When Outsourcing is Wrong

Businesses tend to stick with activities that have more return on investment (ROI).

To elaborate the end-to-end value creation process for most product or service based businesses, I’ve classified the activities following stages:

  • Procurement
  • Creation
  • Quality
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer service

Now that we are on the same page, let me give you an example.

A friend of mine recently shared information about a case where ROI was viewed as top-down (high-priority – procurement and low-priority – customer service).

In this case, a low-cost airline company, saw least ROI in customer service.

Eventually, they outsourced it to a PR firm.

What’s interesting is, the PR firm exhausted maximum time in apologising to the customers of airline company.

One can conclude that custom service (or bottom-up approach) was not a priority.

So, which can be given priority? – Top-down or bottom-up approach?

Writing logically-correct sentences

Consider the following three examples:

  • The term “content writer” is fine but “web content writer” is more relevant because most content writers do write for the web.
  • “Ecommerce owners” can be replaced with “Ecommerce business owners” as “ecommerce” is defined as an activity.
  • “Being a worthy leader in the IT industry, ABC Company started its journey in 19XX.” can be replaced with “ABC Company started it’s journey in 19XX and now they are the leaders in IT industry” as the logical flow (Reason and Cause) of information was not correct.

There are many cases where logical mistakes can be made unknowingly.

Try the following steps to make your writing logically correct:

  • Read the sentences. Understand the meaning of each sentence and try to speak them in your native language, if applicable.
  • Wait for a day before proofreading. In case of urgency, ask a fellow content writer to go through the content once and share his feedback.
  • Write each sentence individually and convert them in a paragraph:
    • Sentence 1
    • Sentence 2
    • Sentence 3
    • Compile the information in paragraph form – Sentence 1. Sentence 2. Sentence 3.

Want to see a video tutorial on this? Share your opinion through comments.

How businesses can earn trust in the age of social

Social media has enabled many businesses to generate awareness.

While a business may focus on generating awareness, one should never forget that social media is a two way road.

Any customer who is upset with products or services of a brand can go online and share his thoughts.

So, how can businesses maintain their image on social media irrespective of customer experience?

To answer this question, I will share my personal experience.

I placed an order for a laptop online. Since, I wanted customisation, I had to order it directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Due to COVID-19 and India-China relationship, the supply chains were not working at their regular capacity.

I also kept visiting the manufacturer’s website regularly for updates on further delays.

After a few weeks, I saw the manufacturer’s sponsored post on LinkedIn.

I knew the current pain points and decided to share my concerns through a comment.

So, I went ahead and shared a comment to know if there are further delays due to COVID-19 and India-China relationship.

I did not mention my order number or expressed my disappointment due to the delays and shared my comment as a general question.

After few hours, my comment was deleted.

I have written many blogs professionally on tips for businesses to earn trust online in the past and the most important trust-building elements are transparency and online reviews.

By simply deleting the comment, that brand lost a major opportunity.

If they replied, what might have happened?

What are the essential tools for a writer?

We live in a world where businesses are embracing digital and content writers have to leverage the same.

Now, if you conduct a 10 minutes research, you may notice the ever-expanding list of tools.

Ideally, for professional growth, I would advise that a content writer should avoid the excess use of tools.

So, which are the essential tools that a writer can use? The answer depends on the work-flow.

Many content writers work as freelance professionals or as full-time employees, there is always management of tasks involved.

Considering management and writing, the essential tools can be covered in the following two categories:

  • Management – Calendar / project management system / kanban
  • Writing – Rich-text editing software with team collaboration capability

Management:

  • Google Calendar
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Google Sheets

Writing:

  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Word Online

Last but not the least, consider the work-flow of a freelance content writer.

A freelance content writer may need to send invoice/receipts. To do so, tools that can generate invoices are needed. Two important tools to generate invoices are QuickBooks and FreshBooks.

There are more tools available for a writer that can be added in the list. As mentioned earlier, the selection of tools depend on work-flow.

For example, if a writer is required to publish a blog, then WordPress or any content management system might be needed as well.

Suggestion – Grammarly is a feature-rich tool for writers. However, one should avoid it as a writer should have good understanding of grammar and proofreading. For people who are learning the art of content writing, don’t use Grammarly at all as it will only delay the growth.

Overcoming writer’s block

“Sir, I’m not able to start the article”.

I’ve heard this sentence many times. My usual reply was, “You need to understand this topic. Then you’ll be able to write”.

On the Internet, one may find many articles on overcoming writer’s block.

In many articles, writer’s block is defined as a condition that a writer may face before starting an article or creation of any other marketing asset.

Well, there is only half truth in the above sentence.

Writer’s block is actually a person’s creative inability to generate more ideas.

And the same can happen at any point while writing content – starting, in between, or before concluding.

So, now the question is, how can one overcome writer’s block?

The most common tip would be just continue writing and eventually, the writer may overcome this condition.

However, doing so can be mentally tiring and may affect the mood as well as energy at workplace.

The easiest way for content writers to overcome this condition is by using Google and checking at-least 5 relevant references.

While doing so, one should create notes during the research phase.

While creating notes, a writer should consider three goals:

  • Language – different vocabulary for b2b and b2c audience
  • Ideas – Anything that can improve the readability or add quality information for the reader
  • Pain points – All about people and their problems

After spending a couple of hours in the research phase, observe the notes and ideas may start weakening the writer’s block.

Good luck.