Every week we hear from people wanting content for a startup business. As an established content writing company we also work with many established companies. Often times the folks at the startups cannot answer the questions we need to ask as content writers. Here’s a heads up for those planning to use content writing services for a startup business: broad, unfocused answers are your enemy. In the scenario below I include how an established company (pro) might answer the same questions to draw a contrast. Do-it-yourselfers may benefit from this exercise as well. Here is how my line of questioning starts.
Question 1. Please tell me about your business.
STARTUP: “We want to sell new super duper peeler widgets to food services companies.”
PRO: “We are introducing a new widget that makes peeling more efficient, saving time and money for midsize foodservice companies in the USA.”
The pro knows what they sell, to whom and why someone would buy it.
Question 2: Who is your target audience, your target market?
STARTUP: “Everyone looking for peeler widgets. We don’t want to miss anyone.”
PRO: “Executive chefs in the hospitality industry with a staff of at least six people.”
The pro knows that a target market is defined and exclusive. This is what makes the potential customer identify with the brand. Anyone. Everyone. Is no one. Customer focused content makes them aware of the product and how it will benefit them.
Question 3: Why would they buy it from you? Core strengths of your company?
STARTUP: “It’s a great product and we can serve them well by getting it there on time.“
PRO: “We’ve been serving the foodservice industry for 10 years and understand our customers need durable, reasonably priced, time saving tools that make food preparation more efficient.”
Has the startup identified urgent delivery as a major problem/solution for foodservice companies interested in peeler widgets? I don’t think so.
Question 4: Who is your competition?
STARTUP: “It’s a new product so we don’t have any competition”.
PRO: “XYZ has a similar product on the market, but ours is sharper and quicker. ABC dominates overall in commercial kitchen supplies. Yet, the biggest challenge is in getting chefs to change the way they are currently doing things. We have a video demo so they can see for themselves how efficient the tool is.”
Question 5: What do you want the content to do for you?
STARTUP: “We hope it will generate leads, affirm our existence in the market, get us ranked high in Google search, and more.”
PRO: “Website content is a base for our overall content marketing strategy. It supports our brand, offers relevant information to existing and potential customers, and gives us a means to measure customer engagement.”
Content is a dilemma for the unfocused startup. They are strongly in need of content writing services to hone their message and compete. To be successful startups should know what advantageous they offer, their target audience/market, their strengths, competition, and what they want their content to do so we can write meaningful, compelling copy that meets the needs and interests of their audience.