Don’t Fight … Switch to Clients Already Using What You Want to Write

Hi, Gordon Graham here … back with you for Day 2 of The Writer’s Life.

This week I’m sharing some tips on how to land clients in the booming world of B2B content marketing.

Yesterday we looked at why specializing is a shortcut to success. Today I’d like to answer a related question I’m often asked by copywriters who want to start writing B2B content:

“How do I convince my clients to use white papers (or infographics, or video, or whatever)?”

My answer: “Don’t bother. Don’t waste your time trying to persuade a client to use some form of content they’re not sure will work for them.”

Why not? Well, that eats up time and energy you could put toward a paying project.

Also, any client testing a new format may be unsure how to execute or promote that content. And the naysayers may be watching like vultures, ready to declare it a bust.

Who needs the headaches?

Don’t try to sell anyone on the merits of any particular form of content. Tell them what you do, tell them you’re ready when they are, and move on.

With 5 million companies in the U.S. and 93% of them doing content marketing, there are many other fish in the sea.

Instead, pitch the type of content you want to write to companies that already use that format. How can you tell? Just check the company website to see what kinds of content they already publish.

For example, suppose you want to write case studies. Look for an area of the company website called “Customers” or “Success Stories” or “Resources.” Or search the whole site for “case studies” or “customer stories.”

If you can’t find any case studies, strike this prospect off your list.

If you find many case studies of high quality, great! That means this prospect knows what goes into a good case study and is willing to pay for it. They likely have a strong case-study writer on their team today. But you can be ready to fill in, if they ever need help. (More on this tomorrow.)

If you find case studies of so-so quality, propose how you would strengthen them in the future. You might even take one and do a quick rewrite with a more effective structure and more engaging style. Make it read like a magazine feature, with a compelling lead and a clear before-and-after comparison with tangible metrics.

If you find only a few case studies, far fewer than their competitors have, that could mean they appreciate this format, but have no one to produce it. Why not propose that you help them catch up?

You can use the same basic approach to size up any prospect for any type of B2B content. And remember: You’ll get better results if you sink your hook where the fish are biting.

Share your comments here.

And tomorrow, find out why you must get on the list of writers a prospect will call, even if you can’t make it to the top of the list today.

Crash Course in B2B Content

Crash Course in B2B Content

Dive into the lucrative world of B2B content writing. Expert Gordon Graham will show you the top 12 content types in high demand by B2B firms and how to complete each one like a pro. Learn More »

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Published: January 20, 2015

5 Responses to “Don’t Fight… Switch to Clients Already Using What You Want to Write”

  1. Gordon, What a great idea! As someone building a business, I find that I have wasted a lot of energy in "convincing" people. Your article gave me a way to reduce the amount of headaches, flaky clients, and lost time.


  2. Thank you Gordon. I can't tell you how many time, in the last eight years I've spent convincing business owner to stop selling and start educating.

    I'm blue in the face from shouting; stop the tomfoolery on brand and image advertising.

    Guest (Brad Lloyd)

  3. Because, it is said that: specializing is a shortcut to success, does not mean,it is easy to be specialized turning out as a shortcut leading to success. You must have sleepless nights doing one thing several years, to confirm you a specialist,before you arrive at the corridor of shortcut leading you to success.One who dedicates him/herself to several years of sleepless nights doing one thing,in order to specialize,must not have given up. Ask,who made it,if it was easy,as phrased shortcut to success.

    Guest (SALIHU DIKKO)

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