My days are filled with meeting people and learning about what kind of marketing materials they need. The meetings are interesting and I learn a lot about different companies and what they offer. Then I start talking about the brand promise and communications goals and I notice a look of pure terror cross my potential client’s face.
At first this baffled me because, frankly, I don’t think I’m a particularly frightening person. Then I realized it’s not me, but rather the notion of hiring a writer that has them quaking in their shoes. I don’t blame them. Paying for something when you aren’t really sure what you’re buying is scary.
Unless they’ve worked in a corporate communications department, most business owners don’t know what they should do to ensure they hire the right person.
Hiring a writer who is the right fit for your business really isn’t complicated or scary. The following five tips will help you choose the writer that is right for you.
- Know what you want to accomplish with this project and share that with the writer. Do you want to increase your sales, describe your services in a way that’s easy to understand, or simply (finally) launch your web site?
- Before you meet with the writer, make a list of everyone the writer will need to interview for the project, how much research they’ll need to do, and what your deadline is. That will help frame the scoping conversation, and help the writer determine if he/she is the right fit for the project. It will also help the writer give you a more accurate estimate.
- Look at the writer’s portfolio. Even if they’ve never done exactly the type of project you need, you’ll get a sense of their style and approach by looking at samples. These days, most writers have samples on their web site, so you can see if you like their writing before you ever even pick up the phone.
- Get a detailed proposal that clearly states what the costs include. This is important for you and the writer. The detailed proposal will not only set expectations for the project, you’ll know right way if you’re on the same page about the project scope. And, with a proposal in hand, there shouldn’t be any unexpected surprises at the end of the project.
- Map out a detailed schedule with concrete deliverables at the beginning of the project. This will help the writer—and everyone in your company—stay on track.