How to get content from clients


  • Asking or expecting clients to create content usually never works
  • You don’t need to hire specialised writers to write about certain topics, use the clients knowledge
  • Q&A’s solve the content problem


John:                     Yeah. The other one I wanted to mention was, I mean often … I don’t know how much it’s happening with you, but a lot of our clients, we motivate them to generate a bit of their own custom content, particularly when it’s very specific to what they do. I mean, we can’t talk about resolving engineering issues as well as the actual engineer can. So, what’s your process for when you’ve actually had content submitted to you? You go, “John, hey. We’ve written a piece about X.” What’s your process for … Do you just go …

John R:                  Why aren’t you doing the Q and A’s John?

John:                     Eh?

John R:                  Why aren’t you doing the Q and A’s, that solves that problem.

John:                     It’s part of the 2020 Mink Media product coming through so that will be-

John R:                  Okay.

John R:                  Just to clarify for anyone watching these video Q and A’s where you jump on with a client just like this and you ask certain questions or cover certain topics. You record that conversation, you take that recording, you transcribe it, then you simply tidy it up, repurpose it as a traditional blog post. So that solves that problem. But what I’ve found, I don’t know what your experience has been like John, but most times when it comes to content …

John:                     Yeah.

John R:                  Most times when it comes to content, most clients don’t do it. It just doesn’t happen. Even when they have good intentions. “Oh John yeah, we’ll create that content, we’ll get it over to you.” You know how it goes dude. You’re fucking sitting around for three months waiting.

John:                     I know. I push them to do it.

John:                     Okay.

John:                     I mean in terms of the …….I mean do you have a process that you would have for your-

John R:                 I’ve always found that a bit weird because it’s like saying … You’re saying to the client “okay you’re paying me to do a job now I’m going to get you to do it.” I always found that a little bit weird. I get your point of view. I get it.

John:                     Not really. It’s not weird, not if subject matter has so clearly got to be written by the person. I’m not going to write about litigation on behalf of a lawyer.

John R:                  That’s why we do the Q and A’s. That’s why we do the Q and A’s.

John:                     Yeah I guess so. But I mean-

John R:                  It solves that problem, John. It really does, because we’re not experts on law, we do SEO and that’s where you’ve got to leverage the client’s knowledge and you see this everywhere. You see this in SEO forums, in groups all over the place. I need to find a writer who’s got a lot of knowledge about these x-ray machines, please PM me and you’re like just go to the fucking client they’ve got all the knowledge there.

John R:                  But I get what you’re saying, sometimes that client is very specialised and you do need the client to help you out and that’s fine. But in addition to what I said just a moment ago about clients not doing it, the other issue is that sometimes I’ve had clients say, “John, we’ll write the content.” Okay. And you get the content and it’s absolute fucking garbage. And most of the time that shit just doesn’t see the light of day. It goes straight in the bin.

John:                     Yeah. I mean I get what you’re saying, but sometimes I think there’s value in getting them to engage and create the content. I suppose inadvertently I’m just not doing the Q and A. They’re just doing all the answers and I’m not asking the questions.

John R:                  Yeah, well the engagement, like you just said then John, matters and that’s where again, the Q and A’s are really helpful because it’s not just about getting the content when you do the Q and A’s. You’re engaging with the client and that is so beneficial in terms of building that relationship and increasing your retention rates and everything else.

John:                     I agree with that 100%. Any opportunity to display value and communicate with the client. I speak to Natasha all the time. It’s all about obviously showing that we actually give a shit and that’s the most important thing. You can do all the work in the background. She does amazing content with us. Natasha does our content writing and we deliver it. We’re building the pages out and I was like, wait a second … Go through the process, engage the client, get them to approve, get them to run through the subject matter, build out a structure for how the content is going to be delivered over the next six months. The more they’re involved, the more they go “well fuck, I know the guy is doing his job”, you know?

John R:                  You’ve got to be careful with that as well, because there’s a tipping point where asking for too much input can be a bad thing. If they’re a good client and they say “wow that’s brilliant” or “just tidy this up”, but then you got to be real careful that you don’t get into that.

John:                     I only have good clients, John. I only have good clients.

John R:                  You know what I mean though, right?

John:                     The ones I don’t like don’t work with me anymore.

John R:                  You know what I mean though, right? “Oh no, you’ve spelt it wrong and there should be a comma here and I think the kernings off and I don’t like the font.” Fuck me dead.

John:                     I know. No, look, I’ve just gone through that with a client. I won’t name names.

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