*names below have been changed
So, I was Zooming with a new client the other day, and at the end of our call she told me a story that made me laugh. I’m paraphrasing, but she said something like…
“By the way, Jennifer* recommended you. I was complimenting her on her blog, and she got this cheeky, guilty grin and whispered, ‘Jaquilyn writes my blog!’”
I couldn’t help but laugh! I love it when our clients get genuine compliments, but it is so funny to me that Jennifer would feel even a little guilty about it… if she only knew how many people outsource blogging!
Plus, we do everything we can to ensure that our blog posts are authentic to our clients in voice and message. At the end of the day, they really are her words.
But this story got me thinking about marketing authenticity, because the truth of the matter is that there is NO WAY you can do everything in your business. And if you have big dreams of expanding your firm, putting your CEO blazer on, and building your legacy, you don’t want to be doing everything anyway.
Which means… outsourcing.
There are two aspects of outsourcing I want to cover for you today:
What you can do to make sure any marketing you outsource stays authentic and on-brand
Some ways to get blogging off your plate so you can go back to doing what you love best
Okay, first up: a brand messaging strategy. Having one in place will make it far easier for anyone you hire (from a marketing firm to a contractor to an employee) to quickly get up to speed on how to best represent your brand’s voice and message.
We discuss brand messaging with all of our blogging and copywriting clients — before writing a single word for them. It’s that important. Some of our clients already have an established strategy in place (love the forethought!); others need help refining theirs, which we’re happy to do.
If a brand messaging strategy is a fairly new concept to you, here’s why it is essential to a scalable business:
creates the overall tone, feeling, and impression associated with your brand
prioritizes language that attracts your dream clients
promotes trust and reliability through consistency
A brand messaging strategy can include:
Your brand pillars (4-5 words that form the foundation of your mission, work, and values)
A short mission statement
An in-depth outline of your ideal client avatar, their lifestyle and goals
A list of on-brand words and ones to avoid (ex. Use “investment,” not “cost”)
Your brand’s messaging is the way you present your business, both written and verbally, in website copy, blog posts, newsletters, onboarding documents, and even your initial discovery calls.
Again, these are all facets of your business that we will talk about in depth during our Content Strategy Session. But whether you’re planning to outsource in the near future or not, I strongly advise giving these items some real thought.
The words you use frame how potential clients view your business — and they are 100% in your control.
There are several ways you can outsource your blog, from getting help with various blogging-related tasks to handing over the reins to someone (like O&B) who will manage it all from first draft to final publishing. Regardless of which of the following 3 methods you choose, the result should be a strategic, beautiful blog post with your name as the author.
Here is an outline of a workflow you could potentially use for creating blog posts with your VA. This is a similar workflow to how we create blog posts for our own clients. Do this a few times, and you’ll have a system in place that can be replicated month after month.
Give your intern or VA an outline with bullet points and ask them to write the post. (They could write it as a blog post draft directly in your website to save some time.)
Share access your DropBox portfolio folder or a stock photo site and ask them to select images.
Review and approve the post.
Ask them to format the blog post. This takes some knowledge of SEO to do well. I suggest asking them to watch a tutorial online or taking a quick course in Blogging for SEO (we’ll be releasing one soon!).
For social media graphics that promote your blog posts, you could give them the initial design and ask them to customize it for each new post. Canva is great for this.
For social media captions, ask your VA to pull out several snippets from the blog post text that they think will make intriguing social media captions.
Social media scheduling is probably something you want to outsource to a social media pro, but if you do this in-house and use a media scheduling tool, your assistant can easily schedule them for you with the photos and captions they have already chosen.
Pros: Takes quite a bit off your plate.
Cons: Might required some managing; some VAs are not professional writers or familiar with SEO.
The second option — and easily the best for getting custom content tailored to your business without having to lift a finger — is to outsource your blog posts to someone who truly knows the ins and outs of blogging.
Creating strategic, intriguing blog content is what we do here at O&B, but if you don’t feel a connection with us, no sweat. You could also hire a copywriter who is fluent in blogging or a marketing firm that has blogging in their suite of services. That said, I do suggest finding someone who works in the interior design industry, as your work is very specialized. Someone who writes for “all creatives” is likely to have a bit of a learning curve.
Pros: High-quality content; professional strategy; the most stress-free option available
Cons: Usually an investment (though we think it’s a smart one!)
— Kelley B., GA
We developed our blog post templates after years of ghost-writing posts for our custom clients. We realized that not everyone can afford to outsource their blog completely, but they needed an easier way to take advantage of content marketing for their businesses.
First, you should know that blog post templates aren’t for everybody. I have talked to clients who are obsessed with them and wouldn’t be able to write blog posts without them, and I have talked to others who couldn’t find the time for them. It depends on your working style.
Here’s how the templates work:
The work is taken out of having to think up topics — we have many great topics to choose from, but not so many that you’ll be overwhelmed.
The template is formatted so that YOU are the one writing the post. In questionnaire style, we prompt you sentence by sentence, guiding you to a post that flows well and is designed to put your business’s best foot forward.
When you press submit, you’ll receive an SEO-formatted version of your blog post. It has defined headers and can easily be copied and pasted into your website. So you don’t have to think about SEO.
We provide about a dozen stock photo options, all of which are pre-labeled for SEO. Simply add your business name and location to each, and they are ready to go.
Just to make your life even easier, there are also 2 social media captions provided for each blog post. You can use these as-is or customize them to fit your brand messaging.
And lastly, if you really need the extra hand, you can hire our team to format the blog post in your website once submitted. In that case, your only task in all this is to complete the template and press submit!
Our blog post templates are located in the Celebrity and Elitist packages on SocialiteVault.com.
Pros: Takes most of the work and stress off your plate; our team formats the post for SEO for you.
Cons: You do have to write (which isn’t a “con” if you love it!); there are a limited number of topics.
— Adrienne, Designer, B.C.
And there you have it — my best advice for keeping contractors on-brand and strategic, along with 3 ways you could potentially outsource your blog with no one the wiser.
If you have any questions about these methods, I’d be happy to answer them below. If not, be sure to get your hands on our Blog Content Strategy Workbook here, which will help pave the way for content that works for your business goals — regardless of who’s writing it. 😉
Until next week…
I believe that life, like home, is meant to be designed. In just 3 years, I built a life I love and a business that supports interior designers across the globe. I’m obsessed with books, a bold red wine, and helping women rise in their power — and I believe that your freedom in business starts here. Read more >>