Businesses Who Profit From Hiring Freelance Writers
©Jan Andersen 2003
Millions of businesses worldwide are reaping the rewards of hiring competent freelance writers. Some of these companies have never even met the freelancers to whom they outsource projects and yet the relationship works extremely well, the companies concerned are happy with the results and are not only saving money in the process, but are increasing their sales.
Why Should You Hire Someone Else to Write About Your Business?
You know everything about your products, services and your target audience, but does this meant that you are the best person to write your own marketing or website copy?
When you know your products, services and industry so well, you can become insular and close your mind to more innovative ways of promoting your business. After a while, you could become creatively challenged and may benefit from bringing in a writer with a fresh perspective.
A writer without knowledge of your industry may offer the advantage of viewing your products and services from a buyer's perspective and will ask questions and raise issues that you may not have previously considered. An experienced writer will be competent at research and will grasp new concepts quickly, which compares to taking on a new full-time employee who has to learn about your business.
Alternatively, some companies may wish to bring in a freelance writer who has experience in a particular field and could assist in areas where the business could benefit from specialist help.
The Importance of Good Writing
Every week my post box is full of advertising literature promoting a company's latest products or services. Much of it could be improved dramatically and may make the difference between someone heading for the wastepaper bin or picking up the telephone.
Similarly, I receive countless letters from current service providers that clearly haven't been checked for spelling or grammatical errors and are speckled with ambiguities. Is it any wonder that miscommunication arises? If someone is unable to pay attention to the most basic of details, what sort of image does this convey to a customer?
I frequently visit websites, even those of prestigious corporations, which have enormous scope for improvement. In fact, a poor website can be more damaging to a company's image than having no website at all.
A professional writer will not only concentrate on the basics of spelling and grammar, but will also have knowledge of psychology, marketing, PR and even design and layout knowledge, which will be employed to maximise the potential of your literature and website content.
What Are The Other Advantages of Using a Freelance Writer?
You only have to pay a freelance writer for the work that they do. You aren't committed to paying a full-time salary, often for thumb-twiddling time, nor do you have to provide a freelancer with holiday pay, sick pay, a pension or other company benefits. When work is spasmodic, many companies will hire a freelancer as a more cost-effective alternative to using a temp agency to whom they also have to pay a fee. Temporary agency workers may also not have the same expertise as a professional freelancer.
If you sometimes struggle to meet crucial deadlines because key members of your staff are on holiday or sick leave, a freelancer can help to lighten the load and assist you in meeting important project deadlines.
How Do You Select a Freelancer Writer For Your Needs?
Of course, all freelancers will claim that they are professional, experienced and will deliver first-class copy on time and on budget. However, you need to be sure that the person you are selecting will be able to handle the project effectively. Following are some broad guidelines to selecting the best person for the task:
1. Request two or three references, ideally from previous clients.
2. Request samples of the writer's work, preferably in different styles and formats to demonstrate their flexibility.
3. If necessary, provide the writer with some brief notes about your company and ask them to form it into readable, persuasive copy.
4. Note how promptly the writer responds to your requests and in what manner, since this could be crucial in deciphering how professional the writer is and how likely they are to adhere to deadlines.
5. Establish and agree upon a contract at the beginning to protect the rights of both your company and the freelancer.
Companies are continually seeking ways of reducing costs and increasing productivity. By employing the services of an experienced freelance writer, many company managers can feel confident that a project will be completed with great skill, on time and within budget. As a self-employed individual, a freelance writer's reputation and future business is reliant upon the quality of the work he or she delivers and a freelancer will, therefore, often work more diligently than staff employees.
When you hire a freelancer, you only pay for the work delivered and once a project is completed, you are not committed to continuing to pay out a permanent salary. Many employers are now realising that the advantages of hiring a competent freelance writer far outweigh any perceived disadvantages and are profiting as a result.
NB How many of you spotted the deliberate error in the above article?