Mission Boldly Champions a Freelance Content Writer (and Your Copy)

by Gabe Arnold

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to populate the web with compelling copy. The hero of choice? Fearless Freelance Content Writer. The villain? Captain Chaos.

But, Fearless Freelance requires a powerful weapon to accomplish the mission. And, a mission statement proves to be just such an instrument.

These targeted weapons go by many aliases such as company, business, brand, editorial, content marketing or content mission statements. But, no matter the terminology you choose, several underlying factors remain constant.

  • Poorly written mission statements prove detrimental to your marketing campaign.
  • Unclear, uninspirational missions fail to generate positive responses.
  • Content aiming to please everyone pleases no one.

Editorial mission statements spell out the reasons you publish, the audience you post content for and why. As the who and why of your brand. mission underlies all you do with your content strategy.

So, what does all of this mean to you?

What Are We Talking About?

Let’s be clear from the outset. Terms get bantered about with ease regarding mission statements. Yet, all are not equal. A brief definition of business, company or brand mission statements versus content or editorial ones turns us to the same page.

  • Company, corporate, brand or business mission statements describe a company’s purpose. More specifically, they explain what a company is, why it is and whom it is for.
  • Content, content marketing or editorial mission statements define the purpose behind all marketing copy published.
  • (And, one bonus for clarity.) Vision statements explain what a company desires to become, its direction of growth.

With an understanding of these terms, let’s get to the point. (If you want more depth on these definitions, please click the links above.) But, to move forward, what value do general and editorial mission statements offer your company? Is it worth taking the time and energy to draft them?

The Usefulness of Mission to Your Copy

Developing mission statements for both your brand and content prove beneficial for your long-range business goals. Many of the points below may apply to both concepts. However, from this point on in our discussion (unless otherwise indicated), mission refers to editorial or content marketing mission statements.

In my humble opinion (and, that of many a successful business leader), your time and effort in drafting these statements bring a needed structure to your work. Imagine a film without a script. While improv done well amazes, not much of a plot develops nor is an end-game beyond mere entertainment realized.

Consider the following value found in content mission statements, and see if you agree.

Define Success

Expressing a clear idea of what you do, why you do it and what it looks like separates you from the competition. In fact, the majority of content marketers bypass the scene of creating a driving mission statement. Yet, according to Content Marketing Institute, 48 percent of effective marketers have one.

Short-term or long-range and large goals benefit from the presence of an editorial mission statement. By defining your intent, you gain an applause rating system to determine the impact of copy posted across blogs, landing pages and social media platforms. Clearly delineating what success looks like in each platform on which you publish is the first step in utilizing the power of mission statements in your performance.

Focus Your Initiatives

By definition, mission statements provide direction and purpose. Identifying the types of content which fulfill your mission keep you from straying off script. In other words, you successfully avoid improv-ed rabbit trails. Plus, this process saves time and people resources from being spent on less effective methods.

For instance, if your audience Tweets in their sleep but consistently closes the pages of Facebook Live, your mission directs you to Twitter rather than Facebook. Content marketing mission statements prevent you from being everything to everyone which really only produces exhaustion. Instead, you choose the most effective copy types to impact your audience.

Refine Your Message

As work gets busy, the lights dim making it difficult to stay focused. A clear mission statement spotlights and targets your content. While posting some copy on the edge of your niche broadens your audience, stepping off the stage just causes pain. The lack of relevance loses readers. Furthermore, the foundation of mission must work throughout each piece.

For example, with a blog, keeping your core message consistent through the headline, lead comments and copy body allows your audience the pleasure of a singular focus. While multi-tasking may be the rage, the truth is that it produces fatigue and ineffective results. Mission refines your message for clarity and focus.

Yield Prioritizing Power

While a flurry of great ideas may come to your attention, not all of them advance your mission. An editorial statement becomes a tool to make decisions. Or, in short, it helps you say no. After all, every yes means no to something else. And, without discernment, the scene quickly falls apart.

Your mission becomes a measuring stick by which to evaluate all editorial copy. How so? Laying content alongside an editorial mission statement answers key questions:

  • Does your content remain true to who you are as a company?
  • Does it reach the audience you targeted?
  • Does it meet the goals you intended?

Briefly, your mission gives you the power to prioritize. And, wisely choosing the types of copy and depth of content which support your purpose breeds success in the copywritten world.

Unify Your Team

When working with an in-house team or a freelance content writer, the possibility of disjointed copy is certainly real. And, to further the impact, Gallup reports that 41 percent of all employees do not know their company’s purpose. On the other hand, mission unites in-house and remote team members.

The bigger your team grows, the more important a mission statement becomes. Consider it the rallying force which keeps content, digital, sales and marketing team members following the same script. This one tool enables several writers or marketing gurus to speak with one voice, the missional voice.

Attract People

One of the greatest factors in human attraction is confidence. While this truth applies to individual relationships, extending it to company impressions and copy is not too far of a reach. Mission builds confidence in who you are and where you are going as a company and with your content.

In fact, research reveals that simply having a mission statement correlates to marketers believing they are effective at marketing. And, this work-esteem draws consumers. It breeds a sense of safety and trust in your company, services and products. Customers respond positively to knowing what you stand for and the ways you stay true to who you are.

Build Community

Furthermore, the singular focus of your mission spoken across content builds brand buy-in. Consistently sharing your company mission, in particular, with consumers leads them to believe in your cause. And, brand loyalty, a community, results.

Buyers look for deeper meaning and commitment in content as well. A company mission statement delivers and makes a promise to your audience. Be careful with this responsibility and privilege. Honor your word. Post it. Keep it before the eyes of your team. Act on it. Stay true to it. And, customers take notice, even applaud.

Save Money

Disengaged employees cost companies $400-500 billion per year. And, this figure does not include the cost of lost consumers due to a lack of focused content. Nor the losses associated with reaching the wrong audience. Or, the rework of getting a marketing campaign back on track.

Laying a strong foundation with solid mission statements, both brand and editorial, avoids some of the traps associated with a lack of purpose, focus and direction. Time, resources and money prove just a few examples of such losses.

Are you starting to get the picture? Beginning to believe in the power of mission?

Writing a Mission Statement

The next step is looking at your mission statements or lack thereof and dusting them off, refreshing them or building from the ground up. As already noted, getting this information to your team and freelance writers builds powerful results. So, what now?

Developing a content marketing mission statement moves you and your freelance writer onto the same page, engaged in the same dialogue. It offers a starting point from which a copywriter can develop your content, and run with it over the long term. So, what is the best way to develop such a statement or solidify your current one?

Key Lines

Knowing the key elements of a mission statement gets you started. Taking the time to think through the application of each component in your company makes it personal. To compose a complete mission, be sure to consider and include:

  • YOUR BRAND. Who are you as a company?
  • TARGET AUDIENCE. Which people group are you intending to reach?
  • DELIVERABLES. In what ways are you reaching the audience?
  • DESIRED OUTCOME. What are your goals for the audience?

In summary, ask what does your brand believe is best for the consumer? For a more comprehensive look at this thought process, check out my colleague’s article, 4 Steps You Need to Follow Today for a Good Mission Statement.

Combining these four elements into a succinct statement gives you your mission. One such formula suggested by Orbit Media lays it out this way: Our company is where [audience X] finds [content Y] for [benefit Z]. (To check out variations on mission formulas, read their article, How to Create a Content Mission Statement With 4 Simple Templates.)

Stage Notes

Before leaving you to review the information and dream about your company, I have a few more hints for creating an effective mission statement. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, these suggestions give you a point of reference as you begin this process.

  • Editorial mission statements are not the same as business or brand missions. However, keeping them in line with one another further focuses your efforts.
  • You may develop more than one content marketing mission. The breadth of your campaign and the number of audiences you target impact this number.
  • Always speak clearly avoiding jargon. And, make your statement fairly easy to remember. If your team or freelance writer need to decipher it, you will end up with differing translations.
  • Again, it cannot be said enough, document your mission statement. In particular, post it within plain site to keep it at the forefront of marketing team minds.
  • Allow sufficient time to properly develop this essential part of your content campaign. Remember, your editorial mission statement lays the foundation of all copy and informs the interactions of your marketing team.

A Google search fills your mind with mission statement examples and companies who integrate mission and content well if you need a bit of inspiration. In any case, make the move to rework, overhaul or write afresh your brand and content mission statements. You will be glad you did.

Ready to Act With a Freelance Content Writer?

Wow! Are you experiencing information overload? Or, are you encouraged? Perhaps a bit of both? Well, I do hope you see the need to write down a concise statement of who you are and how you are going to reach those you intend to reach.

And, beyond seeing the need, I hope you are inspired to do so. I believe you will experience the benefits right away. For one, the gratitude of those working with you. Your team thanks you. Your freelance content writer thanks you. Your customers (present and future) thank you.

To wrap up where we started, you hold the power to avert Captain Chaos by wielding the weapon of strong mission statements in the hands of Fearless Freelance Content Writer. Are you ready to accept the mission?

If so, I invite you to take advantage of Copywriter Today’s offer for a free consultation. We can talk mission, copywriting or all things business. Just contact us today!

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P.S. Shoot us a comment below on which value of mission statements means the most to you. Or, share how the combination of mission and content brings you results.

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