Would any piece of writing ever get published without a deadline? I know – it’s a triggering question.
When it comes to effective business writing and content marketing, stress is in no short supply.
Your PR agency is waiting for an outline. There’s an emergency requiring immediate communications with your stakeholders. You need a new brochure for an upcoming conference. Next month’s webinar is around the corner and your email campaign isn’t complete.
No matter the circumstances, deadlines are part of keeping your marketing strategy on course, which is why they need to be taken seriously.
Why Submission Dates Matter
Regardless of industry, any mission needs a form of accountability if it’s ever to reach completion. That usually means a target due date. When writing to promote your products and services, this is particularly important because it’s all too easy to obsess over getting it just right.
Is it engaging enough? Am I making my point? Is my title catchy? Am I drawing in my target audience? Will my industry peers approve? What if no one reads it? It’s a neurosis-inducing process if ever there was one!
Irrespective of individual style and process, many projects also fall victim to Parkinson’s Law. In simple terms, this principle says work tends to expand into the time available for its completion. In other words, the further out your deadline, the longer it will take to complete your project.
If you’ve ever felt yourself obsessing over a piece you’ve been privately penning for weeks, months, or even years, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes too much time is just as bad as not enough. And no matter how self-structured you are, the total absence of any sort of parameters or support from an editor (or a professional content marketing team) can cause you to get trapped in a never-ending story.
So, knowing all that, what’s the best way to approach deadlines? Like anything else, it’s about identifying parameters, finding the right support, and leveraging your resources.
How Approach Affects Outcome
For as many different styles of writing that exist, there are just as many attitudes towards deadlines. Some writers tend to work more emergently while others prefer to be more planful. Deadlines are no different.
Even within Version A where we currently have a very small and close-knit staff, I would hazard to say our individual approaches to meeting deadlines differ quite a bit. Some people work better under pressure and find they need the angst of a looming calendar date to trigger their creativity. Others like a long expanse of days to calmly and leisurely conceive and nurture their points.
Many writers work in a combination of both styles, varying day-to-day based on their environment. Factors like time of day, home office versus traditional office, the presence of co-workers and/or family members, caffeine intake, noise volume, and even the weather are determinants for many of us.
If that makes it sound like writing is an unpredictable process…well…it is! As with any form of creative expression, mood and energy have a lot to do with it.
Even in our realm of B2B content marketing, the succinct delivery of an accurate message in just the right tone and style is an art form. It takes a blend of allowance and discipline to write reliably – this isn’t a skill that just happens.
Where Expertise Makes a Difference
In many of our pieces, research plays a major role. Depending on the complexity of what our client has requested, it may take hours to suss out the facts to frame a compelling narrative. Once again, some of our writers prefer to do that a bit at a time as we compose, while others like to set aside an entire day purely for information gathering. No matter which tact we take, our goal is to always deliver thorough and discerning research.
We take pride in this because we understand fact-gathering and composition are often most challenging when the subject matter is close to your heart. Ever find yourself spending hours going down every rabbit hole in an effort to prepare a given piece, only to realize you’re still missing the key ingredients to make it cohesive? And you’re on the verge of missing a deadline? Nothing like knowing the success of your business is on the line to put pressure on your creative process!
Our writers get it. We’ve all been there and we know how to overcome those obstacles. At Version A, we provide the objectivity required to ensure your content hits the sweet spot every time, on time.
A Last Word on Words
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, deadlines are a reality of writing. A dedicated team can make them count towards a successful content marketing strategy. It’s our mission to make the process manageable for you. Reach out and pick our brains. We love to talk about the power of excellent writing – it’s possible even under the tightest of time constraints.