Five reasons why you need to hire a freelance contract copywriter now

vice tighteningGood News for 1Q/2Q 2015: Pent up demand for marketing communications projects letting loose!

Bad News for 1Q/2Q 2015: The vice is tightening to get it all done.

Okay, I will admit this from the beginning, as a long-standing freelance or contractor copywriter, this blog is a little self-serving.

But, listen up all you marketing managers, creative agency directors and non-profit presidents responsible for your organization’s marcom:

If the vice is tightening on your promotional needs: Hire or contract freelance copywriters... without going through the hassle and time crunch to hire more full-time staff.

Most businesses like yours are pulling out of the recession and handling pent up demand for marketing communications services. Managers have more items on their promo plate than they have hours in their day. Since business is growing, all those shelved communications proposals and marketing plans are being dusted off and implemented. Is the vice tightening up enough yet?

Then, outsourcing your many writing projects–large and small–to freelancers is one of the smartest, most economical decisions you can make. Hiring someone to write your sales collateral, blog posts and web copy can free you up to do your job and provide you with better ROI.

So,with this in mind, here are the TOP FIVE reasons why hiring a freelance contract writer makes more dollars and sense:

  1. Experts in their field. You are a fantastic manager and creative individual, and you may even be a great writer with considerable training, but do you have the time or focused expertise to sit down and write a polished professional piece from start to finish? Your time is money. You don’t need to spend entire afternoons tweaking brochure content or creating press releases. Think of how much money you are worth per hour and multiply it times the amount of hours it will take you to finish writing that instruction booklet or product description.
  2. Flexibility. Working with a freelancer provides you with flexibility. You can work out an agreement that meets your specific needs within your budget, whether it’s on a per project, contract or long term basis. Freelance writers offer better rates because of the flexibility they offer in terms of working arrangements.
  3. Save time and money. Freelancers are a more cost effective option when compared to hiring because you don’t have to spend money and resources on the hiring process, training, benefits, and the cost of continuously employing someone. You can work out a service agreement based on a specific budget number. Better still, professional freelance writers meet deadlines and go above and beyond expectations because they are hungrier and want to renew your business more so than any permanent employee who knows a consistent paycheck will always be there no matter what their deliveries may be.
  4. Eliminate overhead and HR bureaucracy. When you hire freelance contractor writers, no need for office space (unless you already have it), insurance benefits or paid vacation. They want to build a long term relationship with your company without the insistence of full time work. Freelance writers focus on the project at hand. They are not distracted with office politics. And you deal with one person for everything. No agency protocols to mess with.
  5. Bring in fresh outside perspectives. You’ve spent hours thinking about your business and tweaking your products and services. You can probably recite your current brochure in your sleep. Because freelance writers have most likely worked for your competitors at some point or already taken on a similar project under another roof, they have more diverse thinking and are more capable of generating new ideas and thinking out-of-the-box to make your products and services sound even better.

A Word to Communications Majors Entering the Real World: Network First, Cover Letter/Resume Second

English Major SymposiumHow many English/Communications/PR/Journalism majors realize that 70-80 percent of jobs available are never posted on traditional job sites or posting boards?

I was honored to present to a group of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed graduating English majors from Ursuline College, Walsh University and Mount Union College last Saturday as part of  a group of professional writers giving a little reality therapy on what to expect when entering the real world of job seeking and the workplace after (or while) earning that hard-earned degree.

It was a brilliant move on the part of Dr. Ronald Scott, Walsh University Division Chair and Associate Professor of English, to bring about 100 students together for a half-day focused on An English major? What job will you find with that?”

During my presentation, it was a show of hands for how many have ever attended a professional networking activity (i.e., IABC, PRSA, SPJ, NEOSTC):  I believe I saw 2 hands go up.

A show of hands for how many had a profile on LinkedIn.  It looked like 3, maybe 4.

A show of hands for how many have put together a portfolio to take out to interviews and post on personal website.  Again, it looked like 3 or 4.

And finally, a show of hands for how many have had or looked into corporate or company  internships.  That looked like a good half-a-dozen at most.

A good portion of the symposium was spent on presentations by college career center coaches on how to “perfect” your resume and cover letter.  Don’t get me wrong–this is a very, very important step and needs to be handled.

Yet, I hoped to get another message out there loud and clear on the importance of getting out there and networking, too.  And how to make it a priority and elevate it to a high art.

Listen up you starter millennials, whether majoring in English or not:   It’s who you know. It’s how you stand out. It’s how you relate to business professionals one-on-one.

To succeed in the art of networking, that means:

1. Maintaining eye contact and leaving your smart phone in your pocket on silence.  Okay, okay, smartphones can come out when typing in contact information or showing something from your online portfolio.  After that, shove it back in your pocket…and keep it silent.

2. Asking a lot of inquisitive questions about others and their struggles and challenges on the job– it’s really not about you at first–in fact it seldom is.

3.  Instead of trying to fit in and following the rules–get outside your box and take chances.  Find your gimmick, schtick, juice…and let ‘er rip. Don’t be annoying, just charming.

Scary? Yeah, maybe at first, but it fades quickly.  If you reach a level like me where every day you go out there, make a fool of yourself somehow, someway…and in the end no-one really cares.  Get out there and stand out a little–that’s what counts!  And in fact, by doing this you will most likely endear yourself to someone who will want you more than anyone else.

And…let’s not forget the most crucial element in the art of networking that will jettison you to the top because only maybe 5 percent of job opportunity seekers will do this:

networkingFollow up!  Keep sending appropriate, clever, focused, awesome correspondence that will keep you top of mind when an opportunity arises.  Don’t be a pest, just persistent.  Believe me, you’ll eventually nail it!