I’m writing this from Stellenbosch. Finally trying out a more location-independent lifestyle. This, by the way, has been one of my goals for the last five years. That is how old my company, The Content Agency, is now – almost five years.
Sure, I started out a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed creative freelancer, but two and a bit years in, demand was soaring and I had to grow and pivot my original idea slightly (first world problems, I know). Thing is, despite my business plan and engagement model evolving, the goals and reasons why I do what I do are still very much the same (albeit perhaps greatly amplified when compared to the original ideals).
The point is that I’ve wanted to add value by creating strategic marketing and communications content for brands from all walks of life for the longest time. I’ve been seeking out brands, businesses, and leaders whose values and missions resonate with me and have enjoyed helping them thrive.
Similarly, I’ve wanted to be more-location independent for about the same amount of time. I still wanted to serve and create a company that contributes value to our clients’ marketing and communications content. But I wanted to be able to do it from just about anywhere – which, if you think about it, is totally doable in my line of work. Remote team and all.
Fast forward almost five years and I never did achieve this goal (until now). This is greatly due to the fact that it was deprioritised, giving precedent instead to “being in my clients’ faces,” integrating into their teams and getting into their heads. All reasonable endeavours, of course.
But recently I have been doing a bit of introspection, as a business owner and as Liz van Zyl – The Content Writer. The question of why I do what I do has been on my mind a lot. What impact am I making? What feeds my soul? How can I maximise value for clients?
A ‘partner in crime’ recently reminded me – in typical Simon Sinek style – that it’s not about how much you do, but why you’re doing it. What are you powered by? What is the purpose? Otherwise, you can do a whole bunch of stuff, but be totally ineffective.
This re-emerging focus on purpose isn’t just applicable to my story. It’s applicable to your life. Your business. And your content. It is both the beginning and the end of so much. It is why your business was started and also why consumers choose you.
When you’re creating content for marketing and communications, purpose is powerful too. It dictates the style, length, tone, message, and approach. It is a crucial question I ask clients daily: “What’s the purpose of this project?”
So, as we enter a new season (both literally and figuratively), perhaps it’s time to integrate the purpose of our actions and projects into our thinking – so that we can truly embody why we do what we do. And get our messages across in a way that spurs connection with our target tribes.