“We don’t really use freelancers.” I hear that sometimes from marketing and creative directors.
Of course, it’s a knee-jerk objection to what they perceive as a sales pitch.
I understand. I do the same thing myself. “No, I’m not a candidate for your solar panels.” “No, I’m not interested in your software that will revolutionize my business.” You know how it goes. Sometimes I feel like I spend half my day turning away vendors.
But the we-don’t-use-freelancers line is pretty easy to knock down. First of all, it’s probably not true. Most companies will call a freelancer if they’re in a pinch. And then they have to go through their list (if they have one) and find someone who can handle the job—and whom they haven’t already blown off.
But why let things get to that point? Here are seven reasons for a healthy business to use freelance copywriters—now, not just when a crisis hits.
- Cost. When things get busy, businesses start thinking they need to hire a writer. But once you factor in the cost of health benefits, payroll expenses, sick time, paid vacations, holidays, etc., full-time employees are really expensive. And what happens when business slows down again? That now-full-time staffer is spending time schmoozing with the other employees, pretending to be busy—and drawing the same paycheck week after week. Savvy business people know all this, and use “contractors” as much as possible—often to the point of abuse. But using a genuine freelance contractor is a no-sweat way to get the job done without entanglements. Let the freelancer worry about the vacations and health insurance.
- Overflow. Your poor staff writer is already overloaded—and now you’re going to give her one more assignment? That’s a recipe for stress, bad performance, resentment and disappointment. Give the kid a break. Bring in some help.
- Emergencies. Yes, it’s still okay to call in the cavalry when disaster is looming. Here’s a secret—we freelancers are accustomed to working by the seat of our pants. Some of us even thrive on emergencies. So when you need it done now, do you really want to rely on your loyal-but-plodding staff? Call someone who’ll welcome the stress and get it done when you need it.
- A New Voice. Even the best writers have a limited repertoire. When your marketing messages always sound the same, prospects may tune you out. And that’s a killer. You need a different voice.
- Versatility. You may have writers who are good at certain things but not others. Few people are excellent at sales letters, white papers, press releases, articles, social media and blogs too. A freelancer who specializes in some of those areas could be just the thing to round out your efforts.
- You’re Not Getting It Done. If writing isn’t part of what your organization sells, you probably have a lot of marketing tasks sitting unfinished. You know you should finish that brochure, update your website, and get into that social media thing. But you simply don’t have the time. You really need a writer’s help—but probably not full-time. Voila! a freelancer can solve your problem.
- A Fresh Perspective. This is the most important point. You may be too close to your work to appreciate its unique features. It’s hard to see something with fresh eyes when you’ve been wrangling it for years. But it’s probably all new to your prospects. You need someone who can spot those delightful things you’ve forgotten about—and present them to the public with real enthusiasm.
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