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Old 10-23-2014, 10:55 PM
 
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Small business owners, in what instance(s) would you hire a consultant for one-time jobs? i.e. Web content, employee manuals, professional bios, or something else??

How would you go about finding a professional writer? Would you ask around or go through professional organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, etc.?

TIA, guys. I am trying to better understand my target audience and improve my marketing.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:36 AM
 
Location: All Over
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I tend to do most of my own copyrighting and I think many small business owners feel the same as noone knows my business more than me, however that said for more technical manuals or to save my time I would and have outsoured content writing. I typically go to either elance or fiverr or reach out to members of a few forums I'm a member of who I know do content writing.
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:41 AM
 
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I've written a few employee manuals, etc. Functional manuals almost have to be written by an industry insider. There are plenty of "show" manuals and boilerplate manuals for required employee policy nonsense. The only reason for a small business to contact a Chamber of Commerce is to donate and curry political favors.
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by doodlemagic View Post
I tend to do most of my own copyrighting and I think many small business owners feel the same as noone knows my business more than me, however that said for more technical manuals or to save my time I would and have outsoured content writing. I typically go to either elance or fiverr or reach out to members of a few forums I'm a member of who I know do content writing.
The common problem is that, while nobody knows your business more than you do, business owners are very rarely good copywriters. That's because business owners typically don't really know how to boil their businesses down to one key point and really conceptually leverage it in a way that's compelling to the buyer. It's the equivalent of buying a generic legal contract or buying your business' own taxes. Sure, you might save some money and get something adequate. But you could also being really hurting yourself in a host of ways. Further, you're not just paying for the ability to write well. You're paying for objectivity. Just like no one has an ugly baby, no business owner sees the warts in his own business.

Back to the OP. It really depends on what you're trying to do. There are a host of different specialties in writing, from advertising to public relations to technical writing. Each has its own very specific strategic and tactical considerations. That's why PR people tend to make lousy advertising copywriters, and vice versa. It's really a business of specialists.

Look at it this way. Your time has value. Do you invest hours floundering around writing something, only to have it not be that great? Or do you invest a little in someone who can do the same job really well in only a fraction of the time.
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:40 PM
 
Location: All Over
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
The common problem is that, while nobody knows your business more than you do, business owners are very rarely good copywriters. That's because business owners typically don't really know how to boil their businesses down to one key point and really conceptually leverage it in a way that's compelling to the buyer. It's the equivalent of buying a generic legal contract or buying your business' own taxes. Sure, you might save some money and get something adequate. But you could also being really hurting yourself in a host of ways. Further, you're not just paying for the ability to write well. You're paying for objectivity. Just like no one has an ugly baby, no business owner sees the warts in his own business.

Back to the OP. It really depends on what you're trying to do. There are a host of different specialties in writing, from advertising to public relations to technical writing. Each has its own very specific strategic and tactical considerations. That's why PR people tend to make lousy advertising copywriters, and vice versa. It's really a business of specialists.

Look at it this way. Your time has value. Do you invest hours floundering around writing something, only to have it not be that great? Or do you invest a little in someone who can do the same job really well in only a fraction of the time.
You make a good point. I think a good strategy is for a business owner to write their own copy and then hand it over to a skilled copyrighter to cleanup and make more concise.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:26 PM
 
28,904 posts, read 48,463,245 times
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Originally Posted by doodlemagic View Post
You make a good point. I think a good strategy is for a business owner to write their own copy and then hand it over to a skilled copyrighter to cleanup and make more concise.
One way to really do this is by developing what's known as a Creative Brief. It's a working document that spells out a lot of things such as key points to be made, type of audience, buyer motivation, and overall tone. If both the writer and the client are in agreement on that document, then the copywriter is almost always on target.
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