No ideas

A pair of parallel client projects reminds me of a key factor in avoiding writer's block.

Both projects were similar—a dozen lead generation emails, plus some accompanying social media copy.

The experience of actually writing each campaign couldn't have been more different.

The first campaign was downright painful to pull together. Every time I finished an email I felt like I'd dodged a bullet. Several times I had to put the project away for a bit because I wasn't even sure what the next email was going to say.

The second campaign almost wrote itself. It took me about a third as much time, and I still have a stack of 10+ ideas that I didn't even need to use.

What was the difference?

For the first project, I was working from a pretty skinny file of background research.

I had an intake form that the client had filled out, plus some notes from a project kickoff call. The kickoff call covered a lot of ground, but what it didn't have was a lot of detail about the client's ideal customer.

So I ended up wasting a huge amount of time scrounging around in these skimpy notes, looking for any scrap of info I could craft an email around.

For the second client, I had learned from my mistake. I set aside some extra time to dig deeper with the client to better understand their customer.

As we talked a wealth of juicy details and stories spilled out. I just had to polish them up a bit. Job done.

Yeah, this extra step meant a little more work up front.

It was so, so worth it when keyboard time came.

I think I need to have this tattooed on my arm:

“Hours of writing saves minutes of research.”