Business writing is a collaborative art form. The entrepreneur has the vision while the writer has the ability to bring it to life. There has to be a level of trust on both sides to create a masterpiece. Businesses generally work together in teams. Indeed, a writer must work with business owners to establish tone, goals and writing styles. Do you want a formal tone? Conversational as if chatting with a confidant? Is your piece a call to action or informational? The more questions asked by the writer, the better the outcome.
Business owners also must have questions for the writer. The most important question to ask is to see a writer’s portfolio. Samples of my work are available on my website. I believe in showing my work as quickly as possible. I want to make sure my clients and I are a match.
Another question to ask is of the writer’s background. One selling point that I always mention is that I teach business writing as an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College, before that I was a writing instructor for over thirteen years. My writing originally started with fiction; I wrote a few novels for clients and myself. Overall, I have written over fifteen books including fiction, self-help, business books (most recently on SEO and internet marketing) and memoirs.
The only way to know if someone is competent at something is a capability to teach it. Many people can make certain claims about their abilities, but until someone pays you to teach others, it is all still a guessing game. Remember in school when you had to explain a concept to a peer who was confused? You became a better student when you could understand how to deliver the concept in multiple ways. That moment of clarity in the other person’s eyes when they understood was worth every effort.
Something else to consider is how open you are to new ideas. A writer can offer fresh perspectives on a project. From blogs, to memos to books, a writer can take your wisps of ideas and flesh them out into deliverables. As mentioned earlier, businesses have a vision and the writer must bring it to life. The key element is trust. Always have a writer, especially a ghostwriter, sign a confidentiality agreement. This provides security on both sides. You have the peace of mind your ideas will not be shared and the writer has the assurance to continue composing for your company.
Money is a topic we have all been told not to discuss. However, in business dealings, it is always wise to avoid sticker shock. At this moment, I charge $30 an hour. This price includes writing, research and editing.
The decision to outsource writing is a leap of faith, but choosing the best writer to make your vision a reality makes it always worthwhile.