Daily Posts operates with full-time staff rather than freelancers. We are building ourselves as an employer of the future – today. Developing a culture that supports the ethos of the company and activities of our workforce is no mean feat. James Cummings, CEO, explains how we have achieved our success and some of the challenges that we have faced along the way.
If you run a writing agency, marketing agency or just use writers as part of your business, then you will probably be aware of the challenges that arise when you need to get content fast – or of great quality – or both. At Daily Posts, we work hard on our recruitment and have put in place policies, procedures, and processes to facilitate recruitment and the management of writing professionals.
First of all, let us take a look at some of the challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis in our writing agency. We will then take a look at how our mission is tied in with overcoming obstacles along the way.
Some freelancers just do not care
When you start talking to freelancers about their work, some are full of passion for what they do. They work hard and enjoy their work.
On the other side of the freelancer coin, there are those that really don’t care. All they want is to get paid for their work and do the absolute minimum . Sure, these people will spend most of their time looking for work rather than getting repeat work, but that is what they are used to, and how they feel this game works.
Weeding out those with passion from those that really do not care is pretty easy if you know how. The problem comes when you are in a hurry for work and need to use someone new. It can either go swimmingly well or you can end up with no communication until after the deadline, or terrible quality content that is not worth the digital space it takes up.
Things come up from time to time
Freelancers are generally in their role for one of two reasons. The first is that they love the flexibility of freelance work and are able to earn well. The second is that their personal life is such that they are perhaps not able to take a job that involves a commute and standard full-time hours.
There are great freelancers in both categories, but sometimes things come up that get in the way of each, perhaps more so for the latter category.
When managing freelancers, you therefore have to prepare for all eventualities. This means ensuring you have an open and transparent relationship with them and keep the lines of communication open at all times. It’s important to know where you stand and are able to assign work elsewhere if need be.
You also need to have a sweep-up team that can deal with any fall-outs. If you manage to get the work done when things go wrong, then you are on track to succeed in your business.
Learning and development
It can be incredibly difficult to train remote employees when dealing with the different types of content you need. The nuances of tone and style, linking and references, can take some getting used to.
At Daily Posts, we have a personal development plan and training system – enhanced by video tutorials and briefs – for all of our writers, whether full-time in-house or part-time freelancers. This enables us to ensure staff are constantly being up-skilled at our expense, allowing them to feel they have a career route through the writing industry, even if they are only working a few hours each week.
I’ve heard many people say to me that investment in people is a waste of time, and that freelancers jump ship quicker than it takes for the money to hit their PayPal account after you have clicked ‘Send’.
This is most certainly not the case with our teams. We have found that investment in human capital means we get returns in terms of loyalty, performance and development. We have seen a real culture of teamwork evolve through the virtual office that we have in place and the practices that we have established.
Technology driven, staff controlled
At Daily Posts, we have developed an online virtual office to drive the processes that are required in the fast-paced challenging environment in which we operate. We have done so to provide our staff with more control, rather than less.
For example, if an issue arises with one of our writers, they can request work be reassigned to another member of staff. One click of a button and they can get on with their life, safe in the knowledge that they aren’t letting anyone down. If something minor comes up, then they can even request an extension, enabling them to keep on top of their work, without their stress levels escalating.
The flow of work from clients to writers, to editors, to quality control, and back to the clients is a cycle which is designed to create the best possible content within a budget.
Our use of technology makes us more effective as a team and more happy, knowledgeable, skilled and creative as individuals.
Empowerment through creative communication
We really want to change the way that online writers see their work. Our mission is:
To empower everyone we touch through creative communication
Empowerment in terms of our staff means giving them the environment, the tools and the workflow to achieve their goals.
For some, the goal is earning $50 a week. For others, it is building an online career, working from the comfort of their home and enjoying the stability of a monthly salary. Plenty of our employees are aiming higher, striving for a management role in Daily Posts.
The culture we have cultivated in our organisation is designed to enable work from home staff to feel part of the organisation. Our recruitment policy is geared towards finding people that will assimilate swiftly and seamlessly into a culture that values respect, professionalism, fun, attention to detail, teamwork, creativity and passion. The right people grow and flourish within our company and it is this that enables us to overcome the many challenges that the writing business throws up.
Empowerment through creative communication also relates to our relationship and engagement with each and every one of our clients, but that is a message for another day.