18 Mar How We Write Blog Posts that Sound Like Our Clients
At any given time, we handle blogging for around ten clients, all from different industries with different areas of expertise. We’re often asked how we do it – how do we write blog posts that sound like our clients?
If one of your goals for this year is to finally start blogging regularly – but the thought of actually sitting down to write makes you gag slightly – it’s time to bring in an expert who can take blogging off your plate and free up your time to do the work you actually love.
This is the blogging process we’ve developed and refined over the years:
We write blog posts that sound like you by … listening
We conduct a discovery call with every new client to dig deep and learn more about you, your business/expertise and, especially, your target market. In fact, all good blog posts start with your audience and what they care about.
Now that we know each other, we pull out our blogging template. And we ask you to talk. Most of our clients can talk effortlessly about any given topic, but when it comes time to put those thoughts down on paper, they freeze. They start … stop … start again … and suddenly four hours have passed and the blog post isn’t done yet. Not a good use of their time!
You come to us with the topic, top takeaways and call-to-action and we coax the rest out of you. As you talk, we type, capturing the exact words and phrases you use. Don’t worry, though: you’re not expected to have a perfect outline ready to go. It’s OK to jump around and go back and add details. Meanwhile, we ask questions to clarify or draw out more information.
After we get off the phone, your job is basically done. We smooth out the post, move information around for flow and generally make the blog post sound just like you, but better.
The best part? You don’t need to do much, if any, editing unless you want to add some additional details.
Of course, the first few blog posts typically take longer. Our calls might be longer. You might have to do some actual editing. Either way, we always ask for detailed feedback so we can make the process as pain-free as possible.
Eventually, we get to know you so well that we can ghostwrite for you. One of my clients has been with me for 10 years; another for eight years. I know them and their businesses inside and out, which means I can add extra flourishes to their blog posts and sound just like them. Pretty cool.
Oh, one other thing: we read your previous blog posts – or anything you’ve written – to get a sense of what you sound like before we start working together. If this is your first foray into blogging, we’ll ask you what writers you admire and why. Then we’ll read their stuff.
What we don’t do: make stuff up
Last year, I was excited to start working with a new client. We’ll call him Tom. Tom is a financial advisor for high net-worth individuals.
I told him what I needed for our first call, and I sent him the blog template. When we connected by phone, I re-iterated the process. Five minutes into our call, it was obvious that he was not prepared at. all. He had the topics, but that was it. I was asking him questions and was getting five-word replies. It was like pulling teeth out of a confused kangaroo.
Just when I was about to give up, he said, “Listen, this is all in my book. I’ll just send you a link.”
So now I had a book to read through and figure out which parts of which chapters were most applicable. I did my best, all the time thinking, “I feel like a fraud. This is not how I work.”
When I sent him the first draft, I added copious comments that explained what I needed for future articles. He sent back a few minor edits, and I never heard from him again.
The reason I’m telling you this story is twofold: One, as much as we love to take stuff off your plate, you still need to put in some effort. Two, creating content “just because” only adds to the noise out there and does nothing to elevate you as a thought leader. You’ll just end up wasting time and money while getting nowhere.
If you’re a small business owner or leader in your field who just can’t stand the thought of blogging, give us a shout. We’d love the opportunity to free up your time and help you share your brilliance with the world.