You’ve got a marketing project! You’ve got a freelance writer! Great! Now what? When it comes to working with the one who will weave words into effective prose for your marketing efforts, how you relate to them has great impact on getting things done right… the first time. Here are five ways you can work better with the writer you hire.
- Communicate – After hiring your freelance writer, set a communication schedule you both can follow. This may consist of project milestones, a deadline calendar, a “time to chat” weekly project update call, or a combination of each. Do not leave your writer in the dark to wander aimlessly with your words – be available.
- Let Them Breathe – Micromanaging your writer is a no-no. While you want to keep tabs on how their work is coming along, you do not want to breathe down their neck! Writers are usually good at working alone, introverted and do not need constant interruptions. This only hampers their ability to get the job done quickly for you.
- Don’t Tell Them How to Do Their Job – I once had a boss who worked with dental professionals and their marketing. When a doctor would tell her how we writers “should” be writing, she replied, “Doctor, we don’t tell you how to seat a crown or pull a tooth. Please don’t tell us how to write.” Granted, it takes a partnership between client and writer to create something good, but please don’t take it upon yourself to rewrite our work – that is our job and we should be happy to do it.
- Be Literal – While some writers may be psychic, most of us need our clients to tell us what they are thinking. This means say it straight, write it down in your edits, and be literal rather than say, “It’s not what I want. Try again.” All that will get you is another round of revisions that are not… surprise… what you want!
- Pay On Time – Like most freelance creative folk, writers will write only as fast as you pay them. As such, it is important to agree on payment terms with your writer so that everyone knows what to expect. An invoice that languishes on your desk for three months will not get the job done.
Of course, your writer should reciprocate and be willing to work with you. It is also important that you have good rapport and feel that your working relationship actually works. If you feel that your writer isn’t getting things done the way you want them to, sit down and discuss the matter so that everyone is on the same page. At the end of the day, by working with your freelance writer, you will get the words that hopefully work for you!
Julie Duck is a freelance writer, editor and social media specialist with more than 23 years of experience. She can be reached at julieduck.com.
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