You need high-performing content to grow your business. And in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to keep costs under control and make sure you get the most out of your investment.
Your marketing team is short-handed, and not everyone is a gifted writer. You’re not alone. This is exactly why most top companies today are outsourcing their content creation to creative, talented freelance writers.
But working with freelance teams can take some getting used to. If you’re new to working with outsourced talent, or looking for ways to streamline your existing approach, here are some tips for getting high-performing content every time.
Tip #1: Standardize the workflow
Lack of organization is a real buzz kill when it comes to working with freelancers. It’s actually one of the main obstacles you’ll run into if you’re trying to manage your own pool of external writers.
Freelancers operate outside of your company’s internal processes. They communicate in different ways than you may be used to. They all have their own fees, invoices and payment terms. Even if you’re working with just a few freelancers, these differences can soon add up to a pretty chaotic situation.
You need a structured workflow: a standard process that applies to every freelance task. To get things done, you’ll want a standard procedure that covers each stage of the process:
- creating briefings
- contracting/assigning tasks
- setting and monitoring deadlines
- handling content revisions
- maintaining clear (automated) communication
- handling invoices and payments
It’s up to you to set the rules that you expect your freelancers to follow. At Contentoo, we’ve designed our online content creation platform to fully streamline and automate the outsourcing process. It simplifies outsourcing, from start to finish. Even if you only outsource a few tasks each week, an approach like this saves you loads of time. And it gives you better quality content with far less hassle.
Tip #2: Write a detailed briefing
Freelancers are pretty amazing people, but they are not mind readers. If you want to get the most out of your outsourced content creation, start with a clear idea of what you want.
Sit down with your marketing colleagues and define the main messages you want to get across in your content. Then create detailed briefings that steer your freelancers in the right direction as they work. It costs you a little time up front to work out a detailed briefing. But you’ll be glad you did.
It’s smart to use standard briefing templates for each type of content you outsource. This also saves time, so you can simply fill out a briefing form and send it off. No matter what, your briefing should always contain this key information:
- The format for the content (a blog post, ebook, newsletter, etc.)
- Who’s talking? Should the text be written in first person, using pronouns “we” and “our” to talk about your company?
- Who’s the target audience (including “buyer personas”)?
- What’s the purpose (lead generation, informing customers, driving sales)?
- How long should it be (how many words)?
- Which SEO keywords do you want to include (for online text)?
- Try providing a text that serves as an example for the type of content you want to create
- Ideally, provide at least a rough outline of how you want the content to look; the more detail, the better
- Provide relevant information about your company and its style guide
Remember: the stronger the briefing, the better the results. And you’ll save lots of back-and-forth later if you give your freelancers a clear view of what you expect them to produce.
Tip #3: Use a fixed team of talent
To ensure the consistency of your content, it’s ideal to work with a fixed team of writers, editors and translators. The emphasis is on the word “team.” High-quality freelancers are very much in demand. They may not always be available on short notice, so it’s great to have a pool to choose from. The benefits of working with a fixed pool of talent include:
- Maintaining a consistent tone of voice
- Maintaining a high level of quality
- Building strong working relations with the freelancers, so they can present your brand more effectively
- Having plenty of qualified writers at your disposal, in case one of them is temporarily unavailable
- Having peace of mind, knowing that you can rely on your freelancer to deliver
Good writers are hard to find. If you’ve found plenty of freelancers who can deliver the quality you need, good for you! But chances are, you find it difficult and time-consuming to scout for content creation talent.
We know that this is one of the major drawbacks of outsourcing content creation for many companies. That is exactly why Contentoo carefully screens all the freelancers on its platform. So, forget about scrolling through your contacts list, randomly reaching out to freelancers. We instantly connect you with a fixed, reliable team of top-quality talent.
The future is freelance
The freelance trend is growing worldwide. It’s more important than ever for companies to understand how to work effectively with their outsourced talent and make freelancers and integral part of their workforce.
Working with freelance talent may take some adjusting. But make no mistake: the benefits definitely make up for it. If you take the right approach from the very start, you’ll save countless hours in the long term.
At Contentoo, we love the challenge of building a strong business case around your freelance content creation needs. With a pool of freelance writers, you save time and money. It’s cheaper than hiring in-house writers, and you can scale your content creation up and down without fixed costs.
Plus, you get better content, because writing engaging content is a freelance writer’s core business. Freelancers specialize in telling your story, exactly the way you want to tell it.
One reason why freelancers are so in-demand right now is because of the unique perspectives they bring to your company’s content. They keep things fresh, so your readers will keep coming back for more.
Cultivating a good working relationship with a pool of freelance talent is a benefit to any marketing team. In many cases, companies would never be able to keep up with their content needs without outsourcing to external writers.
Professionally written, high-performing content is crucial to your company’s growth. All it takes is a little planning and effort, and understanding how to communicate effectively with your freelance pool.