Incompatible values, unclear expectations, and unrealistic timeframes lead to project delays—or, worse, the wrong clients being onboarded.
Onboarding new clients is a critical component of running a freelance business. 75% of full-time freelancers chose the profession because they wanted the freedom to choose their projects. A good onboarding process allows you to select the best client for your company.
However, as writer Ashley R. Cummings points out, “It can be difficult to know how to manage freelance clients and efficiently produce compelling content.”
This guide includes a step-by-step process for onboarding new clients and six bonus tips. If you get the process right, you’ll save time and effort while building a professional reputation.
An onboarding process is more than just checking off a list of tasks. It’s important to highlight your company’s culture and corporate values. A warm, welcoming, and timely onboarding experience welcomes new hires, giving them a taste of how you treat employees immediately. Here’s how to go about it.
Identifying Content Writers
Uncovering the ideal content authors for your undertaking is essential to its accomplishment. To ensure you hire skilled and experienced professionals, follow these steps:
Assessing Skills and Experience
Begin by evaluating a writer’s skills and experience through their portfolio or published work samples. Look for quality content demonstrating excellent grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary usage, and an engaging writing style.
Conducting Interviews or Tests
To further assess a candidate’s suitability for the role, consider conducting interviews via phone or video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype. You can ask specific questions about their expertise and past experiences related to content creation tasks.
Alternatively (or additionally), assign test assignments that require candidates to produce original written pieces on topics relevant to your niche within specified deadlines; this will give you insights into their ability to deliver quality work under pressure.
Ask your professional network or industry peers for recommendations of content writers they have worked with in the past. This can help you find reliable and experienced professionals already vetted by people you trust.
You can also use platforms like LinkedIn to search for potential candidates based on their skills, experience, and endorsements from other professionals in your field.
Utilizing Freelance Platforms & Job Boards
Explore popular freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or niche-specific job boards like ProBlogger Jobs Board. These websites allow you to post job listings specifying your requirements and attract a pool of talented content writers worldwide.
Training Content Writers
Once you have identified potential content authors, it is essential to equip them with the relevant education so that they comprehend your organization’s principles and anticipations. This section will discuss the essential topics that should be covered during their training process.
Understanding Your Brand Voice and Style
The first step in training content writers is teaching them about your brand voice and style. They should be instructed on creating content that conveys your company’s character, principles, and intended audience. Please provide them with guidelines on tone, language usage, preferred writing styles (e.g., formal or informal), and any specific terminology or phrases unique to your niche.
SEO Best Practices
In today’s digital landscape, understanding SEO best practices is essential for producing high-quality content that ranks well on search engines like Google. Train your content writers on keyword research techniques, proper keyword placement within articles, meta tags optimization (title tags & meta descriptions), internal linking strategies, and other important aspects of SEO writing.
Research Skills & Fact-Checking
An effective content writer must possess strong research skills to gather accurate information from reliable sources while avoiding plagiarism. Plagiarism-checking tools can help detect duplicate content before publishing an article online.
Formatting & Readability
To ensure your content is engaging and easy to read, train your writers on proper formatting techniques such as using headings (H1, H2), bullet points or numbered lists, bolding important text elements, and maintaining a consistent font style throughout the article.
Additionally, introduce them to readability tools like Hemingway App, which can help analyze their writing for clarity and simplicity.
Adhering to Company Guidelines & Deadlines
Last but not least, ensure your content writers understand any specific company guidelines regarding topics they should avoid or sensitive issues they must handle with care. Also, set clear expectations about deadlines so that they know how much time they have to complete assignments without compromising quality.
Onboarding Content Writers
Recruiting content authors is critical to ensure they are well-prepared to generate material that corresponds with your brand’s tone and objectives. This stage involves completing the necessary paperwork, establishing communication channels, and providing access to essential resources.
Paperwork and Contracts
Before content writers can officially begin working for you, it’s important to have them sign the appropriate contracts or agreements outlining their role within the company.
These documents may include the following:
Setting Up Communication Channels
Establish clear communication channels early in the onboarding process to facilitate seamless collaboration between you and your new content writers. Some popular tools used for team communication include:
Providing Access to Essential Resources
To ensure your content writers have everything they need to produce high-quality work, provide them with access to essential resources such as:
Following these steps during the onboarding process for content writers at mindflowmarketing will set up your new hires and your business for success.
Establishing clear expectations for content writers is crucial to ensure the production of high-quality work that aligns with your brand’s voice and goals. This section will detail various aspects you should consider when setting expectations, such as deadlines, quality standards, and communication protocols.
Content writers need to be aware of the deadlines associated with their tasks. Make sure they understand how important it is to submit their work on time by clearly communicating the due dates for each assignment.
You can use project management tools like Trello or Asana to help keep track of assignments and deadlines.
Maintaining consistent quality in your content is essential for building trust among your audience and improving search engine rankings. Ensure that content writers are familiar with your company’s style guide, which should include guidelines on tone, formatting, grammar usage, and more.
Examples of well-written articles from your website can also be useful references for new hires.
Edit Requests & Revisions Policy
To maintain high-quality standards across all published content pieces, ensure an understanding between both parties regarding edit requests & revisions policy beforehand.
For instance: – Number Of Revision Rounds Allowed – Time Frame For Submitting Revisions – Process For Submitting Edit Requests.
Effective communication is key to a successful working relationship with content writers. Establish clear protocols for how and when they should communicate with you or other team members, such as:
Establishing clear objectives at the start of the onboarding process will help guarantee that your content creators can generate high-grade material that meets your organization’s standards.
Managing Content Writers
Effectively managing content writers is crucial for maintaining a high level of productivity and ensuring the consistent delivery of quality work. This section will cover essential aspects of managing content writers, such as providing feedback, setting goals, and fostering a positive working environment.
Regularly providing constructive feedback to your content writers is vital in helping them improve their skills and meet the company’s expectations. Schedule periodic check-ins or meetings to discuss their performance, address any concerns they may have, and offer guidance on how they can enhance their writing abilities.
Setting Goals & Deadlines
Setting realistic goals and deadlines helps keep your team motivated while ensuring that projects are completed on time. Work with each writer individually to establish short-term objectives (such as completing an article within a specified timeframe) and long-term goals (like improving research skills).
Fostering a Positive Working Environment
A supportive, collaborative working environment is essential for content writers to thrive and produce their best work. Encourage teamwork by promoting open communication, offering opportunities for professional development, and recognizing achievements.
Managing content creators is vital to any successful content plan, necessitating suitable procedures. Measuring performance should be a priority to achieve success with your content marketing strategy.
Share Examples Of Content You Define As Great
If you want writers to create great content, show them a sample of what that content might look like. Please find links to content with the tone, style, and depth you want and share them with your writers. To set clear expectations for your writers, make sure you also explain what makes this content great.
To ensure that your content writers meet expectations and produce high-quality work, measuring their performance regularly is essential. This section will discuss various methods for evaluating the effectiveness of your content writers and how these metrics can be used to improve overall productivity.
Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Establishing clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a crucial step in measuring the success of your content writers. KPIs should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Examples of KPIs for content writers may include:
Regularly Reviewing Analytics Data
Analyzing data from tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into how well your content performs online. Metrics such as page views, bounce rate, average session duration, and conversion rates can help you gauge the effectiveness of each writer’s work.
Collecting Feedback From Readers And Clients
Feedback from your audience is a valuable resource for measuring the performance of content writers. Encourage readers to leave comments on blog posts or articles, and monitor social media channels for mentions and shares of your content.
Additionally, if you are creating content for clients, request regular feedback on the quality and effectiveness of each writer’s work.
Conducting Performance Reviews
Regular performance reviews help identify areas where individual writers may need improvement or additional training. During these reviews, discuss their KPIs, analytics data, reader/client feedback, and any other relevant information that will provide insight into their overall performance.
Regular assessments of your authors can guarantee the quality and consistency of their output are up to both business criteria and viewer requirements.
To maintain a motivated and productive team of content writers, it’s essential to recognize their hard work and dedication by rewarding performance. This boosts morale and encourages writers to continue producing high-quality content for your brand or niche.
One way to reward performance is by acknowledging the achievements of your content writers. Regularly provide positive feedback on well-written articles or projects that have exceeded expectations. You can do this through emails, meetings, or even public recognition, such as sharing their accomplishments on social media platforms.
Bonuses and Incentives
Offering monetary rewards in the form of bonuses or incentives can effectively motivate content writers. Set clear goals and targets for them to achieve to qualify for these rewards.
For example, you could offer a bonus if they consistently meet deadlines over a certain period or produce exceptional engagement metrics like shares, comments, and page views.
Professional Development Opportunities
Another way to reward content writers is by providing them with professional growth and development opportunities. Providing content writers with access to educational opportunities such as online courses, workshops, conferences, or individual coaching sessions from industry leaders can help boost their skills and knowledge while demonstrating appreciation for their work and improving the quality of their output.
By investing in their skills and knowledge, you show appreciation for their work and help improve the overall quality of your content output.
Promotions and Increased Responsibilities
If a writer consistently delivers high-quality work and demonstrates a strong commitment to your brand’s success, consider offering promotions or increased responsibilities within the company. This could involve taking on a leadership role in managing other writers or overseeing specific projects that align with their interests and expertise.
In conclusion, rewarding performance is crucial for maintaining a motivated team of content writers dedicated to producing exceptional results for your brand.
Essential Tips for Writer Onboarding and Brand Alignment
So you’ve done the difficult part: you’ve identified the best freelance writers who have adapted to your agency’s brand voice and demonstrated their ability to create quality content for your clients. However, onboarding a freelancer is different from onboarding an employee. For one thing, there’s a lot less paperwork. However, agencies frequently need help with bottlenecks in the onboarding process, which can result in costly delays. Here’s how to ensure a smooth onboarding process.
Even if a writer is an expert in one field, they will translate to something other than the asset type you require. They may lack experience with the industry or audience to which your client caters. Test them with samples (for which they will be compensated).
You don’t need to know everything your freelancer has done with their lives since the Bush administration or where they see themselves in five years to ensure they’ll fit in. They, too, are optional to read lengthy manuals. Even if you plan to use freelancers regularly, they are problem solvers who come and go.
Depending on the volume and type of clients you work with, each agency has different style requirements. Style can be more uniform or tailored to the individual client.
Alternatively, if the writer impressed you with their samples and portfolio, you’ll trust their style judgment. However, if you have specific stylistic standards in mind and the writer needs to be given direction on how you want a copy to look and read from the start, it will make onboarding more difficult.
Sites and content networks you create for your clients can grow enormously with the assistance of content writers. New writers you’re bringing on may need to be made aware of who owns which domains and aren’t mind readers. Keep them updated on network expansion plans and places to avoid linking to, using the style guide and other documentation.
FAQs About Onboarding Content Writers
Having a team of content writers is essential to any successful business. Onboarding content writers require identifying and selecting talented individuals, training them in your specific requirements, setting expectations for their work, managing their performance, measuring results, and rewarding excellence.
Executing the onboarding process of content writers properly can be a good approach to creating material that draws in customers with your brand or topic.
Do you need help with onboarding content writers? Let mindflowmarketing show you how to leverage your online presence and build a following around your brand or niche. Get started today!