  1. Who is your online competition?
  2. What is your unique sales proposition?
  3. Why should a prospect purchase from you rather than your competition?
  4. What are your company benefit statements?
  5. What content approach has worked in the past?
  6. What approach has not worked – and we want to stay far away from?
  7. Do you like your site’s “voice” (how it reads and sounds.)
  8. If not, what’s an example of what you would prefer?
  9. How do you follow up with prospects?
  10. How do you follow up with current clients?
  11. Can I see your other marketing materials (autoresponder emails, print materials, etc.)
  12. Are there any keyphrases that you’re not currently positioning for – and you want to gain a stronger position?
  13. How do you currently promote new content (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
  14. Who is your “perfect customer (s)”?
  15. What benefit statements are important to those customers?
  16. What customer profile would not be a good fit for your business?
  17. Can I review your customer testimonials (or better yet – can I chat with a few of your happy clients?).
  18. What are the most common questions that customer service answers? How do they answer them?
  19. What are the most common objections to overcome?
  20. Has your product/service been featured in a book, endorsed by an organization, etc.?

Process/procedure questions

  1. Who else will I be working with (for instance, an external SEO company.)
  2. Who is my main point of contact?
  3. Who will review the content?
  4. How long will it take for content to be approved?
  5. Is there a preferred way that the content is delivered?

What would you add?  Please “like” this post, and add your favorite customer question below – thanks!