As writers, we play an important, but often behind-the-scenes role. Especially if the majority of writing you do is for your company’s clients, and not directly for your own clients or for yourself, then you may be bathing in anonymity.
The blogs, website pages, case studies, marketing materials, and more that I write generally have a byline with the name of a company or one of its employees instead of my own name.
That doesn’t bother me in the least. Like many of you, I don’t need my name in lights or a round of applause every time a piece of content I wrote is put out in the digital universe. (Although I do love the fireworks that go off when I change the status of a project to “DONE” in our content management tracker.)
HOWEVER … and you knew this was coming, didn’t you … when you’ve pumped out a year’s worth or more of content for a client(s) and yet feel like the best kept secret in your company, even the most ego-less writer shouldn’t be okay with this.
And I’m not…meaning I’m neither ego-less nor fine with being a ghostwriter.
So, I’m going to speak up for myself, starting with sharing my accomplishments over the past year. Here is my tally of all that I wrote as Chief Content Officer in 2021.
· 5 Creative Briefs
· 26 Blogs
· 11 SEO Pages
· 14 Website Pages
· 8 Press Releases
· 9 Sell Sheets
· 6 Infographics/Brochures
· 3 Case Studies
· Plus, tons of miscellaneous projects that don’t fit easily into a writing category, like blog series launches, television ad copy, phone scripts, vision statements, taglines, job descriptions, scope of work documents, yada, yada, yada.
Depending on the size of your agency or business, this list might account for the content you publish monthly – bravo! But, for me, a part-time content creator (I only work 20-hour weeks), with no other team members dedicated to writing, I’m going to put this in bold: I’m pretty damn impressed with myself and proud of what I was able to produce this year.
And I know our clients feel the same. “We” receive great feedback, from how a case study helped with a product sale to how well written a website page was. In fact, in just the past week, we received several positive reviews.
“Love it. This was very well done.”
“I think it looks wonderful. Nicely done. Thank you.”
“You always do such great work.”
Normally, I would be beaming from these kind comments and then get going on my next writing project. After all, this is the purpose of what I do; to make our clients happy and support the awareness and growth of their business.
But this week, the happy blush only lasted moments because it struck me that perhaps only one of the feedback givers actually attributed this great content to me in any way. Or, for that matter, even knew I had anything to do with it.
In fact, one client left my name completely out of the compliments that he shared on a large group email (but had the courtesy to cc: me) while recognizing the somewhat limited efforts of two other people on the project.
Would you just let it go? Often times, I do, or I hope hard that my boss or someone else on my team will point out the major contribution that I made. However, in this case I spoke up. I sent an email to the group thanking everyone for their positive reception of the piece that I had written in collaboration with those folks named previously. Mic drop.
I would never want to take away from the fact that everything at my company is a team effort, and thus, my purposeful use of the word “collaboration” in my soap box email. My writing is edited, my writing is proofread, my writing is made graphically appealing, and my writing is designed websites.
But c’mon man! If it weren’t for us, the writers, doing the research, the interviews, the outlining, the structuring, the writing (!!), what would there be? Clearly, there’d be a whole lot of nothing.
Our job is to write. So, we put our heads down and pump out content that our clients use to market and sell, and their customers read, LIKE, share, and respond to by buying something our client offers. While this is all happening because of our thoughtful work, we often don’t look up from paper or computer screen to see the impact our content has made or who is actually taking notice of our critical role in the whole process.
I say poke your head out of your shell more often. For the sake of your reputation, your self-esteem, your future career success, your sanity, why not make sure that people KNOW you are the powerful thinker and creator behind the words that they admire so much?
Have you had an experience or emotions like mine? How did you handle it? We would all really like to hear from you. Please speak up!