Who you get into bed with shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a serious matter. From the seductive glances of a first meet to the caresses and late-night conversations that set your heart on fire. You get swooped up in the emotion and before you know it, you’re walking around regretting every decision you’ve made. Finding the right business partner or hire is no different.
Joan, a savvy and informed business owner and marketer, was recently lamenting on her challenge to find the right project hire at a meet-up.
She lost a client — a client she’s had for a long time. Sure, those are never easy to handle. Especially if they’re a big part of your revenue stream. But the more she spoke, the more I understood the problem.
It wasn’t her marketing. It wasn’t her quality. Nor her service. She had all the goods to make her business work. It was her ability to bring in the right people on projects — in this case — a writer.
Let’s be honest. As a small client-service business, you won’t have all the skills you need. And as your business evolves, you find the need to hire other experts to manage the load.
If I had enough hair on my head to count the number of times I’ve heard — writing is just not my thing — I’d need a haircut twice a week.
And I’m not bald by the way. See for yourself.
But in a world where copywriting and content writing are more important than ever, nobody tells you who you need to hire or what to look for when you do. Then you end up in situations like this:
- You find a writer for your client project.
- You do the due diligence, feel satisfied and then jump right to work.
- Over the next 3 months, you realize their quality is poor. Deadlines are being missed and your calls go unanswered. Your client is starting to complain.
- After a lengthy discussion, you reassure them that you’ll find someone to match.
- You find another writer who’s convinced you that they can do the job and you won’t have the same problems. After all, they seem more professional. Their prices are different, sure. And they’re so busy that they only have a few hours a week to actually work on your projects.
- They get it done, on deadline. But the number of revisions keeps increasing — along with your costs.
- You’re not only wasting time, but progress is slow and you’re hitting a critical point in your business.
- It’s costing you too much money to work like this.
- Frustrated and stressed, you’re now picking up the pieces of your broken reputation — a reputation you worked so hard to build.
If you hired the right copywriter, you can avoid all those problems. Yes, they’re that important to the business.
But not all copywriters or content writers are experts at everything. As a business owner or marketer, you need to understand which writer works for your goals. If you don’t even know the difference between a copywriter or content writer, you should read this first.
So, which type of writer should you hire?
The Search Engine Optimization Writer
Looking to get yourself to the top pages of search engines like Google? This is your go-to. Search Engine Optimization or SEO writers are the generalists of the copywriting world. They’re the writers who understand how words work for the web. SEO writers have knowledge and content marketing savvy to put your most prized and targeted keywords on the map.
They’re hired for businesses and marketers looking to build your brand and improve reach. Not your industry expert, they can easily learn what you do and churn words that help you get found.
You’ll find these writers applying their skill to blog posts, articles and web content. Usually strategy-based and research-oriented craftsmen, they pack a potent punch of good writing skills.
The Technical Writer
Niche. That’s the first thing that comes to mind for any technical writer. They’re specific to the technical work of most tech, robotics or computer science companies. They provide simple folk with a less intricate and more presentable explanation. Technical writers are thorough, methodical and efficient in how they work.
If you’ve ever read a product guide, an IKEA manual or a how-to blog post for products named “RZY2000 Hyper-maker,” — and understood what it is and how you use it — then you’ve read the work of a technical writer. They relay facts, references and information to help guide consumers using specialist products.
Product and Business Writer
You’ve read Amazon product descriptions. Or maybe you’ve downloaded an e-book from your industry leader to snoop at what’s new or what’s working. Those two examples have professional business writers written all over it.
Professional business writers work closely with digital marketers of companies. They produce words that are easy to understand. They write business blog posts to grow authority and have usually worked in the industry before. They look at topics from different angles and provide information customers may not have thought about before. Consider these pros to be in low supply and high demand for any corporation who wants to get their word out.
These bad boys are all about action. They are the direct, down-your-throat writers who make you wonder where all your time went. They’re the persuasive geniuses who hypnotize you into buying that product or clicking that button.
Conversion-based copywriters usually overlap in skillset with the Web or User Experience Writer. You’ll find them working on long-form sales letters, landing page copy and call-to-actions.
A conversion-based writer’s arsenal consists of data, analytics and psychology. They use selling methodologies and copywriting strategies to build stories. Their ability to integrate customer objections and overcome barriers to sales make them a key tool in your toolbox. Want someone who understands your customers better than your customers themselves? Cue this conversion expert.
User Experience Writer
Have a website? Building an app? Want to make sure you’re not wasting money and actually building something to get results? Hire a user experience writer.
They’re the analytical and data-focused professionals behind every button, link or action. UX writers understand your customer’s digital journey better than anyone. They’re able to write micro and button copy that guides your customers to action. They use strategy and tactics to help create content that flows.
Ever signed up for an app and went through the on-boarding process? Yep, they wrote that. On-page navigation. Microcopy. Call-to-action and Social Media copy. They do it.
They even write things like this:
Social Media Writer
Most times, your first point of customer contact isn’t your website. It’s social media. If your website is your house, social platforms are the coffee shops, social events and meetups you go to.
These wizards are the magical fingers behind social media posts and platforms.
Note: just because you post on social media doesn’t make you a social media writer.
Social Media Writers have a deep understanding in most, if not all, social media platforms. They know the rules and idiosyncrasies of each and can navigate within these limitations.
They help business owners to know how and when to use links, hashtags, questions and polls. They manage or build multi-touch content journeys for a better social experience.
What’s more? They’re experts at re-purposing content into bite-sized pieces to keep your audience happy and engaged. You’ll usually find these experts dabbling with content calendars and graphic design.
Instructional Design Writers
The newbies of the bunch. These artists are the ninjas behind great e-learning courses. They’re responsible for creating easy and fun learning experiences for beginners.
Using a deep understanding of a learners needs, instructional design writers create storyboards you to easily go through the learning process.
This is one of the more taxing writer positions as it takes patience to develop the content they write. Keep in mind, these writers also have to keep to international standards of curriculum building. If you’re starting a new course soon, instructional design writers are the ones to thank.
So before you jump into bed with the next available writer or hire, think about the type of writer you need. While many have overlapping skillsets (like a Web Copywriter and Social Media Writer), figure out why you need them.
Understanding your problem is the first step to help you decide who to hire or work with. Knowing your final goal helps to dictate your choice. There’s nothing worse than losing a client because you hired the wrong person for the job. I always say hiring a specialist is better in the long-term than a generalist.