Your company might have an accomplished, in-house team capable of tackling almost anything: From finance to staffing, from customer service to sales.
But one skill that almost always benefits from being outsourced is writing. Why?
Third Party Perspective
Working “in-house” at a company, you’re very close to the subject matter, making it easy to overlook key questions about your brand that your core audience will need answered. A freelance writer isn’t living “behind the curtain” and is therefore better equipped to develop compelling copy that accelerates your marketing strategy.
A freelance writer has honed a unique skill set over years of experience working the craft. You may have gotten A’s in school for grammar, but a freelance writer can bring you something that spell check can’t: Results.
You’re busy. Your team is busy. Expecting overloaded team members to update your blog or write sales materials will only lead to frustration. Hire it out and free up your most valuable commodity: Time.
In today’s marketplace, content is King. Forbes reports that 76% of B2B marketers committed to producing more content in 2016. It’s no wonder why- HubSpot estimates that by 2020, consumers will manage 85% of their relationships online, and Adweek echoes this estimate with proof that currently, 81% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing.
All these statistics add up to one fact: Compelling online content that effectively delivers your brand messaging to the marketplace should be among the most important components in your marketing strategy.
But how do you find the right writer to craft the voice of your brand? And once you’ve found them, how do you ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need?
By far, one of the best ways to seek out writing talent is to ask around in your immediate circle. Do you admire the writing style or tone on a colleague’s website or a professional contact’s sales materials? Ask them who wrote it, and use the referral to make the connection. Not only will you have proof of the writer’s talent, but you’ll also have first-hand information on their reliability and pricing.
Ideally, at this stage you would have a small pool of talented writers to choose from. But how do you decide? Set up an introductory meeting or telephone call to ensure that it’s a good match. Keep in mind, you will be working together closely, so it’s crucial that you get along. Look for a writer who is flexible, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Here are some factors to help you choose:
- Does the writer have time to commit to an ongoing content schedule? Consistency is key, and you’ll want to make sure the writer can fulfill your needs on an ongoing basis.
- Is the writer open to your ideas and goals? A good content writer is aware that their job is to be a service provider. Though their input is valuable, they need to be able to achieve the goals you set out.
- Does the writer have samples of work written in a tone similar to what you are looking for? A talented writer will be comfortable writing in a number of different styles. Will you require technical content? Business-minded? Approachable/casual? Ask for samples to be sure that your writer is able to craft the voice you need.
Once you’ve found your writer, provide them with as much information as possible on your brand’s USP, direct competitors, target market, as well as your desired tone/style, and your timeline requirements. The clearer you are at the beginning stage, the more likely it is that you’ll receive exactly the content you wanted.
Be wary of writers insistent on leaving payment terms loose until the project is complete. Ask for a quote on the project before beginning work, and consider paying 50% up front in the interest of securing the agreed-upon rate. Establishing a per-project fee keeps payment terms transparent and doesn’t allow room for “hour padding”.
At The Mezzanine Group, we’ve been successfully creating stellar online content for our clients for over 10 years. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your company craft a strong brand voice as part of a results-oriented marketing strategy.
 Forbes, “35 Content Marketing Statistics You Need to Know in 2016”, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/12/10/35-content-marketing-statistics-you-need-to-know-in-2016/ - 6cac16a64363
 HubSpot, “6 Stats You Should Know About Business Blogging in 2015”, http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/business-blogging-in-2015 - sm.0000or0ft3fk9f9eus72bj3iskfpn
 Adweek, “81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying”, http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/81-shoppers-conduct-online-research-making-purchase-infographic/208527