Hey friends! Today I'm doing something a little different - I'm going to be talking about my career as a content strategist, creator, and manager. As you all know, I relaunched J Bryant Creative this week so what better week to tell you about it?
So let's begin with the same questions I make everyone answer, shall we?
As a child, I wanted to be a ______ when I grew up. I wanted to be a pediatrician who wrote books on the side. I’ve always had a left brain/right brain thing going on.
How close (or far) is your current career from that dream? Well, the pediatrician thing clearly didn’t happen! I was one of many wannabe doctors who were weeded out by Chem I. And while I don’t write books (yet), I am a writer now!
What is your official job title? I like to call myself a CCO – Creative Content Officer. But to make things simple I often just call myself a Content Strategist.
Ok, now what does that really mean? Essentially I handle all things content, including strategy, creation, and management. As a strategist I help overhaul websites or develop and edit e-courses. As a writer/editor I create content like web copy, blogs, newsletters, and original articles. As a content manager I monitor and curate site content for clients, both on their own sites and on social media sites (like Facebook groups).
What is a typical day like? Well, I just went full-time with this. Before this week I was waking up early every day to answer emails and get some work done before I made the 30+ minute drive to my job as an accountant for a bank. I would either have a client call over my lunch break or just bring my laptop with me to get some writing done, and then after my last few hours at the bank I would either have another call or spend several hours working.
Now I’m still figuring out what a typical day is going to look like! Monday I started the day with coffee and content management for an ongoing client, followed by revisions for the web copy for a photographer and then a first glance at an e-course I’ll be editing for another creative entrepreneur. I took a few breaks to check on our dogs, switch laundry, that kind of thing, but overall it was a pretty great and productive day. Yesterday I only worked half a day because I had a court date for my CASA case and then I drove to Dallas for a networking event, which totally counts as work because networking is going to be a crucial important part of my business!
How did you end up in this career? After graduating from OU (see below) I accepted a job in public accounting in the Dallas area. I was there one year before moving on to a different accounting firm where I stayed one year. At that point I was totally done with tax accounting and decided to try this whole writing and editing thing I'd been dreaming of, so I created a website and basically just set up shop! For two years I did writing and editing while also working as a nanny, but when my two main recurring clients moved their work in house I decided to go back to a 9-to-5. I made it all of a month there before those clients came back to me, and I started running my business on the side. I did that for two years, but in the past six months the client work really started to pick up and I decided to go full-time again. I feel much better prepared this time around!
What kind of education or training did you complete for this career? I earned an accounting degree from the University of Oklahoma, and while I considered switching majors before graduation I decided I didn’t want to waste all those hours I spent in finance and accounting classes. So I used my electives to take classes like Magazine Editing and Writing the Novel while I survived all those accounting hours! After graduation I’ve mostly learned from books and e-courses (you can find more about those in the Resources section of the blog).
What advice would you give to someone who wants a similar career? Don’t do it alone! The first time I tried to go full-time I made it two years before deciding to go back to the corporate world. And my biggest mistake was not making other freelance friends. Now I’m in several groups on Facebook as well as some in real life groups! It’s been so helpful having people to turn to when I have questions or need help.
Any last thoughts or encouragement for others trying to decide what they want to do “when they grow up”? Do your research, figure out what you want, and GO FOR IT!
And that's the basics! My apologies if you saw the original unfinished version of this post earlier - I scheduled it to post at the usual 6:30 am time but didn't finish it yesterday like I meant to! Tuesday was a blur of broken iPhones and driving (I'm currently at a friend's house in Dallas) so I just ran out of time. But if you're reading this then you are seeing the final version :)
reviously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...