Tag Archives: Social Media Agency

Never hire a blogger to help you blog; Hire industry relevant people

Categories: Semi-Popular, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These days more and more of us own or write for blogs. There are also hundreds of social media “experts” and bloggers advertising their services on freelance sites hoping to bag their next gig. The question is, which one of them do you hire, and why? I tried negotiating with many bloggers, and the results were horrible. Not only did most of them lack any formal writing background, but they wanted commitments for large amounts of money when I had no indication that they would do good work.

The “What ifs” of hiring a blogger
What if their work wasn’t popular? What if the blogger couldn’t come up with ideas that were any good (none of them could by the way.) What if they weren’t reliable in their work? What if it took too much time to prep them before they could produce their first piece? Can I get a sample? None of the bloggers wanted to invest even five minutes in my cause to give me a few samples unless I would pay them for it. Such a stingy unfriendly attitude! The result was that I didn’t hire even one of these bloggers. I hired a comedy writer instead. He had a strong professional writing background, was really funny, friendly, and appealed to some (but not all) of my audiences! But, what “writers” captivated my audience the best? You’ll never guess.

The disgruntled call center agent
You will never guess where one of my most popular outsourcing blogs came from. It came from a frustrated call center rep. His writing was filled with grammatical mistakes, but it didn’t matter. First of all, my audience is not so particular about nitpicky things. Secondly, I was able to do a cleanup of his work in two minutes. The bigger issue was, the minute I laid eyes on his work I loved it. He captured seven different points of frustration that a call center worker could have and explained them perfectly in a way that everyone could relate to. You could feel his frustration and anguish in every paragraph. I knew the crowd would love it, and they did.

The frustrated call center manager
Two years ago I interviewed this very frustrated Indian guy. He was down on India and down on the entire Indian call center industry. He only would work for Filipino, US, or Central American outfits. After dealing with a hundred or so of India’s “finest” call centers myself, I began to see why he felt the way he did. But, he gave me fifteen ideas for articles to write about. He was an expert at call center metrics, call center marketing, and more. So, by talking to him for 45 minutes, he filled my head with exactly what people wanted to read about. No blogger could do that!

The upset Notary Public
We also run a Notary blog. I create most of the articles myself. We write about Notary marketing, technical & legal issues, Notary comedy and drama articles, and more. We keep it diverse so our audience won’t get bored. My articles are generally popular. But, the other guy who writes popular articles for me is not a blogger — he’s just another Notary. He happens to be smarter, and a lot better organized (not to mention experienced) than the other Notaries. But, he is not a professional writer. He is just a Notary who happens to be a good writer. He also comes up with winning ideas that our readers enjoy reading about.

So, where do I look for a writer?
In the real world, the guy most suited to writing your articles might not have the background necessary to get industry specific content to fill the article. You really need a team. You need someone who can pick great topics, someone who can get relevant information, and someone who can polish your writing work. Sometimes you can do it all yourself, while other times you need help. Sometimes a good social media agency or social media company is the best resource, but not if they hire incompetent or uncooperative employees.

Find people who work in the industry you are writing about to help you. You might have to look hard to find cooperative people, but they are out there. Even if you don’t “need” them, use them anyway to create a diversity of points of view in your blog. Nothing is more interesting than a blog with multiple writers — all of whom have unique and wonderful writing styles and perspectives!

You might also like:

Why you should hire a Comedian instead of a CEO to help you co-blog

10 quick factors that differentiate a good blog from a bad one

Want to be popular at blogging? Write how-to blogs!

The ideal structure for a social media company

Categories: Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Most social media marketing companies out there have very limited know-how, but charge an arm and a leg. I believe that if some smarter companies would get out there and grow like crazy, most of the mediocre companies would be quickly put out of business. It is all about having the right structure.

Do you have replacements?
It is common for a social media company to have a boss, and a bunch of workers doing their thing. Each person has different specialties. If your LinkedIn guy drops out, the next person in line might not be very good at it. It is tricky, because there are so many channels, so much to know, and so many things changing in the industry. The way you used LinkedIn five years ago might not be as effective today!

Brew masters and social sauces
In my mind you need a good boss. The boss should have a solid understanding of all of the channels. That way he can teach others when the need arises. If the boss spends all of his time wheeling and dealing he won’t have time to specialize in the “sauce” which is social media knowledge. The only way around this is if the boss has a partner who is the “brew master.” In breweries, the brew master is often more powerful than the owner. But, such a person has to be on equal footing with the boss otherwise they will quit for sure.

Fluidity is key
If you have only a handful of workers, when one quits, replacing them will be hard. If you have some outsourced people overseas who do mundane tasks for pennies on the dollar, if you need more labor, you will have a flexible pool. Additionally, you need multiple people for each specialty in case someone drops out. As you test new people out, they become part of your labor pool. It is hard to grow a company if you don’t have a handle on your labor, so you need to have more labor than you can handle. As part time new people impress you with their good work and loyalty, you could promote them by giving them more hours and higher pay.

Analysts and checkers
You need staff members who check on the other members. You need to see how they are doing on projects and take notes. You also need to see how effective their work is and if they need to be taught something new. In some cases, checking people regularly is how you get accurate data on when to fire someone. If their work is bad for long enough — fire them. And conversely, if your new people aren’t proving themselves well, then fire them as well.

Customer Support
Should the people interacting with your clients be the same as the ones doing the work? It might be easier to have everything separate. Have customer support managers who interact with the analysts, salespeople, and workers. A team of people working seamlessly together with multiple specialties might be the best way to structure a social media company for the future.

Growth Contracts
It is easy for social media workers to not feel a sense of ownership. But, if they don’t get paid until they reach certain goals, their mentality will change quickly. It might make more sense to have goal milestones, because personally, I don’t want to waste my time with anyone who can’t accomplish anything of value!