You’re hired! That’s music to the ears of a writer working on contract. But, sometimes those words are followed by cryptic assignment details and… *crickets*.
To do our best for you, we need a little guidance. So, if you’re just starting to collaborate with freelancers, or want to knock the socks of the ones you currently work with, keep these tips in mind.
Offer a contract.
I shy away from any offer that doesn’t include a signed contract before we get started on any work. Why? I’ve been burned in the past and I don’t plan to make that mistake again. Be professional and outline at the onset what you expect, the pay rate, how you pay and how long the agreement is valid.
Give us a calendar.
It’s much easier to plan a writing schedule when we know what’s coming up and when projects will be due. I’m a fan of monthly calendars so I can budget my time (and projected income), which means I won’t be asking for deadline extensions or juggling projects at the last minute. I use Google Calendar to puzzle together my writing tasks and meet deadlines. It’s slick!
Provide project guidelines.
This document doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it should explain the tone, voice and writing style (AP, Chicago, etc.) you’re looking for in the piece. It’s nice to also have a little background on the client when working with a marketing agency or PR firm. Provide a link to the client’s website and a bit about the campaign or reason they’re outsourcing some writing tasks. I also love when guidelines share links to previously published blog posts or web pages that they love, so I can get a feel for the overall layout, structure and vibe of what they want.
Explain project goals and strategies.
If you work in marketing, writers know they’re a link in the strategy chain. I personally like to understand the bigger picture and feel like I’m part of the team when I’m included in strategy meetings or know what goals the client has overall. So, don’t be afraid to clue writers in on why the blog posts are being written, what specific campaign they align with and what pain points you’re trying to help the client overcome by implementing content marketing. We like to learn and be in the loop! (This also helps us pitch better ideas when you ask for them!)
Share your contact details.
Please let us know how you enjoy communicating. Do you prefer phone calls, emails, text messages or instant messages on social media? We’re happy to reach out in various ways, we just need to know what works best and how to reach you when we have questions.
Pay us in a timely manner.
We totally understand that an accounting department or someone else on your team is probably responsible for processing invoices. All we ask is that you stick to the payment terms and let us know if there will be any delays. We love bi-weekly and monthly payments.
Keep us in the loop.
We’re human and love to know what’s going on through the entire process, even after we submit our article to you. Let us know how you handle edits and if you’ll share a link or copy of the publication after our piece is polished and published. And if we did a good job, tell us. Feedback helps us improve our craft and boost our confidence so we can do even better for you next time.
Do you have any tips to share? Comment below!
Do you need a reliable writer on your team? I collaborate with marketing and advertising agencies to create content for blog posts, web pages, social media and newsletters. Learn how I can help your clients HERE.