Put Me In, Coach!
Managing writers is a lot like leading a team of professional athletes. When done correctly, it’s possible to knock every ball out of the park. Of course, if you’re not careful you could end up with the Bad News Bears cranking out your content. Take a page or two from the playbooks of the greats, and your team could be headed to the championships in no time.
Whether managing baseball players or freelance press release writers, the most important step is the first. Recruiting talented team members leads to a strong foundation. Of course, it’s easy to bring in seasoned professionals. But a quality writer isn’t always necessarily a polished professional.
Look beyond the stats; seeing innate talent might be reason enough to take on the trouble of hiring fresh faces. New recruits are particularly eager to prove themselves and take advantage of a good opportunity, which can pay off for their employer in the end. Rookies come at a better price!
As any sports fan knows, simply because a team starts out strong doesn’t mean they stay that way indefinitely. Only as dependable as their weakest link, a team’s potential can be squandered if players begin to underperform. It’s easy for talented contributors to begin resting on their laurels, putting in less effort than they once did.
Recognizing and correcting situations in which you see this happening with your online content writers helps avoid losing business to the competition. When creating a system that works for you, give thought to how you will address these areas in particular:
- Setting tangible standards for your team
- Implementing a warning system
- Docking privileges for poor performance
- Reinstate full privileges only when merited
While it may sound like overkill, having your disciplinary standards clearly set forth helps writers understand the boundaries that they’re expected to work within. It also conveys appreciation for consistently strong performance. To this end, merit systems may be helpful as well.
Once you find freelance content writers that meet your standards–especially if you’ve taken the time to nurture their growth–it’s important to keep them from trading to another team and taking all that training with them.
Providing strictly negative reinforcement leads to disgruntled team members in short order. Make sure that incentives for quality work exist as well, to recognize those who put in 110% without fail. Pay increases, extended privileges, or a boost in status all go a long way to do so.
Seeing that their effort is appreciated will give writers the motivation to continue delivering work that is above and beyond your standards. And that, in turn, gives clients a reason to come back season after season.
Finding and managing quality content writers isn’t always easy. However, with a little diligence, you can build the crowd-pleasing dream team you need to succeed.
First, develop and implement consistent methods for selection, discipline, and reward. After that, it won’t take long to single out star players from benchwarmers!
Helena L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.