Written by: Charlotte Ratcliffe, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Entrusting your brand’s content to a freelance writer can seem like a leap of faith. After all, they will adopt the voice and continue the message you’ve built around your business. That’s a big deal.
The good news is that excellent writers are ready to get started on content that adds genuine value to your brand. They’re the experts who will take your goals and transform them into engaging copy.
To find content writers who are perfect for your brand, there are four key steps to take. In this article, we’ll show you how it’s done.
Types of Content Writers
Not every content writer will suit every business. Whilst some writers adapt to a comprehensive range of styles and topics, most will specialize. Here are just some of the types of writers you might encounter on your search:
As the name suggests, technical writers have in-depth knowledge of a specific subject. They also have a knack for transforming complex ideas into content that’s easy for the lay reader to understand.
If you aim to give relatively dry concepts a human side or engage a wider audience with niche ideas, a technical writer might be the right fit.
Most companies with an online presence have a blog, and the best ensure that it’s updated regularly. However, for busy entrepreneurs and their teams, there may not be time to dedicate to writing blog posts.
This is where a blogger can step in. They have the skills to write enticing titles, catchy content and maintain a brand-appropriate narrative that connects with its intended audience.
Don’t think of blogs as a bit of fluff; they’re actually tried-and-tested tools for valuable audience engagement. Blogs also act as an easy-accessible knowledge base that helps establish you as an expert in your field.
Social Media Content Creators
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between a blogger and a social media content creator? Aren’t they both just making stuff for online channels?
That’s partly right. Yes, both roles center their work on the internet, but their styles are completely different. Bloggers have the scope to write anything from a listicle through to a long-form piece – and everything in between.
Social media creators are working to a much tighter word count, with a totally different style. They must deliver a message in as few words as possible whilst retaining the voice, tone, and ethos of the brand.
They must also know how to form a close connection with the audience, creating and maintaining trust. Social media experts work in a rapidly-changing sector; thus, they have to be on top of every trend and know precisely if and how it will work for their clients.
You may require written or visual work that needs the investigative expertise of a journalist. Some might even have connections with popular publications that are relevant to your industry.
Journalists are also excellent press release writers, so if there’s something your brand is keen to announce, it can help bring a journalist on board.
If you’re planning to create video content for your brand, it helps to have a script ready – that way, none of the messages will be missed, and the whole endeavor will be considerably more professional.
When we talk about scriptwriters, we’re not thinking about Oscar winners. If your budget extends to Tarantino, all well and good! However, a scriptwriter with an online content experience is your best bet. They will know exactly how to develop scenes that connect with an audience and deliver your brand voice.
4 Tips to Find a Content Writer to Fit Your Brand Voice
1. Understand Your Brand Voice
It’s impossible to give a writer an idea of the voice you’d like your brand to project, if you don’t already know what this is.
Finding a consistent brand voice can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. You don’t have to do this alone. Involve a writer from the start; they will transform your ideas into a clear, congruous narrative.
You might also want to bring in a branding specialist. This can seem like a big investment – particularly if your brand is new – but an investment is exactly what this is. Like any good investment, you’ll receive a return. In this case, it’s consistent branding from the start – a very valuable concept!
2. Conduct a Trial with New Writers
There’s only one sure-fire way to know if a writer is perfect for your brand, and that’s to test out their skills!
Writers are familiar with this process and won’t be offended if you ask for a trial piece! Have a clear brief ready (see point 4 for more on this) and provide as much detail as you can. This helps the writer to understand the voice, style, and intended narrative. In turn, a trial allows you to assess whether the writer will adhere correctly to your brief – 500 to 1,000 words is generally enough for a test article.
One final note about trials – pay your writers. This isn’t an opportunity to score free content. Quality writers deserve quality pay, and that starts from the trial.
3. Be Prepared for Editing Rounds
Even the best writer in the world needs to work on edits at some point. Don’t be disheartened if you find there’s scope for improvement in a trial or assigned article – this is an opportunity to develop the writer’s understanding of your brand voice.
It takes one or two rounds of edits to know whether a writer can hit the brief correctly. The process would be as follows:
● First draft
● First round of editing
● Second draft
If action items remain after the second round, it’s a sign that the writer isn’t a good match for your brand.
4. Prepare Your Brief Sheet
This is the document that will guide the content your writer produces. Describe your vision for the piece, as well as links or attachments to information you’d like to include and styles you’d like to emulate, if available.
You should also mention any keywords or terminology that fits your brand and the purpose of the piece. Fine details create the right tone of voice – and a decent writer will pick up on that.
Finding the perfect writer for your brand can take some trial and error. Understand that if your brand doesn’t gel with a writer – or vice versa – this isn’t anyone’s fault. It doesn’t indicate a bad writer, nor does it signal a demanding client. It’s simply not a match.
Once you find content writers that can confidently communicate with your brand’s voice, you’re all set to get your message out there.
Charlotte Ratcliffe, Executive Contributor, Brainz Magazine
With over 10 years of experience writing for businesses across a variety of industries, Charlotte Ratcliffe founded Silhouette Creatives as a way to bring affordable content and copywriting to SMEs. Focused on content strategies and writing that see results, she has spent the last several years writing for the technological sector and has since become CMO of several technological organizations. Offering Marketing Strategy and Content Strategies to startups.