Once upon a time, you handled all of your content entirely on your own. Your business was new, your online brand was just getting established, and you personally created every single word and image that represented them. You had the time and the energy, so you were queen of your own content.
Since you’re visiting my blog—where we talk about outsourcing strategy on the regular—I’d bet that time is long past!
Now, you have clients to meet and marketing plans to create and press appearances to schedule. Now, you’ve got so much on your plate you’re constantly looking for ways to simplify your workflow.
Which means you may be thinking about hiring a team to handle your content creation for you. You’ll oversee the work of course, but these capable folks will help you generate the blog posts, photos, social media content, and downloadables that fuel your business.
I’m all in favor of this plan. The smartest thing that overwhelmed entrepreneurs can do is delegate work to skilled freelancers!
I love seeing women business owners hire teams to support them so they can spread their wings and expand their empires. However, content creation is a vital component of your brand and before you entrust it to a team member, you need to be prepared. Both you and your freelancer should be on the same page and the same wavelength.
What does that entail? Ensuring that you’ve set yourself and your team member up for success. Here are 5 questions to consider before you delegate content creation:
Which types of content will you outsource?
Hint: “All of them” is probably the wrong answer! Content comes in many formats, and you should feel free to hire help for the ones that you hate generating. But in order to keep your finger on the pulse of your business you might want to handle one or two yourself. That said, here’s an abridged list of content types to consider either keeping or delegating:
- Blog posts
- Instagram (photos AND captions, which might go to different contractors)
- Other social media
- Ad copy
Think about which types of content you enjoy and excel at creating. That’s definitely the best place to start! Then, consider which ones benefit from your personal touch; meaning which content just feels like it should come directly from you? Wherever there’s overlap, keep those workloads. Anything that doesn’t hit both marks can be delegated.
Are you organized enough to outsource content creation?
If you answered, “no,” don’t panic: You can certainly GET organized in advance of hiring freelance content wizards to support you. The key is to train yourself to plan ahead so your writer isn’t waiting for topics and your designer isn’t waiting for font input. You want your team to always have their next content-creation task queued up, so they can dive in as soon as they’re ready. And that may take some forethought on your part.
If you’re in a constant scramble, consider rolling out a project management system before you outsource. It’ll keep both you and your team members from losing your minds.
Have you found a contractor who “gets” your brand?
Most writers-for-hire are fairly versatile, but you still want to work with someone who can adopt your voice and style fairly easily. It shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth! You may need to try a few writers before you find one who truly suits your needs.
The same goes for anyone doing visual work on your behalf: Your photos should have a consistent look and feel, and you want a designer who can capture that naturally. Your videos and graphics need to align with your brand, and any team members working on them need to have a fairly comprehensive understanding of brand traits and parameters.
Are you hiring folks who understand your subject matter?
This also goes for both writers and artists! Knowledge of the subject matter is incredibly helpful. Research helps, but it’s important for your writer to have experience in your niche as well, or the writing will sound stilted.
If you regularly post photos of food or animals or infants, you do NOT want to hire just any old photographer: all of those subjects require special skills. You can definitely save money by hiring someone with less experience and training them, but depending on your area of expertise it might work better to just pay a higher rate to someone who’s already well-versed and ready to rock.
What’s your budget?
Speaking of cost, freelancer fees can vary wildly, so be sure of your ROI before outsourcing.
Again, an inexperienced-but-cheap contractor will cost you more time to train, while a seasoned one will require more money but less training. Bear in mind, too, that an expensive contractor might be able to do the work better AND faster than a newbie.
Not sure if a certain candidate will be worth the fees? Consider asking for an “audition” to see how you vibe together.
Delegating content creation is a big step. It can clear some time-consuming tasks from your calendar, and free you up to focus on the big-picture. But you want to make sure you’re outsourcing the right content to the right freelancers! And if you’ve answered these questions honestly, that’s a great place to start.