Marketing your business involves a lot of writing. And in the age of digital, the amount of skilled writing tasks is increasing, not decreasing: website content, social media, newsletters, emails, press releases, advertising, editing, etc. Most small businesses do not have the time and resources to finish all the daily tasks as it is. Letting your marketing slide, however, isn’t going to make the problem better or your business stronger in the long term.
So, you decide to move your business forward by contracting professional writing services. Perfect! You do a search for “writing services” – and are instantly greeted by an overwhelming number of choices. Yikes! Now what?
1. Look local.
If you are a local business selling to the local community, hiring a local writer just makes sense. Search for writers in your area. They will know the area, the market, and your customer base.
Build a partnership for your business. A one-time project may turn into on-going services. Being able to meet in person is one of the best ways to assess how you will work together. Will they be a good fit for your business? Will you be able to work with this person?
In addition to a local online search, check with your Chamber of Commerce for referrals. A writer who joins the Chamber is usually in business for the long run, not just offering services as a sideline.
2. Review service offerings.
Do they offer service packages? Are they being paid by the word? These are important considerations. One is not necessarily better than the other. The type of work you need completed and on what timing moving forward will determine which payment strategy is better for your business. Over time, a service package may yield a better return for work you need completed.
As always, the lowest price may not always indicate the best writer for your business. Understandably, you are running a business and keeping expenses low is important. A great writer’s work, however, is the corner stone for your marketing strategy. A writer who understands how to sell and bring in leads will make your business money. A ho-hum writer will simply be an expense.
3. Read the portfolio.
Ask to see examples for the specific type of projects you need completed. Different projects require different writing skills. Just because a writer is great on social media does not mean they transition well to writing a press release or a whitepaper. And vice versa. Do they have the necessary experience to complete the type of project you need? Does their writing fit your business’s brand?
Writers are people. It is very difficult to take a writer’s personality completely out of their writing. Do you like the way the content is presented? Is humor used appropriately and in the right way? Choose a writer who fully understands your branding position and marketing strategy. It will be incorporated it into each piece of your marketing.