Do you ever hear about an opportunity in your freelance copywriting career and think… Hmm, could I do that? Well, that was me. Working as a B2C SEO copywriter was great, but I kept hearing about the benefits of the B2B world. But how could I make the transition from B2C to B2B? And would it be worth my time?
Luckily, Heather Lloyd-Martin from the SEO Content Institute agreed to sit down with me. After all, if anyone knows about making it as a B2B SEO Freelance copywriter, it’s Heather. She helped clarify how easy it is to transition from a B2C to a well-paid B2B SEO copywriter.
As a B2C SEO copywriter, I already knew how to do keyword research. I just needed to turn my B2C SEO knowledge into B2B SEO skills.
Heather assured me that making the switch from B2C to B2B would be relatively painless. She said that with the following five SEO skills, I could make the transition from B2C to B2B copywriting.
- Do keyword research.
Yes, B2B businesses need keyword search. Maybe you’ve heard that B2B businesses don’t use keyword search because they have other ways of getting clients, or that they have a limited target audience. Or maybe you’ve heard that SEO isn’t necessary when working with highly technical B2B companies. The perception might be that B2B companies don’t need SEO for many reasons — but this is wrong.
As a B2B copywriter, you need to take your knowledge of keyword search and make it applicable to the B2B market. You aren’t going to search in the same manner, but you will need to do your homework for maximum results.
When buyers start searching online, the B2B company (your client) should have answers to the vendors’ questions. This online information puts the company on the vendors’ radar. When buyers are ready to buy, they look to the company that gave them reliable information. This company gets put on the buyers’ short lists, which is a very good place to be.
A B2B client most likely won’t give you keyword phrases. The keyword phrases you do get aren’t always complete. Even if the keywords come from someone knowledgeable in the company, often there are missing synonyms, or the phrase is incomplete.
- Understand the client’s language, lingo, and voice.
As a B2B copywriter, you’re still talking to a person, but about the needs of his business. Sometimes B2B companies make up their own lingo and language.
You can learn the client’s language, lingo, and voice by looking at its website, blogs, and forums. Talking to the sales department and people in the company helps you understand common language used in the industry. Doing a keyword search can give you a general idea about the voice, language, and lingo used in the niche. But you’ll want to dig deeper into other places as well.
- Understand the B2B buying cycle.
The buyer’s cycle is the process of needing a product, searching for product information, then finally purchasing the product. The B2B buying cycle often takes much longer than a typical B2C purchase.
While a consumer might take a day or two to decide on a purchase, a B2B company may take weeks — or even months — to evaluate the options, examine features, and make a final buying decision. B2B buyers must make decisions that have significant impact on the company and their own careers, so they will take as much time as needed to make an informed decision.
- Understand the total marketing campaign.
When you understand the total campaign, you can see the “big picture” and can help your client more than if you only write content. You may have the opportunity to act as a marketing consultant, or take on a project manager role, making sure that all the pieces of the campaign fit together smoothly.
- Know your client’s pain points.
Regardless of whether you’re writing for a B2C or a B2B client, you should uncover the pain points of the buyer. The B2B buyer may be looking at price, power, durability, warranty, and other specifications. A pain point might be shipping time or downtime. Your copy should show how the product will ease the B2B buyer’s pain.
I found one of the easiest ways to switch from B2C to B2B copywriting is to stay within the same niche. I already knew some of the players involved in the industry. Plus, I knew their prospects’ pain points, because they used to be my clients.
If you decide to completely switch niches when you transition from B2C to B2B, you can show prospects your B2C samples and results that you provided for your B2C customers. You can talk about the type of traffic you helped draw, the type of positions you helped gain, and let them know you understand their industry and pain points.
Heather suggests getting your first B2B client as fast as you can. You might not get your fantasy client right away, especially if you’re changing your niche while becoming a B2B SEO copywriter. Most likely, the B2B company will care less about your B2B experience and more about whether you can write good copy for its audience. Your B2B client is looking for results.
Once you start getting clients, you’ll realize the excellent opportunities you have as a B2B copywriter. So don’t wait — put your B2C knowledge to work in the B2B market today.