Why You Should Hire a Professional Writer

Any business owner can think of a thousand reasons why they don’t want to hire a professional writer to create their website copy. Writers can be expensive. They typically can’t draft what you want in a day (or two or three). When you hire them for a project, they might not tell your story exactly how you envision it. And for the most part, anyone with basic literacy skills can write: why not write your entire website yourself?

Regardless of these potential drawbacks, professional writers still offer a valuable service to their clients. And more times than not, they’re totally worth the cost. Why?

Proofreading is more crucial than you think it is.

Let’s be honest: you’ve probably felt a twinge of smugness when you’ve seen someone confuse “your” with “you’re” or “then” with “than.” And you’ve likely wanted to crawl in a hole and die (or at least weep) when you’ve caught a spelling or grammatical error in an email only after you’ve sent it.

Everyone makes mistakes. Even the most painstaking writer or editor might miss a grammatical error every so often. Nonetheless, these errors occur far less frequently with professional writers than they do with everyone else. That’s a big deal when it comes to your website. Your website represents your business. It is your online image and a reflection of who you are and what you do. As such, spelling and grammatical mistakes in your website copy tend to diminish your business’s sense of care and professionalism. Thus, it’s worth the additional cost to have an extra pair of eyes (or a few extra pairs of eyes) proofread the words that appear on your website.

Writing great copy takes time: time that you could spend working on other parts of your business.

Professional writers typically aren’t going to turn around a project you give them in a day or two. What they do takes time, craft, and skill. And the time they spend on your project is time that you could devote to other pressing parts of your business development.

What do writers do with all this time? They outline, they draft, they edit, they re-write. Sometimes they brainstorm with other writers or editors. Writing is a process, not an activity that takes only an hour or two. And that whole process will start and end with you. 

Ideally, a professional writer will listen carefully to you. They’ll take notes on your story, your vision, and your goals, and they’ll integrate all of these ideas into your web copy. Depending on their skills, they’ll also be able to take into account things like SEO (search engine optimization) and conversion-oriented copy in order to boost your business’s presence on the Internet. Many business owners find that they are more than happy to pay for these skills and areas of expertise.

Some writers will offer you multiple versions of each sub-project so that you can choose the one that works best for you.

Perhaps you’re undecided on the tone you want to strike with your web copy. Formal and expert-minded? Friendly and fun? Casual yet knowledgeable? 

Or perhaps you’re not sure whether you want a quick and easy description of your business or a long, informative story that tells your customers about your company’s beginnings.

No matter the root of your uncertainty, a professional writer can create a variety of drafts, leaving the ultimate decision for the final web copy up to you. The project might cost a bit more—it will take more of a writer’s time—but it can be worth the expense.

A good writer will write for two audiences: their client and the audience that their client is trying to target.

Some people make the mistake of writing the information that they want to read or see on their website without taking into account what their target audience wants to read or see. It’s often a matter of being “too close” to your business. You know your business from the inside, but sometimes that makes it hard to get a good perspective “from the outside.”

A professional writer can bring a fresh perspective to your business. On the one hand, they can get to know you and your take on the inner workings of your company. On the other hand, they can view your business from a consumer standpoint. Blending these multiple perspectives enhances the cohesiveness and appeal of your website.

Professional writing makes you look more professional.
It’s as plain and simple as that.

As a business owner, you are a professional with regard to the service or products that you offer your customers. Similarly, writers are professionals with regard to the services that they offer. They are experts in their field, and when they do their work well, that expertise can only strengthen your business’s online presence.

Sassafras Bakery Thrives With Classic Flavors

Though it’s always fun to chase the latest dessert trends and flavor crazes, there’s nothing like returning to the classics: small batch cookies, homemade pies, tall glasses of home brewed lemonade and root beer. These sorts of classic treats are exactly what Sassafras Bakery serves to their customers at their Worthington store.

Like most local bakeries, the day starts early for Sassafras. “You get as much as you can in the oven right away,” says owner AJ Perry. Those ovens continue to turn out trays of muffins, cookies, chicken pot pies, seasonal fruit pies, and more throughout the day. It’s comfort food at its best: delicious, made-from-scratch, stick-to-your-bones goodness.

“I describe what I do as a classic American bakery,” continues Perry. “It’s a rustic modern [store]. It’s about comfort. Nostalgia.” You can find this blend of rustic and modern right on the Sassafras menu. For instance, Perry uses some of her grandmother’s recipes in her baked goods. She makes basic (but incredible) fudge brownies and blueberry muffins and an apple pie like you wouldn’t believe. They’re the sorts of things that might take you right back to your own grandmother’s kitchen. But Perry also integrates some more contemporary flavors and tastes into her menu. There are chewy chai cookies and caramelized onion and brie scones and a seasonal menu that brings a revolving set of produce and flavors to Sassafras customers.

This blend of the rustic, the modern, and the nostalgic is also tied together by the hickory countertops that Perry chose for her bakery. “I wanted something sturdy,” says Perry. “I just wanted that wood grain look, and I love how [AJ Studio] did these raw edges.”

Though these custom countertops from AJ Studio are only a small part of Perry’s business, they still do an important job for the bakery: they help to set the tone and atmosphere for the store, bringing that sense of nostalgia right to the forefront. Of course, they’re functional too. And if they’re sturdy enough to hold one of Sassafras’s signature mile-high slices of apple pie, then they must be getting the job done well.

Anxious to try one of the Sassafras original recipes in your own kitchen? Perry was kind enough to share her Aunt Parmelia's apple pie recipe with the world.

And don't fret if your attempt at Aunt Parmelia's pie doesn't turn out quite as you expected it to. You can always order a perfect version of it at Sassafras Bakery.

The Competitive Advantage of Showing Up

Successful business leaders consistently choose the right ways to invest their time and energy. They leverage their strengths and align their teams to work fluidly within their line of business. In addition to having the best designer or product, or performing the best services, there are still supplemental habits that will set a team ahead of their competition. One such practice cited frequently by satisfied clients and effective businesses is that of showing up.


Showing up means arriving at the job site consistently to perform the work. It means being available to the client to answer questions and communicate through the process. It also means being humble and genuine, owning when you have missed your deadline, and making amends when necessary.

One might attribute their successes to advanced training or their team’s proficiency. New arrivals to the market (whether individuals or teams) sometimes suffer from hubris or entitlement by failing to parse critical business practices from non-essentials. The stories we hear regularly convey the same truth; that, rather than needing to be the most skilled craftsperson, or having a terrific training pedigree, business experience, or client portfolio, a more critical element to yielding successful business results is the manner in which you perform your work. Ie, showing up.

This certainly isn’t to say that job performance, pricing, communication, and problem solving aren’t essential skills on their own. Nor is it to say that a business will secure every client they engage. But, where a business might place the majority of their success and corresponding energy onto their product or service, placing value on showing up time and again will set a team ahead of the majority of their competition.

Maybe 25—40% of one’s expertise in their service, trade, or product will secure clients regardless of their auxiliary business practices. However, the feedback from our clients, and the response from colleagues and friends in their respective industries is that whatever the cultural and market inputs affecting work performed today, there remains an inconsistency between quality of work, and the manner in which work is done.

In Making Ideas Happen, Scott Bellsky shares a story about an incredibly talented furniture maker from Croatia who is gifted with phenomenal vision and craftsmanship. Various clients reported, however, that though they love his work and eagerly covet his products, his lack of timely delivery and “followthrough is the real problem.” It wasn’t his failure of skill, but his failure in serving the client well, that did him in.

 Courtesy flickr user cwwycoff1

Courtesy flickr user cwwycoff1

There are as many stories as there are businesses in the market. Several times clients have detailed the scope of their work and secured a contractor or company to complete it, only to begin the project and have no workers present. In other cases the majority of a job had been performed, but the contractor didn’t return to complete the work, nor to receive payment for work already begun! Others reported having hired out work but receiving nothing from the contractor after months had passed by. Lamentably, these stories aren’t merely from the creative-services sector where Bold Hive operates. They are derived from the Financial Sector to Construction fields, from Medicine to Faith-based work, and from small businesses to large national operations.

If this comes across as over-simplified, it is understandable. If this comes across as “One Easy Step to Out-Sell Your Competition,” don’t receive it so. The principle that we hope you’ll consider (and expect many of you have already) is that within the plethora of business success stories, seminars, and strategies, the axioms we most need to remember too often get pushed out of focus. While our team has a passion for fresh appeal and increasing productivity using streamlined tools and systems, we are also a team that understands that simple ideas don’t mean outdated thinking, nor do sexy trends guarantee success. In an increasingly hyperactive culture reinforced by increasingly hyperactive markets and media, the quality of your work and the clarity of your communication will be best reinforced and delivered to your customer as you show up and get the job done.

Have you found this to be true in your business? Let us know what practices or values have won and retained your clients! 

You May Have It Backwards

Creative Mornings, hosted at The New School had Seth Godin give a talk this month. The theme was "Backwards" and Seth does a great job outlining some things in our education system and business world that many folks have backwards. 

He touches on how to lead in your organization no matter your position, how to maintain a following of great clients and "Leading Up" on purpose - everyday.

@boldhive: Where does leadership most often occur in your organization?

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Ever find your business in a rut where it seems like no one in the organization is motivated to make great ideas happen? Maybe it's a culture problem - take ten minutes to watch this great animated talk by Dan Pink at RSA - It's an oldie but a goodie.

We'd love to hear about creative ways you've applied some of these principals in your organization. Share some thoughts below and get the conversation started!