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11th September 2020

How To Create The Perfect Content Workflow

How to create the perfect content production workflow

Picture this. You receive an email from a client requesting some content for their new website. It is exciting news, but you are experiencing mixed feelings. Will it be good enough? Will I finish the project on time? Where do I start? If any of these questions relate to your current situation, you are not alone.

Many content creators struggle to find answers to these questions. There is a solution to your predicament. A viable content production workflow plan. Whether you are a freelancer or part of the team at a copywriting agency, you will get nowhere without a workflow plan. So, how do you go about creating one?

Understand what a workflow plan is

A workflow plan consists of a list of objectives that directly impact the project from start to finish. A failure to achieve any of them, the process falls apart. As a content creator, there are specific steps you need to follow for successful delivery. It all depends on the type of projects you receive and the clients that you serve. Using the situation above, here is a sample workflow plan that you can use as a reference.

  • Your client submits an order
  • You create the content.
  • Once you complete the material, it goes through a quality check. If you do not do this, then here is your first red flag. Even the most experienced creators do not get it right the first time.
  • If it passes your internal metrics, the client then receives the work.
  • If they are happy, you get paid.

Assigning accountability

It is now time to determine what each step requires for it to be a success. Failure to do this will only result in problems. Below are some pointers to point you in the right direction:

  1. Start by identifying what skill set is best suited for each step.
    You can use the what/who/why method to identify what the specific requirements are. An example where this method is useful is as follows.
    What? Your articles on legal matters are receiving two-star ratings, despite them having many readers.
    Who? On your roster you have no one who has experience in the field. You therefore need to hire a content writer who is an expert on the subject.
    Why? It will add more credibility to your articles. In turn, you can start generating more revenue from that traffic.

  2. Establish performance metrics for each role, with clear operating procedures
    Quality content is what will get you clients. If you want to know why some content writing service providers are always on top, study their organisational structures. They have clearly defined metrics and road maps in place on how to deliver to their audience. Their team members know their specific contributions and therefore execute more effectively.

  3. Effective communication
    A content production workflow plan only works when everyone is on the same page. Content that engages always focuses on the minor details. Tone, formality and intent are all factors to consider when creating content. Your team are your internal clients. So, you need to use language that is clear and easy to understand, or else you may end up creating confusion.

  4. Delegate authority
    Content production requires consistency. Delegating some of the processes to your colleagues is a great way to ensure this. Not only will you have greater accountability, but also the process will not grind to a halt should you be unavailable. Teams feature individuals of different personalities and sometimes these collide. Having project managers for each process reduces the chances of this happening. Great content comes from writers who enjoy their work. Empowering the team creates harmony and a pleasing working environment.

Technology is your friend

The copywriting service industry is one that is reliant on technology. As you prepare to put your plan in action, it is wise that you include task management software with it. Trello, ProofHub and Workzone are tools you can use to manage the production cycle. They feature many modules that can ease the flow of work within your agency. The scheduling module is a great tool to have as tasks can be assigned remotely to their respective owners. They can also be great monitoring tools, as they have reporting capability, which is essential in monitoring overall performance.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach

As your agency grows, you will be handling different projects at the same time. Diversify your processes to suit every niche, because every project has its unique demands. For example, you cannot use the same workflow plan for a website revamp project for a car editorial. The resources that you will allocate for either a very different. From the personnel, software, tools and delivery schedules. Having a single content production workflow can be detrimental to their execution. Allow for input from others as they know what is best. Plus, you will enjoy a happier team if everyone feels valued.

Innovate continuously

Work processes change all the time, and failure to adapt this will spell trouble for your company. Online content creation was a hobby at best a few years back. It is now the leading source of information, generating billions in revenue. By assessing your processes regularly, will help you stay ahead of the curve. Study how the market is reacting and adapt accordingly. Collect feedback continuously and collaborate with fellow professionals to see what works best.

Now, why not put your thinking cap on and create a content production workflow plan – once it’s in place, you’ll find that you work more effectively, and you’ll be heading in the right direction.

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