Same Circus, Different Clowns? Set Up Your Content Marketer for Success


Delighted while waiting for Flickr to upload photos. I hate no, I really do hate Flickr.

So you’ve hired a copywriter content marketer to generate blogs, collateral, white papers, landing pages, webinars, e-books and email campaigns. Ideally via me #shamelesspromotion.

And there’s just one thing worse than investing in content marketing with mediocre results. And that’s when it's your fault.

But the content isn't always the problem. 

After I matchmake client to resource, I occasionally hear a few legitimate frustrations, which, my contractors fear, are setting them up to fail.

I really hate to tell them: "Look, everywhere you go, it's the same circus, different clowns." It's just too much of a downer. So I'd like to offer you a way to be a different kind of circus.

A prepared circus. An unified circus. An I-support-my-contractors-and-we-all-win circus. 

(And now you can scroll down, away from that completely terrifying clown picture I found. Yikes. I blame Poltergeist.)

1) Content Marketer Says: Um, how about some onboarding? Contractors require less admin ramp-up (thank God) but you still have to give them a program. And content marketers need to drive in lots of people’s lanes. Usually with windows down and Macklemore turned up. Make them part of the team. Invite 'em to meetings, conference calls, happy hours and kick offs. They require backstory, context, potential barriers and a chance to interpret office personalities, including who thinks they’re in charge and who’s actually in charge. Silos are twenty years ago. Make them a part of your past.

2) Content Marketer Says: People ignore my emails and cancel meetings. Where’s the SME love? Don’t be a moron. Warn the experts that someone will be reaching out and get specific about timelines and priorities. Talk to their boss. Make email introductions. Pass a note. Vox them. Over-communicate. Remind them again. "You already told me about this!" said no office employee ever. 

3) Content Marketer Says (is anyone else getting a Family Feud flashback?): There were too many approvers. It was a nightmare. The final was a lose-lose compromise. Ya gotta let go. #Iamsoprofound Define a process. Establish roles. Be firm. Stop micromanaging. Empower your talent and publish already. You can always change content. Or take it down. We’re not printing brochures people! Two approvers max!

4) Content Marketer Says: They said they wanted social media/an edgy voice/a slip n’ slide. Now not so much. As Southwest says, shift happens. That's cool. But be sure to find some solidarity in your colleagues and managers. If you’re the only one who wants to schedule daily Venn diagramming, maybe this isn’t the time to bring on a contractor. Denial, is good for lots of things (late night Nutella, Nordstrom purchases). Not this.

5) Content Marketer Says: The client loves my work, but I'm afraid it will never reach their target audience. Distribution and analytics are a mess. Strategy is non-existent. Okay I'm making this up a bit because I wouldn't have taken this client if the above were true. So consider this a warning! But c'mon. Get an email marketing platform. Find an SEO agency. Do some research. Gate your assets. Determine a strategy and set some goals. Write it down. Without it, you're toast. Dry. Wheat. No jam. 

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

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