Using a copywriting client questionnaire is an essential step of the client onboarding process and something that should never be skipped. Writing copy for a client has its challenges, and when you start working with a new client, you’ll want to get all the information you can about who the clients are and what they value.
A questionnaire can help the copywriter figure out what the client needs. That way, you don’t have to worry about copy that doesn’t match the project requirements or doesn’t say what it needs to. The questionnaire will not only provide a strong foundation for starting work on your proposed project but also for building trust between you and your clients.
10 Essential Questions Copywriters Must Ask Clients
If you’re an agency or freelancer, you’ll want to ensure that the client is a good fit for your offering and a good partner. Here are some questions that you can ask.
1. What is the goal of the content?
The purpose of your copywriting needs to be clearly defined. If you don’t know what you’re writing for, how will you know if it’s working?The purpose of your copywriting needs to be clearly defined. If you don't know what you're writing for, how will you know if it's working? Click To Tweet
For example, if you’re creating an ebook, ensure it’s exactly what your client hopes to accomplish with their book. Is it meant to generate leads? Increase sales? Earn authority status within their industry?
Make sure that whatever else happens after the ebook is published — including reviews or social media mentions — those things align with their goals for publishing it in the first place!
2. Who is your target audience?
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your content, it’s important to research who you’re writing for and why they would care about what you have to say. If you haven’t already done so, conduct some research on your target market so that you can speak directly to them in a way that resonates.
The answer to this question should come after some thought. You must identify your target audience to tailor your copywriting services to them. An excellent place to start is by thinking about your own experiences with the product in question and its competitors.
3. Tell me more about your company/product/service
Knowing about the company and the kind of specialization in the domain and industry, the copywriter will be armed with the arsenal to tackle any challenges head-on and work with the project accordingly. Finding someone who could get on board with the budget and deadlines is the most challenging part of hiring a freelance copywriter.
The questionnaire is just one way to get started working together. It’s a brilliant way to get to know each other and start working on copywriting together.
4. What is your value proposition?
A value proposition is the unique combination of features and benefits the company offers its ideal customer. It’s what makes their product or service different from their competitors. Their value proposition is their unique selling proposition (USP). It sets them apart from the competition and why their customers should choose them.
In the value proposition, they need to understand what makes their business different from all the others. What makes them better than their competitors? Why should someone choose their business over another?
5. Who are your competitors?
The best way to answer this question is to get a list of the competitors. They can also provide information about each competitor, such as their website address and a brief description of what they do.
The first thing you need to do is conduct a competitor analysis. This exercise helps you understand their strengths, weaknesses, and overall strategy. It also allows you to map out a plan for how you can outmaneuver them in the marketplace with your copy.
Also read: 100 Websites that Pay Writers in 2022
6. Please share any SEO research that has been done
It would be best if you got your hands on the initial research on the keywords your client is targeting and a few of them already ranking for local businesses in their area.
However, the search volume for these keywords isn’t very high, so an extensive analysis is necessary to be aware of the search engine traffic you can expect.
7. Do you have editorial or content guidelines?
Editors and writers are often asked to write a style guide for their clients, but it’s worth asking if they already have one. The reason is that the two are different things. A style guide is a list of rules, usually written by an editor or copyeditor, that outlines how a publication should be written. A content framework is more like an outline of what might be included in an article — like how many paragraphs there should be and what kind of headings to use.Editors and writers are often asked to write a style guide for their clients, but it's worth asking if they already have one. Click To Tweet
8. Please share any previous content that has been created
They need to explain in detail the purpose of the content, who it is for, and how it will help them achieve their goals.
Bonus: You can include an example of your best work so that they can see how you can help them succeed with their business.
Here are some examples:
- Blog posts about their industry’s latest news, trends, and updates
- Ebooks (written from scratch) cover everything from basic product information to advanced features and functions
- Whitepapers on industry trends, best practices, and other relevant topics for their target audience
- Case studies on clients who have succeeded with their product or service.
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9. What is the approval process?
The approval process for your content will usually vary, depending on the content you’re creating and how it fits into their overall marketing strategy.
If you’re creating a blog post, they can typically get back to you within 24 hours with feedback or approval. They will let you know if it needs more time and reach out to you once their review is ready.
For other types of content (like white papers, case studies, etc.), the process varies depending on what stage they are in the project:
If it’s an idea that hasn’t been approved yet: they’ll send a copy-edit draft to their team so they can see how your content fits into the overall piece and make any edits they think are necessary before giving you the final approval.
10. What does the timeline look like?
You can begin with a phone call or Skype session to get a sense of their brand and voice and to confirm that you’re on the same page about what they want from the copywriting project.
You can then get started on your quote, which they’ll send you via email. Once you approve it, they’ll send you the contract for signing.
After that, you can gather information about their company and its goals and start the drafting process!
Create your copywriting client questionnaire
By asking these questions, you will learn about your client’s business and audience, which will aid you in creating a compelling, effective sales pitch.
That’s what copywriting is: you are crafting a persuasive message to convince someone to take action.
About the author
Alex Garcia is a content editor and writer at Writers Per Hour. She enjoys writing (and reading) about small business marketing, entrepreneurship, and design. When she’s not writing, she’s probably learning a new skill.