Can you believe we’re almost at Episode 20?!
In today’s episode, I sit down with Tara Clapper, the Content Development Specialist here at Express Writers – yes, I have the honor of employing this wonderful woman! Tara has an impressive background in content marketing. She’s the founder and senior editor of The Geek Initiative, a community for women in geek culture, and worked as the Blog Editor at SEMrush before she joined my team last September. Tara knows it all when it comes to creating great content and the industry of content marketing. She’s edited, written hundreds to thousands of articles, hosted webinars, and even Twitter chats, to name a few things.
Today, Tara and I are talking about brand storytelling, and how you can weave the elements of story into your content marketing to create impactful, audience-engaging brand content. (Learn more about Tara’s storytelling process in her recent blog on LARPing!)
The Write Podcast, Episode 18: From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper Show Notes
Tara started her career in content marketing just after graduating college. She struggled through the experience of getting started in the industry in a tough economy. In fact, she persevered through having the same job outsourced from underneath her…twice! At 35 years old, Tara says she “grew up when the internet did,” and learned to create a web presence from the ground up early on. One of the first pieces of content she created was an email newsletter for a community of Beatles fans in an online community. She went on to work in various agencies, write hundreds of content pieces, and worked at SEMrush as their primary Blog Editor before finding a home working in my agency, Express Writers.
Tara’s unique skillset for today’s discussion actually comes through LARPing, or Live Action Role Playing. She’s even created her own LARP game and started writing and marketing it on her own, which became a foundation for her career, rooted deeply in content marketing and collaborative storytelling.
In this episode, we discuss the following:
- How Tara started The Geek Initiative. And how her experience working as an independent contractor with sites like Yahoo! helped her hone her skills and develop her voice.
- Why it’s so critical for marketers to understand that content is a long haul. While it’s tough for some marketers to see why content is a long-game approach, understanding this is critical. Tara talks about how long it took her to achieve her own marketing goals.
- How to find a story, mold it, and tell it in their content. Tara says you should practice storytelling without thinking about your brand or company. When it comes naturally, it feels more authentic.
- Why it’s so critical to tell the stories you want to tell. And how marketers can make their brand storytelling stronger by practicing creative writing and developing stories with other people.
- The importance of routine for freelancers. Freelancers seldom have solid, set schedules. Tara talks about how routine can help freelancers keep their work, quality, creativity, and storytelling strong.
- Why Tara advocates working on the idea as soon as you get it. Tara talks about her process of bullet-pointing content, and then sitting down and writing it. This keeps ideas and content fresh.
- Which brands she thinks tell amazing stories.
Favorite Quotes to TweetOnce all the content mills folded, all I had left was my site. @irishtaraClick To Tweet Four years later, thousands of hours invested, my site has just started to turn a profit. @irishtaraClick To Tweet Sometimes the investment in content, although it’s worth it, is SO long term. @irishtaraClick To Tweet Content marketing is a long haul. @irishtaraClick To Tweet The Geek Initiative is finally getting ad requests. Four years later, I am getting paid for my work. @irishtaraClick To Tweet The only way I can do sales is to help people find the content they’re looking for. @irishtaraClick To Tweet With content marketing, you’re not going to get a paycheck next week, but you’ll see results later. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet 'I didn’t see real results in links to my podcast till twelve months after it launched.' @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet It can be hard for brands to see the long-term vision with content marketing. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet 'I go for the 80/20 rule: 80% evergreen, 20% somewhat newsworthy content.' @irishtaraClick To Tweet 'My biggest tip for storytelling is to practice it without thinking of your brand.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet “Work on the idea as soon as you get it.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet “I love that @irishtara truly cares about what she’s selling to our clients.” -@JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet “If you want to be innovative in your career, be on the ground floor.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet “Be on the ground level of innovation. You’ll get a heads-up about what’s coming down the pike.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet “Get right there next to the people creating things that inspire big companies.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet “If you’re first in the ground floor, your content will be indexed.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet “Trust from brand to consumer is hugely important.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
- Follow Tara on Twitter: @irishtara
- Tara’s blog on LARPing and storytelling: http://bit.ly/larpandstorytelling
- Joe Pulizzi “coined” / first-used the term content marketing in 2001: http://www.joepulizzi.com/bio/
- Tara’s community: http://geekinitiative.com/
- Check out Julia’s book: https://expresswriters.com/so-you-think-you-can-write/