Over the past few years as a freelance copywriter, I’ve worked on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of projects. During this time, I’ve developed a specific copywriting process I use to make sure I cover all of the bases and get my copy the best it can be.
Now, I’ve decided to pull the curtain back to give you a behind the scenes look at my copywriting process. In this post, I’m going to focus on the questions I ask all clients before I begin writing copy. This questionnaire helps me identify the angle I’m going to take with the copy as well as the main message I want to get across to those who read it.
Here’s a look at my copywriting questionnaire.
• Who is your target audience and what is most important to them? Understanding who you’re communicating with helps you better understand what motivates them to buy, which benefits they care about, how they prefer to communicate, and more. The more you know about your target audience, the better you’ll be able to connect with them.
• What do you want people to do when they read your copy? All copy needs to have a clear call to action. That’s why it’s important to identify what exact action you want readers to take. Do you simply want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Or are you looking to make the sale on the spot? Identify the desired action, and write a clear call to action that tells readers what you want them to do.
• Why exactly should customers choose you? Surprisingly enough, this is the question that most clients can’t seem to answer. If you run a business, you better know what makes you different from your competition. After all, if you can’t clearly answer why customers should choose you, how do you expect customers to choose you instead of one of your competitors?
• Is your work guaranteed? Gaining the trust of potential customers is important to earning their business. This is especially true online. You need to do everything you can to build credibility and to minimize risk. Providing a solid guarantee helps customers feel comfortable buying from you. They know they’ll always have an out should the product not meet their standards. When creating a guarantee, make it as simple and straight-forward as possible.
• Do you have testimonials? Again, building credibility with consumers is an important part of closing the deal. No matter how great you say your products and services are, potential customers will never fully take your word for it. Testimonials from satisfied customers act as a nonbiased endorsement of your company. Include testimonials on your website and other sales copy.
• Who are your main competitors? You should always be fully aware of who your competitors are and what they’re up to. You need to identify their strengths and their weaknesses. You need to figure out what you do better than your competitors so you can differentiate yourself and grab market share. Lastly, you should try to figure out if there are any potential customers your competition is overlooking.
Beyond these questions, I also ask specific questions relating to the company and their products and services.
The next time you need to write sales copy, try asking these questions. I think they’ll help you find a tight focus for your copy, improving its effectiveness and maximizing your results.
Can you think of other questions that should be added to this list? Share your thoughts in the replies.