Creating Content When Your Client Won’t

For professional content providers, clients can sometimes be an obstacle to creating quality content. Sometimes the client has a process requiring lengthy approval chains. The client may want to write for themselves, yet can’t seem to write or commit to a topic. How do you help clients through these roadblocks?

In The Beginning

Like any other endeavor, it’s best to start with a clear goal in mind. Start by asking specific questions like:

  • How many articles do you want and how often?
  • How long does the approval process take?
  • Do you have an idea bank?
  • How much time do you spend on brainstorming and writing?
  • How do you follow your audience?

These questions will give you an idea of what your client may need to change, and what they are spending their time on.

No Ideas

When the client is burned out on ideas for new topics, it’s time for a new approach to brainstorming. Help them set aside time to research social media comments and other areas where visitors may frequent. Sometimes digging through old email campaigns, earlier content or past promotions can unearth an exciting topic idea. When all else fails, try recording a brainstorming session with them and use the transcript to find ideas for the idea bank.

Idea Bank

This comes in handy for the client with too many ideas. The bank itself could be physical, like a folder or box, or it could be a file on their computer. No matter where it’s located, the purpose of an idea bank is to have a place to put new ideas while you’re working on something else. Setting the ideas aside to sort through later allows you and your client to focus on one at a time. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by the creative surplus.

Having a time limit for brainstorming is essential! If there’s already an idea bank bursting with ideas, that time can be spent sorting through them and finding the best one to work on next. After the session is over, the rest of the ideas go back into the bank until the next brainstorming.

Getting It Written

Sometimes the client wants to write a draft, yet it takes a long time to get anything from them. If you’ve already helped them streamline the brainstorming process, they may be having trouble with setting aside time to write. Some clients may simply find organizing the information a difficult task. Both cases can benefit from adding structure to their workflow.

There are four basic steps to efficiently organize information into consumable content:

  • Summarize the general concepts into phrases
  • Research concepts for supporting or relevant information
  • Create sections of headings
  • Fill in the sections


Creating content is crucial to developing a brand, online presence, traffic and conversions. For professional content providers, it’s important to remind the client of the end game and focus on goals that will help them get there reliably.

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