Quality copy is a must for effective marketing, and the value of good writing cannot be understated.

Sometimes that copy will be produced in-house, but increasingly we’re seeing marketing professionals outsourcing content creation to professional copywriters. This not only saves time, but it can have other benefits as well. There is one potential problem, however: How do you stay in touch with external copywriters to collaborate?

Fortunately, it isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you and your copywriter are having a hard time getting together, here are a few tips that should help move things along:

Establish Rules Together

Your first collaborative effort with your copywriter should be discussing exactly how you would like the collaboration to go.

Don’t let it be a one-sided decision; be sure to ask the copywriter their thoughts about the project and what sort of milestones they’d like to have. Establish a communication schedule, discuss collaboration media and share those all-important usernames for messaging apps and collaboration sites. This will make sure that you are on the same page from the get-go and will let you get a feel for working together as well.

Frequent Communication

Communicate frequently with your copywriter to make sure that things are progressing according to plan.

These communications don’t have to be in-depth; they can be as simple as sending a quick text or email with a few suggestions or a copy of the latest marketing materials that you’re working on. Checking in often helps to ensure that neither of you makes assumptions about what the other is doing, something that can lead to your work slowly getting out of sync with what the copywriter is working on.

Cloud-Based File Syncing

One of the greatest boons to collaboration is cloud-based file syncing.

This lets you grab the latest files from a central server, seeing exactly what your copywriter has been working on and sharing the latest version of your work with ease. To make it even more effective, set a time by which all of the day’s updates should be synced so you’ll know that you can grab an up-to-date document anytime after. Just be careful not to overwrite the copywriter’s latest work with a revised document of your own without letting him or her know in advance.

Collaboration Software

Some productivity suites and websites actually have collaboration features built-in.

You can see what the copywriter is doing in real time, viewing edits as they are made and new text as it is written. This gives you a chance to give input during the creation process itself, Just make sure that you don’t try to wrest control of the edits from the copywriter since you’re looking at largely unedited copy. Give your copywriters time to do their job before you pass judgment on the copy they draft.

Streaming Meetings

Skype and other video streaming services allow you to chat with your copywriters in real-time with full video and audio.

You don’t have to have streaming meetings all the time, but a little “face to face” time certainly won’t hurt. Not only does it make honest communication easier, but it also helps you to bond with the writer that you’re talking with. This can be a huge help if you’re working on a large marketing project or plan to keep the same writers around for a while.

Staying in touch with external copywriters will help your projects to keep moving smoothly. By doing your best to improve the collaboration, you can make it more enjoyable for everyone.