You’ve put your heart and soul into establishing a business that is successful and useful so, naturally, you’d want potential clients to know that. Marketing has undergone many structural changes with our increasing reliance on digital media. It’s not only important that your company has advertising campaigns, it also needs to have a strong online presence; that means good content. Prospective clients and audiences want to be continuously exposed to information that keeps them involved, informed and engaged. While you’re occupied with the finer technical details of your project, someone needs to take care of the content. Luckily, there’s a whole range of talented and diverse freelance writers out there just waiting for the opportunity to work with you. All that’s left to do, is find the right freelance writer for your project.
How are you finding writers?
One thing that is certain is that there is a plethora of writers out there, eager to work on exciting new projects; the question is how to find the writer that is perfect for you. There are many online platforms that facilitate this.
You could place ads on job listing sites and have writers contact you with their details and samples of their work. This is simple and opens the door to a variety of writers who will work for different rates. Sites such as Upwork, Craigslist and Freelancer operate by allowing writers to create profiles and submit proposals to prospective clients. Clients can select prime candidates, conduct interviews, compare bids and view feedback from previous clients.
To focus your search even more, you could contact writers directly rather than through these platforms. This allows you to view their portfolio and see how people interact with their work, the writer’s range, their voice and how that voice is used to speak on behalf of their clients. Using agencies is often a good idea because the writers have already been vetted and are tried and trusted, and the company will be able to gauge which writer is the best fit for you.
While finding a writer who is an expert in your industry may be a requirement in some cases, it’s not always necessary. Writers may not be qualified in your market, but sufficient research, attention to detail, and skill will get the job done. If you do need a writer who is familiar with your project, consider how you view their portfolios or writing samples. Don’t only look for work that reads well or is entertaining, but consider whether the writer can work with technical terms and can skillfully construct pieces of writing.
Social media is not going anywhere – use it. You may have writers in your network on LinkedIn or PartnerUp. This works well if you need expert writers; writers that have working knowledge in a specific topic or niche. Checking up on a writer’s social media can help to better understand not only their style and how they interact with clients, but also the client’s experiences working with the writer.
When you have a niche market and need writers with experience and knowledge in your field, try to form long-term partnerships, rather than working with a writer once only.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of building long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with writers. The writer will already be familiar with your voice, style and brand, and will know what is expected of them. This not only makes the writing process quicker, it will streamline the process of finding a writer when a new project comes up.
Offering longer term arrangements with writers also means the writer is invested in your project, and will work as efficiently as possible to ensure you are eager to work with them again in the future. This may lead to finding writers that are dedicated and not just looking to make a quick buck.
While finding a writer that is talented and skillful is your main concern, consider how professional they are; do they respond promptly; are they committed to too many projects; do they follow directions?
Once you have found writers that have both these qualities, begin building a database. While having a partnership with one writer moulded to your style is ideal, writers can be unavailable, but if this is the case they may be able to share your requirements with writers in their circle.
Be specific about what you need
It’s important to be specific about what you need from the writer and it may be helpful to have an outline of your article. But don’t demand that the writer follows a specific set-up; rather allow room for creativity. Writers may be more attuned to what would make a better article. You pay for a writer allow them to write. Be sure of what you need the content to achieve so that the writer can be sure too.
Don’t forget about the mundane administrative details. It’s always important to be clear about when the project is due, whether you need updates on the progress of the project, how much it pays as well as when it pays. Avoid any misunderstandings that will stand in the way of a good professional relationship. When posting listings, make sure all the information is available, so that anyone applying is sure they are up to the task.
What to look for in a portfolio
It’s always necessary to view previous work and samples of writing. If the writer has a blog or online platform – which most writers do – read the feedback on their work. Read comments and reviews to understand previous clients’ experiences working with the writer. Look at the audience’s engagement with their work – do they respond and interact through comments, is the voice received well? References from previous working relationships is always helpful.
When looking at resumes, it’s not always necessary to have a writer with a journalism or writing degree. Writers can come from diverse fields and what is important is their dedication to the craft. Be open to writers who are not be native-English speakers; writing is an art and what is important is that the product doesn’t read like it was written by a second language speaker.
Finding the right writer is simply finding a writer whose style and voice compliments your project. Ensure that they have the same vision for the project and that they have the commitment and skill that will contribute to a dynamic and prolific professional relationship.
A bit about the Author
Sam Hoffman is a South African an Artist, Writer and Entrepreneur with a passion for beautiful words and ideas. She takes special joy in nurturing these ideas and watching them grow from inception to results and sharing her expertise with others.
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