It is becoming obvious that content creation will become one of the important arbitrators of future business. Creating high quality and customised content will become more rewarding in coming days. Just like all things around us, content will also continue to adapt and thrive.
In this exclusive interview with CoFoundersTown, Shreya Pattar talks about the relevance of content in the coming times.
Q. What, according to you, was the biggest positive for the content industry in 2019?
Content has evolved in a lot of different ways in the past 5-6 years. Earlier, content was thought to be limited to a journal or some news and PR article, but now, content is one of the most important tools used by businesses to survive and attain a certain level of visibility and presence in the market.
The biggest positive in 2019, according to me was the realisation of the importance of content in building a personal brand. Today, you don’t need to be a writer to be a leader in the content industry. Anyone and everyone can express their views or share their stories through content.
Q. With the revolutionisation in the video and audio industry, how much relevance would written content still hold in the next 5 years?
The relevance of quality content is not going to fade away anytime soon. Even in the audio and video industry, you need a script, a story, lyrics… written content can never go away.
Of course, the most important thing would be relevance. Only meaningful content will stand out and be memorable.
The forms of delivering content change with time, but GOOD CONTENT will always remain the key to capture your audience and keep them engaged. That’s how emojis became a part of our daily lives – they understood us.
Q. If you have to explain the importance of content to an organisation that is unsure of investing money in content, how would you do that?
There are many organisations who are already aware of the importance and relevance of content today. I guess I would focus more on working with the organisations who are aware and willing to invest in content rather than trying to convince the ones who are not!
Q. With a limited budget, how should an organisation go about deciding the very first social media platform for branding purposes?
It completely depends on the industry which the organisation is a part of, and most importantly on their target audience. For B2B organisations, the first platform which comes to my mind is LinkedIn. B2C organisations should target as many social media platforms as they can, be it LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or even Tik Tok.
Every platform has its own relevance in the marketing industry. It is very important for organisations to prioritise on the basis of leads they get from various social media platform and the platforms which their target audience uses the most.
If the organisation does not have enough time or money to repurpose multiple pieces of content, then there is no harm in posting the same content on different social media platforms to improve visibility and simply have a presence over the internet. Once the organisation has the resources, they may analyse the progress on the different social media platforms and create relevant content for those platforms.
Q. Which social media platform would be the one to watch out for in the next 2-3 years?
LinkedIn. I personally am a LinkedIn-obsessed writer (smiles)… because LinkedIn has a lot of value offering, be it in terms of putting out content, building a portfolio, building resumes, finding a job, finding leads for freelancing, learning from mentors or getting connected to various industry experts.
LinkedIn is beneficial for both beginners and experts to survive and grow in the professional world. In the next 2-3 years, LinkedIn will most probably be on the top, thanks to its high organic engagement and perfect blend of learners and teachers. I think LinkedIn can be of huge benefit to all in 2020.
Q. LinkedIn has seen a huge increase in the number of users as well as the time being spent on this platform. How can anyone start using this platform to its fullest?
Being on LinkedIn is very important for an individual as well as an organisation. Even just having an account is a good start on LinkedIn.
Initially, people should engage themselves in finding people they like, making connections and updating their profile with pictures and banners which explain their field of expertise and interest. A good start can be looking at different people’s profiles, analysing the kind of content they are putting out, connecting with people from your own industry and various other industries and commenting your opinions and ideas on their posts. In a few weeks, you will start getting ideas for posts, and that’s when you should switch from ”content consumption” mode to ”content creation” mode.
Also, it is really very important that you be kind towards people’s posts in comments. They writers are humans too, and of course, it takes a lot of effort to write that content.
The most important strategy on this platform is staying involved through comments, posts and messages to learn from others’ experience and expertise. You should not care much about the number of likes or comments on your posts because the numbers will go up with time. Just create and share content.
Q. As a content writer, how should one go about deciding an ideal pay structure?
To all the writers who are unable to decide what fee they should charge, I would say, there is no ideal pay structure or fixed fee that can be charged for content.
I think this is the best part of being a content writer because you can charge what you think your content is worthy of. There is no ideal charge for the effort, creativity and expertise of the writers. But the most important thing is that you should always keep improving, experimenting and learning from your past work.
If, as a writer, you feel that the fee you are charging is not justifying the work, then you must redesign your fees. Also, if you are looking for an ideal pay structure, I think you will have to always keep looking!
Q. How should a newbie plan about getting his/her first-ever client?
I don’t think a newbie can ever plan about getting a first client. As a newbie, the first client just ”happens.” The amount of planning, the number of emails sent or the number of references made doesn’t really matter.
It is all about the efforts made to deserve that first client not the efforts made to achieve that first client.
The things which matter the most are what kind of work the person has already done, the quality and consistency of the work and the platforms used to showcase that work. As a content writer, it depends on the frequency of writing content and the quality of content. Let the words and efforts decide whether the newbie deserves that first client or not.
Q. The second half of the last decade saw decision-makers getting more inclined towards personal and brand building, What shift/rise can be expected in this new decade?
This is true. A lot of people ask me about personal branding and building thought leadership. The idea behind this concept is that the customers will trust an individual more than a brand. If someone is the face of their brand, it is that person the audience will trust first.
Now, people, especially decision-makers like CEOs, founders and other board members are starting to realise the importance of building a personal brand because by making the audience trust a person, they aim at increasing the audience’s loyalty towards the brand.
Let me give you my example. I started putting up content last year on LinkedIn which has made people trust me and they really enjoy reading my content (smiles.) I receive comments about my posts being inspirational and a joy to read. A few months ago, I started my Instagram account and I posted about it on LinkedIn. The very next day, I had over 200 followers on a brand new account! That’s how personal branding helps organisations and individuals to channel their audience and cross-promote themselves, their team, their brands and products. I would suggest all the decision-makers to add personal branding to the top of their priority list.
Q. If someone aspires to be a content writer one day, what should be the first thing to do?
Just start writing. There is nothing else you can do.
If you want to be a writer, you need to get up and write. Write anything you want, but start writing something. Write every single day, be it a post on Facebook, Instagram, a small blog, a journal entry about your day or a long message to your friend. Because content writing is all about writing.
Once you start writing every single day, the process of writing, your command over your language and your writing skills will improve. You will get faster and better and there will come a point where you realise whether writing is for you or not. If you can do this every day, for about 3 – 4 months and you are not tired by it, and you still want to explore and keep writing, then is the right time for you to think that you can actually make money from it. That’s when you actually get into the field of content writing.
I would also suggest to probably intern somewhere. An internship could give you a basic idea about digital marketing, PR and other specific forms of writing. Apart from an internship, you could also just write, initially for free or at a low cost for a friend, a few Instagram posts for a friend who is a fitness freak, a few Facebook posts for a friend who sells handmade necklaces, or an effective letter on your sibling’s behalf to the principal for an exemption or something. When you start writing for other people, you will get the hang of eventually learning to write for your clients. If you aspire to be a content writer, stop aspiring and start doing because aspiration is good but is nothing without acting upon it.
So, if you want to write and be a writer, please just start writing.
About Shreya Pattar
Shreya Pattar is a full-time student, full-time writer and full-time Taylor Swift fan. She is committed to her passion for writing, as can be seen through her many exciting posts on LinkedIn. Although she writes all forms and genres of content, Shreya is especially exceptional at LinkedIn marketing, and helping her clients build a successful personal brand. To hire Shreya, drop her a message on LinkedIn!