It’s been 23 years since the Cluetrain Manifesto and Seth Godin‘s ‘Permission Marketing‘, and 16 years since Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah started taking the term “inbound marketing” mainstream.
Successful organisations have grokked that only through frequent, focused content can they grow their audience and initiate conversations with (potential) customers at scale.
But “frequent, focused content” is easier said than done.
You are not alone. Every single day, thousands and thousands of content creators around the world struggle with planning, topic generation, writer’s block, deadline stress, analysis paralysis, and lack of creative flow.
It is hard, because it requires planning and discipline as well as free-flow creativity. And there are always multiple business priorities competing for our bandwidth.
You’re not alone, because there are so many of us. But, more to the point, you’re not alone because, from now on, I have your back.
I promise you this:
You will create and publish high-quality content that furthers your brand and business goals, according to plan, on spec and on time, every time.
I will plan your content calendar with you. I will help you set up the tools and processes that make your work efficient and hassle-free. I will help you optimise your channels for conversion, when required.
I will be a coach and a sounding board for your content creation. I’ll support you strategically and tactically; technically and creatively.
You can count on me. You can rely on it that shirt gets done. I’ll hold you to your deadlines. Should you fall behind due to bandwidth issues or competing priorities, I will step in to ensure that you deliver.
I was trained and started my career as a journalist in the 1990s.
Who knew back then that the skill set of journalists would become so essential to corporate communications, marketing and sales enablement within a few short decades?
Journalists are trained – and need to have the talent – to be relevant and engaging; to step into the shoes of their audience; to ask the questions their readers, viewers and listeners want answered; to be balanced and credible; to be critical yet respectful towards their sources; to respond swiftly to developing news events; to meet their deadlines; to humanise technology, business, and every topic they handle; to tell a story that people can relate to.
In communications, marketing and sales enablement, all those attributes are required from content creators. And then some.
A complex environment
Content creators not only have to answer questions their audience want answered; they also have to make sure that the message their organisation needs to get through, gets through.
Working for a brand with an agenda, in order to be perceived as relevant, engaging and credible by their audience, it can be argued that content creators need to negotiate a more complex environment of interests than journalists often do.
Heck, not only do our readers *and* our boss need to like what we produce; even Google needs to like it!
To top it off (for now) and name just one more challenge: for a lot of people, content creation is only one of their many responsibilities. For many of us, there is always other stuff coming up, always fires to put out. It can be really hard to create the circumstances in which we can be undisturbed, writing freely, in flow, tapping into our creative juices.
My point is that I feel your pain.
Over the past few decades I’ve worked with many organisations – businesses, foundations, associations, universities -, mostly with an international presence or sales ambition, to clarify their brand story, optimise their digital channels and processes, plan their content, set up content curation, and support them in their content creation.