Thursday, 22 December 2011

7 Qualities of a Good Freelance Business Writer

Much of your business image depends on the quality of your written materials (brochures, sales letters, case studies, etc.). A freelance business writer can make your written materials look their best. The benefits to you? You can expect to enjoy increased visibility in your industry, and attract more customers to your business. But not all freelance writers are equal in quality. But how do you pick a good business writer? How can you be sure you're hiring someone who can make your business look its best?
Here are 7 qualities you should find in the business writer you hire:
Good SAMPLES. Any one in the business should have examples of the work they do. Look it over. If you like their past work, you'll probably like what they do for you--even if they don't have work exactly like what you are looking for. A strong body of work in one area often translates into other areas as well.
Good ATTITUDE. Does the copywriter you're dealing with have an upbeat, positive attitude? Does she seem excited about your work, and about her job in general? It's hard to overemphasize the importance of attitude when it comes to the people you hire. Someone with a positive outlook will be easier to partner with, and likely will boost your creativity. Negative people drain your energy and dull your creative spirit.
Good EARS. A business writer is there to put YOUR vision into words. She needs to listen and understand your business and your needs. If you're having trouble getting her to hear your ideas, it's a good bet she won't produce work you are happy with. Find a copywriter who will give you the chance to express your ideas without unnecessary interruption.
Good QUESTIONS. Although a good business writer needs to listen well, she also needs to know how to ask good questions. What's a good question? One that helps you both clarify your thoughts. One that helps you think more specifically, and less generally. One that makes sure you and the writer are still on the same page. Good questions up front usually mean better results later on.
Good IDEAS. Once a good business writer has listened to you, she likely will have ideas about improving your company's communication. Listen to what they have to say. Good writers learn something useful from every company they work with. You don't have to incorporate their ideas; the final decision is always yours. But, your writer can be a valuable ally as you take your business to the next level.
Good RESEARCH. A good business writer wants to learn about your industry, and your place in it. Solid research can help you gain an edge on your competition! Plus, it's easier than ever to do research on any topic imaginable. Any writer who doesn't do some research into your product or service is showing signs of a bad work ethic. That's certain to show up in his work at some point.
Good PRICING. "Good" in this case doesn't mean cheap. Business writers who charge low rates often produce low-quality work. Instead, think value. How much is it worth to your company to have materials that confirm that you are a first class outfit? How many more sales will be generated because you bought a professionally-produced sales letter? A good business writer may be expensive now, but she will pay for herself again and again in company image and sales.
There are few guarantees in the business world. You can never be completely sure you've hired the right person for the job you need. But if you look for a business writer with these 7 traits, you're well on your way to a successful partnership.

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