Four questions to ask … before you start writing

We believe growth is driven by technological innovation and a human touch.

Here’s an example of what we mean: technological innovation is clearly reshaping analysis, tracking and all things data. But writing still demands a human touch. People can feel it.

This is especially true in financial services, where there’s a surplus of data but a shortage of context.

Despite the hype, new(ish) technologies like natural language generation still face limitations. As a result, creating authentic, meaningful content for people who need it hasn’t been disrupted … yet.

So, if you work in the financial services industry and want to write engaging content, here are four questions to ask yourself before you start writing.

1. Do I know the purpose of this piece?

Are you trying to create awareness of a new product or upcoming event? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website or increase sales?

You’ll want to know what you’re trying to achieve before you start writing. This is especially important if you have input into the type of material you’ll be producing (e.g., a one-page fact sheet versus a whitepaper).

2. Who am I speaking to?

Your language and tone will likely change depending on whether you’re writing for Millennials, Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.

It will also change depending on whether you’re writing for existing clients versus prospects, industry experts versus a more retail-oriented audience. Writing something for employees? That’s another market that needs specific language and information.

Making sure you find out everything you need to know about your target audience is key to your success as a writer.

3. Does this piece have a tone and style?

Before you start writing, ask for existing examples that garnered positive feedback. This will give you a good idea of the preferred tone (for example, formal versus more casual).

Also ask if there’s specific terminology that you should avoid, like jargon or very technical language.

4. What’s the timeline for this piece?

This information may not change the way you write a specific piece, but it’s important information to have. If the timeline is too tight, you’ll want to manage everyone’s expectations before you start writing.

Read our post about quality, speed and volume for more insight on how to manage the pressures of content creation.

Having all this information before you start writing will help you write engaging content, every time.

Do you have questions about creating content? Contact us today at 416.925.1700, 844.243.1830 or

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