In the process of content development, writers need background information about your company, products, services, audience, and goals. The more useful information you can provide upfront, the better quality of work will be produced. Let’s say you hire a speech writer to help you shape your keynote speech for an event. You don’t want the writer to pull common knowledge from the Internet as the basis of your speech, nor do you want him or her to provide inaccurate and off-topic content.
Create an Information Package
You might be familiar with press packages in which the company’s background and relevant materials are neatly assembled in one collection they can send to multiple journalists and bloggers as source material. In this case, you’re focusing on digital resources useful for freelance writers, such as corporate brochures and website links, recent press releases, and relevant white papers about your product or service. If your business, employees, or products have ever been mentioned in a news or trade article or blog, include links to those sources, too, if relevant.
Describe Your Target Audience
Your freelance writer needs to know whom you are talking to and why. In the speech writer scenario, he or she needs to know if you’ll be addressing employees, the press, investors, or the general public in your keynote. Demographics help, when they’re available, like the anticipated age group and the audience members’ awareness of the topic at hand. Whatever it is you want to communicate, chances are you have already determined whom you want to talk to, just make sure the writer understands this.
Know Your Intentions
Are you trying to win over a hard to reach consumer? Are you aiming to sell a new version of your product to existing customers? Do you have a specific monetary conversion goal in mind when you invest in this content creation? Setting clear goals and objectives for the new content will help direct the writer to stay on the same path as your business. If you’re not sure about your intentions, figure them out before connecting with the writer.
Research the Writer
Take a few minutes to read a writer’s samples, biography, and work history, when available. Learn how the writer thinks and acts about a specific subject that may tie to your business or topic. You want to get a general sense of the writer’s knowledge and first-hand experience of a subject, but don’t let that limit your decision-making.
Many writers are fast learners and can dive into your professional field and come up with great material. These fast learners, or generalists, can often be identified by the diversity of content and clientele shown in their online profiles. However, you may want someone who has a laser focus in a specific category of writing, like legal, which can be more esoteric to the generalist.
To wrap it up, the more holistic your source material is for the writer, the more focused the writer can be in creating strong and effective content that will meet and exceed your expectations.
David G is a freelance writer in Connecticut with a background in creative and corporate communication who happens to publish dark fiction and horror stories.