3 Big Issues Your Writer Can Address

Vimeo video still of Shauna McGee Kinney

What are the issues your writer can address for you?

  1. Breaking up and demonstrating the writing options
  2. Not enough unique, quality information
  3. Too much information for too many audiences

Writing LinkedIN Profiles & Company Page

Client: An ad agency

Project: LinkedIN profiles and company page for a financial services company

Approximate timeline: 3 months, contact with client every 2 weeks

Approximate billable time:

  • 12 hours for research, coordination and writing
  • Graphic artist billable time (total unknown) for 2 weeks
  • 10 hours for loading art and text and drafting scheduled LinkedIN posts
  • 2 hours for writing training tips and delivering training

Why did 24 hours of writing take 3 months?

The 24 hours of writing was carefully crafted by an agency in small iterations over 3 months. I am part of the production team working underneath the art director and with the graphic artist. The art director was looking at competitive issues like the attitude of larger national companies and upcoming billboard campaigns. The art director had issues that your writer can address. He wanted to modify slogans that were already in print and he had specific ideas about how to achieve impact.

One of the issues your writer can address is allowing you time to carry on with business. They were in the finishing stages of changing both the layout and the editorial topics in the newsletters sent to their financial services members. We needed time to mock up partial pieces of the LinkedIN company page and profiles to match the art director’s vision and the current newsletter.

The writing required research. One large national competitor was of particular concern to the client and the art director. Competitor research is one of many issues your writer can address. The art director, client and I reviewed my research on the competitors print and LinkedIN text and images. The graphic artist worked up a storm of concepts whilst I had to table any further work until her images were approved.

The client was new to posting to a Company page. We spent time looking at larger brands in similar spaces such as banking and investment. I mocked up 3 months worth of topics that included the forecasted topics in the print newsletter and placeholders for expected events like tax season. Gaps in time between draft and approval were uneven. I often had to schedule and reschedule follow up calls with the art director, graphic artist or client because this was not their primary job.

Writing and Delivering Website Trainng

Client: A mid-sized commercial construction company

Project: Train the administrative staff how to edit the new website

Approximate timeline: 2 hours over 2 weeks

Approximate billable time:

  • 1 hour to grab screen shots and add callouts to a slide show
  • 1 hour to deliver the training via a live screen share 

2 hours and no training manual?

Too much information isn’t a good way to spend money. This applies to writing internal content as well as public content. A training manual is an expensive exercise compared to a slide show with tips. 

I kept the price and the time down on training the construction company to update their website, because the website would not need to be edited more than every 3 to 6 months. Using the slide show format was enough to guide the clients to where their web design had been customised. I showed the screen the visitor sees and the admin window needed to edit the text or picture.

We paced the training tips and training over 2 weeks because the administrative staff was busy running daily operations. The staff did not need to urgently edit the website, but we did want the revised text done to allow the site to go live.

The construction staff and I agreed to do the training on a day that they would immediately start editing some of the text that needed to be updated. The staff learned and reinforced training by editing placeholder text in the management pages and project pages.

The efficiency of a training manual happens when you are repeatedly training classrooms of 10-12 people, not training 1-3 people. Training manuals are used for continuity when delivering multiple events to large numbers of people. The training slides allowed the client and I to customise and setup the training around each person’s needs whilst keeping the cost down.

A Writer is More than a Typist

A writer is more than a typist. A good writer develops quality text through interviews, questions, research and experimentation. Be prepared to adjust the writing work to an interval that allows you to carry on with your operating business. Find relief in getting help pushing through the writing process and relief in knowing that you don’t have another employee idling on your payroll whilst you are tied up with your core work.

Use an outsourced writer to fill a task or set of tasks that are critical to your business, but you do not have the skill or time to do yourself. Collaborate by working with a few partial or small samples, rather than the whole project. Discuss the small mock-ups and refine these examples to express the attitude (voice) and message your are writing. 

The small iterations of writing also help you and the writer discover if you have weak content. Or, if you are scattering your message to such a diverse range of audiences that the message is confusing.

During the small iterations, you can also measure the amount of time you have to participate in research and reviews. Evaluate how much time and money you want to put into the final project, and if necessary, down-size the writing project based on your discovery. An experienced writer will respect your changes to the scope and timing of the project based on the conversation during the iterations.

Most of my clients are engineers and technology people. In the related links below, I share some of my actual financial and business data. Different writers charge different rates and I strive for the balance between giving my clients a great price and earning a modest income. I write because I love the work. Consider how my passion for writing can make your job easier.

Feel free to contact me, Shauna, by phone (Perth – Australia) +61 8 9467-2663 or email (shauna@smk-writer.com). We can narrow down a few options within 10-20 minutes and you’ll have some practical details to consider.