You think you’ve found a freelance writer for that new piece of marketing collateral to support a new product announcement. Now, how can you get the best work out of him, or her, with the least time and effort?
1) Know what you want. The writer can’t do a good job until they know about how long each deliverable should be; the most important two or three points they should stress; whether you want an objective (educational) or salesy tone; who is the target audience for the piece and what action you want the reader to take after they read the piece.
2) Designate one person who will consolidate comments about the project from all reviewers. This person must have the responsibility and authority to settle internal disagreements about the tone or content of the piece, and to refer to the author to subject matter experts as needed. Allowing multiple readers to enter their own suggestions, comments and questions in overlapping drafts — or to give the author conflicting guidance — guarantees chaos, mistakes and delays.
3) Keep in touch. If a project drops into limbo while you wait for client or internal approval, let the freelancer know. This shows you value the time they’ve put into the project. Remember, also, that the freelancer is waiting for your final okay to bill for their work. Finally, paying within 30 days shows a freelancer you value their work, and makes it more likely they’ll make time for you the next time you call with an emergency project.
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