“Guidelines are fundamental when working with freelance writers.”
As a content manager, I do have a responsibility to clearly state and speak the voices of the business through digital content marketing. For the business to strive and go long-term through digital content marketing, I will always need an extra hand. The problem is you can’t have everyone to be on the same page as you. Your vision and goals to your business can be different from someone you hire, and this can affect your business performances. That is why you will always need rules or guidelines for your freelance writers.
Hiring someone to help will be more effective when I set some rules and guidelines for them, to ensure the process runs smoothly until the final project. In this article, we’ll show you the fundamental rules that we usually use. Read on to get some valuable insight from our flow.
1. Create the onboarding process
- Company’s vision & mission: Brief of the company story, or the task of the project. Drive them so that they are on the same page with your business. Let the freelancer learn and do research first about the industry. It will only be a waste to hire a competent freelance that won’t go with your business vision if at the end they won’t work the way you wanted them to be. It won’t benefit both of you if you need to keep on telling them how to do their work .
- Stay connected: Decide early on the best way to keep in touch. Tell them how you should communicate regarding the business’s goals. It could be a daily report or even an old-fashioned report/assigning emailed at the first or the end of the week (for freelancers).
2. Establish clear ground rules and timelines
- Having a ground rules: Set the ground rules that are in your head, and you’ll have a much better chance they will follow it. When do you need this piece? How will you handle edits? Do you want your writer/designer to deliver a finished first draft, or check-in after the first paragraph to make sure what they’re doing is on track?
- Guidelines and timelines: This will help you and your team member to work within boundaries that are expected. Without instructions and only deadline, you won’t have a digital content that fits your business. And without a timeline, you are running your business that’s underperforming. Be as specific as you can.
3. Set goal & provide outline
- Share your standard: We in RPS are always try to be explicit with our writer/designer about what we’re looking. What is the goal of our writing project? What format do we expect it in? How long should it be? What sort of style / tone of voice should be used?
- Outline: Provide your team the outline you’d like them to follow carefully in the piece(s). Benchmark/reference graphic for a designer. By giving goals and outline of how you want their work to be, you are providing clarity for them and your team to manage your digital content.
4. Communication system & examples
- Find a suit-for-all communication system: Communication can be unclear sometimes, and the problem grows bigger when you work with a remote freelancer. There isn’t any tool that can replace the effectiveness of a face-to-face interaction, and due to the problem of remote working, communicating might be an issue. Find a communication tool that everyone use and prefer.
- Cite example: Cite examples of similar work that you think are great. An ad you love, a blog post that uses the same style, formatting, and structure as the one you’re looking for, a landing page from a different industry that you’d like to mirror. (also determine how in-depth the post need to be: e.g. 800 words, tone of voice, target audience, visual reference we want to have, etc.).
5. Include all the relevant information
- Relevant information: Giving the relevant information to your team member is necessary, especially when you have a freelancer in your team. Providing relevant information will help your team member in deciding their next step regarding their work.
- Results Instruction: Where will this piece of writing go when it’s complete? Are there links/pieces of crucial information that needs to be included? What do you expect readers to do after they finish reading? Will you be including any images to support the writing? Any special instructions? Where can the writer go to learn more about your company before writing?
6. Communicate effectively
Communicating with your team that is in the same office is easy, but what if you have a remote working freelancer in your team? We all realize that communication is still the key to have a performing business. Deciding on how to communicate and what tool to use will help you and your team member. Use these tools to ease your work:
- Whatsapp: Whatsapp is an easy to use app that will help you to interact with your team by using tools to automate, sort, and respond to messages. You are also able to organize contacts with labels so you can easily find people by the sort of you have made.
- Trello: Helpful task manager. It’s a flexible way to organize your plans and project using simple boards, list, and cards that everyone can understand.
- Google Drive: A useful text reviewing and approval app that can be revised by several team members.
- Slack: A messaging app that integrates with Google Docs and keeps all your documents and pictures and sync.
- Skype: Skype can be used to improve your relationship with your team members, a teleconference video call is helpful for you and your team to have a remote meeting. Skype also enables its user to record phone calls that is legal for future analysis and learning purposes.
Digital content marketing can be a daunting process, but if you set some rules and guidelines to your digital content team, it will be so much easier to do your digital marketing content. Follow the process, learn along the way, and you’ll end up with excellent writing for your business. If you’re new and having a hard time to set some rules and guidelines to your digital content team, check our writer outline content template that we usually use.
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