• Pradosh Mitra

Client or Content Writer - Who Should Write First

The Conflict

While discussing deliverables and timeline with the marketing agency, Rajani got a bit startled when the client servicing head Richie asked, “How much time do you generally take to hand over the first draft?” She thought - Richie stole her thunder. The growing demand to create valuable content is becoming pressing. The pressure has grown so much on the agencies that they started taking up an optimal route - ask the clients to contribute to the content creation exercise. It may sound like a turntable situation, but when it comes to creating content, it makes better sense for the client to create the first draft and leave the editing for a professional content creator. Even if it sounds weird, this process allows for creating valuable content pieces that are easy to read, therefore higher to rank on SERPs and faster to access. And just in case you were wondering what are the drivers of this successful content strategy, here are the ones I found out.

You Know Your Business - The Best

No one knows about your “business” better than you. It’s your idea that you tested through a market research study and then transformed into a concept worth pursuing. You made detailed planning to finally uncover a successful venture. At all those touchpoints, you were the sole decision-maker. As you are the one who got her hands dirty for a clean business venture from the very beginning, if anyone can tell the story of the business, it got to be you. Why was the idea conceived? How did it start? What did the venture go through? The answers to these questions lie only with you. So whether it’s a business challenge or market assessment hurdle or demography definition problem, you have them covered from the start. Therefore, it can’t be anyone more adept other than you when it comes to harvesting content ideas. The stories you can narrate, the first draft you can handover, the incidence you can unfold are far more valuable than the data backed analytical write up of your content creator.

You Know Your Customer Needs - The Best

A business venture is all about meeting a need of your customer. The need can range from asking for a pack of salt to asking for a digital transformation of operations in all facilities spread across the globe. An enterprise turns successful only if they manage to understand that need and craft their service proposition or product to meet that accordingly. Apart from becoming a successful business firm, the need assessment and its corresponding resolution turn out to be fantastic story materials. People outside your business are interested to read about problem-resolution stories. They want to learn the process so that they can either replicate the same in lesser time or improvise on them to offer something different. In other words, these processes can be the foundation for valuable content. Throw in the answer to the question, who can narrate the story, the best? And you have a writer with no dearth of topics that can evolve to be killer content assets. The bonus is, these stories got legs. You can write blogs, design an infographic, organize a podcast or a webinar, create a presentation, build into an e-book, and even make it gated content. This means you can mold these as you wish to use them as engagement content or lead generation content. All you need to do is just logically gather the thoughts and share it with your content creators to embellish the presentation or design or the language. But frankly speaking, no matter what your content creators do, the source can’t be anyone but you.

You Know Your Process - The Best

Assessing a need could be the first step towards making a venture successful. But the success only arrives once you deliver the right solution to meet that need. While journeying from a need to a solution is interesting, the conversion of that “one-time” journey to a process is a wonder worth sharing. That transformation didn’t happen overnight. You must have tried and tested different combinations of steps and components to arrive at the miracle solution in the first place. But then to define that single pathway to success from the myriad of the failed ones is a task by itself. If asked, would you be able to pull out the documents that recorded your failed attempts? Will you be able to analyze the process flow that led you to your success? Will you be able to present the resources requirement list? If the answers to these questions are “Yes”, it’s a battle half won. But if the answers are “No”, then you got to write down the stories of your learnings, your sleepless nights of relentless efforts, and the dawning of the success. The documentation is not only a priceless record of events that set the bearing of your business venture right but also the scripture your process engineer will go back to again and again to understand how it all started. For people outside your organization, like students eager to learn or followers ready to pick up the style, this document will serve as a beacon preventing the readers from losing direction towards their objective.

You Know Your Operational Hurdles - The Best

We all know that a process is an everchanging, ever-evolving function. You have to look into your process every day and see what’s working and what’s failing. In parallel, you got to check the new tools and techniques available in the market, and identify the path where you can plug in the new tool and techniques to optimize your process. It’s a challenging task. As it’s your process you know what are the operational snag it can create. Did your team member get the training to work efficiently? Will the process allow for automation? Is there any scope for reducing the quality correction steps? Can the quality check sample volume be reduced? These questions storm your mind. And when you get the answers they are something of value to you, your peers, and your followers. The storm that you experience and the elation that you feel when you iron out a glitch in the flow, both make for outstanding reading material. Besides you, there isn’t anyone who will be able to narrate the experience without losing focus on the factual accuracy. You know what went wrong, why that went wrong, what you did to rectify, what tools you used to rectify, why did you use that tool to rectify. Practically speaking, you have answers to all the questions one can ask for and they surely need to get out in the open for people who are searching for them. It’s just needless to say that these answers can team up to form valuable content pieces, the readers are waiting for.

Thoughts Worth Pondering

David Ogilvy recommended an advertising campaign to have a big idea. If you draw a parallel to content creation, the big idea of a campaign is equivalent to valuable pieces of information here. They are the pieces that help readers to learn and grow. For you, these pieces hold the potential to transcend you from a successful businessperson to a trainer, mentor, and an influencer. Rub your image off your brand, and your brand also gets perceived as the go-to place for information that matters. At this juncture, the worst question you can ask is, “But I do not see all those who are visiting me, buying from me?” You may have a point there, but it’s too weak to stand against the equity your brand’s been gathering from each visit. All your visitors may not be buying from you, but if you continue sharing information pieces that are as valuable as your experience, then as the next step the visitors will return to you frequently. What more do you need than being known as reliable, authentic, and trusted in the short term and the place to buy in the long term.

The Resolution

Even though creating content sounds like a chore for you, even if you feel like you are doing the job of a content writer, and you will pay your content creator for nothing, it’s still something you should pick up in the first place. In addition to churning more content pieces in lesser time, two prime factors will surely get you to start writing. First, you’ll pay your writer less. If your content writer has to write all that you have with you, ready in your mind, they will invest more time in researching, writing, editing, and then submitting for your feedback. Your content writer will charge for the total effort investment. You can reduce that by handing over the first draft. You will save your content creator’s research time and feedback trading time. Your content creator will put her language skill into action and make your draft appealing to readers. Second, and the most critical. When you write, you need not step outside your mind to get the research material. In addition, your words will be true, knowledge-rich, experience-laden, and worth becoming a read that’s authentic enough to get back to, today and tomorrow. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Mumbai - India

©2018 by Pradosh Mitra.