A former boss once told me that you should approach every project as though you’ve been asked to bring a cake to a special event. Are you going to pick up a sheet cake from your local grocery store? Or will you ask the host if anyone has an allergy, research the perfect recipe, carefully bake and decorate it, and bring seasonally festive cutlery and napkins to the party? The best bakers (and content creators) do the latter.
To produce a great product – whether it’s cake or copy – you need to gather the right ingredients and be involved in the process, or your project may not reach its (tasty) potential.
Cakes and Content Teams: They Both Need More Than One Ingredient
A flour-only cake would taste pretty bad. A mouthwatering cake has ingredients that work in harmony: flour, eggs, sugar, butter. Content teams need to work in harmony also.
Long gone are the days of the lone content wolf. Now, it takes a village to create an excellent product. That village typically includes a strategist, writer, editor and designer. And the way they work together can often make or break a project. Use role-playing to really understand where your team members are coming from and foster a more harmonious work environment.
How can your content team members embrace collaboration in your content workflow?
- Strategists – play ‘designer for a day’: Sketch out a wireframe when you’re considering your content recommendations in context. After you have the plan laid out, meet with the designer to compare notes and ask questions. They will better understand where you’re coming from, and you’ll learn some design best practices to apply to the next project.
- Writers – make analytics your bestie: Don’t let the pressure of achieving high click rates stifle your creative. Prove to your team that you are aware of how your content is performing. It makes a great case for your contributions and gives them more reasons to trust your creative instincts. You can do some down and dirty self-analytics with this site to test shares and likes on your own published content.
- Editors – ghostwrite the script: As the guardians of the voice and tone galaxy, you spend your time being the enforcer of the rules. Test yourself once in a while, by playing writer. Submit your content under a freelancer’s name, and see how easy or hard it is to write under the brand guidelines. Going through the process yourself will help you support your team more effectively when they hit a wordsmith road block.
- Designers – get with the Times New Roman: Visionaries don’t always have time to stop and smell the words. Before starting a large project, create a design dictionary to share with the writer and strategist. Using a shared language to align on the design can help alleviate future issues with metadata and copy length.
And in case you’re wondering, I make a mean carrot cake with savory tangy cream cheese frosting, serve it on a beautiful jade cake stand and supplement with gluten-free macaroons on the side.
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