Does Your Agency Need Writers With Experience in Your Client’s Industry?

by Christina Hooper.
Last Updated on January 18, 2022

One of the biggest problems agencies face is low-quality content from their writers. Sometimes the writing isn't up to par from a technical perspective. As a result, it lacks all the qualities that make content attractive and easy to read.

A more significant issue, however, is one of expertise. You can always train writers to improve their craft, but you can't make them experts in everything they write about. There are simply too many clients working in different fields. 

So what can you do?

The solution isn't to change your training -- it's in your process. As content writers, your team should only be taking the information they've been given and turning it into the marketable and actionable copy clients expect. It's unreasonable to expect each writer to spend time studying every subject you assign them.

If your agency is struggling with industry-specific content, there are two ways to tackle the problem. And I'm not pulling these out of thin air: I've owned my agency for fifteen years. I've been in the same tight spot as you, and I found solutions that work through trial and error. 

Save some time and learn from my experience!

1. Get the Expertise from Clients

The easiest way to produce better content is to get the information you need from the client. They are the experts in their field and hold all the knowledge you need to write compelling copy. The trick is getting that information from them. 

Let's be honest -- most clients don't expect to spend much time helping agencies write their content. The expectation is that they will place an order, and your writers will turn it out quickly. Clients want that minimal interaction so they can focus on their own business.

You can get clients to weigh in before you've written a single word of their content. As part of the order process, have them answer specific questions about what they want in the final piece. We ask them for references to similar content and ask them what to focus on and what to avoid.

With this approach, a writer's knowledge of any one industry is irrelevant. So long as they understand how to craft copy that tells a compelling story and gets readers to take action, they can take just the essential information from a client and write from a place of authority.

2. Hire a Writer with Expertise

The other solution is to hire or outsource to a writer with knowledge of a client's industry. Going this route takes the pressure off your clients to provide more information. However, I highly advise against this solution for a few reasons. 

First, just because a writer is an expert doesn't mean they see eye-to-eye with your client. In industries where approaches and opinions vary, this can create serious problems. At worst, your writer could turn in a piece that's at odds with what the client wants. 

For example, say a client wants a blog post about safe investments for the coming year focusing on index funds. So you seek out and hire an investment writer to put it together. But the writer, for whatever reason, disagrees with the direction and writes about cryptocurrency investments instead. 

Even if the writer's reasoning makes sense to you, the client isn't getting what they want. You've wasted time and money and potentially lost your client as well.

Second, think about what it means that your industry expert is also a writer. If they are still involved with their industry somehow, they're only writing part-time. You won't have their full attention or effort, and it will be harder to grow your agency with them.

However, it could mean that they're retired from the industry. On the plus side, they can contribute more time and effort to writing. However, the odds are that their expertise is dated and of limited use to clients now. 

Any way you slice it, hiring an expert writer comes with more risks than simply asking the client for more information or consulting an expert. Whether or not the risks are acceptable is up to you. From my experience, however, there are safer ways to ensure you're writing expert content.

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