Founders and executives shouldn’t write.
It’s not that you can’t, it’s that your skill set is best utilized elsewhere. But you already know that. That’s why you hired a sharp team to help you crank out killer content to your social media, blogs, and website. Trusting a team of creatives is a smart move that will free you up for more high-level strategy. So don’t mess it up with these five common mistakes:
Mistake #1 Ghost Your Ghostwriter
So you hired a writer to help you translate your ideas and mess of notes into thought leadership articles. You had one meeting, where you dumped 45 minutes’ worth of word vomit on them, and then you went missing for 3 weeks. FAIL.
This is not how ghostwriting works! Not the kind of ghostwriting you want anyway. When you hire a writer in this capacity, they are there to help you shape and polish your words, not create them for you. Plus, the more time they spend with you upfront, the more they understand your voice. That translates into less time with them as the contract goes on.
Mistake #2 Not Setting Deadlines
Listen, creatives need deadlines. Most people managing multiple projects need deadlines! If you care when and how the content goes out, set up some expectations. Otherwise, work with someone experienced enough to strategize the content and schedule the appropriate timeline for meetings, review, and publishing. If you need an expert who can do this, simply ask them if they have managed an editorial calendar when you interview them.
Mistake #3 Failure to Outline Articles
Throwing caution to the wind and spewing words is not a good strategy for your content. A writer can work without a style sheet, but not an outline of the article. Correction. They can, but it will mean more back and forth for you.
The outline doesn’t have to be something that you would turn into your 8th-grade teacher. All it needs to be is a concept and a couple of bullets for the main points. From this, a good writer can ensure that they are developing a concept that matches what you have in your head. However, a great writer will tell you where you have gone off the rails and how to fix it.
Mistake #4 Set Sail Without Anchor Documents
I know there is a lot of pressure to get content out there. But for the love of cheese, take a breath. Putting content out just to have something on your channels is boring the life out of your audience. Stop it. Before you go crazy with articles and content on every social channel known to man, nail down your “why.” Write it down, post it in front of your content creators. Don’t let a single piece of content go out the door without examining it in the context of your why.
Mistake #5 Go for Cheap
If you have ever looked for a writer, publicist, or marketing firm, you know there is a wide variation of rates out there. Some of these people are using content mills or can offer you lower rates because of volume. Understand that well-crafted content is expensive to produce. Choose a writer based on merit, not price. A good writer will deliver better results, saving you money over time.
If you feel like I am speaking directly to you, I probably am! I have worked with dozens of companies in multiple industries, and many of them make all these mistakes. But you know what? All these mistakes can be fixed easily! Start with your anchor documents and designate someone on your team to lead the comms. Or hire out. A good content creator has the background required to steer the ship!