Journalists, many of which work as freelance content writers, use the term rapport to describe a good-standing established relationship with a source. It’s a vital element in the news process because a source that both likes and trusts a reporter is one that’s more likely to divulge exclusive information or give a reporter a head’s up on a story before the competition. While the competition and urgency aspects don’t apply as directly for small to medium businesses that hire freelance writers, the trusting business relationship angle is as important as ever.
Establish a working relationship with a group of regular content writers if you want to get the most out of your paid content. Both the writers and SMBs in the content creation process have a lot to gain by establishing a relationship. After working with a client for a series of projects, the writers establish a working knowledge of what’s expected out of an assignment before they accept it and approximately how long it’s going to take to complete. The writers are also able to turn around articles faster because they don’t have to spend time learning new style and tone expectations. The writers also may have an existing body of research to utilize for the article and an established familiarity with the content type. Essentially, the writers come in to the project with much of the start-up process already completed.
The writer will not have to worry about struggling to understand unfamiliar concepts and making mistakes related to research interpretation. Familiarity is a huge deal for content writers because they rarely get paid for their time and instead get paid for results. Writers like being able to make more money for a lesser time commitment, so in a way a faster turn-around is like receiving a raise. While SMBs may not notice a huge difference between different writers’ finished projects, they’re likely to see articles coming in closer to deadlines or not as in-tune with the desired style. This concept is particularly important with more complicated assignments like technical content writing or bulk article production.
The increased familiarity with the content can yield much more consistent work, getting rid of the SMB’s concerns over the occasional returned article that just wasn’t what they were expecting. Writers are aware that every so often a client will reject an article; while rare it is an inevitable part of the trade, although SMBs may not go into the hiring process with this expectation.
The rapport concept is central to the content pitch to the writer. A writer is more likely to return a high-quality project that exceeds a client’s expectations if the writer knows the job pays well for the amount of work and the client will like the finished product. Finding new clients is a lot of work for writers that the SMBs may not be aware of. The process doesn’t earn the writers any money in itself, so there’s a tendency to avoid needing to do it. If the writer realizes a SMB will provide a consistent flow of projects, the writer will want to do their best to keep that relationship running by providing top-notch work in a timely return.
Dan S is a former news journalist turned web developer and freelance writer. He has a penchant for all things tech and believes the person using the machine is the most important element.