Every client wants to know three things when they hire freelance or contract creatives:
Will he or she accomplish what I need him to do?
Will he or she deliver it in the form that I need it delivered?
Will he or she meet my deadline?
I live on both sides of the table. I sometimes set deadlines. Other times, I am given deadlines. Either way, there is purpose and function behind every production schedule.
I have to admit I'm a litte crazy about dates.
A professional writer is someone who gets paid professional fees to write copy. A hobbyist does not. Be careful not to confuse the two.
People who get paid to talk about writing aren't necessarily professional writers. A professional writer is someone who gets paid to open up a blank document and start typing copy that is eventually published or utilized in some form of commerce, whether it is a direct mail campaign or a book.
Hobbyists sometimes pose as professional writers.
There are a lot of people who call themselves content writers. It seems to be the catch phrase in the freelance world. They reason, “If content marketing is in, then I need to call myself a content writer.”
This, understandably, creates confusion for those who hire content writers. After all, you can’t call yourself a doctor if you aren’t one, right? But this scenario often leads to frustration and disappointment and can throttle the openness a person has to working with content writers in the future.
Content marketing has come to the enterprise, and the enterprise is the natural next frontier as content marketing matures.
What should you expect when launching a content marketing effort within your company? In other words, how do you know if you're doing it right?
Here are a few markers to identify along the way ...
Every office has at least one mean person. It sounds silly, but it’s true.
Mean people exist everywhere. It’s not just in an office setting. But there is something about office politics, the pressure to perform, and personal doubt that provide a fertile environment for mean people to thrive. Life is, after all, survival of the fittest, right?
Let’s define mean.
Mean people are not confrontational, direct communicators. The office is a melting pot of different personalities who must learn to get along. Some people are better at verbalizing their ideas than others. We all communicate in different ways and should learn how to best do that with a variety of people. (Note: This is the “magic” of management.)
Every leader will inevitably face a difficult conversation. The ones who master it will not only win the admiration of the people they lead but will achieve results beyond what anyone expects.
I still remember my first difficult conversation. I was selling software at the time, and there was an implementation that was not going well. I was risking my integrity and knew I had to offer to cancel the deal and refund the money. (I had already received my commission which meant I would have had to pay that back. That would have hurt.)
I called the client and reviewed the situation.