A Letter to My Client: How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Writer
We’re all adults here. Well, most of us. Granted, occasionally, you may hire writers who act out — ones who are more interested in their own payday than they are in your content needs. But these writers are few and far between. And, usually, they don’t stay in one place for long because they’re bad for business. When you run across a writer like this, do what you can to extricate yourself from the client/writer relationship and move on.
But don’t give up. Never give up.
Because for every selfish, controlling writer out there in the blogosphere, there are 10,000 more who are the exact opposite — kind, talented and willing to listen to what you want and need for your website. Most writers appreciate your business and they want to write the best product description, speech, or parenting article you’ve ever read. They want to exceed your expectations and to help direct traffic to your blog. They want to do whatever they can to make your site successful because doing so makes them successful by association. These are the writers you can trust to produce their very best work with minimal supervision.
Sadly, sometimes, as a client who needs written content, you’ve had the misfortune of running across that one-in-a-thousand writer who disappoints you. Maybe she’s argumentative. Maybe she thinks your keywords are bogus and takes pains to tell you so. Maybe she missed the deadline on two consecutive occasions and still expects you to send work her way.
That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Once burned, however, how do you learn to trust again? How do you make yourself step back and let your new writer write, trusting that she’ll get prime content to you by your deadline?
The answer lies in communication. Ask your writer open-ended questions before you ever commit to the project and take time to examine her answers.
In an online setting, most of your communication takes place through the written word, and that’s to your benefit — just because someone speaks well, doesn’t mean they can write intelligently. When your writer communicates with you, notice her word usage: does she know the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re?” Take note of her punctuation. Are her commas in order? Is she polite? Does she know how to say “please” and “thank you?” If not, keep looking.
Hiring a writer who fails these most basic tests will only encourage you to micromanage –ruining you for better, more experienced writers. A good writer will get in, understand your needs, write an amazing piece that exactly fits your site, and get out again — all before your deadline. This is the writer who doesn’t need micromanagement. This is the writer who will save you time, money, and heartache in the long run. When you find this writer, you’ll know instantly — especially if you’ve ever had the misfortune of working with the other kind.
Hire writers who are talented, who understand their position on the team, and who impress you from the first communication to avoid getting into a situation that calls for minute micromanagement.
There are millions of us out here, and we’re all enthusiastically waiting to hear from you.
Anne G enjoys working from the corner of her living room — comfortably dressed in footie pajamas. She’s thankful each and every day for the amazing clients who make her current lifestyle possible and believes in going that extra mile to write quality content.