Plenty of brands implement content marketing but fail to see results.
Even more have a lackluster content strategy — or no strategy at all.
When these types of brands need a serious content glow-up, a content strategy consultant is the hero who will come to their rescue. 🦸♀️
Ultimately, this is a multi-talented professional who packs a punch. 👊
Holistic and focused on the big picture, the content strategy consultant is a company’s pick when they know they’ve got something wrong with their content or their brand growth… but they have no idea what to do about it.
Got a knack for blending creativity and business sensibilities? Deeply understand how to put together a content strategy that’s proven to work? Content consulting might just be for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about this specialist field, plus plenty of resources to help you get started mastering the skills you need to become one.
What It’s Like to Be a Content Strategy Consultant
Do you have a passion for branding and content with an eye for the latest trends in digital marketing? Becoming a content strategy consultant may be your calling.
A content strategy consultant analyzes an existing brand, then identifies ways that brand can use content to solve business problems, better connect with customers, increase their reach, and develop their industry authority.
You’ll do things like:
- Perform audits. Expect to do SEO, content, and content strategy audits on any given client
- Guide clients with developing their content strategy. You may play the role of advice-giver on a team.
- Network with other professionals. You may find yourself playing a more hands-off role in content creation or content strategy. Instead, you’ll connect your clients with the right talent.
- Advise on brand guideline creation. Since brand guidelines impact content creation, expect to potentially help a company create them.
- Market research. Understanding audiences is critical to building a content strategy. Your clients may need help doing that.
- Keyword research. You might do keyword research to help your clients best position themselves in the search engines.
- Design content funnels. You’ll work with content strategists and creators to create content pipelines that maximize conversions.
Content Strategists vs. Content Strategy Consultants
Does the content strategy consultant sound a lot like a content strategist? They’re related roles, and most consultants will put on their strategist hats on some days. However, in contrast to content strategists, content strategy consultants:
- Take a more high-level approach. Whereas content strategists will roll up their sleeves and build the actual strategy, you’ll often take a more hands-off, advisory role.
- Have a broader domain of expertise. Content strategists are experts in their field, and their core skills reflect that. You’ll take a broader and more holistic perspective when considering the content strategy of a business.
- Are rarely expected to produce content. It’s not uncommon to find job postings for content strategists where a key responsibility includes producing content. As a consultant, you’ll rarely do that.
What Content Strategy Consultants Earn
A good consultant is worth his or her weight in gold, and the salaries prove that. Here’s what you can expect to make depending on where you’re located in the U.S., via Zippia:
Average across U.S.: $118k/year
- Florida: $106k/year
- New York: $128k/year
- Minnesota: $102k/year
- Texas: $113k/year
- Colorado: $112k/year
- California: $136k/year
The Top Skills You Need to Succeed at Content Strategy Consulting (Plus Resources!)
Content strategy consultants are a relatively new breed of management consultants with some impressive skill sets. Most of the best I’ve met in this field are highly tech-savvy, multi-talented professionals with a whole arsenal of abilities at their disposal.
That breadth is exactly what allows them to take that high-level, holistic perspective of a brand. You’ll need to develop that. No pressure. (Really – I believe in you!)
At the very least, you should have a grip on:
Whether strategist or creator, all content professionals must now have a rock-solid understanding of search engine optimization. It will not only inform your clients’ content strategy but also the way your writers craft the content.
Unfamiliar with the concept? Not sure why it’s worth it? Here’s why you should do SEO.
2. Content Strategy & Inbound Marketing
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing. It’s all about creating content and experiences tailored to your preferred customer, then letting them come to you. (Ads and cold-calling are forms of interruptive outbound marketing, where the brand attempts to go straight to the customer with their message. Increasingly, this type of marketing doesn’t work anymore to grab today’s consumers. In fact, here’s why content marketing is the only marketing left.)
Content marketing needs content strategy to work. Therefore, spend some time mastering both. Consider taking the Free Content Strategy Masterclass, a 60-minute intensive course that will get you off on the right foot.
3. Customer Journey
Since content strategy solves business problems and meets business goals, you’ll spend a lot of time looking at how the customer journey and the brand’s content interact to create a seamless experience. A great place to start is An Introduction to the Marketing Lifecycle, where I rethink the traditional sales funnel in a way that makes sense for content strategists.
Want to better understand how a non-slimy, content-based lead generation funnel works? Read about The Forward Flow, which is what I use in all my content.
4. User Experience
Speaking of customer journeys, you’ll also need an eye for user design and experience. That’s because even if a site has great content and a killer content strategy, 88% of customers won’t return if it’s a hassle to use. As a consultant, you’ll need to be able to catch that.
5. Copywriting & Editing
As a content strategy consultant, you might not always be the writer, but you will definitely work with writers and review their writing. You’ll need to know what good online writing looks like, which writing mistakes to avoid, whether keywords are correctly used for SEO, and other quality-content benchmarks such as:
- Using the brand’s tone of voice correctly
- Good flow (i.e., the writing leads you seamlessly through the piece and keeps you reading)
- Proper use of headers and formatting
- Correct grammar and punctuation
- Deeply researched with facts and data points backed up with sources
- Well-written CTAs added that tell readers what to do next (and pull them further into your brand-o-sphere)
In his book Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner reported that stories are 22 times more memorable than sheer facts. That’s because we’re hardwired for them – and marketers have noticed. As a technique, storytelling has been around in content marketing since Joe Pulizzi popularized it in his 2012 paper. But as a trend, it really took off around 2017 – data by LinkedIn captures its dramatic rise.
Storytelling is now the status quo for brand growth. Learn all about it in Brand Storytelling by Miri Rodriguez.
Storytelling is one way to brand yourself, but it’s not the only way. As a content strategy consultant, you’ll look at other ways a company can use content to grow their brand. As a result, I strongly recommend that you develop a proficiency in branding so that you’re able to provide tangible advice at every step. Check out the Profitable Content Marketer’s Cheat Sheet, which has tons of resources on creating brands from the perspective of a content strategist and marketer.
Want to Become a Content Strategy Consultant? Master Content Strategy
If you want to become a content strategy consultant, you’ve got a wide set of skills to master – but it’s all within reach. If you’ve got an eye for storytelling, a knack for blending your creative vision with business sense and a general tech-savviness, you’re cut out for content strategy consulting.
However, quintessential to a successful consulting career is your grasp on content strategy. Master this, and you’re set up to provide the value your clients will seek when they hire you.
But don’t just stop there.
Take it a step further and become an expert content strategist in 45 days or less with the Practical Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Enroll now!