Adapted from: Keven Spacey
As a professional writer, I get to work with a range of businesses on all sorts of projects. Over the years, I find a lot of business people aren’t aware of exactly how an experienced, reliable writer can boost a business. So, what can a professional writer do to help you get your message across more effectively and improve your bottom line? Here are 10 good reasons why hiring a decent writer could be the very best thing you could do for your business:
- A freelance writer can save you loads of time –
You may already have people in your office who are decent writers, but wouldn’t their time be better spent on other tasks? A freelance writer does this stuff for a living – they can do it quickly and professionally. When you take into consideration the amount of research, training, meetings and other time-munchers that may be needed to put your staff in a position to get a major writing project completed (along with all their other work), it makes sense to hand it all over to a professional.
- A freelance writer can improve your sales –
A seasoned writer of persuasive sales copy knows from experience which words, phrases and emotional triggers get the best statistical response from potential customers. They know how to use SEO to attract prospects to your site, and create engaging content to keep them there. Copywriting is an art form, which is why some of the best copywriters who work for high-end PR firms can command $150 an hour (don’t worry, most cost far less). If a writer can communicate the benefits of your product or service with crystal clarity so the customer better understands it, isn’t that customer more likely to buy from you?
- A freelance writer can give you access to other experts –
Writers who have been around for many years usually have a pretty impressive set of business contacts. If you hire a writer and then decide you might also be able to use the services of a graphic designer, business coach, web guru or social media expert, you may find that the writer you just hired already knows experts like these. Web designers and freelance writers often work together, for example, so the one is often in a position to recommend the other to the same client.
- A freelance writer provides an outsider’s perspective –
Writers work with all kinds of businesses, and are exposed to all kinds of marketing ideas and communication techniques. Sometimes all a project really needs to get moving in the right direction is the perspective of someone outside the company. A writer can bring fresh ideas and new inspiration to the task.
- A freelance writer brings professionalism, and all its benefits –
Now and then I get hired for a writing job because a business tried to cut corners and ‘save money’ by hiring a part-time teenage blog enthusiast or a dirt-cheap ‘expert English writer’ from Bangladesh or Bhutan. Four months and several horribly underqualified writers later, they give me a call and I get the job done properly for them. So, how do you know if you’re dealing with a true professional writer? To start with, they should have an online portfolio where you can check out their previous work. They will usually expect a deposit up front, they can provide testimonials from satisfied clients, they normally have a Linkedin presence, they meet every deadline, they communicate fully with clients at all stages of the job and they conduct themselves like a professional. A professional freelancer may not be the cheapest, but they will give you the best value for the money you spend.
- A freelance writer doesn’t have to be hired locally –
The huge advantage of enlisting the skills of a freelance writer is that you can hire them from just about anywhere. For example, at the moment I am writing for clients in Australia, the US, Canada, Wales, New Zealand and even one in Samoa. We correspond by email and I am paid by PayPal. I know other writers who use Skype to communicate with their international clients. So if you need a particular writing job done right, you are by no means confined to your local job market in searching for the appropriate person. Because I can write in either US or UK English (I was born in California but now live in Queensland, Australia), I happily write for any English-speaking client that requires my skills – no matter where in the world they live.
- A freelance writer can properly balance SEO and content –
I have a few clients that provide very specific SEO requirements for their websites (which is fine, though I am never shy about suggesting more readable improvements). I have others who say they don’t want (and this is a direct quote from one) “spammy, generic SEO junk” but instead would like “quality, engaging content that people actually want to read” for their business site. My philosophy is simple: riveting content is the best way to keep people’s eyeballs on your website, so I always tell clients up front that I write for readability first and SEO second – while understanding the value of both.
- A freelance writer can make you look like an industry expert –
One marketing idea that I suggest to some businesses is to provide a free eBook on their website that answers the most commonly asked customer questions about the service or product they provide. What this achieves is reputation enhancement: the expertise provided in the eBook shows customers that (a) this company knows what it’s talking about, (b) they’ve gone to the effort to communicate better with their customer base and (c) they are willing to provide useful information – not just a sales pitch. In my mind, one of the major jobs of a professional writer is to help make a business look better in the eyes of the public, and ‘value-added communication’ on a business site is a great way to achieve this – whether it takes the form of eBooks, tutorials, case studies, white papers, explanatory videos (yes, writers can also help with video scripts) or better product descriptions.
- A freelance writer is a smart outsourcing solution –
When you engage the services of a freelance writer you’re using a self-employed contractor. You don’t have to train them. You don’t have to provide medical and dental benefits for them. You don’t have to look over their shoulder to see if they’re really working or just playing online chess with some guy in Chile (okay, guilty). In many cases, you don’t even need to set up a meeting with them (email works just fine). All you have to do is clearly define the job, set a timeline for completion, agree on the fee and payment terms and go ahead and get the job done. A dependable, competent writer is a stress-remover for your business.
- A freelance writer can bring clarity –
In my experience, non-profit organisations have a lot going on. Because they’re moving in so many directions and have so many different projects, ideas and initiatives happening at once, their websites can often benefit from consolidation and simplification of the messages they’re trying to get across. I’ve found that a lot of newer non-profits (and some businesses) don’t really even have a clear definition of exactly how they want to communicate their objectives. This is where a skilled writer/editor can make a massive difference to how an organisation is perceived by the public. Clarity is king, and clarity is precisely what good writing brings to a business.