It was supposed to be an easy question. Lindsey Miller, our lead guide, didn’t mean to send me spiraling in search of a great truth when she asked me what client work I’m most proud of. And, honestly, that question wasn’t difficult to answer. I quickly named some of our recent work. Then, there I went… I started wondering why. Why this particular content? What was it about that specific work that made me proud? More importantly, how could we replicate whatever caused that reaction for all of our clients? It’s when I discovered what we’ve taken to calling “that Content Journey magic,” and you can use it to improve your writing team’s work.
What Makes the Magic?
Thankfully I was driving when Lindsey asked me this question. You know how you have those places where you always get great ideas? The car is one of my places. I have some of my deepest thoughts and most creative ideas while I’m driving. By the time I got home, I had the formula for Content Journey magic.
That Content Journey Magic
The formula is pretty simple once I figured it out. The writing I’m most proud of follows this formula. Let me explain it, so you can implement it to improve your organization’s writing. Or maybe you can identify your team’s magic formula and use it to guide your practices.
There are a lot of great writers out there, and I believe the writers Content Journey hires are the best. We hand-picked our writing team, using in part my experience as a journalist and journalism educator and our amazing network.
Once hired, we work to create a community for our freelance writing team, so they understand their role in something bigger. When you have an exceptional team of writers, much of the rest falls into place.
Each Content Journey writer has a client or clients they write for every month. They become experts on those clients whose business niche may be why we hired the writer. Yes, we go in search of writers for specific clients.
I can’t overstate the importance of fit between the writer and the client. If the writer’s expertise doesn’t fit the client’s niche, it won’t work. No matter how hard they try, their content will fall flat. Plus, there is something natural when a writer knows the terminology and vocabulary for the industry and isn’t pretending. And, as a writer myself, I can say that they won’t enjoy the work if they aren’t interested in the client’s business. Client fit is the secret sauce at Content Journey.
Of course, our clients are experts in their business. And we are experts in content marketing. We build relationships with clients that allow them to trust us to do our job well. When the client trusts our work and gives us the freedom to do it, that’s when our writers’ abilities shine. They can do their most creative work and know that the client is open and excited to receive it.
So, that’s it: exceptional writing + client fit + client trust = Content Journey magic. It sounds simple, and I think it is.
Creating Your Magic
So how do you duplicate the Content Journey formula to level up your team’s content marketing? I have some ideas!
Ways to create magic in your content team:
- Hire Well. I know this is easier said than done, but you have to hire good writers. You can hone their skills, but you can’t start from scratch. There are so many incredibly talented writers out there looking for work. Expand your network. You’ll find them.
- Equip. Set your writers up for success. That means giving them access to your client’s product, having style books and brand guides, providing content briefs, etc. You can never help a writer feel too prepared going into a piece.
- Train Better. Every piece of writing should be better than the last. That means consistently offering your writing team feedback on their writing and training as a unit. The training doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Just a daily writing tip makes a difference.
- Encourage “No, Thanks.” Encourage your writers to say “no, thanks” if a client isn’t the right fit for them. Remember what I said above about how vital client fit is? You can’t just assign a writer a client and tell them to suck it up if they aren’t happy. Instead, let your writers say “no” if a client doesn’t work for them and don’t penalize them for doing so.
- Promote Change. Along those same lines, if a writer grows tired of writing for a certain client or wants to try writing for someone new, encourage that. A lack of excitement toward a client’s work is a barrier to excellent writing.
- Grow Together. Just like your writing team should grow with every piece, so should your editing team. Make it your goal to learn something new every week to help you be a better editor.
- Listen. When our writers talk, we listen. You should too. You want to know what’s working for them and what isn’t. You want to help them feel prepared for assignments. And you want them to love being on your team because freelance writing is optional. We’re humbled that our writers choose to work with us, and we want to keep them here and doing their best work.
Share the Magic
We have something pretty special here at Content Journey, and we want to share that magic with you. I hope this post gave you some things to consider about your team’s “magic formula” or how to lead your team better. Want to talk about ways to guide your writing team better or how our team can help your business? Reach out! We love talking about all things content marketing.