Explaining to people what I do for work is always a complicated prospect.
“I’m a senior editor at Original9 Media” is the simple answer—but it doesn’t explain what my job actually is.
The challenge is that everyone here at Original9 Media wears a lot of hats. In part, because we’re a small (but growing!) team of 11. But also because, as a creative storytelling agency, our work is usually centered around the specific needs of our client. Sometimes these companies are startups that need us to help them build an audience. Others are in the thick of growth, and we’re managing their blog. Still others are large enterprises whose marketing efforts we support in a variety of ways. And the type of company makes a difference to what our work looks like, too. Most of our clients have a technology focus, but we’ve worked across industries over the years—from financial technology, to HR software, to data storage, to real estate and even a sneaker company.
The diversity of our client portfolio means my day-to-day changes a lot, and I’m always learning new things. Building the full picture of my role on the team is best accomplished by highlighting the different “hats” I wear—in titles you might recognize.
Everyone on the team is a writer, first and foremost. We approach our work like journalists: digging deep to find a compelling story and tell it in the most impactful way possible. Our job is to treat each client like our “beat”: knowing how they fit into their industry, what their audience is looking to read about, and keeping tabs on industry news. The senior editor on the team has honed their writing skills and can take on any variety of projects that come our way, whether it’s a blog post, infographic copy, or a data report.
2) Managing Editor
Since we’re such a small team, we’re always engaging with freelancers: whether it’s to help with the writing workload or to assist in bringing our creative ideas to life in other ways, such as creating an illustration or graphic or designing a website. The senior editor’s job is to assign work to these freelancers, edit their work, and see the projects over the finish line.
A senior editor might also be responsible for managing the editorial calendar for one of our client’s content programs. That means deciding what topics to cover each month, ensuring every article is produced on-time and is high-quality—and figuring out how to fill the gaps if an article is delayed for some reason. Beyond these weekly duties, it also means ensuring there’s enough variety throughout the calendar each month and monitoring the blog’s analytics to make strategic changes if needed.
3) Content Marketing Expert
Particularly for our business-to-business (B2B) clients, e-books, whitepapers, and blog posts are vital to supporting a company’s marketing efforts. Senior editors need to understand the difference between what makes good “top of the funnel” content that raises awareness versus “mid-funnel” content that is focused more on nurturing leads and advise clients accordingly. Another key part of that process? Ensuring that the marketing materials we do produce for clients still meet our high editorial standards.
4) Content Strategist
As journalists, it’s our job to always be thinking about our writing with a focus on whether we’re telling the right story, at the right time, in the best way. This lens also applies to our work more broadly. If a company wants to create a blog, it’s our job to apply that critical thinking to the clients as well. Is a blog really the best way to tell the story they want to tell? What other kinds of content might make the most impact for a company and why?
It’s also true, for our long-term clients, to keep reevaluating what we’re doing to find new ways to keep our work fresh, engaging, and interesting to our audiences.
5) Team Player
While it’s not a formal job title, being part of the team is central to working at Original9—and it’s one of the best parts.
First, because the content and marketing world is evolving all the time, we’re always looking to grow our skills and broaden our experience as an agency. And navigating uncharted territory is always made easier (and more fun, in my opinion) as a team. Take, for example, our first foray into the world of podcasting. We worked together to learn about everything from what equipment was necessary to record, how to make sure we captured the best audio possible, to how to tell a good story in the podcast format.
Second, this “team player” mentality makes for an amazing work environment. At Original9, we’re a tight-knit group that’s passionate about writing and storytelling. We nerd out together about grammar conventions and sentence structure, and get excited when we discover a uniquely excellent example of storytelling. We collaborate on everything, making it so nobody ever feels like they’re creating a piece of work in a vacuum. We edit each other’s work, share ideas, and grow together.
When I first set out to find a job that let me use my writing skills, I was worried I would feel lonely or isolated. On the O9 team—even though we’re scattered across three different offices—I get to do the work I love with an awesome group of colleagues and friends.