Eric Doty's freelance writer onboarding template

Eric Doty's freelance writer onboarding template

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Eric Doty, Content Lead at Dock, shares his process and template for onboarding freelance writers to his team.

Successful onboarding leads to long-term success. That principle applies to users, employees, and even freelancers you work with.

Eric Doty, Content Lead at Dock, knows this firsthand as a content freelancer and now as someone who works with freelancers.

Today he shares his Freelancer Onboarding Template for marketing teams.

In this Marketing Powerups episode, you'll learn:

  • Common mistakes marketing leaders make when working with freelancers.
  • The advantages of successfully onboarding freelancers.
  • Eric's process and template for onboarding freelance writers.
  • A career power-up that's accelerated Eric's career.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcast and Spotify now, or watch it on YouTube.

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⭐️ Eric Doty's freelance writer onboarding template

Eric Doty, Content Lead at Dock, knows a thing or two about working with freelance writers. With years of experience as a freelance writer himself, Eric built the ultimate freelancer onboarding template that sets writers up for success.

He created a sample of the template using Dock (how meta right?!?). I've also created a Google Doc version of it that you can download for free.

Eric’s onboarding template has 5 sections:

1. Onboarding next steps.

This checklist gets the contractual basics out of the way first and foremost. It includes action items like signing contracts, submitting payment details, sending article briefs, and monthly invoicing. Ticking these administrative tasks off the to-do list allows writers to focus on what really matters - creating great content.

2. About your company.

Context is everything in content creation. This section gives writers the background they need on Dock - the problem the product solves, who it serves, what makes it stand out from competitors, and what the platform looks like. Armed with this intel, writers can better craft posts that connect with and convert Dock’s target audience.

3. Your target audience.

Speaking of target audience, Eric dives deep in explaining Dock’s ideal customer profile. He goes beyond listing job titles and company sizes. Eric gets specific on the goals and pain points of revenue operations roles in smaller companies. This level of audience insight allows writers to create content that truly resonates.

4. Content examples and guidelines.

No speculation is needed on what Dock’s content pillars and guidelines are. Eric explicitly calls them out in this helpful section, providing examples of successful posts across categories like SEO guides, software recommendations, and thought leadership. With a clear picture of expectations, writers can align editing and creative processes.

Eric shares relevant supplemental materials like podcast episodes on Doc’s content strategy, funding announcements, product release notes, and more. These resources help further educate freelance teams on Dock’s vision and voice.

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    🎉 About Eric Doty

    Eric Doty is a content marketing leader with expertise in SEO and working with freelance writers. He currently serves as the Content Lead at Dock, a sales productivity software company.

    🕰️ Timestamps and transcript

    • [00:00:00] Successful Onboarding of Freelancers
    • [00:00:48] Eric Doty on Onboarding Freelancers
    • [00:06:52] The Benefits of Onboarding Freelance Writers Efficiently
    • [00:11:10] Onboarding Guide for Freelancers at Dock
    • [00:18:52] Product-led Content Strategy at Dock
    • [00:20:00] 42 Agency: The Strategic Partner for B2B SaaS Companies
    • [00:20:49] How to Stand Out as Freelance Writer
    • [00:25:08] Defining the Audience's Expertise Level
    • [00:29:53] Content Onboarding Guide and SEO Philosophy
    • [00:36:49] Building an Onboarding Guide and Workflow for Writers
    • [00:39:31] Dock's Content Strategy Focus on Mid-to-Bottom Funnel
    • [00:45:13] Career Power Ups: The Builder Mindset
    • [00:50:04] Maximizing Value through Comprehensive Leadership
    • [00:51:31] Marketing Powerups Podcast Episode Overview

    Episode transcript

    [00:00:00] Successful Onboarding of Freelancers

    [00:00:00] Ramli John: Successful onboarding leads to long term success.

    [00:00:03] Ramli John: That principle applies to users, employees, and even freelancers that your business works with.

    [00:00:08] Ramli John: Eric Dottie, content lead at Doc, knows this firsthand as a content freelancer and now as someone who works with freelancer.

    [00:00:15] Ramli John: Today he shares his freelancer onboarding template for marketing teams.

    [00:00:18] Ramli John: In this marketing Pops episode, you'll learn, first of all, common mistakes that marketing leaders and teams make when working with freelancers.

    [00:00:24] Ramli John: Second, the advantages of successfully onboarding freelancers.

    [00:00:28] Ramli John: Third, Eric's process and template for onboarding freelance writers and number four, a career power up that's helped accelerate Eric's career.

    [00:00:36] Ramli John: Before I get started, I've created a free power ups cheat sheet that you can help apply and use Eric's freelance onboarding template.

    [00:00:42] Ramli John: You can get it for free marketing or find that link in the show notes and description are you ready?

    [00:00:48] Eric Doty on Onboarding Freelancers and Enhancing Productivity

    [00:00:48] Ramli John: Let's go.

    [00:00:49] Eric Doty: Marketing powerups ready.

    [00:00:54] Eric Doty: Go.

    [00:00:57] Eric Doty: Here's your host, Ramli John, thank you.

    [00:01:01] Ramli John: So much for coming on the show.

    [00:01:02] Ramli John: I'm super excited to be talking to you about onboarding freelancers.

    [00:01:06] Ramli John: Now, you've had quite a great experience around this.

    [00:01:10] Ramli John: You've had several years of experience as a freelance blog writer and SEO consultant.

    [00:01:16] Ramli John: But as well as you have had content leadership roles at Butter and now at Doc, I'm curious, what was the reasoning behind you creating this onboarding doc?

    [00:01:27] Ramli John: I feel like there's a horror story or something behind you.

    [00:01:32] Ramli John: I'm not entirely sure.

    [00:01:33] Ramli John: I'm guessing there is.

    [00:01:35] Ramli John: You got taken on as a freelancer and then I'm curious, is there a story behind you creating this freelancer onboarding?

    [00:01:44] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:01:44] Eric Doty: So I think there's painful horror stories on both sides for most in house content lead type people and who work with freelancers and then being a freelancer.

    [00:01:55] Eric Doty: So I've been a freelancer blog writer for B, two B SaaS companies like, I don't know, 810 years now.

    [00:02:02] Eric Doty: And the hardest part of doing that is that being a freelancer is you're not embedded in the company like a normal content marketer.

    [00:02:11] Eric Doty: So you don't know the product very well.

    [00:02:13] Eric Doty: You don't know the customer very well.

    [00:02:16] Eric Doty: You're normally given like my typical experience is you get plunked into some project management tool like Asana.

    [00:02:24] Eric Doty: You get like a notification that Google Doc was shared with you.

    [00:02:27] Eric Doty: It's like topic keyword one, keyword two.

    [00:02:33] Eric Doty: Oh no, 1000 words.

    [00:02:38] Eric Doty: Go.

    [00:02:38] Eric Doty: Yeah, and it's like go.

    [00:02:41] Eric Doty: And that's like your first interaction with the company.

    [00:02:43] Eric Doty: Or maybe they send you like a 25 page PDF that's like, here's our style guide, here's our really particular grammar.

    [00:02:54] Eric Doty: Things we care about that you'll never remember once you are 1000 words into a blog and like 25 pages of super esoteric requirements or something super broad.

    [00:03:06] Eric Doty: Like every company's style guide says, we write helpful, engaging content that's casual in tone but authoritative, and everyone just describes kind of the same thing.

    [00:03:19] Eric Doty: And I'm like, yeah, okay, I already do that.

    [00:03:22] Eric Doty: Next.

    [00:03:22] Eric Doty: Don't even read it.

    [00:03:23] Eric Doty: Right.

    [00:03:25] Eric Doty: So I found that as a writer, I didn't have enough information to connect the topic I was writing about in the brief back to the company, normally because I didn't have enough starting knowledge about the product I was working for.

    [00:03:39] Eric Doty: So sometimes it's easy if you're a marketer writing about marketing, easy.

    [00:03:44] Eric Doty: I know what, whatever.

    [00:03:45] Eric Doty: I know what a project management tool does and I know the pain points, et cetera.

    [00:03:49] Eric Doty: But if I'm writing for a sales use case at Doc, we're mostly doing sales and onboarding content.

    [00:03:56] Eric Doty: And so I'm sort of adjacent to those things, but I don't actually know the pain points of a sales leader if I'm a freelance writer coming in.

    [00:04:03] Eric Doty: And so part of it is to help the writers based on my own experience doing that.

    [00:04:10] Eric Doty: The flip side, as an in house content person who hires freelancer is the inverse of that problem in that you give an incredible, you're like, okay, I know what a good brief looks like.

    [00:04:22] Eric Doty: I'm going to give them a great brief and you give it to them and then they're like zero mention of your product or a very poor understanding of a product, and they don't have the knowledge of what does it look like to be in there?

    [00:04:39] Eric Doty: What are the things it actually does?

    [00:04:40] Eric Doty: Who are the people it serves?

    [00:04:41] Eric Doty: All those kinds of questions that don't necessarily aren't going to be answered in a brief about one particular topic.

    [00:04:47] Eric Doty: So you need to do this initial education of here's who we are, here's what we care about, our customers, our content strategy, here's what good content looks like, et cetera, and then get into here's an actual assignment.

    [00:05:02] Eric Doty: So there's like pre work that has to happen before the actual work.

    [00:05:05] Eric Doty: And most I find on both ends, most people skip that.

    [00:05:09] Ramli John: I feel like this is all docus, like onboarding.

    [00:05:12] Ramli John: I writer a book about user onboarding, and onboarding is all about setting up people for success.

    [00:05:17] Ramli John: And this is exactly what you're talking about, who you're talking to, what tone do we speak to them what is our product?

    [00:05:25] Ramli John: All of that stuff really just sets up that person, that writer for success, essentially.

    [00:05:32] Eric Doty: Yeah, absolutely.

    [00:05:33] Eric Doty: And then the flip side is, compared to user onboarding, if you don't have a nice onboarding process, then you're going to have to have a really heavy customer success process.

    [00:05:44] Eric Doty: Right?

    [00:05:45] Eric Doty: Where you're constantly answering support tickets, you're always trying to wedge in there to upsell or whatever.

    [00:05:53] Eric Doty: You're creating more work for yourself by not just setting the client up for success or the user up for success in the beginning.

    [00:05:59] Eric Doty: And it's kind of the same.

    [00:06:00] Eric Doty: So if I can invest, this is sort of a flat piece of time to make an onboarding guide for our writers.

    [00:06:07] Eric Doty: And of course I go through and adapt it every once in a while.

    [00:06:09] Eric Doty: Like we might launch a new product or I might change my standards on something or whatever it is, but that's mostly just an upfront cost that I can always then just pass that over to the writer.

    [00:06:22] Eric Doty: It saves me so much editing every time I edit a blog post.

    [00:06:27] Eric Doty: Where do you eight to 15 blog posts a month.

    [00:06:30] Eric Doty: If I can save myself even half an hour a post for one month, that pays off the time I spent putting into making that guide.

    [00:06:39] Eric Doty: Right.

    [00:06:40] Eric Doty: And now I'm saving hundreds of hours just making sure the writer is equipped with how to make the connections between the topic and our company and speaking to the right audience and things like that.

    [00:06:52] The Benefits of Onboarding Freelance Writers Efficiently

    [00:06:52] Ramli John: I just want to reiterate what you said there.

    [00:06:54] Ramli John: It saves you so much hours as the person who's onboarding freelancers because you're not editing as much.

    [00:07:02] Ramli John: Would you say that somebody who's like a freelance writer who's onboarded well versus somebody who's not the editing on your end, the content lead is less.

    [00:07:12] Ramli John: Is that a fair thing to say?

    [00:07:14] Eric Doty: Yeah, absolutely.

    [00:07:14] Eric Doty: And I think with any freelancer relationship, whether you've onboarded them well or not, you should have lots of feedback in the beginning and then that feedback should decrease over time.

    [00:07:23] Eric Doty: So you're always looking.

    [00:07:24] Eric Doty: I mean, the reason you work with freelancers versus inside hires is normally to save on time or save on costs or both.

    [00:07:33] Eric Doty: Or maybe you have other reasons about headcount, but that aside, the whole point is to create some efficiency for yourself, like less people to manage or whatever it is.

    [00:07:42] Eric Doty: So if you're not thinking about how can I save more time on this process, then you're not thinking about it the right way.

    [00:07:50] Eric Doty: And so, just to go back to your question, I definitely see a reduction in the first two or three times we work with somebody after we created this guide because I thought it might be overkill to do.

    [00:08:01] Eric Doty: Once people look at it, you'll see there's a lot to read.

    [00:08:04] Eric Doty: It maybe takes like half an hour, an hour for people to go through, but it also sets expectations on what it's going to be like to work with us.

    [00:08:14] Eric Doty: We have some steps, like, here's how we're going to pay you.

    [00:08:20] Eric Doty: Here's how I'm going to evaluate your first article with us.

    [00:08:25] Eric Doty: Just fill in these sort of gaps, too.

    [00:08:27] Eric Doty: So it's not just like a writing style guide you're releasing.

    [00:08:32] Eric Doty: I'll just wrap up that thought.

    [00:08:34] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:08:34] Eric Doty: Because I think a lot of being a freelancer, there's so much uncertainty, right.

    [00:08:38] Eric Doty: You don't know when the next paycheck is going to come sometimes.

    [00:08:43] Eric Doty: And keeping writers on board with us is a priority, or keeping good writers especially.

    [00:08:49] Eric Doty: And so by just sort of putting my cards on the table and being transparent about what our processes are like, what it's like to work with us, it then sort of gives them the peace of mind to just do the work well or stick around with us or whatever it is, they just feel like I'm a partner with them and not just like this transactional keyword, brief sender person who might disappear at any moment.

    [00:09:14] Ramli John: That's exactly what I was thinking as well.

    [00:09:16] Ramli John: I think it goes back to onboarding users or customers.

    [00:09:20] Ramli John: It sets it up for long term success or retention.

    [00:09:23] Ramli John: And this is essentially what I just heard from you, is that setting a clear expectation what success looks like and how they're going to get paid and other information, it really helps them feel good about working with you so that when they're thinking about, should I work with Eric from Doc or should I work with this other person that I don't know.

    [00:09:44] Ramli John: I don't know if they're going to onboard very well, they're going to go with somebody that they already have a good working relationship with already, essentially.

    [00:09:50] Eric Doty: Yeah, absolutely.

    [00:09:52] Eric Doty: And yeah, I think there's not complete loyalty in either direction for freelancers and those hiring freelancers, which is okay, I think that's understood.

    [00:10:02] Eric Doty: It's sort of part of the agreement.

    [00:10:04] Eric Doty: But the little things you can do to create relationships that are not just so transactional, I think that goes a long way to.

    [00:10:14] Eric Doty: It also helps.

    [00:10:15] Eric Doty: Like, I'm going to give lots of feedback on the writing.

    [00:10:19] Eric Doty: I'm the same person who's going to be editing the articles.

    [00:10:21] Eric Doty: If we can have a little bit of trust in that relationship before I start putting like 200 line edits on your blog.

    [00:10:29] Eric Doty: I hate it as a freelancer when I'm, I've worked with whoever I've wrote in this blog post and then suddenly some random person who didn't make the brief, who isn't the person I'm working with, comes in and makes like 200 edits on what I'm writing and just tears it to shreds.

    [00:10:48] Eric Doty: And I'm like, wait, these aren't the expectations that were set by this other person.

    [00:10:52] Eric Doty: Can you clarify?

    [00:10:53] Eric Doty: And then suddenly I don't trust this person at all and I just fear this evil editor.

    [00:11:00] Eric Doty: And it's really different if you can be on the same page with your writer and make sure that that's not so messy and stressful.

    [00:11:10] Onboarding Guide for Freelancers at Doc

    [00:11:10] Ramli John: I actually want to jump in and talk about your onboarding guide for freelancers.

    [00:11:15] Ramli John: I'm curious what's included it.

    [00:11:16] Ramli John: I know you put this together.

    [00:11:18] Ramli John: I love what you put in your one man product led content team, Doc.

    [00:11:23] Ramli John: You put this together, feel free to share it.

    [00:11:26] Ramli John: And for people who are checking this out on YouTube, they can check this out as well.

    [00:11:30] Ramli John: But I will be talking about it here as well.

    [00:11:33] Ramli John: So what is included in that onboarding.

    [00:11:38] Eric Doty: For?

    [00:11:38] Eric Doty: Yeah, for those watching, hopefully we can show it on screen.

    [00:11:41] Eric Doty: I'm not going to screen share at this exact moment, but I'll just sort of walk through what's in there and why it's in there.

    [00:11:46] Eric Doty: So we've actually built, part of the reason I made this actually is because at Doc we make basically workspaces or hubs for working with, for doing sales and onboarding to basically pull in lots of resources into one place that makes collaborating with someone easier during the sales or the onboarding process.

    [00:12:08] Eric Doty: So the typical use case for Doc would be like, I'm selling you software.

    [00:12:12] Eric Doty: I'm going to have a checklist of things I need you to do.

    [00:12:15] Eric Doty: I'm going to have a PDF with whatever the slide deck I presented to you.

    [00:12:21] Eric Doty: We're going to have case studies in there.

    [00:12:22] Eric Doty: We're going to have videos embedded in there.

    [00:12:24] Eric Doty: It's basically just like a hub for all the sales content.

    [00:12:26] Eric Doty: And as a marketer working at a company like this, I don't have that sales use case, but I was like, okay, how do I dog food our own product and use it for myself?

    [00:12:37] Eric Doty: And so I came up with the idea of this onboarding hub and I previously would have done it in a tool, probably just like Google Docs or notion or something like that.

    [00:12:46] Eric Doty: But what's nice about Doc, this wasn't meant to be a sales pitch.

    [00:12:50] Eric Doty: I'm just prefacing why I love it.

    [00:12:53] Eric Doty: But with Doc, the use case is actually to make like a one to one for each customer.

    [00:12:59] Eric Doty: So you can throw in the customer's name and then copy it from a template, and it'll personalize the workspace.

    [00:13:07] Eric Doty: So it's just like a one to one hub, and you can see when they're looking at it, for example, you can see what content they've clicked on.

    [00:13:13] Eric Doty: And so for me, with using it for the onboarding use case for a writer, I'm actually able to see if they went into the guide to their personal guide and looked at it.

    [00:13:23] Eric Doty: I'm able to see what.

    [00:13:26] Ramli John: Ramley, you didn't check this out.

    [00:13:28] Ramli John: This is the reason why this article sucks.

    [00:13:31] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:13:31] Eric Doty: And I never call them out on it, but I know, of course, I'm like, okay, this person didn't.

    [00:13:37] Eric Doty: I shared this article.

    [00:13:39] Eric Doty: It was a really good example, and they didn't click through to it or whatever.

    [00:13:45] Eric Doty: There was a natural sort of adjacent use case.

    [00:13:48] Eric Doty: Even though this wasn't exactly what Doc was built for, it's still an onboarding hub.

    [00:13:53] Eric Doty: So it's perfect for this sort of onboarding case with a writer.

    [00:13:56] Ramli John: There's a question.

    [00:13:57] Ramli John: Do you customize each, like, what do.

    [00:14:00] Eric Doty: You call it, Doc or docket or a workspace?

    [00:14:03] Ramli John: Yeah, a workspace.

    [00:14:04] Ramli John: Do you customize these workspace for each freelancer?

    [00:14:06] Ramli John: So it says like, hey, Ramley, here's like blah, blah, here's some stuff.

    [00:14:10] Eric Doty: So what you can do is you can make one template that's like your writer onboarding Template, and then you can add the person as an account and it syncs with HubSpot or something if you have it.

    [00:14:23] Eric Doty: But obviously, normally we'd use it for customers.

    [00:14:25] Eric Doty: So I don't have our freelance writer in HubSpot, but I can add their picture and their name, and then we have fields for freelancer name or their picture, and then my name and my picture, and I can just copy the template and it'll automatically populate it with all their info.

    [00:14:42] Eric Doty: So in my case, it's literally just like, hey, Ramley, at the top.

    [00:14:45] Eric Doty: And that's all I need to do to personalize it.

    [00:14:48] Eric Doty: But yeah, so at the top of the guide, it just says, welcome to Doc.

    [00:14:54] Eric Doty: Excited to work with you.

    [00:14:55] Eric Doty: Here's who I am.

    [00:14:57] Eric Doty: Here's Eric, here's my LinkedIn, here's my email, just in case you ever need it.

    [00:15:01] Eric Doty: Bam, right at the top here.

    [00:15:03] Eric Doty: And then I jump into an actual checklist of prefacing, like, okay, this is a big long document thing.

    [00:15:12] Eric Doty: Here's all the steps that we need to do together to get you onboarded in Doc, onboarded as a freelancer.

    [00:15:19] Eric Doty: So it's like step one, read everything in this doc, easy.

    [00:15:23] Eric Doty: They can check it off when they're done.

    [00:15:25] Eric Doty: Two, sign a contractor agreement.

    [00:15:28] Eric Doty: We need to send them a docusign type thing for them to work with us.

    [00:15:33] Eric Doty: So we just want to put all that in here so they know that that's what's going to happen.

    [00:15:38] Eric Doty: I have lots of freelance clients that don't tell me how they want to pay me or they leave that up to me.

    [00:15:46] Eric Doty: So we just sort of put that front and center.

    [00:15:48] Eric Doty: And again, it takes the uncertainty out of that part.

    [00:15:53] Eric Doty: I also give them a link to book a call with me if they want.

    [00:15:56] Eric Doty: Not all freelancers take me up on this.

    [00:15:59] Eric Doty: Some do.

    [00:15:59] Eric Doty: I find it's better when they do.

    [00:16:02] Ramli John: Do they ask?

    [00:16:04] Ramli John: I just want to get to know.

    [00:16:05] Eric Doty: You sometimes that most of the time, though, it's to talk about the first article because it's like a test process where I'm going to give them a brief and they're going to write an article.

    [00:16:18] Eric Doty: And so normally they'll use that as an opportunity to interview me for the article and then I have a checklist on.

    [00:16:26] Eric Doty: Like here's our process for just laying out the steps for what it looks like to go through one blog with us, which is pretty standard, but I think it's nice.

    [00:16:35] Eric Doty: Some people don't know, for example, how many edit rounds are expected or should they tag me in the Google Docs?

    [00:16:45] Eric Doty: All these annoying little questions I just sort of put out there.

    [00:16:48] Eric Doty: So it's just like, send the brief, I'll send you the brief.

    [00:16:52] Eric Doty: You can interview somebody if you want for the article.

    [00:16:56] Eric Doty: You'll write the draft, I'll give you one round of initial feedback, then you'll do revisions, and then I'll do final edits on it and publish it.

    [00:17:05] Eric Doty: So I just put that in the open.

    [00:17:07] Eric Doty: Everybody knows that there's going to be two rounds of edits, and beyond that you'll invoice us once a month, we'll pay you for that, and then we'll just work together going forward.

    [00:17:19] Eric Doty: So that's kind of like laying out the process, right?

    [00:17:24] Eric Doty: Then the rest of the onboarding guide is basically a bunch of educational content about Doc so that they understand who we are, what we talk about, and then content guidelines for sort of what are our expectations for the content itself.

    [00:17:42] Eric Doty: So we share the actual sales deck that we present to people in that guide so they can see our messaging.

    [00:17:50] Eric Doty: We just embed that as a PDF and they can click through.

    [00:17:53] Eric Doty: They can see how we talk about our problem space.

    [00:17:56] Eric Doty: I give them a bullet list of like, here are the main reasons that people choose Doc, like what problems they're trying to solve for themselves.

    [00:18:04] Eric Doty: It's a little complicated because we have a few use cases and we have a few problems people are trying to solve.

    [00:18:08] Eric Doty: And that's not immediately obvious.

    [00:18:10] Eric Doty: If you just click through our website, I find normally that's that piece of content you get given as a writer.

    [00:18:16] Eric Doty: It's like, here, go look at our website.

    [00:18:19] Eric Doty: And then I include a full 14 minutes demo video that our CEO gives of the product.

    [00:18:25] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:18:25] Eric Doty: So it's like they can kind of sit in on the sales process like Async because of these things we give them.

    [00:18:33] Eric Doty: And I've never been given that as a writer.

    [00:18:36] Eric Doty: I don't know if that's weird or maybe it's just something that people don't think about because they're in content and not in sales or whatever.

    [00:18:43] Eric Doty: So they don't think about the sales content as helpful for writers, but it definitely is.

    [00:18:52] Eric Doty on Product-led Content Strategy at Dock

    [00:18:52] Eric Doty: I'm just going to keep riffing, unless you have a question, then.

    [00:18:57] Eric Doty: What I think is also really useful is I share our product announcements in there.

    [00:19:02] Eric Doty: So Doc is sort of pieced together by sort of like four or five core products that make the doc platform.

    [00:19:09] Eric Doty: So I include the intro blog that we wrote, like the announcement blog with a demo video for each of our products.

    [00:19:17] Eric Doty: So if someone read through all of those and watched all the videos, they would know our product and what we do and all the pieces of it.

    [00:19:27] Eric Doty: Because sometimes it's not obvious we have a topic about sales proposals, or say the blog is about sales proposals.

    [00:19:34] Eric Doty: It's not super clear what the tie in to Doc would be necessarily.

    [00:19:39] Eric Doty: You can kind of sort of connect the dots, but once you know all the products, you're like, okay, the order forms product would be really useful for that because we try to be so product led in our content where we're like, okay, here's the thing.

    [00:19:51] Eric Doty: Here's some best practices for it, and here's how to do it in Doc.

    [00:19:54] Eric Doty: That it would be hard to do that without having seen the product.

    [00:19:59] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:20:00] 42 Agency: The Strategic Partner for B2B SaaS Companies to Build Predictable Revenue Engine

    [00:20:00] Ramli John: Before I continue, I want to thank the sponsor for this episode 42 Agency.

    [00:20:04] Ramli John: Now, when you're in scale up growth mode and you have to hit your KPIs, the pressure is on to deliver demos and sign ups.

    [00:20:11] Ramli John: And it's a lot to handle.

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    [00:20:15] Ramli John: And that's where 42 agency founded by my good friend Camille Rexton can help you.

    [00:20:20] Ramli John: They're a strategic partner that's helped B two B SaaS companies like Profit, AWOL, Teamwork, Sprout Social and hubdoc to build a predictable revenue engine.

    [00:20:29] Ramli John: If you're looking for performance experts and creatives to solve your marketing growth problems today and help you build the foundations for the future, look no further.

    [00:20:38] Ramli John: Visit 42 to talk to a strategist right now to learn how you can build a high efficiency revenue engine.

    [00:20:45] Ramli John: Or you can also find that link in the show notes and description.

    [00:20:49] Conversation on how an in-house content person wants the freelancer to create content

    [00:20:49] Ramli John: Well, that's it for now.

    [00:20:49] Ramli John: Let's get back to the episode.

    [00:20:51] Ramli John: So you're really setting them up for what is a product and then not just like what is it?

    [00:20:55] Ramli John: How is it useful why our customers chose us compared to other competitors?

    [00:21:01] Ramli John: Here's our product lines.

    [00:21:03] Ramli John: And essentially they should know what Doc is by this point of this onboarding workspace.

    [00:21:10] Eric Doty: Yeah, for sure.

    [00:21:14] Eric Doty: And then I think the next piece, which is super important in our content that I feel like when I'm a writer, I loosely get given the target audience, but it's always too vague or too general to do anything about it.

    [00:21:30] Eric Doty: So for example, I've done blogs for an HR software company and the ICP I got was like, or the ideal customer profile was like HR leaders.

    [00:21:47] Eric Doty: Okay.

    [00:21:48] Eric Doty: And that was it, right?

    [00:21:49] Eric Doty: It's like just a job title.

    [00:21:52] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:21:53] Eric Doty: What do they care about?

    [00:21:54] Eric Doty: What problems are we solving for them?

    [00:21:56] Eric Doty: I'm assuming there's lots.

    [00:21:57] Eric Doty: I know HR leaders, they've got 1000 problems they deal with every day.

    [00:22:02] Eric Doty: What are we solving?

    [00:22:03] Eric Doty: Right?

    [00:22:05] Eric Doty: So in ours we're like, okay, we write for revenue leaders.

    [00:22:09] Eric Doty: So yes, I gave you the job title.

    [00:22:10] Eric Doty: I specify that revenue leaders is like sales, customer success, marketing, revenue ops.

    [00:22:17] Eric Doty: And then we specify it's typically people who are like C suite VPs, department heads.

    [00:22:22] Eric Doty: But then we specify that we work best with mid market companies or smaller companies like under 500 people.

    [00:22:30] Eric Doty: And they often have lots of little point solutions to manage each of these problems that they have because they can't afford the big enterprise tools that cost tens of thousands of dollars a month.

    [00:22:43] Eric Doty: So they have one tool for an esignature, one tool for a proposal, one tool for whatever managing their sales content.

    [00:22:51] Eric Doty: And so we really want to speak to those pain points, for example, that this tool can do all those things for the same cost.

    [00:23:04] Eric Doty: And then we explain in this guide as well, what are their jobs to be done and what are their pain points with those?

    [00:23:09] Eric Doty: So just one example would be that because they're in B two B sales and B two B sales have gotten really complex with lots of stakeholders.

    [00:23:19] Eric Doty: They're selling to a buyer and then they learn halfway through the sales process that that buyer actually has to go internally and convince 15 other people to buy the software.

    [00:23:29] Eric Doty: And they don't have a good way of enabling that buyer to enable their to pitch the product to their own sales team.

    [00:23:37] Eric Doty: So we explained to our freelance writer here at Doc, that is the pain point that we should hit on in every single article, this buyer enablement concept and how Doc helps them do that because it gives them one space to then they can take a Doc workspace and then share that with internally inside their company and then they become kind of like the internal sales rep and you've given them the tool to do that.

    [00:24:02] Eric Doty: So that's just an example of that topic can come up in every single one of our articles and that would be great.

    [00:24:09] Eric Doty: We're totally fine repeating that because that's the real pain point and that's what we want to be surfaced.

    [00:24:15] Eric Doty: So we give them like three or four talking points like that that say, if this fits for the subject, say it right.

    [00:24:21] Eric Doty: And I feel like as a freelancer I'll be given samples of content on a company's website.

    [00:24:30] Eric Doty: But then, I don't know, do they want me to say that again?

    [00:24:35] Eric Doty: Are they going to think it's plagiarizing?

    [00:24:36] Eric Doty: Are they thinking they're wasting their money hiring a freelancer who just copied what they said in another article and reworded it.

    [00:24:44] Eric Doty: But realistically, now that I'm an in house content person, I know that that's actually what I want.

    [00:24:50] Eric Doty: It would be weird if we said something different every time because our product does.

    [00:24:54] Eric Doty: It solves a handful of pain points and those are the big things we should always say.

    [00:25:00] Eric Doty: So I think it's giving the freelancer the green light to talk about the same things that we've already talked about and not feel guilty about it.

    [00:25:07] Ramli John: So good.

    [00:25:08] Effective Content Tailoring and Defining the Audience's Expertise Level

    [00:25:08] Ramli John: And one thing I love about this, there's a section here mentioned about our target audience, less focused on job titles and more about the jobs to be done.

    [00:25:18] Ramli John: I feel like that's so good.

    [00:25:20] Ramli John: It's really focusing in on here are the core problems that our buyers, our target audience really cares about.

    [00:25:28] Ramli John: And if there's any way you can press that wound deeper in the article somehow or really highlight that pain, it's so much more effective to convey how content can potentially solve and help those buyers with whatever put together for that.

    [00:25:48] Eric Doty: And we don't expect a freelance writer to be an expert in what are the pain points of a sales leader?

    [00:25:53] Eric Doty: Because they aren't one.

    [00:25:58] Eric Doty: Normally what happens is you hire a freelancer and they say as a sales leader, your job is difficult.

    [00:26:05] Eric Doty: Every article starts that way, right?

    [00:26:08] Eric Doty: It doesn't have relevant anecdotes or relevant pain points because it just is like, here's the job title, I hope you are.

    [00:26:16] Eric Doty: Now I'm going to talk about the topic.

    [00:26:18] Eric Doty: And so that's why we really want to give them sort of the jobs to be done or pain points.

    [00:26:23] Eric Doty: The other point that we bring up in this section about our audience is that I think I mentioned it more later, but in the guide.

    [00:26:31] Eric Doty: But the expertise level of the audience is going to be like medium to high.

    [00:26:40] Eric Doty: And therefore you can actually do yourself a disservice by being too 101 with the content, which if you're writing for sort of like project management software where any user can sign up for the product and you can do product led growth from there, then great.

    [00:27:02] Eric Doty: But for us, we've learned that if we don't have a sales leader or success leader as the main buying champion like person reading our article and then contacting our sales team, sales don't happen.

    [00:27:20] Eric Doty: So we pretty much just tailor all of our content to speak to.

    [00:27:25] Eric Doty: So, you know, you don't need to say what is a CRM?

    [00:27:30] Eric Doty: And say, like in brackets, customer relationship manager.

    [00:27:33] Eric Doty: And then say a CRM is where you save, they live and breathe CRM.

    [00:27:42] Eric Doty: It's that Ron Swanson meme of like, I know more than like.

    [00:27:50] Eric Doty: But that's important to know because, especially because we're asking people to write articles that rank well for SEO.

    [00:27:56] Eric Doty: And so the habit is to say, what is a sales proposal?

    [00:28:03] Eric Doty: And then define it.

    [00:28:04] Eric Doty: And it's like, okay, maybe we want that question in the article, but maybe we're not going to just say a sales proposal is XYZ.

    [00:28:11] Eric Doty: We might say a sales proposal versus a quote.

    [00:28:16] Eric Doty: Like, here's what you're trying to accomplish to the sales proposal versus sending a customer a quote or something like that, right?

    [00:28:21] Eric Doty: Just take it to a level that shows some opinion or level of expertise that would appeal to a leader or just treat them as a smart person kind of, and not as like a, I don't know.

    [00:28:32] Eric Doty: I don't know if people normally have a reader in mind but speak to a level of expertise that would impress your boss and not just some random reader.

    [00:28:42] Eric Doty: Right.

    [00:28:43] Eric Doty: And so we give them the green light to do that and skip the one on one stuff.

    [00:28:47] Ramli John: I think that's so important because if you speak too low, people are like, this is not for me.

    [00:28:52] Ramli John: This is boring.

    [00:28:53] Ramli John: Or if it's too high, I'm not this smart.

    [00:28:58] Ramli John: It's finding that balance and you're giving them direction as to like, hey, you don't have to explain what CRM stands for.

    [00:29:05] Ramli John: I just know what that is.

    [00:29:07] Ramli John: Because if you did explain that people are like, this is a one on one content, I don't feel like this is really content.

    [00:29:14] Ramli John: That's for me.

    [00:29:15] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:29:16] Eric Doty: I mean, I think about it as something that you're an expert in.

    [00:29:19] Eric Doty: If you landed on some product's website and you're a content or an SEO expert and they start defining SEO and they start explaining the SERPS and they explain, or what organic traffic is, you're like, all right, this isn't for me.

    [00:29:35] Eric Doty: There's no way in the next 1000 words this is going to get to a level that is going to provide me a benefit.

    [00:29:43] Eric Doty: So you have to start there.

    [00:29:44] Eric Doty: And so, yeah, it's just like I said, just giving them the green light to skip that stuff.

    [00:29:51] Ramli John: That's good.

    [00:29:53] Dock: Content Onboarding Guide and SEO Philosophy

    [00:29:53] Ramli John: And then I'm guessing you provide some examples of like, here are great content and here are some other.

    [00:29:59] Ramli John: Is that included in this onboarding guide?

    [00:30:04] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:30:04] Eric Doty: So we give examples of, we have a few different types of articles.

    [00:30:09] Eric Doty: So some things are mostly written for SEO.

    [00:30:13] Eric Doty: We still try to make them opinionated and we still try to make them, like I said, like expertise level.

    [00:30:18] Eric Doty: We try to integrate the product.

    [00:30:20] Eric Doty: But I want to give examples of what I feel are the best articles because sometimes you can, on the freelancing side, you just pull up sort of the three most recent articles on the site and you're like, okay, here's my quality bar, or here's the formatting they like or whatever, versus I know on the in house side that sometimes we'll get an article from a freelancer that I don't love, but it was written, I'll bring it up to some quality standard.

    [00:30:49] Eric Doty: I feel like it's fine to publish and I'll publish it because you have to move on and you have to have some sort of velocity in your content workflow.

    [00:30:55] Eric Doty: You can't edit everything forever or just throw it in the garbage.

    [00:31:00] Eric Doty: So I don't want any article sitting on the site to be a quality bar.

    [00:31:05] Eric Doty: I guess that might be obvious advice, but I'm not often given, like, here's three pieces that you should emulate when writing this one.

    [00:31:13] Eric Doty: And then, especially when it comes to our software guides, anyone who does content in house knows that sort of like a software roundup is a good SEO play.

    [00:31:22] Eric Doty: So like client portal software.

    [00:31:25] Eric Doty: And then here's ten tools that are helpful for this, and it tends to rank well.

    [00:31:31] Eric Doty: But we try to again write those guides in a way that might appeal to leadership in some way that will make us stand out from other articles like this.

    [00:31:39] Eric Doty: So we try to add a layer of opinion to those, or we sort tools into categories that were like, if you're a big company, consider these four.

    [00:31:46] Eric Doty: If you're a smaller company, consider these four.

    [00:31:49] Eric Doty: We try to do something like that in those articles.

    [00:31:51] Eric Doty: So that's pretty much the most important example in our case of like, okay, don't copy the software guides that you know and you've written before.

    [00:32:01] Eric Doty: We're going to do it this way, which is slightly differently.

    [00:32:05] Ramli John: That makes sense.

    [00:32:06] Ramli John: And I also like how you separated this too, where you have the SEO guides here, here's the software guides, and I think a little bit lower.

    [00:32:14] Ramli John: You have the thought leadership stuff.

    [00:32:16] Ramli John: So you're very clear as to here are different types of content that we are writing, and here are examples of each of those type of content, essentially.

    [00:32:27] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:32:27] Eric Doty: And it's helpful if they see some of our thought leadership stuff that comes from our CEO normally, or I'll interview him and write it up, but we don't expect the articles that we're signing out to look like those ones.

    [00:32:40] Eric Doty: So I just want to make that clear in case they come across them.

    [00:32:43] Ramli John: Though in the content guidelines, you do say, hey, provide a unique angle.

    [00:32:47] Ramli John: I think that's important because hopefully they give something unique and then you even offer suggestion as to like, if you need some inspiration, look at our value props.

    [00:32:58] Ramli John: So you're just giving them some freedom essentially to have an opinion, create an opinionated article.

    [00:33:06] Eric Doty: Yeah, and I normally give them that opinion in the brief.

    [00:33:12] Eric Doty: I do pretty detailed briefs, but I'll give kind of a whole outline of the article.

    [00:33:16] Eric Doty: But I'll explain if we're giving tips on how to send a sales proposal, we'll say it's better not to send a PDF because PDFs, it's hard to get forwarded around or they get lost or you need to update a version.

    [00:33:31] Eric Doty: So that's an example of I'll give the writer that opinion because that probably isn't in any of the other.

    [00:33:36] Eric Doty: If they're just looking at the top ranking articles and the Serps from other companies about sales proposals, they'll probably just talk more about the usual stuff.

    [00:33:45] Eric Doty: And so we normally have, I'm very close to our CEO, who's very close to our product team.

    [00:33:52] Eric Doty: So I have all these, like, I know all of our unique value propositions in our head and I can connect them back to the topic much more easily than the writer can, even though they've read all this.

    [00:34:01] Eric Doty: And so I try to equip them with that opinion in the brief.

    [00:34:04] Eric Doty: And then I make it very clear that we want the articles to sound opinionated.

    [00:34:09] Eric Doty: Yeah, some of these content guidelines are not groundbreaking or anything, but we're kind of doing, I mean, I say unique, maybe everyone's trying to do this, but we don't want our SEO oriented content to just be like basic regurgitation stuff.

    [00:34:30] Eric Doty: We want it to have Doc's voice in it, even though it's for SEO, because again, we hope a leader lands on it and then says, oh, these people really understand sales.

    [00:34:39] Eric Doty: They really understand my problems.

    [00:34:44] Eric Doty: There's a lot of tips in here, but some of them, like we said before, pray for experts, avoid speaking down to the audience.

    [00:34:50] Eric Doty: Be product forward, lead with your point, rather than putting at the bottom of a paragraph, just sort of tips like that that a lot of good writers will already know, but it's good reminders.

    [00:35:02] Eric Doty: And then the big thing that, like I mentioned before, I normally get like a 25 page guide that has all these writing guidelines or grammar or whatever, and I think it's too difficult to make writers change those things.

    [00:35:17] Eric Doty: I give really loose writing style guidelines, like we capitalize sales if it's referring to the sales team, but we don't capitalize it if it's referring to the word sales.

    [00:35:33] Eric Doty: Just like a couple of little things like that.

    [00:35:36] Eric Doty: I use sentence case for headings instead of title case, and that's kind of it.

    [00:35:42] Eric Doty: Those are the grammar things they do.

    [00:35:43] Eric Doty: Otherwise, it's just my personal annoying things, how I like to do grammar.

    [00:35:48] Eric Doty: And I'm not going to make you do that.

    [00:35:50] Eric Doty: When writing an article for us, you'll see the edits I give on the first article or two.

    [00:35:55] Eric Doty: But I think it's a waste of time to try to reteach somebody a style guide.

    [00:36:00] Eric Doty: And I don't care about MLA or Chicago style or whatever.

    [00:36:03] Eric Doty: Who cares?

    [00:36:04] Eric Doty: The article just needs to be good.

    [00:36:07] Eric Doty: Who cares how you use hyphens or whatever, right?

    [00:36:12] Eric Doty: So I try to take the attention away from that.

    [00:36:15] Eric Doty: I only have a couple of bullet points and put it more on what's our content philosophy kind of thing.

    [00:36:20] Ramli John: That's so good.

    [00:36:21] Ramli John: I think that makes a ton of sense.

    [00:36:24] Ramli John: That's something that they can, I guess, learn over time.

    [00:36:27] Ramli John: Like whatever.

    [00:36:27] Ramli John: I know you have some details here about Oxford comma, and there's no spaces around M dashes, but the other stuff, I think having a 25 page just on style guide, just the overkill a little bit is what I'm hearing here.

    [00:36:43] Eric Doty: Yeah, and normally I'll have to bring this up in the first article anyway, but I just throw it in there.

    [00:36:48] Eric Doty: Why not?

    [00:36:49] Eric Doty on Building an Onboarding Guide and Workflow for Writers

    [00:36:49] Eric Doty: Yeah, and then we just finish our guide with like here's our funding announcement article.

    [00:36:56] Eric Doty: Here's an article we wrote in Superpath about our content strategy.

    [00:37:00] Eric Doty: Here's an example of a doc workspace that someone can go into.

    [00:37:05] Eric Doty: We also have some on our website, so it's free for them to sign up too.

    [00:37:10] Eric Doty: I've had some writer just create their own doc account and just mess around with it.

    [00:37:16] Eric Doty: And then I used to share our product roadmap too, just so they could see what was coming in case there was something relevant to the topic that they wanted to ask about.

    [00:37:25] Eric Doty: But I think it's less relevant now, so I just took it out because this is already a lot.

    [00:37:31] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:37:31] Eric Doty: And so that's our writer's guide.

    [00:37:33] Eric Doty: And then, like I said before, I make a copy of this for each person so they can check off tasks like steps in the process.

    [00:37:41] Eric Doty: They can leave comments on things if they want, they can ask questions and I can spy on them to know what they're looking at.

    [00:37:50] Ramli John: Do you create one of these for different types?

    [00:37:56] Ramli John: Is it fair to say this is more like SEO article focused than I know you're looking for a free answer for the podcast.

    [00:38:02] Ramli John: Would you create a different type of.

    [00:38:04] Ramli John: I guess you would adjust the onboarding guide for them.

    [00:38:08] Ramli John: Here's the link to our podcast.

    [00:38:09] Ramli John: Here's some articles.

    [00:38:11] Ramli John: Do you do that for different types of freelancer?

    [00:38:14] Eric Doty: Yeah, I have a couple of people who are helping us write pages like our template, product template pages.

    [00:38:21] Eric Doty: So it'll be like customer onboarding template or sales proposal template, et cetera.

    [00:38:26] Eric Doty: We have those on our site and that content is slightly different.

    [00:38:29] Eric Doty: So I made just a different doc template for one of those and 90% of the content overlaps.

    [00:38:36] Eric Doty: Doc actually lets you do a synced section, so I can put that section in a template and then if I update that section one place, it updates everywhere.

    [00:38:46] Eric Doty: So I could update our style guidelines, for example, and it will update across every writer's thing.

    [00:38:54] Eric Doty: So little things like that.

    [00:38:55] Eric Doty: Yeah, so I have a couple.

    [00:38:57] Eric Doty: I also actually use it when I invite someone to our podcast or to be a case study.

    [00:39:03] Eric Doty: I have a doc workspace for those people too that has a similar checklist or tips for being on video or things like that.

    [00:39:10] Eric Doty: I know you sent me a notion page for this one which also works, but you could do all this stuff in notion too.

    [00:39:20] Eric Doty: I'm doing it in Doc because I'm trying to be a good boy.

    [00:39:24] Ramli John: Should I switch over my podcast planning to doctor?

    [00:39:27] Eric Doty: Yeah, absolutely.

    [00:39:28] Eric Doty: Get it in there.

    [00:39:29] Ramli John: I like it.

    [00:39:31] Eric Doty Discusses Dock's Content Strategy Focus on Mid to Bottom Funnel Content

    [00:39:31] Ramli John: There's a mention here around how you focus on mid to bottom funnel content, which is super interesting, I guess.

    [00:39:40] Ramli John: Any reason why avoiding that might fit in?

    [00:39:45] Ramli John: I've been hearing a lot from, let's say, Eli Schwartz that especially with generative search and like people should be focusing on mid to bottom funnel content rather than top because AI will answer all the top of the funnel.

    [00:39:58] Ramli John: I'm curious, is it just to get more people to sign up, or is there another reason why you're more focused on mid to bottom?

    [00:40:05] Eric Doty: There's a few reasons.

    [00:40:07] Eric Doty: Part of it is just capacity and where we are as a company.

    [00:40:11] Eric Doty: So we're like a year old.

    [00:40:12] Eric Doty: We're still seed stage.

    [00:40:14] Eric Doty: We haven't written about all the topics that are directly related to our product yet.

    [00:40:18] Eric Doty: So why venture up into the top of funnel?

    [00:40:22] Eric Doty: Competition is a big one, right?

    [00:40:25] Eric Doty: We're not like a sales tool per se.

    [00:40:28] Eric Doty: We're in the category of sales tools.

    [00:40:30] Eric Doty: We're in the category of customer success tools.

    [00:40:32] Eric Doty: Once every step up you go in the funnel, you're now competing with thousands of other, yeah, like HubSpot has written about almost every type of whatever gong any popular tool that does content, they've already written about it.

    [00:40:52] Eric Doty: So we're less likely to have a unique thing to say in those areas.

    [00:40:57] Eric Doty: Some of them we're willing to go for it if it's just super relevant to us.

    [00:41:01] Eric Doty: And it would be weird for us not to have content about it because maybe that content is useful in the sales process or something.

    [00:41:07] Eric Doty: Even though it's top of funnel, it's kind of just like we're just putting our bets on more mid bottom.

    [00:41:18] Eric Doty: And I'd say we're mostly focused on the mid funnel.

    [00:41:20] Eric Doty: So for us, that's sort of, I know that's a super vague term.

    [00:41:24] Eric Doty: Probably everybody thinks of mid funnel as different, but for us, we think of mid funnel as sort of like one step away from being willing to demo the product.

    [00:41:34] Eric Doty: So like someone who's trying to build a sales proposal or somebody who needs to do better follow up after a sales demo.

    [00:41:45] Eric Doty: They need a tool to house those resources.

    [00:41:48] Eric Doty: So they might be like demo follow up might be kind of, it might sound like a high, like a top of funnel keyword like sales demo follow up.

    [00:41:56] Eric Doty: But for us that's actually quite a job to be done search kind of thing.

    [00:42:02] Eric Doty: So we try to focus on those things every once in a while.

    [00:42:04] Eric Doty: We'll be like, oh, there's a sales term that comes up a lot that we hear our customers say that we actually looked it up in Ahrefs and there's like no competition for it.

    [00:42:14] Eric Doty: So let's just write an article for it and hope it helps.

    [00:42:19] Eric Doty: Our best performing articles are top of funnel ones in terms of traffic, but they're also the least useful in terms of converting people.

    [00:42:27] Eric Doty: It makes sense, right?

    [00:42:28] Eric Doty: That's everyone's experience.

    [00:42:31] Eric Doty: We try to stay more mid and very product focused and if we can't do like a how to with our product on that topic, it's probably not the right one for us to be writing about yet.

    [00:42:44] Ramli John: That makes a ton of sense there.

    [00:42:46] Eric Doty: Also on that note, because we're also doing a podcast on the side where we're doing more just sort of like generic.

    [00:42:55] Eric Doty: Not generic is the wrong word, but broader conversations about sales leadership or customer success or things like that.

    [00:43:02] Eric Doty: So that's more of our branded thought leadership play and we do that less on our blog.

    [00:43:10] Eric Doty: That stuff plays better on social probably.

    [00:43:13] Eric Doty: And so we don't need to worry about it for SEO right now.

    [00:43:17] Ramli John: That makes sense there in terms of iterating this.

    [00:43:24] Discussion on enhancing the onboarding process for writers at Dock

    [00:43:24] Ramli John: Any thoughts on feeder iterations as what you would want to add here or this is good for now for I'm not sure.

    [00:43:33] Ramli John: The next year or would you slap on I'm not sure.

    [00:43:36] Ramli John: I'm just saying the word AI now.

    [00:43:38] Eric Doty: Because it's something that just say it.

    [00:43:40] Eric Doty: If you don't say it then if.

    [00:43:42] Ramli John: You don't say it on a podcast, it doesn't exist.

    [00:43:44] Ramli John: But is there any thought process on ideas on what you'd want to see on this in the future if you potentially.

    [00:43:52] Eric Doty: Yeah, I edit it often just to add like if we launch a new product, I'll just sort of update the product knowledge stuff in there.

    [00:44:06] Eric Doty: I love for it to be more automated.

    [00:44:08] Eric Doty: It's more of like a doc software thing.

    [00:44:11] Eric Doty: We're eventually going to build an API and then I can connect it with airtable or a CRM or something that I can just one click launch this right now I have to open Doc and then one click launch it.

    [00:44:22] Eric Doty: Which is like that's so many clicks, but I think for now it's already quite thorough.

    [00:44:30] Eric Doty: I don't want to put too much on the plate and this is already a lot so it wouldn't be adding to it, that's for sure.

    [00:44:36] Eric Doty: Maybe I need like a reeducation component of like after six months of writing for us, after six months it's like here's a refresher on docs.

    [00:44:47] Eric Doty: But no, I find the freelancer are sticking with us long term.

    [00:44:50] Eric Doty: They get it and they get the product.

    [00:44:53] Eric Doty: They're infusing it the right way and I'm really happy with it.

    [00:44:56] Eric Doty: So yeah, we'll revisit this in a lot longer.

    [00:44:59] Eric Doty: Maybe if I'm more hands off with the editing process.

    [00:45:02] Eric Doty: This would need to be more in depth, but it's a good starter for people.

    [00:45:07] Ramli John: Well, thank you for sharing this.

    [00:45:08] Ramli John: I'm going to add the link that you shared on LinkedIn in the show notes in description.

    [00:45:13] Career Power Ups: The Builder Mindset with Eric Doty

    [00:45:13] Ramli John: I want to shift gears and talk about career or power ups now specifically for you.

    [00:45:19] Ramli John: You've had an interesting career transitioning from research assistant at University of Pennsylvania to being an owner of a hockey humor website.

    [00:45:27] Ramli John: I feel like that's another podcast on his own that attracted 1 million page views and so many followers on socially.

    [00:45:34] Ramli John: Now you're a content lead here at Doc.

    [00:45:36] Ramli John: What's a power up that's helped you accelerate your career?

    [00:45:40] Ramli John: Whether that's something that's more personality or community based or more like a marketing skill that's helped you your career.

    [00:45:50] Eric Doty: Yeah, it's a really good question and it's kind of funny.

    [00:45:55] Eric Doty: It's like, what made you successful?

    [00:45:56] Eric Doty: That's a really difficult question to answer.

    [00:45:58] Eric Doty: But I think if I were to contrast myself with other people who are in similar roles to me or in similar jobs, and what made me sort of, I don't know, climb the ladder, if you want to call it that, is, I think I always take like a builder mindset rather than I think a lot of marketers consider themselves like creative types.

    [00:46:23] Eric Doty: And I think if you sort of box yourself into being a writer or like a content maker, then you're limiting your growth, but you're limiting your earning potential and you're limiting how quickly you can stand out to leadership, things like that.

    [00:46:42] Eric Doty: So to put this more concretely, I always try to build workflows and processes that make me able to scale myself like two, three times.

    [00:46:52] Eric Doty: Which is why I've ended up in these solo content lead roles where it's companies who they needed, marketing team, but they don't have the budget yet for a marketing team, and they're like, what if we can just hire one person and so you can open lots of doors for yourself?

    [00:47:09] Eric Doty: If you're, instead of being like, I'm going to be a really good blog eDitor, you're like, I'm going to be a blog editor who can also build a workflow in airtable that can make this like five times more efficient.

    [00:47:25] Eric Doty: Like you said, I used to be a research assistant.

    [00:47:29] Eric Doty: I was like a linguist.

    [00:47:32] Eric Doty: I was studying phonetics and how people speak and then how people's brains process that.

    [00:47:37] Eric Doty: And you're kind of on your own and running an experiment.

    [00:47:41] Eric Doty: And so not only would you have to design the experiment, you'd also have to get participants in to read from a microphone or whatever, and then you'd have to analyze the data.

    [00:47:51] Eric Doty: So I'd have to learn Python overnight to be able to take 10,000 spreadsheets and do some data analysis.

    [00:47:59] Eric Doty: And so that sort of put me always in this, like, all right, how can I build a thing that does this for me, rather than me always just like manually doing it?

    [00:48:07] Eric Doty: And I think especially with the rise of AI, there you go, brought it back.

    [00:48:13] Eric Doty: Especially with AI now, writing is going to be easy for everyone to do.

    [00:48:19] Eric Doty: And so as a content marketer, you have to get more in this builder mindset of how do I connect tools together?

    [00:48:25] Eric Doty: Or how do I skip some of these steps that I'm doing right now, or if I'm doing something every single day, how do I just automate that?

    [00:48:33] Eric Doty: And so I think that has been my sort of personal power up that's helped me.

    [00:48:38] Ramli John: It's almost like playing with Lego.

    [00:48:40] Ramli John: You're like trying to connect information together or tools.

    [00:48:44] Ramli John: That's more like the content ops or marketing Ops piece, which is super important, especially for trackability or making sure things flow well with each other.

    [00:48:53] Eric Doty: Yeah, and the creative side matters too.

    [00:48:55] Eric Doty: But I think, I don't know, I feel like you hit a creative peak faster and then the growth from that later comes from building things or leadership skills or things like that.

    [00:49:11] Eric Doty: And so I think it's like, don't be a one trick pony.

    [00:49:17] Eric Doty: Try to have a broad base of skills and then look for efficiencies and tool workflows and things like that.

    [00:49:29] Ramli John: I think another word I would say around you mentioned builder would be like having entrepreneurial mindset, almost like, hey, if I can improve this, I'm going to do it essentially, rather than, that's not my job.

    [00:49:45] Ramli John: It's not my job to improve that thing.

    [00:49:47] Ramli John: If I can find a better process or a better way to connect things with each other, then I will figure that out.

    [00:49:56] Ramli John: Know, being resourceful about it rather than waiting for somebody to do it for?

    [00:50:02] Ramli John: Essentially, yeah.

    [00:50:03] Eric Doty: Yeah.

    [00:50:04] Maximizing Value through Comprehensive Leadership: A Discussion with Eric Doty

    [00:50:04] Eric Doty: We recently had a guest on our podcast.

    [00:50:06] Eric Doty: Her name is Deani.

    [00:50:08] Eric Doty: She was the cro of lattice.

    [00:50:09] Eric Doty: And we asked her, how do you go from a sales manager to being like a C suite level leader?

    [00:50:19] Eric Doty: And she's like, the difference between being like a mid senior manager and on the board of a company is to be, you have to be a total company leader, not just a sales leader.

    [00:50:30] Eric Doty: And I think of that all the time in my role of like, yeah, okay, I'm a content marketer, but how do I embed myself in more with the product team, or more with the sales team or more with leadership?

    [00:50:43] Eric Doty: And then what pieces can I connect?

    [00:50:45] Eric Doty: Like you're saying that makes me more valuable or another version of that is okay, yeah, I want to produce content on a regular basis, but I want to make the company money so that we're all successful.

    [00:50:57] Eric Doty: I'm more successful.

    [00:50:59] Eric Doty: And how can I make myself worth two, three times more than I am so that everyone wins, right?

    [00:51:06] Eric Doty: And then that's when you see promotions or better job offers, things like that, right?

    [00:51:12] Eric Doty: It's not just like doing the job you're given, it's like adding value on top of that.

    [00:51:15] Ramli John: It's so good for how do you seeing yourself beyond just content or creative?

    [00:51:21] Ramli John: You're like trying to really see yourself as a contributor to the success of the organization or company.

    [00:51:28] Eric Doty: And I don't always do it perfectly, but it's something.

    [00:51:30] Eric Doty: It's a mindset you have to take.

    [00:51:31] Marketing Powerups Podcast Episode Overview

    [00:51:31] Ramli John: If you enjoyed this episode, you'd love the Marketing Powerups newsletter.

    [00:51:35] Ramli John: I share the actionable takeaways and break down the frameworks of world class marketers.

    [00:51:39] Ramli John: You can go marketing, subscribe and you'll instantly unlock the three best frameworks that top marketers use, hit their KPIs consistently, and wow their colleagues.

    [00:51:50] Ramli John: I want to say thank you to you for listening.

    [00:51:52] Ramli John: And please like and follow marketing powerups on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify if you're feeling extra generous, leave a review on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and leave a comment on YouTube goes a long way in others finding out about marketing powerups.

    [00:52:07] Ramli John: Thanks to Mary Sullivan for creating the artwork and design.

    [00:52:10] Ramli John: And thank you to Fisal Kaigo for editing the intro video.

    [00:52:13] Ramli John: And of course, thank you for listening.

    [00:52:15] Ramli John: That's all for now.

    [00:52:16] Ramli John: Have a powered update.

    [00:52:18] Eric Doty: Marketing powerups until the next episode.


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