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Byron White
205 Portland Street
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“Gorilla” Marketing: Lessons from the Wild

February 25th, 2014 by

gorillasOne of the biggest challenges for freelance writers working in online platforms is understanding what the client wants and needs for a particular project. It’s often guesswork.

In the wild, naturalists have learned how to get close to gorillas, perhaps offering a few cues for us all. Here’s how it works:

  • The naturalist finds a family grazing and squats far enough away not to pose a threat to the head male gorilla.
  • As the family grazes, so does the naturalist, on whatever the family’s eating, inching closer and closer.
  • The naturalist makes some familiar grunts and scratches his or her belly just like the gorillas are doing, to try and fit in.
  • Finally, the naturalist may be accepted as just one of the family, together one.

Great writers that work face to face with clients have a luxury that online platforms don’t offer. Eye contact helps to strengthen the identity.  Respect is established on both sides while reviewing the client’s challenges and the writer’s portfolio of savvy solutions.  Understanding is reached on who does what, and why it’s important. Both parties acknowledge they need each other, creating the win-win required for success.

Those luxuries simply don’t exist with an online marketplace. We do have voice communication in the WriterAccess platform, but most clients are too busy to try it.

So, I developed a cool Creative Brief Wizard that is a smash hit, helping clients and writers get on the same page with the tone, style, target audience and more. Check out Creative Brief Wizard to see a version we built for agencies that you can use on your own for free.

We also have developed a few other methods to better connect writers and clients. For new clients looking for the perfect writer for a project, we suggest they launch the same mini-project to 3 different writers. Revision requests for each writer are also encouraged.  Clients get a sense of comparison and pick the winner that best fits their needs, which is really a win-win for both sides.

The best clients come with a sense of urgency, and clarity with what they want, objectives that need to be met and respect for the professional skills of the writer.

The best writers understand how to get under the skin of the reader and target audience. With feedback and alignment on the goals, they deliver the type of content that clients need to engage readers, and keep them coming back for more.

We’re getting better and better at matchmaking online. Communication is critical for success. The more the writer can learn about a business’s particular goals, the easier they can blend into the tribe and work toward a common solution, together one.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas for the matchmaking process?

I’m working on a few that are currently in the oven. Stay tuned!

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