It used to be that the elite few could say they’ve been published. In this world of on-demand and vanity press publishing, anyone can be a published writer. Simply send in your manuscript and a self-publishing company will print and publish it for you, complete with ISBN. And then there’s the ebook route, allowing you to hit the digital publishing market at the click of a button. While the world of publishing and authorship has been vastly opened in the last couple of decades, it’s often more difficult to weed out the proverbial wheat from the chaff. So how do you determine a mediocre writer from a writer with higher standards?
Portfolio: The proof is in the pudding
A good writer should have some written materials to show, be that in a professional portfolio of published work or in posts on social media. For instance, one of my acquaintances has a small writing gig, but when I read her posts on Facebook, I find myself chuckling and laughing at her creative use of hashtags and how she expresses what’s happening around her. Not many people can write humour well, but her Facebook page is testament to her talent. Her professional writing jobs doesn’t reflect her widespread talent. Check out the writer you’re thinking about working with and see if you like what he or she has written in the past, or is capable of writing for you in the future.
A good writer should approach each task with a level of professionalism that shows he or she wants to reflect your unique personality and voice.
Approach: Professional and prepared
When I met with a client to redesign his website, he expected to tell me what I was going to write. Instead, I opened up my notebook and asked him a series of questions about him and his business that really made him think: How did you get started in this industry? How did you come to own this company? What are a few core values you bring to the workplace? If you could describe your company in one sentence to a complete stranger, what would you say? I wasn’t just looking for the answers to those questions; the language my client used when answering allowed me to see a bit of his personality, which helped me to create factual and engaging content that reflected him and his business. Notice also, that I had prepared the questions ahead of time. I’d given it some thought. A good writer should approach each task—whether big or small—with a level of professionalism that shows he or she wants to reflect your unique personality and voice.
Effective: Does it work?
This one’s a no-brainer. If the writing isn’t effective, then your campaign is going to fall through. Different writers specialize in different types of writing, and you may not want to hire a strictly academic writer to prepare your tongue-in-cheek magazine marketing content. Are the hooks punchy? When you see the logo do you immediately remember the tagline? Marketing content needs to be memorable and engaging, but also needs to drive your audience to action. Yes, writers can be great at writing a variety of different styles, but if your pieces aren’t measuring up, it’s time to find a new writer.
Ensuring your marketing materials engage your audience and are memorable and effective begins with hiring the right writer for the job. Make sure it’s a writer you get along with, too. This is the person who will be showcasing your company, so they need to “get” you and what your company is all about.
If you’re searching a writer to help with your marketing pieces, resume, reports, or video content, check out my details. I’d love to get to know you and help your business succeed.