How to help clients get the most out of a Q&A session

Keynotes

  • Q&A’s are a great way of getting great content together, quickly without having to hire several writers
  • Ask additional questions, ask supplementary questions, ask for examples and explanations around the subject matter
  • Interview, record, transcribe, repurpose, publish
  • Help the client through the Q&A process anyway you can
  • Aim for each question/recording to be around the 10 minute mark, this should get you 2,000 words of content

Transcription

Rhys:                     Yeah, okay. So I just wanted to talk about Q&A preparation strategies, so.

John:                     Okay.

Rhys:                     I’ve niched down a little bit and I’ve got three businesses, three physiotherapists, all in different cities, and I’m looking at the same subject matter. And we have our Q&A calls and some clients are great on those calls. They come prepared. They’re well-spoken. They can talk about things in detail. And then you meet other business owners that don’t perform as well on the Q&A calls, whether it’s they haven’t prepared anything, they’re not as active in the industry, could be anything. So for one of my clients, I’ve been sending them the questions two days beforehand. And I say, “These are the questions I’m going to ask you. Please prepare how you best see fit.” And that’s one strategy that has improved it, because as you probably know, the better the input of the Q&A, the better their on-page is going to look thereafter. And I’ve got one client that, despite doing that, it’s still a little bit of a struggle. And so I was just wondering if you’ve experienced that. Do you prepare for Q&A’s in any other way?

John:                     Yeah, I think, just for anyone who might be watching this video, the Q&A session, because there might be some viewers thinking, “What the fuck are they talking about?” The Q&A sessions are simply us getting the client on the call. We prepare a list of topics or questions or subject matter, and we interact with the client. We ask questions in order to gather that information as a way of putting together really valuable and accurate content, right? And we do that for a reason, because we want to provide, we’re not charging $300 a month. We’re not just going to rewrite shitty content, or outsource it to someone in the Philippines for $5 an hour. So we do that because you can jump on, you can have a month’s worth of content done at about 45 minutes.

John:                     I find it really interesting that people will still, I still see this in SEO groups, without getting off topic too much. I need to find someone that is a specialist in Asian noodles. Because I’ve got a restaurant, and they sell noodles. So I need to find a writer that just go straight to the business owner, because they’ve been doing it. They’ve been running that restaurant for 30 years and they’ve got all the knowledge that you could ever need. So jumping on a Q&A, like we are now. You have a chat, you record it, you transcribe it, you repurpose it into blog content. So, that’s what a Q&A session is.

John:                     Now in answer to your question, preparedness, I think it’s always a good practice to interact with the client before you host the Q&A session to firstly agree upon what topics or subject matter you’re going to be covering on the call. I think it’s also a good idea to have a set number of topics or questions that you’re going to cover. I usually like to do four, any more than that it seems to drag on a bit. I think three to four is a good number. I usually end up doing four. That’s usually about an hour, which is enough.

John:                     So agreeing on the topics, the subject matter, …having a set number ahead of the call, and making the client aware of what you’re going to cover, what you intend to cover on the call so that they can prepare at their end. Now, I’ve found probably the same … I’ve shared the same experience as you Rhys in that I’ve had some clients that jump on a call. I ask one question and they can talk for 15 minutes, right? I’m like, “Holy fuck. Okay. That’s it. We’ve got everything we need for that one. Stop the recording.” And then we start the next one.

John:                     Some clients are really great at that. Other clients I’ve found to be absolutely horrible. You’ll ask a question, they’ll give you a five second response, “Oh yeah maybe, but it depends.” And you’re like sitting there thinking, “Wow, give me, I need more here. Give me something else.”

Rhys:                     Yeah, and you got to probe them.

John:                     You’ve got to probe them. And I found that to be true for a number of clients where I’ve had to, I’m not sure if encourage is the right word, but sort of push them through a little more than others. And usually I do that by asking them to expand or elaborate on certain points. Especially let’s say you’re working, like I’ve got a trademark attorney at the moment. If she uses a certain expression or term that is unique to her particular industry, that the layman may, it’s familiar to her, but for someone listening in or reading the content may not understand.

John:                     I might just pull her up and say, “What do you mean by that, Jackie?” Or, “Can you expand on that a bit further?” So you can get a bit more meat on the bone so to speak. So that asking them to clarify certain points or expand on certain points I’ve found to be useful. And even sometimes I find myself on a call learning and thinking, “This is actually quite interesting.” And I’m only asking supplementary questions and that’s probably one way you should look at it. Supplementary questions within that main question. So you have your main question and you have supplementary questions that make up. Those usually just roll of the top of your head. What do you mean by that? Or can you expand on that further?

John:                     Another thing that I found myself doing a lot is asking them for examples. Asking them for examples. So, “Oh you know, if you’ve got a physiotherapist, someone’s come in, they got a bung knee, we do this, we do that. Or why do you do that? Or can you give me some examples of what leads to that injury? Or why is it so common?” You’ve got to do whatever you can with clients that aren’t great on those calls to try and get them over the line. And I usually try to aim for each recording or each individual question or topic to be at least 10 minutes long.

John:                     And again, I found some clients are better than others. I have worked with a company years ago, and the guy was absolutely awful. He was just horrible on the Q&A’s. He did his thing. He ran the business. He wasn’t good on the Q&A’s. No matter how many times I said to him, “Listen, it’s just us. It’s just a regular chat.” Maybe he got nervous and thought that millions of people were going to watch the video or something. But in those cases I’ve said, “Listen, if you’re not comfortable, or if you’re not comfortable doing this.” Or perhaps you might think, “Hey, this is not working.” Ask them if there’s someone else in the business that can sit in and do the Q&A’s with you, they might … If the person that runs the physiotherapy clinic isn’t a good fit, maybe one of the girls might be a better fit.

Rhys:                     Yep, I think that’s a good strategy.

John:                     One other thing that I’ve experienced also with the Q&A’s Rhys is that sometimes I’ve had to pause a recording because my clients said, “Shit, I just need to look. I just need to check that to make sure that I’m right.” And again, that probably revisits the point where you need to send as much information over before the call so that they’ve got time to prepare. I think also one thing that comes to mind and I’ve spoken about this, I spoken about this earlier in the year, before everything went to shit, is having that client console in place, right? Remember I was talking about that. And inside the client console, you can provide short instructional videos and short pieces of content that help your clients get an understanding. And it sets that level of responsibilities, expectations.

John:                     And you know, this is what we’re going to do. This is why we do it. This is how it’s going to work. And this is the desired outcome of doing that. I think the more you try and educate your clients about what it is that you’re trying to do and help them understand why they’re on the call and doing the Q&A in the first place, that can also help, especially more at the beginning.

Rhys:                     I think that’s a good point. And I’ll add that when I start with new clients, I let them know my expectations in terms of their time, like coming to strategy meetings, coming to Q&A meetings. So I might talk in more depth about what their Q&A’s are and explain what we’ve just talked about of, better input leading to better output and better results.

John:                     Yeah. I mean, if you say, you don’t have to be rude about it. You just need to say, “Listen, Greg, we’re going to be doing these Q&A sessions. The more information you can prepare and gather at your end ahead of these calls, the more beneficial it’s going to be for all of us. You’re going to get better results. The content is going to have more depth. People are going to find it more useful. They’re more likely to pick up the phone, call you, book an appointment. If it’s really thin, then you’re not going to get the best results here.” So I think part of it is probably that as well.

John:                     I know when I first started doing Q&A sessions, I had a number of clients that were a bit confused by it all. What do you mean? We’re doing a Q&A session. Because I think a large percentage, if not all, have never done anything like that before. They’re paying an SEO company to create content. They get some shitty articles spun and thrown up and slapped on their website. And then they come to me and they say, “Holy fuck, John, this is excellent. We’ve never had anything like this before. We just had content written that was total gibberish that nobody bothered to read. And that’s another conversation in itself. That’s where you find yourself on the call with a client that says, “Oh, we’ve tried doing content, blog posts, it’s a waste of time. It doesn’t work.”

Rhys:                     Yeah, you’re exactly right. It’s a huge value adder. Clients appreciate that connection with you. And at the end of the day, when they look at their website and it’s true to them, I think that’s just, it’s absolutely essential to do Q&A’s and SEO within your SEO practice. I really don’t see another way.

John:                     Yeah. It just makes so much sense.

Rhys:                     Yeah.

John:                     It really does.

Rhys:                     Well, I’m glad some of the stories you shared were along the lines that I was thinking, so thank you.

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