Growth is the reward for delivering great work, but what happens when growth comes fast—too fast to effectively scale your team?
For We Do Web Content (WDWC), the solution had to extend beyond a mass hiring of freelance writers; it had to include reliable flexibility and quality assurances.
WDWC provides proven online marketing services and meaningful content for a growing number of law firms, small business owners, and Fortune 500 companies. Its team of strategists and content creators use their talents to bring each client’s brand and expertise online to better equip them for finding and connecting with the right audiences. As more people rely on the internet for information and making decisions, the need for quality content to support a company’s overall marketing plan has become vital to its long-term success. Leading up to its 13-year anniversary, WDWC experienced consistent growth with clients from all corners of the United States and Canada. However, its reputation for delivering results led to a fairly sudden shift in growth—from calm and steady to warp speed.
With an overwhelming volume of projects on the horizon, WDWC needed to hire a small army of professional writers, fast.
“Through previous experience, we knew we could engage additional freelance writers… We needed a partner who would be comfortable with the ebb and flow of our needs and be open to coaching along the way in order to deliver constantly improving content,”—Aaron Fennell, Director of Business Processes and Innovation, WDWC.
Aaron met with nDash to discuss how the two companies could work together. A carefully laid plan was created to include: the ability to scale up or down the number of writers needed based on demand, built-in flexibility to accommodate unknown future needs, and ongoing dialogue between the WDWC team and the freelance writers.
Using Scale and Flexibility to Meet Ever-Changing Needs
With a full understanding of the volume and specialized knowledge needed, 15 freelance writers were brought into the partnership. In an effort to further save the WDWC team time and headaches, their assignment team passed along batches of work, sometimes consisting of several hundreds of items at a time, to the nDash team. The batches were then sorted and assigned, making it easy to scale the number of writers up or down based on volume. During busier months, all 15 writers were utilized; during times of lower volume, only a few writers were assigned.
“We really appreciate how accessible and collaborative the nDash team was,” comments Aaron. “Being able to ask for 200 items one month and then asking for just a few things the next month without sensing any frustration was really refreshing. Instead, they would say ‘We can take care of these items’ or ‘How are these dates for you?’ or ‘How is the quality of the work you’re getting back?’ The genuine interest in our needs and expectations made us even more confident.”
Not only was it quicker and easier to add writers to the WDWC team, the solution included a quality assurance component. The WDWC team identified the topics and created concepts and keywords to help guide writers. Writing samples and a production checklist was also provided to the writers to support their first pieces.
The freelance writers were tasked with creating first-draft practice area, landing, and FAQ pages, which often included the need to cite legal statutes and laws. The drafts were then passed along to WDWC’s staff writers and editors for review. Through collaboration, the two teams saved valuable time and could elevate the quality of first-draft work with each batch.
“From the beginning, it didn’t feel like we were outsourcing the work. We were used to working with freelancers directly and our partnership with nDash felt very similar,” says Aaron. “If the writing needed editing, we called or sent an email directly to the writer to provide coaching. Rather than being stuck with the first draft, we could help the writers improve, which was beneficial to them and us.”
Choosing Partnership over a Vendor-Customer Relationship
By serving as an extension of the WDWC team rather than a traditional vendor, the freelance writers could deliver higher quality work at the volume needed at any given time. This approach made it possible for WDWC to grow without experiencing any major setbacks. Its reputation for quality and client service was upheld, and the potential for partnership in the future is unscathed.
“The openness to being and sense of camaraderie didn’t change after our need went away,” says Aaron. “When we reached a point where we no longer needed additional writing support, rather than feeling animosity or getting a sales pitch, we heard ‘we understand your needs and are here if you need us in the future.’”
Lessons to be Learned from WDWC
When it comes to hiring multiple freelance writers in a short period of time, it’s imperative to clearly define your objectives and have a plan for empowering them to do their best work. This sets both sides up for success and minimizes any future challenges or frustrations. Inviting open dialogue throughout the course of the partnership is also necessary. Doing so equips your writer with the resources needed to do their job well and gives you the green light to provide honest feedback.
If you’re a company like WDWC and experience an urgent need to engage outside teams, having a conversation about your financial and quality standards is a must. This eliminates any confusion around bulk delivery versus maximum effectiveness. Any true partnership leaves room for asking questions, coaching, and continual improvement. When there is a clear understanding of each other’s needs and expectations, your ability to grow at warp speed will seem nearly effortless.
We Do Web Content is a content marketing firm that specializes in providing customized web content writing and marketing solutions for law firms, small businesses and other professionals. They learn about each client’s business and target market in order to create content that increases their website’s traffic and search engine placement. The company’s mission is to identify the right target audience(s) and tailor content to connect and convert visitors to clients. WDWC is the right solution for small- to medium-sized businesses who do not have the time or resources to create and maintain their company’s website, SEO, content, or PR strategies. For more information, visit wedowebcontent.com.