65% of large companies outsource content creation and 44% overall outsource B2B content creation, according to the latest content marketing statistics.
For those businesses that hire freelance writers as regular, consistent contributors, a big mistake they are making is not encouraging their freelance writers to network with each other.
Yes, it’s true that freelancers are ‘independent contributors,’ but remember that as human beings, we thrive in collaborative environments.
Why Your Business Needs to Connect Content Creators
While this post is mostly focused on connecting your freelance writers with each other, this also applies to any source of content creators, both in-house and outsourced. Here are three main benefits you will start to see when you encourage your content creators and freelance writers to mingle with each other.
Creation of a Team Atmosphere
Whenever you outsource, you will find that you are dealing with many different people with different work styles. Unlike an office environment where people tend to learn similar working styles as their coworkers, freelancers tend to work at home in their one-person business.
By networking your content creators together, it gives them a chance to learn other people’s work styles. For example, maybe you have one freelancer who uses FreshBooks to invoice, whereas another uses PayPal and another sends in invoices from Microsoft Word Templates. The one that uses FreshBooks could show the other two how easy that tool is to use, and then you will have three freelancers who invoice your business the same way. While it sounds like a small change, the consistency could be a big help to your accountant.
Creating a team amongst your content creators can also help each of them improve. As they start interacting with each other, they’re more likely to pay attention to the content each team member creates and learning new skills. This can ultimately boost the quality of the content developed for your business all around.
A Better Flow of Topics
If you have a dozen writers submitting their own topic ideas, you’re likely publishing a lot of content that is high quality, but not necessarily a lot of content that flows well from one piece to the next.
Connecting your content creators with each other can help them look at ways to sync content topics, such as each person creating their own series of posts on specific topics, or each person taking a specific part of a series that they have the most knowledge about. If you get enough content about a particular topic, your business could repackage it as a free ebook lead magnet later down the road.
Increased Content Promotion
Another great benefit of getting your content creators to network with each other is an increase in content promotion. Instead of everyone just promoting their own content, everyone will start promoting others, as they are all a part of the same team. This is a win for your business as it means you will get even more out of your content investment with increased exposure and traffic.
How to Network Your Content Creators Together
So now that you know the benefits, here are a few ways to actually get your content creators – in house and freelance – to network with each other. Private Social Media Groups
It only takes a few minutes to setup a private social media group. Find out what social networks are most popular amongst your content creators and create a private Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ community for them to share their latest posts, strategies, and resources.
Quarterly Virtual Meetings
Meetings can be a time suck, and most organized professionals (especially freelancers) are not fans of them. That is why you don’t want to get into weekly or even monthly meetings with your content creators. Quarterly meetings, however, are legit as a three-month spread should give you plenty of things to talk about.
Use tools like Google+ Hangouts or Skype to get your content creators together on a quarterly basis to talk about new content strategies and topics. This will increase the team spirit with everyone who is writing for your business, and should result in better content.
Shared Content Management Tools
The use of a common content management tool can also go a long way in helping content creators get a good feel of what others are doing. Be sure to look at tools like Trello that allow content managers to create assignments and allows content creators to interact with other members of the team when talking about particular projects. If you’re looking for something more simple, you can even look at tools like Google Drive Spreadsheets, which will allow everyone to jump into one spreadsheet to share and claim new topic ideas.