Have you ever been given a small writing job by a client and then made helpful suggestions that expanded it into a much larger project?
If clients value your input, it can result in a win-win-win – for them, their clients and you.
Perhaps it’s my great age and long experience as a writer and editor – or the fact that I have run small businesses where every job title is held by me – or a combination of these factors, but I can’t help seeing the bigger picture for clients.
I don’t simply see myself as a copywriter – but also as a marketer, a digital expert, a salesperson and a publicist.
Benefits of regular blogging
A pair of external eyes can bring a fresh perspective to any business.
When I’m called in to improve the content on a website, or supply a blog, I often find myself compelled to explain why the client needs a secure website to host that content, or the many benefits of posting regular content that their target market will find useful and interesting.
Recently I won a contract to write articles for a client’s new website.
The content on the existing website was scheduled to transfer across to the new website in a few weeks. However, a lot of it was out of date, and poorly spelt and structured.
And what had once been a useful directory of suppliers on the site was now old and, worse, had links to websites without security certificates.
Website content review
Rather than stick to my brief and ignore these issues, I spoke to the client and suggested that all the current content would benefit from a review and update.
I also pointed out the negative impact that old and insecure external website links were having on the website’s search engine ranking.
Having clear explanations for why the client should do something is more likely to result in them agreeing with your arguments.
Thankfully, rather than terminating the contract, the client was grateful for my insights. My initial remit expanded to include the new job of reviewing, rewriting and updating the content before it transferred to the new website.
While it was time-consuming to check every link to other websites, the process ensured that only secure, relevant links remained. And revising the headings meant that the directory would more useful for the visitors to the website.
The content across the whole website was edited to make it slick and professional. This would benefit the client’s authority and build trust with new site visitors.
I also had the opportunity to rewrite a lot of the information to make it more user-focused, which would improve engagement with site visitors.
Having listened to the client carefully, and examined their existing website closely, I gained a deep understanding of them and what they wanted to achieve with their new website.
This helped me to tailor a regular content plan for them that would resonate with their goals and, importantly, those of their visitors.
As a membership organisation, the client wanted to grow that membership.
This could be achieved by providing great content written to engage and inspire the target readership.
If website visitors understood the benefits of joining as soon as they arrived, and found plenty of information that was useful to them, they would be more likely to stay on the website and read more.
Quality content would:
- present the organisation as a leader in its field and encourage readers to join up
- encourage potential advertisers and sponsors to associate themselves with the brand
- help the website to gain a better ranking online as time-on-page rates increased and useful, relevant content is ranked higher by search engines
Of course, I didn’t stop there.
You may think I was pushing my luck but, by this point, I had built a good relationship with the client and they had been pleased with my assistance to date.
My next proposal was to create a media pack and plan an assortment of advertising and promotional opportunities that would be available on the new website, to increase revenue streams and offer advertisers everything from banner adverts to comprehensive package deals. The supplier directory on the new website would be a prime opportunity for enhanced listings, for example. Plus, relevant advertising would be of interest to website visitors.
What else do you need when you launch a new website? Marketing and publicity. It is surprising how many companies don’t think to tell people about important developments. So this was the next phase.
My suggestion here was a comprehensive awareness campaign that would be sent to:
- existing members through the organisation’s popular email newsletter
- the wider public through all the businesses social media channels
- relevant media outlets via press releases
Existing and prospective advertisers would also be sent details of the new resource and how they could get involved. Because a long-established membership organisation with a large and loyal paying membership represents a lucrative market for advertisers.
Seeing the bigger picture for this client, as well as offering, and actioning, useful suggestions, helped them in several ways.
It increased awareness of the brand, improved the experience of website visitors, retained them with great content and, along the way, enticed more of them to join the organisation.
Plus a professional, authoritative website that is a living entity with fresh content, is more likely to attract advertisers.
Tell me to mind my own business if you like but, in my experience, going the extra mile provides a bigger win for the client, a win for their audience and a win for advertisers, too.
We’ve built a good working relationship through this process and the client trusts and values my genuine desire to help the business.
And yes, it is a win for me as well, not only financially, but also because I know I have done my best for them.