I was at a networking event recently when someone started talking about the problems of hiring an outside writer. He knows that’s how I make my living, and I know he considers me the exception to the rule, but I was thinking about it and I decided it sounded like a good topic for a blog post. So here goes:
One of the problems my associate mentioned is outside writers not having the content when they said they would have it, and not responding to your queries when you try to follow up with them.
I’ve also heard this from clients of mine. They don’t have this complaint about me, mind you – they have it about previous writers they’ve tried to work with (or they’re afraid this will be the case if they start working with an outside writer) and that’s why they’ve decided to hire me instead. On the very rare occasion that I do have to turn in a piece late (usually because I can’t get in touch with a source or I’m having technical difficulties) I always let my client know about it right away. Call me old fashioned, but I believe in treating people the way you’d like to be treated and not responding to your clients is a great way to lose business.
No One Knows Your Business Better Than You Do
I’ve heard people say that no outside writer, no matter how much research they do, can possibly know the ins and outs of your business like you do. That’s probably true, but we can tell your story better than you can. Even if you’re a writer, there are advantages to having an outside content strategist help with your content marketing needs. We may not know the details of your business, but we can translate what you do into what your clients need. We can help you identify your target audience and create content that appeals directly to them. Even the best storytellers benefit from having an outside source look over their material and tell them if it’s what readers want or if it needs some changes.
My first client was an attorney who was writing his own blog posts and they were really hard to follow, jumping between seemingly unrelated topics with no segue. Those posts were probably doing more harm than good because I can’t imagine anyone reading that and being persuaded to hire my client. Since I started writing blog posts for him, his blog has brought in significantly more business for him and I’m still writing for him today.
In-House vs. Outsourced Writing
If you have enough writing needs, you might decide it’s time to hire a full-time writer. This can be a great option because it gives your writer a chance to see every aspect of your business and you get to directly teach them about it as they go about their work.
That’s great if you have that much work. Most of my clients only need one or two blog posts a month and maybe some social media management. That’s not nearly enough to make it worth while to hire a full-time (or even part-time) writer, in which case outsourcing is much more cost effective.
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