Why Should I Hire a Freelancer? Let’s Count the Reasons!

There are many professions that lend themselves to the work style of the off-site independent contractor, and copywriter and copyeditor are high on that list.

Gone are the days when you had to be physically in a company’s office to work effectively. Thanks to the internet, cell phones, and email messages that travel around the world faster than the speed of light, a telecommuting freelance communications expert can be an extremely effective solution to your company’s needs.

So what are some of the top reasons you should consider hiring a freelancer to work on your next communications project?

  • Expertise: A freelance copywriter or freelance proofreader has a very specific set of skills—talents that you might not possess in-house at your company. And many freelancers have years, even decades, of experience in their field. Their niche services and expertise can be tremendous assets to your business, ensuring your communications are well-written and error-free.
  • Temporary needs: Another big benefit of hiring a freelancer in any field is the mutual understanding that the contract is for a limited term. Perhaps you need help with proofreading collateral or publications during your busy season; or maybe you are trying to build-up your website with fresh content and new blog entries. A freelancer may be the perfect option for you.
  • Convenience: With less paperwork and red tape to surmount than with a permanent hire, bringing on a freelance writer or editor can be a quick process (once you find the right person). Many contract workers can begin your project within a matter of days, versus the time-consuming process of advertising a job opening, interviewing candidates, and then waiting for the start date of the person you select.
  • sign-typoCost-effectiveness: One of the biggest advantages of using a freelance copywriter or proofreader is cost-savings, and those savings can be substantial. A contractor typically does not receive company benefits (insurance, matching 401(k), etc.), a large expense for most companies. Second, an off-site contract employee doesn’t use your office resources. Paper, electricity, Post-It notes…those things can really add up! A freelancer’s expertise can save you time and money, getting a writing or editing job done more efficiently and effectively than a less-experienced employee. And finally, consider the cost (reputational AND monetary) of sending a project to print that is poorly written, or worse, has an error. That freelance writer or proofreader just paid for herself!
  • Flexibility: Need that communication project done next week, or even tomorrow? Not a problem if you hire a freelancer. When your employees do not have the bandwidth to drop what they are working on and complete a writing or editing project, a freelancer can be the perfect solution.
  • Creativity: A fresh perspective and voice may be exactly what your company needs to revitalize your website and increase your visibility in the marketplace. And a fresh set of eyes can ensure that your communication or marketing collateral is the flawless representation of your business that you want it to be.
  • Passion: Freelancers are freelancers because they truly love what they do. Most people have parts of their job that they like more than other parts, but not a freelance writer or a freelance proofreader! I am passionate about punctuation and grammar, and I love looking for that needle-in-a-haystack typo in documents. Like many freelance writers and editors, my dedication to my “craft” is heartfelt.

The case for hiring a freelancer for your next copywriting or proofreading project is compelling! If you are convinced, and would like to learn more about how I can help your company, please review my services, and then contact me so we can discuss your specific needs.

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Should I Blog? Why the Answer is YES!

If you had a low-cost tool to attract your most-qualified prospects directly to your website, wouldn’t you use it? I have great news for you: this tool already exists. It’s called blogging.

keyboard imageGet your blog on!

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to draw in your target audience, and there are compelling statistics to prove it. According to Hubspot, a company specializing in inbound marketing, companies that actively blog generate over 125% more leads than companies that aren’t blogging. Blogging companies have 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages, all attributes that are critical to increasing a site’s search engine optimization (SEO, or the way that search engines determine which site will be listed first on the search results page).

You are an expert!

You may not realize it, but you are already an expert blogger. Congratulations!

People often say the reason they don’t blog is because they don’t have anything to blog about. Wrong! You are an expert on your business, on your product or service, and your target prospects are interested in learning more about what you do…what makes you different. So share your knowledge; your blog is a great channel for providing educational content to clients and prospects.

Do you rent or own your content?

For sale or rent signThink about an ad in a newspaper or on a webpage. This rented space is surrounded by others’ content, distracting potential customers and diluting your message. And ads generate no leads for your company after the ad expires…it’s like they never even existed.

Compare that to your blog. That content is yours; you own it…forever! An old blog entry can generate leads via search engines for months, even years, after it was first posted.

Need blog ideas?

Looking for a little inspiration to get your writing wheels turning? You’re in luck. Hubspot has a Blog Topic Generator tool that allows you to input keywords about your company or products, and it will give you a week’s worth of suggested blog posts.

And if you don’t feel like writing is your strong-suit, hiring a freelance writer can be well-worth the investment. Typically, a freelance writer will interview you to learn about the blog topic and then ghost-write a well-crafted post on your behalf. Learn more about my services »

So no more excuses! It’s time to resolve to start a blog for your business.

 

Four Common Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

In this era of instant communication, writing basics are often overlooked or simply ignored. But like it or not, your words define you, even when acronyms and hashtags are involved. So take note of these common mistakes…and avoid them in your writing.

  • Bullets vs. numbered lists: People often use bullets and numbers interchangeably, but they are different. Bullets should be used when the order of the list is arbitrary; numbers are used when a list’s order is of importance. So for example, this list of writing mistakes could be in any order, thus I used bullets. If I was telling you the steps to bake a cake, the list would be numbered because you can’t bake the cake before you mix the ingredients…the order of the list of steps is essential.
  • i.e. vs. e.g.: These are not interchangeable either, but this one is easy to remember… i.e.=that is to say; e.g.=for example.
  • I vs. me: This is a little more confusing, but important nonetheless. “I” and “me” are both personal pronouns–words that replace more specific nouns (like proper names). Use “I” when the pronoun is the subject of your sentence (also known as a subjective pronoun). I went to the store. OR Jane and I had coffee. When the pronoun is the object of the verb OR the object of a preposition, use “me.” Jane hugged me. (“Me” is the object of the verb “hugged.”) Grammar is important to me. (“Me” is the object of the preposition “to.”)

A trick I use to determine whether to use “I” or “me”: Take any additional nouns out of the sentence, and see if it sounds correct.
Jane and me had coffee…would you say, “Me had coffee”? Unless you are a caveman, I’m hoping you said no, so it should be, “Jane and I had coffee.”
Jane went to the movie with John and I…would you say, “Jane went to the movie with I”? Nope. So it should be, “Jane went to the movie with John and me.”

  • it’s vs. its: “It’s” is a contraction, short for “it is,” similar to “can’t,” “I’ll,” or “he’s.” “Its” is a possessive, meaning “belonging to it.” So, “It’s hot in the desert,” but “the leopard doesn’t change its spots.”

Understanding and applying these rules of grammar can instantly improve your writing. If you have a punctuation or grammar question, please leave a comment below!

 

Hit the Bullseye: Reaching Your Target Audience

binocularsPeople are looking for you. They are desperately in need of the service that you offer. Your product is at the top of their shopping list. These people are your target audience. The question is, do you know how to reach them?

Consumers in 2017 are different than they were a decade ago. Thanks to the internet, today’s buyer is well-informed; they have done their research and often know exactly what product or service they are looking to purchase. So now they just need to decide from whom they want to buy. How will they find you amid your competition? And why should they choose to work with you?

Here are a few important questions to ask yourself about your current marketing tactics:

  • Am I sharing my story?
    Thanks to a history of deceptive advertising (e.g., “Teach your baby to read!” or “Lose 30 pounds in one week!”), people today are immediately skeptical of advertising. As a result, authenticity goes a long way with your prospective buyers. Marketing today is less about selling what you do/produce; rather, it is about sharing the story of why you are in the line of business that you are in—being your authentic self with your prospective customers. A talented writer can help you tell that story to your prospects through your website and marketing materials.
  • Am I marketing to my prospects on their terms? 
    With technology like DVRs, caller ID, and anti-spam software, it is easier than ever to avoid unwanted marketing messages. As a result, you must reach prospects by providing them with valuable content that is of interest to them. To attain that trusted adviser status, consider shifting your tactics from pushing product to providing valuable information that your prospects are already looking for online. Share your expertise, and show them how you can provide a solution for their issue or need.
  • Is my website keyword-optimized?
    Again, your prospects are doing their research; they are looking online for information about solutions to their issue or need, be it a product or a service. Your website should be artfully-optimized using the keywords that people would be using to search for your product or service. Effective SEO (search engine optimization) tactics can help your website show up higher in the results of your prospects’ web searches.

If you can answer “yes” to each of these questions, good work!…you are on your way to attracting your target audience to your business! If you answered “no” to one or more of the above, you should consider reaching out to a marketing expert who can help you figure out the best ways to reach your audience. If you think you don’t want to spend money on marketing assistance, consider the money you are losing each day by not targeting the right prospects.

Ready to get started? Contact me, and let’s talk.