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Getting Local Content from Clients is Like PULLING TEETH, right?

That's what many of you said in this thread: The biggest problem you face?

Here are a couple of the content comments that came up:

Quote Originally Posted by heckler View Post
Getting content from SMBs is like pulling teeth...
Quote Originally Posted by heckler View Post
Even getting company history is a chore. I certainly don't expect them to be writing content on the website, but even getting them to provide a basis for that content is difficult at scale.
Quote Originally Posted by autoholic1 View Post
Why is it so hard to get a company to help you help them?
SMBs are just so busy running their business. Many do not even "get" online marketing at all. AND many don't really even want to know. They just want you to magically do it.

We've had a couple posts with great QUESTIONs, sort of a survey you can send clients to pull basic facts out of them, that you can create content around. I can't find the main one I was thinking about. But here is one that Don Campbell shared on our Powerful Local Content Creation InsideLocal Webinar.


Customer Discovery Interview Questions

7. What makes your business different from others that provide similar products or services?

8. What special things do you do for your customers?

9. Tell me about one of your favorite customers.

10. Ideally, where do you see your business in 3 years?

These questions tend to get a really nice discussion going with the business owner, allowing you to get some good content for the USP and Content Plan.

USP = Universal Selling Proposition, which is just another way of saying what is their point of differentiation.

It's a Google doc and Don was generous enough to share and said you guys could use it.

It's generic enough you could use for any business, but then I would add specific questions for each client.

For instance, for a Dentist you could ask:

Why did you want to become a Dentist?
What's your favorite procedure?
What type of Dental service(s) do you wish you could be more well known for providing?
What are some of the most common questions patients always ask.
What type of community projects or charities are you involved in?

That type of thing...

Then Carter elaborated on a really important aspect of getting content from clients.

Quote Originally Posted by CCarter View Post
In the scenarios with the questionnaires I strongly suggest sitting down with the customer and filling it out together - actually you filling it out. The reason is - it makes them feel like they are not doing homework but answering to a person what they distinguish being great about their company that can be written.

They'll be able to express things to you face to face that they can't convey on paper or just don't have the time to write out completely. The answers you jot down should be bullet-points off of things they state, and you commit to memory so you can re-convey that to your writers or staff. It gives it that "close" feeling that you came down face to face and talk to them since you are genuinely interested.

Now I know this is not possible from long distance clients but a phone call or even video conference puts a face behind the words on a computer. It's easier to relate.
So I think if you take Don's questionnaire, customize it for the client, then combine it with Carter's live interview format, you could have a winning strategy!

Since the topic of pulling content from clients is like pulling teeth, came up as one of the toughest challenges Local Search Consultants face - I wanted to be sure to break out the important parts of that other thread, to get all of this info into our dedicated "Local Content" forum.

What do you think???

What other tips or tricks do you use to get content from clients