The “APPETIZER” Series: The original version of this piece first appeared as an Appetizer course in The Well-Fed E-PUB in December 2015, and was one I wanted to run as a blog post (with minor alterations) in order to get input from many voices.
So I’m on the phone a few weeks back with one of my long-time commercial writing clients (a husband/wife graphic design team). We’re reviewing feedback from their client on the first draft of copy I’d turned in a few weeks earlier.
One of the items their client wanted clarification on was a claim I was making about the impact of a particular resource (an online encyclopedia the client sponsors) on both teacher and student performance in the classroom.
They wanted to know what I was basing that assertion on. That’s easy, I said: In the annual report I had done for this same client the prior year, we did a small feature/success story on this particular resource, and the classroom teacher I interviewed for the story shared its impact, and that revelation made it into the story.
In working on this new project (a rebranding initiative for the client), I needed to refer to this resource and why it was important. As such, in order to refresh my memory about it, I dug up the earlier project, and found the reference.
Given that part of the rebranding process entailed gathering information on the difference that this client’s organization made, I felt it fitting to reiterate what the teacher had said.
Once I explained to my copywriting clients where it had come from, there was a silence on the other end of the line, and one of them said something in a soft voice. I missed it, so I asked if he could repeat it, and he said, “No writer does that.”
I laughed, and asked what he meant, and he replied, “I’ve just never had a writer go that extra mile to add color to a new project.”
Naturally, we writers live to hear stuff like that, but at the same time, I thought to myself, “It’s really no big deal.” And it wasn’t. But, the fact is, it’s not very common, either.
In truth, I did it, first and foremost, to refresh my memory about the resource in question. But, once I got there, I saw the possibility of spicing up the current project with some interesting tidbits from the earlier one.
Since my goal, when doing any project, is always to make it as interesting as possible, and to increase the odds that that piece I’m creating—whatever it is—will get read, it was a no-brainer to include it.
Bottom line, I walked away from the exchange with yet another “shareable” clue as to how you can easily set yourself apart from the herd, and build gratitude, respect, and—most importantly—loyalty, with your clients.
Have a similar story of standing out in a client’s mind?
Did you think it was all that big a deal, or just what you consider baseline professionalism?
How hard do you think it is to go that extra mile?
If you have that “extra-mile” mentality, how did you develop it?
Want to be a guest blogger on TWFW Blog? I welcome your contribution to the Well-Fed writing community! Check out the guidelines here.