Regardless of time and place, amazing writers are always in high demand. The ability to communicate clearly and tell an interesting story are not only great for business, they are essential in a highly competitive market.
As a content manager I can tell you that unfortunately, amazing writing abilities are not easy to source. In finance it’s even more difficult, given that writers must have a strong grasp of economics and financial markets in addition to technical writing ability. That’s why HR departments, content specialists and corporate executives are constantly on the prowl for top writers.
The growth of the internet has been both a blessing and a curse for businesses. While it has made finding a good writer easier than ever before, it has also lowered the barriers to entry for writers themselves. This means you’re likely to come across dozens (if not more) of average writers before finding one who can really boost your brand. Once you find him or her, you job of retaining them long-term becomes an even bigger challenge.
What defines an amazing financial writer?
I’ve set the bar pretty high on how we define an amazing financial writer and so should you. Recall that, in finance, you are speaking to a highly sophisticated audience. Your writer should be able to confidently speak to this audience, while at the same time making their writing accessible to the layperson. That’s why I’ve set out the following criteria for defining a truly amazing writer. To find someone truly great, all of these criteria must be met!
Amazing financial writers possess the following traits:
- Amazing writing ability (duh!)I'm talking about an expert-level grasp of the English language, with perfect grammar, spelling and syntax. Typos are OK. We all make those. Just don’t expect your content to take off without a writer who is highly fluent in English and can express themselves accordingly in writing.
- Solid grasp of the financial markets. If you’re dealing with macroeconomics, finance, stocks, indices, currencies, commodities and economic data, your writer must be able to speak about these topics authoritatively. There’s no two ways around it.
- Easy to work with. Business is about more than just financial transactions. It’s often the human element that forms strong, long-lasting business relationships where both parties thrive. Therefore, your financial writer must be easy and pleasant to work with. They must genuinely care about your business and treat every assignment with the utmost care. They must also be open to feedback and constructive criticism. Remember, you’re dealing with a writer, not a diva.
- Flexible. The financial markets demand flexibility. Great financial writers understand this and do everything in their power to make themselves available to their client. After all, the writer would be nothing without the opportunity you are affording them.
- Dependable: The financial markets are a demanding world. Deadlines and time-sensitive releases are extremely common. When you assign something to your writer, you should expect that it gets done in a timely manner.
Great writing ability is absolutely necessary in the financial markets. Great writers are needed to develop website content and marketing materials, produce daily articles and analysis pieces and develop training programs that can help increase sales and traffic. If you’re on the search for a top writer, below are a few good places to start:
- LinkedIn: If you decide to narrow your search to LinkedIn, I recommend that you leave the location of the job as open as possible, or else you’ll be stuck with candidates searching for positions in your specific city or region. A much better approach would be to use search tools to actually find the ideal candidate.
- Upwork: Freelancing has really taken off over the past five years. Many professionals offer freelancing services on top of their 9-5 jobs, while others have transitioned their entire career toward freelancing. Upwork is probably the biggest freelancing website in the world. By creating an account, you can post a job and attract the right candidates to apply. Be careful with freelancing, though – you may have to go through 99 to find the best (again, refer back to my earlier comment about the internet reducing the barrier to entry).
- FlexJobs: FlexJobs is a great tool if you’re sourcing talent mainly in the United States. The rise of the internet means that many more people are looking for remote working opportunities. If you’re looking for a writer, chances are excellent you don’t need them to be physically in the office at all times (or at all). FlexJobs can help you connect with like-minded writers who are seeking flexible employment opportunities.
Now that you found your amazing financial writer, it’s time to ensure they stick around for a while. The following criteria will help you in retaining top talent for as long as possible.
- Pay them well. Everyone is familiar with the saying, “You get what you pay for.” Now magnify that manifold when it comes to writing – a highly cognitive task that requires tremendous ability. Now magnify that again when dealing with the highly complex financial markets. If you want to retain your amazing financial writer, respect their skillset and the work needed to produce top level content. The way you pay them should reflect that.
- Give them interesting work. Remember, you found a writer who is no doubt passionate about the financial markets. It won’t be difficult to give them work that aligns with those interests. Avoid giving them writing tasks that are mundane or outside their interests and you’ll be sure to have them back for more.
- Think about their progression in your company. Your amazing financial writer may work remotely in some far off country, but that shouldn’t stop you from thinking about their career development with your company. This could be a promotion or a more permanent role at your company. By investing in someone’s career development, you are pretty much guaranteed to get more back (think of it as a return on investment).
- Maintain regular communication. Communicating regularly with your employees is very important, especially those who may be working offsite. Maintaining a regular mode of communication – be it through email, Skype, phone or social media – is critical for ensuring your top talent are engaged at all times and up to speed with your company and its policies.
By Charli Day, writer and content manager