Why Marketers Struggle to Hire the Best Freelance Writers

Why Marketers Struggle to Hire the Best Freelance Writers. “Get us a nurse or a doctor… who can also write.” While working as an account representative at Contently last year, I often heard this type of request from customers interested in our freelance network. Unlike editors, marketers are trained to think about professional background when considering candidates. Here’s the crucial detail everyone in content marketing needs to understand: Being an expert and communicating expertise are two very different things. Companies that understand the value of quality writing and subject-matter expertise usually execute successfully on their content plans right from the start. To be fair, there are other factors at play that impact a brand’s readiness to publish (such as understanding how to work with a freelance team or receiving organizational buy-in). You do that by doing the right reporting, reading the right sources, and interviewing the right people.” Last year, I transitioned within Contently from the account management team to the talent team, which vets freelancers in our network and recommends them to clients. My job also includes setting the right expectations with our clients so they understand what it’s like to work with a freelance team—often for the first time. We’re making some substantial progress, like building story rubrics and in-depth training programs to track and improve the quality of the work that contributors submit. “Find experts, and have strong writers bring forth their experiences,” Garrity said.

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“Get us a nurse or a doctor… who can also write.”

While working as an account representative at Contently last year, I often heard this type of request from customers interested in our freelance network. Regardless of the industry, be it finance, insurance, technology, etc., many of our clients came in with a desire for that perfect hybrid of writer-professional. The request may sound smart, but it’s actually a damaging approach that can ruin your efforts to build a team of freelancers.

Unlike editors, marketers are trained to think about professional background when considering candidates. When making a new hire, for example, they’re accustomed to reviewing a resume and gauging someone’s experience. So taking this mindset to content marketing makes sense to them. But rather than reading through a writer’s clips to see if she can spin a compelling narrative, they’re prone to searching for job titles and responsibilities.

Here’s the crucial detail everyone in content marketing needs to understand: Being an expert and communicating expertise are two very different things. Clients that fixate on finding the perfect professional who can also write tend to struggle. Companies that understand the value of quality writing and subject-matter expertise usually execute successfully on their content plans right from the start.

To be fair, there are other factors at play that impact a brand’s readiness to publish (such as understanding how to work with a freelance team or receiving organizational buy-in). But it helps tenfold to understand that a quality writer is more important than a professional with an established background. Freelancers typically write stronger first drafts, track down sources quicker (and are familiar with using sources), and already know how to work with an editorial team.

Besides,…

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