If you work for a web design agency, your process is pretty much out of your hands. Your project runs through a project manager, gets assigned to you, and it’s your job to get everything written, approved, and set up.
But what happens if you don’t have a clear copy process set up? How are you going to get the clients to believe that you have anything to offer? How are you going to hit project deadlines and get your boss’s approval? We have some ideas.
Here’s what an old copywriting process looks like on a regular Tuesday:
9-10 a.m.: 1-hour phone chat with client where you frantically scribble chicken scratch on a notebook
10-11: coffee, coffee, think think, think, and pace
11-2: Stare at computer screen, write down things client mentioned
2-4: Coffee, research cats stuck in wells, write one paragraph of web copy
4-5: Note to client that things are in progress
Okay, that’s great, except for one thing: there’s no process. A streamlined copy process will help you do a few things:
To do this properly, you need to see and understand how you work. Each content plan will differ depending on the content writer.
For one month, create a checklist that includes every step you take for every deliverable you produce
Your checklist might look something like this:
Once you have a checklist, you should start uncovering exactly what processes you need to organize. Notate each item in your list. Note what works and what doesn’t work. Describe, in detail, what questions you ask clients, how they respond, and how you get to your goals easily.
Have great client calls but get caught up on the small details? You may need to be more thorough in your proposal.
After that month, you’ll be able to fill in gaps and see what’s working and what wasn’t working.
Customer details are gathered and any important information is filled in
After step A, you should have full information about client needs, goals, and set backs, you should understand who their target audience is, you should see what’s holding them back from hitting their goals.
Client’s Main Pain Points Are Uncovered
Use the data from step A to uncover and write down client’s main pain points.
Develop a list of 3-5 main pain points that you’ll address in the copy.
Now that you have a process set up, you’ll free up some time for the fun part. Creativity. This is the part that everyone thinks of when you tell them you’re a copywriter, right? It’s the money maker. It’s the whole shebang. And now that you have space for it, you better understand how it works.
Writing good copy is about one main point: understanding your audience deeply and conveying a tailored message directly to them.
If you’re selling oranges to people with citrus allergies, it doesn’t matter how good your copy is. So how do you remedy it?
Copy isn’t just about writing some interesting bits of content; it’s about uncovering user needs and designing content for that main goal.
In her book “Content Design,” Sarah Richards (the woman who helped refine the Gov.uk website) talks about some main ideas for good content design
Once you have a content plan set up, you can start to develop copy that works toward your content goals. CTAs and ROIs will roll off the page even easier with this copy plan.
Good copy doesn’t matter unless you have approval. Here’s our 5-step process to approval
1. Organize everything in an external platform
2. Plan a session. Gather all the decision makers in your company and organize a decision making session.
3. State a clear purpose. Describe in clear terms what the purpose of the session is, what you’ll be presenting, and what you hope to achieve at the end of the session.
4. Use stats to back up your goals. Share clear user stats to make your point clear.
5. Have a clear path to approval. Let the decision makers know that you’ll need to come to a clear decision about X before the end of the meeting. If everyone knows what you’re working toward, it’ll be easier to reach your goals.
Writing good copy is as much about the copy as it is about designing a plan, so remember: create a good plan and execute it by sticking to clear, well-defined goals. Your boss will approve, and your clients will be as excited as you are.