How to Work with Writers [Slideshare]

This presentation covers three areas that can be contentious when working with writers:

  • Getting work samples
  • Payment
  • Communication

how to work with writers

Learn how to avoid the key mistakes many people make when working with writers and other creative professionals.

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20 thoughts on “How to Work with Writers [Slideshare]”

  1. Hiring anyone to perform a service for you is a big exercise in trust (for both sides). You’ve done a great job here of outlining those areas where trust can break down (and how to fix them).

  2. Nitpicking is for the birds! (Oh, wait a minute. That’s “pecking”, not picking, that birds do.) ;-)

    Your three points are very well taken, Sharon. It angers me when people take your writing samples and run. Pretty deceitful behavior, if you ask me. And the paying part? Oy. I constantly hear stories of clients bailing out, disappearing off the face of the earth, and worse when it comes time to pay up. I don’t understand people like that. I almost want to believe they don’t possess a conscience.

    Your Slideshare presentation is to the point, simple, and spot on! Not only that, it’s rock solid advice. :-)

  3. I love your he said/she said (or in this case he thought/she thought). I think all service providers go through this. There is a mismatch in expectations and everyone wants to protect themselves. I think this is what makes testimonials and referrals so important. You don’t necessarily have to pay for a sample if you see the writing someone has done for other clients. I know sometimes that’s not always possible but any writer worth their marketing salt has a blog and you can see whether that person is competent or crazy. And that’s why references are important too because I’ve been in situations where a “writer” will outsource the writing and theirs actually stinks. I think you presented some excellent compromises!

    • Thanks, Carol Lynn. If I’m likely to have to outsource, I let clients know and guarantee to do a final quality check before sending it to them. It’s always wise to think about both perspectives. :)

  4. Sharon what a great, simple and succinct way to get across a complex message about working in a trustful collaborative way.

    If every client could read this before embarking on hiring a writer, two things might happen. The relationship would be successful and result in the right outcome for the hirer and the right reward for the writer, or they were tyre kickers in the first place and they will go away to pester someone not so diligent.

  5. So many people need to get on-board with that idea of paying for their samples or being happy with a portfolio piece.

    Graphic Designers MUST charge for concepts. There’s no if-ands-or-buts. Writers need to do the same thing – if you’re writing a custom piece of content, make it COUNT. Charge for it. It takes you time and brainspace and you only have so many keystrokes left in your hands before you kick the bucket.

    The deposit bit is great advice, too; short of having a 50% deposit for any work I do, I don’t do the damn work. It’s SO easy for a client to “Forget”(TM) to pay you, get busy, or go on to their next project without a second thought. Show me the money or GTFO.

    Solid advice all the way around, Sharon!

  6. Fantastic tips, Sharon! These are the same for working with editors, too. While I usually don’t encounter any resistance to paying a deposit before work begins, I have definitely had clients who didn’t think they had to communicate with me in order to meet deadlines. That is SO not true!

    This is a great guide, and I can already think of a few people who need to check it out. Sharing away! :)

  7. Sharon these tips are spot on. Having worked with both writers and artists I can confirm if someone follows your advice they will have a smooth, successful process. And the deposit tip applies to many lines of work.

    • Thanks, Nicole. I know you’re always in favor of looking after the money. I’ve found if you address that up front and set expectations, the working relationship is much smoother.

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