Does your small business use freelance writers? Perhaps you rely on freelancers to help you write and edit blog posts, create marketing copy, draft social media posts or craft your website wording. This year, February 12-17 is Freelance Writers Appreciation Week, which would be a good time to show these unsung members of your team how you feel.
As a former magazine editor who now runs a content creation company, I know a LOT of freelance writers. Here are some proven suggestions for how you can share your appreciation in ways they’ll really appreciate.
Send a gift. Writers love food. For writers who are employees and work in an office, having lunch brought in for a client meeting or receiving a tin of gourmet cookies in the mail is an event that gets everyone on staff running to partake of the goodies. Freelance writers who work by themselves at home don’t have that little thrill, so they’ll be truly grateful if you send something special. Since freelance writing isn’t the highest paid job in the world, a gift card to a failsafe retailer like Amazon or Target is sure to be a hit, too.
Put your sentiments in writing. Send a thoughtful, handwritten card to share why you appreciate all the hard work the freelance writer has done for your business. In a sea of emails, a personal note always stands out and makes a freelancer feel valued, which always makes people want to work harder on your behalf.
Provide some detailed, positive feedback. As a freelancer, one often gets detailed criticism or requests for rewrites. When something you’ve written is really good, you’re less likely to hear about it—or if you do, it's a brief, “Good job!” If you explain what you particularly liked about their recent work, they’ll be better prepared for the next assignment.
Don’t be cheap. When it comes to freelancers, you’re going to get what you pay for. Many people who don’t write think writing is easy. It’s not. Pay freelancers a fair fee. Many will negotiate a volume discount with you if you hire them for multiple projects.
Host a get-together. If the freelance writer lives nearby, take him or her out to lunch. Do you work with more than one freelancer? Why not host a happy hour? The freelancers will probably welcome the opportunity to network with each other, as well as enjoy a break from work.
Offer to be a reference. Speaking of networking, recommendations from satisfied clients are the primary way that most freelance writers find new work. Offer to be a reference. Let them know that prospective clients can call or email you with any questions about their work (and then be sure to respond if they do).
Write a testimonial. Freelance writers generally market themselves online and are always looking for testimonials from satisfied clients to post on their websites. Offer to write a testimonial and make it a good one! Be very specific about why you hired this writer, what they’ve done for your business and why you would recommend them to others.
Endorse and recommend the freelance writer on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an essential marketing tool for freelance writers. Take the time to not only endorse them for skills they’ve employed for your business, but also to write an actual LinkedIn recommendation. This shows that you care enough to do more than just click a few buttons.
The life of a freelance writer can be an isolated and thankless one. Showing your appreciation will go a long way toward building a good relationship with the freelancers you rely on.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN,The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.
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