How to Find the Right Content Hire for Your Company

To turn on content and build a sustainable content engine, early-stage companies have four main options: freelancers, agencies, internal hires, and boutique studios.

Freelancers, while brilliant writers, often lack experience in building a content function from zero to one. Larger agencies with the requisite functional experience frequently outsource writing and get too big – sacrificing content quality or charging too much for too little. 

Internal content lead candidates are usually the best fit for the job, but most potential candidates are doing their own thing, are already employed, or are too costly in terms of salary plus equity. If you do find a killer head of content candidate right off the bat – hire them asap.

To figure out who is best equipped to build a content engine, we hear from Oliver Citrin, Chief Business Officer at Goody, and Erin Falter, Director of Marketing at Tydo, on why purpose-built studios were the perfect fit for both of their companies.

Why Goody Shifted Away From Agencies

Oliver highlights Verbatim’s impact in contrast with his unimpressive agency experiences. In his words: “They don’t understand the business or how to tell Goody’s story. They’re optimized to secure the contract, but they don’t really care for the quality after that.” 

He also remains skeptical of the agency model at large for several reasons: 

  1. They typically push content quantity over quality
  2. They tend to recycle the same playbook for every client without personalization
  3. They’re not incentivized to solve the same core problems as the actual brand team

He also frequently found himself with certain questions about agencies: 

  • Who’s really driving the strategy and execution? 
  • How could we communicate more transparently? 
  • Who’s responsible for and owns Goody’s projects? 

Oliver says that with Verbatim, Goody experienced one point person asking the right questions and understanding how crucial every day is for an early-stage company. 

In other words: Onboarding with Verbatim signaled no more spinning wheels. 

“Unfortunately, agencies run on a feedback loop with writers churning out bad content with bad results. Verbatim operates under a completely different model.”

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Immediate Benefits of the Studio Approach

With Verbatim, Oliver witnessed firsthand just how embedded our team is with clients, functioning as a natural part of the marketing team and broader company. 

We sit in on meetings, work to digest and fully understand the brand’s issues, and then apply that understanding to the content, unlike an agency synthesizing someone else’s synthesis. 

Through that degree of exposure — hearing from heads of sales, finance, ops, etc. — the challenges Goody faced and how to address them through content became crystal clear to us.

“For written content, it’s key to tell stories from firsthand experience. Quality suffers when someone writes about an event they’re removed from.”

Why Verbatim’s Studio Model Fit Tydo Perfectly

Throughout her professional life, Erin has worked with many agencies. She even began her career at one, which gave her a deep understanding of the value agencies can create.

While many agencies have a level of domain expertise and can cater extensively to their clients, they have a different dynamic than full-time, in-house employees. 

The value of in-house is the ownership and quality of work. 

While employees care more about the content, their service is less tailored, and their industry experience is often less extensive.

For Erin, Verbatim bridges the gap: providing employee ownership alongside agency service. She could bring in deep expertise to build while managing early-stage financial constraints. 

Built with the End in Mind

Tydo is one of the best examples of how we like to operate. We come in early on to build our client’s playbook, but we’re always excited to hand it off to an in-house hire down the line. 

Erin knew Tydo wouldn’t work with Verbatim forever. The relationship was intended to set Tydo up for long-term, independent success by putting end-to-end content processes in place. 

So, it was imperative to have somebody come on and take over those foundational processes. 

Rachel Cantor is Tydo’s current in-house content lead — she previously spent time at Morning Brew building out their first lifestyle-focused newsletter, Sidekick. Critically, she had exposure to Tydo’s content through past collaborations with the Verbatim operations team.

Knowing that Rachel could effectively write for Tydo’s audience and was already invested in the landscape, Tydo’s work, and the content being created, Erin knew the fit was right. 

When Rachel joined Tydo full-time, Adrian ensured she could run the end-to-end system on her own, continuing the well-oiled machine that Verbatim started. 

Since then, Rachel has continued to scale and upgrade Tydo’s core content engine.

“Verbatim’s playbook and process meant our in-house team was up to speed at a cadence that would’ve taken months without those foundations in place.” 
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