Sometimes an agency, in looking for writers to meet client needs, forgets (or doesn’t realize) that a big part of client satisfaction comes from matching personalities. If you have a client producing technical products or services, for example, you will usually want to hire technical writers with experience in the client’s particular field to serve them.
Personalities show through a writer’s personal writing style, which a client may or may not resonate with. A high-tech writer will likely feel alien to an elementary textbook publisher, and the writing of most conservative political activists will antagonize an abortion clinic client or a gay rights politician, just by virtue of the words they choose to use.
Then, to complicate matters, there is the client’s readership to consider. No doubt you have seen many product instructions written in language so technical that the buyer cannot understand it. You also must have seen sales agreements written for the average homeowner that were incomprehensible. These are both examples of writing styles mismatched with the intended reader.
Who is your client reaching out to with this writing project? If its readership is in-house, there will be no problem with simply matching writing styles with the client personality. But what if a theater client wants to attract a low income audience as a special community service? Or what if a technical software developer is marketing to elementary school teachers? Now the search for a good writer becomes a three-way match. You will need to look for a writer with a background in both venues.
Tips for Finding Your Writer Match
Luckily, the Internet and some good writers cloud sourcing sites have the perfect tool for this sort of search: keywords.
- First, determine the nature of the client, then the nature of their readership for this project.
- Next, boil them down to two keywords or simple keyword phrases, e.g. “software, school teachers,” or “theater production, homeless population.”
- Enter the keyword group into a search engine, adding “writer” to the mix, e.g. “technical writer, school teacher, software.” You may have to experiment to get the results you want.
- If you source writers mainly through Internet writer sites, you can use their tools in a similar way to look for writers with the backgrounds indicated.
This kind of search, although somewhat time consuming, produces much better end results than just choosing writers based on the types of documents they’ve written. One can’t tell from their lists how successful those documents were, but if they have the background experience and “walk the talk,” you are much more likely to find a good client match.
Susette H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.