Who qualifies, what role should they play and in what time period?
Recently, I had a conversation with Geoff Woods, Vice President and Host of The One Thing podcast, regarding a job position he was looking to fill. In his initial outreach email, he explained that he was on the hunt for a Content Marketer.
I immediately felt that I knew what he was looking for … or did I?
What qualifies someone as a Content Marketer?
To me, a content marketer is someone who focuses on the production of content rather than immediate sales.
Ultimately their goal is to build relationships by sharing free, value-driven content that t heir audiencecraves.
So when Geoff Woods asked me if I knew any good content marketers, my immediate answer was “of course”. I thought of several people who could be a good fit, depending on what he was looking for. Here are a few of the many that came to mind…
Taylor Prinson — photographer
Paul Hagey — writer
Amanda Horvath (Me) — video marketer
What roles do Content Marketers fill?
I would argue that too often business owners have a one dimensional view of content creators: their power is to create content.
They fail to recognize their main power — the ability to ask questions and discover the right content to create.
Each of the previously named individuals help businesses clarify their message and share it with the world in a way that will resonate with their audience.
While content is their main focus, they also act as business consultants within the content creation space. They ask questions like:
- What type of content should x company be creating?
- What questions are their audience asking?
- Who is their audience?
- How can I use x medium to reach their audience?
- What style will we use to communicate?
Too often businesses make the mistake of telling content creators what to create rather than have it be a conversation. This translates to the business owners shooting themselves in the foot. They get a beautifully crafted video, blog or photo, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t resonate.
If you are hiring a content marketer, use their full potential by having them guide you through a set of questions to give them the information they need to do their job.
Do You Need Someone Full Time, On Retainer or As-Needed?
Geoff was on the hunt for a full time person. He saw this position as an internal role rather than an outsourced one. While this made sense for their business model, it quickly discounted most of my contacts.
These days content marketers rarely want to work full time. They enjoy their self employed lifestyle and prefer to keep it.
If Hiring Someone Full Time
You’ll want to keep an eye out for intrapreneurs. These are people that are used to a steady source of income and prefer full time roles, but also have a nact for being creative and thinking “if this were my company, what would I do?” They are passionate about whatever they work on and enjoy working in an environment with others.
You’ll want to hire full time if:
- You want someone to know the ins and outs of everything that you do and can innovate off of what they witness in your day to day operations.
- You have an internal way of managing your team and don’t want to add external projects.
- You plan to create content every week rather than batching work and rolling it out over a long period of time.
- You can afford a full time role and the operation costs associated with fulfilling that role.
If Hiring Someone As-Needed
You’ll want to find someone with a flexible schedule that doesn’t require too much notice to get on their calendar. I recommend beginning your outreach 1–2 months in advance to ensure you can schedule with the person you like.
You’ll want to hire As-Needed if:
- You don’t want to add a W2 employee or pay benefits
- You want the freedom to create what you need only when you require it
- No longterm commitment — ability to test out different mediums and see which sticks.
- You are looking to do a one off project rather than consistent content. For example, maybe you plan to add a video to a blog post every now and need someone to deliver that.
If Hiring Someone On Retainer
I always recommend starting with someone As-Needed to ensure you enjoy working together, but once you’ve found a good fit, a retainer structure may be the best way to go.
You’ll want to hire On-Retainer if:
- You plan to turn out consistent content, but don’t want to worry about the overhead costs associated with bringing someone in house to execute.
- You want a “go to” team to execute that knows your brand as if they were internal.
- You want to ensure your “go to” team is available whenever you need them.
Bringing it all together
A content marketer is someone who focuses on creating value-driven content that your audience craves.
They can come in the form of photographers, writers, videographers, etc. They’ll usually specialize in one platform or medium above others so be sure you hire someone who is in line with what you need.
Before reaching out to anyone, decide if you need someone full time, as needed or on retainer. This will change the way you communicate with potential recruits.
Above all else, if you only walk away with ONE takeaway from this article, it should be this…
When hiring someone, you’ll want to ask about their process for determining the best content to create. Do they ask you questions? Do they send out surveys to your audience? Do they read blog post comments?
In the end, Geoff Woods ended up posting a job listing for a Community Manager which after our conversation seems like a better title for what he is looking for.