What are the biggest hurdles, problems or challenges when using a freelance content creator?
The biggest stumbling block I encounter with my clients is when they don’t really know what they are looking for. You may think you absolutely, positively need an e-book or whitepaper about XYZ subject, and you may be right. But the best content creators also offer insight on content strategy. Will that e-book do what you want, or do you really need content such as customer case studies or how-to documentation?
First step for anyone researching content creators is to identify your goals for your content. Your content creator should be able to offer ideas on which content can be the best fit.
From there, it’s all about style and execution. Ask for samples so that you know that the content creator can perform. Ask how much the client edited the creator’s work before generating the final product, but be aware that tons of edits might not be the creator’s fault. Clients change content scope all the time! Ask how your content creator deals with that issue when it happens during a project so that you are comfortable with the result. This might mean an extra charge on the project rate, or a bill-by-hour rather than bill-by-project quote.
Also ask if your content creator will create artist-friendly, SEO-friendly, and customer-friendly copy.
The first is generating images or data for charts/tables with interesting headlines/subheads/captions; the second is optimizing for your key phrases; the third is creating something that your customers need and can use, and that enables them to take the next step with you.
Like many business relationships, working with a content creator should get better over time. We learn to understand your processes, customers, and language; you learn how to get us what we need to generate results.
Which brings me to my last point: two of the biggest hurdles for creating content are outside of the content creator’s hands: getting access to your execs and customers we need for information and quotes, and getting sign-off on final copy from execs and customers. The best content, even when delivered on time and in budget, goes nowhere when the approval process breaks down.