In-house vs. out sourced is a debate that continues to rage and one that I am constantly battling against.
A few months ago I did some work for a London based Fintech.
They were looking for a new approach to their direct mail letters because their response rate wasn’t the greatest. The then CMO firmly believed that outsourcing such work was the way to go. His reasoning was that it would bring in fresh ideas because the writer wouldn’t be blinkered by their existing style.
A belief I happen to agree with.
Working together, I created a series of letters all with differing approaches. These are now being tested.
Yesterday, I gave them a call to see how things were going, to find out whether there was another project they wanted me to work on.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, my original contact had moved to a new position within the company, so I had to start building a new relationship with his successor.
The initial conversation went well. She asked me about my background in finance and discovered the wealth of experience I bring with me. However, I soon discovered that, unlike the previous CMO, she believed in creating content in-house.
Her reason being that it took too long to brief external writers. Apparently, by the time she’s got across what she wanted, it would be quicker and easier to get it done by an established member of staff.
Why you should use a freelance copywriter
Before I get going, I want to get one thing clear – just because a copywriter works on a freelance basis, doesn’t mean she is a cheap option. Freelancers choose that working style because it gives them the freedom to bring value to a number of different clients.
An in-house writer can’t replicate the experience she gathers, and therefore she can offer a flexible and fresh approach to your marketing needs.
In a nutshell, that little rant covers the main benefit – depth of experience.
Internal writing tends to be samey: the writer goes by what was written before and uses the same approach. The result is a raft of content that doesn’t stand out in your marketplace.
As for the argument about the length of time a brief takes – that’s nonsense.
Every writer – in-house or external – needs the same information: who they are writing for, what the main benefits are, the primary goal of the content, what they are selling/offering.
Any professional writer will be able to pick up the house style quickly, so it should take the same amount of time to brief a freelancer as it would a staff member.
It will probably be cheaper in house – but…
The other argument I come up against is that it’s cheaper to use existing internal resources.
OK, I’ll give you that one.
However, because it’s usually a junior in the office (or a junior writer) doing the work, you won’t get the powerful and engaging result you’re hoping for.
As I mentioned earlier, a professional copywriter brings with her a wealth of experience. She’ll know:
- What works and what doesn’t
- How to structure content to make it scan-able
- How to make the most of the words to create reader engagement and SEO success
And that’s just for starters.
Same old, same old or innovative?
The only way you’ll get your company noticed is by being different.
Commissioning content in-house will just deliver the same old stuff, over and over. Bringing in an external expert will result in fresh ideas, new approaches and content that people will take notice of.
Next time you’re faced with the dilemma of who’s going to write your content, don’t be short sighted. Think long-term results, think impact, think freelance.
Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd, has been a freelance professional copywriter since 2017. Her global client base has benefited greatly from her insights and ability to create on-brand content.