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In this solo episode with Adam Rogers, you will learn:

  • The process Adam used to change careers and build a portfolio of work when he had zero experience in marketing

  • The exact process he used to build up experience and land his first in-house role at a fast growing startup in London

  • Why your bookshelf is just as good as networking for finding your next client

About Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Content Marketing Playbook Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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Maeghan Ouimet is a content marketer specializing in storytelling and a journalistic approach to content marketing. As the Director of Editorial Strategy at content agency Original9, Maeghan partners with companies to help enhance their content efforts—from strategy to execution to amplification. Before joining the world of content marketing, Maeghan spent time as a reporter at Inc., Boston Magazine and Rolling Stone Australia. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Before I joined the world of content marketing, I spent a few years at Inc. covering emerging tech companies in Silicon Valley. It was a fun time: Uber was just getting started, Facebook was IPO-ing, Square was changing the way small businesses accepted payments. I quickly got the start-up bug and realized soon after that instead of telling stories about these companies, I wanted to tell stories for them.

What I found when I shifted my career was that the content most companies were producing for themselves was pretty dry. They were relying on the media and journalists like me to tell a more compelling company story. I wondered why this was the case and began challenging the idea that a whitepaper or a blog post could have the elements of good journalism like narrative, character or color.

It became clear—quickly—that the journalistic-type story was actually resonating more with audiences. Sure, there is still a place for content focused on product announcements or more direct marketing, but it turns out most audiences also want to connect with the company before they make a purchase. In fact, according to a study commissioned by Google, 71 percent of B2B buyers purchase when they see personal value in the business and nearly 70 percent are willing to pay a higher price to do business with a brand they believe in.

Of course, today, most companies understand the need to connect more emotionally with buyers. Consumer expectations have changed—and so have content efforts. But there are a few keys to creating B2B content that will stand out in a crowded space: Take a journalistic approach by advancing a story, shine a light on the people of that story, and be a true expert on your subject matter.

Reveal A-Ha Moments

Whenever our team pitches a story to a client, we make sure to express how we’re adding to the conversation. We’ve found some success in commenting on newsworthy events as it relates to the company we’re working with, but if we’re going to say what’s already being said elsewhere, we’re not really going to move the needle. A good piece of content finds the “a-ha moment,” revealing a nugget for the reader that’s inspiring, actionable and—most importantly—new. We want to give our readers something they can take to their next team meeting or board meeting. Once we are seen as a trusted resource, readers will come back for more, and as a bonus, share our content with their networks.

Insert a Human Element

Every good story has a hero, and that shouldn’t change just because your subject matter is software. After all, there are people making the software, people using the software, people who are experts in that industry. Finding the human connection in a story helps readers better identify with your company. The human element covers one of my favorite phrases: show, don’t tell. With people you can show your readers how the product works rather than telling them how it works. There’s emotion and there’s often a problem being solved, both elements required to engage your readers.

Be Credible and Authentic

Your customers (or potential customers) are smart. They can spot jargon or thinly veiled marketing messages easily, and because they have so many options, they’ll move onto another one if you don’t hook them with your story. This is where credibility and authenticity come into play. It’s important to establish yourself as credible expert in your field, and you can do this by sharing real-world experiences (the human element) and adding to the conversation (the “a-ha moment”). Authenticity is more about being concise and to the point. Most B2B audiences don’t have a lot of time in their day, so get to the point and provide them with the information they crave, so they can spend more time engaging with you all the way to the buying cycle. No CTAs or gated content required!

Our team constantly returns to these three pillars in our work. Our clients are delighted by the approach because they see the results. And I am so proud that our team has been able to tell (and continues to tell) meaningful stories for companies that are genuinely changing the world.

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Today's guest is Catherine Heath. Catherine is a freelance B2B SaaS blogger and content marketing strategist for companies globally. She’s written for and worked with companies like Canva, Kayako, Knowledge Owl, Biz Talk 360, and many more.

Find Catherine on:

About our host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Boston Content Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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Jessica Greene is a freelance writer that took a return to self-employment in content marketing and writing after a ten year hiatus. In this podcast with Jessica Greene, you will learn:

  • Why Jessica loves working with Zapier and Spoke and why she recommends you pick clients with shared values

  • Her system for managing peaks and troughs in work and income and how to bounce back

  • Why she’s specialized in long-form content because of how the content writing market has changed

About our guest, Jessica Greene

Jessica Greene first started working as a freelance writer in 2005 while studying for her bachelor’s degree. But after graduating in 2007, she decided it was time to explore the world of professional full-time employment. For nearly a decade, she worked in different full-time roles for startups, local businesses, and major corporations. But in 2016, she left her corporate job to return to self-employment, and she considers it the best career decision she’s ever made. Jessica's writing can be found on Zapier, Spoke, and Hubstaff.

Find Jessica on:

About our host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Boston Content Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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Brittany Berger helps burnt out and overwhelmed marketers get off the content hamster wheel and start using the goldmine of old content they're sitting on through updating, optimizing, and remixing.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • How a chronic illness influenced Brittany to ditch an unhealthy view of productivity advice and why she will never go back to a traditional way of working

  • How to convince your clients to delete $1000’s worth of content and why that can help them meet their marketing goals

  • Why workflow, systems thinking, and process is a competitive edge for freelancers in content marketing

Get Brittany's The Confident Content Creation Workshop for only $50 using coupon code BOSCONTENT on checkout.

About our guest, Brittany Berger

Brittany Berger helps burnt out and overwhelmed marketers get off the content hamster wheel and start using the goldmine of old content they're sitting on through updating, optimizing, and remixing. Just call her your content DJ. Once you’ve been using content marketing for awhile, using and maintaining content becomes more important than creating it. But most marketers are too tired running on the "as much content as possible" hamster wheel to notice how outdated their best stuff has gotten.

Find Brittany on:

About our host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Boston Content Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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Jeff Haden is a speaker, ghostwriter, contributing editor for Inc.com. He is the author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • The secret to making your ghostwriting stand out and win the love of your client

  • Why ghost writing is good for your pay-check but bad for your portfolio

  • Why perfecting your writing to the final percentile is a waste of time

About our guest, Jeff Haden

Jeff Haden is a speaker, ghostwriter, contributing editor (and most-read columnist, averaging nearly 3 million readers a month) for Inc.com, and the author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.

Find Jeff on:

About our host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Boston Content Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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LISTEN NOW on iTunes

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Brennan Dunn is the founder of Double Your Freelancing, a community of over 50,000 freelancers and agencies.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • Why focusing on competitor pricing is a race to the bottom in freelancing

  • How to help your clients deliver on their business goals as a freelance writer

  • The biggest billing mistake you can make as a freelancer

Brennan is giving Content Marketing Playbook listeners an extended trial of RightMessage (2x the normal length) for those who go to rightmessage.com/boscontent

About our guest, Brennan Dunn

Brennan Dunn is the co-founder of rightmessage.com, a product that makes it easy to segment your audience and personalize your website. He's also the founder of Double Your Freelancing, a community of over 50,000 freelancers and agencies.

Find Brennan on:

About our host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Boston Content Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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Today’s guest is Kiera Abbamonte. Kiera is a freelance writer and consultant for software and ecommerce companies. In this podcast you will learn:

  • How to navigate the crossroads of being laid off

  • A mental framework for dealing with pitch rejections

  • How to implement time, productivity, and effort into your rates

About our guest, Kiera Abbamonte

Kiera Abbamonte is a freelance writer and consultant for software and ecommerce companies. She writes high-value blog and web content for the likes of Shopify, Wave, and Kissmetrics, among many more. She is newly relocated to Boston, MA, Kiera loves cinnamon coffee and a good baseball game.

Find Kiera on:


About our host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Content Marketing Playbook Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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Colin Alsheimer is VP of Strategy and Integrated Solutions at Alipes, where he helps clients solve business challenges with holistic and strategic marketing campaigns. When not geeking out on the latest digital trends, you can often find him manning the flippers at Boston’s many pinball haunts. Follow him on Twitter @colinize or send a note to colin@alipes.com to chat.

Marketing agencies occupy a unique and vital role in the corporate marketing landscape––they have the benefit of access to high-quality marketing and creative talent, and often provide a more time- and cost-efficient alternative to building fully staffed in-house teams. Which is why it can feel surprising to see the regularity with which the industry has been proclaimed “dead” or “dying.” From this practitioner’s standpoint, the industry certainly feels as vibrant and rewarding as it has ever been. But, that doesn’t mean the industry is without its flaws.

Corporate consolidation, tightened marketing budgets, poor work, and missed expectations has led some companies to leverage their growing economies of scale to mimic the agency model with their own pseudo agency structures, or by creating internal marketing centers of excellence responsible for everything from creative production to media buying.

In addition, corporate demand for robust expertise across many marketing disciplines has led to massive consolidation at the agency level. Where brands may have once sought out leaders and innovators within a specific practice area, they now go straight to large holding companies that can do it all.

If that weren’t enough, the problems that agencies face extend beyond the simple realities of shifting client demands. At the agency level, there are many limitations inherent in a business structure that relies on selling blocks of time. Time is a finite resource. One employee has (at most) 160 available hours each month. Once that time has been fully allocated (sold), the only mechanism for an agency to increase its available supply of hours is to hire more people or ask their employees to work more hours.

To compensate for these realities, running a profitable and growing agency often means an extreme focus on new business acquisition, reactionary staffing fluctuations, and a workplace culture that tends to encourage long hours and heavy workloads. Too often, agencies are understaffed, overworked, while important client work rests on the backs of too-junior employees who are easiest to leverage (low salary costs + time availability = great returns on human capital).

For clients, their business is more likely than not to be staffed by a collection of overworked, exhausted and entry-level marketers who will provide far less value than their hourly rate might suggest (or that an equivalent in-house hire might provide). Not only does this get in the way of producing great work, but it can lead to mistakes across all areas of the business, including forming the kinds of mutually beneficial relationships that lead to more successful business outcomes.

From the perspective of the employee, their agencies are asking them to work longer hours, wear multiple hats, maximize their billable time, produce work above their experience level, help keep costs down, and make meaningful creative contributions to the projects they are assigned.

It’s no wonder that the agency life that so many of us love frequently ends in burnout or jumping ship to more lucrative and less demanding client-side roles. Combine that with a client pool that is increasingly wary of working with agencies, and it’s easy to see why many would conclude that the agency model is broken and without remedy; particularly when few have offered a feasible path forward. In 2017, Forrester came closest when they issued a report that laid out a four step plan to fix client/agency relationships; primarily focused around breaking down silos and forming deeper relationships.

Taking that framework as a starting point, I believe that we can take things several steps further by rethinking the entire business structure agencies are built upon. In order for an agency to truly thrive, in the face of the realities covered above, we need employees who are both willing and able to act more like business owners and CEOs, making the interests of the business their own (and sharing in the rewards of success).

An owner is willing to go above and beyond. An owner is willing to work overtime and wear multiple hats. An owner is willing to sacrifice luxuries in the name of a more sustainable business. Say what you will about teamwork, purpose and camaraderie; at the end of the day an employee is there for a paycheck to provide a means for a lifestyle that incentivizes working as little as possible for as much as possible; everything a healthy agency does not need.

By making changes to the business structure I believe we can more closely align the needs of the employee with the needs of the business. Instead of simply rewarding employees for a job well done, we reward based on business outcomes that result in healthier, more sustainable organizations and happier clients.

All of this is predicated on the idea that for an agency to consider these changes, they are more likely to be both independent and on the small-to-medium size scale. Most of those independent agencies tend to be set up as a sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation or partnership that places a few key players (such as a founding team) at the top while staff falls in line at various points below. While these structures have been time tested, for reasons outlined above, they don’t fit the needs of today’s agency.

Instead, I propose that these smaller, independent agencies take a very hard look at structures that are built around Employee Stock Ownership Programs, otherwise known as ESOPs. By transferring ownership of the company to its employees, you encourage owner mindsets by allowing employees to share in the rewards of a successful business, in ways that move beyond a steady paycheck. An ESOP also allows the business to enjoy a slew of tax breaks, plus founding members can structure them in ways to maintain important decision making rights or cash out when they are ready, without needing to sell the business or push for acquisition. Plus, in the case of a leveraged ESOP, the business can access a new source of outside capital, helping to smooth out the waves of client work and reduce the occurrence of reactionary staffing decisions, allowing the business to inject more long-term planning into the mix.

Finally, ESOPs provide a new competitive edge for agencies in the battle for talent. The recruiting pitch shifts from highlighting a fun and interesting office environment and a chance at working with notable brands to one that focuses on becoming a part owner of a thriving business entity who shares in its failures and successes (hopefully more of the latter), and translates blood, sweat and tears directly into extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.


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Liz Wellington is a writer and strategic consultant who works in tech and finance. She built a thriving content marketing business in Boston, which she now runs remotely from sunny Spain.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How Liz is still getting work from her network in Boston, despite moving to Spain in early 2018

  • How to negotiate rates and turn down work politely when it doesn’t meet your desired number

  • Why Liz chooses to spread her work across journalism and content marketing even though journalism pays less

“When you grow up and decide you want to be a writer, the business takes as much effort as the work itself.”
— Liz Wellington About our guest, Liz Wellington

Liz Wellington is a writer and strategic consultant who works in tech and finance. She built a thriving content marketing business in Boston, which she now runs remotely from sunny Spain. When Liz isn’t collaborating with clients like Google, Fidelity and GE, she’s writing and photographing her adventures for Vogue, BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Mic.

Find Liz on:

About out host, Adam Rogers

Adam Rogers is the host and producer of the Boston Content Podcast. By day, he is a content marketer at Shopify, the ecommerce platform. By night, he is still Adam Rogers but it's nighttime. He loves writing, but he's sure it hates him. He's a lover of books, music, guitars, and his wife Lacey.

Find Adam on:

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