Are you text ready?

Rushing never yields the same result as planning

One of my colleagues and I were recently discussing creating websites for our clients. She related the first question she usually asks her clients, “Are you text ready?” With her question she shows that she expects the clients to have done much of their planning when they come to her.

As a first step, we often focus on the client’s expectations for the site; customer experience, business and sales goals for the site and who will update the content. My colleague’s focus on “Do you have content?” is also one of our primary questions.

Planning pays off

Many of our clients want a website and they want it fast. We hope to have them hit the pause button for a bit so that they follow a careful, thoughtful planning process. Part of the planning process is understanding what you want to communicate and why. Ask yourself, “Who will be reading this copy?”  The next question you should ask yourself is, “Who will be writing our website’s copy?”

Many of our clients feel they are so familiar with their products and services that they can write their own copy. Some do an excellent job of writing their own copy, but many have difficulties.

If you are planning to write your own copy, here are a few things to consider:

  1. In the past, how successful have you been writing copy for your company newsletter or advertising? If you’ve struggled in the past, you may continue to struggle when taking on developing website content.
  2. Do you have the time? Time spent writing is time spent away from management, sales or doing the work you are most frequently paid to do.
  3. Do you know the core points you wish to make?
  4. Will your team members or staff help you write the copy?
  5. Do you have insights from your sales team to inform you of what customers are looking for?
  6. Have you researched your competitors to understand how to differentiate your company?
  7. Do you know what keywords are important to include so that you build in SEO from the start?

Some customers may balk at paying a professional copywriter for their services, but a professional is held accountable for their abilities and time. Instead of thinking you can just write something during your weekends, then struggling to write and ending up mad with yourself, use a professional copywriter. The expense is worth every penny.