The conversation kicks off with Jess sharing her journey from a junior copywriter to a creative director, focusing on B2C brands. The duo then explores the importance of understanding the product, the current content landscape, and customer research in the initial month. Jess emphasizes the need to listen, learn, and not rush into writing or creating.
As the discussion progresses, they delve into the logistics of content onboarding, discussing the need for access to communication tools, CRM systems, and project management tools. They also highlight the significance of understanding the budget, tech stack, and human resources available. Jess concludes with advice for new content hires, encouraging them to ask questions and seek clarifications.
This episode is a must-listen for anyone stepping into a content leadership role in a tech startup. It offers valuable insights into setting the right pace, asking the right questions, and establishing a solid foundation for success.
Name: Jess Cook
What she does: Head of Content
Noteworthy: Jess is a seasoned content leader. She transitioned from a junior copywriter to a creative director, focusing on B2C brands.
Listen, Learn, Don’t Rush into Writing
In the first month of a new content leadership role, Jess advises against rushing into content creation. Instead, she emphasizes the importance of understanding the product, the current content landscape, and conducting customer research. She suggests that new hires should resist the temptation to immediately showcase their writing skills. Instead, they should focus on learning about the product, the customers, and the team dynamics. This approach ensures a solid foundation for future content creation and prevents operating in a vacuum devoid of essential context.
Access to Communication Tools, CRM Systems, and Project Management Tools is Crucial
When it comes to content onboarding, Jess highlights the need for access to communication tools, CRM systems, and project management tools. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the tech stack, the budget, and the human resources available. She also suggests that new hires should have access to sales calls and recordings, Google Analytics, and email systems. These resources provide a behind-the-scenes look at what’s working and what’s not, enabling more effective content strategies.
The Power of Acknowledging Contributions and Reporting Success
Jess emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the contributions of subject matter experts in the content creation process. She suggests that when a piece of content performs well, it’s important to make that known to leadership and the contributors involved. This not only fosters a positive work environment but also encourages more contributions in the future. She also discusses the importance of reporting success, not just in terms of numbers, but also in terms of the impact and feedback received from the audience.
The First 30 Days as a Content Leader
In the initial phase of stepping into a content leadership role, Jess outlines three crucial tasks and one thing to avoid. The tasks include customer research, understanding the product, and getting a handle on the current content landscape. The one thing to avoid is jumping into writing or creating content without doing the necessary groundwork.
“What is working, what is not? Are there a couple of blog posts that like the 80-20 rule: 20% of the blog posts do 80% of the driving to booking a demo or starting a free trial? Figure out what those are and why.”
The Importance of Communication and Access to CRM
Jess emphasizes the importance of communication with the team and access to the CRM system. She shares her experience of feeling like she was flying blind without access to the CRM system and how it’s beneficial to see the numbers behind the insights provided by the sales team.
“First and foremost, communication with the team. Like, are we on Slack? Are we on Teams? Like, really figuring that out.”
Understanding the Budget and Resources
In this part of the discussion, Jess and Camille explore the importance of understanding the budget and resources at your disposal. They discuss the need to understand the tech stack, the people resources, and the budget for contractors.
“The budget, understand what we are working with. What do I have at my disposal if I need some help on execution or someone to take some stuff off my plate.”
The Power of Internal Sharing and Feedback
Jess talks about the importance of internal sharing and feedback in the early months of a content leadership role. She suggests providing a weekly summary of what you’ve done, where you’re going, and what you plan to do next, and then seeking feedback on whether you’re moving in the right direction.
“Here’s what I’ve done, and here’s where I’m going, and here’s what I think I should do next. Green light! Sweet, move on.”