A little while ago I did a keyword report for a client, and they asked me to write “just a few sentences” to go with their report.
They weren’t sure where the sentences were going to be used, but just wanted a few that included some of their keywords.
And, they wanted them done as a freebie.
I was happy to write the sentences, but not for free. So I quoted an exceptionally reasonable price – I allowed myself just 1.5 hours to write these sentences, despite not having much information.
The client was quite taken aback at the price, since in their mind, it was “just a few sentences”. How could it possibly take that long to write some sentences?
Well, here’s what goes into writing just a few sentences.
Company background research
This client provided kitchen remodelling services and also supplied and installed splash backs, so it’s a fairly common service.
Any copywriter, writing for any client, first has to work out what makes that client different. In this case, I would have had to delve into the wonderful world of splash backs and educate myself. I would have had to ask questions like:
What are they made from?
Is there more than one material they can be made from?
How are they installed?
What is the installation process?
How long does it take?
Can a customer install it themselves?
How many colour options are available?
You get the picture.
Then, I would need to find out how this company differers from other companies who also supply and install splash backs.
Are they more expensive or less expensive?
Are their splash backs of a higher or lower quality?
Is the installation process fast?
Are splash backs held in stock, or do they need to be ordered?
What’s the wait time?
Can they provide custom shapes and sizes?
Are their staff friendly or grumpy?
What is their policy if a client is not happy?
How do they help their client?
What can they do that other suppliers don’t do?
Once I have a good understanding of the client, I’d have to look at their target market.
Client background research
Working out the right target client is sometimes tricky. “Anyone who wants a splash back” is not specific enough. I need to find out:
Who buys these splash backs?
How much money do they earn?
How much do they normally spend on splash backs?
Is it mainly brand new kitchens or minor renovations?
Where do they live?
Who makes the final buying decision?
Where do these clients look when they want to buy a splash back?
How are their clients needs not being met by other similar companies?
Puting it all together
Once I know as much as I can about my client and their customers, I have to put it all together in “just a few sentences”. Those sentences need to convey everything I’ve researched and be convincing and persuasive. I have to choose an angle, work out the appropriate tone of voice, and take the right approach to delivering all this information.
All this before I even start writing.
Without all the proper research and planning, they’re just random, crappy words strung together that aren’t going to achieve much at all. The client could have done this themselves.
Only then will I start the writing process. I generally always do three drafts, with the client seeing my work and offering feedback in between each round of revisions. That alone takes a few hours, even without the research up front.
So as you can see, there’s a lot of work that goes into writing “just a few sentences” 🙂