Christina Pashialis On How To Set Boundaries To Prevent Burnout
By Christina PashialisJan 28 2022
Content marketing can be a lonely space.
You may be the only content person in your team or a content freelancer operating as an island of one.
Having no peers who get content can be hard and slow your career growth.
This is something I struggled with early in my career until I discovered the power of community!
I'll share how you can make the most out of communities to make your content role easier 😊
Here’s what this post will cover:
Let’s start with what we mean by a content community.
In this instance, I’m defining a content community as:
A group of content professionals connected by their similar roles and career aspirations.
Here are some types of content communities:
In Slack content communities, people often need to meet certain criteria to join.
‘Twitter chats’ are popular in the content marketing world.
They follow a format where content folks all answer career questions using a hashtag:
#FreelanceHeroes – every Weds at 8pm (GMT)
#FreelanceChat – every Thurs at 5pm (GMT)
#SEOChat - every Thurs at 6pm (GMT)
#ContentClubUK – every Tues at 11am (GMT)
The content marketing subreddit is handy for finding discussions around all things content.
"I find content writers and partners in Facebook Groups, on Twitter, and in Slack communities. The groups I join for fun—because I have a genuine interest in engaging on the topic—tend to naturally lead to the best business opportunities because it feels more natural and less forced" - Scott Baradell, Editor, Trust Signals
There are many benefits to investing in communities for the long term.
You can meet like-minded people, get (early) access to opportunities, and unblock challenges.
Here are ways to make the most of content communities:
If you're aspiring to become a Head of Content, speaking to someone in that role is invaluable.
In communities, you can access people who have already overcome common content obstacles:
“It's been great to have conversations about some of the shared challenges we have working in content and being able to learn from how other people have tackled them.” - Chloe Dormand - Content Manager, Paddle
Here are some questions people have asked in content communities that have generated discussions:
Unlike a static Google answer, members can answer your scenario-specific questions in real-time.
The ‘hive mind’ kicks into action; multiple folks chime in to help solve your issue.
My big take [from being in a community] is sharing and collaborating on work, being able to meet like-minded people who just ‘get’ content and the challenges we all face - Emma Wesley, Founder at immerj
Community hive mind FTW 🐝 🧠
The most magical thing about a community is human support.
Your wellbeing is priority number one (yes, more important than meeting your deadline!) and people want to help if you’re struggling.
Content marketers commonly experience emotional challenges:
Communities can be inclusive spaces that facilitate honest chats with people who aren’t your colleagues.
“Honestly don't think I would still be here if it wasn't for the #ContentClubUK crew - I’ve made so many friends that have helped me to refine my processes, get new clients, supported me when I've had imposter syndrome and helped me to develop new skills” - Dee - Wicked Content
Use BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer tool to find conversations happening in communities like Reddit.
Perfect for uncovering discussions amongst your target audience that you can dive into.
You could type in ‘content marketer’ as a keyword and find questions asked around that topic.
In the example above, we can see the questions ‘do you think content is a good part of marketing to forge a career in?’ and ‘why is content writing important for digital marketing?’
You can then jump into these community conversations and start adding value!
Filter your results to ‘past week’ or ‘past month’ to find recently active conversations
Content roles are often informally shared in communities before public job boards.
Look for #jobs channels in Slack groups and the hashtag #contentjobs on social media.
You can also increase your chances of being top of mind for a role by being an active community member.
A Head of Content may be in the early stages of considering a content hire.
As the first port of call, they’ll often put the feelers out within any marketing communities they're a part of.
If you’re already supporting others and adding value, you’ve laid out the groundwork for roles to be sent your way.
Peers will notice your expertise, helpfulness, and enthusiasm for content 😊.
You might just be the first person that springs to mind when that Head of Content is hiring!
This section will discuss using communities for content collaborations.
From sourcing speakers to partnering with ‘influencers’ and companies to co-brand webinars with.
Let’s break this down into 3 steps.
Use BuzzSumo’s influencer feature to identify your ideal collaborators.
Let’s take an example.
I’m currently organizing a ContentUK Q&A on ‘How to build a content team’.
I’m looking to have Heads of Content as panelists for this and am seeking a UK-based speaker.
Here’s a walkthrough of how I’ve used BuzzSumo’s influencer tool:
3. Order the list of Twitter profiles by ‘number of followers’
4.Sift through that list and identify any that seem an ideal speaker fit!
Use the Influencer feature to find people on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook communities.
Select ‘active influencers’ to show influencers who have tweeted in the last 3 months
Okay, you’ve identified people you’d like to collaborate with.
At this point, you could make a cold ask to collaborate (more tips on cold outreach here). But you can make life easier for yourself if you build genuine connections over time:
Once you've made some connections, it's much easier to make ‘asks’ for content collaborations!
Source quotes for your content
Marketers love to feature in content :)
Often there are channels in Slack groups to request content quotes.
HARO is not only great for making connections, but also for enhancing the SEO of your content with authoritative links. Check out this guide on finding the easiest outlets to get links from using HARO.
Co-branded webinars are the perfect partnership if your company has the same audience as your speaker.
Your webinar can be shared across both your networks meaning you’re supporting each other and educating more people.
If you’ve built a relationship with someone, they'll often be happy to support you and share your work!
Don’t be afraid to ask someone directly to share your content in their newsletter or social accounts if you think it’s valuable to their audience.
Learn more on how to use BuzzSumo’s influencer tool to distribute content here.
They’ll often be a #promote-your-stuff channel in Slack groups for peers to share too.
We’ve covered a lot of ways to use communities to supercharge your content career.
And this all starts by being genuinely helpful to others.
Here are 6 simple tips to be a valuable community member:
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to being a trusted community member!
You shouldn’t have to figure everything out by yourself when it comes to your content career.
Communities exist to support you and connect you with like-minded peers and opportunities.
I hope these tips will help you make the most out of communities as you continue along your content journey :)
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