Congratulations on bringing a contracted writer onto your team! Whether you’re working with a social media strategist, a blog writer, or someone who brings a little bit of everything to the table, you’ve made an awesome decision to help amplify the message of your small business.
I know you have high hopes for what she or he is going to do for your business. You are looking forward to greater consistency, better branding, and (best of all) more time back in your day.
I’ve had the privilege of contracting with many businesses over the past few years, so I want to share some of my tips and tricks for getting the most out of someone like myself…
Tip #1: Have Reasonable Expectations
A key pain point that your content marketer is going to solve is time. Or rather, the lack of it! You wear a LOT of hats as the owner, so passing off some (or all) of your marketing efforts is going to feel like a huge relief.
But have reasonable expectations around the fact that you should still keep your finger on the pulse of your marketing efforts. Your writer is likely going to want feedback from you – especially in the beginning – so set aside a little time every week to review their work.
I tell my clients with monthly contracts that it’s going to take a month or two to really get into a groove. And if I’m completing my first one-off project for a company, we should expect to have an extra round of edits the first time. I want to get things exactly right – and your honest feedback is part of that!
You should also prepare reasonable expectations around the fact that your business is not going to transform overnight. The very first project with your new writer often results in a nice jump in online engagement. That’s normal, especially if you haven’t put intentional effort into that area before!
Just remember that we’re writers – not magicians! Building a brand takes time. And training your audience to expect fresh content from you doesn’t happen overnight.
That being said, you should always ask your writer for metrics and analytics. Every social media site provides metrics such as follower count, number of impressions, number of engagements, and much more. Email marketing programs also provide open rates and click rates. And if your website is hooked up to Google Analytics or another program, you can monitor the success of your blog and/or website.
Tip #2: Offer Specific Feedback
The best part of my job is getting to put myself into the minds of individuals and companies. I love writing in different voices and immersing myself in brands. Great copywriters should have this same skillset and passion; the whole point is for them to sound like YOU online!
Writers do their very best to translate what’s in your head and heart into the copy they write. If your content marketer doesn’t nail it on the first try, that doesn’t mean they’ve failed you. They just need your help! Please be patient with your new marketer and offer them specific feedback on what you did and didn’t like about their copy.
I am never married to anything I write. I really, truly appreciate honest feedback from my clients. I would rather learn how to get it right and then exceed their expectations on the next project!
Tip #3: Trust Their Expertise
As you and your writer get to know each other, she or he will start to offer ideas for content. Some of their suggestions are going to seem out of the box. If it doesn’t “feel right” for your brand, you are not obligated to take their suggestions. But go into every conversation with an open mind.
Your contracted writer has other clients besides you. She or he is seeing what works (and what doesn’t) across multiple accounts, bringing a broader perspective to your account. Trust them to pitch ideas that are in your best interest – after all, if it works for you, everyone wins!
You may also have to let go of things that you’ve been attached to, in your old content marketing. This could be a social media feature, an email cadence, or a type of content on your website. Your content marketer may gently suggest moving away from tired out concepts that aren’t working or are making you appear dated and out-of-touch.
Again – if their idea feels very wrong, you are not obligated to take the advice. But your third party writer only has your best interests at heart!
Tip #4: Enjoy It!
You’ve taken a big step that many small businesses never take: You’ve invested in marketing assistance for your brand. You now have a professional on your team. Be proud of what you’re building. It’s time to sit back and watch the magic happen!!
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