Why is content so hard to come by?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Content management | No Comments

content-blog

Because creating content is a specialized skill

Content comes first. I don’t design without content or fake it with “greeking” (Lorum ipsum) as I start the design process.

The content drives the process and I don’t start designing without it.

For each project, I assemble a collaborative team with my client, the project’s writer and designer—all learning from each other. Experience has taught me, over and over again, that small businesses are better off delegating the final content to a professional writer.

When you choose this approach, your project will finish when you want it to. With beautiful and authentic language, you’ll be able to repurpose your content for social media and print projects for a period of time and use select phrases long-term. In other words (pun intended), professional writing and editing is a mighty good investment for a small business to make.

We include writers and editors in the design workflow

Give yourself permission to delegate your content to an experienced team of writers and editors. As an art director and designer, I depend on their ability to listen and interpret your story. Writers create the right tone, select key words and use accessible language to provide the answers your customers are seeking. My responsibility is to pull it all together with the right pacing, accessibility, interactivity and visual appeal. I am inspired by the words that get written.

Some steps to get ready to work with a writer

  • Draft an outline of your services and how they benefit your customers
  • Include the most successful or most profitable services/products for the creative team
  • Describe in detail your customers and their specific needs
  • Create customer scenarios—what happens first, second, third?
  • Be candid in interviews with the writer and designer
  • Be available for in-depth collaboration about the draft content

Buy this book and use it

I’ve been using Janice Redish’s Letting Go of the Words—that provides a realistic structure to develop relevant content. I embrace her ideas 100% and include many of her recommendations in the Brand Identity Guidelines I provide clients (the foundation of our work together). Her guide is well worth the $50.00 in print (or a little less for the eBook). Janice discusses:

  • Plan: yes we love to plan!
  • Have a content strategy
  • Design for ease of use: it’s all about your customer
  • Set the tone and personality
  • Find marketing moments
  • Tuning up the language
  • Getting from draft to final
  • Develop and follow a style guide
  • Test, retest, iterate

Ready to get started? Call 206-941-0840 to set something up.

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