These days, workplace culture is becoming a defining characteristic for most companies—as well as a marketing tool to retain and attract top talent. As a result, I’m often asked by industry peers and hopeful job seekers what it’s really like to work at TopRank Marketing.
The honest truth? It’s hard work. But, that’s the nature of the marketing agency beast. But at TopRank Marketing it’s also in our nature to nurture—and that’s evident in the culture we’ve built; a culture of support, understanding and teamwork to help ensure every individual and every client thrives.
Of course, things aren’t always perfect. But as author, researcher and speaker Brené Brown once said: “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
With that said, below I dive into how I came to be part of the TopRank Marketing team, as well as give you a little glimpse into my daily life as a Content Marketing Manager.
Before making my debut in the digital marketing world, I was a journalist living out her days at coffee shops, city council meetings, ribbon cuttings and community gatherings. The daily grind was grueling at times, but it was also exciting.
But after about four years of keeping up with a 24-hour news cycle (and a company restructuring), I felt some work-life balance may be in order. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to enter the world of digital marketing, starting as a Digital Marketing Specialist at a small web development firm. This experience was eye-opening, challenging me to look at content differently and expand my digital skillset.
Fifteen or so months later—as I was heads down planning my wedding—TopRank Marketing came calling. While I wasn’t actively looking for a new opportunity, I was intrigued. Based on my initial research, I could see TopRank Marketing was a fast-growing, respected company—so I threw my hat into the ring.
The interview process of thorough but quick—two phone interviews, a writing test, and an in-person session with three of the company’s top leaders. Throughout this process, the thing that stood out to me the most was TopRank Marketing’s emphasis on workplace culture. While it was a given that you had to have skills and the desire/ability to grow, the people I spoke with spent a lot of time trying to learn if I could thrive in the environment.
After my day of in-person interviews, I got the offer that evening—which was just five weeks before my wedding. Stating that I needed to give proper notice to my current job and make it through my big day, TopRank Marketing was beyond understanding and let me set the start date.
After enjoying my wedding and a mini honeymoon, I joined the TopRank Marketing team Oct. 5, 2015 as a Content Marketing Lead. And after 18 months of support and learning, I’ve grown into a Content Marketing Manager role—allowing me to further spread my digital and content marketing wings.
My day typically begins with a cup of Cinnabon-flavored coffee and a pour of sugar-free vanilla creamer. (Public Service Announcement: If you haven’t had the pleasure of indulging in this delicious amazingness, put it on your bucket list. It sets the day off right.) As I sip, I dive into any emails that came in after “closing time”, check out my meeting schedule, and then jump to our project management system to take a look at what my day and the rest of the week looks like. From there, I prioritize the day’s task list based on own timeline knowledge or engage my account managers for a little help if things are looking precarious.
Once my tasks are set, it’s time to dive in. As for what I’m typically diving into, there are about five core themes on any given day:
As a member of the content team, it stands to reason that content strategy and execution often take up a large part of my day. When it comes to my client programs, my work is not siloed to just one step in the process—I’m responsible for the entire content lifecycle, from research and concepting to writing and analyzing results.
To keep me on track, I set benchmark goals. For example, if I know that a blog post typically takes me four hours to write, my goal is to have the introduction nailed down in the first hour and the entire post completed in three and half. Then, I set it aside and let it marinate for a bit. Later, I’ll use that final 30 minutes to go over it with a fine-tooth comb, before sending it off for internal review.
TopRank Marketing believes that an integrated digital marketing strategy is key. As a result, I’m often sitting down with my account management, social, paid or SEO mates to pick their brains about how to align content with other tactics, program goals and low-hanging opportunities.
Since there’s no assigned seating at TopRank Marketing, my neighbors are made up of paid, SEO and social experts—allowing for incredibly agility in gaining instant insight and feedback that I can use to craft the best possible content.
Since the turn of the new year, we’ve been lucky enough to add nearly a dozen talented marketers to the ranks across all disciplines. Since then, I’ve been working with some of our newest content team members to get them up to speed on client programs, provide strategic advice, and review their work and provide feedback.
While this often happens in quick one-off chats, we also have weekly one-on-one meetings. This time is often spent live editing content, identifying training opportunities, and learning how I can help them hone their skills.
TopRank Marketing’s client portfolio is incredibly diverse—from healthcare technology to women’s fashion jewelry. As a result, each team member is tasked with gaining deep knowledge of the unique nuances of multiple industries and their respective audiences. From my perspective, this diversity is part of our secret sauce, allowing us to coach our clients with a range of insights.
When it comes to consulting on content, I go back to my journalism days and ask a lot of questions to draw out information. Based on the information I get, then I’m able to make recommendations for how to approach the content; a blog post doesn’t have to be the only solution.
I have the privilege of working with some of the brightest, kindest and wittiest people I’ve ever met. From a quick chat while we’re brewing our third cup of Joe to deep happy hour conversations, every day I learn something new and interesting about someone I work with. (I could take this opportunity to embarrass a few folks, but I won’t.)
In addition, every other Friday the entire team gets together for a few hours of knowledge sharing—something we call Mantra. Last week we did a working session to craft awesome client case studies and to nail down step-by-step processes for some of our newer service offerings. A few weeks before that, we turned our marketing brains off for a couple hours and watched Guardians of the Galaxy.
The beautiful green space surrounding the TopRank Marketing offices isn’t the only thing in bloom this spring. As I mentioned above, our team is growing, too. If you think TopRank Marketing may be the place for you, check out our Careers page to see all the positions we’re hiring for.
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