The conversation happens frequently and goes something like this:
Ms. Solo Biz Owner: “That was such a great email you sent. I love your writing style.”
Me: “Thank you! What appealed to…”
Her: “How much do you charge for freelance writing?”
Me: “I don’t offer writing services, other than for a handful of corporate clients.”
Her: “But I need good content, and you’re a really good writer.”
Me: “We can work together to make you a really good writer for your business, too.”
Her (heavy sigh): “I just want someone to write all this stuff for me.”
I understand where frustrated solo business owners are coming from. They face constant content demands. Writing takes up precious time. They feel like they don’t have the skills or the “creativity” to write what their businesses need.
And yes, the reasonable approach to filling a skills gap is to hire it in or outsource it. That works really well for things like accounting and office cleaning.
But outsourcing your voice simply does not work. That's because:
- Your message expresses the very essence of your business, and you know it at a bone-deep level even if you don't have all the tools you need to access it yet.
- Your words are the voice of your business, offering a window into who you are and what it’s like to work with you. For solo business owners, the authentic voice of your business is pretty much the holy grail.
Bottom line, messaging is just part of the gig as a solo business owner. It’s non-negotiable.
And until you know your voice and message well enough to describe it in exacting detail to another person, even the most talented freelancer writers will frustrate you. It won’t be entirely their fault.
That’s why the best way to hire a freelance writer is to not hire one*.
Not right away, at least.
No one knows the voice of your business better than you. No one knows the story of what you do, why you do it and how it changes things for your clients better than you. Own your voice. Tell your story.
And if you need help with that, look for the person who will help you shape the voice and message lurking in you, not the one who’ll create a voice for you. You’ll never sound, or feel, completely authentic that way.
If you’re ready to explore what a deep-dive into the message and voice of your business could look like and ultimately yield, let’s chat. This link will take you to my calendar, and we can set up a virtual coffee date together.
If you need a few more reinforcements that you can and should be the writer your business needs, check out these previous editions of Well Said Wednesday:
* And I say "don't hire a freelance writer" as someone who has a lucrative freelance writing career...based on doing work for corporations and other entities with a clearly defined voice.