Q: What is one quality or skill I should look for in a writer who would help me build out my brand messaging and content strategy?
A: Domain expertise. “It is imperative that whoever is leading branding/content has a firm grasp on your industry. They must be able to understand the bigger picture where your company is trying to fit in, the audiences you want to reach, and the trends you can align yourself with to stand out. Without domain expertise, you’re more likely to add to the noise rather than rise above it.” Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR
Credibility. “Credibility goes a long ways with writers. If they are respected by other writers and have a following, it will translate over to you and your website. This same credibility will help to grow you online.” John Rampton, Due
A non-sales background. “The writers who work for me don’t come from the sales world, and I believe that’s their strongest asset. They’re closer tied to the kind of consumers I’m hoping to attract, and they approach their work with an eye for detail and diligence to get the message out in creative and innovative ways that I could never do personally. They help guide me down new paths in brand messaging.” Rob Fulton, AudioLumin
Timeless copywriting skills. “The web is weird, in the sense that everything stays forever. It’s archived somewhere. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook — whatever the platform, your brand messaging should match who you were when you started, who you are today, and who you plan to be 10 years from now. If your brand messaging is consistent and worded with educated keywords that aren’t simply ‘trending’ this week, you’ll be poised well.” Alexis Levine, Savvy Media
Heart and soul. “We only look for writers who are a part of our company. They must see the vision and believe in the same bigger picture as myself. A company’s brand is directly associated with the personal brand of the founder, so a good writer must be able to put the founder’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs on paper. Everything written must also complement the company’s core business model and DNA.” Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty
Relevant experience. “Look at a writer’s past work and determine if his or her areas of expertise fit with your goals. Has the writer done brand messaging and content strategy? I’ve worked with writers whose experience is in areas not related to my goals. They’re good, but they’re not what I needed.” Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
Passion. “If your potential writer is genuinely excited about writing, he or she will likely take the time and effort to make sure their output is quality. There are plenty of folks out there who will write just for the money, but there are only a few people who truly live and breathe writing and are constantly working to hone their skills. These are the gems you should keep an eye out for.” Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep