How working at an inbound marketing agency made me a better writer

Working at an inbound marketing agency is pretty awesome. Working at an inbound marketing agency in Cape Town is even more awesome. At MPULL we’re blessed with a view of Table Mountain, a team of talented, young people, clients we love, and a shared common goal — growth.

Growth for our inbound marketing agency and growth for our clients’ agencies. While our strategists might be seen as the orchestrators of those seamless content marketing strategies that spur this growth, our content creators are just as important in this process as we strats are.

In this blog I interview our Travel and Lifestyle Hive editor, Caroline Knight, about what it’s like writing and editing for an inbound marketing agency.

Lauren Peterson: Hi Caroline. When you started your writing career, did you ever imagine you’d end up at a place like MPULL?

Caroline Knight: No, not at all. I didn’t even know about the concept of inbound marketing until I arrived at MPULL. I got into writing while at university in London. I was arts editor and journalist for the student newspaper. After uni, I carried on doing theatre reviews and the like, and then moved onto wine writing when I moved to South Africa a couple of years ago. I’d always thought that a writing job and a decent salary were mutually exclusive — until I started working here. Writing business blogs might not sound as glamorous as writing for magazines, but it’s amazing how creative you still get to be writing a blog that sings the virtues of mobile payments solutions. It’s also kind of cool knowing that your writing is having a positive impact on the growth of your client, as well as being entertaining and informative.

LP: Are there any challenges to writing for an inbound marketing agency?

CK: Writing as yourself and writing as your client are two very different things. You’ve got to put yourself in the mind of your client and write according to a brief. The brief outlines who you’re targeting, how the reader should feel after reading the blog, as well as the overall strategic intent of the blog. On top of that you’ve got to write according to a certain style which is influenced by your client’s brand. As a writer you don’t only have one client; you’re constantly switching between different clients and different styles and tones. Another challenge, albeit a fun one, is making blog topics that might be considered dry and boring sound engaging. It can be tough but it takes your creativity to its limits, in a fantastic way.

LP: How have your writing and editing skills evolved since working at MPULL?

CK: My attention to detail has definitely improved. Part of a copywriter’s job is also proofreading for your colleagues. You learn a lot about grammar and style from proofing the work of others and also through learning from your own mistakes. Writing blogs (which are limited to between 500-800 words per article) forces you to be concise and precise — the fact that the attention spans of internet users seems to be diminishing means you just can’t afford to waffle. Because an average weekly output for a writer is about eight blogs, I’ve got much better at writing quickly (without compromising quality) and staying focused.

As well as writing, writers at an inbound marketing agency are also involved in creating content calendars for clients. A content calendar is a strategic plan of the content that’ll be created and posted over the course of the next few months. Working on these content calendars has vastly improved my ability to come up with fresh ideas on the spot. Writing on behalf of clients has also taught me how to be humble about my own work. It’s very easy for writers to get egotistical about themselves (like any artist), but when you’re effectively a ghostwriter for someone else, you’ve got to put your ego to the side.

LP: What’s the best thing about working for an agency like MPULL?

CK: Getting to write for such a variety of clients is one of the best parts of working in content marketing. The great thing about MPULL is how much freedom all of us have to make changes within the company — we’re not limited to our job roles and their job descriptions. If I have an idea for a new form of content we can offer clients and I take it to Carl (our head of content), he just says, “Do it!” It creates such a great culture of innovation across the company, and keeps us all inspired. We’re also all about celebrating each other’s good work, even if it’s something small like getting great feedback from a client.

Thanks Caroline! If you like the sound of how we operate at MPULL and think you’d like to outsource inbound marketing, download our guide: Effectively Scale your Digital Agency - Outsourcing and Offshoring Your Digital Marketing.

Free guide to scalling your agency