I’m a pain in the behind when I first start working with a new company.
I have a zillion questions I want to ask about their business and their marketing. And most of my questions reach out way beyond the scope of the project they want me to work on.
Why do I ask all these questions? Is it part of some cunning plan or process I use?
Nope. I ask them because I’m curious by nature. Business fascinates me. Marketing fascinates me. Business people and entrepreneurs fascinate me.
I read books about business and entrepreneurship.
I invite business people to lunch so I can find out what they are doing and what they are thinking.
It’s not about working smarter. It’s not about prospecting.
It’s just about being curious.
I imagine a few people have found me to be a little odd, annoying even, with my incessant questions. But for the most part, I’m pretty sure my curiosity has served me well, on a couple of levels.
On the first level, clients really like it when you are interested in their business, beyond the confines of the brief they gave you.
I have a friend who hires a ton of freelancers. The freelancers he likes working with are the ones who demonstrate their enthusiasm for his business. They’re not watching the clock and thinking just about getting the work done and sending in their invoice.
Sometimes they call him at odd hours of the day, weekends even, to ask him questions.
He loves that. He loves that they are excited by his business, curious enough to ask tons of questions, and then come up with new and unexpected ideas.
In other words, clients appreciate curiosity. It makes them feel you are truly engaged with their business, and keen to help them succeed.
On the second level, being curious will help you do better work.
When I approach a project with a curious mind, it drives me to think more deeply about the audience I’m writing to, as well as the product or service I’m promoting. I look at things with a fresh prospective. I become more involved. More deeply immersed in the task.
As a result, I write better copy.
All my best copy has been written for products or services that made me curious in some way.
In fact, I can’t even imagine working on a project that didn’t pique my curiosity.
I’m pretty sure that curiosity is an essential precursor to creativity.
And I know for myself that curiosity is a core motivator.
It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
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