Practical Tips for Companies That Work with Freelance Writers

There are numerous tasks for which companies employ freelance writers. Product descriptions, internal communications and feature articles are just a few of the assignments freelance wordsmiths tackle on a regular basis. However, if your enterprise doesn’t have much experience working with writers, you may experience some growing pains while building relationships with talented scribes. To make this transition as painless as possible and minimize frustration on both sides, put the following tips to good use the next time your company does business with freelance writers.

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Stay on Top of Invoicing 

Different companies have different approaches to invoicing. While some companies take it upon themselves to tally up what freelancers are owed, others task contract employees with creating and submitting their own invoices. Regardless of your business’s preferred method of invoicing, it’s important that you meticulously keep track of writer invoices. For example, if the end of a payment period is fast approaching and a writer still hasn’t submitted their invoice, make sure to reach out to them and request that it be submitted posthaste. 

If your company works with a fair number of freelance writers and other contract employees, it pays to invest in cutting-edge vendor management software. This can prove helpful in determining how much each freelancer is owed within a given pay period and effectively take the hassle out of invoicing. 

Leave No Ambiguity Regarding Deadlines 

Although submitting assignments by previously established due dates may seem like a no-brainer for anyone who writes for a living, a surprising number of professional writers won’t hesitate to blow past deadlines. This is particularly common among newer writers and people who are used to working for clients with a relaxed approach to due dates. To help ensure that the deadlines you put forth are honored, leave no ambiguity regarding when assignments are due. If there is absolutely no wiggle room for a certain deadline, make this clear from the outset. 

In some instances, deadlines are missed as a result of circumstances outside of writers’ control. For example, if a writer is stricken by a sudden illness or faced with a devastating family emergency, work is liable to take a backseat to personal matters. Still, even if an assignment is submitted late for an acceptable reason, writers should still contact you as soon as possible to inform you of any complications. This will provide you with ample time to reassign the work in question or extend the deadline.      

Encourage Questions 

Writers should be encouraged to ask questions regarding any details about which they’re unclear. This will help ensure that you’re able to stay on the same page throughout the writing process. The better a writer’s understanding of format, subject matter and client expectations, the less likely they are to disappoint you. Some writers are understandably hesitant to ask clients for guidance or clarification, as they believe this will be perceived as unprofessional and diminish their chances of receiving repeat business. Ironically, failing to ask questions often results in the submission of subpar work – which, in turn, makes them appear unprofessional. Knowing that questions are encouraged and welcomed can provide writers with tremendous peace and mind and result in far fewer misunderstandings.  

Being Upfront About Expectations 

Ambiguity generally isn’t a good thing when working with freelance writers. As previously stated, ambiguity regarding deadlines can lead to late work and copious frustration, but this is far from the only area in which it can prove problematic. Although questions should always be encouraged, you should still make an effort to be as upfront about your expectations as possible. For example, writers should always know an assignment’s tone, wordcount and format before diving in. A lack of clarity in any of these areas is liable to result in dashed expectation and confusion on both sides. 

Dedicated writers can be a boon to any business. Whether your company is in the market for long-form blog posts, concise product descriptions or informative feature articles, multitalented wordsmiths can deliver exactly what you’re looking for. As is the case when working with any type of freelancer, clear communication and mutual trust are vital to forging lasting relationships with writers. To help your enterprise build mutually beneficial partnerships with skilled writers, make the most of the pointers discussed above.