Here’s a situation that I come across fairly often…. you’ve got this great idea for using content to generate leads and increase your revenues. The problem is that you don’t how to write well, you don’t have the time to write the content and the worst part of it all is that you hate writing. So many grammar rules to follow, too many worries about punctuation and spelling plus the fears that your content will appear amateurish. So, what do you do? You listen to your friends and colleagues, hire a professional writer and assume everything will turn out all right. Well, it may, and it may not.
If you’ve never hired a writer, you may not be sure about how to proceed, how to get the most out of the arrangement and you may not know what you should be doing to make the project a success or what to expect. Luckily, I have eight tips to share that will help you work smoothly and successfully with a marketing writer.
1) Be prepared
Nothing is more annoying than having to chase down the materials required. If you have logos, photos, style guides, graphic standards or examples to show, make sure you deliver these to the writer quickly. Often these items are large so make use to use an app like DropBox or send them by WeTransfer or another similar app.
2) Know your brand
Good writing should always reflect your brand. Are you a high-end professional brand? Then the content should reflect that. Is your target audience young? Then your writing should use language that appeals to your audience.
3) Be specific about your needs
Let your writer know what you want to achieve. Let them know what media you want to use, the timing or any deadlines you may have as well as other particularities. Will it need to be translated? If they are writing a blog, tell them how many words you want and whether they will need to do research. Will you need photography? The more you share, the more the writer will be able to deliver what you want.
4) Don’t wait until the last minute
Nothing outstanding is created when the deadline is unrealistic. While you may be really busy, you must realize that you must find the time to collect and transfer all the materials to your writer and negotiate a realistic timeline.
5) Provide clear feedback
This tip is a big one. If you don’t like a sentence, say so. However, make sure you explain why you don’t like it. In order to fix or improve it, a writer needs to understand the objection. Is it incorrect? Do you feel the terminology is off? Do you simply prefer one word over another? These questions need to be addressed and you should be ready for some discussion with the writer as there may be good reasons why something was written he way it was.
6) Accept feedback
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. If you don’t like something, allow the writer to explain why it was written that way. You are hiring a professional and you should trust their knowledge and experience. If you like a specific word, the writer may feel it is jargon. If you feel the spelling is off, it may be a question of American versus Canadian spelling. Trust your writer and if you can’t, then find another one.
7) Have realistic goals
Even the best writing and marketing content can’t produce miracles. Placing one ad in a publication or writing one blog is not going to make people rush to contact you. A steady, slow drip of articles over time builds credibility and will lead to new prospects. Determine a schedule and what you can realistically expect in terms of visibility.
8) Understand what you’ll be getting
Make sure you are clear on exactly what the content writer will be delivering. Will you get 700 words or 1,500 words? How many revisions are included? Being clear on these issues upfront will help you avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
Like any other business relationship, the longer you work with a writer, the easier it becomes because they will learn what you like and what you don’t, and they will become more familiar with your products, services and customers. All of this will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship. If you want to know more about marketing writers and how to build good working relationships, don’t hesitate to reach out.