You’re more likely to fail, if you fail to prepare.
A copywriting client questionnaire position you and your business for successful website copywriting. It’s a briefing before commencing work with a client.
Think of it as a job interview. Would you start a job without knowing the scope of work you will be performing?
The questionnaire serves as a resource to understand objectives to write successful copy.
After all, you are advocating for your client’s voice.
The last thing you want is an unhappy client because you weren’t well-prepared.
First things first. Let’s move on to the benefits and why you need to have a copywriting client questionnaire.
The copywriting client questionnaire is simply an application
You’ll end up pleasing no one if you try pleasing everyone.
Unless you are desperate for clients or money, you’re not going to work with everyone. There will be times your goals don’t align with your client’s objectives. That’s what the copywriting client questionnaire is for, to access fit.
It’s an integral part of the application process to determine if you want to onboard the client. If they do not want to fill out the questionnaire, see it as a red flag. Not only do they not value your time, but save your headaches for more important matters.
Imagine what it would be like when money gets involved later down the process.
You are never obligated to always say “yes” to anyone or anything that adds no value to your life.
6 benefits of a copywriting client questionnaire?
1. Provides a plethora of useful data
Copywriting involves research.
A whole lot of it.
You need information from your client to supplement your findings from your research.
The more information the better, and it doesn’t hurt to have extra details.
High-quality research is one ingredient of the formula to craft a masterpiece.
Your copywriting client questionnaire should cover the following areas:
- Your reader’s problems or pain points
- The goals, needs, and objectives of your readers
- A solution for your readers
- The unique value proposition of the product or service
- How the solution add value and benefit the reader
- The potential objections your readers may have
If you are not familiar with any of the answers to these questions, you have more research to perform. It means you are missing important information in your copywriting client questionnaire. So, make sure to master these key points.
2. Understand your client’s needs
Every client has different needs and problems.
And it is unfair to assume each client has the same needs.
Some clients want more organic traffic, page views, and conversions on their pages. While some clients want copy that presents their brand in the best light possible.
By both parties being on the same page of the copywriting process, you can ensure everyone to be happy with the final product.
3. it’s free and inexpensive
Who doesn’t love free?
Copywriting client questionnaires are so valuable that they don’t cost you a single cent.
Yet, they are the foundation for helping you write strong copy. They drive results and conversions for your customers.
Can it get any better than that?
4. It’s proof of your client’s original request
Client’s from hell do exist. For example, they can be demanding, fickle, controlling, or never satisfied. They are the bane of every copywriter’s life.
If your client accuses you of not executing their goals, the record serves as proof of their request.
5. Sets you up for success
At the end of the day, it’s your job to ensure successful delivery and satisfaction for your client. Your client doesn’t know any better when it comes to distinguishing good versus bad copy. The copywriting client questionnaire does both parties a favor in bringing positive results.
A copywriting client questionnaire is a recipe for success. Your client provides you the missing puzzle pieces for you to craft your masterpiece
6. Sets a value on your service, not a price.
The copywriting client questionnaire steers the conversation into how you can provide value. Your client needs a solution, so use the resource to consult them on what’s not working. Then when you deliver your promise, it grows your customer’s perceived value.
At that point, your copywriting services are priceless.
Must-ask questions in a copywriting client questionnaire
It is important to note the below questions are a combined list used at ScribPress.
Not all questions apply to every client.
So, you may change the list of questions on a case-by-case basis per your own needs.
You can direct questions to your client in any manner you wish to communicate in (eg. phone, email, PDF, etc.). Feel free to customize and draft your list of questions to ask your clients.
1. Please explain your copywriting needs.
This should be one of the first questions in your copywriting client questionnaire.
The question outlines the scope of the project your client has for you. Your client may want you to write a killer landing page that converts. Or, they are looking for a long-form blog post to inform their readers.
You will know if you are well-suited to approach the job if it resonates with your capability or desire.
2. When would you like to start services?
Each client has different needs and time-frames.
Not every client requires a service delivered as soon as possible.
When both parties are on the same page, reduces miscommunication later down the road.
3. What is your deadline for this project?
Having a target deadline will give you a clear timeframe to plan for your calendar’s activities.
You may have other clients and projects on your schedule, or a surprise client may pop up.
4. What is your budget for this project?
This is the opportunity for the other party to bring up how much they are willing to pay. Again, so that both parties are on the same page, there should be no surprises at the end once established.
5. Describe your organization and its values, using five words.
A question asked to get more insight into the organization.
Generally, customers buy products or services from companies whose values resonate with them.
What does the organization believe in?
Look at these values or beliefs of the organization as selling points for your readers.
A customer who reads something that aligns with them is more likely to prompt action.
6. What is the product or service that your organization provides?
After all, more than likely this will be the topic you will be writing about, so establish this.
Make sure they provide as much detail as possible, to features, pricing, benefits, etc.
7. Describe your ideal customer.
Again, get as much detail here possible. This will be the primary audience you will write for.
What are their habits?
What are their problems?
What are their demographics?
Effective copywrite targets a specific audience, not a broad audience.
8. Who will be the editor and approver of the copywrite?
You will be interacting with the editor the majority of the time if there is one.
9. What problems do your customers have before using your product or service?
Now that we know who we are writing for, identifying readers’ pain points gives you the solution to present.
The reason why visitors are reading copy for a product or service is that they need help.
All you have to do now is present the solution to the table.
10. What is the unique value proposition of your organization and product or service?
By knowing what sets your client apart, is your advantage in writing copy that converts.
Not only will you be writing about your client’s UVP, but this also makes your job easier by grasping the topic.
Mastering your client’s unique value proposition is a must.
11. Does the copy need to be optimized for search engines?
This depends on the aim of the project and your client’s needs.
Not every copy you write requires optimization for SEO.
For example, an email campaign may have different objectives.
12. Are there any key team members or departments I will need to work with? (eg. design, sales, marketing)
Sometimes you will work with a designer to make sure your copy is in line with visual imagery.
Sometimes you will work with an executive of the organization.
Whoever you work with, use your resources to your advantage in getting the job done.
13. Who will decide decide on content topics for the copy (writer or client)?
Some clients have topics they want you to write about. And some rely on you to decide on this information.
14. Do I need to interview anyone? If so, please provide contact details.
This question serves as an opportunity to dig deeper and gain insight into the organization and its products or services.
More information never does any harm.
15. May I please see any recent marketing material?
This is a form of insight into the copywriting client questionnaire process.
Analyzing the client’s marketing material gives insight to how they promote themselves.
Look into previous blog posts, social media posts, advertisements, to email promotions.
16. Describe the style or tone of how you want your brand represented. Please feel free to list any organizations you want to emulate.
Another very important question you need to ask in the copywriting client questionnaire. You should be writing in a voice that mirrors the organization. Imagine, writing in a voice their direct competitor talks in.
17. What has been the most effective and successful pitch to sell your product or service?
Gain insight into what works for the organization to attract customers and mirror this pitch. There is no need to reinvent the wheel for your client if it’s already working.
18. Who are your competitors?
Knowing your client’s competitors is crucial many helpful reasons:
- Mastering your client’s unique value proposition and using that to write copy that sells.
- You will gain a deeper insight into your client’s industry.
- You will understand potential customer objections.
- Allows you to write copy better than competing brands. For example, by understanding your competitor’s weaknesses will help you identify your client’s strengths.
- You will understand how your client positions themselves.
19. Please provide any important branding guidelines I need to know.
Branding guidelines place you on the path to write in the same style the organization presents itself. All companies market themselves differently. Imagine, putting in all the hard work into beautiful writing, but the mood does not resonate with the brand.
20. Please provide any important content guidelines I need to know.
How does your client’s brand speak to their customers?
Do they use certain buzzwords, slogans, or lingo that resonates with their readers?
21. How do leads find your website/business? Please list major sources of traffic.
You will need to know what medium you will be writing for.
Copywriting for social media is different than to a website blog post.
22. How and to whom will you distribute this copywrite?
Knowing your readers and their objectives make your copy clear-cut. Copywrite appears in many types of formats. An online article does not have the same distribution process as a social media content campaign or brochure.
23. Will the copywrite be bylined (I receive credit as the author with a backlink to my website), or ghostwritten (you credit any name for the author at a price mark up).
A must-ask question on your copywriting client questionnaire.
Sometimes clients do not know how this works, so kindly explain the concept.
Giving them the option for author credit assures what service they will pay for.
Either method for author crediting, for you, is a win-win.
24. Does your organization permit me to include the copy in my portfolio?
The hard work you have spent sweat and tears on is what sells your services. Be proud of your past projects into your portfolio for potential customers to read. These are your assets. Some clients do not mind you sharing the copy you wrote. But for the other clients who do mind, should be something to consider before taking a project.
25. Due to the nature of this service, I require at least a 50% up-front payment to commence my copywriting service. You must submit final payment before delivery of services. Do you understand and agree with this?
This is normal in any work that provides digital services.
By having some sort of partial payment, assures your hard work is at least compensated in case they walk away.
Don’t be afraid to talk about money in your copywriting client questionnaire.
26. Please list anything else you feel I need to know.
Leave the copywriting client questionnaire open-ended. Doing so gives your client freedom and puts them in a position of power. When your client has freedom, it increases the chances of your client doing business with you.
Like in any job interview, an employer is interested in why you want to work for them. And the same goes the other way around.
If your copywriting client questionnaire missed anything else, this question covers your bases.
You want to make sure you will not miss anything critical you need to know before moving on.
By leaving things open-ended ensure sure you are ready to tackle the project.
Things to consider
There are plenty of great questions to get an insight into your client’s needs.
With that said, be mindful of your clients’ time by limiting the number of questions asked in your copywriting client questionnaire.
A study done by SurveyMonkey found that questionnaires with more than 40 questions have lower response rates. SurveyMonkey also discovered that the average time respondents spend on filling out questionnaires is roughly 10 minutes.
So, grab the most valuable questions that help you write quality copy.
Imagine putting yourself in your clients’ shoes.
Concluding thoughts on the copywriting client questionnaire
To recap, a copywriting client questionnaire:
- Provides insight into your client’s needs
- Defines goals and objectives
- Saves time and headaches
- Ensures both parties to be on the same page
- Boosts your professionalism
- Serves as proof of documentation
Regardless of any project, using a copywriting client questionnaire is imperative for success.
So use it to your advantage!