Not everyone has the time or the talent to write their own marketing content for their businesses. When you’re running a small business, you’ve got multiple other tasks to tend to that aren’t quite as easy to outsource. And honestly, unless you really have the chops to write content yourself, it will pay you in the long run to farm your writing out to someone who does.
Working with a freelance writer can save the day, and it can save you a ton of time. But before you outsource your marketing content writing, here are some things you need to think about and do to make sure you’ll get the most for your money – and give freelance writers what they need to do the best job possible for you…
- Have a grip on your brand personality and your value proposition.
If you’re not in tune with your brand’s value and what’s unique about it, now might not be the best time to bring in a freelance writer to help you with your projects. Some writers might have enough marketing experience to help you find your way, but not all are equipped to – or will want to – serve as your marketing strategist. If you’re struggling with your overall marketing strategy, there are free resources (like SCORE) and for-hire marketing consultants out there who can help you get on firm ground. After you’ve planted your feet is when you’ll be able to give a writer better insight into what should be highlighted in your marketing messaging.
- Share what you know about your customers.
The more info you can share about your target market, the better your writer will be able to tailor the messages – and call to actions – to your audience.
- Share what you want to accomplish.
Though your writer will most likely not be the person managing and tracking the results of a marketing project or campaign, the more you can share with them about your goals, the better able they will be to craft a particular marketing piece so that it will fit into your master strategy.
- Plan ahead and set a realistic deadline.
Keep in mind that established and reputable writers will have multiple clients, and that means they probably can’t drop everything to work on a project that you didn’t plan far enough in advance for. If you’ve got a marketing project in mind, contact your writer as soon as possible to get a quote and make a commitment so you can get on their radar and their project calendar. Note that some writers will take on eleventh hour work, but prepare to pay extra for it.
- Share any specific details that you want to include in the content.
Tell writers if there are particulars that absolutely need to appear in the content. Don’t assume that a writer will just know what’s most important to you and your brand. Point them to web links with relevant info, email them a list of bullet points, and email them documents that give them the details they’ll need. And be sure that writers know (in advance of quoting you a rate and signing a contract) which pieces of info you’ll be providing directly to them and what elements they’ll need to research. Writers factor research time into their project quotes, so it’s important to be clear about what you can provide to them and what you’re expecting them to round up.
- Provide timely feedback and communicate it clearly – via email
To keep your project moving, try to review draft content and provide feedback as promptly as possible. Some writers will only honor revisions up to a certain amount of days after they submitted their initial draft to you. And some will commit to a limited number of revisions. To avoid extra cost and to address changes when your project is fresh in everyone’s mind, get back to your writer as quickly as you can and communicate change requests as clearly as possible so the next draft will be the final one (or very close to it!). And communicate changes in writing via email. Having a “paper trail” of what you discussed makes things easier for all!
By paying mind to these things, not only will you get the most for your outsourcing dollars, but you’ll also be setting the stage for a professional relationship that will give you great marketing content – and streamline your efforts – as it progresses. The more writers work with you, the greater their understanding of your business and your brand – which means they’ll consistently produce content that’s the right fit, and they’ll need less and less supervisory time from you on projects.
And now for what you think! If you’ve worked with freelance marketing writers, what other tips can you share to make the most of those relationships?
Image courtesy of maya picture / FreeDigitalPhotos.net