a picture of a big crowdMedia companies like Vice and The New York Times are producing branded content and ads, raising the quality bar for everyone and adding more entrants to the already-crowded marketplace. There's always another content agency or freelancer out there ready to take your place. Providing more and better service is the key to staying busy.

How to Stay Relevant in a Crowded Marketplace

  1. Turn in clean content that meets the stated requirements. Seems obvious. Bears repeating.
  2. Meet deadlines. You'd be surprised how often I hear from clients that they came to us because they heard we honor deadlines. 
  3. Make suggestions, especially around stronger angles or options and approaches for presenting the story. Clients are usually juggling a ton of projects or have never done "content" before and welcome sage advice.
  4. Do a little more than asked. Find easy ways to exceed expectations like turning projects in early or suggesting companion visual content. Example: We noticed a client returned revisions in a template, so we copied it and started filing our work inside it, saving them a step.
  5. Stay up on current research and trends. You don't need to know it all, but you need to know enough. Easy cheat: subscribe to Scott Monty's weekly newsletter. 
  6. Invest emotional labor. Everyone needs a go-to guy or gal, so be one. Care about the work you do, and care about your clients' daily challenges and successes.
  7. Understand their business. You create better content when you have a better understanding of your client's business operations and goals. No need to develop analyst-level knowledge, but knowing what drives business for their enterprise helps drive business for yours.

Covering these bases makes you a valuable partner, not just another vendor. That not only keeps you busy, but it can provide the necessary support for raising your rates a bit.

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