You’re good at many things — be that sales, client relations, team building, finance… but if professional writing isn’t one of your qualifications, back away from the content. Just as you’re an expert in your business, you need a content expert to bring your thought leadership to life. A professional writer makes a valuable addition to your team, getting to know you and your industry and doing battle with semi-colons and synonyms so that you don’t have to.
Here are just a few of the reasons writing your own content isn’t the best strategy:
1. Do You Have Exceptional Writing Skills?
If you were a truly great writer, you would write full-time. Chances are, you’re really great at something else and your writing skills might not be as fine-tuned as someone with years of professional experience. You wouldn’t ask an apprentice electrician to rewire your house, so let a professional writer work literary magic on your content to showcase your best self.
2. Can You Make Writing a Priority?
With everything else on your to-do list, writing content will always be tomorrow’s work, or the work you rushed through on the train, or the work you dread tackling. Crafting quality content is a full-time job. (And it’s important that it comes out quality. Otherwise, why do it?) Your calendar is booked solid running your business; you’ve got enough to-do as is.
3. Do You Know What to Focus on?
Do you know what to write? What’s too complicated for your readers? What will be interesting for your target audience? Where to even begin? How can you hook a reader from the first sentence? An outside perspective can help you to see the forest for the trees and structure your piece so that it is organized and flows neatly from one point to another.
4. Is Writing Content One of the Reasons Why You Hired Your Team?
Your employees aren’t writers either – and it shows. They’re skilled professionals in your industry, but professional writing was never on their resumes. If you delegate this task to them, you might not like what you get back. Then you’re forced to reject their content (which was never in their job description in the first place). All in all, it’s an endeavor best avoided.
5. Do You Know How to Write For the Medium?
Writing a book is one thing. Writing an instructional manual, yet another. Writing for the internet is a whole new ball game. Knowing how to write for each particular form is a skill most professional take years to acquire. You don’t just want good writing that masters all the basics of grammar and punctuation. You also want effective writing that will capture web readers’ attentions. Go with a professional whose job it is to know what works and what definitely doesn’t to really resonate with your audience.
6. But How Can a Freelance Writer Understand Your Business?
As a business leader, you must be thinking, “How could freelance writers possibly write about my business? They haven’t worked for this company or in this industry. How will they know what I’m talking about?” But you’re skilled at explaining what you do — it is, after all, part of what you do every day.
Content creation is a team sport. Someone has to bring the expert thought leadership. (That’s you.) Someone else has to bring the strategy. Yet another someone has to bring the writing skills. (That’s your writer.) At first, your freelance writer will only have a cursory understanding of your business and marketplace. Have your writer complete an “immersion” that will get him or her up to speed on the basics of your business. Their knowledge will expand exponentially as they spend more and more time absorbing your thought leadership and working on your content. Their first few attempts might not be completely flawless, but with a little guidance, a professional freelance writer can quickly learn the ropes.
Content Creation Can Be a Joy, Not a Burden
As a busy business leader, content creation will rapidly become a burden. Working with a talented freelance writer, all you have to do is talk. Explain the details and intricacies of your subject, the way you would to an employee, colleague, prospect, or customer. Let the writer handle the crafting of the piece. Sure, the first attempt or two might need some polishing — what you do is complex and nobody can master it overnight — but over all, your content creation will be faster and the results more effective because you did what you do best, and you let a professional writer do what he or she does best.