If it hasn’t happened yet, very soon clients will start coming to you. They’ll get referred by your previous or current clients. Or they’ll find you on social media. Either way, you’ll eventually have potential clients reaching out and wanting to work with you.
Which is great! It feels great to not have to go out there and prospect for every single new client. Referrals are also a mark of a satisfied client who loves your work (so, good for you, if you’re already getting some!).
But a single question can make the difference between you doing so-so work for a new client, and work that’s crazy effective and makes that new client rave about you to all of their other business-owning friends.
Ask Your Copywriting Clients This Question
So, what’s the single question that can double your copywriting business?
It seems simple, but bear with me for a second.
When a new prospective client says, “I need you to rewrite my website,” a typical copywriter launches into timing and pricing. “Sure. I can write a new website for you for $X,XXX and deliver the first draft by Tuesday, May X.”
A slightly more insightful copywriter might instead start by asking, “Okay, which pages do you need to have written?”
But you, being the professional genius that you are, asks a different question. When your prospective copywriting client says, “I need you to rewrite my website,” you ask, “Why? What are you hoping to accomplish?”
Getting at your soon-to-be clients’ wants and needs helps ensure you craft copy that actually meets those wants and needs! Otherwise, what’s the point, right?
Take Control of the Conversation
You’ll likely find that “why” is just the start of the conversation. So, if a referred client reaches out via email, schedule 30 minutes and treat the conversation like a discovery call. (Comprehensive Copywriting Academy students, you have an entire course on this—Nail Your Client Calls—in the Land Work section of the course.)
As part of this call, you have an opportunity to clearly convey your professionalism.
That starts with asking why. It continues with you fully understanding the needs of their project, which may require additional questions. But it all starts with that one question. Without knowing why they want to work on a project, you can’t know what follow-up questions you may need to ask. And you certainly can’t begin writing the project! (Unless, of course, you want to write copy that likely won’t perform well since you don’t understand the goal of the project!)
Consider asking “why” the precursor to the creative brief. You know every project has to start with a creative brief. But that’s when you’ve already nailed down the project. Often, asking “why” may make you realize that the best way to serve the client is to recommend a different project all together!
What Happens When They Need a Different Project
Sometimes—OK, even regularly!—what clients think they want won’t actually meet those wants and needs.
For example, if a prospective client asks you to rewrite their site and you ask why, they may say “Well, we’re running Facebook ads and those ads aren’t doing very well, so we need a new website.”
Now, you, being the insightful marketer will know to ask, “Okay, when you say it’s ‘not doing very well,’ what does that mean? What numbers are you looking at?” After all, if the click-through rate on the ad isn’t doing well, it’s not the website’s problem (at least, not at first). What they really need is for you to write them new Facebook ads!
Getting at the deeper issue with any project sets you apart from your competitors. And, most important, it helps ensure you produce work that has the highest possible positive impact for your clients.
And that’s how you keep those referrals rolling in!
Your turn! How will you incorporate the “Why?” question in your conversations with new clients? Let us know in the comments below!
Read more: This Subtle Mindset Shift Will Double Your Copywriting Income
Last Updated on March 20, 2023
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