Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is going a little off track in that it talks less about how to do your own content marketing and more about what to do (and what not to do) when you hire a content marketer.
I love my clients. I really do. But just like friends and family, sometimes my clients do things I wish they wouldn’t (or don’t do things I wish they would). Sometimes those things inhibit my ability to do my job as well as I would like, so here are a few things you should make sure to do when you finally take the plunge and hire a content marketer.
1) Let Them Do Their Thing
I have one client who pays me to manage his social media accounts, but when I start scrolling through his feed, I realize he’s started following some prominent politicians. I’ve talked before on this blog about why that’s not always a good idea and I work really hard to keep all kinds of politics out of his social media.
The reason this causes problems for me is that the accounts you follow on social media will affect whose radar you get on, so when you follow politicians, you’re on their radar and the radars of their followers – and that actually makes it harder for you to get in front of your target audience. When you’re clear about what it is you’re on social media to do and the kinds of people and organizations you want to interact with, then Twitter will put your account in front of those people and also put more people and organizations like that in front of your account so you can expand your social network. When you start adding in extracurricular accounts, it messes with the algorithm and makes it harder for your social media marketer to do their job. So, if you like being on social media and seeing what all sorts of people are talking about, keep a personal account that’s separate from your business’ account and that way you can follow whomever you want on your personal account.
2) Provide Detailed Instructions
As with any relationship, open communication (and lots of it) needs to be a cornerstone of your relationship with your content marketer. Whether you prefer emailing them, texting them, or talking to them on the phone, you should never be afraid to reach out to them and clarify what you need for any given project.
I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at determining what kind of information I need before I can start on a project and making sure I ask those questions before getting started, but I’ll admit sometimes I get overloaded with work, I get down to the wire on something, and I don’t have time to ask for clarification (especially when I’m working late into the night and my clients are probably in bed). Not having all the information I need, or what direction the client wants the piece to go makes it pretty hard for me to deliver work of which I can be proud and the client can be happy. Mostly, I need to know how long the piece needs to be and who the target audience is. If it’s a new client, I’ll also ask about the tone they’re looking for or examples of content they like and want to have in their own portfolio. I might also ask if they have any keywords they’d like to use, just in case they’ve already done that research. If not, I can always look up relevant keywords on my own.
3) Give Your Content Marketer Plenty of Time to Complete a Project
I usually tell my clients to give me about a week to complete any given project. Obviously it depends on how much I have going on with my other clients, and every content marketer has their own system and timeline, but that tends to be my go-to estimate. If a client gives me more time, I may or may not take them up on it, again depending on how busy I am, but I always get it done by the deadline.
But when a client emails me with a project that needs to be done in a day or two, it makes it much harder for me to get the project done on time. I’ll do my best to get the project done on time, but a rush job will never be my best work. The more time I have to go over all the information, write the content, and leave it alone so I can come back to it with fresh eyes before I have to turn it in, the better it will be. Always be sure to ask your content marketer what their timeline is like so you know what’s reasonable to ask of them.
If your content marketer asks you for more information, be sure to get it to them as soon as you can, because the longer you wait, the less likely it is that they’ll be able to get it done on time.
What are your thoughts? Have you found certain things work better with your content marketer than others?
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