It's easy to understand that not every freelance writer is a good match for every marketing project. Yet, how can you recognize when you need a specialty writer and identify what kind of writer to seek? These ideas can help your search.
You need a writer with specific technical or subject knowledge. Teaching a generalist writer about your products, customers, and applications probably isn't a good use of time--for yourself or your subject experts. A specialty writer, such as a technical copywriter, brings strong knowledge to your projects. And this experience makes a difference in producing on-target content quickly and with minimal guidance or management throughout the writing and review processes.
Your project requires a specific writing style. Advertising, direct mail, and speeches are project types I routinely decline because I don't have the talents for those specialized writing styles. Instead, I recommend that clients find a writer whose focuses on this kind of work.
Your company has a particular market focus. A writer with experience primarily in B2B marketing may not be able to write effective copy for a B2C promotional effort and vice versa. Additionally, your content may need a writer with knowledge of the trends and issues in a particular vertical market, such as green energy or healthcare.
You have a mix of short-form and long-form projects. Writing and managing short-form social media content has become a specialty for some writers. Other freelance copywriters focus on long-form projects such as white papers, case studies, and sales materials. Additionally, some writers may know how to work with producers on video and podcast scripts, while others may not have the visual and auditory thinking skills required by these projects. Ask your writers to indicate which projects are truly their strengths, then consider whether you need specialty freelance writers to handle certain project types.
It may seem that you'll add to your workload if you start managing a stable of writers. But if you choose the right writers--and use them for projects where they can work most effectively--you'll likely ease your project burden and receive better content as well.