Cheat Sheet: Copywriting Client/Project Questionnaire

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So you’ve landed a gig. Sweet! Now what?

Let’s give you the best chance of nailing your client’s objectives — how about that?

Enter the Copywriting Project Questionnaaaaire!
(Cue Vanna White hands and chimes sound effect.)

In all seriousness, below you’ll find a handy questionnaire to guide your new project discussion and planning. Nail that kickoff discussion and you’ll be far better equipped to write copy that converts, without killing yourself.

Plus (and this is a BIG plus, y’all), your project will flow MUCH more easily from there.

How so? Because having a clear direction and deep understanding of your reader and subject are sure-fire antidotes to writer’s block. It also minimizes the chance your client will ask for rewrites.

Before we get too far:

As the title implies, our sample questionnaire is best suited for copywriting projects — those designed to persuade readers to buy or commit to something (as opposed to, say, an educational article or blog post).

Here we go (I’ll link to a printable version at the end):

  1. Who’s your ideal customer?
  2. What are his/her hot buttons or primary concerns?
  3. What keeps him/her awake at night, staring at the ceiling, dreading the day ahead?
  4. How do you want this reader to feel as a result of reading this piece?
  5. What do you want this reader to do as a result of reading this piece? (Have one focused call-to-action, not several)
  6. What transformation do customers experience after buying your product/service? How will their lives, work or daily routine be different? (Paint a clear and compelling before-and-after scenario.)
  7. Walk me through what happens after someone purchases your product/service, step by step.
  8. What are common objections or sources of hesitation you’ve observed, that cause prospects to drag their feet or decide against your product/service?
  9. Is there a built-in bias in the way these people make decisions?
  10. Who else is selling something similar to this audience, and how?
  11. What do you do better or differently from your competitors?
  12. If your product/service isn’t different from your competitors’, what attributes can be stressed that haven’t been advertised or stressed by the competition?
  13. Who has bought this (or something similar) from you in the past? What do they say about it?
  14. Can you share any proof points (testimonials, studies, data, success stories) that back up your claims?
  15. Do you offer a guarantee or risk reversal of any kind?
  16. Are there time-sensitive factors (like a deadline-driven bonus or penalty) affecting the cost of your product/service?
  17. Is there an early-bird benefit, deadline or scarcity to help create urgency?
  18. Anything else I (or your readers) should know? Any benefits we haven’t discussed?
  19. What writing voice or tone best reflects your brand and customers? (Formal, casual, conversational, humorous, etc.)

This is gold, friends. Gold, I tell ya. It will save you lots of headaches and rewrites.

Sure, much of it is common sense, but you and I know common sense ain’t common practice.

And I’ll tell you this: The greater the price tag or commitment you’re asking from the reader, the more you need to address these questions in your copy.


>> Did you know? A printable, expanded version of the Copywriting Project Questionnaire is one of the bonuses included with your complimentary sales e-course. It covers 7 buyer hurdles your copy must overcome, interview amplifiers and ineffective questions that could derail your project.

 

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