How to Get the Most Out of Your Freelance Writer

cleaning-suppliesWhat I’m about to say may sound counterintuitive, but trust me on this.

The best way to get the most out of your freelance writer is to provide him or her with content.

Yes, I just said you should provide content to your freelance writer. You may be scratching your head at that logic. You probably think I’m one of those people who straightens her home before a housekeeper arrives.

Actually, I am one of those people. I do straighten my home before it is cleaned by a professional. I’ve realized that if I move some things off the floor and countertops, a housekeeper can do a better job. When basic things are out of her way, she can stop wasting time on straightening up and instead start focusing on what I really need from her, which is deep cleaning.

The same principle goes for freelance writing. When a client takes the time to provide basic information about himself, his business, and his industry, he is freeing the writer to spend less time on understanding industry basics and more time on meeting the deeper, more unique needs of his business communication.

Your writer will welcome any material that helps him or her get to know you and your business. Examples of helpful materials include your website, blog, business card, existing marketing materials, previous projects, and business plan.

If you don’t have existing materials for the project, you can provide content in two ways. First, take the time to answer questions about your business in person or in writing. Your writer will be able to guide you with a list of questions. Second, share the websites and marketing materials of your competitors. They will provide some industry standards.

So, what’s in it for you? When you take the time to provide content for your writer, you receive three benefits:

1. Faster results. The more information you provide, the faster your writer understands who you are and what you need to deliver your work. Unless you’ve hired a writer who is an expert in your field, a brief explanation on your part may save a lot of research on the part of your writer.

2. Cheaper costs. If your writer charges an hourly rate, saving time could mean hundreds of dollars in savings.

3. Greater effectiveness. When you provide information about the basics of your business, your writer can move beyond nuts and bolts and buzzwords to focus on deeper, more meaningful things, like communicating your unique strengths in an authentic way that is most appealing to your audience.

So, before you hire a writer to “deep clean” your business communication, take some time to “straighten up” your business materials. When you receive quality content in less time and with less money, you’ll be glad you did.

Ella Hearrean of Stellar Communications is a Houston-based freelance editor and writer for business leaders, publishers, and other writers. Connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ellaritchie or check out her website at http://www.stellarwriter.com.

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