In a world where consumers are bombarded by information 24/7, it can be hard to get a brand and its messaging to breakthrough and connect, and that’s where The Content Agency comes in. The brainchild of South African entrepreneur Liz van Zyl, this specialist business venture creates high impact content capable of making that crucial breakthrough and connecting with audiences across all media formats.
LoA chatted to founder Liz van Zyl this month to find out more….
What does The Content Agency do?
The Content Agency helps brands and businesses get their messages and stories across. A lot of the brands and businesses we work with are great at doing cool stuff and making magic, but few have the know-how, the drive, or the processes in place to get the word out – that’s where we come in. As a specialized content development and copywriting provider, The Content Agency steps in to help businesses and brands figure out what it is that they want to say, how best to say it, and on which platform to say it on. This means we work with clients to craft clever and concise messaging, website content, social posts, presentations, articles, newsletters, radio talks and more.
What inspired you to start The Content Agency?
I have always liked getting things done. I enjoy seeing results and felt stifled by the bureaucratic processes and politics of working for someone else. Being driven to add value, pioneer my own path, and truly contribute to the development of the people and continent I love, entrepreneurship was a natural fit. Now I get to make a difference to the clients that I serve while also helping my team grow their skills and broaden their horizons.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Yes, we are a passionate team of professionals. And yes, we care about cutting through the noise to get your brand heard in the contest for people’s attention. But that’s not the main reason you should work with us… Choose us because we close the digital loop, never treating business functions or communication channels in silos. Gone are the days where Public Relations, Marketing, Social Media and Search Engine Optimization do not overlap. Truth is, the one simply cannot thrive without the other and a focus on just one will be money poorly spent! What makes The Content Agency unique is that we start with the end in mind. Unlike traditional agencies, content is not an afterthought but the focus point. That’s why we make sure all marketing, communications, public relations, social media and search engine optimization efforts align – so that they brand messaging and brand promise is consistent, clear and clever in all the content.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I found breaking through the mould as a female entrepreneur tricky… Initially, it felt like people were taking me less seriously than my male counterparts. Almost like they viewed me as a glorified housewife. And that’s after years of being told, thankfully not by those closest to me, to “get a real job”. After more than three years in business, and with all the courage I could muster, I finally stepped up and owned my ‘Proudly Female Entrepreneur’ status. And, boy, did that mix things up. Once I got comfy with who and what I stood for and the value that The Content Agency offers, magic happened: I signed the biggest contract of my entrepreneurial-career yet, I was selected for the Lionesses of Africa Accelerator programme, and I took the plunge to expand my team – all because of other women in my network showing me that it can be done.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I am motivated and energized by the prospect of adding value, both professionally and personally. It feeds my soul to be able to serve my clients, my team, my family, my network and my community. I am driven to make a positive impact. In the lives of every person I touch. I want to create a company that’s fun to work at. One that appreciates its employees. One that treats its team fairly, that encourages their development and gives them opportunities for growth. (Like Red Bull, I want to give them wings). At the same time, I want to amplify our ability to add value to clients’ businesses and bottom lines. By helping businesses grow and be more impactful and effective, The Content Agency can help them create a better South Africa. On the back of this and a solid track record, I also hope to become a thought leader, to guide others in their journeys to become self-sustaining.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Step up. Own it. Rock it. Ask yourself “what if I succeed?” and “what if this actually works?” And don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done – especially not that sneaky little voice within. As I said earlier, when you do something with soul it shows! It’s contagious and people can’t help but want to plug in. Lastly, surround yourself with like-minded professionals. Come join me at Lionesses of Africa and let’s stand on the shoulders of giants together.
Why LoA loves it….
Success in business is all about tapping into an identified need or pain point and providing an effective solution. For Liz van Zyl, she saw a huge gap in the marketplace for the creation of great content and copywriting services to fill the massive need for information on the part of businesses and brands. Today, her creative talent as a wordsmith is not only helping her growing list of clients hit the mark with their customer messaging, but it is also nurturing a new generation of content creators on the continent. — Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa