What to ask your clients

Presented live on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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The conversion copywriting process always begins with research and discovery. Some research you’ll do on your own.

And some research you’ll collect from your clients – in the form of reports, analyses, data lists, etc.

If you want to know what to ask your clients for at the start of a project, this Tutorial Tuesday is for you.


Joanna Wiebe: We are going to talk about what to do, what to ask for from your clients when you first start working with them.

So, in the 10 X freelance copywriter. This question comes up a lot. And so in past masterminds it has, and we haven’t really necessarily documented this stuff that well. We tend to just like talk about it and say, like on a case by case basis XYZ. But I wanted to take some time and put together more of a reusable list for you. So, I’m going to share that with you and I’m just going to, once I share with you, Ange will chat out the link so you can have a copy of this too.

But it really is, today’s tutorials mostly just like walking through what you need to ask for based on the different kinds of projects, you may be doing. And that’s like we say with the client, but that client – A lot of times when you’re in like copywriting or any form of so called Creative Services, you have what’s called an internal client because you act as, well, a creative service, supporting the marketing team or the product team or the product marketing team.

So, when I say client that really just means the people that you’re working with. If you’re a freelancer even if you’re not a freelancer. It doesn’t matter. You still need the same sort of information going into it.

Alright, I’m going to share my screen. So this is really it. It’s the data to collect from new clients. This isn’t about, necessarily what you should do to conduct your own research. But once you first – when you’re first talking to a client, or a lead, and you’re like, Well, maybe we can work together, but I need to know a bit more etc, etc, then that’s where you’d want to reference this so you can say, you can have this handy with you on on a call with a new lead. You can have an email you set up that’s like an automatic email that goes out every time you finish a call with a lead that you want to talk to you about like maybe actually working together – so you have a longer call.

In the 10x freelance copywriter. We really teach these two calls before you get into actually working with a client. The first one is a 15 minute 12 to 15 minute quick take like should we even work together. And the second one is 60 minutes. It’s a lot longer. And this is the sort of data that you need to drive that call. So after that first call and you’re like yeah let’s have a deeper conversation. And we can see more about what I can do with you, how we can work together. These are the kinds of things you’ll ask them for before going into that 60 minute call.

Now if you’re not familiar with the 15 and 16 minute calls that we teach the 10x freelance copywriter all we’re really saying here is at the very started a project, sometimes even before you put a proposal together. In the 10x freelance copywriter, definitely before you put a proposal together. You want to have answers. You want to have more of like, Okay, here’s what’s going on in this business. Here’s what their customers are thinking here’s how people are responding to them. Here’s how, if they’ve even reached product market fit. So these are the kinds of questions you want to kind of data. So that’s what we get from them.

The first column is for web and sales projects. The second one is for email projects and SMS projects. Increasingly, businesses are asking for you to work on writing copy for their SMS text messaging. So I wanted to include that here. So you’ve got what you need. This may seem like a lot, especially if you look in the web and sales page projects column. You’re like, so there’s only two things. I don’t need to ask for. Yeah, it’s true because your client won’t have all of this stuff so you won’t be able to get a lot of it from them. But if you can ask them for it, then you’re in a better position to set yourself up as an expert who like actually knows what they’re doing. Once they give you access to this and this data. Now, that’s another story. Now we have to like dig into what you’re going to do with it. And that’s the kind of stuff that we teach, of course, in the next freelance copywriter as well as in Copy School which is reopening in March, by the way.

Okay, so let’s walk through this pretty swiftly and if you have any questions, please put them in the Q&A area for me to tackle those before the end of this 30 minute session.

Okay, so for weapons sales projects, you definitely want access to their Google Analytics, the way that you get that is you say, hey, can you invite me to your Google Analytics and you give them your email address that you use with Gmail – with anything to do with Google. So they’ll need to invite you by email. Just give them that email address. Okay. So know that going into it. Access to their CRM is what you’ll need for email projects in particular, so their CRM, that all that means any sort of Email marketing platform or whatever else it might be.

Now CRM can also mean web too, right? If you’re looking at like a Marketo or something like that. That’s a, that’s a much larger, or HubSpot. That might be something that you want access to as well if they’re on if you’re in leaders on HubSpot, and you’re going to be working on working inside HubSpot templates, then you’ll also want that. So that’s a little like sometimes you’ll need access to their CRM for web projects. Usually not for sales page projects because most of those are built separately, but that’s not always going to be the case. So just keep that in mind. Just ask them when you’re working on a web or sales page like are you hosted on HubSpot or on any sort anything like HubSpot, and if so, then you need access to it. Okay.

Mostly just to look at how things are set up. You want access to their own page behavior tool that’s like full story is really common one hot jar is more like cost effective one So you’ll want. And that’s where there’s a space to write in what that tool is so if it’s a CRM write in ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Marketo, whatever those tools might be the actual CRM that they’re using. So, you know, so you have it documented. Their on page behavior tool, write in if it’s hot jar, full story or whatever crazy egg. Access to their testing tool, write in if that’s the VWO or optimizely, or any of Google’s experiment tools, and so on and so forth. So access to the personalization tool if they have one. Now what you might be thinking, as you’re looking through this is What if we’re not even doing a personalization project, but for freelancers, we need to think about what if you could be doing a personalization project. So someone might come to you a business might come to you with their goal of I’m sorry, I got distracted by something in chat. So, they come to you with their goal of increasing relevance across their website. So they want to make 15 new landing pages for 15 different audiences and you might be able to say, well, that’s cool. Let’s talk about personalization, which can do the job a lot better without having to make so many different landing pages you may still need more custom landing pages, but you might not need 15 you might be able to take that budget and apply it across your site to create more relevant experiences, rather than individual landing pages that can feel a bit clunky.

OK, cool. So if you’re having a discussion with somebody, then you’ll want to know if they’re using a personalization tool. Right message is the one that we use. It’s one that a lot of people use. Great company, three people behind RightMessage. So write that in and it’ll be true for web and email projects because personalization works across the board.

Access to their landing page tool as well if you’re on the web. If you’re doing web projects, chances are good that you’re going to stumble upon writing landing pages for your clients or this internal.

Okay, cool. I’m just looking at some of the chat. If you have any actual questions that you want us to tackle please put over there. But yes, some of these tools are going to be New to you. We cover this kind of stuff inside tutorial Tuesday’s it’s just not going to happen every Tuesday repeating the same one. So hopefully you’ll see some more things.

Moving on landing page tool, of course, includes lead pages unbalanced, whatever that might be. Now this isn’t data, of course, but you’re not getting access to RightMessage or Lead Pages or Unbounce or anything, just that you can write in them that will help you. But what you’re doing here is you’re trying to get access to them to see. Okay, I’m going to go through your lead pages that you’ve used for a topic, similar to what I’m trying to do and I’m going to see how people have interacted with them. So look at the reporting. Look at what lead pages, Unbounce, all of these tools. You’re not getting access, just to work with them, you’re getting access that you can go in and if someone gives you access to their ConvertKit, you can go in and see how past how the automations are performing, how their past subject lines are performing, what tags, they have in place all the things you’ll need to know in order to move forward with doing better work for them.

If you don’t know how past things that performed, you are starting out really blind and you’ll have to do so much more work than if you just ask them for access to this stuff up front.

Okay. User testing replays. If they have used user testing, then you’d like access to the replays. Generally, that means just them giving you access to usertesting.com their actual account. So make sure that you do have an NDA that you have all your clients sign off when they first start talking to you even. And again, we teach this in the 10x freelance copywriter.

So access to their usertesting.com – if they don’t use anymore, they may have downloaded the replays. So like, so the actual videos of users testing their homepage, etc. And you can get that generally, hopefully you can just get access to usertesting.com itself. Go in there and take a look because although that’s not hard data like Google Analytics. It is that qualitative data that we’re looking for in better understanding.

Maybe if they’ve been using usertesting.com over three years across their website, you can see like a history of how the market has started to adjust to their product ,how messaging has changed how the need for different messages has evolved, things like that. Now, you’re not always going to have clients who have all of this. Even the best conversion optimization companies out there aren’t necessarily running user tests or on for their clients or for themselves great companies aren’t running user tests for themselves, either. So, it’s an ideal state, but don’t expect it. Just ask. You can get access and then hope and pray that they have a history of videos for you to look at.

Results of any other thank you page surveys. So if you’re lucky enough to work with somebody who is a Copyhackers reader or student,then chances are good, you will have access to those thank you page surveys, since we talk about them all the time. So hopefully you can get access to those. And that’s true for web and email again. It might be really obviously true for web like okay, I want to know what people are thinking when they arrive on the site. Unless obviously true for email. But it will help you having access to information about why leads signed up in the first Place. Why customers purchased, will help you write nurturing and sales emails. Website Chat Transcripts sales Chat Transcripts. Those are great for both again they’re helping you get inside the head of your customer, really listening to what they’re saying, the problems they have etc. etc.

Results of customer surveys. This is a really big one. And most people only asked for this. So most commercial copywriters go in and they know they need data. So they said, oh, you have any past surveys that we can reference? But then they leave all the other stuff out. So that’s one. It’s one line item, there’s a lot behind it, but you’d want to ask for that out for both web projects and email projects.

Results with any five second tests that they’ve done pretty straightforward. We talked about five second test for copy validation and tutorial Tuesdays. If you’re not familiar with them, go look through our history of tutorial Tuesdays.

Supports emails someone exchanges or actual flows that might be in place for support emails.

Facebook and social ad performance. That’s good. Not you might be like, well, I would only need access to that if I’m doing a Facebook campaign or funnel. But if they’re using Facebook ads you go in and see how different ads are performing and performing that way based largely sometimes that’s the image. Yes.but oftentimes, it’s just based on what the value prop is, that they’re leading with what, what is it, what are they saying, and you can see how people are responding to that. If you can get access to their Facebook ad manager, you can go through and use that as part of your research and discovery phase, no matter what you’re writing for them. So don’t discount going into other spaces that you might think, well, I don’t, I’m not writing for that. But have they written for that have people reacted to that is their data you can use.

Okay website performance reports that’s month over month, year over year. There’s lots of different ways and go about getting those the client and go about putting us together for you. And sometimes you work with a client in best case scenario you work with a client who has somebody in Analytics already and they’re already pulling up reports. And that’s true for website and for emails. So go in and ask for those. Emails still need website performance reports, because so much of what happens on the web can be mirrored, or expanded on in email.

Finally, raw and recorded interview data. Now there’s more than what we’ve just shown here. Like he wasn’t going through it. I’m like, oh yeah. But what about that. There are so many different ways that your clients may already be collecting data that you can use.

Then there’s stuff outside of this that you’re going to do so you won’t see Amazon review mining, or Yelp review mining, or Reddit forum mining, or anything like that on here because you don’t need your clients take on that. That’s the kind of thing where you as a copywriter go through that and do that yourself. And a lot of this if they don’t have this data for you, then your job is, okay, you didn’t have that. So here’s how I’m going to have to go about getting that data and then accordingly your price is going to go up. Because although you’re not going to set up Google Analytics, or Heap, or any other analytics for them, but you are going to need to better understand how people are interacting with the website. If you’re doing a web project, you’re gonna have to know that stuff. And that’s true for like their on page behavior tool, if they don’t have one in place but you need data from it because you understand what you’re trying to do. If there’s real reason for you to have that data, then you may have – need to add to your project both the timing of your project and the price for your project. Actually having something like hot jar added to their website in order for you to start collecting that information. If they have it already, you don’t have to worry about adding that into the timeline. You don’t have to worry about adding it into your budget. All you have to do now is say, great. I have to add in, like, two hours max over the course of the project to review that on page behavior on what’s actually going on.

Okay. A couple more notes for funnels use the research in both columns. So it’s like everything! You ask for everything and that’s that’s allowed. That’s a good thing. That’s, that’s great. If someone comes to me and says, I need all of these things. I might feel reluctance if I don’t yet trust them. So make sure that you’re, again, if you show up on camera. If you are good at communicating with them that can help build that trust. If you have a brand in place, if you have built your authority, it’s more likely that people will trust you to do this work, but you do need to get both. You need to get all of this for funnels and for best results, that data that you get like thank you page surveys, chat transcripts, those should all be no more than six months old. So if they’re like, oh yeah, we did a survey of our new customers. When did you do it two years ago, okay. Well, things have changed. So we’re going to do a new one. Cool?

Okay, so that is it for this walk through.

Thanks Ange. Thanks everybody.

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