This exercise not only helps you measure your creative and technical skills as a marketing author, but also gives you an idea of how much work your internal team may need to get your resources through the process of evaluating and approving your organization’s content. Based on this experience, I have put together a number of tips and tricks to help you find, evaluate and integrate third-party authors who best fit your content marketing needs. For example, you may have found an independent author who has a lot of experience in your industry, but little experience, or whose work samples do not contain the specific type of content you want to create. No matter how well your strategy, buy-in and budget, the success of your content marketing program depends on one essential element: the availability of the talent needed to implement your plans. As a content strategy consultant, Jodi helps companies assess their content and resource needs, build infrastructure and operations, and create compelling articles across multiple channels and media platforms. Typically, companies outsource content creation if they agree they don’t have the time or talent to produce the quality, quantity or scale of content they need to achieve their goals. You’ll also find plenty of talent among the thousands of people attending the world’s largest content marketing event. Platforms like Contently, Skyword and NewsCred, and recruiters like Robert Half, Writing Assistance and Artisan Creative offer a range of services to connect marketers with qualified independent professionals. Before talking to authors, you need to honestly assess their content needs and expectations and assess the extent to which independent authors can be integrated into your content infrastructure. Work with a creative recruitment agency or content marketing platform. A note before you start: Marketers outsource many content creation tasks (writing, editing, design, production, project management, video creation, etc.) to a third party. – For a creative agency or content marketing platform. Jodi Harris is director of editorial content and preservation at the Content Marketing Institute.