Maintaining brand personality when working with a freelance content writer
How can a content writer help you gain clarity on your brand personality?
When running a business, the importance of blogging is a constant soundtrack in the background.
And for good reason – maintaining a useful and frequently updated blog is great for improving SEO ranking, building your reputation, and connecting with customers.
But blogging is time-consuming. It needs a creative spark to get the momentum going, to brainstorm, and then sit down and churn out a worthwhile post.
Especially when you have so much else going on – accounting, social media, actually going out and getting customers, providing services or creating your products.
It falls further and further down the to-do list until you realise it’s been six months since you last blogged.
For me, it’s like that nagging feeling when you think you’ve turned the oven off before you left the house but can’t be 100% sure.
Blogging and procrastination go hand-in-hand. That’s because blogging is a long-term strategy and immediate results are near-inexistent. To begin with, the only person who reads it will be your mum.
It could take months or even years before you manage to pull in customers through blogging – and even then, it could be indirectly, through recommendations.
And so, you end up putting it off once again.
Using a freelance content writer can take the pressure off
One solution to consider is working with a freelance content creator.
You benefit from the content writer’s writing skills and content strategy experience – what works and doesn’t work. They will get the blogpost written, not least because you’ve paid them too!
The last benefit alone is worth its weight in gold.
A professional freelance content writer will deliver the blogpost to deadline – and they can even post it on your blog if you’re super busy.
But what if you have already built up a strong brand personality and tone of voice?
Isn’t outsourcing such a brand-sensitive task, similar to dressing a friend in your clothes and asking them to pass as you at a party?
But… how can a content writer help you and still sound like you?
Here are four tips for maintaining your brand personality when working with a freelance content writer:
1. Take a look at the words you already use
A good freelance content writer will review your existing content to understand your brand voice.
If you haven’t started blogging yet, you can take a look at the conversations you have with your customers. Are there certain words that crop up more often than others?
Do you speak informally, as though chatting to a friend? Or do you take a more formal tone as though speaking to your great-aunt, or your boss’s boss?
You can make this process easier by sharing a list of your top words with your freelance content writer during briefing.
It’s also worth taking a step back and considering whether these words really represent your brand – remember you aren’t necessarily your brand’s target audience.
If it doesn’t feel quite right, then working with a freelance content writer is the perfect opportunity to refine and polish your brand personality.
2. Who’s your brand’s celebrity twin?
If your brand or business were a celebrity, who would they be?
It might seem like a bit of an abstract question, but it can really help to bring to life the type of tone that you are going for.
Perhaps you are a wedding dress business. Is your brand best embodied by Kim Kardashian or Emma Watson? Or someone else altogether?
Failing that, are there any other companies out there that capture the tone you’re going for, even if they’re in a completely different industry? Or even certain bloggers you like?
Or any that you really don’t like?
3. Make sure your freelance content writer ‘gets you’
A good professional content writer will take the time to get to know you and your business before they even think about putting pen to paper.
That goes without saying.
This usually happens through a thorough briefing, and they will also use the content you have already produced as a starting point.
Why not take it a step further and meet up with your freelancer first, if location permits?
There may be a fee for this, but better that than shelling out thousands only to realise you chose a writer who’s got the wrong end of the stick.
Finding the right freelance content writer is a bit like dating – there’s nothing like going for a coffee, beer or wine to see if they ‘get you’ and you click.
Working with someone who ‘gets you’ is so important because you need to know that they completely understand your values, goals, and what makes you tick as a business.
Also make sure to check out their own blogposts and portfolio – it will give you an idea of the quality and versatility of their writing.
4. Use the freelance content writer for the most time-consuming part
Finally, if you are still reluctant to relinquish your keyboard, you may be surprised to know that blogging services aren’t all or nothing.
You can use a freelance content writer to do background work like brainstorming ideas and conducting research – often the most time-consuming aspect of blogging.
This can mean that you’re already 60% of the way there before you even put pen to paper.
And you can also banish the dreaded writer’s block.
Working with a professional content writer does not mean that you have to give up your unique brand personality and tone of voice.
In fact, being forced to think through your brand personality explicitly could even strengthen it.
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