Sometime, hiring content writers seems easy, but many times, it takes a lot to find the right talent. When you hire writers for articles, blog posts, website content or other copywriting services, you feel like asking hundreds of questions. It is always good to do so because you want to hire the right people in one shot. But to whom you have hired or to whom you’re considering to bring on board asks you something?
Do Your Content Writers Ask You These Questions? If Not, It’s Time To Look for a Replacement.
Of course, you are hiring them and it’s your right to ask questions, but if they ask you something, it is a good sign. It is a signal that tells you about their experience in creating content. An experienced writer, especially those who have journalistic flair will ask you questions. You may not want to provide all the answers for their questions, but if you do as much as you can, you can expect better outcome.
Here are 4 questions, you should expect from a writer who is willing to tell your brand story with his words, thoughts, knowledge and experience.
1. Do you know your brand completely?
WTF he or she’s asking me! “Yes, of course I know my products and services better than anyone.” This could be your reaction. But just like you want to make sure that a writer is rich in knowledge, a writer should also make sure that his/her clients are well informed about their own business, product line and services. This is one of the questions that should come out from your writer. “What do you know about your business?” “I need a briefing” or “I want to know what you know” should be the things your writers must discuss with you.
Hiring content writers is like putting your brand’s future in someone’s hand. If these questions don’t come from their side, make sure that you have educated them well about your brand. If you have some existing content or a documented guideline, share with the writers. Ultimately, it will help your business.
2. Have you ever worked with freelance content writers or a similar content marketing company before?
Knowing whether you are well aware of the work process is an important question your content writers should ask from you. Many writers I have met on freelance job boards don’t even have work ethics. Without going into why such job boards are spoiling the corporate culture, entrepreneurs should know the process before they hire writers for business content writing.
If your content writers are not pro-actively asking or discussing the work process with you, tell them to do so. Or ask whether they work like other freelancers or there’s a difference in the work process.
There’s no point in being uncertain about how the work will go on. Speak up and get the answers. A professional content writer will definitely invest his or her time in making you understand their work process no matter whether you are hiring writers for the first time or you’ve done the same in past.
3. Who Will Do What?
Don’t think that content creation is about just writing a few slogans, sentences or words. Content creation involves multiple process. If you are not aware of all this, here’s what you should know first. Content creation starts from planning and research. It involves selection of keywords, defining audience and tone to ensure expected results.
Anyone in the world can write something, but what matters the most is the way you are telling your brand story. It is not something you will be changing everyday, month or year. There are few things which will be there for years. It will define your brand culture, it will show people who and what you are. Content will tell them a story about your brand. How you started, how your products are making a difference, how your brand is helping people address those challenges they have been facing when you were not around.
If your writers are not asking or telling you about the process involved in content creation, ask them to provide you with a clear idea of what they are going to do other than simply writing the stuff for you. Are they going to perform keyword research, are they willing to analyze your competitors’ digital assets, social media channels and industry trends?
4. What Makes You Stand Out?
A content writer should know what separates a brand from the crowd. There should be a fine line between your brand and dabblers. Your content should show your unique selling preposition rather than just telling about it.
You should expect your content writing team to ask you about these things. If they aren’t, take the opportunity to make them understand why you are different. What are those things that should be highlighted.
Decorated, sugar coated words don’t work anymore if the content has no value. You and your writing team should understand this. If you feel like you are stuck with toxic people and made a mistake, try to make them understand and ask them to create content according to your guidelines. But even after that they are producing the same, it’s time for you to think for someone who is more experienced and well versed with writing. Time is money, and the more you invest it with inexperienced people, the more you will suffer.
Pro Tip: You may find a “Yes Man,” but when it comes to delivering on your expectations, many of them will turn out to be a pain in neck. Put as many questions as you can and let them answer. It is your responsibility to carry your brand forward, so make sure that you also co-operate with the writers to help them understand what you actually want. Many entrepreneurs, don’t have a clear idea on what they want from their content marketing team. Hanging in between multiple thoughts will not only confuse your content writers, but it will also result in poor content.