Question: What is one quality I should look for in a writer who would help me build out my brand messaging and content strategy?
"It is imperative that whoever is leading branding/content has a firm grasp on your industry. They must be able to to understand the bigger picture where your company is trying to fit in, the audiences you're looking to reach, and the trends you can align yourself with to stand out. Without domain expertise, you're more likely to add to the noise rather than rise above it."
"Credibility goes a long ways with writers. If they are respected by other writers and have a following, it will translate over to you and your website. This same credibility will help to grow you online. "
"The writers who work for me don't come from the sales world, and I believe that's their strongest asset. They're closer tied to the kind of consumers I'm hoping to attract, and they approach their work with an eye for detail and diligence to get the message out in creative and innovative ways that I could never do personally. They help guide me down new, unventured paths in brand messaging."
Heart and Soul
"We only look for writers who are a part of our company. They must see the vision and believe in the same bigger picture as myself. A company's brand is directly associated with the personal brand of the founder, so a good writer must be able to put the founder's thoughts, feelings and beliefs on paper. Everything written must also complement the company's core business model and DNA."
"Voice and messaging are really the writer’s domain, so don’t get too stuck on a specific style. Allow the writer some creativity in interpreting your brand by giving copywriters some background information and then asking them to write a blog post or home page copy to see what they come up with. The voice and style they produce may be even more compelling than what you originally had in mind."
Connection of Ideas
"Writing fresh content on a daily or weekly cadence is hard work. Finding someone who can draw upon pop culture, current affairs and macro trends within your industry will certainly help. A 'connector of ideas' has the ability to relate what's happening in the world and tie it back to your organization to reinforce your brand messaging. By doing so, the writer will always have ideas to draw upon."
"Look at a writer’s past work and determine if his or her areas of expertise fit with your goals. Has the writer done brand messaging and content strategy? I’ve worked with writers whose experience is in areas not related to my goals. They’re good, but they’re not what I needed."
"If your potential writer is genuinely excited about writing, he or she will likely take the time and effort to make sure their output is quality. There are plenty of folks out there who will write just for the money, but there are only a few people who truly live and breathe writing and are constantly working to hone their skills. These are the gems you should keep an eye out for."