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 sure, a freelance writer won’t have the dedication to your company that a full-time employee will.
But why not ask 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. The writer commits to delivering the content you want. Nice and simple, and each of you knows where the other stands.
But it’s really only a transaction.
Don’t you want a relationship? Wouldn’t you like a marketing writer who’s visiting places you never see and sending you ideas from there? Don’t you want a writer who sees your overall content landscape and writes from that perspective?
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. What do you think?
How do you get that kind of commitment?
Ask for it.
Your commitment to the marketing writer
Once you’ve determined that you and the writer get along, and that she’s willing to learn about your business and do better work for you, bring her in closer. Try these:
- “I’m going to send you a sample of our product (or a guest login to our portal, or a free hour of our service).” Offer to pay for an hour or two of her time to learn your product or service better. That way, she can build context and background around the terms she uses in her pieces for you.
- “I’ll have our agency send you our latest set 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 the writer will do the necessary research to use the keywords properly.
- “I’ll pay for you to dial in to our weekly marketing meetings for the next couple of months.” Even if she’s just a fly on the wall, she’s going to pour things through important filters and come back with ideas that have not occurred to you. Ask her 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. She doesn’t need to cling to every word, but she 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 here in the office for a few days.” Some writers will say they’re too busy to do this. But having your freelance writer in house briefly 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