What’s the best way for freelancers to create targeted content for every new client? And how can the content align with the company’s brand strategy?
It can be challenging when you’re working as a freelance writer to understand your client’s expectations. It’s not just about writing content with given titles. This would be an easy solution to the problem, but is this the best approach?
If you want to start writing for more established clients, then chances are that the expectations will be higher. It’s not enough to submit content that matches a target keyword. Although this is still useful, you can become even more important if you start thinking of the best way to align your content with the company’s wider goals.
The most successful freelancers are the ones who spend the time to understand their clients. They can create content that aligns with the company’s brand strategy and marketing goals.
This way, your content is not generic, and it’s tailored to the client’s target audience and business goals.
If this sounds daunting at first, here is a process on how to align your content with the client’s brand strategy.
Listen before you write:
The first step is to listen to the client’s expectations. What do they want to see from their content? How does this fit their wider goals? Why did they decide to hire freelancers at this specific stage? The more questions you ask, the better the understanding of what they want from you.
Speak to several people:
If it’s possible, have a chat with more than one person in the company. Ideally, you want to explore how marketing, sales, and brand can benefit from the content. By learning about their priorities and their goals, you’ll be able to create more relevant and effective content.
Learn about the business and marketing goals:
The content should meet the company’s business and marketing goals. This way, you are able to measure the content’s success towards actual goals while you can also help the client meet the key objectives. Talk to the right people, set goals, and create content that can be a useful part of their funnel.
Understand their brand strategy:
It’s not just about learning the marketing goals to create successful content. You also need to understand their wider brand strategy and how content fits into this. A brand strategy can help you explore more creative opportunities with your content, from the personas to the results they can expect from the content.
Master their tone of voice:
Right after learning everything you need to know about the brand strategy, it’s time to understand their tone of voice. This is the tone that you want to apply to your content. The tone of voice will help the company stand out from the competition, and it’s vital for freelancers to understand this from the early stages.
Create a content calendar that aligns with the business goals:
One of the first practical steps when getting organized for a new client is to create a content calendar. This will help you have an overview of what’s coming up, while the team can also make sure that it fits their set business goals.
Collaborate with the team to organize the content and the CTAs:
A content calendar can also plan the call-to-action that you want to involve. The client can edit these to make sure that the content has the right CTA, depending on the set objectives. This can also be useful for the freelancer, as you are able to understand faster what the client expects from your content.
Decide with the team on the content priorities:
The content priorities will help you create a successful content calendar. If the goal for the first quarter is to generate leads, then you need to create content that fits this target. On the contrary, if the initial goal is to increase brand awareness, then you need to adapt the content calendar to create more relevant ideas.
Measure the content’s success based on the set goals:
It’s not just about writing the content. It’s also about measuring its success. Even if you’re working as a freelancer, you still need to see whether your content is effective for your client. After all, this will help you attract more future clients.
Check with the team if there are any upcoming changes to the goals:
Make sure you have regular chats with the client to learn if there are any changes to the content priorities. This way, you’ll be able to create more successful content to develop a successful long-term relationship.
This process doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It can still be part of a content strategy, and it can help you raise your profile as a successful freelance writer.
Once you start getting used to this process, you can create your own checklist to adapt your approach depending on each client’s needs.
For example, if you’re about to work with a big company, you will probably need to collaborate with several people.
There may also be a case of getting sign-off from more than one person. This case may be more challenging, and a content process will be useful in understanding their key objectives. However, you can also gain faster credibility for your work as a freelancer when working for a reputable client.
On the other hand, if you’re about to work with a small team that is still in the early stages, you may have the freedom to be more creative. This doesn’t mean that you have to ignore their business objectives. Even if they are not ready yet to submit a documented strategy of their goals, you can help them improve their process and gain a more important role as a consultant. Moreover, you can also deliver more successful results by using your experience and showing your organizational skills. This is a great case when trying to improve your portfolio, as you have the opportunity to attract more similar clients in the future.
To sum up, here are four tips to keep in mind when freelancers engage with a new client:
- Don’t work in silos: the more you’re working along with your client, the higher the chances of creating successful content for them.
- Stay as organized as possible: your organizational skills will always be appreciated, whether it’s a small or a large team you’ll be working with.
- Ask for as many details as possible: when starting with a new client you need to learn as many details about their goals as possible. This will help you craft the right content for their objectives.
- Make sure they are happy with your work: don’t forget to have regular check-ins to make sure the client is happy with your work.
There’s no need to create generic content anymore for your clients. Focus on learning more details about their strategy and their goals and work towards becoming one of the best freelancers in your industry!
Editor’s Note: This post is by nDash community member Tereza Litsa. Tereza is the Social Media Manager at Lightful, helping charities transform how they do digital and build meaningful relationships with their supporters. She’s passionate about anything digital, with a keen interest in content writing, social media, and marketing. To learn more about Tereza, or to have her write for your brand, check out her nDash profile page.