Hiring a Marketing Writer Doesn’t Need to Be a Complex Sale

Hiring a writer doesn't need to be a complex sale

When you’re hiring a marketing writer, do you make it a complex sale?

An example of a complex sale is equipment for a nuclear reactor or a space shuttle. That means a long sales cycle, multiple decision-makers, plenty of competition and lots of scrutiny.

Why make it complex? Because you perceive so much risk.

“I’m not dragging this out,” you tell yourself. “I’m reducing risk and ensuring we start our content marketing effort with the best writer possible.”

It makes sense for you to reduce the risk in getting your white paper, blog posts or customer stories written. Nobody likes making bad decisions. But turning a relatively simple hunt into a complex sale won’t necessarily reduce your risk.

Say you build your vetting process around several stringent qualifications and decision points:

  • 8+ years of this
  • College degree and/or experience in that
  • Portfolio of 10+ samples demonstrating expertise in this, that and the other
  • Newsroom editing experience
  • Proven history of explaining parasitic extraction, recursive neural networks and insect endocrinology to non-technical audiences

Maybe a couple of candidate writers can thread all those needles and weather the long sales cycle you’re going to put them through. Are you sure that turning this into a complex sale is really reducing your risk?

Or are you just ensuring you’ll find somebody who knows how to sell exactly the way you like to buy?

And, making this a complex sale costs you. Every minute you spend in the process of hiring a marketing writer is a minute less of content in your campaign.

Of course, the other extreme is equally silly. Plenty of thumbnail ads for marketing writers make the process seem as simple as picking up a loaf of bread on the way home. When the threshold is too low, then you bring all the work of vetting onto yourself.

A happy medium for hiring a marketing writer

Think about ways to simplify the process of hiring a marketing writer:

  1. Plan to run the process yourself. Yes, it will probably take more time than you want to devote to it, but you’ll learn more while reducing your risk.
  2. Ask for a sample or two from each writer.
  3. Read the samples. (Many marketing managers neglect this part.)
  4. Ask for the method each writer plans to apply to your project. Do NOT do this through e-mail; do it on the phone or in person.
  5. Have each writer send you a written proposal, with pricing, and set a date by which she should send it to you. That will show you two important things: whether she understands the business of being a writer, and whether she can stick to a date.

The moral: Those white papers and case studies you need written? They’re not a nuclear reactor, but they’re not a loaf of bread, either. You can keep your risk low while hiring a marketing writer without taking a long time and expending a lot of energy.


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”