Business-to-business (B2B) advertising can be tricky. When a publisher hires a freelance writer to pen articles, blogs, web copy (and the like) for their B2B advertising materials, there is one issue that comes up that most people don't think about...
As an entrepreneur, business owner, or publisher, you may want to do some research on your freelancer. Sure, your freelancer isn't costing you pension plan or employee insurance coverage, but if they are also freelancing for a competitor in your industry, the cost could be more than any pension or health plan you can think of.
One B2B editor told me that she recently had to fire her go-to freelance writer from her trade journal. She began noticing that the writer was sneaking in promotional content of specific companies without the magazine's approval. It turned out the writer was moonlighting with one or two other companies and was "undercover" at the trade publisher, doing low-key promoting of these companies' products and services. As the B2B editor put it, this person had a huge "conflict of interest".
Moral of the story: Keep your eyes open for any clues and signs of double-dipping.
You may want to request your freelancer to sign a contract agreement up front with a stipulation to protect yourself. And when hiring someone, keep in mind that as freelancers, one is not an employee, so technically they can work for whomever they want. But just let them know at the door what the parameters that are acceptable for you and your company will be. I mean, can you Imagine the same copywriters creating B2B copy for both Coke and Pepsi?
Q. Ever been stung by a freelancer with a conflict of interest? How did you handle it?
Let's continue the conversation below in the comment section. You never know who you may help today.