When you hire a marketing communications writer, do you ever ask for a little commitment along with the content?
Sure, this is all work for hire, and a freelance writer won’t have the dedication to your company that a full-time employee will, but what’s wrong with asking for a little commitment?
The Marketing Writer’s Commitment to You
If you’re structuring the engagement correctly, you as the marketing manager commit to paying and the writer commits to delivering the content you want. That’s not very complex, and each of you knows where the other stands.
But, it’s really only a transaction.
Don’t you want a relationship? Don’t you want a marketing writer who’s visiting places you don’t go and sending you back ideas? Don’t you want a writer who sees your overall content landscape and writes from that background?
Suppose your writer asked you to put him on your newsletter mailing list. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?
Suppose your writer followed you in other channels – videos, webinars, tweets, press releases – and sent you a list of new content ideas with a note:
I’m not just angling for more work, but here are some opportunities for new content that we can jump on. What do you think?
What can you do to get that kind of commitment?
Your Commitment to the Marketing Writer
Once you’ve determined that you and the writer get along, and that he’s willing to learn about your business and do better work for you, bring him in closer. Try these:
- “I’m going to send you a sample of our product (or a guest login to our Website, or a free hour of our service).” Offer to pay for an hour or two of his time to learn your product or service better, so that he builds context and background around the terms he uses in his pieces for you.
- “I’ll have our Web marketing team send you our latest basket of keywords.” This is so drop-dead simple – it helps your writer give you more-searchable content – but it’s a big leap for a marketing manager to think of it. Plant the relaxed, high expectation that he will do the necessary research to use the keywords properly.
- “I’d like you to dial in to our weekly marketing meetings for the next couple of months.” Even if he’s just a fly on the wall, he’s going to pour things through important filters and come back with ideas that have not occurred to you. Ask him for them after a few calls.
- “I’ll put you on our mailing list so you can see the kind of content we’re generating all the time.” No writer interested in a strong relationship with you will consider that spam. He doesn’t need to cling to every word, but he ought at least to find patterns or opportunities. Or maybe just typo’s.
- “We’re sending you a plane ticket so you can work on the next paper on site for a few days.” Some writers will say they’re too busy to do this, and you may have to punt, but having your freelance writer in house for a few days will shift a lot of relationship-building into high gear.
What have you tried to bring your marketing writer in closer? Has it worked?
photo credit: Vinay Shivakumar