Knowing that you need to hire a really good freelance writer is just the first step in higher-quality content. Once you’ve finally admitted that writing is damn hard and you don’t have time to do it yourself, you need to determine exactly what you need from the wordsmith you bring on board.
The talent pool is deep. With the gig economy increasing daily and appealing to more and more professionals, it can seem like an easy task to just swipe up a writer and put them to work. But without clear direction for what YOU want from them, you won’t be able to capitalize on their work for your business growth. You need to start by answering a few questions to get you going in the right direction.
What do you want to publish?
Blog writing requires a different process than sales-focused marketing material. Technical white papers and research-heavy reports don’t come from the same headspace as super-engaging social content.
Before you sign a freelancer writer, sit down and understand the medium you hope to hit with your content. Are you looking to build brand awareness and grow your social following? Does your website and blog need heavy SEO work? Do you need to push a new product to a niche market? Maybe your company just completed some industry-specific, groundbreaking research that you need to clearly and effectively convey to your customer channel.
The publication avenue of your content will dictate the strengths you need to look for in the writer you hire.
What attitude do you want your freelancer to convey with your content?
Storytelling and value-add content is driving business success. In fact, 81 percent of consumers make purchasing decisions based on the branded content they read. The words you’re using — across the content-board — are hugely impactful when it comes to your bottom line.
So what story do you want to tell? What attitude do you want to convey to the people and businesses considering your service or product?
As a freelance writer, embracing “client voice” is a challenge I love to take on. When I sit down with businesses to develop their brand voice, we talk first about what they want their clients to feel when they land on their website or blog.
For one client, trust was the biggest factor. When I asked her what the difference-maker was from our work together, she said, “I know, now, that if I can get someone to my website, they’re hooked for good. Because when they read my web copy, they feel like they already know me and they trust me.”
As you consider the goal of your content, the voice and attitude of your brand should be a focal point. Pinpoint your brand personality so that it can be top of mind as you evaluate potential writers.
What kind of writer will work best for your business?
The freelance writer who will best fit your needs is dependent on what your business does, is, and wants to be. Do you need someone who wants to learn more about less or one that wants to learn less about more?
Agencies, for example, need to look for curious writers who are interested in learning a little bit about a lot of things.
But a company in a specific niche will want to hone in on the writer who wants to learn as much as they can about one specific subject.
Whether you’re searching for a topical writer or a jack-of-all-trades, put your business at the forefront of your planning. Understand the level of expertise needed to effectively speak to your customer — what can be taught, what needs to be inherently known, and how you want your writer to impact your company.
It’s so, so much more than just hiring a good writer. Before you can assign someone to tackle the task of writing for your company, you need to be able to identify exactly what you need from them.
Once you do, you’ll be set to find the exact writer you need.