Should I outsource my blog writing and Content Marketing?
I met a woman once who was in marketing. One of the services she offered was doing networking on behalf of other companies. In essence, she became an outsourced sales rep who attended events for the purpose of promoting her clients. She was a walking, talking… phone book. I’m not sure if her clients got an ROI on the services she provided. My guess is that she didn’t. Let me tell you why.
I have been in marketing for about a decade… longer if you give me credit for being a constant entrepreneur who always had something to sell, even if that was myself in an audition, a short story to my English professor, home party goods to support my desire to be a stay home mom, or whatever. We all are selling something, and really, we are usually always selling ourselves. We sell our kindness, our personality, our enthusiasm… our ‘goods’ usually have little to do with it.
There’s a saying, “You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.”
The concept behind it being that when someone is ready to buy what you have to sell, there’s no stopping them. This is the way we want people to come to us as entrepreneurs. We want them to have their minds made up that they are doing business with us. Studies show this typically takes 5-10 “touches”. This means 5-10 times, the customer needs to hear our message before they are ready to make a purchase from us.
So, Miss Network-For-You, the walking talking phone book, was building a false relationship with people. Why do I say false? Because we weren’t getting to know her as a person- we were getting to know about a client of hers. We weren’t learning the client’s passion, as we would with a paid sales rep of the company whose income is tied to the relationship building. We weren’t learning about the skills of the client, we were learning the brochure of services. Where is the relationship building? Without relationship building, those 5-10 touches are being created by the competition.
So, we come to blogging now and whether or not to outsource it. I say, yes and no.
Time is money. For some people writing comes really easy. They can sit down and crank out a high quality blog in less than an hour. For others, they stress about grammar and punctuation. They become perfectionist to the point of becoming paralyzed. They are sick to their stomach for people to read what they’ve written. Don’t stress and get sick over writing. If you do, then outsource it.
Be sure to read it and be timely. If you choose to outsource it, read the proof, edit it and be timely. Instead of time blocking hours to write, time block your editing time. This could be 15 minutes. Your reputation is on the line so it is important the information is accurate. The writer is simply that- YOU are the industry professional. Make sure everything that is put out there with your name on it reflects you in the best way. Don’t settle for crappy blogs.
Professional and optimized. A professionally written blog is going to have search optimized elements. If you don’t know what they are, ask. There are certain things search engines are looking for, and your professional content marketing company will know these.
Not your voice. If you are a lawyer, you speak differently that an interior designer, and you both speak differently than a 30-something micro-brewer. In addition, you will have a different target market. It is important that your blog builds your expert status and your brand. If you don’t write your blogs, you run the risk of losing this ‘voice’. However, a good writer who understands your goals, culture and target market, can nail it. Just be sure to edit and stay in communication with them to feed fresh ideas, industry knowledge and jargon.
Crappy writing. Do you have one of those friends who will tell you that you have food in your teeth or that your shirt is not flattering? If not, get one. Have a similar friend read what you wrote. I have a saying, “Friends don’t let friends write junk.” It’s true, you want to sound smart, not like a doofus. Have someone edit you.
Don’t sell your rights. Sometimes when someone else creates something for you, the intellectual property component can get lost. Have a contract that explains what belongs to whom and what information is protected or classified or trademarked. Discuss how the proprietary information can and can’t be used, if needed.
Decide what is most important and what your skill set is. If you outsource, read it, approve what is said, and for goodness sake re-use the content in other ways. Own the rights. If you do it yourself, have it edited. Create Search Engine Optimization and actually build your brand with a professional image and voice. And if you have questions, ask.
I would love to help you launch a new Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing strategy that will deliver qualified leads for your B2B or B2C business.
It all starts with a Stern Storming Session.
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