Creating content can be a challenge when you’re single-handedly trying to run your own business. If you’re not organised you can end up neglecting your main money making activity, falling behind with producing content, or even having to sacrifice your personal life. However there are some solutions. Instead of creating content yourself you can hire someone else to do it for you.
They may be a ghostwriter for written content, an editor for your videos, or someone with graphics skills to produce your bespoke images, logos or infographics. They take your ideas and guidelines, and create the content to your specifications and deadlines. Once you’ve paid for the content, you own the rights to it and can do whatever you want with it, including putting your name on it as if you had created it yourself.
However, before assigning work to someone, it’s important to understand how to ensure you’re hiring the right person.
Ask for recommendations
Consider the forums, Facebook groups and mastermind groups you are in. You could post a general request for recommendations which includes details of the type of work you are looking to be done. If you have a business relationship with others who also produce content, ask if they produce the content themselves or if they use outsourcing to get the work done. If they use someone else, ask if they would recommend them.
If you cannot get any recommendations look on outsourcing sites like Fiverr and Upwork. They will have a system which grades the content creator based on statistics and/or the feedback of people who have already used them.
Ask for references
When you first contact a new writer or other content creator, ask if they have any references or testimonials they can share. If they provide testimonials ask if you can contact the person who wrote it. If you can communicate with that person directly you can ask about issues that are specific to the work you want done as well as any general questions not addressed in the testimonial, for example whether the writer met all the deadlines or if the work needed an excessive number of revisions.
Ask for samples
Ghostwriters sometimes post examples of the work they have done and graphics providers may display images and logos they’ve produced in the past. If there are no examples or the ones given are not relevant to the work you want done ask if they can provide some. If your hiring a ghostwriter ask how well they understand the subject matter, whether they have produced similar work in the past, and whether they know how to conduct research as well as writing in the form you require. The skill set needed to produce a good sales page or press release is not the same as that required to produce an ebook.
Clarity and agreement
Whether the content creator has set up their own business or works within a service provision site like Fiverr or Upwork, it’s important to be clear about the work you want done, how you expect it to be delivered, and how much you will pay when it is completed to your satisfaction. There should be a formal statement of both your responsibilities and theirs. It sghould be clear who owns the work once it is completed and whether or not the content creator can reuse or keep any of the work produced, including derivatives. If you want a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) applied to the work you should check that this is possible and that it specifically states that your content creator cannot disclose the nature of the work they do for you without your permission.
If you’ve worked through the above steps and have a content creator who has passed all of them the next step is to give them a small project. This will help you discover if there are any issues when working with them while keeping your risk small. You could start with just a couple of articles or a few images for posting on Facebook. If you have a larger project you should break it up and distribute it amongst several content creators that you want to try out.
As the work progresses check the quality, how well they meet deadlines, and how closely the work produced matches the brief you provided. It’s important to understand it can take a while to establish a working relationship. Give your content creator feedback, both positive and negative, and give them the opportunity to deliver the type of content you want. The clearer you are about your needs, the more chance you have of gaining a content creator who is an asset to your business.