How To Get The Best From Your Writer

If you are a business owner or executive who hires a writer, it may well be the first time you have done so. Writing seems easy until you have to do it yourself! At least we think so, because after all, everyone learned to write, right? However it’s a different matter to produce writing that is punchy and persuasive. You are the expert in your product or service. your writer is your expert in presenting your product or service in a compelling manner.
Here are a few tips to make the process easier for both sides.
1. Check samples of the writer’s work so you know what to expect. Every project is different, but reading past samples will give you an idea of style and effect and whether you think that writer can present a product or service well.
2. Be open to new ways of thinking and marketing. Often your writer will come up with ideas and approaches that you hadn’t thought of, some of which you may balk at and which may seem risky to you. A good writer should have a solid knowledge of marketing (that’s what they write for after all) so it helps her do the best job for you if you’re willing to consider new ways of thinking about your business.
3. A “first draft” is just that – it’s the writer’s first attempt to present your business. Don’t panic if it’s not exactly perfect at this point. Most writers include one revision in the fee, so if there’s something you don’t like, let your writer know so that she can change it. A writer who doesn’t get it right first time is not a bad writer! Every writer expects and welcomes feedback and revisions but be specific. “I don’t like it” or “I don’t feel it reflects me” are too vague to take action on. Better to say something like “I’d like you to emphasize the personal attention we give” or “I’d rather leave out this fact.”
4. Don’t bug your writer before the promised deadline! Once you have agreed on the details of your project, your writer will let you know when to expect a first draft. Please don’t call asking how they are getting on or to see “what you’ve done so far”. Writers generally don’t work in a linear fashion and they spend as much time thinking and conceptualizing as they do writing, so what they’ve done so far could look chaotic. Trust that your writer is a professional and will keep the promised deadline.
5. Give lots of information. The writer can only work with information you provide. Too much is better than too little. Your writer will thin it out and pick out the gems that are relevant to your purpose in that particular piece. Even if you think something is unimportant, pass it on. It may be a hidden treasure that can be used.
6. Be sure you understand the fee. Is it a flat fee? Or hourly based? When is the balance due? Is there a penalty for missing revision deadlines? The best work can be marred by misunderstandings about fees.
7. Pay in the agreed time frame. I’m always surprised by those clients are eager to rush the initial payment to get the project started and then conveniently “forget” the terms of the agreement once the job is finished. Your writer also has to eat, and pay rent or mortgage! Paying on time will guarantee your writer’s best work and cooperation on your next project.
8. Build a close relationship with your writer. It’s the best guarantee of having a dedicated professional on your team.
9. If you have several projects in mind, do them in quick succession if possible. The best time for a writer to work on another project is when she is already immersed in the details of your business.

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