What do you know about....

Clients often hire me to write materials for their business. Whether it's a website, brochure, annual plan or strategic communications, I've found that sometimes it easier to have a neutral party analyze the message and craft the content into easy-to-understand and useful marketing materials. In this case, it is quite possible to be too close to the project to do it well.

I was speaking with a prospective new client last week. He owns a business in an industry in which I've never worked. So, the logical question he asked me was: "What do you know about (insert industry/company/competitors)."

The honest answer is "nothing." But, give me 2 days and I'll be an expert. That's my favorite part of my job as a writer. I may not know anything about your company or field of expertise when we meet, but it's my job to learn it, understand it, and present it in a format that just about anyone can understand.

I learned this lesson as a 21-year-old college graduate who landed at an advertising agency in Seattle as a copywriter. My first client was the American Plywood Association. What did I know about plywood? Nothing. But you'd be surprised at how much I knew by the time the project had ended.

This "new" client is now a "current" client and I'm excited to roll up my sleeves and learn the nuances of this industry. The information and technology will be new to me, and I look forward to helping him share it with the world in a professional and creative manner.

Jennifer Korfiatis