Blog.

7 Steps to Be the Creative Writer Who Doesn’t Elicit Eye-Rolls from Their Colleagues

The articles I’ve been writing for creative writers over the past few weeks are all related to a theme that might not be obvious:

What’s it like working with you?

To explore that question, I’d like to introduce a different type of “SaaS” framework for in-demand content writers.

  • Skills
  • Adaptability
  • Attitude
  • Strategy

You cultivate a reputation as you build your career as a creative writer — and that reputation can make or break the quality and quantity of your writing projects.

Have you ever dreaded a conversation at work because it’s difficult to talk with that other person?

They could be hyper-creative and lack focus. They could be flaky. They could delay progress on your project by dominating your meeting time with another subject.

Don’t be that person. You have a huge opportunity to stand out as a valued digital marketing resource who others respect.

Writing as a job includes a lot more than just writing.

(If you haven’t yet signed up to get Brian’s free report on the future of digital marketing and the content creators who will make it happen, make sure to add your email address at the bottom of this post.)

SaaS for in-demand content writers

"Writing is solitary work, but professional writers know publishing is collaborative." – Stefanie Flaxman

Think of your reputation as your personal “headline” and your writing portfolio as your “content.”

A benefit-driven headline needs to convince a prospective reader that your content is worth their time.

Similarly, a potential editor, client, or boss needs to be impressed by you in some way before they’ll consider looking at your writing samples.

They could be impressed by the snappy USP in your email signature or LinkedIn profile, the experience you list on your website’s About page, or the strong writing voice conveyed in your tweets.

Those are all places where you initially showcase your writing brand’s personality … to strangers.

That’s why this new type of SaaS I’m talking about is essentially part of the know, like, and trust factor traditionally associated with building an audience of prospects.

Relationship-building of any kind involves “know, like, and trust,” so how people perceive you could be thought of as a relationship-building, and ultimately career-building, skill.

The right blend of SaaS piques the interest of those strangers and guides them to hire you.

But wait, there’s more.

SaaS also enables smooth professional relationships over time, which means more opportunities for you as a creative writer.

Here are seven SaaS steps that help you establish a winning reputation.

SaaS Step #1: Leave it at the virtual door

Put simply, don’t bring personal situations that are bothering you to work.

Before you open your mouth about what happened to you over the weekend, or that morning, remember that everyone else is dealing with their own issues. Even if your colleagues are friendly when you talk with them, it doesn’t mean they have the time or energy to absorb your story.

One of the great things about being a creative writer is that we can often indirectly channel our ennui into content gold. We have an outlet for our troubles without directly burdening anyone else.

If KFC can suspend its classic “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan for the hygiene of the greater … good, you can refrain from verbalizing your personal ruminations during work interactions. (Hey, words are powerful.)

SaaS Step #2: Practice the short version

As writers, we often think that every detail of our thought-process is significant.

It’s understandable. We’re empathetic and observant. The long version of an explanation is our preferred way to communicate.

However, the short version is an art form.

Your self-editing skills come in handy here, because it’s not always practical to leave everything at the door.

A friend of mine repeats a playful phrase to the team she manages to remind them to relay the short version of a situation, issue, or obstacle:

“Land the plane, Larry.”

Your short versions could help you form bonds with co-workers who later become friends, and then welcome the long versions of your tales.

A quick rule of thumb is: pause before you elaborate.

SaaS Step #3: Try before asking

"Find the space where hard work and fun coexist." – Stefanie Flaxman

No one wants to answer a question you could have easily Googled.

Other times, you have to ask for help. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but try to find a solution on your own first. Have fun with it, as if you’re enthusiastically researching a topic for an article you’re writing.

You lay down two important relationship-building blocks here:

  1. The person you ask for help is more likely to view you as proactive, rather than inexperienced or lazy.
  2. It demonstrates that you care about learning how to do something yourself, rather than just handing off your task to someone else.

Many innocent actions can be misconstrued, so it never hurts to highlight that you take pride in your work.

And if someone shows you how to do something, take notes so you don’t have to ask them again.

SaaS Step #4: Share your practices and research

This step is about making your teammates’ work-lives easier by passing on your knowledge and expertise in non-pushy ways.

Take the initiative to create standard operating procedures (SOPs) for tasks that don’t have clear guidelines. You can share what you’ve learned during your own research or from the co-worker who helped you in SaaS Step #3.

You’re not forcing anyone to learn what you have to offer, but the information is readily available if needed.

Reference documents help keep everyone on the same page.

SaaS Step #5: Take ownership

When you do more than is expected of you, it shows that you’re a team player who cares about a project’s big-picture objective.

Creative writers who are also sharp editors take ownership of their content, but it shouldn’t stop there. What else can you learn to become an invaluable part of a marketing team?

Consider ways to grow your role without obsessing over your work, which leads to burnout and resentment.

SaaS Step #6: Choose kindness

It's a new dawn It's a new day It's a new life For me And I'm feeling good – Leslie Bricusse, "Feeling Good"

Like being a writer?

Let your attitude communicate that.

What if you didn’t always need to be right? What if you didn’t need to always prove your point?

Say what you need to say to optimize the chances of the best possible outcome and let it go after that. That’s choosing kindness in the workplace.

SaaS Step #7: Do what you say you’re going to do

As Sonia wrote in 5 Elements that Build a Roster of Terrific Clients:

“Reliability is an issue. When clients find a writer who does what she says she’s going to do, every time, it makes a major impact.” – Sonia Simone

Doing what you say you’re going to do sometimes involves working after you’ve said you’ve stopped working for the day.

But it’s worth it.

When you say “Yes” to your colleague, they’ll feel confident about you completing your part of a content marketing project. They won’t silently respond in their head to your “Yes” with a “Yeah, right” or “We’ll see what happens this time.”

Creative chaos, stable work ethic

Ready to position yourself for success as a creative writer while working within the realm of digital business?

Creativity + Execution = Your Job as a Responsible Content Writer

Focus creative chaos through a stable lens, so when you’re part of a team, your colleagues have peace of mind about the content marketing strategy you’re going to knock out of the park together.

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