Best Practices for Working with Freelance Writers
With the need for online content for marketing, website creation, and educational reports, business leaders are turning to freelance writers to provide it. Working with freelancers requires a different management technique than directing employees. In the case of freelancers, you are investing money in a valuable resource; therefore it is important to handle the relationship appropriately. A good freelance business writer can take your instructions and adapt their writing to the style, tone and format that is required with minimal management. If you pay an experienced writer well, he or she will provide excellent content consistently as needed.
Getting to Know Your Freelancer
As you begin working with a new freelancer, it will take a bit of time to establish a comfortable relationship. You can help by providing the writer with crucial background information on how your content should be presented. If you are new to content marketing, you can work with the writer and your marketing department to determine these factors. By offering the following list of resources, you will cut short the time it takes to familiarize a writer with your needs.
- Target a customer or groups of customers
- Style and tone of content
- Company information and slant on inbound marketing
- Resources to use as background for content
- Examples of content you like and dislike
- Your process for requesting and approving content
By providing a freelancer with the context of the content, you give them a structure to work within. This framework can help a business writer configure a piece to fit the exact requirements whether it is for social media, information, or web content.
Providing Notes and Outlines
The more details you can supply for a writer, the easier it is for the writer to deliver exactly what you want. For shorter pieces, furnishing notes or a topic with a point of view can be enough. Without this information, the writer will use their own ideas for the basis of the article.
In the case of an ebook or whitepaper, it is extremely helpful to contribute an outline of the written work. An outline provides the writer with the building blocks to create the book and ensures that all sub-topics are included in the first draft. The writer can work faster with fewer revisions to complete the work efficiently.
Feedback, when offered professionally, supplies the writer with a better sense of your vision for the piece. If you are writing a long whitepaper, speech or ebook, it is best to start out in small sections in order to be able to offer feedback early on. Poor communication can be cleared up sooner using this method with better results and relationship building.
In any relationship, there are miscommunications and missed messages. These issues can crop up in the professional relationship with a freelance writer. By keeping communication stored in writing for all sides to reference, the number of mishaps is reduced. Use specific terms and instructions and confirm that they are received and understood. As George Bernard Shaw said,
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Paula A can usually be found in her favorite chair with her feet propped up on an ottoman quietly typing on her laptop and sipping iced coffee while chaos reigns around her.