Much like with writers, agencies and managers need to decide if they want to hire a full-time content strategist or occasionally work with one or more freelancers. Your overall need for a strategist depends on your business drivers and the industries you normally do business with. If you don’t get many strategy engagements or you get the occasional client in a niche industry that doesn’t normally get served through marketing agencies, such as the gaming industry, it’s prudent to find a freelance strategist familiar with the quirks of that industry if your staff has little or no experience with it.
Ultimately though, how specialized are your needs for content strategy?
Content Strategists: Jacks of All Trades or Masters of One Task or Industry?
When you’re looking to hire a content strategist on an ongoing basis or just once, obviously you want them to be proficient in the deliverable you’re tasking them with. Some content strategists specialize in creating highly-refined buyer personas based on market research you’re providing or requesting while others concentrate in the various aspects of optimizing your website and content delivery. Depending on the types of deliverables your clients typically need, you want to prioritize strategists with experience in those deliverables. Other skills needed to make your agency run more smoothly should also be considered. There are content strategists who are also writers and strategists who double as web developers who are highly knowledgeable in content delivery networks.
Industries and niches are another major point to consider when choosing the right content strategist for the job. A generalist type of strategist is a good fit if you want a full-time hire to continually provide the right content strategy deliverables to your clients. If you’re just dipping your toes into offering content strategy services or rarely deal with the client’s industry, hiring a freelancer enables you to better serve your client. The freelancer is aware it’s a one-time arrangement whereas it might not be worth the opportunity cost for an employee to heavily research an industry you rarely cater to when they have other clients to serve first.
Content Strategy Isn’t One Size Fits All
What kind of content do your clients need and what direction should they take with it? Even if you cater to a specific industry, company size, or other criteria chances are that your clients aren’t monolithic. You can have two companies of similar size in the same industry that have wildly different audiences and behaviors so subsequently, the content strategy and creation needs to be in pace with that. Since every content strategist also brings something different to the table in terms of skills and connections, they can also help you find the right writer(s) and other talent for your team or even manage this aspect for you for the right price. In addition to strategists themselves each being able to offer something different, your clients may also need highly-specialized content strategy considerations based on their type of audience and what they’re looking for.
Ultimately, cost and demand are what dictate whether you should keep content strategy in-house or with a freelancer. Then when it comes to your clients’ needs, content strategy itself isn’t necessarily monolithic. WriterAccess has a diverse array of content strategists with different skills, deliverable specialties, and industry knowledge who can fulfill the unique needs of your clients.
Rachel P is an experienced entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and general business writer, Rachel’s consulting business is tailored to professional development for indie developers and other creative professionals. In addition to serving clients in need of professional development and work-life balance, Rachel also works with companies who wish to do business with game developers and professional sector workers who need assistance in acquiring and retaining game developer clients. She has helped tax offices, attorneys, and insurance brokers sell several thousand dollars worth of services through both her sales and writing skills.