There’s no content team like your own [How to choose your content team + win]

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Right back at the start of my foray into freelance content creation I made a discovery that has stood me in good stead ever since.

Even before I commenced working on my own, I realised things would be challenging without a content team. Not just because of the work; but from a personal perspective too.

Let’s face it. Life as a business owner or technical professional, even if you’re not a freelancer, has moments that can feel very much like you’re living a reality TV version of Robinson Crusoe. This feeling has been amplified more so with pandemic-induced-working-from- home restrictions, which remain in place for many.

When I recently visited my senior manager brother working at home, he shared this exact sentiment. It’s lonely. 

Or at least it can be – without the bustle of an office, annoying colleagues, and endless meetings.

I know, because moving from a corporate environment to a home office after my post-mining boom redundancy, I discovered that too, making it necessary to find a way to manage.

Create your own content team

Writing is by its nature a solo sport.

It needs quiet, focus, and productive, distraction-free time. That’s right, no Netflix, people.

It is, as Cal Newport reminds us in Deep Work, the only way to do our best work.

However, the importance of connection with like-minded others is just as important. Even Cal says as much in his book.

Regardless of whether your work demands time alone, there is much to be said for meaningful professional relationships that stimulate and support you.

And it is this premise which found me consciously seeking out people who I could work together with, and in time, recommend to my clients too.

My rationale was this: No man is an island. In fact, to maintain this attitude is to lend weight to the words of Hugh Grant’s character in the movie About a boy, when he claims: I’m [f*#king] Ibiza! Excuse the language. Hugh does tend to let f-bombs fly.

In truth, you’re not Ibiza.

Rather, it is better, wiser, to think of yourself more like a group of islands. Like the Bahamas.

Connected by a common thread – in my case, content creation – you support, work for, and appropriately refer to others. Why? Because you realise the best outcomes are achieved by building a team of quality people around you. I write about this in 7 Day Book Blueprint and I coach my clients on this too.

In a world where it’s alleged content is king, every business owner needs the collaborative support of a content creator team.

Avoid the rush and start assembling your content team now

In many instances, these people may only be used on an ad hoc basis. A graphic designer may be required only for production of certain marketing collateral; your content writer for development of a monthly blog; a web developer for periodic updates to your website. But knowing they are ‘there’, ready to support you as required, eliminates a good deal of the angst that comes with an activity that isn’t necessarily core business, but is an important one nonetheless.

Although I’d no direct experience, I somehow knew I’d need my own team, and my search began from day one.

It’s proven to be one of the wisest business development activities I’ve undertaken. Apart from being able to refer clients to these professional others, I’ve enjoyed their confidence in me through return referrals.

It’s also been wonderful to connect and work with these people on projects we share.  Anyone who’s experienced the satisfaction of a team who collaborates and reaches a satisfying outcome together, knows this is one of the rewards of professional endeavour. And while friendships develop, there is always the regard for the contribution each makes.

Like any aspect of content creation, assembling your team takes time, and is usually driven by the most immediate need. My suggestion? Instead of waiting until you ‘have to’ produce something, do your research in good time. This allows you to make informed decisions without the pressure of feeling rushed to meet a deadline.

Approach this as you would making a selection for anything requiring an investment of time, money, and effort.

Talk to two or three people and see who you connect with. Who do you feel shares your values? Stick with those people.

Ask for referrals. Can anyone you know make reliable suggestions? Follow through and gather the facts.

Try the individual on a small task, applying the ‘test and measure’ approach.

Consider whether the content creator is someone with whom you feel a long term arrangement is possible, because ideally, your team is one that will walk alongside you as business grows.

A final word

Choose your content team wisely. Don’t rush it thinking it should’ve been done yesterday. Wise choices made with ample time will not only save you time and money long term, it will make for a more enriching – and connected – life.

Macushla Collins is a content coach. She helps business owners, content creators and  technical professionals create content that supports clear and conscious marketing communication. If this is the kind of communication you’d like to learn more about, connect with Macushla via the contact form on this website or by reaching out on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

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