Why should my business use a writer?

Why bother hiring a writer?

Writer, copywriter, copy writer, content writer.

Like editors, there are a fair few names for them.

There are subtle distinctions, like a copywriter usually focuses on marketing and advertising and a content writer usually focuses on content, such as blogs, ebooks and the like.

But if you’re not one, you might not know which term to use, or which one you need.

Don’t worry, copywriters are a friendly bunch and are there you help you.

Why should your business use a copywriter?

Why should your business use a copywriter?

If you have advertising and emails you’ll know how difficult it can be to write and sequence everything.

You have to get the words right, the tone right, the voice right and the branding right. Everything has to show your business in the best light. It just has to be ‘you’.

But being you takes time. Writing takes a lot of time.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy. It’s not.

Getting it wrong is easy. Getting it right takes time, skill and sometimes a lot of research.

By hiring a copywriter, you’ll be getting a fresh pair of eyes. Someone who can help you get your message out there, without the hassle of you doing it yourself. You can free up your precious time and get on with what you’re good at.

A copywriter can help you with your advertising, writing persuasive copy that can increase your revenue stream.

Why should your business use a content writer?

Why should your business use a content writer?

If you have a blog, or need to create white papers, brochures, flyers, ebooks etc. then a content writer is a good choice.

Like with your advertising, you have to get the words right, the tone right, the voice right and the branding right. Everything has to show your business in the best light. Again it just has to be ‘you’.

But being you takes time. And content writing takes a lot of time.

Again, it’s not easy.

Getting it right takes time, skill and research.

By hiring a content writer, as with hiring a copywriter, you’ll be getting a fresh pair of eyes. Someone who can help you get your message out there, freeing up your precious time and letting you get on with what you’re good at.

A content writer can increase your revenue stream by informing and educating your customers and employees.

Why bother hiring a writer?

So, why bother hiring a writer?

We’ve all been there. We have something that needs writing, so we’ll sit down with a pad and pen, or grab the laptop and start writing. You might ask other team members, or you might just get on with it.

Then, before you know it, half the day has gone and you have about 200 words, a lot of really fine doodles, eye strain and a headache.

And you don’t even know if the words are any good. You can’t ask Kevin in accounts because he really doesn’t have a clue, and Deirdre in reception just agrees with everything you say.

So you give it the once over, decide it’s fine and send it to the website, printer or pop it into the email account.

If you’re lucky no one comes back to tell you you’ve misspelled ‘your’, you’ve spelled your address wrong or you’ve repeated yourself a few times.

If you’re unlucky all hell breaks loose because you’ve got your facts wrong, the writing makes no sense or Alan comes through from the office to break your kneecaps because what you’ve written was a word-by-word retelling of the confidential story he was told by the chairman that needed to ‘go no further’.

You see. It really isn’t easy.

And there’s a middle ground. The one where nothing happens.

No one notices your writing.

The tumbleweed floats around the office and you’re getting no interest and no sales.

A writer can help you because they know what they’re doing.

When you hire a professional writer, you’re getting:

  • A fresh pair of eyes.
    We all know that you can become too close to your writing. You can miss spelling mistakes, repetitions, and things in the wrong place. You see what you think you’re going to see, and it can be so, so difficult to see what’s actually there on the page or screen. A professional copywriter or content writer is setting out with a clean slate. They will write to your brief, so will set out on the right track from the start.
  • The knowledge.
    A professional writer knows how to write. They know how to research, how to set out the page, what to write and what to leave out. They will work to the brief you give them, or if you really don’t know what you need they can talk to you and find out.
  • SEO.
    Search Engine Optimisation is a thing. It’s an ever changing monster that needs feeding the finest of morsels very gently. Gone are the days when you stuff all the keywords in and the search engines will be kind. These days you have to be clever, and a professional writer can help you.
  • Innocence.
    Ok, well, perhaps not. But they see things from the perspective of your customers and clients. A good copy or content writer will be able to work in the way your clients need. They can ditch the jargon that you take for granted and make sure all levels of customer understand what you’re getting at. They’re often going into this without the ingrained knowledge that can actually hinder your best attempts at getting it right.
  • Your time back.
    Don’t underestimate the value of your time. Outsourcing your writing is an excellent, cost effective way to get your business stuff written. Yes, it’s going to put a dent in your wallet, but it’ll be so worth it. You get a professionally written piece, and you get to carry on with your life while it’s happening. It’s no different from hiring a VA, or a receptionist, or another valued member of your team.

So, if you need to get something written, what are you going to do? You can take a few days or so out of your schedule and knock something out. It might be good.

Or you could save yourself time, headaches and overwhelm and hire a professional writer.

Why does my business need a copyeditor?

A lot of businesses don’t feel the need for editors, because they don’t actually know what editors do.

Editing.

Why does your business need it?

Do you ever really think about the words your business uses?

Are they chatty? Serious? Formal? Informal?

Does your business thrive on hard facts or on emotions?

It really doesn’t matter.

You see, until you realise the benefit, you’re never going to fork out a proportion of your business’s budget on an editor.

A lot of businesses don’t feel the need for editors, because they don’t actually know what editors do.

A lot of businesses don’t feel the need for editors, because they don’t actually know what editors do

We’re shrouded in a fog of mystery and misunderstanding.

People often either don’t know or don’t understand what editors and proofreaders do. Don’t know how they can help. Think they’re only publisher types. Or think they’re too expensive.

Yes, we can be expensive (although it’s all relative), but the return on investment can be well worth your time and money.

Ok. Right.

Forget the words ‘editor’ and ‘proofreader’

Think of us as your creative consultant, word wizard, and content reviewer. Written words, meant to be seen by your customers or peers, should reflect your business in the most natural way possible.

We can help you make sense of it all. Simple.

So, let’s attack your pain points.

Spelling mistakes. Nobody cares about them

Wrong. Everybody cares about them.

They’re not the be all and end all. But people do notice them.

And you don’t want to attract the Grammar Police.

Spelling mistakes on your website put across the wrong message, put people off, can add to your website’s bounce rate and can cost you customers.

You don’t know where to start

Don’t worry, we do.

This is what we do, it’s our speciality. Just as selling products, services or consulting is yours.

If you want your pamphlets and brochures to read well, your website to look good and work properly, or your advertising to zing, just ask. Editors are trained to spot problems, and give advice on what you need. You are professionals, and so are we.

You can’t afford a consultant

It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Can you afford not to hire one? Promotional material, websites and publications can cost a lot more in lost revenue than hiring an editorial consultant.

Start small. You don’t have to jump in with a full business audit. Get an editor to look over that next brochure before you send it to the printers.

You’re pretty sure you can do it yourself

Perhaps you can. But why take up your own valuable time when it can spent doing things more productive for your business. People outsource all the time. And we are professionally trained to spot all those little things that you probably won’t spot.

Are you confident that you are presenting yourself to the world in the best possible light?

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ve put together some of my most popular articles to help you understand what editors can do for you.

Grab a cuppa and see what you can see.

Why Your Words Can Kill Your Business (And What To Do About It)

5 Ways to Communicate Well

10 Reasons Your Business Needs an Editor

Why Editors Matter to Business

people either don't know or don't understand what business editors do

Is it better to hire an editor who lives locally?

Remember, there are thousands of trained editors out there

Over the years I’ve had a fair number of potential clients preferring to hire an editor who lives locally. Don’t worry, it’s not just me, it happens. This week I’ll look at why this isn’t necessarily a good idea. And why in some cases it can be.

Working ‘closely’ with the editor

Many people don’t understand the editing process (after all why would they, they’re not trained editors). Because of this, they think they need to sit down with the editor and work through the edit with them, or have regular face-to-face meetings. Even if you’re determined to hire a local editor and believe you won’t meet up, the temptation to meet because you’re ‘just around the corner’ can be overwhelming.

Why working with a local editor isn't always a good idea

Reasons why working with a local editor isn’t a good idea:

  • No one likes to work with someone looking over their shoulder.

There may be expectations for a local editor to work in a room with the author or business owner. Imagine trying to work with someone sitting next to you? Even being in the same room, it can be difficult to keep a sense of distance. There could be a tendency for the editor to feel ‘on show’. Some clients may feel that ‘they know best’, or conversely ‘know nothing’, and it could be difficult to let the editor get on with their work.

  • It’s difficult to be productive working this way.

Editing is a very conscious occupation and needs high levels on concentration. Editors tend to have their own individual way of working, which heightens their productivity. Remove them from their usual surroundings and productivity can dip. Meaning it can take longer to perform the tasks needed.

  • An editor is a trained professional who needs space to do their job in their own environment, where they have access to their editing resources (we’re not talking about your auntie’s friend’s cousin here, were talking properly trained editors).

Editors rely on a whole range of resources to do their job. This doesn’t just mean a good internet connection and space to plug in a laptop. Some editors use more than one screen. Some feel more comfortable using their PC, rather than a laptop. There are industry specific resources, such as reference books and software (we don’t all get everything we need from online sources). It can be extremely difficult to carry all our resources around, and you can guarantee as soon as you are away from the office you’ll forget one vital tome or piece of equipment.

  • If an editor did accept this way of working, it would cost you extra.

You’re looking at out of hours travel both ways, expenses and possibly a premium to cover extended working hours and further loss of work. If the editor has to drive to your office they’ll be unable to carry out the other work they usually do (and could do on the train at a push). Because someone is local to you, doesn’t mean it will be cheaper.

  • The editor/client relationship can become muddied.

For an effective working environment, there needs to be a distance between the client and the editor. This is for both our sakes. It’s good to have a rapport and to get on with each other, however, friendship is best left outside of the working relationship. A working relationship should be professional and mutually beneficial.

  • The chances are you’ll have questions that will interrupt the workflow, making the edit take longer.

It’s human nature. We can’t help it. You see something you’re not used to and there’s an urge to ask questions. Every, single question interrupts the flow and concentration. If you are sitting in a room with your editor you’re going to end up asking questions, frustrating your editor and costing yourself money.

  • The chances are, meetings will include small talk, a cuppa with cake and interruptions. This all adds to your cost, because it will be ‘on the clock’.

Just like the last point. It’s human nature. We arrive in the office, the kettle’s put on and the small talk starts. While it is nice to catch up and talk about what’s been happening, a quick catch up can roll on to half an hour of chat. And that extends the working hours for the project. 

  • It becomes very hard for an author to relinquish control while the editing process is in progress.

This last point is the important one. When you are ‘working together’ in the same space, it becomes very, very difficult to let the editor get on with their job. Everything that’s noted above compounds into one very simple fact – whether it is fiction, non-fiction or a business document, it’s very difficult to let go and let the professional do their job. Especially if you’re not sure of their process and already think that you’ve done a great job and things are just about perfect. You very likely will have done a good job, but it’s the editor’s job to make it even better. If you can’t give up control while the edit is being carried out it will take twice a long and be twice as hard for the edit to be done.

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Having said all that, there are some instances where it makes sense to have a local editor.

why sometimes working with a local editor is a good idea

Reasons why it can be a good idea:

  • If the work is complex and there’s a need for the editor to be on site.

Sometimes it can just make sense for the editor to be on site, or to at least make a visit. Working on complex material, and carrying out a complicated or technical edit, might benefit from the editor being close to the author or a company representative. If the company doesn’t have an in-house editorial team, then a conversation will have to take place about the best way to work around the technical issues.

  • If the editor is carrying out work on paper, for example company papers that need to be updated and are not yet available digitally.

Now, this doesn’t seem to happen very often. Most editors work on-screen these days, but occasionally physical papers need to be edited. If this is the case, it can make sense to visit the company offices, as long as the editor is allowed to get on with their work uninterrupted.

  • If the editor is doing technical work that would benefit from being able to access processes.

Similar to the first point, if the editor would benefit from being around the technicians or accessing their processes, then it can benefit both parties to be in the same place.

  • If the editor is training staff.

Yes, sometimes editors are hired to train company staff. Obviously, then it makes sense to have a local editor visit the offices.

  • If the editor is working on sensitive information that can’t be worked on remotely.

This is the most likely reason for an editor to be in the same premises as their client. Although we often work on sensitive information and confidentiality is assured, sometimes we have to work on documents that cannot leave the business premises.

  • You are working on something that absolutely needs local knowledge. For example, a historical or local project that would benefit from someone who knows the area well.

In this case it does make more sense to hire an editor who knows the local environment, although they don’t necessarily have to live in the area.

Remember, there are thousands of trained editors out there

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So when should you work with a local editor?

There really are very few reasons in these days of instant communication where you NEED to work with a local editor.

The only reasons are these:

(Remember this is only this editor’s opinion based around genuine needs, I expect there are others I just haven’t thought of yet.)

  • You know the editor already, you trust them and have worked with them before (even then, the NEED is debatable, it’s more of a WANT).
  • You really, really need someone on site to go over complex or confidential information.
  • The information they will be working on really cannot leave your premises.
  • They absolutely, must, have detailed, up-to-date local knowledge.

The following are not reasons for only considering a local editor:

  • You want to have someone close at hand to explain the process.
  • You think you’ll have lots of questions for them.
  • You prefer to personally meet your editor.
  • You want to ‘go through’ the edit with them.
  • You think being in a different county or country will be difficult (believe me, it isn’t).
  • You think ‘going local’ is more beneficial (perhaps if you’re buying vegetables, but not when working with an editor).
  • You don’t feel confident around computers or have a ‘memory stick’ that holds all your information.

There are thousands of editors out there. Properly trained editors. If you can think of a subject, you can find an editor who works on it.

While your local editors may be lovely, and trained, they may not be the best fit for your project.

You need to carefully consider what’s best for your work. If that’s a local editor, that’s good, but if there’s a better editor out there for you, you would be foolish not to consider it.

When looking for an editor, remember:

  • Professionally trained editors understand that you might not be comfortable with the process. They will guide you through it.
  • Editorial directories can help you find editors who work within your subject. They could be local, or based in a different country – it really doesn’t matter.
  • You don’t have to work with the first editor you find. You need to find the best editor for you.

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