How to Write a Marketing Q&A

November 10, 2009

Q: How can a Q&A (question and answer) or FAQ (frequently asked questions) section help market graphic design or copywriting services? A: A Q&A or FAQ section on a printed brochure, flyer, mailing and even on a website, can help land potential clients by providing detailed answers to allay any fears, doubts and concerns about hiring a designer or copywriter. Q: How do I brainstorm copy for a Q&A section? A: Writing a good Q&A involves putting yourself in the client's shoes. Think about a time when you purchased a costly service or product. Maybe it was the last time you set up a big printing job. You might have had some questions or doubts about the proofing process, turnaround time and total costs. The goal of the questions and answers section is to address such key issues, fears and doubts surrounding a purchase decision. Consider cost, deliverables, edits, project timelines and any other high-level issues your client would be concerned with upon hiring you. Q: How do I actually start writing a Q&A section? A: First, don't sit down and write a list of questions right away. Instead, start by making a list of each issue you can think of. Next, for each issue on your list write a short paragraph that works through how the client might feel about the issue. For example, if you were writing about the topic "Fees," you might consider a client's preferences for an hourly versus a flat fee, what kind of payment terms they'd like, etc. Then write a second paragraph about "Fees" that illustrates how you currently handle fees, and what the benefits are of your approach. If you offer no payment up front and payment upon project delivery, that would be something attractive to clients that you'd want to highlight. The hard part comes next, when for each topic, you must fuse the client's point of view and your point of view together into one paragraph. (You may realize throughout this process that you need to make a few changes in your business terms in order to be more attractive to clients.) Finally, go through each issue and paragraph and write a question headline that summarizes the main idea at stake. Q: Does it matter what order the question are in? A: Yes! Go through the list of questions and answers and try to organize them in the way that makes the most sense if someone were to read through the list. Try to create a flow from question to question and eliminate any redundancies. The overall sequence should be persuasive, building up to a final question that acts as a call-to-action, to get potential clients to take the next step and contact you. For the last question, you could write something like, "How do I get started," or "How can I find about more about Company X's services," and in the answer section, simply provide your contact information.

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