Don't Ask Permission to Do Content Strategy

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Last year, I taught an introduction to Content Strategy course at General Assembly. It was amazing and I met some super-bright, motivated folks.

One student followed up with me, and we had lunch a couple months after the class. She confided that her agency didn’t have a Content Strategy practice but they really needed one. What did I think if she started doing Content Strategy?

I told her—what else?—to go for it.

Content Strategy, like visual design, User Experience and, heck, maybe even Quality Assurance a few years ago, is in the odd position of being absolutely necessary to do, and yet difficult to sell.

Most businesses recognize the importance of content, but many decision-makers think that either a) it takes care of itself, or b) they can just hire a junior writer to manage it (while writing and editing everything).

That’s how some of us find ourselves in the position where we really, really NEED Content Strategy, but we can’t get resources for it.

It struck me that my student wanted permission. She wanted encouragement. She wanted someone to tell her it was okay to step out and do what she saw needed to be done.

I get it. Some of us have personalities that need validation. We want permission before we do something outside of our stated job duties.

Here’s the thing. It takes time to change stakeholders’ minds about resourcing. I don’t want to bum you out, but in some organizations, nobody may ever ask you to do Content Strategy.

So if you wait to be asked, you’ll be waiting a long time. Maybe forever.

The good thing is, unless someone has explicitly told you NOT to do Content Strategy (which I’ve never heard of happening), you can just do it.

You should just do it.

How do you do it? Start with a content audit. It’ll help you get a handle on your current content. At the end of it, you’ll probably have some ideas of ways you can improve your content.

And you will have moved your organization’s content a step forward.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Content Strategist, sign up for my free email course.