3 Reasons To Ditch Your Agency For Freelancers

Taking a chance on freelancers used to be a big No-No. If they’re so good, surely an agency would’ve snapped them up by now, right? Wrong. The demand for writing is huge, but there aren’t enough agencies to go around. Freelance writers fill the huge gap. When people choose freelancers over an agency, cost is usually the reason. However, there are 3 other great reasons why you should choose a freelance writer over an agency one.

1. Maintain Agency Competition
Less competition means prices will skyrocket. Agencies could charge whatever they like and get away with it. You’d have nowhere else to go. The more writers the merrier. If a writer doesn’t perform to a high standard, you’ll find a replacement. If an agency raises their prices beyond your budget, you’ll still have affordable alternatives. Supporting freelancers forces agencies to provide good service.

2. Complete Projects Faster
Agencies have many departments. You’ll jump through several hoops to reach a writer. Some agencies might promise a quick response, but usually this is a form message sent automatically. With so many customers to help, how long will it take to reach you? When your project is a rush-job, it’ll be harder to finish on time.
Freelancers usually work alone, but some may have an assistant. Freelancers accept less work, so they’ll reach your message much sooner. I respond to every message within 24 hours and projects may start within a few working days. Project completion is faster too. I don’t have to sign off with a supervisor and a supervisor’s supervisor. Cutting out the middle-men and women reduces waiting times.

3. Know Your Writer
This seems so simple. You saw your writer’s picture on her website, read her credentials, liked her samples, and felt reassured by her responses. You pay her and relax, knowing great articles are coming your way…Or not. They come with errors, sound like a computer wrote them, and barely make sense.
This is what happens when you don’t know your writer. An agency writer could delegate to her colleagues or people less experienced. Even worse, she could pay exploitative wages to writers who barely speak English.
Hiring a freelancer means you know who will write your articles. Working with someone you trust is so important in business. You don’t want a lazy agency to screw up your chance to impress customers. Build up a strong working relationship with one freelancer instead of some cold, distant agency.

Those three reasons show why you should ditch your agency for freelancers ASAP. In addition to saving money, choose freelancers if you want to maintain strong competition for agencies, receive faster responses to queries, and know who is writing your content. If you do choose an agency, build a strong relationship with the writer. Good freelancers are hard to come by, so hold on and don’t let go!


10 Steps to Profit-Boosting Copy

How do you get from plain content to profit-boosting copy? By following these 10 steps. You can also use these steps to improve copy you’ve already written. If the copy hasn’t performed well, look over the following tips to see what’s missing.

Most people jump into writing copy without a good plan. This is a mistake. There are so many points you must cover. It’s easy to forget things when you’re facing tight deadlines, a wave of ideas, and a heavy workload. It doesn’t take long to plan. A basic outline of everything you want will do. Then your team can flesh out the plan together in a meeting.

STEP TWO: Choose your DIY copywriting team
You only need 7 members, so don’t go overboard. Think about how different employees suit each position. Consider which role suits your personality. I suggest that supervisors and managers take on the project manager role. You can find a character outline on each role here.

STEP THREE: Include online AND offline marketing
Don’t forget your offline marketing! Not everyone has easy access to the internet. Now most companies are online, offline marketing makes you stand out. Another benefit to offline marketing is more visible copy. Ignoring an advert on a web page is easier than ignoring a brochure in the letterbox. Always tie online and offline copy together, for example, advertise your website in your brochure.

STEP FOUR: Go back to basics
You’re probably an expert in your field. Your customers aren’t. Make sure your copy is ‘dumbed down’ to their level. If the general public doesn’t understand you, you’ve lost potential customers. Everything you plan must relate to Joe Public, not just CEOs and Directors.

STEP FIVE: Make timeless copy
I know certain industries like IT progress quickly, but try to write about something that will be relevant for years to come. Even better, predict where the industry is going so you’ll be ahead. It’s hard work updating copy on a regular basis, so write something that will last months, even years.

STEP SIX: No sales talk
“BUY OUR STUFF!!!!!!”…No. Don’t turn into that annoying salesperson. Be yourself. Customers prefer someone they can relate to. Always focus on them, not you. Selling the benefits of a product works. Selling features doesn’t. If customers don’t see how a product benefits them, they won’t buy it. Make every benefit clear. Don’t make customers think any more than necessary.

STEP SEVEN: Get the right length
Go online and see how long different copy is. Certain copy may be short: articles, ads, leaflets, etc. Certain copy may be long: white papers, speeches, scripts, etc. Do your research BEFORE you start, and keep in mind that lengths may change over time, for example, web owners used to prefer short web pages but now Google is rewarding longer ones.

STEP EIGHT: Be yourself
Whatever works for the competition won’t necessarily work for you. Be your own brand, not a poor imitation of someone else’s. People know when a company is copying another. It reeks of desperation. People are attracted to leaders, not followers.

STEP NINE: Call to action
Your copy should push customers into action. A gentle push, not a shove. End your copy with the next step they can take. Don’t miss out on such a great opportunity to sell!

STEP TEN: Eye-catching photos
Text is nice but pictures are nicer. When you distribute copy, always have some pictures. They break up a wall of text and the right photos are eye-catching. Make sure the picture fits your copy and don’t use controversial pictures just to attract attention. Remember, gimmicks don’t always sell!

Now you know exactly what it takes to transform plain content into profit-boosting copy. It won’t take long to improve copy that hasn’t performed as well as expected. Just look over each point and ask yourself, “Have we done this?” If not, now’s the time. If you’re starting a new project, stick these ten steps where the whole team can see them every day.