Updated December 2023

Want to get more from your content agencies/freelancers?                         Give them more context.

If you're just handing some terms or topics to your content agency or freelancers and telling them to get to work, chances are good you're creating a workflow that produces unnecessary cycles and wasted effort. Without a clear context, we're shooting in the dark. We guess and do our best to hit the mark, but often we spend time sending emails back and forth to clarify scope, direction and/or purpose. This slows everyone down.

Yeah, it's a little more up-front work for you, but the results are worth it. Here's how one of our clients does it. They give us:

  • SEO research, including suggested SEO titles. (we also add the semantical search terms we uncover actually backgrounding the topic)
  • Customer persona/e
  • Calls to action
  • Pain points, specific messaging, research and existing content related to the topic that we can use for background, including subject matter experts (SMEs)
  • Examples of previous posts on the topic or in the format that we can use for reference

With these assets, we flesh out the project brief, using a tool called the People-Information-Goals Strategy™. Based on the customer persona/e, we build a content producer persona (the types of person/voice the audience will trust and respond to). Then we define the purpose of the content using the CTAs. Then we interview the SMEs to uncover customers' and prospects' questions, objections and pushback; determine the main idea for the piece, and gather supporting details.

  • The People section is where you outline who you're trying to reach and an inventory of their needs/objections/quesions.
  • The Information section is where you jot down critical information that meets your/your client's needs and your audience's, and that supports your CTAs
  • The Goals section is where you note the purpose of the content, including the emotions, values and actions it should evoke.
  • The Writer's Personality block is where you establish a voice for the piece that sounds like someone your audience likes and trusts.

Once you've made a pass at the brief, we hand over to the client to tweak and approve. Only then do we start researching and writing.

This approach gives us the necessary background to clearly understand the topic and its value to your business, which empowers us to produce results-getting content faster. That's a win for everyone.

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