I spoke to a client, yesterday, about a new product she’s offering and the website (or rather, the content) she wants that will show off this product.
I can’t go into too much detail, but this product revolves around something that will be very useful to a particular sector, and there’s nothing else out there that’s like it at the moment.
Consequently, this client is very excited about her product and spoke at great length about it to me, enthusiastically, both over the phone and on Skype.
Our Skype call lasted an hour, at the end of which she apologised for ‘prattling on’.
No, no, no – a thousand times no. She had absolutely no need to apologise.
Firstly, I set an hour aside for a briefing with a client, as standard. Sometimes a full hour isn’t needed. Sometimes – for a more complex product or service – more than an hour is needed.
The more information they can give me, the better (as opposed to ‘just write me something good’ or ‘just make it stand out’).
The more details they give, the better understanding I have of why their product or service is different to other similar offerings on the market, why they’re different to their competitors, who their exact target audience is, what their tone of voice should be, why someone else should be just as enthusiastic about what they have to offer.
I don’t work in an agency, I largely work for SMEs. This means I have to, in a sense, act as account planner, account handler, and copywriter. I can’t work out what’s relevant to a brief and what’s superfluous, without knowing as much as possible in advance.
This also saves time. It saves time spent researching and it saves the client having to answer questions I’d have to ask, later on, without all of the information to hand. In short, they don’t have to be bothered by me – I can just go away and get on with the job.
Time is money. Every penny of a client’s money has to be justified and well spent. The more details you give to a service provider – copywriter, web designer, graphic designer, photographer etc – at the start, the less ‘to and fro’, and the greater likelihood of ending up with work that is spot on, and which sets you apart from your competition.
Feed me details, people – feed me details!