How to Scale Up Content Production Like a Pro
As a content agency, your clients are in constant need of content. It could be a website and primary social media content or clients who need high volume content across all their channels. If your agency is catering well to these clients, you know that it’s only time before the word spreads around and you’re ready to take on new clients.
While your client roster may multiply, it’s obvious you’ll want your content production to scale up quickly. That means you’ll need a constant audit on quality and costs without hampering your existing clients. Before you go down the grueling route of planning your expansion with more hiring and investment, it’s wise to consider how other content agencies scale quickly. It’s by establishing a set of responsibilities, automating client acquisition, scaling by segmenting and focusing on a few factors.
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Table of Contents
1. Why Content Production is Important
Creates Visibility: With content, it’s easy to attract the right audience. While it may be a long game, it generates trust and helps your audience to make the right decision, whether it is to engage with your content or buy from you. If entering digital marketing is a priority for most of your clients, then content forms the basis of this digital campaign.
Build Authority: You may be spending a significant chunk of your time picking the best topics to educate your audience. And while doing so, you’re also building authority with strong content that can work on your platform, like your website or social media sites.
Links to all content: Investing in quality content can work in many ways. You can inter-link them, repurpose the content, and expand it across the web, making it easy to find via search and strengthening your SEO.
2. Why Content Agencies Need to Scale Up Content Production
As a content agency, content is the foundation of your business. It’s also why clients look up to you as the expert on getting the digital medium working for them. But it’s also tough to survive unless you’re experienced in this field. Or have seasoned professionals familiar with the working of an agency. For this, remember these two vital points, especially if you are a new content agency owner and want to avoid the common pitfalls most agency owners face.
1. Competing in a crowded space: Top-tier agencies with enviable clients are known to get results. But as a newbie to survive and thrive, scaling your content production is a must. It allows your agency to produce stellar results consistently. It also creates a unique position in the industry that’s already crowded with some excellent and other not-so-notable work.
2. Metrics for Success of a Content Agency
As a content agency, your success is measured by two things – your content output and its performance.
a. Content Output: For a content agency, the content output shows the ability to understand the client and their audience. It also reflects on how quickly you can produce quality content at scale. It means quickly moving between different content formats and accurately touching the audience’s pain points within tight deadlines.
b. Content Performance: Because your content output is an obvious reflection of your firm’s performance, you cannot take your eye off how the content performs. Navigating through the different content metrics lets you assess how well you’ve nailed your internal process to meet client content needs and expectations.
3. How Do Agencies Scale Up Content Production Fast
Scaling your agency content comes down to a mix of having a steady supply of writers you can scale up and faster turnaround. With some best practices, you can set up responsibilities, automate or outsource and scale quickly.
1. Establish the Set of Responsibilities
Hire and Onboard: Getting new writers on board is the first step to establishing a content process. Continue this cycle by testing and seeing the output versus your expectation. This way, your content gets the momentum, and you’re poised to onboard new writers every time your content needs increase.
Standardize Roles: Managing new hires is the next step in setting your content process. Standardize roles by creating SOPs and templates for content. So you’re clear on what you expect, especially as you shift through different content formats and content channels daily. It also allows you to track things that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Segment Roles: There’s much to be done once your SOPs are in place. There are images to be mapped, posting to be done, and a never-ending to-do list. Pause and note that you do not assign writers other roles. Segment roles such that writers do not have to do other things like finding images for your content or posting it on the blog (you can sign up for Wordable to post directly from Google Docs)
Hire VAs: Your writers may be busy writing, but the other jobs have to be done. Hire VAs for it so that they can take over these roles. Be sure to communicate the tasks right up to the last detail, so you’re not left switching between different VAs often for lack of communication that at times leads to unsatisfied work.
Create Documentation: Communication is a two-way street that can get lost as the work piles up. Document every role and responsibility so you or your team aren’t searching for the right person to be accountable for hits or misses every time.
2. Automate or Outsource Client Acquisition & Management
Client acquisition is as important as creating content. So unless you’ve automated client acquisition, you’re going to be running around in circles trying to get new clients even as you reach your optimal client servicing limit. Consider these while automating client acquisition.
Get a trained VA for Qualified Leads: Start automating by looking at VAs who have the expertise to find qualified leads. A VA who is trained to find qualified leads for your business can be an asset that frees your time for other essential activities.
Automate Sales: Sales automation makes it easy for prospects to interact with your business. With sales automation, you can set up conversations, improve productivity and save effort on time-consuming sales calls. What you’re also doing is creating a system to enhance revenue.
Set up metered billing: Once you’ve successfully navigated the sales automation, move onto the post-conversion phase. Post-conversion, set up metered billing so that each client is automatically billed based on the services provided (number of articles, number of words, etc.).
3. Scaling Up Challenge
Setting up your process and automation keeps your agency ready to scale at speed. It also means you can scale up if you offer different services or cater to different types of clients.
But doing so makes it difficult for yourself since you’re increasing the learning curve for each project. When you land in such a situation, it becomes difficult for your team to keep up, thus slowing down your team. As such, preparing your team by segmenting them can be a step in the right direction.
4. Segmenting Content Production Based on Roles
Role segmenting your team is one way to make every team member a specialist in the specific task they do. Consider some of these ways.
1. Avoid One Person-One Client
Do not allocate one person to one client – instead, assign them to a specific task they do. This way, you avoid giving an entire client’s time-sensitive work to one person, often avoiding unexpected delays and stress.
2. Allocate as per task
Try allocating one task to one person. So one person may be in charge of producing all email marketing copies, another for a blog, and another for advertorials (for native ad campaigns or print). Doing so makes it easy to track performance and monitor metrics, especially when it directly relates to your agency’s performance.
3. Reduces Errors Improves Quality
Shifting to task-based work works in two ways. The person becomes adept at what they do, and in turn, they reduce errors. It directly impacts your content output by adding consistency to your content and continually improving to produce better quality output.
Starting a content agency is the first step towards your dream of owning a successful content agency. It allows you to demonstrate your content expertise actively. What it also does is push you to produce content at scale. But for this, you need to set up your processes in a way that primes your content to outperform others even as you expand your base.
The content performance metric is a clear indicator of your agency’s growth. For this, ensure you hire writers continuously, create SOPs, segment roles, hire VAs for other tasks and document your processes. Of course, automation can save a lot of time, especially for client acquisition, like hiring trained VAs for lead generation, sales, and putting in place metered billing for timely payments.
Scaling may pose some challenges from time to time, including reliance on one person for each client’s work. In this case, distribute the work as per tasks, making it easy to track and improve your metrics and work performance, thereby reducing errors and improving content quality.