6 Tips for Managing a Remote Team of Writers

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🎶 “Work, work, work, work, work…” 🎶

As an agency owner, you may have this tune by Rihanna stuck in your head 24/7. After all, with so many client projects, you may feel like you’re drowning at times.

Some smart agencies choose to outsource some of their copywriting work to lighten their loads. Are you one of them? If so, are your struggling with managing a remote team of writers?

We feel you. After outsourcing our fair share of work over the years, we totally understand how complex it can be at times. Yet, we’ve also uncovered some helpful tips and tricks we’d like to share with you.

6 Tips to Make Managing a Remote Team of Writers Easier

1. Create an Easy-to-Follow System

As most freelancers choose when they work, you’ll want to create a system that’s easy to follow when you’re not around. Plus, you’ll want to make the onboarding and project management process as simple as possible for all.

Start by outlining your entire workflow from client intake to content project delivery. It’s important to get as detailed as possible here. Some questions to ask include:

  • What tasks must be completed during each stage of the content creation process? This might include content writing, editing, interviews or obtaining customer feedback.
  • Which tasks are your freelancers responsible for? Are they just responsible for content creation? Or, are they also responsible for other tasks too such as conducting interviews with your customers or performing keyword research?
  • Which tasks are your internal team’s responsibility? This might include communicating with customers, outsourcing content work and giving feedback.
  • Where and how should freelancers deliver their work? Should they send their project back via email? Add it to a shared Google folder? Where should their content drafts go to keep things rolling?
  • How do freelancers ask questions or gain clarification on a project if they need it? Should they hit you up in Slack? Send you an email? Leave comments in a Google Doc? Give your freelancers a place to gain clarity.

Document this process somewhere central so everyone has access to it. And don’t forget to communicate responsibilities with your internal and remote writing teams.

Pro Tip

If you don’t already, we recommend using a task management tool such as Asana to make managing each task much easier. You can then choose whether to include your writers in your task management tool or leave that to your internal team.

2. Set Clear Timelines

Timelines are super important when delivering projects, especially for your freelancers. Set general timeline expectations upfront before you send any work. But then be sure to clarify due dates (date and time due) at the outset of every project to ensure your freelancer can meet those deadlines. They may have other work on their plates.

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Every tip on this list could fall under communication. After all, it’s the only way to ensure you, your internal team, and your freelancers are on the same page and working toward the same goal: amazing client work!

 

A woman and a man walk together and smile at one another as the man says, "Look at us, communicating"

Make sure to emphasize open communication between your team and your writers so they feel comfortable asking questions as they’re working. The last thing you want is to send a project, have a writer not ask questions, and then receive a draft that’s not what you’re looking for.

Pro Tip

Do you use Slack or another type of IM tool? If so, consider adding your freelancers. It’s a great way for them to send quick questions and an even better way for you to stay connected. And, don’t worry, you can set permissions so they only see what’s important to their work.

4. Enable Access for Your Writers

Do your writers have everything they need for project success? A critical part of managing a remote team of writers is ensuring they have the notes, documents, and marketing materials required to understand the project and the client. 

For example, you might give your writers access to your Google Drive or Dropbox or wherever you keep client materials. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, deliver all the materials you have via email.

You should also consider giving your writer direct access to in-house subject matter experts (SMEs). This is especially important when writing for a technical or unique niche. Whenever possible, allow time for phone or Zoom interviews so your writer can gain greater insight.

5. Develop & Share a Style Guide

Are your freelancers writing content for your agency? Share your style guide with them! This guide should include your voice, tone, branding elements and copywriting rules to ensure content is consistent regardless of the writer.

Want to learn more about creating a brand style guide? Check out this quick guide: The Importance of a Brand Style Guide & What to Include Inside

It’s also a great practice to ask your clients for their own brand style guides if they have them. This is an invaluable tool for your writers.

6. Ask for Feedback Often

Ask your freelancers for their feedback about your process as well as their projects. This is a great way to find kinks in your process that could potentially derail future projects. Plus, listening to your writers and implementing their feedback results in a happier team.

Need Content Writing Help? You Got It!

Sometimes, outsourcing to a freelance writer isn’t enough. Maybe you’d like someone who can help you manage your writing projects instead of relying 100% on you? Maybe you require someone who can edit their own work or perform content interviews with experts?

If these items are on your wishlist, you need a content writing team. And guess what? That’s us! Send us a message today.

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