It Takes an Army: Building a Stable of Freelance Writers to Meet Your Content Marketing Goals
Whether a company is at the expansion stage or ranks among the Fortune 500, its success depends in large part on being efficient. The same holds true for content marketing. You can measure its success by rationalizing the impact your content has against the cost of producing it. This is where freelance writers can be an indispensable part of the equation. Leverage them effectively, and you will create better content for less money, maximizing your efficiency and your return on investment in the process.
In most cases, using freelancers is a no-brainer. Doing so gives you on-demand access to the editorial resources you need, when you need them, far more cost-effectively than adding a full-time editorial team to the payroll. Plus, when you have a stable of freelancers at your fingertips, you typically have access to a broader range of skill sets and expertise, making it easier to produce a rich array of high-quality content.
Now don’t get me wrong. To execute a content marketing strategy successfully, you need dedicated, full-time editorial professionals on staff. And, having them — particularly a managing editor — can bring huge advantages. But to truly be effective, my view is that you should keep your in-house team small and ensure that it is not only able to create great content, but also adept at utilizing freelancers to do so.
So if you want to build up a team of freelancers to help you with your content marketing efforts, how do you? Here are four tips to help get you started:
1) Assess Your Needs
No matter if your content marketing team consists of one person or one hundred, it’s going to have strengths and weaknesses. Identify the gaps and use freelancers to fill them. Remember, freelancers can be a source of additional manpower, but they can also be a tool for enhancing your team’s capabilities.
2) Tap into Local Resources
If you’re starting out from scratch, the best place to find great freelancers is by shaking the trees in your professional network. The reality is that all kinds of organizations use them, and not just their marketing teams, so there’s a good chance that you know someone who’s worked with a few and can point you in the right direction. You’ll almost always find better freelance talent by relying on word-of-mouth referrals than if you just turn to Google for your search.
3) You Get What You Pay For….Usually
Great freelancers can command high rates because, frankly, they’re worth it. You’re absolutely going to pay a premium for expertise, professionalism, flexibility, reliability, and quality. If you’re not willing to spend the cash, be prepared to compromise on one of more of those areas. That said, great freelancers keep their fees competitive. Those with rates in the stratosphere rarely meet expectations.
4) Cultivate Strong Relationships
Just because they’re a virtual part of your team, doesn’t mean that you should only have virtual contact with your freelancers. Build strong relationships with them by ensuring you have regular touch points by phone and, if possible, in person. Bring them into the fold — both of your team and your company — and you’ll find that they’re more engaged, feel a greater sense of accountability, and produce better content.