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How to manage freelance writers and get the best work

So, you’ve finally hired a freelance writer to tell the world about your amazing products. Finally, you can just kick back, relax and watch as your writer churns out the masterpiece that will surely drive your sales through the roof!

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It’s a shared fantasy amongst startups and even large companies when they’re looking for writers, but the reality is far less appealing. A poorly written piece of content will do you more harm than good.

To prevent this, accurate and detailed communications need to be established with your writer. Here’s what you need to take note when creating the work of your dreams.

Writers are… writers

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The first thing you need to understand is that writers write. They may sometimes be marketers or content distribution strategists or designers, but often times they are not your all-in-one solution. These various roles play a big part in your marketing campaign, and they require very specific skill sets to be effective.

Even if they say they can double up and take up another role, it’s best to check out their portfolios or work with a trusted writer.

Share your story

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A novice mistake in sales is focusing too much on the features of a product. While it is important, what really seals the deal is if your customers are emotionally invested in the brand. In other words, you need to tell a story.

Talk about why you started the company, what your hopes and dreams are for it, and what good you’ve done for the world. It’s important because it’s what people truly want. People don’t just buy vitamins to stay healthy, they want to live long lives, and fulfill their dreams and that of their children! And that’s a way more interesting story than how you use 12% real fruit juice.

Be clear about your objective

You have to develop a piece of content with an end in mind. Are you looking for more sales leads? More people to sign up for your newsletter? Or perhaps you simply want to get yourself out there and tell everyone about your brand.

The content is designed around the objective, and the more specific it is, the more effective your content will be. Can a piece of content achieve multiple objectives? Yes it can. Naturally, every piece of content you produce will help with brand awareness. But it is a general rule that the more objectives you tackle, the more your content will become unfocused and ineffective.

Target audience

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The more information you provide your writer about your target audience, the better. Be specific, do your research and create your customer personas. It will only payoff. Besides just providing direction for the content, it will also determine where you promote your content. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or even Snapchat, you want to be able to tell your writer where you want the content to be so they can work around that.

The most important question

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A great guideline you can give your writer and help you focus your vision is to ask yourself this question: “If there was one thing I want this piece of content to say, what would it be?”. In other words, what is your core message? Design your content around that, and always check back to it. That’s how you create a strong, cohesive piece.

I could have done that

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If you’ve worked with some writers before, especially the good ones, you’ve probably had this exact thought. But the fact is, that’s what good copywriting is supposed to look like. Clean, simple and easy to read. It’s not because your writer was lazy or that they failed to put in any effort. On the contrary, it was probably rewritten many times; much like the modern art you’d see in a museum, the writer’s work is often misunderstood and under-appreciated.

Communicate

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Working with a freelance copywriter is an active process, be sure to keep in contact and expect questions to arise from time to time. It’s also highly advised that you review preliminary work to make sure both parties are on the same page.

Prepare an informative brief

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One of the most overlooked steps in hiring a writer is preparing an informative brief. It’s an essential step that will save you and the writer a lot of grief (rhyme unintended) down the road. But often, briefs are perceived as a long, hard and thoughtful process that may seem more trouble than it’s worth.

A good brief includes all the details above and more and helps the writer really nail down what you want and serves as a constant reminder of what the project is about. Don’t skip this step!

So there you have it! Some essential tips to create wonderful work with your writer.

Bolt is a content platform connecting writers to brands looking for quality written content. For more articles like this one, click here. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.