Career Spotlight: How to Become a Content Manager – a Day in the Life of Nelli

Google loves good content, and that is creating new career opportunities for those who love writing. If you get excited about deep-diving into new topics, researching, editing and writing, then working as a content manager may be for you! If you’re asking yourself what the heck a content manager is, don't stress. Not many people know about this career path that exists in the digital world! Read on to find out all about how to become a content manager, as well as what a day in the life of our content manager Nelli looks like.

The Key Skills a Content Manager Needs

First up, let’s list the key skills needed for becoming a content manager. Here are just some of the skills that a content manager needs:

  • A keen eye for detail
  • Writing and editing
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to adapt writing to different tones
  • Creativity
  • Ability to manage time and meet deadlines
  • Basic understanding of WordPress and SEO
  • Ability to re-purpose content for different contexts and platforms

Sound like you? Great! Keep on reading to find out more about our content manager Nelli, her daily work and how she got in the industry.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and what is your role at Gordon Digital?

Hey! My name is Nelli and I’ve been working as Content & Community Manager here at Gordon Digital for the past 1,5 years. However, my role encompasses quite a lot of different things from day to day! Essentially, I’m the in-house copywriter, SEO content writer, photographer, social media manager and general proof-reader of things.

What did you study at university?

I did a double degree in International Business and Languages (BA Hons), minoring in marketing. Naturally, my studies also included many communication subjects. It was a very generalist degree which left me with lots of options to explore after graduation.

How did you end up working as a content manager?

Before landing this role, I had been the marketing officer of a student organisation for a year. In this role, I produced a lot of content as well as managed all social media channels. This is where I fell in love with creating digital content, letting my creativity fly in everything from writing social media captions to planning photo shoots and editing video content.

After graduation, I worked in the corporation world in Europe for a little while, doing similar work in a project management role that involved a lot of communication and community management.

Then, I made the move to Australia and started to look for work here. I figured a marketing agency would be the best place for me to put my various skills to use, so when I saw Gordon Digital was looking for a Content & Community Manager, I decided to apply straight away. And here we are!

What does a day in your life look like?

6:00am – 8:15am: Roll out of bed powered by the thought of getting coffee soon. I wake up early to sneak in either some chores or self-development in the mornings. Usually, I plan to meditate or read, but typically I end up prepping my lunch that I was too lazy to prep the night before.

8:15am – 8:50am: Despite allowing myself lots of time to get ready, I’ll usually be looking for my keys in a panic at 8:15 – the time I need to leave my apartment to make the train. Put my headphones on, press play on one of my favourite podcasts (#podcastaddicted - DM for reccos) and walk to the train station.

8:50am – 9:00am: Arrive at the office, eat breakfast. Turn on my computer, open Slack and our VOIP phone system. Check my inbox and respond to any new emails. If any clients have approved their content, I’ll quickly add in a task for our web designer Rhianna to get it uploaded.

9:00 – 9:30am: Open Planoly (our Instagram scheduling tool) to see what time my clients’ Instagram posts are going out today – add them to my Google calendar to do a bit of engagement right before and after. Jump on the Gordon Digital Instagram to engage and respond to any comments or DMs.

9:30am – 12:00pm: Grab a coffee and open up ClickUp (our project management tool) to look at my task board. I like to work on my content writing tasks in the morning, as that’s when my brain still feels fresh. I start working on SEO articles for a client in the legal industry, knowing I’ll need my full brain power for all the research. I pop on my noise-cancelling headphones to deep focus for the next couple of hours.

12:00pm – 12:30pm: A couple of clients have their Instagram posts going out at midday, so I jump on my phone to engage with their respective audiences.

12:30pm – 1:00pm: I grab lunch to get the chance to eat before our weekly SEO team meeting. Ask Liv and Rhi for an opinion on a pair of sandals I’ve been eyeing up - damn Instagram knows how to target me!

1:00pm – 1:30pm: We have our SEO team meeting, where we go over 3 x client strategies each week to see where things are at.

1:30pm – 3:00pm: I get started on another SEO article, which I know will be a bit easier to write up than the legal ones – tactically saved for the post-lunch energy slump! This client is just getting one article this month, as we’re focusing on other aspects of SEO, so I finish it up and send it away for feedback.

3:00pm – 4:45pm: By brain is starting to feel all this writing. I decide to start writing this blog for GD, as it’s easy to just write about… me! I also update the links in our Instagram bio ready for tomorrow – our weekly blogs go out on Wednesdays. Jump onto Lightroom to find a header image for the blog, crop and compress it and upload the blog to WordPress.

4:45pm - 5:00pm: I check my emails and Slack and respond to any outstanding messages for the day. A client has requested an ad-hoc post on her Instagram and sent me creative, so I pop it into Planoly for later this month.

5:00 – 6:00pm: Say bye to the girls, pop my headphones on and start my walk home – getting those 10 000 steps as well as working through my massive feed of subscribed podcasts!

What are some of the essential skills that make a good content manager?

The main ones that come to mind are creativity, time management, attention to detail and communication.

Creativity is definitely needed to constantly come up with new content ideas and angles. Attention to detail is crucial, as no client wants to have a blog full of typos on their website! The tone of voice in the writing also needs to be spot on for each client – this is where good communication and listening skills come in.

It’s also important to be able to edit yourself when writing, making sure the message will actually be understood by the audience as you intended. This requires intuition and sensitivity, as well as staying on top of what’s happening in the world.

Time management is always crucial working in an agency, but especially for me, as I need to communicate back and forward with our busy clients to discuss revisions.

How does one become a content manager? What are your tips for people aspiring to enter the industry?

There’s no one right way, but excellent writing skills are crucial. If working in social media too, a visual eye is essential for content curation and knowing what style of content to produce for different platforms.

Studies in marketing, journalism, communications or a similar field can certainly help. However, the skill-set is something that anyone can work on in their own time – writing a blog or starting up an Instagram page. I would say the main tip I have for people wanting to create a career in content marketing is to build a portfolio of work, whether it’s through work experience or volunteering. What employers will be most interested in is seeing what you can do!

Are you looking to freshen’ up your website copy or assert yourself as an industry authority with some kick-ass blog posts? Contact us for our content and copywriting services.

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