I've written about a lot of different things, like plastics manufacturing, 3D printers, gutters, women’s health, and much more. So I often get asked, "K, how can you write about an industry you've never worked in before?"
The simple answer is research. The long answer... research.
1. Your Website
That’s right, I start with your website. Where else would I start? Assuming you have one, and if you do, I read it. And if you don’t have one (and that’s what you’ve hired me for), I skip to the other steps.
2. Your Competitors
Next, I look into your competitors. Big and small, local and national. Again, I read their website, sign up for their newsletters, and see what they’re doing on social media. A little digital eavesdropping never hurt anyone.
3. Social Media
Depending on your industry and where your ideal clients are, I go on different social sites to see what people are talking about, what they like and share. Where ever the trail leads, I follow.
4. Google Alerts
Once I have a sense of the industry, I sign up for those wonderful Google Alerts. However many will cover your products, services, industry, competitors, news, etc. That way, I’m always in the know.
Most industries these days have associations, trade publications, etc. This is a great place for the latest and greatest business trends because they talk about everyone and everything in the industry.
6. Client Debrief
The best way for me to understand your business is is to speak with you. By phone, Skype, in-person or email. I’m flexible to accommodate your busy schedule.
Lastly, I try to take a peek at what’s happening with similar companies in other countries. Depending on your business model you might not be in direct competition or you might be, either way, seeing what others are doing around the world can be a great way to see what works and what doesn’t work in different markets.