Posted Under: freelancing,rapport with writer,vetting writers
With Valentine’s Day still on our minds, it’s a good time to think about love, as in loving what you write about.
Tom Chandler of the Copywriter Underground posted recently on Tom Gaylord, an authority on airguns. Gaylord loves the subject of airguns so much that he could write all day and all night about them, and he does just that. Chandler writes:
The first words out of Gaylord’s mouth were: ‘Most important is to write about the things you love doing.
‘I see my role as more an educator than salesman,’ he said, and his straightforward style of writing reflects it. He’s been writing about airguns for almost two decades, and expects to ‘continue doing so until I drop.’
‘You should write about the things you love so much that you can’t wait to write the next post or article.’
Do you like that concept? What would you have to do to surround yourself with freelance writers who love writing about your products and services?
Getting Your Writer to Love Writing for You
In surveys of employees, education and training are often among the most valued perquisites. What if your freelance writer, on the other hand, values something completely different?
Consider these ways to relate to your marketing communications writer:
- “Horses for courses” – Give your writer the kind of work you know that she likes and at which you know she excels, and keep bringing her back to it. When you first engaged her, you certainly asked, “What kind of writing have you done before?” Did it occur to you to ask, “What kind of writing do you like to do?”
- Treat her like an insider – “We have a marketing strategy meeting coming up next Monday afternoon, and I’d like you to join us.” How difficult is it for you to arrange that? The sooner you get beyond treating your writer like your auto mechanic, the sooner she can do more than check your fluids and change your oil. Don’t forget that your writer is halfway between you and your audience, and a professional writer will pick up valuable things you’ve overlooked.
- Personal rapport – How many kids does your writer have? Where is she going on vacation? What’s her favorite cuisine? How is her day going? A lot of people don’t have the personality to ask questions like this, but it’s how relationships are built. You know these details about some of the people in your life; why not about your writer? The writer who knows that her relationship to you is important, is the one who can love writing for you.
Of course, writers are in it for the money, but when that’s all they’re in it for, you can usually detect it in their work product. When you as a marketing manager engage your writer in a relationship, the writer is inclined to fill that work product with more of herself. You win, the writer wins and your content wins.
These are extensions of some of the ways you can help your writer over the hump. When she’s completely on your side and loves writing for you, you’ve got a big-time ally.
John White of venTAJA Marketing posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.