I’m not a content strategist

Over the last dozen or so years I’ve worked for quite a few companies and on an uncountable (because who can remember) number of digital projects. As you would hope, I did learn things.

The problem is that I don’t know what I am. My role in CS Workflow is Founder. That just means that I do everything needed to get my startup out of obscurity.

This post, and any subsequent posts that follow the same title pattern, are explorations to try to figure out what I am. I figure looking at what I’m not is a good way to cross things off the list.

I’m starting with content strategy and the ‘ist’ of that for two reasons.

The first is Blog Secret Santa (read about how that got started). Being involved with a bunch of real deal content strategists, with the possibility of anonymously sharing content with one of them, showed that I’m not in that club. That’s not because I’m not welcome, but because their CS cred is so strong.

The other reason to start with this specialty is that I’m always looking for content strategists to share the CS Workflow message with. This feels a bit awkward to say, but there are a lot of people who inflate their content strategy expertise. I didn’t want to be one of those people falsely claiming the latest trendy skill set. It’s unfair to the real experts.

I create content, but I’m not a content strategist. I have even created content strategies, but I’m still not a content strategist. A content strategist, at least in my view, has a specialist focus in content strategy, either creating, managing execution or furthering the field.

There isn’t a single definition of content strategy. If you want a good description then check out the often referenced The Discipline of Content Strategy by Kristina Halvorson.

I’m not comfortable claiming that specialty, because the most obvious attribute of the real deal content strategists is focus. It’s also obvious that this focus comes from passion for content strategy, and content in general. I share the passion, but not the focus.

At the moment, about 80% of my time is spent on the CS Workflow product. This is mainly development time, including gathering feedback and planning next steps. The remaining time I have is split between content and trying to get people to use the product.

Fortunately, I’m not in this alone. My lovely wife and partner, Vicky, is flying the content banner. Her background is in educational publishing. Her passion and focus is far more diverse than my own.

 

Through CS Workflow and working with Vicky, I might eventually become focused enough to call myself a content strategist. However, I can’t see our team dynamic changing, or a reduction in development work. With Vicky able to spend more and more time on content (did I mention we have a six-month-old daughter) my focus is likely to only shift more to the product.

Keep an eye out for the CS Workflow blog. The content we’ll produce aims to educate people about content strategy, particularly the workflow and governance component.

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