No matter the size of your marketing team or company, the likelihood that you’ll need to outsource some of your marketing tasks is ever increasing. I’ve seen this need at all of my employers and clients. As industries become more competitive, as almost always happens with time, marketers are called upon to be more scrappy and get more done with fewer resources.
Content marketing, one of the most effective means of generating leads and new revenue, is one of the most labor-intensive tasks within marketing. That’s why it is one area where businesses tend to garner the greatest marketing performance improvements from outsourcing at least some of the content creation responsibility.
In my 10+ years of marketing, I’ve used several content marketing platforms and freelancer hiring systems to both create content (from the freelancer perspective) and to be the hiring manager for content creators. While there are different freelancer platforms for different marketing tasks, I find myself continually turning to ClearVoice for anything content marketing related.In this article, I'll touch on why, out of the four or five different marketing freelancer platforms I've used, ClearVoice is the best place to hire and manage content marketing freelancers, as well as manage your content marketing… Click To Tweet
I’ll be discussing the reason I feel that ClearVoice is the best platform for creating content marketing content, from both a freelancer and a hiring manager perspective.
The best content marketing platform — from the freelancer perspective
Even though I consider myself a partial introvert, when I first started my own consulting business I enjoyed the feeling of the “hustle.” While I was being super scrappy and working like crazy to land new work, I received a euphoric rush from it. That faded pretty quickly, though, as I came to realize it was tiring me out and making me a worse freelancer, unable to accurately sell myself and deliver on the projects as promised.
With this realization, I started to mature in my freelancing mindset. I outlined what my short and long-term goals were, where my true strengths were, and which of my clients were getting the most out of my work. Then I raised my prices and started taking only the clients who I knew I could serve well. My brand began to grow.
One tool that enabled me to mature myself, improve my service offerings, and increase my wage to one that was representative of what I could really deliver, was the ClearVoice content marketing creation platform. In particular, there are three powerful components that ClearVoice has that give it a major edge over other freelancer platforms and that have helped my freelancing business mature: a fantastic portfolio tool, the best communication/workflow mechanism, and an outstanding content editor.
Auto-updated content marketing portfolios
Having a great creative portfolio that showcases your true genius is imperative to landing additional content creation gigs. I’ve built such portfolios on a number of platforms, and even on a self-hosted WordPress website, but I still run into the same wall… I’m just too busy to keep my portfolio updated! That has led to stale portfolios that lead potential hiring firms to question how on top of things I really am.
Thus, one of the main reasons why I now share my ClearVoice Portfolio, instead of my direct website, with prospective clients is because I know it is always up to date. As an example, you can see from the below animated screenshot how ClearVoice is always watching the web for publications with my byline, and then suggesting them to me to add them into my CV Portfolio. I simply hover over the article and select which category I’d like the publication to be displayed in — and my work is done.
The best tool for client communication and workflow management
One of the main reasons I love writing for clients through the ClearVoice content marketing platform is because of how seamless it all is, from hiring all the way through project deliverables:
- When you’re pitching, ClearVoice has a tool that makes it easy. You can put in the pay you’ll need if the pitch is accepted, the content length you’d like to do, what you’ll write about, etc. You can even attach content or links that will help communicate your expertise to the client, or help you be more organized if they accept your pitch.
- In the content creation and editing phase the collapsible sidebar (to decrease distractions) gives you an avenue to collaborate with the client in real time.
- When delivering the content, there is excellent revision tracking whereby the client can easily ask for changes and you can make the changes or comment on the revision request. No more passing a Word document back and forth, trying to make sense of the cumbersome track changes.
- Lastly, after you’ve successfully delivered a project, there is in-app messaging whereby the client can reach out to you to ask for help with future projects.
An outstanding content editor
If you’re like me, and you spend dozens of hours each week writing and creating content, you need to have a “happy place” environment to work. Because I love to work in new places, I often find myself writing from an airplane, a hotel room, on a beach, or simply in my basement office.
The ClearVoice content editor is the one component that ties it all together, though. No matter where I am, I choose to edit my content in the ClearVoice suite instead of using another tool (such as Microsoft Word), because it provides a simple editor which minimizes the chance that I’ll get distracted or lost in some unnecessary feature.
Don’t take the simplicity as a weakness, though, as it still provides everything you need to do your job well. In fact, the good folks in the ClearVoice software engineering group are always trying new things to make the experience better, and they are great at taking feedback. It wasn’t too long ago that they rolled out a new user interface for their editor, and each step of the way they were communicating the change to us freelancers and asking for our feedback.
Such responsiveness is something I haven’t seen at any other freelancer platforms and something that makes ClearVoice my favorite.
The best content marketing platform — from the hiring manager perspective
In talking with others who use ClearVoice to hire content marketing freelancers, and in my own experience, we all believe that the number one reason why ClearVoice stands apart from competitor platforms is in the ability to vet the best writing talent.
All industries and all topics
While I don’t believe ClearVoice discloses the exact number of freelancers on their platform, I assume it is in the thousands, or likely even the tens of thousands and covers every conceivable industry niche you would want to find. I’ve seen content creators that write blog posts, create more extensive white papers, or even design infographics. While I focus my writing on marketing technology, finance, real estate, and a few other business related topics, I’ve seen other writers and content creators that do hospitality, events, healthcare, pets and animals, travel, and automobile-related topics.
For example, if you’re looking for content marketing help creating B2B SaaS-related content, Stacy Jackson (whose CV portfolio is pictured below) is a great choice. If you’re looking for a trusted photographer who has done work for big brands like Walmart and Tom’s of Maine, look no further than Angela Tague. If you’re looking for a creative director, with 15+ years of experience managing full content marketing campaigns, then you might want to talk with Gregg Rosenzweig.
Highest quality content creators
Before ClearVoice existed, I used to use another platform for hiring marketing talent. Due to the unfiltered nature of that platform, when I posted a new project I would have applicants from all over the world applying, and these freelancers were definitely not equal in talent. It was difficult, even when the contractors had extensive ratings and feedback to look at, to tell who was high quality and who was lacking.
It became so frustrating to receive “cookie cutter” style solicitations from applicants that obviously didn’t even look at my creative brief, that I started hiding a sentence in each brief that said something to the effect of “To prove you’ve read this full creative brief please tell me, in the first line of your application, your favorite flavor of ice cream.” With that in my creative brief, I could quickly look through the applicants to see who actually read the full creative brief and I would only consider those individuals.
With the way that ClearVoice provides access to vetted freelancers, you’ll never find yourself wondering if a writer or content creator will be high enough quality for your brand.
The best content creation tools
While I feel like the writers and content creators on the ClearVoice platform are outstanding, and perhaps the greatest asset to any hiring manager, the tools that ClearVoice has made available for content creation are second to none.
When I first looked at ClearVoice, there were a number of features that made it stand out as a fantastic resource that we needed to have for our marketing team. The two features, though, which really sold my VP of Marketing on ClearVoice were the workflow tools and the editorial calendar.
We were happily using HubSpot, for our marketing automation needs, but it didn’t have a well-built editorial calendar. We had tried all sorts of other tools, such as project management calendars, Google Calendar, and old-fashioned paper and sticky note calendars, but none of them worked.
The editorial calendar that ClearVoice offers, pictured below, provides a fantastic tool that will tie into all your content marketing efforts and allow you to visualize what is due when, where it will be distributed, etc.
Who is ClearVoice made for?
As outlined above, ClearVoice has the best platform for businesses to hire great content creators, and for writers and content creators to find and produce outstanding work. Aside from this broad, sweeping claim of excellence, though, I’d like to briefly speak to whom I think ClearVoice will really work the best for.
If you enjoy putting in a strong effort and making sure everything you produce is outstanding, then you’ll be happy working on the ClearVoice platform. If you prefer to crank out high-volume content, for the sake of making a quick buck, you’ll see that ClearVoice is not for you. There are numerous other content marketing platforms you can turn to for finding work if you’re just interested in the money and don’t want to put in the work.
No matter the size, from small to large enterprises, ClearVoice has an excellent platform with fantastic content creators. That said, it isn’t for all businesses. While ClearVoice’s tools make it easier to manage a good content marketing campaign, you still need to realize that some level of setup and management will need to exist to ensure you get good content.
Companies going in with the expectation that they’re finding a no-effort, magic bullet solution, will realize that fantastic content marketing campaigns require at least some level of coordination and domain knowledge sharing from the brand.