For The Love of Writing: A Q&A Series with Karen (Part II)
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
This is the second installment of a Q&A series offering up some thoughts and insights into the content creation work my team and I do at Lisa Baker Associates. The questions are based on actual inquiries that I have received from other writers. If one person is interested in what we have to say on this topic, then there are likely many others out there who might benefit from this information.
Q: How do you gather the information you need to tell a client’s story? At LBA, the storytelling process starts with a fairly intense client discovery (or intake) meeting. Without giving away the secret sauce for our company’s storytelling talents, I can tell you that this meeting typically involves two or three of us from the team (e.g., President, Chief Content Officer, Project Manager) getting in a room with our clients’ team.
At this get together, we have a list of questions that we ask our clients, from “What is your company’s history and current state?” to “What services and products do you offer?” to “What is your company culture and personality?”.
But, just like when we’re chatting with a friend, our conversations with clients don’t always follow a straight course. If something about a client’s answer intrigues us, we may follow that discussion path for a while to see if there is a story there to tell.
Our goal in these meetings is to uncover every little nugget about our client that can help us create authentic, creative, and inspiring content.
What happens to all of this information post-discovery? As Chief Content Officer, I compile it and turn it into a content creation brief. This document should reflect back to the client exactly what we have heard from them, and also offer recommendations on marketing messages based on what they have told us. This brief is a critical element of the content creation process to get right - it is the foundation from which all other content pieces will be developed. Whether we are writing sell sheet copy, website pages, blogs, or an email for our clients, the story must be consistent. By participating in a thorough client intake process and then providing the client with a content creation brief to affirm their story, we can better ensure that all our content projects are telling a compelling and consistent story about our clients.
Author's Note: This article was written for my role as Chief Content Officer at Lisa Baker Associates and originally published on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/karens-monthly-writing-tips-summer-qa-series-karen-isgur-damon-1e/.