As a CEO of a startup, my online voice – a blog called Greg’s Corner — is the place where I share my company news, try to differentiate myself from competitors, and showcase the value I’m offering. But until about a year ago, my online voice wasn’t saying much.
I knew what I wanted to say in these posts but I struggled to find the right words to express my thoughts. I knew my blog needed an objective — a common thread between my posts that would drive home the bigger message. But finding the right chemistry between that objective, the words on the screen, and the tone and attitude that would define my voice was no easy task. Increasingly, it took more time and effort than my schedule allowed.
So I hired a journalist.
Actually, he’s a former journalist; a longtime beat reporter and editor who has worked for some high profile publications and is pretty well-respected for his expertise. Unlike many of his newspaper colleagues, he was not handed a pink slip. Instead, he walked away from a journalism gig that was both high-profile and frenzied, and launched a business that offers “content strategy” services to companies looking to enhance their online voices. I was one of his first clients.
Now, he and I collaborate regularly on my blog posts and other writing projects. We’ve developed a objective that centers around positioning me as an expert on safe online marketplaces. He reigns me in when it comes to tooting my own horn. He helps me practice some restraint and diplomacy when I feel compelled to blast my competitors. He makes sure that I’m not just repeating headlines but focusing my thoughts around particular news events.
He’s making me relevant.
More importantly, he’s charging me a fraction of what a PR firm might charge me for a bunch of other services that I might not really need. Because he’s juggling a number of other clients, he’s not devoting 40 hours a week to my blog strategy and content, and that’s OK with me. My blog is an important part of my business but it’s not a full-time element.