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Effective Content Marketing and the Five P’s

The Five P’s for Effective Content Marketing

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance in Content Marketing (and Life)

For Freelancers and Managers

Effective content marketing following the five p’s. Plus! Five tips for freelancers and managers AND a free brief template. Let’s get started!

Since launching Page 88, I have a new-found appreciation for the five p’s. I also discovered there are lots of five p’s! The five p’s of content marketing, marketing for sales, planning and so on.

If you have the writing skills but do not manage time well, the goal of effective content marketing is going to be hard to reach. Writing needs time to ‘marinate’ between edits and reviews.

Read time: 4 ½ min

Effective Content Marketing Starts with Communication

Five Tips for Freelancers

  1. Communicate early.
  2. Be precise with your questions and seek clarification early.
  3. Work backwards from the due date.
  4. Finish drafts early and get feedback.
  5. Agree on a due date and submit on time.

Five Tips for Working with Freelancers

  1. Communicate early. Freelancers are master jugglers of work tasks but the earlier you can brief them the better.
  2. Be precise in your brief so the freelancer can hit the ground running.
  3. Work backwards from the due date and let your freelancer know when you expect to review drafts.
  4. Review drafts as quickly as possible and send back to your freelancer so they can get back into it.
  5. Expect the work to be in your inbox on the agreed date.

Back in 2016, I worked in youth justice restorative justice conferencing. It was there, I heard about the five p’s. My boss at the time was a wise lady and always had solid advice. This line ‘prior preparation prevents poor performance’ was a lightbulb moment. I had spent years in event management working on festivals, so I knew how vital prep was. However, I hadn’t heard it put so simply before.

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

In the context of freelance writing, the five p’s – prior preparation prevents poor performance are really important to follow to:

  • Produce brilliant content.
  • Prevent communication breakdowns.
  • Pre-empt what tasks will need to be allocated more/less time.

Freelancers receive all kinds of requests. Some of these requests (briefs) are incredibly detailed, while others are left for us to fill in the gaps. There is no right or wrong amount of detail to include in a brief for a freelancer. However, if you leave gaps for the freelancer to fill in, perhaps provide extra time for supplemental drafts.

Communicate Early with a Precise Brief

You have an idea or a project you need to delegate so you can focus on other work. How do you communicate precisely what you need the freelancer to do so they can do the job exactly right? You don’t have time to send feedback and receive amendments. You need the work done so it can be ticked off your list.

This is 100% possible. But! The trick is to clearly communicate to your freelancer what the project entails – and your expectations.

Brief Examples

As a freelancer myself, I have received a vast breadth of brief types. Sometimes, they’re something like this:

Hi Jade,
Just need a blog talking about print media as I’ve just bought a new printer and want to boost online traffic. I hope you can help! Need it done in four days.
Please send me the invoice when it’s done.

Let’s say this person sent me a different version of this brief – with more detail. It may have looked a little more like this:

Hi Jade,
Chasing a blog post for my printing business. Here are the details:
Blog post for
Word count: 500 – 700
Keywords: Commercial digital printer, custom printing, bulk printing
Tone: Informative with a little humour. Our brand is light-hearted but serious in the sense that our work is professional and always completed to perfection (all work guaranteed) and on time. Think bubbly customer service and no-nonsense work ethics.
Deadline: 4 days (07/07/20)
Budget: $50

The difference between the two is clear. Some briefs go well beyond this example as well. Brief content varies as widely as the types of projects freelance writers can do. The level of detail in a brief also depends on how often you have worked with the freelancer. For regular clients, receiving a request similar to the first example may be appropriate.

Industry Knowledge and Effective Content Marketing

What if the freelancer ‘doesn’t know what they don’t know’? They may not be as deep in your industry as you are thus naturally, won’t carry the depth of knowledge you have. To avoid this becoming a pitfall, ask your freelance writer what they already know and fill in the gaps for them. Your knowledge and experience are invaluable.

Greatness is Subjective

What you and I class as great may be different. If you and I were to meet at a local gallery and had to choose one piece of artwork that we deemed to be the greatest in the gallery, what are the chances you and I would choose the same piece? It’s probably quite slim.

So, if you are about to start working with a freelancer, assume that what you deem to be great may be different from theirs. To ensure the work produced meets expectations, provide an informative and clear brief.

Free Brief Template

Below, I’m going to provide a free basic brief template to help get you started. Change it to suit you – add or remove whatever you need. For managers looking to post work on freelance websites, you will receive more accurate proposals and bids for your job if your brief is clear.

If you’re a freelancer, start streamlining your briefing process. Brief templates help clients nut out exactly what they’re expecting from the finished product. The most important thing in our (freelance) work is that our clients are satisfied and want to return to us with more work in the future. Our clients are busy people with lots of stress and responsibilities. Please do whatever you can to be a breath of fresh air for them 😊

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