How do I know which writer fits my job?
How do you find the right writer for your website, project documents, or training materials? Start with a story about your job (not the rates and hourly estimates). I’ll use the example story that started this article. Tell the writer your story and ask the writer:
- Why (Why do you need a writer – writing started but not finished, no motivations to write?)
- Time (When can you start, how long might you need?)
- Goal (What is the final format – text loaded into your website, Word doc, print?)
- Who is the expert (Who do you need the writer work with, do you need access to the website or services from an graphic artist?)
What About the Price?
You can ask the writer for the price after you discuss the above points. Some writers will ask for more detail. For an example, an agency will work with you on a strategy and then brief each job (agencies may refer to the job or group of related jobs as a campaign).
The first few questions are the dialogue where you adjust the scope of your work. As you get answers, you refine what work will be done by asking a more specific question or suggesting a change.
You’d hire Penny to write website and print materials. She would write a few pages to several recurring “campaigns” promoting events, products, or services. If you are simply looking to update a few web and print pages, then she is also a great resource. She usually can start within a few business days of your call and knock out 1-10 pages over several business days. The benefit of Penny is you get a short burst of quality writing finished quickly. Penny has a background in writing research for the mining industry and her passion is writing for travel and retail.
Malaysia (+60) 11 1441 5196
Australia mobile (+61) 411 220 592
Australia local (+61) 8 6102 5141
Penny is an Australian digital nomad and fellow sailor. She writes from her yacht whilst travelling around SE Asia. Penny has worked in Western Australia with international recruitment, mining, and mining industry research companies.
You would get in touch with Liz to connect you to an agency for promoting your products and services through an annual contract. Liz, and the agency she plan and work from a long-range strategy. Liz works with the agency employees to put together the continuity and measure a year’s worth of marketing and advertising. The advantage of working with Liz is your staff can concentrate on the bookings and delivering the events.
Contact Shauna Kinney or Liz for Liz’s phone number and links to agency work. Liz works with multiple agencies and will introduce you to an agency that fits your needs.
Project Manager & Tech Writer
You’d hire a technical writer, Michael Gorman, to document the changes using industry standards.For example, a Windows security update has changed your internal procedures and probably created some changes for your customers.
He has a background in project management in software, electronics and IT. Michael interviews your staff and brings himself quickly up to speed with your products and services. You’ll find that you have a shorter start-up and Michael’s objective third-party writing may pick up details you assumed your staff would know (but don’t).
Michael C Gorman PMP
Project Studio Consulting
Australia Mobile: (+61) 423 045 892
Tech Writer & Copywriter
Your company is in the engineering, software or construction space. The people working at your office are highly-skilled but can’t seem to convince business customers to buy. Your sales team is frustrated with a lack of information they can use. Your admin staff is unable to determine who the potential customer should talk to (sales or one of the engineers).
Shauna McGee Kinney
Trading as SMK Writer
What is the next step?
The purpose of this article is not to sell you on one of the independent writers in this story. My goal is to get you started on the next step.
Write 4 to 10 bullet points (not sentences) answering the questions at the start of this story. Why? Time? Goal? Who is the expert?
You are invited to contact any of us that fit your bullet points. Call us. A voice conversation is the most efficient way to evaluate the fit. Or, email us if you are shopping for ideas. If none of us fit your needs, don’t hesitate to ask your suppliers and customers for referrals to a writer based on the points you’ve summarised.
Tech Writer vs Copywriter
I first started discussing the concept of what is the right kind of writer with fellow businesses asking for referrals to writers on LinkedIn. Here’s my LinkedIN article leading up to this blog post.
Do It: Find the Right Writer
The conversation on LinkedIN motivated Michael Gorman, technical writer and project manager, to summarise the differences and similarities between our work. In his article on my websites explains the benefits of being a technical writer and a project manager. Use his article to start a discussion if you are asking a technical person to expand their writing to include business procedures, help desk files or training.
Updated on 14 Aug 2016 by S M Kinney