I’d like to tell you about three B2B copywriting productivity tips you may not have heard of before. These are a little unusual, but they’ve really helped me improve my writing productivity. And hopefully, they’ll help you too.
Before I get started, let me tell you a quick story about how I discovered these tips.
A few years ago, I was working away in my office. It was about 10:50 a.m. and I realized I had a project that was due at noon that day.
I had a lot of projects I was working on and somehow, this one just fell through the cracks. I was mortified.
I was about to pick up the phone to call my client to apologize profusely and ask for an extension, but then I paused…
It wasn’t a huge project, luckily. The client needed a long-form article, about 500 or 600 words. I needed time to develop a strategy and write the article. It wasn’t something I could just knock out in an hour.
Or could I?
I decided to make a game out of it. If I couldn’t get it done by noon, I could still call the client and apologize. Luckily, this particular client is a terrific client and a close friend of mine. I’m sure he would agree to extend the deadline until the end of the day.
But professionally, I wanted to meet my deadline.
I had never written an article in an hour. To make matters worse, I didn’t have any notes about this article. I had to get this thing done from scratch.
So I started writing and just crashed through it. And guess what? About a quarter to noon that day, it was almost done. A few minutes later, I was editing and polishing it up. And by 5 minutes to 12, it was finished.
I proofread it one more time. And you know what? It was pretty darn good!
I was really surprised I could write something that good in such a short period of time. I sent it off to the client and he loved it.
So afterwards, I started thinking, “How did I do that? How did I write so quickly in that situation?”
My experience became the impetus to develop these three writing productivity strategies that have helped me over the years.
I’m not only able to get writing projects done faster using these techniques, but they also make writing more fun.
#1. Understand What You Are Writing
When it comes to B2B writing, you want to understand what it is you’re writing about — backwards and forwards, inside and out. The more clearly you understand what you’re writing about, the easier and faster you can write.
In fact, I find that people get stuck writing B2B copy when they don’t thoroughly understand what it is they’re writing about. You want to understand the product and service completely. And you also want to understand the target audience you’re writing to.
So, if you’re writing a brochure or a product description on a web page for a forklift truck, you want to understand all the features and benefits of that forklift truck. You want to be able to visualize that forklift truck. And you want to understand the target market, which in this case might be warehouse managers. You want to know them and know what makes them buy.
The more you understand those things, the easier it is to write. In fact, I find most of the time that when a copywriter is having difficulty writing, it’s because they don’t have a clear idea of the product or service they’re writing about or the target audience they’re writing to. They have questions. They have gaps in their knowledge. So when they get to that point in their writing project, they get stuck.
Don’t let that happen to you. Understand the product and service you’re writing about thoroughly. If you have any questions, contact your client. Don’t be afraid to ask your client questions, even questions you might think are embarrassing. If you need to know, ask.
#2. Make It a Game
Do you play computer games or do you know anybody who is a gamer? I’m not much into computer games, but I understand the tenacity and the ambition to want to get better when you’re playing a game.
Making a game out of the project is a great productivity technique because it unlocks the desire in you to win by figuring out how to do it faster and better.
How does this work with writing? Well, here’s what I do. Let’s say I’m writing a white paper, which is a pretty big project. I’ll say, “I wonder if I can write this white paper in 10 hours. I wonder if I can write half of it today and half of it tomorrow.”
And like I said, it’s just a game. I don’t have to get it done tomorrow. In fact, gaming doesn’t work if tomorrow is the deadline with your client. It can’t be a real deadline with your client. It’s just a game. You want to see if you can get it done in a particular period of time. So try it.
What will happen is you’ll naturally find shortcuts and other productivity techniques to get the project done faster. And you know what? You may end up with a better piece at the end.
This game will strengthen your productivity muscle. You’ll find the more you play this game with yourself, the better and more productive you’ll become. You’re building that writing productivity muscle. And you’ll be able to write faster and better as a result.
#3. Give Yourself a Buffer
A buffer is simply a period of time you schedule between the time that you’ve decided you’re going to finish the project and the actual deadline with the client.
For example, say that you have a case study you’re writing. And the deadline to deliver that case study to the client is noon on Friday.
Well, what you’ll do is make a game out of it. Challenge yourself to get it done by Wednesday at noon.
That gives you a two-day buffer because you don’t have to deliver the case study to the client until Friday.
If something happens and it takes you longer than you thought it would take, you won’t be late delivering your copy. A buffer is a stress reliever.
I find with most writers that stress actually makes the writing task more miserable and a lot slower. Many writers struggle when they’re under a lot of pressure.
Using All Three Tips
Let’s say you’re writing a blog post of 500 to 600 words for a client.
First, be sure you understand the topic of the blog post and your client’s target market thoroughly.
Second, make a game out of it. If it normally takes you two hours to write that blog post, see if you can get it done in one hour. Have some fun with it and see what you’re able to do in that hour.
And finally, give yourself a buffer. Make sure the deadline for that blog post is at least a couple of days later so you’re not under unnecessary pressure.
Give these three tips a try and let me know in the comments how they worked for you.