A writer at work who stands out from their coworkers can always confidently answer the question:
What’s it like working with you?
If you’re not yet sure how you’d answer that question, I’d like to introduce a different type of “SaaS” framework for professional writers:
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 and fail to meet deadlines. 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 writer at work who others respect.
Writing as a job includes a lot more than just writing.
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SaaS for in-demand content writers at work
Think of your reputation as your personal “headline” and your writing portfolio as your “content.”
Benefit-driven headline writing needs to convince a prospective reader that your content is worth their time.
Similarly, you need to impress a potential editor, client, or boss with your writing habits in some way before they’ll consider looking at your writing samples.
It could be 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.
A writer at work who doesn’t elicit eye-rolls from their colleagues
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 at work.
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.
That’s one of the most important tips for beginner writers.
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 you really need to vent, your personal writing is always an option as well.
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 content 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
No one wants to answer a question you could have easily Googled.
Other times, a writer at work has 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 your business blogging.
You lay down two important relationship-building blocks here:
- The person you ask for help is more likely to view you as proactive, rather than inexperienced or lazy.
- 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, such as your process for content proofreading, help keep everyone on the same page.
SaaS Step #5: Take ownership when you’re a writer at work
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 as a writer without obsessing over your work, which leads to burnout and resentment.
SaaS Step #6: Choose kindness
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 Simone 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.”
A successful writer at work has the right mix of creative chaos and practical stability
Ready to position yourself for success as a creative writer at work?
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.
Reader Comments (6)
Divya Shankar says
Stefanie, that’s a perfect write up there. Just my two cents – in my opinion, a responsible content writer should know their capacity and only accept projects that they can deliver. In some cases, writers get overwhelmed and bite off more than what they can chew!
Wes Gaddis says
Great points, For me the hard part is leaving your problems at the virtual door. That is easier said than done. Especially depending on the issues. But if you do not find a way to redirect your thoughts it will affect your work. Thanks again
R.G. Ramsey says
You shared some great tips here Stefanie.
I like to use a pen name when I write. This pen name is an alter-ego with a completely different mindset than my true persona.
The person I become when I assume my pen name is 100% focused on writing and sharing his creativity with his readers. Social media is not a distraction, it is a tool to move forward and share my work with the world.
If we play the part of a successful writer, then very soon we will become one.
Good luck with your writing everyone. May we all be successful.
Rohan Gillett says
To be honest, I’ve always found writing hard. I live in Japan so I have very few people to talk over my ideas with as no one around me speaks an adequate level of English. It makes getting that extra help is difficult. Everything I do needs to be online, like looking at websites like this. To be with a team, would be incredible.
Super great article. The redefining of SaaS did constantly make me think Software as a Service each time instead of (Skills Adaptability Attitude Strategy). I think the lessons are helpful for creative and “non-creative” writing as well. As i find i do both between my day-job where I do less “creative” writing but then have to interact w/ folks as well as do a lot of self-proofreading as well as my creative blog outlet. Thanks for the advice.
Alison Ver Halen says
I could not agree more. It took me a long time to learn that less is more, and even longer to learn how to implement that strategy into my storytelling technique.
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