We see it all the time. A business wants to create a new website, train new hires, or start a podcast and realize that, although they’re experts in their industry, they are not content creators. They stare at an empty page wondering what to say, or they try to “wing it” and get subpar engagement with their audience.
So, they google “hire a writer” and begin their descent down a rabbit hole of options. How do you know which type of writer to hire? Do you hire a copywriter, technical writer, instructional designer, or a screenwriter?
There is a TON of overlap between different types of writers. In fact, you may find that a copywriter is also great at instructional design. However, there are some things you can do to help narrow your search.
Know Your Goal: Sell, Teach, or EntertaiN
If you’re a business, you ultimately need to sell a product or a service; however, HOW you attract customers is just as important as closing the deal.
Know Your Format: Print, Interactive, Audio/Visual
Do you need blogs? A radio commercial script? A book that boosts your public image? Make a list of formats that your target audience consumes, then look for writers (of any type) with experience creating content for that format.
Why? Well, because writing a TV commercial script is different from writing a book — you not only have to provide lines for actors but also provide direction for the video and editing crew.
Know Your Logistics: Timeline, Budget, Working StylE
The next step is to think about the requirements of your project. Is creating content with a unified voice an ongoing need? Do you want to have the writer available at your beck and call? If so, consider hiring a staff writer or full-time copywriter for your office.
However, if you just need help with a single project or don’t want to commit to adding another employee, hire a writing agency or a freelancer. You may not be able to have them write a 20-page report at the drop of a hat, but independent writing agencies and freelancers can often provide more budgetary flexibility and range in writing styles than hiring a full-timer.
Ready for Results?
At Dream Write Creative, our writers have experience in a variety of content formats that help our clients achieve their goals from writing video scripts to designing training programs. CONTACT US for more information.
Your company is getting bigger, and you run into a problem. You have brand requirements, logos, specific colors to use. But increasingly, you notice variations in how your brand’s content is presented. Your print materials come across as highly formal while your social media posts and videos sound casual and friendly. Soon, you start attracting customers who aren’t in your target market. This may be a good thing! Or, more commonly, your team wastes time vetting leads that get you nowhere.
When hiring people (new hires, vendors, and consultants), it’s important to remember that all of the content we create—emails, web copy, podcasts, and videos—should follow the same house style.
Yes, selecting style manuals (AP Style, Chicago) helps, but an in-house style guide, as well as project-specific style sheets, are what create your brand’s voice. Custom house and project style guide include clarification and direction on how to handle jargon, bias, idioms, specific terms, acronyms, spellings, and more.
Why Create a Style Manual?
When there are multiple people working toward the same goal, they all need the same information to base everything off! So, if you have a large company with branding/legal requirements, or if you have multiple assets created by different people, style manuals help move everything along properly and succinctly. It is important to have a consistent style between the written word just as much as the artwork (logos, colors, etc).
How to Create an In-House Style Manual
An “In-House Style Manual” is a “Project Style Sheet” on steroids (more on that below!), because instead of creating a brand voice for a specific project, like with a style sheet, an in-house style manual is used for everything any type of communication your company creates. An in-house style manual will help support your brand, legal requirements, and customer needs.
Things to consider including in your style manual:
What Are Custom Project Style Sheets?
A custom project style sheet helps with accuracy and consistency through a project from start to finish. Everyone on the project can use it, but it can also be used to train new team members!
If you already have a general or in-house style manual, a project style sheet will explain deviations from the norm. They also are especially helpful if you create materials for different clients. One client may prefer a professional, informative voice, while another may keep it casual. Project style sheets make sure you don’t make Client A sound like Client Z!
Style sheets work best if they care created early in a project or even before a project starts. If there are multiple contributors or multiple parts to the project, having a style sheet early ensures that the goals and consistency are maintained from start to finish.
Custom project style sheets often include:
At Dream Write Creative, we can help you create your custom in-house style guides and custom style sheets with great aplomb. Please CONTACT US to get a quote and schedule your first strategy session.
Bridging the Gap Between What Your Audience Wants to Know & What You Need to Tell Them