How to have someone else write for your business – even better than you would? Start with these 6 easy steps.
Could someone else write for your business?
Would an outsider be able to translate your team’s ideas into blog articles or videos?
Capture your tone of voice and all the important details?
Really understand your clients and how your business can help them?
Many entrepreneurs and communication teams ask themselves these questions. Having help in content creation would take a huge load off their shoulders; at the same time, confiding in someone outside of the business and the team can make them feel wobbly.
What if someone goes wrong? Will it ever succeed? Won’t it just cause a bigger mess and take more time in the end?
I’ve been writing for businesses, solopreneurs, blogs and magazines since the beginning of the century, and in this article I share with you six essential steps that help you get the process moving and avoid the biggest pitfalls.
If you decide in the end that you and your in-house team are indeed the best voices of your company, they’ll also help you streamline the process and get more quality content created more quickly.
1 – Finetune the Tone of Voice
The first step is to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the ideal client and the tone of voice the brand wants to have.
What does your brand sound like? What kind of language and expressions does it use? What is the relationship between your brand and the client?
Tone of voice reflects these things, and it should be consistent from one post to another – be it by the same writer all the time, or by a team of contributors.
2 – Align Calls-to-Action
Alongside the tone of voice, another important thing to determine is the goal of content.
What purpose does the content serve? Is the goal to improve brand awareness, generate new leads or convert existing leads to clients?
The goal informs the call-to-action that all content should direct towards. Make sure your writer(s) know the goal and where they should guide the audience.
3 – Ensure that Knowledge Flows
Whether the content work is trusted upon one freelancer or shared between several team members, content writers aren’t often the experts of the product or service.
That’s okay and can even be a good thing: since they have a fresh outsider’s perspective, they can ask the silly questions the clients might be asking, too.
To ensure the exactitude of important information and the quality of content when using external writers or sharing writing responsibility among different team members, organising knowledge transfer is crucial. Have content creators interview subject matter experts, or organise training that allows them to dig deeper into the benefits of the products in question.
4 – Build a Template Library
Content templates and frameworks help different writers produce similar content.
In the loosest form, a template can just be a content format that repeats itself, such as a Question & Answer article or a tip video. In the tightest form, it can be a pre-written post that only needs to be complemented with a few details.
Build a template library over time, and it will serve all team members by saving time in the future.
5 – Be Generous with Feedback
Outsourcing content creation doesn’t mean sending one brief email and focusing on other priorities. Especially in the beginning of a collaboration, some time is needed in briefing, giving feedback and guiding writers.
The more time you invest in giving constructive and detailed feedback in the early stages, the more quickly your team of writers will become autonomous. Don’t get discouraged if some final editing is needed from a senior member of a team, as long as this step won’t take more time than the content creation in the first place.
6 – Give It Three Months
After having implemented the first five steps, take a breath and give your content creators some time to settle in. It might take a month or two for new contributors to get their bearings, but through clear briefs, ample knowledge share and feedback, they will find their own voices to spread your brand’s story with great impact.