Why OutVoice Built a Free Tool for Every Editor
I’ve been a freelancer, editor, and publisher. Each role had its stressors and pain points, but I never felt busier, more mentally exhausted, and swamped by my responsibilities than when I was an editor.
The reason? There’s not just too much to do (although there definitely is). There’s also too many different types of things to do. Switching from editing a 3,000-word cover story to handling freelancer pitches, to helping guide the editorial direction of your team, to onboarding new people, to collecting their paperwork, to getting them paid, etc. is all too much.
And it’s not just me who feels this way. According to The American Psychology Association switching between tasks can cost as much as 40% of someone’s productive time. Even more if the tasks are complicated (like, I dunno, rewriting a 3,000-word cover story the night before deadline).
I’ve known for a while now that successful editors are heroes. But it’s always bothered me they don’t have access to a hero’s toolkit. That’s why we built OutVoice Profiles.
This new tool, which you can sign up for here (it’s free), will improve the way you interact with freelancers by focusing on their Pitches and your Calls for Submission. We do this by allowing editors to create profiles which will do the following:
Increase the quality of the pitches you receive.
Your profile allows you to clearly lay out what you expect in a pitch, current things you’re looking for in particular, and your feedback style. By giving freelancers this context, editors with OutVoice Profiles are less likely to get pitches which are off the mark. You can check out how that looks by viewing my profile here.
One quality pitch is worth more than 100 junk pitches. Throwing up “I’m looking for pitches in the tech world!” on Twitter with your email will get you a ton of responses, but most will be off the mark and sorting through them is a waste of time. Putting out that same social media call but with a link to your OutVoice Profile, where you can provide needed context, will save you time and produce better results.
Guide your team.
The next time you think “we should do more of these posts,” our tool will help you post a new Call for Submission immediately. You have the choice to make it viewable to only freelancers you’ve worked with before, or the world at large. There’s also an option to send it via email to your team — reducing the complexity of one of the tasks you are switching between (no need to track down a list of active contributors, it’s all already there).
Protect your email.
OutVoice profiles hide your email address. No crawler, publicist, or weirdo can grab your email and add you to some non-stop spam list. Your email is only revealed to the specific freelancers you respond to.
End repetitive inquiries.
Imagine having a single link which will work as a quick, perfect response to all of these:
“How do I pitch you?”
“I have a story idea”
(Insert a pitch for a story that doesn’t fit a format you normally run)
“I want to write for you”
“What are you looking for right now”
(Insert some extremely long email intro giving a bunch of unneeded background on the writer)
Bam! Hit ‘em all with your OutVoice Profile link and they have everything they need.
Keep your inbox tidy.
All pitches will come to your inbox via the same OutVoice email address. This allows you to create an email filter to put them all in a separate inbox. You could create a nice little routine of checking them in the beginning of the day, or end of the week, instead of letting them distract you throughout the day as they come in.
Create dynamic freelancer landing pages.
Some publications have created [email protected]-type emails, which is horrible. This ends up getting added to millions of lists and turns into a junk box no one wants to check.
By putting your OutVoice profile in the About section of your website instead, you’ve created a dynamic landing page for inbound freelancers, educating them on how you like to be pitched and what you are currently looking for. Aka, less junk!
OutVoice Profiles are free, only take a few minutes to set up, and don’t require you to use any of our payment products or have your whole publication come on board. And they aren’t just free right now, they’re free forever, even as we continue to improve them based on the community’s feedback. These editor profiles are for everyone. Take a look at mine for an idea of how the first version looks!
We have big plans for future features and would love to hear feedback about how you are using this tool!